Merkur 34c Review (Heavy-duty Short Handle Safety Razor) – Buying Guide
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In today’s article, we have a Merkur 34c review and buying guide.
Honestly speaking, if there is one safety razor that has captured the hearts of many experts in classic shaving, it is the Merkur 34c heavy-duty (also known as MK34c HD) safety razor from Merkur. The Merkur heavy-duty short-handle safety razor has been a benchmark for a long time and with hundreds of reviews online shows us that this is a popular model.
Several experts that have used numerous products in the industry believe that the Merkur mk34c is the best safety razor for both experienced and newbie wet shavers; and for good reasons.
With a design going back to 1931, the German-made Merkur 34c is one of the most versatile safety razors there is on the market today.
Merkur 34C (Summary)
But the best part for many, especially those working on a tighter budget, is the price of this top-quality safety razor.
This is kind of typical for the Merkur brand and is why they have become so popular – they make great razors and other shaving products for a reasonable price – not only safety razors but also straight razors under the brand name Dovo, Shavette barber razors, straight razor kits for beginners, double edge safety razor blades, some of the best shaving creams and reasonably priced shaving brushes as well.
Main Features Merkur MK34C
- Merkur HD 34C is a two-piece – non-adjustable safety razor
- It comes with one blade
- The heavy-duty safety razor features a chrome-plated finish which gives it a pleasing look
- The total length is 98 mm (3.9 inches)
- It weighs about 2.83 ounces or 80.5 grams
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
Finish: Chrome Plated
Type: 2 piece
Knurled handle: Yes
Blade included: 1
Please note that the star ratings below are our ratings – it has nothing to do with how the product is rated on retailer sites like.
What You Should Expect from the Merkur 34C Heavy-Duty Short Handle Razor
When unboxing your new Merkur 34c safety razor from Merkur Dovo Solingen, the very first thing that will catch your attention will be the craftsmanship of the safety razor.
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 safety razor is not polished or chrome plated.
But then again, since it will never come into contact with your skin, it should not be much of a problem.
The company has decided to save the expense of chrome plating this safety razor part and having to pass this cost down to you – the customer.
A point to note in this review is that even though the Merkur 34c safety razor is considered and marketed as a closed comb safety razor, meaning it has a safety bar and is not an open comb safety razor such as safety razors like the Muhle R41 – you still can use it to shave beards that are 5 days old and still get a close shave 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 these safety razors are.
It is perfect for beginners who need gentle shaving so as not to nick themselves, given that they have not yet mastered the art of wet shaving.
This safety 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 shavers might have to do two or even three passes to be able to get a close and perfect shave but the point we are trying to make here is that this safety razor will still get the job done.
If you want to get safety razors 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 Merkur 34C?
The fact that this is a two-piece safety razor means that the base plate and the handle are fixed together – they are one piece.
As such, when you compare it to three-piece safety razors, you will notice that the two-piece is easier to load double-edge blades.
All you need to do is twist a knob at the bottom to loosen the plate from the headpiece, 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.
Best Blades for the MK34C – Which One Should You Choose?
With a sharp, high-quality blade like Feather, a close shave with little effort as possible. Try experimenting with different blades like Merkur, or Derby to find the best result for your safety razors.
I would pick up a variety pack to find your personal favorite for your needs.
Merkur 34C Aggressiveness
Regarding aggressiveness, the Merkur safety razor is considered to be a mild razor. However, when you pair it up with a safety razor 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.
When you look closely at the handle on the Merkur 34c safety razors, you will notice that the handle features criss-crossing knurls that form hundreds of miniature diamonds that provide a perfect grip for both right-handed and left-handed persons. This is pretty similar to the handle on the adjustable Parker Variant. 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 is and prevents any further slipping while also providing you with more control.
Merkur 34C Handle Length
The 34c is one of the shortest safety razors measuring less than 4 inches total the handle length is about 3 inches, similar to the siblings Merkur 37c, Merkur 42c, and the Edwin Jagger Kelvin. This handle 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’s 180 (23C) Long Handled Safety Razor – or one of the bigger siblings Merkur 39c, Merkur 38c, or Parker 99R – this will also give you choice some extra weight – if you prefer that.
What Consumers and Other Reviews Have to Say about the Merkur 34C HD?
Consumers, mostly men, who have used and posted a Merkur 34C review have nothing but good things to say about this razor. Many of them had transitioned from shaving with Gillette cartridge razors 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 had very sensitive skin and had problems with razor burns previously.
All these persons were very pleased with what the 34c razor could do for them. That is also why we have it as one of the top razors for sensitive skin – as well as one of the best razors for men overall. It is also a good pick if you are looking for a razor for shaving your head.
Related: Best Head Shaver
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 razor and of course prep your face to maximize the benefits of wet shaving. Take your time and take care of your face.
As stated earlier in this review, many consider this razor to be gentle. However, you still can get a close shave when you use a good quality, sharp double-edge razor blade. But more than getting an irritation-free shave, 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 head.
As for complaints (you know even the best products and videos on the internet still get some dislikes and complaints), some complained that the chrome chipped and that the safety 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. Compared with a Gillette ProGlide cartridge razor, the handle on the cartridge shaver is approx 1 inch longer than on the 34c. But when all is said and done, whether you purchase the product or not will all be up to you and your preference.
It’s difficult to compare high-end stainless steel razors with a chrome-plated version without considering the price. Stainless steel razors can go for up to $100 or more with razors like the Feather AS D2. In comparison to around $40 for this one, depending on where you are shopping.
The quality of the shave will also depend on the facial hair you sport. If it is coarse you may need razors that are slightly more aggressive than the 34c.
Merkur Razor 34C Variants
Currently, the 34c safety razor also comes in a gold-plated version called Merkur 34G.
34c is a great all-purpose choice, it is the best safety razor for beginners to wet-shaving, persons with smaller hands, sensitive skin, and also women. It is a great safety razor for head shaving.
Merkur 34C Travel Set
The Merkur 34c is also a great travel safety razor due to its small size. Combine it with a travel brush and you are good to go – or pick up a complete travel set (incl. safety razor, Doppler bag, Bowl, Soap, Chrome handle brush with badger hair, and a Razor & Brush stand).
Merkur 34c Starter Kit
Merkur 34c can also be bought as a starter kit making it the perfect gift set. The GBS kit includes a Merkur 34c safety razor (obviously), a Badger brush and stand, shaving soap & bowl, and a 10 pack of Merkur stainless steel blades. Get it here
I hope you have liked our Merkur 34c review and buying guide – this is a great safety razor that will serve for a long time!