Parker 91R is very popular among beginner wet shaving enthusiast. It may not have the long history of Merkur since the brand was created 1973 in India, but it has flourished nevertheless. It is very similar to other beginner-friendly safety razors like Merkur 34C and Edwin Jagger DE89. Meaning it has almost the same aggressiveness, same size and price range. So which one should you buy? Let’s have a closer look, shall we.
+ Easy to assemble
+ Good size
– There have been some reports about quality control issues
- Parker 91R is a moderately aggressive razor. It means close shave with little effort but also adds the risk of cutting yourself
- Has a long handle with good knurling providing excellent grip
- Comes only in a chrome finish
- Is a three-piece safety razor
- Very competitive price
- Comes with five default razor blades. Some say they are not the sharpest so you might want to try out other blades as well to get the best result
Parker 91R comes in a simple black and white box. Nothing fancy about it. The package is all about simplicity and efficiency. The message you get from it is straightforward – I’m here to do one job and one job only! While I would prefer more elegant packing myself, this is no major issue and does not affect your shaving what so ever.
Parker 91R is named heavyweight. I think this is somewhat an exaggeration as there are plenty of razors that are heavier. Take Merkur Futur or Progress for example. Although it definitely isn’t a lightweight also. With 3.0 oz / 85 g and 4″ / 10.2 cm, it feels sturdy and comfortable in your hand.
Weight: 3 oz / 85 g
Length: 4″ / 10.2 cm
Made in India
How Does It Feel In Your Hand
Parker 91R handle is made to facilitate men with bigger hands. Not that men with smaller hands couldn’t use it. It works great for everyone, no matter what is your hand size. The overall height of the razor is 10 cm which feels great.
The handle is covered with good rough textured knurling that gives adequate grip even in wet conditions. I am not sure if I would use it under shower though, maybe I am too risk-averse or enjoy my intact skin too much. The build and look reminds me of a sturdy surgical instrument built to last with good performance.
Parker 91R weighs solid 85 g which feels pleasantly hefty and not too heavy in your hand. I enjoy heavier razors myself as I get a more tactile feeling out of them during shaving. But at the same time, the added weight is prone to cause more nicks and cuts on your face because it adds more pressure on your face. Once you get used to it though you will not even notice the weight, and as far the cuts go it is all about technique.
What About The Design
Parker 91R is a three-piece double edge safety razor. It means you have three separate pieces: the cap, the base and the handle. Assembling the razor is easy, but I find the two-piece design to be a little bit more comfortable. It has also scalloped safety guard.
The handle is made out of brass and covered with chrome. This is rare for a razor in this price range. Brass doesn’t corrode so this good. But! The head is still made out of pot metal also known as Zamak, and unfortunately, this is usually the part that starts showing signs of corrosion first. I wouldn’t worry too much though. All Merkur razor, for example, are also made out of pot metal. And with proper care will last many many years. At the end of the day, these items are not family heirlooms but tools to be used to look cleanly shaven.
While the razor looks pretty, some have reported blade alignment problems, meaning the blade protrudes asymmetrically. This adds to the risk of cutting your self. All safety razors in this price range usually have some quality issues from time to time. And what kind of product wouldn’t have when it is mass produced? Should you happen to get one of these razors that has this problem, then contact the seller. Parker kindly replaces the faulty devices.
Will It Shave?
Parker 91R comes with five default razor blades. But they are known not to be the sharpest. Razor blades have a different level of sharpness, rigidity, etc. affecting your shaving outcome. Astra and Feather are two well-known brands that have a good reputation. But you can also buy a variety pack that has samples from many different companies to find one that works for you.
Where Parker 91R differs mostly from his competitors like Merkur 34C and Edwin Jagger DE89 is aggressiveness. Parker 91R has a larger blade gap which is one of the factors that determines razors aggressiveness. Add the extra weight also, and you have one scary razor. This means that Parker 91R will give you a very close shave and higher likely hood of cutting yourself while shaving. For this reason, this might not be suitable for those that are considering to buy their first safety razor.
But if you have a very thick and coarse beard and you need to shave it almost twice a day, then aggressive razor is what you need. Because it gives a closer shave, it will also last longer. So you won’t have that midday shadow on your jawline after half a day.
Comparison: Parker 91R vs. Edwin Jagger 89L
Parker 91R is designed to be a universal razor. It tries to appeal to most wet shavers just like Edwin Jagger DE89L. That’s why I have chosen this razor to compare it with.
Parker 91R weighs 3 oz / 85 g which is more than EJ89, but the difference is minuscule. If you hold both of them in your hands, you may feel a slight difference in weight. But this will have no effect they way they shave. Both feel sturdy and are easy to maneuver.
Both are three-piece safety razors, but Edwin Jagger 89 has more handle options. Edwin Jagger 89 is made with the short, regular and long handle and comes in multiple different finishes. Parker 91R is only manufactured in one size and plated with chrome.
What truly sets those two razors apart is the level of aggressiveness. EJ89 is mildly aggressive and suits for most men and also for head and leg shaving. Parker 91R is more aggressive making it less suitable for other tasks besides shaving your beard. The aggressive nature of the 91R makes it more fitting for men that have thick and coarse beards.
To summarize the key differences:
- Edwin Jagger 89 is less aggressive than Parker 91R. This why it is a better option for beginners out of the two
- Edwin Jagger 89 has more handle design options
- Parker 91R weighs more than EJ89. Both are average though, and the weight doesn’t affect your shaving
- Edwin Jagger 89 with longer handle has similar length as Parker 91R
- Both razors are made out of three pieces: cap, base and the handle
To wrap it up Parker 91R shaves great and that is all that matters. But if you are just starting your wet shaving journey then consider also Edwin Jagger DE89 and Merkur 34C. Out of the three Parker is the most aggressive razor. But if you have a dense and coarse beard and your skin isn’t extra sensitive, then this one might be for you.