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Note to noobs about cheap DE razors

Great tip. I am a cheap razor junky and have had many over the years. Of the lot, the ones I have found to be good, cheap and serviceable are Baili, Weishi, RazoRock and Van Der Hagen (Weishi). I picked up a razor from the local CVS that looked just like a Baili TTO, BD179 I think, that I still have and use. My favorite Tech clone is the Baili 131, much like a 60s Tech but more efficient. The plates and caps will interchange with Gillette Techs. Although a very good clone, the Baili is noticeably thinner than an actual Tech but still shaves great. I buy them for fun from time to time when I see one that looks interesting. Recently purchased a Tudor TTO and it was not usable, wavy blade and very poor alignment.
 
I have never spent more than $17 for a razor. My rotation consists of a 1919 Gillette Old Type, a 1935 Schick E2, a 1938 Gillette Fat-handle Tech, a 1949 Ball-handle Tech, 1953 Schick G, 1958 Schick J, 1966 Gillette Slim, 1966 Schick Krona, 1973 Gillette SuperSpeed, 1978 Gillette SuperAdjustable, Lord L5, Lord L6, Yuma and Fatip Piccolo OC (a gift). I get BBS results from all of them but the Krona. The Yuma is one of my best shavers despite an always misaligned blade and shoddy construction.

It’s all about technique. Every one of my razors shaves differently and requires a different angle and pressure. After 51 years of shaving I have the experience to use them all effectively.
 

Jay21

Collecting wife bonus parts
The blade alignment in my $60 Rockwell is far worse than my $10 Mellon and $5 Baili TTO, which are perfect, BTW. Price is not an indicator of razor or shave quality. It’s a product of economy of scale and someone’s willingness to pay for the item or any perceived increase in quality.
 
Can you reset the blade on the DSR016 so it's straight? 3 pin/peg heads often come with fiddly blade alignment (vintage ones anyway)
Nope. The pic shows that the cap itself isn't straight - it narrows towards the middle, and is asymmetrical, although not evenly so.
 
I have bought both great and bad razors off AliExpress. The good ones were Yaqi and DSCosmetics. Perfect blade alignment off all of them and the fit and finish seem very good to my eye. Cost isn't necessarily a totally accurate indicator either. I have a Rimei ($3) and a Yintal ($10) that are fantastic for what they are. The Yintal has a full brass handle and it's biggest 'sin' is the head is made of Zamak.
 
Absolutely no across the board on good or bad inexpensive (aka cheap) razors.

The something like $9.00 Razor Meister Prime I bought last year for the handle, which included 50 Lord Platinum Blades, and a thin leatherette travel cover is a fantastic shaving razor. - It's basically an EJ/Muhle closed comb twin, clone, call it was you will. It might possibly shave closer than the genuine EJ/Muhle head, not sure not having a genuine one to compare it to, but the blade aligns true every time, shaves super close with comfort, and never a nick or cut.

I've also bought some similar or slightly more expensive razors that shaved horribly, with questionable blade alignment, so it's absolutely a YMMV topic.
 
I've had great luck with this wooden handled razor from AliExpress. It shaves about the same as the EJ/Muhle 8X but the head covers the entire blade. I haven't found any uneven blade gap or other issues.

I love the shape/feel of the handle and the way it narrows at the throat. I suspect that head is Zamak but at the price of ~USD 5 without the inkpot stand, I'll use it until it disintegrates and buy a new one. It even came with 2 packs of 5 Matgicol blades.

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I rotate between this, my RR Mamba .53, Game Changer .68 and WSC Winning.

Anyone else tried this?
 
You can get a very serviceable Gillette Tech or Star 100 for under $20 USD. That said, i've got several cheap modern razors. Some are so bad I've only shaved twice max (a second time to prove the first wasn't a fluke). Some have made it into my regular rotation.
 
Gillette Super Blue Tech from P&G China for a real AliE bargain.
There's also the Indian version of this razor called Gillette 7 O'clock Sterling. If we go by the picture, this cost Rs. 100 in India which is under $1.25 at the current exchange rate. Of course, if you buy from a vendor in the US, there will be a hefty markup.
 
I've had great luck with this wooden handled razor from AliExpress. It shaves about the same as the EJ/Muhle 8X but the head covers the entire blade. I haven't found any uneven blade gap or other issues.

I love the shape/feel of the handle and the way it narrows at the throat. I suspect that head is Zamak but at the price of ~USD 5 without the inkpot stand, I'll use it until it disintegrates and buy a new one. It even came with 2 packs of 5 Matgicol blades.

View attachment 1834555

I rotate between this, my RR Mamba .53, Game Changer .68 and WSC Winning.

Anyone else tried this?
Tempting. That's a handsome razor to my eye.
 
There's also the Indian version of this razor called Gillette 7 O'clock Sterling. If we go by the picture, this cost Rs. 100 in India which is under $1.25 at the current exchange rate. Of course, if you buy from a vendor in the US, there will be a hefty markup.
I don’t have one but most people say that the built quality is better on the Chinese one. Also it is not built by Gillette anymore but a third party manufacturer since 2-3 years.
 
Best "lower cost" Chinese razors through Ali Express are probably Shield razors. Made in a small machine shop that does excellent work. Fit & finish is great for the price paid. And they have aluminum, brass, stainless & titanium in several variations i.e., DE, GEM, AC, and AC/DE. Stainless $57, titanium as low as $70, aluminum $28 and brass $45.
I've got a couple and am waiting for a couple of more to arrive. They're excellent!
 
Blade alignment was a well known problem with Merkur Progress, the "German Engineering in The House" classic that's been around for about 70 years and isn't all that cheap.

Just like with most other things, there are well regarded brands and no-names even amongst the cheap Chinese rasors.

I have four Baili razors - a TTO (BD179), a "new improved" Tech clone BD176, and two copies of more aggressive older Tech clone BD171 or 131, it seems to go by both designations (one was sent by a seller in error and I was told to keep it). And "clone" doesn't mean they copied it, they are all their own designs lovely based on the vintage razors. They are all very well made and have no alignment issues whatsoever. Their shave quality ranges from average-good to very good. I would have no reservation buying another Baili razor if I wanted it.

Weishi, Yanli and Yaqi are also very well regarded.

Now, would I get these Bailis if I started from scratch, knowing what I know now ? Probably not. Their TTO is a fine razor, but the real vintage Superspeed is made with better materials, is smaller and more nimble, and, in my opinion, shaves better. And it's a piece of history. But they are still very good razors in their own right.

Now, the various no-name "shaving tools for men facial hair" on Ali are a crapshoot and more likely than not a waste of money. But this doesn't mean that all cheap razors are bad.
 
I'm only aware of two "bargains" off Aliexpress. The clone of the Futur and Yaqi's "The Final Cut". Actually, I consider the Yaqi "TFC" to be probably the bargain of the wetshaving world, based on my experience with one.
100% agreed
My Yaqi TFC is probably my best bang for buck razor
Took me a while to get used to it, first it was crazy aggressive but with the right touch and angle became a staple if not the staple in my Arsenal
Glazedboker has written some great reviews on it for anyone on the fence
 
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