Don’t Kid Yourself China Makes Some Great Razors.
Perhaps where we should start is to understand that, for the most part, the Chinese make three types of razor heads. Only one is unique to China and I think it is amazing!
The other thing to bare in mind is that of the 400,000,000 men who shave in China, most of them have light beards and do not shave every day. So although their are some aggressive Chinese razors most of them are on the mild side.
For those uninitiated, China is broken into “economic zones.” Textiles are in one city, clothing manufacturing is in another etc. The economic zone for razor manufacturing in China is Ningbo, a very pretty port city. There are over 200 establishments that make safety razors, some owned by Persona and Gillette!
Manufacturers sometimes share out the work. If a huge order comes in, there could be many manufacturers collaborating to share the job at hand and finish it on time. It is a concept very unique to China. Best of all, with very few exceptions, the Chinese make very good quality razors.
The Indigenous Chinese Head
The first head that you will find on many Chinese razors is their own indigenous designed head. This original design is found on the majority of good quality higher end Chinese razors that usually sell on Ali Express for $10 to $20.
The indigenous Chinese head is most like the Edwin Jagger head. But unlike the Edwin Jagger head the base plate is almost flat. The blade is arched at a shallower angle.
What this translates to is, that because of the shallower blade angle the shave is a bit less comfortable, but much more efficient. If you use a light touch you will get an incredible shave!
The Gillette Tech Style Head
Because it is no longer patented and so inexpensive to manufacture, the Tech head is the most common head made and sold in China. It is easy to produce in high volume. But not all of these heads are created equally, although most Tech style heads are pretty gentle to shave with.
Twist To Open Heads.
The most popular manufacturer of butterfly-style (TTO) razors is Weishi. They sell more TTO razors than any other company in the world, including Parker. But Chinese resellers often lie and sell knock off Weishi razors as Weishi razors. So you have to be careful.
Here are the Five Best Chinese Razors. (I have tried hundreds…)
In 5th Place the Rimei A2002 / A2001
Price $3 to $5.
The Remei A2001 / A2002 is one of the most knocked off razors in China. It is made with a steel handle and zamac head. It shaves amazingly well. It is beautifully chromed and not at all aggressive. It is also extremely efficient. I absolutely love mine.
So how do you know if you got a fake?
- On the real Remei there is one corner of the head that doesn’t fit perfectly onto the base plate. It is a flaw in the mold. It does not effect the shave at all, but it is very noticeable. If your head seats properly on all four corners, its a fake.
- If the ad says that the razor is made from stainless steel run! Many Chinese shops on Ali Express make this claim which is completely untrue. A lie is a lie. I know the manufacturer well and they are scrupulously honest.
- Finally, Rimei uses an oblong plastic case. It is made out of pretty sturdy plastic (the A2002 comes with a case, the A2001 does not.) Most knock offs are of the A2002. The case looks the same but is super flimsy.
In 4th Place the Weishi 9306 series including the Wilkinson Sword Butterfly Razor.
These are the “Swiss watches” of Chinese razors. They come in many different finishes and models, two distinct handle lengths, and are sold under many different brand names, including our Sumatra and Americano razors. One rip off that you should be aware of…. Merkur’s parent company Soligen sells a Weishi under their own brand name for $50! They even say that it is made in Germany. It isn’t,
Our Weishi models are different because ours have a change of .7 mm in the head gap.
We are the only company that does this by agreement with the manufacturer. That changes the aggressiveness of the razor slightly. It is more efficient than the original.
Weishi’s razors are well made but very mild. If you have sensitive skin, are new to shaving with a double edge razor, or you have a light beard, go for it!!!
The razors are made of 100% of brass. They are extremely well made and will last forever.
Our Americano and Espresso models will give you a better shave and the same comfortable shave, but are easier to get a good shave with because of the change in blade gap.
To avoid purchasing a knock off, realize that a real Weishi will sell around $20. Purchase through a reputable store such as ours. Do not buy one from any Chinese marketplaces.
In Third Place Ming Shi 2000S
The 2000S is an unabashed copy of the Merkur Future. It is slightly shorter and not as heavy, but it is a super adjustable razor in its own right. It can be a touch aggressive at its higher settings, but it is an amazing razor that you can purchase with confidence under the following brands:
- Ming Shi’s own brand name.
- Q Shave
I love this razor more than the original. The quality is superb. I find that it is lighter and more ergonomic than the Merkur Future on which it is based.
You can purchase this 100% Zamak masterpiece anywhere between $12.50 and $25.00.
In Second Place A Tie!
The Baili 179 / 177.
The reason why the Baili won out over the Weishi is because it is a slightly more aggressive and easier to shave with razor. The open/close mechanism does squeak but that is a good thing. You see the mechanism is made out of metal, while the Wieshi’s is a lot smoother, it is made from a plastic that I would bet is nylon.
You can purchase the Baili 179 inexpensively anywhere. Baili does have their own store on Ali Express. The BT19 costs $12.00, or less.
In fact Rockwell Razors gave some away some BT179s for Christmas. All you had to do was pay for shipping. Their model is known as the Rockwell R1.
The BT179 is a more substantial razor than the Weishi and it is better finished. It is made out of Zamak and the chrome is absolutely perfect.
In fact Maggard Razors has put it on sale as of this writing for just $5.99!
Meet the YingJili 9306L
The Ying Jili is an amazingly gentle and efficient razor.
That said, it is quite on par with a Gillette Tech. It only costs $6.99 shipped from Hong Kong free on eBay. The YingJili sports a well chromed cast iron handle. The head is made from steel. I think this razor beats many Tech clones both for quality and shave consistency.
I love mine and have used it often. If you go on AliExpress you can pick one up for about $3.00.
One last word about YingJili blades. YingJili purchased the same blade making equipment that is used by Persona in Germany. They probably use the best equipment in China to make DE razor blades. The razor comes with five of them.They are absolutely worth a try.
Number 1 – Yintal Wins Our Top Spot!
Yintal does not make all of the razors that they sell by themselves but about 80% are made by them. They take great pride in what they produce, and they should! Any razor with their name on it, I trust.
The razor above is their adjustable model. It reminds me of the Viking’s Blade Emperor in terms of shave quality and build quality. It also costs about $30.00 shipped from China by ePacket. Mine was delivered about 10 days after purchase.
The razor above uses the Chinese indigenous head. But it is unmistakably styled after the Edwin Jagger DB89 series of razors. It is a bit more aggressive, but with a light touch, it produces an amazingly great shave for about $10.00.
Below are pictured other Yintal razors using the same head. Most Yintal razors are between $10.00 to $30.00. I own every razor shown here. I have never had a bad experience with this company. Their products can be purchased on eBay, Amazon, and Ali Express.