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Cheap vs expensive safety razors: does it matter?

So I've been using a $16 Baili that had good reviews on Amazon. Obviously there are some out there that cost a lot more but how would people say they compare?
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
"I hereby declare this can of worms open" :D

Some say yes, some say no. My first razor was a plastic Wilkinson Sword Classic, which I used almost exclusively for roughly 20 years. That razor is still working great, and the model is still available on the UK High Streets for under £5 complete with blades.

My most expensive DE is an Edwin Jagger chrome plated zamak razor which hasn't disintegrated, and neither have I. Some people feel the need to "justify" spending money on the high end kit, but there's really no need to. The bottom line is spend whatever you want on whatever you want. If you get good results from it and enjoy using it, that's all that matters.
 
So I've been using a $16 Baili that had good reviews on Amazon. Obviously there are some out there that cost a lot more but how would people say they compare?
Mostly they look and often feel nicer. They might give very slightly better shaves, due to having tighter tolerances and possibly more thought put into design, but I'm not completely convinced about this. Certainly technique and good prep are much more important, in my experience. If your existing razor is giving good results, there's no need to change, although you might get the beginnings of RAD and believe you should.
 
Since last year all I've been using are a Dorco PL602, and a Baili 171. The answer to your question in a word: No.
The vintage Gillettes and Schicks I'd been using are gathering dust.
 
If you love that Baili, stick with it. I followed this forum for many years before I became a member. What I have noticed here unfortunately is a good bit of unwavering support for high priced razors.

I have both vintage and modern razors, some ranging on the cheap end to some of the most expensive you will see. I can tell you for a fact that some of the cheapest I have will give you a much better shave than the most expensive ones I own.

On the cheap end, you can’t go wrong with modern razors like the Parker Variant, Razorock Game Changer, Fendrihan Mark II series and the Standard Razors Aluminum.

As far as vintage goes, the best shave in my collection comes from a Gillette Pre-War Tech, they are not dated, just look for those triangular slots. The Slims, Super Adjustables and Fatboys are great if you can get a good deal on them. Remember, vintage razors like more rigid blades like you would see with Kai blades and Yellows.

Also, the whole mild versus agressive arguments you will see here are over rated. I have a very thick beard and my best shaver out of my whole collection is that Pre-War Tech. Every razor had it’s own sweet spot so to speak. It’s all about your technique. If you need an aggressive razor to get BBS, your technique is off.
 
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ah heck, If you could find a single edge Schick shave classic and blades, you might be thrilled and comfortable for the rest of your life. It was The razor that worked back when I was all about following Gillette and their multi-blades down the rabbit hole as a teen/20 something back in the late 70's.

However, if you have an inquiring mind, you may find yourself bit by the razor acquisition disorder at some point and from there you'll go down one of three squared courses: 1) antiquities, 2) modern (/cough) antiquities, or 3)maybe truly modern but still use single or double edge blades... The squared comes in if you decide you must experience straights.

After a lot of money, I ended up liking Timeless razors. Good luck on your journey. If you decide to hang around here long enough, you'll find many good friends along their own journey to share with.
 

Cphobes

Contributor
I have both vintage and modern razors, some ranging on the cheap end to some of the most expensive you will see. I can tell you for a fact that some of the cheapest I have will give you a much better shave than the most expensive ones I own.

On the cheap end, you can’t go wrong with modern razors like the Parker Variant, Razorock Game Changer, Fendrihan Mark II series and the Standard Razors Aluminum.

As far as vintage goes, the best shave in my collection comes from a Gillette Pre-War Tech, they are not dated, just look for those triangular slots. The Slims, Super Adjustables and Fatboys are great if you can get a good deal on them.
It's funny, I read the "cheap" and "Parker Variant" together and laughed out loud. I don't mean to pick on THall but the quote demonstrates best that everyone here has their own standard for cheap and expensive. Compared to a lot of other modern razors yes the Variant is cheaper but it ain't a cheap razor. It's my usual daily driver and rarely gets swapped out, for at times a pre-war tech that I got dirt cheap way back when. :)

Overall THall is right on the money, some of the cheaper ones will give a great shave.

FWIW, my oldest son uses a Lord L6 that we bought off Amazon back in 2014. Uses it almost every day to shave his face and head. I think it cost less than $10 and he won't use anything else. I even have a spare just in case he breaks his.
 
I understand what you mean, I agree that $57 isn’t cheap so to speak but it is the lowest price modern adjustable you will find and it is a better shaver than most other high priced ones from $80 to $300. I was trying to group it with the other moderns.

I love my Fatboy, Slim and Super Adjustable along with their superior build, looks and history but my Variant gives me a better shave.

You can get the fat handle Pre-War Techs, Standard Razor Aluminums (Original/While they last) and Fendrihans for about $30 currently.
 

Cphobes

Contributor
I understand what you mean, I agree that $57 isn’t cheap so to speak but it is the lowest price modern adjustable you will find and it is a better shaver than most other high priced ones from $80 to $300. I was trying to group it with the other moderns.

I love my Fatboy, Slim and Super Adjustable along with their superior build, looks and history but my Variant gives me a better shave.
I need to at some point buy a Fatboy and Slim, my SA109 isn't great even after being refurbished. But I like to keep it for the bright shinny effect. :)

Variant is definitely great, needs to be cleaned more often than my 3-piece pre-war tech but boy it's a great razor. I need to buy another and put it in storage.
 
I need to at some point buy a Fatboy and Slim, my SA109 isn't great even after being refurbished. But I like to keep it for the bright shinny effect. :)

Variant is definitely great, needs to be cleaned more often than my 3-piece pre-war tech but boy it's a great razor. I need to buy another and put it in storage.
My Slim is a little better shaver than my Fatboy. My SA is slightly more aggressive than my Slim even though the heads look just about identical. There were baseplate changes on both the Slim and SA, depending on the year. I never tried the black nylon baseplate of the post 1976 SAs
 
One of the very best razors I have shaved with (YMMV) is Saiver, loaded only with one blade. In my opinion it behaves better than some razors I have tried costing like 10 times more. A Saiver can be bought for about $10 including shipping.
 
I'm less than a month into DE razor shaving, previously shaving with an aluminum Atra handle that I bought in the early 80s and Personna DE cartridges for decades. I would have to say that I have RAD, but am trying to convince myself that enough is enough, though I have difficulty saying no to a good deal though. So, for the moment, I have to to take each day that I resist buying another razor as a victory.

Bailis are excellent value razors. They and Weishi razors are frequently rebranded by other vendors to sell at much higher prices. The main issues with them compared with more expensive razors (that aren't rebrands) is materials and manufacturing tolerances. Compared to an all-stainless steel razor, zamak (zink alloy) heads are more fragile and are susceptible to corrosion if the plating is compromised. Some folks might reject buying them simply because they're made in China, but that's not really an issue for me. I could, and did order before my first DE shave, a dozen Baili razors from the BAILI Official Store on AliExpress for about the same price as my Rockwell 6S, so replacing an inexpensive razor is easy and cheap. I've even shaved (once) with a $1 Alliance brand DE razor (also made in China, and it came with 5 blades) that I bought at Dollar Tree -- it works surprisingly well after applying a little oil, though I wouldn't choose it as my daily razor.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with using a Baili, Weishi, or any other inexpensive razor if you're satisfied with the shave.
 
I understand what you mean, I agree that $57 isn’t cheap so to speak but it is the lowest price modern adjustable you will find and it is a better shaver than most other high priced ones from $80 to $300.
Its not the cheapest modern adjustable. The Qshave Parthenon is $49.
 
Ive had expensive razors and Ive had cheap razors and unless you want something that you can hand down to your son or grandson, there really is no advantage to an expensive razor.
Currently, my stable consists of all cheap razors: Weishis, Bailis and Qshaves and I get the same quality of shave that I ever got when I had an ATT, Feather AS-D2, Muhle razor or vintage Gillette/Schick.
Really, its all about the technique.
 
Cheap and expensive are relative terms. I shaved with an old 1970's superspeed for years and never had a thought to try anything else - it gave great shaves and could be bought well under $20 now on ebay. I made a brief stop in cartridge razor land, tried electric razors for a while (which have very pricey blades you change every 3 months), but always came back to de. Better shave and inexpensive blades.

I happen to prefer vintage Gillettes, but generally the ones I use were in the $20 range. Not expensive pieces. My current fave based on how much I reach for it is a slim I paid $20 for used. It sits next to an as-new aristocrat I paid over $100 for and a nice cased merkur 34c I paid over $50 for new, both of which collect dust.

By then, a slim is more than $20 worth of razor in my view, that you can miraculously get cheap with a little looking around.
 
If it works for you it’s perfect. Take most of what you read here about expensive shave products with a ton of salt.
 
If Bali is working for you, No reason to change. Some more expensive ones would work just the same, some would cut at a slant, some would adjust, some would be more aggressive, some less. All would take additional money for something that, if yours is working fine for you, doesn't need to be replaced.

I have three razors. A Van Der Hagan TTO for about $15.00, a 1966 Slim I picked up for $10.00 for nostalgia, and an Assured for $1.00 on a lark.
 
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