Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Best of Grandad.... Razor Reveiw: Lord LP1822L (formerly model L.6)

[Note: This article has been updated from its initial publication in March of 2014.]

The head on this razor is very similar to that on a German-made Merkur. I own a Merkur Classic (model 33C), and can attest that the Lord LP1822L (aka L.6) shaves like my Merkur, no doubt, BUT IN FACT, THE L.6 IS SLIGHTLY MORE AGGRESSIVE IN CHARACTER. The L.6 provides a mild shave that is not overly aggressive but is also not difficult to find the proper angle to cut whiskers well. Since my Merkur 33C cost more than twice this L.6, the L.6 is obviously a good value. There are important differences, however, that might explain the lower cost of the L.6. 
UPDATE: Side view of the LP1822L (above), when compared
to the Merkur 33C (below), shows the LP1822L has a larger
blade-bar gap, smaller blade reveal, but less blade exposure.
The sum of these factors gives a similar shave to the 33C but
not quite as mild a shaving character.
UPDATE: Side view of the Merkur 33C.

Razor-blade fit: The L.6 holds the blade firmly and edge exposure is uniform. This is a good thing.

Lord L6 (left) next to the Merkur Classic (33C)
Blade angle: The blade angle in relation to the shave plane of the razor head is about 30 degrees -- rather standard and comfortable

Blade exposure: The blade is below the shave plane -- slightly within the cove formed formed by the top cap and safety bar -- so this L.6 razor head has a rather mild shaving character.

Blade-bar span: The profile of the safety bar is such that the span is larger than the 33C from Merkur, so this razor is not as mild in shaving character as the 33C.

Handle length and grip: The L6 handle is generously long -- a full one inch longer than the Merkur 33c. Since some complain about the short handle on classic razors, this should make many double-edge (DE) users happy. Since I'm comfortable with the short handle, this longer style has no impact; I find it fine and notice no performance difference whether long or shorter. The criss-crossed diagonal cuts in the L.6 handle make a diamond pattern that, though different than classic knurling, makes for a fine grip wet or dry.

Finish: The L.6 handle is clearly aluminum and appears unplated, uncoated (it may have some clear coating/anodizing -- I just don't know), while the Merkur is chromed. The head of the L.6 appears chromed, and in comparing it to the 33C, the only difference in finish quality that I can see is that on the ends (the narrower sides) of the base and top plates, they don't have a smooth, mirror finish. But if this bothers you a lot, you may have larger issues than getting a good shave at a value price. I, personally, find this minor finish flaw to be inconsequential.

But some other, more important concerns have been raised by others that deserve attention:

1. Insufficient thread interlocking between head and handle: This appears to have been a manufacturing issue that has been resolved. Certainly there is adequate thread engagement in the razor that I received: about four turns of the handle snugs it to the razor head (not four full revolutions, but four twists of the hand). This is fewer turns to secure than is required on my Merkur 33C -- and the 33C has a steel handle, which will be more durable than the aluminum of the Lord L.6. 

2. Aluminum handle instead of steel:  Here is where user care may make the difference. Yep, aluminum doesn't have the strength or toughness of steel. If you cross thread or over tighten, the handle will be toast. Also, the threads may not feel as silky smooth as you turn handle on and off the razor head. To address these issues, I suggest the following:
a) When you first get the razor and periodically thereafter, apply petroleum jelly with a toothpick to the threads of the handle. I do this when I change blades, which is about once per week of continuous use. (I also do this on more expensive razors that have all-steel components.)
While tightening or loosening the handle,
compress the razor head into the counter to take any
unnecessary strain off the handle threading. BEST TO PLACE
b) Tighten carefully. Compress the top and base plates together with your fingers as you tighten and loosen the handle. This takes any strain off the aluminum threads. Then stop tightening as soon as the handle engages the base plate; NO ADDITIONAL FORCE IS NECESSARY!
If you do these things, you will likely get more extended use from this razor.
c) You can always use a different, tougher handle with the L.6 razor head, if you like.

3. Weight and balance of the razor is respectively less and different than other similar designs because of the aluminum handle. Yes, it's true; my Merkur 33c weighs 57 grams, while the Lord L6 comes in at 44 grams -- roughly 20% lighter. While DE aficionados insist that heavy razors shave better because "the weight does the work," not only do I find this to be untrue in my experience, but also in terms of physics it makes little sense. You shave in all directions: up, down, sideways; and in any case, it isn't gravity that holds the razor against your face -- it's the pressure (hopefully very light) that you apply! (It may be true that the mass of a heavier razor helps keep the blade from bumping over stubble when using extremely light pressure against the face, but I don't believe this comes into play for most shavers with most reasonable-quality razors including this one.)

Find the right blade for you in this razor and you should be a happy shaver. This razor gets four out of five stars because of its shaving performance and its value. The aluminum handle, though generous in length and with adequate grip, may have its threads stripped over time from careless over tightening or simply constant use. This razor is an excellent purchase as a travel razor or as an every-day razor if you are willing to accept it as something less than a lifetime razor. I feel this purchase was money well spent, and heartily recommend this as a first DE or another option to add to your collection. 

Happy shaving!


  1. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

    I would like to thank you for the link to the Rimei RM2003. I got it for $3.88 and it took 16 days to get here. I was really impressed. I feared that I would receive a defective razor or a sub, but his one came in with hardly any problems in craftsmanship. A small amount of plating buildup in on corner of the cap caused the blade to bend some on one end. I took a sharp cornered piece of tool steel and a small hammer and was able to tap it down and work it to a square corner without damaging the platting.

    The razor is more aggressive than my Edwin Jagger or Merkur classic. I do find this to be in its advantage. I can feel the blade and it is easy for me to determine the angle better. One day last week I was in a hurry and loaded the razor with a Personna Red and just grabbed my can of Nivea gel and did a quick 5 minute shave. It was the closest, non-irritating shave I believe that I have had in the last six months. And I didn’t have to go against the grain. I just did a lot of diagonal strokes with light pressure. I must say that this is a great razor!

    I just received the Weishi 9306-F last night. It will be this weekend before I get a chance to try it out properly. Again thanks for the link to this one also.

    Happy Shaving!

    1. Very glad to hear that you're a happy shaver. ;-)