Need advice on lightweight (plastic) DE razor for travel

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by lifereinspired, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. lifereinspired

    lifereinspired New Member


    I could really use some advice. I'm looking for a very lightweight DE razor for travel. I wasn't sure that I'd be able to find something like what I was hoping for but tonight finally stumbled upon the Merkur Bakelite (45 & 30... Are they actually different?), the Phoenix Bakelite, and I've seen a couple of other names mentioned (Neillite Lady's razor, and a Slant Bakelite, too, I think).

    I'm no DE expert. I've been using my Feather DE for over 5 years now and I love it. I stumbled upon a razor I liked first try with that one and never felt the need - and honestly couldn't justify moving on to something else since this works so well. But I'm looking for something even lighter & more compact for travel since the butterfly style doesn't fold down as much as I'd like. I'm obviously already used to a relatively lightweight razor (at least in comparison to many full metal models) but I don't know what to expect from the Bakelite models.

    As a female, I'm shaving legs & underarms. Since I've only ever used my Feather (& borrowed my hubby's Merkur a couple of times) in simply have no idea about how these models will work for me, or if one is much better than another. I'm especially curious about the "open comb" design on the Phoenix Bakelite with the Slant design. Do you think I'd find this more difficult to use then, say, the Merkur or would it perhaps be better with the open comb design allowing a larger volume of hair to be cut? Or do I have it completely wrong how an open comb design works? Is one of these better for a larger area like legs more than another? Or is there yet another model like either of these that you might recommend that I don't yet know about? Is there anything you could share about any of these that might help me choose the best one for me?

    Thank you so much in advance! I really appreciate your help. :)
    Enrico likes this.
  2. Enrico

    Enrico Well-Known Member

    I can not comment on the bakelite razors you've mentioned but I have had a Gillette bakelite razor and they are vey nice.

    Sent PM
  3. Morman Bridge

    Morman Bridge Well-Known Member

    The Merkur Bakelite is a very effective razor. The two model numbers are only indicating that one model has a case, and one doesn't. I believe they both are the same razor. I think it would be a good choice. Good luck miss.
  4. BigMike

    BigMike Well-Known Member

    I've alwasy wondered about the Merkur Bakelite. I'm a big fan of Bakelite, and a big fan of the Mercur razors (34C, Progress, Futur). I expect the geometry of the Bakelite razor is similar to the 34C, which is an excellent razor, though I understand the Bakelite is a 3-piece and not 2 like the 34. If you get one, I'd be very interested to hear your impressions of it.
  5. Weasel640

    Weasel640 Well-Known Member

    I have not tried the ones mentioned here. But have tried the Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements (PAA) Bakelite Alpha Ecliptic Slant. I really liked it. It takes some getting used to but I think it would still do well on the areas of the body that you mentioned. It's very light weight and for the price point you can't go wrong with it.

    Also I see that you are a new member. If you check out the Welcome Center, they do a monthly drawing for new members to win gift certificates to the shop.
  6. Eeyore

    Eeyore Well-Known Member

    Welcome here!

    Would a regular Gillette Tech really make a difference in weight for you? That is what I would choose for a compact travel razor.

    Pitralon forever - Real pens have a nib - If it doesn't tick, it's not a watch.
  7. John Beeman

    John Beeman Well-Known Member

    Welcome to The Shave Den
  8. Norcalnewb

    Norcalnewb Magnanimous Moos

    Welcome to TSD!
  9. wristwatchb

    wristwatchb wristwatch "danger" b

    Welcome to The Shave Den!
  10. Stu929

    Stu929 Well-Known Member


    My first though was a Gillette Tech. Metal or otherwise they are small and light and there are many that came in small travel cases. I also have a very small German travel razor that including box is not much larger than a 50 cent piece.[​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
  11. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    Welcome to the Den. I have a PAA Bakelite Slant, paa slant03.JPG paa slant04.jpg and it works fine. I also have a vintage German travel razor IMG_0029.JPG IMG_0020.JPG that works great. They make modern razors similar. Then there are the Gillette travel tech, tech_t3_05.JPG tech_t3_01.JPG but their handles are very short.
  12. Engblom

    Engblom Well-Known Member

    I really like lightweight razors. My rotation consists mostly of lightweight razors.

    For traveling, I recommend Saiver: . As the handle can be split in two, and the box is small, it is ideal for traveling.
    Saiver is a bit of an odd razor, as it is meant to be loaded with two blades. I only load it with one blade and the included shim. Like this I get an "adjustable", as I can pick between ultra mild (cap->shim->blade->base) and mild (cap->blade->shim->base). It got very high quality aluminum top cap and handle and a plastic base plate.

    Merkur Bakelite 45C is not a bad option. Still, I prefer Saiver as it is a smaller package, and full metal threads is in my opinion better than the bakelite threads Merkur got. Merkur got a quite big gap, which might be to an advantage if you do not have a chance to shave frequently during your trip.

    My third option is iKon X3 with Saiver handle. This is the combination I grab most the days at home. It is an all aluminum solution, and thus all metal and still lightweight. On the minus side, you can not buy a cased variant of this razor, which makes it less suited for traveling. Also, iKon X3 is a bit too expensive to lose somewhere during the trip.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  13. Engblom

    Engblom Well-Known Member

    PAA Bakelite slant does not really give the benefit of open combs, in my opinion. My opinion is that open comb designs are good because they prevent clogging, even at smaller gap sizes. Because of the thick comb pins in PAA Bakelite Slant, you do not see this advantage. I have PAA Bakelite slant, and it is a keeper for me, but not a top performing razor. When shaving with it, I have to rinse a lot more often. Sometimes I have to even unscrew the handle to rinse between the blade and base plate during a shave. Personally, I also think the top cap is too narrow to keep the blade stable.
  14. McGrande

    McGrande Well-Known Member

    I've been using a Merkur 45 for years as my travel razor. IMO it is an efficient shaver.
  15. Enrico

    Enrico Well-Known Member

    is it more or less aggressive than a Red Tip?
  16. Linuxguile

    Linuxguile dating an unusual aristocrat

    Supporting Vendor
    If you want plastic and inexpensive check out the Dorco PL-602, you can get two of them for like $6 on ebay. Michael uses one in the video below:

  17. McGrande

    McGrande Well-Known Member

    I don’t have a Red Tip. I rotate between a Fatip Grande and a RR German 37 slant. Several years ago I used an EJ DE 87 and I’d say the Merkur 45 is close to that as far as agressivness. It's rather mild but with a decent blade (Astra SP, Feather, etc.) it does a good job. I have an old (68 yrs) tough beard and a two pass minor touch up yields a DFS to BBS shave for me.
  18. Enrico

    Enrico Well-Known Member

    So as mild as your EJ? I may have to get a Merkur 45. :D

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