Pros: Overall Quality
Off to a great start
...as opposed to a grate start, like so many razors do to your face! Having grown heartily sick of the trend to go with more and more blades in disposable heads (Gullet-Ripper with 128 Blades!) and reaching an age when my vision and hand steadiness is making straight razor shaves more risky, I decided to go simple. I ordered the Merkur Long Handle along with 30 additional Merkur double edged blades from Knife Center. Arrived fast, normal for KC. Loading a blade is pretty intuitive, just be sure to hold by the narrow ends that are not sharpened (but if I have to tell you this, maybe you need to sell your sharps and buy an electric shaver, ok?). In reading reviews of this and other double edged razors, I understood that the threaded screw in the cap bears all the responsibility of holding things together, so I did not cramp down tightly, simply snug. Further reading in the last few days further supports this as overtightening can change blade geometry and cause nicks. I followed my normal shaving regimen, namely dropping the shaving mug in a sink full of hot water, taking a hot shower, then retrieving the now warmed porcelain mug from the water, putting in the shaving soap cake, and applying the brush to make foam. With my 5 days of beard growth soaped up, I began to take slower than normal strokes with the new razor and blade. Lacking a pivoting head, it is critical to learn the angle needed to get the proper contact. A stroke or two and I had the feel for it. The feel of the razor is very smooth, no pulling of whiskers and virtually NO DRAG. A single pass of the razor in the direction of the hair growth was sufficient to make a perfect depilation. Getting under the nose and around the mouth was quite easy and left no patches. A quick rinse of my face with cool water and pat dry with a towel....excellent shave. At no point did I find the razor clogging with the 5 day stubble, something I struggle with when using modern disposables with multi-blade configurations. Forty-eight hours laterr I was exhibiting a little stubble. Excellent. I now have 7 shaves on this same blade over the last 12 days. The blade is not noticibly any less sharp, nor dragging across my face. Three shaves off a high end disposable blade and my face feels raw and abused. Face it (HA! Get it?) This is a great entry level double edged razor, and after initial purchase, replacement blades are 50 cents each or lower in bulk, all while lasting longer than disposable plastics. I figure I'll be paying a nickel a shave on replacement blades for years to come.