When the Pearl Flexi adjustable razor was originally launched it was considered by some a “poor man’s” copy of the Rex Ambassador adjustable razor. Early model reviews indicated a number of challenges. Pearl recently tweaked its design after taking in feedback from users of prior versions so I decided to get one for myself to try.
Pearl Flexi Adjustable Razor
From the Pearl website:
“This razor has it all what a perfect shaver would always demand & worth every penny! The supremely creative pearl Flexi will work wonders in your shaving routine & the luxurious feeling after the outcomes will reveal the hidden gentleman in you.”
- Razor Total Height: 90 MM
- Razor Handle Height: 83 MM
- Razor Type: Two pieces razor
- Razor Head Type: Close Comb
- Razor Weight: 140 Grams
- Blade Gap: 0.25 MM – 1.00MM
Prior Revisions And Reviews
The early examples of the Pearl Flexi adjustable razor seemed to have a “Jekyl and Hyde” reputation: some aspects were quite positive, while other aspects were quite negative.
There were comments about the “roughness” or “harshness” of the blade exposure, difficulty loading a blade, and blade alignment issues.
On the other hand, when the QC was good and the shaver reasonably skilled, results were very good.
Pearl offered replacement razors to their customers who purchased these early models.
My Experience With The Pearl Flexi Adjustable Razor
A Rex Ambassador Clone?
When the Pearl Flexi adjustable razor was first appeared a lot of people thought it looked very much like a Rex Ambassador adjustable razor. While I think this new version of the Flexi does bear a passing resemblance to the Ambassador, the Flexi’s head is slightly larger, the handle is slightly thicker and textured differently, and the razor in-total is a bit heavier. The Flexi’s center-of-gravity is slightly rearward compared to the Ambassador. I don’t think the two razors could be mistaken for each other visually.
And of course the Ambassador is stainless steel while the Flexi is brass.
Like the Ambassador and some other artisan razors though, there is a brand logo and serial number/code under the razor head.
My Build Impressions
There is a minor rattle of of the internals when I handle the razor abruptly in certain directions (like shaking it to rinse) but it hasn’t affected shave performance. It’s probably just a design quirk.
As mentioned previously, earlier versions of the Pearl Flexi adjustable razor had design and build issues, particularly with blade gap and alignment. These appear to be solved: my example looks fine.
My Shave Impressions
This is a two-piece razor and loading is similar to other two-piece adjustable razors like the Merkur Progress, the Parker Variant, and the Rex Ambassador: unscrew the bottom dial to release the base from the head. Loading/replacing blades is largely drama-free, though I do think the blade alignment tabs (vs. pins) under the top cap could maybe could project outward just a bit more The Flexi’s top cap covers the blade’s side tabs for those who look for that kind of thing.
For me I find the combination of weight and balance to be good but at about the end of what I consider “comfortable” holding. I prefer my razors to be balanced a bit more toward the head but it’s nothing I can’t handle.
Unlike the Progress and Variant (where the bottom dial also adjusts the razor) and like the Ambassador, the Flexi has a second dial under the head for adjustment. I find the adjustment dial easy to use even with hands during a shave. If you are a shaver who likes to adjust a razor “on the fly” (like me) you shouldn’t have any trouble with the Flexi.
I think the adjustment “window” is quite wide, ranging from very mild to reasonably (though not insanely) aggressive.
But what about the shave itself?
The (slightly) larger head has not presented any problems getting into tight areas like under my nose. I find the razor angle “sweet spot” generous and locking onto that best angle for the area I’m shaving easy to find.
My shaves with the Pearl Flexi adjustable razor have been excellent! Like many adjustable razors I use, I’m getting “BBS” shaves by shaving my first pass at a relatively low setting, dialing up slightly for my second and third pass, then dialing back down a bit for cleanup if necessary.
The Flexi seems to be positioning itself as a mid-point razor–offering more design details like a serial number and upgraded metallurgy–but not quite into the “top shelf” category. So perhaps not at the “Ambassador” or “Envoy” level of shaving diplomacy, but I think it’s definitely worthy of at least an “Attaché” moniker. The Pearl Flexi adjustable razor in its latest revision has taken care of the issues that surrounded the earlier generations.
Note: The Pearl Flexi is also available at Maggard Razors.