Stop The Madness!
September 3, 2006 12:13 PM   Subscribe

The technology seemed so harmless at first. But as in any war, there was escalation. The pursuit of pointless perfection in shaving comfort now offers our beards only insanity. And now the multiblade wars have spilled over into electrics! Will these shaving firms not be satisfied until they've peeled the skin from our chins? Tell you the truth, I'd rather grow a beard.
posted by EatTheWeak (63 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have bought a couple of Bell&Howell's recent products. They were cheap imitations of the products shown on their packaging. No more.

I agree that the battery-powered, multibladed shavers are not the quantum leap that the advertising claims, but that's not much of a surprise, is it?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:20 PM on September 3, 2006


Speaking as a guy who shaves his head, I love the Mach 3.
posted by sotonohito at 12:21 PM on September 3, 2006


When you look at the explosion of the types and varieties of useless consumer products over the past few decades, it makes you wonder if the unemployment rate simply hasn't been high enough all these years.
posted by Flem Snopes at 12:24 PM on September 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


Had a Mach3.

Haven't used it in about 8 or 9 months.

Ginger Beard ahoy.
posted by knapah at 12:33 PM on September 3, 2006


What, no link to this?
posted by Termite at 12:45 PM on September 3, 2006


I shave with this Refills cost five bucks for a pack of ten. Best shave I ever had.
posted by keswick at 12:57 PM on September 3, 2006


Oy, Termite, you're right. I've been remiss.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:15 PM on September 3, 2006


Sure beats the $26 for 16 cartridges for the Mach3 that I just paid [fumes].

According to the Economist, there should be 14-blade disposables by the year 2100. I wonder what those will cost.

/
posted by scblackman at 1:16 PM on September 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


I have the vibrating Gilette mach whatever and I was skeptical, but it really makes shaving easier.
posted by fire&wings at 1:16 PM on September 3, 2006


I bought a whole bunch of cheap two blade disposable razors half a year ago for like £2. They haven't let me down yet. Blade wars suck.
posted by reklaw at 1:18 PM on September 3, 2006


I laughed out loud when I read that one of the "features" of using the battery in these razors was to automatically turn itself off.
posted by trigby at 1:26 PM on September 3, 2006



posted by furtive at 1:40 PM on September 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


scblackman, isn't the Economist saying that there'll be 14-blade disposables a whole lot sooner than that?
posted by nervestaple at 1:40 PM on September 3, 2006


What keswick said.

I got off the Gillette/Schick bladewars train long ago.

Anyone wants to buy me this for my birthday is welcome to do so. :)
posted by deanc at 2:00 PM on September 3, 2006


Back in the Sixties when the two-bladed shaver was introduced, Mad made fun of it by proposing a three-bladed shaver. Actually, when it finallly came out ten years ago or so, I thought it was great. But I bought the latest 5- bladed monstrosity...a shitty idea. Greed cuts faces.
posted by kozad at 2:03 PM on September 3, 2006


I recently abandoned multi-blade razors altogether for wetshaving with a double-edged safety razor, and i have to say I'm content.
posted by p3on at 2:09 PM on September 3, 2006


"The comfort of five blades and the precision of one". So, going by that in(s)ane advert, I'd have really irritated skin all over my face whenever I wanted a precision shave. "Irritating rash at the bottom of your sideburns, sir? Not a problem." I hate shaving.
posted by TheDonF at 2:31 PM on September 3, 2006


That ad hade me cursing at my monitor. The number of people going hungry and homeless and loveless and limbless in this world, and we're mainlining our resources in to ads for disposable razors that could've been directed by James bloody Cameron.

People really are desparate to pay attention to anything but what's actually going on, aren't we.

I wonder how many people that helicopter in the first scene has killed.
posted by poweredbybeard at 2:34 PM on September 3, 2006


It'd be a lot easier to take those boycotters seriously(?) if, y'know, they had a picture of a bearded man on their site, instead of that stubbly, alkali-patched poseur.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:35 PM on September 3, 2006


men, brace yourselves for the Quintippio!
posted by gdav at 2:51 PM on September 3, 2006


I'm old school...two blades...2x where I started a long time ago, but way behind the cool kids today. Then again, do the cool kids have whiskers? How many blades does it take to rake in a soul patch?
posted by orchidthief at 2:55 PM on September 3, 2006


I'll admit, I've been suckered by the shaving Man for years. Had the Mach 3, then upgraded to the Quattro, then received the battery operated Fusion as a gift. It's kind of difficult to give it all up, though. It's like heroin!
posted by papakwanz at 3:12 PM on September 3, 2006


Back in the early days of "Saturday Night Live," the show ran a mock commercial for a three-blade razor, a concept that at the time seemed over-the-top crazy. The ad for the Triple Track got all technical in explaining what each blade did to your beard. The tagline? "The Triple Track: Because you'll believe anything."

I now use a Mach 3 (in the shower, with soap and not shaving cream). I like it just fine, but I think of that ad a lot.
posted by diddlegnome at 3:13 PM on September 3, 2006


Thus, any blade in between the first and third blades and with an exposure greater than that of the first blade and less than that of the third blade is a “second” blade in the claimed subset of blades. The accused QUATTRO® device, in fact, has two “second blades” because both of the middle blades in the accused device meet the definition of the “second blade” set forth in the claim. Any subset of three blades in a blade unit meeting these definitions is a “group of blades” as defined by the clear language of the claim. This claim is not ambiguous. (Gillette Co. v. Energizer Holdings Co., pdf)
posted by eddydamascene at 3:17 PM on September 3, 2006


Where will the madness end? Three sounded crazy, then it happened. Then 4, 5 and now 6. With one perpendicular to the other 5, at that. I for one look forward to the 14-blader!
posted by Acey at 3:19 PM on September 3, 2006


i'm just glad i have a norelco ...
posted by pyramid termite at 3:44 PM on September 3, 2006


I like my Mach 3. Admittedly, it doesn't do much for the really tough persistent hair on my neck, but it serves me well enough for my face and head.

I'm too much of a klutz to even contemplate shaving old-school.
posted by Foosnark at 3:45 PM on September 3, 2006


It not the size, it's the motion. In other words learning how to wet shave is going to help, no matter how good the blade
posted by bluefin at 3:47 PM on September 3, 2006


contemplate shaving old-school

.
posted by Urban Hermit at 3:55 PM on September 3, 2006


I tried a Gillette fusion, and say what you want about blade wars the shave was amazingly smooth.

Regarding the ad though, The subtitle should be "I'm in UR Base shaving all UR DOODS".
posted by delmoi at 3:58 PM on September 3, 2006


So, going by that in(s)ane advert, I'd have really irritated skin all over my face whenever I wanted a precision shave.

It's really not like that at all; the "precision" blade is very different from a normal, single-blade razor. It's not irritating at all.

Really, if you haven't actually tried it you really shouldn't be talking, it's definitely not a gimmick.

I didn't notice much of a difference going from a sensor-XL to the mach-3 but the fusion is just in a whole other class. Of course, it's absurdly expensive to use on a day-to-day basis if you're not rich, but if you are.

But you should at least try it before knocking it.
posted by delmoi at 4:03 PM on September 3, 2006


I'm still a die-hard Bic original single-blade user, but that's more 'cause I'm cheap than it is any other reason.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:05 PM on September 3, 2006


Note that the advertisement, in a break from previous razor ads, makes no mention of a "closer" shave. Instead, they claim only that 5 blades spreads out the pressure of the razor for less irritation. It's the same concept as laying on a bed of nails - the distributed pressure makes it possible to avoid injury.

In my experience, however, more blades require more pressure and scrupulous cleaning (so many more places for things to get gummed up). I've been very happy with my single bladed (double if your count the flip side) Merkur and can't imagine going back to the con game of multiple blades.

I reduce pressure the old fashioned way - I simply don't dig my razor into my face like an idiot.
posted by aladfar at 4:07 PM on September 3, 2006


Ahh, memories.
posted by Balisong at 4:14 PM on September 3, 2006


delmoi: it's d00ds, newb. l2p.
posted by azazello at 4:14 PM on September 3, 2006


actually d00dz.

* runs out crying *
posted by azazello at 4:15 PM on September 3, 2006


I'm never going to voluntarily grow a beard. Mine looks terrible. I've contemplated going the laser hair-removal route and getting rid of the damn hairs on a permanent basis. Anyone done this? Know anyone who has? How'd it work out?
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:17 PM on September 3, 2006


I use a straight razor. Due to an unfortunate misharpening, it's currently dull and I'm forced to use my back-up, a Mach 3. It's really rather awful in comparison.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 4:28 PM on September 3, 2006


Well, some wet shaver always has to jump into these sorts of threads. This time it's me.

I changed to wetshaving last Christmas. I'll never go back to cartridges.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:30 PM on September 3, 2006


Wet Shaving is the Apple of shaving.
posted by delmoi at 4:46 PM on September 3, 2006


The only thing preventing me from switching to a straight razor is the lack of time for maintenance.

I can't picture myself with a strop hanging in the bathroom.

However, years ago I did switch to using shaving soap and badger-hair brush, and they make a big difference.

I still use the Mach 3, and have zero desire to "upgrade" to additional blades.
posted by bwg at 5:06 PM on September 3, 2006


What we need here is a return to simplicity. Whatever happened to Occam's Razor?
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 5:07 PM on September 3, 2006


Cool. I use a Mac, too.

Like double-edge blades, they just work.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:26 PM on September 3, 2006


I shave using a sharpened rock I found behind my house, using water from a cold mountain stream. You haven't lived until you've shaved like that. Damn girly men with your "razors" and "wetshaving". Might as well get a bikini wax you pansies.
posted by Justinian at 5:30 PM on September 3, 2006


Just grow a beard, goddammit. It's free.
posted by spaltavian at 5:38 PM on September 3, 2006


I got an old double-edge razor at a junk store for 5 bucks, and it's the best shave ever! Why did people give this up for the multi-blade crap? 'Cos they were sold it by companies who could patent new blades every few years and charge a lot. It's all in the patent law. I wonder what other modern wonders we've given up...
posted by rikschell at 5:46 PM on September 3, 2006


I stuck with the two blade shavers, until I ran out of blades and used a three-blade shaver that came with a student welcome pack some time ago - It was a nicer shave.

But my friends, I am now convinced that the blades have nothing to do with a comfortable shave. Get a fog-proof mirror and shave in the shower, its fast, easy, close and the blades last a long time that way.
posted by Deep Dish at 5:57 PM on September 3, 2006


I'm old school...two blades

Pfft. When I bother using a blade at all, I just use half a blade -- the straight portion of a rusty old k-bar blade.

I'm sure there's some way to shave with no blade, or with less than no blade. Perhaps if I sharpened a portion of the k-bar's handle and shaved with that, it would count as using less than no blade.

Or I could use a rock and pummel my beard into submission.

I shave using a sharpened rock

Sharpen the rock? That's for wusses and other momma's-boys.

I find that I achieve the most satisfactory depilation by shouting obscenities at Chuck Norris until he shoots me a dirty look, which is sufficient to rid me of facial hair for a time.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:02 PM on September 3, 2006


Well, I use and electric, after the bloodlettings of the Gillette Sensor and complete impatience for the wet shaving ritual after doing that for about three weeks.

Frankly the electric (I've used the braun in the past, but now use the norelco) has given me a far closer shave with far less discomfort than anything else, and in a pinch, I can even shave in the car.

And I'm not the only one who's ever done that. The norelco comes with a car lighter power adapter.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:26 PM on September 3, 2006


I will echo deep dish's comment though, even a cheap single blade razor in the shower is better that any kind or number of blades over the sink.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:27 PM on September 3, 2006


I find that I achieve the most satisfactory depilation by shouting obscenities at Chuck Norris until he shoots me a dirty look, which is sufficient to rid me of facial hair for a time.

Big deal. I'm so secure in my manhood, I shave with an electric razor while sipping an appletini and wearing a skirt.
posted by horsewithnoname at 7:29 PM on September 3, 2006


Big deal. I'm so secure in my manhood, I shave with an electric razor while sipping an appletini and wearing a skirt.

that's nothing ... i do all that and sing broadway songs AND sit with my legs crossed
posted by pyramid termite at 7:42 PM on September 3, 2006


Fuck Everything, We're Doing Five Blades
You think it's crazy? It is crazy. But I don't give a shit. From now on, we're the ones who have the edge in the multi-blade game. Are they the best a man can get? Fuck, no. Gillette is the best a man can get.
// my favorite example of how our society is actually just a parody of itself
posted by crunchywelch at 7:58 PM on September 3, 2006


I have a Toshiba battery-powered foil razor in the car for those times I've forgotten to shave properly. It does a fine job, surprisingly so for my expectations. Also surprising is how long the batteries last: I'd have expected a run time on the order of minutes; it seems to keep ticking year after year on the same batteries, in the same abusive (hot/cold) environment.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:07 PM on September 3, 2006


I just use a hammer. I pound the whiskers in and bite them off.
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 8:29 PM on September 3, 2006


Well, I use and electric, after the bloodlettings of the Gillette Sensor

In real life, I have cut myself with more than one electric razor.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:33 PM on September 3, 2006


delmoi : "Wet Shaving is the Apple of shaving."

Wet shaving is the Radiohead of shaving.
posted by Bugbread at 8:42 PM on September 3, 2006


I just use a hammer. I pound the whiskers in and bite them off.
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 8:29 PM PST on September 3 [+] [!]


Yeah, but in the shower or over the sink? Claw or ball-peen? And wouldn't you get greater accuracy with a nailset? Details, man, details!
posted by diddlegnome at 8:51 PM on September 3, 2006


Let's not forget this discussion...
posted by tdtd at 10:15 PM on September 3, 2006


I just stand before a mirror and scowl at my facial hair until it withdraws back into the skin out of sheer terror.
posted by clevershark at 3:14 PM on September 4, 2006


As I said in the AskMe thread about this a while back, I'm generally anti-consumerism, but the Mach 3 is one of two or three consumer products that I judge to have actually improved my life. Shaving before it, with whatever device (including, yes, straight razor, shaving soap & brush) left my face bleeding and/or patchy. Afterwards, close shave, no blood. Don't really see a need to try the next level or the next, but I also don't retain the knee-jerk opposition to "new and improved" products.

As for the cartridge refills as some sort of scam, I was just today thinking, "Hmmm, I probably oughta replace my cartridge tomorrow, having used this one all summer long." It's hilarious to me that Gillette made the cartridges work so smoothly for so long that they had to start an ancillary ad campaign trying to convince users to change their blades every week.
posted by soyjoy at 9:56 AM on September 5, 2006


All summer? You must have the wispiest of baby fuzz adorning your chin. In all honesty, I should probably change blades with every second or third shave. I always notice a marked improvement in smoothness and closeness when I use a new blade.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:38 PM on September 5, 2006


So do I, but it takes till now for the blade to get to the point where I actually notice it not being close & smooth. And don't worry, there's plenty to shave there every day, but seriously, I'm sure I haven't changed this cartridge since the end of June or so.
posted by soyjoy at 12:08 PM on September 6, 2006


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