Thursday, July 23, 2015

Grandad's Tips: A First-DE-Razor Suggestion

Though the reflection on the top cap gives the impression
that this is a one-piece, twist-to-open razor, it is not. This
is a three-piece razor with the usual separate top cap,
base plate and handle.
In the past, I've written about first-DE-razor options. I have continued to ponder this conundrum and have additional thoughts -- significantly refined from those previous.

I think a first DE razor should be low cost. After all, there's no need to invest a lot of money into an instrument that you don't know will be ideal for you.

However, it should be of reasonable quality. There are some cheapo Chinese-made razors that if they don't arrive defective to begin with, they are still so ridiculously aggressive in their shaving character that they are positively dangerous. So adequate quality for a good shave, but not excessive quality to keep the price down, is also an important factor.

Equally important, the razor should be fairly mild in shaving character, but not excessively so; I would suggest that a neutral blade exposure (meaning that the blade edge is at the level of the shave plane formed by the top cap and safety bar) will be able to shave most beards adequately, and yet will not encourage excessive pressure due to extreme mildness of shaving character.

One of my Rimei Rm2003 razors.
The best first razor, in my opinion, is the Rimei RM2003 -- the Tech imitator. It is certainly inexpensive -- costing less than $10 (as low as $4 on including shipping from China, has a low blade angle in relation to its shave plane -- which can make it a low-irritation shaver, and has a blade-edge exposure that is fairly neutral. Its shaving character is very similar to the post-WWII Gillette Tech razors (that's 1946 up to the end of their production in the 1970s.) From that Rimei razor, after months of shaving, one can reasonably determine whether he needs a more aggressive razor, or if this Tech imitator is about right for his skin and beard.
The Rimei RM2003 comes in a plastic
case along with a blade that should be
immediately recycled, not used.

For those who have never used a three-piece razor, be sure to review my instructions -- based on a recommended process from Merkur razors -- on how to put a blade in a two- or three-piece razor safely, easily, and giving the best chance for the blade to self center without requiring adjustment.

Happy DE shaving!


  1. I believe the left image is the older model 2001, lined grip, hollow handle. Chances of getting one of those are slim to none, but Ollie's market might still have them under the "Concord" brand. Can't find mine, hope I didn't give it away.

  2. Nice catch. Due to your observation, I added a note on the old-model photo. Thanks!

    1. Actually, on second thought, to avoid confusion, I substituted a better, more current photo.