What is the best adjustable razor to get with a long term aim ?

Discussion in 'Double Edged Razors' started by Umma2gumma, Apr 12, 2019 at 2:15 PM.

    I think I am ready to start very slowly trying a little more aggressive shaving setup.

    Tried to shim my Baili 176 today by cutting the edges off old blades, but it's a royal pain and only good for setting it once, not for experimenting with different levels of aggressiveness.

    What modern adjustable razor would you recommend ?

    The idea is to get a razor that:

    • Can provide great shave at all settings. Performance and reliability are the top priority.
    • Goes from mild to pretty aggressive so I won't grow out of it soon.
    • Good looking is a plus... after all we're also into this for the allure of the tools. I personally prefer classic looking razors over something like Futur. However, the first two points are most important.
    • Would like to keep it under $100, better else not more than $70. This will be my last modern razor for a while.
    Two razors I see often discussed are Mercur Progress and Viking Emperor. Any others ?
  1. I think the Progress will fit your requirements. I have used for about 10 years and find it to be versatile and consistent. The Parker Variant is a newer razor that is similar to the Progress and slightly larger and also gives a great shave. I have both, along with the Futur (which I love), the Gillette series of adjustable razors, and the Merkur Vision, which has been discontinued but for me is a great razor. I hope this helps. Good luck!
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019 at 4:49 PM
  2. Rockwell 6C
    Be aware that Emperor has a long handle and is heavy but it is bottom heavy
  3. What do you like about Futur over Progress ? And would you pick Parker over Progress or the other way around ?

    I want a razor I can adjust on the fly to try different (close) values. I also think I could benefit from using a more aggressive setting on my cheeks and dialing it down a little for the more sensitive areas under the chin and on the throat.

    I also saw that they sell Crusader which seems to be a lighter version of Emperor; but Mercur seems to have a proven history.
  4. You’ll get differing opinions for the Progress, Variant, & Rockwell 6C or S. All good choices. Would you consider vintage? Once I started using vintage, I saw how much better, IMHO, vintage is. Please consider a Slim or Fat Boy.
  5. As shallow as it may sound, the cosmetic condition of the razor is important and is a big part of what makes DE shaving attractive to me, I appreciate the beautiful lines and rich plating, and most vintage razors I've seen seem to have at least some pitting / scratches.
  6. While Crusader is lighter it does not use the same material as Emperor.
    If beauty of workmanship is important to you Emperor looks unique while there are too many which look like a Crusader. Also Emperor has settings marks as most adjustable do while Crusader has no markings so you have to remember how many turns you did if you want to come back to that setting later
  7. +1! Tons of options, the first question is, ‘Vintage or modern?’
  8. That's why I don't consider the Rockwell 6S/6C to be "adjustable". You may as well get two different razors.

    A Slim would be my choice. I use it at 3 for a new Feather blade, up to 9 for a well-broken in Astra SP, and 5 is my default.
    For $70 you should be able to find one in excellent condition. Mine was $35 on eBay, and it has no plate loss or scratches.
    I don't have a Merkur Futur, but I do have a QShave clone of one. It's even quicker than a Slim to change on the fly, but maybe a bit more dangerous.
  9. I've never used an adjustable razor that I didn't LOVE and I have about 10 or 12 of 'em. All the usual suspects.

    If forced to choose only one, it might be the Merkur Progress, but it's a tough call. A very tough call.

    There's something about a Merkur Progress, like it was custom tailored for my right hand.
  10. Adjustables are great for all kinds of experiments with blades and soaps. I picked up a vintage Black Beauty for very cheap on the BST, which is a great way to explore different razors without a big cash commitment.
  11. I kept reading review and opinions, and it seems that Parker Variant and Progress are two most popular and highly praised adjustables, personally just by looks of it I much prefer Parker - don't like the smooth handle (slippery) and plastic adjustment knob (ugly) on Progress.

    After reading that they've improved the handle coating process, I just ordered the graphite one... I should stop now before I spend more on my "cheap" DE razors than on my cartridges...
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019 at 8:39 PM
  12. I don’t own the Progress, but love my Variant. I use a Merkur top cap on it which I feel improves glide, maneuverability and efficiency.

    I recently obtained the VB Emperor Augustus. The VB has the same level of efficiency for me. I feel it would be a toss up and depends on what you prefer aesthetically. Some people also prefer ttos, again just depends on the user.

    Both have their Zamac components, but the VB only has the Zamac baseplate. With the Variant, you have both the cap and baseplate in Zamac but you also have brass threads with the OEM cap. Your Zamac concerns are going to be with threads so wear on either razor isn’t a big issue.

    VB is coming out with a short handle in the next few months so that could be a positive for some, not for me. As far as balance, you can see from my pic that the VB balances well just below the adjustment dial.

    Can’t go wrong with either razor.

    Attached Files:

  13. Progress
  14. The OP said he didn't care for the vintage because of looks. Well, if you spend enough you can get them in pristine condition. Personally, after having had a Zamac/pot metal razor fail, I wouldn't consider another although the Progress is attractive.
  15. Dragonsbeard

    Dragonsbeard Contributor

    Although I agree with others on a Fatboy or a slim the Parker Variant and Rockwell are good choices.
    Spending a little more money you could get a Mergress which is essentially a Progress with a nicer twist knob at the bottom but it’s also fine tuned by the gentlemen that changes the knob.

    Beyond that are both the Rex Ambassador and if you can find one the Rocnel Adjustables.
  16. I have both the Rockwell 6S and the Rockwell Model T. If you're patient, wait for the Model T to go on sale.
  17. Mergress ticks all your boxes. Worth the extra price to get the metal adjustment knob and the fine tuning, in my opinion.
  18. I have a merkur futur chrome and really love it. It can be set more aggressive than others if that’s what you’re looking for. I have a progress and 6s on order. My understing is that the progress is less aggressive than the futur but I'm interested to get to know both. Ive used rapira blades in the futur and so far they work very well with multiple shaves out of each blade and very smooth performance. I hope you get a great adjustable and enjoy it as mich as i have. D
  19. Thanks, I've already ordered a Parker Variant with a graphite handle.

    Reading through reviews on B&B and other sites, it seems that both the Progress and Variant are equally well liked and praised by their owners. From the usability and aesthetics perspective, I like Variant more (non-slippery handle and no ugly yellow plastic knob that reminds me of medical tools my pediatrician used many decades ago).

    I did consider the Emperor but haven't found as many reviews, so decided to stick with a more established model. It's a gorgeous looking razor and perhaps down the road it will find its way to me. I highly suspect that a drawer full of razors is somewhere in my future... I've been through GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) in my other hobbies, I know the symptoms all too well...

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