Many argue that open comb (OC) razors are not for beginners because they are too aggressive. First, people have very different lifestyles and needs. If you happen to have a job or some other reason due to which you often end up having more than few days of growth – you might need a more aggressive razor as it handles longer growth better than a mild shaver. And second, despite the fact being OC, it is actually a rather mild shaver. So let’s take a closer look and decide for yourself.
+ Good grip
+ Less clogging
– Too aggressive for sensitive skin
- Open comb design. This means it has no safety bar which makes it more aggressive
- Parker 24C/26C is mildly up to moderately aggressive razor. For this reason, it might not be the ideal razor for beginners and men with sensitive
- Three-piece razor. Intuitive to assemble but a tad more bothersome compared to the two-piece design
- Medium sized razor with 3.7″ / 9.4 cm. Yet it is comfortable for all hand sizes.
- There is the chromed model (24C) and black graphite model (26C). The only difference between the two is the finishing
Parker razors are packed into a simple package. Your hands won’t tremble nor will you get excited when you hold it. The plastic window in front lets you see exactly what product you will get. While the colors are elegant, the font combined with the package overall design makes you feel you are holding a cheap product. It is a shame because the razor itself isn’t bad.
Like most Parker razors they tend to be heavier than your average beginner’s safety razor. They usually come also with longer handles. Parker 24C/26C both weigh 3.4 oz / 96 g and are 3.7″ / 9.4 cm tall. This size combination makes them comfortable to hold in your hand and gives good tactile feeling when shaving.
Weight: 3.4 oz / 96 g
Length: 3.7″ / 9.4 cm
Made in India
How Does It Feel In Your Hand
Parker is also known to make razors that tend to have longer handles. This is good for those who have big paws and feel uncomfortable holding smaller handles. Some argue that it is all about the right shaving technique and the handle size doesn’t matter. While I agree with this in principle and yes you can get used to everything, but – why bother? If you can get a right-sized handle and start shaving comfortable immediately.
Another reason to prefer longer handle is when you happen to have a disability. Rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome or you have suffered from a stroke, and consequently, your hand works clumsily – all these and many other ailments can cause severe disability. Meaning you may have trouble to hold smaller handles thus you could benefit using a long-handled razor.
An additional positive thing about the handle is the knurling. It has a rough texture to it and gives a good grip even when used with wet soapy hands. The grip is even further improved on the model 24C with the indentation in the handle.
Both Parker 24C and 26C weight the same 3.4 oz / 96 g. Weight, as well as the handle length, are both properties that tend to divide peoples opinions. Some prefer razors around 2.5 oz / 70 g and less saying it is easier to maneuver them, they are less aggressive, and you don’t need to strain your hand so much. While all three are valid points, it still comes down to your preference. I like heavier razors because they glide down your face by themselves, you almost don’t have to use any force. I have never felt my hand getting tired while holding a heavier razor. As far as the “maneuverability” argument goes, it is just matter of your technique. You are shaving not carving wood. And though weight plays a role to a certain extent in the razors aggressiveness, Parker 24C is still considered a rather mild shaver. So don’t be afraid of the weight and instead enjoy it.
What About The Design
Parker 24C/26C is a three-piece DE safety razor. You have the handle, base plate, and the cap. The handle is made out of brass while the head is made out of zamak (pot metal). It is open comb razor meaning you don’t have the safety bar in front of the blade. This makes the razor more aggressive. In essence, you get very close shave with the added risk of cutting yourself. This is offset by absent blade gap in this model. So, in the end, this razor is mildly/moderately aggressive depending whom you ask, but it is definitely not Mühle R41 or Merkur Progress.
Most double edge safety razors are closed comb. Open combed razors have they advantages and thus followers. The teeth of the comb rake through your beard when shaving. This makes the hear stand up making the shaving easier. Another good thing about open comb razors is that they get less clogged. It is especially beneficial if you happen to shave rarely and have to mow through the long beard. That’s why it makes a good companion while traveling.
Will It Shave?
Parker safety razors come with 5 default razor blades. The quality of these blades is not up to par, unfortunately. They might work for you but try out also other brands. Best way to go about this is to buy a sample pack. These packs contain different razor blades from different brands, e.g., Feather, Astra, Gillette, Derby, etc.
Despite Parker 24C being an open combed razor, it is surprisingly forgiving one. You will get smooth, efficient shaves with it. But this razor seems to have a bit of a learning curve. You may need to experiment with different razor blades and shaving angles until you find the right combination.
Comparison: Mühle R41 vs. Merkur 24C/26C
Because open comb razors are more aggressive as I already explained, then they are more of a niche product. But there are a few commercial produced OC razors out there. One of these is Mühle R41.
Again, this might not be the ideal comparison as Mühle is considered to be one of the most aggressive razors out there while Merkur 24C/26C is at best moderately aggressive. But as both are OC razors, they are not that far of away from each other also.
As I said, Mühle R41 is very aggressive. Usually, one pass is enough to get you cleanly shaven. Parker 24C/26C needs three passes average. This makes it valuable for those men that rarely shave or just happen to have a fast growing beard. Your regular safety razor with safety bar gets clogged and pulls your hair when you try to shave a beard with longer hair. Open comb razor rakes through your beard without pulling the hairs and doesn’t clog as much as closed comb razor.
There is also a difference in size. Standard model Mühle R41 is 2.24 oz / 64 g which makes it an ounce / 30 g lighter compared to 24C/26C. Lighter frame works well with R41 as you want to avoid adding too much pressure while shaving and keep your touch light. 24C/26C again is a mild shaver and benefits from the weight.
The length is the same for both razors being 3,7” / 9.4 cm. This places them both in average range regarding height, and they both work well for any hand size.
You can also order a bigger version of R41 called grande or an R41-Twist model which is also longer and heavier besides being a two-piece safety razor. Both of these razors are more expensive though compared to the standard model.
Mühle R41 is made with four different finishes. Classical chromed version and rose gold plating (R41) but also tortoiseshell (R103) and black resin (R101). So you have two more options compared to Parker that comes only in chromed and black graphite versions.
To summarize the key differences:
- Mühle R41 is a much more aggressive razor. Suitable for men who shave rarely and need to maw through longer beards
- Mühle R41 is an ounce lighter
- There are two versions besides the classical Mühle R41 – the two-piece Twist and three-piece Grande model. Both of these are larger razors being 4.2” / 10.7 cm tall and 3 oz / 90 g heavy
- Mühle R41 has four different finishes: chrome, rose gold, tortoiseshell and black resin
- Both Parker 24/26C and standard Mühle R41 are three-piece razors
- There is a price difference in favor of Parker razor
All things considered, I find this razor to be outstanding. Yet I find myself asking to whom would I recommend this razor? I wouldn’t probably recommend this for men with sensitive skin because of the more aggressive profile compared to a closed combed razor. And I wouldn’t recommend it to men with coarse beards because it is not aggressive enough for them.
I think Parker 24C would do well in your travel bag when you need to get rid of weeks growth smoothly and efficiently. Or if you need a razor to trim your beard occasionally. Open combed razors are designed to shear down longer hair. So if you travel a lot or you like to keep a beard that needs some trimming time to time then this razor is for you.