Wednesday, December 24, 2014

RiMei Razors and Cheap Knock Offs

A reader, Shawn, commented about the difference between his RiMei razor and the two inexpensive Chinese-made razors that I have purchased, experimented with, and written about. Shawn was also thoughtful enough to provide links to a couple of photos of his RiMei razor, one of which is inserted immediately below:

From Shawn, a reader: this is a photo of his actual RiMei razor.
This is the Ri,Mei (sic) razor that I received less than a year ago, but which I have modified to have a much smaller blade gap and and exposure. Clearly, when compared to Shawn's razor, this is a different design, lower quality, and, in all probability, not the same manufacturer. In sum, it's a cheap knock off.
This razor is my second cheap Chinese-made knock-off razor (which is featured in my holy-grail articles), but this one had no brand. It has even thinner baseplate steel and was even more poorly made and packaged. Like my Ri,Mei (sic) above, this one as pictured has been modified to both fix baseplate shipping damage as well as to change the shaving character of the razor.

What is interesting is that each of the two cheapo Chinese razors that I purchased cost less than $4 (U.S.) to purchase -- and that price included shipping! Yet checking the price for an actual RiMei brand razor on Amazon today lists the price of the RiMei razor at about $20 (U.S.) including shipping. This significant difference in price seems justified when comparing photos of Shawn's razor to my two.

This is the photo associated with the sales page on Amazon for the actual RiMei razor. This appears to be comparable to Shawn's razor, consistent with the higher apparent quality, which justifies the higher price tag.

Another obvious point of comparison in these razors is the oval holes in the baseplate that separate the safety bars from the rest of the baseplate and which allow shaving soap to pass to the underside of the razor when shaving. On the bona fide RiMei razor, the higher quality one, there are four holes associated with each safety bar. On my Ri,Mei razor, there are also four. On my unbranded razor, there are only two -- meaning that instead of having five connections between safety bar and main baseplate, there are only three.

Another difference is the top caps of the razors. The RiMei seems to have a top cap of a more complicated, better-made design. The two knock-off razors have similar, simpler, less-well-designed top caps.

Obviously higher quality costs more. Still, it is interesting to adjust my two cheap-o razors to test how much treasure can be extracted from what is, out of the package, trash. And so the holy-grail experiment continues.

Happy shaving!

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