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Moore's Law For Razor Blades? 591

Posted by Zonk
from the slownewsday dept.
BartlebyScrivener writes "An article in The Economist examines Moore's Law as applied to razor blade technology: 'For the most cynical shavers, this evolution is mere marketing. Twin blades seemed plausible. Three were a bit unlikely. Four, ridiculous. And five seems beyond the pale. Few people, though, seem willing to bet that Gillette's five-bladed Fusion is the end of the road for razor-blade escalation. More blades may seem impossible for the moment — though strictly speaking the Fusion has six, because it has a single blade on its flip-side for tricky areas — but anyone of a gambling persuasion might want to examine the relationship between how many blades a razor has, and the date each new design was introduced'" I'm legally obligated to mention the Onion article that predicted this.
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Moore's Law For Razor Blades?

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  • Damned liars ! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Irish-DnB (161087) * on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:06PM (#16599492) Homepage
    God I hate razor blade ads. Why do Gilette et al always use an actor who's clearly been clean shaven before they do the shot where he pulls the blade from his ear to his chin in one fell swoop. It's hardly a ringing endorsement of their product if they won't show someone with a day or two's worth of stubble doing the same thing.

    Here's my favourite parody of the gilette ads:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wd6BjAj9Zag [youtube.com]
    • Re:Damned liars ! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by UbuntuDupe (970646) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:12PM (#16599588) Journal
      The biggest improvement I got in shaving was when I stopped using shaving cream (while using Mach 3), rather than getting a razor with more blades. I didn't think it would work, but it did. It felt rough at first, but after a while, as long as your face is wet, the shave is closer, more comfortable, and with far fewer cuts. In fact, I don't think I've cut myself since dropping the shaving cream (~6 months ago).

      Damn shaving cream marketers!
      • Another Alternative (Score:3, Interesting)

        by celardore (844933) *

        The biggest improvement I got in shaving was when I stopped using shaving cream (while using Mach 3), rather than getting a razor with more blades.

        The best thing I've found for shaving is to get a small bottle of olive oil, and mix in a some tea-tree oil. Probably best if you shave in, or during your shower. It's a close shave, it's natural, the tea-tree oil is good for your skin and you don't get foam up your nose.

        I did need a new razor recently, so I went for the 5/6 bladed Gillette Fusion as it w

      • by forgetmenot (467513) <atsjewell AT onebox DOT com> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:27PM (#16599912) Homepage
        In fact, I don't think I've cut myself since dropping the shaving cream (~6 months ago).

        You sure it was the cream and not Moore's Law turning into Murphy's Law?

        The odds of any blade being defective... multiplied by the ever increasing number of blades....
        • by BinaryCodedDecimal (646968) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:35PM (#16600098)
          You sure it was the cream and not Moore's Law turning into Murphy's Law?

          The odds of any blade being defective... multiplied by the ever increasing number of blades....


          Ah, but this is where the next generation of razor blade technology comes into its own - RAIB! Redundant Array of (Incredibly)Expensive Blades)

          A mirrored array enables you to shave in half the time, whereas a RAIB-5 array just puts stripes on your face.

          You could say that it's the cutting edge of razor blade technology.

          Har har.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by fbjon (692006)
            I always use mirror technology when I shave, but only hardware, not software. Also, my blades get quite hot in action, I'm still figuring out the cooling requirements.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        The biggest improvement I got to my shaving was when i grew a goatee (actually a Vandyke, but whatever). Anyyway, not having to shave around your chin and mouth makes everything a lot easier.
        • by Threni (635302) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @05:09PM (#16600696)
          > The biggest improvement I got to my shaving was when i grew a goatee (actually a Vandyke, but whatever). Anyyway, not having to shave
          > around your chin and mouth makes everything a lot easier.

          Yeah, but the downside is that you look like a bit of a dick.
      • The article might call it unlikely, but I actually get pretty good results with a Mach 3. I never really had a problem with cuts, but I deffinitely like the results better WRT how my face feels after I shave.
      • I stopped using the foam and gel type shaving cream a few years ago and have been using Neutrogena Men Skin Clearing Shave Cream. It's a cream but doesn't foam up so it's just a thin layer of cream. For years I couldn't shave more than every other day as my skin was irritated a flaked quite badly if I shaved everyday. Since I switched creams I find I can now shave everyday without irritation. I also use non-alcohol after shave balm so there's no sting since there's no alcohol in it.
        • It's getting so the only reason I shave anymore is to get the cuts, and then dash some lemon juice mixed with rubbing alcohol on there. That fucking burn will wake you up a lot faster than coffee. Plus, the endorphins released when you realize you haven't lopped off an entire lip, or that your head hasn't entirely been eaten half away are SOOOO GOOOOOOD.
      • Re:Damned liars ! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by doom (14564) <doom@kzsu.stanford.edu> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:39PM (#16600176) Homepage Journal
        UbuntuDupe (970646) wrote:
        The biggest improvement I got in shaving was when I stopped using shaving cream (while using Mach 3), rather than getting a razor with more blades. I didn't think it would work, but it did. It felt rough at first, but after a while, as long as your face is wet, the shave is closer, more comfortable, and with far fewer cuts. In fact, I don't think I've cut myself since dropping the shaving cream (~6 months ago).

        Yeah, Shaving Cream is a scam. I found the trick a long time ago: you wash your face first to strip off the natural oil, then put another layer of soap on... if you do it that way, I doubt it will ever feel "rough". I just shave with the same bar of soap I clean up with (I'm not sure if it matters, but I use an odd Aloe Vera soap, put out by Grisi, a Mexican company).

        There's another small point I figured out recently though: I need to make sure I've rinsed off all of the soap afterwards. I'd thought I was having occasional problems with in-grown hairs under my chin, instead I think I was leaving behind little smears of soap every once-in-awhile.

        But perhaps I digress.

      • by Gilmoure (18428) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:58PM (#16600530) Journal
        I used to shave with just water and a hand full of soap suds (from bar soap). Since I got my recent job and see that the biker guy has a full beard and long hair, I have stopped shaving all together. It was a little gross when I had a sinus infection and started drooling in my sleep but other than that, having a beard is cool. For some reason, people give me lots of room at the supermarket and shops now. Cool!
        • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @05:02PM (#16600558) Homepage

          I have stopped shaving all together. It was a little gross when I had a sinus infection and started drooling in my sleep but other than that, having a beard is cool. For some reason, people give me lots of room at the supermarket and shops now. Cool!

          Mr Stallman, is that you?

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by PancakeMan (530649)
          I used to shave with just water and a hand full of soap suds (from bar soap). Since I got my recent job and see that the biker guy has a full beard and long hair, I have stopped shaving all together. It was a little gross when I had a sinus infection and started drooling in my sleep but other than that, having a beard is cool. For some reason, people give me lots of room at the supermarket and shops now. Cool!
          Mom?
      • Re:Damned liars ! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 26, 2006 @05:21PM (#16600904)
        Posted anonymously for the hell of it.

        Any way ... the point of any shave cream or what-not, is to soften the stubble, and keep the skin moist. But some creams are too thick, and cause that kind of separation. Some dry out too fast. Some actually do pretty well. I honestly miss the old cup-and-brush shaving lather. I'm not old enough to have used it when it was the most common way or whatever. i was given a mug and soap set as a present. Any mild-ish soap will do, really. And use hot water (it won't be so bad once it's lathered). But that's basically the OP's point.

        I shave my entire head (seriously). A close, safe shave is very important to me. Mach3 is one of my all-time favorite razors. the "powered" razors don't make a difference. But sharp blades and enough surface area to prevent razor burns is a must.

        I won't really recommend a no-lather shave. Sure, it will work for some. But soap does provide some lubrication for the razor to glide more easily across the skin. But soap in stead of thick creams makes a considerable difference.
    • by jcorno (889560) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:13PM (#16599608)
      Spishak did a much better job. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F7TMlrDXtw [youtube.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by CastrTroy (595695)
      I'm pretty sure they use an actor who's clean shaven, probably with a straight razor, and holding a razor without any blades in it. With the number of takes they would do on a regular commercial shoot, the actor's face would get pretty raw if he was using real blades. I'd also like to point out that I don't have much trouble going from my ear to my chin in one fell swoop when I shave every day, and I have a pretty thick beard. With 2 or 3 days between shaves, it gets a little harder, but it's not that unb
    • by camperdave (969942) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:22PM (#16599826) Journal
      Yeah, and how do they get a nice even layer of shaving cream with crisp, well defined boundaries? Do they use masking tape on those guys?
    • Maybe it's just me, but I can't really shave against the grain very well either. Unless I'm already pretty well shaven and making a second pass, I just end up cutting myself that way. But every fracking time I see a Gillette commercial, the guy goes up from his adams-apple to his chin, which I find nearly impossible to do without making at least 4 cuts.

  • Who needs (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:07PM (#16599496)
    640k blades
  • Prior art (Score:4, Informative)

    by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:07PM (#16599498)
    There was a Saturday Night Live "commercial" back in the seventies - "Track 3 - bacause you'll beleive anything".
    • by cbuskirk (99904)
      Last year SNL did a commercial for the Quintippio 15 blade razor.
    • by hal2814 (725639)
      I'm pretty sure that was a Not Neccesarily the News "commercial." I've always been anti 3+ blade razors and when someone questions me about that stance I always point out that "commercial." I wonder if it's on YouTube anywhere?
      • by hal2814 (725639)
        Looks like I was wrong. In a reply mentioned above, it was SNL.
      • It was SNL, but I'm pretty much he same way. I'm never going to go 3 blade because of that commercial. The only reason the shaver companies are on the multi-blade thing is that they can keep generating new patents to keep nobrand blades off their handles, because it is all about selling the blades.
    • The "The Platinum Mach 14 [jt.org]" (scroll down). Good stuff!
    • Re:Prior art (Score:5, Interesting)

      by doom (14564) <doom@kzsu.stanford.edu> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:30PM (#16599994) Homepage Journal
      There was a Saturday Night Live "commercial" back in the seventies - "Track 3 - bacause you'll beleive anything".

      Yeah, back in the quaint old days when three blades seemed like an absurdity.

      Nit: I think the slogan was "For you.... Because you'll believe anything."

      I use single-bladed Bic disposables myself, which are great except that you have to keep track of how sharp they are and adjust your shaving style accordingly. Presumably this is because they're made of intentionally corrosive metal, razor blades being one of the classic examples of planned obsolescence in action. I keep wondering if it might be possible to hack my own razor blades: stainless steel isn't terribly easy to sharpen, but I bet it would hold an edge forever. I'd prefer some sort of "saftey" arrangement, rather than the old fashioned straight-edged razor. Has anyone out there looked into this?

      Funny, I just remembered that once I tried a different approach: it seemed to me that if I stored a disposable razor in oil, I might be able to prevent it from corroding... I quickly discovered the obvious problem: if I wanted to use soap for lubrication, I was going to have to completely clean off all of the oil before each use. I don't remember if I looked into using oil as a shaving lubricant, that seems like an obvious thought to me now, but I might've missed it back then. Why not stash your razor in olive oil, and wash your face after shaving rather than before?

      Though what would be really nifty is to figure out a way of using an electrochemical effect to suppress corrosion... how hard could it be to nickle-plate a "disposable" razor? Hm.

      • Re:Prior art (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Fordiman (689627) <fordiman@gmCOLAail.com minus caffeine> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:37PM (#16600136) Homepage Journal
        Why not make the blades out of ceramics? Tungsten carbide's a good one; you just need a mold that will stably hold its shape to a microscopic vertex.

        It would never break. You could make it now, shave your face for thirty years, and still accidentally slash your wrists with it.
        • Re:Prior art (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @05:25PM (#16600948)
          The guys who make ceramic kitchen knives - Kyocera - had something about ceramic shaving blades on their website - they still might, but I am too lazy to dig for it. They said that the edge was too sharp, metal blades tend to have a rounded edge at the micro-level, but ceramic blades just have corners. The end result was that in their testing they found that men cut their faces a whole lot more with the ceramic blades than the old fashioned kind.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Ctrl-Z (28806)
        I keep wondering if it might be possible to hack my own razor blades: stainless steel isn't terribly easy to sharpen, but I bet it would hold an edge forever. I'd prefer some sort of "saftey" arrangement, rather than the old fashioned straight-edged razor. Has anyone out there looked into this?

        You are aware that safety razors that are basically what you are talking about have been around for over a century, right? The blades don't last forever, but they last as long as the cartridge razors for as little a
  • Holey Wars (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:10PM (#16599544) Homepage

    Sounds a bit like the "Holey Wars" I once heard of. A quick check of Wikipedia and Google didn't turn it up. The idea is that the first steam irons for homes had one hole in them. Some other manufacturer topped this with 2, then 3, etc. This continued until we ended up with irons with tons of holes like we have today.

    And that was the Holey Wars.

    Now at 5 the blade density is already getting up there so I'm not quite sure how much higher they can go (without pointless tricks like splitting the blades in half and calling it "10 bladed").

    • by treeves (963993)
      Funny, but it's not exactly Moore's Law-like, in that it's a (very roughly) linear increase in #blades, not exponential like Moore's Law.
      And clearly, there is a point of diminishing returns, which we've probably already passed, with razors, unlike with processors.
      • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

        by Pharmboy (216950) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:33PM (#16600062) Journal
        Yea, but image a beowulf of those. You could shave your face, your ass, your balls, your back and your legs in half a second. Put a small motor and a AAA in the thing, make it look like a 1950s lawn mower. You can shave on the way to work, talk on your cell phone AND drink that mocha latte at the same time. Fuck, you could shave a rottweiler with that bad boy and he wouldn't know what hit him till he was balder than a baby's ass.

        (Sorry, got caught up in the Onion article, and I *DO* work in marketing for a living...)
    • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:18PM (#16599726)

      Now at 5 the blade density is already getting up there so I'm not quite sure how much higher they can go (without pointless tricks like splitting the blades in half and calling it "10 bladed").

      Sir, if you don't patent that - and I mean right now - you're an idiot.

    • by kfg (145172) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:28PM (#16599956)
      I'm not quite sure how much higher they can go (without pointless tricks like splitting the blades in half and calling it "10 bladed").

      "With our new nanotechnology we have been able to create a blade with billions of discrete cutting components per millimeter of blade! Batteries? We don't need no stinking batteries. Our blades are internally powered by atomic quantum energy. But wait, there's more, they contain. . .carbon!; to combine light weight with strength. Let's see the competition match technology like that. And they're, ummmmmmmmm, organic. Yeah, that's the ticket, but you vegetarians will be pleased to learn that they contain no meat."

      KFG
  • That is the smartest thing I have ever heard anybody say, ever.

    Seriously though, shouldn't razor blade manufacturers start worrying about heat density? I mean, my old 3 blade razor can run on nothing more than a heatsink but a 5 blade has to sound like a leaf blower.
  • There are already razors out there with eighteen blades [shavercentre.com].
  • Phooey on blades. I am betting on a laser powered face shaving system. One that will give you a tan too if used regularly.
  • Meh. (Score:4, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:14PM (#16599634) Homepage Journal
    It's all well and good to go nuts over more blades in a razor, but nobody ever mentions the other side of the equation. I once bought a pack of shavers at the dollar store that somehow left me with the same amount of stubble, but a lot less face.
  • by MassEnergySpaceTime (957330) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:14PM (#16599640)
    Forget the 14-blade razor in the year 2100. We have a 15 blade [quintippio.co.uk] one now.

  • Well, Irregular Webcomic has all future predictions covered, with a joke about a razor with infinity+1 blades. I'm at work, but the link should be this one [irregularwebcomic.net].
    • Dammit. Should have used preview. I'm at work, so I can't check. Stupid work. Stupid me, at the end of the day, for that matter.
  • I realize that Slashdot is not necessarily the place to get the most recent news. After all, the submission/editor system almost guarantees the article will be late. However, I remember reading this article back in MARCH. Seven months is a little long, even by Slashdot standards.
    • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:17PM (#16599690)
      I remember reading this article back in MARCH. Seven months is a little long, even by Slashdot standards.

      You're new around here aren't you?
    • by vought (160908)
      Seven months is a little long, even by Slashdot standards.

      Slashdot. News for Nerds. Be Glad it isn't Bread.

      Besides, who shaves with disposables? It's a great way to tear up your face. Shave after your shower with a double-sided blade, a brush, and good shaving powder, and you'll have a far smoother face, no bumps, and fewer cuts.

      Multiple-blade shavers are guys who think putting a giant wing on the back of a Civic makes sense. Even at 100 m.p.h., the Civic is still front wheel drive, and even with four blade
  • Saturday Night Live did a skit about this years ago. The Mach 12 Turbo by Gillette. The head was like 6 inches long. Hilarious.
  • This is silly (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eln (21727) * on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:16PM (#16599680) Homepage
    I used to use multi-blade expensive razors, but I got tired of spending 15 bucks every time I needed new blades. Now I use cheap twin-blade disposables, and it's fine. Unless you have hair like a yeti, you don't need that many blades. And actually, it seemed to me that I actually got a WORSE shave using the Gillette Mach 3 than I did with a cheap disposable two-blade razor. I don't know if it's because the blades are closer together or what, but I found when I hadn't shaved for a while I had to actually go over some parts of my face multiple times with the Mach 3 that I only had to go over once with the cheap disposable.
    • You know I'm glad you mentioned that, because I seem to be getting the same results. I left my old two blade razor somewhere and decided to pick up one of the three blade models when I was at the store. After about 2 shaves, it's already dull and I have to cover the same area multiple times. I wonder if the quality of the blade is just that much worse, or of the third blade actually interferes with shaving. I think I'll be sticking with the disposables as well.

      On the lighter side, we had a local talk s
  • by BrianRoach (614397) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:16PM (#16599682)
    Ok, first they made the vibrating razor. Apparently everything that vibrates is better (and I have to say, my toothbrush actually is), so I thought ... I'll try that.

    It didn't make a noticable difference.

    SO ... I see the extra blade thing, and think, "Now there's somthing that actually makes sense", so I get one (you can't use the old handles with the new blades, which is actually a new trick from them - usually you can just buy the new cartiridges).

    Well, it sucks. Completely useless.

    I can only imagine that the were afraid to sell an actual sharp blade that you might be capable of cutting yourself with given today's litigeous environment. It doesn't protrude far enough out of the cartirdge to be usefull.

    - Roach
  • is for new materials for blades. Steel is all nice, but how 17th century can you get? The modern man shaves using carbon fiber technology!
    • by dafz1 (604262)
      Metallics would be better than non in a razor blade. They could probably do titanium alloy(6/4?), which would stay sharp a lot longer than the steels they use now. The manufacturer would, unnecessarily, jack up the price though.

      In defense of carbon fiber, they do cut F1 tires pretty well, so maybe they would work? However, carbon's biggest advantage, light weight, isn't really needed, unless they get to the 20+ blades.
  • I don't like those multi bladed razors. You're more likely to get Pseudofolliculitos barbae(razor bumps) from using them. Running 5 blades over every part of your beard causes it to be very cleanly shaven(duh) and more likely to be cut so low that razor bumps occur. This reminds of this comic strip: http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/1186.html [irregularwebcomic.net]
    • EXACTLY! I am constantly amazed at this supposed desire for a "closer shave". Shaving too closely can promote ingrown hairs...and Jesus, are we not men? Is a five O'clock shadow not acceptable at 5 O-friggin-clock?

      I will admit that a two-blade Gillette Sensor razor delivers a superior shave to that provided by my old Bic disposables...and one that is less likely to cause nicks and facial aggravation, but damn...five blades? Give me a break. What are the first three supposed to do...scare the whisker
  • by L0neW0lf (594121) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:18PM (#16599734)
    The only reason they need the silly sixth blade for those "tricky areas" is because with five blades, the head of the razor is so freaking big you can't use it the way you'd use a Mach 3, which works just fine for the same areas without needing the "special blade". Classic case of creating additional problems by "innovating" requiring an even more complex solution.

    Oh, and don't shave unless you're wearing slippers. Drop your Fusion, and that sixth blade can do one heck of a number on one of your toes (ouch).
  • By best, I mean closest. And it's only a single blade! Plus, with a leather strop, it stays sharp for several months before being put on Japanese wet stone (or Arkansas oil stone) for sharpening. It also doesn't clog up. But the cons are initial expense (no recurring expenses, a blade can stay with you for life), it takes more time, and you can cut yourself bad (if you pay no attention), and just learning it. The other pros are less trash, it's gets really close, less razorburns (at least for me).

    I mos
  • It's a scam! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by OrangeTide (124937) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:21PM (#16599820) Homepage Journal
    to get you to buy more blades than you really need.

    Just like SUVs are a scam to get you to pay for the equivalent of two cars when you only need one.

    I remember when people had one blade with two sides, and you could just replace the blade and not have to buy a whole new plastic razor. (before disposable razors) You realize that a pack of blades and a non-disposable razor fits in your luggage much better than a 5-pack of disposables. And when the razor gets dull you just flip it over and use the other side, then throw it away after that.

    I prefer electrics, since I can shave but leave things stubbly. perpetually maintaining that "hasn't shaved in 2 days" look, plus you can get them with a beard trimmer which is nice. otherwise any old razor and some hot water does better than all the creams, gels, lubricated strips and polybladed devices.
  • by cpuh0g (839926) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:22PM (#16599834)
    I refuse to shave until the blade vendors give away their ingenious technology for free! I wish they would hurry up, though, my beard keeps getting into my soup.

    -Richard Stallman

  • All well and good, but my wife can tell the difference. So can I.

    The motorized [vibrating heads] seem to do a quicker job, but more blades helps. Just look at the swarf.

    Personally, I like the Shick/Wilkinson Quattro (4) better than the Gillette Fusion (5), but that is probably due to other features (guard wires allowing a steeper blade angle). Both shave considerably closer than any 2 blade and usually closer than the triples.

  • by cyocum (793488) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:23PM (#16599856) Homepage
    I have a really thick beard growth and none of the multiple blade razors were doing it for me. I was having problems because the razors would blunt in the middle of shaving so I would have to use more than one and the results were bad. My flatmate told me what her dad used to use, a double edged safety razor. We picked up one from Boots and got some razors for it. I have never looked back since. Why have five, seven, twenty blades when they all suck and I can get a saftey razor for £5 and twenty blades for it for the same price? My shave is as good as you can get from a barber. There is the problem of storage if you have children but, otherwise, I do not look back.
  • by ScentCone (795499) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:24PM (#16599878)
    ... if you try too hard to use it in a complicated way, it just cuts your head off, and saves us from having to hear about it.
  • by nbauman (624611) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:27PM (#16599900) Homepage Journal
    Let me add here my great contribution to science and simple living:

    You don't need shaving cream to shave.

    I once read an interview in the Wall Street Journal with a scientist from Gillette. He said that a razor blade can cut a wet beard much more easily than a dry beard. It takes a minute or two for your beard to be soaked through. The only purpose of shaving cream is to hold the water to wet your beard for a minute or two while the hairs gets saturated.

    I thought, "When I step out of the shower in the morning, my beard is soaked. I should be able to shave without any shaving cream."

    I tried it next morning, and I got the smoothest, cleanest shave I ever got in my life.

    I haven't used shaving cream for 30 years.

    (Conversely, if you just spread shaving cream on your face and don't give it a minute or two to wet your beard, you'll get a rough shave.)

  • For some reason I originally thought this was bout flat razors. But... seems if they want more blades or better head, they could make a micro-rotary system embedded in face masks. The masks could be custom latex molds. You go to sleep with it and then just rip it off.

    Oh, wait, I guess they could just use Neet or Nair-- but made for men...

    Oh, and I don't care... if there is NO patent as of this date, and later I come up with the money, I'll patent this just to open source it. Or, I'll make designs and releas
  • by KozmoStevnNaut (630146) <henrikstevn@gma i l . c om> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:33PM (#16600060)

    I threw away my Gillette Mach 3 and bought a good old-fashioned safety razor which takes good old-fashioned double-edged razor blades. I pay less than 1/10th the prize for blades now, and they last just as long as the Mach 3 cartridges did. Reading the Shave My Face site [shavemyface.com] helped me find the good stuff.

    I have great respect for the late King Camp Gillette, who invented the cheap mass-produced double-edged razor blade, and no respect at all for the Gillette Company who seem to have turned into a marketing machine.

    Ideally, I would shave with a straight razor, but I'm kinda scared...

    Dumping cartridge razor was definitely one of the best decisions I ever took, though

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I went down that path for a while, great shaves but in the end decided that a saftey razor required too much concentration for those hours of the morning and double (sometimes triple) passes took to long with the care required. I ended up finding that an old gillette sensor excel gives me every bit as closer shave as a mach3 hyper mega ultra turbo at a lower cost, just as quick, and without so much razor burn.
  • ...is how each time Gillette introduces a new razor, they advertise it as being completely new technology, a revolutionary leap forward rather than an incremental or evolutionary improvement. When they came out with the Sensor Excel, that was fine. When they came out with the Mach 3, that was pretty ridiculous. Since then, though, it's just been moronic.

    I'm not suggesting that 5 blades isn't better, and yes, I currently use a Fusion. But to market it as a new idea is just retarded.
  • Dave Barry also wrote a great piece on the subject back in early 2003, predicting a "nuclear arms race among razor companies." Read the article here [miami.com], it's humorous.
  • Did anyone else notice how everything Gillete made up to and including the M3 Power had compatible blades? I can for instance buy cheaper Mach 3 blades for my M3 Power and never know the difference (not that there is any). With the Fusion, the blades attach in a different and incompatible way. Way to milk even more money for essentially the same thing!
  • by fireman sam (662213) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:52PM (#16600396) Homepage Journal
    On triple M radio in Melbourne, Australia. The breakfast crew with their usual crap skits had one for the "NEW" 4 blade razor.

    From the skit:

    Announcer 1: The first blade cuts, The second blade trims, The third blade shaves...
    Announcer 2: What does the fourth blade do?
    Announcer 1: *thinks* It just sits there and rusts.

  • As an insider... (Score:5, Informative)

    by RPI Geek (640282) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @05:27PM (#16601002) Journal
    I'm posting anonymously because I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to talk about this, but when I interned at a razor company, much of the research was for new materials, and none of the ones that I tried while I was there lasted through the equivalent of even 1 shave. The technology is nearing the physical limits of the materials. My take on the situation would be that since there are 2 big razor manufacturers in the US, they'll take any advantage they can get to gain a larger market share, no matter how small.

    A lot of the 'shaving comfort' is anecdotal, too. I remember one test that I ran while I was there and I found that a certain coating significantly reduced the force required to cut a hair, so we produced a bunch of razors with that coating for a test. The testers are just people off the street, and in the double-blind trial of the new coating vs the traditional one, the testers overwhelmingly preferred the old coating. My point is basically that the best technical ideas don't necessarily produce the most consumer satisfaction, and maybe 6 or 10 blades will draw a larger market share.
  • Old methods best? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by baudbarf (451398) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @05:38PM (#16601160) Homepage
    Since the day I realized girls aren't all that into limp teenage stubble, I've used a certain 3-bladed razor whose name I won't mention because they're not paying me to do so and I don't give out freebies.

    It's always seemed sufficient, but I've never been happy with the red irritation that seems to perpetually inhabit my neckal region.

    I stumbled across this article a while back, which convinced me that razor technology has been pointlessly nursing a fatal blunder made 50 years ago rather than admitting defeat and going back to the way it used to be.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6886845/ [msn.com]

    On the other hand, you might just view disposables as a parallel market - one for people who value a few extra minutes of their time high above comfort, psychological satisfaction, and a smooth babyface.

    I, for one, intend to invest in a nice quality old-school shaving kit very soon rather than pay the 3-blade racketeers their outrageous replacement fees any longer.
  • by porky_pig_jr (129948) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @06:24PM (#16601732)
    Mach 20: Close To The Bone.
  • Metrodot (Score:3, Funny)

    by gelfling (6534) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @09:08PM (#16603450) Homepage Journal
    Skin care tips for tasteful men
  • Shaving as science (Score:3, Interesting)

    by M0b1u5 (569472) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @09:53PM (#16603824) Homepage
    I have made many many experiments with shaving over the years, and tried many many ways of removing the hair from my face. I have a very very heavy beard growth, almost up to my eye sockets, and right down into my chest hair. I had bad acne as a teenager, and adopted a foil electric shaver, a Braun thing which went fine for a few years.

    It wasn't until I discovered that blade shaving was actually better for my acne than an electric shaver that I began experimenting. I will describe my shaving process, because I believe it is superior to all other methods.

    Firstly, I shave in the shower, and this saves having to clean up any mess. If you have a female partner, then it;s likely she insists you spend more time cleaning up after yourself than the time you spend actually shaving.

    The process is this:

    1) In shower, first thing, wash face with soap and water. A face cloth helps to generate enough friction to properly clean behind ears (big place for blackheads) and alongside the nose (another blackhead area) and to ensure that eye sockets and forehead and properly cleaned.

    2) Wash rest of body.

    3) Wash hair.

    4) Rub soap directly on face and then lather some in my hands. Rub soap into a thin lather across the face, neck and cheeks.

    5) Using Gilette M3 Power, shave with AND against the grain of the hair. Clean up any remaining bristles so none can be felt with the hands against the skin. (I mean NONE!)

    6) Rinse WELL. Rinse hair again.

    7) Exit shower. Dry face, body and hair.

    8) Dispense pure cold tap water into clean basin. Splash pure cold water on face. This closes the pores.

    9) Put on Nivea face firming moisturizer, liberally, all over face, including areas not shaven.

    10) Place a little aftershave in the nape of the neck - NEVER on the shaved skin.

    There you go - you now have a perfect shave, and you're skin is smooth, moisturised and you feel and look great.

    I have evaluated different razors very methodically, and can confidently assert the following:

    Gilette M3 Power with the Green Blade is the finest razor and blade combination in the world today, bar none. However it is NOT a razor for beginners, and neither is it a razor for those with acne, or other facial blemishes, dips, or risers. The M3 Power requires quite some skill to use correctly, particularly for the first shave when the blade is brand new. (On my heavy growth, I take 10 days of shaving before I replace the blade).

    For those people who are less proficient (or simply can't be bothered concentrating that hard) or those who do no thave very smooth faces, I recommend the quadruple bladed Schick Quattro, with the hair-like wires over the blade. Even when brand new, they are extremely unlikely to cut you, even with ham-fisted use on a nobbly face.

    HOWEVER, the Quattro requires more strokes to remove the same amount of hair as the M3, and the cutting angles are more critical than the M3.

    After 30 years of blade shaving, I can tell you that my system is perfect for ME - but it may not be perfect for YOU. What I can say is that there are several things which absolutely must be true in order to have a goo dshave, and to avoid rashes, pain, blood etc.

    1) ALWAYS shave after a shower.
    2) ALWAYS wash your face thoroughly BEFORE preparing to shave.
    3) When the blade fills, make sure it is COMPLETELY clean and empty before starting more strokes. Wash blade in fast running water, not a basin.
    4) ALWAYS rinse well after shaving.
    5) ALWAYS use a moisturiser after shaving. Non fragranced is best.
    6) NEVER apply aftershave or eau de toilette to shaved areas.
    7) Battery operated vabrating razors are a MUST HAVE.

    In summation, yep - I agree, razors are going to continue to develop, and the best razors genuinely ARE a quantuum leap ahead of el cheapo rubbish. The TCO of owning the latest and greatest razors is only marginally higher than cheap razors: you use less strokes, so the blades last longer.

    I dispute that

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