How do you use your adjustable?

New to the world of wet-shaving? Grab a desk and be seated! Welcome to SMFU: A place to learn and compare notes about the ABC's of wet shaving. From brushes to creams, razors and more...We've got it all!
Post Reply

How do you use your adjustable?

Several WTG passes, increasing the aggressiveness on each pass.
Several WTG passes, decreasing the aggressiveness on each pass.
No votes
Several passes changing direction, increasing the aggressiveness on each pass.
Several passes changing direction, decreasing the aggressiveness on each pass.
I set my adjustable to a single number for all of my passes.
Total votes: 44

Posts: 438
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 12:18 pm
Location: Schererville, IN

How do you use your adjustable?

Post by mikeny278 » Fri Dec 21, 2007 10:04 am

Hi Everyone,

I am interested in how people use their adjustables. I have heard some dial up, and others dial down, during their shaves. Others stay the same. I was wondering if this was highly dependent on what types of passes you were making (i.e., for people you go up in aggressiveness during the shave, are they more likely to only be doing WTG passes, while people who dial down, are they more apt to be changing direction on successive passes).

I have also left the option for the same setting throughout the shave.

Yesterday, I tried 2 WTG passes, increasing the aggressiveness for the second pass. I was expecting close to a BBS shave, but I did not get there. Seemed to not be worth dialing-up, but it may also have been my blade choice.

As I continue to experiment, I think it will be useful for me to see what tends to work for others. The poll may not capture what you do for touch-ups. If that is the case, I would be interested in your comments.

Thanks ahead of time!

Assistant Dean SMFU
Posts: 9449
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:32 am
Location: Vancouver, BC

Post by notthesharpest » Fri Dec 21, 2007 10:44 am

I find my best setting and leave it there.

User avatar
John 5
Posts: 1512
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 7:15 am

Post by John 5 » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:05 am

You could weld all my Gillette adjustables at ‘3’ and I wouldn’t notice, ever. Provided you were good with the torch, of course.


Mr. Fidelity
Posts: 776
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2007 12:43 pm

Post by salbev » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:44 am

i'm with John, here. when i used the super-adjustable...i found happy shave land at number 3 and left it there from first pass to last.

User avatar
Bill Extraordinaire
Posts: 2899
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 7:17 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Post by Trumperman » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:47 am

Set it and forget it.


Don't think......shave.

Posts: 2973
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:45 pm
Location: new jersey

Post by marsos52 » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:53 am

i use a merkur futur and i find a setting and leave to there
but i do set the razor setting with the blade i am using

for example with a feather 1 or 1/2
with a merkur 2 or 3
with a derby 2 or 3

when using a blade i never tried before i start at 2

the futur gets crazy over 3 i have to really angry at myself to over over 3 and crazy to


User avatar
Woolly Bully
Posts: 10871
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 10:49 am
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Post by jww » Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:48 pm

Brand new blades start at 2 and by the 3rd shave have moved up to 3. I keep the same setting for the first two passes, then move up the scale one notch for the final pass. When I blade-buff, I usually keep it the same level as the final pass.

Resident Wool Fat Evangelist & anglophile. Have you hugged a sheep today?

sean mac
Posts: 260
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 8:51 pm
Location: western New York

Post by sean mac » Fri Dec 21, 2007 6:46 pm

I have a Merkur Futur. When I was new to wetshaving and this razor, I played quite a bit with the adjustment. When I found a setting that offered the closest shave with the most comfort, I left it there.

I have been using Derby blades with this razor for about one year. My Futur is set at 2. I use two WTG passes.

Produce great people, the rest follows.
- Elbert Hubbard

User avatar
Posts: 837
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 8:09 pm
Location: Danville, IL

Post by aircraft_electrician » Fri Dec 21, 2007 7:42 pm

My Gillette Slim Adjustable gets set at 4 and stays that way, my Fatboy never gets moved off of 3.

A razor is a good deal like a gun, much depends on the man behind it - paraphrased from John Philip Sousa

ALWAYS wear a helmet when on 2 wheels; a helmet saved my life on 1Oct2007!

User avatar
Posts: 259
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:47 pm
Location: Lake of the Ozarks

Post by Lionhearted » Fri Dec 21, 2007 8:47 pm

Occasionally I still play with a Slim Adjustable and Fat Boy trying to figure out what all the fuss is about. I haven't found a setting that gives me an excellent shave. I tried leaving it on 3, 4, and 5. I tried dialing up 3-5-7, then I tried dialing down 7-5-3. At first dialing down seemed better but I was kidding myself — there was no real difference. A Gillette adjustable for me is a rough shaver at any and all settings. I have a half dozen razors that shave much better.

I bought a second Fat Boy to see if a different one is any better. UPS shows an on time delivery date of Jan. 3, 2008, Massachusetts to Missouri. Christmas has really slowed them down.


Posts: 438
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 12:18 pm
Location: Schererville, IN

Post by mikeny278 » Sat Dec 22, 2007 9:42 am

Wow, this is interesting (to me, anyway!). After watching Mantic's video on adjustables, and after reading different posts, I thought that more people were adjusting their settings during shaves. My own experience so far has indicated adjusting does not seem to help except for maybe adding some aggressiveness for blade buffing.

User avatar
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:35 am
Location: East Texas

Post by danreeves1973 » Sat Dec 22, 2007 4:21 pm

I use a '61` Gillette adjustable. using Personna blades. I've found that settign it on 9 (yes, he said 9) for the upper part of my face, then to 3 under the chin and neck is working very well. Two passes, no razor burn.
You came here with nothing, you will leave with less

Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 12:21 pm

Post by Luke » Thu Dec 27, 2007 12:26 pm

With most blades I set my Fat Boy at 7, with Feather blades I back her down to 5.

Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 6:45 pm

Post by stripec30 » Fri Dec 28, 2007 1:30 am

I've always set mine at 1. I've found this works best for my irritable skin.

Posts: 426
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 12:58 pm
Location: In the Marshmallow Center of Corruption

Post by bleedingface » Fri Dec 28, 2007 5:28 am

i Dial my Merkur Progress all the way down for two passes WTG and XTG, then dial it up to 4 for a super light touch ATG.

User avatar
Posts: 3460
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 6:39 am
Location: Port Washington, NY

Post by nteeman » Fri Dec 28, 2007 6:25 am

Once I learned to shave correctly I find I need not open my Gillette adjustables to any setting greater than 4. I keep my Merkur adjustables (Progress and Vision) in their boxes in a drawer in my attic where they can do no harm to anyone. :wink:
-Neal (DE user since 1998)
I shave therefore I am

User avatar
Merkur Man
Posts: 3179
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 6:35 am
Location: Mississippi

Post by Racso_MS » Fri Dec 28, 2007 6:45 pm


I set my Progress and/or Mergress on one setting an leave it alone. When I do use a Gillette Adjustable (very rarely), I do the same.

It does seem odd now that you mention it that so many of us find a setting we like and leave it alone. It's almost like buying/using a non-adjustable. But no matter, that's what I do and I find my shaves to be very enjoyable when I place a brand new Merkur Razor Blade in a Merkur Razor using Tabac and my Rooney Brush.

Man, what a way to start the day...

And as always...

Enjoy your shave... :D
Best Regards From the Deep South...
Remember; It's Not A Race, It's Your Face...
And As Always, Enjoy Your Shave...
(Racso) Oscar...

User avatar
Posts: 259
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:47 pm
Location: Lake of the Ozarks

Post by Lionhearted » Fri Dec 28, 2007 8:57 pm

The second Fat Boy I bought arrived today despite UPS still showing an on time delivery date of Jan. 3rd right up to the time the driver entered 'delivered' on his gadget. I saw it was on the truck out for delivery this morning so I held off on shaving until it arrived.

It was clean. I dunked it in alcohol for five minutes, then sprayed the head thoroughly with benzalkonium chloride, dried it and I was ready to go.

I firmly intended to leave it set on 3 but 3 did almost nothing on my cheeks that are my easiest areas to shave. I raised it to 4 and made a two-pass shave with several small touch ups along my jaw line. I used my usual double hot towel prep, a glycerine soap, badger brush and a new but corked English Wilkinson. I made my customary passes diagonally about 45 degrees off WTG, first one way then the other. With a good razor ordinarily I get a BBS shave this way.

All my past experiences with adjustables have been largely negative. Two Fat Boys I pitched directly in the trash. Unlike my past shaves with Gillette adjustables this one was satisfactory — not as close as I routinely get with a NEW, Tech, Krona or my favorite '74 SuperSpeed but close enough to be acceptable.

Tomorrow I'll start with it on 5 and hopefully leave it there for a few shaves. Having made it into my top five out of 22 razors, I think this one might just have the potential to become my best razor, the mystical single one I'm seeking to use as my only razor.

By strange coincidence both my Fat Boys are 1960 F4's but they're vastly different in performance.


Post Reply