Merkur 34C HD Review: Discover the Classic Safety Razor for a Smooth Shave

by Jay Kang | Updated on April 6th, 2023

Wet shaving enthusiasts, whether beginners or experienced, often find themselves on the lookout for the perfect safety razor. One name that consistently tops the charts is the Merkur 34C Heavy Duty (HD) Safety Razor—a classic, dependable, and top-quality razor that’s been a favorite for years.

In this review, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about the Merkur 34C, and why it’s earned its place as one of the best safety razors around.

Merkur 34C HD Review

The Merkur 34C: An Overview

The Merkur 34C HD is one of the standout offerings from Merkur, a brand with a rich history of over a century in bladesmithing, hailing from Solingen, Germany. The 34C is known for its high-quality craftsmanship, attractive design, and versatile performance.

It’s a two-piece safety razor with a closed comb and scalloped safety bar, offering a comfortable and close shave. With a handle length of approximately three inches and an average weight of 77 grams (about 2.7 oz), the 34C provides excellent balance and control.

Key Features of the Merkur 34C HD Safety Razor:

TypeTwo-piece safety razor
CombClosed comb with scalloped safety bar
Blade Gap0.71mm
Handle LengthApproximately 3 inches
Weight77 grams (about 2.7 oz)
MaterialChrome-plated brass
AggressivenessMildly aggressive, suitable for most skin types
PriceJust under $45

What Makes the Merkur 34C So Special?

  • A Perfect Balance of Aggressiveness: The Merkur 34C is often referred to as a mildly aggressive razor, striking a balance that makes it suitable for a wide range of users. The blade gap of 0.71mm contributes to its reputation for providing a close shave without the risk of nicks and cuts. What’s more, the 34C is compatible with any standard double edge razor blades, allowing you to customize the aggressiveness of your shave. Pair it with sharper blades like Feather or Personna for a more aggressive shave, or opt for milder blades like Derby for sensitive skin.
  • Exceptional Grip and Handling: Merkur has gone the extra mile to ensure that the 34C offers a secure grip. The handle is heavily knurled in a diamond pattern, providing a firm grip even when covered in shaving cream. Horizontal grooves at the base offer additional anchorage for your fingers. The result? Confident, controlled strokes every time.
  • Affordability and Durability: At just under $45, the Merkur 34C delivers exceptional value for money. It’s a long-lasting investment that can serve you for years, outshining disposable cartridge razors in both performance and savings. And when it comes to durability, the 34C’s chrome plating and brass inner body are built to withstand the test of time.

Caring for Your Merkur 34C

Keep your Merkur 34C in top condition by following these maintenance tips:

  • Cleaning: Rinse the razor thoroughly with warm water after each use to remove any residual shaving cream and hair.
  • Drying: Pat the razor dry with a clean towel and allow it to air dry completely before storing it. This prevents moisture buildup and potential damage to the chrome finish.
  • Blade Replacement: Replacing blades is simple with the 34C’s two-piece design. Twist the grooved knob at the bottom to release the top of the head, swap out the blade, and screw it back on. Remember to handle blades with care to avoid accidental cuts.
  • Storage: Store the razor in a dry, well-ventilated area, away from moisture. Consider using a razor stand to keep the razor elevated and facilitate drying.

Who Should Use the Merkur 34C?

The Merkur 34C is a fantastic choice for anyone interested in wet shaving. It’s especially great for:

  • Beginners: Its mild aggressiveness and ease of use make it an excellent entry point for those new to traditional wet shaving.
  • Experienced Wet Shavers: Seasoned shavers appreciate the 34C’s reliable performance and quality construction, making it a staple in many shaving routines.
  • Sensitive Skin: The 34C’s gentle shave is suitable for individuals with sensitive skin, especially when paired with softer razor blades.

Who Should Avoid the Merkur 34C?

While it’s hard to find fault with the Merkur 34C, those with larger hands may find its short handle less comfortable to grip. If you prefer a longer handle, consider alternatives like the Merkur 38C.

If you’re interested in exploring other options beyond the Merkur 34C, consider checking out these popular alternatives:

Edwin Jagger DE89

  • A well-balanced safety razor known for its exceptional build quality and smooth shave.
  • Offers a similar level of aggressiveness as the Merkur 34C.
  • The handle is slightly longer, providing a comfortable grip.
  • Comes in various finishes and grip styles, such as the LBL model and the barley series.

Muhle R41

1,517 Reviews
  • A more aggressive open comb safety razor, ideal for those with thicker, coarser hair.
  • Provides a closer shave compared to the Merkur 34C.
  • Slightly longer and lighter than the 34C.
  • Available in black or chrome finish.

Muhle R89

  • A milder safety razor with a closed comb design, similar to the Merkur 34C.
  • Provides a gentle shave, making it suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Slightly longer and lighter than the R41.
  • Comes in black or chrome finish.

Merkur 38C HD Long Handle Barber Pole

  • A variant of the Merkur 34C with a longer handle and heavier weight.
  • Ideal for users with larger hands who prefer a longer grip.
  • Available in a black finish.

Merkur 39C Heavy Duty “Sledgehammer” Slant Bar Barber Pole

  • Features a 90-degree slant head, known as the “Sledgehammer,” for a more aggressive shave.
  • Suitable for tackling thicker hair growth.
  • Provides a smooth shave that is comparable to a straight razor.

Keep in mind that the choice of a safety razor is a personal preference, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s always a good idea to try out different razors to find the one that best suits your needs and preferences.

The Final Verdict

In summary, the Merkur 34C HD Safety Razor is an absolute gem in the world of wet shaving. Its impeccable design, high-quality materials, and versatile performance make it a go-to choice for both newcomers and seasoned shavers. With its ability to deliver a close and comfortable shave without breaking the bank, the 34C has earned its place as a timeless classic. Whether you’re just starting your wet shaving journey or looking to add a dependable workhorse to your collection, the Merkur 34C won’t disappoint.

So, if you’re ready to experience the satisfaction of a smooth, traditional wet shave, the Merkur 34C HD Safety Razor might just be the perfect companion for you. Happy shaving!

Last update on 2023-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links.

Jay Kang

Just because i'm asian does not mean I don't need shaving. I always wanted to grow a beard when I was young, now I need to shave because hair growth for me is a problem. I'm going through what every man will and has gone through before.