Saturday, November 21, 2015

Merkur Open Comb (15C) and the Gillette Silver Blue Blade

Today was my eighth shave with the Gillette Silver Blue blade. Today I used it in my Merkur 15C open-comb razor.
            The Merkur 15C open-comb, three-piece razor            

The razor is very good; the blade is definitely improving.

The first four shaves with this blade -- even in my most face-friendly razors -- were harsh: both irritating and wounding. However, I didn't quit. Every day after the shave I would perform my customary blade care as follows:
  • Dry the blade by patting, not wiping
  • Stropping the dry blade on my oiled palm
By the fifth shave, I noticed real improvement, although my face was pretty beat up from the previous shaves. It was from this shave that I began to alternate razors from day to day, alternatively using the Gillette Tech (c.1948) or my Merkur 15C. 

The 15C by Merkur is becoming one of my favorites. Originally when first acquired, I found the 15C to be fine except for third passes against grain. Now since I don't do three passes very often, the 15C has proven to be a real performer. For example, this eighth shave started with the 15C and a with-grain, all-buffing first pass. Then for my second and final pass, still with 15C, I shaved from various directions -- both across and against grain.

With the combination of the 15C and seven previous shaves on the Silver Blue blade (each followed by the afore-mentioned blade care), I finally got a close comfortable shave from the blade. I attribute this to both the seasoned blade and the 15C, which is a clearly a more mild shaver than the c.'48 Tech.

Many months ago, I suggested in an article that the Merkur 15C may be the best all-around razor, about which I was only partially serious. However, today I'm still not uncomfortable reiterating that suggestion. Though because of its mildness it may not easily yield totally baby-smooth shaves on some faces, it brings the following benefits:

  • Mild enough for sensitive faces and to safely shave any body hair
  • Open comb design easily accommodates hair of any length, which makes it good for body hair, beards, trimming edges of wooly growth, the back of the neck, etc.
  • Can shave closely
  To order a 15C, you can click on the graphic at left.

Happy shaving!

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