As I’ve posted before, I’ve fallen in love with shaving with a double edge razor. I started about two and a half months ago and have shaved just about every day. I have some friends who purchased some really high end shaving equipment right off the bat. $150+ razor, expensive soaps, expensive brushes, etc.
I not only like getting the best bang for my buck, but I also wasn’t sure if I would like DE shaving. I hated shaving previously, and was interested in safety razors because the blades were so much cheaper than the Mach 3 cartridges I was used to.
To that end, I researched the best “starter” razors, and came across three recommendations over and over. The Edwin Jagger DE89L, the Merkur 180 Long Handle, and the Lord L6. All of the razors were $40 and less. In the case of the Lord L6, much less, at about $13.
Well, I’m a cheap bastard, and I figured that if I didn’t like this whole double edge safety razor thing I could just put everything in a plastic bin until the Apocalypse.
Instead of a disappointment, I found a very beginner-friendly razor at a great price.
The Lord L6 razor has a “Merkur” style head. This means that it has a closed comb and is not considered “aggressive.” Aggressive heads expose more of the razor blade, which allows more hair (and potentially skin) to be cut each pass. The less aggressive head of the Lord L6 was just fine by me. I already researched that shaving with a “real” razor meant a gradual reduction of facial hair and not trying to lop everything off with the opening swipe.
Another nice feature of the L6 is the longer handle. Purists will strive for the shortest handle possible to maximize control and encourage a light touch (or conversely, discourage a heavy hand). However, for most new shavers who are used to a longer handle, the L6, DE89L and Merkur 180 LH are all good transition tools.
The L6 has a knurled handle that helps keep the razor steady when my hands got wet and soapy. I wish my current razor (more on that later) also had knurling. Definitely a bonus feature, especially for those of us starting out and who want some extra confidence.
Lastly, the head screws away from the handle into two pieces. You sandwich the blade in between the head parts according to the guide posts and screw the handle back in. It’s a brain-dead process.
Performance and Usage
One of the drawbacks to the Lord L6 is its light weight. Sort of. On one hand, a lighter razor seems easier to control as a newbie. The lighter head also means less force is bearing down on the skin.
The drawback is that new shavers may apply more force than necessary to feel like they’re shaving. This is a bad habit to get into, as I learned when I transitioned away from the Lord L6 to the Yuma and Edwin Jagger 86.
If you use the L6, make sure you use as little pressure as possible. It might take you an extra pass to get as close as a heavier razor, but you won’t pick up a bad habit that way.
One slightly unnerving thing about the lighter L6 barrel is that the sound of shaving is SUPER LOUD. The handle is a bit like an echo chamber and makes a SCRITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTCH across your skin. However in practice this doesn’t make a huge difference once you get used to it.
I shaved with the L6 for a little over a month before transitioning to other razors. There was nothing wrong with the L6 at the time. I had used Astra SP, Gillette Yellow 7 O’Clock, Merkur and Feather blades in it with no significant issues. That being said, the heavier heads of the Yuma and DE86 made a significant difference in how close my shave was.
The Lord L6 is a very affordable way to try out double edge shaving. The $20 difference between the L6 and the other two “newbie” razors could buy you a shaving starter kit at Target. The L6 comes with some Lord blades (which I have yet to use), so you could get completely started with DE shaving for the cost of the next least expensive different razor. The entire startup kit would be less than a fifth the cost of a “luxury” razor. Now that’s price to performance.
Strongly recommended, especially for beginners.