Last week, I abused my face with a couple of shaves with the Merkur 15C. Though some months ago I wrote an article nominating this razor, the 15C open comb, as the best overall compromise razor for every shaver, individuals can have issues with it. I, for one, have a hard time getting a weeper free shave (though that's true for me with almost any razor, when I take a very close shave).
|The blade exposure of this razor is negative: the blade edge is below the shave plane. This orientation is less likely to bite than similar razors with a positive blade exposure.|
|The blade angle of this razor is fairly mild, with 30 degrees (or less) being the norm for many face-friendly razors.|
Part of the explanation for my occasionally rough shaves with the 15C such as that first one with it last week is that I occasionally lose my mind and do something not particularly smart. For example, I may do a two-pass shave with, then against, grain. Though I can safely do this with some other razor designs, by skipping the cross-grain pass with an open-comb razor in particular, one increases the likelihood of nicks and weepers as the rake of the hair angle when shaving against grain encourages the blade to ride down -- sometimes dangerously close -- toward the skin. Once my skin is nicked and generally irritated, no matter what I do the next day, it will likely be uncomfortable and far from perfect.
So here are the precautions I will take going forward with this razor:
- I will always remove hair incrementally without short cuts -- meaning that I will always make a first pass with grain, second pass cross grain, and never do an against-grain pass before the third pass.
- I will always keep in mind that this open-comb design, though relatively mild, still offers less protection than a similar set up with a safety bar such as the Merkur 33C Classic. This means light pressure and respect for the razor's threat.