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Parker 99R vs Parker 96R

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When choosing a razor, there are many factors to consider.  But if you’re looking for a classic, double-edge safety razor that will give you a close, comfortable shave, you can’t go wrong with either the Parker 99R or the Parker 96R.  Both razors are made from solid brass and feature Parker’s signature “butterfly” opening mechanism, making changing the blade quick and easy.

So, what’s the difference between the two razors?

In short, the 99R is a bit heavier and has a shorter handle, which some users prefer for a more precise shave.  The 96R, on the other hand, is a bit lighter and has a longer handle, which some users find easier to maneuver.

We’ll describe more of the nuances and shave performance of both razors below, so you can decide for yourself which one is right for you.

Highlights

FeaturesParker 96RParker 99R
CombClosedClosed
Safety BarStraightStraight
Head CompositionBrassBrass
Handle CompositionBrassBrass
HandleKnurledSwirl
PlatingGraphite, ChromeChrome
Country of OriginIndiaIndia
Blade CompatibilityAll double-edge safety razorsAll double-edge safety razors
Number of Pieces11
Weight (oz)2.794
Weight (g)79113
Length (in)4.33.8
Length (cm)10.99.6
Price$30$32

Weight

There is a significant difference in weight between the Parker 99R and 96R. The weight of the Parker 99R is 4.0 ounces, and the weight of the Parker 96R is 2.79 ounces.

The heavier weight of the Parker 99R is due to its long handle. The extra weight can be helpful for those who want more control over their razor for a more precise shave. On the other hand, the lighter weight of the Parker 96R can be helpful for those who find a heavier razor more difficult to maneuver or perhaps are accustomed to using a cartridge razor.

When using the 96R, you will need to apply a bit more pressure than you would with the 99R to get a close shave.

Related: Safety Razors vs. Cartridge Razors

WeightParker 96RParker 99R
Weight (oz)2.794.00
Weight (g)79113

Length

Generally speaking, if you have larger hands, it is recommended to use a longer safety razor handle. Conversely, if you have smaller hands, you may be more comfortable with a shorter handle. When measuring the Parker 99R and 96R side-by-side, there is a significant difference in length. The Parker 99R has a length of 3.8 inches, and the Parker 96R has a length of 4.3 inches – a whole half-inch difference.

The shorter length of the 99R lends itself well to those who prefer a more maneuverable or precise razor.

LengthParker 96RParker 99R
Length (in)4.33.8
Length (cm)10.99.6

Handle Grip

parker 96r and 99r side by side

The handle grip of the Parker 99R is a swirl, and the handle grip of the Parker 96R is knurled.

Choosing between a knurled or swirl handle grip is a matter of grip confidence. The knurled handle grip found on the 96R provides a much better grip than the smooth swirl handle grip found on the 99R. If you are clumsy with your hand and often drop the razor, you may want to go with the 96R.

On the other hand, some people prefer the smoothness of a swirl handle grip. If you have never used a safety razor before, you may find the knurling on the 96R to be too aggressive. In this case, you may want to go with the 99R.

Pieces

The Parker 99R and Parker 96R are both one-piece razors, meaning that there are no separate pieces or parts that need to be attached or removed for cleaning or maintenance.

The baseplate, cap, and handle are all integrated into a single unit. This simplifies the design. However, cleaning and upkeep won’t be nearly as thorough as a two or three-piece safety razor.

Additionally, the butterfly opening mechanism is more likely to jam or break than on a razor with multiple parts.  Lastly, the butterfly head is often slightly larger, making it difficult to shave around the nose.

Performance

parker 96r and 99r standing next to each other

Both the Parker 99R and 96R will give you a close, comfortable shave. When shaving with the 99R, you’ll notice right away that the extra weight and long handle provide more stability and control. All you need to do is simply let the razor glide across your face – there is no need to apply pressure. The result is a close shave with less irritation. We think this razor works exceptionally well for those with sensitive skin as it can provide good results in fewer passes.

While the 96R is lighter, if you prefer smoother results, expect to take a few more strokes to get the same close shave as with the 99R. This can be good for guys susceptible to razor bumps or ingrown hairs, as the hair won’t get cut as short when compared to the Parker 99R after a single pass of the razor blade.

Country of Origin

Since these razors are made in India, they are significantly more affordable than their German-made counterparts. However, quality control issues seem to be a persistent problem, as discussed in a minute.

Blades

Like most safety razors, except for the OneBlade Core or injectible safety razors like the Parker Adjustable Single Edge Injector or Supply Single Edge SE, both the Parker 96R and 99R use double-edge safety razor blades.

You can use any brand of double-edge safety razor blades with either razor. We have found that the Parker blades sold specifically for these razors work well and are affordable.

Here are a few safety razor blades we reviewed if you want to try a new brand.

Reviews

The Parker 99R and Parker 96R are both safety razors that have received mixed customer reviews. Some people have loved them, while others have found them disappointing. The main complaints seem to be about the quality of the razor, specifically the butterfly mechanism.

Folks have also found the razor to be challenging to use, and it has caused razor burn for some. However, many people have also found the razor smooth and easy to use with no razor burn. The biggest pro of these razors seems to be the price, as they are both very affordable.

When reading any razor review, regardless of the brand, it’s important to remember that technique and ancillary shaving supplies (i.e., shaving cream) significantly impact the razor’s performance.

Conclusion

The Parker 99R and 96R are great safety razors that give you a close, comfortable shave. It’s easy to see why so many wet shavers start with one of these razors. The main differences between the two razors are weight, length, handle grip, and performance.

The Parker 99R is a bit heavier, has a shorter handle, and delivers more aggression. The Parker 96R, on the other hand, is a bit lighter and has a longer handle – delivering solid performance.

The 96R will require more pressure to get the same close shave as the 99R.

Adam Williams

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam loves men's grooming products. Particularly of interest is managing facial hair and perfecting the art of the modern man's skincare routine. His work has been featured or quoted in several publications, including New York Magazine, Vice, Sharpologist, MIC, Elite Daily, and more.

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