Review: Merkur Futur Razor

Excellent! In future years will be looked back upon as a design classic. This is a class gadget.

As I said in a previous post I do not shave with a toy razor (Gillette Fusion, etc) with ludicrously overpriced blades, I shave with a double edged safely razor. Recently I was able to get a bargain priced almost new Murker Futur on Ebay. What a great razor!

After 20 years using my black plastic Wilkinson Sword razor (much underrated yet well priced) I moved on to an excellent vintage 1964 Gillette Adjustable Slim. The Slim gives a great shave using my favourite blade, the Gillette 7 O Clock Sharp Edge (manufactured in St Petersburg, so good I bought them in bulk and have enough for many years to come). The snag though with the Slim is that, unlike the Wilkinson Sword razor, the ends of the blade poke out the sides of the razor and can give a nasty scratch. I wanted a quality razor that covers the ends of the blade. The Futur is such one.

The Futur is a great piece of razor design. It is evident that a number of challenges in design have been considered. There are few moving parts so little can go wrong. Cleaning is unusually easy and the head design ensures that it is virtually clog free in use.

Moving parts? There is really only the twist handle to adjust the blade to guard gap. For lubrication or cleaning of the twist adjuster (which you may never need to do) you must remove the head by pulling it off, then turn adjustment to max, then while pressing down what remains of the head you unscrew the handle. Reassembly is a reversal of the process.

Some say that even when set to minimum the gap from blade to guard is too great making the Futur an aggressive shave. I think it is simply that the Futur has to be understood as requiring care, and perhaps is not ideal for the novice. The instructions advising starting with the setting at 1.

As with all good safety razors almost no pressure should be applied when shaving, allowing the weight of the razor to do the job. However, on the Futur the gap at the guard is without doubt rather wide so the experienced shaver is not going to carelessly rely on the guard but concentrate instead, with care, on the action of the blade.

My conclusion is that the Futur is a delight to use. The shave is extremely close and the razor is virtually impossible to clog. It is easy to clean and changing the blade is the easiest I have come across. Is there a better razor than the Futur? I suspect not. I got mine cheap by getting a bargain used one on Ebay. Now I have a used a Future I think it would have been worth the full price. This is a razor that will last a life time – really!

Cons:
Some Futur users complain that the handle lack a grip pattern so is slippery when wet. I got the satin version which does not have that problem. I think the optimum would be the satin vertion with a chrome head (for gliding over the skin).

Some complain the head of the razor is bulky, making it difficult to shave near the ear or on the top lip. I find that as the ends of the blade is covered the large head pushes aside ear and round the nostrils.

Some Pics:

Futur with top off

Futur gap at setting 2

Futur gap at setting 2

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