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Merkur Razor Blade

Merkur Razor Blade Review

I have been conducting every razor blade sharpness test using the Merkur 34C, and every Merkur Safety Razor comes with one Merkur Razor Blade. Now since I only had singles I unfortunately did not have the actual package to take my usual picture for this review, but I was lucky enough that the good people at Kent of Inglewood hooked me up with a free pack of Merkur Razor Blades.

I was pretty excited to try the Merkur Razor Blades because there are extreme views online about the performance. I had a little bit of a surprise when I opened the first blade (notice the top edge):

Merkur Razor Blade Edge Coating

I wasn’t sure if it was mechanically damaged or if was a build up of coating. As I squinted and stared I realized I had 10 more blades so I would just wipe it. It turns out it was just a build up of coating and the edge looked okay. The blade itself is likely fine, but since it is not recommended to wipe blades I grabbed a fresh one for testing. The new one looked normal as can be seen in the main picture.

Fresh out of the pack the sharpness measured 53, which is not very sharp. For information on what this means check out Razor Blade Sharpness Testing. You can click this link to see a Razor Blade Sharpness Comparison Chart with the other blades tested so far.

The first shave was not bad, but the Merkur razor blade definitely shaved like a blade that is not very sharp. I do not like to use the term dull as we are still talking about razor blades and they’re all sharp, but comparatively it is on the bottom end of sharpness compared to the other 20 blades tested to date.

I can usually tell when a razor blade is around the 50 mark as I have trouble getting a close smooth shave around my goatee area. Although it was not a very close shave in this area, I did not get any irritation or nicks anywhere which is always the top priority for my shaves.

Note that I shave my head as well as my face and have a pretty thick growth – except for the top of my head. This means that one of my shaves might equal two of someone that just shaves their face, or even more if they have a thinner beard.

After the first shave, the sharpness increased slightly to 51. This made perfect sense to me as I finish with my goatee area and felt like it wasn’t very sharp when I was ending my shave.

The second shave was actually better than the first. I had a pretty decent shave with no nicks, cuts or irritation, but it did not feel as smooth as many of the other blades that I prefer.

After the second shave the sharpness increased again to 46. What’s interesting, especially based on the first blade I attempted to use, is the fact that there is clearly a very thick coating on the Merkur blades that is being worn away with use and exposing a sharper edge.

Initial Sharpness = 53
Average Sharpness = 50
Edge Retention = 0.87
Smoothness = 3/5

Overall Subjective Rating = 3/5

Platinum Coated. Made in Germany.

When I first released my plan for testing razor blades and that I would be using each blade for 2 shaves, I had a very interesting comment from one person online. They mentioned that 2 shaves (although note this may be 4-6 shaves of just your face) is not enough as some blades take at least a few shaves to “break in”.

To me personally it does not make sense to “get through” a few poor quality shaves when I have many favorite razor blades that I can have one or two great shaves with for 10 – 20 cents. For this reason, I was not a huge fan of the Merkur Razor Blade.

That said, it might do better in a more aggressive razor and based on the consistency I can see why some people might like it. The fact that it is just starting to sharpen up it may suggest the potential of good longevity which may be tested at a later time.

I still recommend everyone try as many blades as you can as your experience may vary, the purpose of this review is to confirm how sharp the Merkur razor blade is relative to other DE razor blades (not very).

Check out more Razor Blade Reviews or look into how the Razor Blade Sharpness Testing works.

Have you tried Merkur Razor Blades? Be sure to leave your overall rating, the community appreciates your vote!

User Review
Merkur 37C Safety Razor

Merkur 37C Safety Razor Review

The Merkur 37C is a slant head razor and is more aggressive than your typical closed comb safety razor. It looks exactly like a Merkur 34C except that someone stepped on the head.

As it turns out, this is on purpose. I’ve heard that the Merkur 37C bends the blade, and the response is so does the Merkur 34C, what’s the difference? Well, it’s not so much that it bends the blade, it’s more of a twist. The logic that I have heard is that the razor blade will slice through the facial hair rather than chopping. This is claimed to be more efficient and therefore closer.

To be honest the slant head in scared me a bit starting off. I was just getting used to safety razors in general and now I’m hearing more aggressive.

I saw the Merkur 37C online for $31 USD/$42 CDN with free shipping. Now while it scared me, it perked my interest and I knew one day I would want to give it a shot. I knew enough to know that this was a great deal, so I ordered it knowing that I wouldn’t be trying it anytime soon.

Just like the Merkur 34C, the Merkur 37C is a 2 piece razor. I prefer this to a 3 piece and the principle of loading is the same as the Merkur 34C.

As I continued to stare at the Merkur 37C in my den, I mustered the courage to give it a shot. I was getting consistently great shaves with my other products so it was time to up the ante.

In your hand it feels more or less exactly like the Merkur 34C, which feels great. My first road block came immediately when I went to load the razor blade. There is a lot of slop in this one, and I was already a little nervous about just using this safety razor in general. I wanted to make sure that the blade was loaded correctly.

I had a little more trouble than I expected finding a link to show the proper alignment. What I ultimately found and confirmed to be correct is that the razor blade edge should be parallel to the safety bar, like this:

This might seem obvious if you know what you’re doing, but I didn’t so I felt better after I had checked.

So how does it shave?! Well, the shave with the Merkur 37C is nothing short of amazing. I always do a 3 pass shave – with the grain, across the grain, against the grain.

The first pass WTG does feel noticeably different than using a “regular” safety razor like the Merkur 34C. It is easy to get used to and find the right angle.

The second pass XTG is where I really notice the difference. I can tell when going XTG that there is significantly less resistance than the second pass with a Merkur 34C or Edwin Jagger, so logic states that the first pass does in fact take it closer than a regular closed comb safety razor.

Rinsing my face after the second pass the first couple times I tried it was when I realized that I already had a very close shave, and realistically I probably didn’t even need a third pass. I still do a third pass as I like getting very close and soft. If I was pressed for time and needed to shave I would very likely go for a 2 pass shave with the Merkur 37C.

I’ve now used the Merkur 37C many times, and for me pairing it with a Voskhod blade is pretty well a perfect shave. The Voskhod is just that little bit sharper than a Derby and smooth enough to pair nicely with the slant head.

I highly recommend adding the Merkur 37C to your collection.

Overall Subjective Rating = 5/5

Make sure to check out some other Safety Razors or other Reviews.

Have you tried the Merkur 37C? Make sure to leave your overall review, the community appreciates your vote!

User Review
Merkur 34C Safety Razor

Merkur 34C HD Safety Razor Review

When I set out to try a safety razor, the top two most popular picks for someone starting off were the Merkur 34C or the Edwin Jagger DE8x line. I went to a local shaving shop and they were sold out of the Merkur 34C HD, so that made my choice very simple.

I did however continue to see the Merkur 34C getting rave reviews and recommendations. As I was falling in love with my Edwin Jagger I came to the fortunate realization that I was allowed to own more than one safety razor. Both of these safety razors are essential to a well rounded collection, or can easily be the perfect stand alone if you only need or want one.

As with the Edwin Jagger, this is a safety razor that is great for beginners, but it is not a beginners razor. This means you will enjoy either of these safety razors long after you begin shaving with a safety razor.

The Merkur 34C is on the milder end of the aggression spectrum, although I find it slightly more aggressive than the Edwin Jagger. Don’t let this scare you off if you are just starting off, it is not overly aggressive. I use the Merkur 34C both on my face and head with excellent results.

The Merkur 34C is a 2 piece safety razor which I prefer to a 3 piece. I did find there was some “slop” in the blade when it is loaded, so as it is tightened you will want to make sure that there is an even amount of razor blade on each side and that the edge is parallel to the guard.

The handle itself is great. The HD stands for Heavy Duty, which does give it some weight. I like that you do not feel the need to apply any pressure because of this, and the short length gives a lot of control.

I highly recommend the Merkur 34C, whether you are buying your first safety razor or just adding a classic to your collection. The Merkur 34C HD is basically a legend in the safety razor world, you will not be disappointed.

Overall Subjective Rating = 5/5

Make sure to check out some other Safety Razors or other Reviews.

Have you tried the Merkur 34C HD? Make sure to leave your overall review, the community appreciates your vote!

User Review