The team over at Harry’s recently approached me and asked if I’d like to review some of their shaving gear. Free stuff? Well of course Harry, send it on over!
They kindly sent me a “Truman set” to try out. Being a new dad, shaving is fairly low on my list of priorities, so this review has taken the better part of a month to write, simply because I haven’t had the chance to use the razors all that much! This point is important to my review because this meant that I often had a good amount of stubble or growth on my face when I used the razor.
First of all, the presentation of their gear is top notch. Everything is done with class and you feel like you’ve bought some really premium products, even though you’re not paying outrageous prices. The Truman set is only $15 and they imply that it will last up to three months (depending on your preference on when you like to replace your blades), so you’re looking at about $5/mo. Incidentally, Dollar Shave Club’s mid-tier products run at $6/mo, so it’s even a little cheaper than the guys that pride themselves on cheap blades for all.
Now on to the shave. I’ll start off by saying that I am currently using the mid-level blades from Dollar Shave Club and I’m very happy with them. I like both the blades and I especially like their shave gel, so my review will center on how the two compare. The handle on the Harry’s razor is solid and feels sturdy – not that DSC’s doesn’t, but it has all those rubbery grips like the traditional blade manufacturers; Harry’s has a simple, solid plastic handle and it’s very comfortable and easy to use. Makes you wonder why the other guys use all that rubber crap because Harry’s just makes it seem pointless.
Somewhere else in the construction where Harry’s wins is the blade-to-handle connection. DSC’s is a little bit flimsy and sometimes a vigourous shake in the water will disconnect the two. I never experienced this with the Harry’s version and it seems sturdy. As a whole, the Harry’s kit is definitely more robust and durable.
As for the shave cream, I went for Harry’s Shave Cream as opposed to their Foaming Shave Gel, since I despise foaming shave gels. Their shave cream is white and opaque and has a pearly finish to it. It’s definitely very soft and smells nice, but my heart still lies with DSC’s Shave Butter as it’s more transparent (and I prefer to be able to see my face and hair), it smells fantastic and is made from more natural ingredients.
Now for my biggest gripe: the blades. Harry’s blades are well-constructed and I think they’re probably more durable than DSC’s (which is why they can get away with just 3 blades over 3 months instead of DSC’s recommendation of 12). The problem is purely lifestyle-based though. I get the impression that the Harry’s gear is for the more suave, single male who has enough time on his hands to shave every day. And I say this because the blade angle on the Harry’s blade is very shallow, which allows for a very close shave, but at the same time clogs up very easily. I found that even with a single stroke, I would have to work very hard to clear the blade of my hair and even still, it built up to the point that the entire blade was clogged and had to be manually unblocked with a toothpick. I imagine that if you’re shaving every day, this might not be as much of a problem, but if you’re a busy dad who shaves when he can, this might hinder you. I also think that the problem is exacerbated by the shave cream because it’s not soluble like DSC’s but rather floats and leaves soap scum like traditional shaving cream so it tends to build up in the blade along with your hair.
The shave itself was very close and smooth and I think the product holds up really well. Once I realised how best to use Harry’s, I was happier with the products but it just doesn’t suit my lifestyle so as much as I wanted to love Harry’s it won’t be replacing my DSC subscription just yet. It has made an impression on me though and perhaps when daily shaving is a more likely prospect for me, I may revisit Harry and give him another go.
I’d be interested to hear, 1.) have they improved in the blades – that you know of and, 2.) are you still a DSC backer with the sale to Unilever? Because I am now going to take a chance on the independents (late to the party, yeah, but I just heard).
I have no idea whether they’ve improved their blades, but I’m no longer using Harry’s or DSC: I’ve upped my game and moved on to a double-edged single razor and haven’t looked back. A more time-consuming, but also more luxurious process. If I was still just looking for a blade to get the job done, if the quality hadn’t changed, I’d probably still be using DSC.
I shave daily. For many many years I used Gillette Fusion ProGlide. Loved them, but they were just so expensive that I eventually switched to Dollar Shave Club. I used their top of the line six-blade razor. They were just OK. After several years I switched to Harry’s (5 blade). They are still not as good as the ProGlide but they are a little better than the DSC. Throughout, I have used Williams Mug Shaving Soap (Cup & brush hot lather).