If you are just dipping your toe into men’s wet shaving, you might find yourself overwhelmed by the jargon, the options, the passionate opinions. . . We at West Coast Shaving would like to ease the transition. By educating new inductees, providing exceptional gear (hardware and software), and sourcing hard-to-find items, we’re weeding through the tangle to simplify your introduction.
When you are ready to pull the trigger on your first double edge razor, you can’t go wrong with Merkur 34C Heavy Duty Safety Razor. There are lots of reasons why Merkur safety razors have consistently been our top selling razors for beginners.
First, Merkur is a name synonymous with quality and consistency - for well over 100 years. When Emil Hermes hung out his shingle in 1896, he certainly couldn't have anticipated the success of his fledgling cutlery company. He named it Merkur (the German equivalent of the Roman god Mercury, aka Hermes, messenger of the gods) and used the winged messenger logo to represent his company. When you see it, you know you are getting more than a century of innovation, quality, and success.
The Merkur Safety Razor Handles
Second, the Merkur 34C handle is a comfortable 3” with a non-slip knurling. It is shorter than something like a cartridge, but that is actually an advantage for a beginner. The shorter length makes it more maneuverable and is typical of old school Gillette razors. A shorter length also helps a beginner to train to use less pressure. A longer handle makes it easier to apply pressure, but with wet shaving, you want the razor to do the work as you apply as little pressure as possible.
The Merkur Safety Razor Heads
Third, the head provides an average aggression which makes it a continual first choice for beginners. You get enough gap to do the job (and do it well. . . even experienced classic wet shaving fans love it), but it isn’t so assertive that it will leave your face in shreds.
The Merkur Two-Piece Design
Fourth, the two piece design is simple and effective - easy for new shavers to jump in and learn. With just two pieces, you can’t make a mistake. Simply unscrew by twisting the bottom knob on the handle, separate the two piece, thread the post through any double edge safety razor blade, slide back into the handle, and tighten with the knob at the end of the handle. Check out this demo video.
Due to its popularity, this item has taken on a number of names over the years, such as Merkur HD, Merkur Heavy Duty, or 34C and combinations of all of those names as well. It's all the same product and it's remained unchanged since we've carried it. This Merkur razor continues to stand the test of time.
What was your first razor? Do you recommend the 34C? Tell us in the comments below and share your wealth of knowledge.