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Parker 87R. Worth Getting As An Affordable Tribute To Gillette Aristocrats Or Superspeeds?

Always lusted after a vintage Gillette TTO, especially of U.S make, but they are unaffordable or unavailable in the UK. The English Rockets are now usually £40 on Ebay, for a decent example.

I was looking at the Parker 87R as an alternative. It's a handsome razor, and has something of the classic TTO Gillette look of one of the Gillette's from back in the day. A good weight and length for my tastes. Also you can pick them up for around £22-25 in the UK.

I have heard mixed stuff from reviews. Many like them and praise their looks and heft, performance and also the solid brass construction. However others have noted poor quality control and tolerances, unequal blade alignment and some issues with the doors, and head wobble.

Anyone own one? Thoughts on buying one as a decent affordable Gillette TTO clone or tribute? Anyone had any problems with doors or blade alignment or quality control? Anyone love them?

Thoughts welcomed
 
I love the size & handle of the 87R. Don't own any Parker razors. But I'm tempted to buy an 87R. Only reason I have not bought one is the fact on Amazon is not returnable. And I prefer mild razor with sharp blades & Parker are on the aggressive side.

Only TTO razor I use in my rotation is the Baili BR179. Cost me $6.45 & every time I use it I'm impressed by the quality & shave I received from a very, very inexpensive razor.
 
I love the size & handle of the 87R. Don't own any Parker razors. But I'm tempted to buy an 87R. Only reason I have not bought one is the fact on Amazon is not returnable. And I prefer mild razor with sharp blades & Parker are on the aggressive side.

Only TTO razor I use in my rotation is the Baili BR179. Cost me $6.45 & every time I use it I'm impressed by the quality & shave I received from a very, very inexpensive razor.
Thanks @Bill_G. I will have to look at this model and the company. I have found one on a UK site for £9 and change.

I was also wondering about Parker aggression. I should have mentioned that in the OP.
 
I love the size & handle of the 87R. Don't own any Parker razors. But I'm tempted to buy an 87R. Only reason I have not bought one is the fact on Amazon is not returnable. And I prefer mild razor with sharp blades & Parker are on the aggressive side.

Only TTO razor I use in my rotation is the Baili BR179. Cost me $6.45 & every time I use it I'm impressed by the quality & shave I received from a very, very inexpensive razor.
I purchased a parker 87r, was very impressed until i put a blade into it and it had different blade exposure on both sides.
I wasn't aware of any non returnable products but this was definitely one, so i put in a ticket on the online customer service chat telling them it didn't hold the blade right and they just refunded me & told me to keep it.

Might be worth trying to get a good copy, after that i thought about buying another but decided against it.
 
I would wait til a decent Gillette turned up in your price range. I have the Parker 99R and I think it’s the same head. It’s not a razor I’d recommend. Also in my experience with several Gillette TTO’s the English ones have a smoother mechanism. The US models still work fine and are quite popular obviously.
 
I would wait til a decent Gillette turned up in your price range. I have the Parker 99R and I think it’s the same head. It’s not a razor I’d recommend. Also in my experience with several Gillette TTO’s the English ones have a smoother mechanism. The US models still work fine and are quite popular obviously.
Yes @Beefdrippings to be honest I would rather have one of the English TTO's. Interesting about the smoother mechanism observation.

I can wait a couple of months. I think..
 
I purchased a parker 87r, was very impressed until i put a blade into it and it had different blade exposure on both sides.
I wasn't aware of any non returnable products but this was definitely one, so i put in a ticket on the online customer service chat telling them it didn't hold the blade right and they just refunded me & told me to keep it.

Might be worth trying to get a good copy, after that i thought about buying another but decided against it.
Yes, this blade exposure problem I've seen mentioned. Thanks for your recollections on it. The no returns is a no-no too for me.

Thanks all for helping me make up my mind.
 
Don’t get me wrong, my US TTO’s work well, and “different” doesn’t necessarily mean better. How I’m starting to find razors is I bought from a couple of local sellers on eBay and gave them my number. Now when they come across shaving stuff they sell it to me. Sure I’m not getting the deals they are but, if they get it for a couple of bucks at an estate sale they don’t charge me much more. I’m not sure where you live but checking in with vintage and church type thrift stores is a good idea. Good luck! The hunt is a thrill unto itself.
Yes @Beefdrippings to be honest I would rather have one of the English TTO's. Interesting about the smoother mechanism observation.

I can wait a couple of months. I think..
 
Yes, this blade exposure problem I've seen mentioned. Thanks for your recollections on it. The no returns is a no-no too for me.

Thanks all for helping me make up my mind.
It really was a letdown when i put that blade in and saw, I'm not sure how bad their QC really is, I really was tempted to buy another but wasn't sure how they would react if i tried to refund another one.

I think @Beefdrippings has good advice for both of us, I'll be keeping my eye out for some vintage gillette's locally and see if i can snag a deal.
 
I purchased a parker 87r, was very impressed until i put a blade into it and it had different blade exposure on both sides.
I wasn't aware of any non returnable products but this was definitely one, so i put in a ticket on the online customer service chat telling them it didn't hold the blade right and they just refunded me & told me to keep it.

Might be worth trying to get a good copy, after that i thought about buying another but decided against it.
If you buy one with an uneven blade gap that is a defect & qualify for a return or exchanger on Amazon. I'm more concern about finding the 87R too aggressive for my taste.
 
If you buy one with an uneven blade gap that is a defect & qualify for a return or exchanger on Amazon. I'm more concern about finding the 87R too aggressive for my taste.
Yes, the aggression possibility is a thing I would have factored in. I would prefer 'Goldilocks' type razors, just right in the middle. Certainly considering how my technique is developing.

All Gillette's tended to be like that, unless they were advertised as aggressive, like the Red Tip. They were trying for the average market, till they figured out the adjustable design and went with that.
 
I have one. Bought it for the same reasons; looked great, all brass and I knew I would never be willing to drop $$$ on the vintage Gillette the 87R resembles. I guess I got lucky since I did not have any issues with my 87R. I would say it is close to my Red Tip in aggression. I find the 87R provides an excellent shave and the weight and size is what I prefer. There is a wavy finish on the base plate where the blade sits but that only shows when changing blades and does not effect the shave. I had a coupon so it cost me $18. Well worth the money for me but YMMV.
 
Yes, the aggression possibility is a thing I would have factored in. I would prefer 'Goldilocks' type razors, just right in the middle. Certainly considering how my technique is developing.
Parker TTOs'are not aggressive and their TTO range uses the same head with different handles. Sharpologist says they are a nicely balanced razor and it is an effortless shave. There were quality control issues but A***on.co.uk allows returns so I would take a chance on it for what looks like a great razor.
You may pick up a second hand Gillette Aristocrat in auction but you have to be very patient as not many come up on the UK sites; postage and tax from the USA is far too expensive.
 

nemo

Cheaper than ink
Always lusted after a vintage Gillette TTO, especially of U.S make, but they are unaffordable or unavailable in the UK ... I was looking at the Parker 87R as an alternative. It's a handsome razor, and has something of the classic TTO Gillette look of one of the Gillette's from back in the day.

I'd suggest holding out for the real thing. I don't consider the Parker an alternative, personally.

I've got a nice early (1948-49) Super Speed you can have if you're willing to pay the shipping from California.
[First-Class Package International Service®] 5 US ounces
 
Just wow.

Thank you Doug, Cal and everybody, who have been so kind and welcoming to a newcomer.

Truly THE forum of Gentlemen.

That's all.
 
Had two Parker TTO's in the past and both suffered the uneven blade gap on both sides...
Their 3-pieces are nice though.
More agressive than EJ89 but good quality and a wide choice of handles.
Just bought a 65R and love the handle.
 
Had two Parker TTO's in the past and both suffered the uneven blade gap on both sides...
Their 3-pieces are nice though.
More agressive than EJ89 but good quality and a wide choice of handles.
Just bought a 65R and love the handle.
If I may ask If you got 2 defective razors in the past why didn't you attempt to exchanged them? The only thing that worries me about the Parker's they are more aggressive than razors I normally use.
Thanks.
 
I have the 87R & I purchased it as well because of my obsession with the Gilette British Aristocrat and to surface until I obtain the real thing. I have heard other people having quality issues with the 87r but the one I have is fantastic! The blade alignment is even, the build quality looks to be good f it delivers a great Shave as well as my Vintage Gillette Red Tip. Plus the looks of the Razor is pretty close to what a British Aristocrat looks like. For the $24 I spent on it, it’s a Fantastic Razor & worth the gamble on.
 
I have never trusted TTO razors, they look fragile and they could break easily, or not to open anymore. Or maybe it's in my head 🤪
 
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