Review of Schick Quattro
The Schick Quattro is the latest entry in the razor wars between Schick and Gillette. No doubt you’ve heard (and probably joked) about its four razors, skipping the three razor evolution like Netscape skipped version 5. Recently a free Schick Quattro showed up in the mail so I decided to give it a try. I've been using various incarnations of the Mach3 for several years now, so this review will mostly compare the two.
The Schick Quattro is a big razor. There are four razors packed into each cartridge, and if you haven’t gotten used to shaving with the three-blade cartridge of the Mach3, this is going to be quite a difference.
Overall the size didn’t create any difficultly in shaving except around the nostrils. As cartridges have gotten bigger, this is the one area of the face which seems to be overlooked. Shaving whiskers right under your nose is getting more challenging - with both the Mach3 and the Schick Quattro - and I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the next innovations in razors is a head which is slightly thinner on the sides to reach these hard-to-get areas.
The handle of the Schick Quattro is a little short. It’s molded to get thinner at the end, and when holding the Quattro during a shave, the handle barely spans the length of my palm. I would have preferred a longer handle, which would have given me a more confident grip. The handle also has a bigger curve than the Mach3 as it reaches the razor cartridge, which causes you to hold it further from your face.
This was one of the major differences in feel during the shave and I’ve tried to illustrate it in the picture to the right. Whereas the Mach3 blade is anchored on one side (blue arrow) and simply pivots up and down, the Quattro’s blade swivels where it attaches to the handle (red arrows), allowing the head to adjust more as it travels across your face. I actually think this is a slightly superior design. Due to the shape of the handle, you end up holding the Quattro further from your face; as a result, the razor head can more readily adjust to the contours of your face.
Overall the Schick Quattro gave a good shave, just as close as any Mach3 I’ve used. I only needed to do one pass over my face, and even when I went against the grain (which is a big no-no) the Quattro performed fine. I did get the occasional nick, but I get those with any razor - I think it’s more a matter of the smoothness of your face at the time you shave (acne, previous cuts) than the razor.
If you’re used to shaving with any razor except the Mach3 Power I think you will enjoy the Schick Quattro. Multi-blade razor cartridges make sense, and while it may seem silly to leapfrog Gillette and go from two blades to four, the Schick Quattro is an improvement on previous Schick razors.
Adding vibrations is where Gillette has made its one unparalleled improvement. Using a Mach3 Power doesn’t feel like shaving. You don’t pull the razor across your face and you don’t feel resistance when cutting beard hair - it seems to just glide. I would like to see Schick come up with some sort of equivalent technology.
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Posted by Russell Neufeld at December 5, 2004 1:54 PM