Harry’s vs. Dollar Shave Club: 6 month study that started with one clear winner but changed

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So a little while ago I decided to compare Harry’s with the Dollar Shave Club for myself. It was an experiment after a long debate to determine which one was the better option for me.

After 1 week of shaving with each, the winner is…………..

Well, it’s not that easy.

I decided to purchase each company’s premium blades so I could compare the best they each had to offer. Below I will discuss each company’s “club” structure, the blades, the handle(s), the shave cream, the aftershave cream, and any other additional products they have that I found useful.

Below I will discuss each company’s “club” structure, the blades, the handle(s), the shave cream, the aftershave cream, and any other additional products they have that I found useful.

Price Comparision

The Dollar Shave Club offers three different blade options which they autoship to you either every month or every other month. The price points are $1 for 5 of the twin blades ($0.20 each), $6 for 4 of the 4-blade model ($1.50 each), and $9 for 4 of the premium 6-blade model ($2.25 each).

Shipping and handling fees are free for all but the twin for which they charge $2 making those blades actually $0.60 each. You can add 6 ounces of their Shave Butter for $8, 3.6 ounces of their Post-shave cream for $9, and 40 of their “One Wipe Charlies” for your backside for $4.

Their handles are blade specific and are free. If you don’t want your order to ship (you want more than 1 or 2 months between orders), you must go online and delay or cancel your auto-ship order.

Harry’s, on the other hand, is more of a demand delivery. In other words, though they do have the option of a 2, 3, or 5 month auto-ship program, they also allow you to default to a ship on demand program where they ship when you order. Harry’s comes in at a slightly higher pricepoint overall, but they also have a bit more of a luxury feel in their design and packaging.

Harry’s only offers one 4-blade option, but you can choose whether to purchase them in a 4 for $8 ($2 each), 8 for $15 ($1.88 each), 12 for $20 ($1.67 each), or 16-pack for $25 ($1.56 each). They make their own blades in an impressive German factory that has been grinding German-engineered blades since 1920. You can also add 6.7 ounces of Harry’s Shave Cream for $12 (or 3.4 ounces for $8), 6.7 ounces of their Foaming Shave Gel for $12 (or 4 ounces for $8), and an ergonomically designed zinc alloy core with polymer coating handle that comes in your choice of 4 different colors for $10, or an engravable aluminum handle for $20 (engraving is $15). They sometimes promote a seasonal inspired handle at a price point from $15-25.

Packaging

My Dollar Shave Club shipment came in a regular box. When I opened it, the presentation was simple and nice. Nothing fancy. Just my products tossed loose in a box covered with some thick fenestrated black paper.

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Harry’s also came in a regular shipping box, but each product was presented in it’s own attractive packaging. The visual appeal was much more gratifying and felt “high-class”.

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Harrys Harry’s wins this round.

The Handles

The handles were certainly very different. The Dollar Shave Club handle was just tossed loose in the shipping box and looked and felt like a Chinese-made prize from the bottom of a cereal box – but it worked fine. Again, nothing fancy, but very adequate and functional. Harry’s, on the other hand, was presented in it’s own well-done presentation box and felt and handled better than any shave handle I’ve ever had – but all I’ve ever used has been Schick or Gillette (I’ve never done the fancy “The Art of Shaving” deal). With Harry’s, I decided to try both their standard polymer coated zinc alloy core handle as well as the engraved aluminum handle. I really liked the feel and handling of the polymer coated one. The aluminum, though more expensive, left me a bit cold – in a literal sense as well as figurative.

Harrys Harry’s won this round handily as well.

Shave Cream

The Dollar Shave Club shave butter felt thin and cheap going on, but oh so nice and silky after my shave. It also gave me a nice, close, smooth shave. Harry’s Shave Cream felt thicker going on and rinsed off cleaner, so left no silky soft feel – just a clean closely shaved face. The same for their Foaming Shave Gel. The problem with their gel, like any other, is that the gel continues to ooze out of the bottle after you spray some into your hand. I’ve always found this irritating because I like to keep my caps clean. I hate it when there’s gel in the caps and all over the top of the can when I want to use them. This was a tough call. I enjoyed all the products and thought they were all very well made with rich emollients. However, I’m going to give the edge to the Dollar Shave Club because of the feel of my face after my shave.

Dollar Shave Club Dollar Shave Club won this round.

Aftershave

With regard to the aftershave creams – both Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s were rather thin and unassuming. They both took a bit to absorb, but left no residue. They’re both fine and do what they’re supposed to do, however, I prefer something a bit stiffer and more lubricating.

I’d call this a draw.

The Blades

Finally, the blades. Dollar Shave Club simply rocked my world. Their 6-blade version shaved cleanly, smoothly, effortlessly, closely. It felt great and never cut me a single time. It lasted about a week before I noticed it pulling and needed to switch out. Harry’s 4-blader cut me in 5 places the first day, 2 the second, then once every day since (under my chin). I’m not sure why this is, but must be something in the engineering – though German-perfect – didn’t work as well for me.

Dollar Shave Club Dollar Shave Club wins this round. (see the 6 month follow-up below)

I like both products. I enjoy the act of shaving more with Harry’s handle and blades once I’ve got the blade “broken-in” but the first couple of days of each blade left me bleeding and frustrated. Overall, I felt safer and more comfortable with Dollar Shave Club’s products – from the shave cream to their blades. In the end, it’s all about the blade and the cream, isn’t it?

If I had to choose one, I’d probably go with Dollar Shave Club. But, I think I’m going to continue to use both. …….and their “One Wipe Charlies”, well, they’re not as nice as a bidet, but they do leave you feeling fresh. That menthol adds a little “kick”.

[Follow Up] So we’re now 6 months into this experiment. I’m pretty much using Harry’s exclusively. Much nicer product and my face got used to the blade.

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