Parker Variant: Any Good?

Discussion in 'Double Edged Razors' started by Raissermesser, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. I almost bought a Parker Variant, but held off because it was a bit pricey for a razor I knew nothing about. It looks like an all-metal Merkur Progress, but with knurled handle. Anyone know anything about it?
     
  2. matwho

    matwho Steward Contributor

  3. Just shaved with mine last night. There are a couple of threads that talk about it to great extent and matwho pointed out a couple. Most of the things I heard was that the black version's color wears out very quickly, but they were pulled from the market for a while and just recently returned. I don't know if the problem was solved. I have the silver version and has had no problems with it. Someone else recently brought up a problem with a crooked head, but again, my razor does not have that problem.

    Overall, it is an excellent adjustable razor, so good that I put up my entire Gillette adjustable collection for sale. The price is about the same as the Merkur Progress, but I like the grip and all metal construction better. If you decide to get one, get it from the US distributor and that way you won't have a problem with returns if you get a bad one.
     
  4. Most of my other razors are just sitting on the shelf now. I have to make myself use anything different. As for the problems that have been discussed, if it doesn't affect the shave is it really a problem?

    At any rate, mine is fine and used frequently with great pleasure. I wouldn't hesitate to get one cuz I feel it's worth it
     
  5. I have been shaving exclusively with mine since I got it. No problems whatsoever, smooth shaver from mild to very effective.
     
  6. I've been using it exclusively since Christmas. It's an excellent razor, solidly built with very good to excellent fit and finish. As of now I have no need or desire to buy another razor.
     
  7. I have two, a black handle and a silver version. The black handle color is coming off but Parker made it right. They have discontinued the black handle version for now.

    They are great shavers. I have several vintage Gillette adjustables including a Fatboy, Slim and Super Adjustable 109 and Merkur Progress. The Variants shave as good as all these and I sometimes think the Variants shave better.

    I am very pleased with mine and as @BigPete said " I have no need or desire to buy another razor".
     
  8. I know lots of folks seem to be happy with theirs, and I wish I could say the same but I can't.

    I ordered a black one from the most recent batch, and it only shaved on one side and had a severely crooked head so even the side that did shave has in uneven gap. I contacted SSR (the dealers and owner of Parker) and they were wonderful. They got a replacement out to me immediately. That razor isnt crooked and shaves on both sides however, it has exposure issues as well that cause the two sides to have different levels of aggression. I'm heading out of the country soon for a tour with my band so I don't have time to contact SSR about it. Though, I'm sure they'd take care of it. Can't be positive though. Also, I feel like I shouldn't have to get 3 razors before finally getting the one I paid for.

    As for the color. Yes both of mine started fading the first day. I'm not concerned, but I bought a black razor because it was black. It was advertised as a black razor, not one that would distress over time.
     
  9. 2 months in. Can't use anything else. This thing really hums with a feather blade. I mean, you don't think it is shaving, but Voila - BBS shave
     
  10. 1kentj

    1kentj Contributor

    No complaints thus far.
     
  11. I had a new batch black handle. The coating pealed, but Howi and Helen instantly made it right. Great people. I'm going to do a series of side by side tests. I've done one against the Futur, and I'm not especially impressed with the Variant, but the jury is still out. So far I like my Mergress more, and I even prefer the Futur. I find the Variant rather heavy and a little clunky, but as I've said I'm going to do more extensive testing. It's in my rotation, but I very much doubt it's the Holy Grail of DE shaving, or even of adjustable DE razors.
     
  12. Does anyone know if they (Parker) are going to release an improved version of the black, or if they are gone forever? Seems like they haven't had new stock of the satin version for about a month now, too.
     
  13. Bondage007

    Bondage007 Contributor

    +1
    Shaved with a Feather at "+" (after 5). It was one of the best shaves I have ever had.

    Cheers
    John
     
  14. Parker reintroduced the black razor this week, but they are now calling it "Graphite". I spoke with Howi earlier in the week and he explained the new finish for all black razors is new being applied with electroplating and it is a metal finish - applied just like the chrome plating. He said Parker stopped selling the black razors several weeks back until they could change the process and that anyone that had an issue received a replacement if they contacted him or the vendor they purchased from. (He exchanged my black variant as it did start to show a bit of brass). He explained previous versions of the black variant had a powder coating finish and that anyone that had a black variant and had an issue had their variants replaced free of charge. NOW THE GOOD NEWS. My "Graphite" Variant arrived this morning. The finish is beautiful and extremely uniform and high quality. I can see that the finish is drastically different than on my first Variant.. it is also more of a "graphite" color, not jet black - I think it is an improvement. Best of all the shave was the same as with my old Variant - Amazing. I want to thank Howi, Super Safety Razors and Parker for standing by the product.
     
  15. Nice!
     
  16. I am really enjoying mine in silver. I'd never owned a progress, but always wanted to try that style. I like the shave and like to dial down for neck work.
     
  17. I switched out my Mergress XL for a Parker Variant 2 months ago. They are good everyday razors.
     
  18. I just got the Graphite Version! Thank you for posting this, was reading all the previous post and was getting worried mine would start fading. Take this guys advice the Graphite color is very nice!
     
  19. I just caved and purchased a Graphite one from WCS. Heading out on vacation this week and will test drive with a PermaShave, my fave.
     
  20. I'm thinking of getting a Variant. I shave on a setting of 7 on my Fatboy, Slim and BB. I'd like to know what the setting will be on a Variant to match? Also other than blade gap is blade exposure more or less?
     

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