I personally switch from electric razors and manual shaving all the time. One because I like to use an electric shaver when I'm in a hurry or on super important days where I don't want to risk a cut. On all other days, I grab my trusty safety razor right away.
Wet shaving is a bit of an art and really can come down to personal preference as to what you really like to manual shave with. . It also comes down to your personal style of facial hair you have and your shaving technique.
What we will do here today is look at 3 short handle safety razors that are definitely thicker in nature that most of it's competitors.
A lot of men feel like they have more control over using the shorter version and it is easier to grab a hold of the razor when shaving to keep control on how it follows the curve of your face.
My personal preference is the Merkur long handled version which is light weight with a thin long handle.
This was very easy for me to use since I was a long time plastic razor user.With that said let's look at the other side of the fence with these 3 popular safety razor models that men mention most.
Merkur Futur Safety Razor
First up is the Merkur Futur which is an adjustable safety razor. It comes in a chrome or satin and gold finish. The razor itself weighs in at 3.8 ounces and is 4 inches long.
One of the most commented features of this razor is the fact that you can adjust how far the razor and guard are from each other by simply twisting the handle. There are 9 adjustable settings. 1 is the least closest and 9 would be the most aggressive.
So, if you are an advanced wet shaver you can start at 4-6 right off the bat and love this guy! There is various opinions about which finish is the best. What it came down too is that after 2-3 years of use as it sits and drys on a stand, people were saying that it flakes a bit.
This can easily be prevented by making sure the razor is dry when you put it on the stand. Also a regular cleaning once every 2 months would take care of this.
Now one word of warning here. You will want to experiment with the different types of double edge razor blades. Something as sharp as the feather razor blades I would go with a less aggressive setting.
This is a heavier safety razor which means you really need to let the weight of the razor do the work. There is no need to press down hard with this one. Especially as you open up the blade toward more aggressive settings. I personally landed at 5. It felt like I could still shave at a fast speed without having to worry to much about it being more aggressive.
As I dialed it up though I had to be more careful and more mindful of my technique because it does it get close with the gap widening and exposing more of the blade.
Merkur 34c Heavy Duty
This is one of the first ones I started with and it is highly talked about on every shaving site you will visit because it just works. It has a very short chrome finished handle that is only 3 inches long. This was a problem for me personally because I just personally prefer a long handle. You can buy replacement handles for this if you have one and you like the longer ones.
The grip is has little tiny bumps on the handle so it's easy to grip. The handle is thicker than other Merkur models for sure. It's a normal DE setup where you twist off the top to change the blade. There is only one setting to it, so you have to practice in getting the razor positioned to cut close as you follow the contour of your face.
Now make sure you let the weight of the razor do the work with this one. You should not have to press down hard with it.
It has been around so long that it has changed names so many times like Merkur Heavy Duty, 34C or the Merkur HD. They are all the same model so don't get confused by it.
You can see a more detailed review here on the 34c.
Merkur Long Handle 180
This is another model that you will here everyone talk about and it is extremely popular. The handle is 1.5" x 1" x 4" long and is chrome plated. It breaks down into 3 actual pieces.
You twist off the top where the guard, head and handle all come apart. It has one setting so you cannot adjust it. As it is very light weight and incredibly similar to a regular disposable razor beginning wet shavers love starting out with this razor.
I find myself shaving at the same speed with this razor as I do with a Gillette disposable razor to be honest. You also can press down on your face with this razor like normal so I always suggest this one to anyone just starting out.
This is also a best seller on amazon as well so that alone says there there are a lot of guys that actually like this model. Last I looked there were several 1000 customer reviews for this model alone.
You can read more about the Merkur 180 here.
Hopefully this will give you a leg up on the popular merkur safety razors that you can get start with in your journey on wet shaving. Any one of these 3 are great starts to get into the wet shaving market. If you want to see more options read my Safety razor review to read about other models out there. You can also read related articles on the best shaving soaps , best shaving brushes and if you need new blades check out our double edge razor blade reviews.