• Dollar Shave Club

    The guy-gift that keeps on giving

    You know how every time you need to get refill ink cartridges for your computer printer, you lose a little of your soul (and sanity) when faced with the phenomenon of the ink costing almost the same as a brand new printer? A brand new printer which comes with ink!

    Well imagine what us blade-razor-using guys have to stomach every time we need to fill up on blade cartridges. You buy a new handle and a couple of starter blades for $5, but a small pack of new blades alone can easily run double or triple that cost. (An aside… I’ve never priced women’s razors and blades. Is it the same brutal reality?)

    Recently I decided to review the Dollar Shave Club to see if it could be the answer to this ongoing woe. The service promises to furnish you with a new razor and blades upon sign-up, and then to regularly send you a pack of fresh blades at a fraction of the cost you’d pay in stores, saving you not only money but also time (and sanity). Their hip and user-friendly web site lays out the options clearly, and the simplicity of those option suggests a business whose intent is just to do one thing – and do it well.

    You have 3 plans to choose from:

    • The Twin: a nothing-fancy razor using twin-blade cartridges – $3.50 per month
    • The 4X: a more refined razor with pivoting head using quad-blade cartridges – $6.50 per month
    • The Executive: an impressive-looking razor with a pivoting head using 6-blade cartridges with lubricating strips – $9.50 per month

    Every plan sends you a pack of 4 new cartridges every month. Not hirsute enough to need to change out your cartridge every week? No problem, you can convert your plan to get delivery only every second month (and of course only be billed every second month).

    So is it worth it?

    I’ve been on the 4X plan for about 3 months now and my honest impressions are:

    • The razor is just fine, as good as any other with disposable blades
    • The blades are clean and sharp, though I get the impression that they dull a little faster than the brand-name blades – but so what, I’ve got an ongoing supply.
    • The blades and razor seem to be custom made for each other, meaning don’t expect to be able to use these blades on another brand handle.
    • The company is a pleasure to do business with (they did not sponsor this review and were unaware of its creation).
    • One gripe – I wish I could order a second razor… I like to have one at home and one for the gym. Sadly, the only way to do this seems to be to register for another account or to switch my current account to another plan. Update: additional handles are now available to order for approx. $6 per.

    Final impression? I’m not giving up my plan. $6.50 every two months to ensure fresh blades delivered to my door versus fuming in the pharmacy aisles at the $25 replacement packs that are never on sale when you need them and not even being certain which ones fit your 3-year-old handle? No brainer. To my sense of serenity it’s the difference between a kitten purring in your lap and a cat screeching in your yard… at 3:20 AM.