Merkur 20C Review – A Long Handled Razor With an Anodized Metal Handle

Last updated on December 5th, 2018 by Garrick Dee

Most safety razors I’ve covered so far have a chrome finish from top to bottom.

Make no mistake chrome is beautiful.

But an all chrome finish can be monotonous to downright boring.

And if it doesn’t have any knurling can be slippery which isn’t good.

Something a bit different

This is where the Merkur 20C aims to be different. The first thing you will notice is the handle – it looks like rubber but it isn’t.

It has an anodized aluminum finish with a barber pole style knurling.

It actually gives a nice grip without being too sticky and at least for me this will age better because there’s less risk of chipping unlike chrome.

Thin handle

In terms of girth it isn’t as thick as other safety razors like the Merkur 39C or the Edwin Jagger Kelvin which is actually good if you have smaller hands.

The head is pretty much a standard Merkur design that you’ll get in all their three piece razors.

A quick look at the features

  • This is a 3 piece DE razor
  • Weighs roughly 2.2 ounces
  • Length is around 4.2 from end to end
  • Has an black anodized metal handle – the rest of the razor is chrome
  • Aggressiveness: 5/10
  • Blades included: 1

Pros

  • A great option for beginners who have smaller hands but would want a razor that has a similar size to a cartridge razor to make the transition easier
  • Very good build quality
  • Handle isn’t slippery
  • Great for right handed men

Cons

  • When you compare it to other beginner de razors it is somewhat pricey
  • Some complaints about the handle being difficult to clean

What to expect from this new product from Merkur

The first thing you will notice with the 20C is the handle. Instead of the chrome finish that a lot of brands use, this one has a unique matte black finish that looks like rubber.

Grippy as rubber

But it isn’t rubber. Merkur calls this anodized aluminum that has the same grippy texture as rubber.

If you look closely at the knurling design Merkur used a barber pole style design that spirals down counterclockwise.

This means if you use like to use your right hand shaving it will provide with better grip than if you’d use your left hand.

Other parts of the razor has a chrome finish. Yes, even the hidden parts have chrome but not polished.

This is what you’ll see if you clean the razor…

Part that isn't smooth

It’s a bit rough on the edges but this will not affect shave quality.

3-piece razor

This is a 3-piece razor meaning it consists of a top plate, base plate and handle. A single bolt holds these 3 parts together.

Three piece razors are typically easier to clean but a little harder to put together.

Also out of the box, you’ll get one blade which may or may not suite your skin and facial hair type.

I highly recommend that you purchase a sampler set of blades that contains blades from different brands to help you narrow down which brands work on you because each man is unique.

The great thing with Merkurs is that it is pretty versatile, you can use a less aggressive blade or an aggressive blade and achieve great results depending on your needs. If you have a wiry beard you can opt for a sharp blade.

Is it easy to load the blade?

Since this is a three piece razor, blade replacement can be a tad more difficult than a two piece or a butterfly razor.

One technique used by experienced shavers is holding both edges of the head so the blade will align. After ensuring proper alignment that’s the only time you tighten the handle.

Aggressiveness

In terms of aggressiveness, many wet shavers consider this a mild safety razor with an aggressiveness scale of 4/10 which makes it a good option for beginners who haven’t mastered the art of wet shaving.

If you’re looking for a closer shave, use a sharper blade like a Feather HI-stainless to offset the mildness.

Even with the sharper blade this Merkur won’t match a slant or open comb razor in terms of aggressiveness.

Grip

Unlike most razors that uses a chrome handle, Merkur did something different with the 20C and 30C.

Better grip than chrome

Merkur used anodized aluminum that provided better grip than chrome.

Handle

The wet shaving community in general liked this design because it provided a better grip but isn’t sticky.

It isn’t thick but it still has very good length which means better control and maneuverability. You can try different grip styles without straining your fingers.

And despite having a thin handle, it doesn’t feel hallow. It actually feels solid and has good weight to it.

Razor Specifications

Model20C
Overall Length4.2 inches
Handle LengthN/A
Handle DiameterN/A
Weight2.2 ounces
MaterialMetal
FinishChrome plated with anodized aluminum metal handle
Type3 piece
Adjustable
Knurled handle
Barber Pole Style
Blade included1
Manufactured inGermany

What Consumers Say

Most men only have good things to say about this Merkur de razor. A big reason would be the handle that has solid grip thanks to the material used and knurling.

The barber pole design isn’t as grippy as the gritty knurling design of a Merkur 34C but it’s pretty close.

Not very aggressive

In terms of aggressiveness, men say that the 20C is not aggressive, if you have an average beard, this razor should be enough as an everyday beard mower that you can use without irritating your skin.

No razor burn or cuts

A lot of the consumers who bought this were first time shavers and they were very happy with the results – no razor burn, cuts or nicks.

Long handle

Another feature that wet shavers like is the length of the handle. Unlike other Merkurs that come with a short handle, this one has a long handle, close to 4 inches. This gave them pretty good control and some consumers said they wished that it had been a tad bit longer.

Where can I buy this?

You can buy this razor in Amazon for under $50. And it is eligible to Amazon’s free 2-day shipping if you join Prime.

Now $50 may sound a lot but considering the price difference between DE blades and cartridges, you will literally save thousands of dollars down the road. If you’re planning to transition from a cartridge to a safety razor, this is a good option because it has the same size.

To Wrap Up

This is another razor in the long line of Merkur safety razors that newbie wet shavers can try. It has a sleek handle made from anodized metal with a barberpole design that gives a pretty good grip.

The thin handle suits men with smaller hands but gents with larger hands will like the length of this razor since it will give them better control.

This product is another work of art from Merkur. A lot of reviews in Amazon, blogs and forums give this a thumbs up because of the bulletproof head and handle that has a solid grip.

Garrick spends his days researching and writing about grooming. When he’s not in front of his computer, you can find him hanging around with his wife and son.

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