Gillette Fusion Conspiracy Theory
James Lileks thinks he may have to apologize for his earlier recommendation of the Gillette Fusion razor.
I gave it happy praise when it was first released, but then it let me down. Daily. It left stubble. I have a heavy beard, but for heaven’s sake, five blades should be able to cut the stubble. But every pass left bristly residue. Some say the first blade is always better than every other blade; you’re hooked on that first smooth shave. By the time your disappointment is complete they’ve introduced a new razor. The man is out to screw you, dude. (Think how different things would seem if The Man was called The Dude; you couldn’t quite take any conspiracy theory seriously.) I don’t like that sort of thinking, but I thought of it every time I used the razor. Every time. On vacation I brought some cheap disposables, and they not only worked better, they were, well, cheap. The five-blade cartridges are hideously dear. What if I shaved once, threw the blade away, and had a fresh one each morning? The earth would weep, of course, but I’d have a smooth cheek. And the earth is always weeping about something.
It’s been years since I last tried a disposable razor. Quite possibly, they’re better now but, considering that the bleeding has barely stopped from my last experiment, I’m exceedingly reluctant to give them another go.
Lileks is right, though, about the first shave with a new razor always seems best. Many think it’s a conspiracy wherein a magically superior blade accompanies the razor but the inordinately expensive refills (a 12 pack of which costs roughly the same as a DVD player) are mediocre so as to create demand for the X+1 bladed razor the company is set to introduce.
Given that I invariably wind up buying a second handle, whether to have a battery operated version or to have one for my Dopp kit, and find it unaccompanied by the magic blade, I can confirm this isn’t in fact true. That, plus the fact that it would surely cost more to manufacture magic blades plus inferior blades rather than simply putting out nothing but the good ones.