Earlier this week we wrote about Harry’s, an American company that is looking to compete against the big boys of shaving products with their low-cost and high quality blades that come from the purchase of Germany’s Feintechnik razor factory. Harry’s claims that Feintechnik is one of the best manufacturers of razor blades in the world and we wanted to put this claim to test.
With my complete Harry’s saving kit in hand, I wanted to know if the German engineering gave these razors a leg up against the competition and if blades that cost half the price of leading competitors could hold up.
I must say that from the very beginning, Harry’s wins in the packaging department. It is the little details that count sometimes, and when that Harry’s box arrived at my door, I didn’t feel like I was receiving some discount product. The $15 starter “Truman Set” that contains a razor handle, three blades, foaming shave gel, and a travel blade cover is presented with class and a touch of masculinity. It may seem crazy, but the first impression had me, well, impressed.
The razor handle felt sturdy, fit nicely in my hand, and blows all of the other low-cost disposable razors that I have used out of the water. Harry’s says that their handles are designed for comfort and control, and I have to say this claim is accurate.
A great handle is nice, but it does no good if the blades that go with don’t offer a great shave. The blade cartridge doesn’t look all that different from the competition, with its five precision-angled blades fit close together and a lubricating strip on the top. But how well does it work?
I tested the razor for multiple shaves, but the first test had me shaving half my face with Harry’s razor and the other half with a Gillette disposable razor to see if I could see and feel a difference between the two. (I went with a disposable instead of something like the Gillette Fusion ProGlide to compare Harry’s against a comparably priced razor).
Shaving time! The Harry’s shave felt a bit more rough on my skin which wasn’t terrible but also not the most comfortable. I wouldn’t say I have sensitive skin when it comes to shaving, but I was left with a few small spots of razor burn. Subsequent shaves with the Harry’s razor were quite a bit better though, so I wouldn’t necessarily say this is a problem with the blades.
How did the Harry’s shave compare to the competition? The shave was good, but was pretty much indistinguishable from the other half of my face that was shaved with the Gillette razor. I was expecting the Harry’s razor to do a little better since they put a lot of weight on their advantage of high-quality German-engineered blades. It was still a good shave, just not better than the rest.
With the two shaves being equal in my test, Harry’s does have one advantage… price. Blades start as low as $2 per plane cartridge when you order the pack of four, but go as low as $1.56 per blade with the pack of 16. That comes to $25 for 16 replacement blades.
On Amazon, a pack of 8 Gillette Fusion ProGlide replacement blades costs $31.77, which is just under $4 per blade. A 2-pack disposable Gillette Fusion runs $8.47, or $4.23 each. The Schick Hydro 5 is slightly cheaper than the Gillette blades, but still costs significantly more than Harry’s. A pack of eight replacement blades sells for $22.59, or $2.82 per blade. The disposable Hydro 5’s cost $2.66 each.
So what’s my verdict? While the Harry’s shave wasn’t necessarily better than the competition, it held up quite well. Factor in the significantly lower price and I would say Harry’s has a slight win. If the shave was worse than the competition, I’d be hesitant to make the switch to Harry’s, but that wasn’t the case, and for half the price I am getting a product that shaves well, looks good and is a little piece of German engineering. Harry’s has made a customer out of me for now.