I used a minimalist shave with my Arko shave stick, and a five-shave-old SuperMax Titanium blade in the Merkur 15C open-comb razor, of course.
|The Merkur 15c open-comb razor. High capacity despite a face-friendly shave.|
Using the shave stick after wetting my beard with cool tap water, I rubbed the soap on my more sensitive real estate: upper lip, chin and lower lip, below the jaw line, and my right cheek. With a fairly wet brush (the Arko soap likes water) I face lathered to the familiar rich, creamy, luxurious lather over my entire face and neck (my beard grows quite low on my neck).
I did a two-pass shave (cross grain and against grain) with some additional buffing and finishing strokes that nearly amounted to a full third pass. The net result was a close and comfortable shave. If I were in a hurry, I could have stopped with the first pass, which looked good. The second pass made it much more rewarding to the hand. The third, buffing pass was to get closer to the perfect shave; the 15C didn't quite get there today, but it got close, and certainly close enough.
This razor, because of its mild character, allows quite a bit of pressure on the buffing pass without any negative consequences. In fact, I would now suggest that this razor gives a slightly milder shave than the Merkur 33C, its bathroom-cabinet companion. [UPDATE: Upon further consideration, no, the 33 is a milder, more face-friendly shave than the 15C.] This idea of the 15C being milder may be due to today's well-used blade, which was deposited in the recycle bank during post-shave clean up.
This razor continues to shine as a capable yet comfortable instrument -- nearly ideal for those with sensitive skin, beard of almost any character, and who shave daily, infrequently, or anything in between.