I first heard about the RiMei Four Piece Razor after reading a review of it on LeisureGuy’s Later On blog. He had nothing but good things to say about this inexpensive Chinese razor, but I was still a little skeptical. How could a Chinese made razor, being sold for less than $3, be any good? I was intrigued, but not enough to actually buy the razor…$2.25 may not be much money, but I wasn’t about to waste even that amount on a razor that might well turn out to be a worthless piece of junk. Eventually my curiosity got the better of me and I went hunting on Amazon. It turns out that there are a few razors, being sold under various names, that are actually the exact same razor. RiMei manufactures the razor, but a few different companies market this razor to the west as the Sodial razor, SilverTone razor, and the RiMei razor. They charge different amounts for each version, but what you receive, no matter which one you choose to buy, is a RiMei four piece DE razor. The different names and prices listed are really just ways to bring in as many different customers as possible. The Concord razor is a rebrand of the RiMei and is identical in every way, with the exception that it has a Concord branded top cap and different packaging.
I ordered two “Sodial” razors from Amazon and did not expect to see them for about four weeks or so. Imagine my surprise when, twelve days later, I received a package from China with two shiny new RiMei razors. My worries about ordering from China turned out to be unfounded, as the company has very good service. They had shipped the day after I placed my order, and I even found a couple of update emails sitting in my spam folder letting me know that the order had been processed and then shipped.
The two razors came in blister packs and are identical, but have two different colored cardboard backings. I imagine this is to give them a slightly more interesting look on a sales rack, but who knows? Each razor comes with a single “RiMei” razor blade (I don’t know if the company makes their own blades, but it seems unlikely) and is ready to go right out of the package. The razor disassembles into four different parts: the base plate, cap, handle, and end piece. I don’t know if they have a separate end piece to aid in cleaning or if this is just a manufacturing oddity, but it is an interesting divergence from the norm. The razor is slightly longer and lighter than a Gillette ball end Tech, but feels very similar. The platting is fairly consistent, but nothing to write home about. The handle has a lined design that makes it incredibly easy to grip, even when wet and is actually pretty nice for such a low cost razor. The Rimei is not a show piece, it is a razor made to do a job, and it seems designed with that idea in mind.
One of my concerns when I purchased the razor was its supposed light weight. The weight was one of the few complaints that I read about this razor, so I was prepared for the RiMei to feel plastic or cheap. In reality the razor weighs almost exactly the same as the Gillette flare tip and has a good distribution and balance. A slight majority of the weight is in the handle, which could be a turn off for folks who prefer a head heavy razor, but I found that it did not really affect its ability to do its job. I honestly do not understand why folks call this razor light. It is lighter than an Edwin Jagger, but it is fairly comparable to most vintage Gillettes, which I have never seen being criticized for being too light.
I popped a Croma blade into the RiMei for my first shaves with it (I wasn’t about to test an unknown razor with an unknown blade, so the RiMei blade gets to sit and stew for a while). The head is set up with two rather large nubs to keep the blade seated properly, and threads into the handle easily and smoothly. The blade seating on this razor concerned me a bit, it has a fairly wide blade gap with a good amount of the blade exposed, but the design of the head seems to mitigate these factors. The performance of the RiMei is very comparable to the older, slightly more aggressive Gillette Tech (as opposed to the newer, slightly less aggressive Gillette Tech). It shaves extremely well, but is also pretty forgiving. I tried on a few occasions to unseat the razor from my grip, just to test the handle, and was surprised to find that (short of completely releasing the razor) it stayed with me no matter how lightly I held it. Both my wife and I have used this razor a couple of times now, and enjoy it very much. This is a good razor. Not a good razor for the price, or a good starter razor, but a good razor period. This razor outperforms others costing ten times as much and I would recommend it to anyone. If you’re just starting out, then this razor is an unbeatable choice. If you’re looking for a travel razor, then how can you go wrong with a low cost model that breaks down into four pieces for easy storage and cleaning? If you just want a solid performer, then you’re in for a treat. The RiMei is an excellent razor, marketed by a company with excellent customer service, and sold at an unbeatable price. I highly recommend it.