Razor Technology: 2011

Keeping up with the latest trends in music (Yolanda Be Cool in, OneRepublic out) and technology (iPad in, Nokia smartphones out) is easy. But razor technology is a different story. Even though razors are an every day essential, it’s hard to keep track of what’s new, hot and different. And forget about asking the store stock guy for help on the subject. (You’ll be lucky if he’s even able to direct you to the razors.)

So here’s a primer on the two chart-topping cartridge razors, the Gillette Fusion ProGlide and Wilkinson’s Quattro Titanium Precision, and one best-selling electric razor, the Braun Pulsonic 790cc -- with insight from Michael Gilman, blogger for his site, GroomingGuys.com.

Gillette Fusion ProGlide

This upgrade to the world’s best-selling shaving system, the five-blade Fusion, incorporates a blade with thinner edges that’s covered in a low-resistance coating to slice with less tug and pull. A blade stabilizer has been added to keep the blades properly spaced apart, and the Lubrastrip is 25 percent bigger to help the razor glide across the face more easily. “Gillette has probably maxed out the number of blades at five, so they’re focusing now on making the quality of the blades better, and a better moisture strip,” says Gilman. “They succeed here.”

Wilkinson Quattro Titanium Precision

The main concept behind Wilkinson’s new razor is the combination of three technical systems: It’s a regular razor with four blades, a contour cutter and a trimmer in one. To get beards and chops in shape, men formerly had to use an additional electrical trimmer. In the new Wilkinson product it is included in the handle of the razor. It works with an integrated battery and can be used with or without shaving foam. The adjustable comb in the trimmer can cut hair to four different lengths between 0.3 and 6.0 millimeters. “Since it’s waterproof you can use the trimmer in the shower, too,” says Gilman. “That’s useful.”

Braun Pulsonic 790cc

Braun’s proprietary Pulsonic Technology oscillates the electric 790cc at 10,000 micro-vibrations per minute to help deliver an outstanding close and comfortable shave. Its two shaving surfaces also pivot and flex to contour the face, and you can clean, lubricate and dry the shaver with a simple press of a button. “There’s a lot of validity to the Pulsonic Technology. Barbers will do an aggressive massage with their hands to get the whiskers loose and the face putty-like for a better shave. It’s the same basic idea here,” says Gilman.