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  1. #1
    Senior Member spinsheet's Avatar
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    Default How is the Parker 96R?

    A few days ago I ordered a Parker 96R safety razor. Had I any idea that there was actually a forum dedicated to shaving I would have asked this before buying, but I has no idea. Is the Parker a decent razor? I am is the process of learning how to use a straight razor and in the meantime I thought that I would toss the disposables in lieu of a DE. Any thoughts on the Parker? It also comes with 10 shark blades. I have not seen anyone comment on those blades here, how do they rate?

    Both the razor and the blades got very good reviews on Amazon but I would trust this groups opinions a bit more.

    Thanks,
    Todd

  2. #2
    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    Default How is the Parker 96R?

    Hello, Todd:

    Welcome to SRP. Anything you want to know about shaving with the straight razor or the double edge you will find here. Look around the site, especially in the Wiki.

    I always found the Parker razor a bit too aggressive — for me. My first Parker was the 60R (I am not sure about the number) and found it too aggressive. My next one was the Parker 91R, which I found more aggressive. I sold both to someone who loves them. As you can see, as a rule, the razor question deals with personal preference.

    Eventually I switched to Merkur, Edwin Jagger and Muhle Pinsel. Of all, my favorite is the Edwin Jagger 89L, with its close cousin being the Muhle Pinsel 89R. Both razors use the Muhle Pinsel head, from what I understand and can tell. I also love the Edwin Jagger "Chatsworth" series, from which I own the "barley" and love it. It's pricey, though.

    I have owned the Merkur 38C "barber pole" and the 34C HD and loved both. Now I only have the little Merkur travel DE — I have replaced the head with the Muhle Pinsel's.

    In the end, any type of a razor is a matter of personal choice. Those are my choices. Please find what works best for you.

    I have not used Shark razor blades. My favorite blades are Feather and Gillette 7 O'Clock Sharp Edge (yellow packs). Super Irridium I found rough, though they are highly regarded. Personna "Red" is okay. So is Derby. Thumbs down on the Merkur blades. Crystal is similar to Persona, if not the same blade under a different name. All the Dorcos I found extremely mild and not suited to my beard. I used scores of others, most of which I did not like. That's why I have stayed with the Feather.

    Here, too, please make your own choice. My choices are the best for me personally. I use the double edge if extremely short on time. Otherwise it is the straight razor all the way.

    Good luck to you.

    Regards,

    Obie
    Last edited by Obie; 02-13-2010 at 01:30 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Arrowhead's Avatar
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    I have heard that there are quality control issues with Parker razors, but all that means is that you may or may not get a good one, and you are the best judge of that. There is a lot to be said for twist-to-open razors, and that rather limits your choices if you don't go down the vintage Gillette route.

    As regards blades, you have a bewildering world of choice available to you, which makes getting hold of a sample pack a good plan. My general advice, and this goes for soaps and creams as well, is that if you find something you really like, buy a lot, because good products can be discontinued (like UK made Wilkinson Sword and Swedish Gillette blades). For what it's worth, my personal recommendations of current blades would be Super Iridium, Feather and Red Personna, all of which are reliably consistent, but blade choice is a very personal matter.

  4. #4
    Member GoingPostal's Avatar
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    I have only used the 82R, which I'm guessing has the same head, and it is a beast -- but in a good way, imho. It is heavy (3 oz), and quite aggressive. The only other razors I would put in the same category with this one concerning aggressiveness would be the Barbasol and a vintage straight guard bar Hoffritz with a custom handle that I own. This is my first Parker, and I shied away from previous models because of all the talk about quality issues, but I can tell you for certain that the 82R is very well constructed. It has a solid brass frame, and mechanically, the TTO is very smooth (interestingly, it functions like a British Gillette Rocket in which the knob recedes into the handle when opening). The silo doors butt nicely to the center bar, and the blade gaps are perfectly even. The plating job may not be the best, but it is still quite nice.

    If you like aggressive razors, I say go for it. I consider the new Parkers a pretty good buy at their price point.

  5. #5
    Senior Member spinsheet's Avatar
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    I'm not really sure what is meant by 'aggressive'. Does the blade stick out more? Is it more apt to cut you? Is aggressive in itself bad, good, or simply a matter of personal preference?

    I tend to have pretty heavy facial hair and rather sensitive skin. Of course, that might simply be because I have been using triple blade disposable razors for the past 25 years.

  6. #6
    Member GoingPostal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinsheet View Post
    I'm not really sure what is meant by 'aggressive'. Does the blade stick out more? Is it more apt to cut you? Is aggressive in itself bad, good, or simply a matter of personal preference?

    I tend to have pretty heavy facial hair and rather sensitive skin. Of course, that might simply be because I have been using triple blade disposable razors for the past 25 years.
    Typically, aggressiveness has to do with the distance of gap from the guard bar. The guard bar is what makes it a "safety razor", and larger gaps mean more blade is exposed to your skin. Some people talk about blade angles, but I think it is a moot point since you can angle the razor however you want to get the blade edge closer or farther from your face. Aggressive razors are definitely a personal preference, but I for one love them. My shaves are smoother and easier with aggressive razors because it takes so much less effort to slice the whiskers off. I get my worst shaves with mild razors because I tend to "over shave" because they don't reduce the whiskers as easily as the aggressive razors do.
    Last edited by GoingPostal; 02-17-2010 at 08:48 PM. Reason: typo

  7. #7
    Senior Member spinsheet's Avatar
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    Well, my razor came in today. Ouch, my face hurts...

    It's a bit irritated, more nicks than I've ever had before, although I do believe that the shave is closer, so at least I have that for now.

    Not really sure how I'm supposed to hold the razor, at about what angle is it supposed to be to my face? I assume that I don't really need to press it much as it's pretty heavy on its own.

    I'm using soap from Crabtree and Evelyn (Nomad), warm water, and an aftershave from Right Aid (gotta change that), and the blades that came with the razor (Shark).

    Is this something that my face just has to get used to?

  8. #8
    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    Default How is the Parker 96R?

    Hello, Spinsheet:

    Keep the razor's pressure on your face light. The razor has all the weight you need. Also, try not to go over the same spot excessively. For now don't go against the grain.

    Be careful with your preparation. Don't forget, your lather needs to be rich with good cushion and glide. Take your time. And, yes, your face probably needs to become accustomed to the double edge. You'll get there.

    Regards,

    Obie

  9. #9
    Senior Member sensei_kyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinsheet View Post
    Not really sure how I'm supposed to hold the razor, at about what angle is it supposed to be to my face?
    I've seen several folks recommend holding the handle perfectly vertical, then touching the bar to your face. Slowly elevate the handle away from your face, and you'll feel the blade grab. Just maintain that angle, whatever it happens to be. Use no pressure, just the weight of the razor. I typically stretch the skin & use all the facial yoga I use when straight shaving. For now, just go with the grain.

  10. #10
    Sardaukar salazch's Avatar
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    Lookup mantic59 on YouTube. He has the best DE instructional videos out there. I don't think he is on this forum but he responds pretty quick to email. Mantic59's Shaving Journal
    Last edited by salazch; 03-01-2010 at 08:22 PM.

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