Dollar Shave Club: How F**king Great Is It?

You’ve probably seen the Dollar Shave Club video.  It’s a great video, and by some  accounts a genius marketing strategy.  But does the “steak” meet the “sizzle?”  By coincidence I received a sample of the two blade razor and cartridges late last year.  To be honest, it had been sitting on my shelf since I received it…cartridge razors just aren’t my bag, ya dig?  But since the video has generated so much buzz I decided to give it a test shave.

Dollar Shave Club – Refills For A Buck A Month? Sorta.

Dollar Shave Cartridge (Left) vs. Sensor Cartridge (Right)

The twin blade cartridge subscription does go for $1 per month…plus postage and handling (p&h).  That’s another $2.  So you’re really looking at $3 per month for five cartridges.  Still not a bad price though–it works out to $0.60 per cartridge.  That’s closing in on double-edge blade price territory.

The other cartridges aren’t quite as good of a deal: a four blade cartridge subscription runs $6/month (including p&h) for four cartridges–$1.50/cartridge, still not too bad.  The six blade cartridge subscription goes for $9/month for three cartridges–$3.00/cartridge.  I found it interesting that a 3 blade cartridge–a la the Gillette Mach3–isn’t offered.  The “M3″ is still very popular with the cartridge crowd and there are now alternate sources for the blades.

The Kit

dollar shave club twin blade kit

Dollar Shave Club Twin Blade Razor & Blade Cartridges

I received a razor handle, a pack of five cartridges, and an “Official Member” card with some additional information on the back.  The handle and it’s cartridge attachment assembly is similar in design to the Gillette Sensor (and in fact the Dollar Shave Club twin blade cartridges are compatible with Sensor handles, and vice-versa).  The handle has a little weight to it: about 0.8 oz without cartridge (a Sensor razor at 0.9 oz).  That’s nowhere near the weight of a typical DE razor of course but not feather-light either.  And I think it actually has a decent balance and grip.  The cartridges, though compatible with Sensor cartridges, are clearly different in design.

By the way, the “Membership Card” says presenting it at any bar in America will get you a free drink.  I like the humor (but good luck with that).

The Shave

So…how does it shave?  Well–for me–pretty f**king good.  The twin blade cartridge is set to a fairly mild angle so you may have to work a little for that “baby’s butt smooth” shave, but there was no tugging or harshness that’s often indicative of a poorly made blade.  No nicks, cuts, or irritation for me either.  I did notice that that pivot design (the “rocking” pivot found on the Gillette Sensor, the Schick Hydro, and some other razors) resulted in a slightly less consistant level of beard reduction, but that’s a nit-pick.

Will it convert me from Double Edge razors?  No.  But all-in-all, at least for the twin blade razor, Dollar Shave Club is producing an acceptable product and a great value in my opinion.

By the way, the “razor blades by subscription” business model isn’t new.  Raz*War in Europe has been offering a similar service for a couple years now.  They recently expanded their product line into things like shave soaps and creams.

Mark H Mark H (485 Posts)

also known as "Mantic59." Shave tutor and sharpologist.


Comments

  1. Matthew Wills says:

    The postage is a bit disappointing (especially since last year they provided a bulk-ship option).

    But its a great concept.

  2. I’ve been looking into expanding my selection of aftershaves, and noticed that you can subscribe to certain scents now at Amazon, too. You can even set the frequency.

  3. The one thing you haven’t mentioned is ‘how many shaves’ will one of their cartridges comfortably give you?
    It is what it is – a gimmick for those who value their wallet more than their face when it comes to shaving!

    • So far I’m 3 shaves into the cartridge and it’s still going strong. I have to somewhat disagree with you that it’s a “gimmick” though–I think it’s a legitimate alternative to store-bought cartridges. And if someone is going to buy a cartridge anyway it should be a cartridge with as few blades as possible. :)

      • screaname says:

        Reading all these posts, I still can’t understand how people go through so many blades. I use Schick Quattro Titanium disposables for about 2 bucks apiece. I get at least a month and a half out of them shaving 2-4 times a week. I usually throw them out when the lube strip falls off or starts curling at the edges. I never get nicked or any sort of shave rash, so they must still be sharp enough when I throw them out because of that worn lube strip. I have a very coarse, thick whiskers too. I’m not one of those guys with a half dozen hairs on their face.

  4. Hello Mantic59 ! Hope you are well. Thanks for mentioning us. BTW until 16 March we do a promotion on our Skincare Product line with DSC25 as discount code and we ship worldwide. note the *dsc* letters in the promo code ;)

  5. I’ve actually thought of doing this. The Humble Twin for sure, since it is a pretty good value. Normally, like all the other contributers and readers of this site, I’m Old School safety razor all the way, but I do keep a cheap cartridge razor in the medicine cabinet for those days when I don’t have 20 minutes to shave. And by cheap, I mean it’s a Wilkinson Sword Tech3 I picked up at Wal-Mart for $5. Shaved with it today actually. It performs like a cartridge razor, meaning it’ll remove hairs in one fell swoop and allow you to shave in 5-10 minutes as opposed to 20. But, it works for what I got it for, which is those times I don’t have to spend shaving the traditional way.

  6. Thanks for posting a review, I’ve been looking for one.

    I can’t believe I’m saying this on the internet, but… I am lady with fairly thick leg hair and a pathological fear of hot wax. Well, not candles, but on my legs anyway. This being said, the deal for the multi-blades is pretty sweet for ladies like me, because two blade razors on a larger surface area are just not worth considering. For a cartridge razor deal, I’m planning on taking advantage of the phenomenon. Plus, I can cancel the subscription in winter and… again, can’t believe I’m saying this on the internet, but whatever, a lot of us do it… stop shaving and let my natural legwarmers kick in.

    I also laughed pretty hard at the comment by Raz*War. Nice one, guys.

  7. Now that it has the Mantic endorsement (sort of), I’m much more excited to get mine in the mail. Unfortunately, I got the following email today from DSC:

    Wow. We’re blushing.

    Over the past week, you have validated more than 18 months of hard work & preparation. We are thrilled you think there’s a better way to shop for a shave, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to prove you right.

    Safe to say, we weren’t expecting the demand we saw. After all, this was our label printer last week:

    http://gallery.mailchimp.com/b50eb40c0184d690de83326ed/images/dsc_005.png

    So we’re playing a bit of catch-up, and this will affect your shave:

    Orders will begin shipping on March 21st
    All shipments go out via USPS, and will be delivered 1-4 days later
    Please contact our customer support team with any questions/concerns
    Thanks for your patience & understanding as we normalize operations, and ramp up to meet demand.

    Yours in Lather,

    Michael Dubin
    Co-Founder & CEO
    Dollar Shave Club

  8. Hi Mark,

    Quick question for you… How would you compare the shave to that of the Gillette Guard razor?

    kind regards,

    Joseph

  9. Great idea! Do they just charge your CC each month for 3$?

  10. These four and six blade cartridges looks really similar to the ones offered by Dorco. The same for the handles. You can also see them on PaceShave.com.

  11. While Mantic has given a great review on what is, apparently, a good value with satisfactory quality, it’s a shame that Dollar Shave Club had to stoop to profanity to get the ball rolling.

  12. What’s the big f*****n deal with profanity to sell things CP? I call bulls**t.

  13. I’m excited for this. I’ve wanted to find a cart razor for travel and a few areas that I’m just not comfortable using a safety, but I didn’t want to drop the cash for a package of Sensor blades. This seems like a good alternative.

  14. Twin blade cartridges are sold at the dollar store $1 for a 5 pack. I can’t use the twin blades because they cause ingrowns every time. I’d think that the deal would be ideal for females. They pretty much use disposables exclusively, I believe.

    • You believe wrong! I would never shave my legs or any other part of my body with a two blade and balk at the thought of using a disposable razor even when I travel.

  15. Chris Unseth says:

    Not a good shave.

    I did the mid level razors and I’ve been very disappointed. After three shaves, I starte getting nicks and cuts ( something that NEVER happens to me). I get more uses out of a single blade disposable- and the shave’s better too.

    Definitely gonna cancel my subscription. It’s a crazy thing for me to do considering I was trying to convince friends and family to sign up last week.

    Last thing I want to mention is how poorly the handle allows for the razor to pivot.

    I did the math and the longevity of a Gillette razor or a disposable razor makes dollar shave club more expensive for an inferior shave.

    By the way, I REALLY wanted to like these guys. Unfortunately my face hurts too much from the several cuts now bleeding while I write this…

  16. My advice is to check out the Trac 2 type razor and pivot plus blades at http://www.Supersafetyrazors.com

    The blades come to about 40 cents per blade and are made by personna in the U.S.A. The handle is an all metal handle that should last until you run over it with a tank. This seems more economical than the shave club offer and better quality.

  17. Excellent review. Very well done. We reviewed the commercial itself. Take a minute and check us out. I’ll be subscribing to this fancy sight for sure. Hope to hear from you soon! Here’s our review!
    http://youtu.be/osptNwJMxOA

  18. Philip Stubbs says:

    $30.00 Merkur 2-Piece Closed Comb DE Razor
    …Lifetime
    $23.88 Van Deer Hagen Delux Shave Soap (12)
    …3 year supply
    $12.09 Tweezerman Badger Hair Shave Brush
    …10+ year life span
    $09.90 100 Derby Extras (ceramic, tungsten, platinum, chrome)
    …3 year supply
    $ 75.87 Total

    …$0.27 monthly on blades
    …$0.66 monthly on soap

    You could even go even cheaper with an unbranded DE Razor ($6.72)

  19. melissa says:

    It’s been 3 weeks haven’t received mine yet. Getting worried about being scammed.

    • Mark H mantic59 says:

      From what I’m reading the people who ordered after the video went viral are just now starting to get their orders. I would not be too concerned yet.

  20. I went back to my Gillette fusion, I couldn’t get a smooth shave even with a brand new “executive” blade. And forget about shaving my head.
    Great concept but the blades simply are poor quality

  21. I was considering this, as well, until I read this article over at lifehacker.com that points out you can buy from DSC’s supplier in bulk and save even more. To me, that makes more sense. A monthly delivery isn’t worth the price difference for me.

    Check it out:

    http://lifehacker.com/5903771/forget-dollar-shave-clubbuy-the-same-high-quality-razors-for-a-third-of-the-price

  22. Richard says:

    Ordered my Humble Twin razor on April 19th and didn’t receive anything yet except for a few emails explaining to me my order will go out on May 15th. It’s now the 18th and still nothing yet but they managed to charge my credit card April 19th.
    Scam City.

  23. What a ripoff! I ordered April 13 and here we are May 23 and I’ve received nothing. They haven’t returned emails in the “48 hour” window they give themselves. In fact, they haven’t returned a single one yet. I already filed a dispute with my credit card company and got my money back. Stay away from this scam, fellas.

  24. Jared C says:

    I have to throw in a positive review to balance out all the nastiness of the last few comments. My first shipment arrived exactly when they said it would, and the blades (Humble Twin) are fantastic. Zero discomfort. The first one has survived 4 uses with no adverse effects, number 5 will happen tomorrow morning. Totally worth the $3 per month.

  25. Charles Dennis says:

    I ordered and tried both Dollar Shave Club blades. They both shave like S#$@.

    Lets FACE it, Gillette ProGlide Fusion or Mach 3 are unbeatable for comfort. I store my razor in a product called RazorGuard and literally get 30-40 close, comfortable shaves per blade. That totally offsets any additional cost.

  26. Matt S. says:

    I wanted to like it soooo bad. Went with the exec blades. After 2 laborious shaves I went back to my (expensive) Gillette fusion. Ahhh the comfort. No missed spots. The I decided to give the DSC shaver another shot with a new blade. Same tugging and after half the shave, the plastic piece that holds the blade on broke.

    At least I won’t be tempted to try it again. Lesson learned.

  27. The idea is a decent one, and if it were well executed, I might stay with it, but…

    I just cancelled. I signed up back in April for the middle-level plan ($6.00 a month). Although the credit card was charged right away, I didn’t get any blades or handle until late May (about five weeks after my credit card was charged).

    I got a very good shave from the blades. However, about halfway through my second blade (i.e., my second week), the handle fell apart. It literally broke into tiny pieces in my sink. I didn’t bump it or abuse it in any way, it just crumbled through normal use.

    So I emailed the Dollar Shave Club, and they sent me a replacement handle. But it took about five or six days for the handle to arrive, so in the meantime I was forced to use a disposable I had bought for traveling.

    New handle pressed into service, I shaved away. Once again, a very nice shave. Once again, halfway through the second week with the new handle, the handle self-destructed–tiny pieces of plastic and metal in my sink.

    I’ve cancelled my account and will seek an alternative.

  28. This articule shows that you have a very open mind. I would have expected anyone in a position like yours to shoot down such a business for what they sell and how they go about it. I was always interested in hearing an honest review on this product and I believe this is as close as you will get to the truth. Two Thumbs up.

    Kind Regards,
    Phil & Jane
    Classic Edge Shaving

  29. WARNING!!!!
    the blades that are sold at Dollar Shave Club are Dorco blades (a south korean manufacturer). You can buy the EXACT SAME blades for almost half the price of what DSC is selling them for.
    dont take my word for it… go to: dorcousa.com
    for example:
    the “4X” (lover’s blade) model at DSC which is $6 a month for 4 blades….. is actually a Dorco “Pace 4″ that sells for $4 for a 4 pack or $3.33 (per for 4 pack) when you buy 6 (4 packs).
    Don’t be a victim of this marketing con!!
    SPREAD THE WORD!!!

  30. Nonsense. The blades aren’t as good as the fusion. But they let you cancel at anytime – right? WRONG. Below is their “cancellation” policy:

    WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?

    You can cancel your account at any time by logging into your account, clicking Membership Settings, and choosing Cancel My Account. We don’t want to see you go, so please let us know if you are experiencing issues and we will do our best to help you.

    Sounds good. Where to I find the “Membership Settings”? Below is where their website tells you can cancel:

    WHERE ARE MY MEMBERSHIP SETTINGS?

    A “Membership Settings” link will appear on your account page as soon as your first order ships. This link allows you to cancel your membership at any time. If you need to cancel before your first order ships, please contact us.

    NONSENSE! My first order shipped in February and tried to cancel on March 9. There is no “Membership Setting” link! As of today my account still does not have that link. So I sent them an email requesting that my account be cancelled. I got the following email in response:

    Cassie, Mar 11 05:29 pm (PDT):

    Hey Kevin,

    We’re so sorry to hear you don’t want to be a member of the club anymore! I can’t find your account under this email address. What is your shipping address?

    We’re a young company and are always looking for ways to improve our service and products. Do you have any feedback for us? It would be very helpful moving forward.

    We miss you already,
    Cassie

    Did this solve the problem? NO – I received my second shipment and they hit my credit card a second time and have not responded to four subsequent emails to credit my account! Funny video – crap web site – crap product – crap company.

    KFM

  31. I REEEEEAALLY wanted to like the Humble Twin, but alas it’s a poor-quality blade that doesn’t work for me. It’s great that it works for some people, but I’m not a fan.
    Bottom line, the blades don’t seem very sharp, or perhaps they are angled too conservatively to allow a close shave without digging in. I’ve pretty much used the Sensor since it hit the market. Maybe something has changed but I’ve read how the Humble Twin cartridges are compatable with the Sensor handle. Not the two handles I’ve got. It’s a completely different system. The Sensor has two moving tabs that lock into slots. The Twin handle has two gripping tabs plus one in the middle that provides resistance for the pivot. They are in no way compatable with one another. I don’t know if there was a recent design change or something.
    I’m finally back to my OLD safety razor w/DE blades. Waaaaaaay better shave for me in every way. Closer, cleaner, cheaper, more comfy, and I have a lot more control over what I’m doing to my face!
    I like the Shave Club idea very much, but I can’t get a good shave with the blades. By the way, for those who might suggest trying “more blades”, I personally think that’s lame. The Sensor’s two blades always did the job well, and I could maneuver the thing. I tried the Fusion, once. I think it’s all marketing jive. How about ONE high quality blade instead of stacking a bunch of not-so-good blades on a huge cartridge? I thought it was a joke (SNL) the first time I saw 3 or 4 blades advertised. Then somehow those cartridges became mainstream. I came to realize that it IS a joke, only the jokes on us.

  32. Hey guys. Check out 800Razors. I use the five blade and am into my second week with the same blade. I have wire for beard so this is important. This blade closely resembles the Fusion, except way cheaper. Close shave with either gel or I use a mug and brush. No more Hydro’s or Fusions for me. You can order them monthly, bi-monthly, or even 5 packs one time. Any combo. They have the 3 blade, 5 blade and a ladies razor. Shipping is free and you also get a free handle. If you like them and refer a friend; you get a free four pack.

  33. Dollar Shave Club would be great if their blades wouldn’t break on 3rd use. I have been a member for a month, and got 3 uses out of the first two blades before the plastic broke and the blade fell off the handle. The last blade I used lasted for five uses… and broke promptly on the sixth.

    I’ve notified their customer support, and received four new blades promptly, but the quality/durability leaves much to be desired, at least given my experience with the first shipment of blades. These are the 4-blade variety. We’ll see if any of the new ones I received last a full week.

  34. Anyone who uses cartridge razors to shave is a total idiot. Gillette, Schick and Dollar Shave Club are perpetuating fraud by advertising their products as giving a “close shave” when in fact they do not. They hack your face up and irritate.

    Cheapskates who want to keep using the crap can keep doing so. I’m not giving up my good old DE with extra sharp blades.

  35. Adam Crawford says:

    Mantic, Do you know if the Gillette Atra or Trac II blades are also compatible with that handle?

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