If you are just breaking into the classic shaving world the landscape can be a bit difficult to navigate. Choosing blades, hard or soft soap, let alone a razor can be a daunting task to take on without some direction. There are many razors that would make a great first razor, there are many that wouldn’t. I narrowed it down to three razors to help you make your choice, with some commentary and images hopefully making your first experience with a DE Safety razor an enjoyable one.
The Merkur 180
The 180 also known as the Merkur 23 would make a great choice for those a bit hesitant in making the switch from cartridge shaving to double edge shaving. The handle of the Mekur 180 is the longest of the three razors giving you one less item to consider when adjusting to your new razor.
The Merkur “1904” Classic
The Merkur “1904” Classic also known as the 42C, was my first razor and as a result I have a bit of a bias towards this razor. It would provide the biggest adjustment from cartridge shaving due to the handle being about an inch shorter than what one would be accustomed to. However this adjustment also make you feel like you saving with something different. The short handle, I find, at least initially, causes you to slow down and consider what you are doing.
The Edwin Jagger 89lbl
My current favorite, the Edwin Jagger 89lbl is a great option for those willing to spend a little more. The head of the 89lbl provides a great shave, while the lined handle is more than comfortable and classy. The handle length is longer than the “1904” but a bit shorter than the 180.
Side by Side by Side
All three razors use the same three piece design. The Merkur 180 and the Merkur 1904 share the same head (Open comb versions are also available but I wouldn’t suggest them unless you have a course beard or tend to have several days growth often).
The Edwin Jagger 89lbl (which is available in several different handles) lined handle in the center stands out for me as having the best of design and function, with the “1904” on the right being the most ornate. All three razors have provided me with more than sufficient grip with the Merkur 180 being my least favorite to use of the three