There are certain products that you keep seeing new designs of that really have no reason to be improved. Toothbrushes, tennis shoes and razors come to mind.
I admit, when Gillette came out with the Mach 3, I switched over to it and still use it today. But when Schick came out with the 4 blade razor, I balked. Well, now Gillette has come back with the 5 blade razor. FIVE fucking blades.
A good history of the proliferation of blades can be found here.
The marginal improvement of 5 blades over 3 blades is not 66%. I dare say its even 5%. Even if I can accept that the 5 blade razor is better, I doubt it would be worth the extra cost. I already pay way more than I should to use the Mach 3. As a result, I tend to let my razor blades go way longer than I should becuase it costs so much to purchase them. When I was in Argentina I looked for razors, and the Mach 3 was kept under lock and key at the grocery store and cost more than any item I could find in the store.
I would really like to see them put some innovation into the area of decresing the price of blades, rather than trying to technically improve something that can’t really be improved.
There is something else afoot here, however. I decided to a little analysis of my own…..
Here is a summary of the dates major advances in shaving technology were made.
Unknown – 1 Blade. Straight Edge Razor
1904 – 1 Blade Saftey Razor
1971 – 2 Blades. Gillette Sensor Excel
1999- 3 Blades. Gillette Mach 3
2004 – 4 Blades. Schick Quattro
2005 – 5 Blades. Gillette Fusion
Here it is in a graphical form:
You can see we are quickly approaching a shaving singularity. A point in time where the number of blades on razors will be increasing so fast, the total metal reserves of the world will be unable to keep up in making blades. This is the shaving singularity. The end of mankind and stubble.
Pray for us.