View Full Version : My Fusion experiment...confirmation bias
01-30-2011, 10:00 AM
Semi-noob here, I am ~1.5 months in to DE shaving. Just for fun today (as I am waiting for my mergress :w00t: to return) I decided to skip the trusty Parker 99R and pick up the now-forgotten Fusion in the drawer. Instead of my old techniques I did a proper prep and lather and 2.5 passes (WTG, ATG, spot touchup.)
I am keenly aware of confirmation bias and self deception as I am a lifelong practitioner across many categories. :001_tongu
Before picking up a DE I was always "satisfied" with my cart shaves and even thought that I regularly got BBS from time to time. When I started DE I resolved myself that the shaves would be "worse" in the beginning and get better as my skill increased. I found this to be true.
However, I was idly wondering if I was kidding myself about this whole DE hobby and finding better shaves where in fact they may be marginally worse than a cart.
Today I was shocked, I nicked myself twice with the Fusion and the irritation was noticeably greater than my past weeks with DE. These results were actually not what I was expecting.
So no great moral here or absolute, just one guy and one test. For the record I still think carts are fine tools and will still use them on short air-travel business trips. But I am very pleased to find that even over a short time I have achieved "better" shaves with DE than today's cart attempt, even with proper technique.
Anyway just wanted to share. I am sure I will do it again in the coming weeks, but now it will even be more fun to go back to DE tomorrow. :wink2:
01-30-2011, 10:09 AM
I can get fantastic shaves with my Fusion when I pick it up, but it's just not fun to shave with. After using a straight for a month or so, it feels like cheating. My only comment is that, for most going ATG on your second pass is a bit quick, with out the beard reduction of a XTG pass (or two) most will get irritation/nicks, but of coarse this is a YMMV thing, especially if you have thin hair. Also if your using a cart the way you use a DE your doing it wrong, with the pivot head on your Fusion you actually hold the handle straight out and use some light pressure. This stretches your skin (by the pads on top and bottom of the cart itself) should alleviate most of your nicks. With out the pressure, the razor is more apt to travel over bumps and imperfections at weird angles, that cut threw skin topography rather than glide over it.
When I do pick up my Fusion, I always do a 4 pass shave with proper prep, lather, and post shave care, and I get perfectly dull perfect BBS results. Just some thoughts.
01-30-2011, 10:12 AM
Hmmm. Interesting test and conclusions. Thanks for posting!
01-30-2011, 10:14 AM
I wonder if it has to do with the slightly heavier weight of the fusion compared to some others...
01-30-2011, 10:31 AM
... My only comment is that, for most going ATG on your second pass is a bit quick, with out the beard reduction of a XTG pass (or two) most will get irritation/nicks, but of coarse this is a YMMV thing, especially if you have thin hair. Also if your using a cart the way you use a DE your doing it wrong, with the pivot head on your Fusion you actually hold the handle straight out and use some light pressure. This stretches your skin (by the pads on top and bottom of the cart itself) should alleviate most of your nicks. With out the pressure, the razor is more apt to travel over bumps and imperfections at weird angles, that cut threw skin topography rather than glide over it. ...
Indeed I have medium-light beard and I shave every day, and normally in my old cart days I would do a 1.5 pass with the Fusion: ATG and then spot touch up (!!) With the exception of the WTG pass, I tried to do everything mechanically in my old way and yes I noticed I needed pressure to make the Fusion work as before.
But yes I would say the smoothness was about the same as my typical DE shave and certainly with the Fusion easier under the nose and along the jawline without a doubt.
for a few months now i've been getting great results using my DE for 90% of the shave and then finishing (i.e. fine tuning/polishing) with my Fusion - for the Fusion pass i cut/dilute the canned goo with some water - the end result is a very smooth shave and most of the time no cuts .
I didn't have any issues with cartridge either. I wouldn't go back to cartridges either...
01-30-2011, 03:46 PM
I like to try new things so when I stumbled onto this site I quickly got interested in trying a DE shave. The only memory I have is running Dads across my dry cheek and quickly returning it to the cabinet!
I have used 3-4 different carts over the 35 years of shaving and if I am willing and patient to wait 'til after the shower I find I can get a fantastic shave and in less than 2 minutes. I realize this is not going to happen being a new DE shaver, at least not without gauze and sutures. My venture is not about need, but rather interest, nostalgia and leisure. Nothing wrong in my eyes making shaving something a little more special than a 100 second task!
01-30-2011, 03:55 PM
I never really cut myself with one, but my mach 3 always gave me me razor burn around my mouth and on my neck. This happens from time to time with the DE too though, but only when I get lazy, Mach 3 didn't care how much attention I paid to those areas. Only tried a fusion once, it was the same story
01-30-2011, 06:31 PM
There's nothing wrong with carts, and I use them when I don't have much time in the morning (which is more often than I would like). For me, proper prep and lather has more to do with a good shave than the razor I use, so I don't lose much if I have to use a cart.
02-27-2011, 07:08 AM
I have been using a DE for about 6 weeks and decided to run the same test for myself. I did a complete shave prep, pulled my Fusion out of the drawer, popped in a fresh cartridge and gave it a try. There is no question in my mind that the Fusion is probably the best cartridge style razor on the market but I found that it actually requires more work for me to get the difficult areas of the neck when compared with the DE. I was surprised to find that it left my face with a "raw" feeling that I don't get with a DE. This probably was the result of making multiple passes to clean up those rough patches. I will continue to keep a fusion in my briefcase/carry-on for emergencies but I will always keep my blades for my Merkur travel razor in my checked bags. I just don't want to go back to cartridges unless I am forced to.
02-27-2011, 07:28 AM
Welcome dfcornwell, great first post!
02-27-2011, 07:58 AM
I am at a similar level of noobness. After improving my DE shave, I used a disposable twin Bic and got a pretty good shave from it. The prep seemingly made a big difference for me. I did have a rough shave from a Shick Hydro 3, and i thought maybe I had unlearned my cartdridge shaving technique.
At any rate, I am worried about confirmation bias myself. I am currently doing a single blind shoot-out of 5 DE blades so that I don't automatically use my confirmation bias to choose the ultra-sharp Feather!
02-27-2011, 08:16 AM
Another follow-up: I recently had a 5 day business trip and used the same (starting new) Fusion cart for 5 days. Brought mah wee scot and T&H sampler creams for lather. :thumbup1: The first day was perfect BBS (as I expected.) But I noticed by day 5 the shave was much rougher (same cart), a bit more patchy, and more irritation. (however I never cut myself) I have never been so keenly aware of the need for sharpness in the past. I would scrape through a couple weeks with the same cart to save money. Now its going to be tough to do that on long business trips as I will be tempted to use newer carts after ~4 days or so.
Again I am not slamming carts, they are easier, faster, let me be more lazy, and get problem spots with less effort. Yet they are NOT perfect for me anymore now that my DE skills are getting better by the week. Wish I could bring a DE in carry-on without the trouble of finding local blades.
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