According to their website, Merkur was founded in 1896 by Emil Hermes.
He planned to initially name his company Hermes, but other cutlerly companies already had used the name Hermes, so he chose the name Merkur which was the Roman messenger of the gods and equivalent to Hermes.
Merkur’s earliest safety razors featured a comb in which a wedge shaped blade fit into. The wedge was very similar to the look of a straight razor and also had to be honed like a straight razor in order to maintain it’s shave edge.
In the 1900s Merkur switched over to the thin machine made double edge blades that are used today. The main difference between these early blades and the modern blades mainly consists in the shape of the hole in the center of the blade that is used to secure the blade to the handle.
The company remained family owned until the 1970s when Emil Hermes’ son sold the company. Then in 1996 Dovo purchased the company.
Merkur Safety Razors
Merkur manufactures a variety of safety razors. Most of their safety razors can roughly be categorized as either long or short handled, open-combed or standard combed, and long screw mounting versus a short screw mounting. The vast majority of them are chrome plated.
There are a few exceptions with one being gold-plated(color not actual gold), a few black handled razors, two that are fat handled that come in red or blue, and one razor that is made out of Bakelite that is a dark red/maroon color speckled with black. Their safety razor, like all safety razors, will take a standard de blade.
Difference Between Long Screw Mounting and Short Screw Mounting
The main difference between the long and short screw mounting is how the razor guard and the comb attach to the handle.
With the long screw mounting models, the comb is permanently attached to the handle. The guard has a long pole attached to it that is threaded. This pole slides through the center of the handle and is then secured by twisting the bottom of the handle. Twisting the bottom of the handle causes the thread portion of the pole to mate with the threaded portion of the handle.
With the short screw mounting razors, the razor consists of three pieces which are the guard, the comb and the handle. The guard has a short pole that is threaded. This goes through the guard and screws into the top part of the handle which is threaded.
As mentioned earlier Merkur makes a variety of safety razor models. Some of their most common models that you will find are the:
- Merkur 180 Long Handled Safety Razor
- Merkur 34C Heavy Duty Classic Safety Razor
- Merkur Futur
- Merkur Vision
- Merkur 38 HD
- Merkur 20C
- Merkur 30C
- Merkur 1904