Gillette Fusion 5 Review – A Decent Cartridge Razor

Gillette Fusion 5 razor sitting on a black faux wood surface.

Gillette Fusion 5

Last night, I tried out a Gillette Fusion 5 for the first time. I purchased it a few months ago, but I was busy shaving with Harry’s razor seeing how it performed and how long it lasted, so the Fusion 5 sat in the box until the two Harry’s razor cartridges became unusable.

In this Gillette Fusion 5 review, I’m going to talk about my initial experience shaving with the Gillette Fusion 5. Also, I’ll continue to update the post with relevant information such as how many shaves the razor cartridges can endure before dulling, random quirks, etc.


Product:  Gillette Fusion 5

Opinion:  Does the job

Purchase Link:  Gillette Fusion 5

First Impressions

Handle Is Well Built – My first impression was that the Fusion 5 is solidly built. You pick it up and it seems like it has a razor handle made of metal with rubber and plastics embedded into it for grip.

Gillette did a good job of balancing the rubber to help give you a good grip of the razor with pieces of metal to give the razor enough weight to where it doesn’t feel a like a cheapy disposable razor. While I wouldn’t rank it as a handle that screams or exudes luxury, it does seem like a step up in looks from the Mach 3

Weight Distribution – The balancing point of the razor seems to be towards the top of the handle just behind where the metal splits apart. I’m not sure if it’s of any consequence because I tend to hold the razor a little further back than this point

Compact Razor Cartridge – The razor cartridge seems to be decently compact. At least as well as it can be when you’re packing five blades and a lubrication strip onto the shaving face of a cartridge razor.

First Shave

My first shave with the Gillette Fusion 5 involved shaving both my head and face. Both had three days of hair growth. I started off shaving my face followed by shaving my head. Looking at my notes from the shave, I observed the following things:

Smooth Shave – There was no tugging or pulling.

Able to Shave in Tight Places – I felt like the razor did a good job of getting tight spaces such as where my lower lip meets my chin and below my nose.

Had Issues With the Precision Trimmer – I didn’t feel like the precision trimmer worked too well. Subsequent experimentation leads me to believe I was just not using it in the best way.

However, looking at Gillette’s official Fusion 5 YouTube video and product pages, I was using it the way they were using it the only difference being they were using it for shaving the sideburns and below the nose while I was using it below the nose and between my chin and lower lip.

Close Shave With Just With The Grain Passes – It gave a really close shave while only performing with the grain passes. If I rubbed my hand against the grain after shaving I could still feel stubble, but that’s to be expected when you are only shaving with the grain.

Second Shave

I decided to experiment a bit with the precision trimmer for the second shave I performed with the Fusion. I inverted the razor head and pulled up versus just spinning the razor and pulling down. This seemed to give me a better angle to shave the junction between my lower lip and chin.

This position was too awkward to use right below the nose. As mentioned previously, Gillette’s official product and YouTube channel indicates that you hold the razor the same way you do when using the front five razors, but you just have the precision trimmer on the back of the razor facing your face instead of the front five razors.

Other Thoughts and Questions

How Much Hair Growth Can It Handle? – I’m interested in seeing what length of hair it will handle before it starts clogging. My experience with most cartridge razors is that after seven days they start getting harder to rinse out and around 10 days they become almost unbearable to work with. I decided I’m going to shave my face every day and let the hair on my head grow out to different lengths.

I plan on letting the hair on my head grow out for 7 days and then shave it. Subsequently, I’ll let it grow out for 14 days and shave it again. In the mean time I will have gotten 21 face shaves out the razor. This will help me simultaneously test both how long the razor will last and how well it handles different lengths of hair.

How Many Shaves Will The Razor Last? – Gillette’s product page indicates that it will last 20 shaves and one razor blade cartridge is equal to month of shaving. This indicates that they assume the average man shaves their face everyday on week days, but takes the weekend off from shaving. This seems like a pretty reasonable assumption looking back to when I was using cartridge razors.

My plan is to see how many times I can shave with it before something breaks or it becomes too rusty or dull to shave with it. Due to how I plan on using it to test different lengths of hair, I will admit the razor will probably last longer than if I was shaving my face and head with it every.

This is because I won’t be shaving both my head and face with it every day.  At this point I’m more interested in finding out the lengths of hair it can handle well since one of my biggest pet peeves as an infrequent shaver is that cartridge razors tend to clog when shaving hair/beard growth of more than seven days.

Final Thoughts

I thought it shaved really well and it shaved extremely close to the skin even when doing one pass with the grain. I had no problems shaving my head and face with it.

It seemed to handle below the nose and chin/lip juncture relatively well. My only real complaints are that I don’t think the precision trimmer is as precise as I would like it to be and that it’s a cartridge razor.

For the latter point, I don’t like the recurring expenses of cartridge razors and I just like the shaving experience a lot more with a straight razor, feather razor, and even shavettes.

However, for men either not ready or not interested in shaving with any type of razor other than a cartridge razor, it does what it’s meant to do and does a good job of it too.

If you want to pick up a Fusion 5 and try it for yourself you can purchase one here.  Have you shaved with a Gillette Fusion 5 razor?  If so, what did you like or dislike about it?  Leave me a comment and I’ll be sure to get back to you.

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