February 20, 2006

Review: Gillette Fusion from Shaving Stuff.com

FusionPowerSm.jpgI know you all have been eagerly awaiting this, so without further ado...

If you've been reading the articles about the new Gillette Fusion you'll know there have been several new innovations with this razor. Five blades for regular shaving and a lone sixth on the back for tough spots like under the nose and sideburns. More densely packed microfins under the blades to help whiskers stand up for a closer shave. And in the powered department, auto-shutoff after eight minutes, a low battery warning light, and an easier opening/closing to the compartment which houses the battery. All of these are truly quality improvements, but in the end all you really care about it is a better shave, right? The new Fusion does shave better than the Mach3, but with some caveats, so keep reading and see if you agree by the end.

FusionUnpowered.jpgFusion vs. Fusion Power:
I don't think there a noticeable difference in the resulting shave between the powered and the non-powered version of the Fusion. Where I do think there is a difference is in the act of shaving. I like power, and if you haven't tried it, I think you're missing out. The powered version vibrates, and that vibration somehow translates into less drag against your face. When you pull the unpowered version of the Fusion across your face, you feel a slight tug against your skin. With the powered Fusion, it's a smooth glide. I suppose it's a matter of personal preference, and the thickness of your beard, but I would strongly recommend trying a powered razor at least once before poopoo-ing it at your next party.

Now the other difference that people always talk about when comparing these razors is the fact that with the unpowered Fusion you get two cartridges along with the razor and with the Fusion Power you only get one. The cartridges are expensive and no doubt there's savings to factor in here, but seriously, the cost of one additional cartridge over the course of a year is really insignificant. I agree Gillette should have packaged the Fusion Power with two cartridges, but they didn't. End of story.

FusionPowerSm.jpgFusion Power vs. Mach3 Power:
Sounds like I'm repeating myself here but I don't think there's a noticeable difference in the resulting shave between the Mach3 Power and the Fusion Power. Where I do think there is a difference is in the act of shaving, and in the razor itself. The vibrations on the Fusion Power seem tighter and more powerful. I made sure to replace the battery in my old Mach3 before testing these head to head, and I think there's a slight improvement in the Fusion. Both give a seemingly frictionless shave, and both perform admirably after one, two, and three days' worth of growth, but somehow the Fusion Power's vibrations seem to stack up better. I'm sure they spent quite a bit time on the vibration mechanism and it shows.

Battery replacement on the Fusion is much easier than on the Mach3. With the Fusion it's a simple twist and the compartment locks and unlocks. With the Mach3 you feel like you're going to break the plastic when you're closing it up. Also, the auto-off feature it huge. You can finally travel with this razor and not have to worry about running down your battery accidentally.

Now let's talk about that sixth blade. Here's the most marked improvement in shaving. A return to the single blade. Shaving with the Mach3 can be a challenge in certain areas, such as under your nose and around your sideburns. It's hard to tell when in that paddle of a cartridge the aloe strip stops and the blades begin. You end up shoving this razor head up your nose to hopefully catch those errant hairs. With the single blade on the back, tough to reach spots are a snap. This single feature might just be the real reason to switch.

There was one area where the Fusion didn't hold up to its older brother, and that was in the life of the aloe and soap strip on the top of the cartridge. This is supposed to act as an indication of when you need to replace the cartridge, kind of like those toothbrushes with the blue bristles which lose their color with use. I found that the Fusion's aloe/soap strip wore off pretty darn quickly, after only three or four shave, while with the Mach3 I could go to five or six shaves and still have plently of that colored strip. Personally I don't think that strip adds much. As long as you're using a high quality shaving cream the effects of the strip are minimal. Just know that you've got a few more shaves in the cartridge once that strip is worn off.

So what should you do? Well, if you're a non-powered Mach3 fanatic who thinks the whole powered razor idea is a gimmick to sell more razors and batteries, stick with what you've got. However if you're at all interested in that sixth blade for the tough to reach spots, it might be worth the ten bucks to see what all the fuss is about. Then you can poopoo with first hand experience.

If you're a Mach3 Power user, I think you should check out the Fusion Power. The cartridges are not compatible, so use up your current stock before switching, but I think you'll be happy with the upgrade. Again, the vibrations are better, the auto-off is a welcome addition, and oh that sixth blade!

FusionBlades.jpgAnd remember, now that the Fusion is the premium brand, the prices on Mach3 blades will likely fall. It's a win win for everyone!

Last check on Amazon the Gillette Fusion unpowered was $7.99, the Gillette Fusion Power was $8.99, an 8-pack of Fusion blades was $24.99, and an 8-pack of Fusion Power blades was $27.69. Oh yeah, and I don't think there's any difference between the two types of blades.

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Posted by Russell Neufeld at February 20, 2006 9:22 AM
Recent Comments

Tried the Fusion but for shaving the junk in my trunk I use a Hair eRazor. Economical and efficient

Posted by: Joey at October 3, 2014 12:50 PM

After using my Fusion for about eight months I found that the handle was getting sticky and could not be cleaned. The plastic(?) part has since degenerated into a gooey sticky mass and in order to use up the remaining (expensive) blades I have had to do a DIY job with plastic tape on the handle before I bin it and find a suitable alternative, although I must acknowledge that it does give a good smooth shave.

Posted by: Len at July 24, 2011 7:33 AM

I enjoy the Fusion commercials: Hipe over truth and seeing those actors pretending to shave as they look like first time shavers with their approach. I've had a Fusion for several months now and it shaves nicely but takes longer as it does not do well around the nose, lips, and jaw line without repeating coverage. It is smooth, but on a recent roadtrip I reverted to my old Gillette Sensor and found little difference exept it was faster and much better around the nose and ears for getting rid of hairs growing at random. Easier to trim eye brows, too. I just hope the Sensor blades stay on the market a while but they seem to be getting scarce.

So, I see little point to the Fusion except profit for Gillette. Oh, yes, I have been using Gillette shavers since the days of the Blue Blades. Yes, over 50 years.

Posted by: Cec at June 7, 2011 5:48 PM

As a user of their shaving products for over 20 years - and not having so much of a problem - I am complaining about a faulty razor blade.

As a cyclist I regularly shave my legs always using new blade and never the same on as I use on my face. This particular morning on shaving my ankle I found that the blade had sliced open my ankle with a 2-3 inch gash - which can be only described as a potato peeling type wound - (Photos to prove).

On inspection I could see that the lubrastrip - the green slimey thing was not present in the blade that sliced my ankle - it had obviously fallen out and was not attached to the blade effectively - the absence of this dramatically changes the angle of the gaps on the razor head and therefore changes the angle of the blades as they drag - (they don't glide without a lubrastrip) across your skin - and this change in angle makes the balde change from a razor to a peeler as the gap and movement of the blade widens to the point it removes your skin.

With my ankle gushing blood into the bath and my children getting ready for school i asked my wife (a qualified nurse) to help me stop the bleeding which we managed - and disposed of the faulty blade - (skin still attached so it was out of the way of my two children for their own safety).

I now realise this was the major error as P & G asked to examine the blade at fault - which I didn't have so they asked to examine one from the same pack - which were blades i had finished using and by my own conclusion knew they were not fit to use to shave effectively - (you know when they start to drag a little on your skin and you think - this isn't sharp anymore).

From this used blade they concluded that it was clogged with shaving residue - and old hair - er yes it was a blade i had discarded back into the holder pack because I no longer used it!

So in the course of my complaint P & G have based their conclusions not on the photos of my leg and the damage that it is plain and obvious to see - but on a old blade already discarded that was used to shave my face not my leg - (I should point out the differences in the type of hair in face and legs - generally softer on your legs that face so should be easier to remove).

I would like to say that the final - (apparently) conclusion is that P & G see no fault in their product that sliced my leg - and they see the matter as closed.

So why was I walking around with an open wound on my ankle - that re-opened as soon as i moved my foot around for well over a month and a half and having to clean it and dress it every day to stop infections - and still have a scar on my skin well over four months later.

I have to say that I have been dismissed by them as a complainer of their product - and that my injuries that are plain to see in my photos have also been dismissed as well

It seems they have washed their hands of this particular complaint and see that their product is not at fault.

Disappointed Customer...

Posted by: paul at February 7, 2011 5:07 AM

Fusion was a waste of money and I had so much razor burn from it. I now use Schick Hydro amazing for real I cant describe it but its the best razor I used

Posted by: James at September 26, 2010 1:27 PM

i dont know what to buy, Power or Fusion. i have tough beard. i shave every after 3 days. anybody have an idea.

Posted by: Gurprit at January 29, 2010 9:59 PM

This is an awesome razor. I finally have the reason I've been looking for to pitch my Mach3. There's a lot less drag across my face (as mentioned in the article), it gets a closer shave with fewer strokes, and there's barely any skin irritation afterwords. That's a huge plus since I have sensitive skin. Also, I never get the feeling like it's pulling hairs out of my face like I did with my Mach3. The precision trimmer/shaper blade on the top is also really neat. It makes maintaining my circle goatee much easier. 5 stars.

Posted by: Tino at October 16, 2009 3:43 AM


Posted by: ADAM at September 28, 2009 6:10 PM

I bought a fusion yesterday and used it for the first time this morning and i have to say i'm disappointed. I've been using a Mach 3 for years and always had a great, smooth finish after little effort.

With the fusion i had to go over my face 3 or 4 times and i still have rough spots that it just can't seem to get rid of.

I also noticed very little difference in the actual feel of the shave and the amount of irritation during and after.

The single blade is an interesting idea, but need development as i feel it is too incased in the plastic of the head to be of much use.

On the plus side, i expected there to be more clogging with the amount of blades, but was pleasently surprised to find that this was not the case.

On the whole i would suggest people stick to the mach 3 if you have particularly tough stubble as i do. You will find that the mach 3 leaves you with a much smoother finish in much less time. The fusion seems like a step backwards in the actual finish of the shave, while being a step forward in innovation.

Perhaps the inevitable 'improved version' will be worth getting when it is released as these bugs may have been sorted by then.

Posted by: Frogg at August 16, 2009 7:19 AM

i just got the Gillette Fusion Power since one month. i did not try Gillette Mach3 but i know it is a great product from gillettte too.
my short experience show the following:-
1- Smother and safer shaving even if u shave verrry quickly as i normally do. before i was always hurting myself :(
2- 6th blade is great for the sideburns but it nonfunctional after 3 shave times.
3- I did try the normal cream and the brush, the gel and a shaving foam. the foam is the best as i think.
4- hair will not stuck to the blade and it is easy rinsed but fine hair stuck to the orange front part of the razor and i can not clean it.

As a conclusion Gillette Fusion Power is agrat value specially for sensitive skin and busy people.

Posted by: dada at July 17, 2009 4:21 PM

I used the Mach 3 for years then the wife bought me the fusion. I used the fusion for a year and half until the other day. The wife likes the M3 for the personal areas and I was out of Fusion cartridges so I used hers. Their was a HUGE difference. I believe the spacing in the Fusion is flawed. The blades are too close together which doesn't allow the stubble to slip in between the razors and allow the razors to lie against the skin. I was amazed at how one pass with the M3 allowed for a total removal of stubble while it usually takes at least two with the Fusion. Less passes equals less friction equals less irritation equals less ingrown hairs on the neck. I'm going back to the OG M3. Heads-up, Kiehls has an outstanding line of shave creams. I use the blue eagle goggle-fogger. It's a bit more expensive but completely worth it. I will never buy a supermarket brand shaving cream ever again. I shave every other day against the grain. With Kiehls I can do against the grain two days in a row if I have too, not that I do so on a regular basis, and I have painfully sensitive skin around the neck area.

Posted by: Kiehls man at December 12, 2008 2:31 PM

I started using Fusion (unplugged) when I got my freebie in the mail a couple years ago, and haven't looked back. Yes, the replacement cartridges are ridiculously overpriced, but nothing I've tried matches the perfect heft of the shaver handle. As for the blades, I have been able to squeeze more than double the number of shaves from these than I ever could from cheaper alternatives, and still have a cleaner face than I ever was able to get on the same cartridge. This morning, I got a good shave from the same cartridge which I started using daily a month ago - those who complain about them not lasting may need to learn how to take care of their cartridges. Previously, I was using Shick X-track (triple-blade) disposables.

On Fusion vs. Mach III, I tried Mach III before I switched to X-track, and found X-track to be much easier to rinse out. With Fusion, I did not so much have this complaint, so the five blades really do seem less tight than the three blades of that Mach III waste product. Scientifically, five blades should distribute the wear more evenly over the product than three, two, or one. With regular rinsing (at least once for each side of the face, chin, and mustache) they will last a long time and keep shaving smooth.

On Gillette shaving cream, don't waste your money! If you must have cream on your face (yeeuchh), I highly recommend Barbasol, which is not just thicker, but it will save you money. Joy gels aren't quite necessary either. A worthwhile investment is a shaving mug, brush (both easily available online) and a few cakes of glycerin-based soap. The first two products will last for years, and just one unit of the third will last for about two months at the price of one Gillete gel product - do the math! Since I have so much of it, and without a better use, I've been using Irish Spring bar soap on my face since the spring - it takes a minute to lather up, but it's slick as any soap and smells great!

Posted by: Me Man at September 28, 2008 1:35 PM

I have been using the Gillette Fushion Power ever since it came out. I haven't really tried any other razors because I really liked the way it gave me a close shave. However, lately it seems I shave and in an hour I can already see a shadow. I feel I don't get the close shave as I used to and I get lots of in-grown hairs on my neck. It is also really hard to get the hair on the sides of my 'throat' area. I don't know what to do!
Can somebody give me some advice?
I use EDGE ultra sensitive shaving cream...

Posted by: Ricky at September 12, 2008 10:22 PM

I have used the Mach 3 power for years together with King of Shaves oil to great effect. Got the Fusion Stelth the other day and well I hate it. It has got some pluses: better designed handle, power button, single blade. But the minuses are simply too great to continue with it. The biggest failing is that it doesn't shave well. Felt like it was ripping the hairs out of my face rather than cutting them, the blade is SOOOO BIG that it simply didn't touch some of the curved on my face and I had to resort to my trusty M3 to finish off. The vibrations didn't seem as focussed as the M3 either, and it seemed to numb my fingers rather than stimulate my face. The end result was not all that impressive either with regrowth appearing sooner than the M3.

As a side comment to quinton above, I too have to shave my face more than once in different directions to get n acceptable finish. ANd with the fusion it's worse.

Posted by: David at September 11, 2008 10:56 AM

Well i have used both Mach3 and The Fusion without batteries.
My beard is really thick.
I do not recommend Fusion peronally i think that the Mach3 is way better overall.

Ratings from my point of view
+Very good grip and nice design
+Seems to shave closer to my skin
-The 6-Blade that is used for sideburns/precision is not effective at all!
-I need to shave the same spot 3 times only 2 with mach3
-It is terrible fragile if you drop it your blade is probably permanetly damaged!
-The price for new cartridge is terrible high much higer than Mach3

I do not reconmend this product Gillette fusion at all.
I have better experiences with the old Mach3.


Posted by: Jonas at September 6, 2008 9:28 PM

Though a great shave, buyers should beware that the Fusion is a very delicate razor. The attachment between the body and head is very fragile. Drop it once and you will have to replace the razor head which is very expensive.

Posted by: Lance at June 10, 2008 10:05 PM

I just picked up the Fusion Power about a month ago and I have to admit that it's not too bad. The powered version is actually quite a bit more comfortable to use, much to my surprise.

However, I've found that for my beard, with as tough as it is and as thick as the hairs are, the Mach 3 is just much more comfortable. The Fusion doesn't so much cut the hairs as it does yank them out. It's like I'm waxing my face instead of shaving it.

I accidentally grabbed my Mach 3 with the last remaining cartridge the other morning when I wasn't thinking straight and I couldn't believe how much more comfortable it was for me. If you've got a softer/thinner beard the Fusion is probably a good choice, but with a thick/hard beard, the Mach 3 is still the way to go.

Posted by: Alex at November 30, 2007 7:49 AM

I shaved with a complimentary Gillette Fusion today for the first time and I got what I feel is the best shave I have ever had. Love the razor! Can't get over how close the shave was and how smooth my face feels and not one nick.

Mel S

Posted by: Mel S at September 10, 2007 6:43 PM

I bought the fusion power and find the battery powered option of minimal user benefit.

I have yet to find a razor that removes hair in one stroke.I find that I have to go over the same area at least three times to feel the desired smoothness I require.The gillette fusion power is no exception.Do any of you guys have the same experience? fill me in on this point,im curious.I find this so time consuming coz im shaving my face three times,if you really think about it.Sadly the fusion power does not do it for me in this area as you feel that "tug" and stubborn blade response.

I use "King of shaves" lubricant which disintegrates the gillette lubristrip in two shaves and results in a sticky blade.

Overall the gillette fusion power gets a thumbs down from me especially on the price.

Posted by: quinton at May 29, 2007 2:26 PM

i had used the mach 3 for 10 years and tried the fusion power last year and will never go back. it is much smoother, though the 6th blade is useless. i have used both the power blade and the non power blade on the shaver and noticed a slight difference. the power blade is a bit smoother and dosen't pull/catch off the bat. with a new non power blade it seems like it takes a few shavings to get it "broken in" then it gets smoother. out of the box the power blade is jumps and leaps better. i would suggest to get the power blade if you use the power razor or not.

Posted by: sean at February 25, 2007 4:40 PM

After using Fusion power 2 times here are my early conclusions:
1. The cartridge surface is wider than early versions and the shave feels a bit different than the M3Power. You need at least 3-4 times to get use to it.
2. Although the blades are closer I didn't get any hair stuck between.
3. I do agree that there is some feeling of pulling the hair. I guess it's because the blades are closer to each other comparing to the M3Power.
4. I didn't find the single blade on the back of the razor very effective.
5. Overall, The Fusion gave me a smooth and better shave but I'm not so sure that I'll be willing to pay so much for it. I might get back to the M3Power...

Posted by: Tzlil Sivan at February 25, 2007 6:30 AM

I don't like the fusion at all and I've used the mach 3 for years. It's by far harder on my face than the mach 3. It feels like it’s pulling my hairs out. I'm going to use up the blades I bought and then toss it in the trash.

Posted by: Erik at January 13, 2007 12:13 PM

I don't like the fusion at all and I've used the mach 3 for years. It's by far harder on my face than the mach 3. It feels like it’s pulling my hairs out. I'm going to use up the blades I bought and then toss it in the trash.

Posted by: Erik at January 13, 2007 12:12 PM

Fusion cartridges will work with the Fusion Power, and vice versa. Honestly, I can't tell a difference between the two types of cartridges. There may be a difference number of microfins, and one may have Gillette's EasyGlide coating, but the shave I get is the same.

Posted by: Russell Neufeld at November 13, 2006 6:08 AM

I already bought Gillete Fusion with 16 blades, I'm intersting to buy Fusion Power system. my question is:
1. Can I use Fusion Cartidges with the Power Fusion?
2. what is the difference between Fusion Cartidges and Fusion Power Cartidges ?

Posted by: new_on_fusion at November 13, 2006 5:15 AM

The razor is really great - good coverage and nice shave - but only if you use the right shaving cream. The Gillette Fusion shaving gel is absolutely horrible - stick with the razor, skip the Gillette shaving cream.

The silicone is far too sparse and disappears with one pass of the razor - try a second pass, and you've got problems. Gillette should stick with their business and their business is not shaving cream. I'm sure some lame Consumer Product Manager is using words like brand extensionn and synergy in describing the traits of this shaving gel - unfortunately, they can't use words like "it works" and "people like it" it their price/promotion spreadsheet.

Posted by: Fred Friendly at September 1, 2006 8:19 AM

There is in fact a difference between the blades. The Fusion Power ones have Gillette's EasyGlide coating whereas the regular ones don't. This improvement first appeared when they went from the Mach3Turbo blades to the M3Power blades.

Posted by: Hollow Man at March 1, 2006 11:02 PM
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