A Tale of 3 Razors Part 1: Dollar Shave Club

You’ve probably heard this pitch before: “You’re spending way to much on razor blades.” It’s probably true: Target carries my current razor blades, the Gillette Mach 3, at a price no better than $3 a cartridge. Costco carries bulk packs that bring that figure closer to $2 a cartridge.  No doubt, Gillette (and competitor Schick, for that matter) are making money hand over fist with their blades. Can we get a better deal? That’s what I set out to find out in this three part series. First up, the ever popular Dollar Shave Club.

Dollar Shave Club, Razors
The Lover’s Blade is a 4-blade razor available at $6/month.
The handle is included with your first order.
Image courtesy of Nu and Nug

Dollar Shave Club is well know for their viral video. Their website hones itself to stress saving money as a major reason to buy their razor delivery services, which range from $3-$9 a month, subscription only, cancel anytime. On paper, they sound pretty great: They offer 3 options ranging from $3/month for 5 two-blade razors, $6/month for 4 four-blade razors, or $9 for 4 six-blade razors. Subscriptions ship out either once a month, or every other month. They give away the razor to sell you the subscription, so your first order is going to be the monthly cost of whatever plan you select. They also carry shaving butter, face moisturizer/aftershave, and bathroom wipes for your ass. (not kidding!)

But price and appearance are not what makes a great shave. Important factors to shaving include ease of shave, closeness, comfort, and longevity of the blades. Here, I examined all these factors.

Shaving Comfort and closeness was assessed using fresh blades and Dr. Carver’s Shave Butter from DSC on one day’s growth of stubble, immediately after a shower. The shave butter is a milky white cream with a texture consistent with hair conditioner. It shares a similar composition with conditioners, one major ingredient being Cetaryl alcohol. (This fatty-alcohol is responsible for giving a rich, fatty feel to the product, as well as keeping it from separating.) After applying and marinating my face for about 15 seconds, I began shaving. Nick free and smoothly shaven, I give this first shave an A+. To quote their video, these blades are fucking great! To finish the shave, I used Dr. Carver’s Magnanimous Post-Shave, which shares many traits with the shaving butter. Interestingly, the lotion made my lips tingle around the edges at first, likely because they started out chapped. All in all, I like the shaving system: but when it comes to the extras of the shave butter and aftershave, you may be paying for convenience. The shave butter comes in as mid-tier in my experience: Much better than that $3/can foam, but less luxurious than L’occitan’s shave gel. At $8 for 8 ounces, I’d continue to buy it only if I am getting the razors with it: Which is the only way it comes.

As for longevity: I repeated the same shaving technique every 24-48 hours. The next three shaves came in slightly less impressive: I noted minor nicks only after shaving, each with a drop of blood smaller than a pimple for the next three shaves. On the fifth shave, I managed not to nick myself, but did feel a very mild sense of razor burn. This is about where Dollar Shave Club recommends changing blades: after one week of use. I estimate that this razor works great for the first 5-7 shaves, but after that razor burn will increase with each shave.

In Closing, Dollar Shave Club offers a fair price for a good service. I’ll be directly comparing Dollar Shave Club to two other shaving options in the coming weeks: Harry’s, and of course, Gillette. If you have more razor options you want me to review, comment below or shoot me a message.

As always, thanks for reading!

One thought on “A Tale of 3 Razors Part 1: Dollar Shave Club”

  1. Someone pointed out to me a while ago that all Dollar Shave Club does is repackage and auto-ship generic razor cartridges from Korea. Which you can just buy directly, for 30% to 70% of the DSC price. (Yes, the exactly-identical cartridges and handle.) Just google “dollar shave club Dorco”. I bought $25 worth of razors directly from them last year and am happily trucking through them without another middleman or subscription to worry about.

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