As a byproduct of 100+ worldwide patents, $40 million of funding, and 11 years of mindful partnerships, the Shavelogic S5 razor was a team effort, to say the least. When it comes to personal grooming, however, there are only so many (practical) ways to chop hair off your face. Good news: the company motto seems to be, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – improve the hell out of it instead.”
Founded over a decade ago by Rob Wilson, Duwayne Miller, and a bunch of their (cross-disciplinary) friends, Shavelogic is finally ready to release their S5 razor, which is hitting the market this week, apparently after years of legal friction – and facial lack of friction.
At the end of the day, there’s not much hype surrounding this particular product, which is half the point; Shavelogic is counting on superior craftsmanship to set the S5 razor apart from its competitors, as opposed to gimmicky marketing platforms or unproven design choices.
The S5 Welcome Kit – which includes the S5 handle and five blade cartridges – costs $25 on Shavelogic’s website. They’re not pulling any punches in the fine print, either: “If it’s not the best shave of your life, we’ll give you a full refund.”
Shavelogic S5: Release Date and Price
While the Shavelogic S5 razor was announced last year, you’re just in time for the January 15 release date. The S5 Welcome Kit ($25) comes with one handle and four 5-blade cartridges (complete with reusable stainless steel cartridge case covers), and you can purchase additional four-cartridge packs for $18.
Right now, Shavelogic is also offering a $10 gift card with every S5 Welcome Kit, which is pretty handy, I say.
Shavelogic S5: Design
The Shavelogic S5 is packaged in an elegant, molded box that’s also 100% paper recyclable. Inside, you’ll find an all-metal handle and two blade cartridge cases. (You can reuse the stainless steel case covers whenever you buy new cartridges.)
As I picked up the S5 razor for the first time, the extra heft was immediately apparent: the handle weighs 60.5 grams all on its own, and 63.2 grams with the blade cartridge attached. (By mediocre comparison, the disposable 3-bladed Bic razor I own weighs just 22 grams total.)
The S5 razor is extremely well-balanced, and it feels good in the hand. Real good. (Heck, you could fend off home intruders with this thing, sans blade cartridge.) Shavelogic’s zinc alloy design, chromium plate finish, contoured grip, and ribbed accents speak to superior ergonomics; the handle’s weight does all the work, pulling the razor across your skin as you shave.
Note: if the term “zinc alloy” sounds familiar when it comes to stuff you grip, that’s because zinc is a common coating for some of the best barbells.
Now, here’s where some real innovation comes in. For starters, Shavelogic crams five razor-sharp blades into the same space most competitors can only fit three. (Indeed, my cheapo Bic took up similar real estate on my face, but the cartridge only housed three blades.) When paired with Shavelogic’s patented elastomeric pivot system, each precision-honed stroke is more comfortable than ever — at least in theory. The design is also meant to help exfoliate your skin as you shave, according to the company.
What really brought a smile to my still-hairy face, however, was the quick-connect magnetic attachment between the handle and blade cartridge. Once the magnet clicks into place (a very satisfying mechanism, I might add), the cartridge remains firmly connected to the handle throughout use. Shavelogic says this magnet will never lose its charge, which should give you some piece of mind as you drag it across your chin.
Shavelogic S5: Superior Ergonomics
Let’s talk about that beautiful all-metal handle for a second. (Which comes with a lifetime warranty, by the way.) When Shavelogic’s R&D team began designing the S5’s trapezoidal handle, their idea was to marry old-school barber shop aesthetics with state-of-the-art shaving tech (and precision-metal casting techniques). The handle’s hollow body construction is expertly balanced, and its head is oriented to “help counteract the force a person exerts while shaving.”
What does this mean, exactly? Well, most disposable razors require a little extra “oomph” as you push (or pull) the blades into your skin and simultaneously drag them across your face; if your technique isn’t practically perfect, those cheeks will be feelin’ the burn, and not in a “let’s-chat-about-Medicare-and-wealth-disparity” sort of way. The Shavelogic S5’s handle, on the other hand, is heavy enough to do most of the work for you.
That’s a pretty prolonged preamble for a five-inch metal stick with a serrated knife attached to one end, but I’ll let the Shavelogic S5 speak for itself.
Shavelogic S5: Performance
Full disclosure: I haven’t been clean-shaven in over a year, and for good reason. Very few editorial clients are clamoring for my hairless rathole in the time of COVID, and now that winter is here, my face can usually use the extra wind resistance. I was intrigued by this little grooming gadget, though, so I settled on sacrificing my semi-magnificent beard in favor of science. (Oh, and my own general employment.)
And I’ve gotta say, it was worth the risk. As I somberly lathered up my face, I prepared for the worst; I had my TP swabs at the ready and everything.
But then nothing happened.
I mean, something happened. After taking a minor detour to give myself a handlebar mustache for a few hours, I went to work with the Shavelogic S5. In less than 10 minutes, I had an entirely uneventful, entirely unexciting, and entirely hemoglobin-free shave: exactly how I like it. (Again, it had been a while since I’d taken a bare razor to my bare face, so I was expecting at least a droplet or two around my boney jawline by the end. But nope, I'd somehow managed a bloodless shave.) In fact, to my mild astonishment, I barely had any skin irritation at all after I’d toweled off and applied a few splashes of aftershave. Even though my shaving form was a little rusty, the Shavelogic S5 sure isn't.
Huh, I thought to myself. This just might be the best shave of m— hmm, not so fast, Shavelogic.
I’ve always been a fan of the scientific-ish method, so to make sure this smoother-than-expected performance wasn’t a fluke, I waited 24 hours, then gave myself another fresh shave. Boy howdy! This might be the smoothest you can get without replacing your favorite aftershave with Nair. (I'd definitely recommend this for daily shavers, if that's part of your lifestyle.)
Well, you just can’t argue with science, can you? That zinc alloy handle is far more maneuverable than your average razor, to be sure, and the weight does most of the work, as advertised. When I picked up my old Bic for comparison, I felt like a caveman poking my face with a slab of tree bark.
Note: I don't have any irregular skin conditions, and before shaving, I washed my face with CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser. After removing most of my beard with an electric trimmer, I shaved with Neutrogena Men Shave Cream, and wrapped everything up with Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Tonic. I’m by no means a master of the craft, but when I visit my local barber, I always try to pay attention.
Shavelogic S5: Bonus Testing
As luck would have it, my review unit of the Shavelogic S5 arrived in the mail just a few days before I was scheduled to get some fresh ink. For the uninitiated, tattoo artists usually take a razor to whichever area they’re working on, but I saved Britta the trouble and shaved my own arm ahead of time.
I only needed to clear out my one inner forearm for the alchemical Tree of Life I was having installed, but since I already had the Shavelogic S5 in hand, I ended up shaving the whole thing elbow-to-wrist. Not one scratch in the aftermath, folks. And minimal skin irritation, too.
I’ve straight-up never shaved my arms before (that I can remember, anyway), so I was mildly concerned about messing up my tattoo artist's primary palette the day before my session. Turns out, I was a worry-wort for nothing.
Shavelogic S5: Verdict
Was it the best shave of my life? If it wasn’t the best, it was damn close – yes, yes, pun intended. You won’t find much innovation going on in the 'facial grooming' space these days, but Shavelogic is absolutely onto something with their superior ergonomics, nifty magnetic cartridges, and precision engineering.
The Shavelogic S5 razor doesn’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to shaving your scruff, but it’s an elegant grooming tool that’s also an outstanding value.