Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Weishi Versus Dorco Prime: A Closer Look and Another Trial

This morning I had a two-pass shave with the Dorco Prime one-piece razor. It happened to also be the nineteenth shave on a Personna Super (lab blue) blade. The shave outcome was surprisingly close -- and without any touch-up strokes beyond the second pass! Visually the shave looked terrific, though I could feel some general skin irritation, which I am tempted to chalk up to a combination of the old blade and the close shave.

This shave got me to thinking about the similarities and differences between the fraternal-twin razors, the Weishi 9306-F and the Dorco Prime.

Though slightly misaligned in this photo, when stood on end side by side, the
Dorco Prime and the Weishi 9306-F razors are the same length and visually
indistinguishable. So much so that I had to put a small square of blue tape
on the end of the Dorco to visually tell it from the Weishi. The only other
certain way to tell them apart is to weigh them.

These razors look identical from their size, design, finish -- even the slight disuniformity in the way the butterfly doors button down. Yet they are clearly fraternal and not identical twins. Despite appearances, the Weishi is about one gram heavier (57g vs. 56g), and the Weishi butterfly doors open just a bit wider to give blade insertion and removal just a bit more room.

When both the Weishi and the Dorco razors are closed with blade, they both
have the same harmless closure quirk, in which the butterfly doors don't both
close to the same degree. This can be seen here in the right doors on both razors.

Yet what about their all-important design characteristics of blade reveal, exposure, angle, and blade-bar span? It is these aspects that will determine the bottom line, which is how they shave. Are those shaving characters the same or different? Based on today's reunion with the Dorco, I am tempted to say that they are different.

Eyeballing is unreliable, but I don't have really good alternatives, so for today, that will have to do. The blade reveal -- that is, how much of the blade is exposed outside the top cap -- is similar, but the Dorco Prime may, just possibly, have a slightly larger reveal. Unfortunately, assessing blade angle (in relation to the shave plane formed by the top cap and safety guard), blade exposure (how protected -- or not -- the blade is within the cove of the top cap and safety guard), and blade-guard span are difficult no matter what method at hand is used. For now, I'm not going to try.

I have to simply rely on my approximate-at-best assessment of the relative shaving characters of the razor. This morning, I rated the Dorco Prime razor as positive for the first pass, with grain, and neutral for the second, against-grain pass. This neutral rating was because I got a couple of pinpoint weepers, which would be unusual to get using the Weishi razor, which I think is the best finishing razor that I own. This is trending the opposite of how I prefer to use the Weishi, which is normally exclusively as a finishing razor on the against-grain pass and for subsequent touch-up strokes.

So the plan for the forseeable future (that is, the next few days) is to alternate from day to day between the Weishi and the Dorco TTO razors, using each as both a first-pass and finishing razor. From those shaves, I should be able to determine if they're about the same or if the Weishi is truly the milder of the two. That means that tomorrow the Weishi is at bat -- but equipped with a fresh Feather blade. Of course, I will continue to use the Feather blade until it nears the end of its useful life, the length of which will be determined in due time.

My prediction, my hypothesis, for this little razor experiment is that the Dorco is actually a slightly more aggressive razor than its legitimate fraternal twin, the Weishi 9306-F. (I use the term legitimate because both razors are likely made by the Weishi factory, but only the Weishi carries its actual manufacturer's name.)

Stay tuned. Happy shaving!

1 comment:

  1. Did you see Baili just came out with a TTO? I want one, but it's $15, and I already dissed the distributor on Amazon ("Viking" something).