I have been using a Merker 34c-HD for awhile and thought it was a really fine razor, still do. However the AS-D2 is truly a step up. I was reluctant to spend $180 on a razor where I could not imagine a razor that that was that much better than the Merker. However the reviews had me wondering. All the reviews were correct. This thing is the gold standard for razors. When paired with a Feather blade it delivers a shave that is perfect. I do not feel the blade, only hear it cutting. It is remarkably SMOOTH. It cuts all of my growth on one pass and leaves my face soft and smooth. I have never had to do a second pass. I have managed to cut myself about once a week, but always from something stupid, not the razor, but my error. For me , this is as good as it gets. Would I do this again? Absolutely!!