I recently purchased The Vikings Blade Chieftain JR. Among the reasons I decided to purchase the Chieftain JR were its turn-to-open (TTO) butterfly head, which makes changing blades easier, a handle longer than the 34C, and the overall weight of the JR, which is a bit heavier. The Vikings Blade Chieftain JR costs about one-third of what I paid for a Merkur 34C razor.
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The Merkur 34C functions as a two-piece razor where you remove the top of the head to replace the blade. I like the Merkur and get a great shave with it, but I’m still exploring what else is out there. How will I know whether a long handle or heavier weight is more comfortable if I don’t try other razors? I am not a one-and-done person.
The first thing I noticed when I began shaving with the Chieftain JR was that it gave a slightly more aggressive shave. I felt the blade on my face more than with the Merkur 34C. It was not too aggressive for me, and the Vikings Blade razor still shaved smoothly, but there was a noticeable difference between the two razors.
Another difference between the two razors was the weight. I liked the feel of the Chieftain JR in my hand as well as against my face. The handle also was more comfortable for me. Neither the Merkur nor the Vikings Blade has long handles, but the Chieftain JR is just longer enough for me to appreciate the difference.
The price on Amazon for the Chieftain JR has been under $15 for the past 120 days. This is an excellent value for a beginner’s razor or anyone who likes a mild shave. But it is more aggressive than the Merkur 34C, and if you don’t have a thick beard or have sensitive skin and are just starting out, the Vikings Blade Chieftain JR may not be for you.
My conclusion is I prefer the Merkur 34c, but it wins by only a small margin. If I need to shave after my beard has grown out for more than a few days, I will choose the more aggressive Chieftain JR.