Greetings all, I found this site a couple of weeks ago and have read through it obsessively. There's a bunch of really great info on here but there is one recurring theme that I can't help notice.
I don't know if anyone knows the "proper" way to adjust a Gillette Adjustable.
Maybe it's just my perception, or maybe it's just my razor (1966 Gillette Slim Adjustable -formerly my dads) but it seems that everyone turns the adjustment dial while the "silo doors" are closed tight. This WILL NOT give consistent results. The "silo doors" should be opened slightly for best results (it does make a big difference) and I'll tell you why.
Let's say you open the doors and drop in a new blade with the dial set at 1. Now close the doors firmly and try to turn the adjustment knob all the way to 9. It gets stiff doesn't it? If you were to really pay attention and analyze what was going on you would notice that the blade is being "bent" more than it is being raised. It CAN NOT raise properly because the doors are holding it down. What happens now is that, the next time you open and close the doors, your blade acquires a completely different setting because it is NOT fighting the doors for space. It will also happen in the opposite manner if you start off high and turn lower settings (or anywhere in-between), and this leads to inconsistent shaves from one day to the next. I very closely analyzed this using a loupe and I could certainly see an obvious difference in blade positions. If you adjust the settings before closing the doors tight, you will get perfectly consistent shaves every time.
Besides the blade (which is difficult to see unassisted at such a small level) you can also see the difference in the bottom of the handle. Watch the difference in travel of the inner rod between the two different methods. This is very important for beginners especially! I've noticed a lot of people recommending fixed blades to newbies for this reason and I completely disagree. My first razor 20 years ago was a 1950's SS Red Tip and it hurt my face and formed the way I've shaved my entire life... up until a few weeks ago, but I'll put that in a different post (I've had the 66GSA for about 8 years now). My point is, a properly adjusted "Adjustable Razor" CAN be turned down to let the new user become accustomed to it and grow with it (I currently shave on "3"). You just need to teach newbies the proper way TO adjust it.
I think it's also harder on the razor to adjust it while tight, and last I checked, they weren't making these any more so I'm going to take care of this one.
I hope this sheds a little more light on the subject because these razors are wonderful when used properly.