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Dollar Shave Club: A Test Drive

02 Oct 2013 | Comments

I hate shaving. I really hate it.

The only reason I shave is because I’m not much fond of facial hair either. And I’ve tried every single facial hair removal alternative, such as laser (hint: does not work for light-colored hair) and wax (requires growing a beard before each session, pretty much defeating the purpose; also hurts on a par with passing a kidney stone or wisdom teeth extraction).

Now you know why anyhthing with the slightest potential of making shaving suck a bit less grabs my attention - not that Dollar Shave Club’s unorthodox presentation needs any help in that regard. If you don’t know what I’m talking about (or just want to laugh again), here is their presentation video:

For “$1” a month, they will send you enough blades to allow a weekly replacement. Of course, that does not include shipping (adds $2/mo), and refers to the very basic model, the “Humble Twin”. Also, that is the price in the US - in Canada it gets 50c more expensive, and you pay in Canadian dollars.

Still, CAD 3.50 is an awesome deal for a month’s worth of shaving - you can only get that with fixed-head disposables (the kind that is unlikely to be “f***ing great”, as Mike puts it), so I decided to give them a spin. Being a Gillete Fusion Power user, I was tempted to go straight to “4x” (their 4-blade model) or even “Executive” (a 6-blade mammoth reminescent of MADtv’s Spishak Mach 20), but I wanted to test the real Dollar Shave, so I went with the Humble Twin.

The package arrived with a separate razor and its set of 5 cartridges. The razor is pretty decent: comfortable grip, flexible head (my biggest issue with disposables) and a firm pressure-connection system, complete with eject button. It also included a couple of lame joke cards, not nearly as fun as the video.

Dollar Shave - Humble Twin

After shaving a few days with it, I won’t say it is as good as the vibrating, 4-blade Fusion Power, but the difference was really small: with an extra pass I got the same results, which is much more than I could say of other 2-blade systems I’ve tried. Since they let you upgrade/downgrade your plan at any time (changing the future billing/delivery), I upped the ante and switched to the 4x, for CAD 6.50 a month - still below the Fusion price.

The switch process was easy, although I had to enter my credit card information again (apparently they need to do a new authorization, and the website confusingly warns that, for all effects, you are stopping the previous plan and starting a new one). But it worked fine - at the time I’d be receiveing a new set of 2-blade cartridges, I got a 4-blade set (with 1 less cartridge, but I suppose they last more), a new razor compatible with them, and another set of not-really-funny cards.

Dollar Shave - Humble Twin versus 4x

Once again I was positively surprised: it is nearly as good as the Fusion. The difference is small enough to be shadowed by the convenience/price, and the freshness of a new blade every week or so might even make the average shaving slightly better than with the Fusion, whose steep price makes me swap less often.

Disclosure: I get a free month if you buy it through my link, which would raise suspicion - if the blades weren’t so dirt cheap to begin with. That said, my veredict: I did not find it as f***ing great as Mike does, but they are very good, and having a fresh one every week without any effort is a huge benefit for such a low price. With the ease of switching plans and the promise of equally easy cancellation, it is worth a shot.