Monday, February 27, 2017

How to Open a Parker Shavette to Change Blades

A new shavette, which is a barber's straight razor that uses replaceable half-DE blades, can be difficult to open to insert a blade -- in particular the design as shown here and especially when the shavette is new and also especially when one doesn't really know how to do it.

The Parker-brand shavettes that I'm talking about today have a blade that acts similarly to the pieces of bread in a sandwich, enclosing the sharp edge between the blade sides.

This is how the shavette looks when opened. My names
for its parts are (for the purposes of this article), from left
to right, the clasp, the top blade (no sharp edge),
the bottom blade (with pins, no sharp edge), and the
scales. The removable half-DE blade will be referred
to as the edge. The shank is the part you hold when shaving
and lies between the pivot of the scales and the pivot 
of the clasp. The curved indentation in the top blade is
key to easy opening of the razor for removal and
insertion of the edge.
When brand new, these split-blade shavettes can be difficult to open for edge insertion. The challenge is that once the clasp is opened, which will permit the blade halves to be separated, it's difficult to pry the halves apart far enough to lift the top half over the pins of the bottom half -- that is, unless you know how.

Some new users have remarked in reviews about the difficulty of opening the razor for blade insertion/removal. At least one reviewer has suggested the use of prying tools. This is NOT necessary and not recommended.

To open the razor, obviously you should pivot the scales so they are in line with and opposed to the blade assembly.

Then open the clasp to a 90-degree angle to the blade. This will make it possible to separate the upper- and lower-blade halves.

Next, hold the shank of the blade in one hand, ready to fan the two blade halves apart like one would fan a hand of playing cards. Then the trick is to simply press the tip of the thumb of your free hand (the one not holding the razor shank) into the indentation at the point of the blade. Your thumb tip acts like a wedge to separate the blade halves enough that the top half rises above the pins of the bottom blade, thus allowing your hand holding the shank to fan apart the two blade halves.

From there it's easy to insert a fresh edge (half-DE blade), and close up the razor for shaving.

That's it.

Garage Sale Continues -- Make Me an Offer

Keep in mind that there is about $4 of packaging and mailing costs embedded in the prices of my garage-sale razors, and there really isn't a lemon in the bunch.

But if you think my prices are out of line, send me an email, make me an offer! Let's see if we can find a point of win-win.

Happy shaving!

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