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
- 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
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
What You Should Expect From this Bestseller
Last update on 2018-06-22 / 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.
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.
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.
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?
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
Currently the razor also comes in a gold plated version called Merkur 34G – available on Amazon here
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.
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.
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