|The two main pieces of the Merkur 37C plus the blade. The handle-baseplate assembly (right) can be|
further broken down by pulling out the twist knob (far upper right), which is held in place by a snap ring.
I tried to remove the top cap, but the screw threads were very tight. I applied more torque and the knob turned, but the entire threaded assembly had a large amount of friction. Once the top cap was removed, I put some mineral oil on the threads and tightened and loosened the cap-handle assembly several times to work in the oil. The friction diminished slightly, but not enough to satisfy me.
|The business end of the 37C. Don't be intimidated by the yawning, tooth-rimmed exposure, |
but do give it appropriate respect.
|UPDATE: Blade reveal in the 37C is generous, which|
normally might lead to micro-vibrations of the edge, but
in the slant design is likely offset by the twist in the blade,
which probably stiffens it, and is clearly visible in this view.
This morning, blade choice already handled, I still had to choose shave prep. I decided on my customary cold water to minimize dryness and perhaps irritation as well. Instead of shave soap, I chose the Old Woodward brand of shave oil and shave butter, which always provides me with confidence for a smooth shave.
|The 37C has a stout, short handle at 2-15/16", but which is easy to hold and maneuver. |
The total weight of the instrument is a hefty 76 grams.
I washed with soap and cold water, then massaged more cold water into my stubble. I applied the shave oil and then spread a thin layer of the shave butter on my beard.
|UPDATE: This is the blade exposure and angle at the right|
side of the blade; small angle shears and neutral exposure
are fairly face friendly, but the blade-bar gap (not visible) is
large at this end, which make the capability
large and aggressive.
Started the second pass with my lower neck, always a challenge there. No pulling, pain, or apparent harshness, so I went on to my face. Continued with the ATG, but as I progressed, I noticed emerging weepers on my neck. Redoubling my efforts to maintain a light touch, I finished the shave with cross-the-grain strokes on my upper lip and below the corners of my mouth, where I always avoid ATG strokes.
|UPDATE: Blade angle at this end of the blade is larger, more|
harsh, but is offset to some degree by the smaller blade-bar gap
(not visible). The blade exposure is neutral at this end as well.
I rinsed, checking for any areas not smooth. I applied more shave butter and did some touch up strokes.
Then a rinse with cold water, and some witch hazel. Then a quick swipe or two on the weepers with a wet styptic pencil. The face air dries as I clean up the tools and sink area, then apply a little after-shave balm with added drops of vitamin-e oil.
The net result, you wonder? A very smooth, close shave. Initially very comfortable as well. Then for about two hours after the shave, I did experience some razor burn and minor visible irritation on my neck.
So the slant isn't a face eater and shouldn't be feared, despite its menacing, toothed, maniacal grin. However, it does require a very light touch if one has sensitive skin. Tomorrow I will focus on even lighter pressure, shorter strokes, and will not shave ATG in the second pass. I can tell that this beast will be tamed when we get better acquainted.
So there's more to come... Until then, happy shaving!