Top positive review
The best damn razor I have ever used
Reviewed in the United States on June 22, 2017
I have been wet shaving for about 3 years now. In that span of time, I have amassed a multitude of safety razors, creams, brushes, pre-shave oils, after shave splashes/lotions, colognes, etc. Wet shaving quickly became a much needed part of my morning routine (I shave every other day), as it provided 20-30 minutes of mental therapeutic bliss. In all honesty, the aromatherapy alone that's associated with the amazing scents of some of these creams/after shaves/colognes and such makes this entire shaving process extremely worthwhile.
Which brings me to the Parker Variant. Again, in the 3 years I have been doing this, I have used many different razors - each of them had their pros and cons, and I actually liked quite a few of them. I love my Merkur 34c, I love my EJ De89, I have 2 razors from Maggard razors (the MR11 and MR7 with both the V3 and V2 OC heads) which are phenomenal for the price point, etc. Heck, I even have some inexpensive Chinese razors (Baili TTO - the same one that companies like Vikings Blade sell for like 37 bucks) that I enjoy using from time to time, mostly for traveling. However, despite the fact that I have used ALL of those razors multiple times, I cannot ever remember getting an AMAZING shave with the first use of a razor - but all that changed with my first use of the Parker Variant.
After reading the directions that came with the razor, I set it up to be used the following morning after my shower. I used Maggard Razors pre-shave oil, Maggard Razors Brush, Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Cream, and the Parker Variant on setting 2 and a half (my facial hair wasn't long enough to need more blade exposure). Furthermore, while I usually use Feather blades, I decided to use the Shark blades that came with the razor, even though I remembered not liking them the few times I used them. Nothing against them, I just recalled more irritation/nicks and needing more passes after using those blades. Well, I will say that it's a HUGE testament to the Parker Variant how amazing my first pass was with the included Shark blade, because every other time I used that blade the results were subpar. Maybe it's me - maybe I just haven't used Shark blades in a long time, and I have been able to improve my wet shaving skills since then. Either way, the Parker Variant with Shark blades was perfectly fine.
So fine in fact, that a normal 3rd pass wasn't even needed. I went for 2 passes, rinsed my face, used some Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel for my after shave splash, and that was that. I got dressed for work, sprayed on some Versace Man Eau Fraiche, my wife (who usually doesn't do this) remarked how great my face looked, and how great I smelled, and I left the house feeling like a freakin' rock star.
One more thing - I have used multiple Parker razors in the past as well - none of them are even remotely in the same category as the Variant. Not even close.
Sorry for the novella, everyone - I just needed to get off my chest how amazing this thing is. If you are a wet shaving veteran and don't own this razor yet, add it to your collection. You will not be disappointed. If you are a wet shaving newb, or are thinking of getting into it because you are sick of the multi-billion dollar cartridge razor companies pillaging and plundering your bank account (or you just want some morning therapy before you start your day), this is the only razor you will ever need. It's inevitable that you will buy more razors and stuff, as that's just the nature of the wet shaving game, but I will wager that you will keep coming back to your Variant no matter how many other razors you collect.