This post is more for comparative and explanatory reasons than anything else – comparing the straight bar Merkur 1904 with the Merkur 37C Slant razor. For those who are new to the game or unsure what the difference between a slant and non-slant razor hopefully the write-up will help but the images should do most of the explaining. If you are looking for more information on the slant razor check out this post. In a nut-shell a slant razor tends to slice the hairs rather than cut – think of that lovely tool of the French Revolution – the guillotine – same idea. The Merkur 1904 was my first razor and I would recommend it as a first razor, I wouldn’t say the same about the 37C not that it is overly difficult to adjust to, but rather it may not appeal to, or be useful to everyone.
If this was your first look at a razor that wasn’t a cartridge or disposable, the first thing you would notice is the handle length. Both the “1904” and the 37C have shorter handles than what one would be used to with the razors being about 3″ in length. Another noticeable difference is the finish of both, the 37C is has a chrome finish, and the “1904” a nickel finish. Then of course there is the head of the razors – completely different, but more on that below.
The assembly of the two razors differ. The Merkur “1904” has a traditional three piece design with two piece to the head with the handle screwing in to both. The Merkur 37c has a two piece design (you could argue that it is a three piece design because if you continue to unsure the knob on the bottom of the handle it can be removed – but that probably wouldn’t be necessary unless you are thoroughly cleaning your razor) with the top of the head coming off, while the bar remains attached to the handle.
Both handles are quite nice. The “1904” has an ornate finish to it that gives it a bit of extra class, has a comfortable grip, and has hexagonal shape. I guess you could say that holding the Merkur “1904” makes you feel like a big shot. The Merkur 37c on the other handle has a etching pattern on it giving it a nice grip, it also has a much more ‘hefty’ feel to it – partially due to the extra weight but also because of its extra diameter, and is hollow bottomed. If using the “1904” make you feel like a ‘Big Shot’ the Merkur 37C makes your feel like a ‘Tough Guy’ (disclaimer – no guarantee that the tough guy feeling is transferred to the real world).
This is where the biggest difference can be found between the two razors. The Merkur 37C is on the left. From the side profile you can see that the 37C is not symmetrical in shape, the head of the razor dips on the left, whereas the 1904 is completely symmetrical. Looking at the head on shot you can see the difference between the two more clearly. The 37C is angled high on the left and slants to the right – creating the slicing action – and as a result the biggest difference between the two razors.
Both the Merkur “1904” and the Merkur 37C are quality razors. You can’t really go wrong with either, but as mentioned above, if this is your first razor, and you are thinking you want a Merkur, I would suggested the “1904”.