I Tried the Dollar Shave Club 4X Razor — Here's What Happened

Good shave, even better price


I love a good underdog story. When Dollar Shave Club first launched, I thought to myself, "how will they ever compete against the Gillette machine?" They seem to be doing well these days, so I thought it was time for me to buckle down and offer up my review of the Dollar Shave Club razor. My results were a mixed bag.

The Approach

First, it's hard not to notice Dollar Shave Club's irreverent "in your face" style of marketing. The founder's introductory video is hilarious and the language on the website and marketing is catchy and fun. I really enjoyed reading the website and learning about their products. I really love the Dollar Shave Club concept — you sign up for a monthly fee ($1, $6 or $9 depending on the quality of blades you order) and they automatically send you a free handle and a monthly shipment of blades. The $1 option sounds awesome, but it does not include shipping and handling like the more expensive options do. It's still cheap even with the added cost. Very simple and affordable compared to the major mass market razors. You can select from three styles: the introductory Humble Twin two-blade razor, The 4X four blade razor or The Executive 6 blade razor.

The Goods

My package arrived and I opened it with enthusiasm. I received The 4X for my review along with their Dr. Carvers Easy Shave Butter and a three pack of cartridges. My first impression was great. The handle is very nicely weighted, extremely comfortable to hold with the ergonomic shape and abundant rubber grips -- one of the most comfortable razors I've ever held. The razor cartridge snaps on and off very easily and it is fairly compact. The cartridge contains four blades, a rubber strip on the bottom and the lubrication strip on the top (fairly standard on most razors these days). The blades are spaced wide to allow for easy rinsing.

While the razor is comfortable to hold, it has that same cheesy overdone look the Gillette Fusion and most other mass-market razors are guilty of. As a middle-aged guy, I'd prefer to have something a little more elegant and mature handing in my shower (like my Harry's razor). I understand I am probably in the minority here -- most choose a razor based on price and effectiveness, not looks. Why can't I have all three? Oh, wait. I think I found that with the Harry's Razor.

The Shave

I first slathered some of their Dr. Carver's Easy Shave Butter on my face and started to shave. I'll just say it was not my favorite shave cream. I really did not care for the feel or lubrication of the shave butter, but I am more of a traditional English shave cream and badger brush kinda guy when it comes to shaving. I rinsed their product off and re-lathered with my trusty Dreadnought shaving cream and started to shave again. For comparison, I shaved half of my face with the Dollar Shave Club razor and half with my Gillette Fusion razor (both with fresh blades). While the Dollar Shave Club razor gave a very capable shave, it was not quite as close as the Fusion. I have also done the same comparison with my Harry's razor with similar results. The Dollar Shave Club shave was pretty good, it did the task and left me with no irritation.

I should also note that I have tried their Dr. Carver's Easy Shave Butter with my regular razor for the sake of comparison. The shave was good, with very little irritation, but as I mentioned before my preference is lather and a brush.

I should also point out that I have only reviewed the Dollar Shave Club 4X and the results may be better with their Executive razor. That being said, if you compare the price per blade of the 4x ($1.50 per blade per $6 four pack) with the Gillette Fusion ProGlide (about $3.63 for a $29 eight-pack on Amazon) it's a deal that's worth a little sacrifice in shave quality. At $1.50 per blade, the Dollar Shave Club 4X cartridge is cheaper than shaving with the Gillette Mach III as well. Using a great shave cream and proper shaving technique this razor will give you a good shave at an affordable price.

The Bottom Line

No, it's not the best shave I've ever had. With a name like Dollar Shave Club, I really didn't expect it to be. I would certainly recommend trying this one for yourself as it could save you some serious cash in the long run. For the price, you would be hard-pressed to find a better shave. Even if you don't like the razor, it's a fairly cheap experiment. A decent shave at a great price with blades automatically sent to your door each month? Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Hardcore shave enthusiasts probably won't care for Dollar Shave Club, but for the average Joe, this may be a great way to save some money (although proper blade care can stretch the life of any blade longer than most people get from their blades). For the price alone, I'll add this to my list of top five best razors.

While on the subject of the "bottom" line, the Dollar Shave Club folks also sent me a pack of One Wipe Charlies — their recently introduced "buttwipes" that I kinda like. Without getting into too much detail, these won't replace my regular tissue but were a nice way to finish up and get that extra clean. They are biodegradable and have a nice peppermint scent. Your bottom line will thank you for these, if you know what I mean.

Dollar Shave Club razors are available exclusively through the Dollar Shave Club website.