Merkur Futur Review & Buyers Guide: The Best Adjustable Safety Razor?
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In today’s article, we do a Merkur Futur review and buyers guide – one of the bestsellers among safety razors.
Since this article is also a buyer’s guide we will also check out some accessories available for this popular adjustable safety razor.
The Merkur Futur adjustable safety razor – along with the stainless steel Feather AS-D2 razor seems to be on all Top 10 list blogs and also on most wet shavers’ wish lists. With a hi-tech design, innovative solutions, and a price that does not break your bank, the Merkur Futur has become a very popular razor. Let’s see how this razor does perform in our test and I will give you some buying info as well.
Merkur Futur (Summary)
Recommended Use: Intermediate/ Experienced
Value for Money:
Rating & Feedback: Check out more reviews and feedback here.
Summary: As our review shows, the adjustable double-edge Merkur Futur razor is perfect for experienced wet shavers looking for flexibility and versatility in the aggressiveness of the blade. When in a high setting, the Futur produces a smooth, close shave. Due to its long handle with a pretty good grip, it is also best if you have slightly bigger hands. Adjustability is the number one beauty of this German-made quality shaving product.
Solingen has since the middle ages been Germany’s center for high-quality knives and sharp edges. Not unsurprisingly, this region is also where one of Germany’s best producers of shaving equipment has its roots.
The Merkur company/ brand was founded by Emil Hermes in 1896, an innovator of many of the basic designs and characteristics of today’s classic razors.
Hermes is an Olympian God in Greek religion and mythology and was the emissary and messenger of the Gods, but since many knife smiths already had that name, Emil decided to name his brand Merkur which was the Roman name for the God (according to the Wikipedia website). The famed German company has been manufacturing good shaving soaps and shaving creams for beginners to classic shaving, maybe the best safety razor for men, affordable shaving brushes, and straight cut razors (including classic straight razor kits) with their Dovo straight razor brand as well as top-notch safety razor blades since 1906 introducing adjustable razors in the 1980s.
The Merkur Futur razor (also called MK-700) is considered an industry leader featuring innovative design, a wide range of adjustments provided, and superior craftsmanship of production. The range of adjustment is divided into six increments of blade angle; 1 being the mildest with the least exposure of the blade and up to 6 providing a shave that is considered by most as certainly aggressive enough for all but the nastiest growth.
The flexibility to adjust the double edge razor settings means that you can find YOUR perfect setting based on your preferences and skin type. This great functionality comes with a simple twist of the top part of the handle, slightly below the head.
While probably not necessary for men with mild beards, experienced shavers with thicker growth could find this adjustability on the Merkur Futur to be just what they have been looking for. The design team pulled out all the stops in coming out with a manly, ultra-modern-looking product. Merkur has come up with an innovative blade loading procedure, long handle, large head, and a smooth, silky finish on the Futur. Nice!
This type of razor isn’t usually considered a beginner’s item. That said, for the adventurous with more than a mild beard, by checking out shaving tips and available videos, time and money can certainly be saved by learning the ropes of wet shaving.
Please note that there are 3 versions of the Merkur Futur adjustable razor:
- Classic Matte Chrome (Merkur 700)
- Polished/ Satin finish Chrome version (Merkur 701)
- Gold-plated finish (Merkur 702)
Merkur Futur Adjustable Safety Razor – Features of This Masterpiece
- Adjustable – easy selection of 6 different degrees of blade exposure
- Choice of three different, smooth finishes: classic gold plated, shiny chrome, and satin chrome
- Smooth handle well shaped to give a good grip and ease of blade adjustment
- The total length is 98 mm (3.9 inches)
- German made
- The overall length of 4.3” (11 cm) and a hefty 4.4 ounces (126 grams)
Overall: 4.3 inches/ 11 cm
Handle: 4.1 inches/ 95 mm
Handle Diameter: 0.51 inches/ 13mm
Weight: 4.4 ounces/ 126 grams
Material: Chromed Brass
Finish: Matte Stainless Steel/ Polished Chrome Stainless Steel/ Gold-plated
Type: 2 Piece Adjustable Closed Comb
Knurled handle: No
Blade included: 1
Please note that the star ratings below are our ratings – it has nothing to do with how the product is rated on distributor sites.
- Very easy to quickly adjust the aggressiveness of your shave – gives you a “personalized” wet-shaving experience
- Weight and handle dimensions make this razor suitable for all but the largest of hands
- A beauty of fine finishing and modern style
- The wide cutting head requires finesse in tight spots on the face
- If you are a shaver used to having a knurled handle, you might feel the grip of the handle is a bit slippery and that it requires extra attention when changing the settings
- The new head design will also require a bit of care when changing blades
Expectations from the Merkur Adjustable Razor
True to its name, the Merkur Futur razor looks like something you would see in a futuristic Sci-Fi movie. The chrome finish and wide handle add to the beauty of the design. They are both smooth and the handle comes with a tiny indentation close to the top handle.
Now, the Merkur Futur is a real beauty, and with a glance, it’s the way you will surely agree. But looks are not the only thing that the razor has got going for it.
The razor is made to be highly functional. Speaking of which, it might not seem like it, but adjustable safety razors have been in the shaving industry for quite some time now. The company has been manufacturing these functional pieces of art for decades. Over the years, it has established itself as the leader in the market.
The Merkur Futur MK-70M functionality comes in its versatility; this beauty is as versatile as they come. While I would not recommend it for beginners, newbies to the art of classic shaving can still use it, but with a bit of caution and practice. If you are a newbie, be sure not to get carried away. Do not turn it to the third setting as you will surely nick yourself.
If you are just getting into classic shaving, you should make sure you read through our guide that also reviews the best razors for men – it will be a great help in keeping nicks to a minimum.
Now, if you have not yet made it to a newbie, in that you have never touched safety razors in your life, I suggest that you start with a less aggressive one, such as its sibling Merkur 34c.
As you get a hang of the technique, gain confidence, and know this style of shaving is for you, an upgrade to this model is a logical next step. Nothing wrong with learning to walk before you run! In case you want to jump right in, my best piece of advice is sure to set it to its 1st or 2nd setting.
Before you get a hang of your technique, you should not be tempted to dial up the aggressive setting to see what it is all about. The goal is to find the setting that fits your preferences, rather than reaching the highest setting. The razor, though safe, can bite. Why wakes the sleeping lion?
That said, if you are a skilled wet shaver, you will soon love the close shave presented by it. It will leave your skin feeling as smooth as a baby’s butt.
Is Loading the Blade Easy?
Most of the safety razors by Merkur have been designed with a screw that holds the blade in place. This razor is one of the exceptions that is designed with a clip. The innovative design is unique and improves the process of loading blades onto the head of the razor. You, however, ought to be careful as the same head design can be dangerous if you are not paying proper attention during the blade change.
Here is Why:
The process is simple, no question about that. Now the dangerous part comes when the razor is handled improperly during the process. You should at all times have it in the back of your head that you are handling an extremely sharp blade.
It may not be sharp enough to give you the desired results when wet shaving hence the need for a change, but do not be mistaken, the blade can, – and will cut you even with the slightest improper touch. To help you load the blade onto the razor head properly and safely, I have taken the liberty of searching the internet and providing you with a step-by-step guide I feel details are all you need to know.
The steps according to the guide are detailed below (of course these are super simplified).
- Pop the top plate using your thumb
- Separate the popped plate with the razor body and remove the blade
- Load the new blade
- Pop the head plate back into place
This is truly one unique razor.
Why? Well, it comes with 6 adjustable settings that reveal more of the blade as the gap are increasing and therefore also the ability to have a more aggressive razor setting.
The first setting will get you a mild shave. It is however not exactly a number 1 shave.
Let’s put things into perspective. On a scale of 1 to 10, how aggressive is the lowest setting? Well, it is at about 3 or 4.
Some professionals who have been practicing the art of shaving for a long time will set it at about 3 or 4 and will perform a 3-pass shave. Aggressive or not, this is more than enough to deliver the professionals with baby butt smoothness.
You might notice that during the third pass, GeoFatboy, a professional wet shaver in his review lowered the setting to 1 and shaved against the grain. This technique is useful, especially for those who have sensitive skin on the neck or are struggling with razor burns.
Using a less aggressive setting (less blade gap) translates to lesser irritation. Now, when you are changing the settings, you should ensure that your hands are dry to avoid any slippage and cutting yourself. Also, always hold the razor by the sides of the razor head away from the sharp edges of the blade.
For a close shave, you should use the best double edge razor blades from Merkur, Timor, Derby, or Feather. I would pick up a variety pack to find what blade you like best.
Non-adjustable razors from this company feature knurling on their handles. Some of these include the bestseller 34C, 38c, and the long handle Merkur 23C. This razor, however, makes use of a smooth handle. The only source of the grip is the indentation on the handle close to the top. The indentation is designed to guide users to the exact sweet spot to hold the razor while shaving. This indentation provides both a firm grip and the correct balance point.
This razor is at the top end of size and weight in its class. In comparison to its counterpart’s razors, it is more like a man than a boy of razors.
- It measures 4.3 inches long
- The handle is beefy
This adds some weight to the razor and makes it perfect for men with large hands. The long handle does, however, give the user greater control. There is more surface to hold onto and greater leverage reduces the chances of slippage.
Merkur Futur Weight
The weight of the Merkur Futur adjustable razor is a healthy 4.4 ounces/ 126 grams, which makes it one of the heavier DE razors on the market. To give you a comparison – a Gillette Mach3 weight is 57 grams (or around 2 ounces).
What Other Reviews and Consumers Have to Say
On most online platforms, reviews of Merkur’s adjustable razor have garnered high ratings.
The reasons for these reviews and ratings are obvious and well deserved. Truth be told, the company has a well-earned reputation that precedes itself – one of providing top-quality razors and related shaving products to its consumers with no exception.
Combined with its adjustability feature and the long handle, this model has won over the hearts of many men. However, it is important to point out that if you are just starting on wet shaving and have not mastered the classic shaving techniques, you may well be better to choose a less aggressive tool to learn with.
Sorry to say but it is not designed with shaving novices specifically in mind. On the other hand, if you have dry skin or a thick beard, or both, this adjustable razor is perfect for you. It will allow you the luxury of exposing more of the blade without being overly aggressive.
Regarding being aggressive, it is reputably better than the open comb Muhle R41. There are some Merkur Futur posts and articles that have gone on record to complain about the size of the razor head. It proves to be bulky and makes it harder to reach the mustache area. For this, however, some consumers have reviewed the razor and come to the rescue and stated that pulling the nose to the side does help in reaching the nose area. Despite the complaints, as this review has shown – one thing is for sure, this is a quality product and provides a high-quality shave for those with a solid wet shaving technique.
Merkur Futur vs. Merkur Progress and Merkur Vision
The Merkur company has a firm grip on the adjustable razor segment of the shaving market with their adjustable razors Futur, Vision (discontinued), and the classic Merkur Progress razor – coming from the same company, how do they stack up against each other?
- On the Merkur MK-70, the cutting edge is just a little bit behind the safety bar – this gives protection and smooth shaves. On Merkur Progress, the cutting edge reaches slightly beyond the safety bar, making the shave less smooth and a tad more aggressive
- The handle on Merkur Futur is more slippery than the handle on the Progress – Pro tip: Rub a bit of Alum block on your fingers to prevent this. Read more about Alum blocks in our guide.
- The longer handle on MK-70 (4.1″/104 mm) vs the standard Progress (3″/ 76 mm) makes it a better choice for a person with larger hands. Please note – there is also a version of the Merkur Progress with a long handle available that measures 4.14 inches/ 105 mm
- Most users that have tried both adjustable razors report that it is a bit easier to load the blade on the MK-70
- Progress is easier to adjust due to a better grip,- and in my mind, a better handle
- Design-wise, MK-70 is a beauty while Progress is a bit more basic or classic
At the end of the day – both are great performers capable of smooth, irritation-free, and close shaves but are not recommended for beginners.
It comes down to personal preferences and which adjustable razor to choose. A lot of experienced wet shavers have both and love them equally!
Merkur Futur vs. Qshave, Rockwell and Parker Variant
The firm has, as mentioned earlier, a pretty firm grip on this segment of the market. There are, however, some serious competitors; I have not personally done a review of all of those, but I will try to do so as soon as possible.
I know that the Parker Variant has gotten good feedback – also our recent review of it and Rockwell with their 6C and 6S models are popular. There is also a clone model of MK-70 called QSHAVE available.
The Merkur Futur razor is available on several online e-commerce sites. But to get a good deal, it is worth checking the price on some of our recommended resellers.
Merkur Futur Kits and Sets
Our recommended stores offer several options for a complete kit, we have an article about the best shaving kit where there are lots of good information. There is a 4 piece set that has a matching Silvertip badger shaving brush (this is why the set is a bit expensive), a frosted glass shaving bowl, and a matching stand to hold all the components.
Available as a classic matte or polished chrome. Very stylish!
There is also a gift set that is very reasonably priced and comes with Bowl, GBS Shaving Soap, Badger Brush, Stand, and Amber Col Conk Aftershave.
Another gift set to put together by GBS has a Matte Razor with a GBS Badger Travel Brush, 25 razor blades, and a Leather case.
Merkur Futur Accessories
Since the Merkur Futur razor has become a very popular choice among wet-shavers, several add-ons have become available, some made by Merkur and some by 3-party manufacturers.
In addition to the kits mentioned above, there is a stand and cases and travel bags available.
FAQ Merkur Futur
What is the Merkur Futur Weight?
The weight of Merkur Futur is 4.4 ounces/ 126 grams
Merkur Futur Chrome or Satin - Which one is Best?
First of all, it all comes down to personal preferences and price. Merkur Futur is available with 3 different coatings: 1. Chrome-plated Matte Satin (also known as Merkur Futur 700). 2. Polished Chrome (also known as Merkur Futur 701) and Gold-plated (also known as Merkur Futur 702). I personally prefer the 700 version over the Chrome and Gold-plated versions and feel that is has a slightly better grip.
What is The Merkur Futur Made of? ?
All 3 models are made of Chromed Brass, with various finishing.
Merkur Futur 700 Series Conclusion & Recommended Use
Our review has found that this Merkur safety razor is a great choice for intermediate or experienced wet shavers. It is a great solution if you have sensitive skin this might be the best razor for men with sensitive skin, and due to the long handle- if you have slightly bigger hands. And in case you are looking for a head shaver for men alternative, like the best razor to shave the head, sure you can use the Merkur Futur for this if you are a bit careful.
We hope that our review article about this great razor has helped you in your decision!