When I first saw this razor, it immediately made me think of Star Trek. If you are a trekker, then you have to get this razor! The first thing you notice, is that this razor has smooth contours, its got a smooth handle too, so don't let your fingers get soapy, otherwise the razor is gonna slip, and that brings weepers, with flowing crimson rivers. This is also a heavy weight razor, 4.5 ounces, so no pressure is needed, allow the weight of the razor, to carry the blade through the cut. This is also an adjustable razor, it has settings 1 through 6, with 1 being the least aggressive, and 6 being the most aggressive.
This razor doesn't have your typical head, its not a 2-piece, 3-piece, nor a TTO razor. This razor uses a snap on top cap. All you have to do is remove the top cap by simply pulling on it, install your blade, then snap the top cap down. I find that the top cap holds the blade sufficiently tight, so there is no worry about it coming lose on you. The head is also quite fat, and due to this, you will have difficulty getting the under the nose hairs, but if you make a fish face, and use your fingers to pull your nose away, you can get at those hairs, its just tricky is all.
I began testing this razor with a Bic blade, and I have to say, while the Bic blades work excellent in my Feather AS-D2, and my Rex Ambassador, they don't work well in the Futur. They don't provide a smooth shave with this razor, and you will get more tugging then cutting with them. I switched out to a Gillette Nacet blade, and all the sudden the performance was smooth! I am not a daily shaver, I am a 2-day stubble shaver. I typically always set my Futur to blade aggression level 4, when I am doing my WTG passes, and this removes the bulk of my whiskers.
I then re-wet my face, re-lather, and I come back ATG, I use blade aggression level 3 on my neck, level 3 on my cheeks, and levels 1 and 2, on my chin and moostash area. Again, this razor provides a very smooth shave using these settings, and with a Nacet blade. And its IMO, that the Futur provides me a smoother shave, then my Rex Ambassador razor. This is not a pickup and go without thinking razor however, this razor requires your full attention, you have to pay attention to what you are doing.
Some razors you don't have to think about. The Merkur Futur is an overall aggressive razor, many of the blade aggression level settings, are higher then that of some other adjustable razors. Because of this, some people will only run Astra blades, or Derby blades in this razor. But I have course whiskers, which means I need a sharp blade, mild blades will just tug on my hairs more then just cutting them. This is most certainly not, a perfect razor! Like I said, fat head, tricky to get under the nose hairs, and smooth handle, soapy fingers do not mix! But putting those issues aside, this is a solid razor.
Do I recommend this razor? If you are a trekker, instantly 100% yes, you must have this razor, starfleet standard issue! Do I recommend this razor for people who like a challenge, and don't mind honing their technique to improve their wet shaving skills and experience? Yes 100%.! But, if you are a newbie to wet shaving, or you just want a carefree razor you don't have to think about, then I don't recommend this razor for you.