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Parker 99R Review – Should You Buy This Long Handle Butterfly Opening Safety Razor?
Today we do a Parker 99R review; This is a long handle safety razor. If you are a tall and buff dude, you probably have large hands. With large hands, small safety razors will be stressful to use just like small-screened smartphones are. The good news, however, is that there are razors that have been designed for your comfort and use – razors unlike the Muhle R41 and the Merkur 34 Heavy Duty, that come with large and long enough handles for your comfort while wet shaving.
By the way, did you know that Parker is also making some of the best fair priced shaving brushes that are available today? I bet you didn’t. The Parker Safety Razor 100% Silvertip Badger Bristle Shaving Brush is actually on our best shaving brush list this year.
That said, you will most definitely appreciate the weight and heft that this razor 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 razor sits.
Back in 2010, the TTO head was redesigned. The improvement that was made included having a thicker metal which in turn made the razor heavier. The blade angle was also changed to make the razor 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 99R Long Handle 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
Review – What to Expect From It
With the upgrade to a TTO Razor 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 Razor 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 razor, 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.
Most double-edge safety razor blades will work with this razor, personally, I would start with a variety pack to find one that fit your needs, or read our best safety razor blade review and buying guide.
Is Blade Loading Easy?
On the market today, there are 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 a one-piece razor, comes with a TTO 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 razor 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 razor 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 razor 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 Long Handle. The two blades 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 razor 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 razor is not so far behind.
What Consumers Are Saying About It
It is true that the 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.
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 vs. Merkur & Edwin Jagger
Last update on 2018-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
- Parker 99R is a bit more expensive than the chrome plated Edwin Jagger DE89
- The Parker razor 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 TTO safety razor 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 a 3-piece razor is easier
This razor 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 have helped you in your decision – this is a great razor that I think you will be happy with for many years! Happy (wet) Shaving!
Last update on 2018-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API