Razor: Assured Dollar Tree TTO $1.25 Special
Blade: Wilkinson Sword
Brush: Paragon Synthetic
Soap: Elvado Pacific Coast Kahuna
Aftershave: Elvado Pacific Coast Kahuna
Other: RazoRock glycerine pre-shave

I had a supper emergency last night.  We had a lack of potato chips in the house for our potato casserole.  Not willing to dumb down the recipe, I quickly ran to our local Dollar Tree to pick up a cheap bag of chips.  While I was there, I took a walk down the shaving supply aisle (I’ve trained myself to do that wherever I go now) and was surprised to see they recently added a large stock of DE razors.  Interesting.  This Assured DE razor and 5 blades cost a whole $1.25.  Could this work?  Would I shred myself up?  I couldn’t help myself picked up a set.

First off, I wanted to give the razor a fighting chance.  As such, I optimized my shave gear for the shave.  I started out with a RazoRock glycerin preshave I’ve been trying out.  I then lathered up a soap I was very familiar with, Elvado Pacific Coast Kahuna.  For shave number 1, I also opted to use a new Wilkinson Sword blade vs the ones that came with.  All of these should give me a good feel for this new razor.  (I plan to try the blades separately in one of my favourite razors to give them the same fighting chance.  I’ll update this post when I’ve done that)

The razor definitely feels cheap.  The TTO knob is plastic and the other parts feel plastic too.  I can confirm there is metal inside as magnets attach to the handle, the head, and barn doors.  The TTO mechanism worked fine, and loading the blade was pretty typical.  There seemed to be a bit of blade play when open, but once I tightened the TTO it seemed to lock in OK.  I wouldn’t say it felt super secure, but it did lock in and alignment was correct.  (some care should be taken when loading to ensure this though).  The blade gap was a little worrisome, I was expecting mildness but it did have a noticeable blade gap.  Guess this will be a little more of a risk than I was hoping for…..

After lathering up, I began my first pass.  The first thing I noticed was that, yes, it wasn’t a mild razor.  It didn’t feel super aggressive, but it was a touch more than I normally use.  There was a lot of audible feedback.  But here is the thing, I got a really nice shave with it.  I did take a bit more care than normal, but I found the razor to be quite efficient and had no issues with the shave.  On the ATG pass I could tell the blade gap was bigger than I normally use but with the slick soap and a bit of extra time, no issues.  I full 3 pass shave, no nicks or weepers.  Almost BBS. (I didn’t want to push my luck).

Call me very surprised.  I wasn’t expecting to get a smooth and irritation free shave from a $1.25 razor.  I’d say I get a better shave with this than the typical disposable I’ve used, and was better than the Parker TTO razor I used to own.  Quite surprised.  I don’t think this razor would hold up to long term use, but if you are in a pinch or want a cheapo to travel with, this would actually do an OK job for you.  Is this a good starter razor?  Well, no, I wouldn’t recommend it for a new shaver.  Given the make up of this, I’d be concerned that the blade might not lock in secure and aligned enough for a novice shaver.  For for the typical wet shaver this would work quite well.

I can’t wait to try the blades and see how they measure up.  If they do, I can see this being a nice travel or emergency option for the travelling wet shaver.  I’ll report back soon.

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