Ladies and Gentlemen: This is my first post, largely because it's the first time I've had anything of interest to say. What I've learned during my approximately one month's lurking is that shaving and its implements are the fodder of passionate opinions and discussion and that elevating shaving from daily drudgery to a pleasurable experience is worthwhile. That said, other than my foray into straight-razor shaving some 40 years ago, I hadn't given much thought to the daily task of scraping the whiskers from my face. But, when I finally became incensed at the cost and poor results of Mach3/Fusion, etc., I decided to delve into DE shaving with the purchase of a Parker 99R (with Shark blades). Overall, I was very pleased with the results, but found it absolutely necessary to be cautious, lest my upper lip (filtrum) and chin sprout minor weepers. In short, I found the shave to somewhat aggressive, but the result made it well worthwhile and when I was very careful, I drew no blood. In my reading, I saw opinions that the Merkur 38C is a less aggressive shave, so I bought one, which arrived yesterday. I loaded it with the sample Merkur blade this morning and went through my normal routine. No nicks or weepers, no skin irritation, and a very good shave - BUT, not quite as close as with the Parker/Shark combination. I think that tomorrow, I'll switch the Merkur blade with a new Shark blade to see whether the shave is any different. In the meantime, I'd appreciate any comments or feedback by forum members. Many thanks.