I will keep this review short and sweet.
Do not buy DuraPik. It isn’t very good.
Conceptually, the idea is right. Unfortunately, execution is poor and it is a real disappointment.
I would advise sticking to regular floss that you wrap around your fingers. Or source Quip’s refillable floss pick.
DuraPik launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in July 2020. I wrote about it here.
Floss picks have for a long time been a convenient solution, but not environmentally friendly.
The concept of DuraPik was a reusable metal handle/tool that you load floss onto. This meant you could do away with using plastic floss picks. Or having to try floss with it wrapped around your fingers and thumbs.
Easier and more environmentally friendly. What’s not to love?!
It even comes with a more sustainable floss.
It was successfully funded in August 2020.
After numerous delays, and a couple of design revisions, standard for any Kickstarter product it shipped in the Summer of 21.
Unfortunately, the final product wasn’t quite what I hoped for.
Firstly, the initial package arrived missing the DuraPik.
The eco/sustainable envelope had failed. The glued edge on one side was unstuck. To be fair to DuraPik they reshipped the product without issue. However, already the eco-credentials feel a little lost.
I was disappointed to discover it shipped from China. Now, the campaign literature didn’t specifically state where it was going to be made, from what I know. However, there was talk about the company being a team of Canadians and Australians, and I had gotten the impression it was being made in one of these countries.
I had ordered the Artic Blue colour variant, one of 5 colour choices.
The product I received does not look at all like the colour I expected. Rather than the bright/polished blue, I have a much more muted navy blue colour. I don’t dislike it, but it isn’t what I ordered.
The flosser itself is very square and feels strong. I like the look, but perhaps the edges are a bit too square. Most notably the bottom of the flosser, with the removable toothpick. The edge is quite rough on the hand.
The toothpick is terrible. Firstly mine is bent both horizontally and vertically. It is also incredibly thick, with a fairly blunt rounded end to it. I would never advise anyone use this in between their teeth. It could cause trauma to the gums.
If you were in an absolute pinch you could use it to maybe get a large piece of debris that might be stuck on or between the tooth. But, extreme care should be used.
When placing the toothpick back into the handle of the flosser, I can hear it scraping the inside. It doesn’t glide in nicely at all. In fact, the coating appears to be scratching off with just a few inserts and removals. It does lock in place quite tightly though, potentially too tight for some.
So then to threading the floss…
I don’t have the most nimble fingers and with a bit of practice I have gotten quicker, but it takes me a minimum of 10 seconds, but really nearer 20 to actually thread the flosser. That is if I get it right. A lot longer if I keep messing it up.
I feel all fingers and thumbs when doing it and the small clips/edges onto which the floss needs to grab can be really tricky to do.
It is made worse when the floss itself is unravelling. So what should be 1 tightly wound piece of floss has a splayed end with 4 fibres showing as thin strands. And then at the other end, I have a longer piece of excess floss, because cutting the floss tight to the floss head is difficult. The hands-on images best highlight this.
Once wrapped on, I am sorry to say it doesn’t get any easier or better.
I found the string to be a bit harsh. I personally prefer the tape. It gives a wider and larger surface area and feels like it glides with more ease.
The floss fairly quickly becomes loose. After a few teeth, I found it wasn’t as taught and there was much more slack.
This isn’t necessarily the end of the world, but it can make it trickier to get a good clean between the teeth. And then, on top of this, the fibres start to come apart meaning you no longer have 1 strong thread. The result is it all becomes even looser or breaks.
Floss can break with floss picks or when wrapped sound your fingers, but I don’t think, in my experience at least it is as common as it is with DuraPik
I have had instances where it remains intact but the pressure of pulling, tugging and generally flossing means that the floss slips from the notches that hold it securely on the floss.
Kudos to DuraPik it is a vegan and totally home compostable floss. But, you are going to be getting through it when it breaks etc.
I like the durability and strength that come from the metal. But, there is something to be said for plastic. It is a bit softer on the gums and if you do want to apply a little pressure on the handle by biting down, the plastic feels a slightly safer and practical option compared to the metal. There is often a more natural flex in the plastic to absorb excess pressure. The metal on the teeth can be quite harsh.
I wondered whether I was alone thinking and experiencing what I had. But, a quick read of the crowdfunding page confirms that I have faced the same issues as most other people. It is a shame. What could have been a good idea has been executed poorly.
I am amazed, this ever actually got to the stage of shipping. The faults are so clear that even feedback from just a handful of testers would have confirmed this, allowing the team to redesign or make adjustments prior to shipping thousands of these.
This flosser and 1 reel of floss cost me CDN $29 including shipping.
A 2 pack of floss refills (20m each), including shipping costs CDN$18.
I think you can see that this is a much more expensive option. No to mention, with it shipping in from other parts of the world, not very eco friendly and sustainable.
Interdental brushes are the ‘best’ option for cleaning between teeth. Admittedly there is a lot of work needed here for these to become better for the planet.
Quip has a refillable floss pick which is much better. Different, but more affordable and considerably easier to thread. Plus it comes in a neat travel friendly package.
I think one of the better options if you want to remain sustainable is to find some sustainable floss, made and shipped locally and just use your hands to guide the floss.