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View Full Version : Trac vs. Atra vs. Sensor



Mike in Cincy
02-26-2009, 06:00 AM
Is there any difference in the performance of these razors and their blades?

After using a Sensor I was curious about the other two. Are any of these the lift & cut designed cartridge razors that we want to stay away from?

jazzman
02-26-2009, 06:12 AM
I used them all, over many years. When Sensor came out, I thought there was a decline in overall quality versus the Atra. But when Gillette gave me a Mach 3, I decided to find a better way or grow a beard. Didn't realize how bad all of the above are until I started shaving with a DE.

kzoo1
02-26-2009, 06:17 AM
I always liked the Atra, but the blade (I was using store brand blades for years) quality went south when the Sensor was released. I used the Sensor for a long time, but I just couldn't keep paying $16 for 10 cartridges. I tried some Walgreen triple blade carts. for the Sensor, of course those blades were terrible too, so I ended up with a DE.

Oh yeah, your question- I prefer the Atra. I am going to trysome Personna blades for it when I travel.

masonjarjar
02-26-2009, 06:21 AM
I always liked the Atra, but the blade (I was using store brand blades for years) quality went south when the Sensor was released. I used the Sensor for a long time, but I just couldn't keep paying $16 for 10 cartridges. I tried some Walgreen triple blade carts. for the Sensor, of course those blades were terrible too, so I ended up with a DE.

Oh yeah, your question- I prefer the Atra. I am going to trysome Personna blades for it when I travel.

I recently compared the Gillette brand Atra blades to Personna. I prefer the Personna, as they are much smoother on my skin. Compared to them, the Gillettes feel like I'm shaving with a hacksaw. I actually got nicks. I never get nicks with the Personna blades. Next I'm going to try their Trac-II clones.

The main difference between Trac-II and Atra is that the Trac-II head is fixed. So you have to pay more attention to angle.

I've never used a Sensor. My brother had one and they were just cheap looking.

ClubmanRob
02-26-2009, 07:12 AM
The Trac II is my daily razor, and I think it's the best of the three.

The Trac II is a fixed head design, so it really is a lot like shaving with a DE. Stay away from Gillette brand blades for either the Trac II or the Atra, as the Personna brand is much sharper. In the case of Trac II blades, the Personna carts (Twin II) do not have a lube strip, which makes all the difference in the world IMO.

The Atra replaced the Trac II, and I'm just not fond of it. The blades were garbage, and the head pivoted which I think detracts from the quality of the shave overall. The Sensor replaced the Atra, and I believe it to be a major improvement blade wise, but it is no longer economical to use.

At less than three dollars a ten pack for the Twin II's, shaving with a Trac II is more economical than using a DE for me.

Mad Prophet
02-26-2009, 08:18 AM
I used to use Trac II back in the 70s. From the early 80s until this year I used an Atra. When my Merkur HD arrived, I tossed in the drawer. I'm probably going to need the blades for the HeadBlade, as I haven't gotten the hang of shaving my head with a DE yet.

tpoof
02-26-2009, 10:13 AM
I also shaved with just about everything that has come along..:rolleyes:
Started with the DE in the early 70's and moved thru the progression of Shick's,
Bic's, single blades, double blades, Mach 3's and on to the Fusions..
from Old Spice in a cup to the fancy canned goo to the Gel's to the brushless cremes...
Had good shaves with them all pretty much, no problem with my skin condition..
from what I've read on here I should thank my lucky stars I suppose..:redface:
Just got tired of always forking out cash for cartridges WAY too pricey.. then found my Uncles old shaving stuff.. Str8's and DE's, found this forum and the rest is history..
Bring on the brushes and str8's and scuttles.. :tongue:
now its my skill giving my the shaves instead of the changing technology and the cost that it brings...
I found my way back home and I'm pretty sure now that I would not change back to the new way any time soon. :cool::biggrin:

Mr. Gillette
02-26-2009, 10:17 AM
IMHO, having never used any of these, (short of a "tryer"), and having lived through their introduction in the 70's...

...I think they look equally good, lying in the bottom of any garbage can.


:w00t:

masonjarjar
02-26-2009, 10:32 AM
IMHO, having never used any of these, (short of a "tryer"), and having lived through their introduction in the 70's...

...I think they look equally good, lying in the bottom of any garbage can.


:w00t:

just couldn't help yourself could you?

Mr. Gillette
02-26-2009, 10:37 AM
just couldn't help yourself could you?

It was such an easy pitch! HAHAHAHAHAAHAH


TRUTHFULLY...from my limited experience, of the choices given, if I were forced to choose, I'd pick the Atra....but PLEASE don't let anyone know this!

I actually did give the Trac II a spin when it came out, and always, through the 80's, would pick up the "Free Razor with 3 blade" things hanging in the grocery store aisle from time to time. Of these, Trac II, Atra(s), Sensor, Sensor Excel, I found the Atra to be the best performers in that class.

But then, what do I know?:lol::lol:

DE or DEath!


Take care, my twin-bladed friend!

amateriat
02-26-2009, 10:28 PM
Let's see: late 70s...my first attempt at shaving was...a Remington electric! ("I liked it so much, I bought the company!") Together with their rub-on shaving powder, the experience was...awful.

By this time, my father was into his Norelco. I borrowed that, and...still couldn't get no satisfaction.

Trying to recall the first goo n' blade setup I used...might've been an Atra or Trac II, but it was at least half a light-year better than the electrics, even with the evil Foamy canned stuff (anybody ever use, or even remember, the "hot" Foamy? It "worked," but weirded me out so much I stopped using it after about two cans' worth).

I'm agnostic on the Sensor. I don't recall it being either worse nor better than the Trac II/Atra. Probably wasn't paying close attention.

My moving to the Mach3 was, of course, the perfect cure...of, and from, everything multi-bladed, that is. :smile:


- Barrett

sas71
02-27-2009, 09:10 AM
been using the Sensor 3 disposables for a few yrs. wally world sells them for less than $6 but recently i found the Sensor for sensitive skin and a 4 pack ran $4.77 and thats the cheapest blade that i like..too bad i found them like 2 months before i switched to DE blades. i could have saved some money but since i could only shave every other day i still got out for less than $50 a year on blades.

Mr. Gillette
02-27-2009, 09:39 AM
been using the Sensor 3 disposables for a few yrs. wally world sells them for less than $6 but recently i found the Sensor for sensitive skin and a 4 pack ran $4.77 and thats the cheapest blade that i like..too bad i found them like 2 months before i switched to DE blades. i could have saved some money but since i could only shave every other day i still got out for less than $50 a year on blades.

I don't get the "only shave every other day" thing...I'd look like an escaped convict after 24 hours, and would probably get arrested. How can you feel clean and well-groomed on this second day, unless you're on a perpetual deer hunt or fishing trip?:blush:

murchmb
02-27-2009, 09:45 AM
I've never used a Trac II, at least in the last 20 years, but of the rest I think the Sensor is the best cartridge razor available compared to the Atra, Mach 3, and Schick offerings. Now that the patent as run out, you can get cheaper Sensor compatible cartridges that are nearly as good as the Gillettes. Perhaps (hopefully) even better. Thanks to a gent on another forum who frequents the Trumper store in London, I have an upscale Sensor handle on the way. I'll probably be doing some blade comparisons in the not too distant future.

Rufust445
02-27-2009, 09:50 AM
I liked the pivoting head feature of the Atra, so much so that I recently found several handles stashed away in the bathroom cabinet. Wish I had saved a Trac II handle, since the only reasonable cartridge option today seems to be the Twin II's by Personna.

Mr. Gillette
02-27-2009, 10:00 AM
I have an upscale Sensor handle on the way. I'll probably be doing some blade comparisons in the not too distant future.

To me, this is like comparing Beanie-Weenie and Spaghetti-O's, eating them with a silver spoon on fine china.
:lol:

wavescrashing
02-27-2009, 10:19 AM
I used to use Trac II back in the 70s. From the early 80s until this year I used an Atra. When my Merkur HD arrived, I tossed in the drawer. I'm probably going to need the blades for the HeadBlade, as I haven't gotten the hang of shaving my head with a DE yet.

That's what I use Atra blades for. I tried the high speed HeadBlade triple blades, but couldn't tell the difference.

masonjarjar
02-27-2009, 10:38 AM
I liked the pivoting head feature of the Atra, so much so that I recently found several handles stashed away in the bathroom cabinet. Wish I had saved a Trac II handle, since the only reasonable cartridge option today seems to be the Twin II's by Personna.

If you can find a Bump Fighter razor (wal-mart), you can use the Twin II's in that.

ClubmanRob
02-27-2009, 10:53 AM
To me, this is like comparing Beanie-Weenie and Spaghetti-O's, eating them with a silver spoon on fine china.
:lol:

We get it, you think all cartridge razors are garbage.

Now why are you still posting in this thread?

rav
02-27-2009, 10:59 AM
The very first razor I shaved with was the atra, loved the razor. Somehow lost it and ended up with a Sensor and then finally a Mach3. The cost of the Mach3 cartridges drove me to the Merkur 34C.

I wish I had that Atra handle. Felt like a solid block of metal.

Mr. Gillette
02-27-2009, 11:26 AM
We get it, you think all cartridge razors are garbage.

Now why are you still posting in this thread?

An evangelist wouldn't look for converts in the church, now...would he?:lol::lol:

masonjarjar
02-27-2009, 11:56 AM
An evangelist wouldn't look for converts in the church, now...would he?:lol::lol:

never had much patience for evengelical types..

Mr. Gillette
02-27-2009, 12:02 PM
never had much patience for evengelical types..

Same here...I think I'm just that crazy-type guy on a street corner yelling things at passersby!

:w00t:

knlgskr
02-27-2009, 12:21 PM
I have a 2-track Schick with the Paul Revere handle; free from Schick, it gave a decent shave but Trac 2 cartridges don't seem to work well with it. Atra and Sensor give similiar shaves to it in my opinion, not as good as DE, SE, Injector. I wish it was able to use injector blades.

Richard

ClubmanRob
02-27-2009, 12:25 PM
An evangelist wouldn't look for converts in the church, now...would he?:lol::lol:

Which is exactly why I don't jump on a thread entitled "Fatboy or SS?" and say "They're both pretty crappy! Now try a Trac II 'cause that's what I use!"

I'm kind of under the impression that most members with a post count of at least thirty have been privy to the wonders of a DE, especially on this site. Let's let cartridge users have their say, too.

Mr. Gillette
02-27-2009, 01:28 PM
Which is exactly why I don't jump on a thread entitled "Fatboy or SS?" and say "They're both pretty crappy! Now try a Trac II 'cause that's what I use!"

I'm kind of under the impression that most members with a post count of at least thirty have been privy to the wonders of a DE, especially on this site. Let's let cartridge users have their say, too.

I'm happy to...you're welcome to your say. Nothing wrong with that.:lol:

UncleStu
02-27-2009, 01:46 PM
The Trac II came out about the time I graduated high school(1971). Before that I shaved my teenage face with Dad's DE Gillettes. The gold one(Aristocrat) was fine, the silver one(late 50's flare tip) was fair(much more agressive than the Aristocrat- I still have both those razors & it's sill true!), the Red Tip was a face chopper(long gone, I'd probably do a lot better with it now:wink:), the stubby little travel razor was strictly for stunt shaving.

Used Trac II's for several years- sometime before or after that I had a Gillette Techmatic(the rotating band razor- those things were dangerous, often didn't hold the band tight enough!), and an adjustable Schick Injector. Somehow I skipped the Atra, but did get a Sensor shortly after thay came out. I wore a beard for years, probably why I missed the Atra.

IMO the Sensor is much better than the Trac II, but then I can see the reason for the rotating head. It offers a better shave for less skill, which is a big help to those who never were taught anything about holding a razor at a certain angle, and that a lttle practice & skill may be required to get a good shave. Also- I always had a *Lot* less trouble with the Sensor clogging up with whiskers when they'd gotten too long. In the bathroom drawer there are still 3 Trac II handles- and all 3 have the "blade side" of the handle beaten up, from trying to knock the hair/whiskers out of the blades against the edge of the sink!:lol:

I have a couple of Sensor handles too- they both look fine. Hmm- just for giggles- does Personna make a good cheap cartridge to fit the Sensor Excell handles?:confused:

masonjarjar
02-27-2009, 01:53 PM
The Trac II came out about the time I graduated high school(1971). Before that I shaved my teenage face with Dad's DE Gillettes. The gold one(Aristocrat) was fine, the silver one(late 50's flare tip) was fair(much more agressive than the Aristocrat- I still have both those razors & it's sill true!), the Red Tip was a face chopper(long gone, I'd probably do a lot better with it now:wink:), the stubby little travel razor was strictly for stunt shaving.

Used Trac II's for several years- sometime before or after that I had a Gillette Techmatic(the rotating band razor- those things were dangerous, often didn't hold the band tight enough!), and an adjustable Schick Injector. Somehow I skipped the Atra, but did get a Sensor shortly after thay came out. I wore a beard for years, probably why I missed the Atra.

IMO the Sensor is much better than the Trac II, but then I can see the reason for the rotating head. It offers a better shave for less skill, which is a big help to those who never were taught anything about holding a razor at a certain angle, and that a lttle practice & skill may be required to get a good shave. Also- I always had a *Lot* less trouble with the Sensor clogging up with whiskers when they'd gotten too long. In the bathroom drawer there are still 3 Trac II handles- and all 3 have the "blade side" of the handle beaten up, from trying to knock the hair/whiskers out of the blades against the edge of the sink!:lol:

I have a couple of Sensor handles too- they both look fine. Hmm- just for giggles- does Personna make a good cheap cartridge to fit the Sensor Excell handles?:confused:


I don't think the Patent allows "generic" verions of Sensor cartridges yet. Only Atra and TracII. One local drugstore sells cartridges that fit both the Atra and the TracII. There are Sensor-like razors, but nothing that fits the handle.

As for the cartridges getting clogged up, the only time I've ever had significant problem with that was when I used canned shaving cream/gel.

Never had a problem with Williams or Van Der Hagen soap or any of the "better" shaving soaps and creams in the past few years as far as clogging up the razor (Atra and Mach 3).

Mr. Gillette
02-27-2009, 01:54 PM
Which is exactly why I don't jump on a thread entitled "Fatboy or SS?" and say "They're both pretty crappy! Now try a Trac II 'cause that's what I use!"

I'm kind of under the impression that most members with a post count of at least thirty have been privy to the wonders of a DE, especially on this site. Let's let cartridge users have their say, too.


I'm over here, because I can't imagine why anyone would want to use one. For almost 40 years I've wondered that. :lol:Honestly. I don't think that cartridge fad will ever catch on.

ClubmanRob
02-27-2009, 02:17 PM
I don't think the Patent allows "generic" verions of Sensor cartridges yet. Only Atra and TracII. One local drugstore sells cartridges that fit both the Atra and the TracII. There are Sensor-like razors, but nothing that fits the handle.



There's been Sensor compatible cartridges for years, put out by ASR under different brands. Personna markets two different types: one is the "store brand" version which is exactly the same as the Atra knock-off, but with a different adapter, and it's been around for at least fifteen years. That's the first cartridge I used BTW.

The second is the Tri-Flexx, which fits the Sensor but has three blades. The Tri-Flexx razor also doubles as a replacement Sensor handle, and I like the fact that it's metal as opposed to the new plastic Gillette handles.

Merkur manufactures a blade that is compatible with Sensors, though I've yet to try it. FWIW their fancy-pants Trac II razor can be fitted with an adapter that allows it to use Atra, Trac II, and Sensor razor cartridges.

Also, Super Max in Japan manufactures a "Mach III" knock off that uses Sensor compatible three blade cartridges, but they're pure garbage. You can see these pop up from time to time at Dollar Tree.

It's my understanding that the Generic Sensor carts first appeared in 1995, when Gillette lost its exclusivity patent by introducing the Sensor Excel. I'm not sure exactly how that works, but apparently they found a way around that loophole by the time they came out with the Mach III.