Parker 96R Review – A Throwback To The Old Gillette Safety Razors

Last updated on December 5th, 2018 by Garrick Dee

Transitioning from cartridge shaving to wet shaving can be intimidating because of the fear of cutting yourself if you use something aggressive.

If you’re on the fence and considering a move from buying expensive refills to DE razors, the 96R from Parker is a good option because the design isn’t as aggressive as other safety razors (at least this is what reviews in Amazon say).

But the Shark blades that come with it are rather sharp so you may need to buy something milder.

A throwback of an old Gillette safety razor

This razor is very similar to the vintage Gillette razors of old. That is if you’re old enough to own one of these beauties!

Underneath all that chrome is a brass frame that gives it nice heft – over 3 ounces.

Overall length is a little over 4 inches and the handle is around 3.5 inches.

Family run business

Parker has been in the business of making razors for over 4 decades and owned by the Grover family who’s of Indian decent.. It’s one of the pioneers of DE razors in the US.

In the United States, the main distributor is Super Safety Razors but you can also purchase this from big online retailers like Amazon.

Features at a glance…

  • Utilizes a twist to open design
  • Comes with 5 Shark super chrome
  • Made from brass
  • Blades are easy to remove thanks to the butterfly design
  • Length: 3.5″
  • Aggressiveness: 5/10
  • Blades included: 5

Pros

  • Has very good weight – over 3 ounces
  • Not aggressive – great new wet shavers
  • Made from brass
  • Blades are easy to remove thanks to the butterfly design

Cons

  • If you look at the company website, there is no contact information you’ll have to contact another site named SuperSafetyRazors.com in case you have any warranty concerns
  • There are complaints of the butterfly mechanism failing – not fully closing after a period of time
  • Chrome plating can chip over time if you don’t take good care of it

What to expect from the Parker 96R?

If you don’t want to fiddle with 2 or 3 piece razors, this would be a good alternative.

This razor has a one-piece design that utilizes a twist to open head (others would term this “butterfly”).

Here’s a video from Parker of how the “butterfly” works…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJUmSluaPBo

It is great because you don’t need to disassemble anything. But only twist a knob located on the handle to open the head to be able to remove or attach a blade.

Chrome finish

Parker used brass for the handle with a chrome finish.

If you buy this from any authorized reseller and it will come with 5 shark blades.

Buy a sampler blade pack

Here’s a tip for blade selection. If you’re not sure which blade will work well on your skin, you can buy a sample pack like this one.

These packs contain different blades made from different material and have different levels of sharpness.

This allows you to test each blade without having to buy a whole bunch which is a big money saver.

Is It Easy To Load The Blade?

The Parker 99R utilizes a “twist to open” design that makes it easy to load the blade. All you need to do us unscrew the handle and the two doors up top pop open.

The great thing about a twist to open design is it’s very easy to load the blade. Unfortunately it’s the most prone to breaking down prematurely due to wear and tear – particularly on the hinges that hold the doors.

Aggressiveness

This razor would be great for beginners because it isn’t aggressive. There isn’t too much blade exposure. Combine that with the close comb design, you’ve got yourself a mild razor.

Grip

It has a studded knurling design that looks nice in black but not as deep as a Feather DE razor .

Despite not being as deep, it still provides pretty good grip.

Length

From top to bottom, this razor is around 4.5 inches long which is longer than a Merkur 34C.

Razor Specification

Model96R
Handle Length3.5" (approx.)
Weight3 3/4 ounces
MaterialBrass
FinishBlack + Chrome
Type1 piece butterfly head
Adjustable
Knurled handle
Blade included5
Manufactured inIndia

What do consumers say?

Consumers like this product because it had good weight and well built.

The shark blades that come with this is sharp as some reviews say. And if it nicks or cuts your face, consider buying a less aggressive blade like a Dorco.

Blade not lining up

Speaking of nicks and cuts, I’ve read a few complaints about the blade not lining up properly when you attach it on the head.

Men who complained said that it shaves perfectly on one side but cuts on the other because blade exposure is uneven.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6bhrmxtjds

According to this video, as you tighten you can adjust the blade so that it sit evenly. So the issue shouldn’t be an issue if you align it well.

This could be a case of a manufacturing defect on the part of Parker in some of their items during the manufacturing process as this was only a complaint that a handful of consumers raised.

If you’ve have had a similar problem, I’d like to hear from you in the comments section below.

Big shaving head

Another complaint was the massive head of this razor not being able to shave the area between the nose and upper lip.

Be careful not to drop this razor because it can damage the hinges that hold the doors in place.

Other potential issues

It seems like the head of the razor is the potential weak point as I’ve read complaints about it not staying closed and becoming loose after a few strokes.

If you have any problems with your Parker razor you can contact Super Safety Razors.

Overall a majority of consumers love how the quality of this razor. It shaves well, had good weight, and quality was good as well.

Some even say this was better than a Merkur razor which is made in Germany.

Where can I buy this?

You can buy this razor from Amazon for less than $30. It’s a bit more expensive than a cartridge razor or disposable but that’s just the upfront cost.

When you compare the price difference between a DE blade and cartridge refills, it’s night and day. You will literally save thousands of dollars over a 10 year period. And mother earth will thank you because DE blades can be recycled while cartridge or disposables cannot.

Granted you will still to buy stuff like shaving cream, shaving brushes and aftershave balms but the results will be worth it.

To wrap up

This one-piece razor is a great option for men who are looking for something that’s easy to use and not very aggressive. It has good weight thanks to the brass frame that gives you more control when shaving.

Remember that technique plays a big part in the quality of shave.

One mistake that a lot of beginners make is pushing down on the blade too hard.

So instead of adding to much pressure and cutting yourself, rely on the weight of the razor. And let it glide on your face. You see this and other tips on wet shaving in this page make sure to read it before shaving.

One thing to note is the blades that come with this are rather aggressive, so while the razor itself is not – you may need to buy something less aggressive like a Dorco if you have sensitive skin.

Garrick spends his days researching and writing about grooming. When he’s not in front of his computer, you can find him hanging around with his wife and son.

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