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

I love my DE89L and would recommend it over the Merkur. However, I would probably go with a nice vintage Gillette Superspeed as your first razor. It will cheaper and a bit more forgiving for a newbie to use.
 
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!
Why not the 39C? The Slant Sledgehammer!
 
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.
The open comb version is the R41
 

BigJ

Ambassador
As other note, these are two very fine razors in the mild/moderate category! Either would be a fine choice!!
 
I used a 34c exclusively for a kind time and really like it. It is my ideal weight and handle length and gives good shaves. I also have a Gillette Heritage which has a r89 head on it, and it shaves well, in fact, that is another possible option for you, $35 on amazon with decent blades and a nifty case.

But - Vintage Gillettes are awesome, and a slim adjustable can usually be found for around $30, will likely outlive either the Muhle or the Merkur, and the adjustability will let you fine tune how aggressive you want the razor to be.
 
Lol sorry mate,neither...i shaved a dozen or so times with my saber saw...errr i mean r89 😂🤣..and it wasn't until i got my 1st vintage gillette (k3 slim) i actually started enjoying a bump free shave😁
 
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.
I agree with the sentiments expressed here. I have a 34C and an R106 (just the R89 with black resin handle). You can't go wrong with either.
 
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