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Which Razor Should I Use?

Gillette VS Merkur: I have been looking at double edge razors for a while and used Gillettes thirty plus years ago. I have found some adjustable Gillettes on ebay and Merkurs on web sites. Is there any discernable difference between the two company’s razors in the way the blades edge is presented for the cutting task? Gillette adjustable verses the Merkur HD adjustable and the HD slant bar. I have a problem around the under side of my chin and under my lower lip with grain and bleeding. I have really stiff whiskers with definite grain in the growth pattern. I am wondering if one has a head geometry that will allow for a close shave yet still provide some degree of protection. Should I try the slant bar or is an adjustable the way to go and if so which one?
I have tried:
Merkur HD
Gillette Tech
Gillette Adjustable (Fat Boy)
Gillette Super Speed - 1940s
Merkur Futur

They are all fine razors and all shave fine. Do not obsess too much over "which razor" - just get a good one and stick with it for while. You will likely want to acquire more razors anyway later (RAD - razor acquisition disorder...). If you don't mind a used razor, the old Gillettes are nice - Fat Boys are plentiful and you can often find SS and Techs pretty easily. If you want a new razor, a good non-adjustable is the Merkur HD. If you want a new adjustable, the Merkur Progress is a good deal at a fair price. Although there is nothing to really fear from the Slant Bar, I would stick with a traditional razor for now.

You'll get all manner of advice here. It sounds like we have similar faces, and I found the Gillettes to work best. The merkur razors tend to allow more blade flex, so they take more concentration to get a good comfortable shave. If you're looking at the Vision, be aware that it has significant quality control problems, though many guys that have good ones really love them. I've disassembled mine and solved most of it's problems and get good shaves from it, but it's not something I can recommend to a newbie.

I'm also a big fan of adjustables for newbies, but then I started on them and had very good results. The big problem with starting out on an adjustable is it's difficult to resist the siren call to crank it up to 11, if you can resist the urge and just put it on 3 (for most gillette adjustables) unless you really need more you'll be in a good position to learn. The advantage of adjustables is that there's a setting that will make just about any blade shave well; the guys that use fixed head razors have to "adjust" their razor by trying one brand after another in search of the one true blade for that razor.
I'm a big fan of my Merkur 1904. It gives me consistently better shaves than my 1920 Gillette or 1966 Slim Adjustable. It could just be me, but the Merkur seems like higher quality equipment. (Not that the Gillettes are loose, or anything, but they're just not as consistent.)
I am probably not the one to answer this question, being the current owner of:

1.Merkur Vision
2. Merkur HD
3. Gillette FatBoy
4.Gillette Slim Adjustable

FWIW if I had purchased the 'FatBoy' first, I might not own any other razors since this is the one I remember from my youth. However, each razor shaves differently; especially, when loaded with various blades.

I started on a Merkur Futur, and after a bit of experimentation with the settings I just leave it on the least aggressive setting (1) all of the time now. I can get a great shave most days so for me there's no real need to crank it up to anything more aggressive. I've heard the Futur is maybe not the best razor to start on if you're new, but with a bit of caution it's ok really. I have 2 vintage Gillette Superspeeds too, but I prefer the Futur and use it most days.
I have the Merkur HD, the Futur and a Gillette adjustable, don't know which model but not the Fat Boy.

I tend to get the best shaves with the non adjustable HD. When the stars are in the right position the Futur set on around 3 is also excellent but harder to use than the HD until you get the hang of it.

I've not had much luck with the Gillette yet. It's either so mild it just skips over the bristles, open it one more and it removes bits of face!

You pays yer money, you takes yer choice!

If it's your first, I'd go for the Merkur HD.

Good luck, Gareth
I have only an HD and I think I'll stay there and there alone. Blades make some difference but after extensive experimentation--I'll stick with Merkur blades. The Merkur HD and blades seem to be very constant so it allows me to focus entirely on technique.
I have an old (70s I think) HD with an open comb and a Futur. The HD is much easier to use and more forgiving of poor technique even though I like the Futur much better.

They both give a good shave.
My prefrence:

Gillette Slim Adjustable
Gillette Ranger Tech
Gillette 40's SS
Gillette Rocket
Gillette 58 TV Special
Gillette Fat Boy

That is my line up in order of prefrence.
The Gillette Super Speed might do the trick for you. A lot of people love that thing. I got one for my friend and he'd never shaved with a DE before. He said he'd gotten the best shave of his life.

The adjustables are interesting and I'm just learning to shave with a slim and a fat boy. I'm not sure if they're that much better than the Super Speed though.

YMMV of course as mentioned above. Different razors for different faces. Also the blade you choose will make a big difference as well.

If you find an old Gillette Tech it probably won't be the razor you're looking for. It's very tame but probably not aggressive enough for your purposes.

Good luck and happy hunting.
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