When I started this blog, it only took me a few days to get hooked on a British company named King of Shaves, and in particular their series of cartridge razors, Azor.
A few months ago, my wife went on a short trip to London – and the only thing I asked her to get me was a King of Shaves Azor 5 razor. It’s not yet available here in Denmark and has just recently been launched in US by Remington.
The Azor 5 is not like any other razor. Design wise you get a razor head that seems to be put the wrong way around – at least if you compare it to the Gillette Fusionor Shick Hydro. This means that you have to adjust the way you handle your razor and use more of a “paintbrush” style when you shave. Bu it only takes a few strokes to get used to.
The handle is pretty much the same size as other brands, but the stylish metallic surface makes it look really cool. At least to begin with, as splashes from foam and water easily shows and need to be cleaned off for maximum “WOW! factor”.
Let me say it this way. I love the design of the Azor 5. It’s hard to make a mass produced cartridge razor look good. But I honestly think that King of Shaves have made a good looking razor. The mere fact that it’s different compared to other brands is a plus to me.
The razor is delivered with a holder to put the razor in when it is not in use. Unfortunately this holder has a very cheap feel to it. The plastic seems very fragile. The design of the holder is okay, but not great.
I don’t understand why Will King and the rest of his team at King of Shaves chose to make a great looking razor with a cool metallic surface on top – and then make a holder where the top is not visible…?
I would gladly show off my Azor 5 and keep it on my bathroom counter – but not as long as I’m only displaying a cheap looking holder and the boring white backside of the handle.
But enough about design – let’s talk about the quality of the shave!
Even the most beautiful razor must comply to one simple rule in order to be a success.
It must give you a good, close and sensible shave.
The Azor 5 does a brilliant job for my every day shave. Short stubble is handled perfectly and gently.
But if I let my beard grow for a few more days, the Azor 5 gets itself in trouble. The blades seem marginally closer together compared to Schick/Wilkinson Hydro 5 or Gillette Fusion ProGlide. For me, this means that the cartridge clogs up faster – and is much harder to rinse under water.
I also had trouble using the Azor 5 with cleaning devices like the Razorpit. I believe the distance between the blades is to blame.
But let’s be fair. For short stubble (i.e. when shaving every day or every two days) the Azor 5 did a fantastic job. You have to get used to the different style of handle, but that won’t take you long.
You should also be prepared to apply more pressure towards your face than you do with other razors, as the flexible head IS indeed more flexible than anything you’ve ever tried before.
PROS – Why you will like the Azor 5:
- It looks good
- It works great for your everyday shave.
- The replacement blades are cheaper than both Gillette and Schick / Wilkinson comparables.
- Feels like a quality product
CONS – Why you won’t like the Azor 5:
- Replacement blades can be hard to get in remote locations (but you can just bring extra from home – they’re not that expensive)
- It clogs up easily if used to shave stubble between 5 and 10 mm
- ‘The razor seems to be made of quality materials – but the holder does not live up to that standard.
The King of Shaves Azor 5 (Remington King of Shaves in the US) is a good alternative to the more expensive razors from Gillette and Schick/Wilkinson Sword.
It’s not good for long hair, but works just as good as other brands for every day shaves. Reasonable prices on replacement blades make the Azor 5 a good buy.
I have just ordered some replacement blades for this razor – I’ll keep using it every now and then.