Merkur 39C Slant Bar Review – A 37C on Steroids

Last updated on December 5th, 2018 by Garrick Dee

In one of my previous reviews, I talked in detail about the Merkur 37C called the slant because of its slanted blade angle.

In the hands of an experienced shaver, that razor is a beard mower thanks to the slant design.

Now imagine the slant that’s bigger and heavier, you have the 39C.

Merkur 39C Slant Bar Review

Wet shavers call this “Sledge Hammer” with good reason.

This tips the scales at over 4 ounces, while the 37C only weighs 2.8 ounces – you can see the difference.

What is a slant bar razor?

If you don’t know what a slant bar is, this refers to the angle of the blade. Instead of a flat angle, when you load a blade on a slant razor, it sets it at an angle.

The principle is similar to that of a guillotine. An angled blade will cut more efficiently compared to a flat angled blade.

Blade will dull faster

The downside to this design is that it would dull the blade faster.

However a slant razor isn’t for beginners

Before using this you’ll have to master the proper technique in handling a safety razor. One wrong swipe and you’ll slash your face and have a bloody mess.

But for shaving connoisseurs who have thick or wiry beards who want something efficient because of the angle of the blade (which is slant), this razor can shave with the best of them.

Let’s look at the features of the “Sledgehammer”:

  • One of the heaviest razors in the market weighing over 4 ounces
  • This is a two-piece razor
  • The head utilizes a slant bar design for a more efficient slicing action
  • Has a barber pole knurling design
  • Around 4.1 inches long (from top to the bottom)
  • Chrome finish
  • Aggressiveness: 10/10
  • Blades included: 1

Pros

  • Experienced wet shavers call this efficient thanks to the slant bar design
  • Great for men with large hands because of the length and weight
  • Mows down a thick beard in fewer passes (great if you’re in a hurry)

Cons

  • Very aggressive razor – not for beginners
  • Non-visible parts don’t have a smooth chrome finish

What to expect from this heavyweight

This product is one of the most aggressive shavers in the market.

Bigger version of the 37C

Basically this is a bulkier and a heavier version of the Merkur 37C. The weight of this razor automatically make this more aggressive and you have to adjust your technique when you use this.

Here’s an overview of this product from Prime and Prep…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4clE5DE1Gs8

The length of the handle allows you to grip it with the pinkie on the bottom of the barrel which allows you to put less weight on the razor. Here’s how Geofatboy holds this razor.

Grip Technique

This razor is not a good choice for beginners because of the aggressiveness. One wrong stroke could mean a bloody face.

Not for beginners

Before buying this, you have to master the technique using less aggressive razors that would fit beginners before moving on to this super aggressive product.

This is called “Sledge Hammer” because of its size and weight.

Measuring at around 4.1 inches from end to end and tipping the scales at over 4 ounces, this is one of the heaviest safety razors in the market which has its good points and bad points.

Good because you can solely rely on its weight and not add more pressure. It is bad because, the added weight makes this product even more aggressive, you have to make sure you have mastered the art of wet shaving before even thinking of buying this.

Is it easy to load the blade?

One note on loading the blades.

If you’ve watched Merkur videos they have a rather unorthodoxed way of loading blades – they recommend that you load the blade on the top cap laying upside down then screwing the handle over it.

Here’s how it’s down according to Merkur…

Loading blades on a Merkur 39C

This technique isn’t the right way of loading the blade. It will be prone to misalignment or the blade exposure not being equal on both sides.

For your reference, here’s a better way of loading a blade on a two piece razor (the razor featured on the video is a Merkur 34C).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6zzvIWW8vY

When he used the Merkur technique, blade alignment wasn’t even. So he had to unscrew the handle and align the blade using his fingers.

This is a very important step when loading blades to make sure you will get even shaving on both sides.

Aggressiveness

When you combine the weight, length and the slant bar design, this razor is one of the most aggressive products in the market right now.

One big advantage of using a slant would be efficiency. To get a close shave, you will probably need a 2 pass shave at most.

Grip

This razor has a barber pole design that a lot of consumers say gives them a pretty good grip. The grooves are actually deeper than it appears to be.

When you look closely at the handle, it has the same handle as the Merkur 38C. Both of these razors basically have the same width and weight, the only difference is the head.

Right handed people may find the knurling slippery. But resting your pinkie on the base should prevent any slippage.

If you use the technique I shared above, this won’t be slipping out of your hands.

Length

Handle length is around 3.5 inches is which can be pretty short for men with larger hands. GeoFatBoy recommends holding this razor with the butt resting on the pinkie.

Since this razor is heavy, you don’t have to put any weight to it which lessens the stress on your hands and fingers.

Razor Specifications

Model39C
Overall Length4.1 inches
Handle LengthN/A
Handle DiameterN/A
Weight4 ounces
MaterialMetal
FinishChrome plated
Type2 piece
Adjustable
Knurled handle
Barber Pole Style
Blade included1
Manufactured inGermany

What Consumers Say

Even though the sledgehammer has a reputation of being super aggressive, some consumers think otherwise. If you watched the video review shared by Prime and Prep, he mentioned that this razor is not aggressive but efficient because of the slant bar design.

More aggressive than the Merkur Futur

Some consumers in Amazon said that the 39C is more efficient than most aggressive setting of the Merkur Futur.

But this razor is not for the beginner as a lot of consumers who have used this already have some experience in wet shaving. If you use the same technique you use on a cartridge razor, you’d cut your face to pieces.

Only light touch is needed

This razor requires a very light touch. Check out the screen grab I shared earlier of how Geofatboy holds this razor with the barrel resting on the pinkie finger. It allows you to put almost no weight on the razor when you shave.

Great for thick facial hair

For men with wiry and hard to shave beards, this is a good tool to have in your arsenal if you don’t have time to do a 3 pass shave with a non-slant razor. The slant bar slices facial hair instead of cutting them, allowing you to get a closer shave in fewer passes.

Please pay close attention on how you load the blade. Make sure to hold both ends to ensure alignment.

Another important factor in using this product is blade selection. You will have to buy a sampler set of blades so that you can find the right combo that will work best on your face.

Based on some reviews, an aggressive razor like the feather may not work best with this product but you will have to try for yourself to see.

Where can I buy this?

You can buy this razor from Amazon for less than $60. And it’ll be eligible for Amazon’s free 2-day shipping if you enroll in Prime.

To Wrap Up

This is a great tool for experienced wet shavers looking for an aggressive razor to mow down a thick, wiry beard.

While the “sledgehammer” isn’t a good choice for a first razor, it has a great option for men who’ve mastered the technique and looking for something a little more aggressive.

This is also great for men with sensitive skin because you don’t need as many passes to get a very close shave but again you have to use the right technique.

The slant design provides a slicing action instead of a cutting action which according to a lot of experienced wet shavers is more efficient in tackling a 4 or 5 day beard growth.

It isn’t something you’d want to use everyday but a just-in-case-I-need-it tool if you’re in a hurry.

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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