The Graduates: With Distinction

Plastics, my boy... lol, no. I'm reexamining my collection of DE razors to see who can hang with the Parker now, using the same Personna blade, in its third and fourth week of consecutive daily shaves. Kind of like how I reevaluated my soaps in light of the breakthrough in hair softening. First, the honors group.

Merkur 41C

The way Parker imitates Merkur as a business, I'm sure someone, somewhere in India will be delighted to see me evaluating the 1904 open comb in their light for a change. It did a fantastic job WTG, smoother and more efficient, actually. (Witch hazel, Williams and pumpkin juice prep.) Under high traction conditions, it's the new Rimei, as the Parker is the new Super Speed. To make it finish ATG with acceptable closeness, I pushed cheek skin toward the blade. Still nowhere near as close as the Parker, BUT -- no sensation at all under alum. I will certainly have need of that capability in the future. BiC Sensitive also comes to mind, once again, but here at least I get a couple of hours before feeling the stubble.

Weishi 9306-H

As seen at Wal-mart, but at half the price, uncased, chrome over alloy (brass). This Chinese razor deserves respect for leading the market, but is it just a beginner's razor? Certainly not. Often criticized for being too gentle, it becomes quite efficient when loaded with a broken-in blade, and still smooth enough to take the tension-alignment approach. I have no choice but to relegate it to the unused bin of razors, however, since it leaves hair on my neck (some extreme skin-pushing effort would probably do it), and the Parker suits me better. Congratulations, and good luck.

Travel Tech

I suspect this is the most accessible razor on the antiques market, and cheaper than even the Weishi. You will want a proper handle, but it doesn't take long, in this hobby, to acquire an abundance of those. I previously thought of it as the less edgy Rimei. It can handle fresh blades, shims, and dull blades, too. In the present test (and a prep of just Arko and pumpkin juice) I found myself limited to the traction-minimizing approach, unable to go ATG on second pass. But I got there eventually. Side-by-side with the Weishi, I end with equivalent alum pricks and a closer neck shave, with a bit more length left on the cheek. I deem it the Weishi's counterpart in a low-angle/steep angle dyadic hierarchy, and a legitimate razor to grow with, especially if your hair stands up well. That's a fairly slight distinction, though: even though mine does not, the stubs are nice and velvety.

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