Technology will be the ruin of the classic shave for men. The Merkur 34C HD double-edged safety razor is the best technology out there that will give men the closest shave possible short of having a skilled barber using a straight razor. This technology has been around for many years and there isn't any new technology out there to challenge the superiority of performance. Human judgment trumps technology every time.
Rules for a Great Safety Razor Shave
Let’s build a list of things that are just roaming around in your head. You’ve read all the sales pitches and marketing material from a thousand companies that sell razors. It’s time to boil down the results and show why the Merkur 34C HD razor is superior.
1. Close Shave – this is the primary consideration for any man. I want a razor that gives me a clean, close shave every time that’s totally under my control. The Merkur 34C delivers.
2. Convenience – I choose to think of this factor as an issue of performance. What method can I use that meets my close shave criteria with a reasonable investment of time to make the outcome something that I will be proud of. The Merkur 34C delivers.
3. Performance – this is a case of measuring your self-confidence in the device you’re going to use. Does it feel right in your hand? Is it easy to maneuver? Does it effectively give you a close shave in all those “trouble spots”? The Merkur 34C delivers.
4. Cost – does it fit in your budget so far as acquisition and maintenance are concerned? Are the replacement parts and razor blades attractively priced and available
- Are you more of a disposable razor guy?
What is the Merkur 34C HD Razor?
The Merkur 34C HD is the classic razor for the sophisticated man. You know that from the minute you pick it up and experience the perfect balance as you grasp it just to look it over. The razor literally feels like an extension of your fingers.
Just as you can feel every nook and cranny on your face with your fingers, that same sensation is radiated down the handle of the razor as you test run it over your face and neck on a dry run.
The outstanding quality of the build of the razor and the performance in getting a close shave continues when you use it for the first time. There is no need to apply pressure. The lubricating action of the shave cream provides the perfect environment for the blade to glide across your skin without irritation, nicks or cuts.
It's a great razor for the new user as well because the clearance between the safety shield and razor blade is perfect rendering technique as something to be learned but not essential at first.
This razor is German engineering at its finest in providing a solidly built device with the capability to do the job it was intended to do.
Why We Love the Merkur 34C HD Razor
The Merkur 34C HD razor is one of the most sought-after and well-respected razors as evidenced by all the good reviews it gets online. I have scoured the web looking for a set of consistently poor ratings and they simply don't exist. It is one of the most highly-rated safety razors and has earned that reputation as safe to use over many years of being on the market.
This razor is not aggressive in how the blade contacts the sensitive skin of the face and neck. If you use it as it was intended and just place the cutting head at the right angle against the skin, the razor will do the rest of the work. You just need to guide it where you want to shave.
The quality of the craftsmanship is beyond description and represents the excellence of German engineering. This video will provide visual confirmation of the features and benefits of the Merkur razor. This is what you get if you look at this razor with a critical eye:
1. Balance and Weight - it feels substantial in your hand at 2.4 ounces because it is made from metal and adorned with a polished chrome finish. The handle of this razor is short, just about 3 inches with a majority of the weight distributed in the handle. That makes the holding of the razor flexible in being able to grip it at any point on the handle.
2. Grip – the handle has a rough texture that promotes excellent gripping power. It doesn’t matter how soapy your hands are, your grip will not falter. Even though the grip is a rough texture, the shiny chrome finish comes through. This is also a two piece razor. The knob at the bottom of the grip turns a threaded shaft that disconnects the head from the razor so you can replace the blade and clean out the cutting chamber. The vertical grooves on the knob make the disassembly clean and smooth.
3. Length – Overall, this razor is 3.3 inches from the top of the dome to the bottom of the knob. Some would consider this a negative feature of the razor. However, the quality of the grip more than makes up for problems men with large hands might experience. The advantage gained from the length of the handle is the increased level of control you have over where the razor is going. That way, you get a more precise shave and can make the definition between clean-shaven and mustache for example very professional.
4. Aggressiveness – the Merkur is considered mildly aggressive in that a new user can use the razor safely without regard for technique and not end up with cuts and nicks. However, as you develop a feel for the razor and learn the angle of attack technique that works for you, the closeness of the shave can be improved with the same clean, no damage results you’re looking for.
5. Blade Replacement and Maintenance – both blade replacement and cleaning are simple with the Merkur 34C HD razor. The two-piece construction creates plenty of room to handle the blade without risking your fingers on the sharp edge. The top blade shield comes completely off giving you clear, unobstructed access to the blade holding mechanism. It also makes cleaning easy and quick. While the blade shield is removed, rinse and brush the inside of the compartments over the sink. It takes less than a minute. Replace the blade, position the blade shield for reassembly and twist the knob on the bottom until it’s just short of being fully tightened. Visually inspect the position of the blade to make sure, it has seated correctly and adjust as needed before tightening the knob fully. The handle also breaks down into two pieces to facilitate cleaning. While the cutting head is off, just pull on the knob firmly and pull down the screw post that runs up the center of the handle. Clean out any gunk that could foul the screw threads and reassemble the razor for blade replacement.
Shaving the face and neck are not the only good uses of the Merkur 34C HD razor. If you’re a man that shaves your head to obtain the bald look, this razor is perfect for the task and gives you a damage free, close shave that will leave your scalp shiny and smooth.
For the ladies, you can’t go wrong with this razor for use on the legs and armpits. Its mild approach to shaving will leave your legs smooth and lovely and won’t bind up on the skin in the sensitive armpit areas.
How Other People Review Merkur 34C HD
It’s always best to seek out reviews that you know are vetted and provided by people that actually use the product. The links below are reviews with those quality factors.
The Merkur 34CHD razor receives an overwhelming number of positive reviews. Here's a few we found on Amazon:
- JAYSIND says "Good for beginners and built to last a lifetime."
- Frank says, “Absolutely the best shaver on the market.”
- Humberto Acevedo says, “Exactly what you need.”
- KPC001 says, “Well made and solid.”
The Merkur 34C HD razor lives up to its reputation as evidenced by the strong support it gets from the user community.
Your Alternative Options
The Merkur 34C HD razor has a number of significant competitors in its class of double-edge safety razors. I would be remiss if we didn't talk about a few of the most significant competitors.
Muhle R41 Open Comb - Muhle, like Merkur, is a highly regarded German manufacturer of men’s shaving equipment. The Muhle is a lightweight, open comb design with a scalloped safety bar. It has a handle that’s a bit longer than the Merkur 34C (3.7 in vs 3 in). The open comb design means that the user must take care in first using the razor until he figures out a technique that works for him.
Merkur Futur 70 – from its own product line, Merkur provides you with alternatives. This razor has an adjustable head rather than a fixed one and is a bit oversized compared to the Merkur 34C HD razor. The adjustability of this razor lies in being able to change the safety gap between the razor guard and blade so you can make the shave a bit more aggressive. That also makes changing on the blade a bit more complex because a clip, rather than a screw holds the blade in place. Read our Merkur Futur Review.
Muhle Sophist – this razor departs from the traditional polished chrome metal razor design and substitutes a black resin material for a handle. The differences between the Sophist and the Merkur 34C HD are primarily aesthetically pleasing ones as the razor itself presents as a mildly aggressive shave that doesn’t threaten to damage your skin so long as you use it by not applying pressure and letting the razor do the work. It is a much more visually appealing design with the long jet black handle the is scratch resistant and tapered to be thicker in the middle for comfort when holding it.
Ikon B1 Open Comb – the unique characteristics of this razor include an open comb combined with a safety bar and a proprietary B1 coating that provides corrosion and stain protection. Stainless steel will oxidize and stain, even high-grade stainless steel, from corrosion, oxidation and tea staining, which is common when stainless steel is exposed to tap water, soap, and different grades of steel blades.
So, the bottom line here is that Merkur 34C HD razor met or exceeded the list of desires we developed for a razor that would do the job we're looking for. The weight, handling, and closeness of the shave meet those criteria.
If you learn how to let the shaver do the work without any undue pressure or "help" from you other than guiding the blade, you'll get excellent results every time. As time moves forward, your techniques will improve making the experience even more enjoyable.
Hope you enjoyed our Merkur 34C HD Review and please let us know what you think of this safety razor with a comment below.