This is the first, in what will become a regular feature here on TheCloseShave.com, of low cost razor that I will be reviewing – not so much for the sake of science, but curiosity. Can an ultra cheap razor compete in any way with the higher cost typical razors that people tend to buy (Razors like the Edwin Jagger 89, or a Merkur 23c)? I will keep the criteria simple – in order to qualify the razor had to have cost less than five American dollars.
The first razor I picked up was from AliExpress (I ordered several at the same time) for a whopping $2.62, screen shot below. My reason for buying? It was under $5. In a very unlike AliExpress manner it arrived rather quickly.
I will say that there is something awesome about the packaging (image above) that this razor came in. When I was a kid I went to Italy more than a few times with my family and while there we would often pop into mom and pop type shops either on the beach or in town and the store would be littered with items all packaged in this retro packaging (I guess in the 80s it wasn’t retro but it still had a feel to them) that screamed cheap junk, but still made you want to buy it knowing full well that your relationship with the item will be a short one.
My first impression of the razor was a positive one. The razor had some good weight to it, and at first glance didn’t look so bad (always considering the cost). It comes with a nice case, a single blade, and a mini brush – something I have never seen before, I assume that it is meant for cleaning out the gap between the blade and the guard. It is very unlikely that I will be using the mini brush. After a closer inspection you can quickly see why the razor is as cheap as it is. The finish on it is suspect (take a look at the image below), I would expect it last very long seems like it is just ready to peel off. The handle looks like something you would find on a toy. The cutting head is made of very thin metal. Aesthetics aside the handle is actual rather nice to hold on to. The rubber handle provides a slip free surface and it is easy to maneuver. But despite the functionality of it, it still feels cheap.
So how did it hold up as an actual shaving tool? Well it shaved my face – three shaves – and I escaped without injury each time. But I was approaching with caution. Hard to make out via the image but the razor is rather aggressive, take a look at the gap on this razor (below). But it did shave my face, and fairly closely at that.
So after trying a single discount double edge razor I would not recommend spending less on a discount razor. Although it worked, and was dirt cheap, there is something lost in the process and routine. There might be an argument to picking something like this up as a travel razor. Something to pack and probably leave behind without having to worry about forgetting or losing your razor.