merkur futur double-edged razor review

I began shaving when I was 12 (and a half, fact fans) and started off with a BIC disposable. Saying it was crap was quite an understatement as each cut was like being open-hand slapped in the face by a drunk Freddy Krueger.

I worked my way through the 10-pack quick enough and I was glad they were gone. My memory gets a bit hazy at this point, but I ended-up with a Gillette double-edged razor, also known as a safety razor due to being marginally less deadly than a straight-edge. It had a butterfly opening top, and it was a cheapo in that the handle was plastic and a bit pants. I still cut myself quite a bit. Well, at least it wasn't nearly as bad as the disposable shite.

I used that razor for a few years until I saw the cartridge-based razors, also from Gillette. They looked kinda fun, so I moved onto them. I then used those razors for over a decade and finally stopped using them under a month ago. I hate them as they're abysmal and overpriced. The way Gillette (for example) inflate the prices of the cartridges makes me hate them with all my being.

I got sick of their crap, so I decided to move to a less child-like shaving set-up. I also dreaded shaving as those damn razor heads (Gillette Mach 3 and Gillette Fusion) get so easily clogged that it becomes painful to shave more than bum-fluff off of my face.

I needed a change. Like usual, I did a lot of reading before making a purchase. After a few days or so, the Merkur Futur double-edged razor appeared to be the one that got the best reviews by far. I purposely ignored straight-edged razors as they're far too much effort. And a bit scary.

I bought the Merkur Futur, along with 100 Derby Extra blades and 30 Feather blades. So, here we go!

Packaging

The Futur arrived in a very simple box with a faux marble effect adorning its external entirety. That's actually it; there was surprisingly little for the price. What really surprised me was the weight; surely they accidentally sent me a small box of lead?

Contents

Opening it and pulling the razor out explained everything: this was one solid mofo. I don't think I've ever seen anything built as solidly as the Merkur Futur. It's practically a contoured lump of brushed steel. The Germans would've stood a better chance in the war if they had just thrown these things at the Allied scumbags.

The box also contained a single Merkur razor blade and the usual instructions.

The Futur comes in at a hefty 122 grams, or 4.3 ounces, and has a nicely balanced feel in the hand. While 122g might not sound like a lot, it's much more than your average razor. It consistently comes as a surprise when I pick it up.

The Futur has a brushed steel finish that gives it an understated, dulled look. Despite being very smooth, it doesn't slip at all.

Like all good double-edged razors, the Futur allows you to adjust the distance between the razor and the safety bar. It starts from the smallest and "safest" value of 1 and finishes at the maximum distance of 6. Why you'd want to use it at 6, I have no idea. In fact, 1-2 seems fine enough. Maybe you just hate your face?

Performance

Let me just get this out of the way: using standard shaving oil, gel, or foam isn't a good idea. In fact, the Futur wasn't usable with the King of Shaves gel I traditionally used with my terrible Gillette Fusion razor. If you're going to go for a razor like the Futur, you should use a badger brush and "proper" shaving cream such as Taylor of Old Bond Street Shaving Cream. I personally think any badger brush will do; getting a silver-tipped brush such as this Merkur matt chrome one (even though it looks quite sexy) isn't something I'd even consider, despite it being styled just like the Futur.

The performance from the razor and blade, a Feather in this case, was superb. With a standard cartridge-based razor, I had serious problems if I attempted to shave a lot of growth (I often dreaded it, to be honest), but there was no such issue with the Futur. The weight of the razor body did all the work; pressing down is not required, and, in fact, is actively discouraged.

I typically shave using two passes if I'm going for a truly clean look. The first pass is with the grain, and the second pass is against the grain. Doing it this way seems to produce the best results and greatly minimises any potential razor burn.

I never did more than one pass with a cartridge razor as I hated the entire experience. Why would I want to prolong it? The process is entirely different with a double-edged razor; lathering up is a joy, as is smoothly gliding the Futur around.

Conclusion

I am so much happier now that I've gone old-skool and back to double-edge shaving. Cartridge razors don't even come close, both to performance and price. Razor blades are so much better and cheaper. For example, a Gillette Fusion 8-pack of cartridges costs £15 ($24) in the UK if buying online (so probably more if you buy it in a high-street shop). A pack of 100 Derby Extra blades costs £9 ($14) - and those Derby blades are regarded as pretty high quality! You could no-doubt get generic blades much cheaper than that if you're inclined. Needless to say, the non-cartridge blades last much longer before needing to be replaced.

If you're after a double-edged body, I can highly recommend the Merkur Futur. It is so well built that it will last a lifetime, and longer. Blades are incredibly cheap, and you'll feel less like a girl when using such manly steel. Just get a badger brush and a good shaving cream, okay?

Photographs

Unfortunately, the pictures below are of my razor and so contain obvious signs of use. Seemingly I didn't clean it well enough.

- coming soon -

Posted: 2011-03-03 at 13:39:30,