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Do expensive razors guarantee smoother shave?

August 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
When the weather is hot and clothes get skimpier, having a razor that does a good job shaving legs is important for women. But go to any store, and you'll see so many choices - some with four, five, even six blades.

Does buying a more expensive razor guarantee a close, smooth shave? To find out, Consumer Reports' ShopSmart recruited 18 women to test five razors.

There were two from Schick, as well as two Gillette Venus razors, plus a store-brand razor from CVS. They cost $5 to $13 - not all that much. But it's important to factor in the cost of the replacement heads.

"The replacement shaving heads for the Gillette Venus Embrace cost $3.25 each, at least," said Lisa Lee Freeman with Consumer Reports' ShopSmart. "The store-brand replacement shaving heads cost only 83 cents each."

To ensure a clean shave with no nicks, a blade should be changed frequently, so this cost can really add up. To test, the panelists used each razor twice, replacing the shaving head between uses.

"I like the razor with the heavier handle," said panelist Melissa Valentino. "I felt I didn't need to apply as much pressure to get a close, smooth shave."

"I like the razors that were lighter in weight, more than the heavier ones," said panelist Elizabeth Duque.

Freeman said it's all about personal preference and that no one razor stood out.

"Our advice is do your own test at home and start with the cheapest razor first," said Freeman.


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