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Tested: Dollar Shave Club

dollar shave club website

When you’re shaving your humungous, chiseled quadriceps, does the thought of how much you’re spending on razor blades ever cross your mind?

The monetary concern probably ranks behind the “why am I wasting my time on this?” question and the “holy crap my legs look awesome when they’re this smooth” answer. But if you’re budgeting for a new bike, convinced you have to buy organic everything, or scraping by for gas money to get to the big races, the cost of razors is probably on your mind.

You may have even considered the Dollar Shave Club before. After all, they made a pretty big splash when they released this “Our Blades Are F***ing Great” commercial:

The concept is that you can pay as little as $1 per month and get fresh blades delivered to your door. The price is low enough to make even the most staunch Gillette Fusion ProGlide advocate question their loyalty!

Sure, the Dollar Shave Club blades are all their own private label deal. You’re not getting a true Gillette cartridge at that price.

But what if the shave is just as good? Or at least, close enough?

I’d sure like to keep the convenience of using a cartridge razor while ditching the price tag!

So let’s see if this shave club is any good…

The Dollar Shave Club: How it Works

The Dollar Shave Club (DSC) is a monthly subscription service. You get to pick a razor, and each month they’ll send you a pack of cartridges for it.

dollar shave club boxes

On your first order, you get a handle as well as the cartridges. On subsequent orders, you’ll just get the cartridges… unless you change your razor preference. In that case, they’ll obviously send you the new handle and matching cartridges.

They’ll let you upgrade or downgrade your subscription as you see fit, and you can even set it to ship every other month, if you don’t shave often. (See the options in the top left corner of this screenshot.)

dollar shave club my account

Once you find a configuration you like, you can leave it at that, and enjoy the convenience of fresh blades showing up to your door whenever you need them!

As you can see, I have the 4X razor selected currently. But if I wanted to change, I’d just click on the other one I wanted! It’s all automated.

dollar shave club choose razor

The Razors Themselves

You get to choose between three different razors offered by DSC. A 2-blade, a 4-blade, and a 6-blade!

Here are the details on each:

The Humble Twin

  • 2 stainless steel blades
  • 5 cartridges per month
  • $3 total

So much for the Dollar Shave Club, huh? The $1 price tag does not include the $2 shipping and handling charge, so the cheapest option is actually $3 per month.

The 4X

  • 4 Stainless steel blades
  • 4 Cartridges per Month
  • You will love this razor – and your girlfriend can use it too
  • $6 total

This one is interesting because if your girlfriend can use it, I assume it must be a good choice for leg shaving!

The Executive

  • 6 Stainless steel blades
  • 4 Cartridges per Month
  • Special trimmer edge built in for the professional
  • $9 total

Sure looks like it could compete against the Gillette Fusion!

How do the Razors Stack Up?

I started with the cheapest razor and upgraded every couple months so I could get a comparison of all three razors and see which worked the best.

dollar shave club humble twin

The Humble Twin looks and feels on par with a cheap disposable razor. The handle is so thin and light, and it just feels awful. The cartridge didn’t make for the smoothest shave, but with enough strokes, it got the job done. Surprisingly, the end result was pretty good. A fairly smooth shave and absolutely no razorburn. The experience just wasn’t pleasant.

dollar shave club 4x

The 4X is one big, clunky razor, with an oddly angled head. But you know what? It works marvelously! It gave me a surprisingly good shave, and I figured out why they say “your girlfriend will love it.” It’s because the handle gives you a sturdy grip, even when wet, and it glides very nicely upside down. It’s a perfect dual-purpose razor for your face and legs!

dollar shave club executive

The Executive lives up to its name, just on looks alone. It’s a sleek, handsome razor, that actually looks and feels like it’s built well – much unlike the other two! It gave me a slick shave in one pass, and the edge trimmer worked perfectly on my sideburns and nose hairs.

The handle gets slippery though, so be careful if you take this in the bath or shower with you!

Each razor provided an acceptable shave, and in my opinion, the two upper-end models provided shaves nearly as good as (if not just as good as) their Gillette counterparts! Heck, the Executive provided a better experience than my Schick Hydro5!

I actually like the 4X the best, for both my face and legs, but I just have to have that edge trimmer! So I’m going to keep some of the Executive cartridges on hand, but the 4X will be my main razor.

Is There Anything Cheaper Than The Dollar Shave Club?

Once I realized there is nothing for a single dollar, I got to wondering, is there anything cheaper out there?

The first alternative I found was 800razors, which had a very close resemblance to DSC, right down to the video on the home page (www.800razors.com) and the three different razors available for monthly shipments.

The difference is, you have to buy a three-month supply, even if you subscribe. On the plus side, $19.95 is a lower price than $27. The down side is, you pay all at once, upfront. (Plus you have to store the larger supply of blades.)

Then I found a company called Dorco USA. And their razors looked awfully familiar.

Turns out, Dorco is actually the supplier for most of Dollar Shave Club’s blades! “Ken Hill, president of Dorco USA, said his firm sells Dollar Shave Club the four- and six-blade razors that are used in its packages.” (Source)

Don’t believe him? Well, just slide open the Executive cartridges, and you’ll see Dorco’s “Pace” brand embossed right there on the plastic!

dollar shave club is dorco pace

Here is their six-blade razor with trimmer, the SXA5000. As well as the four-blade, the FRA1000. The names are harder to keep track of than “the Executive” and “the 4X,” but they’re the same product.

If you can pony up the cash up front, you can get a 10-month supply of the “Executive” level cartridges direct from Dorco for $30 instead of the $90 it costs with DSC!

For me, getting the same blades from Dorco in bulk is actually more convenient. I don’t want to mess around with monthly shipments, nor do I really want some “f***ing great” company billing my credit card each month.

The Convenience Factor

This is their big selling point. And the monthly deliveries are indeed a big help… for some people.

If you buy your razors in the grocery store, you have to put them on the shopping list, and remember to grab them amongst a hundred other things. Or you have to make a run down to the convenience store and pay even more.

It’s not difficult, but there were plenty of days in the past where I would go to grab a fresh cartridge, only to realize I had run out! So I’d continue using the dull, rusty cartridge, and my face would suffer thanks to my forgetfulness!

max getting the mail

Small deliveries are also nice if you live in an apartment or are moving often. When you’re low on space, you don’t want to be buying razor blades in bulk and storing them. If you move often, why carry a big supply of blades with you?

With the Dollar Shave Club, you pay a little more, but you don’t have to store extra boxes in the cabinet, nor remember to go to the store and buy them.

Bonus Review: Dr. Carver’s Easy Shave Butter

DSC has been branching out to fill all your shaving needs. For instance, Dr. Carver’s Easy Shave Butter.

It makes sense. If you want the convenience of fresh blades showing up at your door, why would you want to go searching for shaving cream the old way? And surely DSC doesn’t mind taking more of your money!

At $8 for a 6 ounce tube, it’s slightly cheaper than other shaving creams, such as Proraso (which is about $10-12 for 6 ounces.)

And the “notable ingredients” do look good:

Notable ingredients: Golden Barley, Organic Prickly Pear Cactus, Pacific Sea Algae, Black Willow Bark, Vitamins A, C, E, and Oat Extract

Unfortunately, the true ingredients list is rather long and not nearly as ‘clean’ as the short version. But I tried it anyway!

Functionally, it went well.

The best part is, you can apply it to a dry face, and there’s no need to work up a lather with a brush. This makes it excellent for in a travel kit.

Why no brush? Because it’s not cream, it’s “butter.” I think it’s closer to a pre-shave oil than to a shave cream, because it goes on clear and is very slick. Point is, it’s interesting!

I got a good shave with it, and it smells great, so I’m happy!

Bonus Review Number Two: One Wipe Charlies

DSC will probably send you some of these as free samples with your order. You can use them to wipe chamois cream off your taint post-race, or use them as you desire…

My final verdict is…

The blades are really good for the price, no matter which service you order from. I’d rather order straight from Dorco and store the extra blades myself, but if you want convenience, go with the Dollar Shave Club.

When it comes to the shave butter, it’s good stuff! I definitely recommend trying some if you’re ordering blades from DSC.

Official website: www.DollarShaveClub.com

Product Review Details
Company: Dollar Shave Club
Product: Dollar Shave Club
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2014-05-24
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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coach levi
Hi, I'm Coach Levi. I'm a USA Cycling Certified Level 3 Coach as well as Level 1 Certified with Precision Nutrition. Want to feel better, ride faster, and look great? Let's work together!

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Coach Levi is my favorite child and favorite cycling coach. I'd choose him over Christoper McCarmikael even. Did I mention that Levi can coach you to a healthier lifestyle where you look and feel your best?
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Hometown, PA