What's new

In defense of the Weishi

Yeah, you read the title right. :001_tt2:

Over the years here I've found myself playing devil's advocate quite often. Not because I prefer to be contrarian but because I always like to find out for myself how true the conventional wisdom tends to be. This has led me to defend cartridge razors, canned goo, Parker razors, the Feather All Stainless in the early days when it was an unknown quantity....and now, the Weishi. The little Chinese Superspeed clone that many newbies get before moving on to a Merkur, vintage Gillette or something else that's not as mild. And y'know what? It's not as bad as I feared based on the reviews. I got one off Ebay (the satin finish chrome model) because it came with 100 blades, so the price to try wasn't outlandish.

And as for first impressions (comparing it with my 1964 Superspeed) the Weishi is quality. I like that it is heavier than the standard SS (just a gram lighter than the Red Tip, actually) with a thicker handle and a slightly longer TTO knob. This gives it a definite feel of being heavy duty compared to the original Gillette. That doesn't mean it's as well-built, I realize that. Gillette has a proven track record on its side, of razors working perfectly after 70+ years. So I will not say the Weishi is better quality -- I have read some posts that say that it's shoddy in the long term, so we'll see. But brand new, I see no errors. The TTO action is perfect. The blade is aligned. The tolerances when the blade is loaded are exact and the doors close tightly without being "lazy." The plating is uniform and quite beautiful, if I say so myself.

Now, as far as blade gap is concerned, I noticed that the blade edge doesn't seem to extend out as much. But in terms of elevation off the guard bar, it seems the same as a Superspeed, or a Slim on 3. I loaded it with a new Red Personna (a baseline blade) and prepared to shave my usual 3-day growth using Trumper's Sandalwood soap.

The shave reminded me of my first shave with the Feather AS. The first few strokes caused me to say, "Wow, everyone was right. This thing IS mild!" But like with the Feather, I consciously adjusted my angle trying to find the sweet spot. And once I did, it was smooth sailing. Three passes and touch up, and I got my usual DFS with no irritation. A splash of Italian Floid did not burn at all. A post-shave feel of my face revealed a shave identical to a Superspeed without as much buffing needed on trouble spots. And it's worth noting that I DON'T have peach fuzz for a beard. My hair isn't wiry, but after three days it's probably medium-thick. so this was by no means an easy trial for the Weishi. It got the same treatment every razor gets.

Conclusion -- the Weishi is proof of YMMV I guess. I did not find it to be as terribly mild as it's made out to be. It's mild, sure, but if you go back to basics, do 3 passes while mindful of your angle, the shave is every bit as good as you get with the Superspeed without as much touch-up work. Time will tell if it's going to last/get wonky/fall apart, but for now I'm quite impressed with it. I could see it being quite adequate for someone who shaves every day. It's gonna go in my travel kit, that's for sure.
If yours is heavier than an SS, there must be different models of Weishi. The one I got a year or two ago is very lightweight, like an aluminium alloy type weight.

I can remember advising a newbie who had started with a Weishi and was struggling to get it right. I suggested sticking with it for a bit longer to learn setting a correct angle etc. They came back later agreeing that was good advice. They can certainly find a place as a starter/trainer at the least.
There are several different models, including an aluminum one. Mine is in the 9306 series, which according to the Weishi website is chrome-plated brass. It is noticeably heavier than both my 1971 black handled SS and my 1964 all-chrome SS. The Wiki says it's 64g and while I don't have the ability to measure it accurately, I guess that's right judging by it being heavier than a SS at 54g.
There are different models. The original super-light one shaves just like the heavier new models: mild with a very narrow sweet spot. I like them all - once one figures out the correct angle, they work like any other razor. A nice razor for anyone with skin issues.
At last! Another voice in the wilderness!

I have the Weishi gunmetal model and it is just the right amount heavier than my genuine flare tip Super Speed. I like it a lot and use it in regular rotation. I don't believe it will last as long as my perfect '64 SS but I won't last another 40-odd years myself.

It feels good in my hand and most blades I use are fine in it. A great bargain as far as I'm concerned. And it came with a plastic case in which my SS fits perfectly! :thumbup1:
The shave was so smooth once I found the correct angle that I've decided to give it the ultimate trial next time....a shave with canned goo, Gillette Foamy to be exact (oh the horror!). And with how sensitive my skin is, that should be interesting indeed.
The shave was so smooth once I found the correct angle that I've decided to give it the ultimate trial next time....a shave with canned goo, Gillette Foamy to be exact (oh the horror!). And with how sensitive my skin is, that should be interesting indeed.

Um, dare you risk it? :ohmy:
Weishi? Really?
Yep, Weishi. And it's truly a testament to YMMV because I find it quality all around. Solid and hefty, tolerances exact. I was honestly very surprised because I didn't know what to expect. But what I got was a Superspeed that gained a few pounds and joined the wrestling team. The only real knock is that the TTO mechanism isn't as smooth as Gillette's, but then again, what is?

I love the brushed chrome finish. And looking closely at the TTO doors, it's like they took Gillette's design and melded it with Schick's , because the edges have very subtle facets. I'm honestly trying to find a fault but all I can see is a functional razor for a good value. Do I wish it was a little more aggressive? Sure. I'm more accustomed to 2 passes plus touchup, not 3 plus touchup. But I shaved with my '64 SS earlier in the week and the Weishi is every bit as good IMO.
The Weishi was the first Safety razor I bought. I went for the gunmetal version,the first thing I did was to take the end cap off the handle (anyone who has ever stripped a TTO will understand why). I was really dissapointed with the dorco's that came with it but after using sharper blades like gillette 7 o'clock yellows and Feathers I found that sweet spot that works for me :thumbup: YMMV. I wouldn't have any hesiation in recommending it to a beginner becuase it is so mild it's ALMOST as safe as using a disposable or a cart.
I shave always with two passes. Both of them are WTG with ATG only on the neck. Since I started using Weishi for this second ATG pass, all the irritation and post-shave problems disappeared. It works like a charm for the final touch with its complete lack of aggressiveness. It's forgiving and works well when the angle is right. I don't know how long it will last and about its quality. Mine has the gunmetal finish but there were a couple of spots with worn-off plating on one of the silo doors since I bought it. Otherwise, it feels solid, well balanced, reliable, and with good blade alignment. I haven't used it as a main razor but for sure it's a good addition to my EJ89 Barley, Merkur 34C, Merkur 23C and Slim Adjustable. As you see I'm on the mild side of the Moon.
I had one and gave it to my GF, I always got a decent shave with it, with a bit of work, the quality is crappy but then the price you pay the quality is good, never had a problem with it, so realistically for a $10 razor NEW, I think it is a good one.
The Weishi (chrome plated) was the razor with which I returned to classic safety razors, after abandoning my Gillette DE in the late 1970s. I found it way too mild to get a close shave with it, and did much better when I moved to a Merkur 23C. I eventually PIFed the Weishi to another beginner, but have no idea how it worked out for him. I saved the little case that it came with to hold my birth year Super Speed.

Perhaps I could now get a close shave with the ultra-mild Weishi, as I've learned a bit better technique. I even managed a pretty close shave with a Gillette Blue Tip, and I don't think the Weishi was milder than that. It seemed to me that the build quality was decent, but I didn't use it long enough to give it a real chance to break.

Other than possible QC issues, maybe the Weishi gets part of its reputation from the fact that it's used by beginners, as I was, who don't yet have the technique to get the most out of a mild razor. Still, I've moved on, and am not really tempted to give one another chance.
I have been using mine for about 3 months now. I paid $8 including shipping and 11 blades so I don't think I am owed anything. The shaving angle seems a little unnatural, but once I found it, I have had no trouble with it and I get a pleasant experience. I find I have to be careful where I position my fingers to avoid accidentally opening the butterfly, but that's not a problem. I am, however, noticing a little rust starting to form around the hinges so I also doubt that my Weishi will become a family heirloom.
Top Bottom