So, you might have heard, but a couple of years ago the large consumer products conglomerate Unilever (Axe, Dove Men+Care, Brut, etc.) bought Dollar Shave Club for $1 Billion dollars.
That’s no small chunk of change, especially given that Dollar Shave Club was able to garner that type of valuation after only being in business for 5 years.
Known primarily for their insanely viral video that made them a household name, men have taken noticed and have made Dollar Shave Club an integral part of their morning routine…
…and with good reason.
Razors are expensive.
To have a sharp blade on the end of your cartridge razor is by no means cheap.
However, with competition becoming fierce in the men’s grooming world, razor prices have by and large come down over the years and us men don’t have to fork over such a large sum of money to just simply look good.
But here’s the deal:
Inevitably, men who are so accustomed to paying such a high price for a razor are suddenly apprehensive when a company comes along and claims that they can provide a great shave for a fraction of the cost….
…and understandably so!
After we test drove the Harry’s razor in our in-depth review, while the marketing was slick, the razor performance just simply missed the mark.
It’s this type of poor performance that can make men go back to their existing shave system.
But onwards we must search for better (and cheaper) alternatives!
So without further ado, let’s get started with our full review of the Dollar Shave Club:
Are We Being Paid By Dollar Shave Club To Write This Post?
In a word:
We, like all our readers, paid for this product with our own money:
We have no one stuffing our back pocket making us blindly say only positive things about Dollar Shave Club.
If we feel some things just aren’t that great, we will tell you.
Now we do want to note that, like most websites nowadays, have an affiliate relationship with Dollar Shave Club.
We can’t tell you specifics (because we don’t really care that much), but we do get paid a few cents if you buy anything from Dollar Shave Club if you click on a link in this article – all at no additional cost to you.
Now you might be wondering:
If you are getting paid, then this is a completely biased review!!!
And that assumption would be right!
But the fact is that if you did end up ordering from Dollar Shave Club and decided for yourself that it was complete garbage and returned it, those couple of cents we made from the sale would be forfeited.
So, we think it’s a fair deal and one that ensures we do deliver the best (and most accurate) information possible to you.
Unboxing The Dollar Shave Club Daily Essentials Starter Set
Packaged in a simple 5.75” x 8.5” box, the Dollar Shave Club Starter set is no-frills offering:
Within the box, you have everything you need in order to get a pretty close and comfortable shave along with a few extras:
Included in the Essentials Starter Set you have the following:
- Members handbook (overview of products, company, etc.)
- DSC monthly publication (short articles and puzzles to keep you occupied while on the throne)
- 4 cartridge razor heads (1 for each week)
- Razor blade handle
- 3 One Wipe Charlies (disposable wipes for your bottom) *
- Shave butter (1 oz.) *
- Body cleanser (1 oz.) *
* Part of the trial kit box pictured top-left.
What we really liked about the kit is that it contains a few extras including the body cleanser that smells absolutely amazing along with the One Wipe Charlies (let’s just face it, there is nothing like having disposable wipes when nature calls while not in the comfort of your own home).
As great as the extras may be, the focus today rests squarely on the razor, shave butter, and the overall shave experience.
So, let’s talk about each one of those a bit more in detail:
Dollar Shave Club Has A Very Familiar Looking Razor
If you are looking at the Dollar Shave Club razor and find yourself wondering that you may have seen it elsewhere before, it’s because you have.
While not clad in any bold branding on the handle or cartridge razor blades, the Dollar Shave Club razor is actually a Dorco razor (Pace 6 Plus to be exact).
While not as popular as Schick or Gillette, Dorco is a razor company that has been around for quite some time (1955) and is largely known for their affordable lineup and is actually the market leader of disposable razors in Asia.
In fact, if you wanted to skip the subscription model altogether, you could simply purchase the Pace 6 Plus directly from Amazon and save a few bucks but cutting out the middleman (Dollar Shave Club).
The razor itself is pretty great and does provide terrific grip while in wet shaving cream induced environment.
As evident on both the top and underside of the razor, the notched rubber grip won’t slip out of your hand accidentally – especially if you plan on shaving in the shower:
The length of the razor itself is on par with the Gillette Fusion ProGlide and just a bit shorter than Harry’s:
Meanwhile the cartridge head width was nearly identical to other cartridge razors on the market. However, the height of the head more closely mimicked the Gillette rather than the larger Harry’s head:
The smaller heads not only ensure a smaller gap between the blades, which may lead to increased comfort during the shave, but will also make it easier to get around the contours of your face.
Meanwhile the pivot of the head found on the Dorco razor is good but not as great as others:
The weight of the Dorco Pace was comparable to most other cartridge razor systems and came in at 50g (with cartridge head):
For reference, Harry’s weighed in at 41g while the Gillette Fusion ProGlide also came in at 50g.
The Dorco Pace 6 Plus as the name infers comes with 6 blades on the front of the razor head along with a trimmer blade that can be found on the back:
Overall it’s a pretty standard cartridge razor.
Dr. Carver’s Shave Butter
Unlike traditional shave creams that foam up when you apply them, the shave butter packed alongside your razor in the starter set is actually a type of latherless shave cream.
While we unpacked a bit about shave butters in this article, just know this:
Shave butters largely rely on natural ingredients in a latherless form in order to make your skin supple and ultimately a comfortable surface for shaving.
The one provided by Dollar Shave Club is no different as you will see in just a minute.
Made here in the USA, it’s packed full of ingredients like macadamia seed oil, grape seed oil, oat kernel extract along with countless others.
Basically, it’s like a coat of natural goodness for your face – making it perfect for men who have terribly sensitive skin or those who like to rely on natural ingredients to get the job done.
While this is just a sample size (1 oz.), it’s perfect for travel as it comes in under the strict 3.4 oz. travel rule that TSA enforces.
Review The Dollar Shave Club’s Shaving Experience
At the end of the day, if the razor and shave butter doesn’t perform well, then it’s simply a waste of money.
The act of shaving by itself is a process that millions of men dread every day when they wake up.
But a razor that simply leaves you in pain with unwanted irritation can make the process that much worse.
So how does the Dollar Shave Club stack up when compared to others?
We will tell you in just a minute!!
But first, let’s go over what the razor will be cutting through today.
Here’s a quick before pic:
I had only a couple of days of beard growth, so the razor shouldn’t have too much difficulty cutting through the whiskers.
Before shaving I went ahead and took a quick shower to soften the whiskers and then liberally applied Dr. Carver’s Shave Butter:
While it’s not at all apparent in the pictures, the shave butter is incredibly slick and went on clear. This makes it a fair bit easier to see what you missed when shaving while also making your skin plenty supple.
When making the passes with the razor, the pivot was still good enough to ensure that the head remained flush with the skin.
This not only helped to ensure that the shave was smooth, but comfortable as well:
One of the aspects that we think is really underrated when it comes to razor design is the height of the head.
When testing Harry’s razor, we found that the razor head was simply much to large for the mustache area:
As we touched on briefly before, Dollar Shave Club razor has about the same height as that of the Gillette cartridge razor, making it much easier to trim the whiskers on the upper lip without having to rely solely on the trimmer found on the back of the cartridge head:
When shaving the neck area (a common pain point for many men), the razor performed adequately well:
While we made the passes with the grain, there was still some mild irritation present as we will cover in just a minute.
Lastly, the head of the razor didn’t get clogged while we were shaving. This would be in large part due to the great properties found in the shave butter along with the mild beard growth that we had prior to shaving:
Post Shave Review of Dollar Shave Club
When looking at the post-shave pictures (no aftershave balm or face cream was applied yet), we were relatively satisfied with the results.
Here’s a comprehensive look from a few different angles:
As you can see there was just a very mild bit of redness on the neck which usually happens in most instances when I shave.
But overall there wasn’t any nicks or minor cuts.
Final Thoughts In Our Dollar Shave Club Review
With a quickly growing market of shave box subscription services, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of options.
But after getting our hands on the Dollar Shave Club’s Essential Starter pack, we can unequivocally say that this is one of the best affordable options out there.
The shave overall was pretty comfortable and provided acceptable results.
Having a fresh blade on a weekly basis ensures that you always get a close and comfortable shave until the next box shows up at your doorstep.
This type of offering is great for the men who must (or like to) shave daily.
While not as beautiful in packaging as Harry’s, Dollar Shave Club has it where it counts – a good and reliable shave.
So, if you are tempted to give Dollar Shave Club a shot, simply head over to their website and give the $5 buck trial a try – especially if you have been using the same cartridge razor for years.
You will be glad you did!
Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn’s expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.