Merkur is a might name in the wet shaving world. If you or your wet shaving buddies have ever had a wet shave from a professional, chances are the razor they used was a Merkur one.
It’s the sort of brand that’s made it big by targeting different sorts of shavers. There’s a model that most wet shaving beginners start with (The Merkur 34c) and then there are many others that many upgrade to, such as the slant razors that Merkur makes or the adjustable safety razors such as the one reviewed today. But a lesser known design is likely to steal the spotlight from most models – The Merkur Futur.
Let’s talk about Merkur’s history before we delve into the design concept with the Futur.
Merkur Solingen is a typical German brand. It emphasises efficiency and pragmatism like no other.
The design is clearcut and simple, the razors are well made, and the materials are industrial-grade. It’s a mash of straight lines and smooth surfaces that make shaving a pleasure every time. That’s probably why so many first-timers prefer the Merkur 34C. These razors are made to be easy to use and highly effective. Not to mention affordable.
The company has a long history. They’ve been manufacturing the best razors in the world since the 1980’s. The company’s history with other tools goes back even further.
Which is what makes the Merkur Futur such a surprising product. It’s among the first companies that have done such design where the head is adjustable. That’s a boldly contemporary design for a traditionally conservative German brand.
And it works stunningly well.
A few things about the Merkur Futur (700) adjustable safety razor.
The razors are some of the best in their class and are seriously popular across the world.
If you’ve ever seen one, you’re likely to think it’s a razor that’s travelled back from the future. Something Apple or Tesla may have designed. Even the name hints at the futuristic ambitions here, even though the Germans pronounce the word ‘Fu-shure’.
The razor looks incredible. It’s made from a premium chrome Zamak that covers the entire length of the safety razor. It weighs little over 3.08 grams and is 4.3 inches long. The diameter is just over half an inch and the head is just over two inches long.
Holding the razor is what makes all the difference.
You can clearly see what the safety razor was made for and where it falls short. It’s a little heavier than most mainstream razors and the grip is less than ideal. That’s an issue when you’re trying to hold the razor in all sorts of angles to get the perfect shave.
The grip is smooth and has no kurling. Instead it offers grip by a slight indentation in the handle itself. This could work for some shavers, but I don’t think it’s the best grip for me.
The lack of grip is a drawback of the design. It doesn’t handle as well as it should despite the rock solid body.
But the best thing about the razor is that it is adjustable.
You can adjust how aggressive the shave gets by shifting the settings between 1 and 6. This adjusts the gap between the blade and the safety razor bar, giving you a buffer between the sharp metal blade and your skin. This level of flexibility is unprecedented for a razor in this category. It really is a great feature that I enjoyed using while trying the razor out.
Even though the gap between the razor blade and the head is adjustable, this doesn’t mean that it’s actually a forgiving safety razor.
From my experience with the Merkur Futur, I feel that it’s highly aggressive even at its mildest setting. It does give you a great shave but I wouldn’t consider it a wet shaving beginner friendly. So far, I haven’t shaved beyond the 3rd setting as I feel that it gives a very close shave already.
And to be honest, I’m not feeling very comfortable increasing the aggressiveness.
Now, there’s a great balance between form and function. It’s a really easy to use razor despite the weight and grip issues. The handle and the top even out nicely since the weight is so well distributed.
Unlike other Merkur razors this one had a clip instead of a screw-on top. There’s a quick mechanism to clip off the top and insert the blade.
I noticed the design is not as intuitive as it probably should be. There is a slight risk you might cut yourself if you don’t load the blade on carefully. Make sure you’re holding the sides of the top panel while setting it down over the blade base.
Altogether, I think this adjustable safety razor is really well made. It’s got great balance and a nice design. Most wet shavers I know will like it. Which is why I checked Amazon to see what others were saying about it.
How do you like the Merkur Futur?
The Merkur Futur adjustable safety razor is a new design and it’s slightly out-of-the-box for the company. But there’s no denying this design has fans across the world. People seem to love it and it has sold millions of units since being introduced.
On Amazon, you’ll find tons of good reviews for it.
Most wet shavers have claimed its one the best safety razors for men with sensitive skin and thick hair. But they also mention that it’s not for beginners. Using the particular adjustable safety razor requires a little bit of technique and experienced shavers will do much better with it.
Then there’s the issue of price. The Merkur Futur is little overpriced by most standards. It’s more expensive than other razors in the range and a lot of people complained about how it cost them double the price of the Merkur 34C.
For the price you get a better design and an adjustable top, but if those are things you’re not interested in you may want to look elsewhere.
Altogether, I like the effort here. There is no doubt the Merkur Futur is an interesting concept and a well-made shaving tool.
But it’s not for everyone.
I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who’s new to wet shaving or doesn’t have the budget for this. For everyone else, it’s money well spent.