Our Merkur Futur review is quite detailed because if you’re like me, shaving is more than just a daily routine. It’s a ritual. And like any good ritual, you need the right tools to make the experience an enjoyable one. That’s where safety razors come into play. Sure, the cartridge and electric razors are easier to use, but they don’t do nearly as good a job. That’s why I use a safety razor, and why if you’re reading this you’re probably thinking along the same lines.
With so many safety razors to choose from, finding that perfect fit can be a challenge. One of the best out there is the Merkur Futur. But before you buy it, you want to know a few things. That’s why we set out to present you with the ultimate Merkur Futur review so you can have all the information you need to make an informed decision.
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Why Go with a Safety Razor?
Sure, electric razors are great. They’re fast, efficient, and reduce the risk of nicks, cuts, and the need to wrap your face like a mummy. On the other hand, electric razors can be pricey both up front and on the backend. They require a certain amount of upkeep and replacement parts can be expensive.
Cartridge razors like Mach 3 or ProGlide tell a similar tale. They’re easily accessible, but the astronomical cost of replacement blades can be enough to turn anyone off. In the end, neither cartridge nor electric razors can compare with the quality shave a safety razor provides you. What’s more? You can save some money in the process.
Safety razor like the Merkur Futur offer a superior shaving experience that doesn’t end at your face. They require a lower investment and fewer associated maintenance costs. They also have fewer moving parts to worry about breaking down. Sure, you have to replace the blade regularly but replacement blades cost far less than cartridge replacements and can actually save you money in the long run.
At the end of the day, a safety razor offers a superior shave at a lower cost to you, the user. When you combine quality and savings, it’s no wonder that more of us are ditching the electric and cartridge razors and going old school with a safety razor like the Merkur Futur.
What To Consider When Buying a Safety Razor
Like any product, there are a number of things to consider when purchasing a safety razor. Your specific hair type and shaving needs will certainly factor in. Among the things you want to consider include:
Price: It’s all about value. You want a safety razor that’s going to do the job and last!
Blade Adjustment: Some safety razors offer the ability to adjust the aggressiveness of the blade
Weight: The weight of the blade helps dictate the shaving style and experience. It’s important that the razor feel comfortable and natural in your hand.
Grip: Textured grips are common, though not a feature on all blades. Depending on how well you get a feel for the razor, this is something to consider.
There are other things you can probably think of that will dictate your decision. However, when I first started using a safety razor I wanted something that didn’t have a steep learning curve, was affordable, and was built to last.
In short, I wanted a quality safety razor that I knew I could depend on. I found that in the Merkur Futur. I’ve done the legwork so you don’t have to! That’s why we’re presenting you with the ultimate Merkur Futur review to help you out!
The Ultimate Merkur Futur Review
The Merker Futur Adjustable Safety Razor is a quality a German-made razor from the trusted Merkur line. The “adjustable” part means you have the option of setting the blade angle to suit your specific needs. The result is getting a choose-your-own-shaving-adventure with a blade that’s as aggressive or relaxed as you need it to be.
- Safety razors in general provide a closer shave than disposable, cartridge, or electric razors.
- The adjustable blade setting allows you to choose the right angle and blade aggression that works for your specific facial hair style.
- The metal design is more durable than plastic handles.
- The turn-to-adjust setting is easy to use and easy to clean.
- More expensive than your average safety razor. Although the durability of the all-metal razor means that with proper care this razor will last for years.
- A learning curve for those new to safety razors or wet shaving. Trial and error may be in order.
- Not as fast of a shave as other options, though more thorough.
Features & Benefits
For being so small and no-frills, the Merkur Futur is surprisingly sophisticated. Small, elegant, and effective, it has some great features. Continuing with our ultimate Merkur Futur review, there are a number of great additional benefits to consider:
The obvious first thing about the Merkur Futur is that it looks great. Sleek and metallic, the design definitely conveys quality. For those seeking an even more metallic finish, they do offer a “chrome” version as well if you’re feeling frisky.
Initially you may think that the matte finish might be difficult to clean, however a quick wipe down is typically all that’s needed. This is great if you get grossed out by fingerprint smudges caused by dirt or oil. In fact, the matte finish may even stay cleaner than the chrome in this regard, so consider that when deciding.
The metallic design is going to add quite a bit of heft to the razor. If you’re not used to a safety razor, there’s definitely a learning curve here. In fact, the first time I picked up a safety razor I was stunned at how heavy it was. I also cut myself pretty easily, so remember: this is a different shaving experience than the quick swipes of an electric or cartridge razor.
While the added weight may be intimidating, it’s actually a good thing as the weight helps the razor down your face while shaving. When using a safety razor, you don’t really press down on your face like with a cartridge razor. Instead, you let gravity do its thing and simply let the razor move downward naturally. If you can think of how scuba divers use weighted belts to help them dive, it’s a similar idea.
If you’re worried about getting a good grip on the situation, there is a small indentation on the handle to keep things steady. Truthfully, it would have been nice to have some sort of textured surface to make it a little safer to hold. However, we’re talking about a piece of metal here and not a stick of butter so it’s not exactly the slipperiest thing in the world. Still, our Merkur Futur review wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t point out that a textured grip would have been a nice feature to have.
Unlike other safety razors, the Merkur Futur relies on a simple, yet elegant design. Loading the replacement blades is a breeze, just twist the head, snap on the blade, and away you go. This goes back to the idea that safety razors in general are easier to use and maintain than electric razors. Fewer moving parts and complicated pieces means this is a simple, yet effective piece of shaving equipment.
An “Aggressive” Shave
Ask anyone who regularly uses the Merkur Futur, and you will almost always hear the same word describing it — aggressive. With a few simple strokes, several days’ worth of stubble can be gone. That was one thing that blew me away – when I use a cartridge razor like the Gillette Mach 3, I have to go through the same patches of hair and stubble to get it close to the level of smoothness I’m looking for. I’m sure you’ve done the same thing, swipe swiping the same patch of face more than a few times!
Safety razors are a different story. Since the blade is making direct contact with your face, it often only takes a single pass to get that baby smooth level of closeness you’re going for. Again, the adjustable blade makes it so that you can play with the settings and find the level of aggression that works best for you.
For being an adjustable razor, the nice thing about the Merkur Futur is it is relatively compact. Rather than adjusting with some mechanical add-on, twisting the setting dial expands the gap between the safety bar and the blade, exposing your face to more of the razor the higher you go. The result is a razor that easily fits in the palm of your hand and retains its compact size even when adjusting to a higher level. This is refreshing; some adjustable razors can be overly complicated, especially when you start diving into all-in-one electrical trimmers.
Not a lot of Moving Parts
Another unique design choice is that, unlike other safety razors, the Futur is not a three-piece razor. Many similar brands choose to have the razor come apart into several pieces for transport, cleaning, or other design reasons. The Merkur Futur does not unscrew or come apart. The only section that is removable is the head where the blade is snapped in to place.
While some may see this as a negative, I see it as a positive. The solid construction feels heavy and durable in my hand. I feel like I’m holding a quality piece of shave gear, and not something that was churned out in a factory for pennies. I love that it’s only a few inches tall, and not having to worry about losing a certain component is ideal to me.
What Others are Saying
Even with a complete Merkur Futur review in hand, it’s easy to be skeptical of a razor that you've never used before and is a lot different from the types & brands you typically buy.
Of course with a widely sold brand like Merkur, no product has 100% positive reviews. However, each time I found a different site selling the product, the reviews were overwhelmingly favorable. Among many of the positive reviews, users reported:
- They liked how close the shave was
- They like the adjustable mechanism. For many, this option made them swear off the disposable razors and cartridge brands like Mach 3, ProGlide, etc.
- Interestingly, many reviewers started that the cost of the replacement double-edged safety razor blades is a huge selling point. A box of 100 blades can cost the same, or even less, than a pack of 5 replacement heads for cartridge blades. They also last a lot longer too! This alone was a very attractive selling point for many users.
The consensus among the positive review seems to be that this may be a different shaving experience than you’re used to. However, if you’re serious about getting a close shave that blows away the alternatives, this razor is for you.
What's the Other Options?
Okay, so we know the Merkur Futur is the toast of the town, however If you’re like me, you like to have options. Even with our ultimate Merkur Futur review nearly complete, you know there’s other options out there. Before taking the plunge, it’s always a smart move to see what your other choices might be.
We could compare the Futur to cartridge brands, but we already know it’s head and shoulders above those in terms of cost and shave quality. So let’s take a look and see how the Futur stacks up against other safety razors instead. I was not disappointed; I found some great alternatives to the Futur that are certainly worth your consideration.
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If the aggressiveness of the Futur is keeping you on the fence, then you may want to consider buying this non-adjustable double safety blade from the same company.
Although it won’t get a shave as close as the Furtur will, it may be a better option if you’re new to the wet shaving game. The HD retains the small compact shape and size that the Futur boasts and is actually a little smaller. It also has a better grip, and its main selling point, a thick handle to hold on to.
Best Features: A real textured grip pad gives it a better hold than its cousin, the Futur. Its better for beginners by forgoing the adjustment feature and sticking to a one size fits all shave approach.
Edwin Jagger DE89LBL
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While I can’t know for sure, it seems that Edwin Jagger took a page right out of Merkur’s book with this model. It looks to be roughly the same size and weight as the Merkur HD and is comparably priced. Unlike the Merkur, many reviewers have said that they love how balanced it feels. if you were worried about a heavy safety razor getting away from you, as is a valid concern with the Futur, this might help.
Although many have stated that it’s truly a beginner’s razor, everyone has to start somewhere and this may be a good leaping off point if you’re looking to make that safety razor switch.
Best Features: Comes with 5 replacement blades. Although no dedicated grip, it’s smaller and lighter than the razors by Merkur. If you prefer shaving in the shower, this model is actually okay to do so; just do yourself a favor and don’t try removing the blade while in there. You’ve been warned!
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If you like what the Furtur has to offer, but it seems a little too “Space Age” for you, then you’ll love the Parker 96R. This is a classic safety razor, and is definitely your grandpa’s blade. It’s roughly the same length as the Futur and about the same weight as the Edwin Jagger model, giving it the best of both worlds.
Simple, no-frills, and non-adjusting, this classic shaver provides an easy shave that won’t leave your face nicked, even from your first go with it.
Best Features: Also includes 5 replacement blades. The entire shaft has a grip preventing slips, which is refreshing. Classic twist-to-open butterfly head for easy blade replacement.
- Also check out the Parker 24C review.
Whether you’re looking to step up your shaving game or you’re tired of the run-of-the-mill alternatives, the Merkur Futur is a great, classic, safety razor. The adjustable blade got exactly as close as I needed it to, it’s cheaper than a cartridge blade in the long run, and it’s the perfect size for my hand.
Sure, there were a few features that would have been nice to have. However, as much as I would have liked a textured grip, any cons are far outweighed by the pros of this razor. Overall it’s well-crafted, reliable, and definitely worthy of a special place in my bathroom.
If you’re looking to start wet shaving or need something better than store bought disposable razors, the Futur is here for you to experience. Interested? Click here to check out more on what the Merkur Futur has to offer.
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