If you’re shopping around for a dependable double-edged razor, the Edwin Jagger DE89 is a name that you’ll keep on hearing. It isn’t a new safety razor nor a veteran classic (it was launched in 2009), but the DE89 remains a favorite among wet shavers for a couple of good reasons.
The following Edwin Jagger DE89 review discusses the good and the bad. Is this safety razor still worth buying? Or would you rather go for a newer model?
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Edwin Jagger DE89 Review
DE89 Handle Options
Edwin Jagger DE89 is available in different handles, but the most popular ones are known in the wet shaving market as:
- The DE89BL (with the chrome handle), and
- The DE89LBL (with a lined knurled handle).
The most significant difference between the two lies on the handle design and grip.
You can even find Edwin Jagger DE89 handles in faux ebony, faux ivory, 18-carat rose gold, rubber coated, black rhodium, and more. To keep up with the handle options, Edwin Jagger used a naming scheme for the models to identify color, pattern, year introduced, and so on.
Aside from the regular-sized DE89, you also have the option of picking the short handle, or the long handle to further customize your shaving experience. We’ve often debated the merits of a longer or shorter handle on a safety razor.
Longer razors tend to be easier to hold and more comfortable as well as being more popular with women, while shorter handles are more manouverable. A classic case is the battle between two of Merkur’s top razors, the 34c and 23c.
Performance-wise, all these variants have the same level of aggressiveness ideal for beginners.
Edwin Jagger DE89 Design
While the special edition lilac, colored and fancy (3D laser diamond, gold-plated, etc.) handles attract razor collectors and Edwin Jagger fans, it is no contest that the chrome finish makes the DE89 a pretty good-looking razor. Plus, the chrome finish could actually hold up better over time with proper maintenance and cleaning.
- The Head: Edwin Jagger designed the DE89 as a 3-piece razor. One look at the razor and many shavers fall in love with the DE89’s look. But what makes these shavers into life-long fans are the robust construction of the chrome head that directly affects its shaving performance.
The three-part design is beginner-friendly, which is probably why there are very few complaints about blade replacement or alignment. To load the blade, you have to twist the handle, remove the plate (top and base), slide the new blade in place, and place the top and base plate back safely, and tighten the handle.
- Weight: The DE89 weighs at only 2 to 4 ounces, depending on whether you get the short- or long-handled razor. If you’ve been using disposables and made the switch to safety razors with DE89, this would feel much heavier. But if you came from a different brand, the Edwin Jagger DE89 would be little lighter than most wet shavers would expect.
What’s interesting with DE89 is that because it is top-heavy thanks to the razorhead design, you won’t really notice how light it actually is when in use.
Edwin Jagger DE89 Performance
The first thing you’ll notice with the Edwin Jagger DE89 is that it offers adequate grip thanks to a nice long handle. Of course, the grooved DE89LBL has more grip than the smoother DE89BL, but it still depends on personal preference. Go for one of the more textured models for maximum grip if you think you need it.
This make and model is always recommended to beginner wet shavers because it’s on the mild side when it comes to aggressiveness. It’s mild enough that a first-timer won’t be intimidated by the razor, but aggressive enough to give you an excellent wet shave.
Like I mentioned earlier, the sturdiness of the DE89 head ensures that the Edwin Jagger’s weight does the work for you without pressure. Razors that are too mild wouldn’t shave effectively, so the shaver’s tendency is to apply more pressure to the razor and in turn, end up with a bad shave.
The blade gap, the distance from the edge of the blade to the safety bar, can be mild for experienced shavers, but aggressive for newbies. No matter your skill level when it comes to wet shaving, the Edwin Jagger DE89 is very smooth and comfortable. Feedback was one of the key differences we found when we compared Edwin Jagger DE89 with the popular Merkur 34c.
Note that because Edwin Jagger DE89 is only averagely-aggressive, this wouldn’t work for those with thick beards. And it’s perfectly fine to get a few nicks at the start of your wet shaving journey since there’s generally a learning curve in using safety razors.
Pros and Cons
This Edwin Jagger DE89 review wouldn’t be complete without a list of pros and cons.
- Breathtaking, elegant chrome-plated design
- No issues with slippery grips, even for the shiny chrome handles
- Mid-level aggressiveness
- Value for money
- Top-heavy razor gives enough pressure when in use
- Low profile cap results to proper blade angle
- Plenty of handle options for a shaver to find his perfect fit
Edwin Jagger had to sacrifice some materials a bit to lower the price of the DE89 to the $20 to $50 range. The company used Zamak (a zinc alloy) for the cap and comb. Knowing this helps prevent “receiving a lemon” and returning the razor if you see flaws when you first receive yours. Zamak also notoriously corrodes easily, so proper care before, during, and after wet shaving is essential to prolong the life of your DE89.
Generally Zamak is a pretty good material used by many top safety rzaor brands including Merkur. A stainless steel safety razor like the Feather AS-D2 will cost more than $100. One of the biggest criticisms of the AS-D2 is that its marine-grade stainless steel is overkill.
The screw thread that connects the head to the handle is a main complaint. But the breakage of this part only happens if you drop the razor, or you over-tighten after replacing blades. Both issues can be avoided by using the Edwin Jagger DE89 with caution.
This Edwin Jagger safety razor may have other weaknesses based on the type of handle you buy. For example, some variants can have slippery grips, or chrome-plated variants could tarnish over time.
Edwin Jagger is a family-owned, England-based manufacturer that has been producing traditional shaving products since 1988. Today, it continues to compete with the big guys of the men’s grooming industry thanks to reliable safety razors like the Edwin Jagger DE89. That’s why we list it as one of our best safety razors to buy today.
The DE89 is ideal for both beginner and experienced wet shavers who are in search of an aesthetically-pleasing razor that provides a comfortable, intuitive and moderately aggressive shave. And since it won’t break the bank like other brands in the market, the Edwin Jagger DE89 can be a satisfying safety razor that you can easily replace should anything happens.