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Merkur 34c vs Classic Gillettes

I really enjoy shaving with the classic Gillettes, the Techs and Super Speeds especially. They give good shaves and their is something special about shaving with razors 60+ years old. But when I use my Merkur HD, I think it is probably a better shaver if I'm honest about it. What do you think? Do vintage razors really compare the the 34c or DE89 for actual performance?
 
Don't have experience with the 34c but started out and only used a 33c classic for a few years when I started. I personally think the Superspeed I have now is better but all the classic, modern, etc I have tried will get the job done.
 
Do vintage razors really compare the the 34c or DE89 for actual performance?
From what I understand, the Merkur 34C has a vintage history dating back to the 30's. The manufacture may be contemporary but the design is old. For me the 34C has stellar performance.
 
Certainly the Merkur 34C HD compares to many of the old classic razors of yesteryear.

In particular I've always felt the Merkur 34C HD compared in performance, aggression, and somewhat in overall appearance to the 1950 Gillette Aristocrat.

But much of such comparisons are subjective and they will vary from shaver to shaver. Don't expect unanimity.
 
When I switched to DE shaving I bought the 34c, I thought this would be it for the next few decades. I have to say, that I could be perfectly happy with just the 34c, it is an amazing razor, no real need to get another.

But as other razors are around and look nice, shave fine (some more, some less so) and bring a lot of history near me, so here they found their way to me, there's also a bunch of Gillettes amongst them. I could live without the Gillette Techs, but it would now be a loss for me not having around a variety of Gillette Super Speeds whose shaving performance is comparable to the Merkur 34c.

If I only could keep one razor I indeed can imagine that thos razor could be a Gillette Super Speed or a Merkur 34c, but keeping a Tech of any period of production I would go on searching for something better to replace it. YMMV.
 
As pointed out above, the Merkur 34 head design goes a long way back. Maybe not a hundred years like the Gillette three piece open combs, but definitely predates the Super Speeds. The fact that the head design remained relatively unchanged for all this time just shows that they got it right way back then. Enjoy it as it is a great shaver.
 
I started with the 34c and am still happy with it. However it has been replaced in its daily duties by a NDC super speed, 1950 aristocrat, and a fat boy. Guess I need to find a flare tip to round things out. The 34c gets the job done but I like the history the Gillette's have.


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I just moved my Merkur 34C out of rotation and a Gillette Pre-War Tech in. While I like the look, weight, and feel of the 34C HD, the Tech provides me with closer, more efficient shaves.
 
I had been using the 34C almost exclusively until last week. Sort of my old reliable, if you will.

Today, after a few days of growth, I pulled out my grandfather's Fat Boy and enjoyed a remarkably smooth shave mostly on the 3 and 4 settings. I'll be shaving with it going forward.
 
I have Old Types, LC NEWs, Techs and Super Speeds. I recently bought my first Merkur 34G. I think it shaves better than all my safety bar Gillette models. Contrary to popular opinion, I don't find it to be that mild. Certainly not as aggressive/effective as my Fatip Grande, but more than my Techs (Pre and Post) and Super Speeds (40's style and '56 Flares) for sure. I've also read posts from many who say they find it more effective than their Red Tips, although I don't own one and can't qualify that. For me the 34 is a spectacular razor and I have plans to acquire a few more as backups.
 
"Vintage razors" covers a ridiculous amount of territory, even within the Gillette family. The shave experience of the Single Ring has little in common with the Slim Twist. Personally I find the 34C an unexceptional shaver and have many razors, vintage and otherwise, I vastly prefer. They also break.

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jar_

Contributor
Vive la difference. Fortunately razors are almost all slightly different. Why not simply continue to enjoy the variety available in razors since it is still a really inexpensive extravagance.
 
I have never tried a 34c but I have tried a DE89 and I would prefer my vintage Gillettes over it any day. I mean there is nothing wrong with the performance but I feel like the shave from my Fatboy or '50 superspeed is better.

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I have never tried a 34c but I have tried a DE89 and I would prefer my vintage Gillettes over it any day.
The EJ DE86 (or Mühle R89, same heads) has absolutely nothing to do with the 34c.
I would say that the DE86/R89 is a usable razor but isn't a great performer at all, whereas the Merkur 34c is one of my all time favorites.
 
I finally moved from a 34C to something more aggressive and efficient a few weeks ago. Yes, it's easier to get a close shave, but also easier to get irritation. I can shave more quickly and carelessly with the 34C and still get a pretty good result with no irritation or weepers. I guess there will always be tradeoffs.
 
I started wet shaving with a 34c and loved it. I found an old '56 Flare Tip on Craigslist locally that the guy ended up just giving to me. I like the way it feels, but I can't get a good shave with it to save my life. I give it a chance after a couple of weeks and still end up finishing with the 34c. As they say....every face is different.

I also bought a Timeless .68 SB razor and that has taken the place of daily shaver for me. Amazing feel and no irritation for me. I guess I'll keep the 34c as a travel razor....
 
I have a 34c and several different vintage Gillette models. I find I get a close shave with all of them, but the 34c seems to be less smooth than the vintage razors. I always feel more of the blade with the 34c for some reason (and maybe a little more tugging). It shaves well, but it's not as comfortable as the others. I mainly bought it as a travel razor.
 
As lot have done I started with the 34c and it is a good razor. I then started shortly after buying a few vintage razors Tech, SS, Slim and recently a Krona. Comparing shaves between them is like comparing apples to oranges. With that said, sure the 34c has a slightly better shave than the Tech and Krona I have because the 34c is slightly more aggressive than those. Since it has been so long since I used the 34c and basing on memory the SS is quite close as far as performance. As far as vintage goes my #1 razor is my Slim but then it is adjustable and at setting 6 for me nothing compares. 9 times out of 10 if I choose a razor, 34c or vintage, it will be vintage just because the vintage ones I have were made in my birth year(Schick Krona being the exception but was likely made in the latter part of the 60's) and I think it is nostalgic to use something that is as old as I am and looks in better shape even.
 
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