« Ahem ... | Main | In honor of Halloween »

The Azor

So, for the last week I have been using the Azor, a multi-blade razor made by King of Shaves. They produce a whole line of shaving products, and have supplied me with a generous selection of their oils, gels, creams and balms (That's right, they included a balm!) to evaluate, free of charge.

Maybe I'm in the minority in being impressed by this kind of thing, but I am blown away by the design of this razor. Like every other cartridge razor I've ever used, it is made out of inexpensive materials. The difference is all the others have tried to disguise that fact. They coat them with fake chrome and cover them with ridges and neon accents. They try to keep you from noticing the cheap by distracting you with the ugly. My old Gillette Fusion and disposable Shick Xtreme3 are both prime examples.

The Azor is the one in the middle. The other two look like G.I. Joe toys from the late 80s.

The Azor is also made from inexpensive materials: rubber and plastic. Instead of disguising them, the Azor uses them in a way that looks good. It keeps you from caring about the cheap by distracting you with simplicity. All I know about manufacturing, I learned from watching How It's Made (from what I can tell, it involves making lots of molds), but I get the impression that building an Azor consists mostly of pouring the black hard-plastic parts, placing them in a second mold, then pouring the white rubber. The result is a striking two-tone razor that has the industry standard swiveling head, but without any moving parts. The rubber holding the head onto the handle has give built-in, and as such the head bends with the contour of your face just as easily as the mechanical hinge on other razors. The mechanical hinge's advantage is that it only bends in one axis, while a rubber hinge bends in all directions. King of Shaves worked around this by making two hinges, and moving them out to the ends of the head, forcing the head to only move along one axis. That's why the Azor is shaped like the slingshot of the future.

I'm blathering on about the design because I only have two points to make about using the Azor.

It shaves just as well, if not better than my Gillette Fusion did.

The blade seems to be keeping its edge longer than the Fusion did. King of Shaves would tell you that's because they've coated the blades with "Endurium," but I have trouble saying that with a straight face. I can say that after a week, the Fusion's blades would be noticeably duller. Not so with the Azor. I'll keep you posted on this.

I really can't think of anything important beyond those two points. If Azor refills are less expensive than Gillette Fusion cartridges in your area (and I'm told they are), I'd seriously consider switching. Failing that, if you're looking for a change in your shaving equipment, the Azor's definitely worth a look.

My wife has also used the Azor for her shaving needs, and wrote the following: "The Azor works incredibly well for the ladies, too. I was worried about my various concave areas (armpits, backs of knees), but the head bent perfectly in all of those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. There's a very small 'slime strip' on the Azor -- most ladyrazors have a huge 'soothing' bar of goo next to the blades that leaves your legs feeling like someone snotted all over them, but the Azor didn't leave much of a gooey film at all. And the best part: even though I shave my legs with all of the grace and finesse of a raccoon pawing at a garbage pail, I didn't get a single nick. I'm totally throwing Venus to the curb."

She is, indeed, three times a lady.

Sadly, the Azor has to go on the list I keep in my head that contains things like Spotify and Q.I. -- things that are readily available in England, but hard to get here. They plan to start distributing the Azor here in a few months, but right now Americans can only purchase it online.

One thing you can buy here in the States is their Alphagel shaving gel. I've been using it as well, and it's a solid product. The sample they sent me was labeled "For sensitive skin," and I can confirm that I've suffered no skin irritation. It's also labeled "unscented," which I assume means "no artificial scents," as the gel has a pleasant but noticeable eucalyptusy/mentholly smell. Okay, "eucalyptusy/mentholly" doesn't sound all that pleasant, but I never claimed to be a poet.

While I'm describing pleasant sensations in less than pleasant terms, the King of Shaves Men's Extra Sensitive Face Balm makes my face feel as if it has just eaten a mint. I will post more on the other oils, gels and cleansers they sent me as I have a chance to use them.

References (7)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments (36)

Thanks Scott, this is quality....

October 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterErsin

FIRST! (to open the door that must not be opened that leads to 'endurium' jokes)

ENDURIUM sounds like something you should get in those SPAM emails or see for sale at the back of Maxim! but maybe it is also awesome razor-coating substance?

must try AZOR with ENDURIUM now. you've sold me on it, they've gotten their moolah's worth shipping you 'free endurium' because it sounds like we've got a half-dozen jokers wanting to try it just on this thread... of course, AZOR is a funny-name in itself. sounds like a Dr. Who villian, as long as we're taking shots at 'Ol Blighty....

October 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterB

@Al & gra: In Scott's defense, he didn't explicitly confuse England with the UK. He said that those things are easy to get in England and hard to get in America. He didn't say that those things are hard to get outside of England, which _would have_ justified your objection.

Now, if Spotify and Q.I. are quintessentially British vice English, you've got a claim for ignorance. (:

October 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

I can't believe how many people ion this forum are from that little pile of islands north of france! In high school in the USA we are not taught to distinguish between britain, great britain, england and Narnia. (Does "great" include those islands by argentina? you know; the falklands or malvinas or whatever.) We basically use them interchangeably. We also think we are America, never mind the other two countries on our continent and whole pile in the southern hemisphere that are also american.

October 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRyboflavinator

Have you heard of http://www.headblade.com/ ?
They were featured on a inventors show the other night, and while it's geared to just your head, thought you'd be interested.

October 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfrzndaqiri

Whoa Scott, awesome. I will go to Duane Reade today and try it out!

October 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMattia Landoni

[...] Basic Instructions by Scott Meyer: Your all-inclusive guide to a … [...]

Having used a feather double edged razor (with blades) for well over a year now, I think i'll completely change to the Azor blade. Best shave i've ever had - bar none. It was a JOY to use. My beard is rough! and i get probably two shaves from a mach 3. It's why I switched to cheaper double edged ones to start with.

The 4 pack blades are a 1/3 the cost of mach3 turbo blades, I'll never give Gillette any of my money again. Now if they can just keep the costs of the replacements down. King of shave is right :)

October 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterget it

The Azor is a great razor to use, but a little awkward around the neck area sometimes. The heavier Azor M razors work really well when used with shaving cream applied with a brush. The lightweight Warp Azor works better with gel. I'm still not sure about having 4 blades in the cartridge though, but no problems as yet with razor burn. Just press gently and let the razor do the work.

December 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Barrow

freelance writer

July 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDarla29Spence

Such a nice review. Thank you.

Kanger Subtank Nano

February 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJason

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>