Merkur 180 Long Handled Safety Razor Review – Otherwise Known As The 23C

Last updated on December 5th, 2018 by Garrick Dee

You’re tired of razor burns and spending crazy amounts of money on cartridge razors that causes those irritations but you worry that safety razors are more expensive.

Well, I hate to sound like a salesman but worry no more with the Mekur long handled safety razor.

Merkur 180 Long Handled Safety Razor Review

For just a little under $35 bucks, you can have this all metal razor at a price of a Gillette Fusion ProGlide 8 pack refill.

These refills will last you only a couple of months if you replace it once a week but if you have a thicker beard, you’ll have to replace it more often.

But this razor will last you a lifetime.

This isn’t your run-in-the-mill brand that is made in China (not to say all China made products are bad). Mekur razors are made in Germany and has been in the business of manufacturing quality razors for over 100 years.

If you look at Amazon this is bestselling DE safety razor with well over 4,000 reviews.

What makes this product so popular with a lot of men?

Well let’s find out what they like and dislike about this product.

Features at a glance…

  • Chrome plated finish
  • 3 piece razor
  • 4.1 inches long
  • German engineered
  • Aggressiveness: 5/10
  • Blades included: 1

Pros

  • You’ll get a very good quality de razor at a reasonable price
  • Removable head makes it easy to clean
  • Long handle allows you to transition from a disposable cartridge razor to a de razor
  • Gives you the option to purchase one with a guard if you’re new to wet shaving
  • The chrome plating is rust resistant

Cons

  • Shallow knurling
  • There is a risk of the screw that hold the parts together to rust and break off
  • Not adjustable

What to expect from the Merkur 180?

This product has an all metal construction and the chrome plated shell which gives it that nice shine. Looks good in the bathroom I may add.

The chrome adds that layer of protection that makes this resistant to rust which is something you want when using a product in a highly damp environment like the bathroom.

But I must warn you about the chrome chipping off in the long run. This isn’t as durable as stainless steel razors but those products are more expensive so there are trade offs.

If you like to shave inside the shower, I must warn you that this product does retain heat so you have to be careful or it will burn your face or whatever part you are shaving. I just wanted to throw this out there as a heads up just in case you like taking hot showers.

Another feature that makes this a favorite is the weight. It weights 30 grams which is pretty good for a razor since it gives you control.

This allows you to use that weight to your advantage when shaving. You don’t need to put extra pressure and let the blade do the work for you.

This razor isn’t adjustable which means when you tighten the screw, you cannot adjust the position of the blade – it forces you to shave at a constant 30 degree angle. Great for beginners new to wet shaving but for long time shavers who want to tinker with their razors – this could be an issue (albeit a minor one).

Is it easy to load the blade?

Here’s a brief overview on what you’ll get when you purchase this. You’ll also find out in this video how to assemble, disassemble and attach the blade…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMDliDOZyhw

Make sure that when you grab the blade grab it on the sides so you don’t cut yourself.

It is a three piece design that includes the handle, guard and base that holds the blade.

Mekur 180 Parts

image source

A single screw holds this parts together and is a potential weak point if it rusts.

Aggressiveness

When you combine closed comb design, the minimal blade exposure and the lightweight of this product you’ll get a mild razor that is suitable for beginners you want to learn the art of wet shaving.

This does not mean that you cannot use this to get a baby butt smooth shave (or BBS) as you can combine this with a really sharp blade like the Feather and get a pretty close shave. Just be careful and practice your technique well.

The great thing about mild shavers is that your margin for error is higher than aggressive blades like the Muhle R41 or the Merkur Slant which allows you to master the technique.

Grip

Like all Merkur razors, the 180 (or 23C) comes with a cross-knurl grip. I like this knurling design because it’s deep enough to provide you with a decent grip, perhaps even better than an Muhle R89. If you look at the bottom part, it protrudes just slightly and here’s the best part, it also has that same cross-knurl design and three deep horizontal grooves that adds even more grip.

Merkur 180 handle

So even if this slips at the handle, you’ll be able to catch it at the bottom part where the horizontal grooves are.

Length

As its name implies this razor is long, the handle alone measures around 3.8 inches. Overall length is easily over 4 inches long – which makes it a very good option for men of larger stature which big hands but it’s not as heavy as it looks – only 30 grams.

Razor Specifications

Model180
Handle Length3.875"
Weight30 grams
MaterialMetal
FinishChrome
Type3 piece design
Adjustable
Knurled handle
Manufactured inGermany

What do consumers say?

Consumers for the most part love the good build construction, quality and affordable price of this product.

Here’s what actual people have to say about the Mekur 180…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKxiGc4itW0

Another video review…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaP24nOAp4g

A lot of the consumers who bought this are beginners who are transitioning from cartridge razors to safety razors.

May of them are happy with the results saying the transition wasn’t very difficult and quality was good.

Another reason for the positive reviews was the monetary savings they got from not having to buy expensive cartridges. When you compare the price of these cartridges, a pack of Gillette often times cost as much as the Merkur itself. You can literally save hundreds by switching.

Take note that there are also some women who bought this razor and was ecstatic with the savings they got by simply not having to buy expensive cartridges.

Women (at least based on the reviews) have used this to shave their underarms, legs and even pubic hair. Surprisingly, a lot of women who purchased this blade were happy with the results, less razor burns and smoother shaves. One lady described it as “butter soft” and her man likes it!

In terms of learning curve there isn’t much since the angle of the guard forces you to shave at a 30 degree angle but you have to be careful not to put too much pressure on the blade or you will cut yourself. You can read more about wet shaving in this article.

There complaints about quality control. First, there have been reports (and photos) of the bolt (that holds all three parts together) breaking after a few months of use. Another complaint is the chrome chipping off.

Complaints aside, this razor will give you a good quality blade without having to pay a premium. If that’s all that matters to you, the Merkur 180 is a good option that does the job.

Where can I buy this?

You won’t find this product in a lot of online stores (Lee’s Razors is one of the few online shops that see this). And the best deal I’ve seen so far would be in Amazon where it sells around $35. This will be eligible to Amazon’s free 2-day shipping if you join Prime. They also sell extended warranty of up to 3 years if you want that extra peace of mind.

If you haven’t bought any blades, try a sampler pack. These products contain blades from different manufacturers. It’s a great way to try out different brands without spending too much.

To wrap up

This razor is great for both men and women who would like to save money on expensive cartridge refills.

It’s got a long handle (4 inches) that will work well for men with larger hands. If you don’t want the long handled version then go with the Merkur 34C HD.

The three piece design makes it easy to assemble, disassemble and clean. But it is not adjustable so you will be shaving at a constant 30 degree angle which is conservative.

It does give you a pretty close shave if you use the proper technique.

Price at just a little over $20, this is one of the best bang-for-the-buck razors that you will find in the market with pretty good build quality and it should last a lifetime – just make sure to dry to it well so the bolt does not rust.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.