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Merkur 12C Open-Comb Barber Pole

Item Description

I am not 100% sure why exactly this razor produces very close shaves. I have used both Merkur 38C and Merkur 39C Slant, and 12C beats them down no questions asked. Although the blade gap on 12C is very shallow, my theory is that the open-comb design allows the blade come in a very close contact with the skin. In other words, there is no guard between the skin and the open-comb teeth: The blade is open. It is really aggressive and you must have a stady hand and solid technique before using 12C, however, you will be well-rewarded with a BBS every time. If this is not yet aggressive for you, the next step is a straight razor.

Latest reviews

Pros: Comfortable shaves, close shaves, no blood
Cons: Took a while to navigate chin area successfully
This review is as much a salute to the virtues of open comb razors in general as it is a favorable write up of the Merkur 12c specifically. Over the past 2 months I have recently switched back to using the 12c for my daily shaves after having started out with it when I first got into wet shaving. The sledgehammer slant was my razor of choice in between. This razor just gives easy, comfortable shaves day after day. It's so gentle on my skin. The number of daily weepers is usually zero and I don't get irritation. It is very "mild" in that regard. However, don't be fooled by this "mild" label. What this doesn't mean is that the shaves aren't close. In fact, like others have also experienced as noted above, this razor shaves me closer than any other razor has. It seems to be the perfect combination for me of closeness and smoothness. I don't mind that the shaves are boring as another reviewer noted. In fact, that's what I want, just solid consistency. The one downfall I have found with this razor is that it took me a while to get used to it because of the small blade exposure. This was especially difficult around my chin area, which is very angular. For about the first month I was constantly catching the bottom of my chin on the ATG pass. However, now I've finally dialed into the feel and don't have this problem. I think this razor gives such good results because #1 it has a smaller blade exposure so the blade doesn't stick out and bite you. #2, since it is an open comb it doesn't scrape all the lather away before the blade touches the whisker like a straight bar would. This means the lather actually does it job of protecting your face. Even though this is the only OC razor I have used, I would bet that most OC shaves would be good because of this attribute. Other notable things about the razor...The sledgehammer handle gives it a nice heft that aids in the shave. I prefer heavier razors. Also, blade replacement is very easy, you just drop a new blade in and tighten down the head. Great razor
Grip
5.00 star(s)
Price
4.00 star(s)
Balance
5.00 star(s)
Quality
5.00 star(s)
Adjustability
0.00 star(s)
User Friendly
5.00 star(s)
Aggressiveness
3.00 star(s)
Ease of Blade Replacement
5.00 star(s)
Pros: nice weight; comfortable shaver
Cons: too mild
I find this razor to be unusual; disturbing even. It is far and away the most comfortable razor I have ever used. It has not yet inflicted a cut, nick or weeper, despite my efforts to shave in as sloppy and careless a manner as possible. I have become a blade buffing maniac..... and still no irritation! It's almost as if the blade doesn't actually touch the skin. It takes the sting out of even the sharpest of blades.
Yes, but what about aggressiveness? Well, herein lies another mystery. This razor does not seem aggressive at all. It is not as aggressive as the Merkur 38c or my EJ 89. It is perhaps on par with a 40s Superspeed, but with an Open Comb feel. And yet, after a 3 pass shave (plus touch ups) it leaves me as close to BBS as any other razor I have used.
Part of me concludes that this is the ultimate razor for me, the best combination of comfort and aggressiveness to match sensitive skin and a tough beard. The other part of me finds it frustratingly tame. There is no challenge here: just easy, solid, safe shaves time and time again. It's a bit boring. This one will remain in my rotation, but I suspect that I will use it only when I need a particularly gentle shave. Like after a whole week of shaves with my R-41:ohmy:
Grip
4.00 star(s)
Price
3.00 star(s)
Balance
4.00 star(s)
Quality
4.00 star(s)
Adjustability
0.00 star(s)
User Friendly
5.00 star(s)
Aggressiveness
2.00 star(s)
Ease of Blade Replacement
4.00 star(s)
I must confess I had high hopes for this razor but was quite disappointed with the result. Visually it has a great classic vibe similar to a Gillette Old Style razor, open comb and nice barber pole handle.

Where it disappoints is in the closeness of the shave. I found the razor to offer a gentle shave, not aggressive and not cutting close enough to the skin to provide any real longevity before needing to shave again.

As with all reviews YMMV but I've gone back to using my Merkur Futur which for me offers a superior closer shave.
Grip
5.00 star(s)
Price
3.00 star(s)
Balance
5.00 star(s)
Quality
5.00 star(s)
Adjustability
1.00 star(s)
User Friendly
4.00 star(s)
Aggressiveness
1.00 star(s)
Ease of Blade Replacement
4.00 star(s)

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Reviews
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