Three blades? Four? Five? How many blades do you really need, and is it all about marketing? What about those battery-powered razors? This ConsumerSearch report answers those questions.

In general, reviewers say the following about shopping for a cartridge razor:

  • Don't get too hung up on the number of blades. Although most reviewers agree that four- and five-blade razors provide a closer shave than two- and three-blade razors, the extra efficiency doesn't offset their increased price.
  • Consider the cost of replacement cartridges. The Gillette Mach3, Gillette Fusion and Schick Quattro razor are all roughly comparable in price for the razor itself. Replacements are another story, ranging from less than $2 to more than $3 apiece.
  • Treat your blades well. Some consumers claim they can increase the shelf life of their replacement cartridges by keeping them dry. Treating your blades well will extend the life of your cartridges and lower your costs.

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