Cheap vs. Inexpensive: A Tale Of 3 Razors

There's A Difference

I recently tried the “Silver Tone Double Edge Blade Razor Shaver w/Nonslip Metal Handle found on Amazon.  It’s a three-piece “Ri,mei” razor (yes, that’s what it says on the blister pack) made in China.  While it is no Merkur or Edwin Jagger in quality it is (surprisingly) acceptable for under $7.  


It’s light but all-metal and the blade exposure appears even on both sides.  It’s quite gentle and I got a decent shave out of it.  In fact, I may make it my next travel DE: if it gets broken or lost it will be no big loss.  I hesitate to recommend it to a beginner because of it’s light weight but hey, if you’re willing to part with under a sawbuck, it might be worth a try.

Lord L6

Lord L6

Then there’s the Lord L6.  I’ve talked about the Lord before.  Also known as the Lord LP1822, this razor is made in the middle-east.  The L6 is not known for its high quality but it has improved somewhat in the last year or two.  The L6 is a relatively gentle razor that will give an acceptable shave.  It’s about US $12.



Compare those inexpensive razors to the “Phatty” DE razor I found earlier this year on the ‘Bay.  This TTO razor goes for $5 and I can only describe it as awful: a plastic handle painted with a chrome color and a flimsy head made out of very light, stamped metal.  The TTO mechanism barely works and the blade exposure is not close to even.  The shave was very harsh…in fact I didn’t even finish the shave with it.

Need more convincing?  Take a look at this video made by Redditor “betelgeux”:

What inexpensive razors have you found that do an adequate job?  What cheap razors should others shy away from?

Mark H Mark H (485 Posts)

also known as "Mantic59." Shave tutor and sharpologist.


  1. I have yet to try the feather popular, but if it’s made with the same attention to quality as the blades it should be a no brainer for around $20

  2. The Feather Popular is OK but of course it’s much more expensive than the 3 razors shown here. :)

    • Yeah, the Feather Popular, was my first DE Razor, and for its price, it is quite impressive… That being said, i would say, that its only downside, is all the plastic, and the lack of weight :( But else, it does the job :)

  3. The first razor is sold under one dollar in China.

  4. I actually started my DE “career” with a Lord L6. I just wasn’t sure if DE shaving was for me after having used a Mach 3 for many years and didn’t want to spend a ton of money to start with.

    I did get decent shaves with the L6, it probably helped that my skin was already used to wet shaving and I had learned to use pre-shave oil and build a good lather before even touching blade to my face. I’d definitely recommend the L6 as a starter DE razor, however, I soon upgraded to a Merkur once I was hooked on DE shaving.

  5. My first DE was a Ri, Mei. I wanted to make sure I had my technique down before I tried playing with an adjustable (got a great deal on a ’66 Gillette). The results, with the help of your videos, was perfectly acceptable, and in the first week, I think I only cut myself once. The “travel razor” idea occurred to me, too. Must be that whole “great minds” thing. Thanks for the videos, Mantic!

  6. My first DE razor that I bought, is the one I am still using, and that’s the Weishi. The build quality seems ok, and it gives me a nice comfortable shave. It cost me $15 on Ebay including shipping from Hong Kong. I didn’t want to mess with all the parts and screws, etc. It was a TTO, cheap, so I thought I would try it. Do *NOT* use the blade that comes with it!!! It caused my first and only cut using this razor. Been using it for 6 months so far.

  7. I bought a bunch of Gillette Guard razors on eBay. They came from India because that’s the only place Gillette released them. The blades are super sharp and give the Feather blades a run for their money. I get about 5-7 shaves from each blade and, for the price, they get my thumbs up. :)

  8. I’ve got a Nanjie (rebranded Weishi?)razor that I bought in China for 6 quai (.90 USD) It’s mildly terrible. I’ve been using a Lord L6 as my daily razor for the past year and a half. It doesn’t have correct balance, but it consistently provides terrific, close, irritation-free shaves.

    Just this weekend I ordered a Muhle R89, which is the same head design as the Edwin Jagger DE89; I could have gotten the EJ for $35, but I spent the additional $20 for the Muhle’s cross hatched handle…

    • “Mildly terrible.” I like that. :)

      • A DE razor is a tiny investment. I’d rather spend the money on something nice. I am a buy it once guy! Besides, why buy something that makes you look like you just shaved with a bobcat.

        • creek geezer says:

          Before embarking on DE shaving with the acquisition of a substandard bargain razor, I’d consider the satisfaction of a long-lasting, precision product. I have both the RI,MEI 3-piece and Lord L6, which are durable and effective. However, a modest Merkur 34C or old Gillette Tech are far more pleasing acquisitions.

  9. The Wilkinson Sword Classic is a wonderful razor, and it can be found in Germany for a very cheap price.

    • Phoenix0_4 says:

      I agree, the Wilkinson Sword Classic is great for it’s price and comes with 10 Wilkinson DE-blades. (Wilkinson is also known as Schick)
      But the Wilkinson Sword Classic-head has to be “tuned” by removing some “sharp” or scratchy edges from the production process. (It’s easy because the head is made of plastic.)

  10. the little flying eagle is a great little tech rip off razor. that is what i got started on to see if i liked it before i invested too much money. i now use a vintage tech and it is much much better, but the old one sits in my travel bag. i paid $3 for it on ebay and it comes with the nice little metal case.

  11. Charles P. Cohen says:

    An aluminum Weishi was my second razor, after a Gillette Tech. The Weishi is very mild, but it gives a good shave with a Feather blade. And it keeps the Feather blade from being over-aggressive.

    It was my “travel razor” until recently. No sentimental value, and if it got lost I could afford another one.

    I’d recommend it to any beginner who wasn’t set on a one-pass BBS shave.


  12. OMG another post with women. I’m so offended.


  13. Going to get a razor for father’s day. I’m thinking of going with a pack of Lord L6.

  14. I recently got the Lord L6 after starting out with the Ri, Mei. I think I prefer the Ri,Mei razor to the L6 though. I thought I’d be making a move on up, since it was just a $2 razor but they’re really different. The handle on the L6 is long and light, but I really like the short and medium weighted handle on the Ri,Mei. If I were to recommend one to my friends, I’d say Ri,Mei hands down.

  15. My first, and still current, razor is the Lord L6. I’ve been a long time Mach3 shaver (13+ yrs), and have really enjoyed the switch to DE shaving!! While I’ve enjoyed the Lord L6, I’ve got my eye on the E.J. DE89lbl or DE89BA11. Happy shaving all!


  1. [...] I first started shaving with a China made Rimei 3 piece DE razor for S$4. The razor was purchase from the local flea market (Pasa Malam) around Serangoon area. The razor is light, mild and I managed to get relatively good shave out of it when I was a beginner. At S$4 a pop, this is one of the affordable and usable razor around. Budget razors such as Rimei can be used as a travel razor or something that a beginner can use to practice their skill while shopping around for better razor. For a more comprehensive review of this razor, you can read more here and here. [...]

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