The Onion had a bit of a laugh at Gillette’s expense back in 2004, with a satirical article featuring Gillette’s CEO bemoaning how competitor Schick released a razor with 4 blades to edge out (har har) their flagship Mach 3 product line, and how they were going to retaliate with… 5 blades! which the company actually did the following year.
Then in 2006 The Economist picked up the joke and ran with it, graphing the trajectory of blade one-upmanship to show that by 2100 a typical razor would have no less than 14 blades.
I was actually a happy Mach 3 Turbo user way back when, until a windfall at work allowed me to splurge on a top-of-the-range electric saver. Several years went by, until one day the charger stopped working, and I was forced to rediscover the joys of manual shaving. Purely by coincidence, Schick started running a promotion on their Hydro 5 series, and started giving them away like candy – I scored 3 for free through my usual source of freebies, the Contagious Network (Schick are also giving them away on their Facebook page.)
Does 5 blades really make a difference? Seriously? You probably know the answer already, which is not really. Compared to the Schick Quattro that I’ve be using recently, it’s much of a muchness. They both do the job admirably, which is to say a close shave with minimum skin irritation, but for me the main factor isn’t the razor but having a good shaving gel. Of course, if you really want to appreciate a good razor, try shaving with one of those freebie hotel jobs…
What do you think – is 5 blades the pinnacle of manual shaving, or will 6 ultimately triumph?