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Rex Ambassador Adjustable Razor

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Rex Ambassador Adjustable Razor
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of adjustable DE razors.  Now there’s a stainless steel, luxury adjustable razor, the Rex Supply Co. Ambassador adjustable razor, and I had to crack open my wallet to get one.

The Ambassador Adjustable Razor Specs And Background

The basics:

  • Length: 3.5″ (87mm)
  • Weight: 3.5oz (100g)
  • 316L Stainless Steel

The Ambassador is built and sold via Razor Emporium.  I asked Matt Pisarcik, owner of Razor Emporium, about how the Ambassador came about:

Mantic59: Why did you develop the Ambassador?
Matt: “We decided to develop the Ambassador after years of working on Gillette Adjustable safety razors. For over 8 years, Razor Emporium has serviced Fatboys, Slims and tons of other great vintage Gillette razors and realized that they were a design everyone could like – you can dial in the shave you want. Customers love them and would often ask if there were any modern adjustable razors similar in construction or function. While many vintage models existed, there few modern options available. We drew inspiration from historic models like the Gibbs Adjustable, but also incorporated features that brought the razor into a modern, CNC production world.”

Mantic59: Can you give us an overview of the design and development process?
Matt: “The first prototype we created was a simple test to see if we could move a base plate up and down. A crude model was made out of brass – turning and lathing a few parts by hand and borrowing a few parts and spring from vintage razors. Viola! It worked. Now to take a crude prototype to a finished razor. My focus went to the handle- it had to feel solid and easy to hold onto. Gillette had razors like the Big Fellow and Fatboy that people love today. We settled on a 3.25 inch handle – complete with deep milled knurling that was easy to grip in any shaving location – shower or at the sink. I also wanted to retain the bottom knob, similar to a Merkur 34C. This small feature eases the blade loading process – less parts to fumble with.

“Over the course of a few years, more prototypes followed, and we even lent a few out to customers and members of the wet shaving world to test out. The feedback we received continued our process until we formally announced the razor at Big Shave West in April of 2017. Pre-orders followed and the first few hundred were shipped out in the 3rd and 4th quarter of this last year. A local machine shop was contracted to produce the milled and turned stainless steel components as well as laser etch. We chose high corrosion resistant materials because we want this razor to stand the test of time. We did the tumbling, brush finishing, “red dot” milling and final assembly in house. Feedback from these first several hundred customers has been highly positive and greatly received. Razors include a lifetime warranty and we stand behind our work.”

Mantic59: Why are you selling the Ambassador through the “Rex” brand instead of Razor Emporium?
Matt: “The idea of producing a safety razor has been something on my mind for nearly a decade. However, a decision to build a company rather than a razor model was also made years ago. REX is a company and brand outside of Razor Emporium that can develop on it’s own and encompass various men’s grooming products from safety razors and other hardware to soaps and aftershaves. We will soon be releasing a line of hand-ground straight razors, shaving soap, razor stands and hand-finished strops – all of which will be made in house. We’re excited to have this forthcoming line of shaving products, including the Ambassador, in stores both online and brick and mortar in 2018.

“The name ‘REX’ had many meanings when we chose it. Formally, it stands for Revisit Excellent. It Latin, it means King. But to me, it means Razor Emporium eXperience. After years of retailing, repairing, and collecting razors, I feel it’s only the next evolution. We want to incorporate the best from the past and present and provide a line of products that make you feel like a king in your bathroom. Grooming can be fun or it can be a chore. We want to help men everywhere get the best shaves possible – and we want to create high quality products that aim to do so.”

One design element I noticed is the thickness of the head.  Here is the Ambassador (center) flanked by a Merkur Progress (left) and a Parker Variant (right):

All three of these razors are two-piece designs so in that respect it is an “apples-to-apples” comparison.

How Is The Ambassador Adjustable Razor Shave Experience?

I’ve used the Ambassador for a while now and its performance has been excellent for me, as I would expect a razor in this price range ($250) should..

The handle is about the same size as the standard Progress (shorter than the long-handle Progress or the Variant) but it’s deeply knurled handle provides an excellent grip.  I find the weight and balance likewise excellent: the “heft” is there without getting cumbersome.

The “adjustability” range is quite wide, going from very mild to very aggressive, unlike some other adjustable razor’s whose range may start higher at the low end (the Merkur Futur and the QShave 2000 Futur “clone” for example).  The adjustment mechanics have been smooth and reliable.  The only “complaint” I have–and it’s admittedly a nit-pick–is that the dial marker is a bit small for my less-than-20/20-eyesight:

I found the DE angle “sweet spot” quickly and the shave effort is, well, effortless.  🙂  The Ambassador’s thinner head makes getting into tight spots like under the nose much easier for me to deal with.
The razor rinses easily and I have not had any lather clogging problems.

My usual shave routine with an adjustable razor is to perform my first pass at a low setting, raising it up for the rest of my reduction passes, then bringing it back down again for touch-ups.  I have found that some adjustable razors (coughProgresscough) have a “Goldilocks” setting on the higher end: a very small setting range (or even a single point) produces the most favorable results without nicks or irritation.  The Ambassador adjustable razor seems to be more flexible and has given me more confidence to experiment at the higher end without giving me problems.

I think the Rex Ambassador adjustable razor (affiliate links) is a worthy addition to the world of luxury safety razors.

Do you have a Rex Ambassador?  What do you think of it?  Leave a comment below!


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

12 thoughts on “Rex Ambassador Adjustable Razor”

  1. I have been shaving traditionally for about 15 years and am extremely pleased to see that we have now, finally a host of choices which are actually better made than vintage models. In the last year or so I have bought a Feather AS-D2 and the Timeless Bronze OC. The Feather is about the same price as this Rex and it is immediately obvious why. It is a beautiful piece of machining which should last more than my lifetime. the Timeless took me a while to learn but I am very glad I bought it. It has a different design philosophy but it is lovely.
    Put simply, if you want quality, you have to pay the money. These deluxe razors, made in The US or Japan, are better made than anything anyone has ever had a chance to shave with before. You have to pay for that. These are nothing like fancy Designer goods, for which 90%of the purchase price is the logo. When you hold one in your hands, it is obvious why they cost what they do.

  2. Rex??? HUH???? $250 WHAT?? I live in a nursing home here in Kansas City. I get an allowance of $50 a MONTH. I’m gonna save for FIVE MONTHS for THIS??? Maybe Paul McCartney or Donald Trump …or Vladimir Putin… me…..I don’t think so. The price is an insult. The people selling this razor must wipe their asses with gold plated toilet paper. What have you to say?

  3. I recently picked up an ambassador in lieu of waiting for the next round of Rocnel Sailors. The Sailor a beautiful piece for sure, but taller cap profiles tend to annoy me, dislike having to tweak my beak to get it right. Comparing a CNC machined, billet stainless piece of more costly labor market origin to cast alloy plated pieces doesn’t seem to be an appropriate benchmark. Sure they can produce similar results, and the price differential is wide, the same can be said for modern cast imported/lower cost labor market heads versus CNC heads (non-adjustables), the cast plated heads are inexpensive and some deliver a heck of a shave, but I have NO delusions about their longevity. Additionally, at how inexpensive the modern imported cast heads are, buy a few at once and pitch them when they get pitted and crummy, no need to spend time maintaining them for what they cost, let alone replating them. Many of the vintage offerings were manufactured in a similar vein, low cost, mass production, affordability meant greater adoptability by the populace. Point being, if one places cost of performance at the top of their requirements, many modern machined billet offerings will never get on their radar. Individual shaver requirements aside, the piece is well executed and delivers a great shave.

  4. From all the hardware I’ve tested over the years, I’m still confused as to what makes any adjustable razor or any razor $249.00 unless its a vintage model that people are willing to pay for a collection of some kind. That being said the hardware costs once you go into production can’t even come close to the selling price. I think this is a what the market will bear situation. I currently see the one Razor in the same light. If you purchase this razor and do your first shave say to your self-did this feel like a $250.00 shave?

  5. Is there any way ro compare the REX to the Rockwell 6S or better yet to Rockwell T?
    I have a Very sensitive face and I’d only like to “Bite the Bullet” one time!

  6. I have all the modern release razors incl the REX but still prefer my Slim. It’s the best adjustable of them all and a lot less expensive

    1. I love my slim too but would like something comparable in stainless. I stress a bit using something that old knowing I’m wearing and tearing it. It would be nice to have a modern equivalent I can be a little more carefree with.

  7. Great review Mark. I recently got into DE shaving based on many of your reviews. I ultimately went with the Parker Variant. I’ve found it’s hard to get under the nose area, so I really appreciate your side-by-side comparison photo. Guess I’ll save my pennies and maybe give the Rex a try.

  8. I’ve had my Ambassador (S/N 17) for several months now, and it has joined my “active everyday” rotation. I like a fairly mild shave and have found that The Ambassador delivers wonderfully. The other members of my regular rotation are a D-4 Fatboy (which I got from Razor Emporium too) and a Feather AS-D2.
    If there was anything I would change about my Ambassador it would be to add a “clicker” to the adjustment ring. I’m rather careless and occasionally between 1st & 2nd pass I seem to increase the adjustment setting and YIKES! Aggressive as +P ammunition. If you like aggressive razors, The Ambassador at the higher settings will deliver! Great thing to allow anyone to dial in their shave, but not a surprise you want. Just watch that you don’t go moving your setting about and you will LOVE this offering from REX Mfg.
    I highly recommend it!

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