Parker 99R Review (Long Handle Butterfly Opening) Buying Guide 2019
Today’s article is a Parker 99R review and buying guide – a long handle heavyweight butterfly opening safety razor.
If you are a tall and buff dude, you probably have large hands.
With large hands, small razors will be stressful to use just like small-screened smartphones are.
The good news, however, is that there are models that have been designed for your comfort and use – unlike the Muhle R41 standard and the Merkur 34 Heavy Duty, that come with large and long enough handles for your comfort while wet shaving.
They take after the old Gillette Fatboy with regards to their length and weight.
The model can hold its own in terms of length even when put side by side to the Merkur Futur adjustable (a DE considered to be the largest there is).
I bet you didn’t.
That said, you will most definitely appreciate the weight and heft that this model has to offer.
This was however not the case when this one of a kind safety razor was introduced in the market.
Its design has come a long way ever since its first manufacture back in the year 1973.
Many of the design changes and improvements can be noticed on the head, right where the blade sits.
Back in 2010, the TTO head was redesigned.
The improvement that was made included having a thicker metal which in turn made it heavier.
The blade angle was also changed to make it milder and a great option for individuals who have just started out on wet shaving.
With this upgrade, we now understand why the scales read 3.3 ounces.
The weight is great since it provides great support and balance, helping you to get a closer and better shave.
What The Parker Razor Has to Offer
- Nickel plated
- About 4.5 inches (114 mm) long giving the Merkur Futur a run for its money
- Styled knurling, similar to the barber pole design
- Brass frame
- It is a one-piece safety razor and features a head that is a “twist to open” design
- Great price
Overall Length: 4.5 inches/ 114 mm
Handle Length: 4 inches/ 102 mm
Handle Diameter: 0.5 inches/ 13 mm
Weight: 3.4 ounces/ 97 grams
Finish: Nickel Plated
Type: Twist To Open (TTO)
Knurled handle: Yes
Blade included: 5
What to Expect From It
With the upgrade to a TTO design, you might be tempted to think that it is the only one of its kind on the market.
Wrong, there are several other blades as well featuring this design.
The implementation of the design is what matters; there are those that are weak and those that are rather strong.
With Twist to Open designs, the weakest link is always their butterfly doors which have to be opened and closed every time you are loading your blade, or even cleaning it.
This will over time, weaken the hinges of the butterfly doors and render them non-functional.
In addition to this, cheap TTO brands like the Weishi, feature thin metal hinges that might corrode and with constant use, might break with time.
When making a purchase for this one, you might want to get the right blade for your skin as well.
Note that we all have different skin types and what may work for me, might not work for you.
Is Blade Loading Easy?
On the market today, there are basically two kinds of safety razors; three-piece and two-piece heads.
Two-piece heads are generally considered to be easier to load blades on.
You should also note that the Parker 99R , being an untraditional one-piece solution, comes with a design which makes loading the blade a walk in the park.
All you are required to do is twist the knob located at the bottom and the butterfly doors fly open providing room to slide in the blade.
Things cannot get easier than that.
If you are the kind of person who shaves every day and finds it very annoying having to take apart a three-piece just to load a blade, shave and get ready for work, then this is most definitely the blade for you.
With regards to aggressiveness, the responses and reviews are quite contrasting.
There are those who strongly believe that it is an aggressive razor given the amount of blade that the design exposes and as such, it should not be bought by novices in wet shaving.
Then there are those who believe that the blade is not overly aggressive and neither is it as mild as some products in the market.
Well, in all fairness and to put the matter to rest once and for all, we give the blade a rating of 5/6 for its aggressiveness.
That said, this is probably a model that a newbie might want to avoid and that more experienced shavers should get given its decent results and affordable price.
The knurling on this shaver is similar to that on a Merkur 38C.
The two razors both use the barber pole design which according to some experts in the industry provides for better grip, especially if you are a right-handed individual.
Left-handed persons might have a lesser grip on the handle courtesy of the spiral direction.
Both also have a knob at the bottom of the handle, which is a feature I personally like.
This is one of the longer safety razors there is on the market measuring about 4.5 inches long.
Parker designs are well known for their handles which are perfect for guys with big hands, as they also have done with their Parker Variant adjustable model.
Comparing it to the Merkur Vision (no longer in production), the longest there is on the market, this model is not so far behind.
What Consumers and Other Reviews Are Saying About The Parker Safety Razor
It is true that the Parker razor is made and designed in India.
But despite this fact, the product has gotten plenty of reviews over the years, most of which are positive.
In the reviews, the users loved the quality of the build, the close shave it provides and the weight which gives the product a good balance.
There are of course plenty of opinions on it over at Reddit.
Here are some video reviews:
The razor goes for about $30 , give or take a few dollars depending on where you make your purchase and when you do.
With this price range, the product is not the cheapest there is on the market, but at the very least, it is one that is priced reasonably when you consider the finish and fit and overall quality.
Some consumers and reviewers went ahead to compare this razor to the likes of Weishi – a product that has been built and designed in China.
From the comparison, the reviewers came to the conclusion that the 99R is a better build especially with regards to its butterfly doors.
Most often than not, the product is branded as a mild razor which surprises many individuals who use it.
The 99R is slightly more aggressive than you would expect it to be.
In addition to this, many fell in love with the long handle that provides better control when compared to other products like the Gillette Super Speed.
The two feature similar head design only that the 99R has a much smaller/lower profile which makes it easier for you to navigate around the nose/lip area.
The one complaint that some consumers had was the fact that the razor lacked a locking mechanism for the butterfly doors.
Without this locking mechanism, the doors can very well fly open whilst shaving. The Gillette Super Speed had this feature.
The modern shavers are lacking in this feature.
The biggest complaints of all are the fact that the butterfly doors tend to break apart.
The hinges on the butterfly door are possibly the weakest link on the shaver and they tend to fail after a few years of service.
Parker makes many popular models, each catering to different preferences. We have mentioned the Variant already, but some others that are worth checking out is the 22R that also has the Butterfly opening and a long handle, 90R also a long handle (but different design) and Butterfly opening, the popular 98R heavy weight or the beauty 96R .
Parker 99R vs. Merkur & Edwin Jagger
- 99R is a bit more expensive than the chrome plated Edwin Jagger DE89
- The Parker is cheaper than Merkur 34c
- Parker has a longer handle than both Merkur and Edwin Jagger
- Parker is the most aggressive of these three (medium to slightly aggressive), Merkur and Edwin Jagger is about the same level there (mild), Merkur a tad more aggressive than EJ
- The Butterfly opening on the Parker 99R makes loading of the blade easier than on the other two
- The downside of the moving parts on the Parker reduces the lifespan
- The grip on the Parker is very good, much better than Edwin Jagger. The grip on Merkur 34c is great, but the downside is the very short handle
- Parker 99R is a Twist To Open (TTO), while Merkur 34c is a two-piece and Edwin Jagger is a three-piece. Most wet-shavers find cleaning the latter easier
Parker 99R can also be bought on Amazon as a set that includes a premium Black Badger brush and a stainless steel stand.
On Amazon, you can also get a nice looking travel case for this razor.
I hope that our Parker 99R review has helped you in your decision – this is a great razor that I think you will be happy with for many years!
Happy (wet) Shaving!