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Parker Variant, which setting works for you?

Just trying to make the Parker work for me. So far it has been a mixed bag on different blades. I know different blades will offer a different 'feel' in a same razor but I am still trying to work out a strategy about how to make this razor work for me.
What blade you use and what settings you start with and dial up or dial down for your passes as the shave goes?
 
You did not provide a whole lot of information to go on? People can tell you what they do, but it won't necessarily help in your situation.

Is your beard tough as nails or as fine as frogs hair? If your face as fair as a princess, or as tough as a rhinoceros hide? I am exaggerating, of course, to make a point.

How long have you been shaving with a DE? If you are experienced and your technique is spot on (good lather, good skin stretching, proper angle, minimal pressure), you should be able to shave on nearly any setting and get a decent shave. If your technique is poor, you might have difficulty on every setting.

What blade are you trying to use in the Variant? If I remember correctly Parker razors normally come with Shark blades. Often new razors come with blades that are not very sharp (Shark, Derby Extra, Merkur, VDH). I presume the manufacturers are afraid of starting people with a very sharp blade. None of those brands are keen enough for my beard, but they may be just fine for yours.

Currently, I do not use an adjustable but the Parker Variant is on my wish list. I have a tough beard and sensitive skin. I can get a good shave with everything from a very mild VDH razor up to a very aggressive Muhle R41, but I need to use a good quality soap and I need to watch my technique. If I use too much pressure trying to make the mild VDH cut faster, I will get razor burn. If I use too much pressure or the wrong angle with my R41, I will get nicks, especially on my chin.
 
You did not provide a whole lot of information to go on? People can tell you what they do, but it won't necessarily help in your situation.
.............................. If I use too much pressure trying to make the mild VDH cut faster, I will get razor burn. If I use too much pressure or the wrong angle with my R41, I will get nicks, especially on my chin.
Actually, I did not wanted to veer away from the point of asking gents here on what setting they normally use Parker Variant. I do have a gripe with the razor itself being too heavy for my liking and I did try couple of other non adjustable razors and they turned out just meh... in all fairness and in comparison Parker Variant is fine razor and does better job than few others I have tried. I consistently get a 2 pass DFS and 3 pass BBS from Variant but the weight of razor itself is bit over the top in spite of a natural balance it has. In the end perhaps I will have to make do with Variant so I wanted to know at what number setting it works for you guys on which blade. I just wanted to see a sort of baseline of setting of other users there.

I have been a DE razor+wet shaver ever since I remember but I completely stopped using the multi-blade system for over 10+ years now. Using a Boar or badger brush and getting a lather form any soap that is slick enough or finding a natural to shallow angle is a matter of couple shaves on a particular blade. I got every blade working for me except Indian Wilkinson and Gillette 365. In order to determine a solid work horse and comfort champ on Variant my current rotation is (not discussing the sharpness and comfort factor of each blade right now)

Voskhods 2.5 to a shade under 5 - get 2 shaves in all)

Nacets (2 to 4) - good for 3 shaves

Gillette Blacks (2.5 to 3.5) - get 4 shaves out of it

Indian Green Gillette (2 to 4) - 2 shaves

GSB ( 2.5 to 4) – good for 3 shaves

Polsilver works between 1.75 to 3.5 and I get 5 to 6 shaves from it

Lastly my beard makes a short work of dreaded Feathers between a setting of 2 to 3.25 for just 4 shaves

I guess I have medium to hard beard.
 
I love the Variant along with other excellent adjustables also. But the Variant on 3.5 with a GSB makes for a really smooth shave!

Typically with adjustables, I adjust downward for each successive pass. So for a three pass shave with the Variant--I would start at 3.5 & go down by increments of half. I don't use the Variant below setting 2.
 
I love the Variant along with other excellent adjustables also. But the Variant on 3.5 with a GSB makes for a really smooth shave!

Typically with adjustables, I adjust downward for each successive pass. So for a three pass shave with the Variant--I would start at 3.5 & go down by increments of half. I don't use the Variant below setting 2.
Good advice!
 
I’m also a fan of the Variant but I tend to use heavy razors anyway so I’m used to the weight I guess.

My preference for ant razor is a feather blade. Gillette 7OC yellow a close second. I did not like Personna lab blues in the Variant

I’m the opposite on adjustables and crank up on successive passes. I tend to set it on 3.5 and go to 4-4.5 for second pass. Generally I only do two passes with maybe a quick touchup in a spot or two. I also shave daily..
 
I shave 5 times a week and amp up the number as shave goes. I don't usually chase a BBS so 2 pass DFS 5 times a week is something of a routine and I still give some rest for skin healing.
Depending on the Blade, my average start number is 2.25
 

Cphobes

Contributor
I use the Variant with Personna Red (blue UK packaging) primarily and use it either on 3 or 3.5. I also don't chase BBS usually get a DFS after a 2 pass shave every morning except Saturday's. I use one blade a week. FWIW, I could never use feather's without a blood bath.
 
I have also found the weight of the Variant to be a bit of an issue.
On higher settings the weight applies too much pressure. I have to try to lift it slightly.
By higher settings I mean anything over 1.5
At 2 I was getting a lot of irritation and ingrown hairs in a few spots because the hairs were cut too short.
Today I shaved with it set below 1. Not the closest shave but smooth and irritation free.

Honestly, I keep finding myself going back to my old standby; The "Plastic Fantastic" Wilkinson sword classic razor.
It's light, mild and with a sharp blade it gives a good shave.
 

Bondage007

Contributor
Hello,

I use mine set at 5 for two pass head and face shave. I favor Voskhod, Kai and Nacet blades.
I don’t change settings during shave. Very smooth shaver.

Cheers
John
 
I’ve mentioned this plenty of times, but if you have a Merkur Progress cap or want to pick up any long threaded Merkur cap (All identical at this point), it makes the Variant much smoother with any blade and fits under the nose better. It makes it a tad lighter also. I prefer Kai blades in it but this depends on the user of course.
 
I have also found the weight of the Variant to be a bit of an issue.
On higher settings the weight applies too much pressure. I have to try to lift it slightly.
By higher settings I mean anything over 1.5
At 2 I was getting a lot of irritation and ingrown hairs in a few spots because the hairs were cut too short.
Today I shaved with it set below 1. Not the closest shave but smooth and irritation free.

Honestly, I keep finding myself going back to my old standby; The "Plastic Fantastic" Wilkinson sword classic razor.
It's light, mild and with a sharp blade it gives a good shave.

Each of us is different in preferences. It sounds like you prefer lightweight razors. I am exactly the opposite. I have XL hands. I find a Merkur 25C and EJ DE 89lbl to be too light for my liking. I would hate a plastic razor. I much prefer the Parker 24C open comb, Parker 91R super heavyweight closed comb and the Muhle R41 Grande as they have substantial weight and are well balanced. I am planning to visit Maggard's razor right after Thanksgiving and plan to pick up a Variant.
 
I’ve mentioned this plenty of times, but if you have a Merkur Progress cap or want to pick up any long threaded Merkur cap (All identical at this point), it makes the Variant much smoother with any blade and fits under the nose better. It makes it a tad lighter also. I prefer Kai blades in it but this depends on the user of course.
Thanks for pointing me in right direction. I can't possibly get a replacement cap as postage cost from elsewhere more esp from US to India are just prohibitive. But I will be on lookout for BST and see if I get lucky.
Good to know about kai blades as well. That blade I have been meaning to try for long but given the extra width I was sitting on the fence.
 
Thanks for pointing me in right direction. I can't possibly get a replacement cap as postage cost from elsewhere more esp from US to India are just prohibitive. But I will be on lookout for BST and see if I get lucky.
Good to know about kai blades as well. That blade I have been meaning to try for long but given the extra width I was sitting on the fence.
Where do u get Polsilver,Voskhod,GSB blades in India?
 
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