The antique design of the handle makes this a very attractive razor for the collection. The open comb model, however, is not my choice for a great shave. Advertising for this model of razor reads, "...open-comb version is preferred by men with a heavier beard." I have a heavy beard, so I went with this version. After extended use, I fail to see the benefit.
Price - At $27, this is a very affordable razor.
Grip - The 6-sided, faceted handle is visually appealing. It definitely makes this razor look like something your grandfather might have shaved with. Aside from visual appeal, the grip is not great. The "pommel" of the razor is slick, making it difficult to keep a grip on while shaving.
Ease of Blade Replacement - Being designed like some of the first DE's available, this razor is made up of 3 pieces: the handle and a 2-piece head that sandwiches the blade into place. You must be VERY CAREFUL when screwing the handle into place as it is easy to let a finger slip and draw blood.
Aggressiveness - This is a very tame razor. As the second razor I purchased, it was a good beginner's razor, but It just doesn't provide enough bite for someone with DE shaving experience.
Balance - The balance of this razor is just OK. It is extremely light weight which makes it difficult to not push the razor into the skin.
User Friendly / Quality - As stated before, I believe this to be a good beginner's razor (although I would recommend a closed comb), but it is nothing special for an experienced user. The grip is not the best which could cause some problems, and blade replacement is not the best. While balance and weight are not perfect, I still find this to be a quality razor. It is well made and should last a lifetime.
*** I just ran across a post about open comb razors on another board that was posted by Brett Graver (also a member here). You can find it at:
This sheds some interesting light on open comb razors, and the interesting fact that they were actually designed to be adjustable. I don't think I'll be trying mine this way, however, as it seems a little dangerous.
Merkur Classic 1904 - Open Comb
- Average User Rating:
Recent User Reviews
"I have read the other reviewers comments about thi"
Pros - Extremely easy razor to shave with.
Cons - None
I have read the other reviewers comments about this razor being unbalanced and light and I have to say that I respectfully disagree. Merkur must have gotten the same feedback and made some changes because I was shocked at the weight of this razor when I took it out of the packaging. I did not find this razor to be light or unbalanced at all. I haven't put it on my digital scales yet, but I intend to this evening ( I will update the review with the weight). The 1904 razor seems well built. You are not going to get a Muhle or EJ super shiny chrome plate job with this razor but it is nicely built with a nice finish for the price. I love the retro look of the 1904 as well. I have a coarse, thick beard and this morning I was sporting three days of grow and this razor had no problem giving me a DFS with two passes (no weepers). It was a pleasure to shave with and required very little concentration on blade angle at all. I have to say for the price this money is a fantastic mild OC razor.
"[b]Fit and Finish:[/b] Excellent, this razor looks"
Pros - Effortless mild shave. Fit and finish are top notch.
Cons - None
Fit and Finish: Excellent, this razor looks much better in person than it does on the internet. The bright nickel plating looks almost as good as my Rhodium plated NEW. Weight and balance: The razor is heavier than I expected, heavier than any of my NEW bar handles. It is slightly top heavy, but I like that about it. I have read other reviews that this razor was "light weight", I do not know if Merkur had changed the materials used in their production, but this is by no means a light razor, it feel solid and well made. Price: Excellent, priced at under $30.00 USD.Aggressiveness: This is a mild razor, I do not know how anyone could cut or nick themselves with it. Although it is mild, I was able to obtain a DFS with only two passes and some light buffing along jawline.Overall Shaving Impression: What I liked best about this razor was the ease of use. I did not have to think about blade angle, as the head just fell into place. I did not have to worry about finding the "sweet spot", the shave was effortless. I would highly recommend this razor for anyone who wants to try an open comb. It will definitely be part of my regular rotation.
"At first I was dissapointed. The finish on the han"
At first I was dissapointed. The finish on the handle is not that good, has a few flaws and such. The patterns look great, but the markings are not deep enough for a good grip. The handle also feels just a little too short, but I guess that is the nature of this handle.
I got this razor because I love my Old OC and wanted a newer razor that could match it. Once I started shaving with the 1904, I found a whole new appreciation for it. It seems to have the perfect balance of aggression and smoothness. The comb helps the razor to glide more and enable better control. I usually shave everyday, so I need a razor that can give a close shave without irritation - this head provides that better than any TTO I have and competes with the HD and Old OC.
I may end up switching the handle out at some stage, but this razor makes it into my rotation.