Wilkinson Sword Classic DE Razor

Energizer are a massive American conglomerate who own the Schick and Wilkinsons Sword brands. So obviously they want to maximise their profits by selling us multibladed system razors, which is why they are currently investing hundreds of millions into getting us to use their new Hydro razor which I have already written about here.

Against this background I find it amazing that they still supply traditional double edged (DE) razors, this is something that Gillette, who dominate the market, gave up in the West years ago. The razor in question is called the Wilkinson Sword Classic and it is a very nice piece of kit. Everyone should have one.

The Classic is made primarily out of black Delrin plastic with a metal rod up the handle to give it good mass and balance. The head is PTFE coated to work smoothly and is a little wider than most, as it protects the shaver from the blade’s side tabs. Inside the head the blade is located on a slot which is the best method and ensures total rigidity. The handle is quite long and has a fantastic design that allows a very good shaving grip indeed.

It is a mild shaver and, if you have mastered the basics of DE shaving technique, it just never bites. I think a lot of multibladed system razor users buy one of these to try because of the cheaper blade price so it would be nice if it came with DE shaving instructions. Also, perhaps, a lot of more experienced DE shavers look down on the Classic because it is so cheap. Their mistake.

There is a lot more to how a DE razor head works than mere blade exposure. So it is with the Classic, if you move it to an angle where it could dig in then the profile of the head seems to lift the blade edge away from your skin. This gives it a very strange feeling on your face as you experiment with the shaving angle because sometimes it feels like there is no blade there.

I use the Classic primarily as a third pass razor, after most of the stubble has already been removed with more aggressive razors. With it you can get as close a shave as you could ever possibly want. It will buff against the grain with enthusiasm in a way that you just would not dare attempting with most other razors. It really will give you that perfect smoothness.

Then there is the price. Around £4 (or less if you shop round) with 5 blades included. This is an incredible bargain that rates alongside Palmolive shaving sticks, Super-Max blades and Turkish horse hair shaving brushes. All superb quality products that some brand snobs would miss out on just because they are ridiculously low priced.

Disclaimer. I paid for my own Wilkinson Sword Classic razor.

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16 Comments


  1. Just yesterday I tried a Wilkinson Sword blade which did an outstanding job. Now I will look for this razor to use.
    Thanks!


  2. Its a pity this razor is not available in the US, when you can find it even at places like Boots and Tesco in the UK.


  3. This is simply a wonderful gentle but close razor that I used to have; it must have got lost during a move. Regrettably, shoeboxshaveshop doesn’t ship to Canada; I kept getting that message for the two shipping methods available. There’s an ebay store in Singapore that carries it but the cost is $11 CAD and $5 CAD for shipping. Still debating ordering!


  4. When contacted Wilkinson said this razor was made in Germany and some people think that the Treet version is built by Treet under license for their local market.
    Whichever way it works the two seem to be pretty much identical, it would be interesting to see them side by side.


  5. I started shaving 50 years ago with a Gillette DE razor, moved on to Bic Disposables when they first came on scene, then various electrics for 30+ years and never got a satisfactory shave, so about 10 years ago started wet shaving again with various multi blade razors, better but not perfection. Because it was cheap and I wasn’t able to get my usual multi blade blades I bought a Wilkinson Classic DE which I used for a few years and so I had returned to the starting point of my shaving life. I thought I wasn’t getting a bad shave but still not perfection so in 2008 I had a Merkur Progress adjustable and Super Badger brush as a present and thought I’d nearly gotten the perfect shave till I read your article last night. This morning I dug out the Wilkinson Classic and after my usual 3 pass shave finnished off with one last pass ATG using it with a Wilkinson Blade and couldn’t believe how close and comfortable this razor was to use. I’m still in search of the ultimate but would recomend the Wilkinson Classic as the best value for money razor you can get. Thanks Bruce for reminding me that it was still at the bottom of a draw.


  6. Nice article Bruce , I’m going to give this one a try. Looks like it could be a good travel razor as well.
    It’ll also be an excuse to buy some Wilkinson blades which so far I haven’t tried.
    regards, Bill


  7. caught one of these on the Singapore Ebay today. Nice addition to the collection.


  8. Shoebox ShaveShop does indeed ship to Canada, UK, AU, NZ & Tasmania.

    Shopping Cart can’t handle int’l orders but
    Email me what you want & I’ll get back to you with shipping info.

    Two Caveats: 1) Don’t ship liquids internationally
    2) Min order for int’l is $25


  9. Bought one on Amazon.com the other day and came from UK. Really nice feel to the razor and I like the excellent grip it has on the blade for centering. Also, on the package it says it’s made in Solingen Germany, FWIW. I didn’t use the Wilkinson blades but used an Israeli Personna instead. A UK razor, made in Germany, with Israeli made blades. Quite to mixture.
    Vern


  10. thanks for this bruce : )

    this razor is a bloomin bargain,perfect for travel.
    i use it as a 2nd pass and it is really great.
    the price is silly cheap.
    reminds me of the vintage wardonia bakerlite from the 50s.
    why do people use crap throw away multiblade junk when gems like this are around..


  11. They sel it in germany for plus minus four euro’s.Inc 3 blades.Ik like the rasor but I don’t like the blades.


  12. After a long time of ignoring this razor and thinking it was too mild, I came back to it after using a Merkur razor almost exclusively. I’ve changed my technique over the year (some XTG in the mix, not just WTG anymore), and man, the Wilkinson gives a nice shave now!! A little technique adjustment changed everything with this one.

    Great review, and thanks for uploading the nice pics–they make this inexpensive razor look pretty fancy.


  13. I used this razor 20 years ago for ten years. The only drawback is that the head could come loose during shaving, and the threading can play up. So avoid overtightening it. If it does go wrong, just buy another one. It worked really well with the older English made Wilkinson Sword razor blades available at the time.


  14. Hello Bruce,

    On Easter Sunday I got bored with running my electric shaver over my face – it felt like a vegetable grater. The newest Wilkinson Hydro and Gillette catridges get dull too quickly and I find myself making too many passes with them. They’re expensive junk. I decided to take the plunge and try the Wilkinson Classic.

    My first shaves using one of Wilkinson blades which had been included with the razor were good, but not great. Then I tried a Personna blade. The shave was excellent, even with very little practice.

    IMHO you can’t cut yourself with this razor unless you deliberately try to. I must add that I have a very tough beard.

    I like the idea that this razor is expendable. Nothing nowadays is forever. It costs 3.45 Euros here and comes with five of the mediocre Wilkinson blades.

    One tip: when you go to buy one, examine several from the shelf. They’re not all molded equally neatly – some have some “flash” from the molding process, which could scratch you face. The one in your series of pictures is good.

    Here in Germany, where I live, Personna blades are available as the housebrands of various supermarkets and “Discount-Drogerien” (like Boots but without the pharmacy). Next, I’m going to try Derby – available here froom Polish flea-markets.
    A new adventure has begun.

    Yours,

    Gauthier-Henri

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