* Prices may differ from that shown
My ongoing quest to find an effective yet reasonably priced razor saw me recently try out the Wilkinson's Xtreme 3 addition to the already over-saturated male grooming, hair removal marketplace. I have a hate/hate relationship with razor systems as it is; shaving is a chore that I don't enjoy and I equally dislike having to pay a fortune for something that is designed to remove the hair and stubble from my face and neck. Cheap razors leave me with irritated skin and razor-rash and expensive razors, as effective as they are, leave me feeling ripped off so it's been somewhat of a challenge for me to find and stick to a singular brand when it comes to shaving.
The X-treme 3 range of razors from Wilkinson Sword were recently available from Tesco on a half price promotion costing me a little over £3.00 for a pack of 4 disposable razors instead of their usual price of£6.00+. I bought them because I was in need of new blades for my Mach system and didn't want to spend a fortune on replacement blades when I could try something different and cheaper and as I tend to buy whatever is available on special offer I decided to see if these were up to the job. Mine, as the name of them suggests, are a 3 blade razor. Individually they're not very heavy to hold and are made from a plastic material which features a rubberised section on the handle to make them comfortable to hold in the hand. Each razor has an easy to remove plastic safety cover which keeps the blades covered before use and a 'glide strip' which is supposed to aid the movement of the razor when it's used on the contours of the face and neck.
To look at one the Xtreme-3 isn't particularly remarkable, it has a wide-head design which is common nowadays for a razor and tries to have the look of a more expensive, premium shaving system. Used with a good quality shaving gel (I prefer gel to foam) I find that the razor is good for removing the stubble on my face and neck and as the blades are quite flexible I find that it does give me a close and comfortable shave. Because I don't have to shave every day and usually have a couple of day's worth of stubble to tackle I find that I do have to go over the same area a couple of times to remove any unwanted hair but unlike some cheaper disposable razors I've used in the past I don't find the Xtreme-3 to be an irritant to my skin and I do think that the blades used are of excellent quality. For a tiresome task that I don't particularly enjoy I find that these razors are very good overall and I don't have to waste additional time going over the same areas time and time again, if the hair isn't removed the first time of being gone over then it usually is on the second stroke and for me that puts these razors in just about the same league as the expensive Mach 3's or 4's.
I don't think that the glide strip is much use to be honest, it certainly doesn't seem to add anything to the overall shaving experience for me and I think it's inclusion is rather irrelevant. Because I use a shaving gel I find that I don't need any additional 'help' in getting the razor to glide over my face and neck but as it's supposed to be infused with Aloe Vera I suppose Wilkinson Sword thought it was a good idea to include it in the design. For me it's rather superfluous but others may find it beneficial.
For a disposable razor I think the Xtreme-3 is rather good, I can get a good couple of week's use out of one before the blades become too blunt to be of any use and as my pack had 4 in it originally I haven't had to think about buying a new razor for the past couple of months. For the price I paid for mine I think they have worked out to be very good value for money and I would buy them again if they were on offer. As mentioned I don't have any brand loyalty to any razor manufacturer and tend to buy whatever might be on special offer at the time of me looking but the Xtreme 3's would be something I'd buy again and I would recommend them to other people.
All in all for how effective they are, how easy they are to use and how comfortable the blades feel on my skin I think these have been a good buy and from me get a very good 4 star rating - only losing 1 star from what would have been a perfect score for the useless glide strip. Definitely recommended though, thanks for reading my review.
I first encountered these disposable razors last summer at a Car Booty not far from us. My wife drags me round the field most weekends like a reluctant overweight labrador and it has proven easier to acquiesce rather than make a song and dance about it. The deal is we have to be home by mid afternoon - just in case there is some sport to be watched on telly. This particular labrador doesn't lick his balls but does like to relax.
Whilst she mooches, I have a little look at stalls that seem to offer some interesting and unusual items and it was whilst pondering the purchase of a wooden carved horse that I noted a big cardboard box full of these 4 pack razors. The guy wouldn't come down much on the price of the horse so in the end he threw in 2 packs of these as part of the deal (it looked as if he might be keen to shift them in a hurry and was selling them at a pound a packet) and I was duly parted with a white fiver. A couple of moths escaped from my wallet but others have since taken their place.
I hadn't used these razors before but given that effectively they cost me nothing, I was well disposed towards them before I started. The following week I opened one of the packs, each containing 4 razors and started to shave. Mmmm - good first impression!
First positive was the lovely fresh shade of green, then the ribbed handle (mmm - rubbery!), the small and neat design, the swivel head, the quality of the shave. I am not a great fan of lubricating strips, but these seemed to add something to the shaving experience as well. Each razor has three flexible blades and it is this feature which apparently helps you to achieve a really close shave - not a hugely important feature if you are Spongebob Squarepants, but for the rest of us with contoured faces, it is nice when the blade closely follows the line of our chins.
A fortnight later I was still on the same razor and although I don't have a particularly stubbly beard, I was impressed that it was still sharp enough to use for my morning shave. Once I had discarded it, it magically found its way into the bath rack where my wife used it for a while longer doing whatever she does with these things - just as long as I don't get a second hand bath full of leg stubble or 'curly wurlies' - I hate that!
Once my free stock ran out, I didn't buy any more (they are getting on for a pound per razor at standard price and I can't bring myself to pay that) and I now flirt with a few different brands of disposable. These are by no means the cheapest of the branded options, but they certainly impressed me and I would certainly buy them again if they were on a decent offer.
I have been conducting an experiment between disposable razors over the last year or so. Coming to the end of my razor experimentation for now, the Wilkinson Sword Xtreme 3 Comfort Plus Sensitive is another ostensibly high quality disposable razor. Let's see how it fares against the competition.
The razor looks very chunky and sturdy, with a pivoting head supported by 2 thick struts on the sides and three inward pointing thinners ones in the middle. The head has three blades which apparently are supposed to follow the angles of your face closely. A conditioning strip is on both the top and bottom of the head, which have Aloe Vera and Vitamin E which is supposed to give you a more comfortable shave. The green handle is pleasantly thick, bulbously tapering our in the middle with a ridged rubberised which is very comfortable to hold. The head is covered by a partly transparent plastic cap which clips itself to the head with the aid of squezable soft plastic sides, quite a neat solution which protects the head very effectively.
There are 2 variants available; the Comfort Plus and Comfort Plus Sensitive, and I have tested the latter.
THE SHAVE ENDURANCE TEST
The first shave was very satisfactory. Coping with a few days growth, the razor gave a reasonably close shave, with one nick on an existing wound but apart from that, no mishaps. The think handle felt pretty secure in my hand and gave a good grip. There was a good close shave around the chin, which can cause problems in inferior razors.
The second shave was just as good. The razor felt good against the skin, closely following my face and it didn't feel at all like it might nick me having a good smooth action.
The third shave, remarkably, was just as good as the first. A very smooth action indeed. In fact it was too good, as I managed to cut my lip with the razor, such was the lack of friction that I went past the hairs straight into the lip and even then I didn't notice until I started bleeding. Quite remarkable; I've never experienced such quality in a blade before, as you'd expect some degradation by now. There were no hairs stuck between the blades, which is the usual symptom of the onset of problems.
The fourth shave was just as good as the other three with no loss of quality. I am starting to think that this might be related to the design of the head, where two supporting struts curve out from the blade, giving the whole head support when it's pressed against your face, which I would imagine helps even the pressure out over the whole head. Quite a simple idea that is surprisingly underutilised, even amongst more expensive razors.
The fifth shave felt like the blade had lost a little of its quality. Although the general quality of the shave was as good as before, it felt like I had to dig in a little more to get that closeness, and I had to go over my chin more than once to ensure all the hairs were clipped.
A sixth shave is almost unprecedented decent shave territory here for a disposable razor, and the shave was just as good as the previous one; the same effort required but still a decent result.
The seventh shave was again acceptable without any loss of quality. It's notable that even at this stage, clogging hairs weren't an issue and no maintenance had been required on the head to keep them at bay. There wasn't even a hint of a nick or cut this time.
For the eighth shave I thought I'd give it a challenge and waited for 3 days to get some good wiry stubble. Again, the razor dealt with the task with no problems. Usually at this stage you'd be struggling on areas like your chin, but the effort was no more so that a fairly unused razor. And still no clogging with hairs!
The ninth shave was the next day and was pretty much the same, although briefly, 1 hair did get stuck between two of the blades. After a quick swish in water though, it was gone.
There were no problems with the tenth shave, or the eleventh shave. Although was I starting to detect some wear by this point? The result was just as good, anyway.
On the twelfth shave, I had a couple of days growth to tackle, and the razor handled this reasonably well, although I noted a slight roughness under my chin, further evidence of the slight decline in the razor, but still not enough to convince me to call it a day yet.
Pretty much the same for the thirteenth and fourteenth shaves; examining the blade compared to a new one, the used razor looked dulled, and slightly bunt at the edge of each blade. The blue strip looked a bit worn but still solid, as did the little white conditioning stripe.
The fifteenth shave, more or less the known limit to me for disposable razors, yielded identical results to the last one. Perhaps I had to go over each area once or twice but the result didn't suffer at all, and there was no indication at all the razor was ready to throw in the towel. And this particular shave tackled a couple of day's growth so it was well tested.
I was becoming determined to end this one way or another, and so I left 3 days growth for the sixteenth shave. The result was again acceptable, with a little roughness under the ridge of my skins and a couple of nicks. But even in the evening my face felt pleasantly smooth so still no grumbles there.
Another 3 days growth and shave number seventeen was without even a trace of a nick, and barely any residual roughness. Surely I wouldn't be able to get to twenty?
Shave eighteen required a bit more effort and the result in some way I can't quantify LOOKED rougher but it certainly didn't feel it. It's notable that shaving around the nose, usually problematic, wasn't a problem at all. With the design of the head it's actually very easy to manoeuvre around the area without the worry that you're about to hack your nose off. Also, it's very effective getting a shave close to your nose, a particularly impressive characteristic.
Shave number nineteen felt as comfortable as the other shaves and felt quite smooth but upon close investigation it's starting to look a little worn around the edges, with small patches of stubble not being fully cropped. A slight razor burn was evident too.
Shave twenty was reasonable but again slightly patchy and although feeling quite smooth, looked like it wasn't shaving the hairs close, and combined with the effort required to get this quality of shave, I decided this was the end of the road for this particular razor. But what a tough little trouper it had proved to be.
Just to make sure this wasn't a one off I observed the performance of the whole pack and all 4 razors more or less conformed to what is described above, some lasting a couple of shaves less and some clogging more with hairs sooner but the performance is comparable. Let's say you can expect 16 shaves per razor and anything else is a bonus.
This is one of the most hardwearing disposable razors I've ever used; it's certainly been one of the highlights of my shaving experimentation. At about £4 for a pack of 4, they're certainly not the cheapest of options per se. However, considering their longevity, and the continuity of a decent quality of shave throughout, they may be worthy of consideration if you're looking for a decent disposable shave.
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 : use the link http://www.wilkinsonsword.co.uk/contact_us
Website : http://www.wilkinsonsword.co.uk/men/showroom/xtreme3_disposable