Stainless Steel Replacement for Merkur 34c

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by roo_ster, Jun 4, 2023.

  1. Chappy_Stan

    Chappy_Stan Well-Known Member

    I had a Merkur 34c but we just did not get along so I gave it to a friend of mine and he loves it. Shaving to him is just a utility he doesn't like so the added aggressiveness is fine with him as he normally does a 1 or 2 pass shave only and is happy with any results he gets.

    I do have the Muhle r89 and find it just a tad milder but more efficient than the 34c ever was for me. However, my 2 favorite razors are a vintage Gillette Fatboy and Rockwell 6s (in no particular preference) due to their adjustability. For example, with the Fatboy my 1st pass is setting 5, 2nd pass on setting 3, and final pass on setting 2. With the Rockwell 6s each plate has 2 settings when you flip it over. I use the 1/3 plate. Side 3 for 1st pass, flip the plate over, and do pass 2 and 3 with side 1. If I have more than 2 days growth then I may do side 3, side 3, then side 1 to finish. I normally get BBS with all 3 razors without trying. Bear in mind the 1/3 plate works great for me but you may prefer the 2/4 plate which would be more aggressive.
  2. roo_ster

    roo_ster New Member

    Howdy, again. I have been researching some more and I found a few resources. I WILL NOT make this ((yet) another) hobby.


    Maybe from "competitor" forum(s), but data is data:


    Merkur 34c .71mm / .028"
    The Rockwell 6S R5 dealio is .69mm / .026" & R6 is .77mm / .031", bracketing the 34c


    Edwin Jagger & Muhle 89 too close to differentiate vis a vis 34c


    The Razo Rock Game Changer is about half the price of the Rockwell 6S. With a second .72 plate, it is in the neighborhood of the 6S, cost-wise and brackets the 34c like the Rockwell.

    That whole, "take it apart & oil it after every shave & store it with the blade out" is just not going to happen. It lives in the shower, in the jury-rigged PVC razor holder cable-tied to my shower caddy. Next to the badger brush with its own hunk of PVC.

    I am going to hit the shower & shave my face & noggin, saving only eyebrows and eyelashes from the razor to think on it.
  3. Bill G

    Bill G Well-Known Member

    With all do respect if it’s not going to happen any Zamick chrome plated razor like the Merker 34C just won’t last. To each their own how much or how little effort they put into taking care of something.

    Happy Shaves,
    Bill G
  4. roo_ster

    roo_ster New Member

    Indeed. That is why I am looking at stainless steel razors rather than those made from pot metal.
    Bill G likes this.
  5. roo_ster

    roo_ster New Member

    I pulled the trigger on the RazoRock Game Changer .76-P with the Super Knurl Handle.

    The RazoRock was $61.94 shipped from Italian Barber. My Merkur 34c is getting grittier in the threads, despite cleaning them, so I needed to make a move. I'll keep it as my travel razor, as it should last indefinitely in that capacity.

    .76 vs .68 vs .84 Plates
    The .84 is the most aggressive GC, the .68 the least. .76 is between them. If I find .76 overly aggressive or not aggressive enough, I can purchase another plate for $30+SH

    Super Knurl Handle
    Sounds made for use in the shower. I like me some grip and my hands are XL, so the longer handle is OK by me.

    It came down to the RRGC vs the Rockwell 6S, as both could be modified/re-configured to (hopefully) suit my druthers. With the Rockwell, you bought all the adjust-ability up-front in a package, whereas the RRCG allowed for a $30 course-correction.
    Herm2502, Daywalker and Bill G like this.
  6. Bill G

    Bill G Well-Known Member

    Great choice, every time you change your blade out put a small dab of Vaseline on the threads. It will go a long ways to keeping them nice when you do change out your blade.

    Happy Shaves,
    Bill G
  7. NTR

    NTR Well-Known Member

    My Merkur 34c is showing similar signs of wear, so this thread is welcome. But confusing. I’ve seen at least two people roughly equate the 34c with the R89. Aren’t these opposite ends of the spectrum? I own both, and they’re night and day, with the Merkur mild and smooth and the Muhle aggressive and, uh, smooth until it isn’t.
  8. Bill G

    Bill G Well-Known Member

    The Merkur 34C has if I remember correctly a .71 blade gap and the R89 has a .76. I don’t know the blade exposure on these razors. The R89 is more aggressive/efficient and has more blade feel to it when I compared the two years ago. I don’t think any of the razors listed are exactly like the 34C but a few are much closer in feel and aggression/efficiency than others listed. Everyone has a different opinion and skin and beard types when comparing razors and is probably why there are different or varying opinions on the razor comparisons. Also remember different blade exposures + positive or - negative even with the same blade gap make a big difference in feel and aggressiveness/efficiency of a razor. You need to know both on each razor to make a more exacting comparison. Really a guy needs to personally try them all himself side by side with his beard and skin type.

    Happy Shaves,
    Bill G
    PLANofMAN likes this.
  9. roo_ster

    roo_ster New Member

    Don't know why I never thought of that. Well, there is no vaseline in the house. But in the garage I have/had an old almost-empty tube of Syncrolon synthetic grease that just made its way into the bath cabinet. Overkill, sure, but after cleaning & greasing the old 34c's threads bite better and tighten smoother.
    ewk and Bill G like this.
  10. flash75

    flash75 Member

    German forum discusses a renovation of the Merkur 34.
    New molds are being made and one member is testing a pre series model. Blade tabs will be covered and feeling will be more like a 1950s Merkur 34 (no c no g) model.

    Just to inform you

    Gesendet von meinem 2109119DG mit Tapatalk
    PLANofMAN, Ron R and Bill G like this.
  11. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    Cool! I love the Merkur HD. Please keep us informed and let us know when it will be on the market. I just may have to get one.
    Bill G likes this.
  12. flash75

    flash75 Member

    Me too.
    I hope there will be a passaround for me being able to give qualified info.
    But of course I'll buy it too.

    Gesendet von meinem 2109119DG mit Tapatalk
  13. ShaversRUs

    ShaversRUs Well-Known Member

    One of the world's biggest unsolved mysteries is why Merkur has never made a stainless steel version of their closed-comb head. Ditto Muhle (R89) and Edwin Jagger (DE89). I don't believe there are any clones of them in stainless steel, either.

    The RR Game Changer should be a good choice, from what I've heard -- I've never tried one. I have tried the DS Cosmetics clones, but they didn't exactly knock my socks off -- though frankly I have never given them a fair chance. Then you've got the RR Lupos, too. The thing with all of these RRs -- you need to get lucky and buy the plate you like, lest you start buying mutliples. Of course, you can always sell the ones you don't like.

    I know the Rockwell 6S has gone up in price, but a mere 2 years ago it was only about $85 when they had their sales -- which is what I believe I paid for mine. It comes in a very nice storage case, and only the most fussy wet shavers will not find a plate that they like. I bet you can get them used now for $85 or less.

    The thing with the 6S is that it is not sexy, but unless you run over it with a steam roller, it will never wear out.

    I have bought many razors before and after I bought the 6S. I could have saved lots of money if I had stopped after the 6S. It's one-stop shopping.

    And...I have had zero issues with blade alignment with my 6S. Not saying that the RRs have any, though.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2023
  14. ShaversRUs

    ShaversRUs Well-Known Member

    ...and our wallets...:Animatedfrozensmily:
    flash75 likes this.
  15. SterFry

    SterFry Well-Known Member

    I agree that the 6S should be a serious consideration. Phenomenal razor that can be adjusted to narrow in on your aggression preferences. This will teach you a great deal about what type of razors your face it's just an amazing razor. People psych themselves out and convince themselves that the Rockwell head is bulky, but that's an optical illusion from the underside of the plate having considerable mass, being that it's essentially a second plate. However, if you look at the part of the head that actually touches your face...that bit is only slightly bulkier than any other safety razor.

    In fact, I think the 6c should be the default first DE recommendation, broadly speaking. A role that the 34c and DE89 seem to arbitrarily hold.

    If cost is concern, you can get the 6c, which isn't steel, but mine has had daily use for many years now.
  16. ShaversRUs

    ShaversRUs Well-Known Member

    The 6S was getting a lot of hype a few years ago when there were less stainless steel options. It really is the first and only DE razor you will ever need -- if wet shaving is not a hobby for you.

    I started out with a Merkur 33c about 10 years ago. I went with that instead of the 34c to save a few bucks. (Ha ha ha...) I could have stayed with that until it wore out, but the hobby bug caught me. (I did stick with it for several years, though.)

    I am sorta glad that I bought all the vintage razors I have, though most sit unused. At least I know I can get more or less what I paid for them if I ever want to sell a few.

    To the OP -- you made a good choice with the RR; stick with it when you get it. Give it time -- resist the temptation to get a different plate too soon, meaning a few months, not weeks.
  17. roo_ster

    roo_ster New Member

    The RRGC .76-P arrived yesterday and I gave it its first try today with a shiny new Astra blade & Proraso shave soap in the tub with a badger brush.

    My Merkur 34c is an obvious casting, though a decent casting. The RRGC is a different beast and every edge and transition is sharper/cleaner. It is not a work of art, but just a solid execution in stainless steel. The Super Knurl Handle is the bee's knee's for shaving in the shower. The length fits my meathooks better than the 34c and the knurling is perfect for use in the shower. Bravo. I was somewhat worried by the construction.configuration, as I have had Merkur razors in the past with the itty bitty stubby threaded thingy instead of the 34c long shank. They had a tendency to come loose. Maybe I did not crank them down enough, but given the cast pot metal and chrome plating, I did not want to go gorilla arm on the head. (As a younger man I broke many things due to not knowing my strength or how delicate some things are.) OTOH, the RRCG's itty bitty stubby threaded thingy locked up like a vault. Solid, no worries.

    The .76 plate is a bit more aggressive than the 34c. This worked as well or better on 95% of my face & neck. The other 5% felt somewhat put out by the whole deal, with one nick and no visible burn (but I could feel some burn if not see it). Then again, this was the second day in a row I did a full three passes (with, across, against the grain) + touch ups. (Management PHBs were visiting and I wanted BBS perfect personal hygiene both days.) I bet that if I stick with the .76 plate, I will go through Astra blades more often, as I won't be able to tolerate the combo of duller blade + more aggressive tool. I can stretch an Astra to 5-6 shaves with the 34c. I am thinking 3-4 tops with the RRCG .76 plate. I would also likely have to up my aftershave game. Sure, I started off DE shaving with Proraso aftershave and then my own homebrew (even better) but lately I have degenerated to a mix of 50% Skin Bracer + 50% witch hazel for my aftershave.

    Overall, I am pleased with the RRCG. The fit & grip of the Super Knurl handle is the best of all razors I have used. The RRGC's material and construction is a step up from the 34c and it performed well. I will probably get the .68 plate for those stretches where I need to shave three passes BBS days in a row. I will keep the .76 plate as my default for the foreseeable future.
    DaveM62, ewk, Enrico and 1 other person like this.
  18. roo_ster

    roo_ster New Member

    1. I will need to get the .68-P base plate. I have shaved with the RRGC .76-P several more times and it is, indeed, too aggressive. Even after letting my face rest without a shave for a day or only doing one pass (with the grain). No, I am not going to shave with it for two months to figure out if it is truly too aggressive for my face. This is not my first razor rodeo. I tried out razors and blades over the years and know what my face needs.

    2. Of course, now that I have the RRGC .76-P, the .68-P base plate is sold out.

    3. On second thought, SterFry is probably right in that, "In fact, I think the 6c should be the default first DE recommendation, broadly speaking." and the way I should have gone.

    Oh, well, I still have my Merkur 34c until the .68-P base plate comes back in stock.
    ewk likes this.
  19. ShaversRUs

    ShaversRUs Well-Known Member

    Yup, but the 6S not the 6C.
  20. roo_ster

    roo_ster New Member


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