Monday, October 16, 2006

Wilkinson Sword Titanium vs Gillette Mach 3

I received a free Wilkinson Sword Titanium razor through the post last week. I don't know why - I suspect I may have followed a link to "free razor!!" on one of those "save money" emails that goes round.

I thought I'd give it a try.

What a disappointment!

It feels a little different to my normal Gillette but that's not a problem... change doesn't have to be bad.

But where it fails - and this is unforgiveable - is that it just doesn't shave particularly close.

FOUR blades and my upper lip is just as rough afterwards as it was before. Were it not for the stubble in the lather, I would have thought the blades were missing.

Bizarrely, it shaved the sides of my face better than a Mach 3. Perhaps the answer is to use two different razors..!

I think the main problem is a lack of audible feedback when using the Wilkinson Sword - you can't tell which parts of the face require extra attention.



andyp said...

Personally I use a Wilkinson Sword Protector, and it works very well for me. I have no idea how it compares to this alternative model.

Andrew Ferrier said...

I've always wondered how multi-blade razors are supposed to work. Are the 'other' blades at a different angle? If not, how are they supposed to catch any more hair than the first?

In practice, I'm sure there must be diminishing returns from adding more blades.

Richard Brown said...

Andrew - I'm not sure what the theory behind the multi-blade razors is but they do appear to work.

I suspect it might be something to do with the fact that many people (well, at least one...) find they need to go over the same area of their face more than once. I guess if there are three blades it would be like going over it three times in one - hence reducing the number of strokes required.... just a guess though.

As for diminishing returns..... my prediction is that we are overdue a technological game-changer. Just as PVRs blew away the incremental improvements in VCRs ("time left", "long play", "video plus", etc, etc), I suspect we will either get a razor with a hundred "micro blades" (TM and (R) Richard Brown) or something utterly unexpected - perhaps industrial-diamond encrusted razors?

Did I read somewhere that the trick to the razor business is getting the sharpness just right... the business model depends on them going blunt, after all.

Andrew Ferrier said...

Well, I'm with you on that one - with a dual-blade I often need at least three swipes - so a six-blade should do me just fine :)

Some disruption in the razor market would certainly be good - I get the impression manufacturers are getting fat and lazy (blades are tremendously expensive).

Richard Brown said...

Totally agree they are getting fat. I resent paying them so much money for blades but I don't know of a realistic alternative at present: electric razors utterly suck :-(

j0nnymac said...

Yep i can vouch for the suckiness of all electric razors. My wife kindly purchased me a braun electric shaver. I cant recall the exact model, but it cost over 120 quid and had these foils which moved around the contours of your face. Plus after you shaved you inserted the shaver into a stand which cleaned the blades, sharpened them and then applied 'essential' oils, all of which i supspect was merely a ruse to attempt to distract you from the fact that it was about as effective as shaving yourself with a blunt spoon.

Richard Brown said...

all of which i supspect was merely a ruse to attempt to distract you from the fact that it was about as effective as shaving yourself with a blunt spoon.

Exactly. It amazes me that the industry continues.

Perhaps some men have wimpy stubble and these electric devices work for their lesser needs :-)

Roo Reynolds said...

Everything about multi-bladed razors has made me laugh since this Onion story from February 2004. More history at BoingBoing too.

Richard Brown said...


The Onion's transformation into a purveyor of fact is complete.