The Merkur 33C is one of the most popular safety razors on the market, just like its twin brother – the Merkur 34C.
Featuring a classic design that has been around for decades, the 33C is an excellent choice for those just starting in traditional wet shaving.
In this review, we will closely examine the 33C and see what makes it so unique. We’ll also compare it to other popular safety razors and see how it stacks up.
Let’s get started.
What We Think:
If you want a classic safety razor that is easy to use and provides a smooth shave, the Merkur 33C works exceptionally well. The lightweight design makes it easy to control, and the diamond knurling offers an excellent grip.
Lightweight and easy to maneuver
Modest length is easy to control
Knurled handle provides good grip
The lightweight may not be suitable for thick beards
Men with larger hands should consider the 23C or 38C instead
Key Stats & Score
|Country of Origin||Germany|
|Blade Compatibility||All double-edge safety razor blades|
|Number of Pieces||3|
The Merkur 33C is a very lightweight safety razor. It weighs only 2 ounces, much lighter than the Merkur 34C (2.72 ounces) and the Merkur 38C (3.88 ounces). If you are coming from a cartridge razor, this is a great option as it will feel very comparable to your current razor.
However, if you are coming from a DE razor or have a dense beard, you may want to consider a heavier razor, such as the Parker 96R or the Edwin Jagger DE89, as the 33C simply doesn’t have the weight to cut through thick hair.
To demonstrate just how much of an outlier the 33C is, here is a chart showing how it stacks up to other popular safety razors:
The Merkur 33C has a length of 3.3″, which is shorter than the Merkur 23C (4.2″), yet longer than the Merkur 34C (3.19″). Making it suitable for men of small to average hand sizes. With this razor, expect a good balance between maneuverability and control when shaving your face.
Curious to see how the 33C stacks up to other popular safety razors?
Here is a chart showing the length of the 33C compared to other razors:
Like all Merkur razors, the 33C is made from Zamak, a zinc-based alloy. This material is then chrome-plated to provide it with a shiny finish. While most people prefer stainless steel razors, the 33C should still last for several years, so long as you don’t drop it on hard tile.
When browsing through all the safety razors Merkur makes, you’ll find many different handle designs. For example, you have the barber pole swirl found on the 38C and 39C or the unique diagonal etching on the 42C (1904 model). While these may look great, the 33C diamond knurling provides the best grip – even if your hands are coated in shaving cream or wet.
While the grip confidence is good, it may become uncomfortable if held for an extended period.
Country of Origin
The Merkur 33C is made in Germany by DOVO Solingen.
Number of Pieces
The Merkur 33C is a three-piece safety razor. The three pieces are the head, the handle, and the baseplate. Cleaning this type of safety razor is easy as you can simply unscrew the head and rinse the cap and baseplate under running water. The handle can be cleaned with a damp cloth.
When the time comes to change the blade, you simply unscrew the head and replace the blade. This is a very simple process that takes less than a minute.
Now for the most critical part of this review – how does the 33C perform when shaving?
Overall, the Merkur 33C is a solid performer. It’s milder than other Merkur razors, but it still provides a nice shave. The blade alignment is very good, and the razor feels very well-balanced in the hand. The blade exposure is also excellent, and the razor provides a very close, comfortable shave.
However, the 33C does have some faults. We explain more below:
The 33C struggles with thicker beards, as it will require additional pressure to cut through the hair. If you have a thick beard, you may want to consider a heavier razor such as the Merkur 34C or even the 38C. Cross and against-the-grain passes will be required to achieve a clean shave.
However, the 33C will suffice if you have a medium to light beard.
Like most safety razors, the Merkur 33C is compatible with all standard double-edge safety razor blades. From Feather to Astra, you can use any brand of blade with this razor. Our recommendation is to try out a few different brands of blades to see which one works best for your facial hair type (thick, medium, or light) along with your skin. What may work for one guy may not necessarily work for another.
Merkur kindly includes one starter blade with the 33C. These blades are made in Germany and are very sharp. They are also very smooth, which makes them a great choice for those with sensitive skin.
However, they are by no means the best available.
Aside from our research, we also looked at what other people had to say about the Merkur 33C. After reading peer reviews, forums, and Reddit posts, here are some of the most common comments:
The Merkur 33C is a classic safety razor that many men love for its quality construction and smooth shave. However, the biggest complaint was the lack of weight and the shorter handle, making it somewhat difficult to grip.
Guys were pleased with the shave, but they mentioned that it was milder than some of the other Merkur razors. Those that chase the baby butt smooth shave had to make several passes.
Research Note: Whenever reading any review of a razor, it’s always important to remember that many other factors can impact performance, including razor blades, shaving cream, facial hair thickness/density, and of course, technique. What may work for one may not necessarily work for another.
Aside from the 33C, Merkur makes a few other safety razors that you may want to consider instead:
- Merkur 34C: Slightly heavier than the 33C, it is still easy to control, and the closed comb makes it less aggressive than other razors. The 34C features the same diamond knurling grip.
- Merkur 38C: Much longer than heavier than the 33C, commonly known as ‘The Barber Pole,’ the 38C is perfect for men with larger hands or those looking for plenty of heft in their next razor.
- Merkur 23C: The 23C stands at an impressive 4.20″ in length – making it among the longest safety razors currently available. Still moderately lightweight, the 23C is a great choice for those who want a longer handle just like a cartridge razor.
Other Safety Razor Brands
Here are a few safety razors from other brands that you may want to consider:
- Edwin Jagger DE89: The DE89 is a popular safety razor known for its smooth shave and excellent build quality (it has a brass body). Significantly cheaper than the 33C, the DE89 is good for those looking for a quality safety razor at a lower price point.
- Muhle R89: Also from Germany, the R89 is an upgrade over the 33C. Consider the R89 if you want a premium safety razor with an elegant design and reliable results.
Other Notes About the Merkur 33C
There were a few other important notes we wanted to share about the Merkur 33C:
Typically priced at $37, the Merkur 33C is relatively cheap. To put the price into perspective, the Edwin Jagger DE89 is priced at $41, while the Muhle R89 is priced at $44.
We always like it when a company offers a warranty. It demonstrates that they are confident in their product and willing to stand behind it. Merkur offers a 2-year limited warranty on the 33C. Notably disclosed, though, is that the warranty does not cover damage caused by regular use or drops.
Merkur razors are nearly impossible to find in stores. If you live in a large city, you may be able to find one at a specialty store. However, the best place to buy a Merkur 33C is online. You can find it on Amazon or directly from Merkur’s website.