QShave Adjustable or Ming Shi 2000s as it is also known for is a clone of a German-made Merkur Futur. Merkur patent expired some years ago which made it possible for other companies to use their design. Now I am not a lawyer so I am not sure how far can you go with a replica without being sued. But if you put Futur and QShave Adjustable next to each other, they almost look identical. So should you pay for the original one or the clone? Does it shave as well? What is the quality? I will answer these questions and many more in the following review.
+ Adjustable safety razor
+ Suitable for both soft and coarse beards
– Quality control issues
- Adjustable safety razor. Because you can adjust the aggressiveness, it is suitable for most types of beards
- Is a clone of Merkur Futur in every sense
- Comes in a elegant package. This is a nice feature should you consider this as a present for someone
- Comes in two finishes – matte black and chrome. Both, unfortunately, are somewhat slippery
- Has quality control issues
- Good quality / price ratio. For the money you pay for it you get very good safety razor
QShave adjustable is a twin brother of a Merkur Futur as mentioned earlier. So it is ironic that it comes in a more elegant package. If you would put it besides the Merkur original package, I am certain that 99.99% would guess that the QShave is the original expensive one. That black box with golden letters looks just so much better. Should you give Futur as a gift for someone, I might order the QShave just to get the better-looking package.
If you were considering buying Merkur Futur but hesitated because of the weight, then QShave could be a nice option. It is almost identical to Futur but weighs 1.2 oz / 38 g less. The handle length is the same, but the diameter is .1″ / 3 mm narrower.
Weight: 3.2 oz / 90 g
Length: 4.3″ / 10.8 cm
Made in China
How Does It Feel In Your Hand
QShave comes with the same futuristic handle design like Futur. It looks like a piece from a spaceship. All chrome and smooth curves. The handle is made out of zamak (pot metal). It is bulky and feels sturdy in your hand. Of course, there are some who say it is too big, but they used to say that also about smartphones. Now everyone carries a small tablet in their pocket, and it has become so common that you wouldn’t even consider getting a smaller one.
The handle indentation under the head provides good enough grip though it can feel slippery occasionally. It could benefit from good knurling. I would avoid shaving with it under the shower for this reason.
QShave comes in two different finishes: matte and black. Both are at the same price. Personally, I don’t like the black version because as the water dries, it will leave water spots that are much more noticeable on the black surface.
QShave weighs 3.2 oz / 90 g and compared to most modern razors it is average size. It doesn’t feel particularly heavy while shaving and will not affect the quality of your shave. It is quite top heavy though and this can take some time getting used to.
What About The Design
QShave adjustable is a two-piece, closed comb, straight bar safety razor. Just like Futur, you have the cap and base-handle piece with the adjusting mechanism. To load the blade, you have to pull off the cap. Put the blade inside and put the cap back on — a very convenient way how to switch razor blades.
The cap sits on the base snugly and looks surprisingly well made. The handle with the adjusting mechanism is also solid and comparable to Futur if a bit more rigid. No loose parts and the adjustment screw feels tight. All things considered, it is very well made.
QShave even has the same problem as Merkur Futur when trying to adjust the blade gap during shaving or pulling off the cap. The adjustment mechanism is rather rigid whilst the handle can get quite slippery. You need to hold the razor head between your thumb and index finger while turning the adjusting knob with your other hand. This can cause injury should the head slip in your hand. You can end up slicing your finger so avoid adjusting the knob during shaving or do it with a dry towel.
Some quality issues have been reported with this razor. Mostly the chrome finish has had blemishes, but also blade misalignment and adjustment mechanism failure has been reported. My own QShave razor has a blade misalignment problem also, but it is very minimal. I still find it to be good value for money though.
Will It Shave?
You can change the blade gap with the adjustment knob making the razor more or less aggressive as you choose. The numbers go from one to six. One being the least aggressive and six is the most aggressive setting.
QShave adjustable provides nice and smooth semi-aggressive shave. It is not very efficient at setting 1-2 but from there on it gets very potent. To find your sweet spot (where you get most out of the razor with minimal discomfort) so to speak I would recommend dialing up the aggression with 0.5 increments. Once you find the right setting, make it your daily driver and adjust the aggression according to beard growth you are facing.
Comparison: QShave vs. Merkur Futur
Because QShave is a Merkur Futur clone, it makes sense to compare it to the original model. They are almost identical, yet there are some differences.
The first thing you will notice when holding both of them is the weight difference. Both are made out of zamak (pot metal), but there are different grades of pot metal. Higher grade, for example, has more copper in it which increases the strength and resistance to corrosion. In Asia, they use mostly zinc and aluminum alloy which is a lower grade. I presume the weight difference comes from the materials used.
While both are 4.25″ / 10.8 cm tall, there are some slight differences in size. The Futur has a slightly shorter cap. Also, the handle diameter is .1″ / 3 mm larger in Merkur. Somehow this feels more comfortable in my hand, but this is purely subjective feeling.
Both have slippery handles that lack knurling. As I discussed earlier this could cause accidents. You can drop the razor or cut yourself while pulling the cap or adjusting the aggressiveness. This has happened to me once. Luckily I got away with half-inch cut, but there have been reports about more serious injuries needing stitches.
Futur comes with three different finishes. You can choose between matte, chrome and gold. QShave is made in black and chrome plating. Futur is also definitely more solid and better made. The adjusting dialer works smoother as well. My QShave has a slight blade misalignment issue, and the adjusting dialer is more rigid.
Futur also gives a more efficient shave. QShave on its lowest setting almost doesn’t cut at all, and on its highest setting, it is less aggressive compared to my Futur. So out of the two Futur is more aggressive. QShave is one heck of a razor. Fairly cheap and delivers 80% what Futur does. But if you want quality and more efficient razor, then Futur is the way to go.
To summarize the key differences:
- Futur is heavier by 1.3 oz / 38 g and has a thicker handle.
- Futur has more handle finishes: matte, chrome and gold
- Futur is more aggressive both on its lowest and highest setting. This is good if you have a coarse or fast growing beard
- Futur has better quality compared to QShave which has more quality control issues
- Futur, unfortunately, is less affordable out of the two
QShave is a high-quality clone. I would rank it below Futur compared to aggressiveness and quality. But all things considered, it still has very high value for money ratio.
If you have the money go with Futur. Believe me, it is a more superior product in terms of quality, finish and efficiency. But should you be on a budget or searching for a good travel razor, then QShave is definitely worth considering.