TheMerkur Futur Adjustable, officially the Merkur 701 Futur, is a favorite among seasonedwet-shavers and a masterpiece of shaving equipment in style, design, and performance however it is not suited for beginners. People with a thick beard and large hands will be able to use all of its adjustable features. Those with average textured hair will get much less use from its adjustable features.
The Futur adjustable is bulkier and longer than almost every other safety razor out there yet it comes off as sleek, modern, and minimal. This juxtaposition makes it a sight of curiosity right away, but don't pass this magnificent-looking instrument off as a gimmick because for those it serves best—people with coarse hair or those with large hands—it is a top-selling technological advancement.
It was one of the first adjustable men's razors to go mainstream when it was released in the 1980s and has since become one of the most iconic double edge razors. Its hefty weight and oversized handle give it a sturdy feel in your hand and it has six settings of aggressiveness. It has a two-piece, open comb razor head you pop off rather than unscrew, a process that's easy but does take some care unlike the more convenient cartridge or disposable razors with multiple blades.
It's made in Solingen, Germany, renown for its bladesmithing, by artisans with generations of knowledge and skill. And you see it in the razor's performance, a shave that is easy, smooth, and exacting. With a solid brass body, you can get this metal razor in a sophisticated brushed chrome, a sleek polished chrome, or a bold plated gold.
Some of the downsides are that the head is a little bulky making it less than ideal for shaping and getting the pesky hair under your nose. It is also completely smooth—no knurling—so it has less grip than most razors, especially the polished chrome, not as much on the brushed. However, it has a groove on the upper portion of the handle, providing a moderate level of protection against slips.
At around $83, it costs more than other standard safety razors, but this isn't your run-of-the-mill razor, either. For wet-shavers who fit the bill, shavers who have unruly masses of thick, coarse hair, who have large hands, and who have experience using a double edge safety razor, the Merkur Futur is a formidable force in the fight against facial hair.
6 Adjustable settings
Long handle for large hands
Easy razor blade replacement
Even weight balance
A bulky head complicates mustache trimming
Why Shave with Merkur Razors?
Formed in Solingen, Germany, known as the "city of blades," Merkur is one of the most respected brand names in creating the best men's safety razor and dates back to the late 19th century.
Since then, they've released popular wet shaving soaps and creams, straight razors, and safety razors brushes and razor blades, cases, kits, and more. This includes the Merkur Futur, in 1980, as one of the first-ever adjustable double razors to earn and keep wide critical acclaim.
So, when you're shaving with Merkur razor double edge razors, you know you've got something substantial in your hands, something that has stood the test of time, gives a comfortable and a smooth shave everytime.
Wet-Shaving Quality Shaveability
The Merkur Futur razor is well-loved as the best shaving razor for men because when it gives a close shave, almost as close as a straight razor at the most aggressive levels—a total upgrade from plastic razors.
The Merkur Futur is not a good razor for beginners. With that in mind, it is a great razor for experts. If you're new to wet shaving, you will have an easier time cutting yourself than you will a great shave. But if you know your way around a safety razor, the Futur can give you almost anything you ask of it. It's easy to control thanks to the equal balance of weight from the razor head through the body.
The result of your shave depends on you holding the razor steady, thanks to the absence of a pivoting head and its un-grooved handle, which can get slippery in your hands, especially when you splash some shaving cream into the mix. Some find the groove at the top of the razor to be enough and revel in the feeling of connection with the razor, others should get the brushed chrome and save the whisky for after.
The head of the Merkur futur also quite large, so if you have dainty facial features, it may be hard to get the details.
Merkur Futur Adjustable Settings
6 (borderline insane)
Control of aggressiveness is the number one argument for the Merkur Futur razor. It is an adjustable razor, with six different settings, that allow you to control how strong of a shave you want.
Each level exposes more or less of the blade, changing the pressure the sharp edge puts on your face. The more exposed the blade, the more bite it has. When you know how to use a safety razor and when you have experience with different kinds, it can be like having a few of your favorite razors combined into one. That said, if you have regular hair you'll realize you like one or two of the settings only. And few dare to level six, the most aggressive setting, with its severe blade angle.
The settings are as easy to change as turning a dial, and as you can see, it's easy to get an aggressive shave. Start with the lowest settings and work your way up until you find what works for you.
The Merkur Futur is an adjustable razor that has a solid safety bar and blade gap with six different settings. Start at a mild setting (1) and work your way up until you find one you like. You can also use a mild setting when your hair is short, then dial it up to hack off taller strands. The settings range from mild to very aggressive.
The grip is smooth and featureless, making it a poor choice for beginners. The long handle is smooth except for a dip in the radius towards the head, creating a small, groove-like impression that's challenging to use for traction. You know the opening scene of Cliffhanger?
Confident wet shavers will be able to use this to leverage the razor, even soapy, while beginners will be thankful for the length, but get frustrated (and likely cut) by the inevitable slippage.
The brushed chrome finish, however, offers a smidge of traction.
The handle may be smooth, there may be no knurling of which to speak, but it is extra-long, and that makes it a lot easier to handle for guys with big hands.
The Merkur Futur is a unique type of two-piece razor unlikeother Merkur razors that utilize a screw to maintain blade placement the futur utilizes a fastener or clip instead. Traditional two-piece razors have a head that screws off, usually by twisting a knob at the base of the handle. But the Futur employs a pop-off method, which is probably a good idea thanks to the super-smooth handle, which is not knob-conducive..
To change blades, you just hold the razor in your fingers, put the print of your thumb on the side of the indented side of the head, and press up. The top will pop off, you place the blade on the bottom portion of the head (still on the handle), and then pop back on.
You can up the ante depending on the razor blade you use. If you drop in a very sharp blade, like a Kaior Personna, or any standard safety razor blade, be sure to adjust the settings accordingly.
You can find razors that cost less, but if you're a big-handed, thickly bearded, shaving maestro, then you'll get a good bang for the buck. The price of the Merkur Futur adjustable double razor can be justified by numerous aspects that theMerkur Futur offers in comparison to other safety razors.
If you're a pro and have no issues, you'll probably love this razor, but you might also find something else to love that costs less.
Beginners put this on your shaving bucket list. In time, it will be worth the cost.
You can't shave with the Merkur Futur and be afraid of a little style. There's no other razor out there like it, a sleek, minimal, mid-century modern submarine that comes in three different finishes—brushed chrome satin, polished chrome finish, or gold plated chrome. Its style sets it apart as the best men's safety razor.
Quality is one of the main features of the Futur Merkur. It has a solid brass body plated in either brushed chrome, polished chrome, or gold and only a few moving features. The innovative two-head system, where the lid is popped off rather than unscrewed, has fewer parts that can break down over time. All in all, if properly maintained, this razor can last for many years.
Clean and dry the razor completely after each use. Store it away from moisture. A dab of oil can help prevent oxidation, especially towards the head.
Merkurs are made with quality chrome, which withstands rust, but if the razor is dropped too many times or it hits a hard surface, it may chip and expose the razor to water-related deterioration.
Who Should Use the Merkur Futur Adjustable?
The Futur is an adjustable razor for experienced wet shavers. If you're comfortable with your technique, you've tried shaving with a couple of different safety razors and blades, then you'll have the skills it takes to make the Merkur Futur work its magic.
It is a hack with thick, coarse hair. With so many settings, you can use the same instrument to take care of your late-day shadow as you do your over-the-weekend blanket.
One of the longest handles you can buy, it's a great fit for plus-sized paws. It works well if you have average hands, too, you'll just have to work at the grip a little more.
Who Should Avoid the Merkur Futur Adjustable?
The Merkur Futur razor is never a good idea for beginners. If you're new to shaving you it will be hard to tell if you're experiencing a poor shave because of your technique or your chosen setting. It makes it hard to learn. Besides, looks can kill—the sleek handle is prone to slips.
Merkur Futur Gold Adjustable Safety Razor
The same beguiling gem as the 701 Merkur Futur, but even more mesmerizing since it is plated in polished gold. And it only costs about $18 more than the standard.
There are two models of adjustable Merkur razors, the second one being the 500 Merkur Progress Adjustable, which is about one ounce lighter and an inch shorter than the Merkur Futur. If you've got small hands but still want in on Merkur quality, this is a great bet. Note the Merkur Progress 500 also comes in a slightly longer and heavier version, still sprier than the Futur, but with more heft than the standard 500 model.
Rockwell Model T2 Adjustable Double Edge Safety Razor
If you want the Optimus Prime of adjustable safety razors, then go a few levels past the Merkur Futur and enjoy a perfect shave from one of the top-quality razors out there, the Rex Supply Co. Ambassador. It has a slimmer head, shorter handle, and firmer grip than the Merkur Futur and gives off a different sort of throwback look, a little more early 20th century to the Futur's mid-century modern appeal.
Is The Merkur Futur Adjustable a Good Double Edge Razor?
And that brings us to the end of this Merkur Futur Review.
The Merkur Futur is a great adjustable safety razor, one of the best safety razors ever made. It set the standard for adjustable double edge safety razors and still lives up to its reputation.
But it is not a good safety razor for beginners. Yes, it's a head-turner, but no, you can't touch. Not yet, anyway. Bookmark it for now and you'll know when it's time to revisit.
But if you feel assured in your shaving, you can join along in the Merkur vision of the future. Merkur's renowned craftsmanship, boundary-pushing versatility, and industry-defining vision make the Futur one of the best adjustable razors you can shake a silvertip badger hair brush at.
If you can handle your razor like the Karate Kid, then you've met a worthy weapon. The Merkur Futur razor is black-belt-level shaving.
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