In this article we will be reviewing the Merkur 23C, otherwise known as the Merkur Long Handled Safety Razor. This is one of, if not the, most popular safety razor available. It’s not hard to decipher where its name comes from, it has a particularly long and thin handle that is a nice change for those of us with larger hands. Merkur is well known for creating high-quality products and this razor is no different.
Design and Features: Merkur 23C Review
The Merkur Long Handle weighs around 2.15oz, making it a little heavier than average. However, if you compare it to other long handled razors it’s probably slightly lighter than the median. The handle is very thin and doesn’t weigh a huge amount, but because of its length the weight is centered lower than usual. This bottom heavy design makes the blade slightly more aggressive than it would otherwise be.
This is a fantastic looking razor, appearance is clearly subjective and we openly admit to a bias towards Merkur. The long handle is elegant and they even managed to make the grip look like it’s part of the design rather than just a safety feature. It has a bright chrome finish that has become standard with most every safety razor and a rounded knob at the bottom which is bezeled attractively.
Handle and Grip
This grip is a cross-hatched section that provides excellent grip. This is, as far as we know, the best type of grip because regardless of your holding technique the grip is applicable. Even with a lot of water the grip performs well and there is no slipping at all. Some might argue that such a large grip detracts from the aesthetics of the razor, but we happen to like the snakeskin looking grip.
While the grip is long, the handle is even longer. The whole razor is 4.125inches in length, making it one of the longer razors available. For larger men this makes it a great choice, it can be infuriating to use smaller razors that feel like play toys in your large hands. Unfortunately, the handle has to be thin to ensure a good balance of the weight, it would have been great if the handle was much thicker. Whilst the length is great for larger hands, the thin handle can feel ridiculous.
Weight and Aggression
With a decent weight and a bottom heavy balance this razor is going to be more aggressive than a mild blade. However, the blade gap is quite small and it’s angled rather kindly, making the Merkur Long Handled Safety Razor around a 6 out of 10 for aggression. This is a medium-aggressive blade that would be great for someone with some wet shaving experience, or a man with a thicker than usual beard.
This model is a three-piece and is therefore a bit of a pain. The handle easily twists off, leaving the head. Then you can simply pull the top cap off and replace the blade. This three-piece system is a little frustrating, there’s advantages to it, but we would preferred a two-piece system. A butterfly system can break quicker so we can understand not using that, but a three-piece is overkill. Regardless, the blade fits well within the head and doesn’t shift too much.
The best thing about this model is the price. You get tremendous value from one of the cheaper razors that you’ll find, Merkur have an excellent reputation that would be hard to deny and this 23C or Merkur 180 is another great product. At this price it’s hard to go wrong, making it an ideal entry point for newer wet shavers who are need of a medium-aggressive razor. This isn’t a fancy razor, there really aren’t any fantastic features and some men do have gripes with it, but overall it’s a classic razor that delivers a shave that’s far above its price point.