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Ditching the Cartridge Razor

Mark starts his journey into the world of DE shaving by ditching the cartridge razor for a Merkur 23C safety razor.

Up until 3 weeks ago I had no idea what a double edge razor was. I was in work complaining about my itchy red neck, which felt like it had been hacked to pieces and exposed to the elements and was full of lumps, bumps, nicks and dried blood thanks to the daily slog of quickly shaving before work. "I used to get that," my colleague said, "I use a double edge razor, sorted everything out!". "A double-edge what?" I was intrigued. I asked him where I should look and he said to search videos on YouTube as well as Shave Lounge as it had a great selection.

“I was knocked for six by the actual workmanship of the razor. The weight made you feel like it was more expensive than the actual 20 odd quid I parted with.”

I was engrossed in the sheer amount of choice Shave Lounge had to offer. After trawling through razor after razor, review after review, I decided to go for the Merkur 23C. I thought German engineering alongside a long handle was the one I needed. I ordered and it arrived a short time later. I was knocked for six by the actual workmanship of the razor. The weight made you feel like it was more expensive than the actual 20 odd quid I parted with. I set out to shave and I was filled with a bit more fear than I would like to admit. I opened the razor and fitted the Personna Platinum razor blade. I had half a can of Nivea shaving gel to get through before I go for the old school soap! I made 3 passes and have never had a better shave, afterwards I used a bit of aftershave lotion and I instantly threw out the cartridge razor.

“I made 3 passes and have never had a better shave, afterwards I used a bit of aftershave lotion and I instantly threw out the cartridge razor.”

I'm a changed man. I thoroughly enjoy shaving now. From the daily drudgery, to something I look forward to, the difference in feeling is ridiculous. Smooth, classy shave as opposed to the pulling feeling you get with the multi-blade cartridge. I read up that the clogging of old bits of hair and skin in the multi-blades is a factor of getting a red, blotchy neck. There is no problem with the DE razor.


As the Merkur 23C is my first double edge razor, I really have no other DE razor to compare it to, just my old multi-blade overpriced cartridge razor. The Merkur 23C is a clean shave, no pressure is needed to whip off your whiskers and if you made three passes, in my opinion, you will have the closest shave you'll ever feel!

Mark Anderson is a freelance writer, chemist and columnist for @SortedMagazine. Read his musings @Marky_MarkA (Twitter) & MarkEAnderson (Instagram).


The Merkur 23C is available from Shave Lounge

Merkur 23C Safety Razor

Merkur 23C Safety Razor