Friday, September 12, 2014

My Active Razor Roster

My most recent razor acquisitions, the Maggard MR3B and the Merkur 15C open comb, have created a healthy and constructive re-evaluation of the razors I keep available in the medicine cabinet. One of the additional results of this re-evaluation is the two-part article I posted recently: "Picking the Right Razor for You," Parts One and Two.

Maggard MR3B: a fat, heavy handle on the
standard Maggard straight-bar head.
For one thing, the heavyweight Maggard, though perfectly fine, has allowed me to use its fat-boy handle on various razor heads. As a result, I've gone back to using factory handles on my razors; I just don't see any benefit to the added trouble of swapping handles despite the additional weight and girth.

Merkur 15C open-comb razor with
the classic handle.
In terms of relative shaving capacity, my highest-capacity razor on the regular roster is the slant, the Merkur 37C. The next highest-capacity razor is more moderate, the Maggard MR3B, which is a straight-bar razor. I use these razors less frequently than their other two cabinet companions. The reason is that both of these razors (the slant and the MR3B), when used, are likely to be a first-pass razor to trim a multi-day growth of stubble, or when I'm going for a very close shave in less than two complete passes.

My most-frequent daily shavers (and second pass razors when I start with a different instrument) are both Merkur brand, the 33C Classic straight bar, and the 15C open comb. For a daily shave, two careful passes with these razors yield pretty close results; two-and-a-half passes can get damned close. The open comb may possibly shave a bit closer, but it's too new for me to state that without reservation. (On the morning that I edited this article prior to publication, I got a comfortable, very close shave with the 33C, the classic straight bar, in two-and-a-half passes.)

All four razors have about the same handle length, which is shorter and more classic at about three inches. The weights and diameters vary, with the Maggard, of course, being the big boy in the group. The slant is second in both girth and weight. The 15C and 33C are about the same and are in a tie for third in terms of weight and handle diameter. Because I use an appropriate finger-tip grip (and as I've written before), these diverse razors all feel comfortable in my hand.

I would like to make a final comment about the quantity of razors in my bathroom cabinet. In my earlier magnum opus on finding the right razor, I suggested the necessary upper limit is three or less. Despite the apparent hypocracy, I still stand by that statement. I could choose to pare my razor roster to two: 1) either the slant or the Maggard, and 2) either the Merkur 33C or 15C. I just haven't decided which of these I want to relegate to the closet. Further, I could easily pare my razor roster to a solitary instrument, which would be either the 15C open comb or the 33C classic.

But frankly, I may not make those choices any time soon. Since I have these razors and like them, for the time being, I may just rotate according to my daily whim.

Happy shaving!

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