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02-17-2016, 09:47 PM #1
The Infamous ZY Razor Arrived
A month ago I ordered a ZY razor just to see what one would get for $8.00 including shipping half-way around the planet. It took a week to cross the Pacific and then languished on a loading dock in L. A. for most of the following three weeks. Yesterday, it arrived. I love ordering stuff from China, by the time I get it I forgot what it was that I ordered. The first thing I noticed was that the scales are of a quality that one would expect to receive after successfully popping balloons with darts at a traveling carnival. So far, so good. Next I examined the blade and noticed that it did indeed seem to be made of some sort of metal resembling steel. I laid the blade on the desk top and it appeared to lay flat. Check and check. I followed that with a TPT and that was surprising. While I had been told in the advertising that the blade would be hand sharpened by their expert and aged master honer "Master Shifu" I did not find this to be very likely. Unless, of course, Master Shifu died half way through the honing process, which is possible, I suppose, considering his advanced age. Possibly, he is still alive and when he was sharpening this particular razor the lunch alarm sounded for his allotted 10 minute lunch break. Who knows? What I do know is that it was utterly dull from the heel to the midpoint on the razor. Well, I wasn't disappointed at all, considering that it did, indeed, seem to be made of some sort of steel-like metal. The truth is that I was happy just seeing the blade lay flat on the desk. After all, performing ugly honing tests and practicing scale replacement on a throw-away was my original objective. At least that's the conclusion I came to after an hour of trying to remember why on earth I had ordered this thing. So...
I got out the Nortons and reset the bevel. It wasn't as easy as it had been on the real razor I got from eBay, but eventually the blunt edge was ground away leaving behind a decent bevel. Moving through the rest of the stones went smoothly enough and in the end I had an edge that would easily whittle off the few remaining hairs on my arms. After stropping on crox and leather I decided to give it the ultimate test. I shaved earlier this morning, so there was only a bit of growth to practice on. I gave it a WTG pass, nevertheless, just to be sure that I hadn't created a weasels ripped my flesh razor. It took the lather off smoothly. I relathered my cheek, held my breath and gave it a go ATG. Surprise, surprise, it ended up BBS again just like this morning.
So here's the deal. There are some people who say, "You get what you pay for." Well, I paid $8 for this razor, including shipping half-way around the world. So that puts that to rest. This razor has got to be worth at least $9. Would I shave with this razor every day? Heck no. The point is, I could shave with this razor every day if I had to. I think this razor (well oiled of course) would make a really good razor for an emergency preparedness bag, bug-out bag, get-home bag or the like. It will shave and shave well, but if something happens to it -- who cares? It also makes a good razor for those who, like me, want something to experiment on without risking a good razor. So, if you're looking for a good $9 razor that you can get for only $8, this one is a pretty good bet. As always, YMMV.
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02-17-2016, 10:06 PM #2
- Join Date
- Jun 2012
- Land of the long white cloud
Well done. Will be interesting to see how long it keeps an edge, if you can get 30 or 40 shaves out of it without a touch up will be a better indication of the quality of the steel.He wore rat-drawn shoes and an old Stetson hat.
Drove a '28 Ford, had payments on that ~ Stagger Lee.
02-17-2016, 10:35 PM #3
Thanks for sharing! I have been eyeing these to do scale and grinding experiments... I will give them a go now.
02-18-2016, 01:59 AM #4
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
- Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
Poor old over worked "Master Shifu", now I'm scared to order one for fear of killing him as he honed my razor.............
02-18-2016, 11:44 AM #5
You inspired me to buy one, read few reviews, looks likes it can be good razor after honing. Exact what I need to practice my honing skills after long break in SR shaving.I'm not a native speaker, so if someone will correct me occasionally, over time you will understand me better
02-19-2016, 07:06 AM #6
Perhaps Master Shifu's old arthritic hands are not what they used to be. I'm surprised there are no coments about how Chinese razors are stupid, ugly and useless. Well, not yet anyway. I've had a handful of Gold Dollars and I may give one of these a try. It's true that the GD's have many issues and that what's fun about them. There's a certain satisfaction that comes from buying a poorly made razor for next to nothing and wrestling a good edge onto it. It's a very cheap razor for a very low price. Keep that in perspective and you probably won't be too disappointed with it.B.J.
02-20-2016, 04:56 AM #7
I got mine about 10 days ago. It's pretty similar to a Gold Dollar in general quality but doesn't have stabilizers so there's no need for any additional grinding. It wasn't exactly shave ready but it had an OK bevel. Anyhow, I took it back to a 1000 hone and put it through my standard progression - Shapton GS 1000, Norton 4/8, Shapton Pro 12k. I got it to pass a HHT without any difficulties and have given it two shaves now, with the second one a little smoother than the first. It's not a Bengall or Boker but it's still very acceptable and in a blindfold test (if such a thing was possible ) I'd defy anyone to class the shave as inferior. Let's say in a test with the brand masked out and the lousy scales swapped for something better.
Interestingly, the spine was perfectly parallel and it looks like the bloke who ground it knew exactly what he was doing, even if he didn't bother to hone it to a good finish.
02-20-2016, 06:26 AM #8
The seller which listed it on eBay with white (not GD scales which I don't like) said he is out of stock
On aliexpress they sell them only by 5 pieces lot.
So I think I will wait a little longer, but still I'm not in rush at allI'm not a native speaker, so if someone will correct me occasionally, over time you will understand me better
02-23-2016, 03:49 PM #9
- Join Date
- Aug 2013
Got mine in yesterday. The scales were not the ones pictured and the thing weighs a ton. BUT it is 1000 times better then Gold Dollar. I have made a Gold Dollar shave ready and by the time I was done, I had completely waisted a 240 grit stone and it didn't even look like a razor anymore. The ZY was at least true hollow grind so I could at least make it into shave ready without any more work than any other razor. I also had a Thiers Issard in for sharpening that had be VERY neglected and rust spots, but no chipping. Took me about the same amount of time to get the ZY shave ready as that one. So all in all for the $8 I paid for it I'd call it plausible to buy, as long as you don't mind honing it or having someone hone it. It was NOT shave ready when received. I will continue to use it for a while and see how it holds up. I got the 430 "no stain" by the way so we will see.
02-23-2016, 07:43 PM #10
- Join Date
- Sep 2014
- Denver, CO USA
Forgive me for asking this terrible question about Master Shifu....but I have a hard time believing he has time to do trivial things like sharpen razors when he is so busy training Po and crew from Kung Fu Panda.....I mean they do have a new release to contend with!