Merkur 34C HD Review – Some Experts Call This The Best DE Razor

Last updated on September 10th, 2018 by Garrick Dee

Merkur 34C ReviewIf there is one safety razor that experts recommend to both newbies and experienced wet shavers, the Merckur 34C would be their first option.

The closed comb design make this mild but put in a sharp blade like a razor and it’ll give you a close shave even on a 3 day growth.

And if you put in a less aggressive blade like a Dorco, this turns into a great beginner’s razor.

This makes it one of the most versatile options available.

The best part is you don’t have to spend a whole lot. This DE razor will cost just around $40. You’ll get a good quality razor that’ll last a long time.

One of the big advantages of a safety razor like this over a cartridge would be the cost savings long term. I’m talking about decades here.

Before I continue, let’s look at the features of the Merkur 34C

  • This is a two-piece razor (not adjustable)
  • Comes with one blade
  • Chrome plated finish
  • Weighs around 80.5 grams or 2.83 ounces
  • Handle length: 3″
  • Aggressiveness: 5/10
  • Blades included: 1

Pros

  • Great craftsmanship and build quality
  • The two piece design make it easier to adjust the blade so that it is even on both sides
  • Chrome finish is smooth and won’t scratch your face
  • Knurling is well made and won’t slip your hands (even when it’s covered with shaving cream)

Cons

  • Not the most aggressive razor out there
  • If you have coarse beard or sensitive, you may want to try something more aggressive like the Merkur Slant
  • Parts of this razor does not have a smooth finish (non-visible parts) but it shouldn’t affect performance

What to expect from the Merkur 34C?

The first thing you will notice when you get this out of the box is the craftsmanship.

Smooth chrome

Chrome platting is smooth and finish is what you’d expect from something made from Germany.

But underneath the top cap, you’ll notice that it isn’t smooth unlike the other visible parts.

This really is a subjective call, some people may like everything smooth but the majority don’t mind. It doesn’t affect shave quality shave quality so it shouldn’t be an issue.

Here’s a video from Nick Shaves showing the different features of the 34C…

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=fChBt96-qn4

Even with the closed comb design, you can use this to shave a multi-day beard growth. But a very sharp razor like a Feather is a must.

Great for beginners

This is just an example of the versatility of this product. It will work for beginners who may need something mild. And it will also work for seasoned shavers who would want a reliable razor that will handle even thick beard growth.

Of course, you will need 2 to 3 passes if you want a close shave. But my point is this will still be able to do the job.

Go Slant if you want something aggressive

Again, if you want something that will do the job with less passes try the Merkur Slant – just make sure to have your technique ironed out.

Geofatboy from ShaveNation.com demos the Merkur 34C (along with the Futur) on his 5 day old beard…

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwr-m13tz98

Is it easy to load the blade?

With this being a two piece razor which means the base plate and the handle are one piece, loading up a blade is a bit easier when you compare it to a three piece razor.

To load the blade, just twist the knob at the bottom to loosen up the top plate then carefully place the blade in-between the posts.

When you tighten this make sure that you hold both sides of the razor head to ensure even blade exposure.

Aggressiveness

In the aggressivess spectrum, the 34C can be classified as a “mild” razor but when you pair it with a sharp blade like the Feather, it will be able to handle any type of beard growth.

However, you’ll need two to three passes to get a BBS (or baby butt smooth) shave.

Grip

If you look closely at the 34’s handle, it has a crisscrossed knurling that forms hundreds of small diamond shapes that provide equally good grip for both the right handed and left handed consumer.

If you look closely at the Merkur 34C handle, it has a crisscrossed knurling design that will provide decent grip. Since it goes both directions, it’ll provide good traction for either right or left handed individuals.

The knob at the bottom is slightly wider than the handle so this helps you know where the edge is without looking.

This further prevents any further slippage and allows more control.

Length

This is a short razor at less than 4 inches – handle length is around 3 inches, not for men with really large hands.

Razor specifications

Model34C
Handle Length3" (approx.)
Weight80.5 grams
MaterialNot specified
FinishChrome plated
Type2 piece
Adjustable
Knurled handle
Blade included1
Manufactured inGermany

What consumers say?

Consumers had a lot of good things to say about the 34C.

A lot of them came from shaving with cartridge razors all their lives and transitioned to wet shaving.

Great even on a tough, wiry beard

Some of them have coarse beards. One of them was African-American that described compared his beard to a wire.

Another also had sensitive skin in addition to the tough beard. And still this razor did a good job mowing down tough facial hair without irritation.

Minimal irritation

All of those men said that this razor was able to cut of facial hair without leaving any razor burn or any irritation.

Though you still have to learn how to properly use a safety razor and of course prep your face in order to maximize the benefits of wet shaving.

Get a close shave with an aggressive blade

While most people will consider this razor as mild you can still get a close shave when you pair it with a sharp blade like the Feather as Nick will demonstrate…

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvvH-GvBwCA

If you’re curious what after shave he used, it is the Thayer’s Cucumber Witch Hazel (remember it’s the alcohol free version). After applying aftershave he used the Palm Mall Barbers Sandlewood & Clove.

I’m just sharing all of this to you to give you an idea what these experts use and you can try them and see if it works for your skin.

Say goodbye to razor burn

The biggest benefit aside from having a razor-burn-free close shave is the savings they get. Since they’re not buying expensive refills, consumers say that they save hundreds of dollars.

To give you an idea how long short the handle take a look at a side by side photo between the 34C and Gillette.

Merkur 34C vs Gillette

The Gillette’s handle is around an inch or so longer so if you’re use to razors with long handles, you can try the Merkur Long Handled razor.

I also noticed shavers compare this to the Edwin Jagger DE89 and say that Edwin Jagger is a better product.

Some potential issues

There are some bad reviews. Some complained about the chrome chipping. Others complained about it not giving them a close shave.

But you have to remember razor is just one part of the equation. You’ll also have to take in account the blade used and technique.

Short handle

Others complained about the short handle. If you need something longer, you can opt for the Merkur 23C or 38C. The former is slightly cheaper while the latter is more aggressive because it’s heavier.

To conclude the reviews section, it’s all a matter of personal preference.

It’s hard to compare a Chrome platted razor to a stainless steel because of the costs involved. A good quality SS razor will cost well over $100 while this product only costs just over $30 so it’s like comparing apples and oranges.

As for shave quality, it will depend on the type of facial hair you have. This may not work well when shaving very coarse beards. And you’ll need something more aggressive like a Merkur Slantto get the job done. But for someone who’s starting out, it’s a great option.

You’ll only need to find the right type of blade that will suite your face and hair type.

Where can I buy this?

You can buy this razor from Amazon where it sells for roughly $40. And it is eligible for the free 2-day shipping if you join Prime!

Forty bucks sounds a lot for a razor but that’s just the upfront cost if you consider the price difference of a DE razor and cartridge refill, the difference is night and day and over time it adds up. You’ll literally save thousands of dollars over a 10 year period depending on how often you shave and change refills.

To wrap up

This is a great all around razor for both beginners and seasoned wet shavers depending on what blade you put in.

While craftsmanship in this product excellent, it only costs $30 which is insane. It’s a great option for men looking dip their feet into wet shaving.

Expert shavers like Nick Shaves and ShaveBusta highly recommend this because it isn’t overly aggressive that you have to stay focused 100% of the time or you’ll nick yourself but it allows you to relax while you shave.

The two-piece design makes it easier to assemble compared to its three-piece counterparts. This razor is not stainless steel but made from brass. So if water seeps through the chrome shell, there is a possibility of the brass frame corroding.

But if you take care of it, you’ll be able to pass this along to your children and even their children.

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.

One thought on “Merkur 34C HD Review – Some Experts Call This The Best DE Razor

  1. The Merkur 34C was my first DE razor, and it was the razor I learned to wetshave on. And although I’ve since acquired two more DE razors that are vintage and more aggressive, I still shave with my Merkur 34C regularly. And I can load just about any blade into it and get a great shave, not just the Feathers. Voskhods, Astras, 7 o’clock yellows, Personna Blues, Lord Platinum Class, all of them work well for me in the 34C. And the mild character of the razor reduces the irritation. Aggressive enough for a BBS, but very forgiving. If anyone is thinking of getting into DE shaving, this razor is an awesome introduction. But be warned-you might still love the Merkur 34C when you’re an experienced wetshaver. I do.

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