The Top Three Adjustable Safety Razors
There's no question that there are plenty of quality adjustable safety razors out there. Which are the best of the bunch? Here are a few razors that are hard to beat.
Number 3: The Merkur Progress
Although it's at the low end of Merkur's range of adjustable safety razors, the Progress offers more than enough performance and style to impress even the most discerning shavers. The Progress gets all of the basics spot on, from its solid weight and durable finish, to its near-perfect balance. Like the upmarket Futur, the Progress features six blade exposure settings. The first setting is very gentle and a good starting point for anybody, while more experienced users have the option of going for a more aggressive blade exposure for an even smoother shave.
Apart from the standard model, there are a few other versions of the Progress available, including one with a 4-inch handle, as opposed to the 3" inch handle of the standard version. All in all, the Progress is a suitable choice for just about anyone.
Number 2: The Merkur Futur
As great as the Progress is, the slightly more expensive Futur takes it up a notch in every area. The longer handle is standard on the Futur, and this feature is preferred by most shavers, while the balance and overall feel remains excellent. The adjustable head on the Futur operates even more smoothly, and the overall design eliminates the internal moisture buildup problems that the Progress could occasionally experience.
In terms of aesthetics in particular, the Futur is a major step up from the Progress. The Futur is available in chrome satin and gold-plated versions, and both look fantastic. The major difference with respect to performance is that the Futur is more aggressive overall, meaning that even its lowest settings have more blade exposure than the equivalents on the Progress. This means that the Futur might not be quite as well suited to newcomers. For experienced safety razor users, though, the Futur represents a near-unbeatable combination of value, quality, and comfort.
Number 1: The Gillette Fatboy
You know that saying, "They don't make 'em like they used to?" Well, in this case, they kind of do make 'em like they used to, and that's the ultimate tribute. The Gillette 195, known to fans as the "Fatboy" (or "Fat Boy"), is the inspiration for most modern safety razors. The Fatboy first appeared in 1958, and was manufactured until 1961, so it's been off the market for a long time, and yet it remains without question the most beloved razor model ever produced. This is largely thanks to its classic design, which not only looks great in an old school sort of way, but also remains highly functional.
The Fatboy is a twist-to-open razor, with a butterfly door design that is still in wide use and makes the blade replacement process very simple. The blade angle has a total of 9 different settings. It weighs just under 3 ounces, so it's a little lighter than most current safety razors, but it's still extremely easy to use thanks to the textured handle. This all adds up to a razor that, long from now, will almost certainly still be considered the best of all time.
Honorable Mention: The Parker 22R
The Parker 22R isn't actually an adjustable, but it's so easy to use that it might as well be. For people who are looking to get started with safety razors, the 22R is by far the best choice out there because of it's combination of a low price with good all-around quality and simplicity.