Friday, May 19, 2017

Safely Changing Futur Settings Mid Shave

Futur-Design Complaint

The only complaint that I have about the Future-razor design is it's general slipperiness when soapy and wet. This affects not only one's grip on the handle, but also the safety of changing the adjustable settings in the middle of the shave.

If the smooth handle becomes slippery, one might drop the razor. This is not good. However, worse is to try to change the adjustment setting mid shave. The razor head is very likely to be soapy and wet, which is going to make it very slippery. This greatly increases the chances that the razor head will turn in one's fingers, allowing the blade edge to wound. I have read about several instances where this has happened to unwary users.

This issue is true for not only for the original Merkur Futur but also imitators including my Ming Shi 2000S (MS2K).

Ming-Shi Affection

I have previously written that I really like my MS2K razor. As a matter of fact, I used it this morning and got an excellent shave. I mean REALLY excellent: baby smooth nearly throughout and not a wound or irritation to be found. All this with a sixth-use Personna Red blade.

When I use the MS2K, I am simply careful to keep my razor hand dry so that I maintain a solid grip on the instrument. However, also when I use the MS2K, I do change settings during the shave.

My favored shaving process includes a single main lathering of the face. (So obviously I don't do the de rigueur three-pass shave.)  Using that single lathering, I'll do main strokes in a given region of my face, followed up immediately by strokes to achieve the desired smoothness. These final strokes are usually done at a more aggressive adjustable-razor setting than the initial strokes.

For example, this morning I shaved the plane of my right cheek using anti-raking strokes (to preserve rather than remove lather) in a perfectly against-grain direction, using a razor setting of 1.5. Then I adjusted my razor to 2, and made my clean-up strokes (but to be honest, I don't remember the precise direction of those strokes). Then I re-set my razor to 1.5 and moved on to a different area of my beard, where I pretty much repeated the process.

Use the Counter Top, Stupid

Initially, when I first acquired the MS2K, to greatly diminish the chances of being cut I would make mid-shave razor adjustments using a wash cloth between the slippery razor head and my fingers. But thanks to a suggestion by Stephen McGuire, I have been able to ditch the wash cloth and still not worry about slicing my fingers while making these multiple razor-setting changes during my shave. 

When I want to make razor-adjustment changes to a wet, soapy Futur-design razor, I do this:
  1. With the razor oriented so that the adjustment-indicator line is upward and thereby visible, and with the handle parallel to the sink-counter top, I set the razor's safety bar on the counter top.
  2. With my non-razor hand, I carefully secure the razor head against the counter so it is stable and can't rotate.
  3. I use my razor hand to rotate the razor handle to the desired razor-adjustment setting. 
  4. I then resume my shave. Voila!
This is the best way that I've found to address the only major drawback to the Futur design: the lack of grippy texture. 

Happy safe, adjustable shaving!

Razor Garage Sale Continues!!!

I'm continuing to reduce my inventory of razors, seeking a win-win solution. I win because I simplify my shaving gear, and you win because you get a good razor at a reduced cost.

Many have already taken advantage of the offerings. Don't wait or you may miss a good bargain.
Keep in mind that there is about $4 of packaging and mailing costs embedded in the prices of my DE garage-sale razors (the straight is a little less expensive to mail because it's flatter), and there really isn't a lemon in the bunch.


  1. Love the short term "MS2K" that makes sense to me!


  2. Good tip, glad to hear it shaves well for you. Gives me some hope, as I am waiting for the "slow boat."