Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Weighty Subject and a Cheap, Heavy Handle

I bought the cheapest three-piece DE razor a few months ago via mail order from China. It cost less than $5 including shipping. It is currently listed on as a "Silver Tone Double Edge Blade Razor Shaver w Nonslip Metal Handle," and can be purchased for less than $3 including shipping!
CORRECTION: THE CHINESE RAZOR IS CALLED "Nonslip Long Handle Stainless Steel Shaver Double Edge Safety Silver Tone Manual Razor" AND CAN BE PURCHASE FOR $6.
The Merkur 33C stock handle at lower left versus the Chinese handle at upper right.
The Chinese version is 15 grams heavier, one-half-inch longer, slightly smaller diameter, with adequate texture.
But for $3, buy the Chinese razor, discard the head, and keep the handle!

As I carefully inspected it as I do all new razors (using the information from [click here] this blog posting), I saw that the blade exposure was positive; that is, the edge of the blade was not at all protected by the top cap and the safety bar. So I never actually shaved my face with the implement -- only my arm. Then I put it in a box in my closet.

There was a silver lining to this dark cloud, however. The razor came with a weighty handle -- much heavier than the handle on my Merkur 33C classic. So I decided to make a handle swap on the 33C (creating a Frankenrazor, one could say) and give it a go this morning.

Now the 33C, without modifications, shaves fine. Yet the fact is that many DE wet shavers prefer the 33C's heavier sibling, the model 34C, which has a heavier, fatter handle. So although my heavy Chinese handle doesn't have the beautiful knurling of the German Merkur, nor does it have the larger diameter, it does have weight, a bit of extra length, and adequate texture to keep one's grip secure.
The Merkur 33C razor head with the heavier Chinese handle attached.
The stock Merkur handle is shown beside the razor.
With the new ultra-light pressure that I've been forced to use with my 37C slant, I find that the heavier handle on the 33C adds a touch of ease and quality to the morning shave.

So if you have a 33C, you might consider ordering the super-cheap Chinese 3-piece razor, discarding the head, and using the heavier handle as an option for the Merkur. If you don't have the 33C but are considering acquiring one, the 34C might be a better choice.

Merkur 33C handle: 29 grams, 3.0 inches long
Chinese handle: 44 grams, 3.5 inches long

Happy shaving!

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