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Dollar Shave Club vs. Dorco: Sticking It To The Man (Again!)

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As I wrote in my earlier article, Dollar Shave Club decided to consolidate models and force users to shift to the new handles and blades. I got their new equipment and used the six-blade cartridge and new handle for a head and face shave. I walked away definitely unimpressed. I felt more tugging with the new cart and that overall it was an inferior product to what the company planned to replace. 

Not Just Me

After more than twenty comments on the article, I felt it was not just me. Wet shavers were echoing my sentiments. “Takes longer to shave, not as close a shave. More irritation.” Many also did what I eventually did….canceled my subscription. 

I had joined the company, maybe a decade ago, after their fantastic commercial where the founder claimed “our blades are f*cking great.” It starred Michael Dubin, the founder of Dollar Shave Club, and rocketed the company into the mainstream. For me, it was about doing two things at the same time. Saving money and sticking it to the big companies who were selling cartridges for a ridiculous amount of money. Joining DSC let me accomplish both. 

During my time with DSC, I would hear whisperings of “you know, it’s just Dorco blades.” To which I didn’t care because I had brand loyalty. I was sticking it to the man! 

When the brand, which was bought by giant Unilever for one-billion dollars, decided to go in a different direction…I decided to see about these Dorco blades. 


Here’s what I found on the big river website. The Pace 6 Sport handle and nine cartridges. All for $21.99. [Editor’s note: Amazon links are Sharpologist affiliate.]

This is what I had been paying. $10 for four cartridges. Umm, yeah, I’m not going to try and add up how much more I’ve been paying over the years, but it was because I was what? Sticking it to the man. Now I feel like I was being stuck just a bit. 

In my research, I also discovered that all of the Dorco brand carts…fit every handle they offer. No more three handles because everything had to be different.  

So I decided to give the Dorco carts and handle a test run. 

Nine carts and a handle. I noticed some definite similarities when looking at the head of the handle between it and the DSC. 

A close look at the heads shows they are just about exactly the same with how they snap on the cartridges. 

So it makes sense that both carts would have the same design. 

The handle is a little lighter in weight than the DSC but is still evenly balanced. I did notice the new cart seemed to snap in tighter with the Dorco handle than the DSC products ever did. This has been an infrequent issue with the DSC carts, where one disconnects very easily.  

Performance And Conclusion

While the carts and handles look almost like carbon copies, I wanted to give it several test runs. Each time, I used a Barrister and Mann shaving soap. 

One thing I noticed right away was that parts of the handle feel like rubber instead of plastic or chrome like the DSC. It felt like it was better-suited to a use in a shower because it was easier to grip and wouldn’t slip. The pivot felt nearly the same, maybe with a bit more resistance but not to the point of it being harder to use. As for the cart’s performance, it shaved through a two-day growth on my head very easily and the lube strip felt like it was leaving the skin a little moisturized. I did not have to do any touchups because the blades cut it all. 

On my face shave, I did three passes and each time the blades performed well. I did not feel any tugging and the cart left no irritation. The trimmer blade on the back of the cart is similarly very sharp and worked well to cut in around my goatee. After each shave, I was pleased with the results and the fact that I didn’t have to search around for a replacement for the now discontinued (and pricier) DSC products. 

When I canceled my subscription, a final window popped up. 

A “final” chance to stock up on carts and an Executive handle. Free shipping and no purchase limits. Looks like they are trying to clear out their “old” inventory. 

That was a real easy decision to make, especially that I now know I can get the same blades even cheaper. 

If that’s not sticking it to the man…again…I don’t know what is. 

Jay Harrell

Jay Harrell

16 thoughts on “Dollar Shave Club vs. Dorco: Sticking It To The Man (Again!)”

  1. JazzStar Scrumptious

    Meh. 🙂 I had been using Dorco’s Pace 6 Plus for years. A great, great cartridge. Recently though, my beard has changed (brown to gray to more white?), and that cartridge hasn’t been (ahem) cutting it as well. So I’ve been doing a small market survey to settle on a new cartridge (system). So far, the Gillette ProShield works well, and the Mach3 Sensitive seems comparable, but cheaper. But … I also tried the current DSC 4 blade cartridge. Really, that one now gives me the best shave. So go figure. I still have a few more cartridge/systems to test though.

    One thing that bugs me, is that it’s harder now to get Dorco stuff. For example, they make the Pace 4 Pro, and there is a Pace 4 Plus version too, but it’s almost impossible to find Pace 4 Plus cartridges here in the US. The Pace 6 Plus, was a solid step up from the Pace 6 Pro for me. And I will try both Pace 4’s in the next little while, but I’m kinda hoping the DSC 4 blade is good enough, because I don’t want the hassle of trying to track down Pace 4 Plus cartridges if likewise, that one beats the Pace 4 Pro …

  2. Thanks, same experience here. 10+ years with DSC for all the same reasons but they got crappy, shipping the supermarket retail lightweight blades instead of the “executive” ones. I had heard that Dorco supplied DSC but I never looked any further, guess I was happy with the original DSC ones. But now I will definitely check out these Dorco blades.

  3. I recently tried my first dollar shave club razor and wasn’t real impressed for the cost. I’m looking forward to trying a Dorco pace 6 next. In my 2 blades I tried with DSC neither came out of packaging easily and one lost its lubricating strip before use. Is this common?

  4. Thanks so much for this post! My trusty old DSC executive handle finally gave up the ghost and I still have a shed load of cartridges. Now I can find a replacement handle to fit them and not have to deal with those guys ever again.

  5. I had been eyeing DSC for some months — when the sudden “Dorco USA closing” announcement hit in early 2019, I did a big bulk order, two 54-cartridge packs or equivalent — this turned out to be wise, because it netted me a second handle, and (as anyone reading this knows) those Dorco Pace 6 cartridges are superior to anything made since.

    My original 2014-vintage Dorco handle is just starting to fail now — small piece of plastic broke off the front — but it’s still usable in a pinch, and, hey, whaddya know, I can get another on Alibaba for three or four bucks. Dorco USA sold some cut-rate (orange) cartridges from a secondary supplier in their final weeks of operation; I have a few of these too, which I mingle in with the superior cartridges, and I tolerate them, but the shave’s definitely not the same.

    1. Hi Sven.
      if you are still looking for the Dorco pace 6 plus amazing handle you can find it on my ebay listing. just search for 175471696089 on ebay.
      I offer much faster shipping than alibaba and ofcourse the authentic razor.

  6. Thank you again for this write up. It’s sounds stupid but I feel lost and betrayed by dollar shave club. I was a happy member for 10 years! Now the thing I never had to worry about buying and never not having a good shave is in jeopardy. I canceled my subscription with them and got that same page upon my exit. It made me angry but I ordered it out of desperation after trying the new “ club” handle and cart which is total crap. At least now I know there is some kind of hope. The problem is Amazon which I refuse to do business with but I will find another way. Great article sir!

    1. If I were wanting to go back a DSC type. I’d give Jeremy’s a try. (just for the commercial) They a political slant, if that matters to you.

  7. If you can find the Dorco plastic safety razor I’d strongly recommend it, paired with the dorco DE blades it gives an amazing shave for an unbeatable price.

  8. I tried DSC in the summer of ’14. I found the four and six blade cartridges to be very dull. It was more like scraping than shaving. I was using Schick hydro 3 and Mach 3, both were better than DSC. Then I was cleaning for Mom, found Dad’s ’66 slim, and platinum blades. I shaved, I was hooked! Down the bottomless rabbit hole I fell!!

    1. Did you believe the “I’ll save money just using DE blades?” I did. Now I look at my shave den and can’t imagine my life without it.

  9. Perhaps Dorco will finally wake up to the opportunity that they have been missing out on all these years. Dorco makes a good product at an unbeatable pricepoint. If they established a direct to consumer model in North America they would clean up, just as DSC did.

    But, Dorco seems to be largely focused on their Domestic market in S. Korea, and so the opportunity gets overlooked by them.

    1. They at one time did. Dorco had its own website. I used to order from them all the time (their DE blades) as they would send a coupon code by email. They had all of their various razor handles, cartridges, and DE blades (Prime, ST 300, ST 301, etc.) for dirt cheap (with coupon codes). It was a shame getting that email saying they were no longer going to sell directly, but all of their products would be on Amazon.

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