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Thread: Parker SRW

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    Default Parker SRW

    I just got my Parker SRW from amazon today. I have shaved a few times with razors that I got form the classifieds here, but I decided to try out one of these no sharpen razors to save some time. I was obviously stropping wrong with my traditional straight because the Parker was amazing in comparison.

    Admittedly, the Parker I got is pretty low quality. It doesn't close properly on the scales and feels a bit flimsy. But I still really like the shave it gave. I was wondering if anyone has tried any other of the "no sharpen" style straights like the Dovo Shavette and could speak for their quality?

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    Junior Member michiganlover's Avatar
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    I have one of the Parker Shavette's as well. The Parker is one of the better made shavette's that use a 1/2 DE blade.

    It is vastly superior to the actual Dovo Shavette, as it has more weight, and the blade holder is better designed. The Dovo is really quite chintzy overall, and has very little weight.

    If you really want to go the disposable blade straight route, the Feather Artist Club/ Kai Captain line is the ultimate. Longer blade, thicker blade, and enough weight behind it to pretty closely mimic an actual straight. The only real drawback is that cost of blades has recently went up to about $24 for a 20 pack. OUCH!!

    I presently own a Parker Shavette, and a Kai Captain Excelia (the all stainless steel Kai model). I have found if I shave constantly with the Parker I can get a good shave out of it, but if I take a break I get lousy shaves. This is not the case with the Kai Captain, as I can get good shaves from it even if I haven't used it for a few weeks.

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    I have a Parker as well, and it has that same closing problem. But yes, they actually work really well. I'm new, but I get the same results with the Parker vs the regular Dovo straight. I used to shave 1/2 of the face with one, the other 1/2 with the other and compare... Nearly identical. The Parker is a time saver though, no stropping needed. Work on your stropping (that's what I'm doing!) and we should get at least equal, if not better, results from our regular straights!
    Cheers!

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    I put in a few months on a Parker before moving to straights. The Parker does a great job, but is a lot harsher than a straight, IMO. I get fewer cuts, weepers, etc, with a straight versus a Parker, and I feel less razorburn with a straight than a Parker. That being said, the parer is an awesome way to see if this is for you without the expense of a razor and strop.

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    amt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightfall View Post
    I put in a few months on a Parker before moving to straights. The Parker does a great job, but is a lot harsher than a straight, IMO. I get fewer cuts, weepers, etc, with a straight versus a Parker, and I feel less razorburn with a straight than a Parker. That being said, the parer is an awesome way to see if this is for you without the expense of a razor and strop.

    I did this exact same thing and completely agree with nightfall. Both yield good results, but I definately prefer the real str8 that I have over the Parker.

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    Hello, everyone.

    Total newb to straight shaving here.

    I got tired of paying too much $$$ for decent disposables and decided to try my hand at straight shaving. I started with the Parker SRW (which this thread is about and is what led me here). I picked one up off of eBay (new) with some initial blades for about $15.00. This was about two weeks ago.

    I have a couple of questions and comments about the Parker style shavers:

    1) I love it. Took me about three shaves to really start to get used to it, but the last couple of shaves have been the absolute best shaves I've ever had. I shave at night to allow my face to recover from any potential nicks rather than risk going to work with a cut face. I've found that I actually get fewer nicks with the straight than I ever did using the cartridge razors. The shave also lasts longer than I've gotten before.
    2) If someone likes using the Parker SRW (barber-shop style) handle with the 1/2 DE blades, is there a real reason to move to a full-on straight razor? (note: I can't sharpen a knife to save my life. I always have my brother or dad sharpen my pocket knives for me.)
    3) I'm currently using the 7 AM brand razors that came with mine (break them in half to use). They are nice (very nice), but I have also ordered a batch of "Shark" and "Derby" 1/2 blades to use (I got about 240 total blades really inexpensively). Does anyone here know which brands of blades for these are better?
    4) I see the term "shavette" used around in the forums when I explored. Is that term used to refer to a specific brand of razor handle, or is it used as a more generic term when referring to the straight-style handles for throw-away blades? (In my initial research I saw the Dovo brand of "Shavette", but like the look of the less-expensive Parker SRW better).
    5) Can anyone give good advice to a total newb at straight shaving? I have a tough thick beard and I've found that a single sharp blade is much, much easier to shave with than a bunch of tightly packed blades that get hair stuck between them. I've done okay (no major mishaps yet), but any advice will be welcome. The jawline and neck are my toughest areas to get smooth without any razor burn.
    6) I've gotten three good shaves from my last 1/2 blade...is that typical, or is there something I can do to extend the life (note: they are inexpensive enough that I can get two year's supply for about $18 if I get three shaves from them).

    Thanks for your patience with the total newb, but all I know is that I wish I had started shaving with a straight a long time ago.

    Later,
    Goatee

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    "Shavette" is often used to describe any straight razor that accepts disposable blades, but you are correct that is actually the brand name for Dovo's version of this.

    If you aren't a fan of honing and sharpening, I would stick with the Parker. I have both, and if I'm in a hurry and don't have time for stropping and the whole nine yards, I just grab the Parker and throw a blade in it. Convenient and easy, also great for traveling. Also, I've found that even a "Shave Ready" blade from high quality honemeisters (I've tried two different ones) does not quite match the type of sharpness you get on a good disposable blade. Nothing against real blades, but they seem to have a different type of edge, and they shave differently. I find that a regular straight razor is a bit more forgiving though, things that will lay your face open with a Parker may not leave a scratch with a regular straight.

    As to blade brands, those are personal preference and everyone has an opinion. Personally, I like Big Ben's or Lord's. They seem to give me the smoothest shave for my face/beard type.

    Glad you joined the ranks friend!

    Cheers,

    Grande

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    Hi all!

    I am pretty new to this forum and straight razor shaving as well.

    I have been shaving with the Parker SRW for a little while and actually have been having a little trouble with it. There was almost nothing I could do to keep from filleting myself far to often with it, that is until recently. Since I almost never draw blood with the other razors I have I decided to look into this razor a bit. What I found was, the portions of the two halves of the holder that contact and hold firm the disposable 1/2 blade section were not flat. In effect, this left the blade held loosely and able to flex excessively. causing it to dive into my skin imperfections instead of riding over them and leaving me looking something like a Barber Pole.

    To try and remedy this, I opened the razor and ground the contact portions flat on both sides. The results for me have been amazing. The razor now shaves for me with the best of my traditional straights and gives a BBS shave with no irritation and it only took a few minutes to do.

    If anyone else has been experiencing less than satisfactory shaves with thier Parkers, maybe this can help.

    JohnM
    Last edited by JohnM; 09-24-2012 at 07:03 PM.

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    Hi guys,

    I have not used a shavette but can parrot the conventional wisdom I've read about them vs. "real" straights. First, the industrial processes used to sharpen the disposables do go beyond the capabilities of mortal men. That means that yes, they are sharper than a traditional straight razor. However, the sharpest blade doesn't always give you the nicest shave. Stuff gets pretty wierd at the microscopic levels we're dealing with; some steels pair up especially well with some hones (e.g., old Sheffield steels and coticules) to give edges that cut hair just fine and are really easy on the skin.

    Second, and related to the first, you (or a pro honer) can "tune" your straight to shave the way you like. Do you want a crazy-sharp, crispy edge? With American, TI, or Swedish steel and a Shapton 30k hone, you can have that. Or, if you like the gentle extreme, Sheffield and a coticule. You can also dial in your preferred edge with stropping and different pastes--diamond, cubic boron nitride, CrOx, newsprint, etc.

    Third, if you get into shaving as "the journey," I think the real blade is more interesting, given all the tweaks you can experiment with.

    For utilitarian shaving, though, I probably don't have a good argument over a fixed blade vs. a disposable one, except that with one you're always throwing something away. As the original post said, the disposable removes the variables of stropping, so is probably a great tool to learn how the shave should work and how a sharp blade should feel. Those of us who tried to learn honing and shaving in parallel (I'm guilty of that) were really handicapped by not knowing how a sharp blade should feel.

    To Goatee--you can minimize your razor burn with good stretches, so the skin doesn't bunch up in front of the blade and experience harsh angles. I shave my neck from the collarline up, so there's always a dry spot to stretch from. For increased traction I pull with a washcloth between my fingertips and skin. Also, minimize your pressure--no more than it takes to scrape away the lather--and keep your blade angle very low. The best advice I've read here is to start with the spine against your skin and lift it until it's cutting the way you want it to. Thicker barbs may require a higher angle for the edge to get its start in them, but higher angles are also more irritating to the skin. Also try a cold-water shave, from lathering to final rinses. That's easier on your skin and may also help stand up the barbs a little better.

    Best wishes to all, and to all a good shave!
    "These aren't the droids you're looking for." "These aren't the droids we're looking for." "He can go about his business." "You can go about your business."

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    MJC
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    Default Posible transition razor after the Parker

    For those who might be interested in "moving up" but don't want to deal with stropping and honing I would suggest giving the Feather SS a look.

    Yes, you are buying blades - but we have members getting 7 to 30 shaves out of a blade depending on beard/experience etc.
    Yes, the blades cost a lot more than DE's - I'm paying $0.60/blade for Feather Pro's and getting 12+ shaves out of them at the moment. And I know that for 60 cents you could get 6 blades or 12 halves and get a new blade every day...

    But having shaved with a Parker and many of the DE blades out there (Feather, Astra Blue & Green, Derby, Dorco, Shark, Persona) and a variety of Straights (too many to list) I have to say I wish I had tried the Feather earlier.

    Yes, a "real straight" is in a class by itself, but everything comes with trade-offs.
    When I'm at home and have the time I enjoy using something from the rotation.

    On the road or have to get out the door and still want to shave with a Straight? It's the Feather SS or the CJB Blade Holder (Korean Feather Clone)

    Flying out early and don't want to shave in the AM? - A PM Feather 2 Pass + and I'm good all day, it can be that close.

    The variety of blade types allow you to customize the shave to a certain extent.

    If you don't like it you can probably get most of your money back in the classifieds - they sell quickly.

    Shave ready is only a blade change away, and it is an amazing shave with a little practice..
    (Hint, the lowest amount of pressure you can use and still maintain contact...soft touch)

    If you are getting good results out of a Parker you should be able to make the transition in 3-7 shaves or less. My first was a lot of weepers and a couple nicks, the second was just a couple of weepers and by #5 they were great. It takes less pressure than a conventional straight so many tend to burn/weep when they start. And they are sharp so you have to take your time and mind your skin tension at all times.

    Just a thought...

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