I will second the Gamechanger 0.68.
If you look at the Merkur 34c, try and discover whether the version you liked was made with the old tooling (up until about 5-6 years ago) or the new tooling (looks similar, but the razor is milder and no longer has a brass thread post).
The de89 clone you tried may have been more aggressive than an actual de89. You should try the original if possible - you can just buy the head only for very little money.
Incidentally, have you tried just shaving the tiny stragglers under the nose with sideways strokes? I have many razors and have no problem getting under the nose with any of them, including things with large heads like GEM razors, by using a little sideways stroke on each side of the septum. I have to do this to hit those spots just under the nostrils and this seems to be the only way to do it - size of the razor head isn't really a factor.
It was definitely the old Merkur 34c. It sounds like the new ones might work better! I had to stop at DFS for every shave I did with the 34c, and that was when I had already been shaving for about a decade with Gillette black handle adjustable and Merkur 15c experience. Can you point me in the direction of update measurements? I'm burned out from research. In particular, I think that I'm hoping that "milder" means some combination of smaller guard span, and more neutral blade exposure if it was positive before.
Yeah, that's a fair point about the de89/r89 clone... That said I've read a bunch of sensitive/reactive skin reviews by people (who had been DE shaving for a while) who found that it was a rough shave, and it sounds like this was due to the admittedly very small positive blade exposure.
Yes, I have to use sideways, or sideways with diagonal blade orientation strokes to get those stragglers. With my specific cartilage+geometry the head size does seem to matter...the German 37, for example, will either not reach those hairs or will nick the septum. Gillette black handle adjustable has the corners of the blades so close to the sides of the guard that it will also nick the septum at least 1/3 of the time. The Rockwell is ultra safe but doesn't reach the hairs. Merkur 15c seems to be Goldilocks size.