Harry’s razors review


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I’m what leaders in the razor sciences refer to as “follicly gifted”; I have five o’clock shadow by 9 a.m. While being the only kindergartner with a full beard was great, as I became older, the facial grooming necessary for work became a hassle.

Additionally, I have mildly sensitive skin; I’m prone to razor burn, dry skin, and ingrown hairs.

As you may have surmised, I abhor shaving.

For most of my life, I shaved with the Gillette Thermonuclear Warfare 87 blade shaving system. Okay, that may be an exaggeration, but I’ve always purchased whichever Gillette razor had the highest number of blades.

While Gillette provided an excellent shave, I was paying an obscene amount of money for replacement blades.

For the last few years, I’ve experimented with every shaving system possible. I’ve tried generic razors, the Dollar Shave Club, electric razors, and even an old-fashioned double-edge safety razor.

While every system has its pros and cons, I’ve yet to discover a shave with the right combination of cost, shave quality, shave comfort, and shaving time.

Recently, I was given the chance to review Harry’s razor blades. Here’s to hoping they transport me to shaving paradise.

What is Harry’s?

For those not familiar with Harry’s, it is a subscription based shaving system. I’ll get into pricing later, but basically, you choose a shaving package, and every few months you receive a refill in the mail.

Before subscribing you have two options, you can either select Harry’s free trial set (you’re responsible for $3 in shipping costs) or you can purchase a starter set for $15 to $30.

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The trial set includes their Truman razor handle and blade in one of three color options(Total Orange, Nautilus Blue, and Olive 107), a 2oz sample of their foaming shave gel, and a travel blade cover.

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The starter sets all include the same equipment: a razor handle, a 4oz can of foaming shaving gel, 3 blades, and a travel blade cover. The differences between the starter sets is in the type of razor handle.

The Truman set provides the same handle as the free sample, the Winston set includes a razor with a polished chrome handle and rubber grip, and the Winter Winston set includes a limited-edition Winston handle which can be engraved with up to 3 letters.

The Shaving Set

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For the review, Harry’s was kind enough to send me the Truman starter set. I opened the kit and was immediately struck by its air of sophistication and its gentlemanly quality.

Harry’s is clearly trying to set itself apart from other shaving systems; this is a system for the refined shaver. I don’t mean this a snobbish, upturned nose sort of way; rather, an “I take pride in my daily shave” sort of way.

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My kit included the Tropical Orange razor handle.

I really like the design the of the handle. While some may consider it plain, I would consider it to be minimalist. I’ve had my fill of chrome razor handles with a multitude of fluorescent colors; this is certainly a nice change of pace.

The entire handle is rubber; this makes for an excellent grip when shaving.

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The razor head is composed of 6 blades, five standard blades and one precision shaving blade. It is flexible and has a lubricating shave for comfort.

The blades are stored in a plastic container.

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The container opens to reveal the blades.

The foaming gel comes in a 4oz can, similar to what you would find at the supermarket.

I don’t have the ability to identify specific scents out of a product, i.e., “it smells of sandalwood, with hints of eucalyptus and orange peel”. I can tell you the gel smells “manly”.

I shave before taking a shower; therefore, the smell of the gel is washed away and doesn’t follow me throughout the day. If you’re someone who shaves after a shower, the fragrance isn’t overwhelming at all. It’s a subtle, clean fragrance that won’t offend you or those around you.

The gel lathers well and goes on easy. It provides for a smooth shave, allowing the razor to glide across your face.

One of the more interesting items that ships in the Truman set is the travel blade cover.

It’s a plastic cover that fits over the head of the razor blade. It opens and closes very easy.

I liked it for two reasons.

First, I have kids; the cover ensures that my kids will never accidentally cut themselves if the razor falls off a shelf, or they accidentally grab it reaching for something else.

Second, not every razor comes with some type of case or holder; however, the ones that do, don’t have the ventilation area Harry’s cover does.

My generic blades didn’t have anything and the lubrication strip would sometimes stick to the shelf or countertop.

My Gillettes had a holder; however, if I didn’t dry the razor, water would drip from it and pool where the razor head rested. The water would cause the lubrication strip to deform or fall apart.

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Thanks to the ventilation on Harry’s cover, the lubrication strip doesn’t stain or deform, allowing you to get more life out of the blade.

The Shave

Before discussing the quality of the shave, I wanted to give you one more fun-fact about me.

Along with growing facially hair rather quickly, I’m also “lucky” enough to grow very coarse facial hair. Razor blades do not last long when I use them. I average a blade a week – a week and a half if I’m lucky – and the last shave is rarely pleasant.

After using Harry’s razors for a month, I was extremely pleased with the quality and comfort of the shave. The shave itself wasn’t the closest shave I’ve ever had, but it was definitely one of the more comfortable shaves I’ve ever had.

The closest shave I’ve ever had was from my double-edge safety razor; it would literally leave my face baby-smooth. Unfortunately, it was just too time consuming to use.

Harry’s falls in line with the Gillette razors I’ve used, and far exceeds the Dollar Shave Club or generic razors. It provides more than an acceptable shave for your average person.

As far as comfort goes, Harry’s may have been the most comfortable shave ever. Again, I think this is attributed to the fact that the lubrication strip is protected by the Travel Case. After multiple shaves, the strip was still in pretty good condition.

The Cost

Gillette is one of  – if not the most – recognized names in shaving. If you’ve made it this far into the review, I’d venture a guess that you’ve used a Gillette razor at one time or another. With that in mind, I’ll be comparing the cost of Harry’s to the cost of Gillette.

Harry’s Truman razor seems most comparable to the Gillette Fusion Manual razor. Both have 5 standard blades with a precision trimmer, both utilize a similar type of cartridge replacement system, and neither have any type of vibrating razor head.

The initial cost for both is the razor handle and blades.

As I described earlier, for the cost of shipping ($3), Harry’s will send you a razor handle with one blade, a 2oz sample of their foaming shave gel, and a travel blade cover.

For $9.95, you can go to the supermarket and get a Gillette Fusion Manual razor handle with two blades.

Right off the bat, Harry’s is the clear winner. Yes, with Harry’s you’re getting one less blade, but you’re also getting a shave gel sample and the travel blade cover that I really enjoyed, for almost $7 less.

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Once you have your razor handle, you’re going to eventually need to purchase replacement blades.

Harry’s charges $15 for eight replacement blades. You can choose to have the eight blades shipped every two, three, or five months.

I average about a blade a week, so I’ll be judging cost based on the every two months subscription. At this rate, I’d be paying just under $1.88 a blade.

Things get a bit trickier when determining the per blade cost of replacements for Gillette. They are more widely available in different package counts. You can find a four pack for $18.49 ($4.62/blade), an eight pack for $24.59 ($3.07/blade), or a twelve count for $27.32 ($2.28/blade).

As you can see, no matter what package you pick, you’re paying more for Gillette blades than for Harry’s.

A few notes about this section of the review.

First, Harry’s does offer a subscription plan that comes with eight blades, plus two cans of shave gel, but I wanted to do an apples to apples cost comparison. Gillette makes a dozen different shave gels which are sold are various stores for various costs. It would be too time consuming to make a fair comparison.

Second, Gillette also offers a subscription based shaving system; however, the cost is so offensive and obscene I chose not to include it in the comparison. I was afraid a Federal agency may shut down The-Gadgeteer if I printed such vulgarities.

Finally, I didn’t include the Dollar Shave Club or generic blades in the cost section because I don’t feel they provide the same quality shave as Harry’s or Gillette. Again, I was trying to do as much of an apples to apples comparison as possible.

Conclusion

I loved Harry’s razors, everything about them. I loved their appearance, their shave quality, their shave comfort, their shave time, and their costs.

For me, Harry’s provides the perfect combination of quality, cost, and efficiency. Anyone that’s required to shave on a regular basis should at least try Harry’s trial set.

I’m extremely tempted to become a full-time Harry’s customer. They only thing holding me back?….On Black Friday I made an impulse purchase of an electric razor. I’m currently debating whether to send it back or not.

If I do send back the electric razor, I’m 100% becoming a Harry’s customer.

Source: The sample for this review was provided by Harry’s. For more information please visit their site.

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Product Information

Price:Variable
Manufacturer:Harry's
Retailer:Harry's
Requirements:
  • The ability to grow facial hair
Pros:
  • Appearance
  • Shave quality
  • Shave comfort
  • Shave time
  • Cost
Cons:
  • You have to shave (technically not Harry's fault)
37 comments… add one
  • Dan December 4, 2016, 6:11 pm

    I just switched from the big G to Harry’s. It sounds like we have the same folical challenges, too. Just wanted to let you know that you might also find Harry’s products at your local Target. Same price, no shipping or commitment.

  • John December 4, 2016, 8:09 pm

    I absolutely hate to shave, and like you, have some thick growth and sensitive skin. The problem for me with these razors (and others that have 5+ blades, as opposed to say 3) is that hair gets constantly stuck between the blades, and requires a real cleaning as I’m shaving. In fairness, I don’t shave every day, but I never have this issue with razors that use fewer blades spaced a little more apart.

    I thought the shave for the price was reasonable, but I certainly didn’t get a month form a single cartridge like you. Maybe 2.5 weeks tops. And as the other commenter mentioned, I found mine at Target, and it was worth the price. Comfortable handle, and I also like the cover for traveling.

    • LEO February 9, 2017, 11:05 am

      If hair gets stuck between the blades, I use a can of “air duster”….a few squirts and the hairs are gone…..

  • Rob Tillotson December 4, 2016, 9:49 pm

    Hah, I just ordered the $30 midnight blue set, before being reminded by these comments that I actually saw the empty display area being set up in Target a couple of weeks ago. Well, if the prices are the same that will be good for replacement blades, anyway. And getting it online means I don’t have to go to Target during Christmas shopping season!

    Even the generic Mach3 blades I usually use don’t cost a lot less than $2, and they kind of suck anyway. Pity I will have to stop using my lovely Tactile Turn Pruner solid stainless steel handle… oh well.

  • Lou December 4, 2016, 10:40 pm

    Coming soon in 2017 SmartRazor; the world’s first computerized razor with heated blades. The automatic heated blades cut through hair 200% easier than non-heated blades. Smooth, super close, and so comfortable.

  • craig December 5, 2016, 8:40 am

    unlike you, i’m the guy who gets 5 o’clock shadow at midnight two days after his shave

    harry’s was an experiment

    picked up a set in august and we are just experiencing that telltale drag announcing a blade change is due (December)

    as somebody who started shaving when a roll of toilet paper and a styptic pencil were necessary I find this system a delight

    if there is con…the grip can be slippery

  • Ross Goldberg December 5, 2016, 9:46 am

    You should probably note that Harrys offers a subscription service but you can also purchase as one-offs and not be tied to a subscription.

    I have similar facial hair to yours – you should probably consider shaving AFTER showering (including washing your face) to give your facial hair time to soften and you’ll end up with a smoother shave with less razor burn. I think the Harry’s shaving CREAM (instead of the gel) also helps provide a smoother shave – it’s more of a lotion-type substance and does well for lubrication without greasiness.

    I liked Harry’s blades but the Schick Hydro 5 won out slightly in my personal trial where I went 2 weeks with a Harry’s blade on one side of my face and the Hydro 5 on the other. Both were much more satisfactory than the equivalent Gillette brand. If you haven’t tried the Hydro 5, I would recommend giving that a shot too. (Refills can be bought on amazon for $1.16 a replacement head if you buy in bulk, which beats anything of the comparable disposable safety razor I’ve seen in stores or online.)

  • Pete December 5, 2016, 10:44 am

    Hi Dennis. Have you tested ShaveMate razors yet?

    For best shaving performance, comfort, value and convenience, please use and review ShaveMate Titan Razors at http://www.shavemate.com.

    These innovative patented razors have 6 precise blades for top performance and rich shaving cream inside the razor handle for all-in-one super convenience. With their patented flex-neck technology and all the other patented features you will definitely know these are the most innovative razors on the planet. Made in USA too.

    Both the Men’s Titan

    • Alan Claver December 5, 2016, 5:25 pm

      Is this a post from a ShaveMate employee. You should say so.

  • Lex December 5, 2016, 12:44 pm

    Strongly recommend electric shaving -after- shower too. Works for me 90% better / closer than if I shave pre-shower. Wish I could use Harry’s but cannot shave w/ blades. I end up looking like a 14 year old entering puberty.

  • DougB December 5, 2016, 1:05 pm

    I don’t think it needs to be a blade vs electric. I use them both. I use the blade most of the time, but it’s handy to have a electric shaver for quick shave when you need it.

  • julie December 5, 2016, 1:15 pm

    I am a woman who has been using Harry’s for a few years now. Am incredibly happy with the results and more so, Harry’s high quality customer service. Am still waiting for them to come out with a Women’s line…although I don’t know how much better it could be than what I currently use. Additionally I like that here on the west coast, Harry’s is now in many Target stores making it that much easier to get my blades.
    Thought the women on this site would want to know how well it works for all!

    • Air March 1, 2017, 2:04 pm

      Julie, thank you! I am grateful for the gentlemen who have convinced me to purchase Harry’s for my husband to try, but I was hoping a female would have some input. I do not like shaving, it is the worse. I end up torturing my poor husband when I have to let the hair grow out and wax. However, I will also try them and see if they work for my skin. If they work as you mention, they will have two more customers. My husband is in law enforcement and has to have a clean shave. He has a five o’clock shadow after shaving (but still sexy). Thank you gentlemen. I will be purchasing at Target first and go from there.

  • Dick December 5, 2016, 9:36 pm

    Try shaving in the shower, while still wet, at the end of your shower. Stick a suction cup mounted mirror with razor holder on the glass or tile (available Wal-Mart), remove fog with a little bath soap (squeegee it clear with the side of your hand). I think you’ll find it the most comfortable shave you’ve ever had and blades last several times as long (Shake razor dry, don’t wipe, wiping destroys edge coating). Particularly effective for tough beard.

  • cindy January 12, 2017, 11:52 am

    i just joined harry’s and received my trial set last evening when i returned home. as a woman, i don’t shave the same areas as a man, thank god for that! but i will say, the areas that i do shave and this is my first go ’round, i am quite pleased with the results. i did not use the shave gel, and probably won’t due to the scent. but i am very happy with this and will continue to use harry’s.

  • Hawk January 12, 2017, 2:53 pm

    Received a Harry’s razor for my birthday. I’ve had a beard for 20+ yrs. The razor cut right through the beard (after I trimmed it back) and left me with a great naked face. I was surprised that I wasn’t left with a bloody razor burnt face. It was a nice smooth clean shave. However, the blade is too flexible. If you have a tight spot (around nose, corner of lips) or want a sharp trim at the sideburns, you’ll need to pull out another razor. I’ll just stick with my regular WalMart knock off brand.

  • LEO February 9, 2017, 10:54 am

    Have tried Harry’s 7 times and get a Barber’s straight razor result…..Excellent !!

  • Bill Moncuse February 12, 2017, 5:01 pm

    I am impressed with Harry’s shaving gear. I’ve been using the products for the past year or so and am completely satisfied. I especially like the shave cream and the shave cream dispensing container. Usually, with other brand name shaving creams, when you get to the bottom of the can, you get more air and foam rather than the cream itself. With Harry’s shave cream, you get the full measure of cream to the bottom of the can. Thanks folks…….keep up the good work.

  • Michelle February 16, 2017, 10:52 pm

    I am not a fan of these razor’s!I shave daily and these razor’s give me razor burn. Along with the fact I have also nicked myself, which I haven’t done in decades.
    I wanted to champion the little guy but I would not recommend these razor’s to anyone.

  • Jayson Nickols February 18, 2017, 7:03 pm

    Bought a starter set at Target. They provide a decent shave. I’ve had better, but at a much higher cost. These are not junk. The only negative complaint I have is the way the cartridge attaches to the razor. With five blades, hair will get lodged between those blades. As soon as you start tapping the razor on the side of the sink to loosen the hair, the cartridge will pop off. Running water across the blades does not work. To be fair, every discount razor seems to have this same problem. Other than that one issue, it’s a great razor.

  • Peter Dunner February 21, 2017, 10:25 am

    I switched to Harry’s blades from Gilette and was totally pleased. Then they came out with an “upgraded” version. It doesn’t shave as well, lasts about 1/2 the number of shaves per blade as the old ones. I have written to them about this. So I moved on to Schick sold by Costco and again, pleased at the same price as Harry’s. Harry’s products have a lot of plus’ but some badly done. The foaming shave gel is great but continues to run out of the spout after release. I have written to them about this as well and they haven’t improved the packaging.
    To me this is an example of a great idea gone awry.

  • William Klages February 24, 2017, 12:32 am

    Absolutely the worst blades that I have ever used. These blades are worse than the first time that I used a cheap disposal blade. Right from the first shave I just about scraped my face off. Do not buy.

  • Rick Pezzimenti February 27, 2017, 11:46 am

    Just about the best shave of my life! I am 65.. My first razor is still sharp as the first day!! All I do is rinse well and pat dry with towel. Razor handle feels very comfortable and well designed. ! A+++ Grade

  • Vincent Russo March 17, 2017, 9:51 am

    I was a happy Harry’s customer until they added that superfluous precision trimmer. I have lost count of how many times I have gouged myself with it when my razor slips. Harry’s customer service says they no longer sell blades without the precision trimmer and dismissed my comments about its peril. As soon as I finish my supply of Harry’s blades, I will look for a new vendor.

  • Kimball Olsen March 27, 2017, 4:03 pm

    DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT HANDLE IS 3RD WORLD AND BLADES CUT MY FACE ON 3 SHAVES DO NOT BUY THIS Grade f-f-f

  • Steve Garrard March 31, 2017, 2:09 pm

    First off- I like Harry’s razors. They give a good shave. But – I do have a huge gripe. Unlike any razor I tried over the years, I was surprised to discover that Harry’s engineers have actually designed the blade head to break down and be unusable after a week or so of shaves. When you make your money selling blades I guess you don’t want them to last long.The plastic simply bends and bends at the weakest point, requiring more pressure to get a good shave and eventually you can’t shave with it any longer. Gillette blades lasted forever although the blade got dull and the quality of the shave obviously got worse.

  • JAMes April 7, 2017, 8:52 pm

    Beg to differ. The handle/grip is slippery in the extreme. Also the blades at the top of the razor can’t really get at hair close to the base of the two nostrils. If you don’t have much hair at the base of the nostrils, this isn’t much of a problem. If you do–like me–you will cut yourself trying to get at those residual hairs.

    Ok ok guys: let’s calm down here. This razor delivers a decent shave. And that’s about it. It reminds me a bit of the iPhone: so classy, so beautiful, a bit restricted in its usability in the end. It was undoubtedly funded by investment bankers hoping to slay a Goliath. Maybe no one else on this string is going back to the overpriced Gillette. I am. This razor doesn’t work for some of us; I could barely hold the handle in my hand it wanted to slip out so badly. NB this isn’t shave-Shangrila: it’s try it and critically assess what you think works best and caveat emptor. For me, the razor did not deliver. (Nonetheless I do hope the competition will force Gillette to rethink their pricing and I am sure it will.)

  • King April 8, 2017, 9:19 am

    This review is poorly written and difficult to sort through. A simple table comparing the razors would have been more helpful and informative. Reading through this review was like dissecting an algebra problem. Hey Reviewer! Keep it simple in the future. None of us want to read your long-winded comments.

    Here is a template for a comparison table:

    Brand No. of Blades Quality of Shave [Other Columns] Cost Comments Rating

  • Max April 11, 2017, 8:30 am

    Scammed by Harry’s Razor. I get better results from a 7-11 disposable. I shave in the morning and by 2-3 pm the stubble starts coming in… I canceled my order already. Do not recommend.

  • Briano April 11, 2017, 10:31 am

    Harry’s is lovely stuff, but there is one problem for me: I can’t shave my upper lip under my nose. The thing doesn’t allow me to get there and do it effectively. I can do a better job with something made in the Maldives and available at a dollar store or another low-end spot. Seriously, I can’t shave that area with Harry’s razor. Period.

  • John April 15, 2017, 10:07 pm

    I’m on month two of Harry’s and will be going back to a good razor soon. I really wanted to like Harry’s but I’m done with the irritation, razor burn and poor shave. It’s like shaving with a cheap Bic or something. Loved the sales pitch but I’m headed back to a close comfortable shave. It’s worth the 2 extra dollars a month to me.

  • Donald Schoengold April 18, 2017, 3:32 am

    So Dennis – did you keep your electric or continue shaving w Harry’s

    DON

  • Ray Mondo April 22, 2017, 2:29 pm

    Fail. The blades don’t easily clean between strokes. After 1/2 stroke the lather jams the 5 blades and the razon becomes a sled.

  • Dirk Durstein May 16, 2017, 10:40 am

    Did not need all the excess packaging. A razor of all things does not require a bag and a reinforced cardboard box for safe mailing and transport. And I really don’t need a guide to shaving (particularly the archaic references to “against the grain”) or the other inserts. All that waste is not particularly green (although some of it can be recycled).

    The shave was decent but not close. Cannot rival the various Gillette blades you mention – or even their knockoff (but still overpriced) competitors at Schick. (The free shave cream seemed to have less lubricant than my can of Barbisol.) I normally have no “shadow” issues; but noticed that my beard seemed to grow back faster – no doubt the whiskers were not cut as low. Jury is out on how long the razor blades will last. The second shave was okay but not as comfortable – a bad sign. $3 for one razor and blade is no bargain; but cheaper than the ridiculous and unsustainable pricing from Gillette. What a weird market – like having to choose between a Corvette and a Spark, no models in-between. So much for “free” enterprise.

  • Jim May 17, 2017, 11:38 am

    Would any users of Harry’s recommend this for those of us who have to also shave their heads? Rather, CHOOSE to shave their heads?

  • DOUGLAS HARRIS LANE May 31, 2017, 1:55 pm

    It does matter what brand of shaver you buy. I can make one blade last for six months.Shaving once a day when I am finish i dry the Blade with a paper towel and blow dry with a hair dry

  • Armand Duvio June 6, 2017, 11:22 am

    I shaved one side of my face with Mach 3 and the other with Harry’s. Couldn’t tell the difference. Only good thing about Harry’s is that you don’t have to go to the store to buy your razors. Also, it’s hard to reach the hairs right below my nose. Think the extra blade at the top prevents it. I used my left over Mach 3’s to catch that part.

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