Newbie confused... Merkur 34c or Muhle R89?

Discussion in 'Shave Clinic & Newbie Check-In' started by SVG, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. SVG


    Hello B&B!

    I've decided to finally switch to DE after spending years getting frustrated with a cartridge razor.

    However I'm confused about which razor I should buy. I've read the reviews of both Merkur 34c and Muhle R89 but I'm not sure which one to buy.

    Which one is better?
  2. They're both good, but everyone's razor preference is going to be different. In my opinion, the Merkur would be the better one to start with. The Muhle is more aggressive but might be the better choice if you've got a heavy beard.
  3. xillion

    xillion Contributor

    I find the new Muhle R89, and EJ DE89L to be excellent razors. I find them mild but they give a shave that few others can match. Now if you are speaking of the old open comb R89, then it is a different story. That razor was the most aggressive thing I have ever used.

    Both the Muhle and the Edwin Jagger razors far surpass the Merkur in finish quality. So much so that they almost make the Merkur look like a factory second. The DE89L can be had for a bit less than the Muhle R89 the only difference being the handles. The DE89L has a lined handle and the R89 has a knurled handle. I have seen the DE89L for about $8-10 less than the Muhle R89 depending on the vendor.

    Another thing to consider is that if you buy the DE89L or R89 and you don't like it you can always sell in on BST for just a bit less than you paid for it. They are quiet popular sellers here and tend to go very fast when they are offered.

    Here is quote regarding the Edwin Jagger DE89L:

    "The Edwin Jagger Double Edge Safety Razors have a completely new 2 part head fixture that took Neil Jagger over six months to design and approve tooling before allowing the Edwin Jagger name to be stamped into the metal collar just below the blade fittings. The head fixtures on these double edge razors are not the same as Merkur heads found on most all of the other quality double edge razors.
    The English chrome plating from Sheffield is superior to any other manufacturer.

    These Edwin Jagger Safety Razors are handcrafted and go through a special hard chrome process that is a beautiful and distinct "blue chrome" used by Rolls Royce. The chrome is truly distinctive when compared to the normal chrome we're all used to seeing. All Edwin Jagger razors and shaving brushes have superior fit, finish and quality not found in other brands."

    see the original post here:
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  4. Go with the Muhle R-89 (or it's close cousin the Edwin Jagger, they have the same head). It's one of the best razors ever made hands down. Finish, and balance are superb, and it shaves like a dream. It always gives me smooth comfortable shaves.

    I don't think it is hugely aggressive, and based upon what other posters have said, it should be the same level of aggressiveness as the Merkur.

    I think you should clarify which Muhle R89 you are referring to, the old one with the open comb (which was said to be madly aggressive), or the newer one with the standard safety bar (which I think is fairly mild). I don't think I have heard anyone who owns a Muhle R89/ Edwin Jagger DE89 say it was aggressive. Fairly mild seems to be the consensus.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  5. No mistake with either one !!!
    Happy Shaves
  6. SVG


    Thanks for your suggestion. I was talking about the new closed comb R89.
  7. You'll learn to love either one. Your first is always special. Reality says your going to own both eventually.
  8. I have no experience in this particular case, so no advice. However, welcome to B&B!
  9. Welcome to B&B!

    As for the 34C/R89 razor dilemma;

    In terms of aggressiveness there is no crucial difference IMO; the 34C is a tad more aggressive than the R89 but not so that it should be the reason to choose one over the other.

    In terms of quality the R89 is clearly the superior product with a much beter fit and finish, but the Merkur is no trash and will meet the standards for everyday use easily. But where the Merkur is well made, the Mühle echoes the craftmanship of yesteryear and is indeed making the Merkur look like a factory's 2nd choice.

    Most important difference is in the size and weight of the handles. About the same in diameter the Mühle handle is longer and lighter and thus the balance of the razors is very different. The Mühle is a little head heavy and lighter, where the Merkur is heavier and the center of gravity is more towards the middle of the razor.
    This is something that has nothing to do with good or better; it is just a matter of personal preference.

    For my (big) hands the handle on the 34C is usable but I clearly prefer the one on the Mühle. So my vote would without a doubt be the R89 but keep in mind that the 34C has made a lot of guys happy too.
  10. I started with a Merkur and was not getting the best shave (irritation). Although, I was using the Murker blades that came with it.

    I thought maybe it was a little aggressive and heard the Muehle R89 to be less aggressive (not sure if true or not). I bought the Muehle and some derby blades. It was better shave. I finally loaded the Muehle with some Super Iridiums and am currently on an 8 day in a row shave (two pass). I have never shaved more than 2 days in a row prior ( ever )....Really no irritation or ingrowns..knock on wood. Was always a problem on the neck.

    My rotation inculdes
    Muehle R89
    Super Iridiums
    MWF, Tabac, Proasos (green soap - Probably gives the closest shave of the three)
    Drug Store Witch Hazel
    Aqual Velva Classic and Musk (love the stuff)

    Just my experience in 3mths of wet shaving.
  11. JPM


    +1. Welcome aboard!
  12. I'm a newbie too...and i think im going with the Merkur HD [not sure yet, still doing trials on being able to lather properly]...according to a lot of the posts here the best shave is comprised of a multitude of variables...getting the best one may occur with a superb blade used after being finely tuned...and the worst shave with a superb razor which isnt finely tuned...all in all in..i say, get the merkur and try it out with diff blades + soaps...see what works [AND LET ME KNO =D]
  13. I'm sorry you've obviously started out on the wrong track. You're not asking the right question. :scared:

    "Which one should I buy first?" or "Should I buy both?" are perfectly good questions.:001_smile Better yet is "Should I buy both?"

    RAD - Don't fight it. Be one with it. :001_smile
  14. Love my Merkur Futur.
  15. I do not know of the Merkur, but can confirm the craftsmanship of the Muhle to be fantastic.

    Welcome aboard!
  16. I like the new Jagger-Muhle head but the Merkur 34C is a fine razor. You cannot go much wrong with either razor.

  17. Welcome to B&B !!
  18. RCC



    get them both
  19. Marco

    Marco Steward Contributor

    Both are excellent razors, no doubt.
    However, if I had to choose between the two, my choice would be for the Merkur 34c.
    The 34c HD has been my first Double Edge razor and I still love it, even after so many years I purchased it.
  20. Just to add a further bit of spice and confusion, buy non of those and go for the Merkur 38C.

    A truly, mighty fine razor (i started out with one), which if you don't like it, you can at least use it for hand to hand combat!

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