I Tried Harry’s Free Razor Trial and This Is What Happened…

harrysad
…that’s the ad text that they used to target me, apparently someone who may be interested in bright-orange, modern-looking razor blades. I couldn’t find the exact ad again, but a similar one is to the right. (Alternate title: Harry’s Free Trial Review: Bendy Razor Blades, Easy Cancel)

Well, they were right. I decided to try the Harry’s “Free” Trial which includes a razor and some gel for $3 including shipping. If you don’t like it, just remove the subscription plan in your online account and you get to keep everything else.

Okay, so what happened? The primary reason that I will not be buying any more Harry’s Razors doesn’t involve cost at all. I simply don’t like their design. The blades are proprietary and have a unique “bendy” hinge that I describe as like having a tongue lick you. A tongue that makes it impossible to get the firm shave that I prefer.

I created an animated gif to help illustrate:


via GIPHY

After doing this trial, I found that the Wirecutter review site had a similar opinion:

Rather than clipping to a pivoting axis, the way most modern razors do, Harry’s cartridge attaches with a flexy rubber pseudo-hinge that bends when you press it into your skin. Harry’s claims that this design yields an effect that, like “a paintbrush on a wet canvas … flexes to the contours of your face for precise control.” In fact, the opposite is true: The cartridge yields too much, resulting in a sloppy shave.

I don’t consider myself a picky razor user, for a while I’ve been using a basic Gillette Mach 3 bought from Costco for $1 or under each. (I was surprised to see The Wirecutter also chose a Mach3 blade cousin as its winner.) As I can last more than a month with each razor (dry after each use), I am already spending less than a dollar month on razors. I have not tried the Dollar Shave Club. For me, buying a bulk pack of razors once every two years requires less mental bandwidth than having to manage an online subscription.

I’ll keep the rest of this review short and simple:

  • Ordering was easy, site design is nice, and the trial shipped promptly.
  • Canceling the trial was also easy with no hard sell.
  • I did not like the razor design, and for that reason will not be ordering any more Harry’s razors.

Shaving preferences are very subjective. I would still recommend the Harry’s trial itself.

Comments

  1. Eric G. says:

    Thanks for the review, I had been wondering about these razors. One thing though, you mention Mach 3 razors at Costco but the link takes you to these Gillette Custom Plus 3 Disposable Razors. Is that what you use because they get really poor reviews on the site?

    • Save your money, Save your face and PASS on Harry’s!
      I bought mine at Target, it was $1 less than the Mach 3 I usually use but I wanted to see what the hype was about. I have very light facial hair and only shave 2 times a week. Harry’s blades made it through 2 good shaves and a 3rd painful shave. Even the good shaves were patchy and by shave 3 the blade was pulling and nicking my face. Harry’s blades are just disposable blades with a nicer handle and should not be compared to anything above a disposable blade. I know its old school but I’m going back to my Mach 3 because it works. Save you face and PASS on Harry’s

  2. Thank you for this as I am looking to switch out of Dollar Shave Club after a year. In case anyone cares, their basic 2 blade model, while gives a decent shave, is hard to connect & very flimsy as to how the blade attaches to the handle. A few taps and the blade goes flying off and down the drain. I switched to their massive 5 or 6 blade model, a huge improvement and great for wide areas of your face but way too clumsy for more sensitive areas around the lips & nose. I used the Bic Good News Plus or years until they changed their manufacturing process or I got stuck with a counterfeit batch on Amazon. Any other suggestions? Please clarify above too. Thanks

  3. I use Harry’s, and while they do have some drawbacks [hard to get into certain spots by the nose and around sideburns] overall, they provide a great shave, IMHO.

  4. Dave Lewis says:

    Yes, shaving is subjective…. I tried the trial last month (had been using Gillette Power Fusion) noticing shaving costs have kept rising! I was, and have been happy with “Harry’s” product, and am now on a subscription plan that can easily be adjusted, free shipping, and no hassle! I like simple, and besides the razor comes in three colors, not just orange. I too recommend this free offer be tried, you may find it good as I have!

  5. I pretty much agree 100% with everything you said. Totally unimpressed with the razers. And I too have been using mach3’s since they came out in 98 or 99. Tried a few newer ones, but none that really offered any significant improvement to justify a higher price.

  6. Have you given Dollar Shave Club a shot?

  7. I often sport a beard but gave up on cartridge razors some time ago. They keep adding blades and ‘features’ to justify what seems like an absurd mark-up. I just don’t buy that razor technology has changed/improved that much in the last century.

    I bought a double edged razor, spent a week to learn to use it and never looked back. Buy one of the many combo packs on Amazon for about $20 (for 100 blades), figure out which one you like and replacement blades will average something like $0.10-$0.50 (depending on the blade you like).

  8. have you tried using Double Edge Razors? the initial set up is expensive but once you buy the razor the blades are 10-15 cents each and last weeks

  9. I’ve been using DE razor for a couple of years now and very happy my shaves. Several month ago I decided to do the same $3 trial on Harry’s products and was pretty disappointed with the results. Flexibility of the cartridge wasn’t working for my face at all.

  10. Where can Mach 3’s be bought for under $1 per blade? I haven’t looked in a while, but they used to be at least $2-$3. I used to use Mach 3’s, but switched to the 4 nlade Dollar Shave Club razors since they are cheaper. I find them to be decent although I think the Mach 3’s had a longer lifespan. But the price is such that I can replace the DSC razors twice as often and be at about the same price.

  11. IowaGuy says:

    Go with a nice safety razor. Drops your cost down and gets a professional shave each time. There is wisdom in what your grandfather used. The multiple blade, ball roller, fancy pants razor is just marketing gimmicks.

  12. I am Harry’s customer for over two years already and I love how these razors work. Before that I used Gillette and Schick – they both work, but it tool an extra effort on my side to get clean shave. With Harry, I am able to get a clean shave faster and it is effortless – the blade just “flies”. I am shaving in the shower, and using Harry’s shave cream as well.
    Just putting it out there for you fellow shavers to compare!

  13. I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned Dorco USA. That’s who makes the Dollar Shave Club razors, and you can order from Dorco direct at lower prices (especially if you snag a coupon). I picked up enough cartridges to last me 2-3 years for around $20.

  14. I’m surprised no one mentioned old fashioned safety razors. While there’s an upfront cost to the handle, maybe $25 for a nice one, you can then use blades that cost literally pennies if purchased in sufficient quantity. Each blade has four surfaces. For someone who shaves every other day, this comes to less than 2 cents a week to shave with a new edge every time. It’s a little different technique than the Mach 3, but you get used to it very quickly. Much closer shave and less irritation too.

    I’m not a religious man, but if there were a church of the safety razor, I’d consider attending services.

    • I realized in my excitement to post that a misplaced a decimal point. Blades purchased 100 at a time are generally around $20, so 20 cents per blade. Still good, if you ask me.

  15. I bought the wirecutter’s top pic. Was surprised how much I liked the vibrating handle as I figured it was just a gimmick.

  16. Have to say I was skeptical, but I love both the razor and aftershave balm. I will stick with them.

  17. Jonathan Foell says:

    Jonathan’s review was dead-on. I was so stoked when I read that Target would carry Harry’s. Tried the same combo that Jonathan reviewed. After my first shave, I was underwhelmed. The shave is spongy – a lot is missed unless you go over the same surface again and again. Will go back to my tried and true Rite-Aid razor for about the same price for blades.

  18. I tried it, and was not disappointed. Like most on here, I find the five blade head to big for easy, under-the-nose shaving. The head does flex and is very weird at first, but it gave me a decent shave.

    I use a DE safety razor for daily shaving, and Harry’s is used as my travel blade.

    I recommend the free trial to see if it’s right for me.

  19. The original Harry’s razor cartridge wasn’t as flexible as the newer cartridge, and it worked much better. I wish Harry’s would have kept their original design, and just added the trimming edge blade at the top of the razor. I can’t use the newer cartridges, they just don’t work as well as the old blades.

  20. I have been subscribed to Dollar Shave club for the last 2 years but wanted to try something different to see if I would switch. So I ordered Harry’s trial pack to try out, I was disappointed after the first shave.. The blue handle is very nice, good quality and feels nice in the hand, however the quality of the razor is disappointing.. It really just felt a little better than a disposable cheap razor.. It is not close to being a competitor to the execute razor from the Dollar Shave club.. When I received the first razor from DSC I was really happy because the shaving just felt good and razors last long even after shaving every day.. I’m keeping my DSC subscription.. Hope my review helps someone trying to decide.

  21. I bought Harry’s after hearing their constant ads on WABC-AM radio.I was happy with the quick delivery, but that’s where my happiness ends. These are some of the worst blades I have ever used in over 50 years of shaving.
    I’ve had a better and closer shave from a single blade Bic throwaway razor. I shave every 2-3 days so a Bic glides easily through a well scrubbed, softened beard. But not Harry’s machetes.
    Additionally, the edging blade on Harry’s is practically useless. It easily cuts your flesh and while moving the regular blades across my chin this blade somehow managed to seriously gouge the corner of the chin.
    I get a closer and easier shave from my Schick Hydro 5 or Gillette Fusion razor after four months of use of the same blade. I going back to these blades and save my face.
    On the positive side, the company was good about canceling my bill and did not require me to return them.

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