"Merkur Guys" and "Gillette Guys"

Let's talk about single and double edged razors and the blades that they use.
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"Merkur Guys" and "Gillette Guys"

Post by BeatlesFan » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:30 am

Gentlemen --

In reading the razor posts here at SMF, I am gradually coming to the conclusion that there are "Merkur Guys" and then there are vintage "Gillette Guys."

And that it's actually quite a divide.

The Merkur guy really likes the cool designs of the Futur and the Vision, or the massiveness of the HD, and wouldn't be satisfied with any razor that was less massive and agressive. The Merkur guy probably also wants to own a razor that is new, and that nobody else has shaved with. (Though, of course, some Merkurs are bought or traded on the forum after somebody has used them).

The Gillette guy feels that the milder approach works better for his skin, but that it can provide a shave that is just as close as any razor out there. He is often somewhat attracted to the historical connection of his razor. He doesn't mind, and may even enjoy, the fact that others have used the razor in prior decades.

I don't get the sense that there is that much crossover. Of course, there is a certain number of people who use both, but my guess is that most guys choose one path or the other.

Also, that the sensitive skin crowd probably favors Gillette path over Merkur.

I didn't do this as a poll, but I'd be interested in whether you folks generally agree with these observations, or whether you see it differently.

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Post by kd7kip » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:38 am

I have a 40s Super Speed that I would dearly love to use every day (rather than my Merkur Barberpole or HD) as I love its design and I am an old school kind of guy. They're beautiful razors.

However, it simply is not aggressive enough a shaver for me. It never has given me a BBS shave, whatever blades, whatever cremes or soaps. So, with true regret, I must stick with the Merkur-- at least until I find something better. (I'm saving for a Feather Stainless Steel DE right now).

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Post by Leisureguy » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:51 am

I happily bridge the divide. I like the Merkur Classic line, and also the Futur, Progress, and Vision, and I like all those a lot. I also like my Gillette Fat Boy, my Apollo Mikron, the Pils, and the Feather premium. The Gillette Aristocrat, 1940's, 60's, or English Aristocrats (particularly #22) are all favorites. The President is a fine razor, as is the red-tipped Super Speed.

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Post by KAV » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:00 pm

My father used a Gillette and Old Spice. My two brothers use disposable Gillettes and Old Spice on their beards.
I use a Merkur HD and an exaltation of various aftershaves sans Old Spice.
I suppose I could lie down on the bathroom floor while Dr Moss sits on the sink counter talking about it. :?

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Post by GollyMrScience » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:06 pm

The Merkurs seem to hate me except for the slants. Wierd.
I use both the classic slant and the sledgehammer with every enjoyment but the futuristic Merkurs seem to have it in for me despite repeated overtures over the years.

What the heck - lets just keep mixin' stuff together till it blows up or smells REALLY bad!!

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Post by bordeaaj » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:15 pm

After learning DE shaving on an HD and Slant and after several years of using a Slant exclusively I guess I would fall into the Merkur camp...though I haven't yet tried the Future or Vision. Wondering what I've been missing after all these years, I've recently been acquiring, using, and comparing a Merkur Sledgehammer Slant, Progress XL, and Open Comb as well as several Gillettes...Fat Boy, Slim, Aristocrat, the Super Speed family, and Techs. I enjoy and get smooth shaves from all of them without a problem yet I'm finding I have a preference for the Merkurs over the Gillettes...Merkur shaves seem so effortless and slightly smoother (esp. the Progress XL). Maybe my hand is just trained to the Merkur weight or blade angles or something. Won't be giving up my new Gillettes any time soon, though...I like them a lot! :D
Last edited by bordeaaj on Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Tye » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:25 pm

So I guess we Schick Injector guys are a breed unto ourselves.

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Post by gsgo » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:42 pm

I sold off all of my vintage Gillette's shortly after getting the Merkur 1904 which along with my trusty Merkur HD make up current razor inventory.

No real interest in trying much else at the moment except for maybe the new Feather.
Good shaving,


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Post by Blue As A Jewel » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:49 pm

I have an admitted preference to newer razors - but I am all over the map - Feathers, Merkurs, Gillettes, Schicks, a couple of straights, PILS etc. I enjoy the challenges and idiosyncracies of all of them...
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Post by changabang » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:22 pm

I use them both, but I haven't found a Merkur (or a Jagger) yet that I prefer to the early triangular-holed Gillette Tech.
There are other vintage Gillettes, such as the New short comb, the Aristocrat, and the Red Tip SS I also prefer to the Germans, but that lowly Tech, in terms of design and execution, rules the rotation. :!:
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Post by marsos52 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:25 pm

i like seeing vintage gillettes, and thats is as far as it goes...maybe because i started and learned on a hoffritz slant..that may have been the reason...going from aggressive to mild is just wrong and doesnt work for me..

although i use merkurs and have used others in the merkur or aggressive style ..its not because of te look or that they new its just because i like how they shave..

my favorite razor to see is a open comb de and the tech style handle,, and if its a three piece even better..

but for shaving...the futur is my ticket followed by a barberpole...


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Post by changabang » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:47 pm

Oh I understand, Marc. Different strokes and all that.
I just can't get used to the ribbed solid bar typical of the German razors, and their OC offerings for me don't match up well with the New or the Ikon.
There's no question in my mind, at least, about their build quality.
The Futurs, Visions and Pils aren't afflicted with the ribbed solid bar, but they're far too clunky for me.
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Post by paddy » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:01 pm

i like and use both merkur and vintage gillette razors. i hadn't really thought of my being like this as unusual.
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Post by BeatlesFan » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:20 pm

I should've maybe said this at the outset, but I'm definitely a Gillette guy.

I have owned a few Merkurs. Today I tried my Vision, and I just thought, y'know, "I'm just not that into you."

For me, it's too clunky, too aggressive. It feels like a cross between a hammer and a box cutter. Not for me!

I like all Gillettes, but my fave is definitely my 1948 Aristocrat. Just a beautiful daily shaver for my heavy beard.

Also, do we think sensitive skin guys prefer Gillette?

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Post by bernards66 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:04 pm

BeatlesFan, Oh definately, and that fundemental divide has been with us from almost the beginning. Not the very beginning though, because then, almost all the ( few ) members of the oldest forums were new to all this and just bought Merkurs as part of their initial kit from Charles Roberts or Lee. I joined early and with BobS, began touting the Gillettes that I'd been using for decades ( and also the UK Wilkinson blades in lieu of the Merkur blades that everyone else used....again, as part of their new kit ). After a little bit, guys started trying the old Gillettes, and some found that they preferred them, and so that basic divide started. Today, it's slightly more complex because, in addition to the minority who use both, there are those new M-P/E-J heads and now the Feather SS, But I think your observation remains valid more often than not; most Gillette users do not use or much like Merkurs, and vice versa. For me, the fixed blade Merkurs are simply too aggressive and have a tendency to annoy my skin. whist the Futur and Vision never had the slightest appeal. I CAN comfortably use the Progress dialed down low, but think the old Gillettes are better made and more handy in any case.

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Post by Araner » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:08 pm

I've used all the Merkur razors and the only one I liked to use as a routine shaver was the Classic; the lightweight of the group. My only problem with it was the quality of the workmanship; no two were alike. The depth of the knurling was never the same and never deep enough. Line up two classic Merkur razors and they are not the same. Line up 10, 20, or more vintage Gillette razors and they are perfectly identical. And that is quality in a manufacturing process... period.


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Post by jww » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:43 pm

Divide? What divide?????? :wink:

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Post by JimDandy » Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:54 pm

I'll start by saying I'm a Gillette guy. Nothing against Merkur - I've tried almost everything they've got - I just kind of gravitated into a comfortable groove with Gillettes.

I'd be curious to know what people started shaving with (first DE) and what they like to shave with now. I wonder to what degree my first experiences and razors (Gillettes) formed my shaving "style." Did I not take to Merkur because I was used to operating a Gillette? If I had started with Merkur, would that be my preference today? And what's revived my interest in the Schick Krona as of late?

So many questions, friends. So many questions.


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Post by bordeaaj » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:14 pm

Tye wrote:So I guess we Schick Injector guys are a breed unto ourselves.

Hey, a fellow Oregonian! I just received the blade cartridges for my Schick Injector so I'll find out tomorrow morning where the Injector fits in! :D

I did like the Schick Krona as well! And the Gem 1912 and G-Bar!
Last edited by bordeaaj on Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Big Swifty » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:14 pm

Yeah I'm a Merkur guy all the way. I have a few Gillettes but I don't use them at all. I guess more specifically I'm a Merkur slant guy since that is all I use on a daily basis. Yesterday I placed an order with Phil at Bullgoose and I picked out the first new razor for myself in over 2 years, the barberpole HD... can't hardly wait... I think I also can see myself getting a Progress next.

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