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I'm always on the look out for good deals on shaving products, as I resent having to pay over the odds for replacement blades. Bodycare recently gave me the choice- I could either buy four replacement Gillette Mach 3 blades for £3.99 or for 50p less I could have 4 blades for the Wilkinson Sword Quattro plus the handle.
I thought I'd give something a new a try, so I discarded the 3-blade Mach 3 in favour of the 4-blade Quattro. As far as I know, Gillette has always emphasised its ability to innovate new products whereas Wilkinson Sword prides itself in producing the sharpest blades. My initial impression when I unpacked the Quattro was that 4 blades seemed like an overly large shaving surface that would make intricate control difficult, especially around the moustache area. The shaving cartridge is about 25% larger than for the Mach 3 so I approached my first Wilkinson Sword shave with more than a little trepidation...
Unfortunately the results were far from satisfactory. The blade gave none of the control of the Mach 3- at times it felt like I was handling a cheese grater rather than a shaving unit. The shaver head didn't appear to flex or bend very easily, and due to the intricacy of the cartridge design it was impossible to see how much hair I was successfully removing. One of the advantages of the Mach 3 is that you can pretty much see through it, which also makes cleaning the cartridge very easy. Cleaning was a serious problem with the Quattro, which quickly became clogged with hair and was soon unusable.
I liked the design and the lubrication strip seemed as effective as the Mach 3, but the Quattro has some serious basic design flaws. The impossibility of cleaning the blade meant that it can effectively only be used once. The cartridge actually rusted up, which was astounding given the fact it was supposed to be designed to last, with a titanium construction. The Mach 3 may only have the three blades but we should be wary of shaving companies simply adding an extra blade to a product that already works. Eventually it leads to serious problems with usability. Perhaps when it comes to shaving blades, less is more after all!
Wilkinson Sword Quattto
I have been a mach 3 user for the past number of years. When I went to get new blades last week I could believe that the price has sky rocketed to £7 for a replacement pack. I took the immediate decision that I wouldn't pay such a high price and began looking for an alternative. I was drawn to the Wilkinson Sword Quattro for both the looks and the price. It was on offer for around three quid and came with a bright blue razor and one replacement head.
Once home I decided to open the product and give it a try. I hadn't shaved in a day or too and whilst not overly bad it was starting to look a bit scruffy. The packaging for this product was extremely difficult to open by hand and in fact I gave up and resorted to scissors. Once I opened the pack I was pleased to find a suction cap was also included in the package which was an unexpected bonus. The razor itself was a bright blue colour and looked more expensive than it actually was. Whilst opening the box the razor blade came off but it was easily reattached.
This in my opinion is the most important job a razor blade has to do. Sadly however this is where Quattro falls flat on its face. The razor blade glided effortlessly and painlessly over the face and whilst it removed some stubble it did not remove nearly enough. The shave was patchy and despite going over the same area again it still failed to remove anywhere near as close as the mach three. I had hoped that four blades would have been better than three but compared to the mach three this shaver is absolute rubbish. On the plus side it did effectively remove my shaving foam.
I was so disappointed with this product and as it did such a poor job I resorted back to my old (blunt) mach three just to finish the shave. The old mach three did the job far better than the new Quattro.
I wouldn't consider giving this product another go. It does look nice and the free suction cap was a nice touch but it didn't do its main tasks well. Im am in my late twenties and shave every other day. My facial hair is not overly coarse so I would have expected a lot better results. I could see this product working on someone who is younger and new to shaving and who only has fine facial hair. The razor blade did seem very safe. I repeated a lot of shaving strokes and still didn't manage to cut myself at all.
So overall this product was a let down. I would maybe recommend this for someone who has very fine hair. I for one won't be buying this product again as I felt it was a waste of £3 which I wish now I had of just put towards new mach three blades.
How the hell do you do a razor review? As my half assed stubble shows, I don't use the most reliable of razors most of the time, think the last time I did get around to what I view as a chore I managed to do the thing with a cheap ASDA home brand one (some how managing not cut my silky skin, beneath the forest of hair above). Whats more suprising really is I've finally found my good old Quattro, which had gone MIA after fighting through the forests of Scottsfaceia, the jungle that it was, a few weeks back.
I, like many it seems, got this razor for free, sadly the same can't be said about the blades, which seem to be around £1 each (admittedly it's 4 blades in each "blade"). Which could explain why it went MIA, as I can't afford to blow this sort of moolah after clearing up every battlezone. This might seem like a stupid idea, actually voluntarily using the cheap crappy knock off's of cheap crap, instead of spending a few bob on a top class blade, which they are.
The razor which is easily the smoothest shave I've had (not saying much for someone who regularly uses Bics and ASDA branded ones, admittedly, it's like like saying pub toilet paper is better than wiping your crap with than anewspaper). Although the bit in parenthesis is confusing, the razor is top notch, it's as close and smooth as you can get, barring using something like a cut throat (and as I'm accident prone, I'd end up with a claret mask if I tried). The advantages of having a 4 blades-in-1 head is that it makes shaving so much quicker as well, rather than needing to go over each little over grown area time after time, the sharp mulitple edged blades here cut through it like Alan Carr's annoying voice cuts through the wonder of golden silence.
So despite not making me any better looking (can you really improve on such inperfection with merely a sharp tool?) it does tidy me up, quickly and effectively, and prevents me from re-doing any area until the skin goes red (through either friction or blood) which is rather nice.
Admittedly I've never used the fusion, but barring that being the dogs swinging sweaty nut sack, this is the best on the market and most certainly the best looking.
I'm still travelling and I still can't get hold of my usual disposable weapon, the Gillette Blue II Slalom. Disappointed with my Gillette Fusion experience, I thought I'd try something new. I have already declared my unswerving allegiance to a wet shave and I now put my cards on the table regarding manufacturer. For a long time I've been a Gillette man; I suppose we all have our allegiances when it comes to shaving. I can't even explain mine, so long has it been thus. I seem to vaguely remember starting off with Bic disposables in my youth, inherited from my father, but that was only a passing fancy. Ah that brings back memories; lathering up with a brush and hacking my face off with a blunt single blade. This would be the first Wilkinson Sword product I'd ever tried; it felt like cheating on my girlfriend.
QUATTRO TITANIUM DISPOSABLE
This is a disposable version of the Quattro Series, and boy are there a lot of non disposable ones; Quattro, Quattro Titanium, Quattro Titanium Energy and Quattro Titanium Precision (which appears to be more of a trimmer and edger) I had some fun navigating the website in my investigations. No wonder metrosexual man is so confused these days; when I started shaving in the mid 80s it was a choice between 1 disposable single blade cheese grater and another. Aloe Vera hadn't even been invented, never mind on the razor to condition your face. Wilkinson Sword claims that this is the first 4 blade disposable razor. The blades are coated with titanium for extra strength, hence the name.
I bought 4 blades, and they come in a blue box with a transparent plastic front. You can get the razors at the back through the cardboard backing, where a dotted area is where you can push in.
You can get these for £4.99 for 3 blades in Tesco, but I got one extra blade free. To be fair, I didn't by them from Tesco, but if I said I got them from Netherlands chain Etos it wouldn't help you really would it!
For a fully disposable razor, this looks rather fancy. It has a very comfortable contoured blue handle with rubber grips on the sides. The 4 bladed silver head is held on to the handle with a spring loaded pivot. Toward the top of the handle is also silver, and it widens to make 2 forks which connect to the blade, giving a quite wide base for the blade, which should help stability. Below the bottom blade is a blue lubricating strip. There is a white one above the top blade, too.
I have to admit that I didn't even know how to remove the travel cap, as I'm so used to pulling them off from the top. With this, you have to slide it off to the side (oooer missus). One good thing about this kind of cover is that it wouldn't easily fall off during movement, making the blade safer to carry around with you in a bag.
I used this with Gillette Gel Sensitive Skin as the lubricating agent for my face, which I find pretty effective stuff. Actually any Gillette Gel would have been just as good if you ask me. The fancy schmancy Fusion Hydra Gel is dropping in price so that's probably good too. Wilkinson Sword have their own range of gels and foams as well as the old fashioned brush and soap, but I'll stick to what works thanks very much.
I am a bit of a lazy shaver these days and shave every 3 or 4 days. I'd do it even more infrequently but I find that the blades can't handle any longer, which usually ends in much pain, swearing and blood for my part. Depending on your point of view, I'm either very lucky as I can have decent, uniform, thick facial hair or else I'm unlucky as it already looks like I need a shave in the evening. Personally I'll stick with lucky; I would never fancy being the hairless type who looks messy after a week of shaving as there are random tufts of bum fluff on his face.
I was initially encouraged by the fact that it feels like you can manipulate this round your face without having to worry about if the blades are digging in at a funny angle - which is my only previous experience of more that 2 blades, with the Gillette Fusion razor. This meant that I wasn't nervous about shaving at an angle round the difficult, irregular parts of my face. It was also quite good at tackling my chin after a few days of stubble. Round the nose area I had no problems at all reaching to the edge.
Post shave, my face felt quite smooth and I would class it as a fairly decent shave, probably the best I have experienced from a fully disposable razor. When I rub the hairs under my chin against the grain, I can feel a slight roughness, and I am not accustomed to this with the Fusion, as it's usually impressively smooth. However, 12 hours later and my face still felt relatively smooth, which really impressed me. I had no nicks at all and didn't feel in any danger of having one whilst shaving, which is a big plus. The shave was quite quick because of my immediate comfort with the razor on my face, another big plus. And the rubber grips seemed to help as it felt comfortable in my hand as I whizzed it round my mush. Generally I find a pivoting head makes a big difference and this was no exception.
One gripe is that hairs got easily stuck between the blades and couldn't be washed away very easily. My usual way round this is to use the travel cap to ease them away from the blades, but this didn't seem to help much. Rinsing under the tap didn't work either, so I still have some hairs stuck fast between the blades. The hairier you are, the worse this will be, I assume.
I experienced perhaps very mild razor burn. I'm not really sure as I don't get this, my face being as hard as nails, but anyway, my face didn't hurt afterwards, just perhaps a twinge or two!
In the perennial trade off of convenience versus close shave, the Quattro Titanium disposable certainly wins in terms of convenience. It enables a quick, painless, pretty decent shave. I have to admit though, that the Fusion has it beaten purely on close shave. I would therefore recommend this if you want a fairly smooth, quick shave. Although as soon as I can get hold of a Blue II Slalom I'm having a dab with that old friend. It's cheaper than either of these and has served me well, although maybe these new fangled gadgets have raised the bar in terms of my expectations, so we shall see.
ABOUT THE COMPANY
Wilkinson Sword were founded in 1772 by gun maker Henry North. They became royal gun makers to King George III in 1804. Later on the company expanded into sword manufacturing and from the 1890s the product range was expanded. At the turn of the century, over 5000 products were sold, including cut throat razors. They introduced a safety razor in 1898. They produced armaments for World War I and commando knives and armoured clothing such as Flak jackets in World War II. They expanded into garden tools after this, and in 1956 produced the first stainless steel double edged blade. Lots of razor innovations followed, including in 1983 Retractor (first disposable razor with retractable blades) and in 2001 Xtreme 3 (first disposable with triple blades).
Wilkinson Sword Ltd
Bucks HP13 6DG
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 533300
Email : HWCustService@energizer.com
Website : http://uk.quattro-titanium.com/
4 blade razor provides the look, feel and quality of a replaceable blade razor /