Question: Best DE Razor For The Beginner?

I’m sometimes asked for a recommendation for the “best” DE  razor for the beginner.  Unfortunately, its not an easy answer.  How much do you want to spend? What kind of beard do you have? Do you want to experiment or buy once and be done with it?

The “conventional wisdom” usually takes the route of the Merkur Heavy Duty (AKA 34C or HD).  They’re reasonably well-built and enormously popular.  But I also quite like the Weishi razor: they’re much less expensive and its design is very “forgiving” of poor technique.  Unfortunately the quality control can be a little spotty.

Michael Ham (“Leisureguy”) also used to recommend the HD but has sinced advocated the Ikon open-comb or the Edwin Jagger DE8n series .

What do you think a good razor for the beginner would be?

Related post: What Is The Best DE Razor?

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  1. Spanky says

    Since adjust-ables have issues you can shim and thus have the best of both worlds with your slimmer, simple mild/medium non-adjustable; that you make more aggressive always or just sometimes when cutting longer growths. That’s If you don’t mind throwing in 2 shims to raise the blade; which are simply used blades with the shiny cutting edges sizzor-ed off. This allows a lighter touch and the point is it can be closer (range) so be careful. Especially on delicate areas with your cutting angle. While you can get closer (less passes) on your chin, now you may need to take care to purposely cut it shorter on your lower neck, for example.

  2. VicB says

    "Best" is a tough question to answer.

    …but for someone new to DE shaving, I personally believe an "adjustable" DE could be the wisest decision by many, then they can set it at a very modest and safe low setting as they go through their "hands on" learning curve.

    Of course one would have to make more "passes" due to the lesser agressive settings, but he also greatly reduces the chances of sacrificing blood in the early days. (especially if one did not take the time to read/view proper training before his first attempt(s).

  3. Anonymous says

    Greg, why do think the Merkur is better than the EJ/Muhle? I've only tried the Merkur HD, so I'm interested in the comparison.

    BTW, what are you supposedly paying for as the price goes up? There are a lot of seemingly similar razors all with slightly different prices (23, 33, 38, etc.). I wasn't blown away with the finish of the HD; does the cost lie in the design of balance and how it handles?

  4. Greg says

    I won't vote for a best beginner razor but I have to wonder if the latest fanfare for the Jagger DE89 isn't a case of the latest fad razor.

    I have both the EJ DE89L and the Muhle R89 but are you really saying someone will be better off with one of these than, say, a Merkur HD/ SuperSpeed / Tech?

    A new DE shaver needs to work on technique. The razor is an afterthought.

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