Razor Comparison

Posted October 28, 1998 at 9:00 am No Comments

Last weekend I ran out of razor blades, so I didn’t shave for a few days.   The interesting thing is that my facial hair is really red.  It’s the same with my dad — back when he had a beard, it was very red.  Kind of unusual considering that my normal hair is dark brown.  I actually briefly considered growing a beard; maybe I could have gotten everybody to call me “Redbeard”, or even (as Ethan proposed) “Redbeard the Hacker”.

Then I decided that a beard would just look stupid.  So instead of growing a beard I went out and bought a fancy new razor.  It’s a Gillette Mach 3.  Have you seen the commercials for those?   There’s this guy in some cool jet, and he keeps going faster and faster.  When he hits mach 1 the announcer yells “Mach 1!” and there’s a huge sonic boom and the plane starts coming apart.  By the time he reaches mach 2 the plane has almost completely come apart and it’s pretty much just him rocketing through the sky.  Then you hear another sonic boom and even his clothes are falling off now and the announcer shouts “Mach 3!”  I guess that the razor is so powerful that even clothes cannot withstand its sheer might.

mach3-2.jpg (11884 bytes) You have to give the designers at Gillette some credit though, because the Mach 3 definitely has a rockin’ design.  Just check out those three shining blades, the flexible  swerving head, the blue indicator strip, all of those sleek rubber rib grips… This is the razor they’ll be taking on the next NASA mission.

The question is, is it really worth it? Besides the aesthetic appeal, does the Mach 3 offer any concrete advantages to back up all of the marketing hype? I decided to find out.

This morning, when I stepped out of the shower, I removed not one but two razors from the medicine cabinet: my new Gillette Mach 3, and an older, far less stylish Bic Tough Beard Twin Select.  I then proceeded to shave, using the Mach three on the right side of my face, and the Bic Twin Select on the left side.


Bic Tough Beard Twin Select

Gillette Mach 3


bic-2.jpg (16632 bytes)

mach3-1.jpg (12856 bytes)

Price $0.00 (free sample) $6.52 plus tax
Blades Per Razor 2 3
DLC Comfort Edges No Yes
Blade Design
No Yes
Lubricating Strip
No Yes
Open Cartridge Architecture
for Easy Rinsing
No Yes
Contour Grip
for Better Handling
No Yes

beforeshave.jpg (13237 bytes)

Before shaving.

aftershave.jpg (12781 bytes)

After Shaving.

shave-bic.jpg (15101 bytes)

Shaved with the Bic Tough Beard Twin Select.

shave-mach3.jpg (14279 bytes)

Shaved with the Gillette Mach 3.

In conclusion (since the above pictures don’t really reveal anything at all) I’d like to say that you get just about as good a shave with a cheap razor, but it takes more passes and isn’t as comfortable.  It’s also the case that the Mach 3 is damn cool.   So if you can afford the seven dollars, maybe it’s worth it.

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