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Thread: Merkur 1904

  1. #1
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    Default Merkur 1904

    Evening gents. I've just picked up a bunch of goodies from a local supplier (Proraso pre-cream, Semogue brush, alum block, more blades) and I also decided to try a new DE, just a spur-of-the-moment thing. I picked up a Merkur 1904 closed comb DE. Since getting the package, I've tried two shaves with the Merkur and a new Astra blade (same side of the blade each time, so one shave had the blade as new, and the next slightly dulled).

    My standard shave is one pass ATG, and another touchup pass if needed, and with my EJ 89 DE I've had nary a scratch. However this was not the case with my new Merkur. Both times I've walked away looking like I've gone twelve rounds with a weedwhacker and lost - weepers everywhere on my neck and chin that take ages with the alum to stop bleeding, plus a fair bit of stinging and burning post-shave. Is the Merkur 1904 classed as an aggressive shaver by those in the know here? And what tips can people give me to get a better, smoother shave from this razor? Alternatively, can people recommend me a similarly mild shaver to my EJ89 so that I can still switch to a different shaver when I feel the urge for a change? FYI, I've tried just going WTG with it - that resulted in a terrible quality shave and still stung.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cove5440's Avatar
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    I havent used the 1904 so take this with a grain of salt, but I have used about 7-8 different de razors before trying straights. I found when switching from one to another razor, a change of blade to a different manufacturer made a huge difference. Not that there is anything wrong with Astra blades, just for some reason a different brand in the 1904 may be better.

  3. #3
    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    Hello Mosley,

    I have used the Merkur 1904 closed comb. It's a good shaver with a short handle. Some say it is aggressive. I don't think it's particularly any more aggressive than some of the other Merkur razors. You'll probably need to slightly adjust your technique to accommodate the razor's design and size. Try the Gillette 7 O'Clock "SharpEdge" yellow packs in the razor. I always found Astra blades sharp, but with a slightly harsh edge. By the way, the Merkur 1904 lacks the silk in the Edwin Jagger razors.

  4. #4
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    I have not tried it yet but I would reccomend a new blade let us know how it goes

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    Senior Member Cavere's Avatar
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    If you're looking for another mild de then I would suggest a Gillette tech. They can be found for fairly cheap as well. I got my gold ball end tech for $9. It's pretty mild but I get good shaves from mine.

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    Senior Member Johnus's Avatar
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    I have the Merkur in an open comb. Nice, but it is different than the original '04. The originals also differ in shaving. I find that the war years and before are the best shavers. Worth trying.

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    Thanks guys, I'll try a new blade in it next time. Sadly, although I'd love to try a Gillette blade like Obie recommends, the only other blades I can get are Derby (which I've had terrible experiences with with my EJ 89), Personna Red, Shark, Feather, Merkur, Bic, Lord, Wilkinson Sword, or Dorco. Of that lot, which would people suggest trying?

  8. #8
    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    Mosley,
    Go with the Feather and the Personna Red. Feather especially. It's an incredible blade, possibly the sharpest on earth. It will not work for everyone, but if it works for you, you have found your ultimate blade. The Personna Red is not as sharp, but it is relatively smooth and a good shaver. Feather first, though. Good luck.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Johnus's Avatar
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    Curious, how did it work with a different blade. You can get a bad one once in awhile.
    Cove5440 likes this.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Sargon's Avatar
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    The 1904 like all fixed head Merkur razors is a little more aggressive than the EJ line, making it middle of the road, whereas the EJ is a bit on the mild side. If you find it a bit too aggressive, then I would suggest either vintage (superspeeds, techs, adustibles) or , if you want to try another Merkur, go with a Progress.

    In terms of blades, try the red pack. they're a bit milder than astras, but are good blades. Feather are great blades, but probably not what you want, if the razor is already pushing it for you.

    Hopefully a new blade and a little practice will help you to learn to love your razor. Also, it may sound silly, but check to be sure that the razor is securely assembled, that blade guard isn't on upside-down (it happens to the best of us, honest), and that the blade exposure is even.


    P.S. If even after checking everything, it is still a little too aggressive, try using it for your first pass, then switching to the EJ for any additional passes.

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