After reading the rave reviews here and at Amazon, I recently pulled the trigger on an Edwin Jagger DE89. It arrived a few days ago, but due to a family-wide stomach flu bug (and other various interrupters) I didn't get around to shaving with it until this morning. I loaded it with one of the included Derby blades (which I had some success with in my old Merkur HD), and went about my usual MWF lathering routine. I did 4 passes instead of my usual 3 since it had been several days since I had shaved and the stubble needed extra reduction, but other than that I stuck to the same routine I've used every day, with the razor and blade being the only difference. I followed up the shave with an alum block, some witch hazel, and Nivea Co-Q10 ASB.
Here are my thoughts:
The good: The shave itself was very solid. The EJ is more aggressive than a Gillette SS (my daily shaver) and slightly less aggressive than the Merkur HD. I got a close shave that was BBS everywhere but the underside of my chin and neck (where I purposely do not go ATG due to a history of razor burn and ingrown hairs in this area), and the irritation was minimal. I did get a couple of small weepers on my chin; I rarely get weepers with my SS but it does happen, so it's tough to say whether this was due to the razor, bad technique, phases of the moon, etc.
The bad: The ergonomics on this razor are horrible! The handle is fatter than either the HD or the SS, and the grip is completely smooth. While the razor never slipped out of my hands, the lack of knurling did require me to hold the razor significantly tighter than I am used to. I am a software engineer and have carpal tunnel syndrome due to years of using badly-designed keyboards and mice, and having to grip the smooth barrel so tightly made my wrist hurt by the end of the shave. Even with the tight grip, I still had to dry my hands and the razor handle a couple of times during the shave to keep it from slipping. I also thought the balance was much worse than the HD, with more of the weight being in the handle and less on the razor head.
Overall: While I liked the shave itself, the ergonomics of the handle are so bad I am unlikely to give it a second shot unless I can do something to improve the grip. Anyone here have any ideas on that? I saw pics awhile ago of someone on the forum who got a custom handle for the DE89 from Bob's Razor Works. How much would one of those cost, and how would I go about ordering one? Is there any way I can make the current handle more "grippy"?