The Rockwell Razors 6C and Merkur 34C are two very popular safety razors. Their beginner-friendly designs are perfect for those just getting into traditional wet shaving.
The 6C offers swappable base plates that let you adjust the blade gap, which impacts how aggressive the shave is. The Merkur 34C, meanwhile, has a fixed blade gap and relies on German precision engineering for a smooth shave. So, which one is the right one for you?
In short, both are fairly good in their respective category. However, we would have to get a slight edge over the Rockwell Razors 6C as it provides versatility with the different base plates. That being said, the Merkur 34C is a very solid razor and is a great choice for those who want a bit more precision in their shaving experience.
Let’s look at each razor to see how they compare.
|Feature||Merkur 34C||Rockwell Razors 6C|
|Composition||Brass||Chromed Zinc Alloy|
|Country of Origin||Germany||China|
|Number of Pieces||2||3|
|Shave Performance||Mild to Moderate Aggressiveness||Varies Based On Plate|
|Blade Compatibility||All double-edge safety razor blades||All double-edge safety razor blades|
The Rockwell Razors 6C is a heavier razor than the Merkur 34C. It weighs 3.50 ounces, compared to the Merkur’s 2.72 ounces. The extra weight of the Rockwell provides stability and pressure when shaving, making it a good choice for those with thicker hair.
The Merkur 34C is a lighter razor, which some users prefer because it is easier to maneuver around the face. If you have thick facial hair, you may need to slightly increase the pressure you apply when shaving with the Merkur. Otherwise, if your hair tends to be rather thin or even normal, then the weight provided with the Merkur should be just fine.
|Razor Name||Weight (oz)||Weight (g)|
|Rockwell Razors 6C||3.5||100|
The Rockwell Razors 6C is slightly longer than the Merkur 34C. It measures 3.74 inches, compared to Merkur’s 3.19 inches. This makes the Rockwell preferred by those with larger hands or for those who prefer a longer razor for a better grip. The extra length also makes reaching tricky areas, such as the neck, easier.
However, don’t dismiss the 34C right away.
The shorter length of the Merkur 34C performs exceptionally well for those with smaller hands and is easier to control, especially when shaving around delicate areas, such as the upper lip.
|Razor Name||Length (in)||Length (cm)|
|Rockwell Razors 6C||3.74||9.5|
The two razors have different compositions, with the Rockwell Razors 6C made of chromed zinc alloy and the Merkur 34C made of brass and die-cast zinc alloy. Both are made from the lowest grade of metal, Zamak (commonly referred to as pot metal).
To protect the cheap frame, both razors have chrome plating, which also gives them a nice shine.
However, the reliance on chrome plating means that both razors are susceptible to cracking or chipping, especially if they are dropped. If this happens, it is important to replace the razor.
Lastly, given the reliance on subpar metals, the threads on the screw for both the 6C and 34C may strip or completely break after extended use.
Both razors have a diamond knurling pattern on the handle that provides a good grip, even when your hands are wet. However, head-to-head we would have to give a slight edge to the Rockwell Razors 6C as the knurling is a bit more pronounced.
Related: Rockwell Razors 6C Review
Country of Origin
Rockwell makes the 6C in China, whereas the 34C is made in Germany. Some users prefer German-made products, which tend to be of higher quality. Others prefer products made in China, as they are often more affordable. However, when comparing the build quality of the two razors, we would say they are pretty even.
Even users who have used the razors for years can attest to their durability and longevity.
Number of Pieces
If you’re looking for a classic safety razor experience, the Rockwell Razors 6C is the way to go. With three pieces (baseplate, cap, and handle), it’s easy to clean and assemble. We’ll touch on the blade gap between all the different baseplates in just a bit.
The Merkur 34C, on the other hand, has a two-piece design (handle and head). The head is not adjustable, which some users prefer as it takes the guesswork out of setting the blade gap. In addition, the head can be unscrewed from the handle for cleaning.
Some may prefer that the base plate detaches from the handle for easy cleaning, but this depends on personal preference. So if you like to keep your grooming gear nice and tidy, then the Rockwell Razors 6C would probably be the better choice.
A significant price gap separates both of these razors. The Rockwell 6C retails for about $60, whereas the Merkur 34C costs $36.
Of course, you know your budget best, but we feel that both razors are priced fairly, considering their quality.
Both safety razors are compatible with all double-edge safety razor blades. This means that you can use various blades with either razor, giving you more options to find the perfect blade for your needs.
When using either razor, you can expect reliable results. The Merkur 34C this razor tends to run mild to moderately aggressive. As a result, it will provide a very close shave with little irritation. However, don’t be surprised if you do have to go over an area more than once to get a completely smooth shave.
As for the Rockwell Razors 6C, the aggressiveness largely depends on the baseplate you use. R1 thru R3 will be best for men new to wet shaving who have sensitive skin or moderately thick hair. R4, R5, and R6 are recommended for those with thicker hair or those who have been wet shaving for some time and are looking for a more aggressive shave.
Both razors perform exceptionally well and should not cause razor bumps as they only cut the hair to the skin level, never below.
Rockwell gives you 5 Swedish stainless steel blades with the 6C. Merkur includes just one Merkur stainless steel blade with the 34C. Each blade for either razor should last you about five shaves. Do yourself a favor and pick up a variety pack of razor blades that include popular brands like Feather, Gillette, Personna, and Wilkinson Sword.
Upgrade the Shaving Cream
Safety razors work well at removing hair; however, they really depend on well-made shaving cream to protect your skin while shaving. Good shaving cream will help the razor glide over your skin, reducing friction and irritation. Additionally, a thick lather will help retain moisture, keeping your skin hydrated throughout the shave.
While a canned cream can work with these razor blades, neither will likely not feel nearly as comfortable if don’t you use halfway decent shaving cream.
Aside from our reviews, we also looked at what others had to say about the Rockwell Razors 6C and Merkur 34C. Most found the razors enjoyable to shave with, even if they were new to traditional wet shaving.
That being said, the biggest persistent complaint across the board was that users weren’t happy with the long-term durability of these razors. In particular, many users noted that 34C simply showed signs of wear after a few years of shaving with it.
Additionally, one reviewer found that the 6C was “considerably smoother” than the 34C.
Aside from the 6C and 34C, we wanted to briefly mention a few other safety razors that you may want to look at.
- Merkur 23C: 1″ longer than the 34C, the 23C is a great choice for those with larger hands. It is one of the most popular safety razors on the market, offering a fairly good shave. However, it is rather light at 2.12oz.
- Rockwell Razors 6S: If you aren’t thrilled that the 6C is made in China and relies on sub-par metal, then the 6S could be a good alternative. The 6S is made of stainless steel, which will last much longer and can take a beating. The 6S is also made in the USA.
- Rockwell Razors 2C: This is just the 6C with just one base plate (the most popular one, R1/R3), and it is priced at $20 cheaper. Consider this if you don’t have a whole lot of interest in changing the blade gap often (read the review of the 2C).
Here are the razors mentioned above compared to the 6C and 34C:
|Safety Razor||Weight (oz)||Weight (g)||Length (in)||Length (cm)||Price||Aggression||Composition||Grip||Comb|
|Merkur 34C||2.72||77||3.19||8.1||$36||Mild To Moderate Aggressiveness||Brass, Zinc Alloy||Knurled||Closed|
|Rockwell Razors 6S||4.2||118||3.75||9.5||$120||Varies Based On Plate||Stainless Steel||Knurled||Closed (Adjustable)|
|Rockwell Razors 6C||3.5||100||3.74||9.5||$60||Varies Based On Plate||Chromed Zinc Alloy||Knurled||Closed (Adjustable)|
|Rockwell Razors 2C||3.53||100||3.74||9.5||$40||Varies Based On Plate||Chromed Zinc Alloy||Knurled||Closed (Adjustable)|
While they are close in shave performance, the 6C simply has more features that make it the better razor, in our opinion. However, the 34C is still a very solid razor and is a great choice for those who want more precision in their shaving experience.
We hope this article was helpful in your search for the perfect safety razor. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to us.