Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Review: Remington WDF-3600 Smooth & Silky Electric Shaver

I purchased this shaver a couple months ago. Don't get me wrong, I *adore* my Venus Breeze. But times are tough and the cost of the refill blades for the Breeze took a rather hefty jump from a (somewhat) justifiable $11 for 4 blades to $15 for just 3 blades. (The packs with more blades also went up in price significantly. I only ever bought the 4 packs because they were cheapest and all I could afford.) So when I needed new blades and was standing there in the aisle looking at the newer "pay more get less" boxes of refills for my beloved Breeze, I decided that perhaps an electric shaver was the way to go.

This is a fairly lengthy review, if you're not up to reading it all just scroll to the bottom for an over-view of the pros and cons of this product. 

The only one they had at the store was the Remington WDF-3600 Smooth & Silky shaver. Remington is a brand I trust so I figured why the heck not. The initial cost was about $40. However, as compared to the above mentioned constant cost of refills for the Venus Breeze this really is a much more affordable option. I do my best to shave daily or at least every other day unless there is something major keeping me from it - so as you can imagine this means I go through those razor blade refills pretty fast. I'd need to buy refill packs a couple times a month. With the Smooth & Silky the refill foils cost roughly $20 (depending on where you get them, many places it's under $20) and they only need replacing once or twice a year. So sure, initial cost was a pretty hefty chunk of money for someone on a tight budget. But long term, this means I'll be saving a LOT of money!

I've been using this shaver for a couple months now and I have to say I really love it. What I love most is that it's totally nick free to use this thing. I'm a klutz, ask anyone who knows me if I am a clumsy person and I'm sure they'll start chuckling before they answer you, because numerous images of my many clumsy moments will be flashing in their mind. So I LOVE that I can't cut myself with this shaver!

It's rechargeable, so you don't have to fuss with batteries all the time. It charges quickly and it holds a charge very well. It has a safety feature on it where if it is plugged in to charge, it will not turn on. This is to prevent anyone from trying to use it "wet" while it's plugged in... may seem like a common sense thing but kudos to Remington for protecting themselves and their consumers by implementing this safety feature.

This is a wet/dry shaver, and it is fully submersible so you have the option of using it in the tub or shower for a "wet" shave or you can use it "dry". I've used it both ways to try it out and I prefer to just use it dry. I love having this option because it means I can shave while I'm watching tv, or before hopping into bed at night. If you choose to use this shaver for a "wet" shave, do use a "lathering" shaving cream with it. (I used soap - doesn't really matter as long as it's just a LIGHT lather on your skin to help the shaver glide over your skin smoothly.) I also like that using it dry I can shave my legs in just a fraction of the time it takes me when using a razor blade. Yay for speedy shaving!

This shaver is easy to clean, and I like the way it's shaped. It's very comfortable to hold and it fits the contours of the body pretty well.

You will get the best results from this shaver by using it EVERY day. At least, that's what gives me the best results. You might be able to get away with every other/third day. Remington recommends using the shaver daily for a period of 3 weeks and then after that you may be able to shave less frequently depending on your individual hair growth cycle. This is supposed to be the case for all electric shavers based on my research, and it is supposedly because your skin needs to adjust to the shaver. I am not sure about the skin adjusting to it part, but perhaps it's more of a "until you get used to using it and get the hang of it" thing... *shrug* 

But anyway, over the couple months I've been using this I have gone 3+ weeks of daily use and found that while the very first shave yielded less than desirable results (aka missed spots and stubble like mad) with continued daily use after just a couple days my legs were nice and smooth and comparable to the smoothness you get from non-electric razors. I didn't expect to get such results from an electric shaver - there are many folks out there who do not believe an electric shaver can ever give you a shave anywhere near as smooth as a good old razor blade. But in my experience with the Smooth & Silky, I have gotten an equally smooth shave... I just have to keep up with it daily to maintain that smooth shave... same as with razor blades! I also found that it helps to apply lotion after shaving.

Over the past few weeks of using this shaver I've also had some missed days and one period of not feeling well paired up with having a LOT to take care of and I didn't use it for a week or so. If I miss just one day when I get back to it regularly it's not too bad. But miss that week? It's like starting all over again. The initial shave you will have to go over areas multiple times and you'll still probably have missed spots and stubble. But if you can get past that and be diligent about using the shaver daily (again, depending on your hair growth cycle you may not need to shave daily) you will find that with a little time and patience you can get a very smooth shave. 

I do still need my Venus Breeze refill packs though, as the Smooth & Silky can't be used on under arms or the bikini area. It does have a cover and it says that you can use it to trim those areas with the cover on but NOT to use it on those areas without the cover. Being me, I decided to try it out on my underarms sans cover anyway... won't be doing that again lol. It did sting and irritated my skin. So I still use my trusted Venus Breeze for under arms and the bikini area, but the blades last me a lot longer than they used to since I'm only shaving smaller areas with them now, so I don't need to buy them as often.

Overall I do really like this shaver a lot and for me it was well worth the investment to get it. It's saving me a lot of money, it also saves me time, and I still get the nice smooth shave that I love when I shave daily. (And again, I personally shave daily anyway even when I was using razors instead of this, so this is not a change of pace for me.) I would recommend this to those who are willing to be diligent in using it and who are looking to save money over constantly buying refill razors for the non-electric options out there. I think this would also be an ideal option for younger girls who are just beginning to shave so that there are no worries about them cutting themselves. If you're the type that doesn't mind stubble and you don't need a totally smooth shave then this could be a viable option for you. However if you love a close, smooth shave but you know you won't use this daily, I would suggest you pass on electric shavers in general as you probably will not get the results you are looking for.

Pros: Rechargeable; can be used wet or dry; no more nicks; fast and easy to use; comparable results to non-electric shaving when used daily

Cons: If you don't like shaving daily this isn't for you; can only be used on the legs, you'll still need something else for under arms and bikini area; it's loud

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