I’ve long been appalled by the state of cartridge razors. Not only are they absurdly expensive, they also are strangely designed and marketed. It’s like the entire razor industry decided that razors should be associated with lightning fast speed and futuristic design. Razors are named “Mach 3,” “Fusion,” and “Turbo,” and they look more like the spaceships from a Sci-Fi show than grooming instruments.
Not to mention, would-be shavers are faced with the lose-lose dilemma of choosing between incredibly expensive cartridges that offer a good shave and affordable cartridges that will shred your face. Empty wallet or hacked up face— take your pick.
Anyway, I digress. The point is, most cartridge razors are ugly and a terrible value. It’s time someone brought some class and affordability back to cartridge razors.
That’s why I was so intrigued when I saw Harry’s razors. Harry’s seems to have grasped the above crisis of cartridge razors, and they are dedicated to making cartridge razors attractive and affordable again. I decided to give them a try and share my findings with you.
In my opinion, Harry’s has nailed the aesthetics of a great shaving experience. You won’t find any supercharged jet power products here. Everything from their website to the product packaging is clean and sharp— like a good razor.
Maybe you think it doesn’t matter, but I disagree. How you market a product speaks volumes about your goals for it and the kind of consumer you want to reach.
I ordered the $15 starter package that comes with three blades, a tube of shaving cream, and a razor. Considering you could spend as much on a single cartridge razor without the extra cartridges or shaving soap, this is a good deal.
Harry’s offers a free shipping option, a rarity these days, and that’s what I chose. Everything arrived in about three days. Opening the box reveals the contents neatly laid out in compartments. Everything is handsome and well designed and just feels well made.
As an aside, Harry’s offers auto-refill packages, so you can have new cartridges and cream mailed to you automatically at the frequency you desire. This is a nice option, and the cost isn’t that bad.
While aesthetics matter, obviously the shave is the most important aspect of a razor. Harry’s makes a big deal about their German engineered blades, and they promise they perform better than other blades on the market. So do they?
Honestly, I haven’t used a cartridge razor in a long time, so the only thing I can compare the Harry’s shave to is my Merkur safety razor loaded with Feather blades. The Harry’s shave was comparable, and that’s a pretty big compliment for a cartridge razor.
The advantage of a good cartridge razor is that you don’t have to worry so much about blade angle, and because the Harry’s razor is five-bladed, I had to make fewer passes to get the same shave. The razor fits comfortably in the hand (Harry’s claims the ergonomics are specially designed), and you won’t have to deal with any rubber pads or strange, swoopy curves like you do on the futuristic mainstream razors. It’s worth mentioning that Harry’s offers a few handle options, including a monogrammed chrome handle featuring your initial if you are feeling extra luxurious.
As for the included cream, it was quite nice with a light, fresh scent. It goes on smooth, though in my few shaves with it, it didn’t lather as well as some. I would compare it more to a lotion than an actual shaving soap. That said, it did the job and felt great. Harry’s says it is loaded with essential oils and other natural extracts, so it’s good for your skin. I’d choose it over the gel goop from a can any day. In fact, I’m seriously considering buying it from now on instead of my Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood shaving cream, which I love.
Hands down, Harry’s is superior to your average cartridge razor from the drug store. Ordering Harry’s is significantly cheaper in the long term, the blades are better and more affordable than regular cartridges, and the experience is far classier. If you’re going to use cartridge razors, I can’t imagine using anything but Harry’s.
That said, is Harry’s enough to make me switch from my trusty safety razor? Probably not, but I’ll keep using Harry’s for the time being since I have a couple more cartridges left. At this point, I still find the safety razor superior. The craftsmanship behind the razor itself is far better (weighty metal versus plastic is night and day), and the feather blades are still far cheaper than Harry’s blades. And the shave is just as good.
Still, Harry’s razors are some of the nicest I’ve come across, and they make shaving with a cartridge razor sharp and gentlemanly again. I recommend them and give them the Catholic Gentleman’s seal of approval.
PS: Full disclosure, I used the refer a friend link from the Harry’s website. That means I’ll get some free cartridges if you order through it. If you don’t want to order that way, just visit Harry’s.com. I only recommend products I’ve tried.