04-21-2022, 07:52 AM
#1
  • Chappy
  • Active Member
  • Oklahoma, OK, USA
User Info
The following reviews are my opinions about these razor blades and took a lot of time sorting through all the information, testing blades, and finding/resizing pictures.  I may not have everything exactly right but hopefully the information may help you if you are considering this blade.  If you know more accurate details about these blades please feel free to share the information.
 
Ever hear someone say they had a great shave with a Wilkinson Sword blade?  Ever hear someone say they had a terrible shave with a Wilkinson Sword blade?  I know the old saying of YMMV (your mileage may vary) but the differences in reviews between a great shave and a terrible shave with this blade are as different as night and day.  Next time you hear someone say they had a great or terrible shave with a Wilkinson Sword blade ask them which country the blade came from.  Most will probably tell you Germany because that is the most advertised and best known on the market.  However, this blade is known to be made in at least 6 different countries so it gets confusing quick.  To make matters worse some vendors confuse their advertising stating the wrong country of manufacture, mixing up pictures of boxes and blades, and even down right lying just to get you to buy their blades.
 
The Wilkinson Sword company has a full and colorful history dating back to Henry Nock in the United Kingdom (UK) back in 1772.  They began by making guns and later expanded into swords, bayonets, typewriters, garden shears, scissors, and even motorcycles.  If you like history I encourage you to check them out on Wikipedia as I found it to be an interesting read.
 
The original Wilkinson Sword stainless steel razor blade was manufactured in the UK around 1962.  Though slightly more expensive than other razor blades available at the time it quickly gained a large market share as you could use them for a week whereby the standard carbon steel blades available from other manufacturers would rust quickly so most people only used those blades once.  You can still find this legendary blade NOS (new old stock) on some auction sites but will cost you dearly.  Couple of reviewers I saw on YouTube still had some from back in the day or bought them off an auction site and reported getting 10+ shaves per blade.  I did not try this legendary version of the blade but instead concentrated on the different versions available today.
 
Though the original version of the Wilkinson Sword razor blades were made in the UK they are not made there today.  Fact is, I found evidence they are actually made in at least 6 different countries around the world including Germany, Czech Republic, India, Shanghai, Thailand, and China.  With so many manufacturers it was easier to break them down by distribution countries of Germany (German & Czech Republic made blades), India (India & Shanghai made blades), and China (China & Thailand??? made blades).  Once I got the research done I very carefully shopped these blades to make sure I got blades actually advertised as made in Germany, India, and China per the vendor’s descriptions but mostly by what is actually printed on the boxes and style of tucks.
 
For testing I made sure to use 2 blades from each tuck and only shaved with them for 3 days regardless how they felt.  One blade from each tuck was used on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday while the second blade from the same tuck was tested on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  I generally don’t shave on Sunday except for special occasions so Monday’s shave would normally be 2 days growth and wanted to treat all blades the same rotating them as appropriate.
 
For testing I used razors all of us would be familiar with for reference and were my 1960 Gillette Fatboy (setting 4 for 1st pass and setting 3 thereafter), 1962 Gillette Slim (setting 3 for 1st pass and setting 2 thereafter), and a modern Rockwell 6s (plate 3 for 1st pass and plate 1 thereafter).  These settings are what I normally use with my other razor blades and wanted to test the blades themselves and not the razors.  Also these razors were chosen due to their particular characteristics as each one shaves differently.  Now the results based on my personal opinion.
 
INDIA BLADES (1st place)
These blades proved to be both very sharp and comfortable on the face.  Even though I stopped after 3 shaves I believe I could have gotten more out of them.  Virtually no face irritation and finished off each shave with my standard alum block and aftershave or cologne.  I could not find any listing stating these blades were coated with anything.  I found evidence this distributor also uses blades made in Shanghai from the descriptions on the boxes.  All tucks are made of heavy paper and packed with 10 blades each known as a “Saloon Pack”.  Be aware that all blades from India are packed 50 blades per box so read the ad carefully to make sure you are getting one box or two for the price listed.  Also make sure on the side of the box it says “Manufactured by: Gillette India” as this is the blade I tested.  Other blades from them will be in the same color/style box but will say Manufactured by: Gillette (Shanghai) Limited”.  One additional note, I found a picture of the standard box from India but the vendor also advertised blades in wrappers I normally found from China in the same picture.  Not sure if this was part of the confusion some vendors stoop to or what.  Just be sure to get the blades made in India as I tested.
 
CHINA BLADES (2nd place)
These blades proved to be sharp but slightly less comfortable on the face the more I shaved with them.  I did stop after 3 shaves and I don’t think I would want to try a 4th shave with them since they seemed to get less comfortable the more I used them.  After all 3 shaves I did finish off with my standard alum block and aftershave or cologne but I could tell from the sting I had slightly more irritation.  I could not find any listing stating these blades were coated with anything.  These blades come in heavy paper or black plastic tucks with 5 blades each.  Standard packaging looks like they are sold in lots of 100 blades except for the weird picture below showing an India box but Chinese wrapper on the blades.  When you look at the front of the China tuck you will see both sides are the same width unlike blades made in Germany.  Best thing I can say about these blades is buyer beware.  Based on product descriptions I found vendors using different boxes, different colors, different tucks, etc.
 
GERMAN BLADES (3rd place)
I was really surprised with the result for this blade so my conclusion was this legendary blade lost its luster when it was moved to be manufactured in Germany.  Though these blades are sharp they were considerably the most uncomfortable of all the blades tested.  They sliced through the beard easy enough but after each shave I had to use an aftershave balm due to skin irritation.  This really surprised me as the blades are advertised as triple coated with chromium to resist corrosion, ceramic for durability, and PTFE (Teflon) for less irritation.  Also discovered that the blades I could verify were made in Germany all come with various colors of placards depending on where they are marketed, black or white plastic tucks, and packed either 5 or 10 blades per tuck.  Am wondering if quantity in each tuck may have to do with where they are manufactured.  Easiest way I found to determine if the blade was at least distributed from Germany is when you look at the front of the tuck you will see that the left side is wider than the right side.  Box of 100 blades are generally rectangular in shape due to the placards attached to the tucks.  I did find one advertisement that clearly stated the blades were made in Germany but when you look at the tucks they have equal widths on both sides and are packed without placards so the box is longer like you normally see with other manufacturers.

WORD OF WARNING
Regardless which blades you buy be sure to check everything once you get them.  There were reviews stating the buyer bought a particular blade but the vendor sent a substitute.  I did order 2 boxes of blades from India (50 blades in each box for 100 blades total), checked the writing on the side of the box, and even opened each box to make sure I got the right wrapper on the blade.  Have used them and they are as good as the ones I tested.

VARIOUS INDIA PACKAGING
Notice the different blade wrapping on the blades from Shanghai in last picture.  It is the same as blades from China.



[Image: C4Tenmr.jpg]  [Image: ZDEM5Ks.jpg]  [Image: 5VciBWS.jpg]


VARIOUS CHINA PACKAGING
Advertising for the last picture clearly stated the blades were made in Germany but due to the tuck having the same width on both sides leads me to suspension they were made in Thailand.

[Image: H9mOFY8.jpg]  [Image: NkjTH4r.jpg]



VARIOUS GERMAN PACKAGING
Blades specifically made in Germany are supposed to be called “classic” blades but some vendors don’t adhere to this in their advertising.  Also, the last blue placard below I believe has printing in Spanish.

[Image: agyQAui.jpg]  [Image: TnNzWSp.jpg]  [Image: nYTuD9K.jpg]
[Image: B9HN15U.jpg]  [Image: R4G3f32.jpg]

0 268
Reply
 04-21-2022, 08:20 AM
#2
  • Bax
  • Active Member
User Info
Fascinating Chappy!
I only knew about Germany and India.  I've tried both and the tuck of German-Made Wilkies went in the trash after I tried two of the blades, then gave up.  There is a "night and day" difference between the German and Indian Wilkies.  The Indian Wilkies are swell!  They're my standard "'57 Chevy" of blades, against which I measure all others.  IMHO the Indian Wilkie is the best balance of sharpness and durability of any blade I've tried so far.  I can get 6 shaves out of a blade, and the first is as good as the last (I only toss it because I skip shaving on Sunday and start Monday with a new blade).  Not surprised the Indian Wilkie came out #1.  Well done review!
Thanks for taking the time to put it together for us Nooksters.
  :-)
- Bax

0 443
Reply
 04-21-2022, 09:32 AM
#3
User Info
Much appreciated info!

0 183
Reply
 04-21-2022, 11:05 AM
#4
User Info
My understanding is a little different, and I will share it for what it's worth. I do hope that Phil jumps in on this to add his expetise.

My understanding is as follows:

1) Wilkinson blades made by Wilkinson are manufactured nowadays in Germany in black plastic tucks. They get mixed reviews, although some of the reviewers may not know what Wilkies they have. Website is wilkinson-sword.com. The Wilkinson brand is owned by Edgewell Personal Care, which is headquartered in Shelton, Connecticut and publicly traded on NYSE. Edgewell also owns the brands Schick, Personna, Jack Black, Playtex and others. I don't know what the deal is regarding the white tucks.

2) Wilkinson blades made by Gillette (under license, I assume) were originally manufactured in India but are now manufactured in China and imported into India and thence sold worldwide. They are often called Gillette Wilkinsons. They are on the sharper side, very consistent and smooth.

3) Since Shanghai is in China, maybe the blades made in China are made in Shanghai. These would be Gillette Wilkies.

4) I know nothing about Wilkies made in Thailand or the Czeck Republic.

17 395
Reply
 04-21-2022, 11:35 AM
#5
  • chazt
  • Super Moderator
  • Queens, NY
User Info
Stan, thanks for the excellent review. It was interesting to read your experiences with the different blades. Also appreciated is your writing style which I found succinct and descriptive, as well as observational and objective.

22 6,243
Reply
 04-21-2022, 12:02 PM
#6
  • Chappy
  • Active Member
  • Oklahoma, OK, USA
User Info
(04-21-2022, 11:05 AM)slackskin Wrote: My understanding is a little different, and I will share it for what it's worth. I do hope that Phil jumps in on this to add his expetise.

My understanding is as follows:

1) Wilkinson blades made by Wilkinson are manufactured nowadays in Germany in black plastic tucks. They get mixed reviews, although some of the reviewers may not know what Wilkies they have. Website is wilkinson-sword.com. The Wilkinson brand is owned by Edgewell Personal Care, which is headquartered in Shelton, Connecticut and publicly traded on NYSE. Edgewell also owns the brands Schick, Personna, Jack Black, Playtex and others. I don't know what the deal is regarding the white tucks.

2) Wilkinson blades made by Gillette (under license, I assume) were originally manufactured in India but are now manufactured in China and imported into India and thence sold worldwide. They are often called Gillette Wilkinsons. They are on the sharper side, very consistent and smooth.

3) Since Shanghai is in China, maybe the blades made in China are made in Shanghai. These would be Gillette Wilkies.

4) I know nothing about Wilkies made in Thailand or the Czeck Republic.

Thank you everyone!  I did not realize the depth of this well when I started.

slackskin, thank you for your input.  I did find a lot of what you described which is why I did not want to go into it much and recommended reading Wikipedia if someone was interested.  I do look forward to more information about the blade manufactured in India as those blades I thought was great.

0 268
Reply
 04-21-2022, 03:15 PM
#7
User Info
Thank you for such a thorough and informative post.  I've only used the Wilkis from Germany and they were just okay for me.

60 11,775
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)