Dollar Shave Club has a very specific type of marketing, it’s brash, in your face and filled with humour. If you watch DSC commercials, you’ll find the company founder will proclaim that their blades are “fudging great”. They are not coy and certainly won’t leave you wondering if they believe in their products. To put it simply, they provide shaving blades at much cheaper prices compared to store bought blades. They have their sights firmly set on Gillete and they have been steadily growing. Harry Razors on the other hand have taken a different approach to marketing.
Like DSC, Harry Razors have been growing steadily. But unlike DSC, Harry’s Razors have taken a very different approach to marketing. So, while DSC uses humour, Harry’s has opted for a sophisticated image. If you take a look at the Harry Razors website, or at their product line up, you’ll see that you can get a great shaving experience for less money, but you can also look sophisticated and cool while doing it.
Harry Razors Review: Marketing
Harry Razors have taken a different approach to sourcing their blades. While DSC purchase blades from Dorco, Harry Razors have jumped in feet first and bought a $100 million razor blade factory based in Germany. This bold move allows them to control the quality of the blades produced. Additionally, Harrys have raised more than $75 million in funding, so they are definitely in this for the long haul and are committed to taking a slice of Gillete’s $7.9 billion in sales. Even if they only manage to claim a small percentage of Gillete’s market, that can still be worth hundreds of millions every year.
While DSC and Gillete both appear to be marketing to the ‘athlete, frat, bro’ market, Harry’s Razors is taking aim at the suit wearing professional. They are for anyone who would rather dress like James Bond, rather than a more casual look. The question remains, are they good and do they live up to the hype. Read on to find out!
Harry Razors provide a free trial kit, just pay $3 for shipping and handling. The kit provides everything you need to give Harrys a fair go, you’ll get a handle, three blades and a can of shaving gel. The packaging is impressive and sets the tone for the shaving experience. That’s one thing you have to give Harrys credit for, they display great attention to detail, even the smallest things have not been overlooked. As far as first impressions go, Harry Razors have done a great job. Now onto the content of the trial kit.
If you have any experience with other non-main stream shaving brands, you might notice that the design of the razor handle is more in line with Edwin Jagger, Merkur or Truefitt & Hill styles of cartridge razor. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The look is simple, clean and sophisticated. Which is the polar opposite to the bright plastics and chrome effect boasted by DSC and Gillete.
The head of the razor is unique, it has a head which can detach in order to snap a new set of blades into the top. This feature is quite different to many other designs out there. Changing the blades is relatively straightforward, I certainly didn’t struggle to complete the job. If in doubt, Harry Razors do provide a set of easy to follow instructions, so there really is no excuse for not being able to do the job. (Both my wife and I managed to do it without any difficulties).
The original head which came with Harry Razors came with five blades and a self-lubricating strip. So, while the blade had a flex hinge, meaning it could tilt and provide a great shaving experience, it lacked a trimming blade. The new blade now has this feature, which is a marked improvement over the old design, and has the potential to change the blade from good to great. Let’s see how good it is.
Comparing the old cartridge side-by-side with the new cartridge, they look similar. The older design is on the far left of the photo, and both have been through around a weeks’ worth of shaving, just ensure a fair comparison. Judging from the state of the blade, I would estimate that I could perhaps get another two shaves out of the blade, which is pretty much normal for this kind of blade. I’ve seen a couple of reports of the Harry Razors blades rusting, however, I’ve not experienced this personally.
I can say from personal experience that the trimmer blade is incredibly sharp! I was handling the razor, and as I was fiddling with it, I decided to grab the blade from the top, straight away I could feel that I had managed to give myself a very small cut. Obviously, this is a rather stupid thing to do, but it does prove a point. The trimmer blade is a very sharp piece of steel and can easily cut you if you’re not careful.
Harry Razors: What’s it Like to Use
In order to scientifically and fairly gauge the effectiveness of the new cartridge design I decided to use a clear shaving cream, this was to allow me to see how well it trimmed on the few days’ worth of growth I had accumulated.
To begin the shave, I started on my sideburns, and the trimmer blade worked beautifully, there was no tugging, pulling or discomfort and no hairs left behind. The Harry Razors trimmer blade left me impressed, but a thought crossed my mind, could I shave my whole face with just one blade? To answer the question, it is possible, but it’s a bit of a pain to do, the trimmer blade gets clogged up after before completing a full stroke. That’s not a criticism of the blade itself, it’s not meant for shaving everywhere. It completes its intended job beautifully.
I completed my shave normally, using the trimmer blade in the appropriate places i.e. under the nose and in the corners of the mouth. After completing a standard four-pass shave, I was left with no stragglers and felt I had achieved a very decent shave. With the addition of the trimming blade, I have to say, this new cartridge has surpassed the old model. I liked the old cartridge and always thought it did a great job of shaving, but this new one is even better, it does a fantastic job. Harry’s razors have got this cartridge spot on!
I recently learnt that Harry Razor cartridges can be bought from Target, I thought it might be worth trying them out again, just to make sure there are no differences.
It’s worth noting that the selection of Harry Razors available at Target is pretty substantial and it gave me the opportunity to pick up a new handle as well as couple of blades.
The new handle has a nice feel to it and I prefer it over the original version. It’s rubberized, which is really a must have when you’re dealing with sharp objects, lather and moisture. The handle is very grippy and would be hard pushed to accidentally slip out of your hand. All in all, it’s a marked improvement over the original.
How the new handle shaves vs the original is very similar. They are both comfortable to use and should not cause any issues. I managed a very satisfactory shave with no discomfort and no stray hairs, it produced the perfect shave. The new handle does have another change which is worth noting.
The way the head of the blade head attaches to the handle is different, which has one slight issue, at least for me. I’m in the habit of tapping the head of the shaver against the sink when I’m shaving, and whenever I did this, the head would come flying off. This might just be my special shaving quirk, but this never happened with the old shaving handle. Harry razors have changed the way the head attaches to the handle. It’s not a deal breaker, and most people would probably never notice, unless you’re in the habit of tapping your razor against the sink.
Other than that minor issue, I don’t think there are any problems with the new handle design, I still managed to complete a very good shave.
As part of the starter kit you’ll receive a can of their shaving gel. As far as shaving gels go, it’s fairly standard stuff, but it does have a pleasant aroma of eucalyptus and peppermint. I’m not a big fan of shaving gels and harry razors offering is no different. As I began to lather up my face, I began to really appreciate the fact that I got into wet shaving. My everyday shaving products include a list of ingredients that are easily recognisable. This is the polar opposite to the harry razors luminous blue goo which turns into foam as you apply it to your face. If you’ve only every used shaving foams, I urge you to try something else, you might be pleasantly surprised. Regardless of my own prejudice of shaving foams, it still managed to do the job and didn’t dry my skin out. But there is one small issue with this blade when used with a foam like this.
As you’re shaving, the foam will start to come out of the back of the blade, which can result in splodges of hairy foam falling on the floor, sink, arms or chest. Not a great thing to happen. The only way to really overcome this issue was to rinse and clean the blade after every stroke. This is not a deal breaker in itself, but it is something you should know about, especially if you’re used to doing three or four strokes before needing to clean the blade.
So, is Harry Razors worth it? If you’ve used Gillete or another competitor for the whole of your having life, then Harry’s Razors are well worth considering. The blades start at $2 apiece and then go down in price. The handle and blades feel like good quality pieces of kit and if you’re switching from Gillete, you’ll probably save some money. Give the free trial a go and decide for yourself.