Merkur 1904 42C safety razor
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Merkur 1904 (42C)

The Merkur 1904 (42C) safety razor receives accolades for its classic and elegant design that harks back to early 1900s aesthetics, complete with an ornate hexagonal handle and chrome plating that enhances its visual appeal. The construction is praised for its solidity, crafted from brass and die-casted zinc that ensures durability and resistance to corrosion. While it looks the part, the razor sports an open comb design that is unexpectedly mild, making it more suitable for regular beard growth rather than heavy.

Users noted that the handle can be slippery and uncomfortably small for those with larger hands, affecting the grip and overall shaving experience. With a manageable weight and standard length, the Merkur 1904 (42C) does offer a solid shave but might require going over the same area multiple times. It is recommended as a versatile backup or travel razor rather than a primary option for those seeking a more aggressive shave. The three-piece construction brings a nod to tradition with the practicality of modern use, suitable for nostalgic design appreciators and effective for managing regular facial hair growth.

Where to buy

Merkur Shave
$29.95
Mens Room Barber Shop Store
$29.95
Shave Nation Shaving Supplies
$30.99
+5 more

Ratings

6.67/10

Average YouTube Rating

8.00/10

Average Editorial Rating

7.33/10

Overall Rating

Rating By Attribute

Attribute Name Bar Chart Rating
Aesthetics
8
Aggressiveness
6.33
Construction
7.5
Handle Grip
5.33
Length
5.33
Weight
6.33

Compare Products

Details Merkur 1904 (42C) Parker 26C × Merkur 37C × Dorco PL602 × The Goodfellas Smile Valynor × Parker 63C × Paradigm Salient × Blackland Sabre ×
Brand Merkur Parker Merkur Dorco The Goodfellas' smile Parker Paradigm Blackland
Country Of Origin Germany India Germany Korea Italy India China United States
Length 3.14 3.75 3.25 4.3 3.62 3.75 3.34 3.35
Materials Brass, Zinc, Chrome Genuine Brass, Black Anodized Brass handle, die-casted zinc razor head, chrome-plated Plastic Brass & Aluminum Brass, Rose Gold Metal, Chrome Plated 316 Stainless Steel 303 Stainless Steel
Pieces 3 3 2 2 4 3 3 3
Razor Adjustable No No No Yes No No No No
Razor Head Type Closed Comb Open Comb Slant Bar Closed Comb Flat Open Comb Closed Comb Closed Comb
Weight 2.5 3.4 2.7 0.42 2.75 3.4 3.77 3.92

Key Facts

Editorial Reviews

8/10 asuperiorshave.com +

A Superior Shave praises the Merkur 1904 (also known as the 42c) for its top quality materials and construction, durable 3-piece design, and classic yet unique appearance that recalls razors used a century ago. The razor is seen as an excellent choice for those with thick, coarse beards due to its open tooth comb and moderate aggressiveness, which allows users to control the shave intensity by choosing different blades. The hexagonal handle with diagonal grooves provides a good grip, although it may feel awkward initially to some users because it is not round like most razor handles.

However, A Superior Shave suggests that the Merkur 1904 may not be the best choice for beginner wet shavers and indicates a preference for handles with knurling over the grooved design for better grip. Despite its lighter weight, the razor doesn't feel insubstantial, thanks to good weight distribution and balance. The review recommends the Merkur 1904 to experienced wet shavers seeking a close shave and a distinctive safety razor to add to their collection, but potentially prefers a slightly heavier model. Comparatively, other razors like the Merkur Futur, Merkur 23C, and Parker 96R are also discussed as alternatives, each with distinct features such as adjustable aggressiveness, long handles, and varying aggressiveness well-suited to different user preferences and experiences.

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YouTube Ratings

7
Overall Rating

Overall, the Merkur 1904-1906 Open Comb Safety Razor offers a solid performance, especially on heavier beard growth, but has some trade-offs in terms of grip and weight. Its open comb design provides an efficient shave without being overly aggressive, making it suitable for experienced users rather than beginners. The aesthetics are a highlight, with an appealing classic design and nice chrome finish.

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7
Overall Rating

The Merkur 1904 Classic Safety Razor is a throwback to early 20th-century design with modern performance. It provides a close shave due to its open comb design, although the grip takes some time to get used to. The price point is reasonable for its performance, making it a solid choice for both new and experienced wet shavers, particularly those with thicker beards.

View Overview »
6
Overall Rating

The Merkur 41C presents itself as a mild to moderately aggressive razor that is more suitable for regular beard growth rather than heavy. While it has a classic aesthetic appeal, the handle grip is less than ideal due to its small size and slippery nature. The construction quality is solid, typical of Merkur razors, but the razor's performance isn't particularly standout. It seems to function better as a backup or travel razor rather than a primary choice for those seeking a more aggressive shave.

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Aesthetics

8

The razor has a classic and elegant appearance, with a hexagonal handle and ornate markings that provide a nod to the early 1900s design sensibilities. The bright chrome plating gives it a premium look. - From the geofatboy video

8

The razor sports an Art Deco style with nice chrome on the handle, offering a 'really nice' and 'pretty cool' vintage appearance that adds elegance to the shave routine. - From the nick shaves video

8

The razor's design is reminiscent of an early 1900's aesthetic, described as something 'your grandpa and great grandpa' would use, lending it a classic and nostalgic look. - From the Prim&Prep video

Aggressiveness

5

The open comb design of the 41C suggests a more aggressive shave, but in reality, it performed closer to a mild razor. I had to go over the same areas several times to fully remove my beard, which was somewhat disappointing for a razor that is positioned to handle heavier growth. - From the geofatboy video

7

The open comb design of the razor provides a more aggressive shave, effective in mowing down several days' worth of growth with ease, while still not being so aggressive as to feel dangerous. - From the nick shaves video

7

The razor offers a mild aggressiveness rated at '5 out of 10', balancing the exposure of the open comb with a smaller blade gap, resulting in a close shave without excessive harshness. - From the Prim&Prep video

Construction

7

As a three-piece razor, it is constructed in a classic style, but there's no specific mention of the materials used. However, Merkur's reputation and the product's overall appearance suggest good construction quality. - From the nick shaves video

8

Made with a brass handle and die-casted zinc razor head, the construction is robust with a high-quality feel. The galvanized surfaces and chrome plating add to the razor's durability. - From the geofatboy video

Handle Grip

5

Despite the ornate markings and staggered pattern designed to improve grip, I found the handle to be somewhat slippery and not ideal for a secure shave, especially with wet hands. The handle's small diameter also contributed to a less comfortable grip. - From the geofatboy video

5

The hexagonal shape and diagonal grooves provide a unique grip that may take time to get accustomed to, with some potential for slippage, as 'the grip overall is not the best'. - From the Prim&Prep video

6

The knurling on the handle provides grip, but it's noted that it 'isn't the grippiest' and can slip a bit when the hand is wet, which may affect precision during the shave. - From the nick shaves video

Length

6

The 3.2 inches in length is on the shorter side, which might be a drawback for those who prefer a longer handle, but the weight compensates for this. - From the Prim&Prep video

5

The length is rather standard at 3.14 inches, but when compared to other models like the Merkur 34C, the handle still feels a bit thin and can be less comfortable for those with larger hands. - From the geofatboy video

5

The size of the razor is described as 'pretty small', making it shorter and lighter than some counterparts, which might affect maneuverability for users with larger hands. - From the nick shaves video

Weight

7

At 2.3 ounces or 65 grams, the razor has a decent heft to it, providing a solid feel during the shave without being too heavy. - From the geofatboy video

7

At 2.3 ounces, the razor has a good amount of weight which is slightly handle heavy, contributing to a solid feel during usage. - From the Prim&Prep video

5

The razor is noted as being more lightweight when compared to models like the Merkur 34C, which requires a bit of added pressure during shaving. This could affect the control and balance for those used to heavier razors. - From the nick shaves video

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