Review: Gillette Fusion5 ProGlide Power Razor

Do More Blades Mean a Closer Shave?

Man touching his own face
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Admittedly, I'm a creature of habit. For a lot of men, your razor is one of your most trusty tools, and when you find your Holy Grail, you stick with it. The Gillette Mach3 Turbo Razor ($9) just does it for me, so why mess with a good thing? However, I was willing to give the Gillette Fusion5 ProGlide Power Razor a try just because five blades have to be better than three, right? To be honest, loading a razor with extra blades often seems excessive to me. Here's how it went.

Gilette Fusion5 vs. Mach3

The Fusion5 is kicked up a few notches from the Mach3. The former features five blades and has a precision trimmer on the back. Gillette claims it gives a closer, more comfortable shave because its blades are spaced more closely together to reduce the pressure.

In terms of size and weight, the Fusion5 feels more comfortable in my hand, and the extra blade on the back of the cartridge makes trimming sideburns and shaving under the nose much easier. My biggest gripe with the Mach3 is that the head is too big for precision work and maneuvering in tight spaces. Gillette fixes this with the Fusion5.

Shaving Results

I did not notice a significant difference between the closeness of my shave with the Fusion5 compared to my Mach3. In fact, shaving was not quite as smooth with the Fusion5; I felt like it was tugging at my skin and left my face slightly irritated. I believe this is from having two extra blades dragging across my skin—it's like going over the same spot too many times.

For me personally, the Mach3 provides a more comfortable shave, but the Fusion5 does have some distinct advantages over its predecessor. 

Is Power Necessary?

From a design standpoint, I felt that the Fusion5's micro-pulses were stronger than those of the Mach3, so the former glides more easily across the face. For those who usually use non-powered razors, power is really not a gimmick. The high-frequency vibrations do reduce razor drag and make shaving easier. The low battery indicator light and automatic shut-off are nice touches on the Fusion5, too.

The Bottom Line

I'd probably stick with my Mach3 because it really does the job for me without the extra blades. But I would still highly recommend the Fusion5, as it does give a close, comfortable shave as well. Are more blades better? Not necessarily. If you're a Mach3 fan like me, you may not notice much of a difference between the quality of the shave, but the Fusion5 has the edge when it comes to design.

Whichever razor you go with, just be sure to use proper shaving technique. With any razor, a light hand is the best approach. Get yourself a great natural shave cream like Pacific Shaving Company Caffeinated Shave Cream ($9)—these are gaining popularity as more people are shying away from slathering on chemicals. If you're going to upgrade your razor, might as well do the same with your skin care.

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