One of our highly valued members, after a long time of requests and queries from other members of our community, finally managed to write a full review of the Rex Ambassador adjustable, though he is telling us that he does not want to hide that he is a big fan of adjustable de, and that when he first saw the Rex Ambassador he was “thunderstruck” (he is not the only one), but he will try to be as objective as possible in this review.
For the project that hears the name “Rex Ambassador adjustable”, and is inspired by historical models such as Gibbs Adjustable, mainly in the shape of the head, Gillette tech for the pins inside the top cap, Gillette Fatboy in the handle length, but also Gillette’s date code system was partially used, that has the Merkur 34C, at the bottom knob, all of these built-in features brought it to a modern world product.
The packaging of the Rex ambassador adjustable is a small rectangular cardboard that is very stylish with embossed textures that contains everything that comes with it, of course I expected something better, or even harder (plastic) for travel use, and this is a minus this for me, something that will be corrected immediately.
In addition to Rex Ambassador adjustable, the package contains an Inspector’s Ticket that will travel with it, in any case, the DE comes with Lifetime Warranty and needs to be registered first, it has two tabs of warranty, In case you loose one and / or sell it.
It is manufactured entirely with 316L Stainless Steel or else Marine (stainless steel very resistant to oxidation) from CNC machined, while Branding and Numbering [1 to 6] are all done with laser etch. The finishing of the machine is Brushed finish, a process where the metal is polished only by rotary brushes, and this is a visually beautiful difference along with the design over most steel machines where there is no other coating, painting, but brushed bare metal, is an aesthetic plus, resulting in something in polished and satin finish, and of course much lighter and shinier than the satin finish that is dull.
They also continued the Gillette date code system as they included the serial numbers for quality control and product registration, this is a very good and positive step for anyone who wants buy it or even sell it, because you always know the exact date of production, so let’s see how it works.
It was officially announced in April 2017, followed by pre-orders, and the first hundreds started in the third and fourth quarters of last year.
By dividing the year into four quarters, (2017 = M) and (2018 = N) so in the above image, which is mine, we have 0644N1, where 0644 is its serial number, and N1 is N the year, and 1 in the quarter, that is, the 644 piece of the first quarter of 2018.
The Rex Ambassador adjustable is a luxury safety razor, it is two-piece adjustable and with excellent design, both on the head and on its handle, as all stainless machines are in the heavyweight category, not the heavier though, but the 107g and the length of the safety razor is extremely heavy, for someone who want something lighter, maybe it’s a factor, but those who do not care about weight or like heavy razors are the ideal one, and the truth is that I would prefer it a bit lighter, somewhere in the 90-95g this though it is not feasible, especially because of the 316L steel, and because it is adjustable, thus with extra parts, so if we want it whole stainless, with maximum resistance to time, oxidation and blows, then the consequences of all these are, its increased final weight, we can not have it all.
On the left, the Progress – Variant – Merkur 34C on the right, a clever move, a hollow handle & hollow shaft, they did that so they could keep low weight, very practical, you can rinse it very easily , under running water without leaving any residue.
Head & Geometry
Its geometric design and construction are excellent and comparable to much more expensive razors, such as the Wolfman Razors and the LASSC BBS-1 predecessor, which are not adjustable but have a common feature, the minimum blade bending. The blade does not have this bending nor the large curvature that most DEs have, so that the blade has a better footprint on the base plate, but mainly reduces the cutting angle of the blade with the skin, so this geometry is based more on the blade exposure and less on the blade gap.
The head is simple, and particularly thin, (thinner than all adjustable) which allows you to better maneuver-control-and access to the most difficult parts of the face, and with great efficiency, another big plus of its essentials.
The inside of the base plate is much improved and in many places, compared to the first Rex machines of 2017, its mechanism also differs from all our known modern adjustable, it has fewer moving parts, the negative is, signs of the rotary Grinding tools (movable parts only) that do not affect the operation of the razor at all, and are hardly visible.
The inside of the top cap, which is also improved, they corrected the offset of the guides, and the blade snaps with zero gap, the negative is again signs of the tools, which do not affect the operation of the machine at all, but here they become visible, if the light falls at a certain angle.
Handle & Weigh
Its handle belongs to the category of short and moderate handles, perhaps not ideal, for those who prefer a longer handle, although the dimensions are a bit higher, the length is about the same with a Progress 50 and a Gillette Fatboy, the knurling pattern is exemplary, deep with an extraordinary pattern that provides a perfect grip, tested even with oil in hand, and is just a ‘Velcro Handle’.
Its weighing is also great, always, grip and weighing is, the best I’ve ever tried, the weight is there, but it’s so well weighted, giving you impeccable balance without showing its weight and without getting less maneuverable.
Although there are a plethora of opinions, for better and safer blade placement, which is based on placing the blade first on the base plate, I will give you my own way, after I tried all the possible combinations, I finally ended up with this.
We press lightly with the thumbs, near the center line and between the guides, on the back side supporting with our two pointers, only with these four fingers, all the rest do not come in contact, and we will hear the characteristic sound that the blade will make getting into it’s place.
And in step 4, with one hand we hold the head, with the thumb, and with support, index and middle, and with the other hand, we screw the bottom knob clockwise.
The whole process takes less than a minute, and always works with a steady result.
Note: Throughout the presentation, the Schick – Japan blade was used (no particular reason).
So after a lot of shaves with the Rex Ambassador adjustable, I can now have a much better picture of it, it’s something I always prefer before giving a final opinion as I do parallel tests with all my other razors I have, in real time, Side to Side.
The experience that this razor has given me up to today’s is really something I did not expect, having tried, and the ‘almost prototype’ model of the Rex series of 2017 (M) I was very cautious, almost negative, in setting @ 6 it made the R41 feel ashamed, but I did not really like shaving with it, it was not for me, (many kept the M series) without replacing it, so I expected the N series, thinking that they would improve some of the many problems it had, but such improvement I saw in (N) I wouldn’t even imagine it, no way, utterly another razor.
The Ambassador gives you something different, the blade becomes one with the head, so much that eliminates the oscillation effect of the blade, which have virtually all the adjustable, and in all settings. The audio feedback on the WTG is minimal, almost silent, in the XTG you hear it, but less than others, and ATG you can hear it normally, due to its very rigid set. The tight tolerances are at the top level, when you hold it, but also when you shave, you feel that you are holding a single piece of solid metal. The Dial adjuster has been corrected and works smoothly and gently, and lather slots are extraordinary and there are no obstruction problems.
The learning curve on a scale of 1-5 is for me at 1, and this only for getting used to its weight, the sweet spot comes instantly and you find it with the safety bar, you do not have to look and experiment, everything is simple, in all settings.
The blade feel is somewhat difficult to describe, since it is also a subjective, you certainly feel the blade, but without feeling that it threatens you, even in setting @ 6, you feel safe, and if you asked me about The Rockwell 6s / 6c – Variant, is it smoother than the Ambassador, personally, Rockwell 6c is the smoothest of all, but none has the efficiency of the Ambassador, it is in the list of smooth shavers, and is the golden cut, between softness and efficiency, so much that it reminds me slant, all these but with safety.
The wide range of settings, impressive, can be done from, very mild to very aggressive, and I like it a lot, because other adjustable are aggressive even in low settings or ineffective, and do not cut, others are reluctant to large adjustments this is the great rebuild of Rex Ambassador adjustable, even in @1 it shaves, you can put it on @ 6 without having a bloodbath.
Below we will see the three main adjustments of the Rex ambassador adjustable on two sides just to have a wide range view of settings and to compare the blade exposure to the blade gap, 0.5 is also 0
Rex Ambassador adjustable has a few negatives and many positives points, its negative points are some signs from the grinding tools, which are only internal of the head and the base plate and which are just nearly visible, and to the top cap (always internally) a bit but externally the razor is flawless, and there is not scratch, it does not have the finish that has the Wolfman Razors ATT but it does not have their price also, which is twice as good and the marks do not bother me at all or affect the operation of the razor either and the blade, but it is right to be mentioned and to say all of them.
Its weight and the length of the handle may prevent some, personally, although it would be the absolute best for me to be a little lighter, I have absolutely no problem, the length of the handle is what I like, and its weight “cancels” its weighing, apart from these two negatives, which is essentially one, because the length of the handle I do not consider it as a problem, and it is not for me, all the rest are positive.
There are a lot, its beauty, subjective, but I like it a lot, it has a simple and elegant style that reminds me of a vintage machine, but with modern technology of current time, its functionality in all areas, its effectiveness, and most importantly the safety it gives you.
Rex Ambassador adjustable has the best combination of smoothness and efficiency than any other razor I’ve ever tried, with a thin head that maneuvers in comfort at the toughest points, with excellent weighing and an exemplary handle, and finally an adjustable razor that you can safely use in all its settings with safety, and flexibly. What I want to emphasize is the security that it provides you, is predictable and does not make you afraid, this is due to its geometry, which is natural, concluding to the blade, with a positive blade exposure which is very important.
Simply put, if someone asked me, which are the biggest positive points of the Rex Ambassador adjustable, I would answer him softness and efficiency. Safely, you are not afraid to “loose” the numbers, spoil the paint / plating, rust, accidentally hit, no need to align the blade, overhang, lose the cutting angle, slip from the hand, change settings, focus on shaving, and you are generally not afraid! It gives you the confidence to want to shave, excellent and with constant results without fear, what else do you want and ask from an DE in the category, “Autopilot shaver with Velcro Handle” and always according to our well-known YMMV!
Comparative photos of Ambassador along with some other adjustable ones.
Qshave → Merkur Progress 51 → Parker Variant satin → Rex Ambassador
PAA Black Bakelite OC Slant → Rex Ambassador → Edwin Jagger DE89LBL