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Parker 91R Razor

Item Description

Ok, this review is hard for me to write. Why? Because the Razor has two faces:

It's shaving performance in terms of aggressiveness is superb. The Handle is nice and heavy and Balance is good. What's not to like? Well, the aggessiveness comes at a price and the three piece design is, in my eyes, a lost cause for blade replacement and user friendliness.

Let's begin with the Price. I got this razor for under $20 shipped to my door. I can't complain about this. A cheap razor.

Quality wise, the 91R is fairly average. It's fairly hefty, but not too heavy. I would say it's somewhere in between a Gillette Super adjustable and a 38C in terms of weight, so it's not flimsy by a long shot. The heft of the razor has a non slipping grid in the metal and is easy to hold, even with soapy hands.

The blade replacement is mostly the downfall of the rating for this razor. It has an antiquated 3 piece design and blade replacement could really be easier, especially since Parker already makes other razors with 2 piece and butterfly door design. The decision to put a 3 piece in this one is simply beyond me....a clear minus in my book!

Now we come to the aggressiveness of this razor. I can easily say that, when i first unpacked the razor and put a blade in, i wasn't sure if i should let this on my face. The bladegap is bigger than on my Gillette Super adjustable on the "9" setting. I don't know if this is due to inconsistent quality control or if this razor is just built like that, but it's a scary sight. The bladegap is not just a visible indicator for the aggressiveness of this monster, but the moment you put the razor to your face, it's appearant that this isn't a kid's toy. Carefully run it down your skin if you don't want to have a visit to your local hospital. The slightest amount of pressure makes this razor slice you up like Christian Bale in "American Psycho". This is not a beginners tool and should only be used with a huge amount of respect and maybe a forgiving blade to begin with. The level of aggressiveness will certainly appeal to some people but some will stay away from this razor because of it. With good reason!

As for adjustability...it's not and that's why i rated it a "5".

The Balance of this razor seems fine. Not flimsy but also not too heavy and it balances just right.

Overall this razor will be pulled out only once in a while for me and certainly will never see a feather blade in it due to my fear of too much blood loss with this combo. If i want a particularly close shave in as few passes as possible, i would consider using my 91R for it. But only very very carefully....

I made a discussion thread if you would like to talk about this model here:
http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=68258

Latest reviews

Price - best among all the DE razors currently for sale

Quality - was 7 due to the fact I bought two , one for the travel bag . One was perfect --- one the blade sat in with one edge more exposed than the other ( does not seem to affect the shave however ) but still not very good fit and finish. I have heard that Parker is working on the fit and finish and it is better these days .

User friendly - I had no problems with it

Grip - was the best of any razor I have ever used to date

Ease of Blade Replacement - easy enough for me


Aggressiveness - this razor shines in this department. It gives close shaves. My favorite razor so far .

Adjustable - n/a


Balance - very nice balance
Grip
5.00 star(s)
Price
4.00 star(s)
Balance
4.00 star(s)
Quality
3.00 star(s)
Adjustability
1.00 star(s)
User Friendly
4.00 star(s)
Aggressiveness
4.00 star(s)
Ease of Blade Replacement
5.00 star(s)
I'm not going to grade this razor because the one I had was defective. There is probably a rotten apple in every bunch. I tried four blades (two each from different manufacturers) and only two of them reached my face.

Since I was new to DE shaving I blamed myself for the shortcomings rather than the razor. Finally I described my problem to one of the vendors represented on this forum and he was able to tell me it was defective. He also mentioned that he planned to stop carrying this model. A Merkur was recommended as my next razor and I have not had any problems since.

Based on my experience I tend to recommend what works best for me.
For my first review, it seems appropriate for the subject to be my first DE razor, the Parker 91R.

Price: This razor is inexpensive at most online sources and is a fair value for the dollar spent.

Quality: The plating on my sample is excellent and all the pieces fit together smoothly. The manufacturing quality is pretty good, but I rated it an eight because if you don't assemble the razor and blade exactly right, the blade will be misaligned. It takes some fiddling to get the blade, cap, and safety bar aligned properly. Whether this is a manufacturing defect or just the nature of this design, I can't say.

User Friendly: I like three-piece razors because of their simplicity and robust design. It's easy to clean and durable. Overall the 91R meets these criteria, but I had to dock a couple of points for the blade replacement issue I'll discuss in more detail below.

Grip: Excellent. The checkered handle and flat knob at the end allow very positive control of the razor at all angles and with all grips, wet or dry.

Ease of Blade Replacement: I took major points off of blade replacement for this razor because of the alignment issue I mentioned above which makes replacing the blade far more fiddly than it should be. I also would rather see a bar on the cap where the blade sits than just the two pins because I think it would hold the blade in place more securely while you screw the pieces back together.

Aggressiveness: I'm never really sure how the one to ten scale works for aggressiveness; for my purposes, I assume that one means the razor is not aggressive at all and ten means that the razor is a meat slicer in disguise. The 91R is a very aggressive razor with a sizable gap between the blade and the safety bar. If you aren't careful, it's very easy to nick yourself. However, careful shaving is rewarded with a very close shave. You also need to pay attention to lathering and razor technique because you can really irritate your face with a full four-pass shave; with my technique somewhere past the "fumbling newbie" stage, I can get a DFS every time with three passes.

Adjustability: Not applicable because this is not an adjustable razor.

Balance: Excellent. The razor is weighty without feeling awkward or top- or bottom-heavy. The weight is well-distributed and the razor is easy to control.

Overall: I've been fairly harsh on the shortcomings of this razor but overall I do like it because it can provide you with an extremely close shave. I'm not sure if the faults of this razor are by design or result from manufacturing defects in my particular razor. Either way, inspect this razor in person before you buy it if you can. I recommend this razor for someone who has prior experience with wetshaving and is looking for a bargain; persons new to wetshaving should consider a different razor unless they have steady hands and are willing to bring a laser focus to every shave while they learn.
Grip
5.00 star(s)
Price
5.00 star(s)
Balance
5.00 star(s)
Quality
4.00 star(s)
Adjustability
1.00 star(s)
User Friendly
3.00 star(s)
Aggressiveness
4.00 star(s)
Ease of Blade Replacement
3.00 star(s)

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