I will admit to a slight bias in this review: the Parker 22R was my first DE razor, and my only razor for the first year. With that out of the way, here we go:
The Parker 22R is a Twist To Open (TTO) safety razor with a heavily machined grip. The razor is of mixed cast and machined construction, and is made of brass with a gun metal finish.
For some reason the various Parker razors seems to have gained a reputation online for poor quality control; to me this just don’t jive. Not only is my 22R still as tight and smooth in it’s operation as the day it was when I unpacked it, but it survived all the mistakes I did when I started shaving, a year in Africa and being disassembled for cleaning more than once. No low quality razors would survive that – especially not one with a TTO head.
The 22R is a lang handled razor, but not particular heavy. It is also a fairly aggressive razor, which will punish a newbie fairly fast if too much pressure is applied when shaving. While this can be a good thing – adapt or die from facial lacerations – it can also turn a newcomer away from the joy that traditional wetshaving can be.
As mentioned the 22R is aggressive. It can do well with a very sharp blade – I was exclusively using Feather Hi Stainless blades in it while I was in Africa – but a light touch is needed. It also shaves very well with a milder blade, and maintains a very good blade alignment with little effort – just drop the blade in any old how and close the doors.
The balance of the 22R is a little different than my other DE razors, a little lighter in the head, a little heavier in the handle. Makes it easier to maintain a very light pressure though, so I think it’s a good thing. It can also be a little fiddly to clean, something it has in common with other TTO razors, but a little bit of preventative maintenance and a little bit of common sense goes a long way to alleviate that.
Overall I will definitely recommend this razor – I found it a very good razor when I started wetshaving, and I feel it’ll be welcome in any experienced wetshavers rotation.