Why more razor blades make a difference: Gillette multi-blade razors
Your Gillette razor doesn’t have all of those blades just because it looks good – but because we have proven how they give you a better shave.
Let’s go back in time to the era of Gillette’s founder, King C. Gillette. His mission for the Gillette Safety Razor Company was simple: ‘We’ll stop making razor blades when we can’t keep making them better.
Ever since he invented the safety razor with a single double-edge blade, we’ve forged ahead, making better and better razor blades, cartridges, handles and all the tools needed for a clean, smooth shave.
But what is it about a multi-blade razor that actually makes it better?
When precisely engineered, they provide a closer, more comfortable shave.
Getting a cleaner shave with a 5-blade razor
To understand why multi-blade razors like the Gillette Fusion5 or ProGlide provide such a close and comfortable shave, you first have to understand the true nature of your beard hair and the skin on your face.
Facial hair is as tough as copper wire, and it grows from skin that is soft and delicate, almost gel-like in its texture and movement. The skin and hair continue to shift and move during a shave; advanced razors use this mobility to a man`s advantage.
A single-blade razor can only cut what’s visible at the surface of the skin. A 5-blade razor can go so much further.
The first blade starts the job. It cuts the hair and, in the process, gently lifts it from the skin. Before the hair has time to fully withdraw, the next blade comes along and cuts it further down.
This process is called ‘hysteresis’ and was discovered in the late 1960s when Gillette was developing its first multi-blade razor, Gillette Contour (also known as Gillette Atra).
Each blade repeats the process. Our 3-blade razors cutting close. Our 5-blade razors cutting closer.
Once the multi-blade razor has passed, the skin and hair relax, and the hair retracts beneath the surface.
As the hair is cut shorter, each blade is positioned fractionally closer to the skin. It’s a tiny distance, but it is critical in creating a comfortable shave with a smooth finish.
Multi-blade razors provide more comfortable shaves
A multi-blade razor, with progressive geometry, spreads the load of your hand pressing down on the handle evenly across each blade. More blades equals better load distribution, provided the blades are placed at the right distance apart.
Why does this matter? Facial skin is soft and gel-like, and when you press against it with your razor’s cartridge, it bulges in between the individual razor blades as the cartridge passes over it. This bulging can result in irritation, nicks, and cuts.
Five blades (at the right distance apart), rather than three, reduces that bulge, which means the skin is more even, with bulging reduced by more than 30% (Fusion5 vs. MACH3). As a result, you get a close, comfortable shave, and you’re less likely to cut yourself.
Our ProGlide razors are also equipped with a blade stabiliser at the centre of the cartridge, designed to hold the blades at an optimal distance apart. This adds to the comfort of the shave.
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