A Tale of Two Razors: Weber SS vs Merkur Slant

Discussion in 'Double Edged Razors' started by Mr_Spiffy, Apr 18, 2013.

From personal experience, which of these two razors is your favorite?

  1. Weber Stainless (not DLC/ARC)

  2. Merkur 37C/37G Slant

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. I recently acquired a Weber stainless steel razor off of the BST forum. When I posted about it, some mentioned it might be interesting to compare it against the infamous Merkur slant razors. I agreed it would be an interesting comparison to make, and so here we are!

    First of all, let's begin with a visual comparison. I took a couple of photos showing the two razors side-by-side. I have the Weber SS with a standard bulldog handle, and the Merkur is a 37G gold-plated model.



    The Weber is a 3-piece razor, whereas the Merkur is a 2-piece razor. (Though you can pull the knob out of the end of the handle, if you want to do so for cleaning.)

    As you can see, the Weber is just a bit taller than the Merkur. The Weber is also noticeably heavier, weighing in at (according to Weber) 3.4oz or 96.4g. The Merkur 37C is approximately 2.7oz or 76.5g, according to the B&B wiki. This puts the Weber 0.7oz (20g) heavier than the Merkur. Most of this weight difference is in the handle, but a small portion of it is also in the head of the razor, as well. The Weber handle is also slightly larger in diameter, and has larger knurling than the Merkur.

    I wanted to put these two to the test, so I performed three shaves to compare them. Each time, I shaved one half of my face with each razor. Two of these were two-pass shaves, and the last one was a single-pass shave. Each time I used a different soap or cream to see how they might react. Both razors started with a brand-new palm-stropped Feather blade. At least two of these shaves also began with two days of beard growth. I tried to make sure I would alternate which side of my face was shaved with which razor, so as not to favor one side or the other.

    After trying both of them side-by-side within the same shave, here are my conclusions:

    Quality of shave:
    Both razors performed very well. The Weber, with its extra weight, powered right through the initial passes without any problems. However, the Merkur slant uses its shape to slice right on through, as well. I would say that they were very similar in the quality of shave obtained each of the three times. Both took the hair down close during the first pass, and the second passes were smooth and easy. I finished up feeling silky smooth after two passes on each side of my face. The slant actually felt a little smoother to me, but they both gave me about the same quality of shave.

    I was anticipating that the Merkur 37G would be the more aggressive of the two razors. However, I have noticed that they really are pretty equal, in terms of their aggressiveness. Both are very efficient razors, and they provide a very smooth, high-quality shave. They also both have the ability to bite the user, if one is not careful. With that awesome efficiency comes the possibility of more nicks or weepers than one may be accustomed to. So, go slow, be smooth, and don't try to rush the shave.

    Quality of construction:
    Here, I have to give the quality to the Weber. While I really love the look of the gold slant, there are a few things that could be improved about it. I like the larger knurling on the Weber. It provides a rock-solid grip, even with a wet and lathery handle. The Merkur has very fine knurling, which is fine when it's wet. But lather can make it a little slippery. The Weber's head is also a little thicker, making it seem a bit more heavy-duty. The handle is also solid, so there's no chance to crush, dent, or otherwise harm the functionality of the razor. It also isn't plated. It's polished stainless steel, so the finish cannot wear off, as it can with a chrome or gold-plated razor.

    I really love the weight of the heavy Weber handle. The head feels a little light, though, because of it. But because the weight is all in your hand, you can use the weight to cut through the hairs. But the light head of the razor makes it fairly nimble. The Merkur is much more balanced, in terms of weight. The handle is still heavier than the head, but because the handle is hollow, there isn't a huge difference in weight distribution. It feels very comfortable. But I like the heftiness of the Weber better. This will be a "user-preference" thing.

    The Weber SS razors go for $70 brand-new, plus shipping. The Merkur 37G is no longer made. The 37C, however, is still in production and available for anywhere between $40-$50. If cost is really an issue, one might choose the 37C. From my point of view, they are both worth their asking prices.

    Other considerations:
    Merkur also makes the 39C "Sledgehammer", which is basically the 37C with a longer, heavier handle. I would love to try the Sledgehammer handle against the Weber. The Sledgehammer weighs in closer to 4oz (113g), making it even heavier than the Weber. Perhaps I will keep my eye out for one on BST to provide another update to this comparison.

    I have to say that I love both razors! They both provide an excellent shave, in the right hands. They are smooth, and can slice right through hair. But they definitely have their own personalities and characteristics. It just comes down to personal preference. All I can say is that I don't see myself parting with either of these beauties anytime soon.

    Just to make it interesting, let's take a poll... for those of you who have used both of these razors, which do you prefer?
  2. tm3


    It is very interesting how some users report that the slant is a much more efficient tool, while others find it a close call when compared to razors like the Weber or the Merkur 34.
  3. I have to agree. I wasn't sure I'd find too many razors that could keep up with the slants, but the Weber really does a nice job.
  4. tm3


    I wish that I knew how to explain it. Several times I have gotten all spooled up to try the slant, only to be talked out of it.
  5. I'd highly recommend giving a slant a try. They really are nice razors. They shave very well, but their "personalities" are different than a straight safety bar razor. You never know, you may really like it!
  6. After owning a Weber dlc and still owning a 37c, my vote goes to Merkur. I know OP was comparing the polished, but the head geometry hasn't changed. After many shaves with the Weber, it just was too mild. More mild than my EJ89. Shaving with the 37c has given nothing but smoothness EVERYTIME, regardless of blade choice. I owned a vintage Hoffritz before this one and it didn't shave as nice. Another strike for me anyway, is Weber's QC lets the occasional dud into the market. My 37c cost half of a new polished and to me it's worth twice as much.
  7. I'm surprised the Weber was so mild for you. Though the DLC might just be a totally different razor than the stainless. Something to do with the coating on the head, maybe..? I remember reading about how the DLC gave a really smooth shave.

    The Weber polished really doesn't seem mild to me. I have the DE89, and that was too mild for my tastes. I had to shim it to get it to shave up to its potential. But the Weber seemed right up there with the slant, for me.

    In any case, razors are very much YMMV. They seem to shave differently for everyone out there. I'm glad you've found an excellent razor, Harry Snider! I have to agree that the slants really are nice razors, and I definitely love mine. But their characteristics give them a completely different personality than the Weber.
  8. I find the Weber head comparable to the Merkur 34C head, even side-by-side they look virtually identical aside from the superior construction of the Weber. I think the Slant is great, however I just enjoy the handle a bit more on the Weber.
  9. For me:

    Slant shaves better.

    Weber is better built.

    Both are nice razors.
  10. I am with you on your conclusion.

    If I had both of mine sitting on the counter (slant and polished weber) it might take me flipping a coin to decide which one to use.

    I think I could not part with either one.
  11. I've decided to push the test even further, by trying to get an elusive BBS shave from both razors in one shave. This morning's shave went pretty well. But going for BBS always leaves me with at least a couple weepers and a little bit of irritation that eventually fades away in a short while. Plus, the right side of my neck is always more difficult to shave than my left. So, I think it may come down to which irritates less on that side.

    I did try this morning. However, the weepers and irritation I got on my neck, as well as the effort needed to get BBS on my neck, seem to indicate that a fresh blade may be in order. So, I'll throw these results out and start over with a new Feather blade in a couple days, once the irritation has healed completely. I did, however, end up with a nice BBS shave. Both sides are very smooth in all directions, leaving me with a happy beginning to the end of the week. :thumbup1:
  12. They are both great razors, but the DLC is tops for me out of any razor. Enjoy them both!
  13. I love my Weber DLC with the original Classic handle. It pairs beautifully with a Feather blade. I've never liked the look of a slant, but by all accounts the shaves are first-class.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2017
  14. I couldn't get close with the slant. First pass was good, it felt surprisingly mild and fairly efficient. But then it just seemed to cause irritation and be very inefficient. I traded it for a different razor. (The person I got the slant from had the same experience I did, which is why he sold it. The person I traded it to found it suited his tastes, and he wanted a 37c to add to his 39c, so he knows how it "should be".... de gustibus!)

    The Weber, on the other hand, is stellar for me. I have the DLC and the Stainless, both great razors. I may be an outlier, but for my voting on the poll, they're not even close.
  15. I just got a weber the other day and posted how much I love it. I agree with you 100%.I love my slant also and find it gives me great shaves. I feel because of the weight of the weber it can mow down any beard. I would love it though if weber came out with a slant.
  16. Thank you for doing this comparison. Much appreciated!
  17. Never shaved with a slant, but it must be a fine product to compete with a Weber.
    Even though I haven't used the Slant, I will vote Weber, just because I will always choose SS over any other.
  18. I am newbie to DE shaving. Should I go with Weber or Merkur 34G? Please suggest?
  19. I don't have experience with the 34G. I only have the Merkur 37G slant. But I'd imagine it's similar to the EJ DE89 razors, in terms of its aggressiveness/efficiency. Now, the DE89 is an excellent newbie razor. But it's also quite mild, which is great when you're first starting out. You can also shim it to get it more aggressive/efficient, if you feel it needs it. But you'd start there with the Weber. (I ended up shimming my DE89, and love it again! Now that it's more aggressive/efficient, it gives me a much better shave.) I guess you could say the DE89/34G could be adjusted to suit your preference or experience level as you go.

    Now, if you don't mind the learning curve, which really isn't THAT much worse than the 34G/DE89, go for the Weber. The Weber is a better-quality razor. It's made in the US. It's solid stainless steel, not plated. And it's a more-efficient razor. It may be a little bit steeper of a learning curve, as you do need to be careful of razor angle and you don't want to rush. But you'll get a great shave from it.
  20. tm3


    the merkur 34 used to be the most recommended "starter" razor. nothing wrong with getting a 34G if you want gold.

    it has been supplanted by the EJ DE89 being most recommended, which is reportedly a little milder.

    the weber reportedly shaves similar to the 34, so it should be fine for a beginner and has the luxury of SS.

    i think that everyone should have an adjustable in their arsenal, so i like to recommend the Merkur Progress as a starter. dialed down it is probably one of the mildest options out there and hard to do damage with, dialed up it can handle most anything.

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