Fuck Everything, We’re Doing Five Blades

By now, you probably know about how Gilette’s new 5-blade monster, the Fusion, was accurately predicted by the Onion back in 2004. If not, please take the time now to appreciate the irony and humor of that. Let me start out by saying that I’ve always been a non-electric razor person. Electrics (and yes, I’ve tried a few) do not produce as long-lasting a shave. They cause more irritation. You really can’t use them in the shower (or at least the thought of using an electric appliance in the shower gives one pause). But enough of my anti-electric evangelism. Switching from a regular 2-blade razor to the Mach 3 back in the day was like a difference of night and day for shaving comfort. I’m not exaggerating here. So you can see why I gave in to the hype, and picked up my own Fusion from the CVS this past weekend.


It’s a bit intimidating, as you can see from the above image. I do remember thinking the same thing, however, way back when I first tried the Mach 3. It’s just such a large surface of sharp metal blades, that it’s a tad scary — even though the science and physics say otherwise. More blades, closer together, reduce the pressure on the skin while shaving. This produces a better shave with far less irritation. The decreased space between the blades (as compared to the Mach 3) probably decrease the chance for cuts, since there’s less chance of skin getting caught in between the blades. Those are all things that the commercial says, and every one of them is true.

The shave was comfortable. It was even more comfortable than the Mach 3. This, of course, is the whole point of the new razor, so I wasn’t too surprised. I was pleased, but not surprised. The shave was close and smooth. Better than the Mach 3. This increase in “shave quality” was unexpected. Also unexpected, but related, was the fact that facial smoothness is maintained well into the post-shave day. Much longer than my experience with the Mach 3. Now, the downsides. The mysterious “6th blade” on the back of the razor just didn’t do it for me. It’s oriented in such a way that it’s not really convenient to use for trimming. Besides, I don’t know about the nooks and crannies on anybody else’s face, but the main side of the razor does a good job of getting everywhere. Also, the price is high. This is also to be expected, since that’s Gilette’s whole motivation for bringing out new razor technology every few years. An excuse to charge more for handles and, more importantly, blades. I’ll also take this opportunity to note that I went with the regular Fusion model. Not the goofy thing with the battery inside that vibrates as you shave. As I stated earlier, batteries have no place in my razor.

Overall Grade: A-

  1. #1 by errhode on March 1, 2006 - 3:43 pm

    I swear I remember reading once that back in the 70s there was an SNL skit about a razor with three blades. Because obviously that’s absurd.