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Safety Razor

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Types of Safety Razors

When the one-way blade was introduced at the beginning of the 20th century, several types of safety razors already existed. The standard version is the straight closed comb. Razors with an open tooth combs are meant for the removal of longer beards or body hair. The teeth allow for long hair to get through to the blade, which the closed comb would hold down.

One distinguishes between two configurations: The three-piece razor consisting of a top plate, comb and handle, and the two-piece razor consisting of top plate and comb with neck, handle and rotatable key.

The slanted razor serves to stabilize very thin blades (0.08 mm) that were available in the past. An additional effect of the slanted blade is the tendency of the movement in the direction of the blade. This is not hazard-free, but suitable for a very strong beard.

The mechanically most complex type is the adjustable razor. The blade gap adjustment with setting scale varies the distance between the blade and the skin-stretching comb. The system allows the adjustment of the razor for an individual shave feeling from soft to strong.

Safety Razor FAQ

WHY SHOULD I BUY A DE Razor?

Benefits of MERKUR DE razors are:

  • Safety razor: the design is proven for double blades for more than 100 years.
  • Unisex: the DE razor is suitable for face and body.
  • Saving resources: the durable razors come from regional production (Made in Germany), the interchangeable blades are cheaper than other systems.
  • Easy clean: with the loosening of the screw, the blade and the soap gap are easy to rinse under water. Also suitable for long hair.
  • Plastic free: the razor and the stainless-steel blades are packaged exclusively in paper and cardboard.
  • Regional production: MERKUR razors are 100% Made in Germany, the blades are made in the EU.

WHY IS THE RAZOR CALLED A “DE RAZOR”?

With the classic blade containing of two cutting edges, it becomes a ‘double edge’ DE razor, one on each side. The movement at right angles to the cutting edge and with the razor head slightly tilted (about 30°) resembles a carpenter’s plane. The German term is from the beginning of the 20th century.
The more elegant description corresponds to the English variant ‘safety razor’. In the original comparison with the barber’s razor, the razor is easier and safer to use.

HOW SAFE IS SHAVING WITH A RAZOR?

Always handle sharp blades carefully.
The blades are thin and very sharp. It is essential to grasp them at the short ends and carefully remove them from the paper.
If the blade is clamped to the razor, the outer protruding foam edge of the comb protects against direct injury. You should still only touch the razor by the handle.

Straight strokes, perpendicular to the edge of the razor blade, are the basic principle when using the razor plane. Circular and lateral movements should be avoided on your interest.
Skin folds are to be pulled tightly so that the razor head can glide perfectly. Following these guidelines, a safe, injury-free shave with the DE razor is possible.

The used razor blade should be disposed of carefully. Wrapped in paper and once broken through, the blade should be disposed of in household waste to protect against accidental contact and to be kept out of reach of children.

WHICH DE RAZOR IS SUITABLE FOR BEGINNERS?

Three-piece razors such as models 33001, 23001 or 24001 are suitable for beginners and all skin areas with their universal blade gap. The handle length is a matter of personal taste and perhaps depends on the size of the hand. For body shaving, the handle of model 24001 is
another 20mm longer.

WHICH RAZOR BLADE SHOULD I USE?

The classic double blades have been used worldwide for over 100 years. Platinum stainless blades have the highest quality from all manufacturers. These are mature products. I recommend MERKUR SUPER PLATINUM to MERKUR razors.

HOW DO I USE A SAFETY RAZOR?

I place the carefully unwrapped blade in the top plate on the pegs and screw the razor together again.
I prepare the skin to be shaved with warm water and shaving soap. The hair should swell a little, for this I leave the foam to act for a few minutes. With one hand I pull the skin taut if necessary. In straight strokes perpendicular to the blade and the razor set at about 30° to the skin, I can hear the blade cutting the hair. It glides almost on its own and with the high dead weight a razor needs less force when cutting the hair than a plastic razor. For a good
shaving result, I spread the soap residue again and pull a second time over the skin areas. I pay attention to straight pulls. I avoid circular and transverse movements completely. In between strokes, I rinse the razor under water. Alternately, both sides of the razor are used.
After the finished shave, you can loosen the razor head a little and clean the blade and the soap gap thoroughly under water.
Rinse the soap from the body part with warm water. Wet shaving also removes skin debris and stimulates its renewal. For care, the skin can be treated with aftershave, balm or skin oil, depending on your preference.

SAFETY RAZOR FOR WET SHAVING

A safety razor is a hand tool, for the removal of body or facial hair. There are several types of razors: cartridge razors with 2 or more blades set in plastic, and razors with one blade and two cutting edges.
A razor usually has an interchangeable head where the worn blade can be changed periodically so that the cutting edges are sharp again.
The exception is disposable razors from the medical industry.

PREPARATION OF THE WET SHAVE:

  • Moisten skin with warm water, (convenient after showering).
  • Apply soap foam (either oil or gel) and massage.
  • Leave soap a few minutes to work.
  • Shave with the clean razor following the stroke of the hair.
  • If necessary, lather again and shave the area a second time. Vary the shaving direction or shave against the grain.
  • Rinse skin thoroughly.
  • Apply skin care with aftershave, alcohol-free lotions, balms, or skin oil.
  • Thoroughly rinse the razor. For razor planes, loosen the screw by turning it halfway, then rinse and tighten again.

Tip:
The double-edged blade of the DE razor lasts longer if you let it rest for more than 24 hours. When shaving only every few days, the number of maximum uses increases. Try it and see.

Materials, Maintenance

Most of the MERKUR razors are made of die-casted zinc (top plate, comb) and brass handles. The surfaces are galvanically coated in three layers (copper, nickel, chrome). The model series 700002 is entirely made of die-casted zinc, with the surface options of matt chrome, glossy chrome, and glossy gold.

Blade Change of Merkur Safety Razors

Preparation & Handling

Athorough shave requires a meticulous preparation of skin and whiskers. Best after the shower, with firm shaving lather so the whiskers can swell for several minutes. As with soaps, many skin care products are offered for after shave care. With the beginning of the 20th century, safety razors with a classic double-edge blade became the successors of the straight razors for everyday use. The shave is thorough, and handling of the open edge requires a bit of skill and practice, but can be acquired quickly. The safety razor shave is executed with planning, scratching movements vertically towards the cutting edge. Movements in the longitudinal direction of the blade, or turns, can lead to injuries. The lather edge of the comb serves to stretch the skin tight, so all whiskers are reached. The razor’s own weight facilitates the gliding without pressure for a gentle shave. As with a straight razor, it is ideal to move the blade in a 30° angle toward the skin’s surface. How to hold the handle is something to be tried, but with a bit of practice it is quickly done. The versions of the different handle lengths and weights enable the choice of a personal preference. With the classic models, the blade protrudes a bit at the short outer edges, so that they can be grabbed together with the top plate for blade exchange without letting the blade tumble out accidentally. The individually ground and polished top plates, as well as the blades are subject to variations in dimensions in the range of 1/10mm. The construction is almost 100 years old and entails markedly higher tolerances than modern blade systems. The shaving results are traditionally good, and embraced by many supporters. The long-term favorable price/performance ratio of safety razors and blades makes those retro products attractive in modern times.

Merkur Safety Razor
Safety Razor
German Safety Razor
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