Parker just launched their SoloEdge razor that uses half of a double edge (DE) blade. I got one to put through its paces.
Parker SoloEdge Single Edge Razor Background
[Note: Parker/Super Safety Razor links are affiliate.]
From the Super Safety Razor website:
The Parker Two Piece SoloEdge Single Edge safety razor is a precision tool that will serve you well for many years and is the perfect razor for new and experienced wet shavers looking for the blade angle of a cartridge razor with the benefits of a safety razor…. The highly economical blade replacements are simply double edge blades snapped in half or we recommend our pre-cut double edge half blades for ease of loading since there is no blade curvature….
What’s more, once the blade is securely loaded in the slots, it will automatically have the perfect exposure so there is no need for any adjustment. The angle is intuitive to shave with, as it is similar to a cartridge razor angle in its design.…
- Razor Type: Two-Piece Single Edge Safety Razor
- Weight: 94 g (3.3 oz.)
- Length: 9.8 cm (3.9 in.)
- Blade Type: Half of a Double Edge Blade
- Material: Solid Brass Handle with an electroplated satin chrome finish (head is molded from a metallic alloy and chrome plated)
100 Parker Premium Platinum Pre-cut Half Blades Included
My Experience With The Parker SoloEdge Single Edge Razor
[Note: I received a pre-launch sample of the Parker SoloEdge Razor at no cost so a review could be timed to coincide with launch. However the views expressed here are my own and have not been reviewed or approved by Parker/Super Safety Razors.]
I think the Parker SoloEdge is an interesting mix of old and new for Parker. On the one hand the packaging is pretty standard for Parker’s newer razors–a nice cardboard box and insert. And Parker has had other razors that used half double edge blades before (though they have all been “barber straight” styles).
On the other hand the SoloEdge has a sleek, modern design that sets it apart from other Parker razor designs, which I think are more traditional-looking. Personally I think the razor has a modern “industrial tool” aesthetic to it, particularly with its matte finish. I like the look. The fit-and-finish of my razor is very good.
At about 3.3 ounces this razor has more “heft” to it than other half-DE razors I have used (the Leaf Thorn is about 2.5 ounces, for example). In my hand the center-of-gravity is balanced noticeably toward the bottom of the razor. My personal preference is for razor balance to be closer to the head but of course “your mileage may vary.”
The handle of the razor has straight knurling. The initially caused me a little concern, as that type of texturing generally feels less secure in my hand than other designs, such as diamond knurling. However in use I find the razor to be quite secure in my hand and I have not had any trouble with it slipping. Perhaps the matte’ finish gives it a bit more grip?
Related Post: A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Safety Razor Handle
Blade loading of a half-DE razor has always been a concern to me. Half-DE blades are small and can be a challenge to hold and load, especially if you have big, meaty hands. But, blade size aside, loading the SoloEdge is pretty straight forward. I tried it without looking at their helpful blade-loading video and I got it right the first time.
There has been some discussion of adding a small magnet to the head to the razor’s design, to assist with loading. Personally I think this would add some convenience but I do not think it would be a deal-breaker if it was not there.
OK, so how is the shave?
My first experience with the Parker SoloEdge razor was interesting. I used one of the included Parker pre-cut half-blades.
Despite its weight and somewhat odd (for me) balance, I find using the SoloEdge quite comfortable to hold and use.
The design angle of the head makes for a natural and comfortable hand-hold for me. The razor head is thin enough so that getting into tight spots (like under the nose) is not a problem for me.
For me the blade angle “sweet spot”–the range of angles that provide the most efficient cut–is a bit narrower than other razors I have used. Nothing severe mind you, but something you may need to be more mindful of. There is a fair amount of blade-feel on this razor.
Rinse-through is good, though I think disassembling this razor periodically for a more thorough rinsing/cleaning is probably a good idea.
The results of that first shave, while close, included quite a few nicks. I found that strange because the Parker DE blades are my go-to favorites with other razors.
It turns out that the Parker pre-cut half blades are not the same as the Parker DE blades! The Parker pre-cut blades use a completely different blade edge specification. The Parker half blades are noticeably more aggressive to me.
So for my next shave I grabbed a Parker DE blade, snapped it in half, and loaded it into the SoloEdge.
Muuuuch better results.
It is well known that I prefer “mild” razors: maybe a three on a one-to-ten scale. I think the SoloEdge runs more middle-of-the-road–say a four or five out of ten–and should be suitable for most shavers.
The Parker SoloEdge single edge safety razor represents Parker’s continuing expansion of their razor line while still maintaining their value pricing philosophy. I think it’s a hefty, well-designed-and-built razor that shaves well.
The SoloEdge is currently only available on the Super Safety Razor website.