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Merkur 34c Safety Razor

QUICK SPECS

PRICE: $38.00
HEAD TYPE: 2-Piece, Closed Comb
AGGRESSIVENESS: Medium
BLADE GAP: .71mm
WEIGHT: 80g / 2.82 ounces
LENGTH: 3.03 inches 71mm

ORIGIN: Made in Solingen, Germany
HANDLE MATERIAL: Chrome plated brass
RAZOR HEAD MATERIAL: Chrome-plated die-casted zinc

  • Weight
  • Grip
  • Length
  • Aggressiveness
  • Blade-Replacement
  • Shave-Quality
  • Affordability
Merkur 34c Heavy Duty Safety Razor Review Summary:

The Merkur 34C heavy duty safety razor is one of the most acclaimed and popular safety razors in the world.

It hit the market over 80 years ago and can still be found in Dopp kits and bathrooms of thousands today. It is an extremely good razor for anyone new to safety razors, guys with sensitive skin, and guys who have been at this for years. There is a lot to love about the Merkur 34C heavy-duty safety razor.

This beautiful razor has the magic combination of quality safety razor construction and a relatively low price tag—about $45. It feels incredible in your palm and it rarely breaks down. The two-piece razor head, made from chrome-plated die-casted zinc, lacks parts to break so it withstands many blade changes. The chrome-plated finish feels smooth on your skin, but with a robust diamond-patterned non-slip knurling, it feels sure in your hands.

It registers as heavier than most razors of comparable size even though it's still an average safety razor weight and excellent build quality. It's short and wide, which makes it feel regal, and the even weight distribution gives you control of the shave. The stout, brass body gives it a dense, significant feel in your hands, earning it the nickname the Merkur Heavy Duty.

There are a few complaints about this classic razor but that short size is one of them coming in at 3 inches total length. If you have larger hands, you may not find a comfortable position. But this weakness is also a strength; the small size is great for detail work.

Men with an extra coarse beard or facial hair may also find they need more firepower than the 34C is capable of. You might want to check out the 37C Slant, like the 34C except with a slightly more aggressive razor head.

Most guys, whether new or expert at wet-shaving, enjoy trimming with this razor. Many say it has the perfect level of aggressivenessthe blade angle makes it hard to cut yourself and it cuts hair with precision without leaving razor burn. But to just call it mild only misses a big point. It can be versatile. Want a more aggressive shave, pop in a sharp blade like Astra blades, Feather blade, Kai, or Personna. Want something milder? Try a Derby.

Overall, it's a great pick for anyone interested in wet-shaving, but especially beginners. It's an historic company and this is one of the models that built their brand.

Strengths
  • High-quality craftsmanship
  • Low price
  • two-piece design is durable
  • Firm grip
  • Classic design
  • Weight distribution
  • Detail work
  • Close and comfortable shave
  • Compatible with all standard double edge blades
Weakness
  • Short length
  • May not be aggressive enough

 

Merkur 34c Double Edge Safety Razor with Blades

Why Shave with A Merkur DE Razor?

Most brands don't last a few years, but the Merkur brand is over a century old, a testament to their skill in satisfying wet shavers. It might have something to do with where they are from (and still located) Solingen, German, which has a rich history of bladesmithing. And also, who they are2nd,3rd, and 4th generation bladesmiths.

The craftsmanship and the build quality are undeniable. Merkur shaving products are made by some of the steadiest hands in shaving and the Merkur 34C Heavy Duty is one of the pillars of the brand.

Wet-Shaving Quality and shaveability

The Merkur 34C HD hits the sweet spot and a great shave for most wet-shavers, giving a smooth, comfortable shave with less irritation. The chrome finish lets the razor glide up and down your face with ease. You can make exact cuts in tight places like your mustache, and it only takes one or two strokes to slice the hair off your face.

Guys with thicker, coarser hair might find that's two or three strokes, but it depends on the aggressiveness of the blade you use. However, if you have extra thick facial hair, you might be shaving for a while.

Aggressiveness

Even though it's known as a "heavy-duty" safety razor, that refers to its average weight. It's really mildly aggressive razor, about right in the middle of the range. However, you can make it more aggressive by using high quality blades or sharper razor blades like a Feather, or make it a little milder by using a softer edge, like Merkur blades or Derby (the Merkur 34c HD razor comes withone blade). Either way, the blade is angled in a safe but sharp position, so it's hard to cut yourself. The open comb head primes your hair to be cut, so the only time you feel a tug is when your blade is ready to change.

Blade Gap

The .71mm blade gap of the Merkur 34c HD lands it squarely in the realm of mild safety razors and you can tell because you get a close shave without a lot of cuts. The gap and the scalloped safety bar, which preps facial hair to be cut, are what make this safety razor feel like it really cares about your face.

Grip

Merkur put a lot of thought into the grip of the Merkur 34C safety razor. The body is heavily knurled in a diamond pattern, delivering an easy but firm grip from every angle, even when covered in shaving cream. Horizontal grooves at the base offer your fingers a few extra anchors.

Many wet-shavers say the 34C is the best safety razor grip and it lives up to its promise. That said, it's ideal for people with average-sized hands. It is one of the shortest safety razors out there, so shavers with big hands may find it hard to grip.

Merkur 34C Safety Razor Box

Handle

The Merkur heavy duty comes with a heavy-duty short handle, and one of the thickest handle diameters around. The total handle length is approximately three inches with a handle diameter of .4 inches. This makes the 34C slightly handle heavy although perfectly weighted. The chrome finish looks fantastic, and the intricate diamond patterned knurled handle makes this one heavy-duty short Merkur razor. If you want a comparable razor with a longer handle, look no further than the 38C, which is the same razor with a roomer grip.

Blade Replacement

Changing the blade is easy because it is a two-piece safety razor. Simply, twist the grooved knob at the bottom to release the top of the head. Replace the safety razor blade and then screw it back on.

Blade sharpness is just as important a matter as the razor you pick, so pay attention to which you use. We recommend Feather, Kai,or Personna  for sharper blades and Derby for something milder. It's always a good idea to get a few different packs to start so you can find one that works for you.

Merkur 34c Safety Razor with base plates seperated

Affordability

Few other safety razors come close to offering quality this high for a cost this low. At just under $45, it is about 2x the cost of a disposable cartridge razor but gives you many years more shaves. Not to mention savings from not buying expensive replacement cartridge razors.

You'd almost think the good people at Merkur had lost their minds. But really, they have really good minds and know how to make a solid razor for not a lot of money.

Merkur 34C Safety Razor Box

Style

Compact size and classic design give this safety razor an authentic, old-time appeal. From the moment you take it out of the box, it feels special. The masculine knurling and the beautiful engravement of the Merkur logo the Greek god Hermes the god of good fortune and mischief is definitely gorgeous enough to display in a proper stand and badger brush.

Merkur 34c Double Edge Safety Razor Blade with Brush

Material Quality

You can feel the quality of this safety razor just by holding it in your hands. The small, thick frame and the dense weight of the dense brass inner body make it feel important like you're holding something that costs a lot more than $45. The chrome plating is beautifully crafted and stands up to regular wear and tear, although we have heard of it chipping after years of use.

Care

Care for the Merkur 34C safety razor like you would any other razor with a brass body and chrome lining. Thoroughly clean and dry the razor after each use, and store it properly away from moisture. If you take care of it, this razor can last you for more than 5 or 6 years. The two-piece head is the least prone to breakdowns of all the types of heads, so it can handle more abuse than one or three-piece safety razors with more parts. The worst thing that has been said to happen is the chrome chipping off, which can be avoided with some care.

Who Should Use the Merkur 34C Razor?

The Merkur 34C is a great first razor because it gives you the smooth shave that attracted you to safety razors in the first place. but it costs less than a regular disposable razor blade and cartridge.

Ask a room full of wet-shavers about their first safety razor and a noticeable amount will tell you the Merkur 34C safety razor. But, it's not one of those noob safety razors that get tossed aside once you learn more tricks. Experienced wet shavers keep theirs around because its factory settings are ideal for a close shave with just a few swipes. Plus the small size is ideal for detailing.

It's also mild enough for guys with sensitive skin, especially if you pair it with softer razor blades.

Who Should Avoid the Merkur 34C?

It's pretty hard to find fault with this safety razor, but if you can it's in the size. So if you have large hands or like your razors on the longer side, look elsewhere. 

Merkur 34c Double Edge Safety Razor BladeAlternate Versions Of The Merkur 34c Heavy Duty 

Merkur 37C DE Safety Razor

Merkur 37C Heavy Duty Slant

The same as the 34C except with a slanted head, making it better for thicker, coarser hair. 

Merkur 34G DE Safety Razor

Merkur 34G Gold Heavy Duty 

The G stands for gold. Everything about the 34C safety razor except the Merkur 34G comes plated in gold instead of chrome.

 

Other Brands Of Safety Razors Similar to the Merkur 34C 

Edwin Jagger DE89 DE Safety Razor

Edwin Jagger DE89

This safety razor weighs about the same as the 34C but the handle is a little longer. There are choices in finishes and grips but you should look at the LBL  model or any of the barley series.

MUHLE TRADITIONAL R41 CHROME SAFETY RAZOR OPEN COMB

Muhle R41

A little bit lighter and a little bit longer but just as good as the 34C. It comes in black  or chrome.

MUHLE R89 CHROME SAFETY RAZOR CLOSED COMB

Muhle R89

A little bit lighter and even longer than the R41 and every bit as effective. It comes in black or chrome.

More Aggressive and Long Handle Alternatives

MERKUR 38C HD LONG HANDLE BLACK BARBER POLE DE RAZOR

 

Merkur 38C HD Long Handle Barber Pole

With a longer body and heavier weight, this safety razor is built for the big boys. It comes in a black finish

MERKUR 39C "SLEDGEHAMMER" SLANT BAR CHROME BARBER POLE  DE RAZOR

Merkur 39C Heavy Duty "Sledgehammer" Slant Bar Barber Pole

With a fearsome 90-degree slant known as the "Sledgehammer," this razor is not for the timid and provides a smooth shave that has been compared to the results capable of a straight razor.

If You Are Looking for Double Edge Razor Upgrade...

 MERKUR 700 FUTUR ADJUSTABLE SAFETY RAZOR POLISHED CHROME

Merkur Futur 700 Adjustable Double Edge Razor

The Futur is an adjustable safety razor with a sleek, modern design in three finishes.

Rex Supply Co. Envoy Stainless Steel 3 Piece safety razor

Rex Supply Co. Envoy Stainless Steel 3 Piece Safety Razor

The Rex Envoy is a mighty beautiful razor with similar stats to the 34C but in Chrome (and double the price).

REX SUPPLY CO. ENVOY XL STAINLESS STEEL 3 PIECE SAFETY RAZOR

Rex Supply Co. Envoy XL Stainless Steel 3 piece Safety Razor

The Envoy XL is like the regular Envoy but with a longer handle for the guys who can hold a basketball upside down in their palm.

REX SUPPLY CO. AMBASSADOR ADJUSTABLE STAINLESS STEEL SAFETY RAZOR

Rex Supply Co Ambassador Adjustable Stainless Steel Safety Razor

If you want the razor that does it all, then turn to the Rex Ambassador. Quality everything, nice 3.5-inch handle, dense 3.5 ounces, and 6 ways to adjust the aggressiveness of the razor head.

Is the Merkur 34C Safety Razor One Of The Best Safety Razors Made?

The Merkur 34C Heavy Duty double edged razor closed comb with a scalloped safety bar is absolutely one of the best safety razors merkur razors offers under $50 and a daily work horse for all wet shaving enthusiast's. Consistently delivering a really close shave, extremely easy to use and the perfect first razor for beginners that will always stand the test of time. Not overly aggressive and always delivers a great close wet shave unfailingly with little effort especially for your 5 O'clock shadow. Its easy to understand why the Merkur HD is renowned as one of the best safety razors for any wet shaving aficionado and the beginner alike searching for the best shave.