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Harry’s At Target: Is new always better?

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It was in October of 2016 that I posted an updated review on the new blade that Harry’s had introduced. In my original article from February of last year, the only criticism that I had for their design was that their razor head lacked a trimmer blade. I need those to get under my nose and trim up at the corners of my mouth. I found the razor to be pretty good at doing what it was designed to do, which is shave the hairs off my face and not make me cringe when I think about how much it’s costing me when I throw a used-up razor head away. Winner on both counts, right?

That didn’t seem to be the case according to a lot of feedback that the article received. Shavers complained about the razors pulling and tugging on hairs and not giving them the shave they wanted. Some said that they were long-time users of Harry’s, which is about two years or more, and that they thought the newer blades either weren’t as sharp or didn’t last as long as the originals. I didn’t notice any of these problems, but when I heard that you could purchase the blades at Target, I decided to try them out again. Since I shave exclusively with a DE, I hadn’t gone through the pack that I wrote the review on.
Harry's Display
The one thing I noticed at Target is that the selection is pretty large and it gave me the chance to put their new handle as well as a couple of the blades. Picked up the same color, dark blue, as the one I have and two heads for $9.99
New Handle
I did like the feel of the new handle over the old. The new one is rubberized and is nearly impossible to have slip out of your hand. That was one aspect of the old one that bothered me. Nothing like lather on your hands and a slick plastic handle!
Two heads
Side by side, the razor heads look just about identical and when I shaved with the newer head and handle, I didn’t notice any difference from my previous experience. The trimmer blade is sharp enough to cut through my sideburns without having to put a lot of pressure on it. The razor itself shaved like it should, with no tugging or pulling. But I did notice one thing they changed and not for the better, in my honest opinion.
New Head
The way that the head attaches to the handle has been changed, and as a result, it tends to fly off whenever I tapped it against the sink. I don’t know how many of you do this, but it’s one of my shaving quirks. I don’t slam the head down like I’m trying to beat it into submission, but I found that whenever I did more than lightly, lightly, tap it, the head came off. So I swapped it out with one of the older heads, with the same result. Harry’s had changed the entire way that the razor head is held onto the handle.
Older Head
So, to compare, I shaved a couple times with the older head that has the trimmer and the original handle and didn’t encounter the problem of having the head come off while tapping it against the sink. It was the new handle’s design that was the problem. That, to me, is going to be a deal-breaker. I really don’t like sticking my hands in lathery water searching for a razor head that has five pretty sharp blades on one side and super sharp trimmer blade on the other.

In the end, I have to say that change isn’t really better for Harry’s. I have a problem with a design that makes the head fly off when you’re tapping it on the sink. I think this could be a case of engineers building something without it being tested enough in a real-world situation. And when the result is a head that detaches that easily, it’s not a winner for me.  But I still don’t have any problems with the new blades tugging, pulling or not lasting for more than a week.

Jay Harrell

Jay Harrell

9 thoughts on “Harry’s At Target: Is new always better?”

  1. I didn’t have the best experience with Harry’s. I shaved with 3 day’s growth and the razor tugged and pulled and clogged up big time. I did an experiment with a couple of the Dollar Shave Club razors, and they didn’t have the same experience, although the feel of multiple blades on my skin isn’t pleasant and I prefer a normal DE blade.
    I used traditional soap and a brush so I know it wasn’t the fault of the lather or insufficient lubrication.

  2. I like the new handle and the trimmer. This cart razor shaves about as well as a Fusion, (i.e. gives DFS level shave for about 6 hours with a single WTG pass) but is harder to clean and lasts significantly less (7-10 shaves for Harrys versus 15-25 for a Fusion). Perhaps a challenger to Gillette, but offers none of the cost or performance benefits of a full fledged DE experience, where a 3 pass shave gives me usually a BBS level shave for 8-12 hours, and where a 10 cent blade lasts for 4 shaves.

  3. I tried Harry’s razors as a travel alternative to my DE razor. It was the worst shave I’ve ever experienced. I’ve never had a razor tug and pull as bad as that razor did.

  4. Christopher Kavanaugh

    I see multiple online ads for some shaving set up that will ‘revolutionize the way I shave and buy razors/blades’ with two earnest looking young entrepenuers. All to often this translates to a proprietory and predatory refill scheme or a mediocre razor in more designer colours than Sherman party cigarettes.
    I have never seen these people post on the forums. This includes Target and Amazon.
    We are only here because of the soap,brush and razor makers, vendors and forums who have matured the wet shaving revival with product and knowledge.
    Sorry, but big retail took it away in favour of disposable junk once. I see little cause to hand them another free piece of the pie.

    1. I, too, tap my razor or rather the fist in which my razor is held.
      I don’t like to have a drop of water running down my cheek as I shave.
      A gentle tap with my fist rather than the razor prevents damage to the razor and the enamel sink.

      1. In the 20+ years, I’ve luckily been able to keep the razor tapping below the point where I would damage the sink. I just shaved before going out tonight and realized that I’m doing it unconsciously after I rinse my razor. It was with a Slim Adjustable, which I’ve owned for years with no damage to the razor either. Before going wet-shaving way, I never had a cart razor head come off with my gentle taps. Hmm…

  5. Brian Fiori (AKA The Dean)

    I’ve never tapped my razor on any surface, but I agree, a light tap shouldn’t dislodge the cartridge.
    I have the old, plastic handle, Harry’s razor. I didn’t have an issue with it falling out of my hand (and I shave in the shower). But it was easily the worst shave I’ve had, in many years. I’ve bought cheap disposable razors that gave me a better shave. Then again, I have friends who swear by these razors. YMMV

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