Parker Variant Adjustable Pass Around

Monsta_AU

...can I interest you in some vintage blades?
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Very generous of you especially since it is brand new. Missing your Gillettes too much ;)
Love mine on 2 to 3, anymore than that and it gets agressive quickly. Really great adjustable and weighted.
After seeing one at the meet, I am pretty sure I will grab one.
 

Mark1966

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And it is away (tracking number R238684021395504 for those following along at home)!

First stop ADL with @alfredus to give it a go and pass it around the crew there. After that I've not decided yet - too busy at work.

Still room for others to join the fun BTW :)
 

alfredus

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Ok the razor has arrived - again many thanks to @Mark1966 for this great opportunity!

Just some first impressions here, before my first shave with it tomorrow.

I must say I am very positively surprised! The fit and finish of the razor looks actually very nice - yes some tiny marks under the top cap and the handle, but overall for this price point it looks fantastic!

I also very much like the size and weight of it - one of the big issues of adjustable for me is the lack of handle choice. Here a pic with some of my more common razors:



So the handle is longer than the Baby Smooth, but even more important for me, the weight is up there with my ATT S1 on the Colossus handle - again another plus for the Parker.

The head geometry is a bit large for my taste - but that would be the issue will all adjustables I believe...until James Dafour releases an unobtainium Wolfman adjustable with a design fit for space of course :D :D :D

Joke aside, the head reminds me a lot of the Progress - my first razor and I got some great shaves out of it - so looking very much forward to a test drive tomorrow (y)
 

todras

est Français pour après-rasage
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Sad but true, yet the memory remains...
:D

\m/

Back on topic: How does the Variant shave ? Say compared to a Progress (as a benchmark) or even a Slim as a more distant benchmark and what is the blade gap dial from a mechanical perspective i.e Audible click ? does it take a lot of effort to turn ?

Also have the paint issues been rectified ? I have been holding off on adding one to the stables for this reason.

@alfredus your detailed findings in a .pdf would be good ;)
 

alfredus

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:D

\m/

Back on topic: How does the Variant shave ? Say compared to a Progress (as a benchmark) or even a Slim as a more distant benchmark and what is the blade gap dial from a mechanical perspective i.e Audible click ? does it take a lot of effort to turn ?

Also have the paint issues been rectified ? I have been holding off on adding one to the stables for this reason.

@alfredus your detailed findings in a .pdf would be good ;)
Don't worry, I won't be holding back...

As I already said: the fit and finish looks very nice - here a couple more snapshots





Seriously I don't think you can expect more at this price...but of course it is not Wolfamn :D
 

alfredus

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Fifth and last shave report here

As a recap - please note that all these points are very subjective:

- the razor is very well made for this price point
- the range of settings is great - from mild to very aggressive
- the handle has a nice length to it
- the head geometry is a bit too large, making shaving around the nose challenging
- the razor sounds and feels more aggressive than it actually is
- for me personally I prefer the Variant to the 6s and I got even better shaves than with the Timeless (but of course the later is much better made)

Razor is ready to be passed on to @nsavage tomorrow

Many many thanks again to @Mark1966 for this fantastic opportunity (y)(y)(y)
 

Mark1966

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Fifth and last shave report here

As a recap - please note that all these points are very subjective:

- the razor is very well made for this price point
- the range of settings is great - from mild to very aggressive
- the handle has a nice length to it
- the head geometry is a bit too large, making shaving around the nose challenging
- the razor sounds and feels more aggressive than it actually is
- for me personally I prefer the Variant to the 6s and I got even better shaves than with the Timeless (but of course the later is much better made)

Razor is ready to be passed on to @nsavage tomorrow

Many many thanks again to @Mark1966 for this fantastic opportunity (y)(y)(y)
Great observations @alfredus - glad you had the chance to give it a whirl!
 

RustyBlade

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Does it have any wobble like the futur?
No, the top cap screws down firmly and blade is secure. Only unrealistic concern is when you adjust it above 10± which is over two turns. This is when the spring on the bottom plate nears the end of its full extension, meaning the grip pressure on the blade is way less and it could potentially move.
I say unrealistic, because it would be very rare for anyone to dial it up that high to shave with it. Basically identical to the Merkur Progress.
Great razor, constructed and weighted well.
 
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I owe everyone an apology as I have been very slack in getting my thoughts up. Having had possession of the razor since the last Adelaide meet up I have had a great chance to try it out and it is now on it's way to @Greenpike.

The razor is fairly well a rip off of the Merkur progress IMO. Having owned a Mergress XL I can give a comparison based upon my recollection of the Mergress.

First of all the razor feels more substantial than the Mergress. It has a little more balanced heft to it. The dial feels firmer. In terms of quality fit and finish I have to give the nod to the Parker. This opinion does not take in to account that i heard that there were some quality issues early on however and I am assume that these have been sorted. The major difference between the Mergress and the Variant is definitely the balance. With the Mergress the bias of weight is towards the modified knob. I never tried a regular progress but can only assume that the weight bias would be the opposite of the Mergress with the bias towards the head (I vaguely remember reading revies that made this comparison as well). The Variant is more balanced razor as mentioned above with the weight being more evenly distributed..

In terms of the shave compares to the Mergress from recollection of how the Mergress performed they are fairly well identical. On setting 3-3.5 the razor provided a very close and reasonably comfortable shave. I used to prefer the Mergress on setting 5 and did not even attempt that with the Variant. A couple of caveats though; I owned the Mergress very early on in my DE journey and was not as experienced as I am now. Additionally I preferred a more aggressive razor back then whereas I now tend to lean towards less aggressive and more comfortable razors. I used to prefer the Mergress on setting 5 and did not even attempt that with the Parker.

Overall compared to the Mergress I would have to give the nod to the Variant based upon the above points.

Now some general thoughts (and comparison to razors that I prefer currently).

The razor does not hold the blade as firmly as I prefer. All of the razors that I use regularly now are made to tight tolerance and hold the blade very firmly. The Variant does not achieve this. This in turn makes the razor noisy and gives a lot of audible feedback. IMO however this also causes what I have seen referred to as "blade chatter" that is the noise is being made as the blade skips and flexes across the skin. IMO this leads to a less comfortable shave (don't get me wrong the Variant is in no means uncomfortable per say, simply not AS comfortable as I am accustomed to). There is a lot of blade exposure and I would suggest that the razor would take some getting used to for a beginner. Blade gap is obviously adjustable and is already quite a lot in the middle settings. I found the correct angle very easy to find which is always a positive.

I wont get in to a discussion about what the razor is made of and comparison towards stainless as I do not feel it is fair. I will say that in comparison to the Rockwell 6s I would have to give the Rockwell the nod however. The razor also solidified what i had previously come to realise which is that adjustable razors hold no additional value for me. Once I find the setting that works the razor simply stays on that setting. Compared to a Wolfman, Guerrilla, Mamba, Weber it is not a fair comparison, the Variant is not in the same league in terms of fit, finish or shave quality and comfort. (Again, all of this is simply my own opinion).

Special thanks to @Mark1966 for organising the pass around. Mark is usually the backbone behind these opportunities and as always it is greatly appreciated. I hope that everyone else enjoys the razor as it travels the country.
 
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