Wow I just got blown away by my first shave of the Merkur 500C. I purchased a King C. Gillette (KCG) in December (£9 on offer, nothing to lose) and was impressed by DE shaving (learning to DE shave at the age of 62 haha). I shave daily (and now enjoying it for the first time) and felt I needed a milder option for my skin as an each-day shave and I explored adjustables. I now know why the KCG is at that price point, a great way to get started with low investment but I now know what a smooth shave from a razor means. I started on 3 with the Merkur (Astra blade) and I felt it was not cutting as it glided over the skin, turned it up to 4 and started to get some feedback and thought just go back to 3 and see what happens. First rinse and a good shave, and early nerves changed to high confidence in the hand. I did a 3-2-1 so went on to setting 2. Wow, it was hardly felt but on rinsing it was better than any third pass and touch-up on the KCG. I did a third pass on 1 and it just felt like the razor was doing nothing and gliding on glass but it produced great results with just a brief touch-up under my chin. This first shave was the best I have had since the KCG. Very, very impressed and I have still yet to learn its handling characteristics. Ergonomics.... There are plenty of comments on the short handle, right from the off I held the KCG towards the top, so the 500C felt very natural to me and a long handle did not get in the way such as in the KCG. The ivory knob... get over it, the shave is worth it. I do like the 'bakelite' knob classic look and it should be the last thing (and only thing) to worry about on the razor. After many deliberations and changing my mind on what adjustable to buy, I not only feel I made a great choice but think it's a 'lifer'. Finally, a very good service from the English Shaving Company, delivered within 24 hours and with the current offer and intro 10%, a great price.