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A Popular Razor – Merkur 23C

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merkur 23c

[Updated May, 2021] Sharpologist’s recent article on the most popular double edge razors by sales included the Merkur 23C. Here is my take on that razor.

Merkur 23C Razor Background And Specs

[Note: Amazon, Genius, and West Coast Shaving links are affiliate.]

According to the Merkur/Dovo website:

“The MERKUR 23C was originally developed in the ‘20s. Its reliable quality makes it a timeless classic: the long handle and straight foam edge ensure a particularly smooth shave. The MERKUR specific spacious blade gap allows a high soap flow and also makes cleaning noticeably easier.”

Material :Brass handle, die-casted zinc razor head, galvanized surfaces, bright chrome-plated

Closed comb, Short screw, three-piece safety razor

4.1 cm x 2.5 cm x 10.6 cm

Weight: 2.2 oz (62 g)
Length: 4″ (10 cm)

1.5″ wide x 1″ x 4″ long

Blade Gap: 0.64mm

My Experience With The Merkur 23C Razor

My experience with the Merkur 23C, probably unsurprisingly, echos a lot of the other reviews.  It’s one of those “two sides of the coin” reactions.  The handle is long, which can be good if you have big hands, but is lighter and has a smaller diameter which is may not be good if you have big hands.  It’s relatively light…if you like light razors–if you prefer a heavyweight razor, then the 23C is probably not for you.  It’s reasonably well constructed…but the top cap threaded screw is a weak point in the design.  The shave is entirely “middle of the road,” and finding the “sweet spot” angle is easy, which will be fine for most people…unless you like really mild or really aggressive razor.

For me the Merkur 23C is a good, solid, all-around razor.  But if you are looking for a GREAT razor, it may not for you.


The Merkur 23C razor (also known as the model 180 at some vendors) is a value-priced, middle-of-the-road razor razor that may be particularly good for someone transitioning from cartridge razors to the double edge razor world.  Nothing about it stands out as an exceptional feature: it just goes about its business with a minimum of drama.  And with a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Amazon (with over 2500 customers rating it), that’s not a bad thing.  It is also widely available from other vendors such as West Coast Shaving, Maggard Razors, Fendrihan, Bullgoose, etc.

Do you have a Merkur 23C? What do you think of it?  Leave a comment below!



Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts


6 thoughts on “A Popular Razor – Merkur 23C”

  1. My very first DE shaver as for many people. Heard that Merkur was quality crafted and manufactured in Germany. Very easy to use and adapt to as I gravitated over from cartridges. Excellent material build. Don’t use now as much because I prefer a thicker handle.

  2. This was my first razor jumping over from cartridge and trimmers. It was absolutely perfect to bridge the divide and allowed me to quickly build confidence. I now enjoy a more aggressive shave, but I do still rotate this one in when I want a mild shave. It still has it purpose. I cannot think of a better startbpoibt for newbies. For its has a very important role in double edge shaving.

  3. My 23C was the first razor I purchased after I got interested in wet shaving. I have many other razors now but I still like to go to my 23C sometimes and I find it gives a good and efficient shave to this day. Thanks for continuing the great articles Mark. I enjoy and learn from them. All the best.

  4. The Merkur 23C was my first DE razor given to me by my wife for my birthday (on my wish list). It’s a good razor and I started out venturing testing razor blades and soaps and whooaa I am in that rabbit hole of a hobby. I discovered artisan soaps and vintage razors on online auction sites.
    To me the Merkur 23C was the gateway drug. It doesn’t go about its business with great fanfare but hey it does the job well.

  5. Brian Fiori (AKA The Dean)

    Meant to tag onto my last post, but it has disappeared. Anyway, wanted to say, the lighter, shorter handled 42C, while mild, is pretty efficient when paired with the right blade. For me: Super Iridium and Feather. But also good with Parker, Voshkod and Rapira.

  6. Brian Fiori (AKA The Dean)

    If you prefer a lighter/shorter handled razor, I highly recommend the 42C. Sometimes called 1904/1906 closed comb.

    This was one of the first razors I ever used (after a pre WW2 Canadian Tech). Many razors later, and it still might be my favorite everyday razor. Small enough to be a travel razor. Fairly mild, but reasonably efficient. I can’t understand why it is almost never mentioned.

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