As I've written before, though many think of open-comb designs as being aggressive and potentially providing a harsh shave because of their unlimited capacity as well as the reputation of some open-comb razors such as the Muhle R41, this aggressive shaving character isn't always the case. The Merkur 15C is an excellent example of an open-comb razor with a very mild shaving character. As we examine side-view photos of this instrument, the reasons for its mild shave will become apparent.
|The blade edge is more visible in this photo, so the negative blade exposure is also more easily seen.|
|The tooth profile on this Merkur 15C (above) is rather flat and the gaps between the teeth are not the largest of the open-comb designs. For example, compare this to the tooth profile and gap size of the Muhle R41 below.|
The blade angle of the 15C measures about 29 degrees, which is similar to some other razors I've measured, and which are listed below:
- Merkur 33C: 30 degrees (& negative blade exposure)
- Lord LP1822L: 30 degrees (& negative blade exposure)
- Weishi 9306-F: 28 degrees (& positive blade exposure)
- Gillette Slim Adjustable, set on one: 31 degrees (& positive blade exposure)
- Gillette Slim Adjustable, set on nine: 35 degrees (& larger positive blade exposure)
So the smaller blade angle combined with the negative blade exposure would tend to suggest a very mild shave.
Paradoxically, though this razor is of mild-shaving nature, I tend to get weepers at a higher rate than with the Merkur 33C, while seeming to have to work just a bit harder to get as close a shave with the 15C. My only explanation for this paradox might be that the open-comb design lets looser skin in certain areas of my beard get nipped by the blade, while in the smoother, tighter areas, the mild nature of the razor dominates.