I wanted to post a brief review of the Baili (BD177) TTO DE razor - or to give it it’s official name the BAILI Twist Butterfly Open Classic DE Razor (BD177) - especially as many reviews are often for razors aimed at the luxury market.
The Baili TTO (BD177) retails for under £10 delivered, on Baili’s official webstore on AliExpress and is also sold on EBay and Amazon under many other names. Razorock also sells the razor under its own branding. Prices vary considerably. I have always found delivery from China via Aliexpress quick and reliable and the razor arrived within one week of ordering. The razor is also available with a chrome / silver finish (BD179).
From SOTD posts some members are already familiar with and clearly love this razor but I remain surprised that it does not get more praise. I appreciate the vogue for polished stainless steel, brass or titanium razors and for many, the fact the Baili TTO razor is Zamak, made in China and inexpensive will be enough to rule it out. That would be a shame as It is a great shaver - upper-end of mild to medium efficiency; intuitive to use, smooth, well balanced and weighted. No learning curve is required for the Baili BD177 if you have used a DE before - no extreme angles or “negative pressure” is required either and it shaved well with a variety of blades. The razor glides over the skin with ease and is an exemplar of excellent razor glide - no drag here.
The Baili TTO weighs in at 72g and the handle length is just over 85mm (all approximate via kitchen scales and ruler). The blade tabs are covered. The balance point resides in the upper 1/3 of the razor handle. Knurling is fine and the handle has sufficient grip. Auditory and tactile feedback is good when cutting the whiskers. The blade is held securely enough and blade alignment is excellent. Being a TTO the head profile is not the slimmest but it is also not larger than many standard 3-piece DE’s either. The razor is agile in use and I was able to shave under my large nose without effort.
The quality of the plating is well above average and certainly superior to Merkur’s (not difficult, I know) as were the tolerances. The bay doors are smooth in operation and well aligned. The blade bed appears flat and is well finished. Any negatives? The TTO mechanism sounds a little jingly jangly and benefits from some mineral oil although if you are using a shaving soap loaded with oils or shea butter the residue from a few shaves will probably silence the mechanism. The bay doors and bay door pins could probably be more substantial and do not expect the TTO twist knob to have a perfectly weighted, progressive, damped action as you would find on your Japanese Hi-Fi separate or for millennials your vehicles switch-gear or Gen Z your game console controller .
I have been using the Baili TTO (BD177) for daily head and face shaves and can say it has been a delight to use - the geometry is good. I have had a few misses with some polished SS and Brass DE’s this year and I have just wondered how some razor artisans settle on a razors geometry, balance point and weight. Baili got the geometry, balance and weight right on this one and new or experienced shavers alike will appreciate the shave it gives. The razor looks great to my eyes and exceeded my expectations (admittedly low) in terms of fit, finish and quality. It comes in a very handy, hard plastic case with a mirror and space for a tuck of blades. The case itself is super practical and worth the money on it’s own.