King of Shaves razor review

A reader found the new (to NZ) Kong of Shaves Razor was being sold in Pack’n’Save Albany, so I went over to get one as I haven’t seen them anywhere else (so far).

It was a bit bizarre. Pack’n’Save had only one KOS product on offer, the razor. There were no other shaving products from the range anywhere to be seen. The shelves were full of shaving cream from other suppliers, but there were no KOS oils of gels, or any of the pre/post shave face care products. There didn’t seem to be any space for anything else, so either the competitions merchandisers have done a bloody good job of squeezing KOS out of the shelves, or Pack’n’Save in it’s wisdom has decided not to bother with the other products – which is a shame because they leave the competition for dead! From KOS’s point of view it’s a massive missed opportunity, here’s the first new blade on the market for years, and the range of products to go with it is nowhere to been seen.

Anyway, back to the razor, or should that be ‘azor’.index_azor1

It’s a very different looking razor that what else is on the market, a simple smooth design and very very light (it actually floats). It’s worth reading the instructions, yeah I know, who does that? but it’s worth it because there are some important point about how to use this blade, – as it is different from other blades it’s important you do this unless you want to cut yourself up on the first attempt.

I have not idea what a “hybrid synergy system razor” or a “reflex living hinge” is (I’m pretty sure the razor was very very dead, and no part of it’s alive, but if it’s disappeared when I get home tonight I’ll eat my words), and I’m afraid you won’t find anything here to enlighten you about what is some pretty overworked marketing jargon, but on the other hand it’s no worse than some of the other claims made by razor manufacturers so it could just be a piss take.

So how does it shave? very bloody close, and in one motion too. I went with the grain of the stubble and I did not need to go back over that spot again.

In the past I’ve switched blades and felt like I had taken to my face with a cheese grater afterwards, this usually improved after my face got used to it, but hardly an experience that you want to put yourself through.

The instructions suggested a light touch (helped by the lightness of the handle) and this worked well and it did in fact cut the shaving time, if only by a few seconds. The head was flexible and because of the way the flexible system works it flexes in any direction (maybe where the ‘living’ bit comes from) unlike Gillette and Schick whose blades have ‘mechanical’ hinges and thus only give in the direction the hinge allows. It will be interesting to see if this blade influences the competitors designs.

The only draw back (a common one with 99% of blades) is that the width of the blade cassette won’t allow you to do that bit under your nose very well.

It wasn’t too expensive and the blade weren’t outrageously priced either, and hopefully they will last a bit longer.

For anyone that still is holding out on trying KOS products, this is well worth trying out, I highly recommend it, and if your retailers stocks the shaving gels or oils, definitely try these out as well, and if they don’t, hassle them until they do!

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  1. The Jargon is pretty much the only way to say things nowadays, purely because various companies have copywriten general terms. This means new companies have to come up with new ways to explain (and protect) their products… It is a mad world.

    That being said, the Azor is a very close shave, and the blades stay sharp for ages… Maybe that would be Reduced Folical Peak Technology and Edge Longevity Enhancement? Either way, it’s a bloody good product!

  2. Hey Guys Dave McLeod here, from CPL the company that brings in the KoS range of products – thanks for the great reviews.
    To respond to a couple of the points raised, throughout the time that we have been in NZ (just over a decade) we have had to fight, beg, steal and borrow shelf space with the retailers. I would assume that all challenger brands must do this over most; if not all categories – but it doesn’t help when some of our corporate competitors assist in the allocation of shelf space. That being said we have had good support from one of the main grocery retailers and now with the addition of the Azor the other big player is taking notice. So I think you will see – over time – more and more retailers extending their range of KoS shaving software as more consumers demand the KING of all shaves. (Cas in point Sylvia park PnS has just added our gels to the shelf)

    What does help us heaps is guys like you spreading the word – KoS is a discovery brand and we have a tremendously loyal following so once again, thanks for your support.
    Great Jargon rb73 will pass it on to the King himself!

      • tracy duncan
      • April 30th, 2009

      Hi Dave,

      you are doing so well and I know plenty of people who use KOS products and love them…..
      any negativity you get is from the green eyed monstors….

      you go guy…..!

      Tracy

  3. Hi Dave,

    Sometimes supermarkets don’t know what’s good for them!

    I hope Foodstuffs will give you guys some more support. Some of the shaving products on the shelves look like they came out during the 50’s. How some manky old shaving foam and soap sticks be hogging a full three to four SKU’s is beyond me. I bet KOS products would outsell at least 6 of the current SKU’s most supermarkets have on their shelves – if only the buyers would try the products they sell!

    Good luck!

    Comsumist

    • Jan
    • November 29th, 2008

    New World at Eastridge, Auckland seems to have a full range of all the KoS products; razors, blades, shaving gels and after-shave.

    I have bought a razor so will give it a go. Nice looking design, nice and cheap to make I expect, and nothing wrong with that. At least the design does not look as over-engineered as the Gillette Fusion.

    Why is it that simple consumer products start off looking pleasant and functional and then start to morph into something that looks like an early 1960s American GM car, all fins and rocket exhausts?

  4. hi there, thanks for all the comments – the Azor is the third most popular razor handle in the UK now, last month it outsold all others excluding Gillette’s Mach3 and Fusion (a few hundred million dollars are keeping them ahead – for the moment! King of Shaves also won the prestigious CBI (Confederation of British Industry) Growing Business ‘Best Company’ award on Thursday, sponsored by Real Business Magazine. See coverage here: http://www.cbi.org.uk/ndbs/press.nsf/0363c1f07c6ca12a8025671c00381cc7/697216e01b257bcf8025750c0057ec79?OpenDocument Keep spreading the word!

    • peter
    • July 31st, 2009

    tried the Razor using Gillette Gel. cut to ribbons! then tried KOS Gel , brilliant but not with KOS shaver, used Wilkinson 4 blade after the KOS, a perfect shave, that Gel is 100%. I shave into the beard flow,

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