“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Men's razor with spare blades / Skin type: for dry skin and for all types „
To shave or not to shave is one of those decisions that every man constantly makes during his life. I started shaving at 16 and besides a brief flirtation with a beard in my twenties and at the start of my forties I've been shaving daily now for just over 30 years.
During those 10,500+ shaves I've got to know what type of blade works on my skin and any change to a new product is something I do not undertake lightly. I guess like many men I've simply stepped up to the next release of blades as they come on to the market, still relying on the brand name I've become used to.
Earlier this year however I decided I had to make a major change in the blades I used, not due to quality issues but due to cost (I knew the writing was on the wall as soon as razor blades started to be sold with security tags to stop them being stolen). I had been a Gillette man for years and had worked my way up to the Mach 3 Power Blade which retailed at over £2 per blade and I knew that, in my heart of hearts, I'd been taken in by the advertising that convinced me I needed multiple blades, a lubricant strip and a vibrating head. I was initial going to just step down to the standard Mach 3, but these blades still retailed at over £1.50 each, and then I came across the Tesco Triple Blade Shave System (aka a razor).
Now the Tesco Triple Blade is, on first view, a Mach 3 but without the advertising budget and the high price tag. The razor head is a triple blade system and there is also a lubricating strip with aloe vera and vitamin E, more importantly from my point replacement blades only cost the equivalent of 37p each if I bought them in packs of 8.
After being persuaded by the price to purchase this razor I approached my first use of it tentatively (I still remember the Niagara of blood caused by experimenting with cheap Bic razors in my teens). To my surprise the shave was really good. Whilst it wasn't initially as smooth as the Mach 3, once I got used to the pressure needed for the optimum shave I was more than happy with my purchase.
Since then I've used Tesco Triple Blade as my daily razor of choice. There are issues, the shave looks good but I can feel that it's not quite as close as I'm used to, the fit of the razor into my hand isn't as snug as that of the Mach 3 (yeah, I know, just how precious am I?) and the blades tend to wear out quicker - personally I would estimate that Tesco Triple Blades last about half the time. However given the price difference in replacement heads these are all minor points I'm happy to put up with.
For me the Tesco Triple Blade Shave System is a good value, good quality item and, if Tesco can sell a decent blade for 37p, I'd be interested to find out how the 'name brands' can justify their high prices.
As a big fan of the Gillete Mach3, I decided to try out what is essentially a supermarket branded Mach3 clone, in the form of the Tesco Triple Blade Shave System (from here on in referred to as the 'TTBSS'). The TTBSS costs only £1.89 - and the price includes five triple bladed disposable heads - bargain! When bought on their own, the refill blades are similarly good value for money - the twelve pack retails at £3.23, making each blade cost only 27p each.
Design & Appearance
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The design of the TTBSS is very similar to the Mach3, with a metal body interspersed with rubber grip sections - it's very comfortable to hold, and effectively designed so that it contours to the shape of your hand. Attaching a new blade is easy; simply squeeze the two plastic tabs at either side of the razor's head, and align with the notches on the blade's reverse - it *is* a little more fiddly than the Mach3's single button system, but it only takes around three or four seconds so I can't complain.
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As well as the razor's body being similar to the Mach3, the blades are too - there's even an aloe vera and vitamin E lubricating strip which helps reduce friction and razor burns. But how is the shaving experience? Well, i'm happy to report that it's very good. The TTBSS cuts through stubble really easily - it somehow seems a little sharper than the Mach3, and gets very close to the skin without any significant cuts. Most importantly, the razor doesn't leave me with any shaving rash, which is high on my list of priorities. After the shave I sometimes notice that i've accumulated one or two tiny nicks - but it's nothing like the damage of a Bic Disposable!
On the downside, I do find that the discarded stubble tends to get caught up in the blades, and it takes a bit of tapping the razor under running water to get it out - here, the Mach3 is definitely better, as it's got an open section behind the blades, rather than the TTBSS's reverse which is part enclosed by a plastic bar. The blades are good for around three shaves before they need to be replaced - although, even if each one did just one shave, it would still be good value. for money
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I highly recommend the Tesco Triple Blade Shave System, which is essentially a Gillette Mach3 for those on a budget. It cuts through stubble with ease, and offers really good value for money. The only downside is the fact that it can get a little clogged up with hair - but it's only a minor annoyance which can ultimately be forgiven.