05-07-2013, 04:32 AM
#1
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I know there's a thread on this razor already on this forum, but that got sidetracked a bit with people weighing in on the morality of buying a knock-off razor. Jerry's review got buried a bit in that thread, so I decided to start a new one to focus on the performance of the razor itself.

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This is a review of the Gold Futur Knock-off (made in China) that Shaveabuck sells.

Price: I bought mine from Jerry, off the BST subforum here. The price was $39, though the price from Shaveabuck has now gone up a bit, it's still cheaper than the Merkur Futur. My reasoning was that if the razor worked like a Futur, it was a good deal.

First impressions: On opening the box I got from Jerry, I immediately noticed something he pointed out ---- it is heavy. It apparently weighs in at 150g, and most of my razors are about 80g, so this is significantly heavier than any DE razor I currently own. The weight is apparently due to the fact that it is made of brass (reportedly).

I looked the finish over carefully, and I couldn't find any obvious blemishes. It is a gold-tone razor, and I don't like gold, as a rule, so it doesn't do anything for me. Still, I cannot complain about any aspect of the finish.

It looks just like a Futur (as was intended), and even though it's heavy, it feels balanced in the hand.

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Mechanism: The adjustment mechanism aligns well at 1. The adjustment is certainly stiffer than the Futur (going off memory). Also, it doesn't stop at 6....you can keep going and loosen the adjustment until the head pops off. This means that it is basically adjustable over several orders of aggressiveness magnitude. I didn't try to use it past the first round of 1-6, but it seemed like the head was firm past that, so it is probably usable at higher aggressiveness, if that's what you want to do.

The head is exactly like the Futur, in that the cap pops off and you insert the blade on the tabs in the head. There is no play in blade positioning, and the blade is aligned well.

Since the adjustment is stiff (probably due to a firm spring), it stays where you set it, and will not change by chance during the shave.

Shave: The shave this morning was great. The weight of this thing leads to it mowing through my whiskers (coupled with a Feather blade today). There was some auditory feedback, but not as much as I remember from my Futur.

I set it at 4, and it felt very mild. So I moved it to 5 for the next pass, and it still didn't feel aggressive. I seem to remember that I found the real Futur significantly more aggressive at these settings. I think I could use this one set at 6 with no problems. I don't generally like aggressive razors, so this is on the milder side.

Of course, as I mentioned above, you could loosen up the head past the 6 mark, and that should make it more aggressive.

Regardless, the shave was excellent. Smooth, effortless, and close. This is an easy razor to shave with. It was a pleasant experience.

The lack of feedback did result in me loosening my technique a bit and it felt like I peeled my skin off in a small region in my upper lip area. This is certainly one of my only negative criticisms of this razor.

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The final verdict: Leaving aside the legality of a knockoff (an issue for the companies involved to settle), and the fact that it's made in China (some people don't like this), I think this a very good razor ---- excellent value for money certainly, and a great shaver.

If it was matte silver, I'd certainly keep it, and even though it is gold, I'll still hold onto this one for a while.

I decided to quote Jerry's review here, just so it's also recorded in this review thread. I hope that's okay:

(04-29-2013, 11:20 AM)slantman Wrote: I received the gold knock off Futur today. Joe @ shaveabuck is very fast. This is a very heavy razor weighing in at 5.3 oz (150 grams) which makes it for me the heaviest razor I have ever owned. It looks almost identical to a gold Futur. I am sure there are differences but I couldn't find them. The adjustment works very good but when I kept turning it clockwise the head came apart from the body. No problem I just pushed the top down and screwed it back in. The genuine Futur works slightly different as there is a stop which doesn't allow you to unscrew the head unless you depress it. At first I had a hard time removing the top plate to load the blade but after doing this several times it became easy. I loaded the razor with an Astra SP and did one pass . The blade sits in nice and even and I set it at #4. The shave was very good. For $35 this is a nice razor built very well. But it is a heavy cutting machine. Overall I am happy with it.
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 05-07-2013, 04:59 AM
#2
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Yohann, thank you for the comprehensive and objective review of this interesting razor.

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 05-07-2013, 06:27 AM
#3
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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Great review Yohann and very glad you like the razor. There is no patent issues because if Merkur had one with the Futur it expired in
2003'. According to German law patents are only good for 20 years and the Futur was developed in 1983'.

The company who makes this razor (China) has the knock off in shiny
and matte black. Hopefully at a later date they will be available for purchase.

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 05-07-2013, 07:49 AM
#4
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Nice review. Glad that the razor worked out for you.

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 05-07-2013, 08:33 AM
#5
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Great review! It was an interesting and informative read.

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 05-07-2013, 08:38 AM
#6
  • Fab
  • Active Member
  • New York, NY
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Thank you for the great review. Seems to be a nice razor to add to my wish listBiggrin

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 05-07-2013, 09:41 AM
#7
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Thanks for the review, Yohann!

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 05-07-2013, 10:06 AM
#8
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Thanks for your impressions about this razor , Yohann.
Seems that Merkur has a new contender.

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 05-09-2013, 03:39 AM
#9
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After several uses, I can confirm that this razor is milder than the Futur. I think it may have something to do with the relative positions of the edge of the blade, and the safety bar.

Can someone who has a genuine Futur post a close-up pic of the blade gap on 6?

I'm using this one at an effective 7 setting, and it's still not aggressive.

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 05-09-2013, 07:26 PM
#10
  • Stroker
  • Active Member
  • Jacksonville, Oregon
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Great review Johann! Congrats! I was the second bidder on Jerry's Futur knockoff but, it looked so interesting that I went ahead and ordered one from Joe at shaveabuck. His price for it was half that of a production Merkur Futur so it was still a good deal and he shipped it amazingly fast!
I agree with your review entirely. It had a great fit and finish and was a quality shaving tool. I used it on the 3 setting. (figured half way and I can adjust up or down) For me it performed flawlessly and got a super close and comfortable shave at the 3 setting. The heft of it is about the same as my Progress with the long BRW knob. They feel about the same weight. (I don't have a scale to actually weight them.) I really like the Gold finish on this razor and I am very satisfied with this purchase. I had been wanting a Futur for a long time but the $93. buck price for the Gold one was a real deal killer! This Futur clone is excellent for half of that purchase price. As Jerry stated, there is no stop in the adjustment but it seems that worked well for your needs. (You got some additional setting or two out of that fact.)
I posted a SOTD a couple of days ago (In some other forums) and it will be in my rotation from now on. I am glad that you posted this performance review, as you said, these facts were lost in the last thread on this razor.

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 05-29-2013, 05:11 PM
#11
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I've been having an itch for a gold razor recently and after seeing Bruce's SOTD post mentioning the $30 price tag, I went and ordered one. (Bruce you are a bad bad man...) Smile

For those that have been using them for a while. How are you liking the razor? Have your impressions changed?

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 06-04-2013, 01:41 AM
#12
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Nope. I still like this razor, and still think it's a bit on the mild side. I have a feeling that the safety bars may stick out a bit more relative to the blade edge, when compared to the Futur.

I thought that one side was more aggressive than the other for a bit, but I think that may be an illusion. I haven't measured the blade gap on both sides yet.

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 06-04-2013, 10:38 AM
#13
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Yet the haters are still out there...

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 06-04-2013, 12:34 PM
#14
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I was intriguid by this razor so i looked up some reviews on b&b. One poster there found this razor on a Chinese bulk retail site (similar to alibaba). He asked the vendor if the plating was indeed gold plating and the response was "not real gold, gold imitation".
I won't post the link to b&b, it is easy enough to find.
It could be made by different makers in china, or different batches plated by different facilities.
It would be nice though if Joe from shaveabuck could confirm if it is indeed plated with actual gold.

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 06-04-2013, 02:24 PM
#15
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I cannot...I am somewhat afraid to commit since the boards, specially Badger..can be a bit over the top in the critisim of vendors and items. Even if the mistake is in good faith or on the board member.

The razors are of good quality as are all the items that the factory makes. I would love to do more with them but the boards are going in a different direction now.

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