Best Razor for Women
Our favorite razor of the bunch, the Gillette Venus ComfortGlide, features soap strips both above and below its three blades. These are not ordinary soap strips — they move independently from the blades, which are also on a hinge, giving this product a leg up in the agility department. In our testing, the soap strips were long-lasting and ended up outliving the blades. This razor glides easily over knees while simultaneously lathering you up and tucks neatly into creases without the risk of cuts. The blades begin to dull after 4 to 6 shaves, depending on the thickness of the hair and surface area covered. The comfortable handle is covered in grippy rubber to help mitigate slippage, and the curve fits very nicely in any sized hand. When dropped, the head stays intact, rather than flying across your shower floor, and the handle won't snap in half if you step on it. The ComfortGlide functions very well with or without shaving cream and won't irritate most people with sensitive skin.
The ComfortGlide only comes with 2 cartridges, which could be a good thing if you're not sure you want to commit long-term. The price of this pack reflects the lack of replacement cartridges, so you can simply take the money you saved on this set and put it towards a pack of cartridges, sans handle. Due to the hefty soap strips, it is important to store the ComfortGlide either in a dry place or with the soap side up. If you leave it soap side facing down in a puddle, the strips wither away in the water, leaving the head soapless — not to mention, this is a good way to rust your blades. We wish this set came with a shower hanger to help keep the soap strips fresh and free from moisture when not in use, but overall this is a very versatile choice that performs especially well around curves and in tight corners.
The Solimo 5-Blade by Amazon comes equipped with 5 blades, a moisture strip, and a soap perimeter. This particular set comes with either 2 or 12 cartridges, a hanger, and a handle. The 12 pack is where the deal really becomes a steal. The 5 blades offer a very close shave, and the 12 cartridges make this pack last. Each head provides a close shave 4 to 6 times before beginning to dull. This, of course, depends on the surface area covered as well as the thickness of the hair. The hinged head provides plenty of agility to glide over the knees and under the armpits. The soap and moisture pads surrounding the blades help provide some glide, but this set is best used with soap or shaving cream. The handle is completely covered in rubber, providing optimal grip, even when your hands are slippery. The bulbous base and curvature of the handle also sit nicely in most hands. The head comes with a cover to help keep the blades from dulling and you from cutting yourself.
While the hinge of the head allows the blades to glide over your curves with ease, the surface area around the 5 blades is actually quite large. This hinders the ability to get into tight corners, like the bikini area, without stepping a leg up and stretching out a bit. The other bone we have to pick with the Solimo is that the 5 blades are set very close to each other. The closeness of the blades allows long hair to clog easily, but running a little water through the back of the head should unclog it. Overall this set is the perfect choice for anyone looking to stock up on something a little more versatile without breaking the bank.
The Schick Intuition is unique in that it focuses more on special features than anything else in our test suite. The thick head practically has a small bar of soap on it — just add water, and you're good to go. The soap is very slick and smooth, allowing for the head to glide over any obstacle with ease. Despite the handle's bulk and thickness, it's actually quite ergonomic, and we found it comfortable in hand. You're able to grab it with more than just your fingertips, which offers extra contact and grip. The blades are placed inside the soap, and they hinge separately from it. The soap block itself hinges as well, allowing for a close shave once the soap has withered a little. This set also comes with a case to help protect the soapy border from melting away in your moist shower.
Our major issue with the Intuition is that the soap bar is so robust that it sometimes gets in the way of a close shave. However, this is very short-lived. After a few swipes of the leg, the head is able to sit flush with the surrounding soap, offering an efficient and lathered shave. However, since the soap surrounds the blades, it is difficult to run water behind them to clear out clogged hair. The head is also a little bulky, so tight corners will need to be opened up a bit in order to shave. Just like our other bulky headed options, this is an easy issue to fix by lifting a leg or straightening a knee. That being said, if you are particularly inflexible, you may want to look for something with a smaller head and opt for some shaving cream. While we love the thick handle, it could also use a little more grip. The top of the handle is devoid of rubber, and the plastic gets slippery. Those things aside, the Intuition is a great choice for anyone who wants to forego the shaving cream.
The Gillette Venus Platinum has a sleek metal handle that is built to last. The weight and feel of the handle are unbeatable. The plastic and rubber options all work just fine, but there is something about the metal's added weight and durability that gives it that quality feel. It has just the right amount of rubber to allow for a solid grip in the presence of soapy lubricants without taking away from the sleekness of the metal. The head is round and agile, allowing excellent access to places like the armpits and backs of the knees. The 5 blades and moisture strips allow for a close shave, and the blades last 4 to 6 uses.
In this case, you are really buying the Venus Platinum for its handle. The head that it comes with works just as expected, although it is nothing to write home about. There are no special features like a shower hanger, and the kit only comes with one extra replacement cartridge. However, since the Venus heads are all interchangeable, you could use up the included heads and then switch to something that better suits your needs. The five blades are placed very close together and therefore get clogged easily; however, running a little water from the back to the front unclogs the head quickly. The Platinum is best suited for someone looking for a durable and comfortable handle that will fit many different kinds of cartridges.
The Schick Hydro Silk is a classic round-headed reusable razor equipped with soap strips and a comfortable handle. The hinged round head allows for easy access to all your nooks and crannies, and this set has no problem with sensitive areas and tight corners. The shea butter in the soap strips helps with post-shave irritation, and the blades last about 4 to 6 uses before they begin to dull. The plastic handle has a nice half-pipe for your index finger to sit in, making it easy to hold — as long as you hold it the way it was designed to be held. It is ever so slightly flexible, giving it some added durability, and the shower hanger offers a safe place to store it when not in use.
The Hydro Silk has 5 closely mounted blades, which allows for hair to clog easily. We found that running water through the back unclogs them quickly. The soap strips also get a little gooey and stringy when wet. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though it is a little odd at first. The strips also do not last long if left in moisture, so it is very important to hang the Hydro Silk up on the shower hanger or remove it from the shower when not in use. The Hydro Silk is best used by those with sensitive skin.
Many disposable sets do not bother with a hinged head, but not the Gillette Venus Sensitive! The hinged head allows for you to get into tight corners, so behind the knees, the armpits, and the bikini area are a breeze. Each one of the 6 included razors comes equipped with 3 blades, a moisture strip, and a minimal cartridge case. The blades last 2 to 3 shaves but begin to dull quickly. This particular disposable set is great for those with sensitive skin; however, it is important to lather up with soap or shaving cream to help mitigate irritation and achieve a closer shave.
The Venus Sensitive is only meant to last a few shaves, so it would make sense that the handle and overall make is rather lightweight. Still, we thought the handle felt downright cheap. It is very light and slips out of the hands easily. The blades dull quickly, so the first shave is usually the best. They also do not provide a very efficient shave and require a few swipes to rid each strip of unwanted hair. Overall, it gets the job done in a pinch and is best used by those looking for something that is disposable that won't irritate their skin.
The BIC Soleil Smooth Colors Collection is a set of disposables, each with a moisture strip and 3 blades. The blades are sharp and last 2 to 3 shaves, which is pretty standard for disposables. The wide plastic handle is nicely curved and has just enough rubber on it to get a good grip. The head comes with a small plastic case, which makes this set great for travel and the durable handle is sure to withstand a few good stomps.
Unfortunately, the Soleil Disposable does not come equipped with a hinging head. This makes it a little easier to cut yourself, so be careful. The head is also rectangular rather than rounded, which is less comfortable in tight corners. The closeness and efficiency of the shave are not great when compared to the reusables in our review — the Soleil requires a few swipes to ensure that your leg, armpit, or bikini area are hair-free. That said, this pack is great for anyone looking for a disposable that is durable.
The Gillette Venus Tropical is a fun-colored set available in 3 or 6 pack sets. Each one comes complete with a moisture strip, 3 blades, and a hinging head. The hinged head is a rarity in the land of disposables and definitely gives this one a leg up. This is important as it allows the user to shave over curves as well as in tight corners without the risk of cutting themselves. The moisture strip allows for a little bit of lubricant, however, this set is best used with soap or shaving cream. We love the fun colors, blade cases for travel, and the fun tropical scent.
This set comes with a very light handle. While we definitely appreciate using less plastic for something that is not meant to last, it doesn't feel particularly nice in hand and threatens to slip out when you're all lathered up. If you have sensitive skin, you may experience a little irritation in the absence of soap or shaving cream. The Venus Tropical only lasts a few shaves and seems to dull rather quickly. This set is best used by someone with tougher skin who prefers disposables.
This single-use razor is about as simplistic as it gets. The head has twin blades and no moisture or soap strip. The hollow handle, which is not durable, uses very little plastic to ensure that these disposable items are not contributing quite as much to landfills. These packs come in large quantities for a small amount of money, so you won't be breaking the bank for an item that will ultimately be thrown away.
The handles on the BIC Silky Touch are easy to snap, the razor barely lasts one shave, and there is no moisture or soap strip. In order to rid an area of hair completely, you must swipe that spot multiple times. Most people have no need for a single-use razor, but there is definitely a place for them in this world. These are great for tattoo artists or hospitals where, for sanitary reasons, you need to use a fresh one with every client or patient.
Why You Should Trust Us
The person in charge of this review is Hayley Thomas from Denver, Colorado. As a swimmer growing up, Hayley became familiar with the ins and outs of hair removal to help shave a little time off her 100-meter backstroke. Not only does she prefer for her long swimmer's legs to be smooth as a baby's bottom, but her knack for using the right tool for the job, plus her attention to detail, make her an ideal tester for this category.
It can be difficult to gauge how something like shaving with different razors will feel via online descriptions and product photos. That's where we come in. We began our testing process in the research phase. First, we spent some time reading up on customer experiences in search of an inclusive and broad test suite. Through this research, we learned or confirmed what we already knew about what consumers are looking for. We then narrowed down our broad internet search to a smaller test suite and commenced to put each and every set through the wringer. We stomped on the handles to make sure they didn't snap. We shaved our legs, bikini parts, armpits, and arms to see how our skin reacted. We shaved each appendage with a different contender to see which one lent the closer shave and passed them out to a small group of women to catch a wider consensus. During our hands-on testing, we paid close attention to ergonomics, feel, special features, and longevity.
Analysis and Test Results
In order to ensure consistency through each product review and comparison during our hands-on testing phase, we came up with 4 metrics to focus on. Read on to learn about our findings for each one.
While testing for this metric, we paid special attention to the closeness of our shave, skin irritation, agility, and versatility. Most people aim for smooth skin when they take the time to shave. Not only do we want smooth hairless skin, but we definitely don't want the hair to be replaced with razor burn bumps. We also want to make sure that we are able to shave all our nooks and crannies without unwanted cuts or hair left behind. This is where agility comes into play. There is nothing wrong with having multiple tools for the job but one razor that can shave larger surface areas, like your legs, as well as smaller, more sensitive spots like your bikini area is definitely a plus.
Our top contenders in this category are the Gillette Venus ComfortGlide, Solimo 5-Blade, and Schick Hydro Silk. There are two features that all these razors have in common; generous soap or moisture strips and wide-angle hinges. The soap and moisture strips offer protection for sensitive skin, while the hinged head allows for extreme agility when it comes to shaving all your curves. All three of these options are great for sensitive skin and offer a very close shave.
When testing feel, we paid attention to the shape, grip, and weight of the handle, shape of the head, as well as the overall quality of the kit. Slightly heavier handles ensure that the user is getting a quality product, and a nicely made grip offers both stability and comfort for your hand while shaving. A good handle will comfortably fit in your hand without slipping out, no matter how lathered up you are.
It is a close race, but our winner in this category is the Gillette Venus Platinum. This metal handle is both high quality and functional. The Venus cartridges are interchangeable, so even if you don't love the head that it comes with, you can easily find the perfect combination. The honorable mentions in this category are the Gillette Venus ComfortGlide, Solimo 5-Blade, and Schick Intuition.
An extra blade or two is not the only thing that we are looking for in this department. There are so many other features that make shaving a much more pleasurable experience. Moisture strips help protect against red bumps, while soap strips help lather you up in the absence of shaving cream. Hinged heads offer agility and help avoid cut knees, armpits, or other areas that are prone to razor bites. A cartridge case helps keep the moisture and soap strips safe, as well as your hands free from snags when reaching into your gym bag or toiletry kit. We also paid attention to how many cartridges came with each product, as well as whether or not it was disposable or reusable.
The ComfortGlide, Solimo, and Schick Intuition are clear winners in this category. All three have a generous soap strip, the Schick being the best. The Solimo and Schick both have cartridge cases to protect them from wear. The soap strips on the ComfortGlide actually hinge independently from the blades providing a very thorough lather to the skin while shaving.
While a one-time use item may be appropriate for some circumstances, generally speaking, long-lasting is better. We dropped each razor in the shower to test whether or not their tops popped off. We stomped on their handles to ensure that they wouldn't snap in half. We also tested the blades themselves on different parts of the body and different hair thicknesses to learn more about how long each cartridge lasts. While testing out this metric, we also paid attention to hair clogging.
The ComfortGlide and the Schick Intuition both have larger soap strips. While the Schick's soap strip is larger than the ComfortGlide, they both last as long or longer than the blades, ensuring that you will not run out of soap before the blades dull. The Solimo and Gillette Venus Platinum each has 5 blades, which easily last 4 to 6 shaves before beginning to dull, depending on hair thickness and surface area covered. The metal Venus Platinum has a handle that is built to last and will fit any Venus head.
Whether you're looking for one-time use razors for your tattoo shop, something for your sensitive bikini area, or a companion that will last you through the seasons, we've tested them all. Our experts spent many mornings lathering up and shaving down their body hair. From disposables to reusables and soap strips to moisture strips, we made sure to put every single product to the test so that you don't have to. We hope that our time spent with these products help you make the right purchasing choice.
— Hayley Thomas
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