Best Online Deals for Razors
If you prefer to shave with a cartridge-based razor, the shaving companies have had you over a barrel for a while now. Razor cartridges are more complex than ever and they cost more than most consumers are willing to pay. To make matters worse, many retailers now keep the small boxes of razor cartridges under lock and key to deter theft. Not only do you overpay when buying them, but you also have the inconvenience of waiting for a store employee to unlock them for you. It’s no wonder that online razor sellers have become massively popular by promising cheaper razor cartridges delivered monthly to your door. Major companies have taken notice; in 2016, Uniliver purchased Dollar Shave Club for $1 billion. Gillette has also launched a subscription service for its razor cartridges.
So, is it worth it to buy razors online? How much money can you really save – and what is the shaving experience like? This overview compares the top online razor sellers.
The Different Types of Razors
Buying razors online gives you the perfect opportunity to experiment with different razor types. You’ve probably read that straight razors and safety razors can give you a closer shave at a much lower price – but that doesn’t mean they’re perfect for everyone. These are some of the benefits and drawbacks of each razor type.
The classic straight razor is the only type of razor that generally isn’t disposable. If you take care of the blade by cleaning and drying it, honing it before each use and taking it in for a professional sharpening every few years, you can theoretically use it for the rest of your life. A straight razor has a long, sharp blade capable of removing hair quickly and providing a very close shave.
The primary drawback of straight razors is that you can badly injure yourself with them if you aren’t careful. Because of the inherent danger, shaving with a straight razor is a slow, methodical process. If your primary goal when shaving is to get the process over with as quickly as possible, a straight razor probably isn’t for you.
A safety razor uses a single sharp blade – often with two cutting edges – that’s nearly as sharp as the blade of a straight razor. However, a safety razor exposes only a small portion of the blade’s edge to reduce the chance that you’ll cut yourself accidentally. Many people believe that a safety razor offers a better shaving experience than a cartridge-based razor. In addition, you’ll pay only a few cents for each safety razor blade when you buy blades in bulk.
Although a safety razor prevents deep cuts, painful nicks and irritation are still possible when shaving with one. Like a straight razor, a safety razor isn’t conducive to fast shaving. Since a safety razor doesn’t have multiple blades, you may find that you require more passes with a safety razor than you’d need with a cartridge-based razor to get a close shave – and each pass increases the likelihood of irritation.
Cartridge-based razors are probably what you currently use. The angled blades make them extremely safe; it is almost impossible to give yourself anything more than the tiniest nick when shaving with a cartridge-based razor. A cartridge also usually has a lubricating strip to provide additional comfort. A cartridge-based razor provides an excellent shave for most faces, and the design of the cartridges is perfect for fast shaving.
The primary drawback of cartridge-based razors is that the replacement cartridges can be quite expensive. Some razor cartridges cost more than $4.00 each in stores. You can save money by buying the cartridges online – something we’ll discuss in the next section – but a cartridge-based razor is still the most expensive way to shave.
The Best Online Deals for Razors
Dollar Shave Club
With subscriptions starting at just $1 per month, Dollar Shave Club is the original and best known online razor seller. Dollar Shave Club sells three razor models:
- The Humble Twin (two blades, $1.00 per month)
- The Ax (four blades, $6.00 per month)
- The Executive (six blades, $9.00 per month)
Depending on the razor model, you’ll receive four or five cartridges per month.
Harry’s manufacturers its five-blade razor using blades made in a German steel factory. Through the Harry’s subscription plan, you’ll receive blades for $1.87 each at the interval of your choice. You can even get the handle, along with a blade and some shaving gel, for $3 through the Harry’s trial program.
Dorco offers an extensive selection of razors for both men and women. Dorco’s cartridge system is proprietary, but all the blade styles work with all of Dorco’s razor handles, with the small exception of the two-blade style. You’re free to try all of Dorco’s other cartridges without purchasing a new handle. In all, Dorco sells cartridges with two, three, four, six and seven blades.
ShaveMOB sells razor handles and cartridges for men and women on a monthly subscription basis. ShaveMOB uses a proprietary connection for its handles and cartridges, but the company only sells two handles – one for men and another for women. Once you’ve purchased a handle, you can use it with all of ShaveMOB’s cartridges. Subscriptions are available at $1 per cartridge and up.
Gillette on Demand
Perhaps due to pressure from the burgeoning razor subscription industry, Gillette has introduced a subscription system of its own. At the time of writing, you can buy three products through Gillette on Demand: Sensor 3 disposable razors, Mach 3 Turbo cartridges and Fusion ProShield cartridges. You can order the products whenever you like, or you can buy them on a subscription basis. If you subscribe, you’ll receive every fourth order free.
Is Buying Razors Online Worth It?
The shaving industry has drawn sharp criticism from some for giving birth to the razor-and-blades business model. In the razor-and-blades business model, a company sells its core product at a low price – but the product is useless without a costly consumable accessory. Some people believe that companies such as Gillette have gone too far in the quest for higher profit margins. One publication alleges that Gillette’s profit margin for Fusion cartridges is as high as 4,750 percent.
Gillette’s response to allegations of profiteering is that the process of researching consumer shaving habits and improving its products is extremely costly – and in consumer testing of how online shaving club products compare to Gillette’s blades, Gillette routinely comes out on top.
So, is buying razors online worth it? Online shaving clubs charge extremely reasonable prices for razor cartridges – and no two people have the same exact shaving needs. You may find that a shaving club’s razor works nearly as well for you as the more expensive razor you’re using now, and buying your razors online can cut your costs by as much as 75 percent. If you try some less expensive razors and find that they don’t work for you, buying cartridges for your current razor online may still be a good idea. You’ll save a little money – and you’ll avoid the hassle of asking store employees to open locked cases for you.