You know that bit on Top Gear when Clarkson, May and Hammond get their hands on a the newest, most anticipated motoring release – all swooning and squealing like a 12 year old girl at a JLS concert? Well this gents is the grooming equivalent. There’s all the complex sounding technology that no one understands, the subtle upgrades, the futuristic advertising shots, and of course – the geeks dying to take the new arrival out for a test drive. The new release in question is the King of Shaves Azor 5 razor, and the aforementioned geek (complete with Clarkson’s height, James May’s OCD and Richard Hammond’s love for his own hair style) is yours truly.
Regular FashionBeans readers may be familiar with King of Shaves as a brand, but for those of you new to this shaving game (or those wishing to refresh your knowledge) let me give you a crash course. King of Shaves is a range of performance based shaving products created by Will King way back in 1993, growing to become the number two ‘shaving software’ brand in the UK, and the fastest growing brand in the market place today. In 2008 King of Shaves launched their first razor – The Azor – and have since released several revamped version including the Azor S and Azor M. The latest of those revamped versions (bringing us quite nicely back to where we started) is the King of Shaves Azor 5. As a new and important release into the grooming market, I was lucky enough to get my hands on one to test and feed back to the FashionBeans faithful, and here is what I found…
With terms like “alloy handle”, “slimline cartridge”, “endurium nano blades” and (my favourite) “bendology technology”, you’d be forgiven for thinking we were back on Top Gear again. But no, these are the techie bits which mean the King of Shaves Azor 5 takes you to the next level of shaving comfort and closeness. As the name would suggest, the Azor 5 has 5 blades (one more than the Azor M and Azor S) which means that the latest King of Shaves release is even more efficient at slicing stubble, and reducing irritation. The fact that the razor bends means that you should be able to get closer to your skin, following the contours and curves of your face in order to gently, yet progressively utilise the 5 nano coated blades. Still confused? Then you’ll just have to take my word for it.
In today’s market: money talks. But rather than store all our cash under our beds in tesco carrier bags, we’re just all after good value for money and the peace of mind that we’re not being ripped off. Well penny pinchers rejoice, the King of Shaves Azor 5 gives you more than value for money and is most definitely not ripping you off. The razor itself comes in at a very respectable £6.99 (including 2 cartridges), but it’s the replacement blades that will inevitably see you recoup your investment. Priced again at £6.99 for a pack of 4, the King of Shaves blades average out at £1.17 per cartridge (or blade) compared with its competitors replacement blade price which can reach the dizzy heights of £3.50 per blade.
In an effort to pitch the Azor 5 against it’s predecessor the Azor S, I decided there was only one way to put the credentials of these razors to the test – by shaving one side of my face the Azor S and the other, with the Azor 5. Talk about going the extra mile for the benefit of you lot!
On first impression the Azor 5 is weighty without burdening, seemingly lighter, more flexible and slightly sleeker than the ‘S’. Other than that, in all honesty there isn’t huge difference between the two (apart from the one extra blade, obviously) – but then there didn’t need to be. The Azor S is a very good product, all the Azor 5 does is fine tune it to make it more efficient, better looking and with improved staying power. The overall shave performance is excellent, with great control and not a hint of irritation, confirming that the King of Shaves Azor 5 not only offers performance as well as value, but lives up to the hype too.
Healthy competition should be welcomed in any walk of life. Take the iPhone Vs Blackberry battle of the smart phone market – each with its loyal followers, each trying to out do the other with clever tweaks and new releases in order to win our affections. And the smart phone market is better for it.
The long established leader in the shaving market is undoubtedly Gillette, but King of Shaves and Will King are aiming to change that. I have tried both the new Gillette razor and obviously the King of Shaves Azor 5 – and I prefer the latter. Both in terms of the performance, and just as importantly the value for money, I think King of Shaves beat Gillette in this fight. The Fusion Pro Glide is a nice product, and some of you may well prefer it, but if I had to take one side in this – the battle of the razors – you would find me in the King of Shaves corner.
Check out this great parody advert King of Shaves has created to promote the product recently. With The King’s Speech winning numerous film industry awards (including Oscars this week), this was a smart bit of marketing from the brand. Certainly better than seeing Henry, Federer and Tiger’s smug mugs on adverts!
With a slogan like “Shave close, longer, for less”, the King of Shaves Azor 5 sets out an impressive battle plan. With a combination of value and quality that can’t be beaten, the Azor 5 has been fine tuned to perfection. The technology (although sometimes perplexing) results in a shave performance that not only outshines its predecessor, but the competition too. In the words of Jeremy Clarkson, for me the King of Shaves Azor 5 may just be the best razor……. in the world! And on that bombshell, it’s good night.
The Azor 5 is available online now on the King of Shaves website, but expect to see it on shelves everywhere over the coming weeks. For more info on the King of Shaves brand and other recommended products check out my King of Shaves brand focus.
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