I am in the United States Navy which should tell you that I shave at least 261 days per year. Not just a touch up shave, but a full absolute clean shaven face every day of the year minus weekends and any leave I may take. I am no stranger to shaving. I have used many different types of razors over the course of my life, but so far this is my absolute favorite. I was turned on to the Safety Razor by an article called, "Learn How to Shave Like Your Grandpa," on The Art of Manliness. If you need tips on how to shave with this razor, you should absolute read that article. This review will focus on the product alone; not the absolutely wonderful experience of using a safety razor.
Design: I own the Matte version of this product. The only piece on it that isn't shiny is the handle itself with the design on it. The design on the handle is like a spiral around the entire handle of the razor, and makes holding onto it a great boon. Make no mistake, this razor is heavy for such a small thing, and the last thing you would want is for it to slip out of your hand!
Cleaning: The razor is very easy to clean, coming apart in four separate pieces. I have had this razor since Christmas of last year and have yet to see any rust develop on it, despite my carelessness of not drying it more than a few times after use. If you use shave soap, occasionally it will develop a cloudy film over the shiny parts; this is very easily wiped off with a dry towel.
Consists of four solid parts: The handle, the blade head, the blade chasis, and the bottom weight. This particular product also comes with a pack of 10 blades which are easily switched out.
I have recommended this razor to several friends and shipmates. I would love to extend that recommendation to you.
Pros + Solid construction + Unique handle + Easy to keep clean + Comes with 10 Mekur blades + So far, Rust resistant + Very cost effective
Guess I'll start by saying I've been using an original Gillette Adjustable Butterfly Razor since 1998. I found it in an antique store. It works. I pull it across my whiskers. They're cut off. Simple; that's the way I like to keep things. Skipping the reasons for making this purchase, I'll get to the review.
This razor is outstanding! I tested it against my Gillette by using the same blade. Meaning, I took the blade I had been using out of the Gillette and put that same blade into the Merkur. Amazingly, the Merkur shaved better in one pass than the adjustable Gillette. The Gillette is like shaving with a snowplow. The angle of the blade pushes my flesh away and drags the blade across my skin regardless of how it's held or adjusted. The Merkur actually shaves.
There's more. Hearing the Merkur had a long handle made me think it would be like shaving with a rake. Untrue. The handle is perfect. It's just a little longer than the Gillette yet knurled better than the Gillette. I'm amazed at how much easier shaving has became as a result of these features. I simply didn't realize shaving was a challenge until I started using something better.
I also thought the Merkur would be heavy and bulky. Like trying to shave with a small brass mallet. Again, false. It is lighter than the Adjustable Butterfly Gillette. Perhaps that's because it has no moving parts. Ultimately the lighter weight, longer handle and better knurl make it easier to hold and control reducing my stress.
The physical dimensions of the Merkur's shaving head are also less bulky. It may seem silly, but that little extra bit of visibility has also made shaving easier further reducing stress.
In summary, it shaves better from the very first stroke, offers a better sense of feeling even in wet soapy hands and reduces stress. Wouldn't we all like to have something like that.
After 30 years of paying high prices for replacement cartridges, I switched back to safety razor, where I first learned how to shaved with my dad's old gillette safety razor. Decided to get this Merkur shaver because of its good price and reputation for quality. Boy, I was amazed! I should have done this years ago! The matte finish handle and the right amount of weight of this shaver giives it the perfect handling everytime I shave. You can bet that this is it for me. No more switching back to cartridge razor.
I switched to a safety razor from a Braun electric. I too was persuaded to change from an electric shave to a wet shave by the article "How to Shave Like your Grandpa". Call it nostalgia, or just being bored with the chore of shaving. At any rate, my experience with the Merkur razor is excellent thus far. I find I enjoy and even look forward to my shave each morning. I do not have experience with any other safety razor, so I cannot compare the experience. However, I find this product well made and accurate to the descriptions I read before purchasing. One note: on looking at the pictures online at Amazon, I assumed that the middle of the handle was ivory, or a material made to look like ivory. In fact is is a brushed steel. I'm not troubled either way. The razor looks great and shaves even better. While my electric Braun shaved adequately, I used it dry and it left my skin feeling chaffed. I used a Nivea aftershave which worked well. However, the expense of cleaning the Braun (with the shaver cleaning solution) and buying a new screen and blade each year was more expensive than my current shaving solution. I also like the effect wet shaving is having on my skin. After a few weeks of shaving, my face is less irritated and softer. Nostalgia or reality, I am happier with shaving than I have been in 20 years.
I also purchased a set of Personna blades. The Merkur came with one blade and it seemed to shave well. I also like the Personna blades. They are sharp and so far seem to last two weeks with my shaving routine.