* Prices may differ from that shown
For many years now I have used a Gillette Mach3 razor and I had never had any problems with it to make me want to replace it with something else. On a shopping trip earlier this year however I made a bit of a boob and instead of picking up a packet of replacement blades for my Gillette Mach3 I purchased a pack of replacement blades for the Gillette Sensor Excel instead. Unfortunately the mistake was not realised until after I had ripped open the packaging destroying any possibility of returning them for a replacement.
I had paid £7.49 for a pack of 10 blades for the Sensor Excel so my mistake looked like it was going to be quite a costly one. Gillette clearly make their blades so that they are not compatible with other models. During a trip to Wilkinsons to purchase the proper blades for my Mach3 I spotted the Sensor Excel on offer for just £4.49. Considering that this new razor came with 3 new blades I worked out that it would actually be more prudent of me to buy this and make use of all the blades that I had for it at home. The cost of a packet of just 4 blades for my trusted Mach3 in the same store would have set me back a whopping £6.49. I have long since given up trying to work out why a) the cost of replacement razor blades are so expensive and b) why they vary so much in price from store to store.
The Gillette Sensor Excel comes packaged in a cardboard packet with a clear plastic front so that the product is visible inside. Visually it looked remarkably similar to the Mach3 and even after I had removed the razor from its package it was still very similar. Both razors are constructed from shiny stainless steel with a black plastic coating which is raised to enable the user to grip the handle firmly even when it is wet and soapy.
Side by side with my Mach3 the Sensor Excel is slightly slimmer and shorter in overall length but its real differences are in the weight and the angle of its head. The Sensor Excel is incredibly light and its head on which the blade sits is set at a much sharper, almost 45 degree angle. The blades are easily removed by depressing a button on the side of the neck just beneath the blade.
Apart from the weight the next thing that I noted was that it is only possible to replace the blade the correct way up. This is also true of the Mach3 but with that model it is less obvious if the blade is upside down as it still fits on to the head, it just doesn't seat properly. With the Sensor Excel if the blade is upside down then it will not clip onto the prongs at all so in that respect it is much more fool proof.
Of course the proof of the pudding is in everyday use. I have now been using my Sensor Excel for around three months and I feel that it is now time for me to declare to the world that I am impressed. I shave every day, even twice a day if I am going out in the evening and I am only onto my fourth blade. Even more impressively however is the fact that I have cut myself far less than I used to with my Mach3. The blades seem to not only last longer than those for the Mach3 they also seem to deliver a closer, sharper shave. This is even more surprising when you examine the two blade heads and realise that the Sensor Excel one is only a dual blade compared with the triple bladed head of the Mach3. Logically you would assume that three blades would be better than two but in the case of the Mach3 and the Sensor Excel this clearly is not the case.
I have always found that the most difficult part of shaving my face is the area directly below and to the side of the nostrils. I am not implying that I have an oddly shaped face but elsewhere even the cheapest Bic type disposable razors have performed satisfactory. The angle of the razor head on the Sensor Excel however makes removing the hairs from this area much easier in comparison to the Mach3. Each of the blades are mounted onto a pivot that enables them to rotate ever so slightly to follow the contours of the skin. Above the upper blade there is a lubricating strip that acts as a cushion against the skin and also seems to help remove any surplus shaving foam or gel from the face. It is obvious that Gillette have put a lot of effort into the design of this razor and its blades and they seem to have got just about everything right.
ABSTRACT. Strong and weak points of Gillette Sensor Excel, Wilkinson Sword FxDiamond and Gillette Mach3, among others, are discussed. Sensor Excel is proposed as most plausible consumer choice. INTRODUCTION. I was 14 (back in 1973) when I shaved myself for the first time in my life. I remember that day very well. It was one of those very rare occasions when my parents took me to a theatre to watch Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake”. We were pressed for time, nevertheless my father insisted that I needed a shave and showed me how to proceed. As I was a slow learner, the result was a sulky mood and a nasty skin irritation. The Tchaikovsky’s ballet helped to dispel the mood but it couldn’t heal the irritation. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION. Long years of single-blade shaving followed. I cannot recall the brands I have been using at the time (the time of the former USSR), but I do remember that imported razors were by and large better than those of domestic make, except for a brand they produced in the then Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg). Generally speaking, I was dissatisfied with single “safety” blades because I would get those irritations all too often. Experimented with electric shavers, but eventually had to give up because of their poor performance and, importantly, on the strength of a popular belief that when you use them, you cannot but inhale some part of the minute hairs you cut and some part of those caught inside the shaver. I couldn’t expect anyone to do something about it and invent something new. (I remember how as a boy I discovered by chance a Solingen cut-throat razor (somehow I feel to use it is the manliest way to shave) that my grand father brought from the occupied Germany at the end of the Second World War. Even then, I felt that there must have been quite a story behind it. But I never asked my grandpa, sadly. He is no longer with us.) Well, they did something about it, an
d the collapse of the USSR saw, among other good and bad things, the advent of brand-new razors with twin safety blades. I want to discuss at some length my experience of using the following three razors: Gillette Sensor Excel, Wilkinson Sword FxDiamond and Gillette Mach3. I use all of them, or rather keep on using them. Some day I’ll confine myself to the use of a favourite brand, but not now. In terms of practicability and ease of use the winner is Sensor Excel. I can hardly remember when I cut myself with this razor – at least, cut myself badly enough to have caused any discomfort or inconvenience. I have a rather sensitive skin that is sensitive to the way I eat, wash and care for my face and… shave, of course. I have a mole on my chin that has been getting me into lots of trouble throughout my shaving years. Whenever I shave, I have to be on the alert – and it’s a hard thing to do the morning after. But, somehow Sensor Excel safety blade makes it easier and more comfortable to cope than the other two brands. FxDiamond has a particularly sharp pair of blades that’ll make you bleed more often than you deserve unless you take care. Gillette Mach3 blade is too big to reach and do away with hairs at and around the base of my nose. So you’ll get the best results with either FxDiamond or with Gillette Mach3 if you use Sensor Excel as a follow-up. In terms of durability, again, the winner is Sensor Excel, with FxDiamond coming as a close second. Gillette Mach3 has the shortest life of them all, though it does appear that they are trying to do something about it of late. In terms of quality, Gillette Mach3 is the winner, with FxDiamond and Sensor Excel both truly deserving a silver medal. So, if you are looking forward to a most promising date today, Gillette Mach3 is the brand to choose. That takes us smoothly to the issue of occasions. You can use Sensor Excel whenever, whatever
the circumstances. It’s a good traveler’s companion. It is a good lover’s companion, too. If anything, I would rather leave FxDiamond at home when I am going on a prolonged business trip. It won’t do to appear before foreign partners with a bleeding lip, earlobe, chin or nose. Nor with blood on your collar, either. (Oddly enough, looking back, I cannot recall an occasion when I (or anyone, for that matter) should have cut myself in more spots than one). They say Frenchmen make it a rule to shave, among other things, before they go to bed. Women may applaud this, but it is a good rule to follow, too, when you are all alone on a business mission far away from home and have a very hectic schedule and not enough time to sleep. I want to touch upon some occasions when used safety blades may come in handy. The traditional, “single” safety blades may be used to do away with hair on the back of your neck, to remove paint from window panes, to make a newspaper cutting, to tighten the hinge of your glasses frame or whenever you need a sharp if flexible cutting tool. I use used “modern” safety blades only to remove unwanted hair from the back of my neck, from armpits and the rest of my body when I fancy the hour has struck – once in a blue moon, that is. By the way, if you want to get rid of that obnoxious hair on your ears, do not hesitate to use any safety blade. Make them wet and go ahead moving the blade smoothly, carefully and assuredly over the outer perimeter of your ears, working your earlobes freely. Never get inside. Never use a shaving foam. Speaking of shaving accessories, I’d love to mention the shaving foam brand I absolutely admire – FLORENA! Whatever Florena brand I would take, I’d absolutely admire the fragrance, the smoothness and abundance of the foam – anything I’d expect from a quality shaving cream. (I would never opt for the grotesque shav
ing cream sprays, they seem ludicrous to me. And the disadvantages of carrying them around are too obvious to discuss.) When it comes to shaving brushes, it is advisable to buy more expensive ones, made of natural bristle. (You are expected to dispose of your toothbrush after three months. What about shaving brushes? Can anyone advise?) SUPPLEMENT: OF SHAVING AND ETHICS. “As a beauty, I’m not a star, There are others, more handsome, by far… But my face – I don’t mind it, For I’m behind it – It’s the people in front that I jar.” The limerick had been accompanying me (it had been my motto, in fact) through the most of my youth, and the ten or so minutes I was spending each morning in front of a bathroom mirror, a razor in my hand, cheeks and chin white as snow, were the only period during which I was paying any attention to my face. It was a bad mistake. I realized when it was too late, perhaps, but it was a bad mistake. I do not want anyone to repeat it. “My eyes with your vision, My choice – but always your decision, My play – your direction, My link – but always your connection…” – sing the pretentious Alan Parsons Project, my favourites and arguably the most schizoid-on-the-recovery band in the world. Yes, we should keep in touch with the man within. S. Prudden (see below) describes many useful techniques in her ground-breaking book to prevent you from repeating my bad mistakes. So, what am I thinking now, as I confront myself in the mirror, my safe Gillette Sensor Excel in hand? At best of the times, the bristle on my chin reminds me of the Little Prince. He told a story about a lazy man who had neglected to observe a strict rule that says that you should get up in the morning, wash yourself, dress up and get your planet in order; and, first and foremost, you should do away with the ba
obabs. That man came to no good: the baobabs tore his planet to pieces. There is a darker side to everyone (to that man within each of us), and the baobab trunk (however young) is too strong even for a cut-throat razor to cope, but there are other means at hand. The time is running out. There are lots of bad things around, let us do good things – and make haste. RESOURCES Saint-Exupery, A. de. The Little Prince (1943). Ch. 5. The Alan Parsons Project. You Don’t Believe in: Ammonia Avenue. Prudden S., Meijer-Hirschland J. Meta Fitness. Your Thoughts Taking Shape (1989). Hay House, Inc. Santa Monica, CA.
It has always been the game of big business. Sell the user the basic product at the cheapest possible price and then screw them in the spares that are necessary in order to continue to use that product. Many products fall into this catergory especially things like automobiles and electrical appliances and fixtures. Other similar examples are Game Consoles where the consoles are sold cheapily and the cream is made in the games. One product that certainly comes under this category and what this opinion is all about is the Gillette Sensor Excell Razor. Ever since I was a kid I have been using a type of razor made by Gillette. First it was the GII, then it was the Contour, then the Sensor and more recently the Sensor Excell. I really don’t know wether to be praising this product or venting my frustations. Okay lets get to the praising bit first. Gillette razors have always been my favourite and that of millions of others, primarily due to the quality of shave that one receives when using them. It is also always available, easily available and the company comes out with innovative new products every once in a while. On top of this Gillette provides the complete range of shaving accessories from the foam to the after shave. The Sensor Excell Razor itself is a sturdy piece of equipment. It is in a silver grey colour and has a well contoured grip that makes holding it easy even when damp or wet. At the top of the razor is part that holds the blade. It has two knobs on each side, which when depressed will eject the existing blade or receive a new one. This is one part of the razor that takes a lot of wear and tear and I used my Sensor for around five years before finally changing to the Senor Excell. This just goes to show you the quality aspect of the product. Further as is expected the razor comes into contact with water most of the time and in all my years I can never remember every se
eing any rust or any other cosmetic damage to the razor, other than a few scratches. The Sensor Excell Blades are the ones that primarily provide you with that quality shave. A lot of research goes into producing a blade that provides the best shave. I am not really sure if the makers ever thought of the cost though. Each blade has soft grey coloured microfins that I presume help drain of the water and moisture quickly and at the same time help to reduce friction on the skin. Each blade has a lubrastrip (lubricating strip) which is primarily there to ensure that you have the most comfortable and smooth shave. The actual blades are twin blades and are self adjusting (swivelling). This once again ensures that the blade moves over the contours of your face (or other parts of the body) easily, especially around the chin area. The quality of the blades are excellent but my only gripe is that they dont last that long, especially if you shave everyday, like me, and also have quite a bit of facial hair growth. Now lets get down to the frustration bit. The actual Gillette Senor Razor is sold at just £4.39, which comprises of the complete razor with one blade that is already affixed. Great so far. Now what happens when your blade is finished and used up. You go and purchase more blades without thinking to much about it. That is until you get to the shop and find out how much they are: £4.79 for a pack of 5 blades £8.79 for a pack of 10 blades Ridiculous is all I can say and just reverborates what I said earlier on this opinion. This is where Gillette makes all its money from. Further these blades, although providing you with one of the best shaves possible, dont really last that long. In my case I get around four really good shaves with a new razor and then another three “not-so-good” shaves. After that I have to change the blade. So that’s one blade a week, four blades a month and a
round £4.00 a month just on the blades. I suppose for me its just one of those things I have to live with because I certainly wont dare trying to change from Gillette. My last attempt failed miserably and my Wilkinson Sword Razors lies somewhere in the confines of my dressing table drawer never to see the light of day again.
Rarely do I shave, instead I tend to use sugaring (like waxing) and I am not really some hairy monster from Dr. Who! Only in extreme emergencies do I shave and this happened to me last week. My regular beauty therapist was away on holiday and my hubby had arranged to take me away for a couple of nights. I had to remove the unsightly, unwanted body hair and fast! What was I to do? A trip to the local chemist solved the problem in the form of Gillette for Women, Sensor Excel. This pale green razor has a soft, non-slip grip, making it ideal to use in the bath or shower. The flexible inter-changeable head has protective mircofins, making for a closer, smoother and safer shave. The blade cartridges are impregnated with aloe and vitamin E lubrastrip, moisturising the skin during the shave to leave it smooth and soft. The twin blades on a spring-mounted head are sharp enough to remove most the stubborn hairs without causing razor burn plus the associated pain. Shaving Tips for Women leading to Best Results 1) Always shave with a fresh clean blade. 2) Soften skin and body hairs with plenty of warm water. 3) For best results apply a shaving cream to the skin, before shaving. Gillette recommends their Satin Care Shave Gel. This helps to reduce friction on the skin, allowing the razor to glide over the skin effortlessly. 4) Start at the easiest area and work up to the hard to reach points, such as the armpits or knees. 5) Always try to shave in the direction of hair growth (less drag, hence less razor burn). 6) Do not press the razor to hard to the skin. 7) Rinse the blade when it gets clogged with hair and thoroughly after use. Pat dry with a cotton cloth and leave to air dry. 8) Store unused blades in the medicine cabinet, to keep dry and secondly to be out of the reach of children and pets. Replacement blades and Satin Care Shave Gel along with the GilletteR
17;s Sensor Excel Razor for Women are available in most chemists and supermarket stores. The kit that I brought from an independent chemist cost me £4.99 and came with one spare blade. It is not the cheapest female razor on the market today, but it does give an excellent shave. I was able to swim and dine out in style with out the other clientele gaping in horror! The website is www.Gillette.com.