11-01-2014, 07:55 AM
#1
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What are the differences between the two? Which one is more aggressive? What are the best models of slant razors? I know that only Merkur produces adjustables these days.

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 11-01-2014, 10:36 AM
#2
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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Slant razors twist the blade in the head so that it is presented to your skin at an angle relative to the handle of the razor. If you move the razor in a straight line the blade cuts at an angle to the travel of the head. this in theory creates a scything action instead of chopping action provided by a non-slanted head. there are many fans of this type of DE head, but it is my opinion (after trying a few different ones) that slants shave very similarly to the non-slants and the whole slant architecture only adds unnecessary complexity to the design. I am sure there are shavers who will disagree, but this is my personal experience. It is also possible to duplicate the scything action with the non-slant head by using an appropriate technique (google "Gillette slide"). The most common slant on the market, Merkur 37C/39C is a very mild shaver, not very different from its cousin 34C (and all Merkur non-adjustable safety bar heads, which are the same). It's not a bad razor in any way, it's just not remarkably different than 34C (and all other non-adjustable Merkur safety bar heads). Many people state that the slant is more aggressive, but it is my experience that it is not.

Adjustable razors are a very different type of machine. The adjustment is for the level of aggressiveness of the shave desired. My very favorite adjustable (and one of the favorite DE's in general) is Merkur Progress. It has a very unique head design that works very well. It adjusts from very mild to very aggressive in step-less fashion, i.e. there are no clicks for adjustment, but rather continuous turning of the adjustment knob like a volume knob on the radio (remember those?). Progress can be adjusted on the fly while shaving without having to open the head up.

Gillette adjustables such as Fat Boy and Slim Adjustable are similar in that they provide adjustment of the aggressiveness, but they have a set number of stops for your settings and they need to be opened (they are TTO type razors) before adjustment. I personally do not get along with TTO type razors. I have tried a great number of them and they are not for me. But many people love the Gillette adjustables.

So the difference between the slant and adjustable is that the slant provides an angle to the blade presentation and is not adjustable. Most of the slants I have tried were very mild shavers. Adjustables are usually not slanted (have not seen a slant adjustable, though it might be cool) and provide various degrees of aggressiveness.

Hope that helps.

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 11-01-2014, 11:10 AM
#3
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 11-04-2014, 03:26 PM
#4
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(11-01-2014, 10:36 AM)vferdman Wrote: Slant razors twist the blade in the head so that it is presented to your skin at an angle relative to the handle of the razor. If you move the razor in a straight line the blade cuts at an angle to the travel of the head. this in theory creates a scything action instead of chopping action provided by a non-slanted head. there are many fans of this type of DE head, but it is my opinion (after trying a few different ones) that slants shave very similarly to the non-slants and the whole slant architecture only adds unnecessary complexity to the design. I am sure there are shavers who will disagree, but this is my personal experience. It is also possible to duplicate the scything action with the non-slant head by using an appropriate technique (google "Gillette slide"). The most common slant on the market, Merkur 37C/39C is a very mild shaver, not very different from its cousin 34C (and all Merkur non-adjustable safety bar heads, which are the same). It's not a bad razor in any way, it's just not remarkably different than 34C (and all other non-adjustable Merkur safety bar heads). Many people state that the slant is more aggressive, but it is my experience that it is not.

Adjustable razors are a very different type of machine. The adjustment is for the level of aggressiveness of the shave desired. My very favorite adjustable (and one of the favorite DE's in general) is Merkur Progress. It has a very unique head design that works very well. It adjusts from very mild to very aggressive in step-less fashion, i.e. there are no clicks for adjustment, but rather continuous turning of the adjustment knob like a volume knob on the radio (remember those?). Progress can be adjusted on the fly while shaving without having to open the head up.

Gillette adjustables such as Fat Boy and Slim Adjustable are similar in that they provide adjustment of the aggressiveness, but they have a set number of stops for your settings and they need to be opened (they are TTO type razors) before adjustment. I personally do not get along with TTO type razors. I have tried a great number of them and they are not for me. But many people love the Gillette adjustables.

So the difference between the slant and adjustable is that the slant provides an angle to the blade presentation and is not adjustable. Most of the slants I have tried were very mild shavers. Adjustables are usually not slanted (have not seen a slant adjustable, though it might be cool) and provide various degrees of aggressiveness.

Hope that helps.
when the blade is inserted and I tighten the handle the read is always the plus sign after the 5. Is that the correct set up??????????

I really am enjoying my progress. When I replace the blade and tighten the handle the plus(+) always comes up under the dot. Question..is that the correct set up??????????????
Enjoyed your input very much.

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 11-04-2014, 06:02 PM
#5
  • vferdman
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  • Western Massachusetts
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(11-04-2014, 03:26 PM)ronkey Wrote: when the blade is inserted and I tighten the handle the read is always the plus sign after the 5. Is that the correct set up??????????

I really am enjoying my progress. When I replace the blade and tighten the handle the plus(+) always comes up under the dot. Question..is that the correct set up??????????????
Enjoyed your input very much.

Keep in mind that the alignment of numbers on the Progress are not always exactly the same from razor to razor. That is okay because you can calibrate each and every progress to be comarable with one another. When the blade is loaded and you tighten the handle down to the max (don't over-tighten, just twist until it stops) notice where the '1' is. That is really where you should relocate your dot. Now if you start opening up reference the numbers to that spot where '1' was when fully closed. This way when you say I shaved with my Progress on '4' or whatever I will be able to set my Progress the same way and we'll be talking the same setting. Otherwise most Progresses end up a little to the right or to the left of the '1' when tightened. Whatever it is, all of them work exactly the same way. Only indexing is a little off from one to another. It's no big deal and does not effect the shave at all. Even if you insert the top plate the "wrong" way my calibration scheme will still work.

I too enjoyed my Progress and it is one of my three DEs that I still own and use.

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 11-04-2014, 06:07 PM
#6
  • dajmacd
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  • Tennessee River Valley
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For me the main advantage of the slant is the increased edge rigidity due to the torquing of the blade. The other primary aspect, scything action, can be duplicated by adjusting head angle and shaving stroke (see Gillette Slide). When I straight shave, I always use an angled "scything" stroke.

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 11-04-2014, 06:36 PM
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Very nice. I had some questions about adjustable, and was still considering what to try next, slants or a Progress. Your posts just cleared it up. Thanks. Biggrin

The Progress is going in the wish list. Wink

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 11-05-2014, 09:35 AM
#8
  • vferdman
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  • Western Massachusetts
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It is my personal belief that a Progress is way more versatile than any slant I have seen so far. Apples and oranges, of course, but if I had to choose I would (and have) go with the Progress. It is actually arguably one of the best DE razors being made today. Again, my personal opinion. I only wish there was an open comb version of Progress.

Also, about all the little Progress annoyances like a cheap looking knob, the lack of calibration, etc. They are all minor issues that do not effect operation of the razor and can be dealt with very simply. I already explained calibration. The knob is a personal taste thing, but I actually like the plastic knob, but after I have taken very fine sand paper to it to smooth out the sharp edges. Looks fine, works great. If the handle is not comfortable, I have used a rubber/silicone grip from a ballpoint pen once to improve the grip. Again, not pretty, but works great. The main thing about Progress is its head. The design is excellent and the adjustment mechanism is the most effective I've seen.

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 11-05-2014, 11:33 AM
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(11-04-2014, 06:07 PM)dajmacd Wrote: For me the main advantage of the slant is the increased edge rigidity due to the torquing of the blade. .....

This would, of course, not be true for so-called "humpback slants" like the Mulcuto or it's carbon copy, the iKon Shavecraft 102, which do not torque the blade, but merely present the head on an angle relative to the handle.

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 11-05-2014, 02:09 PM
#10
  • dajmacd
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(11-05-2014, 11:33 AM)kingfisher Wrote: This would, of course, not be true for so-called "humpback slants" like the Mulcuto or it's carbon copy, the iKon Shavecraft 102, which do not torque the blade, but merely present the head on an angle relative to the handle.

Of course. I myself see no real advantage in these razors over similar razors with conventionally angled heads.

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 11-05-2014, 02:18 PM
#11
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Try 'em all over time! Other shavers preferences can only serve as guideposts, but they can help you decide what you want to road test first. That's the beauty of the Marketplace. You can get your shave hardware used but in great shape, and if you don't love what you bought, you can usually sell it to someone else for about the same price. It's pretty cool way to explore what you like and don't like about different razors. Enjoy your journey! There's a lot to love out there.

Also I don't know if it will, but I hope that will change on adjustables. It'll depend in part on whether this wet shave thing stays a niche interest (which most seem to think) or whether it gains broader public interest. I still hope that there will be ones of slightly higher quality in the years to come. I would think there's money to be had for whomever developed something with better tolerances and/or better design, even if it's Merkur themselves. I love my Progress, but I think they can do better.

Michael

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 11-05-2014, 07:15 PM
#12
  • vferdman
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While the quality of materials on Progress can be improved, I think the design of that head is close to ideal. I would definitely invest in a stainless Progress with a slightly more grippy handle. However that would cost two to three times the cost of a new Progress as it is today. I already own two of them and I think that's enough even if one is lost/stolen/broken.

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 11-06-2014, 08:36 AM
#13
  • Karlo
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(11-05-2014, 07:15 PM)vferdman Wrote: While the quality of materials on Progress can be improved, I think the design of that head is close to ideal. I would definitely invest in a stainless Progress with a slightly more grippy handle. However that would cost two to three times the cost of a new Progress as it is today. I already own two of them and I think that's enough even if one is lost/stolen/broken.
I have similar thoughts. In my case though, I'd love for them to use chrome, nickel or even rhodium over brass, and give the razor a fit and finish equal to Mühle's/Edwin Jagger's.

I like stainless steel in some designs, but I'm worried that a stainless Progress might weigh as much as Mjolnir.

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 11-06-2014, 09:39 AM
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(11-06-2014, 08:36 AM)Karlo Wrote: ...worried that a stainless Progress might weigh as much as Mjolnir.

nah - it's not that heavy Cool

[Image: t7PubiW.jpg]

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 11-06-2014, 02:16 PM
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  • vferdman
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(11-06-2014, 08:36 AM)Karlo Wrote:
(11-05-2014, 07:15 PM)vferdman Wrote: While the quality of materials on Progress can be improved, I think the design of that head is close to ideal. I would definitely invest in a stainless Progress with a slightly more grippy handle. However that would cost two to three times the cost of a new Progress as it is today. I already own two of them and I think that's enough even if one is lost/stolen/broken.
I have similar thoughts. In my case though, I'd love for them to use chrome, nickel or even rhodium over brass, and give the razor a fit and finish equal to Mühle's/Edwin Jagger's.

I like stainless steel in some designs, but I'm worried that a stainless Progress might weigh as much as Mjolnir.

Yes, solid brass with some sort of plating is definitely a good thing. In fact, my current daily driver (yes, I cheat on my Progress) is a 1922 Gillette Big Fellow with New Improved head. That thing is 92 years old! It was gold plated and that plating is almost all gone, but I just shined up the brass and it is good to go without plating. Bras does not corrode (tarnishes a little, but that's it) and is tough enough for a razor. I imagine it's easier to machine/cast and plating it with nickel should provide a very tough finish. In fact I am seriously thinking about having my BF plated in nickel. Nickel plating is much tougher than gold and looks excellent to me (better than chrome). Progress in brass would definitely be interesting to me. I just said stainless because that's the default non-Zamac razor metal nowa days.

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 11-06-2014, 04:10 PM
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(11-05-2014, 09:35 AM)vferdman Wrote: It is my personal belief that a Progress is way more versatile than any slant I have seen so far. Apples and oranges, of course, but if I had to choose I would (and have) go with the Progress. It is actually arguably one of the best DE razors being made today. Again, my personal opinion. I only wish there was an open comb version of Progress.

+1

I would also love to see it in brass or another type of stronger material.

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 11-07-2014, 01:13 PM
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(11-06-2014, 02:16 PM)vferdman Wrote:
(11-06-2014, 08:36 AM)Karlo Wrote:
(11-05-2014, 07:15 PM)vferdman Wrote: While the quality of materials on Progress can be improved, I think the design of that head is close to ideal. I would definitely invest in a stainless Progress with a slightly more grippy handle. However that would cost two to three times the cost of a new Progress as it is today. I already own two of them and I think that's enough even if one is lost/stolen/broken.
I have similar thoughts. In my case though, I'd love for them to use chrome, nickel or even rhodium over brass, and give the razor a fit and finish equal to Mühle's/Edwin Jagger's.

I like stainless steel in some designs, but I'm worried that a stainless Progress might weigh as much as Mjolnir.

Yes, solid brass with some sort of plating is definitely a good thing. In fact, my current daily driver (yes, I cheat on my Progress) is a 1922 Gillette Big Fellow with New Improved head. That thing is 92 years old! It was gold plated and that plating is almost all gone, but I just shined up the brass and it is good to go without plating. Bras does not corrode (tarnishes a little, but that's it) and is tough enough for a razor. I imagine it's easier to machine/cast and plating it with nickel should provide a very tough finish. In fact I am seriously thinking about having my BF plated in nickel. Nickel plating is much tougher than gold and looks excellent to me (better than chrome). Progress in brass would definitely be interesting to me. I just said stainless because that's the default non-Zamac razor metal nowa days.

[threadjack] If it has a NEW Improved head, isn't it technically a Big Boy rather than a Big Fellow? [/threadjack]

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 11-07-2014, 04:56 PM
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  • vferdman
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(11-07-2014, 01:13 PM)kingfisher Wrote: If it has a NEW Improved head, isn't it technically a Big Boy rather than a Big Fellow?

You may be correct. I really am not that detail oriented. In any case, it's my favorite DE razor so far after trying many, many new and vintage razors. Progress is close second and Cadet/RazoRock OC is close third. that's all my DEs and lately it's been the Big Felow/Boy for nearly six months straight. I am so used to it I really have no desire to rotate it.

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