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Edwin Jagger DE89 on left with iKon handle and Merkur 34C on right

flickr-23613745861.jpg Crown King Victorian Style Shaving ScuttleThumbnailsLatest shaving kit December 2015Crown King Victorian Style Shaving ScuttleThumbnailsLatest shaving kit December 2015

Probably two of the most popular and talked about safety razors today. I was a bit confused in the beginning when I needed to choose between them, but now that I have used both I can summarise the key differences. Both are excellent razors, especially for beginners, but the key differences will be of interest to many people:

Merkur 34C
Pros:
- Does have a lightly knurled handle which is perfectly good to use with wet or soapy hands.
- Has a slightly shorter handle which gives good control but if you have large hands this could be a problem.
- It is a two piece razor which is slightly easier to open and change blades.
- The head is slightly wider so the blade does not protrude as much as with the Edwin Jagger, which means trimming under the nose is very easy.
- It is very mild on the aggressiveness scale and you can in fact press harder without causing razor burn, which means it can also be used elsewhere and not just the face.
- It is more available to purchase than the Edwin Jagger.
Cons:
- You can't change the handle as it is integrated with the head.

Edwin Jagger DE89
Pros:
- Slightly more aggressive cut which means a slightly closer shave, so don't press harder with this razor (still relatively mild though).
- You can change the handle and pictured above is the iKon OSS handle I fitted which gives it far better grip than even the Merkur 34C. The handle in the middle is the original Edwin Jagger handle.
- It's chrome finish is second to none, really beautiful, and all the parts are well chromed including the bits you don't see.
Cons:
- Need to be careful under the nose as the blade protrudes slightly (using Feather blades).
- The three pieces are a bit more difficult to handle when changing blades.
- That default handle is a bit slippery (I never dropped it but it did not feel comfortable - I think they do make a newer handle now that has knurling on it). But this is not a major issue as you have a choice of 3rd party handles that you can fit.
- Certainly in South Africa I could not source the Edwin Jagger locally at all.

In summary though a complete novice can't go wrong with the Merkur 34C and it is a good way to start out. I still prefer the cut of the Edwin Jagger and now that I have a really excellent handle on it, it is probably the razor that I'll use as my primary razor.

You can also check out my Traditional Shaving YouTube playlist at www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdSTEdM8Pkf0hDL-iV9dQFWjZr... which shows reviews on both these razors, as well as many other excellent tutorial videos that I have found useful.