Lunch.com is only one of five on-line sites for which I merrily write product reviews, mainly of books. Each review site has its charms, its strengths, its drawbacks. One thing that I enjoy about reviewing for amazon.com is participating in its VINE program. Every month VINE sends its stable of reviewers a list of new-to-market products to select from, try out and then review. If you like what you see amidst the monthly offerings, you can immediately ask amazon to send you a free sample to try out and then write up.
Usually, if I select anything at all, it is a book. Once, however, it was a handsome, functional $69 metal exercise frame. This second time I chose a non-book called Remington Azor 5 Blade Manual Men's Razor with 3 Cartridges.
By the time the Remington five-blader arrived in my mail, I had already thought out a "plugger's" easy, lazy way to test. I would compare the unknown Remington five-blader with my tried and true Gillette Mach 3 three blader -- a loyal face scraper of more than five years residence on my bathroom sink.
Down the decades (I am 76) I have generally stuck with Gillettes: one blade, two blades, three blades. Once long ago my late father talked me into trying Wilkinson Sword blades -- and they seemed far in advance of their then competition. As time went on, however, I move higher and higher into technological improvements, especially regarding safety, sharpness and kindness to my not abnormally sensitive facial skin.
So what was my experiment?
For three consecutive mornings I shaved the right side of my face with Remington 5-blades and my left side with Gillette 3-blades. Days one and two I shaved first with the grain of the whiskers (i. e. from up to down). Day three I reversed the order (from down to up -- against the grain). That is, during each shave I worked over my facial hair two times, as I have done since perhaps age 40.
Be it noted that for at least three decades I have preferred to prepare to shave by lathering up my face using a shaving bowl of soap with a brush. Only when traveling light on the road will I use a gel. I always follow up my shaves with a soothing sunscreen spread -- something recommended long ago by an Air Force dermatologist in Viet-Nam.
As part of the experiment/comparison I also asked eight adults, both women and men, to feel both cheeks with their hands and judge which side was more closely shaven. Seven of eight guessed the right or Remington-5 side.
As for myself, at first I thought that I was holding the Remington-5 wrong. I felt that nothing at all being cut. The shaver was more or less just brushing across my face, barely in contact with my skin. But I reassured myself at once that, by golly, it was for a fact "whiskers away!" This was especially true when shaving against the grain where the Remington far outperformed the Gillette.
I personally judged from the very first day that the Remington did a notably better job on neck and all parts of the face except the area between upper lip and nose, where the smaller Gillette maneuvered more easily and with a more even shave.
To be fair, 24 hours after my split-face shaves, I could detect no repeat NO difference in degrees of stubble between my Gillette side and my Remington side. It was simply time to lather up once more.
If you look at the amazon.com product page, you will find, at my last count earlier today, more than 100 reviews, including mine, of the Remington 5-blader. I only glanced at one review, and noticed its complaint that the Remington blades are plastic, though marketed in a way to make you think they are metal. Rather than verify or falsify that assertion, I choose to plead for intervention in this discussion by more learned, presumably far more 21st century hi-tech, colleagues here at lunch.com/ubergizmo to weigh in on plastic v. metal blades.
This plugger's conclusion: I have now officially and personally been converted from Gillette Mach 3 to Remington King of Shaves 5.
On amazon.com the Remington-5 lists for $11.99, available on line from amazon for $8.99. That is for razor plus three blade cartridges. Amazon lists a Gillette Mach 3 Shaving system for $14.84, marked down to $8.14 (I don't know how many blade cartridges come with this. Offhand, the price difference between Remington 5-blader and Gillette 3-blader seem insignficant when it comes to make a buying decision.)
I have also learned, via googling, that Gillette, too, markets a five blade shaving system. When I have used up the three sets of five blades that came with my Remington sample (in perhaps three or four weeks), fairness may drive me to try a Gillette 5-blader. It would not surprise me if my old friend Gillette will have risen to the competition. But for now ...
Meanwhile I appeal to my younger, more up-to-date, hi-tech colleagues in Ubergizmo to let me pass my plugger baton over to them for a better, more in depth review of Remington Azor 5 Blade Manual Men's Razor with 3 Cartridges .
What did you think of this review?