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Thread: My Journey with the Slim Adjustable

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    Senior Member SRNewb's Avatar
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    Default My Journey with the Slim Adjustable

    I just recently won a PIF on another forum. Lots of goodies, but the star of the show was a 64 Slim that had been disassembled, cleaned adjusted and reassembled by a member there whose work is highly regarded. The razor is gorgeous, and I have always wanted one. Could not believe I won.
    Upon receipt of this absolutely stunning piece of work, I was faced with determining how best to go about getting familiar with my new razor. I have never owned an adjustable of any stripe before.
    At first, I thought to start on 4 or 5, and drop down or dial up from there, but in hindsight I think it better to start at 1, and move up a notch or two at a time to put the razor through it's entire range. This will do a couple of things. It will familiarize me with the full capabilities of this razor, from one end to the other, and will also help me to find out where the sweet spot is for me.
    So, I intend in this thread to shave with this razor for as long as it takes to put it through it's paces, and will document those shaves and my impressions in this thread. If you are interested, tag along.
    First shave was last night, but before we get to it, some initial impressions of the razor itself are in order.
    Firstly, this thing is absolutely gorgeous. It looks like it just rolled off the assembly line. Not even kidding here. The numerals, dots and indicator spring have been re done in red, are a really nice touch. The weight of the razor is just about perfect, and the overall feel in the hand is one of high quality. As a matter of fact, I would have to say that this is probably the most finely made DE I have ever held in my hands. Function is smooth and effortless. Even the half turn to lock the razor down is really nice and smooth. The doors open easily and smoothly, and there is no grit to the adjustment knob. Nice, positive "click" at each adjustment point.
    Some caveats before we start.
    I do not intend to try to shave with the same blade for 4 or 5 days, so that will be replaced when I feel it is needed, with whatever blade I think I might want to try.
    Also, choice of soap or cream will be whatever floats my boat each day.
    So, on with last night's results.
    Blade was a Voskhod on it's second shave. Soap was Stirling sandalwood.

    On the first pass I had the blade gap on setting 1. Feel was like my Weishi, or my Lady Gillette. Very mild, and I had to pay particular attention to technique and angle, or I would "lose the edge", making it difficult for the blade to cut whisker, or to feel the blade at all.
    Overall results of the first pass was not to my liking. Lots of stubble left. I don't think it would even be passable in a visual inspection. Not inclined to stay at that very mild setting, I bumped 'er up to 2 and relathered for the second pass.
    Still very much felt like a Superspeed, or my Tech. Two things I noticed about this razor. One, I expected it to shave like a super speed, at least as regards the shaving angle. Wrong. I found that I had to drop my angle a bit. But in looking at the Slim head alongside my Black Handled Superspeed head, the Slim is more domed, and the sides of the doors that face the safety bar seem to have a bit of a flat angle on them that does not exist on my SS. There is a marked difference in the shape of the doors between the two razors, which necessitates a different shaving angle.
    The other thing that I noticed is that, unlike my other vintage DEs, both the SS and the Techs, I did not need to rinse this razor as often. I cannot find the difference, especially on the lower settings, but when this razor's safety bar fills with lather I can still very much feel the edge of the blade. Not so with the others.
    Second pass was a bit better, but even after a third pass my shave was not as close as I am used to.
    The alcohol based aftershave still picked up a bit of irritation under the neck. Since that was only the second time I ever used a Voskhod blade, and since the razor's adjustment was an extremely mild setting, I am going to chock the irritation up to the blade, and proceed with a new blade on my next shave.
    Overall, I'm impressed. I know, the shave results were sub par. But I can see the possibilities and advantages of this razor, even on the lower settings.
    Stay tuned for the next shave, if you are interested.

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    alpla444, Hirlau, BobH and 5 others like this.
    Mike

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    Shave #2

    Blade-Voskhod(3). Binned after this shave, as per my usual practice. 3 shaves on a blade and out.
    Lather was Cella.

    Started out on setting 4. This setting feels a bit more aggressive than my Super Speed and Techs. Around the aggressiveness of my LC NEW. Great first and second passes. One thing I've found about this razor in these first shaves is that it tends to feel a bit more aggressive than it actually is. This is about angle, I think. More on that in a moment.
    On the third pass, I backed the razor down to 3. The result was a feel near exactly like my Super Speed. What I learned from the last shave is that this means the actual shave will not be as close as my SS. I was correct in this. Great shave, but not quite as close as I thought.
    I would have to add here, though, that I played around with the shaving angle a bit, and went a bit shallower on pass 2 and 3, which makes a huge difference in the feel of the shave, as well as how it cuts. I think, however, that this is the correct angle, and I believe a setting of 5 or 6 is going to end up being about where I will end up after this is done. But I still plan to push all the way through to 9, so we shall see.
    Irritation, while still present on the neck under my chin, was lessened considerably. This is a problem area of mine, so I always get a bit of irritation there unless I am using a straight. So this is nothing out of the ordinary, and in fact, as I type this it is nearly gone(about 20 minutes has passed since the shave).
    Mike

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    Shave #3

    Soap is Mitchell's Wool Fat
    Blade is SuperMax Platinum

    Setting for pass #1 was 6.
    Nice, smooth feeling pass. Since adjusting the angle (shallower, cap closer to the cheek) the shave has smoothed out. I believe I had the angle wrong to begin with, which is what was causing the irritation. Results of the first pass were slightly below what I have come to expect with my other DEs. The SuperMax is sharp and smooth.
    Pass #2 I continued on setting 6. Nice, smooth pass. results still not on par with my other DEs.
    For the 3rd pass I bumped the razor up to 7. The feel at this setting is slightly above my Super Speed, but slightly under my Maggard MR6, which is my most aggressive DE. Now, I would not call the Maggard aggressive, but I wouldn't exactly call it mild either. It rides a line between the two which I find to be a sweet spot for the DE.
    Results of the third and final pass were sweet, and right on the edge of perfect. Alcohol aftershave splash revealed a very slight irritation under the chin, but greatly reduced from the previous two shaves. I had a couple of bumps that could either be from the irritation of my previous shaves, or from the fact that I wear a shirt and tie 3 times a week. Very slightly took the top off of a couple of those during the final pass. They seeped a bit, but closed on their own prior to the AS application.
    A couple of remarks about using this razor.
    I believe that the Slim, and probably the rest of the Gillette adjustables, are a different beast than the rest of the TTOs. My experience with this razor leads me to believe that those who choose these razors will need to spend the time necessary to not only dial in the setting that is best for them, but to learn to alter their technique slightly in order to get the best out of them. In other words, I think, just like I had to learn how to use a straight, an SE, an injector razor, it will require that I learn the Slim, as well. The techniques learned to shave with a standard DE are all relevant to this razor, but IME so far, in a slightly altered way. Especially when it comes to shaving angle. IMO you cannot treat this like all of your other DEs and still get the best from it. At least, I cannot.
    More to come tomorrow.
    Grazor and gooser like this.
    Mike

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    Never used a slim , or any other DE than my fatboy and an old Aristocrat, on the fatboy adjustable it's a great razor , I used mine for over 40 years before going to straights , still get it out once in a while . Once you dial your slim in I think youll be happy if it's anything like a fatboy. I use mine on 9 with a feather blade, almost perfect every time. Good luck on this journey. Tc
    “ I,m getting the impression that everyone thinks I have TIME to fix their bikes”

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    Lovely thread. It makes for great breakfast reading.
    Keep us posted!

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    TC, Lolita1x2, thank you.
    Mike

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    Shave #4

    Soap is RazoRock King of the Castle Lavender Monte Bianco
    Blades SuperMax Platinum
    Dorco ST 301

    Razor setting 7

    Last shave I started on 6 and bumped the razor up to 7 for the final pass, which resulted in a near perfect shave. This time around I chose to stay on 7 throughout the shave.
    First pass I stayed with the SuperMax blade. A nice, smooth, and extremely close pass.
    For the second pass I wanted to see what a favorite blade of mine, the Dorco ST 301, would do in this razor.
    Another nice, close, comfortable pass. The SuperMax is golden in this razor, but the Dorco ST 301 is pretty close.
    I actually did not need a third pass, but I wanted one, lol. Again, the Dorco did a great job. One of the smoothest, closest DE shaves I have ever had. No nicks, cuts or weepers. Very minimal irritation, near zero.
    This is the setting for me with this razor. The aggression at this stage is more than with any other DE I have, but surprisingly smooth and comfortable.
    And I guess I need to say it now.
    I"m in love with this razor!
    Next shave will see 8 and/or 9 on the dial, just to experience those settings, so that I know what it is capable of, then I'll give some final thoughts. Even that won't be the end of experimenting with this razor. Although I doubt I'll post it in this thread, there are 2 or 3 more blades I want to run through it, just to see how the razor reacts to them. Those of you who have stayed with me, thanks. More to come.
    Mike

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    Shave #5
    Soap is Stirling Spice
    Blade is SuperMax Platinum (3)
    Razor Setting 9
    Aggression/feel at this max setting is a bit above the Maggard. Incredibly clean, smooth 3 pass. One weeper on the chin, but it stopped with a post shave cold water splash. Alcohol AS once again revealed near zero irritation. Very slight 5 or 6 second burn under the chin, then nothing. Just a wonderful, enjoyable shave. The SuperMax blade is really smooth. There was nothing about this shave that even hints that this blade is done. As for the razor setting, I would find it hard to pick a favorite between setting 7 or 9.

    More comments on this razor.

    Firstly, it is fantastically built. The weight to me is perfect, and balance in the hand is superb. Everything about this razor says that the people who designed it were paying attention.
    The razor's versatility is huge, and there is a wide usable range to the adjustments. As someone who shaves with multiple types of razors, DEs, SEs, straights and injectors, I can appreciate that versatility. From the mildness of the Lady Gillette, to the Tech, the SuperSpeed, and just past the Maggard MR6, whichever I might want at any given time, there is a setting on this razor that will approximate them, with some inbetween spots as well.
    It's greatest feature, IMO, is it's ability to dial up, or more importantly IMO, down, on the aggression during a shave. If I find that I am getting some irritation, a click of the dial will sort it all out. If I chose a milder setting and want more, it's there, too.
    I will be trying out a few different blades in the next few weeks. My experience with the Voskhod in the beginning tells me this razor may be a bit sensitive to blade choice. Time will tell, but I will be trying out a brand new Voskhod on setting 9 soon, just to give that blade another shot before disregarding it in this razor. If it turns out it's not a good match, then it works well in a few of my other razors, so there's no loss there.
    I will also be going through every blade in my collection over time as well. I think it will be interesting to see the results. I appreciate all of you who shared the journey with me. Happy shaving!
    Mike

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    Shave #6(Or addendum)

    So, I wanted to see how well another favored blade of mine, the venerable Astra SP, would fare in this razor.
    Lather was Stirling Sharp Dressed Man.
    Razor setting 7

    Another very smooth, close shave. No nicks, cuts, or weepers, and very little irritation.

    GD Carrington remarked that he felt that this razor had a tendency to "smooth out" the difference between a lot of different blades. I plan to try a great many blades in this razor, so we shall see. He may be onto something, as the Astra was a bit smoother than I've come to expect. By no means is the Astra tuggy or dull, or anything of the sort when I have used it before(which is a lot), but there was a bit of extra smoothness to it in this razor.
    This is hard to reconcile with my experience re the Voskhod in the first few shaves, which were not as smooth and more irritating, even at lower settings. The Voskhod might be the odd man out re this razor, or it may have been my fault, since it was the first couple of times using this razor. I will be trying the Voskhod again, but there are a ton more blades I want to try first, so it'll be a while.
    Lolita1x2 likes this.
    Mike

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    Member Tallships's Avatar
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    Your gonna have many years of great shaves with your slim. Any of the Gillette Adjustables are great. Slim or Super Black Beauty works best for me on #5 with Crystal or Rapira Lux blades.

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