Razor Blade Review: Merkur Superior Stainless

Posted: May 5, 2016 in Shaving Articles
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Merkur Superior Stainless

1) Sharpness: Good
2) Comfort: Good
3) Value: Poor
4) Availability: Good
5) Country of Origin: Germany
6) Passes “First Shave Test?: Yes
7) Longevity (# of shaves): 3
8) Notes: I received the Merkur blade as part of the package when I ordered a Merkur 34C. Since I was confronted with the opportunity to try it, I figured that I had best do so. This blade’s performance was firmly middle-of-the-road. It was sharp enough, smooth enough, and lasted through three shaves without causing undue irritation. I got solid shaves with it, but it didn’t equal the best in regards to the amount of beard stubble it took off per pass, nor did it have that “skating on glass” smoothness that some blades can provide. In general, I would say it was probably not quite as good at any given element of the shaving game as, say, the Personna Blue. Totally acceptable performance, but it doesn’t bring out the best of the AS-D2 razor, to my way of thinking. If it were the easiest blade to lay hands to, I wouldn’t be able to realistically complain that loudly or that long. That said, this is an expensive blade that commands a premium price. As of this writing, it was going for over $26 American money on Amazon, for a pack of 50 blades. Hmm. I can get some really good blades for less than $15 per 100. As in, some of my very favorites. My three current go-to blades are the Personna Lab Blues, the Derby Extras, and the Astra Superior Platinums. These blades, from the USA, Turkey, and Russia respectively, are all at least the equal of the Merkur. In fact, they all, to my mind, exceed it in some, if not most performance metrics. Now, this is a small economy. The price of blades is likely not the margin between eating lunch and going hungry for most people, but when you think that the Merkurs are FOUR TIMES as expensive as many other blades out there, they are going to need to bring something special to the table. I’d love to say that they did, because I’m a fan of the steel coming out of Solingen, Germany, but I can’t. If I’ve learned one thing in this little journey, it’s that you can’t bank on a brand name in cutlery to point your way. Making razor blades is a specialized art. The brands, and even specific models, have to be evaluated on their own merits. Merkur? Well, for razors (the handle part), they’re aces. Great value for the money, great shaves. Blades? I say you’re better off looking elsewhere.

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