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The Dorco PL-602 Double Edge Razor

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[Updated June, 2020] There’s a lot of talk about what the appropriate razor is for a beginner, and what’s the most affordable way for a person to get into DE shaving. Many people use the Weishi rebranded as Van der Hagen (covered here), or choose one of the many good options made out of Zamak. I humbly submit that the plastic Dorco PL-602 is a razor that ought to be included for consideration.

Here’s what I like about the Dorco PL-602:

  • It’s plastic and goes through TSA without question. (My Maggard MR5 handle held me up at security once.)
  • It will never break if it should happen to drop.
  • It will never corrode due to plating loss.

But it has some characteristics that make it good for the new DE shaver. It’s affordable. I buy these on ebay for 3.50 USD, or 6.50 for two [editor’s note: Amazon is selling a ‘602 for under $10]. When equipped with a Feather or a Gillette Platinum blade, a damn fine shave is always attainable, and a smooth-all-over shave is a frequent occurrence.

The blade is always aligned. The Dorco PL-602 is a 2 piece razor, similar to the PILS 101NE – The handle spins in the baseplate, and the top cap captures the end tabs of the blade. Instead of having alignment ribs in the top cap, they stand proud of the baseplate, and they’re wide enough that the blade won’t fall off even if you turn the razor upside down with the top cap removed. Because the ribs are slightly wider than the slot in the blade, the blade is aligned perfectly every single time.
The top cap uses a very coarse thread compared to the machine screw thread that you see on a metal razor. The result, along with the friction coefficient of the plastic, is that it’s possible to adjust the razor by loosening the handle a quarter to half turn. To make this easier, Dorco have indexed the top cap by making a dot on the handle, and there are four ribs on the stem extending from the baseplate, so that you can easily see how much you’ve loosened the handle, changing the geometry of the head.

The Dorco PL-602 is a very mild razor, not dissimilar from an old Gillette like a Super Speed or Tech, but with the head loosened slightly, or with a shim (a blade with the sharp edges cut off by a scissors) becomes very efficient. It’s light and forgiving, moving around the face quickly.
It’s not an heirloom razor, but it works, is durable, and if you’re trying to live up to the “DE shaving will save me money” ethos, there’s probably no more affordable path to take.

Victor Marks

Victor Marks

15 thoughts on “The Dorco PL-602 Double Edge Razor”

  1. Shocked and surprised by the result of the Dorco Pl 602. I got home, took the 602 out of its package, and put in a brand new Voshkod blade which I never used before. Took a hot shower, put on some lotion and proceeded to shave.
    The shave felt like I was spreading melted butter or jelly on bread. Smooth. No nicks or irritations.
    The only thing I don’t like about it is it feels cheap. Looks ok. Reminds me of a single blade disposable BIC cartridge.
    Its a keeper.

  2. Two of these razors arrived from an online seller two weeks ago. I’m on a third different blade that I have in 100 lots, and I get a DFS to near-BBS with each blade. Using it both at home (twice/week) and in “travel” mode at the health club (thrice/week). Yes it’s light, but I’ve had enough practice w. a DE to know when and how to moderate pressure.
    Not sure when I’ll switch to another razor.

  3. Interesting razor, but I wonder about the longevity. Had a similar razor, the plastic Wilkinson Sword, and the screw snapped off the top of the razor after a couple of months.
    Anyone here a long-term user of the Dorco?

    1. I have yet to break the screw on the Dorco. That isn’t to say it won’t happen, but in a year’s use, it hasn’t. If it breaks soon and I’ll have only gotten a year out of my 6 dollar razor, that still doesn’t feel like a bad deal.

      1. Hi Jimmy,
        After a little more than a year or so, I did eventually break the screw on the 602. I ended up drilling and replacing it with a metal screw (m5x0.8 grub screw, 5/8 inch long.) it now works with a metal handle. Honestly, it would have been cheaper to just get another 602, but I wanted to proved to myself that it could be done.

  4. Even less expensive than the Dorco razor are two nearly identical 1-piece flip top plastic double edge razors I used when living in the Philippines. They are by far the fastest and easiest to clean or change blades. The Gillette version is a standard length at about 40 cents and a longer handled version by Lord at less than 35 cents. Dorco blades were also a bargain. The razors and the blades provided a good shave.
    I love my Feather AS-D2 with Feather blades and shave with it almost exclusively, but it is not 400 times better than the plastic flip top Gillette and Lord razors. I prefer the longer handle and less expensive Lord over the Gillette. Each came with a blade and I preferred the Gillette blade to the Lord blade.
    They are very light weight. If you can shave with a disposable multi-blade you can shave with these with maybe a bit more caution.
    If I was looking at frugal I would also take a serious look at these if you can find them.

    1. The Gillette flip top is very affordable.
      It is not nearly as precise at aligning the blade, and I have concerns that the plastic hinge will break under continued flexing, where the Dorco should last for decades.
      Of course, longevity isn’t a concern when they’re so inexpensive, but I would have a hard time recommending them over the Dorco just based on how well made the Dorco is for the price.
      Region does play a part: if you’re in the Philippines and the Lord or Gillette flip top are available, absolutely, you use them.

  5. The Dorco PL-602 is an excellent razor, especially for the price. I’ve been using one for about 8 months. I use it as a touch up or finishing razor. Great for a quick “Don’t have time for a real” shave. The sharper the blade the better. Also a great razor for using up those blades that don’t quite measure up as “the blade” for your regular razor. You really have to try to cut yourself with this razor. I’ll try the shim idea!

  6. I like my old timey Krona for travel, but it has a bit of metal and does get flagged from time to time. This might fit the bill. At home I’m partial to my Slim Adjustable and occasionally my Fatboy. The Merkur Progress I bought is uneven and as a consequence I gave up on it ( I know you are partial to them.)

    1. I like these, but I *may* have something even more suitable for travel through carry-on luggage in a future article.
      A lot of people like the Merkur Progress – it’s meant to maintain the curvature of the blade even when adjusted to its most aggressive, something the Gillette adjustables don’t do as well (they flatten out the blade at the higher numbers compared to the curvature at the lower numbers.) I haven’t got enough experience with the Progress to comment personally on it. I wonder if the uneven-ness you experience is something specific to your Progress that could be fixed?

  7. Hi Bob,
    As I wrote, the stainless steel handle of the Maggard MR5 has held me up at TSA, despite it being fine for travel.
    Here’s the situation: I pack the blades in checked luggage, head disassembled and packed separately from handle, in a separate pocket, and the handle still gets flagged on its own. It doesn’t happen every time, but any slowdown, any pawing through my bag, while getting through TSA is undesirable.
    This goes through without question provided the blades are checked, as you say. But that’s not the primary benefit – the primary benefit is just how good it is as a razor, especially for a newcomer afraid of spending more money to begin. The blade aligns perfectly, the shave is good, and I’m hard pressed to find anything more affordable.

  8. Nice writeup. But I don’t see the benefit of a plastic DE razor in getting through airport security. The blade isn’t allowed in a carryon bag anyway.

    1. I have been stopped because security wants to see the metal handle on a 3 piece razor. Plastic gets through faster. I used to travel 105 times a year. I don’t want to be slowed down if I can help it.

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