Parker shavettes are made by Parker Safety Razor, a family-owned company that was founded in 1973. A Parker shavette can come in one of five different models:
- SR1 Barber Razor
- PTB Barber Razor
- PTW Barber Razor
- SRB Barber Razor
- SRW Barber Razor
Although Parker Safety Razor included the words “Barber Razor” in each of the different models names, you usually find them listed for sale under terms such as “Parker PTB”, “Parker PTW”, “Parker SR1”, etc. It is also quite common for people to refer to them as a “Parker straight edge razor” or a “Parker straight razor”. Even though people often refer to them as a straight razor, they are not a true straight razor because they use disposable blades whereas a true straight razor you have to strop and hone the razor in order to maintain the shaving edge.
Difference Between The Models
The difference between the five models largely comes down to two things: the color of the handle and the manner in which the blade is secured. The PTB and PTW models are “Push Type” and the handles are either Black or White. PTB stands for Push Type Black and PTW stands for Push Type White. Push Type refers to the fact that there is a sliding assembly that you push out of the blade arm with your thumb. Once the sliding assembly is pushed out, you can insert the blade and pull the sliding assembly back in to secure the blade.
The SR series razors also follow a similar naming methodology, but it is a little unclear what the “SR” stands for. A guess would be that the “SR” stands for “Straight Razor”. As mentioned earlier there are the “SR1”, “SRB”, and “SRW” models. The SR1 model has a handle that is stainless steel while the SRB and SRW have black and white handles, respectively.
The SR series shavettes use a completely different method to secure the blade than the PTB series. The SR series have what Parker Safety Razor calls “blade arms”. These blade arms are normally held together by a “blade arm clip” located on top of the blade arms and is opposite of where the blade protrudes out of the blade arms. The blade arm clip squeezes together the blade arms, which in turn squeeze the blade preventing it from moving or falling out.
One of the blade arms also has two posts that are called “Position Pins” and these are there to help you position the blade properly. The other blade arm has holes that correspond to the position pins. I imagine that these position pins also help prevent the blade from being pushed up into the blade arms as you shave with it.
To insert the blade into the SR series shavettes you simply lift the blade arm clip, separate the blade arms and insert the blade. You then put the blade arms back together by aligning the position pin with the holes on the blade arm. Finally, you push the blade arm clip back down and you are ready to shave with it.
As with most shavettes, the Parker shavettes all use one half of a DE blade that is snapped in half. It’s quite common for the Parker shavettes to ship with five Shark blades. These particular blades are manufactured with only one shaving edge instead of two, so there is no need to snap them in half.
From pictures it looks like the Parker SR series shavette blade holders may be wide enough to hold an entire DE blade without being snapped in half. However, that is not the case. If you put in a full DE-blade without snapping it in half, the side of the blade that is on the same side of the blade arms as the blade arms clip will prevent the blade arm clip from locking into place.