Parker 99R Review

Parker 99R Review – Should You Buy This Long Handle Butterfly Opening Safety Razor?

Review of: Parker 99R
Recommended Use: Intermediate
Editor’s Rating
Value for Money
Quality
(4.5/5)
(4.5/5)
(4/5)
  • Excellent – Best Buy Awards’
Parker 99R Long Handle

 

Best Buy

Amazon Rating

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We Like
  • This razor is classified as a somewhat mild razor which is perfect for intermediate shavers
  • The product has a great balance and weight
  • The finish and fit has improved over the years from its predecessors
  • The TTO design makes it a breeze to load a blade
We Don't Like
  • There are some experienced wet shavers who have gone on record to say that the razor can prove difficult to find the perfect angle
  • Based on some customer reviews, the Parker 99R still has some quality control issue
  • Given the difficulty of finding the perfect shaving angle, some pros in the industry might have a hard time shifting from a different brand to this one

 

 

Summary: This long handle razor is a great option for an intermediate shaver who has learned the ropes of wet shaving – and especially if you have big hands. The razor has a great weight and balance that you can use to practice with. At about $30, the razor is a little bit more expensive than the Edwin Jagger DE89 which is a three piece razor. With the TTO design, you will have an easy time cleaning and loading blades. The only problem you might have is the issue of the butterfly doors durability.

 

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What The Parker 99R Long Handle Razor Has to Offer

Features at a GlanceSpecsPerformance
  • Nickel plated
  • About 4.5 inches (114 mm) long giving the Merkur Futur a run for its money
  • Styled knurling, similar to the barber pole design
  • Brass frame
  • It is a one-piece safety razor and features a head that is a “twist to open” design
  • Great price
Model: Parker 99R

Overall Length: 4.5 inches/ 114 mm

Handle Length: 4 inches/ 102 mm

Handle Diameter: 0.5 inches/ 13 mm

Weight: 4 ounces/ 113 grams

Material: Brass

Finish: Nickel Plated

Type: Twist To Open (TTO)

Adjustable: No

Knurled handle: Yes

Blade included: 5

Weight: (4/5)

Grip: (4/5)

Length: (4.5/5)

Aggressiveness: (3/5)

Blade Replacement: (5/5)

Shave Quality: (3/5)

Affordability: (5/5)

Preview
Editors' Choice
Parker 99R - Long Handle Heavyweight Butterfly Open Double Edge Safety Razor & 5 Premium Blades
Top Pick
Double Edge Safety Razor, Regular Handle , Knurled
Best Buy
Merkur Classic 2-Piece Double Edge Saftey Razor
Title
Parker 99R
Edwin Jagger DE89
Merkur 34c
Type
TTO
3-piece
2-piece
Customer Rating
Prime Benefits
Price
$29.99
$43.95
$40.43
Editors' Choice
Preview
Parker 99R - Long Handle Heavyweight Butterfly Open Double Edge Safety Razor & 5 Premium Blades
Title
Parker 99R
Type
TTO
Customer Rating
Prime Benefits
Price
$29.99
More Information
Top Pick
Preview
Double Edge Safety Razor, Regular Handle , Knurled
Title
Edwin Jagger DE89
Type
3-piece
Customer Rating
Prime Benefits
Price
$43.95
More Information
Best Buy
Preview
Merkur Classic 2-Piece Double Edge Saftey Razor
Title
Merkur 34c
Type
2-piece
Customer Rating
Prime Benefits
Price
$40.43
More Information

Last update on 2018-06-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are a tall and buff dude, you probably have large hands. With large hands, small safety razors will be stressful to use just like small-screened smartphones are. The good news, however, is that there are razors that have been designed for your comfort and use – razors unlike the Muhle R41 and the Merkur 34 Heavy Duty, that come with large and long enough handles for your comfort while wet shaving.

Parker 99R - Long Handle Heavyweight Butterfly Open Double Edge Safety Razor & 5 Shark Super Chrome

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The Parker 99R is one of the long, weighty and large handles designed for your hands. They take after the old Gillette Fatboy Razors with regards to their length and weight. The Parker can hold its own in terms of length even when put side by side to the Merkur Futur adjustable (a DE razor considered to be the largest there is).

By the way, did you know that Parker is also making some of the best fair priced shaving brushes that are available today? I bet you didn’t. The Parker Safety Razor 100% Silvertip Badger Bristle Shaving Brush is actually on our best shaving brush list this year.

That said, you will most definitely appreciate the weight and heft that this razor has to offer. This was however not the case when this one of a kind safety razor was introduced in the market. Its design has come a long way ever since its first manufacture back in the year 1973. Many of the design changes and improvements can be noticed on the head, right where the razor sits.

Back in 2010, the TTO head was redesigned. The improvement that was made included having a thicker metal which in turn made the razor heavier. The blade angle was also changed to make the razor milder and a great option for individuals who have just started out on wet shaving. With this upgrade, we now understand why the scales read 3.3 ounces. The weight is great since it provides great support and balance, helping you to get a closer and better shave.

What to Expect From It

With the upgrade to a TTO Razor design, you might be tempted to think that it is the only one of its kind on the market. Wrong, there are several other blades as well featuring this design. The implementation of the design is what matters; there are those that are weak and those that are rather strong.

With Twist to Open Razor designs, the weakest link is always their butterfly doors which have to be opened and closed every time you are loading your blade, or even cleaning it. This will over time, weaken the hinges of the butterfly doors and render them non-functional. In addition to this, cheap TTO brands like the Weishi, feature thin metal hinges that might corrode and with constant use, might break with time.

When making a purchase for this razor, you might want to get the right blade for your skin as well. Note that we all have different skin types and what may work for me, might not work for you.

Most double-edge safety razor blades will work with this razor, personally, I would start with a variety pack  to find one that fit your needs, or read our best safety razor blade review and buying guide.

Is Blade Loading Easy?

Parker 99R Safety Razor - The Butterfly Opening

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On the market today, there are two kinds of safety razors; three-piece and two-piece heads. Two-piece heads are generally considered to be easier to load blades on. You should also note that the Parker 99R, being a one-piece razor, comes with a TTO design which makes loading the blade a walk in the park. All you are required to do is twist the knob located at the bottom and the butterfly doors fly open providing room to slide in the blade. Things cannot get easier than that.

If you are the kind of person who finds it very annoying having to take apart a three-piece razor just to load a blade, shave and get ready for work, then this is most definitely the blade for you.

Aggressiveness

With regards to aggressiveness, the responses and reviews are quite contrasting. There are those who strongly believe that it is an aggressive razor given the amount of blade that the razor design exposes and as such, it should not be bought by novices in wet shaving. Then there are those who believe that the blade is not overly aggressive and neither is it as mild as some products in the market.

Well, in all fairness and to put the matter to rest once and for all, we give the blade a rating of 5/6 for its aggressiveness. That said, this is probably a razor that a newbie might want to avoid and that more experienced shavers should get given its decent results and affordable price.

Grip

The knurling on this shaver is similar to that on a Merkur 38C. The two blades both use the barber pole design which according to some experts in the industry provides for better grip, especially if you are a right-handed individual. Left-handed persons might have a lesser grip on the handle courtesy of the spiral direction.

Length

This is one of the longer safety razors there is on the market measuring about 4.5 inches long. Parker razor designs are well known for their handles which are perfect for guys with big hands. Comparing it to the Merkur Vision (no longer in production), the longest there is on the market, this razor is not so far behind.

What Consumers Are Saying About It

CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

It is true that the razor is made and designed in India. But despite this fact, the product has gotten plenty of reviews over the years, most of which are positive. In the reviews, the users loved the quality of the build and the weight which gives the product a good balance.

Here are some video reviews:

The razor goes for about $30, give or take a few dollars depending on where you make your purchase and when you do. With this price range, the product is not the cheapest there is on the market, but at the very least, it is one that is priced reasonably when you consider the finish and fit and overall quality.

Some consumers and reviewers went ahead to compare this razor to the likes of Weishi – a product that has been built and designed in China. From the comparison, the reviewers came to the conclusion that the 99R is a better build especially with regards to its butterfly doors.

Most often than not, the product is branded as a mild razor which surprises many individuals who use it. The 99R is slightly more aggressive than you would expect it to be.

In addition to this, many fell in love with the long handle that provides better control when compared to other products like the Gillette Super Speed. The two feature similar head design only that the 99R has a much smaller/lower profile which makes it easier for you to navigate around the nose/lip area.

The one complaint that some consumers had was the fact that the razor lacked a locking mechanism for the butterfly doors. Without this locking mechanism, the doors can very well fly open whilst shaving. The Gillette Super Speed had this feature. The modern shavers are lacking in this feature.

The biggest complaints of all are the fact that the butterfly doors tend to break apart. The hinges on the butterfly door are possibly the weakest link on the shaver and they tend to fail after a few years of service.

Parker vs. Merkur & Edwin Jagger

  • Parker 99R is a bit more expensive than Edwin Jagger DE89
  • The Parker razor is cheaper than Merkur 34c
  • Parker has a longer handle than both Merkur and Edwin Jagger
  • Parker is the most aggressive of these three (medium to slightly aggressive), Merkur and Edwin Jagger is about the same level there (mild), Merkur a tad more aggressive than EJ
  • The Butterfly opening on the Parker 99R makes loading of the blade easier than on the other two
  • The downside of the moving parts on the Parker TTO safety razor reduces the lifespan
  • The grip on the Parker is very good, much better than Edwin Jagger. The grip on Merkur 34c is great, but the downside is the very short handle
  • Parker 99R is a Twist To Open (TTO), while Merkur 34c is a two-piece and Edwin Jagger is a three-piece. Most wet-shavers find cleaning a 3-piece razor is easier

Verdict

This is a great option for an intermediate shaver who has learned the ropes of wet shaving – and especially if you have big hands. The razor has a great weight and balance that you can use to practice with. Remember practice makes perfect.

At about $30, the razor is a little bit more expensive than the Edwin Jagger DE89 which is a three piece razor. Three piece razors are the kind that you will need to assemble and disassemble every time you need to clean and load a new blade for a better shaving experience.

With the TTO design on the Parker 99R, you will have an easy time cleaning and loading blades. The only problem you might have is the issue of the butterfly doors durability.

 

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Complete Set

This razor can also be bought on Amazon as a set that includes a premium Black Badger brush and a stainless steel stand.

Parker 99R Safety Razor Shave Set - Includes Premium Black Badger Brush, Stainless Steel Stand & Parker 99R Butterfly Open Safety Razor
  • Includes a Parker 99R Butterfly Open Safety Razor
  • Genuine Parker Black Badger Bristle Brush with Marbled Ivory Handle
  • Deluxe Modern 100% Stainless Steel Brush Stand
  • This shave set will provide years of service and barbershop-close shaves at home
  • A great gift for yourself or for any wet shaver

Last update on 2018-06-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Travel Case

On Amazon, you can also get a nice looking travel case for this razor.

Sale
Genuine Leather Double Edge Safety Razor Zippered Travel Case with Compartment for Blades too --- from Parker Safety Razor SADDLE BROWN
  • Genuine Saddle Leather Case - Holds 1 Safety Razor and 1 Pack of Blades
  • Provides excellent protection for your safety razor for travelling or daily storage
  • Hand Stitched for Quality - Made with Genuine YKK Zippers
  • Secure Snap-tongue keeps blades securely tucked in case
  • A genuine Parker Safety Razor Product - beware of cheap imitations!

Last update on 2018-06-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Muhle R41 Review

Muhle R41 (AKA The Beast) Review – This Is Likely The Most Aggressive Double Edge Open Comb Available

Review of: Muhle R41
Recommended Use: Experienced
Editor’s Rating
Value for Money
Quality
(4.5/5)
(4.5/5)
(5/5)
  • Excellent
Muhle R41 Traditional

 

Amazon Rating

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We Like
  • Features great craftsmanship and a great design
  • Has an open comb design that helps to shave beards in fewer passes
  • The open comb design makes the product a great option if you have a heavier beard growth
We Don't Like
  • Slightly expensive
  • It is aggressive and not ideal for beginners

 

Summary: For men that sport coarse beards or those that have sensitive skin, those who are out in search of an aggressive safety razor to get a clean look in fewer passes, the “Beast” will provide you with the best option. You probably should ensure that the edition you get is 2013 or later. Other editions of the product feature some features that make it slightly less aggressive or less forgiving on the skin.

 

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Admit it, there are just days when you feel you do not want to go through the trouble of having to make three or even four passes before you can get that close shave you prefer. This is a normal phase that most men go through at some point, especially when they have busy days. As such, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Now, for your close shave need, there are several options that you could choose to explore. For starters, you could use a cartridge razor and risk having a razor burn or use a more efficient tool like a slant razor or even better – an open comb razor like the one we are reviewing today.

Okay, okay, this razor is not an open comb per se but rather a hybrid of the traditional open comb design and the scalloped safety bar design that have popped up in the recent past. It is designed with little exposure of the blade than its predecessor. But even then, many men that prefer wet shaving deem it to be one of the most aggressive safety razors in the market.

Preview
Top Pick
MÜHLE R41 Open Tooth Comb Double Edge Safety Razor (Chrome)
Editors Choice
MÜHLE R41 Open Comb Twist Handle Safety Razor - Chrome
Great for Larger Hands
Muhle R41 Grande Open Comb Safety Razor
MÜHLE R41 Open Tooth Comb Double Edge Safety Razor (Rose Gold)
Title
Muhle R41 Traditional
Muhle R41 Twist
Muhle R41 Grande
Muhle R41 Rosegold
Type
3-piece
2-piece
3-piece
3-piece
Customer Rating
Prime Benefits
Price
$56.00
$81.00
$74.50
$66.95
Top Pick
Preview
MÜHLE R41 Open Tooth Comb Double Edge Safety Razor (Chrome)
Title
Muhle R41 Traditional
Type
3-piece
Customer Rating
Prime Benefits
Price
$56.00
More Information
Editors Choice
Preview
MÜHLE R41 Open Comb Twist Handle Safety Razor - Chrome
Title
Muhle R41 Twist
Type
2-piece
Customer Rating
Prime Benefits
Price
$81.00
More Information
Great for Larger Hands
Preview
Muhle R41 Grande Open Comb Safety Razor
Title
Muhle R41 Grande
Type
3-piece
Customer Rating
Prime Benefits
Price
$74.50
More Information
Preview
MÜHLE R41 Open Tooth Comb Double Edge Safety Razor (Rose Gold)
Title
Muhle R41 Rosegold
Type
3-piece
Customer Rating
Prime Benefits
Price
$66.95
More Information

Last update on 2018-06-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The open comb design this uniquely chrome plated beauty features is what makes it more aggressive than the closed razors on the market. This tool is able to shave off about 3 – 4 days beard growth with fewer passes. However, if you are a beginner and learning the ropes of wet shaving, you should go for Muhle closed comb which is less aggressive making it perfect for beginners. After you have gotten a hang of wet shaving and are confident you can do I without nicking yourself, then you can make the shift.

Insider tip: The R41 (Standard and Grande versions only) has the same handle as the sibling R89, so you can start your wet-shaving career with an ’89 and after a while, just pick up a replacement headpiece and use that on the old and familiar handle. Or if you already are the proud owner of this razor, but just want to go easy on some mornings, pick up an ’89 replacement head-piece and use that on your trusted R41 handle.

Open Comb Head

Click on the photo to check the Price on Amazon.

Individuals who are experienced in wet shaving have gone on record to state that this razor is well built. Some even go ahead to state that it is a major upgrade from the previous version. As such, it is designed to provide a safer and closer shave even though it features a slightly larger top cap. Upon more investigations, it turns out that the previous version had many persons complain of its aggressiveness. It was causing too many problems even to expert wet shavers who are skilled in the art.

But even with this fact, when the new design was introduced to the market, some were still skeptical and afraid to give it a try. Those who fell in love with the upgrade loved the fact that in just two or less, passes you achieved a clean look. They went to an extent of calling it “The Beast” and though it might have been caged, it might not be tamed, so you should take this as a warning.

What To Expect From Muhle R41 Open Comb

The R41 comes in three designs to meet the needs of consumers. There is a two-piece Twist design, a 3 piece Grande and a 3 piece Traditional/conventional design. In addition to the three, there is also a version that features a traditional design but that comes with a different color handle which makes it more attractive. So if you are the kind who wants a traditional version with a slight twist to it, you will surely love the traditional Rosegold design.

Traditional Version Features

Features at a GlanceSpecsPerformance
  • Chrome plated finish
  • Very light – weighing only 2.2 ounces
  • 3 piece design
  • Polished chrome finish
  • Comes with a Feather blade
  • The open comb design makes the product a great option if you have a heavier beard growth
  • Made in Germany
Model: Traditional Version

Overall Length: 94 mm/ 3.7 inch

Handle Length: 82.5 mm/ 3.2 inch

Handle Diameter: 12 mm/ 0.55 inch

Weight: 64 g/ 2.26 oz.

Material: Metal

Finish: Chrome

Type: 3 Piece Open Comb

Adjustable: No

Knurled handle: Yes

Blade included: 1

Weight: (4/5)

Grip: (4/5)

Length: (4/5)

Aggressiveness: (5/5)

Blade Replacement: (3.5/5)

Shave Quality: (4/5)

Affordability: (3/5)

Many comparison reviews have been done on the three different types of the R41. What shines brightly from all the reviews written is the fact that Twist and Grande both comes in at 90 grams (3.17 oz.) while the standard 2013 R41 is the lightest weighing in at 64 grams (2.26 oz.) You should, however, note that the two feature similar dimensions; 107 mm long and 41mm wide and a handle diameter of an impressive 14mm (0.55 inch).

Twist Version Features

Twist Version

Twist Version – Click on the photo to check the Price on Amazon.

At a hefty 4.2 inches (107 mm), the Twist version is the longest variant (along with the Grande) from Muhle. In addition to this, it also is the heaviest of the various versions at 3.17 ounces (90 grams). One of the biggest reasons to choose the Twist versions over the others, is the easier assembly.

Features at a GlanceSpecsPerformance
  • Chrome plated finish
  • Easy to load the blade
  • 2 piece design
  • Polished chrome finish
  • Comes with a Feather blade
  • Longer handle and heavier than the Traditional version
  • The open comb design makes the product a great option if you have a heavier beard growth
  • Made in Germany
Model: Twist Version

Overall Length: 107 mm/ 4.2 inch

Handle Length: 95 mm/ 3.7 inch

Handle Diameter: 14 mm/ 0.55 inch

Weight: 90g/ 3.17 oz.

Material: Metal

Finish: Chrome

Type: 2 Piece Open Comb

Adjustable: No

Knurled handle: Yes

Blade included: 1

Weight: (4/5)

Grip: (4/5)

Length: (4.5/5)

Aggressiveness: (4.5/5)

Blade Replacement: (5/5)

Shave Quality: (4/5)

Affordability: (2.5/5)

Grande Version Features

Grande Version

Grande Version – Click on the photo to check the Price on Amazon.

Both the R41 Grande and the R41 Twist are of the same length. However, the Grande proves to be slightly lighter by 10 grams.

Unlike the Twist version, the Grande R41 is a 3 piece razor. So in comparison, the Grande is a heavier and longer version of the Traditional version.

What is even better about the Grande version is the fact that you can actually change the product’s grip in the event you feel the knurling is not as deep as you would like to provide you with greater grip.

Features at a GlanceSpecsPerformance
  • Chrome plated finish
  • Easy to load the blade
  • 3 piece design
  • Polished chrome finish
  • Comes with a Feather blade
  • Has a longer handle than the Traditional version
  • The open comb design makes the product a great option if you have a heavier beard growth
  • Made in Germany
Model: Grande Version

Overall Length: 107 mm/ 4.2 inch

Handle Length: 95.5 mm/ 3.75 inch

Handle Diameter: 14 mm/ 0.55 inch

Weight: 80g/ 2.8 oz.

Material: Metal

Finish: Chrome

Type: 3 Piece Open Comb

Adjustable: No

Knurled handle: Yes

Blade included: 1

Weight: (4/5)

Grip: (4/5)

Length: (4.5/5)

Aggressiveness: (5/5)

Blade Replacement: (3.5/5)

Shave Quality: (4/5)

Affordability: (3/5)

Ease of Loading The Blade

As stated above this German made quality razor comes with 3 variants, the Twist, Grande, and Traditional. Both the Grande and the traditional variant feature a 3 piece design while the Twist is made to be a two piece design.

You should, however, know that courtesy of its two-piece design and the fact that it is more expensive than the Traditional variant. This is the logic that should be used when making a choice between the three variants: if you have large hands and are looking for a safety razor that will be easy to assemble, then the Twist is ideal for you. Just remember you will have to part with slightly more $. On the other hand, if you could care less about the price and need a product that is easy to clean as well as assemble, then the Grande is perfect for you.

Grip

Twist Review

Twist – Click on the photo to check the Price on Amazon.

Explaining the knurling that the R41 features can prove to be slightly tricky. Here is why. From afar, the knurling looks like waves spiraling down the handle while upon closer look they seem to just line crisscrossing each other to make tiny diamond shapes on the surface of the handle. But what many people seem to agree with, is the fact that the knurling on this safety razor is not as deep and still one might experience some slipping.

The Grande and Traditional versions both feature a flat handle. The Twist comes with a protruded handle that provides slightly more grip in the event your hand slips down to the very last bit of the handle.

Aggressiveness

Many people who have used this DE safety razor in the past refer to the product as “the beast”. The original version of the R41 was more aggressive. So much so that Muhle just had to redesign the product to slightly tame the wild beast.

The open comb design that this safety razor feature is what is responsible for the aggressive nature of the “Beast”. The open design refers to a design where the safety bar has not been made to be flat – it comes with some indentations that allow for the shaving cream to pass through while you are shaving. In addition to this, the design exposes the skin to the blade more ensuring a cleaner, closer shave in an impressive two passes.

The indentations (the open comb design) makes the safety razor perfect for individuals who have mastered the art of wet shaving – those who are comfortable and have total control of their hand and razor in the process. This feature still gives it the ability to tame a 5-day rough beard.

Blade Recommendations

Aggressiveness also depends on what kind of safety razor blade you are using. Try with a variety pack  to find your perfect fit. But you will not go wrong with either a Muhle Stainless Steel , a Feather  or Astra .

Length

All the variants come with different lengths which provide you the user with some room for choice and preference. The three-piece Grande and Traditional design measure  107 mm/ 4.2 inches and 94 mm/ 3.7 inches respectively.

The 2-piece Twist measures 107 mm/ 4.2 inches and is the heaviest of the 3 versions at 90 g/ 3.17 oz.

If you have large hands and prefer a blade that has a longer handle for your comfort, you will prefer the Grande or Twist. If you have medium-sized, or small hands, the Traditional will work best.

What Other Users Say

CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

On wet shaving forums, the likes of ShaveNook.com, wet shavers have gone on record praising the open comb razor design saying that it has the ability to provide for a BBS shave on beards that have a roughness of 5 days. The fact that the open design lets the cream pass-through ensures that the product does not clog up and even if it does, it is far less often than on the popular Merkur 34c HD.

On eCommerce sites, some individuals have gone on record stating that their search for a closer shave ended up settling on the R41.

At this point, it is probably necessary to issue a warning. If you are just fresh to wet shaving; if you still are learning the ropes and all, you should probably avoid this razor since you just might end up nicking the hell out of your face.

Accessories

Since this is a razor that is NOT for beginners, I assume that a complete kit is not for you, since you most likely have some or most of the necessary accessories. However, there are some add-ons that you might want to consider.

Stands

It doesn’t get much better than this: Muhle Classic stand (Razor and Brush  – Please keep in mind if you have a brush already – this stand will only fit up to 25mm knot size.

Fits R89, R106, R107, R41, R102, R101, R89 GRANDE, R41 GRANDE and brushes 091M89, 091M89 ROSEGOLD, 091M106, 091M107, 31M89, 31M89 ROSEGOLD, 31M106, 31M107

If you already have a stand for your brush, then this one will be a good match: Muhle Classic stand (Razor only)  Fits R89, R106, R 107, R41, R101, R102, R89 Grande and R 41 grande. It should also accept Merkur’s models: 11C, 15C, 23C, 25C, 33C, 34C, 37C, 41001, 42001, due to its neck size.

Travel Cases and Pouches

Currently, there are no travel case or pouch available at Amazon, but you can order directly from Muhle. At West Coast Shaving they have a leather case that fits the Grande model (also R89 Grande).

If you don’t want to go all-out regarding travel bags, you should at least consider this Blade Guard .

Verdict

For men that sport coarse beards or those that have sensitive skin, those who are out in search of an aggressive safety razor to get a clean look in fewer passes, this razor will provide you with the best option. You probably should ensure that the edition you get is 2013 or later. Other editions of the product feature some features that make it slightly less aggressive or less forgiving on the skin.

The product comes in 3 variants which vary not only in weight, handle size, length, and weight but also in cost. If you love the 3 piece design, go with the Grande or the Traditional version. On the other hand, if you are looking for a 2-piece design then the Twist is perfect for you.

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By the way – did you know that Muhle is also making high-end shaving brushes? Slightly expensive, but for sure great German quality.

Merkur 39C Review

Merkur 39C Review – A.K.A. The Sledgehammer Slant Bar Razor

Review of: Merkur 39C
Recommended Use: Intermediate to Experienced
Editor’s Rating
Value for Money
Quality
(4.5/5)
(4.5/5)
(5/5)
  • Outstanding – Top Pick Awards’

 

We Like
  • Most men with advanced wet shaving technique love it and refer to it as very efficient courtesy of the slant design
  • It is perfect for men who have large hands. The length of the handle and the overall weight of the unit is comfortable
  • It slices down a thick beard in a few passes. It is perfect for those days you are running late and cannot afford to miss a shave
We Don't Like
  • Its aggressiveness is great for experienced wet shavers. However, for beginners, the aggressive nature of the blade is a downside
  • The non-visible parts of the razor do not feature a chrome finish. This leaves them vulnerable to rusting with time

 

Summary: Merkur 39C ‘Sledgehammer’ may not be the best for beginners, but it definitely is a great choice as a second razor for experienced wet shavers – those who have mastered the art. It is also a perfect purchase if you want to take the last step in your search for your perfect shave – or have sensitive skin. It combines the best of two worlds – the efficiency of Merkur 37C and the size and weight from Merkur 38C. Merkur 39C is also perfect for individuals with sensitive skin as it does not require numerous passes to achieve a close shave. The slant design improves the slicing action and makes the unit perfect for cutting beard growth that is a few days old.

 

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Below are some features of the Merkur 39C to get us started:

Features of Merkur 39C

Features at a GlanceSpecsPerformance
  • It is a heavy razor – one of the heaviest at over 4.0 ounces
  • It is designed as a 2-piece razor
  • The head features a slanted design which improves its shaving efficiency
  • The handle sports a barber pole grip
  • The unit measures a whopping 4.1 inches long from its head to the end of the handle
  • It features a beautiful chrome finish
  • Its aggressive design and rating is 10/10
  • Its packaging comes inclusive of a single blade
Model: Merkur 39C

Overall Length: 4.1 inches/ 10 cm

Handle Length: 3.79 inches/ 96 mm

Handle Diameter: 0.55 inches/ 14 mm

Weight: 4 ounces/ 111 grams

Material: Metal

Finish: Chrom-plated

Type: 2 Piece Slanted Closed Comb

Adjustable: No

Knurled handle: Yes – Barber-pole Style

Blade included: 1

Weight: (4.5/5)

Grip: (4/5)

Length: (4.5/5)

Aggressiveness: (3.5/5)

Blade Replacement: (4/5)

Shave Quality: (5/5)

Affordability: (3.5/5)

Preview
Editors' Choice
Merkur Slant Bar Double Edge Saftey Razor
Top Pick
Merkur Slant Bar Double Edge Saftey Razor
Merkur Classic 2-Piece Double Edge Saftey Razor
Title
Merkur 39c
Merkur 37c
Merkur 38c
Type
2-Piece - Slanted - Open Comb
2-Piece - Slanted - Open Comb
2-piece
Customer Rating
Prime Benefits
Price
$55.93
$45.51
$40.43
Editors' Choice
Preview
Merkur Slant Bar Double Edge Saftey Razor
Title
Merkur 39c
Type
2-Piece - Slanted - Open Comb
Customer Rating
Prime Benefits
Price
$55.93
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Top Pick
Preview
Merkur Slant Bar Double Edge Saftey Razor
Title
Merkur 37c
Type
2-Piece - Slanted - Open Comb
Customer Rating
Prime Benefits
Price
$45.51
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Preview
Merkur Classic 2-Piece Double Edge Saftey Razor
Title
Merkur 38c
Type
2-piece
Customer Rating
Prime Benefits
Price
$40.43
More Information

Last update on 2018-06-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

In this review we take a look at Merkur 39C Slant A.K.A. Sledgehammer.

If you are new to wet shaving, your head might be spinning from all the choices you are bombarded with. As more and more people are gaining interest in wet shaving, more blades are being designed to match the growing demand.

As a beginner, you have no clue where to start. But you know you have a lot to learn before you can call yourself a pro. Luckily for you, on this site, I have taken the liberty to review and compare some of the best safety razors in the market. These reviews are designed to reduce the hassle you go through to get the best razor for your needs.

Speaking of reviews, one of the razors I have reviewed recently is the Merkur 37C Slant. In its review, we went into the details of its designs, pros, and cons and even why some wet shaving pros refer to it as the slant. To jog your memory, or get you in the know (in case you have not read that review yet), this name is courtesy of its slant design. The slant on its headpiece is constructed starting from the upper left to the bottom right of each side. The whole idea of incorporating this idea is to help slice through the facial hair with minimal effort. This design makes it feel like a beard mower – its efficiency is through the roof.

But while the Merkur 37C Slant Bar is efficient and preferred by most experienced wet shavers, there is yet another blade that gives it a run for its money – the Merkur 39C which we are reviewing today. Now, you can consider the 39C as the bigger brother to the 37C. It is sort of an (evil) twin to the Merkur 38C. Compared to 37C – the Merkur 39C is thicker, bigger and needless to say, heavier. The weight and dimensions are about the same as Merkur 38C – but with a slant bar design. So you can actually call it a hybrid between 37C and 38C – the functionality of the 37′ in a 38′ size.

Wet shaving enthusiasts refer to it as the Sledgehammer. This name alone should give you a hint as to how efficient this blade is.

But before we sink our teeth deep into the review, let’s have a look at the slant design that this blade boasts of.

The Slant Bar

We have hinted at the slanting design above. But what exactly is it? Well, the slant design is on the head. Rather than a flat design, once a blade is loaded onto the head, it is held in a slanted position. The principle used here is similar to that used in a guillotine. The angled blade is bound to cut slightly more efficiently compared to flathead designs.

The only downside to this setup is the fact that the blade used will become dull faster. Additionally, courtesy of this design, the razor is and not ideal for beginners who have not yet mastered the wet shaving technique. A single wrong move could result in a quick nick.

Weight and Balance

The Merkur 39C is one of the few units that feature a heavy construction. It weighs slightly over 4.0 ounces. Needless to say, this is heavier than most of the safety razors available in the market – even some from Merkur – like it’s best selling model the adjustable Merkur Futur and also the before mentioned 38C. It even gives Parker 99R a run for the money in this regard.

Given this heavyweight construction and design, a user needs to put in very little work to obtain a clean shave. The slant design also plays a role in making this blade easy to use and efficient as well.

For beginners, it is important to note that the balance point of this blade is at about a quarter of an inch along the length of the handle from the head. Some users prefer a higher balance point, but this is not a big issue for your shaving results.

Speaking of balancing the blade, note that the length of the unit allows one to grip the razor at the bottom of the razor with the pinkie. This eases the pressure applied when shaving. Geofatboy, one of the great experienced and wet shaver enthusiasts, shows you how it is done on the YouTube video posted.

Grip

The first thing that should pop into your head when you see the word grip in relation to the Merkur 39C is the barber pole grip design it features. This grip design and style is similar to the Merkur 38C. As a matter of fact, if you have both of these blades and you hold them each on either hand, you will not notice a difference in the grip quality.

In addition, when performing a comparison Merkur 39C vs. Merkur 38C, it is important to note that both of these units are constructed as 2-piece designs. They feature the exact same design from the head to the bottom of the handle.

Left-handed wet shavers will have an easier time shaving as the thumb will be aligned perpendicularly to the grooves while shaving. The barber pole grip design features grooves that spiral counterclockwise from the top of the handle (right below the head) to the bottom of the handle. But this does not mean that the grip is no good for right-handed wet shavers. It is, just that it is not quite as good in the hands of a right-handed individual as it is in the hands of a left-handed shaver.

At the very end of the handle, past the spiraling grooves is a knob designed to improve the grip. With this knob, the chances of the blade slipping from your hand are reduced. Overall, the grip of this safety razor is OK and great for most wet shavers.

Length

In addition to being heavy, the unit is also long in comparison to most safety razors. The length of the safety razor is 4.1 inches. The handle itself measures about 3.5 inches. While you might wonder why we are making a big fuss of this, it is imperative to the comfort and handling of the unit.

Here is the thing. Not all men are created equal. Some grow up to have large hands, some normal and some small. It is really all God’s design and there is nothing wrong with that. However, when it comes to using safety razors, all these different hand sizes require different handle lengths to be comfortable.

That said, it goes without saying that individuals with large hands will only benefit from long handles. And since very few safety razors features lengthy handles, the Merkur 39C comes as huge relief to individuals blessed with large hands.

Individuals with small hands normally have no problem maneuvering and handling all safety razor types and handle lengths. Like most things in life, it just takes a bit of getting used to.

Aggressiveness

Almost everyone who uses this safety razor terms it as an aggressive razor. Now at this point, I would like to make a difference between aggressiveness and efficiency.

You might have noticed that all through, up to this point in the article, I have used the terms, aggressive and efficient almost interchangeably. However, they are not, especially in the case of the Merkur 39C.

Here is the thing. While the razor might provide you with a close shave (closer than any other safety razor can), and has a higher chance of beginners nicking and cutting themselves, aggressive is not the best term to describe the razor. Efficient is a much more accurate term.

Why is this? Well, as pointed out earlier in this review the slanted design the unit features is designed to slice through hairs and not struggle cutting through them like most safety razors do. That said, it would be unfair to rate the Merkur 39C as a mild safety razor. As such, in my aggressive rating scale, the unit earns a 10/10. Its efficiency is also impressive. However, bear in mind that this unit does require a different technique to use. As such, if you are a newbie to wet shaving, you are better off starting with a low-level shaving unit and working your way up to the Sledge Hammer.

Blade Replacement

Given that the Merkur 39C is a 2-piece safety razor, blade replacement is a fairly simple process. The 39C design is similar to the 38C. While the unit is not exactly an easy twist and open type of safety razor, it is far less challenging to perform a blade replacement than many other models. With the quality this unit oozes, it is bound to last you a lifetime.

While on the same note of blade loading, there are different techniques to achieve your end goal. If you are a fan of watching Merkur videos, there are high chances that you have probably come across some of their videos displaying some unorthodox ways of blade loading. Most of these videos recommend that one loads the blade onto the top cap while it is upside down and then screw the handle over it.

However, this is not the best of blade loading techniques. Why? Well, this technique often results in misalignment. The exposure of the blade on both ends is usually uneven. There is a better way of blade loading on a 2-piece razor. Numerous videos, including this one, shows the proper way of doing it.

While loading your blade, you should ensure that the blade is properly aligned for even shaving.

What Consumers Say About the Merkur 39C

CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

While the 39C is marketed by most individuals as being an aggressive unit, there are some users who are of a different opinion. As mentioned earlier, rather than being aggressive, they consider it as being efficient courtesy of the slant design it features.

Actually, some individuals who have had the opportunity to take it for a test run say that this unit is more aggressive and efficient compared to the earlier mentioned Merkur Futur.

I cannot stress this enough – this safety razor is not for individuals who are learning about wet shaving. Instead, it is for those who have some experience and are looking to improve their chances of getting a clean shave and fast. There is no way you can use the same technique that worked on a cartridge razor. The results will be far from what you are looking for.

Using this razor, you need to apply very little force and pressure. To ease the pressure on the blade, support its barrel with your pinkie.

Also, it is imperative that you pay close attention to the process you follow to load your blade. While the process is straightforward, there are some techniques that may leave you with an uneven blade.

Last but not least, you might want to use this safety razor with a sharp blade like Feather. A great safety razor requires a great blade to compliment it as well, but I would personally try with a variety pack  to find your perfect fit.

Price

This safety razor is available on numerous platforms online. The West Coast Shaving website is one of such sites. However, you are bound to get the best deal on Amazon than in any of these specialty sites.

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Merkur Progress Review

Merkur Progress Review (500 Standard and 510 Long Handle) – Classic Adjustable Safety Razor

Review of: Merkur Progress
Recommended Use: Intermediate/ Experienced
Editor’s Rating
Value for Money
Quality
(4/5)
(4/5)
(4.5/5)
  • Excellent
Merkur Progress

 

Amazon Rating

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We Like
  • The adjustable safety razor can be varied between mild and aggressive depending on the needs of the wet shaver
  • You can juggle between a 3 pass shave setting and a 2 pass shave setting and still get great results
  • Simple construction -the razor has a great design, is easy to use and last for long time
We Don't Like
  • Features a slippery handle
  • To use the razor, one has to go through a learning curve. This learning curve makes it fall short of the number one recommended safety razor for beginners
  • Assembling the razor, though a two piece razor, comes with a slight learning curve for beginners

 

 

Summary: The Merkur Progress is an adjustable razor. It is loved by experienced wet shavers as it offers them versatility. The 5 adjustable settings vary the aggressiveness of the unit between mild and highly aggressive.

 

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A while back I reviewed the Merkur Futur. This is the razor that looks like it popped in from the future. While many gave it a big thumbs up, there are those who did not quite take to it. If you are one of those who thought that it was too big for your comfort or you just prefer classic-styled safety razors, you may fall in love with the Merkur Progress.

Features

Features at a GlanceSpecsPerformance
    • Sports a chrome finishing
    • Have 5 adjustable settings
    • Comes in two variants – the standard version (500) and the long handled version (510)
    • Standard version: 3.35″
    • Long handle version: 4.14″

 

Model: Merkur Progress
Long version specs inside the (Parentheses)
Overall Length: 3.35 inches/ 85 mm (4.14 inches/ 105 mm)

Handle Length: 3 inches/ 76 mm (3.75 inches/ 95 mm)

Handle Diameter: 0.4 inches/ 12 mm

Weight: 3.17 ounces/ 90 grams (3.6 ounces/ 102 grams)

Material: Zamak

Finish: Chrome Plated

Type: 2 Piece

Adjustable: Yes

Knurled handle: No

Blade included: 1

Weight: (4/5)

Grip: (2.5/5)

Length: (3/5)

Aggressiveness (Adjustable): (5/5)

Blade Replacement: (2.5/5)

Shave Quality: (5/5)

Affordability: (2.5/5)

Preview
Great Classic Razor
Merkur Progress Adjustable 2-Piece Double Edge Saftey Razor
For Bigger Hands
Merkur Progress Adjustable 2-Piece Double Edge Saftey Razor
Complet Kit
Shaving Gift Set with Merkur 500 Progress Safety Razor, Bowl, GBS Shaving Soap, Badger Brush, Stand and Safety Razor and Blades!
Title
Merkur Progress 500 Short Handle
Merkur Progress 510 Long Handle
Merkur Progress 500 Kit
Type
Adjustable
Adjustable
Merkur 500, Chrome bowl, Badger brush and Pedestal stand, GBS Natural Ocean Driftwood Shaving soap and 10 Double-edge blades
Customer Rating
Prime Benefits
Price
$58.20
$64.38
$99.88
Great Classic Razor
Preview
Merkur Progress Adjustable 2-Piece Double Edge Saftey Razor
Title
Merkur Progress 500 Short Handle
Type
Adjustable
Customer Rating
Prime Benefits
Price
$58.20
More Information
For Bigger Hands
Preview
Merkur Progress Adjustable 2-Piece Double Edge Saftey Razor
Title
Merkur Progress 510 Long Handle
Type
Adjustable
Customer Rating
Prime Benefits
Price
$64.38
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Complet Kit
Preview
Shaving Gift Set with Merkur 500 Progress Safety Razor, Bowl, GBS Shaving Soap, Badger Brush, Stand and Safety Razor and Blades!
Title
Merkur Progress 500 Kit
Type
Merkur 500, Chrome bowl, Badger brush and Pedestal stand, GBS Natural Ocean Driftwood Shaving soap and 10 Double-edge blades
Customer Rating
Prime Benefits
Price
$99.88
More Information

Last update on 2018-06-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Merkur Progress is an adjustable razor from the German manufacturer that has many experienced wet shavers drooling for both their safety razors, but also for their shaving brushes and their straight razor line called Dovo.

Unlike the Vision and Futur from the same brand that is futuristic, the Progress is classic and bears a two-piece design, sports a smooth handle and comes with a plastic knob at its base which allows setting adjusting.

While there are some features that may make this safety razor not the friendliest for newbies, it only takes a little effort to learn and perfect your wet shaving skill to get the best from the Merkur Progress. This razor can be as aggressive or as mild and is as versatile as other safety razors available on the market. It all depends on the razor settings you tune it to.

The beauty of having an adjustable razor like the Merkur Progress is that the aggressiveness of the safety razor can be altered via a knob. As such, if you have sensitive skin around your neck, you can shave the hair around your neck while on a low setting and dial it up a notch when shaving your chin, cheeks, and mustache.

With that brief introduction, let’s delve deeper into the review of the Merkur Progress.

What Should You Expect From The Merkur Progress Adjustable Safety Razor?

Many of the non-adjustable 2-piece safety razors on the market are usually pretty straightforward to piece together. The Merkur Progress, however, is slightly different. It features some special quirks. As such, to avoid any disappointments as a result of improper assembly, you should ensure that you read this review to the end before you get your own and start wet shaving.

First and foremost, before you attach the top of the plate, you should look at both sides of its top. On one of the sides is a small marking engraved on the body. This marking is meant to line up with a tiny triangle engraving made on the base plate on the head.

Failure to line these up will result in an uneven blade exposure and consequently a bad shaving experience.

Secondly, it is important that you tighten the knob properly. Place your index finger on the razor head and ensure that the blades have a symmetrical exposure.

Merkur Progress provides a maximum of 5 aggressiveness settings. Changing the settings is easy. All you have to do is adjust the knob. Yes, the knob holds the blades in place and still is used in adjusting the aggressiveness levels.

This adjustability feature makes this razor one of the most popular in the market. It affords wet shavers the luxury of determining the level of aggressiveness they are comfortable with. However, on the flip side, it is this adjustable feature that gives many a bit of bother.

The Merkur Progress comes with two variants, the long-handled version, and the short handled version.

Both of these variants feature a similar shaving head. The only difference noticeable is the length of the handle. If you have large hands, the long handle version will accommodate you better and will feel more comfortable.

Like all other Merkur safety razors, the Merkur Progress features a chrome finish. This finish is attractive to many. I should point out that not all parts feature a chrome finish though. The hidden parts are unpolished but this neither affect the finish and beauty of the product nor the shaving efficiency of the razor.

Is The Blade Easy to Load?

As pointed out above, the Merkur Progress comes with a 2-piece design. With this design loading, the blade should not be a challenge even for newbies. The loading process does, however, require some getting used to.

While loading the blade onto the razor, you will have to remember to align the markings on the side of the top plate and that on the side of the base. If you do not align these marking, the knob meant for adjusting the blade’s aggressiveness will not work as it is meant to.

Aside from aligning the marking, you also will have to get the index finger on the top as you tighten the knob. This is also imperative for alignment purposes.

This video demonstrates the process of loading the blade.

For a close shave with this razor, you should use double edge blades from Merkur , Solingen Timor Derby  or Feather . Start out with a variety pack  to find your perfect fit.

Aggressiveness

The Merkur Progress is an adjustable safety razor. The razor comes with a whopping 5 adjustment settings. These settings are designed to make the razor more versatile. The razor can tackle all kinds of beards from regular to coarse.

Just like on the Vision(no longer in production) and Futur models, Merkur Progress has an adjustable system that allows you to adjust the angle of the blade in five different levels. Start at Level 1 and when you have learned the technique (it takes at least 1-2 months), you can proceed to the next step and so on. The idea is not that you need to reach the highest level, but that you find just the setting that gives you a tight but still comfortable shave.

The adjustment settings of the Merkur Progress are varied by a knob on the end of the handle. Please note that all adjustable razors vary slightly in the aggressiveness of the individual knob settings. This is courtesy of their manufacturing tolerances.

What this means is that the number one setting on one Merkur Progress does not deliver the same cut as that of another Progress razor. However, the cutting performance is the same in all of the safety razors.

This might rub some wet shavers the wrong way, but it is definitely not a downgrade in performance.

Another factor that you should take note of is the angle in which the razor is held. Most fixed head razors that are made to hold the blade perpendicular to the handle. But the Progress adjustable razor is different. The blade bends significantly. This bending, as a result, changes the angle of the blade when you are shaving. The angle is shallower with the Merkur Progress.

Grip

Most Merkur classic razors feature some sort of knurling. The Progress comes with a smooth handle. The only feature that helps improve the grip is the protruding adjustment knob on the side of the head.

Many first time users of the blade have gone on record to complain about the lack of knurling. They experienced more slippage when using the razor. Nonetheless, simple tweaks to the grip when shaving seems to solve the problem.

For a firmer grip, most experienced wet shavers recommend resting the pinkie finger on the adjustment knob’s base. This helps to improve the grip and reduce slippage while shaving.

When shaving in an upward motion, you should hold the knob with your middle, pinkie and index finger. This technique provides an even better grip and reduces the chances of the Progress of slipping in your hand.

Length

The long handle version (Merkur 510) of this safety razor measures 4.14-inches while the short handled version (Merkur 500) measures about 3.35-inches.

What Are Consumers Saying?

CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

Overall, the consumers are quite happy with the Merkur Progress. Even newbie wet shavers (those who have done their homework and research prior to purchasing the unit) state that the safety razor is a great choice.

Here is GeoFatBoys take on it:

What most love about this safety shaver is the fact that it is adjustable. As such, if they need a close shave, they do not have to get a separate razor to meet their need. A simple knob adjustment will work the magic.

There were some complaints that the handle has no knurling and as such slipped a lot. But there is a workaround to this. Position your finger in the right places and this problem is solved.

With regards to the quality of shaving, the Merkur certainly does perform. It will work on coarse facial hair and normal hair too. You, however, have to follow the tips shared in this article.

Price

The perfect place to make a purchase of this safety razor is Amazon. The price varies from $55 to $70.

 

Accessories and Kits

Merkur Progress 500 is also available as a perfect gift or starter set. It comes with a Progress 500, Chrome bowl, Badger brush and Pedestal stand, GBS Natural Ocean Driftwood Shaving soap and 10 Double-edge blades. Get it here .

There is also a nice travel case  that can hold the Merkur Progress 500 (and other short models such as Merkur 11, 15, 30, 33, 34 and 37 ) and 10 blades.

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Verdict

The Merkur Progress is an adjustable razor. It is loved by experienced wet shavers as it offers them versatility. The 5 adjustable settings vary the aggressiveness of the unit between mild and highly aggressive.

The safety razor is durable and has a high cutting performance. Beginners may opt to stay away from this unit due to the long learning curve involved. But nonetheless, it is a great investment for users who have mastered the wet shaving technique.

Merkur 34C HD Review

Merkur 34c Heavy Duty Review

Honestly speaking, if there is one safety razor that has captured the hearts of many experts, it is the Merkur 34C HD. Several experts that have used numerous products in the industry believe that this is the best product for both experienced and newbie wet shavers; and for good reasons. With a classic design going back to 1931, the German-made Merkur is one of the most versatile razors there is on the market today.

But the best part for many, especially those working on a tighter budget, is the price of this top quality safety razor. It goes for about $40 – give or take a few dollars depending on where you make your purchase, with Amazon currently having the best deals. This is kind of typical for Merkur brand – they make great products for a reasonable price – not only safety razors but also straight cut razors like Dovo, double edge safety razor blades and reasonably priced shaving brushes as well.

Main Features Merkur 34C HD

Features at a GlanceSpecsPerformance
  • Merkur HD 34C is a two-piece – non-adjustable razor
  • It comes with one blade
  • The shaver features a chrome plated finish which gives it a pleasing look
  • Total length is 98 mm (3.9 inches)
  • It weighs about 2.83 ounces or 80.5 grams
Model: Merkur 34c

Overall Length: 3.3 inches/ 84 mm

Handle Length: 3 inches/ 76 mm

Handle Diameter: 0.4 inches/ 12 mm

Weight: 2.83 ounces/ 80.5 grams

Material: Zamak

Finish: Chrome Plated

Type: 2 piece

Adjustable: No

Knurled handle: Yes

Blade included: 1

Weight: (3/5)

Grip: (5/5)

Length: (3/5)

Aggressiveness: (2/5)

Blade Replacement: (4/5)

Shave Quality: (5/5)

Affordability: (4/5)

Review of: Merkur 34c
Recommended Use: Beginner/ Intermediate
Editor’s Rating
Value for Money
Quality
(4.5/5)
(4.5/5)
(5/5)
  • Outstanding
Merkur 34c HD

Amazon Rating

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We Like
  • A quick glance at the this razor and you will notice that it has great design and build
  • While there are many three-piece shavers in the market, the two-piece design that this razor feature makes it very easy to adjust the blade so that it is even on both sides
  • The chrome finish is shiny and smooth and will not scratch even sensitive faces as you shave
  • The handle is made complete with knurling that helps to prevent it from slipping up (even when your hand is wet and softened by the shaving cream)
  • Affordable – Great razor for your investment
We Don't Like
  • This razor is not the most aggressive razor on the market, but when you think about it, it is what makes it perfect for beginners in transition from cartridge razors in the first place
  • If you have a coarse beard, you might have to try something different, something more aggressive like the Merkur Slant Blade, Merkur Futur (adjustable), Merkur Progress (also adjustable) or the Muhle R41. The latter is designed for experienced wet shavers.
  • Under the blade covering, you will notice that the chrome plating is not polished. However, since it does not come into contact with the skin at any one point, this is not a major issue.

 

 

Summary: Overall, the Merkur 34C HD is a very good razor, perfect for beginners and seasoned wet shavers alike. The design and construction are of great quality, but for some reason, that does not seem to affect the price of the product. It still is a very affordable razor. The two-piece design it sports makes assembly easier in comparison to three-piece products available on the market.

 

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What You Should Expect From this Bestseller

Preview
Bestseller
Merkur Classic 2-Piece Double Edge Saftey Razor
Gangsta
Merkur Classic 2-Piece Double Edge Saftey Razor
Great to Get You Started
Merkur 34c Wet Shave Set- Razor, Blades, Shaving Brush, Stand, Cream and Bowl
Travel Set
Deluxe Travel Set with Merkur #34 - Doppler Bag includes Shaving Bowl with Soap, Razor & Brush Stand
Title
Merkur 34c
Merkur 34G
Merkur 34c Wet Shave Set
Merkur 34C Travel Set
Type
2-piece
2-piece
Razor, Blades, Shaving Brush, Stand, Cream and Bowl
Merkur 34C, Doppler bag, Bowl, Soap, Badger Brush, Razor & Brush stand
Customer Rating
-
Prime Benefits
-
Price
$40.43
$53.81
$99.95
$75.98
Bestseller
Preview
Merkur Classic 2-Piece Double Edge Saftey Razor
Title
Merkur 34c
Type
2-piece
Customer Rating
Prime Benefits
Price
$40.43
More Information
Gangsta
Preview
Merkur Classic 2-Piece Double Edge Saftey Razor
Title
Merkur 34G
Type
2-piece
Customer Rating
Prime Benefits
Price
$53.81
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Great to Get You Started
Preview
Merkur 34c Wet Shave Set- Razor, Blades, Shaving Brush, Stand, Cream and Bowl
Title
Merkur 34c Wet Shave Set
Type
Razor, Blades, Shaving Brush, Stand, Cream and Bowl
Customer Rating
Prime Benefits
-
Price
$99.95
More Information
Travel Set
Preview
Deluxe Travel Set with Merkur #34 - Doppler Bag includes Shaving Bowl with Soap, Razor & Brush Stand
Title
Merkur 34C Travel Set
Type
Merkur 34C, Doppler bag, Bowl, Soap, Badger Brush, Razor & Brush stand
Customer Rating
-
Prime Benefits
Price
$75.98
More Information

Last update on 2018-06-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

When unboxing your new razor from Merkur Dovo Solingen, the very first thing that will catch your attention will be the craftsmanship of the razor. The chrome coating is out of this world, nearly as nice as the more expensive Muhle R89 and its “cousin” Edwin Jagger de89. All the parts that might come in contact with your skin are plated to ensure that your face is not scratched during the shave. After all, wet shaving is meant to be a sensual, enjoyable experience.

As stated above, you will notice that under the top blade cover, the razor is not polished or chrome plated. But then again, since this part will never come into contact with your skin, it should not be much of a problem. The company has obviously decided to save the expense of chrome plating this part and having to pass this cost down to you – the customer.

A point to note is that even though this razor is considered and actually marketed as a closed comb razor, meaning it has a safety bar and is not an open comb razor such as Muhle R41 – you still can use it to shave beards that are 5 days old provided you couple it with a sharp blade like the Feather (one of the best blades there is on the market). This goes to show just how versatile the product really is. It is perfect for both beginners who need gentle shaving so as not to nick themselves, given that they have not yet mastered the art of wet shaving. This razor also works perfectly for seasoned shavers who want a razor that they can depend on to provide a close shave and even clear thick beards.

Sure, seasoned wet shaves might have to do two or even three passes to be able to get a close shave but the point we are trying to make here is that this Merkur razor will still get the job done. If you want to get a product that will get you a close shave in one swipe be sure that your technique is well perfected otherwise you will end up with a face that looks like a cat scratched the hell out of.

Is the Blade Easy to Load on the Razor?

The fact that this is a two piece razor means that the base plate and the handle are fixed together – they are one piece. As such, when you compare it to a three-piece model, you will notice that the two-piece is easier to load double edge blades. All you need to do is twist the knob at the bottom so as to loosen the plate, carefully place your blade between the posts and then tighten the knob when you are done.

As you are tightening the knob though, you should make sure that the double-edge blade stays in place. To ensure this, hold the sides of the blade until you feel it has a perfect fit.

Blades – Which One Should You Choose For it?

With a sharp, high-quality blade like Feather , a really close shave with little effort as possible. Try experimenting with different blades like Merkur , Solingen Timor Derby  to find your best result. If you use a less aggressive blade like Dorco , the razor will still provide a perfect shave but is easier to use for a newbie who has just gotten into wet shaving.

Personally, I would pick up a variety pack  to find your personal favorite for your needs.

 

Aggressiveness

With regards to aggressiveness, it is considered to be a mild razor. However, when you pair it up with a blade like Feather , the performance will be well above mild and it will be able to handle rough beards as well. Though it may need a few passes to achieve the desired results, a baby smooth shave is possible.

Grip

When you look closely at the handle of it, you will notice that it features cris-crossing knurls that form hundreds of miniature diamonds which provides a perfect grip for both right handed and left handed persons. The bottom part of the handle, at the knob, is made to be wider than the handle itself. This helps to know just where the edge of the handle and prevents any further slipping while also providing you more control.

Length

This is one of the shortest models measuring less than 4 inches, actually, the handle length is about 3 inches. This length might not be the best for men with large hands – but it is workable. If you have big hands, I would then go for the Merkur 180 (23C) Long Handled Safety Razor – or the bigger sibling Merkur 38c or the Parker 99R – this will also give you choice some extra weight – if you prefer that.

What Consumers Have to Say About it?

CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

Consumers, mostly men, who have used this razor have nothing but good things to say about this product. Many of them had transitioned from shaving with Gillette cartridges and into wet shaving.

Some had very rough beards, the kind that is described to be having the texture and roughness of tiny wires, and some still have very sensitive skin. All these persons were very pleased with what the razor could do for them. That is also why we have it as one of the best razors for sensitive skin – as well as one of the best razors for men overall.

They all went on record to state that the razor provided a very smooth shave and did not leave any irritation or burn. However, you still have to learn just how you should use the safety razor and of course prep your face so as to maximize the benefits of wet shaving.

As stated earlier, many consider this razor to be gentle. However, you still can get a close shave when you use a good quality, sharp double-edge safety razor blade. But more than getting an irritation-free save, what many were hyped about was the fact that they got great value for money and still achieve the results they had pictured in their minds.

As for complaints (you know even the best products and videos on the internet still gets some dislikes and complaints), some complained that the chrome chipped and that the razor did not provide them with the close shave that they were hoping to get. Men with large hands were unhappy with the short length of the handle. To get a clear picture of how short the razor is, try placing it next to a Gillette Mach3.

But when all is said and done, whether you purchase the product or not will all be up to you and your preference. It is difficult to compare a high-end stainless steel product with a chrome plated version without considering the price. Stainless steel razors can go for up to $100 in comparison to $40 for this one. The quality of the shave will also depend on the facial hair you sport. If it is coarse you may need a product that is slightly more aggressive than this razor.

Here Are Some Other Reviews

Variants

Currently the razor also comes in a gold plated version called Merkur 34G – available on Amazon here 

Recommended Use

This is a great all-purpose choice, but it is especially good for beginners to wet-shaving, persons with smaller hands, sensitive skin and also women.

Travel Set

It is also a great travel razor, due to the small size. Combine the razor with a travel brush and you are good to go – or pick up a complete travel set  (incl. razor, Doppler bag, Bowl, Soap, Chrome handle brush with badger hair and a Razor & Brush stand).

There is also a plastic travel case  that can hold the razor (and other short models such as Merkur 11, 15, 30, 33,  37 and “Progress” (500) and 10 blades.

Starter Kit

It can also be bought as a starter kit that makes it the perfect gift set. The kit includes razor (obviously), a Badger brush and stand, shaving soap & bowl and a 10 pack of Merkur stainless steel blades. Get it here 

How to Properly Wet Shave

5 Easy Tips For How to Properly Shave and Get the  Best Wet Shaving Result

how to properly shave

 

This outline works for shaving with a straight razor and also for shaving with a classic DE safety razor – some of the points will actually also help you get a better shave if you are using disposable razors (shame on you!)

Best Way To Properly Shave – a Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Preparation

    A key ingredient for the perfect shave is hot water. When hair absorbs hot water they get softer and become easier to cut. It is therefore recommended to shave after taking a hot shower or bath. Alternatively, you can dip a towel in hot water and put it on your face for a minute or so. To further soften the skin and hair, it is recommended to use a shaving oil before applying shaving cream, foam or gel. This is particularly important if you have sensitive skin or very strong hair-growth. For everyone else, oil is not a must, but it makes shaving smoother and better. We also recommend cleaning your face before shaving. Try to avoid common hand soap, since it can dry out the skin. Instead, use a cleanser as it will do the same job as a soap without drying out the skin.

  2. Use a Good Shaving Product

    To achieve a good shave is recommended to use a good shave cream or shaving soap of good quality along with a quality shaving brush. When you apply cream or soap with a shaving brush, these lift hairs, moisturizes the beard and removes dead skin cells that lie on the skin. Using a shaving cream or shaving soap and brush will not only achieve a better shave, but you can also save money in the long run. This is because it requires small amounts of shaving cream or soap per shave since a shaving brush will create a good and rich lather from a small amount of shaving cream. Products from the grocery store will usually be cheaper but are not even close to having the same quality. The more expensive products often contain aloe vera, vitamin E and other ingredients that nourish the skin, and they do not contain harmful ingredients that cheaper products may contain.

  3. The Right Tool

    Even the best shaving cream will not give you a good shave if you use a dull razor. We, therefore, recommend replacing the razor blade after 5-10 times of use or when you notice that the blade begin to become dull. Use a safety razor or straight razor that fit your need and preferences. This will vary from person to person, depending on the beard and what kind of barber products being used. As mentioned earlier, it is also recommended to use a shaving brush. These vary widely in price and quality. You get what you pay for, but if you are completely new to wet shaving, a cheaper brush like one from boar bristle will do the job until you become more experienced.

  4. Shaving

    Rinse your razor in hot water before shaving. Begin with your cheeks first, this allows time for the shaving cream to work longer on more difficult areas such as the chin and under the nose. Shave with the hair in short strokes. This avoids red dots and irritation. Shaving against the hairs will cause them to grow inward and form razor bumps (pseudofolliculitis barbae). To further prevent razor bumps, use a post-shave treatment after shaving. Avoid pressing the razor too hard against the skin, it should just slide smoothly over. When you have finished shaving, rinse your face with cold water to close pores and dry it with a soft towel.

  5. Moisturizing

    After shaving it is important to use a cream that soothes and calms the skin. Shaving wears on the skin and dries it out. For men with sensitive skin, it is important that the aftershave does not contain alcohol.

Get some quality time for yourself, find the time to shave with your quality razor. Let your mind flow where it wants when you are preparing for shaving, lather up or nourishing your skin. It will for sure do you lots of good.

Straight Razor Kit

Essentials of Straight Edge Razor Shaving Sets for Beginners or Pros alike

10 Best Straight Razor Shaving Kits for Beginners and Pros – Updated 2018

A straight razor kit is a perfect item for those who want to get started with traditional (wet) shaving. These kits also make an ideal Birthday, Fathers Day or Christmas gift for friends, husband or lovers, who have been daydreaming of getting the perfect shave.

Many who have never tried the traditional way to shave often ask “what’s the point?”

In shops today there are razors with five blades, ones that vibrate and even a few that have shaving foam coming out of a pressurized container. These razors are accompanied by huge advertising campaigns that promise you an even better shave than the previous model that was released 6 months before. These have to be better than using the same kind of equipment that your grandfather used, right? The latest is always the greatest? Does this really mean that traditional way of doing things becomes obsolete?

Classic shaving with a straight edge razor is all about the return to the roots of the shaving experience. Wet shaving is about your enjoyment and satisfaction in getting the best shave possible. If you do not have the time you can shave instantly with traditional equipment but aren’t you worth a little extra time to savor the feeling of massaging the warm shaving cream on your skin using a gentle shaving brush?

Straight razor shaving will turn your daily routine into an experience of sensual enjoyment. It can be equated to eating a well made gourmet meal, riding in an insanely expensive car or soaking in a hot bubble bath after a long day at work. What a way to start your day! We owe it to ourselves to go for the whole experience. Just like you would not fill up a classic sports-car with water or eat fine cuisine with plastic forks and knives, you cannot truly get into the straight razor shaving experience with mediocre equipment.

That said, it’s back to the traditional open blade razor kit and the essential items that it should include.

You will soon see that the market is flooded with all kinds of shaving kits from different manufacturers. Dovo, Bevel, and Gibson all advertise themselves to be the best, but are also unique and different in design, look and content. Below are the four items that every one of these kits should contain.

Best Straight Razor Kits – Overview

Model
 
Pieces Included
Pros
Cons
Amazon Rating
Best Deal
Straight American, Straight Razor from GB Buckingham and Sons

Editors Choice
Straight American, Straight Razor with Full Shaving Set ~Shave Ready~
5
Good quality,
Lifetime Hone Service
A bit expensive



See It
Dovo 5/8" Half Hollow Best Quality Straight Razor Shaving Set

Top Pick
A.P. Donovan - Excellent 7/8' Straight razor Set - cut throat incl. Brush, shaving soap, Strop (blade is not stainless) - Mahogany
8
All you need, Great stand, Quality Badger brush,
Great razor
Not shave ready


See It
Parker SR1 Straight Razor Set

Best Buy
Parker SR1 Straight Edge Razor Shave Set - Includes 100% Pure Badger Brush, Deluxe Chrome Shave Stand, Parker SR1 Shavette Razor and 100 Shark Super Stainless Razor Blades
4
Great starter kit, Top notch qualityA bit "bare-bone"


See It
Apothecary Set – Straight RazorStraight Razor Shaving Set with 5/8' Giesen & Forsthoff Straight Razor
5
Good quality items includedA bit "bare-bone"


See It
Straight Razor Beginner’s Shaving SetStraight Razor Beginner's Shaving Set
6
Great for beginnersYou will outgrow some of the items pretty quick


See It
The Shave Network Gold Dollar Straight Razor Kit~Shave Ready~ Shaving Straight Razor 6/8' GD w/Box 208 Gold Dollar Straight Razor, The Blades Grim Soap, Synthetic Shaving Brush, GB Buckingham Strop - Complete Straight Razor Set
6
Free Lifetime Sharpening Service, Good razor,
Quality brush
Does not come with a case for the whole set


See It
A.P. Donovan 7/8” Straight Razor SetA.P. Donovan - Excellent 7/8' Straight razor Set - cut throat incl. Brush, shaving soap, Strop (blade is not stainless) - Mahogany
6
Great design, Wood boxShort strop of lesser quality than the rest of the kit


See It
Colonel Conk Model 2316 Straight Razor Set with Santa Fe BowlColonel Conk Model 2316 Straight Razor Set with Santa Fe Bowl
9
Durable German quality,
All you need
Not shave ready


See It
~Shave Ready~ 10 Piece Set Shaving Straight Razor 6/8~Shave Ready~ 10 Piece Set Shaving Straight Razor 6/8
10
All you need, Free Lifetime Sharpening ServiceStrop could have been a bit wider


See It

You will soon see that the market is flooded with all kinds of shaving kits from different manufacturers. Dovo, Bevel, and Gibson all advertise themselves to be the best, but are also unique and different in design, look and content. Below are the four items that every straight edge razor shave kit should contain.

A Decent Straight Edge Razor

This is arguably the most important item in any shaving kit. It is critical that the razor is of top quality, affordable, easily available and simple to use and maintain. The blade in the kit you choose should be professionally honed to provide the best possible start in shaving with your new outfit. Straight razors are judged by the steel grade used in the construction of the blade, the shape and size of the blade as well as the scale (handle) material. The blade tip shape can either be round nose or straight nose design. For a starter kit, you should set aside in the neighborhood of $50 for this item. The size of the beginner blade should be 5/8 inches as it is more comfortable and easy to hold while learning the basics of the art.

Razor Strops

Most persons assume that razor strops are just simple accessories. Well, they are. However, they are also highly functional and without them, shaving with traditional blades would not be nearly as effective. Strops are used to straighten and polish the steel of the blades. Strops are diverse in the materials they are made from and the finish they feature. There are those that come with canvas finishing, those with linen and a compressed felt finishing and of course those that have leather finishing. However, even with these similarities, each strop has a set of unique characteristics that give it life.

There are strops of three types: paddle strops, loom, and hanging strops. All do the same thing – straighten the edge of a blade, but a paddle and loom strops are slightly less common. Hanging strops are the most popular though they had to be fixed to an immovable object and stretched out tight when in use.

Strops come in two sizes: 3” and 2” each with its pros and cons. In the case of a 2” strop you will need to make x patterns when honing the blade; with a 3” strop, you can use a flat stroke.

Shaving Soap

They made their first debut in the 14th century and have ever since remained an essential element in quality shaving. A quality shaving soap or shaving cream features a high-fat content (tallow or vegetable) and glycerin. The glycerin from plant oil is useful as it helps to retain water keeping the skin hydrated. The fat in the soap provides for lubrication and protection while shaving causing the blade to glide over your skin with ease preventing minor nicks.

So yes, just in case you were wondering, shaving soap has many differences from your average shaving foam from your local grocery store.

Shaving Brush

Before brushes, hairy men used sea sponges to lather up soap on their faces before shaving. When shaving brushes arrived on the scene sponges were quickly a thing of the past. Shaving brushes have four main uses:

  • They generate a warm and rich lather by whipping air into the soap or cream
  • They lift hair off the face and softens it for shaving
  • Heats up the skin helping the pores to open up and add lubrication to the skin
  • Sweeps away dead skin cells

There are boar shaving brushes, horsehair brushes, synthetic brushes and finally yet importantly, badger brushes. The latter, badger brushes have been in use for two centuries and come in different grades including silver tips, super, best and pure.

Straight American Made by GB Buckingham and Sons 

Straight American from GB Buckingham and Sons

If you are in love with shaving, then GB Buckingham rings a bell for being a very desirable item. This company is renowned for its exceptional quality products which most shaving enthusiasts would agree. Talk of good quality products and you are talking about this Straight American razor whose job is simply to give you a wonderful shave. Despite the fact that best manufacturers are considered to be from either Germany, France or Japan, GB Buckingham and Sons have invested huge efforts in making America great among the nations producing high quality shaving kit.

With their square point blade, they are definitely on point and any shaving enthusiast will definitely like their products. Different from other razors, this razor comes as a kit that contains the essential ingredients for a truly great shave.

The strop is great quality and makes for easy sharpening.

This razor is designed with steel which is hardened to HRC 61, which is of high quality and good durability, being manufactured in the U.S.A.

Something else outstanding with this razor is that it comes with a lifetime warranty, this being an assurance of the quality of this razor and adds confidence to the users. If you are looking for a change in your grooming experience and substitute the unsatisfying experience with a smooth shave that will keep you with a smile through the process, then this razor could be all you need.

What's IncludedPerformance
  • German-made Shave-ready DOVO 506B 6/8 Square point Col Conk Straight Razor
  • Leather & Cloth Strop
  • Leather Stamped Travel Pouch
  • Boar Shaving Brush
  • The Blades Grim Shaving Soap
  • Lifetime Hone Service

Ease of Use: (4.5/5)

Shave Quality: (4.5/5)

Durability: (4.5/5)

Price: (3/5)

We Like
  • Good quality
  • Lifetime Honing Service
  • Maximum durability
We Don't Like
  • A bit expensive

Verdict

This razor is built with many of the best features, it is easy to use, and it is durable. With this features and its ease of usage, this razor is recommended to any beginner (even though it has a square point razor) since it does not require experience, unlike other razors. If you are new to shaving, then you should get one of this for a lasting perfect shaving experience plus performance is guaranteed since this razor comes with a warranty.

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Dovo 5/8 Half Hollow High-Quality 

Dovo 5/8" Half Hollow Best Quality

This Dovo 5/8” half hollow straight razor has a place at the top of the class due to its excellent quality and long lasting life placing it among the favorites for beginners getting into wet shaving. What makes this product famous is that it is simple to use and handle during the shaving.

The fact that this kit is manufactured in Germany gives it a plus since most shaving products from Germany are known to be of great quality. Besides the quality, the Dovo is characterized by an almost ideal of balance and handling essential in getting a smooth, nick free shave.

Experienced shavers know that one of the keys to a successful shave is proper preparation. This is why as leading experts in shaving, The Dovo includes in their kit a royal shave PB2 badger shave brush and also a top grade shaving cream.

With all these useful items that the razor comes with, you will enjoy your shaving experience since all the necessities are already provided.

What's IncludedPerformance
  • Dovo 5/8 Round point Straight razor
  • Natural wood brush and razor stand
  • Leather strop
  • Alum block or Strop paste
  • Royal Shave Strop
  • Pure Badger wooden handle brush
  • Wood bowl
  • Shaving soap

Ease of Use: (4/5)

Shave Quality: (4.5/5)

Durability: (4.5/5)

Price: (4/5)

Items included in the kit:

Alum Pen

This set includes alum pen which is used for the treatment of minor nicks and the small cuts that you might occasionally experience when shaving.

Royal Shave Strop

It includes a royal shave strop designed using latigo leather which has a handle of 3” a perfect item in helping keeping your edge sharp.

Straight Edge Razor

The most significant feature that this kit has is the Dovo 5/8” half hollow straight razor.

Razor and Brush Stand

The kit also comprises a natural wood stand which is very useful for firmly holding the two items in place during your shaving ritual. This stand proves to a great help enabling you to avoid misplacement of items, thus maintaining your focus on the goal of achieving the perfect shave that will leave you with a smile on your face.

We Like
  • It contains all the necessities for a beginner
  • It comes with a good stand
  • Its badger brush has a beautiful appearance
  • Quality Dovo 5/8” half hollow straight razor
We Don't Like
  • Its razor comes as not shave ready – for a beginner, this might be a small problem, but it is also a great incentive to get to know the tricks of honing and stropping

Verdict

This shaving kit is useful to both beginners and experienced shavers since it contains all the necessities that a beginner would need plus it has a pack of suitable features for any regular shaver to enjoy.

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Parker SR1 

Parker SR1

Currently stumbling along with a blade that just isn’t right for you? Can’t get any satisfaction? Well, if you are experiencing this then you have not met the Parker SR1 Kit. This beauty offers you a new and refreshing shaving experience and could easily erase all your previous disappointments in the traditional shaving game.

This could explain why the SR has increasingly gained popularity in many barbershops over the years. The purely stainless steel gem and durable construction could also have something to do with its reputation. Alternatively, it could be due to its Shavette style clip mechanism that has made changing of blades quite fast and easy.

Whatever the reason for its increased fame, the manufacturers of this kit are renowned for their quality products.

Its 100 shark super and stainless steel blades are designed for use by barber type razors. They can perfectly fit into any straight edge razor that uses a double edge blade. Each of these blades has been precisely sized with precision to fit in standard barber razors hence delivering the best quality shave possible.

What's IncludedPerformance
  • Stainless Steel Parker SR1 Round point Disposable Blade Straight Edge Barber Razor
  • Parker handmade 100% Pure Badger Bristle shave brush with chrome handle
  • 100 Shark Super Stainless steel half blades
  • Parker Chrome Straight Razor & Shaving Brush Stand

Ease of Use: (4.5/5)

Shave Quality: (4.5/5)

Durability: (4.5/5)

Price: (5/5)

Also included in the kit:

Parker Badger Brush

This set also includes 100% badger brush, an ideal deluxe chrome stand, and up to 100 sharp blades.

Stainless Steel Parker SR1 Blade Arm and Handle

Parker also contains a stainless blade arm and handle which are of a high quality and could be used for both home shavers and barbershop use.

Snap-Lock

It is designed with a Shavette style snap lock which is essential in securing the blades in place alongside other useful features that are only found in high-quality models of this kind.

We Like
  • It could be the best gift for beginners
  • The kit entails perfect stand for holding razor and other accessories
  • Tailored for all shaving purposes
We Don't Like
  • It could be a little confusing to switch the blades at first, but it becomes comfortable with time
  • A bit “bare-bone” (no soap or cream included)

Verdict

This kit could be perfect for beginners since it is simple for use by anyone. Hence, if you are a beginner interested in getting the best traditional shave, then you should consider going with one of this.

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A.P. Donovan 7/8 

A.P. Donovan 7/8

Having a grown out beard requires some special maintenance. Perhaps you don’t see how you can turn your scruffy and ragged face baby smooth in the quickest time possible. Well, there is a solution. A.P. Donovan Straight Razor is considered the best solution for maintaining a grown beard by many of the “Pros”.

If the quality of the shaving equipment and performance is something to go by, then this baby has it all. With this latest masterpiece manufactured by Donovan your shave is kept smooth and close.

Regardless of how you balance the razor in your hand the balance highly depends on the weight ratio that exists between the blade and the handle dependent. Being constructed with a blend of mahogany wood and steel, you will be amazed at how the balance is attained successfully.

What's IncludedPerformance
  • 7/8 Japanese Round point Straight Razor
  • Badger hair shaving brush
  • A.P. Donovan quality leather strop made from Kazakh cow hide
  • A.P. Donovan stropping paste
  • A.P. Donovan shaving soap
  • Decorated real wood box

Ease of Use: (4.5/5)

Shave Quality: (4.5/5)

Durability: (4.5/5)

Price: (4/5)

Also included in in the kit:

Japanese Straight Razor

This blade is made of Japanese steel which is carbon tempered enabling it to achieve a hardness of up to 64HRC. This is very important in allowing production of extremely sharp blades for an effective, gentle and close shave.

Shaving Brush

The shaving brush in this kit is made with materials which are of high quality. For instance, the hair from badger is fixed to the handle made from mahogany wood and stainless steel with a style which gives it a beautiful look.

Decorated Real Wood Box

This straight shaving razor kit comes in a decorated real wood box. With a foam insert in this box, you can protect the handle and blade razor from any form of scratch.

We Like
  • It comes with a decorated wooden box
  • Has a unique leather strop
  • Made of excellent quality Japanese steel
We Don't Like
  • Short strop
  • Quality of strop does not match the rest of the set

Verdict

This kit could be used by an experienced user in straight shaving for excellent quality shaves since it performs very well.

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~Shave Ready~ 10 Piece 6/8 

~Shave Ready~ 10 Piece Set Shaving 6/8

If you have never have previously used an open razor then you can be sure to have missed some of the best shaving experiences. Using this razor could be quite fulfilling and satisfying, and that is why all men with a beard should try it out since the shaving experience could be far much better as compared to electric shaving.

Even though straight razors are very useful for perfect grooming, not all of them possess the best qualities. It is a fact that only a few of the shaving sets available today have the best features to give you a shave of your desire. While this is true, the shave ready straight razor kit meets all the conditions necessary to being classified among the few sets of high quality.

Nearly all the elements contained in the kit are of high quality which implies that you will experience less frustration and great ease when using them in shaving. The best part of this set is that it is not like other sets which often contain a razor that is of good quality and well performing but all the other items are of lesser quality leading to potential disappointment.

What's IncludedPerformance
  • 6/8 Round point Gold Dollar Straight Razor
  • Straight Razor Coffin
  • The Blades Grim Shave Soap
  • The Blades Grim Smolder Pre-Shave Oil
  • The Blades Grim Smolder Aftershave
  • The Purest Shave Brush
  • Shave Brush Storage Box
  • 8-page beginner guide
  • 3″ Synthetic Strop for stropping from GB Buckingham and Sons
  • Free Lifetime Sharpening

Ease of Use: (4.5/5)

Shave Quality: (4.5/5)

Durability: (4.5/5)

Price: (5/5)

Also included in the kit:

Beginner Guide

It comes with an 8-page beginner guide booklet on traditional shaving and how to perform the stropping.

Cut-Throat Razor

The kit contains a 6/8” round point efficient cut-throat razor that is sharpened by experts. This razor offers the best shave which gets you to feel the closeness of shaving using a straight razor. Apart from being made of carbon steel, this razor has been kiln-hardened with fire for durability. Comes with a lovely, classic slipcase (box) for proper storing of your gear.

Strop

The kit comes with a GB Buckingham and Sons 3″ synthetic strop for stropping your cut-throat blade, makes it super sharp for your daily shave.

The Purest Shave Brush

The set comes with a high-quality satin tip white synthetic shaving brush with slipcase for storing.

The Blades Grim Smolder Pre-Shave Oil

Lifts hairs so you will get a close and smooth shave.

Blades Grim Shave Soap

It also contains Blades Grim shave soap that has earned plenty of praise and is quite excellent in producing long-lasting lather to ensure the perfect smoothness is achieved.

Blades Grim Smolder Aftershave

Antiseptic after-shave from Blades Grim that prevents the growth of disease-causing microorganisms.

We Like
  • It contains everything that you need to start shaving right away
  • Its straight razor has perfect performance
  • It comes with lifetime sharpening
We Don't Like
  • The strop could have been a bit wider for easier stropping

Verdict

This set of shaving equipment great for anyone with experience who wants to get shaving with a minimum of fuss as all is ready to go straight out of the box.

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The Shave Network Gold Dollar 

The Shave Network Gold Dollar

This shaving kit is among the most famous kits that you could get for perfect shaving. The set is packed with items with the best quality which has made many men to appreciate the zen of open blades.

The most exceptional item you will find in this kit its straight razor which is manufactured by Gold Dollar. This 3” by 6/8” carbon steel blade makes it a breeze to easily switch blade angles which is very useful for both experienced shavers as well as beginners. The fact that it comes already sharpened by professionals is a big plus.

This razor is designed to have a long lasting life even if used on a daily basis. It is also intended to offer a good firm grip making it easy to maneuver during the shaving process. With the round point being the best feature for beginners, this kit makes your shaving enjoyable.

This kit is also packed with a Blades Grim pre-shave, quality soap, and excellent aftershave oil. If you want to achieve a great shave then obviously you need to have the best soap. The good thing is that this kit comes with exactly what you need. What makes this soap significant is that it can produce quality lather within a short time and its natural smell gives the perfect scent.

What's IncludedPerformance
  • 6/8 Gold Dollar durable Round point straight razor
  • The Blades Grim Shaving Soap
  • The Shave Networks 8 Page Beginners Guide to Traditional Shaving and Stropping
  • Straight Razor Slip Case (Box)
  • GB Buckingham & Sons 3″ Wide Strop
  • Satin Tip Synthetic Brush
  • Free Lifetime Sharpening

Ease of Use: (4.5/5)

Shave Quality: (4.5/5)

Durability: (4.5/5)

Price: (4.5/5)

Also included in this kit:

Synthetic Shaving Brush

Having a good soap is not enough, and that is why the kit also contains a synthetic shaving brush made by Satin Tips which performs very well. Also, with a genuine leather strop, you can sharpen your blade whenever you need.

Shave Soap

The Shave soap from Blades Grim is useful in preparing and securing your skin with the needed moisture which keeps the skin soft. The Blades Grim shaving soap in this kit contributes to a lasting moisture which is helpful for keeping your skin moist until the next time you shave.

We Like
  • It includes instructions on how to use
  • High-quality straight razor
  • Good quality synthetic brush
  • Free Lifetime Sharpening
We Don't Like
  • Does not come with a case for the whole set

Verdict

Despite the fact that this kit might not be the best for beginners, they could also make use of this kit using the instructions that come with it. This kit, however, is perfect for experienced shavers.

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Colonel Conk Model 2316 

Colonel Conk Model 2316 Straight Razor Set with Santa Fe Bowl

Colonel Conk Model 2316 Straight Razor Set with Santa Fe Bowl. Click on the photo or the link above to check the price on Amazon.

Regardless of the type of product you are looking for, if it has a brand name Colonel Conk on it, then you should know that it’s worth your money since satisfaction is guaranteed.

Shaving using an open blade is considered luxurious by most people. Just as you would not fill your luxurious sports car with bogus engine oil, a quality razor should not be surrounded by a set of inferior equipment.

The Colonel Conk Model 2316 Razor Set manufacturers know this pretty well, and that is why in their kit, they include only superior and quality close shave products as compared with other kits. Apart from containing a carbon blade that is very easy to sharpen, this kit also includes an acrylic handle which offers you a balanced wrist control.

Also in this set are natural products which are produced from essential oils which play a significant role in soothing, moisturizing and nourishing your skin. As it is well known, moisture plays a critical role in maintaining your skin in good care.

What's IncludedPerformance
  • 6/8″ Round point German made (Solingen) Carbon Steel Straight Razor
  • Santa Fe Shaving bowl
  • Col Conk Natural Pre-Shave Oil
  • Col Conk’s Natural Shave Cream
  • Col Conk’s Natural After Shave Lotion
  • Mixed Badger Shave Brush
  • Leather Strop with Linen on reverse
  • Styptic Pencil
  • Acrylic Stand for brush and razor

Ease of Use: (4.5/5)

Shave Quality: (4.5/5)

Durability: (4.5/5)

Price: (4/5)

Also included in this kit:

Pre-Shave Oil

This kit also has a pre-shave oil which is very useful in preparing your skin before you begin shaving. Many experienced wet shavers will attest the fact that, the success of your shave is mainly dependent on your level of preparation before starting shaving.

Shaving Cream

The Rio Grande Lavender shaving cream that is also in the kit helps in smoothening your skin for smooth movement of the razor during shaving. The functionality of shaving cream can never be underestimated since it is useful in avoiding cuts that could result from roughness on the skin when shaving.

Aftershave Lotion

With Rio Grande Lavender after shave lotion also included healing any nicks that you might have incurred when shaving is made simple.

We Like
  • Being made in Germany, it is durable and of top quality
  • Comes with Colonel Conk after shave lotion which improves skin care
  • The kit contains a bowl for holding shaving soap
We Don't Like
  • It comes as not ready to shave, however with a few rounds with the strop you should be able to use it.

Verdict

Despite the fact that this kit comes as not quick shave and could be used by beginners, it might not be the best for them. This kit might works perfectly with experienced users with good technique in shaving and sharpening.

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The Frontiersman

The Frontiersman Straight Razor Shaving Kit

Over the past years, men have been misled into believing that fast convenience in most of what we do should be the norm.

The effect of this is that nowadays many people have become less independent and more hooked by marketing. Time has come where men have to prove how gentle they can get, as the name gentleman does not just come free. You know that you are a gentleman if you can name the blade that you shave with.

The quality of the blade included in this kit is outstanding for its reliability and sublimely great performance. There are many reliable products for perfect shaving whose quality is guaranteed from the famous Frontiersman. If there are geniuses involved in the putting together of great kits, then these guys are among the best.

This kit comes with up to 10 super stainless blades, a stand for drying and field shave canister which can be used over and over. These great features make this shavette style razor among the best for shaving especially for beginners and people who do not want to spend any time stropping and honing.

What's IncludedPerformance
  • Parker PTB Barber Round point Straight Razor
  • 10 Shark Super Stainless 1/2 Blades
  • Imperial Glycerin Face/Shave Soap
  • Pre-Shave Oil
  • After-Shave
  • 100% Pure Parker Black Badger Brush

Ease of Use: (4.5/5)

Shave Quality: (4.5/5)

Durability: (4.5/5)

Price: (4.5/5)

Items included in the kit:

Parker PTB Barber Razor

This Shavette style product from Parker has a “barbershop style” that allows you to change out the razor blades as required so you don’t have to worry about stropping and honing your blade. Just switch out your favorite Double Edge blade for a new, sharp and close shave. Stainless steel arm and push-style blade holder make it a breeze to swap fresh blades. The Parker PTB has a rounded point of the blade compartment to minimize the chances of nicking yourself while shaving.

Pure Black Badger Brush

The Parker Black Badger Brush that comes alongside the other contents in this kit is quite useful because it can hold large quantities of water as compared with other brushes, which is very important for wet shaving. Comes with drying stand.

Imperial Pre-Shave Oil

It also comes with imperial oil which is used for pre-shave to keep your face safe. This oil is manufactured with a mixture of essential oils that ensure your face is well secured from any form of skin redness or even razor burns.

Imperial Glycerin Soap

The kit contains imperial glycerin soap which is tailored to ensure that your face is safe away from the attack by rashes and abrasions. This soap is quite useful and if you make use of it on a regular basis and certainly makes shaving even more fun.

We Like
  • Great Parker Barber Razor
  • Has pleasant smelling and after shaving cooling effect
  • They come in a beautifully packed box
  • The kit comes with soft shave soap
  • Parker Black Badger Brush
We Don't Like
  • The kit does not come with a bowl for lathering the soap

Verdict

Frontiersman straight razor kit is accompanied with a pack of useful accessories for everyday shaving. This kit is good for both beginners and experienced shavers, and anyone interested should obtain one with confidence since satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Apothecary 

Straight Razor Shaving Set with 5/8" Giesen & Forsthoff

Are you interested in getting the same feeling that your forefathers experienced when shaving during those early days?

Yes, this could be you since in the past the use of traditional blades was the norm before electric shavers came along. Well, the Apothecary set of straight razor kit has made a move to reclaiming the old traditional art which was perfect then and is perfect today. Perhaps you are thinking, what’s special with this kit? Well, the manufacturers were very considerate in picking the contents that are included in the set.

Among the contents that you will find in this kit is a shaving brush that is designed purely with badger hair. This brush is useful in applying shaving soap and shave cream to the face during shaving. Being made with 100% badger, you get to experience soft and luxurious feeling each time you will be shaving.

This kit has the perfect sturdy acrylic stand that can hold both the razor and brush which are designed to fit your brush perfectly.

What's IncludedPerformance
  • Giesen & Forsthoff Round point straight razor 5/8
  • 100% Pure Badger Hair Brush
  • Shaving Soap
  • Apothecary Mug
  • Razor and brush stand

Ease of Use: (4.5/5)

Shave Quality: (4.5/5)

Durability: (4.5/5)

Price: (4/5)

Also included in this kit:

Giesen & Forsthoff Straight Razor

The set contains a 5/8” Giesen & Forsthoff Straight razor which entails a carbon steel blade and long-lasting black plastic handle.

Apothecary Mug

The Apothecary mug contained in the kit is classically designed to hold a right amount of lather and keeping it warm throughout your shaving exercise. This mug could also be a great way that of storing your shaving soap.

Large Country Uncle Shaving Soap

The kit includes a Large Country Uuncle shaving soap which contains up to 40% moisturizers. This soap also contains aloe vera which can soften any beard regardless of the hardness. This soap is also manufactured with 10% glycerin and mango, cocoa butter and emollient shea offering a comfortable shave.

We Like
  • Giesen & Forsthoff top quality blade
  • Comes with a large shaving soap
  • The kit includes an apothecary mug
  • Sturdy acrylic razor and brush stand
  • Designed with a black and balanced handle for swift movement
  • 100% Pure Badger brush
We Don't Like
  • The set is a bit “barebone”, it might have included more accessories

Verdict

With these great features, this kit has proven to be quite useful to users who have been shaving using straight razors for a while and may not be the best for beginners.

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Beginner’s Shaving Set 

Beginner’s Shaving Set

Life is characterized by a series of stages. Everyone has to start from somewhere and finally get to the other end. From being a young boy to becoming a man entails a complete transformation. After becoming a man, a lot is expected from you which can be termed as responsibilities. Apart from being responsible for many other things, mostly you are accountable for your cleanliness and how presentable you are. It is possible to tell how a man has it together from his facial appearance.

Nothing comes easy and even maintaining your facial hair could be hard since it entails a blend of skill, practice and pleasant experience to achieve the very best results. Fortunately, there is now a great shaving set that is quite effective for beginners that is sensibly called the “Straight Razor Beginner’s Shaving Set”.

This kit could be the only one that can be used by a beginner with much ease to get the job done. If you need perfection in wet shaving, then you need to have one of this since it has the best contents to keep you on the right path in shaving.

With all these accessories that comes with this kit such as the black handle open razor, the double side strops made from leather, quality shave brush, strop paste and soft shaving soap with a pleasant scent your shaving will be quite comfortable, and you will be satisfied.

What's IncludedPerformance
  • Black Handle Stainless Steel Round point Quality Razor
  • FROMM-Diane Shaving Brush
  • Marvy shaving soap
  • Cow Hide Leather Strop 19.75 X 1.5
  • Kohl Strop Paste made in Germany
  • 6″ Honing Stone

Ease of Use: (4.5/5)

Shave Quality: (4/5)

Durability: (4.5/5)

Price: (4/5)

Also included in this kit:

Cowhide Leather Strop

Included is a cowhide leather strop that measures 19.75” by 1.5” and quality Kohl strop paste which is manufactured in Germany.

Shaving Brush and Marvy Shaving Soap

The set also contains good quality shaving brush and Marvy shaving soap which is manufactured with a light almond scent which leaves you with a fresh smell and a lather which can last throughout your complete shave.

We Like
  • Perfect quality razor
  • Easy to use by beginners
  • Quality shaving soap
  • Efficient shaving brush
We Don't Like
  • It is a good starter set, but you will pretty quickly want to upgrade some of the items (especially the razor and brush)

Verdict

This kit is very suitable for beginners since it is easy to use and comes as not shave ready hence they can use it to practice sharpening skills before making any further upgrades.

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Additional Straight Razor Shave Kit Items

Travel Case

The decision of which shaving kit you should prefer should not hinge on the fact that a shaving set comes with or without a travel case. However, if it does, count this as a plus especially if you are one who is on the road often.

Honing Stones

Some sets will feature honing stones (whetstones) for sharpening the blades. It is important that everyone, beginners especially, learn the art of blade honing. It may seem intimidating, but learning with step-by-step tutorials, will be a walk in the park.

The marketplace has a wide range of straight razor shaving kits from a variety of companies. This great choice of features, quality and of course price can make your choice a little confusing. We hope the information provided has helped you to be well informed before taking on the challenge. Best of luck as you take your first dip in traditional shaving!

Shaving Brush Guide & FAQ

shaving accessories

The Shaving Brush Guide – Frequently Asked Questions About This Must-have Wet Shaving Tool

Looking for a top shaving brush? This article will help save you the frustration of trying to choose the best one, only to be disappointed by its performance, material, shape or size. Getting the right information on all the available ones to choose from can certainly be a bit of a challenge as there are different varieties made in different categories.

Different people have different choices depending on their tastes and preferences. These could differ depending on the size, shape, or material used for it, or even the creativity employed using these elements in assembling it. Without much further ado, let us get to the details.

Background

This essential tool for achieving a good shave was invented in the 1700s in France and was something every man owned until relatively recently. Because of shaving foam in cans and other disposable products, the use of a brush quickly become yesteryear’s art. Fortunately men worldwide have start paying far more attention to how they treat their skin these days.

Purpose

There are five main reasons to use this tool:

  • It helps to create a rich and warm lather
  • It helps to lift the facial hairs up from the skin
  • It gives the skin a gentle exfoliation
  • You will need less shaving cream or soap to create a good lather
  • No harmful gases or by-products from a pressurized container

What Are the Different Parts of a Shaving Brush?

The dimensions of a shave brush can be divided into three sections; the knot, the loft, and the overall height.

  • The knot is the amount of hair contained in it – which can either be loosely or tightly packed
  • The loft is the length of the hairs in the knot
  • The height is the length of the whole brush – from the bottom of the handle to the tip of the hairs. In order to determine the overall height of it, the length of the handle is the determinant factor.

The handle can either be made of resin, acrylic, wood or metal. However, some more creative artisans sometimes come up with other materials to make it unique or to fit a particular preference for specific people.

Size and Shape

Size and shape, being the primary criteria, contain other factors which might be much more complex.

To start with, the shape of the handle could be a matter to consider. Some people prefer wide and short handles, others long and slender ones.

However, in the case where you are torn on the best one to buy, your pick should not have a longer handle than the size between your palm and the pad of your thumb.

On the other hand, loft tips are in different shapes; some are fan-like, while others are bulb-like; this is a personal choice that you will refine over time.

Sizes can vary a lot but the average loft is usually about 50 millimeters long and the average knot is around 20 millimeters in diameter.

The brush is made using different types of bristles. The four most common are boar hair, horse hair, badger hair, and synthetic fiber. In some instances you will come across mixed types of bristles; badger-horse hair and horse-synthetic hair are two common examples. Just to let you know, boar and badger hair is obtained from carcasses of animals that are used for both meat and their hair. This is unlike the harvest of horse hair which does not harm the animal.

Different Types

Shaving brushes are available in different types, please note that this article relates only to what kind of bristle or hair and grades of hair that is being used, not to the form or function it. Shaving brushes mainly use either boar bristle, badger hair or synthetic hair. There are also versions with horsehair, but this is rarer. This site and articles are mainly about products from German Mühle, since our experience with this quality manufacturer is very good.

Boar Bristle

Boar (AKA hog, AKA pig) hair is relatively stiff in use but not in price. This is the most common type of choice and it is usually found in well-stocked grocery and drug stores. After some time, a boar bristle gets split ends, and you will find that it becomes softer and easier to make a lather. To get the best results with a brush made from boar hair, leave it in hot water for some time, such as while showering. When the bristles have become completely saturated with water the hair (bristle) will be noticeably softer. A boar bristle brush need not be sub-standard and is perfectly suitable for those who want to get started with classic shaving at a reasonable price.

Horse Hair

As said earlier, you do not have to harm the horse to obtain its hair. This is an important factor for many of us. Horse hair alternatives have received many positive reviews in that they are soft and not scratchy like other types made from some other bristles. Although they don’t hold quite as much water as high-quality badger options, they are more than adequate for the job. Horse hair are usually quite reasonable priced for their performance and construction quality. The downside here is availability: they are not found as easily as other alternatives. And they smell – horse hair needs at least 2 or 3 times washing with pet shampoo, rinse and dry before being put to use.

Badger Hair

The preferred type of hair used in shaving brushes is from a badger. This is because the hair has an excellent absorption capacity and additionally is very soft. There are distinct differences between different quality levels of badger bristles, but please note that there is not a formal or universal classification. If an unethical producer wants to say their product is filled with Silvertip Badger, then there is nothing stopping them. Is also fairly common to bleach budget hair to give it a look of a higher grade, but the texture, performance, and feel of the hair remain unchanged. We therefore only recommend products from reputable manufacturers such as Mühle, Parker and Edwin Jagger and therefore will use their classification.

Standard Badger/ Pure Badger/ Fine Badger/ Best Badger

Standard/ Pure/ Fine/ Best Badger is made of hair that grows on most parts of the badger, such as the tail and the back. This is the cheapest type of badger hair and is characterized by the dark color of the hair. The hairs are being inserted in your brush as one bundle and are then being trimmed to a round end. Brushes in this category can be machine made unless otherwise noted. After the trimming the hairs get blunt ends, you will feel that they are rougher against the skin than a finer grade badger. That being said, the hairs are far softer and will create nicer bubbles in the foam than pig bristles. A brush in this category are highly recommended to start your wet shaving experience.

Silvertip Badger

The Rolls Royce of shaving brushes. The hair come from the neck on the badger, where each hair is a little thinner than the rest of the coat. Thus there needs to be more hair to replenish the knot of the brush, giving even finer bubbles and thicker foam. Hairs in Silvertip Badger is not trimmed to get the recognizable form but inserted one by one by hand to the correct length. The soft tip of the hair is preserved, making Silvertip Badger softest against the skin while further down the hair is stiffer to rapidly whip up foam. Silvertip is slightly more expensive but makes the best lather with the most comfort.

Synthetic Hair

Additionally, there are options made of synthetic material that imitates badger. Previously, the synthetic versions were noticeably poorer in performance than their biological brothers, but current technology and production methods makes today’s synthetic alternative the equal of Badger versions.

Silvertip Fibre has gotten plenty good reviews by experienced shaving enthusiasts and is perceived by many as good as the best Silvertip Badger.

There is also Black Fibre that corresponds to Pure Badger in use and price range.

Synthetic Fiber vs. Natural Hair

There are some very distinct pros – and cons to synthetic hair vs their natural counterpart.

Synthetic Fiber Pros

  • Strength – Synthetic fiber is a lot stronger than natural hair
  • Maintenance – Synthetic fiber involves more or less zero maintenance
  • Consistency – If you have two brushes with the same knot, handle and loft, there is almost no variance on synthetic brushes whereas on natural hair there will be some slight variance even with the same hair grade
  • Temperature range – Synthetic fiber will withstand hotter (though not extremely hot or boiling) water that would damage natural hair
  • Drying – Synthetic fiber will dry much faster than natural hair

Synthetic Fiber Cons

  • Water retention – Synthetic fibers do not retain water like natural hair, so you must modify your lather procedure to accommodate this lack of retained water
  • Heat retention – Synthetic fibers will lose heat faster than natural hair (a bit like down vs. synthetic fibers in clothing), so if you like warm lather throughout the shave – a natural hair bristle may be more your preference
  • Feel at the tip – Good synthetic fibers are soft at the tip but they do not “feel” the same as natural badger hair brush
  • Backbone variation – Synthetic fibers have one consistent backbone feel whereas you can vary the backbone in a natural brush by the amount of time you let the brush soak in water

Synthetic alternatives are therefore no longer something you just buy to avoid using animal products, but a good alternative for a Badger shaving brush!

Travel

You may want a dedicated brush for your travels. Some larger versions – while perfectly suited for home use – may cause minor packing issues. A travel alternative will have a considerably shorter handle with a smaller loft. This helps in ease of packing, and there are numerous special choices on the market in which the container protecting the knot transforms to become the handle.

Maintenance

A good brush can last for years with proper care and maintenance. Be careful when you rinse it after use and make sure you get all the soap residue out. Rinse from the top down with warm water and squeeze the knot gently to circulate water through all the hair. Once you have got rid of all the foam, shake it well until no more water comes out and then put it away. If you hang it upside down in a rack it will dry faster, this is also a convenient way to store it. It almost never drips water from it, if it is shaken well.

If you are going to travel it’s smart to carry a container suitable for the job. The container should have a hole in the bottom so that the moisture being released from the hair can escape.

NOTE: Do not boil the brush after you’ve bought it. This will damage the hair and handle, which comes factory sterilized anyway. The hair or bristle will smell a bit in the beginning, but this disappears after a bit of use. There is usually no need for special detergents for cleaning the hair since it constantly being cleaned by the shaving soap. It is common that they all lose a few hairs at the start, and all shaving brushes expand or “bloom” over time.

Classic Shaving

Classic Wet Shaving With Safety Razor and Badger Brush

Why Classic Shaving? 5 Common Myths Answered

Many men who have never tried the classic way to shave often ask, “What’s the point?” This is a very natural question as in grocery or drug stores we all see flashy plastic razors with four or five blades that can vibrate, shaving gel that comes out of a container, all backed by sophisticated marketing that promises you an even better shave than the previous model.

Surely this has to be much better than using the same style of equipment that your grandfather used? Is not classic shaving obsolete? Here we will look at some reasons behind these myths and explain a little more about the benefits of wet shaving.

Myth 1: Shaving With a Classic Razor, Like a Straight Razor or Safety Razor is Difficult And Takes a Long Time

Men who have actually tried a classic razor such as a straight razor would agree that this simply is not true. After a couple of shaves, it goes both as fast as with a three, four or five blade razor and the chance of cuts is minimal. The only reason that classic shaving may take longer is that most people like the shave so well that they choose to take more time to really savor the experience. With cheap foam from a pressurized canister and a plastic razor, you will most likely try to get the job done as quickly as possible and continue on with a hectic day. With the proper equipment, your shaving can become a hobby and something you are looking forward to enjoying rather than simply the next chore to do.

Myth #2: More Blades on The Razor Gives a Better Shave

This is something manufacturers of razor blades claim in order to be able to sell razor blades at an increasingly higher price. One blade is more than enough, and many people find that a double edge razor actually cuts hair easier than with a multi-blade razor. A multi-blade razor causes hair to be pulled out a bit and then cut, which often results in the hair being cut too deeply into the skin so you get ingrown hairs and razor bumps (pseudofolliculitis barbae). You will often notice some “pulling” of a little skin since multi-blade razors drag and cut hair simultaneously. A double-edge safety razor blade will cut the hair cleanly without any sort of picking or pulling of the skin and ingrown hairs and razor bumps are soon a thing of the past. In recent comparisons, the Mühle R89 closed comb razor recently was “Best in Test” – compared with Gillette Fusion Pro Glide and disposable razors!

Myth #3: Classic Razors Are Expensive

Classic razors are slightly more expensive to buy, but not nearly as much as one might have thought. A Gillette razor costs approximately $15, while a classic safety razor starts at around $25. However, you will quickly realize that in the long run, a classic razor becomes much cheaper as the classic razor is made of metal and will usually last a lifetime. Experts who are skilled in their profession lovingly craft razors that are so beautiful and functional that they are often collected as art, let alone providing the best shave possible. Razors you buy in the store are simply cheaply mass-produced plastic gizmos that require expensive new razor blades. Would you rather hold a classic razor of metal or something that looks like a vibrating plastic toy? If one looks at razor blades prices, we get the following result: Price per razor Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power 4 count refill: $16 ($4 per blade – price from amazon.com) – Price per razor blade for a classic razor starts from $0.30.

 

Myth #4: Classic Shaving Creams And Soaps Are Expensive

It is clear that a pressurized canister with foam from the store is cheaper than a proper shaving cream or shaving soap. However, if you compare how long they last, what kind of ingredients they contain and the quality of the shave, you quickly get a different view of the matter. If you use a shaving cream or shaving soap with a shaving brush, it will easily last for half a year or longer before you need to buy again. Cheap shaving products contain ingredients that are bad for your skin. You get what you pay for and cheap products often contain synthetic ingredients that are low cost in production, but also not very good for your skin. Most of the classic shaving creams we recommend are completely free of synthetic ingredients and harmful chemicals like paraben but instead uses natural ingredients which both work better and are not harmful to you. Shaving cream or gel from the pressurized cans often contain added chemicals to prevent the foam from drying out as it comes out of the canister under pressure. These chemicals will certainly dry out your skin. Many cheap products also use “trace ingredients”: meaning that for example, the packaging may state “contains aloe vera” but in reality, only a tiny fraction of a percentage is actually in the product, and the rest are cheap chemicals. Classic shaving creams contain ingredients that make your skin moisturized and nourished while shaving and you will notice the difference before and after shaving. In addition, the aroma of the various products is greatly appreciated by most users. Would you rather smear on a bland synthetic foam on your face or enjoy scents like eucalyptus, lavender, lime, rose, sandalwood and other varieties? Classic shaving creams and soaps are all desirable fragrance variants and make shaving a sensual pleasure!

Myth #5: A Shaving Brush is an Antiquated Tool

A shaving brush is actually a very important component of classic shaving and ensures you will get a better lather out of a shaving cream or shaving soap. In addition, the shaving brush makes you use less cream or soap per shave. Standing in the bathroom and lather up shaving cream or soap while enjoying the exotic aromas are a great part of shaving that many shavers look forward to each morning. Although a good shaving brush will cost a $15-25, it will last year after year if treated properly. It is an investment in wellness, and many people gradually expand their collection since hand-made shaving brushes are works of art in themselves.

Benefits of Classic Shaving

  • Gentler on the skin: Blades scraping over your face are certain to cause some slight damage. Shaving with a razor having several blades multiplies the effect and often leads to ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and skin irritation. A switch to traditional shaving helps alleviate this problem.
  • Shaving as a pleasure: Most men are not particularly fond of shaving, which is not surprising considering the products you can buy in the grocery store. Men who go over to wet shaving are quickly learning that as shaving becomes enjoyable it often becomes an important part of the day. Not only is it more fun to shave with proper equipment, but it is also very satisfying when you have mastered how to make a good shaving lather or in getting the perfect shave with a safety razor or straight cut razor.
  • Price: As shown previously, you will save money on razor blades, and most shaving creams and soaps are – if viewed over a period of time – not more expensive than cheaper, inferior products.
  • Relaxation: In a hectic schedule, it is not often you get time to relax a little and do something completely for yourself. Many use shaving to do just this. Standing in the bathroom lathering up shaving cream or soap, enjoying the great aromas and appreciating a proper shave is widely compared with a Zen ritual where you can totally relax and live the moment.

Just Get Started

It may be intimidating to shave with a straight edge razor or safety razor for the first time. However, there is a good reason why a razor called “safety razor”. The only thing you risk is to get a couple small nicks the first few times while you work on your technique. Many people start their first shave without cuts. To learn how to use a straight cut razor is a somewhat longer process to learn, but will give very good results. Once you have made the leap, you will find that shaving will soon become a very satisfying experience.

If you had told a man 100 years ago that you are shaving with a razor that has five blades that vibrate, he would likely think you were crazy to do some fool thing so dangerous. This is simply about the natural fear of the unknown. Go for something new and look back in amazement and say,Why did I not try this before”!

Straight Razors Maintenance

The best straight cut razors reviewed

Straight Razors Maintenance – Everything You Need to Know

Welcome to the men’s world of wet shaving! Any questions about straight razors and maintenance? No worries! Here is all you need to know about how to bring your face care to the next level!

The classic razor, also known as “cut-throats”, “straight edge” or “straight razor” was born in Sheffield, England, around 1680. Today there are two main types:

  • The classic variant with a permanent blade that must be honed & stropped
  • The straight razor with interchangeable double-edge blades, also known as Shavette. Shavette is a trademark of the German manufacturer Dovo and is a “replaceable-blade razor that you use like a straight razor” (not to be confused with a safety razor). A double edge razor feels somewhat different in your hand, but the shaving technique is similar. You don’t need a strop and hone, but you will need to buy replacement blades.

This article is focused on the classic type, but there are similarities with the Shavette except for stropping and honing.

Please note: Do not fall for the temptation of using your grandfather’s old straight razor, the one with small notches and rust without a check-up and service. Most old & used straight razors need a thorough overhaul with a whetstone and a strop.

Why Should You Buy a Straight Edge Razor?

  • It is an age-old tool which is still highly functional. It is comparable to driving a classic car with the driving characteristics of a factory-new Jaguar
  • It provides an even closer shave than with safety razors since the blade edge slides directly on the skin
  • It is fun, and your wife or partner will probably think you’re crazy
  • It is a one-time investment for life, and your daily cost of luxury shaving will be minuscule after that

Anyone can learn how to use a straight edge razor; it is not dependent on your age. To use a straight razor is the same as using a traditional razor, the only difference is the grip. What you have is a very sharp edge slide across your skin – in principle the same as a safety razor.

You might get some minor cuts starting out, but if that happens, the damage will be just as if you were cutting yourself with a traditional razor – not particularly extensive in other words. If you want to be on the safe side, you can obtain a Hemostop Styptic Pencil that easily fixes cuts that bleed.

Some Tips Before You Buy a Straight Razor

Remember – a good straight blade razor is an investment for life. Buy a German made one from Solingen Steel (like a Dovo or Giesen-Forsthoff) or an American made (Hart Steel). When holding a straight razor in your hand and it says Solingen, you know you have a product that is made from the finest steel in the world, with a unique quality of manufacture.

Avoid buying cut-throat razors from other than these manufacturers. Their inferior steel quality will quickly wear out and soon start wreaking havoc with your skin. We have reviewed 10 of the most popular straight razor kits here.

The blade of a razor is usually made of either stainless steel or carbon steel.

  • Stainless steel contains chromium particles makes the surface resistant to stains and wear, and is an increasingly popular choice for razors. It is important to note that steel that must be cured hard enough to function in a straight cut razor may not contain enough chrome to be 100 percent corrosion free and therefore needs to be polished and coated with knife oil now and then. Razors of stainless steel are characterized by low maintenance and need less frequent sharpening early on, but need to be honed and stropped more often once you have started.
  • Blades of carbon steel contain, as its name suggests, more carbon than other types of steel. This makes the steel harder so that the blade can get a thinner, crisper edge. For this reason, carbon steel has become the traditional material for straight razors. Carbon steel is not stainless and therefore requires that you strop the blade after shaving to polish the steel. Razors of carbon steel are characterized by being easy to hone but must be sharpened more often, and require careful maintenance with polishing and knife oil. Certain blades are called “Blue Steel”. This is post-treated carbon steel and works basically as carbon steel.

Straight razors are available with different widths of the blade: 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 3/4 and 7/8 inches. The most common width is 5/8 inch (about 16 mm), and this width is appropriate for most users. Men with a very coarse beard may prefer a wider blade that may slide somewhat easier through thick hair.

Some straight razors have a so-called round nose at the tip, while others have a straight nose. Some producers like Dovo use the terms “spike point” and “round point” as well to describe this.

This is mostly about style and taste. That said; it is somewhat easier to cut around a beard or a mustache with a razor with a straight nose since it is easier to see exactly where the razor shaves. A straight razor with a round nose is convenient when shaving the face since it can easily be maneuvered around without sticking yourself with the point of the blade.

Cross-sections of Razors Degree of Hollowness

There are as many as 16 different honing profiles of razors, which are grouped into three main types:

  1. Straight Wedge
  2. Half Hollow
  3. Full Hollow
  • Straight Wedge (Dovo uses the term “Flat Ground” for this profile) means that the blade has a wedge-shaped profile with relatively straight sides. The blade is thicker, and the razor weighs more. Men with thick hair growth and strong hands may prefer this style. The blade bends less during shaving and thus becomes easier to use, but can be slightly less comfortable when shaving compared to knives with Hollow grinding.
  • Half Hollow (Dovo uses the term “1/2 Hollow Ground” for this profile) means that the blade has concave sides (arcs inwards) and therefore becomes thinner toward the edge than a Straight Wedge. The blade is, therefore, more flexible and more responsive to the user, which means that you must be a little easier on the touch during shaving, while comfort is often perceived as better.
  • Full Hollow (Dovo uses the term “Full Hollow Ground” for this profile) involves even more concave grinding profile and thus an even thinner blade. That means more precision and comfort than Half Hollow, but since the blade bends more under shaving, you must be extra careful to avoid minor cuts.

You need not be too concerned about the difference between blade types. As a rule, it is far more important how well the straight razor is set up, than how wide it is or what kind of profile it has. The essential thing is that you choose a razor of high quality that feels good to you, and that you understand and are prepared for the maintenance required.

Once You Have Received Your Straight Razor

When you buy a new straight razor you will often see that the blade is coated with oil. This is because the vendors are aware that the blades may be stored for a while in a warehouse or shop and don’t want the steel to discolor. It is advisable to rinse the blade in hot water before first use to avoid getting oil on the strop.

Please note that most straight razors will need a bit of honing & stropping before first use. This will save both your skin and ego some pain. More about honing can be found further down in this article.

Straight Razor Maintenance

Unlike Shavettes and safety razors, classic straight razors use the same blade throughout its (and your) life. Good maintenance is therefore essential. If your straight razor knife is not going to be used for a long time, you should coat it with knife oil. Rust is rarely a problem, but without oil, the knife may become stained and discolored.

Stropping Your Straight Razor

A strop is a piece of leather that is used to keep the blade dry and edge straight. If you take a look at a straight razor that has just been used to shave and put it under an electron microscope you will see that the edge looks a bit jagged and out of alignment, similar to a disorderly fence. Stropping flattens out these “teeth” so that the edge is sharp and smooth.

When stropping it is important to remember that you lead with the back of the knife first, followed by the cutting edge. Doing it the other way, with the edge first – risk you cutting into the strop and getting a blunt edge. Most strops are narrower than the blade, which requires you to strop diagonally, by pulling the blade diagonally across the strop.

The straight razor should be turned on it’s back. It is also wise to turn while the blade is in motion over the strop. If you stop the motion with the blade and then turn it, it does not take more than a slight tremor in your hand before the edge makes a notch in your strop.

Keep a firm tension in the strop and relax the hand holding the knife. Do not use force, just let the blade barely bow the leather in your strop. If you use too much pressure there is a risk creating a split in the cutting edge over time.

The speed you are using pulling the straight razor across the leather is no factor in affecting the result. Take it slow at first and speed up when you feel comfortable.

How many times you need to strop varies. If you have a strop with linen underneath, you can strop 20 to 25 times before changing over and strop a minimum of 25 times on the leather side. This is not a definitive rule, just strop until you feel the knife shaves well. Carbon steel razors usually benefit from a few laps on the leather side of the strop after shaving to be polished shiny again.

Honing Your Straight Razor

Your razor will get duller over time. This is normal, considering that facial hair is as strong as copper wire (see for yourself how blunt scissors becomes of cutting power cords). The edge will be rounded evenly and will in some places develop tiny notches. Unless you are blessed with the eyesight of an eagle, it will be difficult to observe this with the naked eye, but under a microscope, it is very clear. To correct this, you need to hone away a fine layer from both sides of the edge. There are different types of sharpening stones and many different vendors. As a beginner, you may want to start with two hones: One 4000 grade and one at 8000. Just as with sandpaper – higher numbers mean a more fine-grained whetstone.

Honing is performed in the opposite direction of stropping. Edge first, not the back, until you reach the end. Then turn the shaving knife over on the back and go in the opposite direction with the edge first. It is important that you take the same number of strokes on each side of the blade. As with the strop, you must let the blade go diagonally to cover the entire cutting edge length.

The shaving knife should lie completely flat on the sharpening stone with both the edge and the back touching the hone simultaneously. All honing profiles are designed to provide the correct edge angle when the blade has been sharpened flat. The whetstone must be kept moist with water while being used. In the old days, barbers used saliva, but this is entirely up to you and what you prefer.

You should only sharpen each side 4 or 5 times before switching to a finer whetstone. Honing too much can cause a layer of debris from the whetstone forming on the blade edge, often called “wire edge”, which will make shaving extremely uncomfortable. Fear not – this is easy to solve. Hone the blade a few rounds with its back first. That will remove the debris, but remember to sharpen it again with edge first afterward.

How often do you need to hone? This varies with your beard and the material of your blade. When you feel that it leaves a little extra stubble, is time for honing, this usually occurs after about two months use.

If you can’t face the thought of honing, you can buy stropping paste. The stropping paste contains an abrasive which makes the edge sharp. It has some of the same benefits as a whetstone, but it’s a grainy ointment you rub into the leather of a strop. Get an extra strop for this as you do not want abrasives on the leather you use for your regular stropping.

Final Words

Life consists of plenty of stress and obligations, and some of these last for a few hours a day. Many people use every waking moment working towards their first heart attack. Find time for yourself, find time to shave with your straight razor. Let your mind go where it wants when stropping, making foam or nourishing your skin. It will do you good.