In this report
June 2011 Ratings

Women's razors: Blade inflation

Last reviewed: June 2011
June 2011 issue cover This article appeared in
June 2011 Consumer Reports Magazine.
Latest on Hair removal

Razor makers have been locked in an arms race—or legs race—in recent years, equipping reusable women's razors with ever more blades to compete for the 55 percent of women who shave with blade razors.

Gillette's original Venus razor, for example, promises that three blades surrounded by "soft, protective" cushions provide "a close shave and silky smooth skin" in just one stroke. Not to be outdone, Schick's Quattro claims that four "ultra-thin" blades and two conditioning strips provide "long-lasting smoothness so you can skip a day or two." Gillette's Venus Embrace touts five "curve-hugging" blades surrounded by a "ribbon of moisture," which according to the manufacturer, "gets virtually every hair for dramatically smooth skin." We even found a CVS store brand that offers "6 blades for superior comfort and close shave."

We gave those four razors, along with Schick's Intuition Plus Sensitive Care—claimed to be the only razor that lathers and moisturizes while you shave—to 18 women and found little consensus. For example, 11 women said they'd like to own the Gillette Venus Embrace; five said they would not (the rest were neutral). Eight women were pro Schick Quattro compared with seven against. As for the Schick Intuition Plus, which was recently replaced by Schick Intuition Naturals, six women said it was their favorite razor; four said they liked it the least.

Bottom line

The number of blades didn't seem to make a difference to the women in our tests, so ignore the marketing hype and buy the cheapest razor that makes you happy.