Fed up with paying too much for your razors and wondering about having them delivered? But, are shave clubs worth it? I joined four of the biggest companies to see who gave the best value and the best shave. How do they compare to the high-street brands?
I hate shaving but find it a necessary chore. I’m one of those people that looks like they should be on some sort of register when I grow a beard. For most of my adult life, I have used Gillette razors, but they don’t come cheap at almost £8 for 4. Cheaper options, such as disposables, can be a pain (literally) and I hate going to work looking like my face has been attacked by my cat. So, I went on a hunt for a better alternative.
Now, I joined a Shave Club several years ago. For the life of me, I can’t remember what they were called, but I wasn’t that impressed. The shave was somewhere in between a disposable and a decent razor but was still fairly pricey. I lasted a month and then gave up. But recently I started to see adverts about other Shave Clubs so decided to have another go.
Why join a Shave Club?
One of the main reasons is cost. Companies such as Gillette and Wilkinson tend to dominate the market and so they can set whatever prices they like. Plus the retailer you buy from also needs to make money. Shave Clubs operate independently from retailers, so in theory, can charge less.
Another claimed advantage is that you should never run out of razors. New blades are sent to you in the post periodically (depending on your preference and how often you shave). That said, I can never remember a time when I have run out of razors. If my last one has turned blunt, I will keep using it until I remember to get more when I’m next in the supermarket.
Which Shave Clubs to join?
I took a look at four of the most popular.
Cornerstone. In my opinion, probably the most aggressively marketed club. I listen to a lot of football podcasts which they seem to sponsor and saw plenty of their advertising in various places on the internet. A British company that has been operating for just over two years.
Harry’s Razors. Quite a well know brand and fairly big in America. They too have a fair amount of advertising across the net. Their factory is based in Germany.
Shave-Lab. Not a company I had heard of, I stumbled across this club from a quick Google search. They have been operating for over seven years from Germany.
Dorco. Found the same way as Shave-Lab, but loved the name! They originate from South Korea and have been in operation since 1955.
Over the last few months, I have trialled all the above razors (in-turn), taking into consideration price, sharpness and longevity to decide which gave the best shave.
Imagine what the postman thought when they all arrived in the space of a few days? I was tempted to replace my cat with one of these just to see his face.
Anyway, most clubs offer you a special offer when you join. Please note that these offers are subject to change.
£4. This included an engraved handle (in case your family gets easily confused), six razor cartridges and cover.
£3.95. Includes razor with one cartridge, shaving gel and case.
£11.56. Includes razor and four cartridges. This price came from a special discount voucher which isn’t always available (usual cost around £18). Shave-Lab charge in Euros so the price you pay can vary depending on exchange rates.
£1. Includes handle and four cartridges.
Which razor gives the best shave?
The best razor has to be Harry’s. It really provided the most comfortable shave without any nicks and stayed sharper for longer.
This was followed closely by Shave-Lab, which also provided a comfortable shave but didn’t stay sharp for quite so long.
Next came Cornerstone. The shave wasn’t too bad, but I felt that the blade went dull fairly quickly.
In last place came the Dorco. I managed to cut myself several times with this razor and never felt completely comfortable with it.
Which shave club gives the best value?
So we all know that the trial is there to get you hooked before you consider the long-term costs. I’ve calculated how much it will cost you per blade.
|Cost & Quantity||Shipping||Price per cartridge|
|Cornerstone||£14 for 6 blades||Free||£2.33|
|Harry’s||£14 for 8 blades||Free||£1.75|
|Shave-Lab||£18.11 for 12 blades||Free||£1.51|
(£2.10 with shipping)
|Dorco||£13.59 for 8 blades||£7.04||£1.70|
|Gillette Mach 3||£11.90 for 8 blades (Amazon)||Free (with Prime or £20+)||£1.49|
As you can see, you will be hard-pressed to save a lot of money when joining a Shave Club. Shave-Lab provides a great blade at a good price but is let down by shipping prices. If you decide to go with them, then buying in bulk will save you money.
Are shave clubs worth it?
I am genuinely quite surprised that shave clubs aren’t that great value… especially when they’re often advertised as such.
I really didn’t want to go down the usual route but unfortunately, the best option seems to be the Mach 3. If you purchase through Amazon, you can get cartridges for less than £1.50 each.
And if you sign-up to Subscribe and Save, you could get this down to around £1.40! I don’t think the Mach 3 is as good as Harry’s Razors, but they are close.
It’s a shame that the Shave Clubs don’t offer better value. But with that said, I would recommend signing up to try some of the above razors though. The initial cost is very low and it will give you a chance to see if there’s a more suitable razor for you.
One more thing…
If you’re looking to try and cut down on the number of blades you use, take a look at this Razorpit. Place your razor in it after you shave and it will prolong the life of your blade. Click on the image for more details.