08-08-2013, 09:27 AM
#1
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I'm thinking about getting a Merkur Progress as my first adjustable razor, and I was wondering if it has similar problems with the blade alignment that the 37C slant does?

Meaning that with the 37C I almost always have to load the blade, flip it over, inspect it, see which side has more blade exposed, loosen the head, adjust the blade, and tighten it again. Has anyone had a similar experience with the Progress?

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 08-08-2013, 09:33 AM
#2
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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Not really an issue unless you are an engineer or writing a book...load blade to top cap...compress spring while tightening knob...I usually remove split ring as it makes razor easier to clean and load.

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 08-08-2013, 09:49 AM
#3
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Ok good, sounds like this doesn't have the same issue as the slant and can be loaded on the first try. Thanks!

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 08-08-2013, 09:51 AM
#4
  • Jeff
  • Stingraysrock
  • Lakeland, FL
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One thing to note on the Progress though. There is a line and an arrow that need to be on the same side. The marks are on the cap and the blade tray, on the short edge.

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 08-08-2013, 12:16 PM
#5
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John, i have never had an issue with the two modern ones i have and a vintage one that i may be parting with.
Great razors and probably the best adjustable, in my opinion. Biggrin

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 08-08-2013, 12:40 PM
#6
  • Jeff
  • Stingraysrock
  • Lakeland, FL
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(08-08-2013, 12:16 PM)celestino Wrote: John, i have never had an issue with the two modern ones i have and a vintage one that i may be parting with.
Great razors and probably the best adjustable, in my opinion. Biggrin

I agree. I sold my Progress for a Futur. I think the Progress was better.

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 08-08-2013, 12:50 PM
#7
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Never a problem, just place it where it needs to be.

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 08-08-2013, 01:04 PM
#8
  • Arcadies
  • Senior Member
  • Greeneville, TN
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I've owned four Progresses and the first two were misaligned, as in one end of the blade had a larger gap than the other end and it was mirrored on both sides of the razor. It was actually caused by the adjustment plate being higher on one side than the other, it wasn't noticeable on setting 1-2, but 3 and higher it became very noticeable.

I ended up returning the first two, the 3rd was fine but I ended up selling it to help fund another purchase. Then 6 months later RAD hit me again and I bought a 4th, which also was properly aligned, but I ended up selling it as well. Rolleyes
It shaved nice but I just preferred my Weber and SE razors more.

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 08-08-2013, 05:22 PM
#9
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Thanks for the clarification guys. You've all performed your duties as enablers in an extraordinary fashion.

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 08-08-2013, 06:19 PM
#10
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I literally just had a progress arrive in the mail; I'll certainly come back and post the results in this thread.

I check the blade alignment in all my razors (except my tradere, because I can't) - maybe I'm just obsessive compulsive?

Gonna shave with the progress tonight or tomorrow morning, and then ship it off to Eric for some Mergress modifications. Really excited about it.

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 08-08-2013, 06:30 PM
#11
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(08-08-2013, 01:04 PM)Arcadies Wrote: I've owned four Progresses and the first two were misaligned, as in one end of the blade had a larger gap than the other end and it was mirrored on both sides of the razor. It was actually caused by the adjustment plate being higher on one side than the other, it wasn't noticeable on setting 1-2, but 3 and higher it became very noticeable.

I ended up returning the first two, the 3rd was fine but I ended up selling it to help fund another purchase. Then 6 months later RAD hit me again and I bought a 4th, which also was properly aligned, but I ended up selling it as well. Rolleyes
It shaved nice but I just preferred my Weber and SE razors more.

What incentive would merkur have to do something about their QC issue after a post like this I wonder....

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 08-08-2013, 07:14 PM
#12
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I have a Mergress which is a fine shaver that hasn't gotten much love lately. I will have to pull it out and decide whether or not to keep it.

I have never had any issues with alignment. As mentioned above, you do have to match up the arrows on one side. It's no big deal.

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 08-08-2013, 07:31 PM
#13
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So I just shaved with my Progress for the first time (couldn't wait until the AM).

I didn't notice any blade alignment issues. Went with a simple 2-pass shave. 4.5 on the first pass WTG, and 2 on the second pass ATG. Feels like I may have not gotten close as I would prefer in a few spots, but I'm absolutely irritation free, so that's a good start. I'll have to figure out which combination of numbers suits me best... in about a month after I get the Mergress back. Gonna box it up tonight and drop it in the mail on my lunch tomorrow.

I did notice a slight bit of play in the blade if I really tried to move it around once clamped down - not anything that would result in blade alignment complaints on my end though.

Overall, I'm pleased. Not flabbergasted, but definitely pleased.

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 08-15-2013, 04:45 AM
#14
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I used my Progress for the first time this morning and you guys were right, no issues at all with the blade alignment. Also the adjustment know tightened to exactly 1, so I guess I lucked out on that.

I set it to 2.5 and left it there for all 3 passes. Wow, what a shave. This may have been the most effortless BBS I've had in a long time, and the blade just sings. I'm going to like this razor Smile

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 08-15-2013, 04:13 PM
#15
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(08-08-2013, 09:33 AM)Harvey Wrote: Not really an issue unless you are an engineer or writing a book...load blade to top cap...compress spring while tightening knob...I usually remove split ring as it makes razor easier to clean and load.

Hi 'Harvey' am new here but not to shaving. Or the Progress. When you say you remove the expansion ring on yours does it change the alignment, or are there any negatives to doing this?

I have a 34C I did this to, the adjustment knob was binding and removing the ring has made it much easier to use...If I remember to catch the knob which has been dropped once already.

...and do you toss the ring, or keep it in case you change your mind?

Thanks,

Joe

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 08-15-2013, 05:01 PM
#16
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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Merkur Progress, IMO, is the best DE razor, period. I have others, and I like them, but I fully acknowledge the superiority of Progress over every single DE razor I have tried so far. Again, I do not want to start a DE war, so I fully disclose that I use about 6 different razors and all but the Progress are OC. I have two copies of Progress simply because it is my desert island DE razor. It easily outshaves every DE razor I have tried so far. If it was open comb I think I would only own one razor. As it is, I enjoy my OC's, but Progress is king. There are many reasons for it.

The first and foremost reason I love Progress is that is a great shaver. Period. It is very well designed, weighted and balanced and shaves like a dream.

Another reason I love it is almost any blade works in it. It is not fussy about blades at all. I've used from Dorcos ST-300 to Feathers in it and I can get a fantastic shave from pretty much any of them.

Another reason is Progress grew with me as my technique improved. I started using it on about 2 and played around with adjustments at first, but then settled at around 3 after a few weeks of 2 and stayed there for about 5 months. Then I tried some OC's that were a bit more aggressive than Progress on 3 and loved them. So I dialed the Progress to 3.5 and got best shave ever, then in a few weeks I felt I needed more bite, so I dialed to 4 and that's where I am now with it, though I am thinking I'll try 4.5 soon as I feel pretty comfortable with the likes of Fatip and Muhle R41. In fact, R41 was a point of diminishing returns with aggressiveness. I could not get as good a shave with it as I get with the Progress.

Another reason... you get the idea.

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 08-15-2013, 10:12 PM
#17
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I always prefer the vintage Merks for that same reason.

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 08-19-2013, 08:08 PM
#18
  • LORDBISHOP
  • Lover of the Wet Shaving way of Life
  • Westchester, NY
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Glad to see other Merkur Progress lovers out there!!! I really wanted a Mergress, but I could not wait indefinitely for them to come back into stock...so I went out one day to compare the Progress, Futur and Vision. After half an hour of comparison between the three, I just plain felt more comfortable with the Progress long handle. It is my favorite all-round razor now, and is the razor I recommend to anyone starting out w/DE shaving...You can't beat the adjustable razor feature and excellent weight, especially with the L/H when starting out. the only time I question using the progress is when I want to try out and compare blades...it's just too hard with the variability of adjustment, especially the way I adjust it down to a more mild setting while shaving my most sensitive neck areas...Oh by the way, blade alignment is perfect...only the adjustment knob has moved slightly off center from #1 setting with use, and with a blade installed-though it doesn't have any effect on the razors adjust-ability or precision Thumbup

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 08-20-2013, 07:57 AM
#19
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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I find that most DE razors under $100 (and some that cost a lot more than that. I am looking at you, Joris) have blade alignment issues. It is whether we choose to nit pick about it or not. Most razors that have holes in the bottom plate and "bullets" in the top plate for alignment have alignment "issue" because this system is inherently not very precise unless things are milled to a high degree of accuracy. A cast razor head will not likely be tight enough in tolerances to not allow slight blade misalignment. The system Gillette New or Super Speed uses and Ikon replicated where there is a long center bar that fits through the blade is much less prone to misalignment.

All that being as it may, let me ask the following question. Does it really matter? If the blade is slightly out of parallel with the head, Progress (and most other razors) still shave great. It is only a problem in our detail oriented minds, really. I am no different. I like the blade to be perfectly parallel, but I have shaved with a misaligned blade (on purpose) and felt little to no difference in the shave. Also, the misalignment is almost always correctable. If I see the blade is askew after I tightened the head up, I just loosen it and re-tighten being more careful this time. Usually that does the trick on just about any razor I used.

So is it really worth worrying about? Is it really a problem with Progress? I don't think so on both counts. Every DE razor I tried that has the holes mating with bullets for blade alignment can be loaded crooked. Every single one. But not everyone shaves nearly as well as Progress.

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 08-20-2013, 08:20 AM
#20
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I have a week's worth of shaves with the Progress under my belt now, and they've all been great. No alignment issues at all, the blade has been straight the first time each time.

I realize the misalignment isn't a huge problem, it was just an inconvenience. With my 37C I have to loosen it and readjust every time I load it. I'll probably sell the slant at some point, since I seem to get along better with my open combs and this new adjustable.

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