Merkur Futur for Beginners

Discussion in 'Shave School' started by GlennConti, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    I am a newbie to DE shaving. Be that as it may I bought a Merkur Futur as my first safety razor and I wanted to post about my experience with it so far. First off I bought it because it is an adjustable and it looks really cool. But after reading about it on the internet I was a little scared of it. That it was an aggressive razor even at its lowest settings. But as a newbie I think a healthy respect of the blade is a very good thing. Here are my recommendations for using it as a beginner.

    1) Set it at setting "1"
    2) Use a Derby Extra blade
    3) Prep/hydrate your face well before shaving
    4) Use a good lathering brush and shave cream or soap
    5) Do a one pass shave with the grain. Be extra careful around the nose, upper lip and chin.
    6) Spot touch up gently any area you missed
    7) Don't try to get too close to the nose on your upper lip
    8) Apply an after shave balm to sooth your skin

    I realize that YMMV but doing the above got me a CCS/SAS. But it also allowed me to gain confidence in the razor without cutting myself or irritating my skin. This is a conservative approach which worked well for me. I am expecting to go to a 2 pass shave next or dial it up to 1.25. But I am going to take it slow. Comments will be appreciated. Thanks.
    Bristle Me, Tdmsu, Raven312 and 2 others like this.
  2. feeltheburn

    feeltheburn Well-Known Member

    A Futur was my 2nd razor and I didn't feel it was all that aggressive on the lower settings. For me, the Futur has a knack of making me not really feel the blade much at all compared to almost all my other razors. It's a great razor. It will get pretty super aggressive on the higher settings though.

    I'd change only one variable at a time. If you're trying 2 passes next, try it just leaving the razor set on 1. After that works out, then start dialing it up.
    imGrunt and Bristle Me like this.
  3. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    Hi Brian. Thanks for the reply. I agree with changing one variable at a time. As you were posting I was editing " I am expecting to go to a 2 pass shave next and or dial it up to 1.25." to get rid of the "and". You are so right. I also missed saying that when you use the Futur, you should let the weight of the Futur do the cutting and not apply pressure to your face.
  4. dougr

    dougr Well-Known Member

    Nice Post and have fun with your Futur. The Futur silvertip badger brush and the stand is also in my weekly rotation and a favorite. Doug
  5. oldtrout

    oldtrout Well-Known Member

    The Futur demands good technique or you will pay in blood. I know this to be true, it was my first razor too. My first blades were Feathers.

    In the long run, I think it a good first razor as your technique will be pretty darn good in a relatively short time. At least this was my experience.
  6. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot Staff Member

    Way to go, Glenn! Easy does it!
  7. Raven312

    Raven312 Well-Known Member

    I think I'm going to put this on my wish list for my next razor. I like that it is adjustable and has a long handle. Looks like a piece of art, too.
  8. 178-bplatoon

    178-bplatoon Well-Known Member

    :signs046: to TSD Glen....I hope you enjoy it here...:)
    :happy096: on your first DE choice....your preshave,shave and postshave recomendations are spot on also I.M.O. I hope you enjoy your new razor for many years...:happy088:
    David Green likes this.
  9. stingraysrock

    stingraysrock PIF'd away his custom title

    I have a Futur that I just dusted off and will have another go with it. IIRC, I preferred it dialed on the aggressive side. One thing that I know for sure is I liked my Progress wayyyyyy more than the Futur.

    One another note; if you like a Derby blade then more power to you! Derby blades were all the rage when I started TWS a couple years ago, but I never liked them, neither the green or orange packs. I tried to revisit them not too long ago and they still did not agree with me.
    dougr likes this.
  10. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    I came across this comparison of razors based on the blade gap. The Futur at its most tame setting ("1" = 44 thousands of an inch) is more aggressive than the Progress at its most aggressive setting ("5" = 37 thousands of an inch). The Futur I believe weighs more also. In hindsight, the Progress would probably be a better choice as a first DE razor, but I had already ordered my Futur so I have to make it work (which I'm sure I will). As far as the Derby Extra blades go, I see them recommended a lot as a good blade for a newbie so I got some of those. I also ordered some Feathers but they aren't here yet. I don't want to change too much at once so I'm going to stick with the Derby's for a while as they are working for me. But I have seen some bad reviews of the Derby blades too (YMMV).
  11. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    Update: I just shaved with my Futur and I loved it. 1-1/2 passes at a setting of 1. No cuts or irritation and a CCS. I had a chance at a practically new Mergress for under $80.00 but passed on it. I think the less aggressive Progress would require a 3 pass shave every time and sometimes I don't think I will have the time or patience for a daily 3 pass shave (not yet). For me at least the Futur was the right choice.
    Joef, Tdmsu and 178-bplatoon like this.
  12. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

  13. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    Another Update: I put a new Derby Extra in the Futur. And, as per Brian's suggestion, today I left the Futur at setting "1" and went to a 2 pass shave. One pass with the grain and one pass across the grain. No cuts or irritation and this time I got a DFS. I think taking it slow is the key with an aggressive razor like the Futur. It has not cut me yet. Shave, wait a day and think about it, change one variable shave again. Be on "high alert" when you are doing your work.
  14. feeltheburn

    feeltheburn Well-Known Member

    Glad it's working. I think you've inspired me to dust off my Futur. I haven't used it in a month or so. Being slow and deliberate is good in the beginning. I know when I start to get comfortable and complacent, that's when I cut myself.
  15. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    So, now I know, with the Futur, I can get a DFS with 2 passes at setting "1". Tomorrow I'm going for the BBS :) . Again, as per Brian (thanks), I am going to up the setting. I am going to change the setting to "1.25" for the first pass (with the grain) and then go back to setting "1" for the second pass (across the grain). What I'm trying to achieve is a BBS with under 3 passes. I am trying to avoid the against the grain pass. I have never shaved against the grain so my technique has to be poor doing that. So I would rather try a more aggressive setting with the grain (pass one) where my technique is good (I have shaved for many years one pass only with a Gillette Sensor Excel ((which would shred me if I dared going against the grain))). What is going to happen first on my quest? A BBS or will there be blood?
  16. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    My advice, don't chase BBS, let it come to you. Chase it and you only wind up with burn, irritation, and a good chance for blood.
  17. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the sage advice. I am taking baby steps. But after all those years of bad shaves with the Sensor I want to explore a little. The Futur is giving me already the best shave of my life.

    Here is some more info I have found:

    The blade gaps for the Futur are as follows:
    "1" = 44 mil
    "2" = 47 mil
    "3" = 53 mil
    "4" = 58 mil
    "5" = 63 mil
    "6" = 65 mil
    "6.5" = 69 mil (I found these elsewhere on the net).

    So a "1.25" setting is about 44.75 mil and a "1.5" is about 45.5 mil. The Futur at a "1.25" is about the same as a Gillette Adjustable set at "9". And like others have said, the Futur gets crazy aggressive in the "2.5+" range.

    I'm going to take it really slow.
    Tdmsu and 178-bplatoon like this.
  18. feeltheburn

    feeltheburn Well-Known Member

    The first few times I tried ATG, I wished I'd done it on a day when I could lay off the shaving for a day or two afterward. The pressure (or rather lack of) going ATG was much tougher for me to get the feel of. WTG is usually easy because you can let the weight of the razor do the work. ATG you have to control the pressure yourself. It definitely takes some practice.

    I can't get a BBS shave without going ATG but it took me a good couple months of practice before I could make that pass consistently without getting any irritation.
    David Green, Tdmsu and GlennConti like this.
  19. feeltheburn

    feeltheburn Well-Known Member

    This may be true but I'll say for me, that a Futur on 1.25 feels nothing like a Gillette on 9.
    GlennConti likes this.
  20. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    Same here. I keep my Futur at 2.678 (just above 2.5, not quite 2.75) and my Fatboy and Slim at 6. For me this is where they feel similar.
    GlennConti and feeltheburn like this.

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