I purchased a Harry’s Truman razor from Target and chose the orange color that also included two other colors, blue and green. After easily opening the eco-friendly packaging without the assistance of a chainsaw, I couldn't help but be attracted by the simple design Harry's offered. Everything the company offered seemed to be straightforward, uncomplicated and clean. No gimmicks or flashy marketing. The purchase decision process was actually pleasant and refreshing.
Harry's offers a subscription based plan that you can tailor to your shaving regimen or you can just purchase their products one time either through their website or large retailers like Target and Walmart. I personally was never a fan of subscription plans because I care for and maintain my razors like I would with any tool where I would like to get the most out of it. I also think you spend more with subscription plans in the end as you are automatically billed and just forget about the charges.
Let's start with the razor. As mentioned earlier, I went with the first razor Harry’s created, the Truman. For $9.00 you get a handle that comes in your choice of three colors, orange, blue or green and one razor cartridge.
The handle is a completely different approach than what has been offered in the last 30 years by the likes of Gillette and Schick and even more recently by DSC. The handle has a very clean and simple design that is well balanced and weighted. No cheap chrome or glued on rubber pieces and plastic logos to complicate the feel. At first feel, the seamless rubber or silicone cover provides a confident hold or grip. We’ll see how it handles when it’s wet, but it feels like a lot of thought went into creating this handle. Perhaps the design team figured out that a good shave starts with a good foundation.
Harry's decided to go the way of "the more blades the better" approach. Perhaps to keep up with the larger razor companies and provide an alternate but similar choice. It's an approach that I feel has more drawbacks than benefits that I will get into. The cartridge consists of five blades on the face and one trimmer on top. Harry’s now owns the German razor manufacturing plant where the blades are designed and produced. It’s good to know this because this tells you that Harry’s is committed to making high quality razors instead of contracting with a manufacturer with less quality control measures and just going the route of being a reseller like DSC.
Highlighting the key components
At close inspection, the five blades appear to be spaced rather close to each other which may give concern to shaving cream/hair flow or clogging. Anyone with thick or coarse facial hair knows this is a problem with any multi-blade cartridge razor. One of my pet peeves with these types of cartridges. The cartridge frame is constructed entirely of plastic unlike a typical Gillette cartridge that comprises a combination of metal and plastic. The flex component is more of a natural movement in the neck of the plastic cartridge instead of a mechanical hinge. The cartridge also contains your standard lubricating strip on top of the razor and rubber fins on the base. In my opinion, both features are just gimmicks with no value added on any cartridge razor.
Let’s lather up and take it for a spin
Two things jump out right away with the first few strokes. The first is that you can feel the plastic housing of the cartridge that provides a cheaper feel than a Gillette cartridge. The cartridge feels a bit flimsy and the audio feedback is hollow. However, the five blades make up for it and provide a nice solid and robust feel as they effortlessly slice through even coarse hair. This is because the metal blades of a Harry’s razor are larger or beefier than the metal blades of a Gillette Fusion cartridge. Below is a comparison of the two at about 500x magnification:
For two weeks the blades did not leave behind any nicks, cuts or even any irritation. In fact, on the days that I did not shower or have a chance to open the pores and soften my stubble, the razor still performed as if I did take a shower. I was sort of amazed that I did not get any irritation as I normally would when I shaved with a Gillette Fusion or Schick Quattro cartridge. That’s when I realized that Harry’s blades, engineered and produced in their own German manufacturing plant, are a bit different and high in quality.
However, there was a little bit left to be desired with the pivoting or flexible head. Because they use the natural movement of the soft plastic between the face and stem as opposed to an engineered hinge, the head does not snap back like a Gillette. I also feel the flex is a bit too soft or giving, but overall it does what it intends to do. Sometimes I wonder if a flexible head is a gimmick and even necessary.
A good shave starts with a good foundation and that’s the handle. It’s a joy to use (and look at). As mentioned earlier, the handle is very well balanced and weighted, but once you start maneuvering it with your hand, your overall shaving experience becomes a real delight. The genius in the design is covering the entire handle in a semi-gripping rubber/silicone material that adds just enough grip when the hand is wet and enough freedom for the handle to move around the fingers. The perfect balance. Plus, did I mention you get to pick from three cool colors?
Overall, Harry’s is a very good value. On the retail side, a Truman razor handle along with two cartridges cost about $10. A great price point to get you started. The handle alone is worth that price. Replacement cartridges are offered in a variety of units. An 8x pack costs $16 which works out to $2 a cartridge. With the quality of the blades offered, that’s a fair price.
If you decide to go with the auto-refill or subscription based plan, 8x refills (no matter how often you decide to receive, every 2, 3 or 4 months) cost $15. The subscription plans are not worth it in my opinion as if you maintain and care for your razor, you can easily prolong the life.
The founders of Harry’s created a shaving brand to offer choice, value and style. With their first razor, the Truman, they succeeded. The Truman razor offers a new choice amongst the GM’s and Fords of the shaving world while also offering great value and a new type and welcome style. The focus on the simple yet elegant handle along with the high quality German engineered razor blades far outweighs the all plastic cartridge housing. I actually look forward to shaving with the Truman as the beautiful handle calls out to me with confidence and style. DriBlade gives this razor an enthusiastic thumbs up!
Beefier German engineered blades
Well crafted handle
Choice of colors
All plastic cartridge housing
Soft flex head