I admit it, I’m just not very good at shaving with a “barber” or “shavette” style razor. So when Parker introduced their adjustable barber razor, my interest was piqued and I had to try it.
A Little Background: What Is A “Shavette” Or “Barber Razor?”
A “shavette” style razor, sometimes called a “barber straight razor” (because some states don’t allow barbers to use a regular straight razor for hygiene reasons), looks similar to a straight razor but uses a replaceable, disposable blade instead of a fixed, permanent blade.
But while a shavette may look like a straight razor (well, kind of), it may not necessarily behave like a straight razor.
The Parker PTABK Stainless Steel Adjustable Barber Razor
From the Super Safety Razors website:
“Parker’s PTABK Stainless Steel Adjustable barber razor comes with three inserts – each with a different blade exposure so you can customize your shave. You can choose an insert with low, medium or high blade exposure, depending upon your specific task, skill level, skin type or beard growth. It’s like having three different razors in one! …. This razor has an “insert” which you load the blade into. You then slide the insert back into the blade arm with the blade. Unlike most shavettes, our razor has a stainless steel blade arm and handle with an elegant black finish – not lower quality aluminum. Just pick your favorite double edge blade, snap it in half, put it in the razor and you’re off — No sharpening or honing required! We recommend our Parker Premium Platinum Half Blades, or we also sell a variety of professional quality pre-cut barber blades….
- Low Blade Exposure: Useful for light beard growth or bulk shave jobs, hot towel shaves, etc. where a lower, more stable blade exposure is needed
- Medium Blade Exposure: Most all-around usage with moderate blade exposure for many different shaving tasks
- High Blade Exposure: Useful for more detailed work and shapeups where more visible blade exposure is required
Weight: 1.7 oz Length: 5.5 in. Handle Material: Stainless Steel with Black Finish Razor Arm: Stainless Steel with Black Finish”
My Experience With The Parker PTABK Stainless Steel Adjustable Barber Razor
I have been using the Parker PTABK Stainless Steel Adjustable Barber Razor for a few weeks now and I have to say that I am impressed. The razor is very well made and feels great in my hand. It is also very easy to swap the blade insert, which is a huge plus. I have not had any construction or design issues with the razor whatsoever.
Presentation And Design
I like the presentation of the PTABK in its box: elegant in a clean, minimalist way. the holder and one insert are set in one cut-out, while the other two inserts occupy different spots.
I wonder if additional inserts to accommodate other blades (like an Injector blade or a “shaper” blade like a Feather Artist Club) might be possible in the future….
By the way, I was able to insert and use both pre-cut half DE blades and DE blades I snapped in half myself without any trouble.
Weight And Balance
As stated earlier the PTABK is 1.7 oz and 5.5 inches in length. I find the weight and balance excellent: there’s “heft” but my hand does not get tired wielding the razor for an extended period. I could see this as really beneficial to a barber.
As I said at the beginning of this article, I’m just not very good at shaving with a straight razor, and even a little less-so shaving with a “barber straight.” So I was hoping the PTABK might give me a little help with honing (if you’ll pardon the pun) my technique.
On the one hand, the PTABK didn’t really help with my technique: I still have trouble holding the razor properly per the area I was trying to clear. And, while the PTABK insert held the half-DE blade securely, DE blades are so thin that blade flex is an issue, as it is a systemic issue with all “barber straight” razors.
On the other hand, I am getting fewer nicks and cuts with the “Low” blade insert while still getting an acceptable shave. So using the PTABK is helping me learn my technique with less “damage” compared to other “barber straight” razors.
I had the opportunity to use the Parker PTABK Stainless Steel Adjustable Barber Razor and I was really impressed with it. It is a very well made razor and it performed well. The different blade inserts is a great feature. The handle is comfortable to hold and the blade is easy to change. I would highly recommend this razor to anyone looking for a great shaving experience. If you’re in the market for a new barber razor, you should consider the Parker PTABK.