Dorco PL602 Plastic Safety Razor - Photo Analysis and Review

Discussion in 'Double Edged Razors' started by ShavingByTheNumbers, Sep 7, 2016.

    Thanks, fast shaver, for clearing that up. I'd get the 2015 model, too. I'm hesitant to get it right now, even with its great price, because I haven't even started using my EJ Kelvin yet. Also, the Lord L6 doesn't have an official aggressiveness rating in the B&B ShaveWiki table. The L6 and the L5 are rated "2.0??" with a "needs more votes" note. At this point, I want to stick with more established razors with solid aggressiveness ratings for my measurements, photo analysis, and aggressiveness model validation. However, I'm thinking that since I'll start those comprehensive DE safety razor and DE blade tables in the B&B ShaveWiki, and I'll be polling for sharpness and smoothness ratings of blades, which apparently has never been done before, that we could also do new or revised polls for razors. The Lord L6 certainly could use a solid rating.
  1. I understand & its hard to explain how a Razor shaves. One person may say a Razor is too Aggressive & another say the same Razor is too mild. I ran into this phenomenon when researching a Razor to buy for myself. I find the EJ & Merkur too aggressive for me personally. Others will say they are mild razors.
  2. Opinions of razors do vary quite a bit. Maybe I'll find that the EJ is too aggressive for me, too. I don't know. I look forward to trying it out, and I'm pretty sure that the next razor after that would be the Merkur 34C, the other "top dog" of newbie recommendations, but we'll see how the EJ Kelvin goes first. (By the way, I was already looking ahead when I chose the EJ Kelvin because it is like the Merkur 34C but a three-piece with the EJ DE89 head, so comparisons between the two razors will be more fair regarding head differences.)

    I believe that ranges in opinions have mostly to do with differences in sensitivity to blade exposure, guard span, and blade angle. The problem is that the data isn't available for people to figure out what in particular they like regarding these dimensions. All that we have is blade gap data, and blade gap only really matters because it generally relates to guard span, which really matters, but blade gap can be small at the same time that guard span is large. Photo analysis has been done with the Dorco PL602 and the PAA DOC Satin and photo analysis will continue, particularly with razors that are more commonly used. Photo analysis data has already helped me and I didn't see that coming! As I wrote about, I was using the wrong handle angle with the PL602 and I had no idea. Once I measured its very high handle angle, I revisited the razor, trying to mimic the correct handle angle, and had a much better shave, albeit still lacking in closeness. I hope that I, and any others that join in later, can help collect more and more razor data to help the community. Hey, right now, I'm still trying to figure out what works for me! :w00t:
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
  3. Before you cough up the money for the Merkur 34C, I would advise you to watch some of Nick Shave's video's on the Tube. You will usually see him fiddling with the blade on the 34C to make sure the blade is centered.:lol: I would not recommend this Razor to a newbie myself. I would recommend the Weishi Razor.:thumbup1:
  4. You know, I've seen a lot of Nick's videos---he makes the best ones---so I know that his usual razor is the Merkur 34C, but I've never noticed that he fiddles with the blade while loading. Interesting! I'm used to fiddling with the blade with the PAA DOC Satin because its bars that center the blade are too skinny, but I'd like to use a razor that automatically loads the blade symmetrically without my help.

    Thanks for that information and for your recommendation. I haven't wanted to get the Weishi Razor because it is a butterfly razor. Someday I'm sure that I'll get one or that specific one, but right now, I want to stick with three-piece razors because they are easier to clean and seem more solid to me. The exception to this was the Dorco PL602 because it was so cheap and I was desperate to get away from the PAA DOC.
  5. My 2 cents for anyone trying to buy cheap razors: Instead of spending too much money on cheap razors as Weishi or Lord or anything as such, PAA slant open comb is the best razor under $20(and one of the best at any price IMHO). It gives me the longest lasting DE shaves and very smooth to use.
  6. Thanks, @play. Sounds like a good recommendation. I have a file on relatively inexpensive razors, to help me in my future purchases, and I added the Phoenix Bakelite Open Comb Slant when it came out recently. It is tempting, but I don't want RAD. Even without having used it, I would probably recommend it over their DOC which costs almost twice as much and has what I consider a bad (not smooth) profile around the blade. At least the Bakelite appears smooth, "very smooth" from your experience, and gives a great shave.

    By the way, I think that we're making a difference here. I just noticed it. PAA LISTS THE BLADE EXPOSURE OF THE BAKELITE OPEN COMB SLANT!! That's a first for all of the inexpensive, and virtually all of the high-end, razors that I've seen! The blade exposure is listed as 1.032 mm. That seems very large.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
  7. First time I loaded Fasan(PAA's inspiration) the blade exposure was a bit intimidating. However, in practice it is surprisingly tamed. Lightweight razors have larger blade exposure to overcome lack of weight so that it can still remove hair without applying a lot of pressure while shaving. So even here with lightweight razors, using light pressure is required. The same is true for Merkur 45C.
  8. That's what I was thinking upon reflection after my post. Thanks for confirming that, play. Even with its light weight, would you say that the Fasan or PAA Bakelite is aggressive because of the 1 mm blade exposure? In other words, it requires very good technique or it will bite you, right? Or does the light weight more or less stop this from happening?
  9. Not overly aggressive. If Muhle R41 is 10/10 aggressive and Merkur 34C is 5/10 then this would be 7/10. The blade exposure is deceiving.

    It will only bite if you apply a lot of pressure. Use very light pressure and short strokes, try to barely feel blade edge on your skin and let the edge and geometry of razor do it's work. If you apply too much pressure, you will get razor burn just like with any other DE.
  10. Interesting. Yeah. That blade exposure is deceiving, which is probably why PAA is transparent about it. Thanks for the advice about how to use it with very light pressure, letting the razor do the work. I'm sure that my technique will grow as I get away from the PAA DOC because with that razor I apply extra pressure and still can't get close enough due to the very negative blade exposure.

    The blade gap of the PAA Bakelite is listed as 0.203 mm, which is small, but what is the guard span? Does it seem that the guard span is larger or smaller than 1 mm? Could you hold a metric scale with millimeter markings against the razor head to make an estimate?
  11. This is a terrific thread! :thumbup1:
  12. Very thorough analysis. Thank you!
  13. Thanks, guys. There doesn't seem to be much interest in the Dorco PL602, and I totally understand that. It's a very inexpensive plastic razor that I barely used myself, but at least some guys get a kick out of the measurements and analysis. I do. I think that there will be a lot of interest in my future analysis of the EJ DE89 head. That analysis will mean much more for others who actually use it. :)
  14. Very detailed analysis. You definitely put the work in.
  15. Thanks. I appreciate the feedback. Photos alone take time. Close-up photos down the blade edge especially take time, maybe an hour to get that right. I don't know. The photo analysis takes times, too. All in all, several hours in total spread out over the days when I get to the photography and analysis. Then, there's the write-up here. It's all part of the hobby. I wish that the process could be faster, but that's the way it goes. I hope that others could someday get involved in this, but I understand that the time and process will push people away. However, I think that it is reasonable to think that someone or several people might be willing to at least do the close-up photo or photos. That alone would be extremely helpful for data collection. The analysis and presentation takes more time. I could do that stuff for any razor that I have the close-up photo for, as long as the photo is properly taken and focused with a good metric scale in it. It's not a simple process, but someone else could do what I'm doing there. I don't even have a great camera. It's years old and 10 Megapixels.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
  16. Since I was unable to buy rapira razor because my gift card expired on paypal, I bought local tech clone on flea market for 7$, unopened from package, in store they sell them for 16$ :mad3:, it says SS and nickeled :lol::lol: this thing has perfect alignment, it's 3 piece with BE handle. Shaves are smooth when gillette platinum is loaded and even blade I don't like- dorco lasts about 3 consistent smooth shaves.
  17. Update: More Measurements

    Several weeks or some months ago, I made more measurements of the Dorco PL602, but I just recorded them for later. I might as well publish them here. Below is the updated table of measurements for the razor without a blade. Mass, length, center of mass, and handle length measurements were kept and more measurements have been added. Mass was measured with a calibrated scale having a 0.01 g resolution, lengths were measured with a calibrated digital caliper having a 0.01 mm resolution, and center of mass was measured by carefully balancing the razor on a relatively thin edge of folded paper, noting the critical location, and measuring it with the caliper. Width dimensions are in the direction of blade edge to blade edge.

    RazorDorco PL602
    Mass12.03 g
    Length110.23 mm
    Center of Mass from Top37.71 mm
    Handle Length84.62 mm
    Handle Diameter, Minimum10.39 mm
    Handle Diameter, Maximum11.88 mm
    Top Cap Width19.07 mm
    Base Plate Width25.79 mm
    Head Length, Center48.67 mm
    Head Length, Nominal45.65 mm
    Center Pin/Post Diameter at Blade4.60 mm
    Side Bar Width at Blade2.01 mm
    Side Bar Span at Blade35.77 mm


    I don't have much to say about these measurements except about the nice "side bars" on the base plate that position the blade, as shown above. These bars provide a width of 2.01 mm at the blade loaded in the razor. This bar width is good, considering that cutout width for blades that I've measured ranges from 2.10 mm to 2.20 mm with an average of 2.15 mm. In other words, the bars on the base plate center the blade well, not as well as can be imagined, but with a reasonable amount of wiggle room or "blade play". The span from the outside of one side bar to the outside of the other side bar is 35.77 mm, which is just fine since the minimum cutout length that I've measured is around 35.98 mm. All in all, as experienced from use, the Dorco PL602 loads the DE blade fairly symmetrically.
  18. Update: Blade gap of Dorco PL602 accurately measured as 0.77 mm

    Since recently creating my accurate set of micrometer-measured feeler gauge blade combinations (B&B URL), I have been able to accurately measure blade gap to the nearest 0.01 mm, so I decided to revisit my analysis of the Dorco PL602. Photo analysis of the fully tightened Dorco PL602 with a 22.00 mm wide blade yielded a blade gap of 0.69 mm, as published in the OP (B&B URL). Blade gap of the Dorco PL602, loaded with a 21.96 mm wide blade, has now been physically measured with my accurate feeler gauge guide. Reloading of the blade was performed a few times in an effort to make blade reveal as symmetric as possible so that blade gap would hopefully be as symmetric as possible, too. Adjustments were very, very small, though, because the razor automatically loads a blade very symmetrically. Defining blade gap as the largest feeler gauge allowed between the safety guard and the razor blade or cutting edge that makes contact with a minority of the razor blade or cutting edge, I found that both sides of the Dorco PL602 loaded with a 21.96 mm wide blade had a blade gap of 0.77 mm. This great symmetry serves as further evidence that the Dorco PL602 is designed and manufactured well. The physically measured blade gap of 0.77 mm supersedes the digitally measured blade gap of 0.69 mm. It is believed that most of the difference here can be explained by the previously reported fact in the OP that the blade cutting edges pop up a bit in the middle, which is neglected by photo analysis of the side view, but felt with feeler gauges. The Dorco PL602 is currently missing from B&B's blade gap table (B&B URL), so I will add an entry with a reference to this update.

Share This Page