I've been intrigued by this razor for a while because of its reputation as an aggressive razor. I got one for £15, which including P&P and a packet of blades. I haven't had a chance to use it yet but I did insert a blade in order to check the alignment. The blade aligned perfectly but I was a bit concerned at first because the blade remained flat until I tightened the handle nearly all the way in. My other three-piece razors bend the blade as soon as I sandwich it with the handle not inserted, and my Parker 98R needs a certain amount of intervention in order to get the blade to align properly. The 98R provides the best shaves so far so I don't mind having to align the blade in this way as it is a pleasure to use once it has been loaded.
The blade exposure and angle look similar to that of my 98R but the handle isn't quite as heavy. It feels comfortable in my hand and I look forward to trying it tomorrow. I'll see if it lives up to its reputation
I tried it for the first time today. I took the blade out that came with it as I wanted to try a blade I had used before. That was where the blade alignment issues began. After some trial and error, I got the blade to align nicely, although the gap between the blade edge and bar is slightly different on each side. It's not a lot but I know that many people would find that unacceptable, and understandably so.
I decided to persevere and shave with it. The shave was really very good, almost BBS, and I believe it will be perfect once I have found the blade that compliments the razor.
It's a shame that so many Parker razors have issues because the quality of shave is generally excellent in my experience. Unfortunately, a lot of people will be put off and won't experience what a good shave they can offer.
Parker really need to improve their standards of manufacturing and quality control. If they were to do so, I believe they could compete with the best. As things stand, I would hesitate to recommend them unless the vendor is good about returns and exchanges. I am happy with the Parkers that I own but I won't be buying another until I am confident that they have improved their standards. If they could offer a good razor with a quality finish that aligns the blade perfectly like any razor should with no user intervention involved, I would happily come back for more.
I have a 91R as my daily shaver. I wasn't sure this DE thing was going to work for me, I had to set a price cutoff somewhere, the 91R got good reviews on Amazon and came with free super saver shipping, so that's what I went with. This was before any exposure to Badger and Blade.
Plating is not perfect on mine, which has a small nick. Not too visible, but it leaves me vaguely dissatisfied. Casting is OK - not perfect in the less visible areas, but it wouldn't give me dissatisfaction. Functionally the razor is just fine - no problems with blade alignment, although with what people have reported, I find myself checking it pretty carefully after each blade insertion.
As to how aggressive it is, that's hard for me to say. It seems to be more aggressive than I require, but I had no problems picking it up and using it after a 30 year lapse from DE shaving. It's definitely more aggressive than my Lord L6 that I recently got off eBay, but that's not saying much. I just happened to pick up my third razor yesterday at the Salvation Army thrift store - a Fatboy in excellent condition for $5.99. I plan to continue with the Parker as my daily shaver, but I'll give the Gillette a try this morning and see whether I can determine which setting is closest to the Parker.
At this point, although my 91R is not perfect, it would take a lot for me to replace it. Maybe if I could get a decorative handle like the 65R, head and handle flawless to the naked eye, and dialed back slightly from the 91R, but I don't see that happening any time soon.
It seems that Parker are a bit hit and miss when it comes to quality but there is no doubt that the performance can be fantastic.
Out of interest, which blades are you using in yours? My 98R is a little bit less aggressive but that depends entirely on which blades I use, and I suspect that the 91R will be fairly similar in that regard.
I used my 91R again today and it seems that getting the angle right is more important with this razor as it is less forgiving than my others. If the angle is a bit too low, the blade is going to rub against my skin. No nicks so far, but I haven't tried it with a feather yet...
I have a 91R, and I agree that the alignment thing is a pain. That said, it does shave better than the build quality might suggest. I don't find it super aggressive, but that might just be me.
For blades, my suggestion would be to try whatever is your favorite blade first and go from there.
I haven't yet settled on a blade. Blades tried so far are:
Shark Super Chrome
Shark Super Stainless
7 o'clock SharpEdge (Russian yellow)
7 o'clock PermaSharp (Indian green)
Lord Super Chrome
Bic, ASTRA SP, and Iridium Super are top contenders so far, but this is very preliminary. Almost all are satisfactory.
I am channeling my AD tendencies into blades rather than razors or brushes in an effort to hold down costs. On hand but yet to try are:
7 o'clock Super Platinum (Indian black)
Other blades have been ordered and are on the way.
Last edited by RSC; 08-22-2010 at 07:49 AM.
Reason: added Croma Diamant
First comparison with the Fatboy:
It didn't seem much different than a 9 on the Fatboy - maybe a little milder, but it's hard for me to tell. I think I'm not very sensitive to that. I'm not sure I could tell the difference between a 7 and a 9. This was with a used Lord Super Chrome, which I'm finding to be fairly smooth and forgiving. The reputed aggressiveness of the 91R doesn't seem to be a problem for me, but I'm not sure I really need it.
I have a Parker 65R and find it to be a decent razor. It is the best looking razor that I own and is the one sitting in view on my bathroom sink. It shaves well but not quite as good as my Superspeed or Diplomat. I have ten razors and would put the Parker in the middle of the pack. Because of the history of QC problems reported by B&B razors, they probably aren't the best choice for new DE shavers. For those just getting into wet shaving and are looking for a new razor, I would go with EJ or Merkur. Better yet, a vintage Gillette can often be found for $10-15 (even less at flea markets but you have to have some idea what you are looking for) and provide great shaves. Parker razors would best suit an experienced shaver. They know enough to tell a well made razor from a poorly constructed one and be more likely to return and exchange a razor that isn't up to par.
Yes, the 7 o'clocks are definitely up there for me, at least in the top third. My ratings are very preliminary, and the 7 o'clocks could very well end up on top. The PermaSharps (green) were perhaps not quite as sharp as the yellows but still excellent blades. I'm looking forward to trying the blacks.
Originally Posted by wulfgar1976
Just a quick update - the gap between the blade and the bar is really quite uneven and it doesn't fill me with confidence so I am in the process of returning it to the seller for a replacement. I have had a positive experience with my other purchases from the vendor, so I don't anticipate any problems. I like the heft of the razor so I'd like to try again with another.
My 91R was just fine with Feather blades until I dropped the darn thing and knocked the head pins out of alignment. Now I can't get the blade to line up at all. At least I now have an excuse to go get a new razor.
Seeing your comments and the recent pool on 7 o'clocks, I had to try the blacks next. After a week with one of these, I'm not sure how to answer the poll. I think that the 'best' blade among the three that I've tried (Permasharp, SharpEdge, and Super Platinum) is the Super Platinum, but I'm not sure that it is the blade I prefer, which is what the poll asks for.
Originally Posted by wulfgar1976
Durability of the Super Platinum was excellent - I didn't notice any degradation at all with six single-pass shaves, which is a week's worth for me, but I thought the blade was a little too sharp for the 91R. I seemed to have a tendency to scrape off a little too much skin on my neck. However, the Super Platinum was excellent when I tried it with a milder razor.
Normally, since I like to try as my next sample blade one as close as possible to the one I tried last, I would try a Feather next. I suspect that my experience here would be similar to the 7 o'clock Super Platinum. However, I'm going to the dentist this week and to the dermatologist the next, and I don't feel like explaining what I did to my neck, so I plan to go with something safer and tamer.
Last edited by RSC; 08-29-2010 at 01:47 PM.
Reason: 'with a something' => 'with something'
I have a 96R - the way I got it to be even is hold the DE blade flat on each side then turn the twist then it closes evenly for me.
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