Diehard wet-shaving beards men will be quick to point out that there are only two brands worth mentioning when it comes to safety razors – Merkur and Edwin Jagger.
Whereas the Merkur range of safety razors is the very definition of German efficiency, Edwin Jagger is British class all the way.
It’s an English brand with a timeless design and a fantastic range of razors in all sizes.
Besides the reviewed safety razor, you’ll also find cartridge razors, some of the best shaving brushes, great shaving creams, good old shaving soaps, bowls and everything really that can get you started in wet shaving.
If there’s one that stands out in the Edwin Jagger range it’s the DE89.
This one is an old design that been praised over the years for its minimalistic and pragmatic design. The most popular safety razor by Edwin Jagger provides a great shave with almost no tugging or pulling.
The Edwin Jagger DE89 has a storied past.
It’s made in Sheffield, England since 1988 and the designs are carefully created by the family that runs the business. Neil Jagger, the founder of the company, was so successful with his designs he was eventually hired by a number of major brands in the US and UK to oversee the designing of their in-house razors.
The company still sells it’s own flagship razors with the traditional 3-pieces scalloped closed comb razor bar.
Now the brand is globally recognized and one of their most popular razors is the DE89.
Let’s to some specifics of the razor.
Edwin Jagger DE89. What makes it one of the best safety razors?
This is a relatively light safety razor that’s incredibly easy to use.
It weighs a little less than 67 grams (2,36 ounces). The razor is 95mm (3.74 inches) long and the handle has a diameter of 12.5mm (0.49 inches). The head itself is less than 42mm or 1.65 inches in length. The entire body is crafted from a single piece of brass plated metal.
Brass is very typical among low and mid range safety razors whereas stainless steel is the most preferred material among top products like the Feather Seki Edge. Brass is fairly sturdy, although not as strong as stainless steel.
What makes the DE89 so popular is the fact that it’s one of the easiest safety razors to use. It’s a very popular choice for men who want to try wet shaving for the first time with a quality safety razor.
Beginners are known to pick this or the Merkur 34c because they’re pretty similar safety razors in terms of learning curve, performance and aggressiveness.
But while beginners may start off using this razor, what inspires men to stick with it is the convenient design. The DE89 offers a comfortable shave that doesn’t irritate the skin in any way.
Although the Edwin Jagger was among my first DE razors, my actual first was the Merkur 34c HD. When I tried the Edwin Jagger later, I didn’t see much of a difference and I’m happy to report that both razors are excellent.
In terms of shaving with the Edwin Jagger, you get a smooth and comfortable session. When I use it, none of my oddly curly hair was stuck between the blades and painfully yanked off by the roots. It’s like gliding a hot knife over butter.
The reason the DE89 can offer such a smooth shape is because of the way the head is designed. The razor head is covered with a 3-piece scalloped closed comb, which aligns the hair neatly before the hair is slit by the passing blade.
Speaking of the razor head, the gap between the blade and the head is enough to allow the shaved hair to pass through easily along with the lather. This way, the cut hair doesn’t scrape your skin with each pass on your face.
Another reason the shave is so comfortable is the way the razor balances in the hand. It’s got the perfect weight and it’s not too small for any hand to hold.
One of the reasons men struggle with their daily shaving routine is that safety razors are hard to master. Holding them in the right position and gliding them over the face lightly is a trick that can be a bit challenging, especially if you haven’t used a safety razor before.
But the DE89 makes this a lot easier simply by making the metal handle evenly weighted. The 67-odd grams this razor weighs is evenly distributed throughout the body, which makes it easier to hold and manipulate.
The level of control is further enhanced by the grip on this razor.
Edwin Jagger DE89 razors have a smooth and flat grip that allows you to hold the handle comfortably.
Finally, as already indicated, the handle is short enough -but not too short, to hold properly in odd-angles so that it’s easier to get to the difficult spots on your face.
In terms of the shave itself, I would describe it as mild and not very aggressive compared to other safety razors. It does have a learner curve to it, though.
The razor takes some getting used to and for me it took about three weeks of shaving to get the proper angles and the right technique. If you’re an experienced wet shaver, getting a grip on this should be a lot easier.
You’ll be happy to know that all Edwin Jagger razors have the same razor head.
The handlebar and weight varies slightly from one to the other, but they all have the trademark 3-piece head we mentioned earlier. You can take a pick from their range and find the color, weight and design that suits you best.
Recently, the brand has also started offering razors with the Gillette head. This is for people who are used to the mainstream razors but want a quality handle to go with it. It’s not a bad purchase, but I would definitely not recommend it over the traditional Edwin Jagger safety razor.
Should you buy the Edwin Jagger DE89?
To sum up, the DE89 is a very popular choice and there’s good reason for that.
The razor is well priced, though if you’re living in US, you’ll notice that the price is higher than many razors sold by Merkur. Merkur safety razors come in at close to twenty bucks. But the price difference isn’t so big to stop you from buying it -and why not buying both.
I would surely recommend the Edwin Jagger DE89 range to anyone who either just starting with wet shaving or experienced ones who want to try a reliable and high quality safety razor.
The DE89 is among my favorites. For a beginner, this could be the best safety razor to start wet shaving with.