Review: The Big Shave Off

This is a straight comparison review between two 5 bladed razors which had been kindly donated by the competing companies.

The time had come. I needed to shave off the beard and moustache. I have kept it far longer than first anticipated. I had almost got used to it. First however the facial hair needed to be trimmed back to a manageable length using scissors. There was still far more hair than I would usually have before a shave.


As a keen boxing fan I will introduce the competitors in the great tradition of world championship boxing…

In the Blue corner. The challenger. Representing UK based The Bearded Colonel; the German engineered, 5 bladed Gothic Arch II razor.

In the Red corner. Representing the multi-national and arguably industry leader Gillette; widely recognised as the finest shaving tool in their extensive range; the Gillette Fusion® Proshield™ – with Flex ball™.

It’s Shave Time….

Half of the face was shaved with The Bearded Colonel razor then the other half shaved using the Gillette Fusion® Proshield™.

The scoring system is based on the following criteria: Comfort/Smoothness of shave, closeness of shave, pricing, ease of cleaning and design features. If one is razor beats the other on any criteria then it will be 1-0. If there is no difference then both score a 1. If both perform poorly then neither will get  point. (i.e. 0-0).


Not a scoring criteria but worth a mention.

IMG_9356 IMG_9355

As you can see the two razors are very different. The Bearded Colonel razor (on the left) is a conventional looking implement while the Gillette device looks very Hi-Tech and appears to be almost over-engineered. By Gillette’s own claims this is their “most advanced” shaving system. For more details and images please visit the respective websites.


Bearded Colonel





Both superb.



Both superb



This may have been due to the unusually longer than normal stubble.



See below.
Design Features



The edge trimmer on the back of the Gillette device is a nice touch.

Total Score



A draw!?



Bearded Colonel: The handle is free. 4 Blades cost £10.

Gillette Fusion® Proshield™: The handle (complete with first razor head) costs around £12. The 4 blade packs cost just over £15. However, it is worth bearing in mind that with the fierce competition between the big supermarkets there are sometimes excellent offers available. Gillette has also made these available by mail-order so some savings can be made using that method.  Also other, slightly less expensive options are available in the Fusion® range.

Results & Summary:

For the record I have never been a daily shaver. I have never needed to. Every other day was usually enough. This review is based on only one shave.

Both razors were far better than anything I had used before (the previous best being a mere 3 bladed tool). The shave was so good in fact that after several days I still felt like I did not need a shave. It’s as if the whiskers are afraid to come back out. Probably more due to the fact that I am now far more tolerant of a hairy face.

Both razors provided an extremely comfortable and smooth shave with zero pull & tug.

The Bearded Colonel make several claims about the design of their handle. I am not sure this makes such a difference. The handle was fine but so are the handles on all the leading brands. To their credit they give you the handle for free!

Equally, much is made of the Flex Ball™ technology but this shaver did not see any obvious advantage in that design feature. Although it is fascinating in a geeky kind of way.

Cleaning the blades between strokes was difficult but this was probably because I was shaving a trimmed beard rather than the usual stubble. Subsequent shaves may not suffer this minor problem and so I intend to use both razors for the next few weeks in order to establish a longer term view. I also want to get full use from the blades kindly donated by the two companies.  Any further findings will appear on future posts.


I highly recommend both of these razor blades if you want a close, smooth shave.

At some point I needed to shave against the grain – especially on that most sensitive of areas for me, the neck. Again, this was probably due to the longer than usual whiskers. But here’s the thing. Neither razor gave me any rash or irritation. A fantastic performance by both razors.

I liked both razors. The Bearded Colonel design was relatively simple and efficient. The Gillette system may appear over-engineered, but being an engineer myself it was hard not to like it.

If you want to save money, then the Bearded Colonel just nicks it. (Ouch! No, not like that). But only by a whisker.

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