My first Merkur and clearly an excellent traditional three part razor with a very smooth polished head and what looks like a nickel plated or stainless steel machined handle. The 23c looks as though it should last a lifetime, certainly the rest of mine! This razor makes an interesting comparison with my inexpensive Egyptian Lord L6 'Premium' razor with a similar (cloned?) less highly finished head. The Merkur head detached inc. blade weighs about 29grms and the Lord L6 head detached inc. blade about 27grms; perhaps due to the top of the L6 head having a slightly thinner section. The ends of my Lord L6 head have traces of moulding 'sprigs' but as these never contact the face this rougher finish is unimportant except to its overall finish. The Merkur and Lord L6 handles weigh 33grms and 17grms respectively with both measuring 10mm dia. over the major hand hold. The Merkur 23c handle is 98mm long overall and the Lord L6 handle 104mm; these measurements include the stem immediately under the head.
While appreciating the finish, quality and weight of the Merkur I also like the Lord L6. Its lighter machined aluminium handle with domed end nests comfortably in the palm and the alloy has a lively resonance accentuating cutting sounds. I find this noticeable weight difference between head and handle helpful when shaving using the weight of the head only. The Merkur's weighty handle and lower pitched cutting sound adds to its heavier feel making it for me a tad slower to use. Despite their huge cost difference both razors shave equally well given simlar conditions and my prefered Astra blades. The heavier Merkur feels a bit more aggressive on my light beard but not excessively. Concern that the Merkur 23c handle might feel too slim based upon some sales photographs was unfounded. Despite having smallish hands I most definitely prefer the longer handles of these razors to the shorter 65mm 'normal length' handle of my first DE razor, the popular Weishi TTO. I find that longer handles allow fingers to be kept clear of the head, improving both visibility and manouvering especially when shaving difficult bits. Someone commented on a shaving blog that they prefered using a Merkur at home but took a Lord L6 on trips as its lower cost made it easier to replace if lost! The slight weight saving could also be useful on trips.
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