safety razor, which first hit the mass market in the 1920’s, but because of its flexibility and innovative aesthetic design has grown again in popularity in more recent times.
The Merkur allows a wet shaver to adjust the blade gap of the razor as it sits in the head mount to create the right angle to closely cut his particular beard thickness. The adjustment also allows shavers to control how aggressive the razor cuts the hair on the face, which is an advantage to those with more sensitive skin.
The result of the adjustment offered by the Merkur design and the fact that it utilises standalone safety blades, creates an incredibly close shave and a much better level of accuracy when sculpting a beard or moustache, when compared to disposable razors or cartridge razors.
Other advantages of the Merkur razor over disposable and cartridge types include cost and value for money over the long-term. If you consider that a Merkur will last a lifetime, all the user has to do is purchase safety blades to use with the Merkur, as and when required. These can be original Merkur-made blades or other types of safety blades made to fit the Merkur models from all of the other leading razor blade manufacturers.
The Merkur was originally invented and manufactured by Emil Hermes in Solingen, a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. In 1896, Emil Hermes began producing precision metal instruments, knives, and razors, later patenting the Slant Razor in 1916. The brand name Merkur is named after the German word for Mercury, the Roman God equivalent of the Greek God Hermes.
From a manufacturing point of view, Merkur safety razors are made from aluminium, stainless steel, brushed steel and chrome with some more exclusive versions available in precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum. Merkur’s come as either two or three piece models and with regular or long handles featuring a range of grip options, all of which are interchangeable with the heads. Handle grip options include rubber coated, knurled and ribbed grips, with some older versions of the handles also made from rarer materials such as Ivory.
Also widely available is the popular Merkur Futur model, which offers the same style of shave but has a much more contemporary design. The Merkur Futur is both stylish and practical, with a more modern look and feel. Within the innovative design, the proximity of the blade to the razor's safety bar on the head can be adjusted, allowing for a close, comfortable shave with fewer post-shave pimples and instances of razor rash for those users with sensitive skin.
All modern Merkur safety razors are built with precision engineering to the highest quality, while the older more antique models are a delight to own and use. Novice Merkur users might find it a little strange at first and might need to make multiple subtle head position adjustments until finding the right position for their beard and skin type. However, its well worth the effort, as once you’re used to the Merkur, you’ll find that it provides a much more consistent shave when compared to more modern metal or plastic types of disposable safety razor.