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.

mantic59 mantic59 (544 Posts)

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

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  1. what ever happened to the Wilkinson Stainless Steal blades? Back when they were the THING, I got 24 good shaves out of one double edged blade. That was before the cartriges came out. The stainless was the best because they would not rust so they stayed sharp longer. If any one knows of a place to get them, Let me know.

  2. Adam Crawford says:

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

  3. 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.

    • “Total idiot?” Wow. Everyone who travels with carry-on luggage must lose 50 IQ points.

      • Well, I’m not ready to call all multi-blade users idiots, but I will call the goo in a can CRAP. And the razors just don’t get it. They have a single angle placed in a plastic package that just makes them too cheap for me, not to be cavalier. If someone wants to stick with them that’s their right and thing and I won’t condemn them for it, but I purport they’re really missing out. I just don’t see how anybody can rightly compare them to DE razors. And this new fangled rollerball thing, to me anyway, is just another marketing toy. That’s right, a toy. The club idea sounds like a good idea so I hope their clients are happy with it but as for moi and many others I see here no neeed for me. Mark, what do you make of this whole shaveopocolypse thing? I have enough shaving blades and soap for 2 years now, but that was before I read about the concern. Lastly, I’m looking for a good after shave balm. I’m sticking with Nivea and ordering Proraso for now. I just can’t get myself to go for the Jack Black product, that ingredient that reduces hair growth is a concern and I don’t want ICE cold either. I’ve read good things about Bluebeard but don’t they have that same ingredient also? Thanks for all your hard work, it’s great to have a resource as valuable as Sharpologist.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.


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