Product Type: Wilkinson Shaving & Grooming
Newest Review: ... 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 wa... more
Disposable razor durability taken to a new Xtreme
Wilkinson Sword Xtreme 3 Comfort Plus Sensitive Razors
Member Name: larsbaby
Wilkinson Sword Xtreme 3 Comfort Plus Sensitive Razors
Advantages: Excellent shave quality, lasts for many shaves
Disadvantages: Not the cheapest of options
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/xtrem e3_disposable
Summary: High quality disposable shaving