Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Schick Hydro 5 Blade Razor - Much Better Than Fusion

 Switching from electric shavers (which I have used for decades and achieved less than perfect shave) to double-edge shaving was great for me. I tried Gillette Fusion, a battery-powered vibrating Gillette Fusion power razor and was not impressed with the skin irritation they gave me. The shave itself was good and fast though. Skin irritation from shaving is very difficult to avoid and although various Panasonic electric shavers worked well for me in this regard, I always wanted a closer shave.

When I was a teenager, I tried to use 2-blade Gillette Sensor razors, but had to stop because of the skin irritation. Now, after decades of using electric shavers, I discovered that a close shave was within my grasp, if only I could do something about the resultant irritation. Electric shavers have other disadvantages in addition to lack of close shave: cleaning, charging, bulk and blades that would get dull after 1-2 years and require now screens and cutters that cost as much as a new shaver, resulting in waste and additional expenses.

Quite recently, used the following shavers: Panasonic ES8101S Electric Shaver and Panasonic Pro-Curve ES7037. In any case, after trying the Gillette Fusion, it was, to avoid irritation, a time to try something new. Or rather something old. The old-fashioned shaving with double-edge safety razor and blades. I bought the Parker 86R safety razor and 100 Shark Super Chrome double edge safety blades. Long story short, the old-school double-edge shaving worked rather well. Close shave and very little irritation were the result.

The DE shaving is a slow process though. I find it soothing and it is so relaxing that it helps me fall asleep faster, so I shave before going to bed. But sometimes a faster shave would be beneficial. So I decided to try the Gillette Fusion's competitor: Schick Hydro 5.

About Schick Hydro 5

The Schick Hydro 5 is a competitor to Gillette Fusion. It is a shaving "system" that uses cartridges with 5 "Ultra Glide" blades with skin guards, flip trimmer and a reservoir with aloe-enriched liquid conditioner.


The shaver itself has less high-tech appearance than Fusion. It is comfortable in your hand and is nicely-weighted. The shaving has been very impressive. It cuts my beard better than Fusion (including vibrating Fusion ProGlide) and does not irritate as much. Further, unlike Fusion that uses a lubricating strip, the Hydro 5 uses a reservoir that is filled with a substance that is actually released and provides excellent lubrication.

I am very impressed with this water-activated aloe-enriched liquid conditioner. It mixed with the shaving foam and helped the blade glide. The result was smooth shave and low irritation.

The shave was also achieved in much less time than with a double-edge razor. I did not have to re-lather (shaving with DE, I have to lather about 3 times) because of the conditioner released from the cartridge. The only issue I have (aside from the cost of cartridges) is the fact that it is difficult to cut the beard in difficult to reach areas: under the nose is one example. This is a problem with any cartridge system, whereas with a DE blade, you get precise control and easier access. The flip trimmer worked well in this area though, in fact even better than a DE blade and much better than the useless Fusion's trimmer.

Pros: Smooth, comfortable shave, less irritation than Fusion, slightly cheaper cartridges, releases conditioner
Cons: More expensive than double-edge shaving, less control and more irritation than double-edge

Bottom Line

The shave I got from the Hydro 5 was as close as from Fusion, but with less irritation and less pull. The cartridges also last somewhat longer and the liquid conditioner release is awesome. The cartridges cost a little less than Fusion's. Whereas I can't bring myself to use Fusion again, the Hydro 5 will definitely get some use. I will still keep using my double-edge razor most of the time (with Derby Extra blades or Shark blades), but whenever I need a fast shave, I will use the Schick Hydro 5.

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