Mühle R41 is one of those razors that isn’t for everyone. Many razors walk the line between being too aggressive and being too mild. Not Mühle R41, it is very aggressive. Those other razors end up being the ones that everyone buys as they entail the least amount of risk. But if you really want to go for the mythical “baby butt smooth” or your beard grows fast, and you are constantly experiencing pulling of your hairs when shaving – keep reading!
+ Very close shave
+ Open comb (OC)
+ Good quality
– Aggressive razor thus not for everyone
- Aggressive razor. It shaves very close but also causes more weepers by doing this if not careful
- Mühle R41 comes in three different versions: standard model (R41), twist model (R41T) and grande model (R41G)
- Standard Mühle R41 model is a relatively small and light-weight razor. It is 3.5″/ 9 cm tall and 2.24 oz / 64 g heavy
- It comes in a nice package. You don’t need to repackage this if you wish to give it as a present to someone. As you might want to do when buying Merkur or Parker products
- Feels slippery occasionally no matter which handle you use. This comes apparent only when your hands are very wet and covered with soap
- Good quality
Mühle R41 comes in a gray package. While it may lack some of the luxurious elements, the Edwin Jagger DE89 package has, it is nonetheless very nice looking box. It is similar to Parker, but the plastic window is more prominent, the color pallet is more elegant, and there is only a small minimalistic logo of Mühle in front. Aesthetically the package looks very pleasing and something you would gladly give as a present.
Mühle R41 standard model is a rather small and light-weight razor. You can also get the long-handled version R41 Grande or the Twist model which has a longer handle likewise.
Weight (R41): 2.24 oz / 64 g
Weight (Twist and Grande): 3.1 oz / 90 g
Length (Twist and Grande): 4.2″ / 10.7 cm
Length (R41): 3.5″ / 9 cm
How Does It Feel In Your Hand
The standard model R41 is a smallish razor in terms of length and mass. 3.5″ / 9 cm is comfortable for most men but may need some time getting used to if you happen to have bigger hands.
The standard model (R41) is made with four handle finishes. Besides regular chrome plating, there is also available rose-gold plated handle, black resin, and tortoiseshell option. All four look stunning and have a quality feel about them. What it unfortunately lacks is a good grip. The chromed model handle is covered with shallow knurling. This can turn the razor quite slippery at times. For this reason, I would caution to be extra careful when using this razor.
With 2.2 oz / 64 g Mühle R41 is not as heavy as Merkur 34C. While many prefer heavier razors, this lightweight build is actually good for Mühle R41 open combed safety razor. Reason for this is simple. Because we already have an aggressive razor so we wouldn’t want to make it even more aggressive by adding weight to it. Curiously R41 Twist and Grande are both heavier yet shave almost the same. This proves in my opinion again that weight pays less of a role in a razors aggression than for example blade gap and exposure.
Weight is a matter of preference at the end of the day. Some enjoy heavier razors, and some don’t. And with this razor it is just that, it adds nothing to the quality how well it shaves.
What About The Design
Mühle R41 is a three piece open combed razor with scallops. This may confuse because the older version was true open comb and the current one is fusion/hybrid between closed and open comb. It matters if you are considering buying a vintage razor. If you want to buy a new one, then you will get the newer fused version which is less aggressive than the old one. Less yet still aggressive.
What are the benefits of open comb you might wonder? Your closed comb safety razor might get clogged with soap when shaving or it pulls your hair if you shave longer growth. Open comb which technically means that it has no safety bar thus is free from these issues. The “teeth” will rake through your beard allowing tugging-free shaving.
All three R41 models share the same head and are made out of zamak (pot metal). What makes them differ from one another besides the weight and size is also the design.
Both standard and grande model are classic three-piece designs. It means you have three separate pieces once you dismantle the razor: the cap, the base plate and the handle. R41 Twist is a two-piece razor meaning you have only the cap and the base-handle piece.
All three look beautiful, and quality issues have been raised rarely with these three.
Will It Shave?
Mühle R41 as stated many times now is an aggressive razor that comes with one feather blade. When your typical beginner’s safety razor needs 2-3 passes to get near baby-butt-smooth shave – Mühle needs one, max two. You have to maintain proper technique though. Otherwise, it will punish you.
This razor is highly valued by men who have a very coarse and thick beard as for them less aggressive razors won’t cut it. The other side of the coin is that it is also more abrasive on your skin meaning men with sensitive skin may get razor burn.
Comparison: Mühle R41 vs Merkur 37C Slant
Both razors are considered aggressive, and that’s why I have chosen them for this comparison. Those of you who are familiar with Merkur Slant know that it is not an open comb razor like R41. Yet the Slant design makes it more aggressive than regular closed comb razor so while they may not look the same, they feel the same.
Merkur 37C Slant is a closed comb Slant safety razor. The slant design provides a unique way how it cuts your hair. This makes it more efficient and aggressive than your standard beginner’s safety razor. Yet it is still less aggressive than Muhle R41.
Because of the slanted safety bar, it can also cause some pulling of your hairs while shaving. Clogging rarely happens though.
Merkur 37C is smaller and heavier than standard the R41. It is 3.3″ / 8.3 cm and weighs 2.9 oz / 79 g. The bigger slant model 39C is comparable to R41 Grande and Twist models. 39C is 4″ / 10.1 cm tall and weighs 3.9 oz / 113 g.
Merkur 37C and 39C are both two-piece safety razors and come with good knurling providing good grip. Just like R41, they are also made out of zamak (pot metal)
To summarize the key differences:
- Merkur 37C is a closed comb slanted safety razor. It is more aggressive than standard closed comb but less aggressive than the R41 safety razor
- Merkur 37C is smaller razor by .2″ / .7 cm compared to R41 but heavier being 2.9 oz / 79 g
- Merkur 39C is bigger and similar in size like R41 Grande and Twist
- Merkur 37C is a two-piece safety razor. R41 is a three-piece razor
- Both are priced similarly
Because this razor is so aggressive and needs good technique, It isn’t usually recommended for beginners. Even experienced wet shavers nick themselves from time to time. But I disagree with this opinion and let me explain why. Every razor has its learning curve so to speak. You may be proficient with your safety razor until you get a new one and very often it takes some tweaking to get the same result as with the old razor. And when you start using a straight razor getting small cuts, in the beginning, is almost guaranteed. So if you need to adapt to every razor you get and having small cuts isn’t a rare occasion even with milder razors then why not start out with the beast?
I would recommend this razor mostly to men that have a thick and fast growing beard. Except if you have sensitive skin, then you might want to look something less aggressive like Merkur 37C The Slant. Just keep in mind that you probably will get some cuts and nicks in the beginning. Give it a few weeks, and usually, you get the hang of it. And once you get the knack, you will enjoy the smoothest shave you ever have had.