Side by side comparison to the HD.
Side by side with HD - side view.
Close-Up of the Slant's head.
Price - These razors sell for the same price as the HD with the gold model costing an extra $6-10. This puts the Slant Bar in the low to middle price range, however, like the HD, when you consider the quality of the item, you are getting it for a bargain.
Grip - The handle of the Slant Bar is identical to that of the HD. It is gnarled and has a textured pommel which allow for excellent handling and control (zero slippage).
Ease of Blade Replacement - In a word, Simplicity. Like the HD, the Slant Bar is a 3-piece razor, but is constructed so that there is no need to hold the head of the razor (the danger zone) while tightening it down. Blade replacement with the Slant Bar is not as easy as with a "Butterfly" razor, but it is certainly not a chore that requires more than very average hand-eye coordination.
Aggressiveness - If you view aggressiveness as the ability to get one of the closest shaves of your life, then this is a very aggressive razor. On the other hand, if you view aggressiveness as a razor's tendency to irritate or cut one's face, then it depends on the hand that wields it. Certainly, this razor demands respect and refined technique. It will allow very little patience for a careless shaver. When used properly, however, it is a superbly smooth and easy shaver.
Balance - Like the HD, this tool is of near perfect design. The balance and heft are right on the money. It feels very natural in the hand, the way a great razor should.
User Friendly - This razor is a lot like a good woman. If you respect her and handle her gently, tending to her needs, she will pamper you like a king and spoil you with a shave that is unmatched by any other razor. Also note, respect does not equal fear.
There are several gents, including myself, who have struggled during the first several shaves with the Slant Bar. Holding the handle of the razor higher (more parallel to the floor) than when using the HD combined with the execution of longer stroke length have proved to be two great adjustments for taming this razor (thank you, Joel, for pointing this out to me). Other than these two points, follow the same rules you would for any DE: no pressure, use reduction techniques, only shave lathered areas, etc. Not surprisingly, after using this razor for a while, I've found that it has improved my overall technique such that even shaves with my HD and Fatboy have been noticeably better.
Having said all of this, like with any shaving product, the Slant Bar is not for everyone. I highly recommend it but am sure that there are some who will never enjoy it's use.
How it does what it does - The head of this razor is twisted which causes the blade to meet your whiskers in a slanted, scything, or angled manner (hence the name, Slant Bar). This allows you to slice through your whiskers as opposed to chopping through them. If held at an inappropriate angle, it will perform the same duty on skin tissue (slicing off thin layers & causing BURN). This, I believe, is why so many struggle through the first several shaves with it. The razor demands that you maintain an excellent discipline with the angle that you use.
Overall Quality - Like the HD, upon first glimpse/grasp, there will be no doubt that you hold in your hand an instrument that is finely crafted, which will last for generations. While this razor will not push my HD into retirement, it has taken over the role of favorite shaver.
To the gentleman who suggested that I wait on purchasing this razor until I had established good technique, I say THANK YOU.
To the guy who told me that this was a "gimmick" razor, I say nothing because I don't talk to him anymore.
To discuss this review, go to this thread.
Merkur Slant Bar
- Average User Rating:
Recent User Reviews
"Overall a wonderful razor. I'm sitting here with B"
Pros - ease of use
Cons - none
Overall a wonderful razor. I'm sitting here with BBS shave thanks to this puppy. I traded a 34c to a gentleman who didn't like the slant design, so no money was exchanged. I loaded a Gillette Platinum Plus in the same manor I load a Futur or Progress, by putting the cap up-side-down and placing the blade on that, then lowering the head over that and tightening it down. Perfectly aligned, the shave was smooth, I used really the same technique I usually use, although I think the cutting angle was a bit steeper than normal. Very happy with this razor.
"This has been my go to razor for 2 years now. The"
Pros - BBS every time w/Zero effort!
Cons - Blade alignment can be wonky if you don't know what you're doing
This has been my go to razor for 2 years now. The fit and finish is superb and may even be worth more than what I purchased it for. I get BBS with hardly any effort and minor clean up in my trouble areas (jawline and jugular). I have read a lot that this is a very aggressive razor, but this is simply not true. It does a wonderful job of removing facial hair and I've never been burned or cut too deeply. Its looks more menacing than it really is. The only thing I can see wrong with it is that when you load a blade with the post pointing down in the barrel and not up into the barrel, I have to mess with blade alignment. To solve it I pointed the loaded post up into the barrel and tighten the razor while its upside down. Its a great razor and you should get one if you've never tried one. Shave on!
"Regardless of the fact that I rated the Slant as a"
Pros - One of the smoothest shaving razors an experienced shaver will ever use
Cons - Not great for beginners, blade placement requires "fiddling with" to get right
Regardless of the fact that I rated the Slant as a 9, I LOVE this razor. It is a two piece design, fairly lightweight, well balanced razor.
When I first bought the 37C it was as my second razor, I tried it twice, got razor burn twice, decided the hype I had heard about it when I first got on B&B was true and set it back in my medicine cabinet not to be used again for almost 2 years.
In that time, I tried vintage Gillettes, Ikon, Gem the Merkur 15c, all to varying degrees of satisfaction... Then one day I noticed my slant sitting at the back of the medicine cabinet again and decided I should give it another shot.
This time it was a different experience, It didn't take me long on the first pass to find the right angle and ended up with one of the smoothest shaves I had ever had and for one it seemed I didn't have to do any touchup.
The head, like on the HD is just the right size so it is easy to do tight work around the more difficult spots of your face. I find that actually the flat spots in the head make the angle much easier to find and hold than on many others.
The handle is short, grippy and maneuverable.
The slant bar helps to simulate a "Gillette slide" which I have come to require I use for any standard bar shave.
So yeah, it really isn't great for a beginner, but once you build confidence and technique, it becomes clear that Merkur accomplished something special with this design.
My only complaint is that like with all Merkur razors I have used, the tolerances are loose and so I have to work to get the blade perfectly straight and symmetrical on the head and if I don't do this right sometimes I even have to try a second time.
I do not find that this razor shaves well without the blade being perfectly straight and symmetrical.
It isn't the end of the world, but it makes me wish that Merkur would produce a high end line built with a bit more precision.
I have started moving on into higher end razors in search of better build quality but if I had to choose just one razor for the rest of my life I would choose the 37C Slant Bar.
In spite of the few faults it has, this is my desert island razor no doubt!