Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

The Merkur Futur

with 7 comments

I like to pick out the morning shave arsenal from comments made on the blog, and lately several commenters have mentioned using the Merkur Futur, so I’ve been using that a little more frequently, and I made an interesting discovery.

I’ve been holding the Futur much like I might hold the Fat Boy or some other razor: the blade edge touching the skin, with the safety bar touching just ahead of it.

But recently I (in effect) raised the Futur handle higher, so that the main contact (other than the blade) was the top of the razor: the razor now rides along on the top, more or less, with the blade’s edge just skimming the skin.

The result has been easier and smoother shaves. I haven’t yet experimented to see what this would be like with other razors, such as the Gillettes. Heck, maybe I’ve been holding the razor wrong all along.

Shaving: the continuing experiment.

Written by Leisureguy

27 January 2008 at 11:11 am

Posted in Shaving

7 Responses

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  1. I’m a Futur owner, and bought it as my first DE razor, despite all the suggestions that there are better razors out there for newcomers. I was wowed by the design factor I’ll admit.

    After perhaps 12 shaves with it, I’m comfortable with it and certainly don’t regret my decision to buy it. My shaving ‘practice’ is all about blade angle right now so your post is timely.

    I’m keeping the Futur dialled on 2, doing a WTG pass, 2 XTG passes, then a bunch of “touch and cutting” ATG where necessary. In fact, my shave last night (with my Savile Row 3722), a new Merkur blade and a sample of Trumpers coconut cream was the best yet. But I did spend quite a bit of time ‘finessing’ the shave – that is, feeling for stubble, relathering the spot and then going at it again with the Futur, ATG if possible.

    After reading this post yesterday I really concentrated on a shallow blade angle and even got to go ATG just above my Adam’s apple and elsewhere on my neck with minimal irritation.

    I don’t think I could do ATG on my neck *every* shave which got me thinking: what is more irritating – going WTG with a higher blade angle (handle closer to the skin) or going ATG with a shallow blade angle?

    All part of the experimention process I suppose.



    28 January 2008 at 12:47 pm

  2. I too jumped into wet shaving with this high-end equipment. I love my Futur but I’ve always wondered about blade angle and, more specifically, how it relates to the Futur’s adjustment settings. I have experimented with all the settings to find more comfort below ‘4’. I favor the Hydrolast products and Feather blades for cutting and TheGR aftershave balm.

    I’d like to better understand the Futur’s settings and continue experimenting.



    6 February 2009 at 11:57 am

  3. Here’s a bit of what I say about the Futur in Leisureguy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving:

    The Futur is a good safety razor, heavy and substantial in a Teutonic way. The Futur is particularly aggressive, so by all means start at the setting 1, and gradually work your way up until you get a satisfyingly close shave. For me, that was at 1.5. Some guys have started with the setting at 4 or even higher and then regretted it bitterly. I found that I got the smoothest shave with the Futur if I rested the top on the skin being shaved, rather than the guard. Try different angles with it to find the angle that works best for you.

    Bongoman, I highly recommend that you try some other makes of blades—cf. the posts on sampler packs.

    Also: I think bad angle (too steep) with the grain is worse than good angle against the grain, but for some men (and in some areas of their beard) even a good angle with the grain results in ingrowns. The first paragraph of the book’s section on ingrowns:

    Razor bumps are caused when hair, cut close to the skin, curls as it grows and either curls under the skin without emerging or curls into the skin next to where it emerged. Either event irritates the skin, causing inflammation. In some cases, infection follows, which causes a sore and drainage. Men who are African, Mediterranean, Jewish, Nordic, or from other peoples who have naturally coarse or tightly curling hair often get ‘razor bumps.’

    Hope this helps.



    6 February 2009 at 12:29 pm

  4. Your suggestion of using a lower setting has DRAMATICALLY changed my results for the better! I’ve long been frustrated by inconsistent results in pursuit of the illusive Baby’s Butt Smooth shave. Reducing the setting of my Satin Futur from 3-4 to 1-2 has dramatically improved the quality, smoothness and satisfaction I’ve been striving to achieve. In the past week, I’ve been completely satisfied with my reproducible BBS face. It was an extra Blessing that my wife noticed too. Thanks Michael and my fellow wet-shaving fans


    Todd: Bright-Futur

    17 February 2009 at 12:16 pm

  5. You’re welcome and I’m glad it’s working for you.



    17 February 2009 at 1:31 pm

  6. I found this related string at B+B.


    Todd: Bright-Futur

    13 April 2009 at 7:19 am

  7. i thought it was common knowledge that when you get a new razor you hold it out so the top of the head is resting on your face, then slowly move the handle down as you are gliding until the blade grabs to find your proper angle. this should be done on every setting of open combs and on close combs as well.
    just for the record, the futur generally works best with a moderate blade like a merkur instead of the samurai-sharp feather.



    26 February 2010 at 7:18 pm

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