Gillette Slim All The Way

When my #1 blade, Personna (USA), nears the end of its life, it becomes capable of great closeness, but at the cost of increasing roughness to the skin. Now, it's not the nicking kind of roughness, but it can rise to the level of a kind of abrasion, which neither looks nor feels good. Narrower-gap razors give an opportunity to use greater force without violating the skin's limits.

The Slim is the narrowest I've got (not "overclocked," please note). I take it down to "5" for second pass, which seems to be when I need the riskiest, moderate pitch angles. That's a "reduction" pass for sure. WTG, "7" is a good start, bringing some grazing downforce to the skin, but to get the closest shave, I need the full "9" ATG.

Today I was coming off a light previous shave, and applied my extra skin to a fourth pass. Rigidly holding a low angle, great force brought the edge to the bottom of my follicles. Chaoying might have been able to get more off my neck, but I was practically epilated where it counted, on my face, including under the jaw.

For the local Thanksgiving parade, welcoming Santa, I mixed up some Aqua Velva Musk balm, which was still pretty penetrating. It found very little damage, in the acute angle of the neck, with no subsequent burn. That razor held the low angle as good as any straight bar, and I have to wonder if it didn't have something to do with the recent cleaning.

When the Slim is tightened, the extra half turn or so to lock it does not flick the edge up and down, like some other TTOs. I think that makes a particularly solid prow of a dull edge, and with the fine gap control, it doesn't have to bear as much stress. I always thought of its longer handle and mechanical weight, compared to the Super Speed, as less than ideal. But I've grown to accommodate more of both dimensions with my modern razors. Doug Hansford points out, it's only as long as a Weishi overall.

Today, the Slim seems just about perfect. I seriously doubt any of the new adjustables coming out this year will measure up, or rather, down. But I doubt I'll ever find the disposable income to find out. Hopefully the prices for Slims will improve as a result of the new alternatives. *<};-)

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