Merkur Progress and Parker Variant are two safety razors that look incredibly similar to each other. Both of the two products come from the big names of the industry; Merkur and Parker are known for their high-quality products. The Progress and the Variant are sold in a similar price range. So, what is actually the difference between Merkur Progress vs Parker Variant? Which one is the better razor? Find the answer below!
Design and Build Quality
In a glance, Merkur Progress and Parker Variant indeed look very similar to each other. However, there are actually several notable distinctions. First, you may have noticed that they have different handles. Merkur Progress comes with a plastic handle. The length of the handle is shorter, but it is quite solid and comfortable to hold. It is not the most elegant-looking razor in the world, due to the plastic handle. But it is quite durable, and the build quality is good. See another clipper comparisons here!
On the other hand, Parker Valiant features a knurled handle and a metal adjustment knob. If you are concerned about the look of your razor, you will feel better with Parker Valiant. It indeed looks classy. It is slightly heavier, creating a solid feel in the hand. It also feels more robust and easier to use. In the past, the build quality was not very good due to the poor quality control, but the latest products have already improved with better build quality.
In terms of features, Merkur Progress and Parker Variant are very similar. They are both adjustable razors. Merkur Progress features a molded pot metal, whereas the one on Parker Variant is made of brass. Both models feature alignment notches, which you can find on each model’s cap and base plate. The Variant tends to align better than the Progress, especially the new heads which come with an improved design and build quality.
The Merkur Progress vs Parker Variant razors are also very similar in terms of shave performance. They have similar aggressiveness, feel, and efficiency. They are both capable of giving smooth shaves from the mildest to the wildest character.
However, there are quite a lot of people who like the Variant better, due to several reasons. The adjustment scale is slightly tighter and more precise, and it tends to align better. In addition, the slightly heavier weight of the Variant creates a better feel and balance. It is just more comfortable to hold.
These two models are solid in a similar price range. Merkur Progress tends to be a little bit more expensive, whereas Parker Variant is usually cheaper by a few bucks. You can’t go wrong with either one.
Merkur Progress vs Parker Variant
Merkur Progress and Parker Variant indeed share lots of similarities. They both have adjustable blades and great feel. However, Merkur Progress comes with a shorter plastic handle. Parker Variant has a slightly longer knurled handle, which feels more robust. In the end, the Variant is more recommended because of the slightly better alignment and adjustment scale.