Editor’s Note: Back by popular demand, it’s British Rob! No one reviews razors quite like him, so when Chisel Shave Club reached out to us about reviewing their box, I immediately texted Rob and told him to stop shaving because he was going to have some razors to review. He was like, “Lauren, I’m growing a beard.” I was like, “PERFECT, YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SHAVE.” And thus, here we go!
24′s Jack Bauer is cursed to never be able to escape the doomed cycle of violence and espionage despite all his best intentions; there is always one more mission, one more threat, that he feels only he can stop. He is viewed as the last resort by all who know him, a ruthlessly efficient operator whose only concern is to complete the mission and to safeguard those who have trusted their lives to him. In much the same way, Lauren turns to me whenever razors are involved. Apparently Lauren and Jill’s husbands are terrified that their marriages and careers will come to an unceremonious end should they lose the Samson-esque power conferred to them by their facial hair. So here I am, for one last mission – until the next one, at least – so I can test drive Chisel Shave Club’s box and make the one chore men like to whine about most a little more fun by using different products. This also comes in a timely fashion, since my razor just broke and my seasonal affective disorder inspired facial hair desperately needed pruning.
If this is your first time reading something of mine, here are the usual caveats – I am not an expert in grooming. I am Unfrozen Caveman Reviewer; fancy grooming products frighten and alarm me. Full disclosure: I did not pay for this box, it was sent as a press sample. Lauren and Jill do not pay me to write for them either (so you can keep your “what, is he paid per word?” jokes to yourself). I do this as a labor of love and so that Lauren will continue to give me dating advice when I need it. All opinions are my own.
With that over with, the preamble: Chisel Shave Club’s ethos is that rather than using over-engineered and expensive cartridge razors and “artificial goop”, we should be going back to basics, using natural products and the older safety razors. I can get behind that old school mentality, so I won’t pretend I wasn’t at least a little enthusiastic at doing something different.
Editor’s Note: Rob gets very enthusiastic about reviews and sometimes leaves out the very important pricing information, so I’ll add that in for him here: A month-to-month subscription is $29.99/month. However, this subscription type does not automatically include the safety razor handle, so if you don’t own one of those already, you’ll want to add it on for $19.99 when you get your first box. (Otherwise many of the products they send you will be worthless for you!) They also offer a 3-month pre-paid plan for $28.99/mo, a 6-month pre-paid plan for $27.99/month plus a FREE safety razor and shave brush, and a 12-month pre-paid plan for $26.99/month plus a FREE safety razor and shave brush. We are super excited that Chisel is offering our readers a discount code giving you 10% OFF your first order! Use code THEBOXYLADIES10! Back to Rob…
The box came with a LOT more stuff than I was expecting:
- Shaving brush
- Razor handle
- 5x Shark steel razor blades
- 5x Astra platinum razor blades
- Red Leaf shaving soap
- Dr. Squatch soap
- Brickell face wash
- Brickell after shave lotion
- 1x bale of hay
Seriously, I get the rustic vibe that stuffing a box with straw generates, but that stuff went EVERYWHERE when I opened the box. At least I have kindling for my fireplace now, I guess.
The box contains handy directions for how to shave using the products supplied, but the one thing I couldn’t find in the documentation was how to get the razor blade into the handle in the first place. Eventually I realized that you need to unscrew the top, but be warned – if you’re an impatient fool like me and like to loosen things up enough by spinning them rapidly, the whole thing will fall apart and clatter onto the bathroom floor. Similarly, after a lifetime of using Gillette cartridges, getting the blade into place is kind of fiddly if you’re trying not to cut yourself. They do warn that this is a method that requires a little more due care and attention. I fully admit that these are not my strong suits.
Once the blade is in place, it’s time to lather up. Pro-tip: use a hot towel or face cloth on your face (or “take a shower”, as the documentation suggestions, though I decided to go make a sandwich because I was hungry) while you soak the brush in hot water. Once that’s good to go, run the brush over the soap (I used the Red Leaf for this) so that the bristles lather up and then apply liberally over your neck and face. The idea, if you weren’t aware, is that the brush will not only apply the lather more evenly, it helps raise the bristles and make them easier to shave. I think that’s it, anyway. I could have made that up and I’m already committed to the beat, so whatever.
The razor itself is top heavy and has a very real heft to it, but is kind of unwieldy. At first I was convinced that the combination of my natural clumsiness and hamfistedness was going to end with me lacerating an artery in my neck, the razor is well designed and comfortable to use once you get the hang of it. I used the Astra blades, so the Shark ones have not been road tested. I highly doubt they’re too different; they aren’t artisanally hand-crafted by elves in Greenland or anything. The shave was comfortable and, despite the slower pace, felt more efficient. Usually I have to do a couple of passes, but this did the job in one. My neck felt a little irritated after, but that was probably because I was hacking through a month of growth and didn’t leave a hot cloth on my face long enough. I fully admit to my complicity in this endeavor.
Reasonably happy with the shave, I decided to test out the aftershave lotion, which had a scent of tea. “Apply liberally,” said the instructions. The only issue I had with this was having to shake it out of the bottle like ketchup. Seems a little inefficient, yeah? I ended up using way too much, but it helped with the irritation somewhat, but probably no more than the three hundred other after-shave lotions I already possess. This is down to a personal preference, but it’s not awful or anything.
The face wash and the soap got a test run in the shower, and I’m a big fan of citrus scents so I dig the soap even though it doesn’t lather up quite like you’d expect it to. Maybe that’s the natural nature of the soap. How natural is it? Is this like Fight Club soap? Can I make bombs out of it? I shouldn’t joke about that. The soap is fine. I liked it. The face wash, on the other hand, felt like it dried my skin out a little, which is not great in the Oregon winter. Your mileage may vary on that.
Is this worth it? I mean, hay is kind of expensive, so perhaps that offsets the value of the box anyway, but yeah. This is a more ponderous shave experience here that will take up a little more time, but it adds a luxurious and old-world feel that shaving with shave gel and a quad blade razor doesn’t quite provide. The additional products are fair, with nothing mind blowing but nothing outwardly atrocious either. If you’re looking for something different and tired of using rubbish disposable razors but are ALSO too lazy to go source the stuff needed for it, I think you should check out Chisel!
to check out Chisel and remember to use code THEBOXYLADIES10
to receive 10% Off your first order!