Two blades was surely better than one, but 5?

Not one to analyze current shaving trends, I couldn’t resist the urge to share my thoughts concerning the Gillete Fusion Power battery powered shaving system. For those unfamiliar with the Gillette Fusion Power, consider it the expensive poor man razor. With a suggested retail price of $13.45 for the Fusion razor itself, and $30 for eight replacement cartridges, the entire "package" is short of a high-tech gizmo of an electric shaver but far more expensive than a 6-pack of disposables.

I had caved in, fallen victim to the tactics of the Gillette marketing team. Surely, 5-blades had to be better than the $8 pack of dual-bladed alternatives on the bottom shelf. I bit the bullet and picked-up the Fusion Power along with a matching can of "specially formulated" shaving gel. All the while Sylvia muttering "oh my god" as I imagined shaving with 5 vibrating blades against my skin. Oh the excitement.

Fortunately, I hadn’t shaved for a day so I had ample facial hair to experiment with. In an effort to keep this pointless rant short, I’ll fast forward to the part where I realize how irritating it is to shave with 5 horizontal blades vibrating on your face. With the Fusion Power vibrating, and a decent layer of shaving gel lathered on, the "pulsing" action of the battery powered razor actually made shaving more uncomfortable. It was as though each of the hairs on my face were being pulled in every other direction but down. On top of the hair pulling, the smooth shave wasn’t as smooth as a dual-blade disposable.

But then again, maybe it’s just me – random pokey hairs, Asian complexion, intolerance for any facial hair pulling (eye brows ouch!). I say the sweet-spot for razors was the dual-blade action introduced in 1970′s. One blade to serve the usual duty of cutting down morning grizzle, a second to pick-up the few that miss the cut. None of this one to cut, two to lift, three to wiggle / cut, four to catch the missed hairs, and five to give that baby bottom smooth finish.

Say hello to my 10-bladed, laser guided, self-sharpening with every rinse razor… Get smooth results when your facial hair falls out from the mere sight of the razor resting on your sink.

Discuss - 23 Comments

  1. I’ve been using the same razor for quite a bit and must admit, I feel the same way. The vibration is more of a novelty than something useful, I sometimes turn it on by accident which is incredibly annoying…

  2. Mike Rundle says:

    The vibration is terrible but the Fusion is the best razor I’ve ever used in my life, I’ll never go back to the Mach 3 or anything else. I’ve been shaving in the shower with no gel/foam for years now and slapping a new blade on a Fusion is the best shave ever. Go for the non-vibrating one to really feel the difference.

  3. Ash Haque says:

    I tried the Fusion and I found it to be pretty good, the vibrating feature didn’t make much of a difference, but I got a clean comfortable shave.

    I still prefer 3 blade razors though

  4. Glenn Wolsey says:

    I gave up on my Gilette Fusion a while back in favor of an electric razor. Now I can shave in half the time, with half the effort.

  5. Dumitru Tira says:

    I’ve been using the same razor for over 2 months and I love it, compared to the old Gillete with 2 blades this one is simple spectacular. Vibration actually makes shaving more pleasant to me. The shaving gel from Gillete is a pos, L’oreal’s shaving gel and after-shave is awesome and cheaper(the ones with orange lines around)

  6. Jamie Frater says:

    Actually – the fewer blades the better – you can’t beat a straight razor shave (though these are seldom seen nowadays). If you live in the UK a lot of barbers can do straight razor shaves. It is well worth the time. At home I always use a double razor (as I don’t own a straight razor) and it always outperformed the razors with more blades. The problem is that the more blades you have the more irritated your skin becomes.

    http://www.joyofapple.com/os-x/dramatically-increase-productivity-on-os-x

  7. Bruce says:

    You don’t have to come down on one side or the other. I got sick of cutting myself with blades, and annoyed at the irritation caused by electric shavers and their inability to provide a really “clean” shave. I opted for a three-part solution:

    1. Grow some facial hair: a beard and ‘mo covering the most often nicked areas;
    2. Monday am electric trim to 6mm and wet-shave cheeks and neck (Mach 3);
    3. On weekdays use a small electric shaver to keep the stubble down.

    Less irritation, less bleeding, less time. I recommend it to boys and girls everywhere.

  8. Si Jobling says:

    Anyone who knows me should also know that I’m not a regular shaver. I can’t understand how anyone can spare 15 minutes every morning to shave when that could be time spent in bed.

    However, when I do get around to my weekly shave, I’ve always been a fan of the Gillette series. When Gillette sent out a horrendous amount of Mach 3′s to male students at university, I was hooked.

    I must say that I find the Fusion range really crap though. I went all out when they were launched and selected a Fusion Power with “matching gel”, jumped in the bath and prepared myself. I was always concerned about having an electric appliance in such close proximity to water but thought that Gilette must have covered that. I’m afraid the say the shave was awful! I’d never cut myself so much and my skin was really irritable for a good few days. I wasn’t impressed.

    I decided to persevere and try a few more times. No progress. On top of that, I noticed the battery cover was slipping off so decided to leave it. A big fail from the G Boys.

    I’ve since downgraded to the manual Fusion. The five blades work a lot better on that and I can also feel safe at ease with the handle actually being submerged in water. It’s definitely an improvement on the Fusion Power but I do miss the Mach 3 days.

  9. Frank Cantu says:

    Before the Fusion, I tried out the Schick Quattro and totally hated it. For some reason, it made more damage to my skin than it shaved. Now I couldn’t be happier with the shave the Fusion gives me — although I admit the vibration’s more of a gimmick than something useful.

  10. Jay says:

    Over the past several months I’ve opted for the ‘permanent 2 day look’ that I achieve with an electric beard trimmer, but I also have a goatee and sideburns, so that cuts down on shaving time even more. Lazy? Maybe, but it looks good.

    But for time when I do need a clean shave (cheeks & neck) I use the Gillette Fusion. With or without the vibration, it’s the best shave I can get, second only to the Mach 3.

  11. Mike Rundle says:

    Frank, what’s funny about the Schick Quattro is that the design is totally flawed — the way the blade attaches to the handle makes all the hair you just cut get stuck in the little connection piece and you have to bang the razor on the shower wall or whatever to get the hair out. I got one in the mail as some sort of promotion, used it once and noticed this problem, and promptly threw it out lol.

  12. Wow, I have totally the opposite experience. I need to shave, and shave all the time. At least 2 times a day, and I must say this is the best razor I have ever experienced in my whole life. The vibration makes it go smoothly and easily through my tough facial hair, for an extra smooth and close shave. Without this I used to tear my face up, because I need to shave at least twice a day, and was always purchasing special shaving cream. With the Fusion Power I can use normal shaving cream, and have a perfect shave every time.

    And actually it is 4 blades, the 5th blade is a single blade on top to reach into hard to reach areas, and is also quite useful.

  13. Myke says:

    “…consider it the expensive poor man razor.”

    Haha I had a good laugh at that.

  14. Oompa says:

    Well I usually cruise the web for free stuff and have only bought one razor so far for my entire shaving history (my first…) and I got a fusion once. It didn’t bother me that much but it didn’t last as long as multiple other that retail for cheaper.

  15. I’ve got a Fusion as well and I was traveling to California last year.. and the vibrator turned itself on during security in the airport somehow. TSA was searching my bag b/c I had like 2 laptops and a hard drive or something geeky in there and they freaked out when they heard my razor making that sound heh. But overall I like the Fusion..

  16. Nick says:

    I use the unpowered version, and honestly, it’s the best shave I’ve ever had. Don’t go with the matching shave gel, IMO it sucks. Nivea makes a few really good shaving creams.

  17. Oops I was wrong, it is 5 plus 1.

    And I do love the power, just shaving with the power off, and then turning it on makes cutting through my admittedly touch facial hair so much easier.

    And good shaving creams also helps quite a bit, especially if you double shave (once with the grain, then relather and once against the grain).

  18. colin says:

    you will be very happy. this razor changed my life.

    well not really but it works really well.

  19. Armen says:

    A Mach3…I can’t justify spending any more.

    After trying every foam, gel, and oil and still getting irritated skin, I now shave in the shower with no product, and I get a great shave, especially if I haven’t shaved in a couple of days.

  20. Michael says:

    I’ve happily settled on a Mach 3 for a couple of years now. Every so often I’ll experiment with some crazy lubricating strip. Or not. Either way, I know I don’t need 5 vibrating blades doing their best to soothe me while simultaneously attempting to slice through the dense forest of vicious three day stubble.

    This also reminded me of one of the best Onion articles of all time “Fuck Everything, We’re Doing Five Blades”.