Shaver Recommendation: Gillette Fusion Power
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From the “and now for something completely different” department, changing my razor's blade cartridge today reminded me that I've been meaning to write up a recommendation.

Let me start out by saying that I hate shaving and it hates me. For years and years I tried all kinds of electric and disposable shaving methods, and always ended up with hacked up skin and/or a bad shave. Ugh. The least offensive for a long time was Gillette Sensor, so I'd stock up at Costco to save on blades, change often, and suffer.

But last summer, on the recommendation of my dad, I give Gillette Fusion Power a try. I would have never tried it on my own — “5 blades, with an extra blade on the edge” is just comical — and, of course, the whole battery thing (the “Power” in the name) seems so gimmicky.

But it's great. I consistently get a good shave, without razor burn or other hacked-up-skin effects, and it's cheap. And yes, the blade on the edge is useful, and the battery vibration thing does seem to make it all a smoother process.

I say “it's cheap”, but if you look at the prices in the store, you won't think so.... a pack of 8 blades costs something like $20. The thing is, they last forever... I've been using this for nine months and I'm changing the blade for the second time, so that works out to three blades a year. I've not yet had to change the battery, but let's count that as one change a year and we're still talking less than $10/year for a good shave.

Gillette Fusion Power: recommended.

(For those who are familiar with The Onion and don't mind their, er, salty perspective, they have a great 2004 article about Gillette razors.)

All 10 comments so far, oldest first...

I actually went back to the Mach 3. Got tired of feeling like I was dragging a lawn mower over my face as I actually feel the blade count is getting ridiculous. To my surprise I got a better shave with the “older” razor.

That is, apparently, between Sensor and Fusion. I’ve not tried it. —Jeffrey

— comment by Drew on May 9th, 2010 at 6:39pm JST (13 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

I don’t get quite the same mileage out of the blades, but the Fusion Power does make for a good shave. I can’t use it without thinking about that Onion article though. I also use an old school double edge safety razor. Nice shave, easy on the skin, and far superior to anything else if you have a habit of neglecting to shave. It doesn’t drag or clog like the Fusion will in those cases. But for regular duty the Fusion is a far easier and more consistent route to a good shave.

— comment by Mark Denovich on May 9th, 2010 at 9:00pm JST (13 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Try and get used to a straight razor, especially those with Feather replaceable blades, and you won’t be going back. Just one incredibly sharp blade going over skin that has been lathered up with a badger-hair shaving brush is easier on your skin, more fun, and much cheaper.

— comment by Zachary on May 9th, 2010 at 9:37pm JST (13 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

For your razor try this: If the head of the razor does NOT have electrical components, after you are done shaving rinse the heck out your razor with hot water and then shake out as much water as possible.

Place the head of the razor in a shallow container of mineral oil. (Just enough to completely cover the blade/head component. Petroleum jelly might work the same but be a little bit too viscous.

Before shaving rinse off the blade/head and shave as you normally would.

The mineral oil will keep the blade from building up mineral deposits/oxidation from the water. Your blades will last EVEN longer. Any residual oil on the blade means less friction on your face too. Change the mineral oil once a month.

— comment by Ron Evans on May 9th, 2010 at 10:38pm JST (13 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

How do you know when to change blades? I feel like I’m changing too often…

There comes a time when I notice that it’s less smooth than before. I almost always shave at the end of my shower, to give hot water a chance to soften up the beard, and if I don’t do that, the shave is less smooth. If I do do that but it still starts to feel a bit rough, I know it’s time to change the blade. So far it’s been after about four months. —Jeffrey

— comment by Ingo Herzog on May 11th, 2010 at 1:48pm JST (13 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

I’ll second Zachary’s suggestion of Feather blades, but I’m only using those in a double-edged Merkur safety razor as I’m not brave enough for a straight razor yet.

Try wet shaving with some traditional gear (Merkur Heavy Duty razor, Edwin Jagger Super Badger brush, Feather blades, Proraso/Nancyboy/Cyril Salter shaving cream, and Proraso/Nancyboy aftershave) and you’ll see the difference it does for your skin.

It requires some up front investment but it’s much cheaper than cartridges in the long run. My razor was 35€, the brush 45€, shaving cream and aftershave ~10€ each, and blades go for ~3-4€ for 10. If you shave daily you’ll want to change the blade every 2-3 weeks. The shaving cream and aftershave have lasted me for almost a year, but that’s not easily quantifiable because I try various brands.

— comment by Fanis on May 11th, 2010 at 9:23pm JST (13 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Can’t thank you enough for this tip, Jeffrey – I have loathed shaving for years, and would never have tried a battery-powered razor on my own, but the Fusion Power (who comes up with these names?) has *radically* improved my shaving experience. I’ve also found that washing with a little bit of Hibiclens afterwards prevents red bumps from appearing. Thanks again!

— comment by Miles on December 7th, 2011 at 4:33am JST (11 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

There is no need to be pulled in by the Gillette marketing (brilliant though it may be).

Just get yourself a decent doubled edged razor. The blades are incredibly cheap – you will get a better shave, and save a fortune.

Gillette are rip-off merchants.

— comment by David on December 29th, 2011 at 5:38am JST (11 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

The Fusion Power definitely provides the most comfortable and close shave I’ve experienced over the last 40 years… I don’t get the high number of shaves per blade as some have listed but I have found a way for each blade to provide new results for 8-10 shaves (prior they were only like new for 3-5 shaves).
After shaving, rinsing the razor thoroughly with water and shaking dry, I rinse the blades in some 99% alcohol and dry it using a blow dryer (dries quickly as the alcohol is so volatile). This decreases the possibility of oxidation greatly and lowers blade bacterial count (you can culture bacteria on your razor no matter how rigorously you wash your face prior to shaving even if you are blemish free as I am, and this can be a factor in irritation).

— comment by Bob on November 12th, 2012 at 3:35am JST (10 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Has anyone compared the regular Fusion blades with Proglide Power blades for longevity. Since according to Gillette they are not as thin (and they are slightly cheaper). I am checking this out for myself over the next week or two but am wondering if anyone has already looked into this? Hopefully along with the final alcohol rinse I mention above I can extend the replacement blade life further still. Thanks, Bob…Lake City, Michigan

— comment by Bob on November 12th, 2012 at 8:31pm JST (10 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink
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