Parker 99R Review: A Throwback Of A Gillette Classic

Parker 99R is a classic style razor in the mold of the Gillette FatBoy. Some men say it looks like a Merkur 180 (or 23C), but Parker has more weight and balance.

Even if you put it side by side next to the Merkur Futur (one of the largest DE razors), it is almost as long.

Parker 99R Review

The length and weight of this safety razor make it an excellent option for men with big hands.

So forget about the Merkur 34C or the Muhle R41 as both of these very good products have short handles.

The 2010 version of the Parker 99R has a brass frame and nickel coating that provides an excellent foundation to withstand the daily shaving grind.

If you want to learn more, please check the Parker 99R on Amazon.

Great for men with big hands

So men with large hands will appreciate the heft and weight that this shaver brings to the table.

Parker has come a long way since it started manufacturing safety razors in 1973.

Biggest upgrade was the design of the head where the blade sits.

New design

Howie Woda who runs the shaving store “Super Safety Razors” told the Sharpologist that the TTO head was re-engineered in 2010.

The improvements include thicker metal (up to a 2.5 fold increase) which made newer Parker razors heavier. Another improvement as the milder angle which makes it an excellent option for beginners.

This explains why this razor tips the scales at around 3.3 ounces. The weight of this product provides excellent balance resulting in a good shave.

Let’s see what the Parker 99R has in store for us

  • Nickel plated
  • Approximately 4.5 inches long (almost as long as the Merkur Futur)
  • Has a barber pole styled knurling
  • Brass frame
  • The head utilizes a twist (or turn if you’re British) to open design – this is a one piece razor
  • Great price
  • Aggressiveness: 7/10
  • Blades included: 5

Pros

  • This can be classified as a mild razor which is great for beginners
  • Good weight and balance
  • Fit and finish has improved over older Parker razors
  • TTO design makes it easy to load the blade

Cons

  • Some men (experienced wet shavers mostly) have said that it is difficult to find the right angle with this
  • Quality control issues (based on reviews)
  • Experienced wet shavers might find it difficult transitioning from other brands to this because of the difficulty of finding the right angle

What to expect from this classic barber pole styled razor?

The weakest link to any twist to open razor is the butterfly doors that you will have to open and close every time you load the blade or clean it.

In cheap brands like the Weishi, the hinges are made from very thin metal that possible will corrode and possibly break over time.

Thicker metal

Newer Parker razors now use thicker metal which will, in theory, make this last longer than a cheap TTO razor like a Weishi.

Comes with 5 super chrome blades

If you buy this in Amazon, you will get 5 super chrome blades which aren’t a popular blade, so I’m not sure if these are good.

You may also want to include in your purchase if you buy this a sampler set that contains different brands which is a cost-effective way of finding the right blade for your skin.

Remember that we all have different skin types and the blade that works for me might not work for you.

Is it easy to load the blade?

This being a twist to open butterfly razor (wet shavers fondly call this TTO), loading a blade is relatively straightforward.

All you need to do is twist the knob at the bottom to open the butterfly doors then slide the blade in. It’s very easy.

Parker 99R Doors Open

Some dudes like the idea of not taking apart a 3 piece safety razor and if you’re one of them dudes, this is the razor for you.

Aggressiveness

Reviews have been mixed some say that this is an aggressive razor (beginners should stay away from this) because of the amount of blade exposure. But others say that it is not overly aggressive or overly mild.

In terms of aggressiveness, this Parker shaver is at a 5 (or even 6). It’s something that a beginner might be able to use. But I’d suggest a milder using a milder blade like a Wilkinson Sword or Astra SP.

What makes this a good option for newbies is the Twist to Open head (or TTO) that makes loading blades easy.

Grip

The knurling design is similar to the Merkur 38C that uses a barber pole design which according to some provide a better grip, especially if you’re right-handed.

Left-handed individuals may find this a bit slippery because of the direction of the spiral.

Length

At over 4 inches long, this is one of the longer DE razors available. Parker likes to manufacture safety razors with long handles which is great for men with large mitts.

When you compare it to the biggest razor in the market, the Merkur Vision, it isn’t far off.

Here’s a screen cap from Geofatboy’s video on Youtube.

Parker 99R vs Merkur Vision

That’s pretty darn close if you ask me. The exact length is around 4.5 inches from tip to tip, handle length is around 4 inches. Again, if you’re new to wet shaving and have large hands, put this into your list as possible options.

Parker 99R Specifications

Model99R
Overall Length4.5 inches
(9 cm)
Handle Length4 inches
Handle DiameterN/A
Weight3.4 ounces
MaterialBrass
FinishNickel plated
TypeTwist To Open (TTO)
Adjustable
Knurled handle
Barber Pole Style
Blade included5 shark blades
Manufactured inIndia

What Consumers Say

A lot of men say this is a very good product that performed well.

Good quality

They liked the build quality, especially the weight that gave it a pretty good balance. All this for just $30 in Amazon which isn’t bad.

Customer Photo

Some even compare this to the China-made Weishi and Micro One Touch razor. However, they said that the 99R is a better-built safety razor.

The butterfly doors have a more sturdy design, a notorious weak point in any TTO razor.

“Bigdogin Texas”, an Amazon customer said that this was a little bit more aggressive than the Edwin Jagger DE89L. This is surprising to me because this has a reputation of a mild razor.

Long handle = better control

Men also like the long handle that they said gave them better control.

Some of them compared this to the Gillette Super Speed (from the late 1940s). Both have similarly designed head, only the Parker’s has a lower profile which makes it easier to maneuver around the lip/nose area.

In terms of shave quality, most of the reviews I’ve read say this is a mild razor, milder than the older Parker razors (pre-2010 models).

Nickel coating

Some consumers say that this product has a nickel coating and underneath it is brass from that adds to the weight.

The added weight will naturally make it more aggressive.

Some complaints

One complaint that some wet shavers have is the lack of a locking mechanism for the butterfly doors to stay locked in place. And prevent the doors from accidentally opening in the middle of a shave.

This is something that the super speed had and lacking in this modern razor.

As of the complaints, the biggest would be the butterfly doors breaking apart. This is the weakest link in any TTO type razor.

Shave the Man found it difficult to find the right angle when he used this razor.

He said that it was difficult to transition because of the weird angle. This weird angle made him not recommend this for experienced shavers. But for beginners, it is a good choice.

However, other experienced shavers like Geofatboy and PaulHFilms say otherwise.

Here’s Geofatboy’s review.

Here’s PaulHFilms’ review…

Notice that both of these men have substantial beard growth, probably 2 or 3 days’ worth and I didn’t see them complain about finding the right angle.

Take note that these men are very experienced wet shavers, having tried out a wide variety of double-edged razorsshaving creams, and shaving brushes.

So in terms of shaving angle, it could be a matter of personal preference. Please share them in the comment section below.

Where can I buy this?

You can buy this safety razor for Amazon for less than $30. And this will be eligible to the free 2-day shipping if you enroll in Prime.

Other places you can buy this would be at Lee’s Razors and West Coast Shaving.

The verdict

This razor is an excellent option for beginner wet shavers looking for a razor with a long handle to fit their large hands. It has pretty good weight and balance that you can practice with when getting into wet shaving.

This safety razor is slightly more expensive than the Edwin Jagger DE89 which is a three-piece razor.

Parker’s butterfly doors make it easier to load the blade versus Edwin Jagger’s design where you need to assemble the three parts of the razor.

Choosing between a Parker 99R and Merkur 38C (or similar razors) will boil down to your convenience of loading and unloading the blade.

The biggest question mark would be the durability of the butterfly doors (particularly the hinges).

Make sure to clean it thoroughly after every use, so these parts don’t rust.

Check the latest price of the Parker 99R safety razor in Amazon.

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