Our Essential Guide To The 3 Best Men’s Razor Subscriptions

cornerstone razor

It goes without saying that your tees, hoodies and sweats make up a big part of your men’s urban style, but personal grooming is important, too. We talked recently on the blog about some of the best razors for men, and with all these men’s razor subscription services springing up all over the UK, it seemed like a solid plan for us to check out what they’re all about, too. So one of our guys in the office has taken the plunge, and over the course of a couple of weeks he’s run the gauntlet for you, to find out which service is the most on point. Here’s what he found out…

Dollar Shave Club Shaving Subscription

Dollar Shave Club

The guys at Dollar Shave Club started out with one simple mission. With only a couple of huge companies dominating the market, the founders were tired of feeling like they were being taken for a ride every time they went to buy a razor. So, they decided to start a subscription based grooming brand with personality, and one that, you know, guys actually identify with. The company started back in 2012, and after a world-famous viral video – which you’ve probably seen already – it grew to become one of the most popular shaving services in the US. Now, it’s here in the UK. The question is, is it any good?

  1. What You Get

The basic trial kit includes:

  • 1 razor and blade (an ‘Executive Handle’)
  • 4 six-blade cartridges
  • 1 bottle of pre-shave butter (a replacement for Gillette’s foam or gel)
  1. The Ordering Process

Dollar Shave Club says it wants to go back to basics, and the website does a pretty good job of keeping things simple. It even directs you to its starter kit when you look at the blades, pointing out that the kit is probably a better deal. Nice tip!

Handily, the ordering process is stripped back to the bare bones, so the only thing to you might need to concentrate on is all the various prices involved. The first trial kit is £5 for the first month, and then it’s £8 for the months after that, during which you’ll get a full pack of replacement six-blade cartridges every single month. When you’re ordering your trial kit you can choose to add post shave dew, post shave cream, or prep scrub, all of which cost an extra £7. If you go for one of those, it means that your first trial kit can cost £12, later going up to £15 for the later months. Not quite a dollar, but not bad for what you’re getting either.

  1. Packaging and Delivery

For me, Dollar Shave Club didn’t get off to an awesome start. It took ages to deliver – close to a week, which is a long time if you’re slowly growing a beard you don’t want. It was also sent ‘signed for’, and since I wasn’t in when it was delivered I had to go down to the Post Office and get it. OK, it’s not like I ran an Iron Man, but remember that this is a shaving company that sells itself on the convenience of its service, and there was a lot of mugging about before I even had it in my hand.

As for the packaging, I did like the messages and asides they’ve got printed all over the box. Sure, it’s all very Americanised, but they’ve clearly worked hard to appeal to everyday guys, and it’s nice to see a company that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Inside that box though, the razor itself just comes in a plastic bag, which makes it look a bit cheap compared to the cut-to-size boxes of Harry’s and Cornerstone. Shame, because the razor itself isn’t too shabby.

  1. The Razor

Dollar Shave Club razor

Straight talk – it’s a decent razor. It looks good and shaves well enough. It’s got a good grip too, even when your hands are wet. The shave itself wasn’t anything special by usual standards, but compared to normal budget razors it was an absolute dream. It’s easy to see why Dollar Shave Club has so easily undercut the big daddies at Gillette; its products are just as solid, without the extra expense. Plus it’s got an Aloe Vera strip to make it easy on your skin, which is probably going to be welcome news for a lot of guys who know that razor burn feeling all too well.

The main thing to highlight in the cons column is that the razor has a flat head, which means that it struggles to get all the hair off the trickier places (like just below my jawline) on the first try. Otherwise, I was impressed.

  1. The Quick Version

Pros:

  • Decent shave
  • Easy on your skin
  • Not too hard on the wallet

Cons:

  • Long delivery time
  • Hassle to collect
  • Presentation could be better

Dollar Shave Club isn’t quite as effortless or convenient as its marketing wants you to believe, but one thing’s for sure – it does exactly what it says on the tin, and that’s definitely going to be good enough for lots of guys.

Verdict: 5/10

Harry’s Men’s Shaving Subscription

harry's package

Another US-based brand, Harry’s is a New York company actually run by two guys called Jeff and Andy. (No clues as to where they got the name.) Like the founders of Dollar Shave Club, they got frustrated with feeling like they were paying too much for razors, so their company has the same back-to-basics vibe. The difference is that while Dollar Shave Club focus on all the benefits of their service, Harry’s is more about the quality of their razors, and the engineering and precision that goes into them.

  1. What You Get

Their trial set contains:

  • 1 razor and blade
  • 1 blade cover
  • 1 bottle of shave gel
  1. The Ordering Process

With Harry’s, you kick things off by putting yourself on a trial period for two weeks. That gets you the trial pack above, priced at £3.95. On the next page, you’ll select which plan to put yourself on once your two-week trial expires. Here you’ve got a couple of options:

  • 8 blades (£14)
  • 8 blades and 1 foaming shave gel (£19)
  • 16 blades and 2 foaming gels (£36)

Whichever one you go for, then you pick your ongoing frequency, depending on how often you tackle that stubble. After that, you review your order, and then create an account to finalise payment and shipping. All pretty straightforward, although finding out what’s actually in the trial kit involves looking at the image – it would be nice to have an itemised list so I know for sure what I’m looking at. Having said that, you can customise your trial set with different coloured handles, which is a cool touch. Take your pick from navy blue, orange, grey or green.

  1. Packaging and Delivery

The shaving box is smart and polished enough in terms of aesthetics to convince me I’m looking at a quality product. The delivery time wasn’t speedier than Dollar Shave Club too, which was a bonus. But it’s still got problems with the size – the box itself is too big to fit through the letterbox, so I had to go and sign for it at the Post Office again. I can see that quickly getting annoying if it’s the same deal every time I get my blades.

  1. The Razor

harry's razor

There’s no denying it’s a razor with a good sense of style, given the aesthetics and customised colours. But it felt a bit lightweight in my hand. Aesthetically, it looks better than it shaves. On the first stroke, I just felt like I was taking the foam off my face, rather than cutting any hair. It’s also got a flat shaving head, which makes it even more of a chore trying to make sure I get a completely clean shave.

The shaving foam itself doesn’t smell great either – a bit clinical, like the smells I remember from sitting in a dentist chair. It’s not overpowering, but it doesn’t make for a nice experience, either. I guess as for the razor, its handle is comfortably grippy, but for me that wasn’t enough to save what’s ultimately a pretty average product.

  1. The Quick Version

Pros:

  • Nice customisation options
  • Razor looks smart, with great aesthetics
  • The ordering process is particularly smooth

Cons:

  • Inconvenient delivery
  • Shaving foam has a… ‘unique’ smell
  • Razor just doesn’t shave that well

As a man with a good sense of style (you’re on our site, after all), you’ll already know that presentation and style are key. On the other hand, when it comes to razors, it’s fair to say the shave is important too! At the end of the day, in my opinion Harry’s razor blades just aren’t that good. Really, what else matters?

Verdict: 6/10

Cornerstone Men’s Razors

Cornerstone package

Flying the flag for the UK, Cornerstone is the only British company on this list. It was first started a couple of years ago by young entrepreneur Oliver Stone, and by all accounts he’s been absolutely smashing it ever since. In just a couple of short years it’s grown to get tens of thousands of customers all over the UK – over 170,000 at last count, and growing all the time. Now, that number includes me – and here’s why!

  1. What You Get

The trial set comes with:

  • 1 razor and handle
  • 6 blades
  • A head cover for travelling
  1. The Ordering Process

As soon as you land on Cornerstone’s site for the first time, it gives you a £10 discount to claim on Cornerstone products. That’s half the price of the trial set, which means that right out of the gate you’re getting 50% off your trial, spending £10 instead of £20. Then again, without the discount the trial is much more expensive than it is on other sites, but you’d only know that if you’d shopped around! It’s a bold move for Cornerstone, but it’s a strategy that’s clearly paying off for them.

The site’s very clearly laid out – probably the cleanest I’ve seen, with a big handy button to ‘Get Started’. They start by asking you how often you shave, then take you to pick your trial kit from a couple of options. You can even build your own box (though obviously that comes with more costs). As part of this process, Cornerstone offers a personalised engraving service. You can put three initials on the handle, for a nice touch that gives your razor a real sense of unique style. I got my initials on the handle of my own, and the end result makes it look even smarter than Harry’s.

  1. Packaging and Delivery

These guys got one over on Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s immediately, just by making the box thin enough to fit through my letterbox. No signing, no rushing to the post office. Order online, wait for just a few days, and then boom, razor through your door. No fuss, no messing about – just the way it should be.

  1. The Razor

Cornerstone

If you’re not sure about the prospect of spending a little extra cash on your razor, trust me, it’s worth it. The handle itself is made of metal so it’s quite heavy, and right off the bat it feels like a lot better quality than the others. Plus, the bottom of the razor is flat so it’s freestanding – you don’t have to clear space to put it down flat anywhere in your bathroom. Not only is it more convenient, but it adds an extra layer to the razor’s smart aesthetic, too.

The shave itself is a dream. The feel and the finish are both top quality, and the razor has a steep head that pivots on a better angle than the others do, resulting in a cleaner shave on the first stroke. The razor has a travel head too, which you might find handy for keeping your beard in check when jet-setting abroad.

On the other hand, the metal handle means that the grip is trickier than the other razors, especially when you’ve got wet hands. I dropped it more than once in the sink, and had to go and fish it out – a careful task if you don’t want to slice your hand open picking it up. Plus, the head of the razor comes off particularly easily with very light impacts, which can be annoying when you’re just swilling it around in the sink between strokes.

  1. The Quick Version

Pros:

  • Ordering process is simple and straightforward
  • Option to engrave the handle with 3 personalised initials
  • High-quality look and feel
  • Conveniently freestanding
  • Excellent shave

Cons:

  • Metal handle means it’s easily dropped when wet
  • Head comes off easily and can accidentally drop off whilst shaving
  • Slightly more expensive than similar subscription services

Personally, I found the cons to be fairly minor issues – on the whole, the Cornerstone razor was by far my favourite, and would definitely recommend it over the others. On top of that, the simple convenience of the service meant I didn’t have to do anything at all – just hold on a few days for my razor, and then get right to it. Sure, Cornerstone might take a little more out of your wallet, but in the long run, it’s worth it for the service and the very smoothest shave.

Verdict: 8/10

Once you’ve got your personal grooming on point, don’t forget to make sure all the other pieces of your personal style are worthy of all that effort! You can find some great examples right here at Dead Legacy – why not start by taking your pick from our huge range of designer men’s tees? Take care not to neglect your style essentials, too, and make sure you’re outfitted with what you need from the solid colours in our Basics range.

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