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What to choose???

Well, I have recently made the switch from electric back to the m3 and intend on moving to the de. From what I can tell, my best bet is gonig with either the progress or hd. For some reason, I am having a terrible time deciding but at the time seem to be leaning toward the progress b/c of its adjustability. At the same time, however, it seems that it takes a while to properly set the razor's dial after replacing the blade...making me lean back toward the hd. My overall goal is to get a razor that will last for a long time as well as aid me in protecting from burn/ingrowns/bumps. Therefore I ask, "what to choose?"

Welcome to B&B!

Looking back through my personal experiences, I would say that the Merkur HD is a must buy. This razor is a very steady performer and is great for all skill levels. It will last you a lifetime, and if you decide on down the road that you would like to sell it, you should be able to get at least 2/3 of your investment back.

I started with an adjustable and fiddled with the settings so often that it slowed down the process of just learning how to shave correctly. Regardless of what you think or of what anyone may say, you, as a man, cannot resist fiddling with the adjustability. That is why it is such an attractive razor.

Go with the HD. Down the road, you will purchase the Progress, the Slant Bar, the Vision, and every other razor that you can find because this is the nature of man. In my own experience, despite additional razor purchases, I always come back to the HD. It is simply a great razor.

It's an easy decision. Start with the HD, add the Progress later. It's going to happen sooner or later!

I really suggest the Merkur Futur. It has excellent adjustability, a good long handle, and is not nearly as expensive as the Vision. For some reason there is a group that is frightened by this razor's demeanor. When I returned to DE wet shaving, after a 30 year hiatus, I started with a Vision. Perhaps not the wisest of choices because of its weight and head size. Despite a few nicks for the first two or three weeks, I never had to worry about razor burn or premature stubble.:001_rolle
Were I able to remake my decisions, I would definitely have bought the Futur and some more soaps!:w00t:
I started with the Merkur Progress and have no regrets. The Merkur HD I ordered last week is arriving today, so I can't tell you much about how it compares. I figured I'd move on after I stopped using the ability to adjust my razor and settled on one setting.

Beyond that, I wonder if any of the Parker razors would be good starters. The price is certainly right.

you will find many opinions about which razor to choose and why. the one thing I would add to the mix is your hand size. some razors are smaller than others and if you have large hands they will feel lost inside of it. others are larger and fit perfectly.

I have the merkur HD and the vision- the hd feels like something is missing, but the vision is just right. so, figure out your 'goldilocks' area and choose accordingly.

i dont know, i have the HD and large hands and still love the thing, i hold every DE i have between my thumb and pointer finger but if some hold their razors like a tennis racket than i could see how they could get lost.
What are the pros and cons of the futur versus the progress versus the vision? I can't really figure it out just by looking at them.
i would suggest the merkur hd. i think everyone should own one.

i have a futur. it is a nice razor, heavy, long. more expensive, though. i'd start out with an HD and buy a futur later.
I just shaved with my new HD (most often sold as the "Classic Hefty Closed Comb" if you're looking to pick one up) for the first time this morning. My closest shave yet and not a nick. I found that the dead even blade exposure from side to side and edge to edge made things very easy, even for the first time with a new razor. I believe I'd start with this razor.

I also love the little Vulfix #403 brush I got. Started with a generic boar bristle, went to a Tweezerman (which fell into pieces a week ago after two months of service). Wish I'd started with something like this value-priced brush for $40.

My vote is for the Progress. The adjustability of this razor allows you to get more aggressive as your skills increase.
This has been a most useful thread. B and B is cool. I have studied and studied. I have asked about the VISION and after reading this thread and the prior responses, I will be leaving the Mach 3 Turbo blades behind for a try of a recently ordered Merkur HD. It seems like the most fundamentally solid as all have described. I bought 20 Merkur blades to avoid repeatedly shipping them repeatedly and frankly the 10 pack of blades are cheaper than the shipping.

I'm sure I'll be back for help. Thanks to our original poster for having started the thread that made me comfortable committing to an HD as my entrace into the next step of the true wet shave.

MJB (aka Marc)
When I first started wet shaving again, last year, I remember going to a local tobacco shop that carries quite a large line of shaving accessories and inquiring about "a good razor". The guy was very nice and helpful, but recommended the "Slant Bar" :eek: as a good razor to start with and added, "it seems to be a really popular seller." Fortunately I had read enough on the shaving boards to avoid his advice and buy the HD. The HD is still my "go to" razor, easy to use, nice handle and gives a good shave.

I have since bought the Merkur Classic, the Long Handle Classic and the Slant Bar. I have also bought a Gillette Super Speed (1953) and a 1-9 Slim Handle Adjustable. I have been experimenting with using different blades in different razors, i.e. Merkur, Derby, Israeli Personnas and most recently the Feather.

My discovery thus far: the Merkur HD and Merkur Classic and my two favorite out of them all. They both shave well with Derbys, IP's or Feathers; actually a little smoother with the Feathers, however YMMV. I don't really know why, but the Classic seems to shave me a little closer than the HD. I have compared the heads and to the naked eye they seem to look identical. It would be interesting to see if anyone else has experienced this with these two razors and can detect any difference in the head geometry.

I have a Progress coming in the mail next week...I just NEED something to adjust, some knobs to twist! And that is exactly why I have held off the purchase of an adjustable until now. So I will let you know how I rate the Progress in a couple of weeks. I also see a Merkur Futur in my shaving future. "A man can never have too many razors!" I forgot who said it??? :confused1

Much to chagrin of many Gillette afficianados, I still prefer the Merkur razors. That is what makes this such an interesting and personalized hobby. The two Gillettes I have and have used just didn't turn my crank. I will however, keep them for my little collection of shaving memorabilia in the shave den.

I just purchased a ShaveMac 22579 brush, which I really love as well (previously used a Vulfix). Does anyone see a pattern here? :lol: I lthink I have a preference for the German shaving accessories!

Anyway, you can't go wrong with the Merkur HD or the Merkur Classic, which I rarely see mentioned anywhere!
Well, I was asked to keep you updated on my progress with the safety razor.

I kept anxiously checking the mail and no razor. I called and waited another day--no razor--called again to learn that the razor had not been shipped. I really have no malice to the would be seller as the agent was markedly apologetic and offered free blades and free next day shipping to keep my business--so he seemed more than fair and honest so I do not wish to demean him; let's face it these things happen and when I'm perfect I'll be the first to not tell anyone (a perfect person wouldn't boast).

It's just that I have been getting great, great shaves with my heavy handle and Mach 3 Turbo blades and the info regarding refined technique much of which I learned on B&B. Maybe this was the Holy Spirit telling me--stick with what you are doing. So, I respectfully cancelled the order for the HD, and tomorrow will go to the bank machine and buy more Mach 3 cartridges. Thus concluding/aborting my brief foray into the world of safety razors.

MJB (aka Marc)

If the changes that you have made to your current routine are getting you consistently great shaves, then you accomplished what you set out to do. After the introduction of a shaving brush and high quality cream into his shaving regime, my father felt the same way and gave his DE back to me. This whole thing finding the best result for you. Congrats on finding it, and I hope that you continue to participate here.
I started out with the Merkur HD, and after using it for a month or so, I can vouch that it's a great starter razor, as well as one that will hold you in good stead for many years to come.

I've since added a Gillette Fatboy adjustable, and have a Parker model 84 on order. Each razor treats each face differently, so I think part of the joy & misery of this hobby is trying out different razors & blades, and seeing which combinations work for your face, and which don't.

I eventually hope to add a slant-bar, progress, and maybe a Vision or Futur in the future. :)
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