Dave Glynn reviews a Parker straight razor
Dave Glyn the vintage razor restorer and respected wet shaving expert has written a comprehensive, informative review of the new Parker straight razors:
"I’ve been using, collecting, restoring, honing and making straight (cut-throat) razors for quite a number of years now. Originally hailing from Durham in the North East of England I now live in Auckland, New Zealand (or Middle Earth to Lord of The Rings fans).
Brian at Executive Shaving asked me to do a review of the US-Made Parker Straight Razor, so below are my findings.
The razor arrived in a presentation case wrapped in brown paper. The case itself is really elegant and made from thinly shaved solid wood with a toggle and band catch. The razor and an Allen Key along with a felt pouch to protect the razor were all housed in the case.
The Scales on the razor I tested was made from Red Oak wood and I believe there’s also Walnut and Black Resin versions too. The Scales are well made and of a one-piece design (no separate spacer) and pinned using a stainless steel screw that can be removed (to clean the blade) or adjusted using the Allen Key supplied (a nice touch).
The blade is around 6/8 inches wide, a good general size for most shavers and has a coating applied. This coating looks good but when the razor needs honing it would necessitate taping the spine or the honing will leave a polished area along the widest part of the razor blade, where it comes in contact with the hone.
The razors are apparently hand-made in USA from high grade tool steel with hand-cut Jimps (the little serrations applied to the underside of the spine for gripping). Grinding and polishing are apparently carried out by hand too.
All in all, the razor and presentation case are of a high standard. No complaints here.
There are very few razors that I’d call ‘Shave-Ready’ straight from the manufacturer and this includes the high end offerings from Thiers Issard and Dovo. The Parker though was indeed shave-ready out of the box. After a light stropping I received a most enjoyable shave.
Note to beginners – be VERY CAREFUL, these Parker razors have what is termed a ‘Square Tip’ (rather than rounded). These tips have caused me some nasty cuts in the past, it’s very easy for the tip to dig into your cheek if you lose concentration. Rounded tips are more forgiving, but treated with respect, the Parker blade with its square tip will serve you well."