Friday, June 24, 2016

Review: Gillette Fusion ProShield Razor

The only razor experience I ever had was with the Gillette Mach3, so why not give the new Gillette Fusion ProShields that I was seeing on TV constantly a shot? Yep, someone appears to be susceptible to mass advertising.

x1 - Gillette Fusion ProShield Razor with 2 razor cartridges

Paid: ~CA$ 13.00
Gillette Fusion ProShield Razor: Out of the Package

Side by Side: Gillette Fusion ProShield and Gillette Mach3 Razors
Quick Look: Gillette Fusion ProShield Razor

It came pre-assembled but I decided to mess around with the release mechanism. There was one spare razor and a plastic storage mount in the package. Having used Mach3 razors and gotten used to its storage mount for so long, I wasn't completely satisfied with the Fusion Proshield's. The Proshield mount's snapping mechanism felt a bit stickier than the Mach3's that I had.

How was it?
Over the past year, since I started using a razor to shave my head, my Mach3 blades have lasted me about two to three months. The lubrication strip usually isn't around for most of that time because it gets used up. That hasn't been a problem with very short hair in the shower though. So, it doesn't really matter to me how a razor performs during the first week or two, it's all about how it works in the second or third month.

Nonetheless, the Gillette Fusion Proshield did a pretty nice job over the first month. Shaves felt close, maybe closer than with my Mach3. Pulling the razor across my scalp felt smooth. The Flexball handle was interesting and I think it may have contributed to the smoother shave I felt. However, I could feel the larger area under the blades dragging against my skin once the lubrication strips were used up.
Gillette Fusion Proshield Razor beside a Gillette Mach3
Speaking of the lubrication strips, they lasted about three shaves which included doing my head and face each time. While they lasted, they felt great, especially because I don't use shaving cream in the shower.

About 1.5 months was how long the Gillette Fusion blade lasted before the rubber frame fell apart on the lower side. This was with two to three shaves, both scalp and face, per week. I probably could have tore the rubber off and kept using it, but there appeared to be a lot of material to remove. There was just the lower rubber strip on the Mach3, so when that started falling off, it was pretty easy to remove and keep going. The Fusion was still shaving okay when it "died" on me. I was feeling some more resistance with slightly longer hair though -- same issue with my Mach3 blades after that much time.
Gillette Fusion Proshield Razor & Gillette Mach3: Head to Head
Having the extra blade on the back was a huge plus for the Fusion because I found it much easier to aim -- mashing my Mach3 against my skin and hoping for the best was the previous approach. And because of the added number of gaps going from three blades to five, more intensive rinsing appeared to be required to clean the blades afterward. A new shower head with a more powerful jet made this a non-issue.
New vs Used: Gillette Fusion after ~1.5 months, Mach3 after ~3 months
What concerned me was how well the two yellow strips on the left and right sides of the blades would hold up over time. The color did not appear faded at the one month point, and it still looked good after the 1.5 month point when it died.

No review would be complete without mentioning the Gillette Fusion Proshield's price. When I wrote this, the cost of four yellow Fushion Proshield blades at was CA$ 23.97 or CA$ 5.99 a blade. A pack of five regular Mach3 cartridges was CA$ 16.97 or CA$ 3.39 each. There would be a bit of a discount with higher volume cartridges, obviously. However, was the Fusion Proshield worth the extra CA$ 2.60 per cartridge to me? I don't think so despite how infrequently I change blades. It was nice, but not nice enough for me to justify paying more.

I liked the Gillette Fusion ProShield. The shave felt good and pretty close. Overall, it seemed moderately better than the Mach3. However, the Fusion blade did not last as long as the Mach3 blades I previously used. Couple that with the higher price, and the premium was not worth it to me.

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