Merkur makes some great safety razors on the market but what is the best Merkur safety razor model? Sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to determine which one would be great for you just from looking online.
Well we have done the heavy lifting for you putting in hours of research so you can quickly compare some of the top selling Merkur safety razors.
Who is Merkur Solingen, The Razor Company?
Merkur Solingen is actually a subsidiary of the parent company Dovo Solingen. The Solingen refers to the town in Germany they are based out of.
Dovo actually has quite some history being founded in 1906. It was created by Carl Dorp & Carl Voos who combined their names to create the company name.
They started out producing mainly scissors but over the years acquired multiple companies including Merkur in 1996.
Even as late as 2001 they were mainly producing scissors still but as of 2013 their main focus is on shaving equipment which is probably why the Merkur brand has risen so quickly in popularity.
The long history of German engineering shows in the quality of their craftsmanship.
What Should You Look For?
Safety razors are great, not only because of the great shave you get but because of the lower cost over the lifetime of the razor compared to the disposable cartridge razors you might get from bigger companies like Gillette or Schick
There are many different aspects of a safety razor that will come into play in determining which one is right for you.
The handle length can vary across the different safety razors. The average around 3 inches on the shorter end to 4+ inches on the longer end.
The shorter handles might give you more control while the longer handles might feel more comfortable while the longer handles might feel better if you have larger hands.
Even if you have a longer handle on your razor you can move your grip closer to the head and give yourself more control. The more practice you get the better you will get at wet shaving.
The different types of combs provide even more variety than the handle.
Straight combs are the most basic where they simply cover the blades without adjusting the angle of the razor blade. The gap between the top and bottom of the comb will determine the level of aggressiveness. The wider the gap the more aggressive the shave will be.
Slant combs are closed like the straight combs but put an angle on the blade by pressing against it as the razor is tightened. Some models have an adjustable head that allows you to shave with different angles with just one razor.
Open combs look like they have teeth that will guide your hairs to the blade. They are usually better for longer beards. However, years ago, the teeth were susceptible to damage so the straight combs became more popular. Men with thicker beards may prefer an open comb.
2 pieces vs. 3 pieces
This is just a preference and should have no effect on the performance of your blade. Some razors have only 2 pieces if they have a butterfly head that allows you to replace the blade with disassembling the razor.
3 piece razors usually unscrew from the head and the head itself is in two pieces. However, you will find some models where the handle is in two pieces.
This only really matters when you go to clean or travel with your razor.
The weight of the safety razor is another thing that can vary greatly and cause people to have strong opinions about which they prefer.
With lighter razors, you will have to apply more pressure during the shave which may open up the risk for more nicks or cuts. The heavier razors will do most of the work for you, simply guide them down your skin.
Again, as you get familiar with wet shaving you will learn the styles of razors that you prefer.
Merkur Safety Razor for Beginners
When you are first starting out with wet shaving you probably want to go with a less aggressive razor until you get the technique down for wet shaving.
In our opinion, a good safety razor for beginners is the 23C. It has a longer handle and is on the lighter side but this should be better for learning curve. Also, it is usually only around $20 on Amazon.
So, this is a great entry level razor that won’t cost you a lot to get started wet shaving.
It has a straight comb with a mild level of aggressiveness which again will be better if you are a beginner. It has three pieces and is easy to maintain and change the blades.
Since it is lighter, you will have to apply some pressure when shaving just go slow and you will be fine. Take short strokes and rinse the razor in between strokes to keep it free of gunk and hair buildup.
Another thing you can use is a pre-shave oil underneath your shaving cream. This will provide extra lubrication and help prevent cuts.
The 23C has a chrome finish and the you will feel the quality instantly when you open the box. There are many reasons over 5,000 customers have reviewed this item on Amazon.
Merkur Safety Razor for Sensitive Skin
If you have sensitive skin, you may actually want a razor with a more aggressive exposure so the razor gives your hair more of a slice instead of taking it straight on and potentially pulling it.
For this reason, we think the best razor for sensitive skin is the Merkur Futur. It has 6 different settings to adjust the angle of the blade and therefore adjusting the aggressiveness of the shave. We love this since you can try shaving with each setting finding the perfect balance for your shave.
This also weighs 4.5 oz. so it should do most of the work for you without having to apply too much pressure during your shave. As you get more comfortable shaving you will most likely prefer the weight.
It also has a really nice matte finish which goes against the norm as most safety razors have a polished chrome look. So, this one will stand out from the crowd so to speak.
It is a little more expensive than some of the others but the adjustability feature is really what you are paying for. So even if you don’t know what you prefer you will get six different settings to play with.
Merkur Heavy Duty 38C Barber Pole Review
The Merkur Barber Pole is another great safety razor. It has a nice weight of 4 oz. and a longer handle at 3.75 inches which is nice even if you don’t prefer the longer handles since you can grip the handle closer to the head and get more control.
The barber pole has a standard straight closed comb that is not too aggressive. It is a decent everyday razor that should work fine for most beard types.
The main draw to this razor is the barber pole looking handle. It has a nice texture on it which will help reduce slips during your shave and a nice chrome finish.
Plus, it is only slightly more expensive than the 23C so this could be another great starter razor or gift razor.
MERKUR-RAZOR PROGRESS LONG HANDLE ADJUSTABLE SAFETY RAZOR REVIEW
The Progress is another adjustable safety razor made my Merkur. Some people prefer this over the Futur but many people do not like the look or feel of the plastic adjuster knob at the bottom. This is why we listed the Futur over the Progress.
The cost about the same and some say the Progress is more aggressive so if looks don’t matter to you than these are two very similar models.
The Progress also has six different angle settings for the blade. Which are great to adjust for different areas over your beard or some prefer to do a second pass on a more aggressive setting to get an extra close shave.
It is a little lighter but has a longer handle than the Futur although the Futur has a bigger head. These are the main differences between the two.
Merkur Heavy Duty 34C Review
Out of all of the Merkur safety razors the Heavy Duty 34C might give you the most control. It only has a three-inch handle forcing your grip near the head. It weighs about 3 ounces which is not the lightest and not the heaviest.
They used their regular straight closed comb on this model with moderate aggressiveness. There is a tradeoff here, the lower aggressiveness will help reduce the risk of cuts but you might also have to take a second pass to get the shave you want.
Another feature is that this is only a two-piece razor which will make cleaning and changing the blades a breeze!
Well, that will totally depend on your preferences, skin, beard types and more. We hope this guide to Merkur’s safety razor helps you make the right decision.
If you would like to read more about the razors listed above, click on their links to Amazon to read hundreds of reviews. Be sure to look for the ones that say “verified purchase” next to them so you know you are getting an honest opinion.
Another thing you can do is search for reviews on YouTube and you will find many videos where you can actually see the razor being used.
Great post! I know what I will be looking at getting my brother and father for Christmas presents this year.
I’ve always had sensitive skin when shaving, the Merker Futur looks like a quality razor. How long will the razor stay sharp/or last for usually before requiring sharpening or replacing?
Hello Corrie, these Merkur safety razors would make great Christmas gifts!
Depending on your beard thickness you can normally get 3-5 shaves per razor. However they type of blade you get will also affect this time. Every man is different so it is hard to give a straight answer.
Hi there Jeremy
while looking for easy to use razors, my search brought me to your site.Thanks for showing so many different options of safety razors that one is spoiled for choices.
I`ve mostly bought disposable razors from gillete,but sometimes I feel like they are not worth the money and are not secure especially when handled with wet hands, they get slippery and one never knows when an accident may occur.
You mention saftey razors cost from just $20 from Amazon.which I find great, prize friendly enough even beginners can afford and their safety comes first. Thanks for sharing, very informative.
Glad you enjoyed the post Roamy, yes they can start as low as $20 and the blades that you use with them are very cheap as well. So you won’t find yourself spending a ton of money on blade refills.
Just be careful as the technique does take some getting used to. Make sure you go to minimize cuts and nicks.
Loved the sophisticated way of handling this review, cheers for that!
Gotta say that this Merkur razor looks stunning, it’s just so manly compared to all the generic plastic stuff. I’ve.never had the pleasure to use a completely metal razor for when I shave. Not sure I will anytime soon though – I’m currently maintaining a certain lenght so I only use an electric clipper.
The price on this one might seem high to some guys, but I guess that it’s totally worth it. Taking into account the quality, safety and the sheer manliness of it.
Is there any quarentee if something unforsee happens though?
Hey Simon, I’m glad you enjoyed the review.
What clipper do you use?
The price for these razors is a little more for the razor itself when comparing to disposable razors, however the blades are as low as $.10 a piece.
So, assuming you get a week’s worth of shaves, you will spend around $20 for a 100 pack or about two years worth of shaves.
After you consider the blades into the pricing these are much cheaper in the long run.
This was a refreshing post. It seems like every couple of weeks I have to go and keep buying disposable blades for my razor. They get blunt and they certainly don’t make them like these used to. When you aren’t a barber and don’t know much about places to source high quality blades a post like this really gives you other options. I really enjoyed reading this. Much appreciated.
Thanks for the comments Jon, let me know if you decide to make the switch to a safety razor!