01-19-2013, 05:29 AM
#1
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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I love the shave the Merkur HD provides, but...along the very edge of the head (not the comb) I detect bubbles and lifting off the chrome plating here and there Sad It doesn't look like brass underneath either...but some darker gunmetal-type stuff. Interesting.

I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem? I have never dropped the HD or banged its edges, and I think this is a case of good old corrosion.

Also, does anyone know if a replacement head is available anywhere, or do I have to buy the whole box and dice?

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 01-19-2013, 05:37 AM
#2
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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You have to buy the whole thing but I'd email Merkur and see if they can get you a replacement part out for it. They seem to be pretty good about customer service as of late.

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 01-19-2013, 05:40 AM
#3
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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Hmm, I might try that. Thanks Dave.

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 01-19-2013, 05:54 AM
#4
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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I know that Merkur used to be hard to get a hold of but reading here and on other forums, it seems they've been doing much better as far as Customer Service goes.

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 02-17-2013, 09:58 PM
#5
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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Well, I have given up trying to contact Merkur directly and through their UK reps. Not a single solitary response. Bah. I write such polite emails, too Smile

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 02-18-2013, 06:56 AM
#6
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What you see underneath the chrome is not brass. It's a zinc alloy also known as pot metal or Zamak, and it will corrode once it loses the chrome plating.

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 02-18-2013, 09:27 PM
#7
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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(02-18-2013, 06:56 AM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: What you see underneath the chrome is not brass. It's a zinc alloy also known as pot metal or Zamak, and it will corrode once it loses the chrome plating.

Interesting. I have no problem with the material, but how the plating starts to bubble in the first place is interesting.

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 02-19-2013, 04:21 PM
#8
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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Shaun, the best way you can get Merkur's attention is to replace the defective razor with one from a competitor. I can tell you that Edwin Jagger DE89 head shaves as well or better than Merkur solid bar heads. The plating and general fit and finish of Edwin Jagger razors is an order of magnitude better. I like Merkur razors for their designs, but the modern Merkur's fit and finish looks like an oriental import rather than a high quality German machine. Having said that, my daily driver is a vintage gold Merkur Progress, which is much better finished than the modern version of the Progress. However I owned a modern Progress and it was a superb razor even with slightly lesser fit and finish than it's vintage ancestor. The design of the Progress is second to none and that's really where Merkur shines. EJ DE89 head, however, is every bit as good a design, if not better than 34C and such. The finish on it is incredibly good. I have never heard of EJ corroding while stories of Merkur chrome plating problems abound.

Best of luck and sorry for the bad experience with this razor.

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 02-19-2013, 05:36 PM
#9
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Merkur is infamous for lousy quality control,Zamak "aka pot metal" contains low quality metal with ferrous content that most likely will rust over time once the plating's compromised.

Zamak's cheap to obtain and cheap to manufacture it's melted and poured into a mold.Mekur does shoddy prep work and applies plating over lumps and bumps etc which doesn't hold up well over time.

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 02-19-2013, 10:27 PM
#10
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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(02-19-2013, 04:21 PM)vferdman Wrote: Shaun, the best way you can get Merkur's attention is to replace the defective razor with one from a competitor. I can tell you that Edwin Jagger DE89 head shaves as well or better than Merkur solid bar heads. The plating and general fit and finish of Edwin Jagger razors is an order of magnitude better. I like Merkur razors for their designs, but the modern Merkur's fit and finish looks like an oriental import rather than a high quality German machine. Having said that, my daily driver is a vintage gold Merkur Progress, which is much better finished than the modern version of the Progress. However I owned a modern Progress and it was a superb razor even with slightly lesser fit and finish than it's vintage ancestor. The design of the Progress is second to none and that's really where Merkur shines. EJ DE89 head, however, is every bit as good a design, if not better than 34C and such. The finish on it is incredibly good. I have never heard of EJ corroding while stories of Merkur chrome plating problems abound.

Best of luck and sorry for the bad experience with this razor.

Wow, interesting. I have the Edwin Jagger with the Muhle head (barley handle) and I do like it very much. I like the chunkiness of the Merkur, too, but knowing now what they are like to deal with, I'll be very circumspect about Merkurs in future.

Thanks for the feedback.

(02-19-2013, 05:36 PM)razorx Wrote: Merkur is infamous for lousy quality control,Zamak "aka pot metal" contains low quality metal with ferrous content that most likely will rust over time once the plating's compromised.

Zamak's cheap to obtain and cheap to manufacture it's melted and poured into a mold.Mekur does shoddy prep work and applies plating over lumps and bumps etc which doesn't hold up well over time.

Yes, it seems to be the case indeed. Probably in time they will wake up to the competition and at least try a little harder.

Thanks for the post.

Is that your real pic? You look just like one of my brothers.

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 02-20-2013, 06:44 AM
#11
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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I really want to stress that I like Merkur razors for their design. It's their quality of production of late that I am not crazy about. I think the plating issues were mostly resolved lately. You may have an earlier razor. If you really like the razor you can pick one up on BST as they come up often. Another thing you can do is get one of the solid stainless handles from Ikon or Weber and put them on your Muhle head. You will have the heft in the handle and the EJ/Muhle head (they look identical to me and I think they are) is just as good or better shaver. Also, you can try hunting down a vintage Merkur/Hoffritz/Pomco slant. That is basically the same as 37C, which is like a 34C with a slant bar. Those vintage slants are really nice, are plated in nickel on the heads and silver on the handles (many of them look tarnished, but respond really well to tooth paste cleaning). There are many ways to go here. I pretty much vowed to not buy a new Merkur razor, but as I said, Progress is my daily razor for 90% of the time and if it ever goes I will have to go against my vow and buy a new replacement, but I will first try to get one used from BST. They are plentiful. Merkur really needs to realize they are below par on fit and finish and about on par for price. That is not a winning position for them.

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 02-20-2013, 02:19 PM
#12
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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I am happy with the Muhle and handle. The Merkur, on the other hand, being two-piece, is another matter. I like the design too; chunky /industrial, and shaves well. It's the crappy Zamak and finishing that's the worry. No biggie though as these razors don't cost the earth. What irritates me more is Merkur's total lack of response to customer enquiries. It say to me "Buy our product (hands rubbing in glee) but then just FRO and don't bother us with piddling matters".

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 02-20-2013, 05:07 PM
#13
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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(02-20-2013, 02:19 PM)Shaun Wrote: I am happy with the Muhle and handle. The Merkur, on the other hand, being two-piece, is another matter. I like the design too; chunky /industrial, and shaves well. It's the crappy Zamak and finishing that's the worry. No biggie though as these razors don't cost the earth. What irritates me more is Merkur's total lack of response to customer enquiries. It say to me "Buy our product (hands rubbing in glee) but then just FRO and don't bother us with piddling matters".

Agree, the razors are relatively inexpensive, but I would try to get a used one. At least that way you are not supporting them making more crap. BTW, your Muhle as well as EJ and most other modern razors save for the stainless steel ones are made from the same Zamac as Merkur. Some are just finished better and the corrosion is not a problem. Zamac is not bad, it's just how you build and finish the razor with it that can be bad. I see 34C on BST often, so no worries about replacing yours. I had one when I was starting out and honestly I liked the way EJ DE89 shaved better. The size and shape is a different story. I have a vintage slant, which is basically the 34C with a slant bar and older Merkur craftsmanship was better. The whole thing feels nicer. You may want to look into those too.

Good luck!

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 02-21-2013, 02:06 AM
#14
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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I have to take it all back. Merkur just emailed me (after another round of emails from me) and finally responded apologetically, telling they would air-mail me the part. Took a lot of correspondence (the first over a month ago now) to extract a response though, but all's well that ends well.

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 02-21-2013, 06:02 AM
#15
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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(02-21-2013, 02:06 AM)Shaun Wrote: I have to take it all back. Merkur just emailed me (after another round of emails from me) and finally responded apologetically, telling they would air-mail me the part. Took a lot of correspondence (the first over a month ago now) to extract a response though, but all's well that ends well.

Glad to hear that. A company really CAN make things right at a very little cost to itself, can't it? Happy to hear Merkur/Dovo is actually responding to customers. I think it's forums like this one that's finally getting some visibility on these things and causing companies to respond.

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 02-28-2013, 08:16 PM
#16
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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Today I received the new head for the Merkur HD, all the way from Germany; it's a significant improvement. I can tell the plating is far better on this new head; at the side edges it seems more thickly applied (the reflected light there bends slightly) and just looks so much better than the one I had. Must be a new process. Behind the head (on the underside) it is stamped with a 2. I must have had an old model. Anyone noticed the newer plating on their Merkur 2-pieces?

Edit:

The old head weighs 14g; the newer , nicer version weighs 16g. Quite a bit of difference really. My new assembled 34C now weighs in at 78g. My Fat Boy weighs 76g. Mind you, I am using standard digital kitchen scales so I don't know how accurate they are. I tried measuring some coins, newly minted as I know their standard weight. It's a good test of the accuracy of your scales by the way (may start a new thread on this). My scales are out. I suspect most kitchen scales are fairly out of kilter.

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 03-01-2013, 07:29 AM
#17
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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(02-28-2013, 08:16 PM)Shaun Wrote: Today I received the new head for the Merkur HD, all the way from Germany; it's a significant improvement. I can tell the plating is far better on this new head; at the side edges it seems more thickly applied (the reflected light there bends slightly) and just looks so much better than the one I had. Must be a new process. Behind the head (on the underside) it is stamped with a 2. I must have had an old model. Anyone noticed the newer plating on their Merkur 2-pieces?

Edit:

The old head weighs 14g; the newer , nicer version weighs 16g. Quite a bit of difference really. My new assembled 34C now weighs in at 78g. My Fat Boy weighs 76g. Mind you, I am using standard digital kitchen scales so I don't know how accurate they are. I tried measuring some coins, newly minted as I know their standard weight. It's a good test of the accuracy of your scales by the way (may start a new thread on this). My scales are out. I suspect most kitchen scales are fairly out of kilter.

glad to hear Merkur has done right by you. I have owned a brand new 37C recently and it seemed the plating was good on it. I still think fit and finish is better on EJ and Muhle. Little details like polishing the heads before plating and removing the mold injection marks, etc. The EJ DE89 and Muhle R89 heads look way better finished. And at similar price points. I think they shave as well or better, too, but the 34C is a classic and certainly a good razor. Glad you got yours back to good condition and MErkur stood behind its product for you.

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 03-01-2013, 07:37 AM
#18
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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Very good news that Merkur sent you a replacement head and the quality has improved.

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 03-01-2013, 08:05 AM
#19
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Good to see they took care of you Shaun...

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