Mantic59's 4 Tips For Shaving Success With The Merkur Progress Razor April 02 2013, 0 Comments

Mantic59 is one of the best known online personalities in the wetshaving community. His shaving-related videos have received accolades from fellow shaving enthusiasts and professional barbers alike. It was therefore my great pleasure to ask the man himself if he would write an exclusive piece for the Village Barber website. He very graciously agreed and, here it is - his personal tips on how to shave with his beloved Merkur Progress DE.


Iain Kane (@VillageBarberUK)

   A Merkur Progress

"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.

First, like some other razors (such as 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, 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 asymmetrical 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 other DE razors (and similar to Single Edge razors like vintage Injector or GEM units, even some modern cartridge razors).

Fourth, start mild.  I always make my first reduction pass on a low setting: about "2" on my Progress will comfortably reduce the worst of my stubble (remember, Progress razor settings are not necessarily consistent across all units manufactured).  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."