Are you thinking about getting a slant safety razor but undecided between the Merkur 37C and 39C?
These razors are very similar in that they have identical head and blade gaps. However, where they differ is in both the length and weight of the handle.
The 37C works well for shaving medium to thin beards and people with average to smaller hand sizes, as the smaller frame is easier to control and makes precise strokes. The longer length of the 39C is good for those with larger hands, thicker beards, or those who want a slightly more aggressive shave. When deciding between both, most people prefer the 37C.
In this article, we’ll look at each feature side-by-side so you can decide which razor best fits you.
Comparing the 37C and 39C
|Feature||Merkur 37C||Merkur 39C|
|Composition||Brass, Die-Cast Zinc Alloy||Brass, Die-Cast Zinc Alloy|
|Country of Origin||Germany||Germany|
|Number of Pieces||2||2|
|Shave Performance||Mild To Aggressive||Mild To Aggressive|
|Blade Compatibility||All double-edge safety razor blades||All double-edge safety razor blades|
The Merkur 39C is significantly heavier than the 37C, weighing in at 4.23 ounces (120 grams) vs. 2.72 ounces (77 grams). With such a large weight, it is easy to see why the 39C has the nickname “The Sledgehammer”!
What does this mean for your shave?
The increased weight allows the 39C to easily remove up to a thick stubble without additional pressure needing to be applied. This is nice as it will help to reduce the chance of razor burn from over-application of pressure.
The 37C, on the other hand, is a bit lighter, which can make it easier to control, but it may require a slight increase in pressure to remove thicker stubble. Given the lighter weight, we recommend it for those with thin to medium beards. However, if you shave daily, the 37C could be a suitable razor for thicker beards.
|Razor Name||Weight (oz)||Weight (g)|
Over 3/4″ separates both the 37C and 39C. The Merkur 37C is 3.31 inches long, while the Merkur 39C is 4.13 inches long. The length of any safety razor impacts reachability and control. If you want precision and control, go with the 37C. However, if you have difficulty shaving around your neck, you’ll want to opt for the 39C.
If you are undecided, consider your hand size in relation to the length of the razor. If you have smaller hands, the 37C won’t feel too unwieldy. Those with larger hands may find the 39C more comfortable.
|Razor Name||Length (in)||Length (cm)|
What is neat about both of these razors is that the razor blade is set at an angle instead of straight. So when you pass the razor over your face, it cuts the hair at an angle, similar to a scythe or guillotine. This results in reduced tugging or pulling on the follicle’s root. As a result, men with sensitive skin often find that these razors provide a more comfortable shave.
When holding the 37C, you’ll notice that it has a raised diamond knurling etching to the handle. This gritty texture works well if you’re a bit messy with your shaving cream and will reduce the chance of slippage.
Like the Merkur 38C Barberpole, the 39C features a swirling design. However, while it may look elegant, it doesn’t provide nearly as much grip as the 37C. So be sure to have a hand towel nearby to keep your hands dry.
There were a few other similarities between the 37C and 39C:
- Pieces: Both razors are two-piece systems. The baseplate and handle are welded together, while the cap can be unscrewed (twist the knob on the bottom to loosen and tighten the cap).
- Country of Origin: Both are made in Germany by DOVO Solingen.
- Material: The handle and head are made from a brass core and a die-cast zinc alloy head. The entire razor is then treated with chrome plating.
- Blade Compatibility: The 37C and 39C are compatible with all double-edge blades. Merkur includes one starter blade with both razors, which should last about five to seven shaves.
If budget is a concern, then you’ll be happy with the lower price point that both these razors come in at. As of this writing, the Merkur 37C and 39C could be found for $50 and $55, respectively.
The 37C and 39C provide a very similar shave as they have the same slant angle, safety bar, and blade gap. However, we would say that the 39C is a touch more aggressive since the razor’s weight alone increases the amount of pressure applied to the skin’s surface.
The 37C is slightly mild and forgiving, making it suitable for beginners.
However, both razors struggle if the beard’s length is exceptionally long (think about a week’s worth of growth) and become clogged. The best way to avoid this is to ensure that the beard is trimmed down with a beard trimmer (if possible) and prepped accordingly with a good pre-shave oil and shaving cream.
There were a few other quick notes we wanted to share about these razors:
- Razor Bumps: As with all safety razors, the 37C and 39C never cut the hair below the skin’s surface. So even if you have exceptionally curly facial hair, ingrown hair should never be an issue.
- Shaving Creams/Soaps: Both razors performed better when paired with a shaving brush and high-quality shaving cream/soap.
- Grip Confidence: The swirling handle on the 39C is a minor drawback but did result in some slippage. We wouldn’t recommend you shave with this razor in the shower.
- Bulkier Head: Compared to other safety razors, the head on these razors is similar in size to a butterfly razor. Making it slightly more difficult to maneuver around tight spaces like the nostrils.
- Not for Body Grooming: While some may attempt to use this razor for head or body grooming, we would not recommend it. Trying to hold the razor at the optimal cutting angle while shaving larger surfaces like your chest or head will be difficult and increase the odds of nicks and cuts.
The Merkur 37C and 39C are excellent safety razors offering a smooth and close shave. The 39C is a touch more aggressive due in part to the increased weight. However, no matter which razor you ultimately decide on, we think you’ll be happy with the results.