Saturday, December 10, 2022

Harry’s vs Dollar Shave Club – Review & Comparison

It seems like everyone is getting anything and everything online these days, it’s like the dot com bubble all over again. Let’s add razors to the list. Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s are two shops that deliver a nice fresh razor directly to your door upon command (with a 3-5 day wait), or monthly to keep you freshly supplied. But both of these companies have slightly different razors and a slightly different package. Read on to find out more about what you’ll get with each, and some advice on which one to pick.

Harry’s vs Dollar Shave Club – 2018 Comparison

Dollar Shave Club

The basic low-down on Dollar Shave Club's razors. I'm now an Executive man, myself
The basic low-down on Dollar Shave Club’s razors. I’m now an Executive man, myself

Dollar Shave Club was one of the first “direct to your door” offers, and seem to have perfected the art of keeping men (and women!) freshly shaved and groomed. Dollar Shave Club operates under a loose “club” moniker, creating a nice little tight-knit community. One of their hallmarks is that with every monthly package you receive from Dollar Shave Club you also receive “Bathroom Minutes,” which is a neat little publication which includes some “did you know” articles and some information about bathrooms, cleanliness, and grooming technology.

Dollar Shave Club arrives in a neat little pre-organized box, and will typically contain just razors for your average user. Dollar Shave Club offers three razors: The Humble Twin, which is a simple two-blade razor, the 4X, which has four blades, and the Executive, which has 6 blades. The increase of build quality goes up as you increase your blade tier, all the way to the Executive. I have shaved with both the 4X and Executive; and can confirm they are great razors, but require a gentle hand as both razors do not have a lot of shear/twist to give. The blades will tilt up and down to glide with your face, but there is no swivel-head; for some shavers, this may be a problem. The very first experience I had with the 4x was a bit rough, but with a gentle hand and going slow these razors are plenty sharp to last several shaves before running the risk of nicking yourself. Both blades have steel guards and a lubricating strip.

The great thing about Dollar Shave Club is a members can decide to upgrade or downgrade at will, and will receive a free handle to complement their new blades.

dsc1Dollar Shave Club also offers a few additional products. These products include a line of shaving cream, butter, and lather, as well as a repair serum for any nicks you may suffer. Dollar Shave Club also offers moisturizers, selling hand cream, face moisturizer and lip balm. There is also a hair gel, cream and paste available, as well as “One Wipe Charlies” which are wet wipes infused with aloe vera and chamomile, making for an incredibly pleasant and fresh feeling after use. These products are a bit more expensive than the razor counterparts, but are typically enough to last a month with some rationing. Should a Dollar Shave Club member wish to include any of these grooming products, they will be shipped with the members’ monthly delivery.

Harry’s

All four available colors for the Truman razor.
All four available colors for the Truman razor

Harry’s is a little more philanthropic than Dollar Shave Club; Harry’s offers to donate 1% of their sales and 1% of their time to help people prepare for personal and professional success. Every so often, Harry’s will choose a partner and dedicate themselves towards offering these partners financial aid and time to helping their goal come to life. Harry’s has also hosted projects like a hackathon, and is building an application as well with their current partner.

Harry’s works a little bit differently than Dollar Shave Club. For the first time user, Harry’s will offer a starter kit set, which will include a razor handle, a bottle of shave gel, and two razors. The only razor I have experience with is the Truman, which works essentially the same as the Dollar Shave Club razors – these were nice, smooth shaves, and the included gel is great as it can save the user an additional run to the store, and actually includes quite a generous amount of gel. The Winston razor is the next increment and is a little more expensive than the Truman, but I believe that both handles accept the same blades; I believe the Winston handle is just chrome and more glamorous looking than the Truman. The Truman handle is available in four colors; orange, blue, white and green. The blades work quite well, and include a lubricating strip, but unfortunately do not have quite as nice a steel guard as the Dollar Shave Club razors.

After a member has received their first Harry’s kit, they can then order blades and shaving gel as needed; blades are $2 each (with a minimum of 8 blades purchased), or a user can sign up for a Shave Plan. A shave plan is a customizable option, which asks a user how many times per week they shave. Based on the information the user provides, Harry’s will ship you a box of supplies appropriately; I shave less than once a week, so my box would ship out once every five months and contain 2 shave gels and 8 razors. The most that the user would receive is the same amount of shave gel and blades, but every 2 months. A user can cancel or modify their plan at any time.

So which is better, Harry’s or the Dollar Shave Club?

HARRYS 1Both razors perform quite well, despite having a bit of a learning curve (I found that there were a few less nicks in the first week of using the Harry’s razors) and serve to change the game for shopping for razors, which is the main thing that should be kept in mind. I’ve been a member of Dollar Shave club for just over two years now, and I can’t imagine how much I’ve saved by getting 96 razors for $144. Gillette razors are around $12 for 4 razors, and you get a bonus couple razors with the purchase of a handle and maybe a bonus razor or two with the purchase of a pack? That’s not really a good deal. Sure, Gillette razors are much more novice-friendly because they’re objectively a lot nicer; they have a much higher quality build and typically the handles will have a swivel action and maybe a nicer lubricated strip. But people used to shave with essentially sharpened knives; once you get a steady hand for it and grow older, you really don’t need fancy razors that can swivel with your face. Shaving is something a man (and woman?) should take pride in, as you’re maintaining your appearance and it just feels good. Shaving feels manly. You don’t need incredibly fancy tools to get the job done.

But also keep in mind that Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club are both in their infancy; they already changed the game once by delivering razors right to your door, so they have the brains to change the game. Just wait and see what could happen next.

By the way, the Gillette Shave Club didn’t seem like all that much better of a deal – a member would pay “about $3.50 per cartridge” with 5 cartridges per shipment and each one lasting a month.

I found that Dollar Shave Club is a little more friendly month to month, as well as having to find myself pausing a membership for a month during the time I was growing facial hair. I also built up a backlog of little razors which I was able to share with my roommate (who also jumped to Dollar Shave Club) and girlfriend. However, Harry’s has the advantage of sending shaving cream included in the bill (for a low price, and you get a lot). It depends on what you, the potential member, would like. If you like to plan ahead and keep things tidy on a schedule, Harry’s might be the better choice. You can expect a razor to last you just under a week before things get a little rough, if you shave every day; add a week for every day and a half you don’t shave. The shaving gel lasts however long you make of it; you don’t need a lot to lather up your face, anyways. However, if you don’t plan things out and decide to grow facial hair or change styles at a whim, then Dollar Shave club may be the better choice. Dollar Shave Club also has the advantage of offering more razors, so if budget is more of a concern, Dollar Shave Club may be the better choice.

Steven Kahn
King of the Bears, Shark Tank enthusiast, failed network engineer, sour cream enthusiast, Nanchaku instructor, Techman, Mega Man X fan, vaporizing know-how
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