Gillette Fusion Power VS Schick Quattro Titanium Power...

Discussion in 'Front Page Articles' started by joel, Mar 15, 2008.

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    Battle of the Vibrating Cartridge Systems

    Gillette VS Schick

    Alright, so there isn't too much love for gents using "shaving systems" around these parts - but here at badger and blade, we welcome all. In that spirit i've taken upon myself (lord help me) to "experiment" with some of these "systems" and see if I could offer some tips/advice on methods and products for attaining better results with the latest and allegedly greatest cartridge razors from the two Goliath's - Gillette & Schick.

    Before I get too in depth, let me just first say, these are the cheapest feeling razors I have ever experienced. Every bit as cheap feeling as a bic disposable. While this little article addresses the powered razors - Tip #1 is pass on the powered option, and get the razors non-powered. For one or two shaves they seemingly work better than their non-powered counterparts, but as the blades dull - it's really hard to feel what's going on, and the vibrations mask/numb feeling so you add more pressure to compensate, and you're left with ingrown hairs, irritation, etc. This article addresses the "powered" razors, to find out about the "unpowered" versions, stay tuned....

    Method - each razor was used for 2 weeks straight using a wide array of products, ranging from canned goo, to high end shaving soaps/creams. Pictures of the razors/blades were taken after the tests - to show/prove I actually used these things :lol:

    Razors - Gillette Fusion Power Phantom (or something) & Schick Quattro Titanium.....

    First, lets discuss the razors themselves and compare the two before we start talking about their performance, etc.

    The Schick looks and feels like it is significantly less expensive, and not nearly as nice as the Gillette. The fit/finish, ergonomics and the design of the Gillette Fusion are superior by an order of magnitude, and the two buttons on the Schick (for turning the vibration on/off) feel as if you are breaking the razor when pushed. On the other hand, the Gillettes one button is a lot slicker, and its inclusion of a "LED" battery indicator (which flashes when the battery gets low) is quite nifty. Other than the fact the Schick's handle doesn't vibrate your hand as much as the Gillettes (The Shicks vibrating mechanism is in the head of the razor, where as the Gillettes is in the handle, which vibrates your hand more than the razor head) - the handle of the Gillette is superior to that of the Schick by an order of magnitude.


    Razor heads.....
    Both companies use multiple blades with the intent on providing a closer shave with the need for only 1 quick with the grain pass, however they deign their cartridges with different methods/concepts - which both have their strengths and weaknesses. The Schick uses a cassette style cartridge which when viewed from the side is "triangular" which allows a greater accumulation of cut beard growth/shaving cream in the head, and allows greater spacing between the blades, thus combatting a clogged razor head in the best manner possible. The Gillette razor head on the other hand uses a box style cartridge head, which looks rectangular when viewed from the side. While the cartridge head itself is not nearly as wide/deep as that of the Schick, its design focuses on channeling cut beard growth and shaving cream past/behind the blade array, trapping beard refuse in the shaving cream resting on the flat/back of the cartridge head.


    The Schick employs a widely spaced 4 bladed cassette style cartridge head, with 8 ultra thin vertical metal wires holding and further supporting the blade array. In front of the blades, the Schick uses an opposing V rubber pattern to raise beard hair - followed by a lubrication strip, and yet another strip (this one soothing/aloe based) AFTER the 4 blades.


    The Gillette takes a different approach using 5 tightly spaced blades in a box style cartridge head - with an additional 6th single edged blade on the back of the cartridge head - which is more of a marketing pitch, than a valuable addition. In front of the 5 blades are a bunch of thin little rubber "fins" to aide in lifting beard growth, and behind the blades is a lubrication/aloe strip.



    Of the two, the Schicks cartridge seems to be the better thought out and logical design. The opposing V rubber strip works better than the gillettes wimpy fins, and having a lubrication strip before the blades actually makes a bit of a difference. The soothing strip AFTER the blade (for both of them) seems to be pretty pointless, however I suppose for many fellas who don't use aftershave and are merely using canned goo, this is revolutionary. For me, it just adds a tacky/slimy feel after each stroke... I think this is what attracts the sexy models in the commercials :rolleyes: - nothin' like some Gillette/Schick wonder-slime ladies!

    Alright, back to business at hand.

    Results - I'm really not a fan of either razor, regardless of what product(s) were used as pre-shaves, shaving cream, and aftershave. They both gave a superb shave for the first 2-3 shaves, but right after those first several super nice shaves would come the irritation, ingrown hairs, etc from adding pressure (as you have to do regardless with a cartridge razor) - too much pressure, as you cannot feel what the blades are doing. In fact... all you feel is vibration/numbness. As previously stated, their non-vibrating counterparts are much better in my opinion/experience - but thats another story/article.

    If pressed, I'd probably pick the vibrating Gillette over the vibrating Schick, as I found it to be more forgiving, and a bit easier to use, however the Schick would provide a closer shave, albeit with more irritation.

    Suggestions - Well, IF you're using a vibrating Gillette/Schick cartridge razor, there are a few tips/tricks to getting a better shave. I found the best results were attained using non-lathering products, as lathering products (regardless of whether it was canned goo, or super high end/expensive shaving cream/soap) would quickly clog the razor head, especially with the Gillette. 1 or 2 days beard growth with either razor and a lathering shaving cream resulted in just a mediocre at best shave. By changing things up - and using quite a few different non-lathering products, I found 2 that really stood out for me.

    1.) Woody's. Woody's Grooming makes a "Foaming Shaving Gel" that is just outstanding. While it does foam a touch (which is helpful for tracking the parts of your face you have shaved) it doesn't foam much, and it provides a tremendous amount of lubrication, and does a bang up job moisturizing and protecting your face to boot. If you preface your shave with Woody's pre-shave (some kinda pineapple concoction) and aftershave, I submit you'll get the best, and most comfortable shave humanely possible with a vibrating cartridge razor. Woody's makes dragging a cartridge razor across your face each morning "pretty good" as opposed to "simply dreadful." This, coming from a fella with well into 5 figures in straight razors, hones, etc is as complementary as you can get.

    2.) The only other product I could find which was even in the same realm in terms of efficacy was Billy Jealousy's Hydroplane. While not as nice as the woody's trio (I didn't/don't have the Billy Jealousy pre-shave) it is hands down the quickest option. Slapping some of this stuff on your mug and dragging a Fusion or Quattro across your face results in an exceptionally quick, easy, and acceptable shave with minimal irritation in literally 1 minute or so. While not as luxurious or efficacious as the Woody's option (especially when all three Woody's products were used) it is much, much faster, and still allows you to get a pretty irritation free shave with a marginally moisturized face. For a fella using Gillette or Edge shaving gel or the like - this would be an unbelievable shock in terms of being much better/easier on your face, more moisturizing and quicker. If you are really rushed in the morning and are looking for the fastest quality shave possible - this stuff is hard to beat.

    Overall - for the third time, toss the battery versions, and stay tuned for the more detailed article on the standard Quattro and Fusion - with more in depth cartridge "product" suggestions. :smile:
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2017
  2. Baloosh

    Baloosh Contributor

    What a great review on both types of powered razors. Great job!

    Can't wait to see the write-up on their non-powered counterparts. FWIW, I have also found that the powered versions are MUCH worse than that manual versions.
  3. I wondered where Joel had been in the SOTDs lately. An unexplained Edge gel and Schick Quattro SOTD would have been most surprising.
  4. Nice review. I used the Mach 3 and Fusion for years. (non-powered versions).
  5. Don't worry. This particular Schick is already out of date. I saw a commercial for one today with an electric beard trimmer on the bottom of the razor.
  6. Have you seen that POS in person? I was going to pick one up and review it, but it's just a beard trimmer that takes a Schick Quattro head on one end - it's really huge/cumbersome.

    For what it's worth, the non-powered Schicks are actually not that bad at all. The first iteration of Quattros I tried 3-4 years ago for kicks was awful, however this new "Titanium" or whatever isn't bad. When you see what the blades on these things run though - it's amazing, they really hose you. They're effective and extremely fast - but once i'm done with these tests, i'll likely never use them again.
  7. Nice review Joel. Do you think with your clout you could get them to resurrect the Schick FX Diamond?
  8. Nice review Joel....I was wondering where you've been. I was sorta hoping the LeGrelots would be getting a review:wink:
  9. htownmmm

    htownmmm Moderator Emeritus


    Way to take one,err, two for the team!

  10. I much preferred the Fusion to the Quattro (in manual non-powered versions). Sure, it gunks up more, but the blades seemed to last longer and the wires weren't nice to my face.
  11. I've used both of these razors. If I had to use a vibrating razor, I'd definitely go with the Gillette Fusion. Its vibrations actually seem to reduce drag a little bit (or maybe the vibrations mask the drag that's still there). The Schick's, however, don't do anything - if anything, for me, they made the shave worse. I don't know if it's the frequency of the vibrations or the location of the oscillating device or whatever, but it does absolutely nothing for the shave at all.

    Now, I'm the kind of guy that doesn't mind spending extra money on something if it's of higher quality or has features that justify the cost. That being said, I think the cartridge prices for these razors are ridiculous. A 4-pack of Fusion Power cartridges will run you about $15. In the cartridge realm, I personally don't see a justifiable difference between the shaves from these razors and those I get with a Sensor.

    If you look at how the marketing machine is really working here, it's easy to see that Gillette and Schick know they don't have much place to go. Back when the Quattro Titanium was unveiled, its major feature was that it was less irritating that the Mach 3. It hasn't changed much since then, but recent "innovations" on the Schick side have involved putting an extra blade on the back of the cartage for trimming (like the Fusion), making the handle a bit longer, and, more recently, producing a razor with an actual electric trimmer on the end. On the Gillette side, well, there's the Fusion. You can get the "manual" or "Power" version. The original was silver, blue and orange. Then they "innovated" again and made the razor black with the Fusion Phantom. Now, there's the Fusion Phenom, which looks a bit like the original Fusion but has a different marketing campaign that includes Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Thierry Henry.

    Are you kidding me? These are huge companies with tons of money going into R&D and the best they can do now is to offer a cheap plastic cartridge holder in different colors and a new gimmick or two.

    The simple fact, in my experience, is that I can get just about as good of a shave from a disposable 2 blade razor as I can with one of these cartridge razors. I think most of Gillette's and Shick's R&D is showing the same. There's not much they can do to provide a better shaving experience than to break away from their "add another blade" or "change the handle color" line of thinking.
  12. Why not? The name just tells me that this is a FAST moving piece of equipment, the chartreuse zoomy stripes is so reminicent of Mattel's Hot Wheels and the grey flames are moving so fast that they haven't time to morph into the black background. The head is so deep that it can't make the 1" ogive at the neck/jaw area.

    Yes sir I like my Mach3. But then I bought 5 packs of Excel Sensors to go with the handle that I DIDN'T throw away. The DOVO str8 should arrive next month from classicshaving/Lynn.
  13. Great review, I used the gillette for the last 2 years.

    Having said that, Since I got my Merkur HD, you could not pay me to go back to multi blades and canned goo, and it's all your fault, gentlemen of the board!!!:biggrin:

  14. the thing with this lubrication strips was what i hated the most about modern cartridge razors
    after i removed this strip on my mach3 i got significant better shaves
    but stilll doesn't battle a DE
  15. Nice review! But I'll stick to a 50's SS thanks
  16. Hun


    I have Gillette Fusion Power Phantom :bored: I can't say that it shaves better than cheap Bic or Gillette disposables (not to mention DE razors). But its cartridges are way too expensive :mad3:
  17. :confused:
  18. Suzuki

    Suzuki Moderator Emeritus

    Great review.

    I own a Fusion (non-powered) and a Quattro (powered).

    I bought them when they were on sale - handle plus 5 cartridges for less than a pack of 4 cartridges just to give them a shot.

    I think they're quite comparable - the first shave with the Fusion can be a little irritating, but after that, I can acutally get 7-8 decent shaves (one with the grain and one against the grain pass).

    I think the Quattro gives a better shave generally, but I've often felt that the Schick products were better than the Gillettes.

    I agree with Joel that the Gillette is nicer from an ergonomics perspective and from a visual perspective, the Schick just misses the boat (looks incredibly cheap and blah when held up next to the Gillette - Gillette's design department certainly knows how to appeal to the guys (teens and twenty-year olds at any rate) and has the bling).

    The amazing thing is that these things don't shave any better than the two or three-bladed Sensor or Schick equivalents. The goo strips are totally unnecessary if you use decent soap/cream and, in my mind, suggest that these companies know their shaving gels/foams aren't that great. The sixth blade trimmer on the Fusion is a joke - no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get a nice straight line if I used it to trim/edge my sideburns.

    The Fusion will clog up if you use a thick lather, but the Shick handles anything I've used without any fuss.

    Like I said above, at best, the shave I get from either razor is decent. Its reasonably close, relatively irritation-free, but lasts nowhere near as long as a straight or DE shave.

    So, in my overall view - these razors aren't worth the cash. If you need a tool for quick/travel shaves, aren't quite ready to make the leap to a DE or straight, save your money and just buy a Sensor or two or three-bladed Shick.

    In my mind, these razors are a tribute to over-design and marketing, as they certainly aren't a major improvement (if an improvement at all) over their predecessors (and the same can be said of whether the three-bladed cartridges were an improvement over the two-bladed versions).

    If anything, its an interesting example of a stuation where competition leads to pointless "innovation"/innovation for the sake of innovation with no tangible benefits to the consumer.
  19. I still have all my old razors of this style (Mach 3, Mach 3 Turbo, Quattro, Fusion) and when I shaved with them I found the Mach 3 Turbo to be my favorite...Never tried the Quattro Power but having tried the regular Quattro with decent results I would say I would rather use a quattro than fusion. I was surprised when you concluded that the Quattro gave a closer shave because the little wires covering the blades are actually intended in part to make sure not to shave too close thus preventing or slowing down ingrown hairs. With all this talk about multiblade cartridges I am curious to try them out again now that I actually know how to properly shave. My main problem with these razors has always been the ingrown hairs and the tendency for the blades to become too dull after only 2-3 uses. Perhaps now nowadays I could get better shaves from these but lately I have been having fun with my straights.
  20. I know I've said it before, but the whole reason I left the Edge gel and M3, Fusion, Quattro was because of the cost of the blades........

    ......and now, well, I've become afflicted with all sorts of expensive Acquisition Disorders I never knew existed....:wink:

    So, I can't think this way of shaving is cheaper, per se.....but it is more fun, I'll give you that.

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