Gillette’s Five Blade Folly

What you see to the right is the latest in shaving ridiculousness from the fine folks at Gillette: the five blade “Fusion” razor. That’s right. Five blades. Six if you count the built-in trimming blade. In the battle to out-blade the competition, Gillette’s latest creation leapfrogs the Schick Quattro by one blade and aims to provide an even closer shave to the millions of men who apparently are having trouble with only three or four blades.

Gillette’s previous flagship razor, the Mach 3, has three blades while the Schick Quattro has four, but Gillette president James Kilts insists this latest “innovation” has nothing to do with the competition:

“The Schick launch has nothing to do with this, it’s like comparing a Ferrari to a Volkswagen as far as we’re concerned… There was never a plan to go to four.” — James Kilts.

Mike Industries Poll

What razor do you use and does the concept of 5-blades appeal to you?

Now I’m no Schick fan, but I am a Volkswagen fan, so this comparison of Schicks to Volkswagens troubles me on an automotive level. What troubles me even more though is the outright lie that going to five blades had nothing to do with Schick’s four-blade model. So we’re supposed to believe that studies in Gillette’s labs showed that a 1, 2, 3, or 5 blade razor is great but a 4 blade razor isn’t? This launch has everything to do with Schick, and I think at 5 blades we’ve officially reached the point of imperceptible returns in the razor blade industry. Seriously. If you can’t get a close enough shave with 2 or 3 blades, maybe God is telling you to grow a beard.

I am no authority on close shaves since I currently sport a beard, but I have definitely gone through my paces with razors. I started with the Gillette Atra Plus in high school and never found anything easier on my face. I’ve never liked Schicks, thought the Mach 3 was pretty good, and absolutely hated the Sensor. Can’t do the electrics either… don’t have the right sort of face for it. So anyway, that’s my razor preference: What’s yours? And would you try a 5 blade model?

*Note: This is not part of an organized effort to hype the Gillette Fusion razor within the blade-enthusiast community. I do, however, recommend trying out some Mint-flavored shaving cream.

112 comments on “Gillette’s Five Blade Folly”. Leave your own?
  1. Bradley says:

    Biggest difference between the Mach 3 and the Schick Quattro I found was the tiny threads on the face of the Quattro. Apparently they were to keep the blades inline, but boy did they clog. I can shave a 7-day beard off my face with a Mach 3 and normal strokes, but the Schick was like a lawnmower with a small bag trying to tackle an overgrown yard; get used to short strokes.

    So it’s not just blades, as far as I’m concerned. It’s design flaws. The Schick Quattro was a better, closer shave than even a Mach 3 Turbo for me, and I have pretty thick hair. But shaving took too long because of a design flaw. Even on stubble.

    And I don’t enjoy picking hairs out of my razor. I prefer *rinsing* hairs out of my razor.

    I’ll probably try the new razor, but just out of curiousity. Gillette has always said, “fewer strokes means less irritation”. I agree… I have horrible skin for shaving. But if you can’t take the hair off with three blades, and insist on five, perhaps daddy needs to teach you how to shave.

    Now I use a Norelco (Philips) electric, to cut down on my lengthy morning ritual. I keep a Mach 3 around in case I decide to grow some hair and then turn back. These things happen.

    Now that I think of it, Gillette sent me a Mach 3 with some other goodies in the mail for my 18th birthday. I think they are still doing this. Seems like great marketing to me…

  2. Mike D. says:

    Bradley: I agree about the tendency of the Quattro to drag. Hard to believe it’s not a deal killer for everyone.

    With regards to Gillette sending you a new handle every year for your birthday, yeah, that is really great marketing. Didn’t even know about that. It’s a small and inexpensive gesture, but it would seem to be potentially quite powerful.

  3. adam says:

    Reminds me of a great SNL skit where the razor had so many blades, the last 4 or 5 blades would take layers of the face off.

    I tossed my gillette years ago for an electric razor. I was getting tired of paying absurd prices for replacement blades. Seems like the have gone the route of inkjet printers – sell the main item for cheap, and make money off the refills.

  4. Bradley says:

    Oh, pardon me. I need to clarify, Mike:

    They send out packages for 18th birthdays only. It’s that “becoming a man thing,” I believe. I have only received the one free razor, but friends younger than me (turning 18) have also received the gift, so it still seems to be part of Gillette’s marketing arsenal.

    So I got one razor. But that razor cut the competition’s legs out from under them. Gillette put it in my hand, I started using it, I liked it, and I saw no reason to try any other razor. Brilliant.

    And to think I thought Bic was my only hope before I turned 18.

  5. Erik says:

    I got the Mach 3 on my 18th b-day as well. I’m 23 now, and I’ve been using it since they sent it to me only because its worked well and its never crossed my mind to try something else. Talk about marketing! Gillette made their product such a part of my everyday ritual that the idea of buying anything else has completely faded away….at least until it breaks.

    And Adam is right, the price of 4-pack of refill blades for the Mach 3 is over $10 most places now, its rediculous. My wallet wouldn’t be able to handle the stress of buying refills with 5 blades in them.

    I think the razor blade industry needs to change their business philosophy if they want their new products to survive now that the functionality has plateaued. 1) Stop supporting old versions. 2) Give us 30 day trials of the new version, then have the blades go dull on day 31 (hey, its the 21st century, there’s gotta be a way). 3) Plant in our subconscious the idea that we HAVE to have the latest, greatest version in order to function in our daily lives, even though the new product is all flair and no function (for example, make the grip look cool, toss in 2 extra blades even though you know they don’t do anything, then call it Windows Vista and offer it in 7 colors.)

    That should do the trick.

  6. Philip says:

    ditto on those counts. razor in mail when i turned 18 (how does gillette know these things?? I thought it was just the Army! even the credit card companies don’t know your age when they start sending applications)
    I don’t go through blades too fast, and then use them a bit when they’re dull not noticing it until i pop on a nice sharp one. Ergo I don’t buy them too often, which is fortunate, because yes, they are steep in price. I don’t think the mach 3 was sent to me, but i ended up switching to it.
    5 blades is silly.
    maybe we should go back to those awesome single *blades* our grandfathers used, the kind in the old films :)

  7. Chris says:

    I still keep my 3 blades Wilkinson(Schick) haven’t tried newer versions

  8. No matter how many blades a razor has, it can only ever be used once before it starts to feel like you’re trying to scrape your face off. I tried the Mach 3 and the Quattro, and after 2 shaves the blades were dull and ragged (and thus, quite painful).

    Since then I’ve went to using single blade, disposable Bic razors and investing in a good shaving gel (creams don’t really work for me). Use the disposable once, get a good shave, bin it.

    For shaving, I recommend ‘King of Shaves Supercooled AlphaGel DDS Shaving Gel’… mmm, menthol smooth.

  9. Brownspank says:

    Ah, yes, adding a couple more blades is certainly more profitable for Gillette than having to send out a how-to-shave-properly-regardless-of-blade-count brochure. This new razor will certainly appeal to men who, despite having glanced upon several Queer Eye episodes where Kyan tells you how it’s done, insist on speed-shaving.

    Shave along the grain, people, not against it! :)

  10. Matt says:

    I started out with the Mach 3 after gilette sent it to me when I turned 18. But as people have mentioned the refill blades are too expensive. I found a straight razor in my dad’s basement and used it until it got too dull. After that I went out and bought an old school safety razor from the 1950’s that takes the old school double edged razor blades that are still nice and cheap. Outside of the occasional nick when I’m in a hurry it’s just as good as the Mach 3 and a lot cheaper.

  11. Casey Glass says:

    What I find most amusing is that The Onion predicted this products development 18 months ago :)

  12. Mark says:

    I’m with Matt (10). The most effective razor I’ve ever used was the single blade, metal razor my dad got me started on. Nice and heavy, with a shuttle bay door type system to accept a fresh double-edged blade. No gimmicks, no hype, no need for more than one blade. The whole message and brand was about sharpness, cutability and care.

    Ahh, the good old days…

  13. Bob Sawyer says:

    I’ve gone as far as three blades, but after forgetting my razor on a trip and having to deal with a single blade disposable, I’ve gone the way of Paul above and use them exclusively. They seem to work better for my beard, and the blades don’t cost an arm and a leg.

    I’ve been considering switching to the old-fashioned, heavy metal razor such as Mark describes, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

  14. Bradley your right, my twin brother received a free razor from Gillette. I didn’t receive one. Like I said I’m a twin…the oldest twin. So if anyone from Gillette reads this. Your company (like many others) need to realize that just because birthdays are the same and names are similar doesn’t mean it’s an error. Sorry to ramble Mike.

    Oh, I don’t exactly know what type of razor I use now it’s some electric one, that is a pain in the….face. I need to get a new one.

  15. Was a long time user of the Mach3. Then, about six months ago, went to a “cut-throat” straight razor. Best move I ever made. Results in a much, much closer shave and significantly less irritation. Initial outlay was significant but I won’t be buying replacement blades for at least the next decade…

  16. Lorene says:

    Last year Lee Scott, the president & CEO of the Land of Evil aka Wal-Mart, came and gave a talk at my company. He was discussing the 3 blade razors that were out and a discussion he had with the president of shick or gillette, I forget which. Anyway Lee asked him exactly what the 3 blades do….and he was told “Well, the first blade lifts, the second one cuts, and the third allow you to charge a third more”.

  17. Bradley says:

    Joshua (14) –

    Darn. My wonderful Rebecca (gf) is a twin, and she has many a sour story about growing up and being left out. I feel for you.

    Between the razor, the shave gel, and the pocketknife, you really got ripped!

    You should write a letter.

  18. Scott says:

    This post could start with the same quote as your last: Never waste a stroke.

    I assume that the extra 2 blades are marketed as stroke reducing irritation preventers. I’ll stick to the “inferior” mach 3, because I like punishing the people I’m closest to with a gritty face. :)

  19. Matt says:

    Does anybody use a single-blade double-edge razor anymore? Seriously, the closest shave you’ll ever get will come after you learn to use this type of blade. Combine it with a good menthol-infused shaving cream like Proraso, and you will wonder how you ever managed to get by with 5 blades.

    The shaving cream itself can get expensive – roughly $10 a tube – but it’s worth it, and the money I save on blade refills more than makes up the difference.

  20. Jeff Walter says:


    GOOD CALL on the Onion reference! I read Mike’s article in my newsreader and found the Onion article before I even came to see if the comments mentioned it. I have to say that this is probably the funniest thing I have ever read in the Onion. Perfect James M. Kilts response (or what I imagine it would be with that ridiculous picture)

    ‘You’re taking the “safety” part of “safety razor” too literally, grandma. Cut the strings and soar. Let’s hit it. Let’s roll. This is our chance to make razor history. Let’s dream big. All you have to do is say that five blades can happen, and it will happen.’

  21. I am sick of the blade race – it’s just gotten re-god-damn-diculious.

    I stopped upgrading to more blades with the 2 blade Sensor Excel, but I ‘m seriously considering dropping all this multi blade nonsense and investing in an old-school single blade razor, like Matt and Mark have.

  22. Rob Weychert says:

    I’m an electric guy myself, though I’m thinking about making the switch to the traditional razor ‘n shaving cream method next spring when the winter beard goes into hibernation. So I’ll be keeping an eye on this post for the latest recommendations in excessive razor efficiency.

  23. Personaly having very thick curly hair, shaving has been a real pain in the ass for me over they years. Currently I use the M3 (the one with the battery) when I need a real close shave and on other days I use a pro barbers close electric clipper set (the small one the barber uses to clean up your neck and side burns). Although the battery powered M3 might seem like a joke for someone like me, it gives the razor that extra little kick to get through my scruff. Other razors clog really really bad, where as the M3 cleans up pretty well with running hot water. Using the Barber clippers, is really just a dry shave and makes me look like I have a little less than a days growth. Cleanup is a pain but I keep a vacuum pretty close. I’ve tried those beard clippers with the vacuum built in to get the same effect but they are pretty lousy.

  24. This sort of reminds me of the race to version 6 in the browser wars a few years back. When Netscape apparently forgot that 5 comes after 4. (Or at least forgot to tell anyone about their version 5 browser). Where’s version 5?

    As far as the razor thing goes, I mainly use an electric. Back when I was using a Mach 3 all the time, I was very pleased – I bought a Mach 3 Turbo (the one that vibrates to ‘raise the hair’ off your face to get a closer shave) and I didn’t notice any difference. To me, any new innovations after the 3rd blade are just a highly coordinated marketting scheme to sucker people into buying the latest new product that will apparently revolutionize your morning ritual.

    Seriously. If you can’t get a close enough shave with 2 or 3 blades, maybe God is telling you to grow a beard.

    I concur.

  25. Mike says:

    First off, the Schick Quattro is a piece of shit that no one should use. Here’s why:

    The way that the blade connects to the handle is so awfully designed I want to cry. The handle connects directly to the back of the blade, so after you’re done shaving, all the little hairs that you took off get stuck inside the blade because the handle connection traps them in there. I shaved with a (free) Quattro once and promptly threw it in the garbage afterwards.

    When you have to bang the razor against the sink to get the hair out instead of running water doing the job, then you know your razor is a piece of shit. Mach 3 all the way baby.

  26. kingbenny says:

    I’m holding out for the Schick Octo. I hear it will rock face.

  27. Eric says:

    I think this is worth sharing because it is relevant to some of Gillettes comments about going straight to 5…a few years ago a friend of mine who is in college in MD was actually HANDED a working prototype of the Gillette 5 blade razor. Of course he has been ranting and raving about it for about 3 years now, which in our network of friends is too long for it to actually be “Real”. We figured that this was some R&D experiment done to capture the reactions of college aged people at the time. I guess it turns out that it was really in the pipeline awhile ago….

    In reading the blogosphere about the Fusion it seems that everybody has the same cynical comments about this product and its development. One question that comes to mind is “what can a company do to prove itself right if everything was a secret at the time?”

    This goes back to your post yesterday about the unique logo design – if you release your top 5 logo choices into the market to make sure they are not “taken” are you then cancelling out ownership or creativity of others by “denying” them the other 4 when you choose the winner?

    I think Gillette and many others should have a policy in which they can release things that were done R&D wise over the past few years to show\prove a point and get some great PR at the same time.

  28. Frankly, this is getting stupid. Gilette, in my opinion, have finally jumped the shark on this one.

    I use a twin blade razor and actually find it gives me a better shave than a three or four blade – for some of the reasons mentioned above. At the end of the day, how close do you need your shave to be? It’s only going to grow back again in 24 hours.

  29. Salty says:

    Too many dang blades – I still use a rusty lid from an old sardine can that I sharpen on a whetstone occassionally…does the trick just right – plus the little bit of soybean oil from the sardines is a good moisturizer.

  30. So as someone who also received the mach3 on their 18th birthday, but has also tried every freakin blade on the market, I am curious, what type of razor/cream combo produces the least amount of razor burn? I never got razor burn until recently, which causes ingrown hairs (i.e. bumps), and have been trying lots of different things. Does a single or twin blade razor really make that much of a difference? I’ve heard that the “safety” razors (those w/the heavy metal handles and single blades are the best all around).

  31. Pierce says:

    How did Gillette get all your names, addresses and dates of birth to send you stuff on your 18th birthday? That’s pretty horrifying, unless you signed up to something with them.

    I refuse to buy either Gillette or Wilkinson(Schick) until they stop insulting my intelligence with their godawful, testosterone-fueled, ridiculous advertising. Razor ads resemble parodies of marketing tools aimed at men.

    Disposible Bics are quite satisfactory.

  32. EAW says:

    Like you, I never got razor burn until recently. I’ve found a couple things help avoid the problem:

    Use a sharp razor. As others have said, a mach3 blade (for example) is really only sharp for about four shaves. I change mine once a week, which is still expensive.

    Use a good shaving gel. Lather well.

    Shave with the grain. “The grain” might not be obvious – it often changes directions and swirls at funny places, so get to know your face.

    If you need it closer, shave cross-grain or against the grain only after you have it as close as possible with the grain.

  33. Adam beat me to the comment about the SNL sketch. The razor had like 20 blades. The first four blades cut each hair shorter and shorter, then the skin started peeling off.

  34. Eric Thompson says:

    Use a sharp razor.

    If you want to keep your razor sharper and far more comfortable, dry it after use. Just wipe it over a towel with the sharp end trailing (so you don’t slash your towel). Once I started doing this, I noticed a big improvement with any razor. I’m not entirely sure why this helps, since blades are supposed to be stainless steel, but it does in my experience.

    I can also second King of Shaves. Good stuff.

  35. Tim says:

    I used a Mach 3 before I got an electric (thought I would throw that in there), but when the Quattro came out I thought it was pretty funny Schick topped Gillette by one blade. My friends and I placed bets on how long it would take before the OCTOGOTRON came out — 8 blades of shaving heaven!

    I knew I would comment on this blog someday…might as well be on shaving!

  36. Mike D. says:

    Interesting how many people are going old school with the single blade cartridge! I might need to try that.

    With regards to blades getting worn and also the drying of blades that Eric mentioned above, it’s all about corrosion from what I understand. You can shave 30 faces with one razor if you do it all in one sitting, but if you spread out 30 shaves over two months, the razor is in noticeably worse shape. Corrosion causes the blade not to be as smooth, and that’s why drying it after each use lengthens its useful lifetime. Or so I’ve heard…

  37. Hot water before you shave and cold water right after has always done the trick for me. I think the cold water closes the pores so those hairs that you jut cut don’t get a chance to double over and casue the blockage which results in razor burn. Oh and using the tweezers to take out problematic hairs before you shave is always a good idea. If you see 2 hairs coming out right next to each other or even out of the same pore, you need to take those out.

  38. Paul says:

    I could be wrong, but maybe razor blades are SUPPOSED to come in the form of Fibonacci numbers. (Seriously, nobody here has mentioned a 6 or 7 blade razor, the next jump people make is 8.)
    I personally use an electric razor, but that’s mainly because I’m lazy and it was a gift. I went to try the Mach 3 (that I too got for my 18th birthday, which brings up the point – how the hell did they know it was my birthday) but discovered it missing. That leads me to believe my mom took it and used it for her legs. Maybe I’ll ask her how it went and if she has any plans to switch to a 5 blade “Fusion”.

  39. Justin P says:

    I don’t think Gillette is the Ferrari of the razor industry either. I have had a Mach 3 forever and it shaves me just fine. I have never thought to myself “you know, this razor is pretty sweet, but it’d be a lot better if it had two more blades”. That’s just ridiculous.

  40. Fred says:

    Was using Gillette Sensor but felt ripped off when buying replacement blades. I started using some cheapy Schick dual blades, but switched from the foam to GEL cream. I believe the type of shave cream plays more of a role than the razor.

    Anyone ever use a straight razor?

  41. Jeff Wilkinson says:

    adam way above wrote: “I tossed my gillette years ago for an electric razor. I was getting tired of paying absurd prices for replacement blades. Seems like the have gone the route of inkjet printers – sell the main item for cheap, and make money off the refills.”

    You have it backwards… decades ago the razor companies (remington or gilette I believe) discovered the tactic of selling razors cheap and making all your profit on selling lots of blades for them. The inkjet printer companies came long after and obviously now follow the same theories. (damn their little black hearts)

    Personally, my vote goes for electrics… though it’s being disloyal not to go with Wilkinson razors ;-)

  42. Marla says:

    How did Gillette get all your names, addresses and dates of birth to send you stuff on your 18th birthday? That’s pretty horrifying…

    My theory is (of course) a government conspiracy … something involving the Selective Service registry would be my guess.

  43. Rian Murnen says:

    I’ have been using the same companies razor for around six years or so and I certainly don’t care how many blades it has.

    Come to think of it, I can’t even remember what brand it is!

    I’m not necessarily a “no nonsense” kind of guy, but the razor industry is ridiculous. Battery powered vibrating razors flying around like jet fighters in a commercials is just annoying.

    Not as annoying as having to shave in the first place, but what can you.

  44. gse says:

    I switched to an old-school safety razor (and brush!) a few months ago and I’ll never go back. Much better shaves, way cheaper recurring costs, much less marketing.

    Here’s a decent get-you-started article:
    How to get that perfect shave

  45. Dylan says:

    I remember seeing a mock-vertisement on TV about a “quintippio” razor, which had something like 15 blades and looked like a highrise building on a stick.

    I found that to be a very humourous parody on the current state of razor blade supremacy. Unfortunately I don’t remember the company or product behind that advertisment.

  46. what about the power versions? i see this 5 blade thing has a powered version as well. i personally buy into all these gimmicky bs things, and bought the m3 mach3, but can’t see any benefit (probably don’t change the blades enough).
    Do all these companies that make these powered toothbrushes also use the same tech and make the vibrating razors? i mean i think i saw a schick power quattro on tv or something. (somebody correct me on this).

    Also another idea. How about forming a group-razor-buy. That way it reduces the cost of getting the replacement blades everyone is complaining about?
    you get a 100 people to pay $10 each, and i’m sure you can get more than 1000 blades for that kinda moola. probably 1500. ($.67 a blade??).

  47. I actually wrot a poste about my woes with shaving, “The Vibrating Lie,” not too long ago. I’m a chronic razor burn kinda guy, tried that Gillette Mach 3 Turbo (the battery powered one), and got burned on many levels. I’ve found that upgrading your shaving cream to something not put out by Gillette, Schick, or the other lowest-common-denominator companies helps a ton.

  48. Calrion says:

    Five blades? I thought four prooved that the sillyness had gone too far… or was it that electric manual razor. Go figure.

    I prefer the electric ‘shavers’ myself, mostly because it’s quicker. I am not a morning person. Current model’s a Braun Syncro: self cleaning, battery- or mains-powered, decent shave.

    Oh, and Jonathan, (sorry, just read your Vibrating Lie post) go electric. I used to get mild irritation from razors—nothing as bad as you—and I’ve had no such thing since I switched to electric.

  49. Nick says:

    Here’s a Great article on the perfect shave. As a sensitive skinned gentleman, I welcomed these tried and true technologies.

  50. Don says:

    In a moment of greatness I almost posted about this the other day… and then you did. I am feeling almost intelligent for once.

  51. What the.. 51 comments about a razor! You should all grow a beard :)

  52. Nathan Logan says:

    You want smooth? Try SAE-30 and a belt sander with medium grit sandpaper. I’ll never go back, baby.

    And Mike, although I think the Mint hype deal could have been handled a better, your disclaimer on this one was hilarious. And I’m glad to hear that you haven’t sold your soul to Gillette for five blades…or have you? Did they put you up to adding that disclaimer?


  53. D. Allen says:

    I was one of the testers on this product. And honestly, I’d most certainly choose it over any other razor that can be purchased at Wal-mart. The distance between the blades is closer and somehow the feel is close to quality.

    Nothing beats a straight razor and a good lather, but I wouldn’t call this in a folly in any sense of the word.

  54. John Schroedl says:

    New contest: How to shave an iPod.

  55. Ali Owen says:

    I think a single blader would be a revolution, or just get rid of those stupid ‘moisturising’ strips that cover your face in greae – making it impossible to cut the hair.

  56. Joe D'Andrea says:

    I’m partial to the Braun Activator 8585 myself. I’ve tried razors from time to time but somehow I keep coming back to the electric models.

  57. jacob says:

    Here in Europe Schick is called Wilkinson but they still suck. Do the blades in the US have these fine metal wires perpendicular to the blades as some sort of protection. These things annoy me very much and until Schick is dropping these I’m staying with my mach3.

    Oh yes, and there is no way I’m trying five blades, that’s just silly (yet see the response!)

  58. Benjamin says:

    I didn’t get a Mach 3 Turbo for my 18th birthday, actaully. I got it near the end of Grade 8. Gillette’s gotta have satellites that can pick out peach fuzz.

    I still use the same Mach 3, but I switched from Gillette shaving cream/gel to Nivea for Men cream. It’s a lot smoother and really reduces irritation.

    I’ve been wondering about a straight blade, though–I’m just afraid I’ll kill myself in morning stupor.

  59. Jon Tan says:

    I just stumbled across your entry Mike… isn’t marketing hype great? The whole tongue-in-cheek review made me laugh stitches loose, especially the poll.

    Just in case I’ve got this all wrong and it wasn’t supposed to be that funny, I’d pitch a shave from the straight-razor of my Sicillian barber friend Nick with his disquietening scar across one cheek, against any of the Gillette or Wilkinson razors available. I can’t wait for the new 10-blade Gillette in a few years time if only to see how they will manage to engineer it without it looking like a radiator grill.

  60. John Patrick says:

    For a long time now I’ve been using the quattro, it’s not a bad razor but I found when I switched from shaving oil to shaving foam it made a HUGE difference, When I shaved with oil I had to batter my sink to death with the razor for any of the stubble to be forcefully removed from the blades and when I switched back to foam (gillette) it was so much easier, so much smoother, and it only took the minimal of strokes to have a face smoother than John Travolta in Grease.

    I would definitely go back to the single blades before this marketing nonsense starts going overboard by inventing 8/10/12/25/45 blade systems, Could you imagine shaving your face with more than 4 blades? You’d take off the first 10 layers of skin, if they ever bring out a 45 blade razor say goodbye to cheekbones and jawbones, because you’ll be taking off the first layers of them!

    My rant is complete :)

  61. Mike, your article has inspired me to write a little article myself on the glory of Double Edged Safety razors and how to achieve a better shave. While I’m not a shave-o-phile, I have had enough hellish experiences with Gillette and other inferior makes to know the best way forward is to start using the old fashioned DE razors.

  62. Distingo says:

    Very interesting article, i find myself in some comments. That s true that all these big brands hide a lot of facts and put out oftenly a new product to make us buy the latest, better, hottest, …

  63. Dave Metcalf says:

    Gillette’s president was probably telling the truth from a certain standpoint.
    When they came out with the Mach3, they must have realized they would be starting a razor war. Accepting that the next logical step was to be one-upped by a competitor, they immediately started development on the five blade so they could spend as little time as possible out of the top spot.
    It does, however, remimd me of the hitchhiker Ben Stiller picked up in “There’s Something About Mary.”

  64. John says:

    I started with an electric. Then my wife convinced me to try disposables. Started with the 2 bladed cheapos and worked my way up to the M3 convincing myself that it was all worth the increases in cost. Then, one day, I tried the cheapos again and realized I got the exact same shave. But I’m getting tired of the waste and cost of disposables and am shopping for an old-fashioned safety razor. I know it’s cheaper (and easier on the landfills) in the long run, but sheehs, I’m still going to shell out more than $100 for the razor, blades, soap, mug, and brush. In time, and an increase in courage, I may even switch to a straight razor.

  65. Nick says:

    1,2,3, and 5 are all good for shaving because they all are prime numbers of razors. The 4, though, has a factorable number of rzors and so is a bad razor.Plain and simple…

  66. Ken says:

    Started shaving in 1963 with a Gillette double-edge razor that I still use. (The kind collectors now call a “clamshell” but we just called it a razor.) Get twenty to thirty shaves per blade. No nicks, no stubble, no problem. Gillette’s problem is they got it so right the first time they’ve had to invent all this new stuff to keep increasing their profits, and it’s us men who pay through the nose for it all. Except me – dispenser of ten generic double-edge blades at the grocery store: $3.00. Can of foam: 89 cents. “New” and “Improved” ain’t necessarily so.

  67. Scott says:

    @ #43

    My theory is (of course) a government conspiracy … something involving the Selective Service registry would be my guess.

    That’s not a bad bet. I got mine 5 years ago and it was a Mach 3 that was in a special US air force promotional package. (a clever case of brand overlap?) I don’t know about a conspiracy, but it certainly seems that the military is involved. :)

  68. Bill says:

    Late to the conversation…

    Tried a sample of a 4-blade system and found it like shaving with the back end of a bus.

    I suspect retailers need more margine and can’t afford the space to carry a lower margine 2-blade system.

    All I want/need is a good 50 cent 2-blade cartridge. $1.25 for a cartridge is more than I’m willing to pay consistently. I tried some generic Target blades and they were awful.

    Any ideas for a good, cheap 2-blade system?

  69. Dag says:

    You guys are pathetic; complaining about the cost of shaving when even the Fusion, which blades will sell at a 30% premium to M3’s, works out at a cost of about 20 cents per shave, or half of a small, plain Starbuck’s coffe per week!

    As for the “blade race”, there is no such thing. If you took the time to research facts just a tiny bit before forming your opinion you’d realise that Gillette’s statement about the Ferrari/Volkswagen thing isn’t so off base: Shick is preferred by a fantastic 2% of men. The overwhelming majority agrees that Gillette sells a superior product.

    But not only that. Gillette tested the Fusion with 9000 men as part of the $600+ million dollar development of the Fusion, and up against the Quattro as well as the Mach3, 70% immediately found the fusion a better product. Personally, I suspect many of the 9000 test subjects had the same type of resistance I see in these comments, a basic scepticism that this is just marketing hype and no good. After all, even if the subjects didn’t know who were behind the product, they surely must have noticed it had five blades.

    Note that I haven’t tried the new razor and I don’t know if I will like it any better than the Mach3 I use today. What I do know is that even though I am in less pain with the M3 than I’ve been with other razors, I still cut myself occasionally and it still is a little painful if I skip a day or two. Since the price *difference* going to the new razor will be in the thirty cents per week ballpark I’ll simply try the new one – and if I think it is even slightly better I’ll obviously start using it right away.

    If you remember that your shaving expenses are on the order of $50, or the equivalent of a decent meal out, on a *yearly* basis, you should have an easier time emotionally next time you buy blades. BTW, instead of choosing a poorer product, a more sensible way to economize is to get on top of your emotional thing and buy a bigger pack of blades. It has the added benefit that they’ll last you longer.

    I live in Paris, and blades (like most everything) are more expensive than in the US, but I find that buying an 8-pack of Mach3 blades for €23 ($28) is quite acceptable since it’ll last me two months or longer.

    Seriously, if you’re going to complain about a price increase of $3,- per month, consider working half an hour more per month – even at minimum wage that’ll suffice to cover the added expense!


  70. gonzoid says:

    At my old house, the people before me had a teenage son. We sometimes got their mail, even after 6 years!

    I got his Turbo razor and a wealth of offers to join the US Army.

    Thanks for the razor, but one thing that troubled me was that the blades weren’t set properly on the insert. IF I was to use that *free* insert I would have needed EXPENSIVE plastic surgery…

    I HATE to shave, but the wife demands it. I just check every new insert to make sure that I’m not about to carve grooves in my face.

    Too many blades is a joke. I think that physics wise, three is probably about the limit. After that, the curvature of the face probably makes the rest of them miss the ‘target’. And Gillette claiming that they skipped 4 blades because it wasn’t ‘good enough’ was just a hysterical moment in the disgrace of corporatism… Poop on the other guys product because they beat you to it…

    You do reach a point where too much is, well too much…

    On a related tangent, Oprah had a show that mentioned women’s bizzare habits and told of a woman that was using the same insert for shaving her legs and other bits for over a year! My God!! No wonder her legs probably looked like the Bride of Frankenstien’s!!! (Or Frahnkensteen)

    The inserts are too expensive, but the Sensor inserts nick me too much… Ohh, and don’t store the inserts in the humidity and heat of the bathroom, the ‘comfort strips’ melt and get all impossible to use…

    Any opinions on ‘man scaping’???


  71. gonzoid says:

    At my old house, the people before me had a teenage son. We sometimes got their mail, even after 6 years!

    I got his Turbo razor and a wealth of offers to join the US Army.

    Thanks for the razor, but one thing that troubled me was that the blades weren’t set properly on the insert. IF I was to use that *free* insert I would have needed EXPENSIVE plastic surgery…

    I HATE to shave, but the wife demands it. I just check every new insert to make sure that I’m not about to carve grooves in my face.

    Too many blades is a joke. I think that physics wise, three is probably about the limit. After that, the curvature of the face probably makes the rest of them miss the ‘target’. And Gillette claiming that they skipped 4 blades because it wasn’t ‘good enough’ was just a hysterical moment in the disgrace of corporatism… Poop on the other guys product because they beat you to it…

    You do reach a point where too much is, well too much…

    On a related tangent, Oprah had a show that mentioned women’s bizzare habits and told of a woman that was using the same insert for shaving her legs and other bits for over a year! My God!! No wonder her legs probably looked like the Bride of Frankenstien’s!!! (Or Frahnkensteen)

    The inserts are too expensive, but the Sensor inserts nick me too much… Ohh, and don’t store the inserts in the humidity and heat of the bathroom, the ‘comfort strips’ melt and get all impossible to use…

    Any opinions on ‘man scaping’???


  72. gonzoid says:

    At my old house, the people before me had a teenage son. We sometimes got their mail, even after 6 years!

    I got his Turbo razor and a wealth of offers to join the US Army.

    Thanks for the razor, but one thing that troubled me was that the blades weren’t set properly on the insert. IF I was to use that *free* insert I would have needed EXPENSIVE plastic surgery…

    I HATE to shave, but the wife demands it. I just check every new insert to make sure that I’m not about to carve grooves in my face.

    Too many blades is a joke. I think that physics wise, three is probably about the limit. After that, the curvature of the face probably makes the rest of them miss the ‘target’. And Gillette claiming that they skipped 4 blades because it wasn’t ‘good enough’ was just a hysterical moment in the disgrace of corporatism… Poop on the other guys product because they beat you to it…

    You do reach a point where too much is, well too much…

    On a related tangent, Oprah had a show that mentioned women’s bizzare habits and told of a woman that was using the same insert for shaving her legs and other bits for over a year! My God!! No wonder her legs probably looked like the Bride of Frankenstien’s!!! (Or Frahnkensteen)

    The inserts are too expensive, but the Sensor inserts nick me too much… Ohh, and don’t store the inserts in the humidity and heat of the bathroom, the ‘comfort strips’ melt and get all impossible to use…

    Any opinions on ‘man scaping’???


  73. gonzoid says:

    Sorry for all the multi-posts. The website didn’t look like it was working. It kept getting hung, so I reposted… A few times… Sorry… :-|

  74. Jenny S says:

    Sorry Guys,
    This is much more appealing to a woman who has sensitive legs and underarms. The less passes I make, the less likely of irratation and major knicks. As long as they don’t clog easy, they work better than any of the “chic” razors marketed, that frankly are not worth a dime. Hey, maybe you can poll folks on women’s razors and see if we think any of them work worth the money you shovel out for them.

    I have used Mach 3 for a while now, get a faster, closer shave and it doesn’t clog so much, and the blades seem to have a longer lifetime use than anything I have tried before. I am currently trying one of the “girly” razors again, forget the name, but they have until the blades run out to prove their worth. So far the head is not as flexible (when we need it to be more flexible) and the handle isn’t any longer, so still got to be a contorsionist to use it in the shower. Has the multiblades system and a “lotion strip”, but the blades tend to clog easy. Now if you do not shave everyday, this is a hassle. Pretty purple color, but if I am the only one to see it, who cares.

  75. Jeff says:

    I would like to point you all to an article from my favorite news source, they predicted this long ago.



  76. Dan says:

    The blade you use is only half the equation, the lubricant is at least equally important. I own and operate a web retail business devoted to shaving products at My main product is the original shaving oil – The Total Shaving Solution – which will give you far better results than foams and gels, and is superior to King of Shaves and other shaving oils. When I find a better shaving lubricant I’ll carry it, so far The Total Shaving Solution is the best one I’ve found.

    I also sell cryogenically tempered Gillette and Schick replacement cartridges that last far longer than the conventional ones, and the Razor Mate blade conditioner which also greatly prolongs razor blade life.

    For best results shave in the shower! I always stress this to my customers, if you use a quality blade with The Total Shaving Solution in the shower you will get a great shave.

    I personally use a cryo’d Mach3 or Mach3 Turbo, prefer it to the Quattro. A previous poster mentioned that shaving oil clogs his blades. True enough, to a certain extent, but I’d rather deal with a slightly clogged razor then a bloody face any day. The blades on the Mach3 are spaced apart enough where they rinse easily with decent water pressure. That’s another good reason to shave in the shower, easy rinsing.

    Some of you have mentioned the old school single blade / double edged razors. Never tried them but now I’m intrigued, although I recall as a kid that my dad used those and he used to walk around with bloody tissue paper stuck to his face. But he wasn’t shaving in the shower with The Total Shaving Solution either, which is how I’d try it.

    Would like to get the results of your poll Mike, hope you’ll post them here or email me and let me know. Really enjoyed all the posts, interesting and amusing reading :-).


  77. Randy says:

    Dan said:

    Some of you have mentioned the old school single blade / double edged razors. Never tried them but now I’m intrigued, although I recall as a kid that my dad used those and he used to walk around with bloody tissue paper stuck to his face.

    I use a double edge saftey razor everymorning. I had a couple of small nicks the first time or two I tried it, but never since. Much better than with my Atra, which I’d used since I started shaving in the 80s. Never did like the slime strip, so I switched to my double edge. WHat is the purpose of lubricating the face AFTER the blade passes over? Consumers a really gullible. Now I get a much better shave, and there’s something more satisfying about shaving with a heavy, handsome, metallic razor instead of some plastic space ship looking thing that appears as if it should have come in a childrens Happy Meal.

  78. Mikey says:

    Started getting fed up with all the new pointless multi-blade products coming out, knowing its just another marketing ploy. Checked out some sites though and many non high street shops are a hell of a lot cheaper, so maybe we just get ripped in the shops. One online one is here Razor Blades

  79. Andy says:

    Have any of you purchased a Mach 3 since the introduction of the Fusion? I tried one this morning that I bought on SuperBowl Sunday and it worked for crap. It felt like the blades were put in at the wrong angle. I had to go back and find the old dull one in order to finish.

  80. Clay says:

    So I could care less how many blades Gillette ads on their new products but I think that they are making a big mistake by the discontinuation of the Sensor, 2 blade razor. I’ve been having a harder and harder time finding Sensor refill cartriges and today was forced to buy a pack of disposables as the only two blade option. I think that Gillette and the other razor manufacturers out there don’t realize that there are a lot of people who intentionally buy 2 blade razors because, for many men, a closer shave causes ingrown hairs and skin irritation. I’m seriously considering learning to use a straight razor or stockpiling all the sensor refill’s I can find on ebay.

  81. Kane says:

    I rather like Gillete March III. It has a smooth shape and does give a very smooth shave too.

  82. Mcgill says:

    Yeah! I too use gillete for shaving purpose. It gives me smooth shave.

  83. Ev says:

    I currently use a Mach3Turbo. Well, You know that back edge trimming blade of the new Fusion razor. Well, I could really use a single blade for my sideburns to hold them back. My nurse has to shave for me (I’m a quadraplegic) and i’m ending up with (help me, O God!) grisly looking retro Elvis(h) sideburns! Should I just buy a seperate single blade razor along with my mach3? Where can I get one? No safety razors please. Thanks!!!

  84. Shaun Carter says:

    I received a free Gillette Fusion razor and I absolutely love it over my Mach 3 Turbo. I don’t really care for the single blade part though.

  85. Kevin says:

    I made the switch from the Mach 3, Quattro, Fusion powered and regular Fusion, to the classic Double edged safety razor. The more blades on the razors seems to cause the blades to clog more often and gentle tapping doesn’t unclog the razor and forget about running water… Frustrating!!!

    Well it’s been 2 months and I have been getting the best shave ever and since I’m using a double edge razor (2 edges) I’m still using the same blade after months of daily shaving. A pack of 100 of these blades on Ebay are less than $10. No skin irritation and no problems shaving the neck area which was always problematic with either electric or regular razors.

    The other revelation was switching from Shaving foam, cream or gel to a shaving OIL. You want the best shave ever no matter what type of blade you use? Trust me, no hype try it. Hell, WalMart sells this oil for like $4.00 and it will last for over 200 shaves. You wet your face and lather in your hand 3-4 drops of oil and then massage into your face. Shave as normal but if your face dries just add water and boom you will have THE BEST SHAVE EVER.

    A guy on Ebay sells different blended oil for different types of skin, but the cheap stuff from Walmart works well has a minty fragrance and your skin feels great afterwards no need for aftershave… For those interested it is called Shave Secret in an 18.75 ml bottle (very small bottle) and they have a website at, check it out.

  86. Steve says:

    My skin bleeds just looking at a razor. Until the Mach 3 came out I needed a transfusion every time I shaved. But even with 3 blades I still had about 8 cuts no matter how long I steamed my face. After the Quattro came the blood spots went down to 1-3 on average. Now with the Fusion I have 0-1 cuts on my face. The Fusion is one of the greatest inventions in the world, VIVA LA FUSION!

  87. Graham says:

    I hate marketing crap as much as the next guy and I have to admit the razor ads are some of the worst.

    However I’ve got to hand it to Gillette, every one of their “shaving system” advancements from Trac II (at age 16), through to Fusion (at 42) has meant a more comfortable and nick-free shave for me.

    If it works, it works.

  88. Matt says:

    I recently received a Fusion 5 blade razor as a promo piece in my mail. I had been wanting to give this a try for a while. I was especially interested in the single blade on the back. But after using it, I can say I’ll stick with my Mach 3 and straight razor for years to come. Here’s why:

    1) The Fusion has too much surface area. If my face was abnormally long or some other other freakish abnormality, the sheer square footage this razor was apparently built to shave might be fine – maybe if I was bald / balding and had to shave my head all the time? Anyway, I can shave an entire cheek in 3 strokes, but have an impossibly difficult time around the neck. If I was 300 pounds and had a big fat neck which was the same diameter as my head, this blade could get the job done. But unfortunately my neck and jaw line are ‘normal’… so… the single blade on the back to the rescue? Let’s find out in point number 2:

    2) The single blade on the back was a complete failure at doing anything related to shaving. The blade is set much too far behind the guard that any hopes of reaching stubble or hair of any kind is utterly useless. I actually tried to remove the guard thinking it was meant to come off. With very hard pressure and a steeper approach angle (not very reassuring) I was actually able to shave the ol’ sideburns. Well, at least one side. After one stroke, the rear blade becomes hopelessly clogged. There is not enough of a gap behind the blade to eject any hair. Worthless. I’m much better off my my straight razor. Which brings me to my third point:

    3) The blades on the Fusion are not only twice as expensive as the Mach 3 blades, but they also come in half the quantity as a pack of Mach 3 blades. Combined with one-stroke longevity of the single back blade, I imagine the fusion blades will get used up much faster.

    4) The overall shave was the same as with a Mach 3. I noticed no difference other than I had to pull out the Mach 3 to finish the job around my neck.

    I am glad that there are plenty of alternatives out there for me, because the Fusion just doesn’t cut it.

  89. Bob K says:

    I remember an earlier SNL bit that predates the one(s) mentioned above. It was an ersatz commercial showing an animation of thw workings of a 3- or 4-blade razor, with the voice-over providing description of how it worked (first blade makes hair stand up, etc)…when done with the demonstration, the narrator summed up by saying “because, you’ll believe anything”. It was pretty funny at the time.

  90. stuart says:

    I had been using the Mach 3 for years. I felt like I wasn’t getting a very good shave. I’d have to go over spots several times to get a clean shave leaving my skin a little irritated. I tried out a Gillette Sensor (2 blades) and found that there wasn’t much difference. So I switched because I could get generic blades for the sensor that we’re cheaper. Still, I was annoyed by shaving. I tried out the Quattro and found it to be amazing! It feels great and no more multiple sweeps. I don’t know if it’s just the 4 blades or the fact that it’s a different brand, but I’ve permanently switched.

  91. Brent says:

    I guess I am in the minority. I used the Mach 3 for years and switched to the Fusion and can tell a big difference. I guess it’s because I shave my head as well!

  92. charlie says:

    I recently switched from double blade razor to triple blade and now In have these huge scars on my right cheek.

    We really do not need to go past 2 blades its just very unsafe, and in the long run will cause permanent scarring of the face. I am very upset with what has happened to my face.

    Please please stick to two blades. I mean look at the threes and fours and now fives, they just don’t look and/or feel very safe against your face. Its like something that should be used to carve meat in the butchers shop. Careful guys.

  93. Don says:

    I was sent a free fusion in the mail and. It has a weird feeling. At first I thought I would rip my face off. BUT, it does the job great, I shave in half the time, no nick or cuts, and I shave right over bumbs and pimples with no cuts. I’m am still using the original cartridge now for about 10 shaves. The old disaposible 2 blades gave me about three shaves and many nicks and cuts. 5 blades may sound ridiculous but it sure works!!! If you haven’t tried it, don’r comment until you do. Proof is in the pudding.

  94. Michael Edwards says:

    I am shattered that Wilkinson has discontinued its Gel Response razor line. I have been using these for over 10 years & found them to give un-surpassed control & accuracy on the face. Two blades is all that’s needed if your combine that with a good shave gel ie. King Of Shaves. They were well priced too. I really hate it when the greedy fat cats put profit above a product. There is no way i’m shelling out for these ridiculous 4 & 5 blade shavers. Does anybody know where to gel leftover stocks of the Gel Response? Can you recommend a similar product (does not have to be Wilkinson – damn them).

  95. Erik says:

    I’d hate to see razors in about 10 years from now. INTRODUCING THE GILLETTE 15 SERIES: Fifteen blades for the closest shave, also comes with a pack of band-aids for that bloody mess.

  96. Ghita says:

    I know alot of these comments are from quite a while back, but I am surprised at the lack of female comments. You men arent the only one investing in decent razors. Its only really been over the past few years that we women have had any choices other than the “pink” bic, compared to the basic white and yellow version. Keep in mind, there wasnt anything different about the razor, just the color. Many of the new female versions of the razors are the same basic version of the mach3 and others, in pretty colors and a “moisturizing strip” which is gone after the first shave and doesnt really do anything for me anyway.

    I use the old fashioned straight razor on my clients, many of them are shocked at how good a shave it can produce, but the truth is just in learning the technique. Also, someone above mentioned using shaving oil. It really is great, creates a much better shave with less iritation, but really does a number clogging up most 3 and 4 blade razors.


  97. 5 Blade Razor?

    Come on 5 blades on a razor? Mike has the scoop. I have the toughest beard of anyone I know, I mean I would literally have to shave twice a day if I wanted to even be in the ballpark of a smooth face but even I can’t stand more than 2 blades rea…

  98. Dave says:

    I was using the Mach3 for the last few years and sometimes it was cheaper to buy a whole new handle with a few replacement blades than it was to buy the replacement packs. My wife saw some free trial offer on these Fusions, she had one sent to both of our houses and our business address so I got three for free. I have to admit the Fusion is the best shave for the money. I sometimes have to shave two times in one day so I go through blades like crazy. I hate shaving with a dull blade so I have to keep stocked up on replacements. I have a drawer full of electric shavers I’d been given for christmas gifts but most expensive ones can’t match a blade.

    As Don above said, if you haven’t tried on of these, it’s worth it. The only thing is when I got the first free ones, I resisted using it for a few weeks because it was Florida Gators colors (blue and orange). Not sure about Gillette marketing ressearch on this but most FSU fans and ACC football fans are repelled by blue and orange.

    I get about a week worth of shaves on a blade and I’ve found the best place to get replacements is at Sam’s club or to order them in bulk online. In fact, I was searching someplace to order a supply of replacements when I found this article.

  99. Robert M. Sharman says:

    Dear Sir,

    I want to find out what the stock price of Gillette was in 1955 for Capital Gains Tax purposes. That’s about when my Father bought the stock.
    Thank you for your time and consideration on this matter.

    Sincerely Yours,

    Robert M. Sharman
    of Houston, Texas

  100. Russell Sahlin says:

    I too love the Gillette Atra Plus. And I have found a whole batch of these razors which I am selling on Ebay (under classicstiles) with free shipping for 9.99. They are great. They don’t make the handles any more, but you can find the refill cartridges. If you have lost your Atra Plus handle or it is broken, not you can get a replacement.
    Russell Sahlin
    Ebay ID: claissicstiles

  101. […] it just me, or is this starting to resemble the razor blade shootout between Gillette, Schick, et […]

  102. George Summers says:

    I just happened to miss shaving this morning and went to my locker at work to get my disposable razor and discovered that I had in my locker a Wilkinson Sword pivot head with double blade. I had forgotten that it was there and I must have used this blade 9 or 10 times at least. The only reason I stopped buying them was the big stores stopped carrying them. I looked high and low in stores and finally give up. This blade is like the Rolls Royce of blades and I wouldn’t give a dollar for a truck load of those 4 and 5 blade fancy models the two big companies are making now.

  103. Sensor Fan says:

    I found this blog Googling where I can get a Sensor handle (wife threw my hand-me-down away) and the regular Sensor double blade refills.

    I HATE the 3 blade Mach 3. The head is so fat I burn my neck trying to get the nooks smooth. Then the fat blade misses the scrub under my nose!

    I would prefer an Atra again than even fatter cartridges…

    Schick I always found to have inferior sharpening to Gillette, somehow.

    I’m almost ready to try a straight edge razor if I can’t find Sensor Double Blade cartridges and a new handle… IMO, the double blade cartridges get the neck and under-nose the best. I have a light beard, compared to my Greek friend. He has to change his blades often. I can use one cartridge for a few months. We both hate the fat cartridges.

    The march of progress to more blades leaves the market open to actually a simple and “Better Shave”. Marketing nonesense, these giant thick useless cartridges.

    For instance, the trim blade on the front edge of the 5 blade carts available now simple try to make up for the fact that more blades miss the under nose.

  104. Martin says:

    I am particular about shaving.
    It has to be smooth to the touch or it is not worth the time and outlay.
    I had used twin blade refills for years accepting occasional nicks and cuts.
    Then I used triple blade and said good bye to the nicks and cuts.
    Then I inheritted my fathers Mach3Turbo and was impressed by the quality of the shave. But I got bummed by the huge jump in the cost of refills. The infliction of monopoly on the masses.
    I have had a season of a beard again but I like the joy of a smooth face.
    Now I consider a single blade system. Writers on your site have given good press to them so I will now commit to the shift.

  105. G Cox says:

    Wilkinson/schick admit that the Quattro block with oil based foams but refuse to put a warning on their packs. Don’t buy the Quattro

  106. Chris says:


    I’ve been using gillete for the past 11 years almost everyday because I thought they were the best blade on the market and the only blade that could handle my thick coarse beard which requires daily shaving….

    I upgraded to every new blade that was produced by gilette and for the past 2 years I have found myself extremely frustrated with the “5 blade gillete fusion power” often I would open up a new blade from the packet to find it defective and would scratch my face or fail to give me a close shave leaving my face in a bloody mess….

    Furthermore I found over the years their blades were becoming dull quicker and I would only use a blade for 5 days before it would fail and needed replacing, I was throwing out blades before the blue strip even faded, despite all this I stuck by them untill one day during a camping trip my friend offered me a basic 3 blade razor made by shick, because I had forgot my gillette razor, I hesitantly began to shave with it expecting to be disapointed but to my amazement IT WAS THE BEST AND CLOSEST SHAVE I HAVE HAD IN 11 YEARS!!!! I could not beleieve it, I had been fooling myself until now and wasting money on crapy gillette blades. Furthermore the blade my friend gave me outlasted the gilette razor 3 times longer! I have now converted and there is no looking back except for the amount of money Ive wasted over the 11 years on expensive gilette blades that required frequent replacement.

  107. Mike D. says:

    Chris: Every Schick razor I’ve ever tried has been absolutely awful. Would never try one again. Quite happy with the Fusion.

  108. Chris says:

    Mike, I guess it differes on the person but its also worth mentioning which country manufactured the blades, because the Gilette Fusions made in Australia where I live are abosolutely awful, like I said a blade only lasts me 5 days but when I went overseas to Europe and purchased the same Gilette Fusion Blade there I was amazed at how different the quality was and I was easily able to shave with it for 2 weeks without any problems.

  109. Mary M says:

    Ok, I read that there have not been many women on here to respond. My husband and I were absolutely fed up with the hype of razors costing so much. We ran the whole gammet, 5 blades, 4 blades, Fusions and Mach 3’s and 4’s, Venus, and the rest of the planets! The cost was off the chain. We were so fed up we began researching the old fashioned razors like my dad let me use as a young teen. We went on ebay and purchased two double-edged adjustable Gillette Fat Boy razors. Decent blades are about $3.00 a dispenser, we buy only one a month and they last for shaving underarms/legs and my husband about the same for his medium growth beard. I love the weight and feel of the Fat Boy and so does my husband. It is a much truer feeling of weight in your hand and somehow adds to the control as it is more substantial. I can’t quite explain it, but it just feels more natural and “how it is supposed to be”. This guy gives an overview for what not do do and what to do with a safety razor: and another
    Also, you have to know how to clean your razors so you don’t get an infection. I think this is a problem that a lot of people don’t even think about If you don’t like all the extra weight in your hands, you could get a Gillette Slim Adjustable Razor (2.5 oz) instead of the Fatboy (2.8 oz). The Slim is a little longer handled as well (9 cm or 3.5 inches long). A Fatboy is shorter (8.5 cm or 3.35 inches long).

  110. Fredric M. London says:

    I will go a step further. Get an old Gem or Eveready razor. I have given one to two people who used double edged, and the improvement was dramatic. Plus, it is easy to find numerous versions of the single edge blades, they last longer, and are inexpensive. Personally, I subscribe to the Blue Star, Pal, or Treat varieties, because they are carbon steel, which are much sharper than the stainless steel varieties.

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