The logic behind adjustable razors is solid. Instead of buying 2-3 different razors with different aggressiveness why not just buy one? This is precisely what Merkur Futur adjustable does. By twisting the handle, you can set the level of aggressiveness you desire. It has been around since the 80s and has a large fan base. And for a good reason. But let’s take a closer look.
+ Adjustable razor
+ Appealing design
+ Suitable for coarse and fast-growing beard
– On its lowest setting is still rather aggressive
- Moderately aggressive shave even on its lowest setting. This makes it good for men that have intense beard growth and very coarse beard
- Because it is aggressive even on the lowest setting, it is not ideal for a beginner
- Comes in three different finishes: chrome (701C), gold (702G) and matte (700M)
- Feels slippery occasionally
- Has an exciting design. Sturdy and good quality
- Changing razor blades can be upright dangerous when careless. Read more about this under design
I have expressed numerous times how I dislike Merkur packaging in my other reviews. You would never guess that inside the package you have one of the prettiest razors out there. And it certainly doesn’t produce awe and anticipation what a good package should do. You will not hold the box with trembling hands and thinking when will you get to open it. Mostly it just looks boring, so if you are considering this as a gift for someone you might want to repackage it.
Futur has been called clunky. And for a good reason. It weighs 4.5 oz / 128 g and is 4.3”/10.9 cm long. Few razors come close in size. This reminds me of the evolution of cell phones. It used to be that smaller phones were cooler and more expensive. Now most phones don’t even fit inside your pocket conveniently anymore. As time goes by the size and weight of Futur might become industry standard, and no one will think its clunky.
Weight: 4.52 oz / 128 g
Length: 4.3″ / 10.9 cm
Made in Germany
How Does It Feel In Your Hand
Merkur Futur is a big razor. The handle separately is 3.3”/ 8.4 cm and the diameter is 0.5” / 1.4 cm . So stack together two pencils, and you can imagine how it might feel in your hand. Many prefer bulkier and longer handles (yours truly), but if you happen to have small or medium sized hands, then this may feel odd at first. Despite the size, the maneuverability is actually not bad.
Merkur Futur comes in three different models: matte (700M), chrome (701C) and gold (702G) finish. All three look beautiful. There is no knurling on the handle. Instead, the indentation in the handle provides the user a natural grip. While most attest that the grip is rather good even without the knurling, it may get slippery time-to-time. But to be frank, what object doesn’t when it is wet and covered with soap? I still wouldn’t use it when showering.
Weight is an issue all on its own when we talk about Merkur Futur. Most razors are in the 2-2.8 oz / 60-80 g range. Vintage razors tend to be lighter and modern ones heavier. But Merkur Futur is a real behemoth being almost twice the size as the regular DE razor. This weight may feel at first uncomfortable, but if you enjoy more robust razors, this is definitely one you should try out.
What About The Design
Merkur Futur is a razor that has been well named. It really looks like something that came from the future. With the shiny chrome finish and smooth curves, it looks almost something out of Star Wars.
Merkur Futur adjustable safety razor is a two-piece, closed comb, straight bar razor. You have the cap and base-handle piece with the adjusting mechanism. To load the blade, you have to pull off the cap called snap-cap. Under the cap, you have the base with the blade bed. Just drop the blade on it and put the cap back on. You should hear a clicking sound when you do this. The cap sits on the base snugly. Overall this is probably the most intuitive way how to switch razor blades.
The handle with the adjusting mechanism is also very solid. No loose chattering parts. It really feels sturdy and has a quality to it. But it has to be mentioned that underneath the superb chrome finish is zamak, also known as pot metal.
This razor also has one design issue. Some have reported cutting their finger while adjusting the blade gap. You have to hold the razor head between your thumb and forefinger while turning the handle to change the gap size. While rotating the handle some have experienced the razor head to slip between the fingers hence slicing their thumbs. So be very careful should you choose to adjust the blade gap between passes. For this reason, it gets 9 points out of 10 under user-friendliness.
Will It Shave ?
Merkur Futur is an adjustable razor. It means that you can manually adjust the blade gap making it in the process more or less aggressive. The more aggressive it gets, the closer shave it provides as well raises the risk of cutting you when being careless. The numbers go from one to six, former being the least and the latter most aggressive. Though even setting one will get you very close shave and is moderately aggressive. To give you an example I would rate setting 1 being more aggressive than Merkur HD 34c.
I wouldn’t call it clunky though. Shaving with it just requires a different technique. You can’t go across the grain in some parts of your face. The head of the razor is too big for that. The area between your upper lip and under the nose for example. But because it is so aggressive, you don’t need to. Two passes under my nose with the grain with this aggressive shaver and its smooth.
Merkur Futur is ideal for those that need to shave twice daily or have a very dense and coarse beard without very sensitive skin. It mows through your stubble in no time.
Comparison: Merkur Progress vs Merkur Futur
Both are adjustable and well-established razors. While both give you an exceptionally efficient shave, they provide very different feel when used.
Futur still dwarfs progress model M510 which has the longer handle and weighs more. Progress M510 weighs 3.63 oz / 103 g . It is 0.9 oz /25 g less than Futur. Also its shorter with 4.12″ /105 cm compared to Future 4.3″ / 10.9 cm . Futur feels heavier in your hand for sure.
Progress is a more traditional looking razor. It comes only in the chrome finish. But the hexagon-shaped handle is slippery and doesn’t provide a better grip than the one Future has. If you don’t like the way Futur looks this might be a good alternative.
Even on its lowest setting Futur is still more aggressive than Progress. I wouldn’t say the difference is huge though. Just something you will notice when you use both. Both razors are good for removing thicker and longer growth. This makes them excellent choices for men that have intense facial hair growth.
To summarize the key differences:
- Merkur Futur is more aggressive. The difference is small between the two, and both will give you very close shave
- Merkur Progress is lighter by 0.9 oz / 25 g and the weight difference is noticeable
- Progress is more traditional looking razor
- Progress is two-piece closed comb DE safety razor
- Progress is only made in chrome finish
Futur has a learning curve that’s why it is not usually recommended for beginners. But you might think of it differently. When you start shaving with a straight razor your cuts and weepers are almost like a badge of honor. And you will most definitely get some cuts in the beginning while using a straight. So why should you be so afraid of Merkur Futur? Just accept that you may get some nicks and cuts in the beginning, but as your technique progresses, you will learn to enjoy it. There is a reason this razor has a cult following. It is also a nice conversation piece as well as good gift if you are looking other reasons to get one.