The first thing I noticed when I removed this razor from its box was its flawless chrome finish and precision construction. Even the Merkurs, which I very much admire, pale in comparison to the artisanship and aesthetics of these EJs. I purchased mine at the West Coast Shaving retail store in Chino, California, so I had the opportunity to examine several examples of the same razor and many of their other EJ razors. I have rarely seen such consistently superb quality control outside of the aerospace industry. In every single example, the fit was tight and precise, and the finish uniformly flawless. I was especially impressed with EJ’s practice of applying perfect, highly polished, blemish-free plating to every surface of the razor, even those "out of the way" places that are only visible when the razor is disassembled. Some other manufacturers, including Merkur, tend to skimp on the finish and plating of the cap bottoms and other less-visible areas. Not Edwin Jagger. This razor is a functional work of art. The result is a tight and precise piece of equipment that, coupled with the right blade, provides a consistently smooth and superior shave. This particular razor came with a 5-pack of Feather High Stainless blades rather than the Derby blades mentioned in the product description. My personal preference is Astra blades, which yielded a smooth, comfortable and incredibly close shave in this razor. The weight and balance of this razor are different from those of the heftier Merkur 34C, and took a little getting-used-to. However, that didn’t take very long. Another advantage of the superior finish is that this razor is extremely easy to keep clean and looking like new. I’m still an enthusiastic admirer of Merkur products, especially the 34C. But in my opinion, this EJ matches their consistently strong performance while besting them in fit, finish, and attention to detail.