Tuesday, April 22, 2008

In awe of Fusion


This is a post about shaving. Something most men do everyday.

Interestingly, virtually all of us have our own unique shaving pattern of strokes which we tend to repeat almost identically every time we shave. Its like a little unconscious program that runs like clockwork without us being aware of it that much. Now, because we don't think about shaving much, I think the technology that goes into razors is often easily overlooked. Which is a shame as there is more to it than meets the eye.

I personally do find shaving a real bore, but I really do love the Fusion razor made by Gillette. Why? Firstly, I much prefer wet shaves to dry shaves (i.e. most electric razors). They just leave you feeling more clean and fresh. Gillette claim that Fusion is the best razor in the world, and while you would expect such hyperbole from one of these huge multinationals, I can quite believe their claim. You see, few men realize the shear amount of thought, design and research that has gone into this little masterpiece. For example, the Mach3 razor, which is the one which preceded Fusion, cost about $680 million to develop, and Fusion cost a similar amount. Isn't that astonishing? Apparently there are around 60 patents on various aspects of fusion. There are so many little clever details to it. The most obvious thing is that it has 5 blades (plus a 6th, a precision trimmer, on the back). This results in an extremely smooth shave, and is almost impossible to cut yourself with. Then theres the fact that the back of the blades is open, so that its incredibly easy to rinse clean. Then there is the 'lubra-strip', which is a little blue strip above the blades which gradually lightens over time and use. When it has gone white you know that the blade needs replacing. And while the blades are expensive (I just paid £17 (thats $34) for a pack of 8), they do last ages. On the pack it says that the 8 blade cartridges will last up to 6 months. It also has a really pleasing feel when you hold it. Its comfortable to grip, and has a nice, weighty feel. I realise that this is reading like a commercial, but I can assure you it isn't, I just really love this razor!

The exciting thing is that Gillette are apparently about to come out with a brand new razor which is supposedly even better. I find it hard to imagine how Fusion could be improved upon. They have made several up-dated versions of Fusion, but they have been pretty gimicky affairs: just adding different colours, a light, and a vibrating version. If they have genuinely created a new razor from scratch, which is even better, then I can't wait to try it.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

How much were you paid by Gilette to write this?

Darren said...

Nothing unfortunately. But if Gillette would like to sponsor this site, I'm certainly open to offers!

Anonymous said...

I have a soft spot for Gillette. They are one of the very, very few advertisers who don't aim cheap jibes at men. But of course that might only be because their customers are overwhelmingly male...

Paul

Anonymous said...

Hi Darren

What kind of soap do you use with your Fusion?

Curiepoint said...

I love the Fusion. The blades are expensive, but wft...it shaves nice.

Mercurior said...

Single blade razor for me. Ever since i started using it, i cant stand the other blades, my beard hair is thicker than most and it dulls blades in seconds.

Darren said...

Hi anonymous,

I use the Gillette lemon-lime spray foam.

Anonymous said...

I prefer straight razors - blade lasts for a long time and the pre-shave ritual is quite calming. It's also a better investment than a cartridge razor, assuming you use it to the end of its life and don't mind the higher price and longer time spent shaving.

http://badgerandblade.com/