We put the Remington Durablade through its paces. Is it all it's cracked up to be?
The new Remington Durablade promises a lot. It's one of a very small number of what I call hybrid shavers - that can both give a proper shave, and trim facial hair. The Remington Durablade however offers one key feature that properly distinguishes it from the rest - Remington claim that the blade itself won't ever need replaced.
There aren't many of this type of shaver/trimmer on the marketplace. There is one that springs to mind from a major manufacturer (I'll not mention this by name) which I personally have been using for quite a while now, so I was very keen to give the Remington Durablade a whirl and see how it stacks up.
(N.B. - this is not my bathroom. I like the notion of dark-coloured soap, but I don't know what purpose a pebble might serve... Nice watch though.)
Firstly - the 'official' jargon on the Remington Durablde:
The Remington Durablade lets you trim, style and shave any length of facial hair. It gives a close shave, and it has a design that makes edging as straightforward as it can be. To trim facial hair, it includes four different stubble combs which offer the flexibility to trim any length of hair evenly and comfortably - allowing you to maintain a fresh barbered style throughout the week.
(The Remington Durablade comes with 4 comb attachments in varying lengths - to enable you to trim your facial hair to a wide range of lengths.)
Unlike other electric razors available, you’ll never need to replace the blades or head. Remington state that the "dual-sided TST blades are everlasting, saving you time and money replacing blades, plus the Durablade cuts at or above skin level avoiding nicks and cuts, giving you a sensitive and comfortable shave."
It has a Dual Sided TST (Trim Shave Technology) Blade which allows you to tidy and edge in any direction effortlessly, whether that’s with or against the grain, and gives you the confidence to shape and define razor sharp edges, or trim down closely for the ultimate ‘clean cut’ look.
Finally, the Remington Durablade is lithium-powered and fully waterproof with an anti-slip grip - allowing this hybrid shaver to be used wet, dry or with foam / gel.
All sounds good. However I've found that no matter what the product being launched is - by whichever manufacturer - the 'marketing speak' would lead you to believe that it's incredible. Personally when looking for information on a new product, I'll go to the bloggers, or read product reviews - find out what 'real people' are saying about the thing.
And in this case, I got to try it for myself.
How I found the Remington Durablade:
(N.B. the guy in the photos below IS NOT me. I cannot pull off Blue Steel like this guy does..)
First impressions are important. It shouldn't really matter what the thing looks like, sitting beside my bathroom sink. Yet in some way, it does matter. I want it to look good, and the Durablade does. I now really want that bathroom in the photo above - it just looks so clean and Ideal Homes...
The Durablade has a nice weight when you pick it up, and the grip really feels like they've gotten it right. Shaver manufacturers talk incessantly about ergonamics - which is really about the user's anatomy, and the comfort and function of a product's design (to take into account the interaction between the product and the person who uses it). In this case, The Durablade sits great in my hand - it feels comfortable, and just is a really great size and weight for shaving with.
Shaving and Trimming with the Remington Durablade:
Admittedly, nothing else really matters if Remington haven't gotten this part right. What good are blades that don't need replacing, if they're useless in the first place? What good is something that looks cool and feels great, if it leaves me with a face like Jeremy Beadle after a rough weekend? (I'm maybe showing my age with that reference...)
The good news is that the Remington Durablade shaves and trims really well. I'm not one to edge/style my facial hair. I keep what grows at stubble length, and usually (every one or two days trim this down to a neat length). Every now and then, if I need to look tidy and smart, I'll have a proper shave. And that's about it.
A proper, close shave with the Durablade is great. I actually found this preferable to an electric shaver as it seemed to shave more like a normal wet razor. I didn't have to go over the same areas repeatedly - the Durablade really shaves well. I tried this both wet and dry - and found it to perform exactly as I'd have liked it to for both.
Typically I don't wet shave very often now, for reasons of convenience (read laziness...). Put simply - I really can't be bothered with a proper shave in the morning when every moment is precious and I have the demands of a 4 year old to manage. That said - when I tried the Durablade with shaving gel I found that it gave a really nice, smooth shave. And when using it dry I found it to perform well also - my shave was close and comfortable, and I didn't experience any skin irritation or redness. I'd to go over each area just once (the holy grail of shaving) which means that the razor isn't pulling and rubbing on my skin.
In short - the Durablade shaves as well as I would hope, or expect it to. This is a proper shaver - the term hybrid shouldn't imply that it's only part-shaver, part-trimmer, because it shaves as well as any shaver - either wet razor or electric shaver - that I've ever used.
And for trimming stubble on a regular basis, it's a doddle. It took hardly any time at all, and because you can rinse the Durablade underneath a tap to clean it afterwards, maintenance couldn't be easier.
Other details - Remington claim it takes 4 hours to charge from empty, which I've found to be about right. They claim you'll get around 60 minutes use on a single charge - again this is probably about right (I got around 2 and a half weeks out of a single charge).
Hands up - this is the one claim that Remington make in relation to this razor that I haven't been able to put on trial. The rival-brand-hybrid-shaver that I've previously been using requires a blade change every 4 months (at a cost of £13.49 RRP). If the Durablade can maintain blade sharpness as Remington claim it can, then this is definitely a winner - because on cost alone the savings across a year or two of use will make the Durablade pay for itself.
To sum up how I found the Durablade:
When I mention the shaver I'd previously been using, I mean that in the past tense. The Durablade has now grabbed itself a place on my bathroom shelf - it really is that good. It looks smart, it feels comfortable to use, battery life is good, and the shave that it delivers is second to none.
Remington Durablade is available now at Gordons Chemists - in your local store, and online: