Merkur Futur Review

Posted by Guest Writer Series on

The Merkur Futur is a very polarizing safety razor. It seems that people either love it, or hate it. You may be asking yourself why that is. In this review I aim to take a look at the positives and negatives of this German made DE. Before we get into the Futur, let’s take a look at a brief history of the company.

 

Dovo Stahlwaeren: The company was founded in 1906 near Solingen. In the beginning, they made razors with a forge and hollow grinding. Fritz Bracht took over the company from the two founders shortly before the start of World War II. The company continued to grow and acquire other companies to expand their offerings. They acquired Merkur in 1996.

 

Merkur Futur Specifications:

  • Model: MK-70 (model number changes slightly based on finish)
  • Length: 4 inches/10cm
  • Handle Diameter: 0.51 inches/13mm
  • Weight 4.75oz/135g
  • Material: Chromed brass/Zamac head
  • Finish: Matte stainless steel/polished chrome stainless steel/gold plated
  • Type: Two-piece adjustable closed comb
  • Adjustable: Yes
  • Handle Knurling: No

 

Loading the Blade: The Futur is a two-piece razor where the top cap can be pulled off. I have found that the best way to load the blade is to put the top cap on the counter and place the blade on the top cap, then place the handle into the top cap. The top cap is made in such a way that there is no blade tab overhang.

 

 

The Shave: The Futur has a reputation of being an extremely aggressive razor, even on the lowest setting. When using the Futur, regardless of setting, a very light touch is required. One of the nicknames for the Futur is the “potato peeler” if that gives you an idea of the potential to cut oneself with this razor. The head on the Futur is also larger than a lot of modern razors and can be a little troublesome under the nose. However, after a little adjustment to technique, it can become second nature. Another thing to keep in mind is that the top cap is rounded, not flat; meaning that during the shave the razor will need to be placed on the safety bar when being placed down. The good news is that the safety bar is large enough that the blade does not touch the counter surface when the razor is placed down.

 

Unloading the Blade: Unloading the blade can be a little tricky, especially if the blade and top cap are still wet immediately after a shave. One of the best ways I have found is to put the top cap on the counter and gently and very carefully push on the exposed blade to get it to separate from the cap and land on the counter.

 

Blade Gap: Being an adjustable razor, there are numerous blade gaps from which to choose. Here is a chart comparing the blade gap of the Futur to a vintage Gillette adjustable and the Karve Christopher Bradly razor.

 

 

1/AA

2/A

3/B

4/C

5/D

6/E

7/F

8/G

9

Futur

1.12MM

1.19MM

1.35MM

1.47MM

1.60MM

1.65MM

 

 

 

Gillette

0.56MM

0.61MM

0.66MM

0.74MM

0.89MM

0.84MM

0.97MM

1.01MM

1.14MM

Karve

0.47MM

0.60MM

0.73MM

0.85MM

0.98MM

1.10MM

1.23MM

1.36MM

 

 

Figure 1Without a blade loaded

 

 

Figure 2With a blade loaded

 

Adjustability: Adjusting the razor is very easy as the handle/head turn very smoothly. However, one word of caution. If you are wanting to adjust the settings mid-shave, I highly recommend placing the head of the razor in the palm of your hand and twisting the handle to the desired setting. There have been numerous cases where people have used their fingers on the top cap and the finger slipped, causing a very deep cut into a finger. This has happened to me before. The good news, though, is that it only happens once.

 

Construction: The majority of the razor is made out of chromed brass. The head, however, is Zamac and the posts that hold the plade in place can break off if dropped. I had this happen on mine. Luckily, there are replacement parts available from Dovo and other sources, depending on country of origin.

 

Price:  The Futur comes in three different finishes, matte, polished, and gold. The matte and chrome finish are $69.99 while the gold finish is $79.99

  

 

Final Thoughts: The Futur is one of my personal favorite DE razors. There was a time when it was my daily driver for face and head shaves. There is a decent amount of blade feel, which I like. There is also a decent amount of audio feedback, even on setting one. The Futur is a razor that can provide an amazing shave, but does need to be respected. One thing I have noticed with the Futur is that even when adjusting to a higher blade gap setting, the shave does not feel any closer, nor does it last any longer. Just because the razor has more blade gap, it is not changing the blade exposure. The larger gap is really handy if shaving off multiple days’ worth of growth, a beard, or goatee. While I do recommend the Futur, I do not recommend it to someone who is new to wet shaving or DE razors. However, in the right hands, it can provide an extremely smooth, comfortable shave.


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