Merkur 23c vs 34c Review – Which Safety Razor Best Suits Us?

In this article, I will give you an A-to-Z review of the two most popular safety razors by Merkur- Merkur 23c vs 34c.

Although these two razors both do the work well, it should be just perfectly fine if you just dip your toes into the safety razor ocean.

They’re both specially designed to help minimize fraction and stroke while sliding across your skin. However, at the end of the day, there are still differences in terms of their structural designs and aggressiveness.

Therefore, if you are still wondering which one to opt for, here’s my honest review on the Merkur 23c vs 34c.

Merkur 23c Vs 34c: An Overview

Before we dig down deeper into each razor, I think it’s better if I just let you guys have an overview of them both. 

Now here’s a Merkur 23c vs 34c head-to-head comparison at a glance:

Merkur 23c Merkur 34c
Handle Long and thin Short and firm
Color ⚪ 
Aggressiveness Moderate Moderate
Weight 2.12 oz 2.72 oz
Number of pieces Three-piece Two-piece

Now that you have a better grasp of their primary differences, it’s time to dive deeper into each Merkur safety razors so I could show you which one should be your go-to choice!

Merkur 23c at a glance

Let’s take a quick glance at Merkur 23c – Merkur’s best-selling safety razor confirmed by Merkur themselves. 

From my experience using both Merkur 23 and 34c, the key feature that makes the Merkur 23c stand out is its perfect handle length. Well, with its 4.2-inch handle, the 23c got its name ‘Merkur Long Handle’ safety razor for a reason. 

Because the Merkur 23c is longer than most safety razors on the market, it best suits those with big long hands. But what makes me crazy about this razor is its great grip, with its well-knurled handle, I won’t struggle holding it even when my hands are wet. 

The Merkur 23C with its uniquely thin & long handle
The Merkur 23C with its uniquely thin & long handle

 Merkur 23C’s highlights

  • Long and thin handle with good grip for large & sweat hand
  • Great for both face and body shaving
  • 3-piece model 
  • Chrome color available
  • Mild aggressiveness, awesome for beginners

Merkur 34c at a glance

Now let’s spend some more time taking a quick look at the Merkur 34c as well as its major features.

The Merkur 34C’s short & firm handle would give you an incredible face shaving experience with great maneuverability. Plus, the Merkur 34C is a dream come true for those who want the razor’s weight to do its job without putting too much pressure. 

Well, the Merkur 34c is not as popular as the Merkur 23c, but it’s still one of the very good choices in the safety razors realm for beginners thanks to ít mild aggressiveness. 

The Merkur 34C with its noticeable firm & thick handle
The Merkur 34C with its noticeable firm & thick handle

Merkur 34C’s highlights:

  • Short and firm handle for rather small hands
  • Perfect maneuverability for face-saving
  • 2-piece model
  • There’s a gold-coated version (Merkur 34G) beside the chrome color
  • Mild aggressiveness, safe for beginners

Merkur 23c vs 34c: A Side-by-side Comparison

Merkur 23c vs 34c: A Side-by-side comparison
Merkur 23c vs 34c: A Side-by-side comparison

While the Merkur 23c is rather lightweight with an extra-long handle, the Merkur 34c is a bit heavier with a shorter handle. 

So definitely they are built with two different styles for those who have different preferences between a short and a long handle. 

  • Price

Talking about prices, apparently the Merkur 23c is the less expensive at around $30 as of writing this article while the Merkur 34c would cost you a bit more from $40 to $45.

If you want to save some cash, Merkur 23c would be a better choice. However, I believe the $10 difference isn’t that big of a deal, is it?

  • Weight

The Merkur 23c is rather thin and delicate with a total weight of roughly 2.12 oz, a bit more lightweight than its counterpart – the Merkur 34c with a weight of 2.72 oz.

Although the weight difference is relatively small and thus will not affect the shaving quality much, I feel like the 34c adds a bit more weight to work with, allowing you to shave smoothly without pushing extra pressure on your skin.

So if you want a heavier shaver, the Merkur 34c may do the magic!

  • Color

While the Merkur 23c has only the chrome color, the Merkur 34c has a gold-coated version known as the Merkur 34G. However, it should be noted that the Merkur 34G price is one-and-a-half times the chrome version (over $65). 

  • Handle length

    The difference in length is a stark difference between Merkur 23c vs 34c-2
    The difference in length is a stark difference between Merkur 23c vs 34c-2

Though the Merkur 34c is the heavier, regarding the length, Merkur 23c (4.2”) completely beats Merkur 34 (3.3”) in number. 

Thanks to its long handle, if you need a safety razor to shave somewhere else rather than your beard, a Merkur 23c is the best choice. For instance, if you want to shave your head or your legs, then a long-handle razor like Merkur 23c would be a life-saver.

However, when I shave my face and not any other parts, Merkur 34c is always my preferred one. Since the handle of the Merkur 34c is shorter and thicker, it feels easier to adjust the angle of the blade against my skin, especially on my Adam’s apple and the jawline.

  • Grip

We all know that a safety razor with a great grip will give us more control over how we maneuver the blade on our face. So if this is important to you, go choose the Merkur 23c then.

The Merkur 23c has lots of knurling texture along its full length while the 34c only has a small amount of its handle covered with knurling. Therefore, if you have oily, wet hands, the Merkur 23C will give you a much more comfortable experience. 

  • Adjustability

Sadly, the Merkur 23c and 34c are both fixed razors. That means they’re non-adjustable and you cannot adjust the blade gap. 

However, since the Merkur 34c is the 2-piece razor, anytime I need to change my blade, it’s a bit quicker with the Merkur 34c rather than the 3-piece Merkur 23c.

3-piece Merkur 23c
3-piece Merkur 23c
  • Aggressiveness

Talking about aggressiveness, be rest assured that both the Merkur 23c and the Merkur 34c are designed with closed combs to reduce the blade exposure.

As I’ve used these two safety razors for years, I still can hardly tell any difference between their aggressiveness. They’re both pretty mild, allowing me to shave my beard comfortably without any irritation or nicks. 

But I guess that’s because my beard has a lighter texture so they’re perfectly fine. If you have a thicker beard then you can totally select a sharper blade instead. 

Merkur 23c vs 34c: All the Pros & Cons

Here come all the pros and cons of the Merkur 23c:

👍 Pros

  • Affordable 
  • Lightweight
  • Long handle that allows better reach
  • Excellent grip 
👎 Cons

  • I don’t like the three-piece design when having to take it apart
  • The blade might be a bit mild for thick beard
  • Only 1 color

…and the Merkur 34c:

👍 Pros

  • Affordable
  • Has more color options
  • Easier to adjust the angle when used on face
  • Easy to take apart since it’s 2-piece
👎 Cons

  • Poorer reach due to short handle
  • Grip is good, but not as good as the Merkur 23c
  • The blade might be a bit mild for some

Merkur 23c vs 34c: The final verdict!

We’ve unpacked all the key differences between the 2 most popular Merkur safety razors – Merkur 23C and Merkur 34C. Now that you have all the information you need to choose which one suits you the most. But have you decided to pick which one yet? 

Let’s end this battle with our final verdict! 

Go For The Merkur 23c If You

  • Have big & easy-to-sweat hands 
  • Want some extra length to work on body shaving
  • Prefer a lightweight safety razor
Go For The Merkur 34c If You

  • Have small hands
  • Want some extra weight for a smoother shaving experience
  • Prefer a 2-piece model for taking it apart more quickly

Wrapping up!

That’s it! Above is everything about Merkur 23c and Merkur 34c. 

Briefly talking, the 23C is a super lightweight DE safety razor with a delicate, thin, and long handle while the 34C is heavier and shorter. These 2 safety razors from Merkur are certainly designed for 2 different audiences with different preferences between a short and long handle. While the long handle of 23C gives you extra length to work better on body shaving, the 34C’s heavy head design with its short handle gives guarantees you more flexibility for face shaving. 

I hope this review can help you pick the one that has the best value for your money and needs. If you’ve used one of these two razors or both, don’t hesitate to leave a comment and share your experience with me

Lee Cantor

Provide the best shaving product reviews and shaving advices to the wetshaving community and friends.

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