by Garrick Dee
Updated December 5th, 2018
Muhle has been in this business since 1945 so these guys know what they’re doing.
Great for beginners
This beautiful razor is another option that new wet shavers can try because it is relatively lightweight.
If you buy the standard version it weighs a little over 2 grams so transitioning from a really light cartridge won’t be as difficult.
A mild shave
Since this is a closed comb razor – it will give a relatively mild shave but it can also give you a close shave when you load up a sharp blade like the feather.
While other brands would offer either a two piece or a three piece razor for a particular variant, the R89 is actually available in both the two and three piece variety.
It also has a grande variant that has an extra large handle – if that’s what you prefer.
The standard R89 and the Grande have the same head. These two are 3-piece razors while the “Twist” is a 2-piece razor.
Interestingly a few wet shavers (in the forums) who looked at this close say that this razor has a lot of similarities with the Edwin Jagger DE89.
- 2 or 3 piece – depending on variant
- 94 or 107 mm
- Aggressiveness: 5/10
- Blades included: 1
- Excellent craftsmanship and finish
- Gives you the option to go with a two piece or a three piece razor (and another option with a thick handle – if that’s what you prefer)
- Will give you a relatively mild shave (great for beginners)
- Lightweight – some say this is a bad thing (but for beginners it makes for an easier transition from cartridge razors)
- If you buy the two piece variant – it can be quite expensive (around $90 in Amazon)
Since the R89 different variants, all use the same head and their differences are subtle…
I’ll start with the basic R89 features
- Weighs 64 grams (or 2.26 ounces)
- Around 3.7 inches long (from top to bottom) and 1.6 inches wide
- Three-piece design
- Chrome finish
The standard R89 is the lightest of the 3 weighing about 2.26 ounces so depending on your preference this can be a good thing or a bad thing.
If you’re transitioning from using a 5 blade cartridge razor then a lighter safety razor may not be necessarily bad thing because you’re in a transition phase.
You’ll have to learn a slightly different technique
But you will still have to unlearn the bad habits that you’ve acquired using a cartridge razor.
One of which is putting too much weight on the razor. Another bad habit you’ll have to unlearn is using too much wrist.
When using a safety razor you will have to lock your wrists and use your shoulders more during shaving.
In terms of grip, this razor has a knurling design, it isn’t particularly deep. Tyler from Prime & Prep says that horizontally it didn’t slip on him but vertically it can slip if you’re hands are wet.
Overall length is around 3.7 inches so this razor so men with larger hands can use this as well with the right grip.
Lastly, this is a 3 piece razor, meaning the it has three different parts – the head plate, base plate and the handle.
R89 Twist Features
The Twist is the longest in the R89 product line measuring around 4.2 inches from top to bottom. It is also the heaviest weighing at 3.17 ounces.
Here’s the full feature list:
- 107mm long and 41mm wide
- Chrome plated finish
- Unlike the standard R89 that has a 3 piece design, this razor utilizes a two piece design that makes it easier to load a blade
Another difference is the girth, this variant has a thicker handle and a different balance point – closer to the handle rather near the head.
Twist is easier to clean
The Twist also addresses a concern by a lot of experienced wet shavers – the difficulty of cleaning.
Instead of having a hole that extends the length of the shaft, it is shallower – around 3/4s of an inch which makes it possible to clean this with a swab.
This also can possibly extend the life of this razor because there is less chance of corrosion when you properly clean this.
Less aggressive than the R89
In terms of aggressiveness, the Sharpologist says that this is slightly less aggressive than the standard R89. And work best with middle of the road blades like the Astra and 7’o-clocks.
But when you load up aggressive blades like the Persona, you have to be focused but that’s just his opinion.
Your skin may vary and what’s aggressive for his face may not be the case for yours so if you’re using this for the first time, make sure to buy a sampler set blade.
R89 Grande Features
The Grande and Twist have the same length but the Grande is lighter (80 grams vs 90 grams).
Unlike the Twist and the standard R89, the Grande is a three piece razor. So in essence the Grande is a longer and heavier version of the standard R89.
Full feature list:
- Chrome plated finish
- 3 piece design
- Weighs around 80 grams
Here’s the Muhle R89 Grande in action…
Both the standard R89 and the Grande are three piece razors which is a tad bit harder to load blades on because you’re working with three separate parts instead of just two.
Make sure to hold both sides of the safety razor once you’ve loaded up the blades to make sure it is aligned when you tighten it.
The R89 Twist has a two piece design which means the base plate (where the top plate sits on) and the handle are one piece.
To load the blade all you need to do is twist a lever at the bottom of the blade and remove the top cap then carefully load the blade on the posts. Attach the bottom piece then tighten.
According to Mantic59, the twist is slightly less aggressive than the standard R89. But that would also depend on the blade you load.
If you’re loading an aggressive blade like a Feather, you have to stay focused but with less aggressive blades you can relax a bit.
Unlike its main competitor the DE89 – the R89 has a knurled design similar to the R41. These grooves don’t go deep so grip won’t be as good, especially in damp conditions.
Here’s the closeup of the handle…
The Grande and Twist variants are longer at over 4 inches. While the standard R89 is the shortest at around 3.7 inches.
|Overall Length||94 mm||107 mm||4 1/4 inches|
|Handle Diameter||N/A||N/A||9/16 inches|
|Weight||64 g||80 g||82.5 g (2.9 oz.)|
|Type||3 piece||3 piece||2 piece|
Men who’ve tested this razor say it shaves really well. And most of them wet shaved for the first time.
The say that it gave them a smooth and almost nick free shave. One reviewer in particular said that he used the standard R89 with a Feather blade and he said that the results were “perfect”.
Try a blade sampler pack
Others suggest that you should buy a sampler pack with different brands of blades included in the package. One got his sampler from West Coast Shaving but you can also purchase one from Amazon.
Some potential issues
One concern though is quality. There are different complaints from the bolt breaking off to the chrome finish chipping.
One way to extend the life of this razor is to thoroughly dry it after every use.
To dry the hole located on the handle, you can use a cotton swab.
No matter what variant, you’ll get a good shave
Whether you choose the standard, the grande or the twist. You can’t go wrong with the shaving quality that these products give you.
Remember that the standard R89 and the Grande are both 3 piece razors. While the twist is a 2 piece design so choose between these 3 will be a matter of personal preference in terms of weight and handle size.
All of these variants use the same head design. But Mantic59 says that the standard R89 is more aggressive than the Twist.
Another factor of shave quality will be the blade you use and technique. Make sure to learn the proper technique in order to maximize this product.
You can buy this razor from Amazon. And the price of the R89 will depend on the variant you pick.
The R89 is another good but expensive options for beginners looking to get into wet shaving for the first time. This is also a great 2nd razor for men who’ve mastered the skill of de shaving and looking to invest in a high quality razor.
You will have different options, choosing between these three variants is only a matter of personal preference. Both the standard and grande variants are 3 piece razors that is easier to clean but it takes a little bit longer to assemble.
While the twist has a 2 piece design that takes less time to put together.
A bit expensive
For beginners the R89 can be a bit too expensive but if you can afford it then I wouldn’t stop you from buying.
Of the three variants, the “Twist” has the least aggressive design. But the razor isn’t the only thing that dictates aggressiveness, you also have to factor in what blade you use.
If you want a more aggressive shave then load it up with a Feather to cut close.
Or get the Personna if you want something smoother. A good way to try out different blades would be buying a sampler pack that contains blades from different brands.