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Merkur 39C Slant Sledgehammer

Item Description

This review is a bit overdue and the razor used for it could IMHO be called the prototype for Merkur's new 39C barber pole slant bar razor. The explanation for that can be found here .

I say the review is overdue because although the 39C has only been available for sale here in the USA for a couple of days I have been shaving with this prototype since I received it in July of '07. I didn't review it in the interim since it wasn't clear that it would be a production item and I didn't think it fair to praise a razor that only myself and Fritz had a copy of.

On to the razor. Having a large collection of slants by Merkur, Apollo, Ben Hur, Fasan, and many others I have concluded the Merkur design is the best of the lot. If you have shaved with the standard Merkur slant you know how you feel about it. For me it is a very efficient shaving tool. Not magic but if you have your technique down and a good sharp blade the slant is second to none.Read Kyle's excellent review of the standard Slant here

The 39C has all of that and the added weight and leverage of the long handle with the heavy ring under the head. Letting the weight of the razor do the cutting and guiding it with no pressure is the way to go. Not paying attention one day I sheared a mole off of my cheek slick as a whistle. The finish of my particular copy is flawless.

I used a Sunbeam digital scale to find the weight of the 39C to be 4oz. It's cousin the 38C weighed in at 3.8oz while the standard Slant tipped the scales at 2.8oz. The going price of the 39C from the vendor that now has them in stock is $41.00 + $6.50 shipping to the CONUS. Not bad for an import considering the current exchange rate. The quality of Merkur's razors seems to be a YMMV situation from the feedback we see on the forums. Than again folks rarely post when the product has no problems so the few posts we see usually for tool marks under the plating may be the exception rather then the rule. I have been lucky as all of my many Merkur razors have been free of defects in workmanship.

When we get to user friendly I think it is a YMMV situation again. For me the long handle and weighty head work very well together. I also like and shave with the Gillette Big Fellow and the Barbasol from days gone by and for my large hands all of these are preferable to a standard size razor. I like the barber pole knurling but for me the knurling should be deeper like the spiral knurl on the old British Gillette Aristocrats. OTOH, The grip is adequate and I have never had a problem with the razor slipping in my wet hands.

I gave it a 9 for ease of blade replacement but I am spoiled by the TTO razors. They are so easy to pop a blade in. As far as aggressiveness goes I guess some would call the 39C aggressive. I call it efficient. If your technique is adequate and you do your part the 39C will do it's part. Finally my copy is well balanced with a bit more weight at the head where it does the most good.

When I received the proto from Merkur Fritz emailed them and he was the only other person to get a kit. He named the razor «schräg Vorschlaghammer» ("Slant Sledgehammer"). This is a very appropriate title for this instant classic. If you are a slant aficionado or a dedicated wet shaver treat yourself and get the 39C, You'll be glad you did. The handle of the 39C is identical to the 38C and here is a photo of the 39C flanked by the 38C and the standard Merkur Slant. If you would like to discuss this review please do it here.

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Latest reviews

Pros: close shave
Cons: none
Can't believe I waited this long to try the Slant. Put a Feather in the razor I rec'd today and with first pass and little pressure was blown away by results. I was using a Jagger that I liked, but this razor is superior for my face. When I have time, I enjoy shooting for an extremely smooth shave...guess I am anal about it. Wife does not like me between her thighs otherwise. If you are not interested in a very close shave, I suggest you buy a cheap razor on eBay from China. I have a few from different providers and different styles and they all work well and are extremely inexpensive.

Don't know how long the 39C will hold up, but I am riding this horse into the dirt.
Grip
4.00 star(s)
Price
4.00 star(s)
Balance
5.00 star(s)
Quality
4.00 star(s)
Adjustability
2.00 star(s)
User Friendly
5.00 star(s)
Aggressiveness
5.00 star(s)
Ease of Blade Replacement
4.00 star(s)
Pros: Uhhh...looks nice
Cons: A bleeder for lefties
Keep the stypic, maybe even stitches, handy if you're a lefty and try and use this open slant. A total disaster! The incredibly open and aggressive side is in the wrong position. Imagine a Futur on the 10 setting.....
Grip
0.00 star(s)
Price
2.00 star(s)
Balance
4.00 star(s)
Quality
4.00 star(s)
Adjustability
0.00 star(s)
User Friendly
0.00 star(s)
Aggressiveness
0.00 star(s)
Ease of Blade Replacement
4.00 star(s)
Pros: Design, feel, closeness
Cons: Screwing feels less then perfect
Really liked the shave. It was effortless and not a single cut. Much better then HD. The only issue I have is that when screwing it on it feels like you are forcing it at the end.
Grip
4.00 star(s)
Price
5.00 star(s)
Balance
5.00 star(s)
Quality
4.00 star(s)
Adjustability
0.00 star(s)
User Friendly
4.00 star(s)
Aggressiveness
4.00 star(s)
Ease of Blade Replacement
4.00 star(s)

Item information

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JimmyHAD
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Reviews
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Rating
0.39 star(s) 36 ratings

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