Published on October 4th, 2005 | by Greg0
Remington Titanium Razor – Another Gimmick?
The Remington R-9500 is the shaver you ogle when you’re browsing the shelves- the sexy one that softly cries ‘I am a gadget of the future’. But is it worth the price, with an MSRP of $140? And is there actually any titanium, or is that just marketing-speak?
If you (or your significant other, or father/brother/aunt) are anything like me, you hate shaving. It’s a mindless task that doesn’t feel good, and seems like a waste of time. I stick with electric razors because they’re easier- no shaving cream or nicks. I have gone through my fair share of them: killing one with bad power in China, losing another when the battery wore out. And replacement blades have frequently been so expensive that I just bought another whole razor.
But I won’t be doing that with the R-9500 (around here referred to as “the new hotness”). For starters, it’s too expensive, about the cost of three or four cheaper models. And secondly, the fancy gimmick is that the blades are supposed to last much longer, since they are indeed made from… titanium.
Why is the R-9500 so expensive, besides the rare metals and the rising costs of getting dwarves to smith them? Well, it’s got a nice LCD display on the front, letting you know that you could shave for 60 minutes straight (at theoretical maximum capacity, actual use is closer to 45 minutes until a recharge is needed). It is, of course, waterproof and cordless, though I don’t recommend using it while swimming.
The real “added value” is this new self-cleaning feature, where you insert the shaver onto the oddly Cronenbergian cleaning stand, which is filled with magical cleaning solution, and you press a button. And it cleans. And it cleans. And it cleans… The process can take a half hour, and the razor is turning on and off the whole time, which can be disconcerting. But it does the job, the razor gets clean and even feels sharper (if a bit oily) for the next use.
However, the downside is that they only give you a small bottle of the cleaning solution, and it evaporates or is used within 6-8 weeks of irregular cleaning! And, of course, the only place you can buy the cleaning solution is from Remington. According to the manual (which states that the “cleaning solution contains a high percentage of alcohol and a special oil”), you must send in your razor, along with the empty bottle, a sample of your urine, and $140 to receive another bottle of cleaning solution.
Just kidding. It’s $5, and you can order it online, though they don’t apparently cannot ship to Canada (we suspect the high alcohol content). But still, if you really want your razor to last a while, you need the cleaning solution. Which seems to me a simple, yet effective way of continuing the razor industry’s classic sales pitch- we’ll give you the shaver for free, but the blades will cost you!
So, how does it shave? If that was the question, don’t be silly- it does the job excellently. The tri-blade rotary design works, and maybe it’s the titanium, but it works better than any other model I’ve tried. However, the “Easy-View” pop-up beard trimmer is mediocre, bested by models that cost half as much. Of course, its blades don’t seem to be titanium.
Bottom line? Buy it, but see if you can get a deal on eBay or something, and prepare to shell out for the cleaning solution. Or stick to shaving yourself with that rusty old butter knife, but you won’t get the benefits of an LCD screen.