Gillette versus Dorco Shaving Test 4

After four weeks of shaving alternating sides of face with a Gillette Fusion 5 ProShield with FlexBall and a Dorco Pace 7, the Dorco was plainly doing a better job and also holding its edge better.

Blind test data: I told friends in Manhattan about my experiment, two days after a mixed Gillette/Dorco shave, and both husband and wife identified the right side of my face as cleaner. It was the Dorco side.

At roughly the two-week point, we conducted the following test:

  • back of neck, unshaven for three weeks
  • Gillette Fusion 5 ProShield with FlexBall on left side
  • Dorco Pace 7 on right side
  • neutral operator (she had never seen the Gillette ad)

Result: “The Dorco is much better. It gets all of the hair in one swipe. But maybe that is because it is new and the Gillette blade is old?”

In other words, the performance of the Dorco was so much better that she imagined it to be a test of a brand-new Dorco versus a weeks-old Gillette. (As noted above, the blades were of identical age and had performed an identical number of shaves, each on half of my face.)

Loosely related: Opinion from a Harry’s subscriber: The Dorco 6 (not 7) Korean blades and Harry’s Germany steel were comparable in shave quality.

From a man with a light beard (maybe an ancestor was a cousin to Elizabeth Warren’s great-grandparents?): The almost-free Dorco 4-blade system is far superior to the older Gillette system (pre-Fusion) that he had been loyally using.

From a woman: The unfortunately named Dorco Shai 3+3 (why not “bold” rather than “shai”?) system is far better than the Gillette Venus she had been using. The cartridge is truly massive! (Dorco makes some more conventional razors for women as well.)

Next project: Dorco Pace 6 Plus versus Dorco Pace 7 (Preliminary results: The trimmer blade on the Pace 6 Plus surprisingly does not result in more precision under the nose; the Pace 7 seems to feel and work better (I doubt my own sanity as I write this).)


6 thoughts on “Gillette versus Dorco Shaving Test 4

  1. You may doubt your own sanity, but we don’t; we just admire your clean, close shave! Your persistence has completely settled this question for me and Dorco is now my go-to shaving solutions provider.

    I’m so happy I want to print a custom t-shirt for this spring and summer. I imagine it with the Dorco logo, a stylized graphic of a Dorco Plus 6 or 7 and a phrase in Latin. Small left chest graphic and larger back.

    Question: how would you translate “razor” to Latin? For some reason the first thing that came to my mind was “Occam’s Razor” which is “novacula Occami” but then I saw “novacula” is a feminine noun in Latin. In a way that makes a lot of sense, but I’m interested in other ideas.

    Philip, fellow readers and Dorconians (Dorcoscenti, Dorconoids?): post your Latin phrase suggestions (with English translations, please) for the t-shirt. If you have something interesting that isn’t in Latin, that’s OK too, but I want it to be a little bit of a puzzle for anyone who sees the shirt. For trademark infringement reasons I know I can’t sell them with the logo but maybe Dorco would get a kick out of them. I don’t think there’s any legal issue involved if I printed one for my personal use and shared a photo of it here?

  2. @Philip, I hate to break this for you, but you have to try this experiment all over again for it to be scientifically correct, this time switch the blade brand on your face: Gillette on right side, Dorco on left side. Why? Due to holding effect.

    How you hold and how you angle the blade using your hand on the right side of your face vs. left side make a different. We are wired to be more comfortable on one side of our face vs. the other due to being right handed or left handed.

    Also, unrelated to your experiment directly but it is yet another variable. Fully drying the blade after usage also has an effect on the blade. So that is something else you may want to add to your experiment.

    I’m sure the manufacturers have done all those studies but do not want to publish them.

    Back to drying the blade. Someone mentioned it in the past, in one of your older posting on this subject. Drying your blade after usage will prolong the life of your blade by as much as 2X and even more. I use hairdryer (blow hot air on the blade) to do so and I get a good 2X+ usage out of my blade.

    • Thanks, George. I have been swapping right/left to eliminate the possibility that one side is easier to shave due to my being right-handed.

      Hauling out a hair dryer after every shave is a bridge too far! Given the low price of Dorco cartridges and high price of electricity in Massachusetts, I wonder if it even saves money.

      (My goal with these experiments is not to save every possible penny, but rather to see if Gillette’s market dominance is due to advertising or technical superiority.)

  3. Outstanding Phil!

    Thanks for this review, I am dumping Gillette on my next trip to Costco.

    You can name your steak restaurant the next time you are in NYC.

  4. It is not to the point, but why prefer wet shaving of any kind to an electric dry shaver?

    When young (some 60 yrs ago) I followed my father using a cut-throat, hollow-ground razor stropped on the usual leather and impregnated strops and lubricated with shaving soap. What a tedious, inconvenient performance! Close but impractical. Then I used its portable, modernized variant, the Rolls Razor; more portable (it accompanied me through my army service) but equally imprctical. Then I started with the currently available types of electric shaver; good but a bit variable and not long-lasting, until Philips triple-headed ones came along. A rechargeable/mains shaver bought in 2000 is still working well, but its cutters are now worn to the point where they almost need replacing, but I have pensioned it for a new one of the same type with improved springing of the heads. Both give a shave that is not quite as close as obtained with any blade, but offer so much greater convenience that there is no real competition: electric shaver wins for me, every time. And if one has a very dark, tough beard such that another trim is needed later in the day, small battery-operated shavers are available that can slip into a pocket or man-bag. Swap the 19th for the 21st centuries!

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