It is no secret that my favorite DE razor is the adjustable Merkur Progress. I’ve often said that it will have to be pried out of my cold, dead hand. I have plenty of razors in my collection but I keep on coming back to the Progress. Here is how I use it with success.
Shaving With The Merkur Progress
First, like some other razors (such has the Bakelite Slant) there is no need for a high performance blade. My personal favorite blade for the Progress is the quite middle-of-the-road Israeli-made Personna, also sold under the Crystal brand. Derby blades–which many people dislike–also work well for me in a Progress. High performance blades such as Feathers will work in the Progress but for me but there’s something about the combination that makes it less than ideal.
Second, rest a finger on razor head when installing a blade. This will prevent the head from shifting slightly, causing an asymetrical blade exposure on the sides of the razor.
Third, grip the razor so that its angle is more parallel to the skin. Unlike most other razors the Progress bends the blade quite dramatically so if you are used to another razor you will have to adjust your hold accordingly. I now find this grip more “natural” than othe DE razors (and similar to Single Edge razors like vintage Injector or GEM units, even some modern cartridge razors).
Forth, start mild. I always make my first reduction pass on a low setting: about “2” on my Progress (remember, Progress razor settings are not necessarily consistant across all units manufactured) will comfortably reduce the worst of my stubble. Then I raise the setting for the rest of the shave (usually about “3” or so). If I need to do a “touch & cut” cleanup I will drop it back down to a much milder setting.
This post originally was published on the Village Barber website blog.