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3.9 out of 5 stars
M5 Magnum 5 blade razor with trimmer, in travel case by Personna - Free Prime shipping
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2011
Item Package Quantity: 1
I bought both the Gillette Fusion and the M5 Magnum at the same time so I could compare directly, having been on the lookout for good alternatives to inflated razor prices. I was previously a Mach 3 user, and a Gillette customer for the previous 5 years at least. Tried the M5 and Fusion out alternately, about a week on one and a week on the other. Mind you, a week for me generally equals maybe 2 shaving sessions, since I tend to be lazy and just do it when my face starts itching from a buildup of long hairs. So I was testing on an average of 3 days' growth.

For the uninitiated, the Fusion is Gillette's offering in the 5-blade replaceable-head shaving market. The M5 Magnum is also a 5-blade replaceable-head shaver, though manufactured by Personna, an unadvertised manufacturer, and is sold across the USA (don't know about other countries) as either a generic or house brand. That means that some retail chains actually put their name on the razor packaging -- mine was branded "Tru-Care Pharmacy" in small type under the M5 Magnum logo on the package, though otherwise the packaging and razor had no other indication.

Anyhoo, upon testing, I noticed no difference whatsoever between the two shavers. That's right, the M5 performed exactly as well as the Fusion with its 4x priced blades. The shave was just as smooth and just as effective, and the blades last about the same amount of time (although I don't use the trimmer blade on either unit, so I can't comment on those). The handle also looks nice, feels just as slick, weighty, and ergonomically-shaped, and the handle and blade angle is very comfortable, just as much as the Fusion. Neither the M5 cartridges themselves nor the handle feels cheap or flimsy in comparison to the Fusion (in fact the M5 handle actually feels a bit more solid) and the mechanism for affixing cartridge to handle and ejecting them works exactly as well.

These results really shouldn't surprise anyone. At first it seems like such a drastic price difference must mean the cheaper brand has to be cutting corners in quality or something. But if you think about it, big-brand razors sell the old two-blade cartridges at costs more in line with this (see Sensor Excel refills, especially online bulk pricing). How much more material and labor goes into manufacturing a 5-blade cartridge as opposed to a 2-blade? I can't claim to know firsthand, but I can't imagine that aligning 5 blades in plastic is all that different from doing it with 2 blades, as to warrant the kind of cost increases we see from advertised brand names. The M5 is simply charging us for the actual increased cost of production, rather than inflating it as much as they can get away with, like the big brands do.

Still, let's face it, we all like to see the same pretty markings we recognize from TV and billboards sitting in our own homes. There are certain products for which I'm willing to knowingly pay more for that luxury; but when it comes to razors, the markups are so incredibly audacious, it's more like "Please, lord, give me the option to buy an ugly, functional alternative! I'll do anything!" (not that the M5 is ugly at all, it's actually quite nice looking: chrome with black and orange rubber grips). Let someone else foot the bill for Gillette's massive advertising campaigns.

It almost seems too good to be true, but really it's just fair pricing. I'm sure many people will still fall victim to the assumption that there simply MUST be something inferior about an unrecognized brand that carries such a low price. But since my initial test, I completely switched to the M5 (about a year ago, you can imagine the savings), and I don't miss the Gillette products I was using for 5 years prior, not even a little. There's just no difference.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2010
Item Package Quantity: 1
First note, I get these branded for the Duane Reade stores in NYC. It's the same product, just different packaging.

I have to say that for the price this razor can't be beat. I find the shave to be just as good as the Fusion. My tough beard gives me problems with most other razors, but with 5 blades I can shave regularly and not cut my face to shreds. I combine this with Nivea shave gel (sensitive skin) and I get a perfectly smooth shave, every time.

Only two issues. The blades get dull just a little bit faster than the Fusion, but not to the point where it negates the savings. The other issue is the trimmer blade doesnt seem to be as sharp as the main blades and I find myself needing multiple strokes to take care of those stubborn sub-nostril whiskers.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2010
Item Package Quantity: 1
Purchased this razor at Wally Mart over two months ago, it delivers a very close and comfortable shave. In two months of usage, I have never experienced a cut. I shave two or three times a week, depending on my schedule, and I'm still using the original cartridge that came loaded in the razor; so the blades last a long time. In my opinon the M5 is a much better choice than the Fusion, the shave quality is the same, but the difference in price is significant.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2010
Item Package Quantity: 1
Bought this item at costco, deciding that the $18 price tag was less than 1/2 of my mach 3 carts.

First off, I don't use shave cream, or lather or anything. I take a hot shower, then shave. I do not have anything close to sensitive skin, but I do have a thick beard and I tend to clog all other razors but the mach 3 (which is why I have used that razor for the last 10 years. Anyway, got out of the shower as usual, filled the sink with hot water and started the shave. It was a great shave, little to no snagging with a 3 day growth and was a nice close shave for me. Found it difficult to shave around my gotee due to being new with the razor and not knowing how to position it to shave with precision. Overall a very nice shave and was great for the money.

I agree that the trimmer blade is useless, it didn't even touch the sideburns when I tried it for a touchup.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2011
Item Package Quantity: 1Verified Purchase
One of the best shaves I've had in a long, long time. Much faster than my old razor; my face is amazingly smooth, with no nicks at all.

The blades, I understand, are top quality and Made in the USA; this is perhaps why the shave is so fantastic; great quality blades.

I highly recommend this razor. Better than Gillette, Electric, or anything else I've ever used really. It even beats the Fusion!

5-Star, American-Made, Top-Quality Product at such a low price? This razor must truly be a God-Send.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2012
Item Package Quantity: 4Verified Purchase
I've been on the hunt for an alternative to the expensive Gillette Fusion blades. I'm a head shaver.. I keep it bald, so I need a good razor that will shave close, smoothly and last a while. The Fusion do the job for me, but hurt my wallet. I thought I had found one the I picked up a few of these... Well I was mistaken.

At first the razors seemed to be of decent quality and I liked the first few strokes going down my cheek. Not quite as smooth as the Fusions, but it was acceptable. I'm a head shaver.. I keep it bald, so I need a good razor that will shave close, smoothly and last a while. When it was time for me to get to my head is when my thoughts on this razor changed immediately. I go against the grain for the closest shave on my head. Not even 3 strokes into shaving my head these blades cut me ..and cut me badly. The razor literally shaved off a decent size chunk of my scalp. Large enough for me to grab with my fingers and pull out from between the blades.

Don;t let this review steer you away if you're buying these to shave you face, becasue for that I think these blades will do fine... But they tore my head up!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2012
Item Package Quantity: 1
I have a very heavy beard. Gillette was my choice especially when they came out with the vibrating handle. But the M5 is giving me the same shave. Better price. AND LASTS LONGER!!! for the amount of shaves it gives on one set of blades. I am very impressed with this product and will continue to use it. I will give it a 5 STAR when they develop a vibrating handle.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 11, 2011
Item Package Quantity: 1
I picked this up at CostCo because it was so much cheaper than the Mach 3 that I had been using. I'm glad I did, but I wasn't at first. The blades that are included in the package that holds the handle were very poor quality. Gave me a clean shave for just 3 or 4 uses before it started snagging and pulling. It became painful to shave.I figured I'd been suckered so I just planned to use up the remaining blades and throw it away. However, when I started using the additional blades that were included in separate plastic holders, the quality of the shave improved dramatically. Suddenly the shave was much smoother and the blades lasted as long as anything from Schick or Gilette. It's as though the blades included in the handle case were manufactured by a different company than the other blades. I'm now very happy with this razor and just hope that the quality of the blades I get when I run out are as good as my current blades.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2010
Item Package Quantity: 1
I started using this razor because I found it at Walmart and it was a good price. I use it to shave my entire head and face and I have yet to find a razor do as good as a job as the M5 Magnum. I have tried them all because Walmart stopped selling the M5. I have recently found them online and could not be happier.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2010
Item Package Quantity: 1
This is a complete knock-off of the Gillette Fusion: 5 blades on the front and 1 trimmer blade on the back. I have read other reviews by people complaining that they couldn't get a really close shave with either blade. That's to be expected. Increasing the number of blades reduces the gap between the blades. That means when you press down with the blade on your face your flesh/skin don't get pushed down as far between the blades. More blades = less irritation = not as close a shave. That's why the Gillette Sensor and Mach 3 are still on the market (they are marketed to people who want the closer shave, not just to people who want to pay less money).

I buy all my razors at Costco because they have the lowest prices you'll ever find. Especially if you come across a coupon in their regular coupon books. I have always been a Gillette guy becuase my skin is so sensitive. So much so that I typically shave down, then relather before shaving sideways (never shave upward). Gillette always gave me the most comfortable shave, and I always upgraded to their latest and greates products as they became available.

Given the price and the similarity in blade design between the M5 and Fusion blades, I decided it was worth a shot (at Costco it comes out to about 1/2 the price of the Fusion if you are lucky enough to come across a coupon -- if not, it's still significantly cheaper, and much more so than at Walmart). I have to admit that the first shave was awkward and almost felt like a cheese grater across my face. I was very worried. To my surprise, however, I came out of it fine and the end result was extremely similar to a Fusion shave -- both in terms of closeness and irritation. Using Shave Secret shaving oil, that means zero irritation when shaving in the shower. It just doesn't feel as smooth or like as much of a "glide" across your face. By the second shave, the blade has dulled enough to where it feels basically the same. The handle has good weight and the angles at which you can maneuver it are very comfortable. I can get about the same number of shaves out of M5 and Fusion per blade (in my case about a dozen shaves if under a hot shower, or about 5 shaves if shaving over the sink). I am 36 years old and have thick black facial hair.

I am mostly pleased with this product. It does what it should at a significantly lower price than the Fusion. I have three basic issues with it:

1. It is not easy to travel with - the case is a bit bulky for a road warrior who needs to maximize efficiency out of a single carry-on
2. The trimmer blade on the back is very poorly designed. It cuts relentlessly if your holding angle is off by just a few degrees. By comparison, Fusion's trimmer blade is designed perfectly and feels every bit as comfortable as the blades on the front of the razor. The M5 seems to have it there simply for the "me too" effect without much engineering behind it. I initially tried to trim sideburns and near the edges of my nose with it. Big mistake. Best not to use the trimmer blade at all.
3. The lubricant strip on the front of the blade works well to lubricate. But of the 20 or so blades I've gone through so far, 3 of them have fallen off after repeated shaves with the same blade (6-8 shaves and they fell off, meaning I had to toss the blades even though they were still sharp).

Overall, I would recommend this blade to anybody with very sensitive skin who likes to shave with a blade but wants to do it within a reasonable budget. Fusion is the preference, but this blade is good enough and comfortable enough to use at the price point. Just don't use the trimmer blade on the back side - you've been warned.
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