Product Type: Gillette Shaving & Grooming
Newest Review: ... years ago, and have been improving on it ever since. Their recent upgrade to 5 blades is a blessing in comfort. I can shave anytime with... more
More Blades on this than in Jigsaw's Stockroom...
Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power
Member Name: Novabug
Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power
Advantages: Nice to grip, easy to handle precisely. Does shave better with less resistance on hairs.
Disadvantages: Very expensive replacements blades, annoying holder. Near-Pointless sixth blade.
--Whooo! Take the ProGlide Challange! Erm...(Punch!)--
The Gillette Company were formed in 1895 in Boston, Massachusetts, and started producing their key product base of safety razors from 1902. Over the years, Gillette became a worldwide brand name and synonymous with men's hygiene products, includings soaps, gels, foam and deodorant. Their primary product and the one they are most recognised for are the re-usable razor handles combined with disposable blade cartridges, and in recent years the inclusion of multiple sprung blades. They have made various advances over the years developing re-usable and disposable razors, and branding support products like shaving gel into a new model name. Like many large cosmetic brands, they were merged into part of the giant consumer goods company Procter and Gamble in 2006.
The branding for Gillette however remains, and their newest update to their flagship men's razor is the Fusion ProGlide, commercially endorsed by Tennis star Roger Federer and Olympian Sir Chris Hoy. These are not a far cry from the stereotypical shaving commercials as this proves to be the trusted method of selling to a modern man. The first adverts for the ProGlide, as to act as a comparison with the older Mach 3 and standard Fusion models, had an annoying 'reporter', bouncing into a men's changing room to ask about their shave experience. This guy would seriously get a stern word in the lug hole if he invaded my ablutions, and if he didn't disappear quickly, the multiple blades would have a difference use altogether. This advert was dropped, but in a strange way this made the product more memorable than any previous versions, so well done to Gillette's marketing team on creating the most annoying but effective TV campaign of the last two years!
--Price and Packaging--
These products for me have always had a price imbalance and it's obvious why, to maximise the profit on replacment blades. The razor handle itself with one head costs as little as £11.99. I got mine for a mere £7 on an offer. However, it only came with a single blade head included, and a packet of replacement head costs a massive £17 for 6! It's often documented on the cost of razor blade cartridges, and the ProGlide is no exception, in fact it's the most expensive in the range. No wonder why Gillette want everyone using these instead of their older products. Shopping around may prove a little fruitful, but generally the cost of these remains rather constant.
Maybe some of that cost is eaten up by the overkill on packaging. Sealed plastic bubble packages with card inserts are used for both the razor and the replacement blades, and while this provides good protection and looks smart, it's all a bit too much I feel. The designs are modern, sleek and provide all the information clearly in a blue/orange mixture of colours. Slightly eye-catching in the supermarket aisle, but not a big difference to the other brands and products. Telling the difference between the standard Fusion and the Fusion ProGlide is not a quick matter, having to examine the packets as they are very similar. That all said, it's all recyclable and easy to open.
--Design and Durability--
The ProGlide takes the exact design cues from the standard Fusion razor. A metal handle with ergonomic rubber grips and smooth shape, with a few enhancements that are mainly cosmetic, like the ProGlide logo on the underside. As far as razor handle designs go, it's modern and attractive, with a slight mechanical feel but with a swish style. It's easy to grip and manipulate in your hand, and is rather light in weight, but solid to the touch. I would think it will last longer than my previous Mach 3 because metal is used for the shaft and not plastic, so it should outlive many cans of shaving gel. The blade cartridge clip is well designed too, robust and easy to release and replace. Very good and an improvement on the Mach 3 design. What isn't an improvement is the holder you get, which is pretty much useless given the fact that a smart holder came with the Mach 3. It's a small tray of plastic that feels cheap and doesn't provide any enhancement to the storage of the razor.
The blade heads themselves are a slightly different story. Matching with the blue and silver colour scheme of the handle, they are again nicely built and don't seem fragile. The pivot point is strong, moves well and the 5 blades are all sprung well. There is a sixth blade on the back edge of the head which is suppose to be an accurate trimming blade, this stays out of the way during normal shaving, but steadying the head with a thumb could result in a little cut from this blade. Despite the apparent build quality, the longevity again comes into question. Gillette claim these blades last longer and provide the same quality of shave up to 13 times. I found it started to wear after the fifth shave, and needed replacing by the tenth time. I haven't got the coarsest of facial hair, so I would think a man with dark hair and a darker completion would find an even lower life span on these razors. For me, no real difference in lifespan from the Mach 3, but at a higher cost.
--Shaving Results - A Face to Pull With...?--
It seems I have been complaining about the cost and short life of the blades, but the best quality the ProGlide has to offer is also the most important, the quality and ease of the shaving experience. Like I have said before, I was disappointed when I used the original Fusion. It was uncomfortable, scraped and tugged on hairs quite a lot leaving my cheeks and neck quite sore. I put this down to the fact it has just too many blades, which would clog up with cut hairs too quickly. The ProGlide has addressed these issues, and much like the advertising says, it does reduce the snagging and pulling of the hairs. Gillette say the blades are engineered to be thinner and sharper, and the head includes an additional strip alongside the rubber foils and the moisturising strip. This is called a micro-comb, a tiny black line placed just under the first blade, which makes the hairs stand up just before the blades make the cut. This seems to be very effective, as the shave is remarkably improved. I was surprised when I first used it, it felt different straight away, and noticed that it glides smoothly over 3 days of growth without the resistance of the previous Fusion and Mach 3. I would still say the Mach 3 shaves very well, but will admit this is better.
Five blades is still too much I think, as you regularly have to rinse and clean the head during shaving, but not as frequently as the older models. The blades are sharp, very sharp too, and makes for a quick shave, you don't have to run over the same area time and time again, thus preventing razor burn and soreness. However, be careful with movement, these blades will not have any trouble making a neat five-line slice in the skin which is very painful. I did this on my bottom lip, and it was the worst shaving cut I have ever given myself. Ouch. If respect is given to the razor however, the results are very good. A close shave without soreness, and easy to move across the skin, even under the chin and neck area. The other parts of the razor head do the job too. The moisturising strip works well, and unlike the Mach 3, doesn't become sticky after the first use. It does lose it's effectiveness however after about five shaves, halfway into the lifespan of the blades. As mentioned before, I feel the sixth blade on the back edge is pointless and I have no need for it at all. Some may find it useful, but for me it's not needed. Thankfully though, it doesn't get in the way much. Small quibbles really, but overall a better shaving experience than any razor I have used before. Just.
It's a rarity that big brand claims are proven to be 100% true with a flagship product, but Gillette have almost got this spot-on. I'd say the lifespan claim is wrong, but the quality of the shave is better than before, and the blade head lives up to it's hype of reducing pulling, snagging and scraping. The design of all of the parts is modern, functional and neat, and makes for a very good wet shave. I was always a big advocate for the Mach 3, and to some extent will remain so, but this is a better razor and the results show. Not perfect, but close to a problem-free shave than there has ever been.
Mach 3 or Fusion ProGlide? The latter just shaves it...
Thanks for Reading. © Novabug
Summary: Expensive to replace blades, But a first class shaving tool. Recommended.
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