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  1. #1
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    Default A Choice of Two Merkurs

    I've been reading some DE reviews over at the "other forum" (I'm not a member, I promise! ) as I've never tried a DE razor... complete newb.

    Anyway, I have my choice narrowed down to two models of Merkur: The 34c HD and the 38c, the HD commonly referred to as the barber pole.

    It seems to be a tough choice. I'm looking for a DE that will not rip up my face while learning (ergo the slant model is not on my short list) but is good enough for a daily razor when experienced.

    The 38c got some great reviews, as did the HD, but the reviewers were split right down the middle about how good it is as a starter razor. Some stated it is absolutely terrible to start with, some said it was great.

    The HD also got great reviews all around, especially as a starter, but it seems that many people end up graduating to the 38c due to it's longer handle length and additional heft. Buying two near identical DE razors is something I'd like to avoid. Is the 38c really that bad to start with?

    So mates, which one would you tell a guy to go with? Advantages/disadvantages would be great too.

  2. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    When I used to shave with a DE the slant with a Feather or a Gillette Swede was my tool of choice. Anyhow, if you have large hands the longer handle will be easier to maneuver with. Whether you like a heavier razor overall is something you won't know until you try it. I routinely shaved with the standard 37C slant until the 39C came about and then I went to the longer and heavier model and liked it even better. YMMV.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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  4. #3
    Senior Member sensei_kyle's Avatar
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    I went with the regular HD when I started and havne't looked back. It's a great razor. I think the shorter model encourages you to use less fingers, which to me often equates to lighter pressure.

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  6. #4
    I Bleed Slurry Disburden's Avatar
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    I think the Slant is probably the best DE I have used by Merkur, it gives very cool shaves. You do need to practice with it though, as it is an aggressive razor. I used to own the HD but gave it to my uncle as I didn't really like the shaves with it. Vintage Gillettes are really good also, so keep that in mind. I love the open comb NEW improved models from the 30s.

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  8. #5
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    Default

    I have three Merkurs. I have the 33c, the 1904 and the 25c long handled classic. They are awesome razors. I have a few vintage Gillette Tech ball ends and they are VERY easy to shave with as well. My wife uses one of them actually. I have thought about getting the HD and also a Barberpole model sometime in the future but I am trying to avoid collecting and sticking with using. I would never dream of owning three of the new razors like a fusion or something so it is weird to own many DE and SE razors.

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  10. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disburden View Post
    I think the Slant is probably the best DE I have used by Merkur, it gives very cool shaves. You do need to practice with it though, as it is an aggressive razor. I used to own the HD but gave it to my uncle as I didn't really like the shaves with it. Vintage Gillettes are really good also, so keep that in mind. I love the open comb NEW improved models from the 30s.
    I have read that the Merkur slant is very good for people with Wookie-like beards; I don't have a Wookie-like beard, but it's not exactly light either. My fiancee always jokes that I'm like Homer Simpson, with his insta-stubble growing back immediately. I thought you might like that Disburden, as you are always making that comparison to yourself.

    I was also wondering why you gave up on the HD, as it is a very reputable DE razor (based on the opinions I've read about it)?

  11. #7
    Likes to 'Flic' his whiskers charlie762's Avatar
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    Whatever Merkur you choose,you might like to try different blades to the Merkurs they usually give you with the razor.I used Derby razors when I first got my Parker and found I got less weepers.Now I use Feather with a slant bar if I need to rush.I found the heavy razors easier to use as they encourage you to only use the weight of the razor.If you feel you need to use pressure to get a good shave it means the blade isn't sharp enough.
    And with that I wish you many great shavescheers.

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  13. #8
    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    Default A Choice of Two

    Ryan,

    May I suggest the Merkur 38C "Barberpole"? I have had both, the 34C and the 38C. Even though I have small hands, I found the 34C a tad too small. The 38C "Barberpole" is an elegant double edge. Try it with Feather blades or the Gillette 7 O'Clock Sharp Edge (Yellows). A great combination.

    Regards,

    Obie

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  15. #9
    Brad Maggard Undream's Avatar
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    I also recommend going with the 38c barberpole for your first razor. For me, the longer handle DEs were more comfortable as a beginner because you're used to the long handle mach 3's and whatnot.

    Later on, scour your local antique shops and flea markets to pickup a Gillette slim adjustable or fatboy. both great razors with shorter handles with the added feature of adjustable blades. Don't spend more than $10 on one!

    After a year, pickup a slant so u can experience the best of all worlds

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  17. #10
    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    Forget the mercurs get yourself a vintage Gillette fatboy. That's what I use when I don't have time for a straight and though I have the mercur barberpole I much prefer the fatboy.
    No matter how many men you kill you can't kill your successor-Emperor Nero

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