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There are many who look at shaving as just a mundane chore they have to endure from time to time; however, for those who have taken the time to appreciate the artform shaving is, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In the past, shaving was a meditative practice for some. It required concentration and skill to achieve a great shave through the use of a straight or safety razor. Fortunate for us, we are regaining some of what was treasured in the past as these kinds of razors are coming back into style. When to comes to Edwin Jagger, our top pick is the DE89L safety razor.
Safety razors are most similar to the disposable and cartridge razors we often see these days. They consist of a pole handle with a double-edged blade at the top. Among the various brands that produce safety razors out there, Edwin Jagger is one that stands out. It’s a family run company in Sheffield, England that was established in 1988 and has since produced a great selection of shaving products. One reason their razors are so great is that they are very accessible for beginners who want to experience what it’s like to use a safety razor.
In this article, we are going to look at the top three Edwin Jagger safety razors that are available today. Of course, their selection is much more than this, but these are the razors we feel are the best of the best as far as quality and functionality are concerned. If you’ve never used a safety razor before, these are some great ones to start out with. They’ll give you a great shave while easing you into the process of using these kinds of razors.
Not all safety razors are created equal, and oftentimes, it’s hard to distinguish between the good and the bad. In any case, when one is taking the leap to using them instead of other styles of razor, it’s a good idea to start with something that will give you great results at a fair price (in case you end up not liking safety razors in general). If you’ve decided to go with Edwin Jagger, we believe the DE89L is that particular razor. The DE89L is a highly reliable double-edged safety razor that sports a mixture of style and functionality. Both the experienced and inexperienced will like it and what it delivers in terms of a great safety razor.
The handle of the Edwin Jagger DE89 line of razors comes in a few different styles, but this one excels because of the excellent grip it allows you to have. Some of the various stylings are smooth chrome, black, and ivory; the DE89L is lined chrome. The lined chrome of this razor has ridges which go from the top of the handle to the bottom and make it a little easier to hang on to. If you are planning on using your safety razor in the shower, this is an excellent choice. With shaving cream, soap, and water all making your razor a little slippery, it’s nice to have a razor that allows you to have a firmer grasp. If you are not familiar with safety razors, you may not have realized that sometimes their handles are much shorter than a regular disposable or cartridge razor. The DE89L has a short handle that is a mere 3.7 inches in length. Another fact about safety razors is that they are usually a little heavier than your typical Walmart razor. Because of the weight, you have to apply little or no pressure when it glides across your skin. This one is 75.4 grams, and while this may seem surprising, there are even safety razors which weigh more than this!
The size and weight might take some getting used to for some, but after a little practice, it will feel right at home. Most people who transition to a safety razor from disposable or cartridge razors never look back. The DE89L also has a traditional blade changing mechanism which allows you to unscrew the handle from the blade holder and easily change out the blades when you feel you need a new one. Overall, this is a solid razor that is set at a great price, looks stylish, and gets the job done. Especially if this is your first safety razor, you won’t be disappointed at all. We feel it is the best of what Edwin Jagger has to offer, so we are putting it at #1 on our list.
Here’s the deal. Someone wise once said “size matters,” and this is true in many regards. One thing the Edwin Jagger DE86 is famous for is being super short. It’s essentially the same exact razor as the DE89 but with a smaller surface for you to hold on to. Some people complain that it is actually too short to use and very uncomfortable in hand. A quick skim through some reviews of the product reveal that this is a common complaint about this particular safety razor. However, could it be that there is a reason it needs to be so short? Could it be that Edwin Jagger is onto something with the small design of their DE86? Let’s take a look. If you are interested in a longer safety razor, check out our reviews of the best safety razor shaving kits for a complete package. A majority of the ones we reviewed feature longer handles for extra grip.
It’s often hard for shorter men and women to find clothes that fit them in your average store. Likewise, it can be very difficult for taller people to find clothes that fit them right as well. They are faced with the task of finding the right brands that cater to their size, and this is the reason the DE86 exists. It all comes down to hand size. For products like safety razors, they are usually designed around averages. The average male hand size is 7.44 inches while the average female hand size is 6.77 inches. There is a correlation between hand size and height, so the shorter you are, the smaller your hands are likely to be. Also, there are the extreme cases of dwarfism and giantism that should be taken into account.
The point here is that some people have smaller hands, and the DE86 might fit them better than the DE89. We can’t really say that the handle size of the DE86 is a flaw, as it’s designed for certain people. There is really no reason for anyone to complain about this. That would be like a grown man or woman shopping in the children’s section of a store and then complaining that the clothes are too small. They need to shop for the right size for them, and in this case, the DE86 might not be the razor that feels the most comfortable in their hands.
We also want to take a look at the ebony handle version here, but keep in mind the DE86 can also be bought with an ebony handle. The ebony handle is very smooth and provides a great grip. It’s made of a squeegee-like material that of course, is rustproof. Reports have stated that even left on a shower rack; it will not rust and requires minimal care. This is a definite plus for those who don’t want to have to go the extra mile and pamper their razor every time they use it.
The reason we are putting this in the #2 spot on our list is that it is not an exact fit for the average person. Again, it’s exactly the same razor as the DE89 except with a smaller handle. It can be also be purchased with the same finishes of the DE89. We feel we’ve had to defend it in this review because people might not understand the appeal this razor has. It feels great in a smaller than average hand, and that’s that.
Edwin Jagger doesn’t offer an extensive number of safety razors as compared to companies which have existed much longer, but what they do offer is respectable in every aspect. Instead of having a range of models that, like the merkur safety razors we reviewed, but they bear very key differences, they mainly focus on refining one model and offering variations on the handle, color, etc. As mentioned above, a few of the finishes they have are chrome, ebony, and ivory. The chrome handles themselves have different styles as well, and one, in particular, is worthy of note. With that being said, we are going to revisit the DE89 and discuss a special variation of it. This one is a little more expensive, but as you may have already guessed by its place on our list, expensive doesn’t always mean better.
What makes one finish on the DE89 better than another? For some, it’s the look. Each handle has a different personality that may correspond with the one who purchases it. Since this is a matter of personal preference, we really can’t comment on this. However, what we can comment on is the practicality of each handle, and what it all comes down to for us is the grip. No one wants a razor that is not easy to hold. These safety razors are somewhat of an investment over cheaper disposable razors. You’ll want to care for the razor, and if you drop it, you run the risk of damaging it. Those who have used the DE89 line have said that constant drops can cause it to break, as the metal is not of the highest quality. The grip is a key factor for buyers. The Edwin Jagger DE89BA11 has a barley pattern while the Edwin Jagger DE89L has a lined chrome pattern. These patterns are not simply there for decoration. While they do add a layer of appeal in terms of aesthetics, more importantly, they affect how well you are able to remain holding onto it under slippery circumstances. There are fans of both safety razors, and some say one grip is better than the other.
Analyzing both razors, you’ll see that the barley chrome on the DE89BA11 is very subtle. As compared to the standard chrome, the barley pattern definitely makes the razor easier to hold. But, the line chrome ridges on the DE89L are heftier and protrude from the handle much further. Your fingers sit on the grooves and are able to hold the razor tight. Both serve their purpose, but it appears users are more satisfied with the lined chrome. It wins in this regard. Finally, while the barley chrome looks more appealing than the lined chrome, it is more expensive. The DE89BA11 is a more expensive razor without being any more practical than the DE89L. We feel the aesthetics and claims about the DE89BA11’s grip do not justify the increase in price. You end up paying for looks alone. Some may want to go that route but to each his own. However, we feel that you can get a better deal with the same or better functionality as the DE89BA11 with the DE89L. For this reason, we believe the DE89L is the superior finish, and this is why the DE89BA11 is #3 on our list.