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Location: Hamilton Square, New Jersey, United States

Tax guy, host & producer of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, former co-host of the Wall Street Journal E-Report

Monday, August 14, 2006

A shout out for the Matrix. That would be the razor, not the movie.

Update: Oops. The correct name of the razor is the Matrix3, not the "Matrix". I've corrected the post below. Also, I checked the exact price on the replacement blades at Acme the other day. It's $5.49 for four blades, or $1.37 each. And, since I can get at least six days use out of one blade, that comes out to about 23 cents a shave. Not bad!

Very rarely do I come across a generic product that I gush about, but the Equaline Matrix3 is one of them.

I'm a hairy dude and shaving my facial hair is usually better served with a metal file than with a common razor. That being said, I'm a difficult person to please when it comes to razors. To me, there's always been Gillette and a bunch of also-rans. For whatever reason, even Shick's highest end blades tore my face apart like any other razor. And of the few companies that actually tried to compete with the big two, no one ever came close. It always seemed like Gillette knew something about making blades that no one else did. And because of that, I always had to pay a premium price to get a decent shave. My blade of choice has been the Gillette Sensor and, although they make better razors, I'll be damned if I'm going to pay more than that for five frigging blades.

But not anymore.

About two months ago, I discovered the Equaline Matrix3. Acme had them on sale and it had been over two years since I tried a new razor in vain, so I figured what the hell? It was a triple blade razor that was actually cheaper than the Gillette Sensor so what did I have to lose (besides a little skin)?

The first shave seemed decent. Not blow me away decent, but good. Of course, I had a two-day growth on my face, so that may have factored in. But after that it was smooth sailing. The shaves were as good as the Sensor, if not better. But that's not the best part. My stubble can render a new Gillette Sensor blade inoperable after two shaves...sometimes three. Ever since I've been using the Matrix3, I've been able to squeeze out up to a *week* of shaves before changing the blade. A WEEK. So not only is the Matrix3 cheaper than the Sensor, the blades last about three times as long. And guess what? I ran out of Matrix3 blades the other week and had to resort back to my Sensor. It tore my face up, even with a brand new blade.

Two caveats though. The female equivalent of the Matrix3...the Mystique...didn't get good reviews from my wife. Second, the Equaline brand is made by Albertson's, so you'll only be able to find it in Albertson's related stores. Around me, it's Acme. Not sure what other stores...aside from Albertson's itself...are also affiliated with it.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tom,

I hope you are right about the razor. just bought one at the store. it is 10 times cheaper than gillettes latest product.... i will update my blog, once i tried it: http://www.theyellowmarker.org/blog/2006/12/02/

regards raoul

12/02/2006 11:36 AM  
Blogger dannyman said...

Hello,

Any idea if the Matrix3 cartridges can be used with the Gillette Mach 3? My local Safeway has Mach III handles and Matrix3 blades, but nothing on Safeway's web site . . . I am beginning to suspect that this "generic" brand has been discontinued, and my local Safeway is selling out some "New Old Stock" . . .

7/03/2007 10:31 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

I think the matrix3 is a proprietary razor/blade system, meaning that while it's a cheaper option, the blades aren't meant to be a replacement to the Mach 3 blades. The only replacement blades I've ever seen that fit known razors are Remington and, unfortunately, I wasn't impressed with them...shocking since Remington's a name brand.

Still, if you can find the Matrix3 razor and you can be assured of regular shipments of Matrix3 blades (or can find 2-3 packs on the shelf), I say go for it. Besides, what's the worst that can happen? Even if you blow $5-$6 on a new Matrix3 razor, you'll be making it back quickly on the savings from the blades. And, if you don't like it, you switch back to the Mach 3.

7/04/2007 4:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just used a matrix 3 for about the 20th time in three weeks. Best I have ever used. I am going to lay in a four year supply. Just no question of its superior shave in all aspects.
Herb

7/14/2007 6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally agree. I think it's better than Gilette's Mach3 and way cheaper. No brainer.

7/31/2007 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Scott said...

It seems like my first round with the Matrix3 is as good as the mach3, but how the heck do you replace the blade?!?!

3/18/2008 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Mark said...

I used to use the Matrix3 as well, but the refills here compete for extravegance with the Gillette price, tehrefore I have switched to the old-fashioned straight razor, ala Sweeney Todd. The razor cost me less than $5 on Ebay, is good, high-carbon steel, sharper than anything I've ever encountered and will last for years. Comes to more like a penny a shave when viewed that way.

12/16/2008 4:24 PM  
Blogger Brigham said...

It's 17 June 2010 and I'm happy to report that last night I bought some new Matrix3 blades at my local Safeway. You're right... it is a good shave. It compares very favorably with my Gillette Mach 3 Turbo and is less expensive.

I tried that orange Gillette razor with the five blades and the battery-powered vibrating head. Didn't like it. The head felt too big. For me, three blades seems to be the right number.

6/17/2010 8:12 AM  

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