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Merkur Model 180 Long Handled Safety Razor

by Merkur

Price: £25.01
Only 12 left in stock.
Dispatched from and sold by OTCFORYOU.
2 new from £25.01
  • Classic razor for close, professional shaves
  • Contoured, weighted handle is easy to hold
  • Sleek nickel chrome plating with knurled grip pattern
  • Uses standard double-edge blades
  • Approx. dimensions (inches): 4.5L x 2.25W x 1H


Product details

  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 2.5 x 10.2 cm
  • Boxed-product Weight: 45 g
  • Delivery Destinations: Visit the Delivery Destinations Help page to see where this item can be delivered.
  • Item model number: Model 180
  • ASIN: B000NL0T1G
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 24 Aug 2010
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 145,191 in Kitchen & Home (See Top 100 in Kitchen & Home)
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Product Description

Your bathroom is the closest barbershop when it's stocked with the Merkur Long Handled Chrome Safety Razor, a classically designed grooming tool crafted with bright nickel chrome plating. The contoured, weighted handle rests easily in any hand, and a matte knurled pattern ensures a firm grip, even when wet. A double edge blade provides smooth results.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William Mager on 23 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase
It's a toss up between this and the Merkur 23C. Both seem pretty much identical in terms of performance. If you want a perfect shave, a Merkur safety razor is your only answer.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2,605 reviews
4,758 of 4,854 people found the following review helpful
Well, looks like a winner. 12 Mar 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
UPDATED 6/27

OK.

So if you're here, it's either because (1) you're one of the old schoolers who recognized the brand and was looking for another razor like the one you had back when shaving was an art form, or (2) you're a young buck who has done studying and have heard the recent hype: That straight razors and safety razors are making a comeback.

Unfortunately, I can't speak to the 1st audience, because I wasn't born when Merkur was made popular. I can, however, speak to the 2nd audience, as I somewhat fit into that category.

First some history. I'd been a Gillette man for the longest time. I had the old Mach 2 Turbo, then the Mach 3, then the M3 Power, then the Fusion. Yes, I've wasted a lot of money, between the handles and the replacement razors. I'd estimate it to be in the $1,000 range. Well, as you can probably understand, I didn't want to spend that money on razors anymore, plus I'd read stories that the straight and safety razors of old times are supposed to be better for your shaving area than the newer razors with multiple blades and lube strips, mostly due to the frequency of razor burn. So I decide to pick one of these up.

Just so you know, I use (and recommend) various shaving products, listed as follows:

- Proraso Shaving Soap with Eucalyptus Oil and Menthol - Normal Skin 150ml/5.2oz - I use this now. Very good lather, good smell, a bit expensive and a tad difficult to rinse out of the razor if you don't give it enough water.
- Proraso Pre and Post Shave Cream - 3.6 oz - I use this now. Makes the blade glide over the skin when applied as a base under the shaving soap. Increases the eucalyptus smell and gives a cooling sensation to the face. Good stuff, small portion.
- Proraso Aftershave Splash - I use this now. Smells like a lighter version of BRUT which was disappointing; I expected a light eucalyptus smell. Seems to do pretty good at smoothing the skin, nice texture, but nothing special.
- Van Der Hagen Select Shave Soap, 2.5-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 12) - I use this now. Great value for the price, solid soap, lathers thick, but you have to have the right ratio of soap to water, so it's not too runny.
- Col. Conk World's Famous Shaving Soap, Almond * 3 - Pack * Each Net Weight 2.25 Oz - Great smell, applies smooth, but doesn't lather quite as thick as I prefer. Also I found it had basically tarnished the inside of the soap cup over time. Not a big deal, just something to consider.
- 100 7a.m. Platinum Double Edge Safety Razor Blades - Excellent value, they don't last long...the idea is to buy so many that it doesn't matter if they don't last that long. I can get between 1 and 2 weeks use out of a single blade; so you figure between 1 and 3 years without having to buy more.
- Shaving Gift Set with Merkur Safety Razor, Bowl, Shaving Soap, Badger Brush, Stand and Safety Razor, Great Fathers Day Gift - Bought for myself, the brush is good, and I gave away the small razor that came with it. It's not the top of the line but it'll do.

The first thing I noticed about this little ditty is that it's easy to clean. If you're like me and you shave using a running faucet of warm/hot water, you'll be right at home and pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to clean. One thing to watch out for - because it's all metal, it holds in the heat VERY WELL - so you'll not want to use full heat or I guarantee you'll burn yourself something fierce.

Second thing I noticed, and quite notable, is how easy it is to replace the actual blade. Just unscrew the handle, lift off the bottom, replace the blade, replace and screw back on. Never easier. Speaking of the blade, the instructions don't tell you how frequently to replace the blade, but online some people state to replace it once a week. That seems a bit frequent to me if you're just doing maintenance shaves once a day. Some with rougher beards I can understand, but mine is not nearly that bad - and mostly maintenance from previous shaves. I would say - change it when it feels like it's starting to snag easier than you're thinking it should. The biggest things to keep in mind: lather, lather, lather, and keep the blade wet.

I saw a few people were cutting themselves with this razor. I haven't cut myself and I've used it quite a bit. The two main causes of cutting oneself are incorrect angling and too much pressure. Because this is a razor with no plastic guides to protect you, it means you have to go slower, be more careful, and master the art of shaving the way it was originally intended. Not for nothing though - you just need to practice control. Also, you can't hold this razor like the older ones, you really need to hold it with graceful fingers; the lighter you hold it the less tempted you'll be to press down when you're shaving. The angle also matters - it shouldn't be held like a squeegee, it should be held at roughly a 30 degree angle. The combination will effectively leave it up to the blade to do the cutting, not your strength (or lack thereof).

I did notice that this blade can get insanely close. In fact, just to test, I shaved with my old Fusion razor and felt my face; I could feel follicles, but then I shaved right after with the Merkur, and it actually got hair that the Fusion didn't. Additionally, I had some razor bumps on my neckline, not too large, but still visible, no matter how frequently I shaved. Since shaving with the Merkur, some of these have disappeared entirely. I also follow up my shave with an all-over astringent due to oil issues, and normally it's a crazy burn after shaving, but after shaving with the Merkur there's no burn whatsoever. Definitely a positive change from what I used to experience, trust me.

Some added information: you want to make sure your face is clean before shaving. I say that because the oils and dirt on your face can contribute to razor bumps and poor shaving quality. The cleaner the better. In my case I use some shower cleaners that work extremely well, but just make sure your face is clean with whatever you choose to use. Also, to improve the quality of the shave, I apply a bit of baby oil to my still-wet face, then the shaving soap lather on top of that. Helps the blade move smoother across the skin and makes it feel baby smooth. Some other items are body oil (Vaseline has two good ones, cocoa butter and aloe vera) and and certain pre-shave oils. Everyone's physiology is different though; do whatever is comfortable for you. I'm just adding this here for ideas.

In short, if you're tired of paying $20-$30 for blades that claim to last a month yet last a week or two...if you're wanting a closer, more comfortable shave with little-to-no razor burn...if you want to experience what the old schoolers have been talking about, definitely try a Merkur.

I wanted to throw in a bit here as I see more and more reviews from people who just don't get it. Merkur is all about the quality of the shave, not the speed. I don't know how many times people need to express that, but if you do your research you will find numerous people saying the same thing - this razor is NOT for those who just want to speed through their shave! You need to take your time and not rush through it. You WILL cut yourself if you rush with this razor. You WILL NOT get a quality shave if you don't take your time. You WILL wear down the blade if you dry shave, and this blade WILL NOT protect you. If you're going to use this razor, take the proper precautions. If you know you're a speed demon shaver, DON'T BUY THIS, because I really don't want to see you up on here complaining that you have to take your time.
336 of 359 people found the following review helpful
Great for Women Too 10 May 2013
By C.J. Allouez - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I can't say enough about this safety razor. I was interested in buying a safety razor for environmental reasons, and the fact that a lot of online reviews said it gave them a closer, better and cheaper shave certainly didn't hurt.

I didn't find many reviews from women/leg/underarm shaving, but I decided to chance it anyway.

I bought the Merkur, along with a starter variety pack of blades (mine included Feather, 7 am, Derby, Shark, and Bluebird). The included Merkur blade didn't do much for me, and I had to go through every brand in the variety pack until I found my brand, Shark. Incredibly close shave, and no irritation on underarms or legs, even in the bikini area. But because mine's Shark doesn't mean yours will be. It's a satisfyingly personalized experience, and I know I can't get anywhere near as close a shave from a conventional modern razor.

And it's durable! I've dropped this razor on porcelain and tile on several occasions. No dents or dings on the razor.

So ladies, it takes some getting used to, figuring out the angle & figuring out your blade. But once you have it down you won't go back to those ridiculous triple & quadruple bladed monstrosities, where you're paying $4 a blade, irritating your skin, and throwing away tons of plastic every year. If the blade is good, it should be about 15 cents and you only need one of them!
1,167 of 1,288 people found the following review helpful
Warning: this is a razor! 30 Jan 2011
By Edward F. Shimkus - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I'm going to review this in reverse order, having considered some of the lesser ratings.

Several people stated that they cut themselves with this "safety" razor. That makes sense: it does house a sharp blade. I'm 68 and while I can remember cutting myself with a straight razor occasionally, safety razor cuts are a rare occurence. Bless them all, there are people who frequently cut themselves with paper, glass, knives, and even safety razors; others, like me, seem to be largely immune. Therefore, I would not rate this razor on the basis of its proclivity to inflict extraneous cuts. In my hands, when applied to an adequately softened/lubricated beard, cuts are rare.

Some went on to mention that changing blades is dangerous. Now that word - dangerous - is relative, no? I load shotshell for skeet and .40 cal ball ammo for silhouette shooting - both of which I consider minimally dangerous. At 68 I still ride my Harley Low Rider without a helmet in NM: a great danger to some. There is a review here at Amazon by someone who considers hot air popcorn poppers dangerous because some of the kernels pop when in the bowl sending popcorn flying (they were worried about their small child becoming blinded by flying popcorn). Obviously then, people whose lives are fraught with danger or who, otherwise, place themselves at great risk when using various implements should avoid the occasions of danger, whatever that entails. The thought occurs to me that, if razors are a danger, then electric shavers might be the answer. Then I thought of the shock hazard.

One reviewer dispelled the notion that using the Merkur was a life changing event. Then I noticed that there were 11 people who agreed with that statement. This gave me long pause: I wondered what state of psyche does one have to enjoy before considering whether a safety razor has the potential to change one's life or attitude thereabout. It's a razor!

Not to be wiseacre but I was further impelled to incredulity to read one's lament that, after bouncing his Merkur off the floor of the shower, he was surprised that it broke. If I was a wiseacre I might have replied duh . . . !

There were a few reviewers that, to me, implied that it took a team of experts to change the blades (unlike the older Gillette-style butterfly head that spread its wings and spit its blade asunder). Let's see: unscrew the handle, separate the head into its two pieces, remove and discard the blade, insert the new blade, assemble the two head pieces, replace the handle, then what . . . take a nap to recover? Really?

Did you note that review by the large guy with big hands who dissed the long handle? Perhaps he's used to holding small things.

Finally, there are a few who noted the lack of closeness to their shaves.

What is the Merkur safety razor to me? Primarily, it is an instrument designed to render a satisfactorily close shave at a much reduced cost when compared to today's options, especially cartridge systems. To date, the Gillette Mach3 has been the all-time best-selling razor and here, at Amazon, one can purchase a 12-pack of Mach3 blades for $22; 8 Mach3 Turbos for $18. I purchased 100 DE blades for $8. Let's see, that's $1.83 for the M3s, $2.25 for the M3 Turbos, and $0.08 for the DE - EACH. Let me put it this way, the M3s cost 23 times, and the M3 Turbos cost 28 times what the DE blades cost. I like math: it costs $183 for the same number of M3 turbos that I pay $8 for in DE blades. Okay, enough math.

The weight of this Merkur, plus blade, is 2.2oz: the head plus blade is 1.2 oz; the handle is 1oz. In my hands, the combination of the long handle and balanced weight is ideal. Then too, I'm used to handling long things. Apart from empirically defining the balance of the Merkur, in the end, how it feels in one's hands is a matter of preference. I prefer the weight and heft of the Merkur to that of the M3, e.g.

Finally, as one very good reviewer - M.D.C. The Franchise - noted, the use of any DE safety razor requires two things: an adequately softened/moistened beard (I usually shave in the shower so that is, for me, is a non-issue) and time: if your life consists of anticlimactic quickies, you probably do not want to consider the DE safety razor.
175 of 190 people found the following review helpful
May work well for some 15 July 2013
By M. Carpenter - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I have been using this razor exclusively for two years so understand it well. It is of quality construction and beautiful, and I don't doubt that it could last a lifetime.

This is my third safety razor, my other two being a Parker twist-to-open and a 1959 Gillette super speed. I had to ditch the parker because of poor quality, the blade sat in the holder at an angle which led to many bad cuts.

I can get a very good shave out of the Merkur 180, but have to put some effort to that end. This is a fairly aggressive razor, meaning that the guard sits a farther distance from the blade than a milder razor. This means that you can get a closer shave but run the risk of nicks if not careful. My Gillette super speed is by comparison much less aggressive. For the first several months getting used to the Merkur, I would sometimes get the cleanest most refreshing shave ever, and other times would get an awful shave with many cuts, bad razor burn and still feel rough. After weeks of experimenting with technique and going through different blades in my sampler pack I discovered the root cause of my problems were the posts that center the blade. They are too small and allow the blade to sit unevenly, so when you tighten down the handle, it has the potential to be clamped off-center. In this scenario, one side of the razor shaves nicely, the other cuts badly.

Since I learned this, I have taken care to align the blade carefully and have gotten more consistent shaves. For me, the Feather blades work best. Astra, Sharks, and Merkur blades also treat me well. I have noticed this razor is fairly unforgiving of less quality blades and can get many nicks off some brands, esp. Wilkinson Sword. Beard prep is also of utmost importance: take a HOT shower and wash and rinse well getting lots of hot water on beard to soften it. I use Nutragena cream shave (have tried a dozen brands and found the slipperiest works the best). I shave with the grain and do a light second pass against the grain, rinsing in between. I have a very coarse beard but sensitive skin, so have to be careful in my technique. I figured out how to make the razor work for me, but feel that it shouldn't be this finicky.

The reason for the three stars is only because the posts that center the blade don't center it. Really, its the most important function of a razor, to hold the blade squarely. It doesn't do its basic job.

A little while back, I acquired my grandfathers old Gillette super speed and was blown away by how much easier it was to get a close shave with no nicks. This is from a 54 year old razor. The reason it works better is it grips the blade perfectly evenly and has a less aggressive blade position. Blades that I passed off as rubbish before shave well on the super speed. It was this discovery that prompted me to write this review, that when you find the right razor for your face, you will instantly know it. Prior to a few weeks ago, I thought the Merkur was great but trying something new made me realize how much effort it took to get a good shave. I'm not faulting the Merkur for not being right for me, but for bad blade positioning.
377 of 458 people found the following review helpful
The Best Shave 16 April 2008
By Alex - Published on Amazon.com
I remember the day I purchased the new 5 blade razor from Gillette. I was excited and hopeful that FINALLY I wouldn't have to deal with razor burn, bumps, etc anymore. Alas, 5 blades aren't better than 4, just as 4 blades weren't better than 3, so on and so forth. As it turns out you just need one simple little blade to do the trick.

After reading the article 'How to Shave Like Your Grandpa' ([...]) I decided to switch to a high quality shaving cream, badger brush, and aftershave lotion. I also purchased the Merkur razor and extra blades. The difference cannot be put into words. The best I can do is 'simply amazing'. I never, never get any kind of irritated skin post-shave. I cannot feel one bit of stubble afterwards, even if I run my hand against the grain. The quality of the shave is unsurpassed (at least for at-home shaves. Straight blade shaves are a different story).

There is a slight learning curve to this product. I have never (knock on wood) cut myself but finding the right angle is a bit tricky. You'll learn quickly and the time it takes to shave will become shorter and shorter. But, even though I have the process down to a science it does take me a bit longer than a cheapie razor but I look at shaving as an indulgent experience now; I know my girlfriend appreciates it.

I cannot recommend this product enough. I tried probably 100 different ways to rid myself of irritation and never found it until I tried a Merkur razor. You will not be disappointed with this razor or the results.

***Updated: 02/05/09***

I have tried many different brands of blades for this razor. Nothing compares to the Merkur blades. Just FYI...
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