Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A Shim in My Snap-together Two-piece Razor

As promised yesterday, I shaved this morning with a reverse shim in my Ming Shi 2000S razor, a Chinese instrument based on the original Merkur Futur design.

Sold to me by Maggard Razors, the Ming Shi 2000S razor is based on the original
Merkur Futur design, but with some slight changes including added lather slots.

With my edge-less shim in place between the top cap and the shaving blade, I took a down-up shave followed by a third pass and some clean-up strokes.

My down-up passes were set on one, the razor's mildest setting. My third pass, as much as possible strictly against the grain, was set to two, and then additional, final under-jaw clean-up strokes on three.

The outcome was a very good shave (as expected). I did have two minor wounds due to careless cockpit error, not equipment failure.

So the bottom line on today's trial is this:

If you have a two-piece adjustable razor -- one whose design is based on either of Merkur's razors, the Progress or Futur --  and your adjustable is just too aggressive for you on its mildest setting, then a reverse shim may just be the solution to make your adjustable razor ideal.

Happy shaving!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Revisiting the Futur-design Razors Equipped with a Reverse Shim

I'm officially on the record as being a big fan of adjustable razors.

They offer the opportunity for a one-size-fits-all instrument that is good for any beard, any face, any blade, and any usable blade condition from new to thirty shaves.

The one fly in the ointment has been that most adjustables don't dial down mild enough for some users or some blades. However, for some two-piece adjustables such as the Parker Variant or the Merkur Progress, that problem has been solved with the idea of the reverse shim, which is an edge-less blade sandwiched between the top cap and the actual shaving blade.

Now that I employ the magic of the reverse shim, my Parker Variant is now a beloved go-to daily shaver -- ideal for any blade in any usable condition as well as any beard and face!!!

Reverse shims (or tape strips between top cap and blade) probably won't work for one-piece (that is, twist-to-open) razors such as the vintage Gillette adjustables. They certainly aren't a great option for my 1963 Gillette Slim.

The remaining question is will a reverse shim do the trick in two-piece razors with the snap-in top cap? This razor design was pioneered by the Merkur Futur, and, with the expiration of the Merkur patent, has since been adapted by Chinese razors such as the Q Shave or the Ming Shi 2000S.

Tomorrow's shave will be with the Ming Shi 2000S, employing a reverse shim, to evaluate the practicality of decreasing the minimum aggressiveness of a Futur-based razor design. (Photo courtesy of Maggard Razors, where I purchased my 2000S.)

I will test this tomorrow. I've already queued up my 2000S with a reverse shim and a blade, and will give it a go. Of course, I'll  share my thoughts in this blog afterward.

Stay tuned and happy (reverse) shimming!