During the year-long trip around the world with my family, I shaved at the mercy of cheap, disposable razors. So when we returned to the U.S., I was very much looking forward to a good, manly shave. But there was a problem. All of our material possessions, including my shaving gear, were boxed up and buried deep in storage. There was no way I wanted to keep messing up my face up with disposable razors, and I certainly wasn’t going to shell out a small fortune for a crappy razor with expensive blades.
So I decided to try the next best thing — I turned to Harry’s.
The Harry’s Experience
After a small amount of consideration, I ordered the Truman Starter Set, which set me back all of $15. I debated getting the Winston Starter Set because it comes with a metal-handled razor, but at $25, that felt a bit expensive for this experiment. Only after I ordered did I realize I could have opted for the Truman razor by itself for only $10. But for just $5 extra, the starter set turned out to be a pretty good deal. A few days later my kit arrived (bonus points for quick shipping), and here’s what was inside:
In addition to the razor, the kit came with three sets of blades, a tube of Harry’s shave cream, a small packet of after-shave moisturizer, and a funny plastic thing that I assumed was a blade cover. There was also a little booklet with some tips for a smooth shave (but we don’t really need that).
Harry’s Truman Razor
One of the biggest drawbacks the average commercially manufactured razor has is its lack of weight — a piece of plastic just can’t measure up to the all-metal construction of my preferred Merkur Long-Handled Safety Razor. But I was pleasantly surprised that the Truman’s plastic handle has a good heft to it. So even though it looks a lot like any other razor, it’s a very well-crafted tool and the contoured handle fits nicely in the hand.
I’m not sure I really needed the blade cover though, so after it fell off of the bathroom sink and one of its hinges snapped off, I tossed it.
Harry’s Razor Blades
I’m not a big fan of multiple-blade razors — you only really need a single blade to shave — and Harry’s crams five (count ’em!) blades into their razor head, so I was a little dubious. The blade assembly has a flexible fulcrum point that, much like a Gillette Mach V or something similar, allows the blades to follow the contours of your face. I was slightly concerned that it was too flimsy to hold up to repeated use, but so far, so good.
The entire blade assembly attaches to the handle securely with a unique (in that I’d never seen it before) mechanism. It just snaps into place and stays there securely. When the blades get dull, just push up this little collar at the top of the handle and the dull blades pop right off.
The Shave Itself
After I’d finished with the unboxing, I lathered up with the Harry’s Shave Cream (which was nice but nothing special; if I try this again, I’ll give their foaming shave gel a try) and got to shaving. It had been a few days since I’d shaved, so I had a pretty stiff set of whiskers to get through. But the Truman made short work of the job. Not only was the razor fun to use, but I was a bit surprised that I only needed one pass for a close, smooth shave. With a fresh set of Mach V blades, I usually need to repeat the whole process to get a satisfactory smoothness.
The Final Verdict
As it turns out, Harry’s gives a man a damn fine shave. I still prefer to shave like a man, but if you’re unwilling to try wet shaving, then Harry’s is a perfectly reasonable — and affordable — alternative. Well done, guys!