The Ultimate Test of Two of the Best
Choosing the best safety razor is kind of like choosing a girlfriend or partner, as it depends mostly on what your own style and preferences are and where your priorities lie. Just like choosing who you want to spend the rest of your life with, I’d definitely recommend playing the field a bit before deciding on which safety razor is the best for your face, needs and tastes.
Of course, I also understand that not every man can afford to run out and just buy every safety razor they come across until finally finding one that they’re happy with (just as not every man can try out every woman he sees until he finds one that works well for him). If you’re lucky enough to be blessed with an endless supply of cash, then this is definitely not the worse idea, but since most men aren’t, today we’ll compare two of the most popular safety razor brands to at least give you a good place to start in your search for the perfect shave.
Edwin Jagger vs Merkur: The Basics
Edwin Jagger and Merkur are two of the best and most well-respected names in the safety razor business, both of which produce a wide variety of different razors in numerous different shapes, styles, colors and sizes.
Both companies are well-known for producing some of the finest razors around, all of which are carefully crafted using the most exacting European standards. Therefore, you really can’t go wrong with either one, as you’re virtually guaranteed of the quality and durability—no matter which particular razor you buy. However, that’s really as far as the comparison can go without mentioning a specific model of razor, as there are so many differences between the various safety razors each company produces that trying to compare them all could end up like looking at apples vs. oranges.
Therefore, to simplify things a bit, we’re going to focus on the most popular, basic model from each company in our comparison of Edwin Jagger vs. Merkur. In this case, we’ll be focusing on the Merkur Heavy Duty 34C and the Edwin Jagger DE89 LBL.
- If you want to see the current price for the Merkur 34c check it out here.
- If you want to see what the Edwin Jagger DE89lbl is currently priced at, you can see that here
Edwin Jagger vs Merkur: DE89 LBL vs 34C Heavy Duty
Since the reason you’re buying a razor is to shave with, our comparison will first focus on the most important factor—how they shave. While the quality of the razor blades you’re using will play a major role in the quality of the shave you get, the safety razor itself is also important.
When it comes to the quality of the shave, both razors receive quite high marks. However, there are still important differences to note. For starters, the Edwin Jagger DE89LBL offers an incredibly mild shave, making it perfect for beginners or anyone with softer or not so thick facial hair. On the other hand, if you do have extra thick or coarse facial hair, you may find that the DE89 is not nearly aggressive enough to give you a close, smooth shave.
Compared to the DE89, the Merkur 34C Heavy Duty is quite a bit more aggressive, which may be a good or bad thing depending on your personal opinion. As someone who has quite coarse facial hair, I definitely find that the Merkur safety razor provides a much closer shave. However, that being said, its aggressiveness means that you’ll also need to be much more careful or else you’ll end up cutting yourself or developing a serious case of razor burn.
While I find the DE89LBL to not be as aggressive as the Merkur 34C, this also means that I can use sharper blades (like Feather) in the DE89 than I would ever consider using in the 34C. Since you’ll get a closer shave with sharper blades, it actually makes it quite a tossup between the two in terms of shaving performance—so you’ll probably still need to try them both out to see which you prefer.
Another primary component of the performance is the handle and how well it fits in your hand. In terms of fit, there really isn’t much to choose between the two. However, I do find that the deeper textured handle on the Merkur 34C is a bit easier to hold on to and provides more control, making it less likely that it will slip out of your soapy hands. I also suggest that you check out the hundreds of reviews for the Merkur 34c as well as the reviews for the Edwin Jagger DE89lbl!
Edwin Jagger vs Merkur:
While appearance isn’t always a deciding factor for all men, some men do still put a lot of stock in how their razor looks. When it comes to the appearance of the Edwin Jagger DE89LBL vs. Merkur 34C Heavy Duty, there is no doubt that the EJ razor wins out every time.
Both razors feature beautiful chrome plating, but even a quick, up close glance at the two should show you the differences. While the EJ DE89 features flawless chrome plating, the Merkur 34C often shows small marks or flaws from the machining process. Although these are not that visible, they do still produce a not quite as uniform or beautiful looking end product as you’ll get with the Edwin Jagger razor.
Furthermore, I also feel that the low, sleek lines of the EJ razor are much more visibly appealing than the more rugged looking Merkur. The EJ razor features thin lines on the handle that while they do nothing for the performance, help to add a more refined and classy look to the razor. On the other hand, the 34C keeps with Merkur’s reputation for producing more rugged, utilitarian and industrial styles. However, there are still many men who like this more rugged, manly look that the Merkur razor has—so again, it’s really up to your personal preference.
Both razors are nearly identical in terms of the width of the blade, and also how much of the blade is exposed. However, the Merkur 34C is a bit shorter than the Edwin Jagger DE89LBL. Still, this shouldn’t be much of an issue, as if you’re looking for a longer razor, you could always consider the Merkur 34C Barber’s Pole, which features a longer handle than the DE89LBL.
Another huge difference between the two razors is in how the head is constructed and assembled. The Edwin Jagger razor is your typical three piece razor, whereas the Merkur 34C is a standard two piece razor where the bottom of the cutting head is permanently affixed to the handle. Although the head assembly really does nothing to change the look or performance of the razor, most men find that three piece razors are a bit easier to keep fully clean—so keep that in mind. Be sure to check out our article and video on how to clean a safety razor.
Edwin Jagger vs Merkur: The Final Word
As you can probably see, despite being often mentioned in the same breath, there are actually quite a few differences between the DE89LB and the 34C Heavy Duty. While there is not much difference between the two in terms of price—as both are amongst the most reasonably priced safety razors on the market considering the overall quality—there are still plenty of other things that separate the two.
Besides the DE89lbl, here are other great safety razors from Edwin Jagger!
- Edwin Jagger DE89bl – Check out the current price, Amazon reviews or my personal review
- Edwin Jagger De87bl – Check out the current price, Amazon reviews or my personal review
Besides the Merkur 34c, here are some other fantastic safety razors from Merkur!
- The Merkur futur – Check out the current price, Amazon reviews or my personal review
- The Merkur 37c – Check out the current price, Amazon reviews or my personal review
I still hesitate to urge you to choose one over the other, as what is the best razor for one man may not simply be the best for all others. That being said, I can definitely recommend the Edwin Jagger DE89 for those who are looking for a beautiful, easy to use safety razor that will help to eliminate nicks, cuts and razor burn. On the other hand, if you’re not so concerned about appearances and simply want a more aggressive razor that will give you a super close, even shave, then you may be better off with the Merkur 34C. However, the only way to know which is better for you is to get out there and shave! I hope you all enjoyed my article on Edwin Jagger vs Merkur, If it was helpful to you please like it using one of the social media buttons or simply share it with your friends!
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Ben Rose is the founder and senior editor at Prim&Prep, the definitive guide to male grooming. He is a wet shaving expert and body grooming aficionado. His work has been featured on many other prominent publications including Good Men Project, Addicted to Success, Steven Aitchison, and Sharpologist.