For the last three weeks I have been using the Merkur Progress and the only regret I have is that I waited this long to pick it up. I never imagined a razor replacing my Edwin Jagger 89lbl as my go to razor, but I am rather confident that, after three weeks, it successfully claimed the label of my favourite razor.
The Progress is the first adjustable razor that I have owned or tried. For any of you who are unfamiliar with what exactly an adjustable razor is – it is a razor that allows you to adjust the aggressiveness of the razor with the turn of a knob. In this case the knob is found at the bottom of the handle, which prior to holding and seeing first hand I was a bit concerned about because it was plastic, but after having used it I don’t have any issues with it. It looks and feels solidly built. The scale on the Progress ranges from 1/2 up to 5, the higher the number the larger the gap between the blade and the safety bar.
This adjustments allows you to compensate for various factors, the blade you’re using, the length of your facial hair, what soap you are using. Unlike standard razor heads where you are limited to the aggressiveness of the razor, it allows you to fine tune the blade aggressiveness to what suits you best. I slowly worked my way up through the various stops on the scale, finally settling on 4 as my optimal number.
The adjustable factor is not the only element of this razor that I love. The handle (which comes in two sizes) provides a nice grip, the diameter is larger than typical razors, probably to accommodate the mechanisms inside, but the result is a very comfortable handle that is easy to maneuver. The heftiness of the handle and razor head has a nice balance as well. Using the razor feels very natural.
One deterrent for some may be the price of the Merkur Progress (check it out on Amazon). It is for sure not a razor that you want to pick up if you are debating whether or not to make the switch from cartridge razors. Although having said that it would make a very strong argument once you got over the small learning curve from cartridge to single blade razors. If you are looking to add to your collection, or upgrade from your current razor, I most definitely would have to recommend the Merkur Progress.