Looking for the best shave for the lowest price?
You aren’t alone. Over the years razors have transformed from simple to extremely complex with tons of bells and whistles. It was only about 20 years ago that Gillette introduced the Mach3 razor, which at the time was ground-breaking.
Today that razor seems ancient.
Cartridges now come with tons of blades, fancy pivoting, even some with handles that vibrate and others that heat the blades for a warm shave. Three blades is seemingly considered quaint. Five blades is now almost a minimum, while there are razors with up to seven (7!) blades in the cartridge.
With all those features, however, the price of shaving has seemingly soared as well. It’s not unusual to pay $20 or more for a handle and a handful of blades.
It shouldn’t cost a fortune for a decent shave.
Not surprisingly, a number of brands have focused on offering many of the features of high-end razors — lots of blades, smartly designed handles, and more — without having a huge price tag.
These razors can sometimes cost half as much as some of the high-end offerings you’ll find from the big name brands like Gillette. But with a number of options out there, which is the best cheap razor for a good shave?
At Razorist, we’ve tested tons of razors, including everything from disposables that cost $1 for a pack of five ,all the way to the high-end razor with the latest features.
When it comes to a cheap shave, one razor to us stands out as offering a great shave for not a lot of money. In fact, it costs only about $2.50 a cartridge.
Out Top Inexpensive Razor: Dollar Shave Club Executive
You’ve likely heard of Dollar Shave Club. The brand has grown from nothing not that long ago to a nearly a household name in shaving. And a big reason for its popularity? The company provides some of the least-expensive razors out there, and the blades provide a solid shave.
The company offers a number of different options, but its highest-end razor is known as the “Executive.”
The Executive comes with a number of the features you’d find on top-of-the-line razors. That’s because it is a top razor… it just doesn’t have the big price tag.
In particular, the cartridge features six blades, a rubber micro-fin area before the blades, a lubrication strip, precision trimming blade on the backside, and a lubrication strip.
In addition, ordering the Executive gets you a handle with an amazingly solid feel. Not only does it have a nice weight and a great curved shape that means it’s easy to hold in wet or dry, but it also has tons of rubber grip.
But what really won us over was the shave.
When it comes to cheaper razors, we’re always worried about pulling and tugging. Pulls on facial hair are like landmines. On some razors you simply don’t know when it’s going to catch and pull at sensitive hair instead of cutting through it.
In the repeated shaves during our review, we never had any pulls or nicks and cuts. If there was hair on our face, the Executive from Dollar Shave Club tackled it easily time and time again.
In fact, we tested this razor for multiple weeks on a single cartridge and the last shave felt as good as the first shave.
Perhaps best of all is the cost of the razor. We bought the razor handle and four blades for just $10. Each additional pack of four razors is $10, or about $2.50 each. Buy a larger quantity and the price drops. For example, two four packs (eight cartridges total) is $18, or $2.25 per razor.
We were able to shave easily for two weeks with a single cartridge. Our facial hair growth is light, but grows thick on the underside of the chin and on the neck. We’d estimate a single cartridge would last us 4-6 weeks before needing a change.
One thing to note is that Dollar Shave Club does use a subscription model, but you can cancel easily at any time.
Do More Expensive Razors Provide Better Shaves?
Was Dollar Shave Club’s Executive razor the best blade we’ve ever tested? To us, it’s a solid choice and fantastic for the price tag, but not the best ever.
So do more expensive razors provide better shaves? In our testing we’ve found that not every razor with a higher price tag is automatically better. However, those we’ve found to be better are generally more expensive.
For instance, we are fans of Gillette’s Fusion line-up. In our tests we’ve found they provide a near perfect shave that’s smooth, gentle, and has no nicks or cuts. And like the Executive from Dollar Shave Club, the Fusion blades provide a good shave time after time.
The big difference between Dollar Shave Club and the Fusion blades is that the Fusion offers a shave that can barely be felt. It’s a flawless feel when shaving the face. Even so, it is more expensive (usually around $3-3.50 a cartridge).
In other words, yes, many pricey razors are worth the money in our opinion. But just because a razor has an expensive price tag doesn’t mean it’s automatically better. For more, you can see our Top 10 Razors here.
What Other Options Are There for Inexpensive Razors?
While the Dollar Shave Club Executive is our favorite inexpensive refillable razor, there are several options available. All come in around a similar price and offer many of the same features.
ShaveMOB Caveman: The Caveman from ShaveMOB is inexpensive. Amazon sells a handle and 24-blades (enough for months of shaving) for $38. That comes out to about $1.60 per cartridge.
One thing you might notice is that the blades look similar to the Executive blades from Dollar Shave Club. That’s because there is no real difference. The blades on both are made by Dorco, a South Korean razor manufacturer. In other words, you are getting the same blades here as you’ll find with the Executive.
In our tests we didn’t like the handle as much as with the Executive, so we put it slightly below in our rankings, despite being very similar. Read our ShaveMOB Caveman review.
Dorco Pace 6 Pro: An “Honorable Mention” in the category of the Best Value Razor in our reviews, the Dorco Pace 6 Pro also offers six blades. You can pick up a kit on Amazon for just $20 for a set of 10, or $2 a cartridge.
If you haven’t heard of Dorco, don’t think this is some “off-brand.” The South Korean company has a history that goes back decades and decades and now supplies razors worldwide under its own brand and white-label razors for others. Read our Dorco Pace 6 Pro review.
What About Cheap Disposable Razors?
If you’re looking for the absolute cheapest shave, it doesn’t get any cheaper than disposable razors. You can often find them at the grocery store for $1 for a pack of five. If you’re trying to save money, grabbing a pack of these is tempting.
In fact, we’ve tested disposable razors. Yes, they offer a cheaper price than you’ll find with refillable razors, but in our opinion they still aren’t worth the cost.
We found that these razors are at best good for just a couple of shaves. Before long they begin to pull and tug as the blades dull quickly, making the shave very uncomfortable. They can also create cuts and nicks as they don’t pivot near as well around the curves of the face as a refillable razor.
Furthermore, with a disposable razor that you toss after every shave or two, you are also creating lots of waste. Over the course of a month you might go through 15-30 of these razors that end up in a landfill.
Disposable razors definitely have their place, such as if you are traveling and forgot to bring a razor. But there is no comparison between disposables and affordable refillable razors.