The humble safety razor has remained largely unchanged since its modern day inception in 1904. However, along the way, variations of the mighty double-edge razor have made their way into the world of shaving.
Around 1915, we saw the concept of slant bar razors make an appearance. I guess one of the most interesting adaptations has been the introduction of an adjustable safety razor. And the Merkur Futur demonstrates that concept with a simple turn of the handle.
The adaptability of the adjustable wrench is the reason it finds itself in tool kits around the world. The Futur, is the adjustable wrench of safety razors. The attraction is the simple convenience of being able to make slight variations for a particular purpose or situation.
Like most German companies, Merkur are renowned for offering a well crafted and highly functional product. And their attention to detail is second to none.
Let’s have a closer look at what the Merkur Futur has to offer today’s classic shaver.
At A Glance:
- Design: Two Piece (Top clips on and off to expose the blade)
- Comb: Straight Bar
- Length: 101mm (4in)
- Weight: 108g (3.81oz)
- Price: Approx $60. Click for Today’s Price at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, & West Coast Shaving
You are definitely spoilt for choice when it comes to the look of Futur. It’s often said that first impressions are important, and I have no doubt that whether you choose satin, polished chrome or gold, one of these finishes is going to catch your eye.
Apart from the finish on the Futur, one of the first things that strikes you is it’s design. This razor is a beast. A razor for a man’s man. It has a thick, almost chunky handle which allows for a firm and comfortable grip. This is particularly well received by those men who have large hands.
The cutting cutting head hasn’t been forgotten by the German engineers either. The robust appearance of the handle flows nicely through to the razor’s head. The generous head width of the Merkur Futur again demonstrates its dedication to being a precise and effective cutting implement.
Merkur have come up with a very simple way to replace your chosen razor blade. Unlike the majority of safety razors, No twisting of the handle or the knob at the bottom is needed to gain access.
You simply place your fingers on either side of the cutting head and pull off the top cover to expose the blade. When you’ve replaced the blade, the top just snaps straight back into place. No mess, no fuss.
This is really where the masculine Merkur Futur shines. Most safety razor aficionados are used to our razor’s cutting head exposing a specific amount of blade.
Closed comb razors are considered to be less aggressive than slant razors, or their open comb cousins. But as your technique improves or you tackle a particularly tricky part of your face, the option to change your razor’s aggressiveness is particularly helpful.
To reveal more or less of your blade is dead easy. Right where the handle meets the head, you’ll find numbers 1 (least aggressive) to 6 (most aggressive). By a simple rotation of the handle, you can dictate what blade exposure you want to grace your face with.
You will also notice half increments in-between these numbers, to give you plenty of options as to how you want your Futur to perform. Just above the marked numbers, you’ll find a raised line to indicate your adjustment selection.
A word of warning men. When you are changing the blade or adjusting the aggressiveness, please do so with dry hands. If your fingers slip whilst you’re holding the head of the razor, you’ll be giving an unscheduled blood donation.
The Good & Bad
Um, that’s it. No more description required
This razor has masculine written all over it. If you’re ever hanging out with mates and they’re banging on about their new electric shaver, or their latest you-beaut cartridge razor, just whip out this bad boy…conversation over!
As previously mentioned, changing the blade is so simple even I could do it!
Just by the nature of the Futur’s design, you’ll possibly need fewer passes than with other razors.
Merkur has a reputation for delivering well designed and precision built products. And the Futur is no different
While the robustness of the Futur is an attraction for most, this same weight and bulk can be off putting. With some men finding it’s size a factor when navigating the more delicate areas such as under the nose.
Make no mistake, this is a particularly aggressive razor and will not suit most blokes venturing into classic shaving for the first time. My review of safety razors for beginners, would be a great place for those new to wet shaving.
Although you should be diligent in cleaning and maintaining any razor you own, it’s particularly important in this case, to keep the adjustment mechanism in good working order.
Although opinions will vary with very bloke, user reviews are a great way to gain some insight before you make a decision on your razor.
“Absolutely awesome. I have been using old school razors such as Gillette Fatboy and super speed. Fatboy was the best but Futur is now the only one that I have been using. Does not slip like I thought it would. Washes out very easily. Have to be more careful opening to replace blade, I cut myself pretty good and I’m not very clumsy with blades. Also careful while adjusting when hands are wet, head turns and must be grabbed by sides. Heavy weight which feels like quality to the bone.”
“Great Razor. This razor is sleek but not slippery. I love that you can adjust the blade to get as close a shave as you like. I use it on a 3 and it works great for me.”
“I have been wet shaving for years (both DE razors and straight edge) but I have always used (DE) razors that were on the cheap end of the spectrum. I finally decided to indulge myself by purchasing a higher end razor and (after weeks of research and contemplating) decided upon the Merkur Futur. Of course you worry about the few negative comments you read when researching, but after using this beauty I found no validity to those few complaints.”
“The weight on this razor makes the shaving effortless for anyone who is familiar with the art of wet shaving. Since arriving I have used it twice on a setting of 2 with feather blades and the shave is even closer than my Merkur long handle using the feather. If you find yourself still with areas that need extra attention after a few passes you need to get this razor. You will enjoy your shave time even more.”
“Kind of disappointed considering the hype I read about it before purchasing it. I can get a really close shave with it and I like the weight of it. The handle is a nice length and the finish is nice. However, The head is wider that the blade by too much in my opinion and makes it difficult to shave the upper lip under the nose.”
“I thought this razor being adjustable would basically go from beginner to aggressive. It doesn’t. It goes from aggressive to slit your throat. So it shaves really closely, but definitely not a beginner razor. I would agree with others who have said it can be slippery which I find pretty dangerous with a razor this aggressive. You really have to keep your hands dry when holding it as just a little bit of water on the chrome handle makes it very slick.”
This razor will not suit everyone. It’s not recommended for beginners or the faint-hearted. However, this a razor that will give you a shave like no other razor. Once you master the different settings and subtleties of the Merkur, it’s unlikely you’ll be looking to change any time soon.
I’d love to find out about your experiences, or hear your thoughts on adjustable razors. Drop me a line in the comments below.
Time to get your shave on! 😉