It is always nice to have a project you care about, and while I always make sure to thoroughly review all the products that land at my door, shaving is something of a passion of mine. This last few weeks have been amazing, high quality blade after high quality blade, with a few pre and after care products thrown in for good measure. This week is devoted to Dorco and the Dollar Shave Club, two industry powerhouses, clashing in a feast of steel and foam. The Dorco Pace 4 is up against the Dollar Shave Club 4X.
I am excited about this one, Dollar Shave Club offer one of the most comprehensive product line on the market, and their innovative service has proved to be a hit. Formed in 2011 by Mark Devine and Michael Dubin, the men behind the Dollar Shave Club were dissatisfied with the current state of the razor industry, too often left in the lurch by overpriced products and forgotten purchases. They have added some much needed peace of mind to the business of buying razor blades, offering very well priced subscriptions that deliver razors and shaving products directly to your door. I have used them in the past, and going back to them now feels great.
Dorco are a more traditional firm, in NA anyway. They offer a range of blades, each one great for different reasons, at unbelievably cheap prices. I have been using one for a while now, and am very impressed with the quality on offer here. The firm is Korean, having been founded over 60 years ago, and are responsible for a few design innovations, notably the seven bladed razor. Still haven’t been able to check it out, but expect that review to come very soon.
The differences in delivery systems is the most important factor here, as the blades are more or less identical. Dollar Shave Club are service innovators, so matching them there is next to impossible. Dorco do not offer a subscription service in North America, though they do in the United Kingdom. Dorco is not as prepared for the recent boom in beards, and so their product range reflects that. Dollar Shave Club have diversified their range nicely, so they are the clear choice in terms of styling.
Now to how I will be shaving. I will be using each blade on three days growth, then again on 2 and a half days growth six days after first using the blade. The mode of shaving is my own 5 step – 3 pass process, if you are after a to the bone shave then this is the one to go with. First I use an exfoliant, removes dead skin allowing the blade to move more smoothly. Next is the hot towel, to open pores and raise the hairs a little. Then we apply hot foam, boil water in a cup and add the foam on top, it will heat up in no time. The shave itself is once with the grain, once perpendicular to the grain and once against the grain. This will provide you with the closest shave of your life, closer than any Barber even. Finish off with a cooling balm, menthol for preference, as it closes pores faster than any other kind.
I insist that a many bladed razor be used. Last week I tried out the Humble twin from Dollar Shave Club, and while I got a decent shave, it was more difficult than I would have liked. This weeks quad blade designs should be more up to the task.
So let’s get to it. First up the 4X by Dollar Shave Club.
The Fresh Blade – Dollar Shave Club The 4X Experience
This week the blades are on equal footing from the get go. The 4X and the Pace 4 are both, shockingly, four bladed builds designed by Dorco. I am a fan of the quad blade razor, not quite as much as the six, but as an interim blade these are fantastic. Providing that balance between closeness and cool.
The 4X is a well crafted piece. The handle is balanced and the ridges make holding it a dream. It is not as weighty as I would like, but they market this one as a unisex product, so perhaps that’s why. The pivot head is a full 90 degrees and this does place undue pressure on the handle, and they have been known to break as a result of over zealous use. Again, I have no idea what is in the lubricating strip, but I assume it is the same as the Pace 4, while below the blades is a nice transition area to make it easier to go against the grain, and shave your legs.
On to the shave itself. I was less impressed with the Humble Twin last week, and felt that Dollar Shave Club did not deserve their reputation of excellence to some extent. That sentiment has faded completely after testing this one. All three passes went down smooth, honestly I am a little shocked. The first pass was damn close, but I still needed both other passes to be satisfied. Would not recommend you buy this if you are after the cool stubble look, the Humble Twin is probably the best for the one and done crowd. Time wise this was pretty quick, not quite as fast as the lightning in a handle Dorco Pace 6 Plus, but fast enough to do in a pinch.
The blade hasn’t got a trimmer, so if you are looking to style you are better off looking to next weeks review of the Executive. I still came away from the experience very pleased, no huge issues here, bar the lubricating strip and fragility of the pivot head.
The Fresh Blade – Dorco Pace 4 Razor Experience
The Pace series was the first set of blades I reviewed, I have been using them on and off over the last few weeks, and each time I do I am overjoyed with the result. The Pace 4 is an excellent blade, four blades closer together than is usual leading to a shorter shaving experience and a tighter one too. The lubricating strip here is identical to the one used on the Pace 3, a combination of olive oil, chamomile and allantoin. Allantoin is an interesting chemical, and has been shown in experiments to close wounds faster. It allows the Pace razors a little leeway, in the unlikely event that you do cut yourself. The handle is nearly identical to the 4X, so it has that heft that I look for too.
The shave itself was remarkably similar to the 4X, the same easy passes all the way to the end. The similarity in the results was pretty striking, and after some digging I have discovered that the blades are all manufactured by Dorco. So it seems that Dollar Shave Club’s stock are the same as the products that are sold under the Dorco brand. It changes a few things, for one it makes the price the deciding factor over the quality of the shave for a change.
As we move along the product lines you will notice shave time getting faster and faster, while the price rises only a little. Both Dorco and DSC offer the same quality products in different formats, so let’s move onto the more important sections now.
The Dull Blade – Dorco Pace 4 Vs Dollar Shave Club The 4X
I started this section with pie eyed dreams, thinking a little sacrifice would serve my readers well, and while I still think that is true to some extent, the difficulty I have shaving with a week old blade is not insubstantial. The 4X was a nightmare. 6 days is well past its use by date, and it showed with every hair pull. I do not recommend you try using this blade after so long a time sitting out.
Seen as the Pace 4 is the same blade you can expect the same shave from it. I would not recommend you use these blades after maybe 3 or 4 days. If you feel the need to extend the life of your razor better to invest in some kind of holder, protect the blades from the elements at the very least. I know that Harry’s provide one to all of their customers, so get something similar to theirs.
Conclusion & Pricing – Dorco Pace 4 Vs Dollar Shave Club The 4X
Gotta love the pricing section, and it is here that Dollar Shave Club Shine. Their service is fantastic, and you can get the 4X, handle and 5 cartridges included, for as little as $9. They include shipping and handling, and that goes away after the first month. Long term priced for the year you are looking at $75. By comparison Dorco are more expensive, 26 cartridges and the handle will cost you $35, with a price per year sitting at closer to $80. Minor hit there I think, add in the fact that it is not automatic, you have to remember to buy your blades.
The product lines from Dorco and Dollar Shave Club are a little different, and each have their benefits. Dorco cartridges will fit any Dorco handle, so no matter what one you go with at the beginning, you can try out their full product range, something I wish more firms would do. It is not matched my Dollar Shave Club, but they make it easy to switch, just click on the upgraded package and they will send out a new handle. Dorco are a little lackluster in terms of accoutrements as well. They sell shaving foam and that’s about it. Dollar Shave Club allows you to customize your order, adding all kinds of creams, balms and ointments to make shaving more pleasant. I am a big fan of the options.
This is less close than I would like. The Pace 4 is the same blade as the 4X, and the Dollar Shave Club offer a more bespoke experience. I love being able to customize my monthly order, and seen as I use all manner of stuff before I shave getting everything in one convenient location is a god send. If you prefer to buy your blades as and when you need them, then by all means go directly to Dorco, you’ll not be disappointed. But overall the service and experience provided at Dollar Shave Club wins it.
Dorco Coupon & Promo Codes 2018
You can actually save a good bit money right now by using the following 2018 coupon codes for Dorco USA Products!