Edwin Jagger DE89 Review: The Cold Hard Truth

Double-edged safety razors are making a huge comeback right now. But unlike other old trends coming back into the spotlight, safety razors seem like they might be here to stay. What it comes down to is quality, functionality, and price. The only problem is the cheap safety razors are exactly what you pay for, and others cost a ton. The struggle is finding a moderately priced razor that performs great.

I should know, I looked at a lot of them and there's a lot to consider if you're trying a safety razor out for the first time. Ultimately I found one that matched exactly what I was looking for in a safety razor. Hopefully, this Edwin Jagger DE89 review will help you come to the same conclusion!

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Let’s Talk about DE Safety Razors For a Sec

There are a few other things to note if you haven’t jumped into the world of double edged safety razors yet. First, despite the word “double,” these are single blade razors we’re dealing with here. You know those futuristic razors with 20 blades you see on television? Well, these aren't those.

If this is your first dance with a safety razor, it’s probably going to be a trial by fire. Rather than leading a blade that hugs your face, you have to learn to let the razor do the work for you; otherwise, you may as well start shaving with steel wool instead.

Wet shaving is a lost art and if you aren’t familiar, you’re going to have to learn. Investing in a safety razor means committing to learning and practicing wet shaving. It’s definitely worth it, but again it takes some time to learn.

Safety razors are great because they’re durable and replacement blades are relatively inexpensive. Far less expensive than cartridge blade replacements. However, despite the low price on the back end, some of these safety razors cost far more than their cartridge razor relatives. Most of them won’t break the bank, but I meant it when I said they were an “investment.”

Unfortunately, men’s shaving shops are few and far between these days so most of my shave supplies are bought online. I looked around for a good Edwin Jagger DE89 review and even found a couple before I made my decision. Hopefully, I can help you out as well!

Edwin Jagger DE89 Review: First Thoughts

At first glance, the Edwin Jagger DE89 honestly doesn’t look all like anything special. It looks similar to many other safety razors, with Merkur being the one that most closely resembles the DE89. That said, it does come in six different “colors”, by which they mean a different looking grip.

I do like the chrome finish that many companies are going with. It looks clean, elegant, and durable, especially when comparing it to the cheesy plastic disposables I’d been using. Despite being a small model, it still felt “right” in my hand, especially when you hold it correctly near the bottom of the handle.

The Pros:

  • Small, sleek, and simple.
  • Not as heavy as more aggressive razors.
  • Reasonably priced compared to similar safety razors

The Con's:

  • Performs like an introductory razor.
  • Some users feel it’s not as durable as other safety razors.
  • The color on the handle wears off fast.

Edwin Jagger DE89 Review: Features and Benefits

No matter how similar they may be, no two razors are created equally. Your individual preferences will play a big factor in deciding which safety razor is right for you. Here are a few things I found when looking at the DE89.

Quality Despite The Price

Don’t get me wrong, the DE89 is not a “cheap” razor. However, it’s quite reasonable when stacked against similar safety razors. I expected to discover at least some component to be made of plastic; however, the entire razor appears to be chrome-plated brass.

The razors are also not made in China, but rather Sheffield, England, so you know that it should at least last a while before deciding to break. The use of heavier metals like brass is what makes a safety razor “self-propel” itself, so even though it isn’t especially heavy, the DE89 still manages to perform well.

True Chrome Finish

Looking at the product online, it’s hard to see that the chrome is a real chrome finish, and not a faux chrome finish. In person, you can tell the chrome is professionally finished and looks like a much more expensive razor would. The chrome is also slip-resistant, which is a real game changer for me. I expected the smooth design of the handle to make dropping and slipping a concern. I’m happy to report it has a nice grip to it and that hasn’t been a problem yet.

Easy to Use

The Edwin Jagger DE89 is a preferred choice of those who are just beginning to attempt wet shaving. There are three pieces that break down easily, making blade replacement simple. Just unscrew the handle and unclipping the housing on the head and you’re good to go.

Its small size and weight make it easy to hone your skills before switching to a more aggressive safety razor. What’s nice is almost all of the weight is found in the head, making it easy to grip and use even from the first try.

Great Size for Any Shave

When your razor literally fits in the palm of your hand, you can take it with you anywhere. I know that when I travel I dread having to shave. I put it off as long as I can, until I start to look like I’m living in the airport. Where travel razors feel like they’re made out of broken glass, this could be the last razor you ever need. At least, until you start looking for a “best” safety razor for your skin and hair type.

Less Irritation

Unlike cartridge razors, the DE89 cuts smooth through several days’ worth of stubble all without leaving bumps or razor burn. However, tread lightly; too much pressure on the safety blade will cut, and will cut quickly.

Wet shaving is an art, and it takes practice to get it right. Expect a little trial and error if you aren’t familiar. At least it takes fewer passes to get a smooth shave unlike cartridge types with multiple blades.

Classic Style, Classic Shave

If you’re going to do it, you may as well do it right! For being an introductory safety razor, it performs just as you would expect a classic shaving instrument to. In fact, some prefer to use feather blades to get the aggressiveness without having to buy the next step up.

It’s nice to see that the razor plays its part, and doesn’t just look like an old school razor. It shaves down smooth without fighting back, making it easier to use than I initially expected. If you’re looking for a razor that does the heavy lifting for you, this works, even for a beginner’s model.

Surprising Results

Unlike other safety razors, it’s one of the most balanced safety razors I’ve come across. This speaks to why it’s a frequent choice for beginners. Even with a less aggressive style of blade, it still cuts clean each time.

My skin gets irritated quickly, so fewer passes is a Godsend and the main reason I swore off cartridge razors. For a model that’s reasonably priced, the DE89 performs surprisingly well.

Elegant Packaging

Edwin Jagger knocked the packaging out of the park with the DE89. It certainly looks like a flagship product, with simple and elegant black packaging that contrasts sharply with the chrome razor. Taking it out of the package for the first time is beautiful, and you almost never want to use it.

Of course, this has nothing to do with how the razor itself performs, but the devil is in the details. My Edwin Jagger DE89 review wouldn't be complete without covering everything! What this might help out with, is if you're considering purchasing this as a gift. A nice package can go a long way.

Easy to Keep Clean

Despite its shiny exterior, the DE89 is surprisingly easy to keep clean. You’re not going to have a ton of fingerprints left behind as it doesn’t smudge as much as you’d think. Even if it does, a quick rub of a towel cleans it up and helps it shine. For the “heavy duty” cleaning, most gunk is easily washed out with running water.

Don’t Just Take My Word For It!

I didn’t just buy the DE89 without researching it, and I don’t expect you will either! I looked around for a good Edwin Jagger DE89 review and found quite a few of them. It helps when you see multiple reviewers having the same thoughts. It’s even better when you can say you agree!

The general consensus seems to be the despite being small, it’s well balanced and performs like a higher grade razor. The chrome is beautiful and it feels great in your hand. Effective and affordable, it’s easy to see why some shavers choose to not move beyond the DE89.

Alternative Options

Now, of course, I wouldn't be writing my Edwin Jagger DE89 review if I wasn't sold on it. However, they aren’t the only game in town.

I have found a few others that may pique your interest:

  • Merkur HD 34C, Chrome Plated
  • Feather All Stainless Steel Double-Edge Razor Model AS-D2
  • Muhle Open Comb Double Edge Safety Razor, R41

These three are similar in appearance, cost, and performance, making them ideal candidates to compare to the DE89.

Merkur HD 34C

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While Merkur’s razors typically all look shiny and chrome, they do have a distinct style about them. The HD 34C, for instance, is well known for its extra thick handle.

Despite its size, it still provides a great grip for a reliable shave. It is on par with the price of the DE89, and it has the distinction of being the mildest razor Merkur puts out. If you’re looking for an affordable beginner’s razor that won’t quit, the HD 34C is a good choice.

Feather AS-D2

This is a “you get what you pay for scenario” as the Feather is an expensive razor indeed. Unless you become a real shave hobbyist, this will likely be the last razor you would even need. It might actually be the last razor you WANT to buy.

Made in Japan, this eastern engineered unit cuts like a katana; smooth and elegant. Because it’s easy on the skin, it’s great for beginners. Is it worth the cost? Those who use swear by it say absolutely. If you’re ready to take a chance, you’ll more than likely be rewarded with a lifelong shaving buddy.

Muhle R41

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This German-made blade is similar in style and price as the Merkur. In addition to being a three-piece safety razor, the R41 is open-combed. This means that rather than having a safety bar, a lot more of the blade is going to be exposed to your face. This isn’t a bad thing, just a heads up if you’re a beginner.

An overall quality shave, the Muhle is a safety razor that is comparable to others in its class. Certainly worth a look if you’re shopping around and want more options.

Edwin Jagger DE89 Review: Final Thoughts

For its ease of use, great design, and its affordable price, the DE89 is a great safety razor. It calls to mind the old adage “if it ain’t break, don’t fix it.” A reliable model that more than holds its own against higher end units.

While often thought of as a “beginner’s” safety razor, the DE89 can be more than just a starter. If you’re looking for a good place to start, it’s certainly worth a look. Just don’t be surprised if you wind up looking no further than the Edwin Jagger DE89. Sometimes an old classic just never goes out of style.

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