MADISON (WKOW) -- By some estimates, Americans spend an average of $100 a year buying new razor blades.
The cost of new blades adds up, and the new, sharp feeling doesn't last long.
You might have seen ads on cable television for "Save a Blade." It's a $19.95 razor sharpener that says it'll give you a brand-new blade feeling for up to 200 uses.
27 News consumer reporter Dan Cassuto wanted to know, DOES IT WORK?
We recruited two volunteers, plus Dan, who each tested the product. The two men shaved half their face with a dull blade, sharpened the blade using Save a Blade, and then shaved the remaining half with the "sharpened" blade. The woman did the same process on her legs.
All of us thought the blade felt sharper.
"It was pretty smooth. It almost felt like a new blade," said David Witkowki.
"It worked for the most part," said Megan Grabowski. "It felt like using a new razor."
The Save a Blade ads also showed an official-looking lab test. Not to be outdone, 27 News brought the product to the electron microscopy labs at MATC in Madison.
With the help of faculty member Michael Kostrna, we examined new, used, and "sharpened" blades under the power of a 3,000x microscope.
We found all the blade edges looked fairly similar.
"It was surprising we didn't see any difference between the blades," said Kostrna. Even though he is not certain why, he speculated it might be because Save a Blade's rubber rotating sharpener is actually just removing crud, dead skin, and soap scum from the blades.
Perhaps cleanliness is the reason new blades feel better. Under the powerful microscopes, our expert couldn't tell any difference in sharpness.
27 News consumer reporter Dan Cassuto thought Save a Blade worked. The ad says it can work up to 200 uses. Since we only tested it about six times, we give the product 4.5 stars out of 5. We'll let you know in the spring if it lasts 200 times.
Send comments to Dan Cassuto at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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