Soaps Under $10.00

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The DE Razor Jungle

Importance of razor choice

Choosing a new double edge razor can be confusing and overwhelming. It was for me, and it took a long time to learn how to choose a razor. And then, in my case, the razor I first chose was hard to learn how to use! This created problems for me right up front. As a beginner, I had difficulty learning how to hold the razor and keeping the right angle for a good clean cut. The razor I chose only added to this problem. It was a nice quality razor, but in my case and beard type, I could not easily feel the blade or detect much audio feedback. This resulted in frequent razor burn and missed shave areas and lots of nicks and weepers. Producing less than stellar results and was a source of many hours of frustration. It was a hard razor for me to get familiar with.  Choosing the right razor for your everyday use may take some time will require a little bit of thinking.

Various types of double edge razors

One piece "butterfly"

The one piece razor is probably the most recognizable of safety razors. The design was engineered and made famous by Gillette back in the 1940's. Since then they stopped production of these razors and now at least two manufactures has copied these designs for modern production. These are made by Weishi and Parker. These razors are designed to be mild and yet produce a close shave. The Parker design is a little more aggressive than the Weishi. Both razors are nice and quality control seems to be very good.

Three piece razor

Merkur 33C Three piece razor
The three piece design is the most commonly available safety razor on the market. This razor comes in various designs for aggressiveness, adjustability, and weight. You can easily  find a razor for just about kind of beard or skin sensitivity. The design of these razors varies quite a bit. Most come with a safety bar that is scalloped to allow the shaving cream to easily flow to the blade.

Merkur 25C Open Comb

Then there is the open comb razor. The base plate of this razor has a "rake" design that is more appropriate for those with thicker and dense bears. It is designed to allow more of the blade to have contact with the skin and to channel more shaving cream and hair to the blade for a more efficient cut. Aggressive in design, some razors can make quick work of several days growth .

Merkur Slant
The Merkur slant bar razor is also designed for an aggressive cut. The head of these razors are made so that when the blade is mounted, it is twisted in such a way that is slices from one end to the other producing a closer cut with less drag.

Merkur Progress Adjustable

And finally, there is the adjustable razor. Made famous by Gillette, they are no longer in production. Merkur razors does have a model (the progress) that is quite different and is based on the two (or is it three) piece model. I'm not sure since I do not own one. However, these razors are adjustable and many enthusiast own them. Because of the weight and the cost, I have not opted to pay the price for having something that is adjustable.

Two piece razor

Merkur 34HD
The only two piece razor that I know of is the Merkur 34HD. This razor is highly rated in the shaving community. Being a little more aggressive than the Edwin Jager DE89, I think it's appeal is the two piece design along with the knurled handle. This makes for easy blade loading and handling during the shave. Personally, I do not own one but would not be against purchasing this razor.

My only experience with Merkur razors is the Merkur 33C. It is a quality product that will last a lifetime. The main disadvantage I see with the two piece 34HD razor is that you cannot change out handles if you prefer another handle than the one that comes with the razor. Some people like to do this to get a razor that matches their grip and hand balance.

Where to start

The first question I would ask would be what type of beard do you have? If you have a mild beard, you might opt for a milder razor such as the Weishi. If your beard growth is thicker you might go with the Merkur 34C. When you are laying down hard dollars making a good choice up front is important. I would spend some time on Youtube researching DE  razor reviews to help make this decision. It is hard for me to make a recommendation because my needs are different from yours so it would be wise to watch these reviews for good suggestions.

My Personal Choices

I currently own five razors. The Weishi 9306F, the Merkur 33C, the Edwin Jagger DE89, the Maggard MR1, and the Rimei. My beard type is light to normal, thicker on the chin area and very sensitive on the neck. I have discovered that a mild razor like the Weishi and the Merkur 33C with a sharp blade works best for me. You will have to do quite a bit of experimentation at first but once you hit on the magic combination you will be well rewarded! More about that soon!

Happy shaving!


No comments:

Post a Comment