It seems that everyone wants a piece of my face these days. Go on Facebook and there’s ad after ad for the “Dollar Shave Club” and “Harry’s,” both of which promise the cheapest shave around. Go to the mall, and there are razors and $25 cans of shaving cream at “The Art of Shaving.” I can’t even watch television at 3 in the morning without some Pawn Star trying to sell me his Old Man’s razor.
Then, of course, there’s Gillette who has faithfully been filling up airwaves and store shelves for years with their latest “innovations” (It has more blades! It buzzes! It is specifically designed for Manscaping! It has a ball that pivots!).
Also in the mix within this $13 billion a year industry is Schick. If Schick were a baseball team, they’d be the Tampa Bay Rays. You may have heard of the Rays. You might even know a few people that are fans. But, you’ve never personally watched the Rays because, you know, the Yankees.
Substitute “Schick” for Tampa Bay and “Gillette” for Yankees and you have an idea of the retail shaving landscape.
I managed to go about 34 years without trying a Schick razor. Because, you know “the Yankees.”
That all changed a few weeks ago when the folks at BZZAgent and Schick sent me a new Hydro 5 Razor to try. I was pleasantly surprised. The shave was on par with Gillette and for a few coins less. It was enough to leave me in an existential funk, wondering if I had I truly been “the best a man could get” all of these years.
I have since spent some quality time with their latest shaving gizmo The Hydro 5 Groomer – a razor that doubles, or quadruples, as a traditional razor, trimmer, edger and moisturizer (Courtesy, once again, of Schick and BZZAgent).
You can put this 4-function beast to the test in your own home for about $11.00 (after a $2 coupon) from Amazon.com.
The big question is, would you want to?
The answer to that question is a definite “yes.” And a definite “no.” Depending on who you are.
If you’re a minimalist, by virtue or necessity, the Hydro 5 Groomer is a good product. It uses the same specially lubricated blades as you’ll find on the traditional Hydro 5. That means you will get the exact smooth, comfortable shave that you would get with their stand alone product. The trimmer, powered by a AA battery, easily buzzes through light to moderate scruff. For folks that spend a lot of time on the road, or maybe those schlepping it down the hall to a common bath in their dorm, the Hydro 5 makes a lot of sense.
If you’re like me, and you have an entire drawer in your bathroom to yourself, the Hydro 5 quickly begins to lose its appeal.
For starters, the handle is big. Chances are you won’t mind the girth, especially on the trimmer side. But trying to shave with this thing can come across as awkward. It’s the shaving equivalent of writing a book report using one of those ridiculously oversize giant pencils. It can definitely be done, but you probably wouldn’t want to do it everyday.
As you can see, the Groomer is longer and thicker than a traditional razor -with a footprint that is much closer to a traditional trimmer.
While the handle feels too big, the trimmer itself suffers from being too small. When compared to a traditional trimmer, the trimmer head on the Hydro is nearly half the size – and I have the picture to prove it. Half the size means you will take twice as long in your trimming routine, if my shaving math is right.
Essentially, the space you are saving in your drawer is probably costing you an extra minute or two on the trim side.
As much as I like the Hydro line, the Hydro Groomer feels like a solution looking for a problem. It’s bulky size compromises the shaving experience while the undersized trimmer head fails to provide an adequate substitute to a regular trimmer. A 4-in-1 product is a great idea, but this incarnation will not have me shelving my separate razor and trimmer anytime soon.
- Uses Hydro razor blades, which deliver a lubricated comfortable shave
- All-in-one functionality useful for those who don’t have room for two separate grooming devices
- Bulky handle makes the shaving experience awkward
- Trimmer head is on the small-side which takes longer to do the job
- Not endorsed by a Pawn Star
If you’re living in cramped quarters, or you do not own a proper trimmer, the Hydro 5 Groomer is an adequate multitasker that can perform all the steps in your shaving routine. Most, however, will be better off sticking to a nice Hydro razor and leaving the trimming to a professional (device).