No, it's stainless steel. After pondering over my answer I decided I could be mistaken. I disassembled my razor and upon examination I discovered the middle section of razor looks to be zinc die cast. I'am a machinist and have worked with die cast. The other sections could possibly be stainless . But my guess is, if not stainless, it is some sort of non ferrous material, i.e. zinc, brass, aluminum, copper, nickel, that has a high quality chrome or nickel plating which would make it rust and corrosion resistant. Hope this was helpful.
I used Gillette disposables (not cartridges) before getting this razor and personally, there was almost no learning curve for me. First shave with it I drew no blood :) The blades you use will be harder to figure out as each blade brand works differently for different beards. You will be spending a couple/few months finding the blade that works best. Start off with large sample pack, try those, see what is available near you and try them. One brand will shave you very different from another brand, each beard is different. Make sure you have some sort of blade bank for your used blades, I use empty Alt*ids cans that I tape up when full. Make sure you are using soap and brush for lather, you will not like the shave from this razor with foam/gel. A great resource for info on wet shaving is badgerandblade dot com. Buy this razor, you will not regret it and the environment will really appreciate it.
Long gives you a handle that if your used to disposables helps you transition better. The guard is a small ledge on each side of the base of the head. No guard would mean the blade would sit on the counter if laid on its side. If a novice I would suggest. The long handled with guard. I just got mine few weeks back and have sensitive skin this has been a blessing compared to expensive disposables that clogged up with my coarse hair. No problem with this unit. Now I'm looking at badger brush sets n such to complement my merkur long handle with guard. The slim has a tiny handle if you have small hands may work for you. Most suggest to use long handle first. Hope I helped also join up at shaving forums alot of people have helped me get started.
It comes with one blade and it can last several shaves depending on your skin, your hairs, etc. Some men get 4-5 shaves out of a single blade, I use mine 1-2 times because I have very sensitive skin and thick facial hairs. But at a few cents per blade, using them even just once is a steal compared to cartridge razors.
How are you holding the razor? you should be resting the rounded part just above the blade to your skin at a gentle angle you should feel just the edge of the blade on your skin. I also find it easier to go from top to bottom pulling the razor down the neck to get used to it before going upwards.
Yes. This safety razor is a great deal. I've been using it for 1+ year and it still looks brand new. It gives a good shave, cleans easily, and the blades are inexpensive and high quality. The Merkur is a great first safety razor. I will never go back to disposable or multi-blade razors. Make sure he also has a good shaving soap/cream; not the standard foam in a can.
60 grams, or 2.1 ounces. While I have no other DE safety razors to compare to, it is much more substantial than the cheap disposable razors I had been using. It is not heavy and is easy to move around the face and provides enough weight that you do not have to apply any force to cause it to do it's job.
Thats correct Ramona you have to twist off the top in order to open the razor. Be very careful when removing the top due to the fact the blade is sharp on both ends. The grip on the bottom end of the razor is or can be used as a grip indicator to hold the razor but this is purely optional, you can hold the blade to your liking.
Yes. Be careful when you get close to you know. Better than disposable or double triple edge things. I can say this because my wife has used it and it produces smoothness with a little practice. I have also had to use it on myself for a surgery and was so happy with the results I now use it because I like the results.