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February 06, 2006

A Warning to Shaving Enthusiasts

You might have seen the commercial during Super Bowl XL for the Gillette Fusion Power and been intrigued. Five blades, battery power like the M3 Power and an additional single blade positioned at the top of the blade array perpendicularly to provide access to the tight places that the big-headed razors have been missing since the two-bladed razors arrived upon the scene a couple decades ago. I have one thing to say. Back away from the new razor technology.

As I've said before I was skeptical of the power of the M3 Power until I finally tried one. It was the ultimate shaving experience in closeness, efficiency and blade re-use.

Well, last week I stumbled upon the new Fusion Power at my neighborhood Osco and always looking for more of a good thing, I decided it to give it a whirl. Sadly, I have shaved earlier that day and wanting to put the Fusion through its paces, I decided to wait three days. The M3 Power has never had trouble with a 3-day growth, so stupidly, despite my previous poor experience with the four-bladed Quattro, I threw caution to the wind, assuming the power and the superiority of Gillette products would carry the day.

I was dead wrong. I started shaving with the Fusion and felt something I hadn't felt in months. The Fusion was pulling at my skin and not shaving closely at all. I was finding I had to go back over each patch a couple of times to even get something near a close shave and it still wasn't as close as the shave from the M3 Power. After I finished one cheek and tested out the new single-blade on my sideburn I threw it down and went back to my trusty M3 Power which I had already used a couple of times. The difference was immediately noticeable.

What was the problem, I asked. It didn't have the small wires over the blade array like the Quattro did which held the blades too far from the face to provide a decent shave. I held the two shaving heads side-by-side and it became apparent. The blades on the Fusion were smaller and closer together so they don't catch each hair on the first (or second) pass. Plus, they're too close together to ever really get close to the face. It makes sense, though. I quit using an electric razor in high school because I wasn't getting a close shave and the standard electric razor and the Fusion share two characteristics, (1) too many small blades (2) too close together.

The name "Fusion" suggests a combination of the electric and manual razor. It appears Gillette has gotten too close to the electric razor with this one. I'll stick with the M3 Power. It's notable that the Fusion handle and blade aren't interchangeable with the M3 Power, like the standard Mach 3 blades are with the M3 Power handle. I think Gillette was looking for a way to increase blade revenue since it's pretty well known that the cheaper Mach 3 blades work just as well as the M3 Power blades on the M3 Power handle.

Posted by Half-Cocked at February 6, 2006 11:34 PM

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I've been seeing those snazzy Fusion displays at the local drugstore and wondering what all the fuss is about.... Usually I can't stand how long it takes to shave w/a regular razor alone and all the shaving cream and all the hassle, so I've pretty muc... [Read More]

Tracked on February 11, 2006 06:44 AM

Comments

I saw the commerical for the Fusion and had a similar reaction. Part of me was horrified at the thought of four blades (the Quattro really did suck ass), but was intrigued by the addition of both power AND a single blade on the top.

Thanks, then, for taking one for the team. I won't even touch the thing.

M3 Power all the way.

p.s. I'd like a column on deodorant tech. I still have yet to find anything that works as well as Secret.

Posted by: Kevin at February 7, 2006 12:44 PM

Kev, the issue of deodorant tech was decided in 1995 when you lived across the hall from me. Secret is the best and I've found nothing, other than better versions of Secret, to convince me otherwise. see Secret Platinum, unscented.

Posted by: Steve at February 8, 2006 12:48 AM

As long as we're on the same page, that'll suffice.

Secret Platinum Unscented is the BOMB!

Posted by: Kevin at February 8, 2006 04:49 PM

Secret? For men? Does this exist or are you guys running around smelling like flowers?

But thanks for clarifying this chaotic consumer landscape. I've been seeing those snazzy Fusion displays at the local drugstore and wondering what all the fuss is about. I'm really surprised to hear how much you like the M3, though. Perhaps I'll have to give it a shot.

Usually I can't stand how long it takes to shave w/a regular razor alone and all the shaving cream and all the hassle, so I've pretty much settled on an electric razor pre-shave, followed by a quick scraping with the trusty old Gillette Sensor as the final act before exiting the shower. The electric pre-shave means the regular razor shave takes about 10 seconds. A relatively quick, close, and hassle-free shave is a good thing.

Posted by: ambimb at February 11, 2006 06:44 AM

Please don't abandon your blog!!! I just discovered it. The fun was just beginning! I hate law school, too, but I have two more years of suffering left. :-|

Posted by: blackie at April 4, 2006 10:04 PM