I’m a bit embarrassed to say, but I finally got around to ordering my first adjustable safety razor. I decided on a Merkur Progress and waiting for it to arrive has got me thinking about adjustable razors in general. For the non-wet shaver it really is a strange item, I know it was for me when I first read about them. So for those of you just learning about adjustable safety razors or for those are a bit confused, here is a quick write up on how they work along with a look at some razor options.
So what is the purpose of a adjustable safety razors? To put it simply it allow you to adjust the aggressiveness of the razor by adjusting the gap between the blade and the guard. Adjustable razors will have some form of scale on the handle (1-5, 1-10, etc) with each number representing a greater amount of blade gap, by turning the handle you can dial in your desired aggressiveness. The reason why one would care about this feature is because it provides greater control for the user to determine what is best for their skin type. For example if you have sensitive skin you probably want to have the dial set to 1, if you have a thicker beard or coarser hair you would probably want to dial it up a couple.
Unless you are looking for a vintage razor, the adjustable razor market for new razors isn’t very deep, with the three of the more popular models coming from Merkur:
The Futur (review here) as the name suggests the Merkur Futur has a very futuristic look to it. I’m not sure if is really my style, but I can see why some may find it appealing.
The Merkur Vision, which seems a bit more difficult to find, is a higher end adjustable, which like the Futur, has a very unique and interesting design. The Vision 2000 has a butterfly head, which makes changing blades a bit easier, and could make this slightly more appealing for some.
There is currently a Kickstarter campaign for Rockwell Model T Razor which looks great and at the time of writing this, looks to be well on its way to production. If you are interested you could always support the campaign or keep your eyes open for a wider release.
I would imagine most would be satisfied with a standard safety razor, I’m not sure but I’ll let you know when mine comes in, but if you are curious and willing to spend a bit more cash an adjustable razor could make for a really improvement to your shave, or at the very least provide you with a cool toy.