- Those with sensitive skin will find it can give a close, comfortable shave. (This was the factor that was most heavily weighted in the decision matrix.)
- Daily shavers can get a consistently close, comfortable shave.
- Persons who don't shave every day and therefore shave longer hair will find that this razor will handle longer hair. Heck, you could remove a full-grown beard with this razor!
- Combined with the right blade, this razor should handle both thick, wiry hair as well as fine, sparse hair.
- Insert the right blade that is well suited to the user's skin and hair characteristics
- Use an appropriate finger-tip grip on the smaller, classic-sized handle (or get a longer-handled version as explained below)
- Find and maintain the best shaving angle of razor against face to fully use the capacity of the razor
- Know how to use direct and oblique shaving strokes to maximize the shaving ability of the razor
- The small blade angle in relation to the shaving plane of the razor is more slicing rather than scraping, thus supporting a face-friendly shave
- The blade exposure is slightly negative, which still allows a close shave, but limits shave harshness
- The blade reveal is small, which will minimize microvibrations of the blade edge, and thereby limit harshness of the shave
- The baseplate is an open-comb design, not a safety bar. The open comb allows virtually unlimited hair length without significantly compromising shave closeness. It also removes relatively little lather prior to the blade cutting hair, thus maximizing the protection of your shave lubrication.
Of course, it is true that I haven't tried all the DE razor designs available in the world. But as I've explained in the last week or so, picking shaving gear isn't all about trial and error. It's about understanding different skin and hair characteristics and, to those, matching the razor-design aspects (and blade-design aspects) that singly or in combination can likely provide a satisfying shave experience.
|The Merkur 15C open-comb razor:|
The best DE razor.
*Of course, the key to this choice is the shaving head, so the family of Merkur open-comb razors could be included in this selection. However, the 15C and the slightly-more-expensive, long-handled 25C are specifically identified because of the excellent no-slip knurling on the handle.
- Its capacity to shave long hair is virtually unlimited, so it can handle the daily shave or if you only shave once a week or less.
- It is a mild-shaving razor that should be comfortable for those with sensitive skin or those new to double-edge shaving.
- Yet it is capable of shaving close enough that those with tougher skin should still be able to get a good, close shave (although I acknowledge that these gents would probably prefer a more aggressive razor, which would make it easier to get a very close shave).
|This view clearly shows the limited blade reveal for diminished harshness, and also how, for about 2/3 of the blade edge, there is no obstacle (such as a safety bar) between hair and blade.|
- Yes the 15C handle is the shorter, classic length and smaller diameter. Some will stubbornly insist that it's too small for their hands -- despite the reasonable suggestion that a fingertip grip is probably the most suitable for any DE razor. If you don't like this handle, then choose the 25C.
- Its weight is only moderate, not heavy, and some really like a heavy razor. Okay, that's true, but the shaving character of this instrument is mild and can be more forgiving in terms of pressure of razor against face. So, then, who cares about its weight?
- If you have relatively tougher, less-sensitive skin, with smooth, round contours, you may label this razor as one for wimps and beginners. That's your prerogative. However, preferences aside, even someone with tough skin can get a good shave with this razor, and if you're in a hurry, the shave can be really quick without much risk of blood loss.
So there you have it: the Merkur 15C (or 25C) open-comb razor is my nominee for the best one-size-fits-all DE razor in the world! It's one that every shaver should be able to use with very good results.