A little while ago I picked up a Cadet TP-01 from Shave A Buck along with some other things, and I’m happy I did – it’s a good razor for a good price.
The box it came in is serviceable, but nothing fancy – then again, we don’t buy razors based on the box they come in, but based on how they shave. Well… at least I don’t buy razors based on the box – YMMV as with anything relating to this hobby.
The TP-01 is a straight forward three piece open comb razor – pretty much a case of what you see is what you get. It is heavier than I expected, since the handle is solid, not hollow like it is on many other inexpensive razors. This gives it a pleasant balance in my opinion, with the centre of gravity about 3cm below the head. The end result is a remarkable manoeuvrable razor, which should suit most shavers.
A curious side note: the handle of the TP-01 fits the heads of my Merkur 25C, my Merkur 985CL and Yuma – but the head of the TP-01 won’t screw all the way onto the handles of said razors. Best guess has to do with the length of the shank – the head of the TP-01 has a longer shank than any of my other razors – and/or the pitch of the screw thread. It is not of any great importance to me – the handle of the TP-01 suits me fine.
The shave I get from the TP-01 is a bit more aggressive and less mild than I get from my other open combs – since the blade angle of the Cadet and my Merkur OCs is virtually the same as far as I can tell, it must be down to blade exposure and blade gap. The sheer depth of the comb might also account for parts of it – all in all a well designed head for a efficient, manly shave.
The craftsmanship of the razor is first class – no visible toolmarks, even plating, highly polished… I can’t even tell where the casting sprue have been removed, something I can do on my Merkurs – even if I really had to look.
If you are in the marked for an Open Comb razor, look no further than the Cadet – it’s an efficient, comfortable, inexpensive and well made razor.