Finding the perfect safety razor can be tedious, I would know. It’s worse if you are transitioning from dry shaving and unclear about the right products. The Merkur Futur is one of the most reviewed and highly ranked safety razors. It’s among the tools I tried when looking for that elusive smooth shave. Safety razors are not all the same, and this Merkur Futur review tells you what to expect from the razor.
Considerations When Buying a Safety Razor
The shaving market is awash with razors. Safety razors, particularly come on the hundreds, or thousands, I can’t be sure. A brand like Merkur will have the Futur in different models and then offer several other alternatives.
When I got into wet shaving, I realised that the sheer number of options out there can make the selection process a nightmare. No, I’m not exaggerating. Imagine having to narrow down manufacturers then picking from the different product lines then a specific model. Do you get a mild or aggressive razor? Two or three piece? Does the colour matter? Not to worry, though. A few tactics can get you closer to the perfect safety razor for you.
Before delving into that, what’s the return on investment for a safety razor? A double-edge (DE) razor is the tool you need for traditional shaving or wet shaving. The type of shave that requires soap and cream. A safety razor gives a clean, smooth shave, but only if you can find the right one. It has cost benefits because you can replace the blades when they are no longer effective.
Firstly be honest about your shaving skills. Are you a beginner, intermediate or experienced shaver? A person who is only now starting to learn the art of wet shaving will find a mild razor most suitable. The mildness or agressiveness of a safety razor depends on the blade exposure. If you are yet to master traditional shaving, you need a razor that is forgiving of your unpolished technique. An intermediary or seasoned shaver can handle an aggressive razor without a high risk of nicks and cuts.
Factor in the grip of the razor. It has to be comfortable enough to help you manouvre the blade. If the handle slips too much, it will be difficult to keep the blade where it is supposed to be. Some manufacturers include knurled designs and patterns on the razor handle to improve the grip.
Your hair type and face matter as well. Coarse and thick hair demands an aggressive razor that can get through it without struggling too much. Thin and fine facial hair will find a milder razor more than satisfactory. The shape of your face dictates how well you can move a razor around it. If you have a small or narrow face, you will have trouble moving around a large or bulky razor.
The Merkur Futur
Merkur is one of the biggest names in the safety razors market. The German manufacturer is famous for innovative products of impressive quality. The Merkur Futur adjustable razor is among the brand’s best-selling products. It claims to deliver the best shave for the specific face type of the user thanks to its adjustable blade gap. You can reduce or increase the blade gap, depending on how close of a shave you desire.
The Merkur Futur comes in different finishes. Therefore, if colour is of importance, you can choose from matte silver, gold and satin chrome. The build and functionality draws comparison to the Parker Variant adjustable double edge razor. For users who want an affordable razor with a long handle that gives close shaves with minimal irritation, the Weishi Nostalgic double edge razor is a decent buy.
By blending aesthetics, functionality and design, Merkur delivers a dependable safety razor that caters to a diverse range of users. The Merkur Futur is built for intermediary to experienced shavers. If you have been wet shaving for a while and know how to capitalise on the power of a quality DE razor, this product is for you. Men with sensitive skin will also find the Futur more than capable due to the variable settings. A beginner will find low-cost, mild razors suitable.
- Six adjustable settings to suit different demands
- Strong grip
- A long handle that is ideal for large hands
- Available in multiple finishes
- Stylish razor
- Can be too bulky for some users
- High cutting risk when changing blades
Features of Merkur Futur
In this Merkur Futur review, I tell you some of the aspects that garnered the adjustable razor prominence in the industry.
The Adjustable Blades
Adjustable blades are favorites among many people because they provide the freedom to choose a suitable setting. Merkur Futur gives you six. It has numbers visibly set on the dial. You can quickly replicate the results of a particular setting, which ensures consistent shaves. This feature determines how far the blade sticks out and, therefore, its aggressiveness. The setting number 1 on the razor is the mildest and 6 the most aggressive. Your skill and type of hair dictates the correct setting. For example, when shaving sensitive areas like the neck, you can set it at 1. Merkur Futur has a knob for switching between the different settings.
A snap-cap design makes this Merkur razor easy to set up. The manufacturer changed the design to include a clip rather than a screw at the base of the head. It means that the top of the blades pops off to allow you to fix the blade. You can position it at the top or bottom then snap the cap back on. Although this design makes loading easy, it has its risks. A single slip of the blade can cause serious injury. Avoid opening the clip with wet hands. Check out tutorials about using the Merkur Futur DE razor properly. Be careful about applying too much force on the top plate when opening it.
The grip of the Merkur Futur is smoother than most adjustable razors from the same brand like the 20C and 39 Slant. It lacks a knurling design on the handle. Instead, the razor features an indentation a short distance from the head. You are supposed to hold the razor at this point. Some users find this build a little difficult to work with. After a while, the razor can start to slip. However, it’s still a decent style that makes the razor feel less clunky in your hands.
Merkur offers broad razor blade compatibility. Razor blades can get expensive, especially for a high-end product like the Merkur Futur. However, the flexibility of using recyclable blades reduces those costs. If you already have preferred razor blades, then you only have to fit them as necessary. Not that the size of the blades has to be compatible with the razor. The blade life of the Merkur Futur depends on the frequency and type of use.
The Futur is made from brass, a strong alloy that gives the razor several benefits. It is extremely wear resistant, allowing users to get good service from their razors for several years. The material combined with the simple design of the Futur makes maintenance a breeze. You only need to keep your razor clean and stored properly. The brass body comes in a beautiful finish that makes the razor stand out.
The total height of Merkur Futur is 109mm ( 4.29″ )with handle measuring 84.4mm ( 3.32″ ). It’s a fairly long-handled razor compared to top adjustables on the market. This length is one of the top-selling points of Futur. Users with large hands need enough length on the handle to grip the razor as required when shaving. Some people use safety razors for the head as well. The length of the Futur allows a user of average size to reach most parts of the head without too much work.
Merkur has excellent weight distribution in the Futur adjustable double-edge razor. Weighing 128g ( 4.51 oz ), the razor can appear bulky at first. However, weight is even across the tool that it doesn’t require much effort when shaving. Even with a thick, coarse bush, you only have to guide the razor while the weight provides the needed force. Merkur recommends angling the razor 45° for the best results.
What Do Others Say?
Varied opinions are always expected when buying safety razors. The wrong choice won’t only cost you money. You might end up with ridiculous cuts, irritation and shaving bumps. I would have failed my duties as a grooming blogger if I didn’t help you try to avoid such a predicament. So I roamed the web, checking out testimonials about Merkur Futur and included a few.
One customer who uses the safety razor for the face and head says he finds the handle a tad short to reach the back of the head. It’s beyond satisfactory for the face, though. The same customers had trouble with the grip because it tends to get a little slippery for a head shave.
An Amazon user who serves in the military had trouble finding the right razor to deliver smooth shaves. He also had some issues with bumps. His face demanded an aggressive razor, and the Merkur Futur was a practical alternative. The first he used the razor was on the highest settings, and that didn’t go very well. Then he adjusted to 2, and now swears by the power of this double-edge razor.
Another user transitioned from the 34C, also by Merkur to Futur, and enjoyed the smoothest of shaves. He cautions against exposing too much blade, especially for an inexperienced user to avoid cuts.
Alternatives to the Merkur Futur
As I said, the options are virtually endless when it comes to double-edge safety razors. Here are three models that you can consider besides Merkur Futur.
Weishi Nostalgic Long Handle
The Merkur Futur razor serves users with large hands well, and so does the Weishi Nostalgic. Apart from the length of the handle, the razor has a rough surface that provides a good grip. It holds better than the Merkur Futur. The butterfly mechanism on the head makes switching out razors less stressful. At 74 grams ( 2.61oz ), the Weishi DE razor is more than half lighter than the Futur. It makes for an uncomplicated shave. Beginners won’t have to struggle to work this razor, although getting used to it takes time. The Weishi is significantly cheaper than the Merkur but delivers just an effective a performance.
For a brand that prioritises innovative design as much as Merkur, Parker is a safe bet. The Parker Variant has five adjustable settings that you can switch using a knob at the base of the handle. A patterned handle provides a firm and comfortable grip. The length and weight of the razor are not that much different from the Merkur Futur. Its design makes it easy to use, even for first-timers. Both safety razors are precise and guarantee a close a shave with the right setting. Parker offers solid construction at slightly a cheaper price that Merkur. It is worth mentioning that the Variant double edge razor won the 2018 Grooming Lounge Handsome award.
Wilkinson Sword Classic
If you are not looking to splurge on a safety razor but still want reliable performance and stunning design, Wilkinson Sword doesn’t disappoint. The Classic double-edge razor comes with PTE coating on the blades to decrease friction, resulting in a smooth shave. A butterfly lock mechanism allows you to open and close the blade door without much issue. The razor is mild, making it ideal for novices. Merkur and Weishi would be more appropriate for coarse hair. Weighing 120g ( 4.23 oz) , it’s only slightly lighter than Merkur Futur. The design is simple with a traditional touch, hence the name.
A double-edge safety razor makes wet shaving less cumbersome, removing ingrown hairs with efficiency. Merkur Futur is a metal, double-edge, German-made safety razor with an adjustable head. It has a double cap on the head that makes blade removal hassle-free. Users with large hands will find the weight and height acceptable. The smooth handle gives a comfortable grip, especially for lengthy shaves. Merkur designed a good-looking razor that is true to its name ‘Futur.’ Its sophisticated finish epitomises the future of shaving equipment. For an advanced or intermediary user looking to get smoother shaves with an extravagant razor, the Merkur Futur is it.