Following on from their gel, here’s a review of the hardware.
This didn’t do a bad job. My neck was generally good, but I had a lot of roughness in my usual trouble-spots, especially along my jawline. WTG my face was nice and smooth. ATG there was some resistance, in places quite substantial, but generally minimal. Nowhere made it to BBS.
In terms of finish, it was pretty good. I still had some roughness on my neck, and it seems especially bad at clearing my jawline, despite the pivot head. My face was better, with only some minor roughness ATG.
It tore through my stubble with ease and without irritation, but this time I found the overly large head a bit of an annoyance. Five blades feels like overkill and the resulting slab you have to drag around is unwieldy.
I noticed this most when tackling my top lip, you just can’t get under your nose ATG. They’re obviously aware of this so they fit a trimmer blade to the end and, to be fair, that did the job. Where it doesn’t work is places like the corner of your mouth or dimples where neither can reach.
If you’re used to Gillette’s offering this likely won’t be an issue, as you don’t know any different, but if you’ve used a DE razor it stands out.
The finish wasn’t as good this time, and not just in the harder-to-reach places. My cheeks had a fair bit of resistance ATG despite numerous passes.
I also struggled with my top lip again, although the trimmer seem to help me achieve a reasonable result there.
It’s quite nice to simply chuck it around without worrying too much. So okay for a quick shave.
Used with: Lucky Tiger Liquid Shave Cream
The razor performed pretty well, although I had to clean it a bit more vigourously to avoid clogging. No nicks and the end result, while not perfect, was a good shave.
It struggled with the nooks and crannies again, but did better on the wide expanses.
Part of the reason for trying this razor was to see if it could save time over a regular DE shave, while providing a better finish than my electric. It certainly outperforms my electric shaver. Yet, despite having four more blades, it isn’t any quicker than a brushless shave with my DE razor.
I approach it in a more gung-ho way than when using a safety razor, with which I still manage to nick myself occasionally, and I attempt fewer passes — I assume all those extra blades should make them unnecessary — but the amount of touch-ups I need to do mean it takes just as long.
So it may save some blood, but not any time.
Used with: Crabtree & Evelyn’s Moroccan Myrrh Shave Cream
I loaded up my synthetic brush, which was a little wet, so didn’t give me the best lather. Slickness wasn’t all that great either, which meant I picked up a few small nicks. They were sealed by cold water. As I applied my balm I didn’t find my whole face had irritation though. The roughness in my usual trouble-spots was a little worse than usual, but otherwise my neck was very good. WTG it was silky smooth. ATG there was some resistance but no real roughness. Nowhere made it to BBS, or got close. I could feel the irritation as I ran my hand over the skin. Post shave feel was pleasant. A good shave.
The trial pack is supplied with The Truman, which is largely plastic. They also offer The Winston, which is metal. Designed in the US and engineered in Germany, or so it says. The razor looks nice. It’s not particularly weighty, but it’s comparable to a Mach 3, despite being physically much larger.
The five-bladed cartridge looks huge to me, I find three blades the sweet spot for cartridges. It’s plastic and hinged at the bottom, so you end up dragging it over your face like a sledge. There is a trimmer blade set into the top to help with things like under your nose, which is hard to reach with such a slab.
I assume the multiple blades are to help both cut faster, and spread the stress on your skin to reduce nicks. I didn’t find I needed any fewer passes to get a close shave though. They should offer a version with fewer blades (as some of their competitors do), but that’s not an option.
If I had to pick between this and a Mach 3, I’d still take the Mach 3. The balance feels better, the head pivot is more capable and the head is simply better balanced.
It was simply enough to throw around. The handle is a nice bit of design. The blades are very sharp and cut easily through my industrial-grade stubble, but that didn’t mean I could skip a pass and I still had to do plenty of touch-ups. So the extra blades don’t appear to add much.
I found the size of the head annoying, Five blades are simply unnecessary and make it unwieldy. It became aggravating trying to maneuver it around. It wouldn’t be so bad if it saved time, or provided a superior finish, but it doesn’t. I’d be interested to know what the decision behind picking five was.
A refill pack of blades is £15 for 8. Mach 3 blades are actually cheaper. So the idea that you’re saving is only true if you opt for a ProGlide. Even then, the saving is pretty slim (I found 8 for just over £18).
It does the job, but not better than any other razor I’ve tried, and not as well as my DE razors (although I tend to shave quicker and without the same attention to detail with this). Therefore, this needs to compete on price, which is clearly doesn’t, even against Gillette.
I’d still take my old Mach 3. I have a few other subscription razors coming, so we’ll see how it compares to them.