Thursday, January 28, 2016

Search for the best balance of men's razor performance vs. price

My shaving gear.
I remember getting my 8th grade school photos and seeing a slight mustache above my lip. I didn't like it and realized it was time for me to start shaving.

The very first shaver I used was some old Nerelco with three shave heads.

I didn't like it. Too many shaving burns on my face.

I may have tried a few others but eventually I arrived at the Mach 3 in about 1998. I fell in love with it.

In fact, I didn't use any other razor for about 15 years. But the dollar shave club video changed that. When I looked at the price difference, I thought why the heck not try these cheaper blades. Maybe they'll be just as good.

They weren't. And I didn't even try the Dollar Shave Club Blades. I found out that their blades are supplied by Dorco, which ended up being an even less expensive way to go.

So I ordered a sample pack of 5 blade razor blades to try out. They were OK. Seemed a little cheaper, but OK.

But now I was on a search for a better blade. I tried some of Gillette's Mach 5 blades and realized they really were better than Mach 3.

I also tried some of Shick Hydro 5 blades. Very nice.

Then, similar to the Dollar Shave Club, I heard about the relatively new blades from a German-based company called Harry's. So I ordered some of these to try out. Really nice handle...

I now had a whole selection to compare and realized one very important thing. This is no perfect razor blade at the perfect price.

The trouble is that each blade makes trade offs.

Note: I bought and tested all of these blades on my own, though some of of the links below are affiliate links.

Schick Hydro 5 Blades - Best but most expensive

The closest and smoothest shave ended up being provided by the Schick Hydro blades. They also have the best on-face feel of any of the blades. I'm not exactly sure how to describe it, but the blade moves across your face the best of any of the blades.

The downside of the Schick Hydro blades is that they are by far the most expensive. So if money is not an issue for you, go with the Hydro blades.

Harry's Blades - Awesome handle but blades cut me up

I really, really wanted to like Harry's Blades. The handle is amazing, as I mentioned above. It has a really premium feel. Whereas the rest of these handles feel cheap and have rubber on them, Harry's is metal with a great weight and feel. The blades are also a very good price.
The problem I had is that the blade cut my face up worse than any other blade I've ever used. Like worse than a cheap disposable blade. I'm not sure what the deal is, but they just didn't work for me. I even emailed customer service and they told me to try different angles. Just didn't work.
If you feel like you want to try them, Harry's currently has a free trial.

Mach 5 - Still a Great Blade

I still have a few trusty Mach 3 blades that I may use at some point, but Mach 5s are worth the slight price increase. The trouble is that the Mach 5s are not that much better than the winner of the group. Sorry, Gillette. It was a good run for 15 years but time to move on.

Dorco Pace 7 - The Winner

I know it's hilarious that this thing has 7 blades, but they
My favorite - Dorco Pace 7
work well. The greatest thing about these blades that put them over the top is that I rarely cut my face. These things leave less nicks than any other blades I've ever used. The shave is not quite as close the the Schick Hydro, but definitely adequate. Dorco also runs specials and I've gotten many blades far cheaper than any others. These two factors combined, price and less cuts, make the Dorco Pace 7 blades the winner.
The honeycomb bar feels very nice and the handle is pretty decent. These blades are definitely worth checking out and what I use every day now.

If you are interested in checking these out, Dorco also lets me give a coupon to my friends. Check it out.
My razor in its case

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