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Upgrading to an adjustable razor

I'm not a complete beginner to wet shaving, but I am to buying a new razor. I've been using something cheap I bought at target for about a year and I think it's time to upgrade.

I figured I would go with an adjustable so I can get a feel for what kind of aggressiveness I like and won't have to buy a new razor as I get better with my technique (if this is bad idea, please let me know).

I am on a bit of a budget, but these are the one's I've been looking at:

Parker Variant: Really like how easy it is to adjust, but I've seen a lot of reviews about misalignment and QC issues.

Rockwell 6c: Most reviews seem pretty good, but it seems like its harder to adjust on the fly

Vikings Blade Emperor: Like the ease of the TTO, but I'm a little skeptical of the quality (I have a bad habit of buying the cheaper brands featured on Amazon and getting burned)

Merkur Progress: Reviews seem to be good but I don't think I'd like that handle very much.

Pearl Flexi: I don't really know very much about this one, but it just popped onto my radar and looks nice and is supposedly a higher quality build.

If anyone has used one or more of these or you have other suggestions, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
 
If you’re on a budget don’t rule out a Yaqi The Final Cut or a vintage Gillette
These are both great recommendations. The Yaqi TFC razor is one of my absolute favorites, and at <$30 it's a bargain on Aliexpress. I've just started getting into vintage Gillette razors, but the 1964 Aristocrat adjustable (same as a Slim, but gold plated) I just purchased is also a fantastic razor.

Otherwise, you would be well served to check out a Merkur Progress or Pearl Flexi. They're both great razors, and the Progress is also one of my favorite razors. Both of these are can be had for <$100.

If you want to spend more than that there's the Rex adjustable lineup, the Ambassador and Konsul (a slant), both >=$300. You can also see if you can find a Taiga from Homelike Shaving (made in and shipped from Russia, so they're only available on the secondary market currently in the US and probably a good portion of Europe). Or the Muramasa from Tatara, which has a very unique mechanism to adjust the blade gap, also >$300.

There are a lot of options, adjustables are a fun category of razors (if you're into that sort of thing).
 
In my experience an adjustable razor is not the way that leads to your target as allnrazirs, adjustable or not are different. And what bothers you that you want to adjust on the fly?
In my experience you find the sweet spot and settle.

But i can give you a suggestions though.

Yaqi Adjustable
It's dialed down to 1 an excellent razor that gives me perfect results. The build quality is.. Well could be better. For me it shaves similar on that setting to R89 or Merkur 34 c which are built much nicer, the 89 is a tad more mild regarding the blade gap. The merkur is smoothest to the skin though very efficient.

The Yaqi is a good choice but the other two are better built. If you dial up of course the option is only available on the Yaqi.


Pearl Shaving Flexi.
A good heavy razor, if you're lucky. In the beginning they had problems in quality control. Shaves nice. Comes with a stand.
Has been my fav for a long time.

Rockwell 6s
Has been my fav for a very long time. Also great shaves, but i tend to use it at 4,what is the 34c range (see above).


That's my impression.
You have to choose. But to be honest.. I'd recommend the mühle R89 (or edwin jagger de89,, its the same head) or the merkur if you just wanna shave. If you see it as a hobby and if you want to try... Start buying. But after a long journey i came to the simplest razors.
 

Ron R

I survived a lathey foreman
These are both great recommendations. The Yaqi TFC razor is one of my absolute favorites, and at <$30 it's a bargain on Aliexpress. I've just started getting into vintage Gillette razors, but the Slim adjustable I just purchased is also a fantastic razor.
I have to agree, I like the Yaqi TFC because it looks good and is very similar to the famous 1930's Gibb adjustable but does not have the proprietary blades that the Gibbs takes. Yaqi TFC also does not have the blade tap overhang which is a nice touch. 2 pc razor also + affordable IMO. The Gillette slim is OK but I enjoy the Gillette Fatboy slightly more.
Yaqi V3 TFC adjustable razor, chrome & Gun metal color, MFG 2021.jpg
Comparing Gillette Fatboy & Slim razors. (2).jpg

Have some great shaves!
 
The Vikings Emporer and Crusader are very good quality. I have the Crusader and it is a fine razor, it is heavy so keep that in mind.

But as other recommended the vintage Gillettes are hard to beat and in my stable of razors the Fatboy is king.
 
The Vikings Emporer and Crusader are very good quality. I have the Crusader and it is a fine razor, it is heavy so keep that in mind.
I don't have either of these razors, but I get the impression that you're right. I believe they're both brass razors, which is good and explains their heft, but there are complaints on Amazon of blade warping. Vikings has claimed that this is not a bug, but a feature, but many (including myself) remain skeptical (which is why I don't have either of these razors; I think the most recent version of the Crusader has done away with this "feature"). I also wish they wouldn't engrave their logo on the head, I just don't like it. But I do believe these to be decent razors on paper, if maybe not the most popular around here.
 
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The biggest bang for your buck?

Vintage: Gillette Super Adjustable or Gillette Slim

New: Parker Variant.

BTW I've never heard of alignment issues on the Variant, and I read shaving blogs all the time. My Parker Variant is spot-on perfect.

Having said all that, I've never met an adjustable razor that I did not love, and I have 9 of 'em. My #1 fav is the Gillette Super Adjustable with the short handle, but only by a whisker. I love 'em all.
 
won't have to buy a new razor as I get better with my technique
If you get better with your technique then you may not need a new razor at all.

I often read of people starting with a mild razor and then moving to ever more aggressive razors as if that is some inevitable progression, and a sign if improved techique or more 'advanced' shaving. I do not understand why this idea has become the accepted norm, perhaps it is some sort of juvenile misplaced machismo; I respectfully suggest that it need not be the case.
 
If you get better with your technique then you may not need a new razor at all.

I often read of people starting with a mild razor and then moving to ever more aggressive razors as if that is some inevitable progression, and a sign if improved techique or more 'advanced' shaving. I do not understand why this idea has become the accepted norm, perhaps it is some sort of juvenile misplaced machismo; I respectfully suggest that it need not be the case.
On one hand, you're right: that not need be the case. But on the other hand, that is the case: people do "step up" to more aggressive, blade-feely razors as their technique improves. I would make the reverse argument though: using an aggressive razor in the beginning will hone your skill like none other, and possibly turn you away from mild razors almost entirely.

You're right that if you strengthen your technique you probably don't need to "upgrade" your razor, but at the same time, if you keep using the same razor you won't strengthen your technique except with that particular razor. That's probably enough, true, but then why are we even here talking about this?
 
IMHO, playing around with the knob doesn't necessarily improve your shave. The opposite might happen.
But, if you are intentional, you'll learn. A Slim or 195 wide open will most certainly cut beard, and you can step up or down at will. I appreciated my adjustables early on because I could dial down for carefree get out the door shaves, or up for a close take your time affair.

I would agree, a Slim (comparatively light) or Flexi (heavy and an excellent value for the dollar).
 
@Wbh24 If you're interested, I'm giving away a Merkur Progress in this post -

 
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In my experience an adjustable razor is not the way that leads to your target as allnrazirs, adjustable or not are different. And what bothers you that you want to adjust on the fly?
In my experience you find the sweet spot and settle.
I strongly second this.
It can give one a hint if one is rather in the mild or aggressive camp, but not much more.
The idea isn't unknown to me. An adjustable with near infinite settings means I can find the perfect sweet spot, that was my thought as well.
I have many non adjustable razors that give me a better shave with just one setting.

Usually adjustables just raise the cap it lower it, adjusting the gap and only that aspect of the razor. That's not giving that much of an orientation as one might wish.

The Tatara Muramasa is the only one that also changes exposure of the blade, but it is in all settings supposedly a very mild shaver.
 
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