After my less than stellar experience last week with the Xtreme 3, I am happy to move onto the Quattro series. I always say, the more blades the better, and you better believe that it is true in this case. I grew up with Schick, well I grew up with Wilkinson’s Sword, but they are the same thing. It was with them that I first was able to try out a many bladed build, and I fell in love. Granted, it had been a while since I used a Quattro, but feeling the weight of the handle was like coming home. Dorco blades are my new go to designs, so let’s see how the shave stacks up.
Schick can lay claim to being one of the oldest firms in the razor business, in addition to being the second most popular. If we take the founding of Wilkinson’s Sword as their star date they are older than the United States. 1772, Wilkinson’s Sword, began life making, well, swords oddly enough.
When you look at Dorco, this is a 60+ year old firm out of Korea and making a name for themselves on the international stage. Their products are both low cost and high quality, and within the US, they ascribe to the classic sell by cartridge format, they differ from Gillette and Schick by charging a damn fine price for their blades.
These two companies follow similar formats. They are both store front based, as opposed to subscription based, and both focus on the core product line, with little in the way of accoutrements. Not always a bad thing from my perspective, but it does limit them somewhat. Companies that follow the old sell the handle and replacement parts model tend to charge more for it.
The shave itself will be an involved one. I have a standard shave style, honed through the years to minimize irritation and to shave to the bone. I will shave once with a fresh blade and again a few days later with an old blade, to see how the blades hold up. I will use my own five step three pass shave.
Glad to be back in the land of many blades. Three is good, but just not good enough these days. The Quattro, which is Italian as it turns out not misspelled Portuguese as I initially thought, should provide me with a smooth experience, let’s see how well it does.
The Fresh Blade – Schick Quattro Titanium Razor
The Quattro Titanium has one of the best handles on the market. If I could fit my Pace 7 cartridges on this thing I would. It is a little on the heavy side, but I like that in a handle. The strip is not quite as good as the Pace 4, but the use of Jojaba oil is a stroke of genius. It is more akin to Whale oil than anything else, and is smoother than the highest quality silk. Blade spacing caused me some concern, seeing as they are a little more separated than the Pace 4.
As I thought, the spacing of the blades meant a little more tug than I am used to. Getting down a cheek was a moderate attrition, but a few strokes in it really cleared up. The closeness of the shave was comparable to the Pace 4, and the end result after pass two and three was to the bone. A perfectly smooth shave. I attribute the quality to the strip mostly. I was left with very little irritation, and I failed to cut myself, always a blessing.
For once in a four bladed build there is a trimmer, and I had a finer time with the trimmer here than with the one on the Pace 6 Plus, which surprised me I can tell you. My upper lip was smoother than it had ever been, and I was able to nimbly negotiate the tricky Adam’s apple area with ease. Good for beard styling too, if it weren’t for the price I would have recommended this to those who want to keep and style a beard.
The New Blade on the Dorco Pace 4
Ah, the Pace 4, the middle ground. I prefer the 6, but the 4 provides a shaving experience that far surpasses its younger brother. May be the last time I use this bad boy though, as I saved all the goo 5, 6 and 7 bladed reviews til the end. The handle is fine on the Pace 4, not much to write home about. The groves are a little more defined here though, and overall it is quite pleasing.
Much like the Pace 3, I have used the Pace 4 on numerous occasions recently. The first stroke is smooth, more so even than the Quattro, essentially no tug. I think the blade placement on the Pace 4, being a little tighter, plays a role in that. The second and third passes are informed by how well the first one went, and I have to say the shave here was quick. The closeness of the first pass was a little worse than the Quattro, but the end result was the same. Perhaps having a little more left over after the first pass makes the final a little easier, but I don’t think that is the case. The Quattro’s trimmer made me see the value in them, so seeing as their isn’t one with the Pace 4 I have to call it out on it. Add a trimmer to the less expensive blades, if someone wants a trimmer they aren’t going to want the closest shave known to people kind.
Overall, a great experience. The shave with the Pace 4 was faster than with the Quattro, but the former’s lack of a trimmer left me plucking out a few errant hard to reach hairs that I didn’t have to bother with the Quattro.
The Dull Blade – Dorco Pace 4 Vs Schick Quattro Ultimate Razor
I went into this section less worried than usual, I have used the Pace 4 a few days later a few times now and am happy with the results. The Quattro impressed me the first time around, so I did not expect a follow up shave to be so bad. Should have realized that the Quattro and the Xtreme used the same core blades, as the experience was remarkably similar. There was slightly less tug but there was enough for me to not want to risk the final pass against the grain. Would not recommend you try using the Quattro more than three days after shaving.
The Pace 4 was fine five days later, the shave wasn’t as close as I might have lied but the end result was aesthetically pleasing. Not tug, comes from the closeness of the blades, and a final pass that went by without incident. Certainly a blade with longevity this one.
Conclusion & Pricing – Dorco Pace 4 Vs Schick Quattro Ultimate Razor
Ah the price. The Schick brand razors all fall at this hurdle. They might be great shavers, but the price of them is always enough for me to write them off as pointless in the long run. It is the state of the industry I’m afraid. Too few companies own large market shares and so can charge whatever they please. The Razor and ten cartridges will set you back $30.50. Ten cartridges should last about two months, so a $15.25 price per month. The Pace 4 will set you back $35, for the handle and 26 cartridges, putting the price per month at $5.75. Bit of a no brainer really.
Both Dorco and Schick offer a similar range of products, in that all they sell are razors and shaving foam. There are no balms, ointments or exfoliants on offer here, and I feel that if Schick offered a broader range of products it would be easier to recommend them. As it stands this review has been a bit of a beat down on the poor second most popular product in the world. The Quattro handle will not fit Hydro 5 cartridges. Unlike the Dorco Pace 4 handle, which will accept cartridges from the Pace 3, 6 and 7 too.
It pains me to write reviews like this. I like companies that compete. It means we end up with the best product and the best price. When one firm is clearly so much better than the other the review feels like a formality. So it shocks me to realize that the better firm does not sell nearly as much product as the lesser here. Razors are like beer. The first one you find that works you stick with, and I have to tell you, companies love that. They love fans of their products, as then they can charge whatever they please, and we will eat up the cost. Razor manufacturers have become complacent, it’s time for a change.
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