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8 "Good Deal" Razors Under $20

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Michael (Leisureguy) recently emailed Mark (Mantic59) with a proposal for a Sharpologist article on the best DE razors for a novice who wants a good razor but also wants to minimize the initial expense until he knows for sure that DE shaving is going to work for him. Mark was already planning such an article himself, so we agreed to combine our efforts.  Although some excellent razors—razors that are both highly efficient and very comfortable—are available in the $70-$80 price range, we presume that most novices would prefer to get started at a lower price, so in this article we shall list only razors that sell for less than $20.

7 Razors

We looked for razors we thought were great values in that they were low-cost, reasonably well-built (considering the price), and provided a “middle of the road” (or perhaps a bit milder) shave on the aggressiveness scale. But before buying a new razor, novices should inquire of older relatives whether they have a DE razor that they no longer use. A surprising number of excellent DE razors live in the back of bathroom drawers.
And no discussion about DE razors would be complete without mentioning blades.  Many beginners think “a blade is a blade” and while DE blades may all look similar there can actually be significant differences in the way a blade is made.  Metallurgy, coatings, grinding specifications, and even the mineral content of the water used to shave with can all play a part in the shave.  You may even experience skin reactions to some blade coatings—e.g., chrome contact dermatitis.  So take the time to try a number of different blade brands to find the one(s) that work best for the razor you’re using.  Even if you are already using a DE razor you may need to do some additional blade experimentation if you try another DE.  Some shaving vendors sell “sample packs” or “blade samplers” to make the process easier: you get a few blades of many different types.  After you decide which one(s) work best you can then buy your favorites in bulk.


A ridiculously good deal when you can find a genuine version of it.  This razor used to be the “Best Low Cost Razor” on our Best DE Razor List article but was removed when purchasers discovered other, more poorly-made razors were being substituted for it.  However, it appears that a dealer on eBay has been selling the real deal for under $2 (hat tip to Reddit user /u/almightywhacko for finding it!).


Lord L6

The Lord Model L6 (aka LP1822L) razor can be found between $8 and $13 depending on source.  Mark thinks this is a decent razor for the money and availability, and something that provides a decent shave with a good grip and an acceptable head design, though it will probably never be considered a family heirloom 🙂 .  Mike is less charitable regarding the L6, believing there are better values. The main weakness is in the threads of the soft aluminum handle.

Feather Popular

At about $15, the Feather “Popular” DE Razor might be considered the “black sheep” of the Feather brand, which is dominated by well-built, expensive shaving gear.  Both Michael and Mark think that the Feather Popular shaves OK but it feels flimsy; you can find better values out there.

Smallflower “Ditch The Cartridge” Razor

Merz/Smallflower has a “Ditch The Cartridge DE Safety Razor” marketed specifically as “a perfect introduction razor into traditional wet shaving.”  Mark has tried this $12 razor which is similar to the Feather Popular in that it is lightweight with a plastic handle but thinks it shaves better than the Feather.  Michael has not tried this one yet.


Maggard razors are generally terrific values with Michael saying “These have stainless handles and good heads. The head design is reminiscent of the Edwin Jagger head design.”  Mark agrees and thinks some of the Maggard razors with “knurled” (textured) handles such as the MR7, the MR1, and the MR18 are among the best razors on the market at this price point and even at a higher price level.  The only real problem is they are often out of stock because they are such a great value! These razors are also likely to be used well beyond the novice stage: they are well-made daily-use razors.


The Weishi razor—specifically the Weishi 9603 “G” or “F” models—are worth a look.  Weishi used to have the inexpensive DE razor market pretty much to itself until a few years ago.  The design is basically a clone of a 1960’s Gillette Super Speed razor.  It is a comfortable, gentle razor that Mark notes will be “friendly” to the new DE shaver, who may well want a less aggressive razor—although novices with heavy beards may find that it doesn’t work as well for them.  It is worth noting that very similar (if not the same) razors are being sold through Van Der Hagen and Micro Touch One.  The razor’s price varies from about $12 to $25 depending on source, so a Google search would no doubt turn up some good price comparisons. Michael doesn’t care for the razor—too mild and too flimsy—but it can work well with a sharper blade (Kai, Feather, Gillette 7 O’Clock SharpEdge, etc.).

Wilkinson Classic

The Wilkinson Sword Classic razor is an all-plastic affair, more widely found in the UK but available in the US too.  Mark thinks it is reasonably well-built for an all-plastic, $10-ish razor.  Both Michael and Mark think it provides an acceptable shave but there are better options on this list.

What are your experiences with these razors?  Do you have any recommendations of your own?  Leave a comment!

Sharpologist Staff

Sharpologist Staff

29 thoughts on “8 "Good Deal" Razors Under $20”

  1. Thank you. This is the most, if not the only, useful article I have read from the “Wet Shaver” shavers. If I need to replace my Gillette Black Beauty, which I have had since the ’70s and use with Walgreens brand blades, I’ll know where to go.
    And if you will permit me: I started shaving at fifteen with a generic open comb and whatever Gillette blades were hanging by the checkout counter at the grocery store. For lather I used a bar of Ivory soap, making the lather as though I were washing my hands and then patting it on to my face. Now I use Barbasol. All this “afficionado” stuff about “mild” “agggressive” “my blade is sharper than your blade” reminds me of the story of the Princess who could feel a pea through forty mattresses.

    1. It’s not really afficionado stuff when you’re gauging what the razor can do. I have a couple of razors that I went through, from aggressive to mild, thinking the same thing. I come to realize the mild razor isn’t going to do very well when I want to carve through some hair, versus wanting to get a close shave (after the mass is gone) without really trying.
      I shave my face and my scalp, and when I leave the hair grow to 1/4 or so then aggressive is very necessary. Once the bulk is removed, the aggressive is far too aggressive for a close shave since it’s easy to carve skin. I use a mild at that point and detail without irritating the skin. Lather on the other hand is such a personal thing that it’s more of a try and do what you want. Some are happy with Barbasol, others would have nothing but skin butter. I personally just get a block of gelatin style lather, whip it up into a nice thick froth and coat my scalp. I’ve found Barbasol didn’t do a great job of keeping the blade “floating”.

  2. Despite having much classier razors my go-to razor for the last 8 years is the Lord L6. Though the thread in the aluminium handle will indeed not be bullitproof I never had any trouble with it and still use after 8 years the original handle without any issues. So I would not worry about that too much.
    There is another problem with this razor and that are the counterfeits that pop up on eBay all the time; buying the real deal has become a real challenge these days. So please be aware of this. You have to get them out of the package and compare them with a genuine one to see the differences.

  3. I bought the model number Weishi you mention as my first safety razor purchase a little over two years ago and was very pleased. I received the Micro Touch as a gift and discovered it and the Weishi are indeed the same razor. Very mild razors. Quickly wanted something more aggressive. Sold the Weishi. Have the Micro Touch to my son as his first safety razor.
    I now have around 25 vintage and modern safety razors. I have found that Vintage Gillette Super Speeds are the perfect razor for beginners. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being Extremely Mild, I would say the Weishi/Micro Touch razors are a 1~3 in mildness and the Super Speeds in the 3~5 range. Very forgiving but give a wonderful BBS shave after just a couple of passes. Many S.L.A.M. members (Shave Like A Man lol! ) are content to use these heirloom shavers and nothing else and I can see why. Vintage Gillette Super Speeds will also retain their value and probably increase in value as time goes on and more guys, like me 2 years ago, discover this Wet Shaving world that they didn’t even knew existed! Get ’em while you can!

  4. I bought the micro touch Weishi and enjoy it very much. The Dorco 300s that comes with it are terrible though. $20.00 is a great deal for a mild and decent shave. I recommend it for yourself or a Christmas stocking stuffer!

  5. razor-blades-and-more offers the El Gordo series razors which I think are an outstanding value and performer. I have the El Gordo “Negro” Gold which I love. I also believe that the Razorock Mission is fantastic. I might prefer its performance over my EJ DE89, however, the finish is no where near the perfection of the EJ.

  6. I started with a $30 TTO razor from a local shop (sold under their own label). It had a short handle and decent weight, but was very mild (tried it with several different blades), I lasted about 3 weeks with it, before making the switch to the Merkur Futur adjustable. It was probably chinese made, looks a lot like some of the vintage Gillette TTOs… It handled well and shaved well, and would be a good starter razor or for people who have really fine hair. I made the switch not because it was not a good razor, just that it was not a good razor for the coarseness of my facial hair…

  7. A Weishi 9306-G was my first DE razor and it did not disappoint. It is a very mild shaver, but perfect for a beginner. My sister bought me the One Touch soon after. It is the exact same razor as the Weishi. A Maggard MR6B was my second purchase because I wanted a more aggressive shaver by that time. It’s a fantastic razor and will stay in my rotation. BTW, I have that beautifully designed Cadet OC coming in the mail!

    1. Go with one of the ones recommended here. Amazon reviews for razors are hard to go by since most of the people don’t really know what they are talking about.
      Generally most DE razors will be better than a cartridge razor but will not be as good as some of the known good ones.

      1. I found it when I was in China some years ago, and it wasn’t until one year ago that these are being offered via this Chinese webshop.
        Actually these razor heads can also be placed on vintage Gillette Tech handles, but I like the idea of having a longer handle although its really light.

  8. I have the Lord L6 and have been using it since I started wet shaving 4 months ago. I’m happy with it. My technique needs to get better for sure but the limiting factor is not the razor.

  9. I think a good option is a one month wet shave club trial. You get everything you need to get started. I have been DE shaving for about 8 years and I recently signed up for a 3 month subscription. I was pleasantly surprised with the razor (mild, which I prefer) and well built.

  10. I believe it would be beneficial to add Matador and Razorock to this list. Both offer great quality for less than $20. Matador is similar to Maggard (probably same supplier).

    1. Rick, see my reply to Dean below. I decided to keep Matador razors off the list until manufacturing and inventory have stabilized. I think Maggard comes from a different source.

  11. Good to see the Rimei mentioned. I managed to get the good version and I was pretty blown away. How can they do this? The packaging and shipping alone must cost them more than $2. Seriously, how much does it cost to ship an empty box from China? The razor is fairly substantial (though the base plate is a bit flimsy) and the shave is perfectly adequate. I’m curious how it compares to the Weishi/MicroTouch.
    I’m a little bit surprised you didn’t include Cadet or RazoRock in your list. Despite owning a Merkur, Tech, Tech Ranger and Slim Adjustable, the open comb version of this Cadet is my favorite razor, and the one I use when I have an extra day or two of growth.
    The handle is substantial and has an expensive feel to it. The OC head (which in my case is from a RR Jaws razor, but I believe these two companies share the same heads) is very efficient yet quite comfortable. $19, but I think I only paid $15.
    If I shave with no off days, I typically use my Merkur or Tech, but I have used the Cadet and it performed admirably.
    And FYI the link for Smallflower goes to a 404 page.

    1. I have to learn to wait until my second cup of coffee before posting. The Cadet I linked to is the short version of the one I own. I actually own the long handle version of the same razor. I prefer the longer handle, but many prefer short. Cadet makes most of their razors in two sizes.

    2. looks like Smallflower is doing server maintenance right now, check again later. I have a Cadet razor as well and I think it’s decent but apparently they changed something in the manufacturing a while back and newer examples weren’t as good (IMHO). Now I read where they are getting good again. But I decided to keep them off this list until inventory has been stabilized. Cadet and Matador are made by the same facility. I believe Maggard razors come from a different source.

      1. Fair enough, Mark. For the record I have read a lot of reports about the Cadet (mostly on B&B) and don’t remember reading a bad review. But if you had doubts about the quality, I understand why you would leave them off. You are certainly more in tuned to this stuff than I.
        I must be really lucky. I got the good Rimei razor. My “defective handle” Frank Shaving finest badger brush from ebay for $10 was spectacular (there were reports of great brushes and no-so-great brushes) and my Cadet and RazoRock razors were great. I don’t know whether to push my luck buying other hit-or-miss products, or count my blessings and back off.
        And for the record, the Smallflower site is back., That razor looks a bit like the Feather Popular, from what I can see. Does it shave like it?

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