Muhle R89 Closed Comb Safety Razor – German-made Handcraft Perfection – How Does it Do Vs Merkur 34c & Edwin Jagger de89?
In this review we take a look at the German-made Muhle R89 closed comb safety razor; the standard Muhle R89 Traditional, Muhle R89 Twist and Muhle R89 Grande. How does it measure up against Merkur 34c and Edwin Jagger de89? Let’s find out:
Muhle Razors – a Quick Look at the Background
Muhle R89 safety razor is being produced in Mühle’s own factory in Stützengrün, a 30-minute drive south from Leipzig, Germany. Muhle started of as a company that made high-end shaving brushes but has since then branched out into all kinds of wet-shaving accessories.
Wet shaving has recently caught on like wildfire. Many new companies and brands have popped up like weeds in the spring. However, even with the influx of new brands in the market, Muhle has is still considered to be one of the best and most popular. This is courtesy of the precise design and construction as well as its flawless chrome finishing. The fact that Mühle (mill), founded by Otto Johannes Müller in 1945, was built up in the ruins of war and has been in the business for the past 72 years is ample proof that they know their stuff. Here is a video that shows a bit of the Muhle bacground.
Muhle R89 – First Impression
The Muhle R89 safety razor has a classic design, but important factors such as weight (the standard model is very light), high-quality material, the chrome finishing, the distance between the blade and razor, and the angle of the blade have evolved to near perfection due to a highly motivated and skilled design and manufacturing team.
After the parts of the razor are cast in brass or steel, they go through a specialized chrome plating process. This provides its classic gloss and appearance and protects the metal underneath. When you hold this razor in your hand you will immediately notice the real German quality!
Please note – Muhle R89 Traditional is also sometimes referred to as Classic and Standard. If not particularly mentioned, we are referring to the Traditional version, if we are not explicit saying Grande or Twist. There is also a Rose gold handle version (which is based on the Standard version).
The first impression is that it feels great in the hand, the finishing is perfect and it is designed to be lightweight. The standard version of this product weighs only 64 grams (2.26 ounces).
Generally, given that it is a closed comb razor, will provide you a mild shave. However, it can still offer you with a close shave when you want it to. All you need to do is load the R89 with a more aggressive blade like the Feather and you will be good to go.
Muhle R89 Variants
Many brands in the market today will provide you with either a three or a two-piece variant. The Muhle R89, however, offers them both. It also goes further to provide you with a variant featuring an extra-long handle if this is what you fancy. They refer to the latter as the Muhle R89 Grande.
Both the Muhle R89 Grande and the Muhle R89 Standard features the same head. They come with a three-piece razor while the Muhle R89 Twist features a two-piece razor allowing for the base plate and the handle to be permanently bolted together.
Interestingly enough, some pro wet shavers who have tried the Muhle R89 have gone on record to say that it is similar to the Edwin Jagger DE89.
|Model||Overall Length||Handle Length||Handle Diameter||Weight||Material||Finish||Type||Adjustable||Knurled handle||Blade included|
|Mühle R89 Standard||94 mm/ 3.7 inch||82.5 mm/ 3.2 inch||14 mm/ 0.55 inch||64 g/ 2.26 oz.||Metal||Chrome||3 piece||No||Yes||1|
|Mühle R89 Grande||107 mm/ 4.2 inch||95.5 mm/ 3.75 inch||14 mm/ 0.55 inch||80 g/ 2.8 oz.||Metal||Chrome||3 piece||No||Yes||1|
|Mühle R89 Twist||107 mm/ 4.2 inch||95 mm/ 3.7 inch||14.2 mm/ 0.55 inch||90g/ 3.17 oz.||Metal||Chrome||2 piece||No||Yes||1|
- The razor has an excellent design and construction as well as a perfect chrome finish
- It provides you with options to choose from; the three piece or two piece razor. If you prefer a longer and thicker handle, there is that option as well
- It is perfect for persons who prefer a mild save (especially beginners)
- It is lightweight which is perfect if you are transitioning from cartridge razors
- The two-piece R89 Twist variation is quite expensive
What To Expect From Muhle R89
We shall break this into different parts since the Muhle R89 has different variants which sport some subtle differences.
- Weighs 2.26 ounces (64 grams)
- Measures 3.7 inches (94 mm) in length and 1.6 inches in width (41 mm)
- 3 piece design
- Polished chrome finish
The traditional R89 version is the lightest between the three variants. It weighs only 2.26 ounces. Such a light razor has its pros and cons. If you are transitioning from a lighter razor, like the cartridge type, then a light razor will make the transition to wet shaving easier. You can later proceed to slightly heavier razors.
During your transition phase, however, there are a few things that you should unlearn fast. One of these bad habits is putting on too much weight on your razor. Straight razors are much sharper and require a different technique – one which is lighter and gentler on the skin. You also will need to learn to use more of your shoulders rather than your wrist as was the case with cartridge razors.As for the grip, the razor features a knurled design though it is not as deep as one would expect it to be. When working it horizontally, you will not slip, but while working it vertically your hands can slip especially since they will be wet.
With regards to its length, the traditional version measures 3.7 inches (94 mm). With this length, men with larger hands will find it comfortable and have just the right grip.
Finally, the standard Muhle R89 is a three piece razor. This means that the razor has 3 different parts including the handle, base plate, and the head plate.
Muhle R89 Twist Variant Features
At 4.2 inches (107mm), the Muhle R89 Twist is the longest variant (along with the Grande) from Muhle. In addition to this, it also is the heaviest of the three choices at 3.17 ounces (90 grams).
- Measures 3.7 inches (107 mm) in length and 1.6 inches in width (41 mm)
- Weighs 3.17 ounces (90 grams)
- Polished chrome finishing
- Two piece design
This variant features a thicker handle and has a completely different balance point that is closer to the end of the handle than the head.
With the Twist, you have most of your wet shaving concerns addressed. Cleaning the Twist is much easier. Why? Well, rather than having a hole that runs through the shaft, the Twist is much shallower which makes it easier to clean with a swab. This design, in addition to making it easier to clean, also reduces the chances of corrosion.
On the flip side though, the Twist is far less aggressive than the standard version. Adding to this, it works perfectly with mid-range blades like the Wilkinson Sword. When you decide to use sharper and more aggressive blades like the Feather, you need to keep a sharp focus as well. However, it is also important to know that how aggressive a blade feels on the face is also dependent on the person. What may be aggressive for you could be mild for another person? That said, if this is your first time trying out wet shaving, you probably should purchase a sampler blade set to find your preference.Check it out on Amazon
Muhle R89 GrandeBoth the Grande and the Twist are of the same length. However, the Muhle R89 Grande proves to be slightly lighter by 10 grams.
But unlike the Twist variation, the Grande R89 is a 3 piece razor. So in comparison, the Grande is more of a heavier and longer version of the standard razor.
Muhle R89 Grande Feature List
- 3 piece design
- Measures 3.7 inches (107 mm) in length and 1.6 inches in width (41 mm)
- Weighs about 80 grams (2.8 ounces)
- Polished chrome finish
Ease of Loading The Blade
For the standard and the Grande versions, loading the blades is slightly more difficult since they are 3 piece razors. Working with 3 different parts as you would imagine is slightly harder than with two parts.
Be careful when you are loading the razor and ensure that you hold onto the sides of the safety razor to have the blade aligned as you tighten the grip.
As for the R89 Twist which features a 2 piece design, you have the base plate attached to the handle. So to load the blade, you will need to twist a lever located on the bottom side of the blade and then remove the top cap to load the blade. After loading the blade put back the bottom piece and then tighten it.
What Other Users Say
Many persons who have made this razor purchase have just been introduced to the art of wet shaving. Most have gone on record to state that they loved the experience especially because it gave them a smoother shave that was for the most part nick-free. One user specifically said that with this standard R89 he used a feather blade which gave near perfect results.
Other men also suggest that when you purchase the razor, you also purchase a sampler blade pack featuring different brands of blades. There is one particular customer who got his sampler package from West Coast shaving, but you can always make yours on Amazon.
There were, however, some concerns about the razor quality. Some complained that the bolt broke off and some about the chipping of the chrome finishing. A solution for these problems is to ensure that the razor is dried completely to prevent any corrosion of the metals. Many find a cotton swab to be very useful for this.
But here is the thing, regardless of the Muhle variant that you choose you will still have a quality shaving experience.
The variants all have different price tags due to their different features. The two-piece razor is the most expensive since it offers more convenience when it comes to loading the blade than the other two variants.
Muhhle R89 Review Conclusion – How Does it Compare to Merkur 34c & Edwin Jagger de89?
|Model||Our Rating||Item Weight||Item Lenght|
|Muhle R89 Traditional||2.26 ounces/64 grams||3.7 inches/ 94 mm|
|Merkur 34c||2.83 ounces/ 80.5 grams||3.3 inches/ 84 mm|
|Edwin Jagger de89||2.2 ounces/ 62 grams||3.9 inches/ 99 mm|
First of all, none of the 3 razors (Muhle, Merkur and Edwin Jagger) are bad razors, it mostly comes down to personal preferences and price.
There are two ways to looking at the Muhle R89. For a beginner, it is perfect – though it can prove to be a slightly expensive option. Also, it can be a great option for those persons who have mastered the art of wet shaving and are looking to have an extra razor on their bathroom shelf. But if you are in this category, I would consider having a go at the Muhle R41 Open Comb.
- High Quality and great craftmanship
- Excellent design
- Perfect chrome finish
- More expensive than the competitors
Summary: Muhle R89 is a great, but slightly expensive choice for beginners that want to get into classic shaving. Stunning quality and finish. It is also a great 2nd razor for men who’ve mastered the skill of wet shaving and looking to invest in a high-end German quality razor.
- Affordable pricing
- Great design and build
- Knurling prevents the hand from slipping
- 2 piece design easy to adjust the blade so that it is even on both sides
- Very short handle
Summary: The Merkur 34C HD is a great razor, it is more or less perfect both for beginners and experienced wet shavers. The design and construction are of great quality, but that does not seem to affect the price of the product. It still is a very affordable razor. The two-piece design it sports makes assemble easier in comparison to many three-piece products available on the market. The mayor downside is the length of the handle, if this concerns you, you might want to check out the Merkur 180 Long Handled Safety Razor – also known as Merkur 23C
If the price concerns you, you should have a look at our review of the Merkur 34C. When it comes to the quality and finish – Muhle R89 is for sure the best pick. But just to make this clear, the Merkur is not a bad quality, it is just that the Muhle safety razors are in a different league (and therefore more expensive). The R89 also has a better grip and handle vs Merkur.
If you have big hands, then for sure the R89 is a better option – and you should maybe consider the Muhle R89 Grande in this case.
Another option is, of course, the previously mentioned Edwin Jagger de89.
Which Version of The Muhle R89 Should I Choose?
Choosing between the three (or 4 if we include the Rose Gold version) Muhle razor variants is all a matter of preference. But even then as earlier pointed out, you should bear in mind that the three-piece razors are easier to clean though they take a slightly longer time to assemble and load a blade. The Twist razor takes a relatively shorter time to assemble.
Also, it is important to note that the aggressiveness of the safety razor, for the most part, depends on the blade that you use. The more aggressive the blade the more aggressive the shaving will be thus calling for more of your attention while wet shaving.
For some users, the light weight might be a drawback, as they don’t get that heavy, solid feeling but that is a personal preference.