Have you ever searched online for a product review only to find a website full of stock photos and generic information you could’ve easily found on the manufacturer’s website?
The internet is filled with these websites, and some are quite popular. Unfortunately, the people behind those “reviews” never touch, let alone test, the products they recommend. If a review doesn’t show photo or video evidence of the author testing the products, they most likely didn’t.
Here at Prudent Reviews, we strive to be the opposite of those sites. We don’t expect you to blindly trust our recommendations. We earn your trust by thoroughly testing each product and presenting proof of the results.
We don’t hold anything back. In each review, you’ll find all the evidence and insights used to make our recommendations. And you can use that evidence to decide for yourself if the product is worth buying.
As you browse through our reviews, you’ll see thousands of up-close product photos and in-depth videos that you can’t find anywhere else (because we took them). You’ll also get details about each product that aren’t publicly available, such as the thickness of a skillet or the height of a Dutch oven lid knob.
We examine each product under bright lights and use tools like micrometers, digital scales, and infrared thermometers to gather data.
It’s critical to examine each product ourselves because the specs listed on retail sites are often inaccurate. And the details matter when investing hundreds or thousands dollars into new gear for your home.
The first and most important part of our testing process is using the products in real-world settings.
For example, we cook eggs, bacon, steak, chicken, vegetables, and pancakes in every pan we review. We test all common cooking techniques, including frying, searing, browning, sautéing, boiling, roasting, broiling, and baking.
When reviewing knives, we cut carrots, slice tomatoes, and break down whole chickens and butternut squashes. We use each blade to slice, dice, mince, and chop for extended periods to measure comfort and balance as fatigue sets in.
We wash and store each product just as you would in your home. We don’t take extra care because we know most people won’t. The goal is to see how the product performs in the real world.
We test cleaning solutions and detergents by scrubbing dirty bathtubs, tile floors, windows, carpets, and sweaters. We clean a range of messes to assess each solution’s strengths and weaknesses.
Although we can’t replicate every scenario you’ll encounter over the product’s lifespan, we take our time and try to be as exhaustive as possible. Most reviews take at least four weeks; some take months and others take years.
After testing, we record the data and insights in a database and hold onto the product for at least a year to use as a benchmark for future competing products. We also set up notifications, so we know if the brand makes any changes to its products or releases new versions.
Besides using each product in real-world settings, we also conduct controlled experiments. For example, each skillet we review goes through our heat conduction test. We boil two cups of water to measure how fast and evenly it heats.
Once the water begins boiling, we remove the skillet from the heat and measure the water temperature after five and ten minutes to understand how well it retains heat.
We assess the moisture retention properties of Dutch ovens by simmering 32 ounces of water with the lid on for 45 minutes and measuring the amount of water remaining.
When testing stain removers, we dirty swatches of fabric with grass, coffee, red wine, ketchup, and ink to see how well each product works against common stains.
These tests are helpful when comparing two highly similar products. You can cook a steak in any pan, but a pan that retains heat 5% better than the competition can be the difference between a good and a great sear.
The differences we discover with controlled, head-to-head testing may seem minor. But when you’re using a product every day for years, those differences have a major impact.
It’s not feasible or even helpful to test every product.
For example, large appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers need to be used hundreds of times for years to truly understand their reliability and performance. And painting a room with five different paint brands isn’t practical — plus, all paint looks good for the first few years.
In these scenarios, we turn to experts. Here are a few examples:
- We interviewed seven appliance repair professionals to determine our picks for our guide to the most and least reliable refrigerator brands.
- We spoke to over a dozen professional painters while producing our comparison of Benjamin Moore vs. Sherwin-Williams.
- We connected with four interior design experts and stone fabricators to form our opinion about soapstone and quartz countertops.
Look for the “What Experts Say” section within many reviews to find these expert insights.
How We Pick Products to Review
When Prudent Reviews launched in 2018, we reviewed the products we knew best. As an avid home cook, that meant the majority of reviews were of cookware and kitchen knives. But since then, we’ve expanded well beyond the kitchen into other areas of the home.
Today, most of the products we test and review come from readers like you. We get dozens of emails and comments on our YouTube videos daily asking for our opinions and advice on particular brands. We use those requests along with anonymous search data on PrudentReviews.com to develop our backlog of reviews.
If there’s a brand or product you want to know more about, go to our contact page and send us a message.
On rare occasions, brands will reach out, offer to send us samples to test, and request a review. In most cases, we decline. However, when we accept free products, we do so with the clear understanding that if we don’t like the product, we’ll let our readers know. Every product gets treated the same, whether we bought it or a brand sent it for free.
Reach out if you have questions or feedback about Prudent Reviews’ approach to testing and reviewing products. We’d love to connect.
Check out our About Page to learn more about the team, our mission, and how it started.
Founder & Editor