Everyone needs a good razor. I have been blessed these past few weeks, having been allowed to review all manner of razor products. My focus has been the Dorco range, relatively new player on the market, and attempting to take on the big boys. Last week I compared the Dorco range to the Schick range, and Schick came out a little worse for wear. Today I will be comparing the wonderful Harry’s blade to the Pace 5 Plus, and let me tell you, this was a close fight.
Harry’s are a fairly new start up, taking the Dollar Shave Club model and driving the price into the floor. They can do this due to their singular focus. They have just the one blade, a gorgeous little five blade design that has been honed to near perfection. Their sets come in two varieties, the Truman and the Winston, but I will be focusing on the Truman, and all that comes with it.
Dorco should be familiar to you by now, they have been my go to comparison brand after all. A Korean firm that were founded back in the fifties. A variety of patents under their belt, and some recent design innovations too. I fell in love with their six bladed design, but they surpassed it with the Pace 7, a seven bladed shaving nirvana. Looking forward to reviewing that one in detail, but it has yet to arrive.
The different between how these two firms operate is important. On the one hand we have Dorco, a big company that sells their products in a storefront exclusively, they have no subscription model, and Harry’s, a firm that focuses on their recurring subscription model, whilst also offering standalone sales. I love the subscription service that firms have been rolling out every since Dollar Shave Club pioneered the idea, though they have since been bought by a large firm. Harry’s is still a small company and thus you can be assured of a more personal touch.
I am very particular about my shave. I use a method that works for me, gives me the closest shave you could imagine, while minimizing any irritation. I must point out, a friend of mine tried the same shave style and ended up a little sore after, not sure what he did wrong, as I am left pristine, but perhaps it is just practice. It is a five step three pass shave. First I use an exfoliant, to remove dead skin and assure a clean stroke. Next is the hot towel, applied directly to the face to open the pores and raise the hair. Next is the hot foam, get a mug full of hot water and add the foam on top, should hat up quick. Then the shave itself. A three pass shave is once with the grain, once perpendicular to the grain and once against the grain. Bear in mind that your facial hair does not all grow downwardly. The final step is the application of a moisturizer, menthol for preference, as it closes the pores more quickly.
That shave will be your closest, I can guarantee you that. I will also be attempting to shave again with the blade a few days after I use it, 5 nights, six days to be precise. This is to test the longevity.
So let’s start shaving then, see if the Harry’s blade can match the Dorco Pace 6 Plus.
The Fresh Blade – Harry’s Razor Experience
I have already mentioned that this is going to be a close one, much like the shaves themselves. The Harry’s blade might be at a slight disadvantage from the get go though. It has five blades, to the Pace 6 Plus’s six blades. But unlike the five blade designs from Schick or Gillette, the Harry’s Blades are much closer together, so stroke to stroke is far smoother, more akin to the Pace experience. The handle of the Harry’s razor, in this case the Truman, is lovely. It has the weight of the Hydro 5 combined with the grip of a Pace 6 Plus, making it my new favorite handle. The Lubricating strip is nice, a good size too, but the chemicals used are an unknown, they work, no doubt about that, but I like to know what goes into them.
The shave went wonderfully. From first stroke to last this was a sublime experience. I really didn’t expect so close and smooth a shave from a five bladed razor. The first pass had no tug, likely as a result of the blade proximity, and the final pass as almost unnecessary, the sign of a well designed blade. If you want a little stubble left after the shave then look elsewhere, as after the first two passed you will be hard pressed to see the follicles. You can feel them though, which is why I insist on that final pass.
The trimmer at the back is on par with the Hydro 5, to my mind the best on the market at the moment. It left my philtrum and my Adam’s apple clean and without stubble. Overall a wonderful experience.
The Fresh Blade – Dorco Pace 6 Plus Razor Experience
Another week and another razor that seems to have endeared itself to me as much as the Pace 6 Plus. Going back to it after trying out the Harry’s blade was like returning to an old friend, a familiar experience and a shave to match. The handle is not as weighty, but the grips match it. The lubricating strip is slightly bigger, and the chemicals uses are well known to me at this point. A combination of Chamomile, Olive Extract and Allantoin. That Allantoin is an interesting one, it actively aids in the closing of cuts and small wounds, so if you slip, or are just terrible at shaving, you won’t have to worry too much about leaving the place looking like the set of Saw.
The shave, or shaves as is the case with the oft used Pace 6 Plus, was the usual. Smooth and easy, a closeness like few I have experienced in the past. I will have to add the Harry’s to the list that includes the Executive from Dollar Shave Club, the Hydro 5 from Schick and the Dorco Pace 6 Plus. The extra blade on the Pace 6 did provide a slightly closer first pass, which leads to a smoother third pass, so that is something it has over the Harry’s, but the difference between the two shaves was negligible. The real deciding factor is going to be in the price.
I love the Pace 6 Plus shave, and will likely not be replacing it until I try out the Pace 7. The Harry’s blade provides as good an experience from my perspective, but if you are looking for an upgrade this isn’t it. More of a side step, a slight difference in focus.
The Dull Blade – Dorco Pace 6 Plus Vs Harry’s Razor
It has been a long time since I tried the 5 night challenge with a Pace 6 Plus. They hold up very well to time, by Harry’s hold up better than any other razor I have had the good fortune of testing. They pay attention to longevity in a way no other firm does. The Truman comes with a razor protector. After you shave you put it in a box, and it keeps sharp for longer. My second shave with the Harry’s was nearly as good as my first. Not something that can be said for many.
The Pace 6 Plus gets no fancy protective case. It sits out with the elements and slowly grows dull. Very slowly as the second shave was also fantastic. Not quite as smooth as the second Harry’s, but that is to be expected. Still smoother than the vast majority of razors on the market.
Conclusion & Pricing – Dorco Pace 6 Plus Vs Harry’s Razor
It is here, for most of us, that the real choice is made. If the price of a product is not in your budget then you cannot entertain the idea of it. The Harry’s Truman, get it?, package will set you back $15 every two months. That is 8 cartridges, less than other subscription services. But we know that the longevity of a Harry’s blade is slightly better than the competition. The Dorco Pace 6 Plus would cost you $44.50 for 26 cartridges and the handle, working out at around $14 every month. Slightly cheaper, but a lump sum price. Really depends on your means then doesn’t it?
Harry’s have a leg up in terms of products as well. Not only do they stock their own brand of foam, like Dorco, but they have a whole list of stuff. Lip balms, face washes, travel kit lotion and post shave balms. They do not sell an exfoliant, which is a mistake, but it is nice to see a firm dedicated to provided a tailored shaving experience. They only have the one blade choice, so the fact that Dorco cartridges are interchangeable isn’t all that big a blow to them, but it is still a boon to Dorco.
This is hands down the most conflicted I have ever been about a razor product. Harry’s are fantastic value, and their blade offers a shaving experience on par with the second best that Dorco have to offer, I cannot inform on the best as I have yet to try it. They have a range of excellent products, though they missed a trick with the exfoliant, and they offer one of the best prices in the business, though over time you will be spending a few dollars more. I feel like I just talked my way into calling this one in favor of Dorco and their Pace 6 Plus, but I implore you to give Harry’s a go as well, they offer an excellent trial service just for that, you can always go back to the Dorco after.
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