Merkur “1904” Safety Razor 42C is properly called as the Merkur 42C but is more famous as the modern 1904. The name originated from the original Gillette 1904 design. The Merkur 42C has acquired the patent for the design of the classic razor and brought it to the modern era. The recognizable feature of the razor is its handle. It’s a six-sided-diamond-patterned handle which is exactly the same of the original 1904. Unlike most modern handles which make use of textured cylindrical handles, the Merkur 42C relies on the diamond patterns and the six sides to provide the grip of the razor. The reason why this design is not widely used is because the rights have to be acquired and it’s more difficult to recreate than the cylindrical designs.
Another unique feature about the razor is its finishing. Instead of using the very common chrome finish, it’s coated with a nickel finish. Some users have commented about how the nickel coating gives the razor a better appearance than the chrome finished ones. The only concern with the nickel finish is that its durability is quite inferior to that of chrome. You will notice their difference in terms of the luster of the razor frame. A chrome finish looks shinier and smoother than the nickel finish. The nickel finish looks darker and more muted.
The modern element to the razor is its head. The geometry of the Merkur 42C is actually very similar to a lot of razors manufactured by Merkur. The blade is exposed just at the right level and should be adjusted to an angle of 30°C for the optimum close shave.
- Quality: 10/10
The Merkur brand has always been about quality. They produce very durable razors and the 42C is not an exception to that. Although it has a nickel finish, it would be able to last for a lifetime like any regular Merkur razor.
- User Friendly: 8/10
The handle is stubby which can be difficult for some shavers who are used to using the regular-shaped handles.
- Grip: 10/10
The grip is very important for DE safety razors since they are used for wet shaving. The design of the handle might be very classic but it also provides superior grip.
- Ease of Blade Replacement: 9/10
The razor needs to be taken apart into three pieces before the blade can be replaced. It’s not the easiest way to do this but if you’re careful, you won’t have to cut yourself in the process.
- Aggressiveness: 9/10
The razor can be used with any standard DE razor blades. Safety razors are meant to tone down the aggressiveness of the blade itself but razor is still aggressive enough to give you that close shave.
- Adjustability: 8/10
The angle of the blade is fixed once it’s charged into the head. You can decide what brand of blade you want to use. Also, you can choose whether you want a combed head or not. The comb increases the effectiveness of the razor. Aside from these, there aren’t really adjusting that can be done for the razor.
- Balance: 9/10
Although the handle is not that long, its hexagonal shape give it additional weight which means a good balance for the razor.
- Value for Money: 10/10
The Merkur 42C is actually a modern razor but with a vintage touch to it. Modern DE safety razors are cheap which includes the 42C. The price is reasonably set at less than $30.
- Overall: 9/10
Overall, if you want the whole experience of traditional shaving, the Merkur 42C can give you just that. To provide with a perspective, the design of the razor is just like the ones that your grandfather or your great grandfather could have used during their time.