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The low-down on adjustables?

Upon receiving my tax refund this past week, a surge of RAD hit me and I bought a 1963 I2 Gillette Slim Adjustable off of Etsy in very good condition for about $32, which appears to be a steal or at least a slightly better price than the same model sold from different vendors.. It is not only my first adjustable razor, but also my first "butterfly open" model as well. Could someone coach me on the basics of using this thing? Of what metal is it made? What exactly does "adjusting" it do? What do the numbers around it measure? Do I adjust it with the doors open or closed? How do I know if I am twisting the knob too many times? Thanks everyone, been excited to try one of these things.
 
It's made of brass, and it adjusts the blade exposure - more blade exposure=more aggressive. The mildest setting is 1.

Most people will tell you that you need to at least undo the last 1/4 turn before adjusting the razor. The last 1/4 turn of the TTO knob is what locks the blade in place, when you close the razor the last 1/4 turn should offer a slight resistance, this is normal and means it's working as it should.

Captain Murphy (he is the Gillette adjustable expert) says it is not necessary to undo the last 1/4 turn, and Gillette never mentioned that in the instructions either. You do as you wish, though.

Twisting the knob too many times? You should stop twisting once the doors are closed ...

Enjoy the new razor.
 
The "Butterfly open" is called TTO (Turn-to-Open). You open it to install the blade, of course. Close the TTO (mine is a Fatboy and has an additional 1/4 turn to lock it in place, I'm not sure about the Slim). Adjustments are made with the number scale. 1 is the least aggressive (the smallest blade gap) and as you increase the numbers you are increasing aggressiveness and blade gap. When you get to 9 you are at the maximum blade gap and from there you would adjust down toward 1. You can adjust the numbers with a blade loaded and the TTO closed. I have changed aggressiveness between passes, say 1st pass at 5 and the 2nd pass adjust down to 4 for a little less bite! Enjoy your "new" Slim and if I am not exactly correct I'm sure someone else will clarify. Enjoy
 
It's made of brass, and it adjusts the blade exposure - more blade exposure=more aggressive. The mildest setting is 1.

Most people will tell you that you need to at least undo the last 1/4 turn before adjusting the razor. The last 1/4 turn of the TTO knob is what locks the blade in place, when you close the razor the last 1/4 turn should offer a slight resistance, this is normal and means it's working as it should.

Captain Murphy (he is the Gillette adjustable expert) says it is not necessary to undo the last 1/4 turn, and Gillette never mentioned that in the instructions either. You do as you wish, though.

Twisting the knob too many times? You should stop twisting once the doors are closed ...

Enjoy the new razor.
Agreed
 
You have a fine razor my friend, one that was my first and in all my recent purchases I have been over looking ,but it's a fine razor, that will probably outlast us all. My razor belonged to my grandfather, and when I got it it was set on 5, I learned how to use it on that setting and didn't bother moving it until I got good shaves with it with no bleeding or irratation. For a quick shave I have set mine on 8 or 9 and just did 1 pass and was on my way and I got a presentable shave. For me I tend to start out higher for a 3 pass shave 7-9 works for me for my first pass. On my XTG pass I'll drop it down to 5ish and ATG usually 3-5 depending on my shave and this works very well for me. Adjusting the numbers increases the blade gap, I've always been told to adjust the razor with the doors open so I always have. Amazing that such a fine tool was made so long ago.
 
I found mine doesn't adjust well after locked. I release the last 1/4 turn before changing setting.
don't know if this is needed, but I do it and I know it won't break for sure by releasing the tension before adjusting.
that's just me ymmv.
 

TexLaw

Fussy Evil Genius
Luv the Slim! Congratulations on acquiring such a fine shaver.

Enjoy working with the adjustment, but I advise you to be patient with it. Give yourself a couple shaves with a setting before adjusting up or down. As has been alluded to, above, feel free to experiment with different settings for different parts of your face or for different passes. You may also find that you adjust up or down for different blades. Adjusting an adjustable is half the fun of having one, but don't get so carried away with it that you don't learn the razor.

All that said, have fun!
 
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