Review: The Dollar Shave Club

So why am I reviewing a razor on a site catered to tech reviews? Because, like many techies, I watched this promo ad for the Dollar Shave Club. It was everything a good commercial should be: it was clever, it was funny, and it promised to save me money. In short, it was a great ad that stuck with me.

I’ve been using Gillette razors for most of my adult life (settling on the Mach3 model for the past three years). The Mach3 is a solid razor, to be sure, but I couldn’t help but feel like I was being fleeced at the counter every time I had to purchase replacement cartridges. (As of this writing, it’s $20US for eight measly Gillette Mach3 cartridges.)

Fast forward to two weeks ago. I was in the market for new razor blades. I was at a shaving crossroads – do I take the red pill and stick with my expensive Gillette? Or do I swallow the blue pill and try something new?

If you’ve read this blog long enough, I think you know the answer…

With credit card in hand, I enrolled in the Dollar Shave Club. Signing up was very easy: just pick the razor that best fits your budget. I chose the the “4X” option ($6 per month for 4 blades) because it resembled my Mach3. My Dollar Shave Club welcome package arrived within a few days. Inside the small, environmentally friendly mailer were the following goodies:

  • a razor handle (more on that in a bit)
  • a sample packet of Shave Butter
  • 4 razor blades
  • a membership card
  • a leave behind

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Blade Runner

The blade handle has a nice, sturdy feel with a solid grip. They could have skimped here, and I’m glad they didn’t. The handle also has a flexible 90-degree pivot head, to follow the contours of the skin as you shave (and minimize knicks).

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Insert Cartridge

The cartridges themselves come with a lubricating strip and 4 stainless steel blades. The back of the unit is open, to allow for quick rinsing and cleanup. Installing the new razor blade cartridges was straight-forward and simple.

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To properly field test the unit, I grew some facial hair (not included).

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The included Shave Butter trial pack is awesome. It lathers on your face, without the foam. Shaving was smooth and clean. I’ll let the results speak for themselves.

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Are Shavings Worth It?

Absolutely. Dollar Shave Club delivers as advertised. I’m averaging $1.50 per cart with the Dollar Shave Club, versus $2.50 from a similarly branded Gillette Mach3. Billing occurs once a month, and the prices listed include shipping. You can cancel at any time, so there’s no pressure of commitment. You can also upgrade or downgrade your plan whenever you want to. This is the best thing to happen to my face (and wallet). Update: You can now opt to have the replacement razors mailed every other month in case you don’t shave so frequently. This is the option I went with.

Dollar Shave Club gets a solid thumbs up and earns the coveted 5 Bob Weiner rating. Shave with confidence, boys. If you found this review useful, please use my referrer link.


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About the author

Krishna Sadasivam creates custom comics and illustrations for organizations, magazines and companies. A champion of comics advocacy, Krishna speaks, blogs, and writes articles on illustration and sequential arts techniques and the importance of the comics medium in both education and brand awareness. His clients have included Microsoft, Mashable, Other World Computing and EE Times. His work has been featured on many notable websites, including TechCrunch, Gizmodo and CNET. His portfolio can be found at krishnadraws.com.

These beautiful and intelligent people wrote

  • Adam YoungReply
    May 11, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    This looks quite good. Though I don’t think they have it where I’m from.

    As a gadget man I use an electric razor rather than a safety razor. I don’t think I actually save money in the long run, but razor blades, like printer cartridges, are far too expensive.

  • Byron PattersonReply
    May 15, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Old school double edge razors and wetshaving is where it is at. Depending on what blades you settle on you can pay less then $10 for 100 blades.

    • Krishna M. SadasivamReply
      May 15, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      I haven’t tried the double edge razors – I’m always afraid I’ll cut myself in the worst way…

      • Kevin RubinReply
        May 19, 2013 at 7:26 pm

        I switched to those maybe two years ago… The double edged safety blades in a decent handle don’t cut any more than than other regular shaving gear. I get about two shaves out of each blade, so that’s about 200 shaves for $10, plus a $25 handle thingy…

  • CoyotyReply
    May 16, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    The best razors for me so far have been Bic Hybrid 3. They’ve cost me less than a dollar a cartridge, give a smooth shave, and they don’t cut me like other brands have.

  • John C.Reply
    June 25, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    thanks for the advise i’ll go ahead and sign up, againg I want to offer my thanks to your effort on this topic and a awesome full review

  • David SteinleReply
    November 13, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    If you go for the Dollar Shaving Club you are totally gullible. I shaved with a cartridge for so long, and now that I’ve been shaving with a good old fashioned double edge for two weeks, I wonder why I stuck with the cartridge for so long.
    They say you get what you pay for, and if you pay for crap, you get crap. That’s what you’ll get from Dollar Shave Club: CRAP.

    • Krishna M. SadasivamReply
      November 13, 2013 at 8:45 pm

      I haven’t tried a double edge, David. What do you like most about it? Do you get razor cuts / nicks?

      • David SteinleReply
        November 13, 2013 at 8:56 pm

        I like the close and comfortable shave I get with a DE. Also, the investment is more up front for a sturdy handle, but you will never have to pay for a handle again, and you can find good blades in packs of 50 for $15 or 100 for $25-$30. Those blades last 5-6 shaves each.

      • David SteinleReply
        November 13, 2013 at 8:57 pm

        You have to be VERY CAREFUL when you first switch to a DE if you’ve been using a cartridge razor. Go slow and very light. The best thing to do is hold the cap against your face, then angle it until the blade touches your face. And do not shave against the grain or you will be irritated.

  • JyoeruReply
    January 13, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    I use BIC disposable single blade razors and hot water. I guess I get the best deal of all.

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