Putting Dollar Shave Club to the Test

The YouTube commercial for Dollar Shave Club is a viral success story for the little company that mails high-end — yet generic — razor blades to your door every month for $1, $6 or $9. Combine that with the ridiculous lengths my wife goes through to save cash on the Gillette Fusion blades I currently own — coupons are just the beginning — and it seemed like a good time to try out this lower cost alternative.

I emailed the company if they could send me some test samples and a week later I was busting open the $6 and $9 a month blades and handles.*

I tried the four-blade $6 dollar setup first. I thought the handles for both versions were sturdy in terms of construction with a good weight to them.

For the first shave I used Edge Gel which isn't my preferred choice but I was out of The Art of Shaving Kelp cream I usually apply.

The blade was nice and sharp and didn't produce any more nicks than I'm accustomed to. The only thing I didn't like was that the top of the blade wasn't as accurate as the Fusion blades and there's no blade on the back for more exact lines. So the area under the edges of my nostrils required more care.

Because I wasn't using the higher end cream I just did a shave with the grain.

The next shave with the six-blade (yes 6!) $9 setup I decided to do both courses with and against the grain despite using the Edge gel. The six blades delivered a noticeably better shave than the three-blade but was just slightly superior to the Fusion which has four on the front, with the fifth on the back.

The blade was so large getting to tricky spots was also uh...tricky. My skin was super smooth though afterwards. It was a great shave.

I used both blades on a few more shaves with the grain and was pleased with the results. I also threw in a shave with the Fusion blades and there was no real revelation using it. However, I did feel like the four blade was getting "old" after three shaves. I generally get through four shaves or so before I think the Fusion has seen better days. I won't shave against the grain with a blade that has seen more than two previous shaves. It's too rough on my skin.

A day or so later I received my replacement shaving cream and gave the four-blade another try.

It was a close shave and I had no reservations about going against the grain. My daughter Evie gave it her approval after a few passes across my cheek. She is of course the biggest complainer about my "scratchy beard" when I go a day without shaving...and sometimes even at the end of a long day after I've shaved. I did have less daily growth with the six-blade.

After this endorsement I decided to sign-up for the service with my own dough. I went with the four-blade at $6 a month. They send just four blades a month for that much which comes to $1.50 a blade. The premium blades are $9 a month or 2.25 a blade. The Fusion blades at Costco cost $2.75 a blade. I just went this weekend to check. There are no shipping charges or taxes. It's just $6.

I'll see if this is the future for me or not. I've given up on electric shaving and the Fusion hasn't been a problem for me in the past. I also like the idea of not having to think about where my next razor is coming from or if I have to wait on a special coupon or deal my wife finds.

*Dollar Shaving Club provided two sets of blades for me to test. I received no other compensation from the company for this post.

If you decide to try out Dollar Shave Club use this link. Any member gets free blades for friends who sign up. And I'm not going to turn down free blades.