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Thread: Merkur Progress

  1. Default Merkur Progress

    How to load a DE blade in a Merkur Progress...

    Step One - Grab plastic adjustment knob at the bottom of the handle and twist counter clockwise.

    After Approx. 6 good twists the top apparatus will be in its full open position and will be "loose."

    Step Two - Pull the top apparatus off of the main housing/handle.

    Picture of seperated razor...

    Step Three - Carefully insert a double edge blade into the top portion of the razor. (the blade is NOT properly lined up on purpose to illustrate the blade - refer to the next picture to see how it "should" look.)

    Step Four - Place lower main housing/handle onto the top housing (lined up)

    Step Five - Twist adjustment knob clockwise to "lock up" the threads and tighten/secure the two portions of the razor to one another. Tighten all the way (as far as you can turn clockwise) then select your desired numerical "aggression" setting.

    There you have it - you are ready to get ashavin'

    Once you start shavin' you'll quickly appreciate the razors wonderful handing characteristics, great adjustability, and user friendly qualities.
    - Joel
    joel (at)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    South Central Oregon

    Thumbs up

    I cut my teeth in DE shaving with a Merkur HD Classic. In the Merkur line-up, the next logical step is a Progress. The Progress is a joy to use. But everytime I replace a blade, the settings are different. I can adapt, but I shouldn't have to. Merkur makes great razors, and I prefer them to Gillette razors. Having said that, they have some quality issues to address. Would I recommend the Progress? In a heartbeat!

    "I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them." J. B. Books
    Another memorable quote!
    Hall of Fame
    Remember Alex Brown

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Broken Arrow, OK


    The Progress is a great starter razor provided you don't get unlucky and get one that is at the extreme of tolerances, in which case the gap on each side of the razor can differ quite a bit, or so I have heard, mine is as close to perfect on each side as my can tell.

    That said, the grip is only so-so, the adjustment knob is ugly, and changing blades is more of a PIA than the Futur, though most disagree with me on that.

    A good starter razor, and perfectly good for a daily razor, but then vanilla ice cream is good to, but I like something with a little more character!

    I still highly recommend this razor though. To use a car analogy, it is a Honda, nothing flashy, but it gets the job done well every time!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005


    A good razor but I also share Randy's sentiments.

  5. #5


    Merkurs nicest adjustable. It works better than the others, but the design is still pretty poor. Also some quality control problems reported regarding blade alignment and finishing. Only buy if you must have a new adjustable otherwise go vintage or buy the fixed blade HD.


  6. #6


    Several people have commented that when changing blades on the Merkur Progress razor the setting numbers on the razor change or no longer line up properly. This happens because the two portions of the razor head have been reassembled incorrectly when changing the blade.

    The fixed head portion of the razor has a triangle/diamond engraved on the side. You can see this on picture number five of the review.

    The removable head portion of the razor has a line etched on one side - it almost looks like a dent or nick.

    This diamond and this line need to be on the same side (line up). If they are not on the same side (the diamond on one side, and the on the opposite side), then the razor's settings will be off.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Ontario, Canada


    While the Progress does shave well, there are numerous problems which are inexcusable for a "modern" double-edge razor.
    - Grip is subpar
    - Knob is ugly and plastic
    - Razor cannot be "zeroed" when there is a blade in. The lowest setting is 1.5. Makes no sense.
    - Changing a blade is more complex than it needs to be. Sure, aligning the head and adjustment knob may seem easy, but explain it to a newbie, and there is absolutely no reason for this bad design.
    - Most Progresses have different exposure on each side. Flawed Design.

    Gillette was making far more elegant (and accurate!) adjustable razors nearly 50 years ago. As far as new razor's go, this is the best adjustable there is though.
    - Richard from Canada

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Warner Robins, GA

    Thumbs up Great Razor, even for beginners!

    This is my first DE razor and has served me very well the past week I've used it. The grip could be improved, but I've had absolutely no difficult manipulating it. The Progress feels very solid in my hand and well balanced. The angle at which its used is very similar to holding a cartridge razor, so glising it around my face is easy.

    The lowest setting (1.5) is very friendly. I typically use a setting of 2.5.

    I purchased this razor for two reasons: 1) It's adjustable and I can set it as aggressive as I wish, and, 2) Mantic uses one in his videos.

    I don't think it'll win many design prizes with the plastic knob, but you can get it modded (nice work, too). Don't let the plastic knob fool you: the Progress DE razor is meant to work and it'll do what you tell it. I've had no cuts from this razor and I've only been DE wetshaving for a week.
    - Proraso pre shave & Proraso soap, Omega boar brush
    - Merkur Progressive w/Merkur blades

    -- Scott

  9. #9


    I haven't had this razor for that long but I like it. I think it's a good shaver. The plastic knob isn't detrimental, it gives it a nice classic style. Besides, what do you think all those shaving brush handles are made of? (ok, if they made it out of metal it would be better)
    The fluted handle isn't bad either, I think it's a nice feel and I haven't felt like I was going to drop it yet. The razor has a nice heft to it which I think makes it easier to control, especially in a small item like this.
    Blade change is relatively easy but you should be careful. Obviously the butterfly doors of the Gillette are far easier but this isn't bad.
    I really like having the adjustment at the bottom of the razor and since I already have a Gillette Slim Adjustable as well, I can say that I actually like this razor better. I don't think it's a bad design and contrary to other people's impressions, mine DOES adjust down to 1 easily and consistently and the head and blade align pretty well. I can see where they could have built it to better tolerances but it works as it is.

    Where this razor falls flat on it's face is in the finish quality. The one I received had a pretty disappointing finish. It just made it look cheap. This isn't the glowing example of fine German engineering I am used to but I am expecting a replacement soon.

    Even if the next one has the same finish, I would still recommend one to shave with. So maybe it's not an heirloom quality product like the Gillette's of yesteryear, it's still one hell of a good shaving razor.

  10. #10

    Smile Used it for a wee while......:)

    I have a Fatboy and a progress and find that the progress is becoming my go to razor. I agree the blade change can be a bit cumbersome at times but this is far outweighed by it's good points, namely :

    1/ Very user friendly as regards doing what it is supposed to do i.e shave your face, in fact i use it set at 6 not only to shave my face but my head as well and it glides over both like a downhill skier!!!...erm...though not as fast you understand.

    2/ The balance of the razor, for me anyway is spot on and after a while you treat it like an old friend. Although you still have to treat it with respect and concentrate when using it.

    3/ O.K when replacing the blade it doesn't reset to a "zero" setting, but you simply adjust it to the setting that suits you...simple.

    I would thoroughly recommend this razor to all you guys out there, having erm progressed from the Merkur HD when i started wet shaving and tried the futur et all i find this little beauty a regular up aginst my face

    thanks for taking the time!!!...Jim

  11. #11

    Default A great razor

    The balance of this razor is superior, and its grip is very good, too. Even its more "aggressive" settings deliver a smooth shave. You like the design or you don't; I do, right down to the plastic knob. I have other razors, but always return to this one. I have heard reports of shoddy engineering but, on the evidence of my specimen, can't confirm them.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Chipping Sodbury, England

    Default Dream shave

    I've been using my Mer modified Progress for a couple of weeks now and I'm disappointed to say that it seems to have killed my RAD desire. This razor does absolutely everything I need it to and more.

    I keep a Tech in my travelling bag and used it for the first time in a week the other day. Now you have to understand what an upgrade this was from my Wilkinson Classic, but it is nothing when compared to the Progress (or perhaps Mergress).

    The incredible weight of the razor surprised me, and so did the quality of the first shave - and every shave since. In fact, I wonder whether there should be a separate review section for the Mergress, as I'm sure the balance is different without that horrible plastic end. How much better can razors get?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Greater Toronto Area

    Default Merkur Progress

    I've tried very hard to like this razor, but I can't. I get a decent shave with it, but I find it cumbersome and bulky particularly when I compare it to my English Rocket and SS; moreover it's ugly. In a word, it's brutish; reminds of a chunk of metal that has been machined into a razor with little thought. I've ordered a 38c from Jim @Vintage Blades and if it is as good as the initial reviewers say it is the Progress is history

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    I have been using a progress for about 12 years now, my only gripe is that the chrome has tarnished a little on the top and chipped off on one corner, though after 12 years of exstensive use and some poor care it's lasted well.

    The asethitics are let down in my opinion buy the plastic adjuster, why merkur did not use a metal one is beyond me.

    The razor handles very well and the adjustability is great when switching from face to neck. The balance for me is Ok but the grip is a little slippery compared to my Apollo non adjustable.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Greensburg, Pa USA


    I have been DE shaving for a little more than 7 months. I started out with an HD that I still use but I have to say that for me the Progress shaves the best out of all the razors that I have tried. My RAD has taken me through various Gillettte, Schick, and Merkur razors but I always come back to the Progress.

    Price: I gave this a 7, it is a bit more expensive but for an adjustable the price is more than fair compared to other adjustable razors.

    Quality: A solid 8 this thing is built like a tank, I don't have that big of a problem with blade repacement. What ever number it closes down to I just use as my starting point. I do have to add that I also picked up a Mergress from Mer, his work turns the quality rating to a 10+. The Mergress always ends up on the 1 when replacing the blade.

    User Friendly: For me this is the easiest razor to get a great shave, I find it incredibly easy to find the right angle.

    Grip: I like the feel of the grip I don't have a problem with slipage and the handle length helps ne to easily get a good angle for shaving.

    Blade Replacement: As easy as any DE razor that I have owned.

    Agressiveness: It's adjustable you can shave anyway you like 1 is quite mild and I don't find the 5 setting to be harsh.

    Balance: The weighting of this razor provides great balance. The weighting allows for the head of the razor to easily rest on my face and lets just the weight of the razor do the work.

    I know that shaving is a major YMMV subject but I would recomend to anyone this razor. From the experienced to the novice I feel you would get a ton of enjoyment from the Progress. If you find the Progress suits you, you owe it to yourself to try the Mergress. The Mergress really kicks it up 4 or 5 notches.
    Bob, Proraso and Boar Junkie

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Exclamation Progress - a great learning tool

    I have switched from Fatboy to Progress several month ago and would never go back. In my case (sensitive skin) the head geometry of Progress works better for me and with the same effort I achieve closer shaves than with Fatboy. The adjustability, balance and grip are great.

    The downsides of this razor are the QC issues and convenience. The fixed part of the head on my Progress started rocking on the stem after just 4 month of use (waiting for replacement from Dovo). Changing blades is a bit of a pain, compared to TTO design of Gillette. The quality of the finish is not spectacular. The blade exposure was not even on my razor, so one side was a bit more aggressive than the other. Still, I think that Progress is a very good razor and if not those QC issues you could call it great.
    - Dimitry

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Houston, Texas


    (Based on the modified Mergress version, so ratings reflect this version)

    When considering an adjustable, the plastic knob at the bottom of the Progress instantly made me wary of the razor. As highly as it is regarded by it's owners, I just couldn't get myself to buy one simply due to the plastic.

    So I tried the Vision, and while it gave great shaves, I just couldn't bring myself to like it because of the bulkiness and size. So I sold it and ordered a Mergress.

    After about two weeks, it arrived and the stainless steel knob at the bottom really completes this razor. I can't compare the feel to that of an unmodified one, but I can only assume that the extra heft improves the balance.

    The adjustment is easy, especially with the color coded dots that Eric adds. Adjustment range should be fine for anything I'd be willing to put to my skin.

    First shave yielded great results and this razor will definitely be in heavy rotation.

    If only Merkur could make an adjustable slant in this form factor!
    [url=]My stuff[/url]

  18. #18


    This is the razor I began wetshaving with. If my house burns down this is the first thing that I would try to save.

    This razor is an excellent value for the money. I mirror above users statements in that the dot and adjustment level don't stay the exact same every time you throw a new blade in and each Progress is different. Quality Control at Merkur needs to step up a notch with these but hey, for the price you get an affordable, highly intuitive razor with few faults other than the dot and settings don't match up all the time. The difference in each blade changeup is hardly noticable, just make sure to line the head up correctly.

  19. #19


    I've shaved with my new Progress for a couple days now and I have a few comments.

    Size - it's nearly ideal for me. The handle length and thickness is great. The razor is heavy for it's size, but the handle makes it easy to use. The head is a good size and shape.

    Adjustability. I have mine set on 3 (about midway) and it seems to shave very nicely with no irritation using Crystal blades. lowest setting barely cuts at all. Highest is scary :) But the adjustment mechanism is really grotty and grindy feeling. I took mine apart and lubed it with some Mobil 1 synthetic grease and that seems to have helped. But it's still not smooth. Not like a Gillette adjustable.

    Finish. Mine is perfect. Blade alignment you have to look out for. Make sure the blade is centered.

    Overall I have had my most comfortable shaves to date using this guy. Very highly recommended. Much cheaper than many Gillette adjustables unless you buy a considerably less than pristine example, and possibly a better shaver. Start low and crank it out until you are comfortable with it.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Admittedly these scores are for the "Mergress"-

    OK, so I cheated a little here and my scores are actually for the "Mergress."

    Moving on:
    I really love this razor and assuming that I decide against being buried with it I will certainly pass it on to my children or one of my brothers. True, the grip could be a little better but I think that it was only a small sacrifice to keep the aesthetics of this razor beautiful. The only other thing that I rated this razor an 8 on is the aggressiveness only because I was unsure which way the scale was going here. Needless to say with it being an adjustable you can pretty much go from uber-gentle to ninja deadly with a twist.

    Regarding Randy's comments on the razor coming back to 1 after putting in a new blade, I have never had this problem. I'm not sure if this varies with the razor or if Eric (Mer) did some sort of tuning to make it work this way.

    And, finally the only reason why there were not more 10's is because I am sure that somewhere out there is a better razor but that may just be my excuse to keep buying new ones. That said, this is a fantastic razor and one that I highly recommend.
    Best regards,

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