Mr. Steel Beard was the original Philishave® mascot and is the property of Royal Philips Electronics.  He looks so handsome that I made him the Electric Shaver Page's mascot.  I hope Philips doesn't mind.

Tell Mr. Steel Beard

This is an archival section of the Electric Shaver Page  featuring postings made in 1998. Click here to read the current postings.  If you want to add your comments, E-mail me with the subject line TELL MR. STEEL BEARD in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS with your comments.  Comments will be screened for suitability to all ages.

Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 15:11:10 -0500 (EST)



A couple of months ago I got the itch to buy an electric razor (my first). Theconsensus of opinion on your web page seemed to point to the Norelco reflex  action shavers for comfort, closeness of shave and reliability.

I decided to go with the Norelco 5825 and am very happy with it. I was originally skeptical of the "give it 30 days for your face to get used to it" but I have definitely noticed the closeness of my shave improving with time. I think much of this is learning new shaving skills. Some spots seem to respond better to different razor maneuvers (circular motion, straight back and forth ...) and directions. The shave is very good but not quite as good as a blade.

I'm finding that some of the unexpected benefits are worth the small sacrifice on closeness:

1. I shave my whole head and face every day. Shaving my head with a blade just isn't a good idea.

2. I never thought my skin was all that irritated by a blade shaving until after using my Norelco for a few weeks - VERY nice!

3. I wake up at 5:30 every morning and always hated the thought of shaving at the sink. Now I take my razor to my favorite chair, open a book and enjoy a much gentler entry into a new day!

A couple other realities:

1. I have to charge the Norelco after around 3 shaves since I shave both my head and face every day. This really isn't a big deal since it recharges so quickly.

2. I'm finding that it takes about the same amount of time to shave with my Norelco as it did with my blade. For some reason I thought it would go faster.

Thank you for the great advice!


You're welcome, Jim and thanks for your note.

From: "John Horan"

Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 13:14:02 -0600

I have just switched to a Grundig Roltronic shaver after 20+ years of blades. I am in my first week of using it and am finding a lot of skin irritation as well as a so-so shave. Do you recommend any pre-shave lotion, or shaving after a shower? What is the break-in time for a beard that has been used to blade shaving? Thank you very much. John Horan

Thanks for your note, John.  Typically it can take two to four weeks for your face to become fully accustomed to the new shaving method.  I prefer shaving before taking a shower as you need a dry face for best results with your shaver.  If humidity conditions require a pre-shave, I use a powder stick which some people complain requires more frequent shaver cleanings.  I've read favorable comments about a talc-based pre-shave lotion which Remington markets.  Pre-shave lotions (such as Lectric Shave and the like) should be used sparingly as using too much may adversely affect the shaver.  I hope this helps.

From: "Jay Guerette"

Date: Sun, 27 Dec 1998 15:10:56 -0500

I began my shaving career with a twin-foil electric Remington razor. I couldn't tell you much about the closeness of the shave, but I remember having to use a regular disposable razor to touch up afterwards. The problem is, my face hair grows in several different direction, and I could never get a linear electric razor to get it all. Sure, if I spent an extra 5-10 minutes in front of the mirror, I could maneuver the thing around to get a decent shave; but a couple zips with the disposable was a lot easier and quicker. Then it finally dawned on me that the floating-head rotary style electric was probably just what I needed, and I was right. I've used 2 Norelo razors in the past 14 years, and I've always been happy with the shave. Also, I think getting 7 years out of a razor is pretty good bang-for-the-buck.

So here we are; my current Norelco 955RX is about 7 years old. I've never replaced the blades, and the charging electronics are shot. I've been thinking of buying a new one. So Christmas rolls along, and I get a Braun 5520. I was going to exchange it for a Norelco; but I decided to see if I could find out more about it on the web. Thank you AltaVista! I read the last posting from Gary, and decided I should open the Braun and try it out.

I shaved one side with the Braun, one side with the Norelco. Linear vs. Rotary. Brand new vs. beat-to-heck. My old Norelco kicked Braun's butt. The Braun was loud, it couldn't handle my beard, and even made me BLEED! Jeez! I do have to say, the Braun gave me a SLIGHTLY closer shave; but with over 2500 shaves on the Norelco's blades, it wasn't tough to do better. The Braun couldn't handle my neck at all; especially where the hair changes direction.

I even spent MORE time with the Braun than the Norelco, and it still left uncut hair all over the place. I had to use the Norelco to touch up after the Braun! And the topper? In 14 years, my Norelco razors NEVER made me bleed!

Yep, the Braun is going back. I'm trading it in for a Norelco. I will never consider using a linear again. The whole technology is fundamentally flawed, and I can't see ANY linear razor possibly doing a better job than my sorry old Norelco just did; be it a $50 or $500 razor. My old rotary did the job twice as well in half the time! I sure am looking forward to the new one!

Thanks for telling us your experience, Jay.

From: "Alec Bau"

Date: Mon, 21 Dec 1998 11:35:12 -0500

To remind my earlier message: after 20 years with blades I switched to Norelco Reflex Action, was dissatisfied with shave cleanness it delivered and was eager to look into foil alternatives. Since then I tried for at least 1 week each Remington Intercept and Panasonic Linear, both not very well represented on this forum, and ready to share experience. Since most of impressions are personal it's important to mention that I have a moderately thick, dense and fast growing beard and an ordinary skin sensitivity.

While shopping for and trying different shavers I was surprised to discover that a big deal of valuable information that can influence your decision (such as how frequently you should change heads/foils/cutters, how much do they cost, what are are the warranty details, battery replacement, etc.) can't be obtained from manufacture's web sites, advertising material, shop assistants or from the nice cover of the box. It's well hidden inside in the user manual and scattered around multiple enclosed single sheet papers. And not all shops have open boxes. Below I tried to summarize this not readily available information in brief descriptions of shavers I've tried.

So first a bottom line and then I'll discuss particular shavers:

1.. Blades vs Electric: Definitely Electric. I'm sure I'll never go back to blades. Electric shaving in my case proved to be faster, more convenient, brought less irritation (not speaking of cuts), easy to travel with and, yes, with right match of a skin and shaver could deliver almost same clean results. But everything has its downside:

a. In general it gives not so clean results,

b. You should shave regularly. It was enough for me to skip a few days and even with Panasonic Linear wet shave it was a struggle.

c. It's more expensive in a short and long runs, especially for the foil shavers that require regular foil and cutter replacements. Though if you consider the yearly price of high quality blades and shaving foam/gel the total could be close to the cheapest to run Norelcos.

d. It's noisy, again especially with foil type shavers.

2.. Rotary vs Foil: Foil with my type of beard and skin, Rotary - for those with light beard and sensitive skin or if you value comfort and smoothness over closeness. In addition to shaving closeness the problem with rotaries is that there're very few choices - just diehard rotary shopPhillips/Norelco and some obscure line of Remington rotary shavers (barely similar to Norelco Micro Action line). Unfortunately it looks like a dying breed.

3.. Remington Intercept vs Panasonic Linear: I decided to stay with Panasonic Linear though despite bad reports on this forum Intercept surprisingly proved to be quite a fine machine. Panasonic Linear in addition to wet/dry capability gave me the closest dry shave (wet was even better but longer and messier) approaching blades and a fast, smooth, relatively quiet operation approaching rotary Norelco. But it's not all roses. Compared to Norelco and Remington Linear is the most expensive to buy and run, the heaviest and bulkiest, lacks corded operation, hard to travel with and batteries can't be replaced. Panasonic Linear by design is a very unique machine and stands out in all its good and bad aspects.

For all 3 shavers I selected the cheapest available model among model linesince all the models within Norelco Reflex Action 58xxXL, Remington Intercept M28xx, Panasonic Linear ES88xS and Braun 65xx lines are mechanically the same and deliver the same performance. Differences are almost exclusively in charging time and quick charge ability, charge status indication (single, LED or digital), body finish, rubber grips, pouch type (soft, deluxe, etc.) and things like that. For me some or all of these can'tjustify additional $30-100 (typical) for higher-end model. In foil shaversI was looking for ones that have double foil and a middle cutter. In additional conveniences my minimum requirements were: Low Charge Indicator and Quick Charge features. The lowest Intercept M2810 didn't have low charge indicator that I consider important so I've chosen the next in a row M2822 ($15-$30 more in retail). For Panasonic Linear I couldn't find the lowest ES881 and tried readily available ES882. So here they come:

Norelco Reflex Action 5825XL: $94 with shipping at, $32.99 razor heads should be replaced each year, every 1-2 week razor heads should be lubricated and cleaned in a solution ($13.99 combo), 30min charge for 45min shave (1.5 min shave per 1 min charge), 6min quick charge for 3min shave, 4 hour initial charge, 60 days money back, 2 year warranty, made in Holland.

Pro: Quiet, smooth, no irritation, light, very well built, has a robust, solid and non-cheap appearance, extremely well fits in the hand, cheapest to buy and at about $33 per year is cheapest to run. Best pouch that looks modest but spacious, firm enough and even has a special inside pocket for cord and brush so they don't mess with the shaver. With distinct curved shape the shaver aesthetically is very attractive and has nice colors. It also should be noted that Norelco's shave quality though not as close as with foil shavers is very uniform and it cuts well longer hairs like ones on the neck. All foils, even Linear, struggled with this problem.

Contra: I have the only one major reservation that's, I guess, isn't specific to Norelco but applies to rotary shavers in general - they don't shave clean enough, at least for my type of relatively thick and fast growing beard. My 20 year old son has a lighter, finer and less dense beard and he's extremely happy with Norelco. He permanently switched from blades and visibly and on touch gets the same close shave but faster and with much less irritation.

Overall: If my corporate job wouldn't require looking well shaved even in the evening I would definitely choose Norelco. It's smoother, faster, more ergonomically shaped, quiet and cheaper to run than others. Also I think Norelco is the most well thought, designed and manufactured piece of shaving machinery among those I've tried or took a look at including Braun 6550 (I didn't consider very expensive Grundig and Hitachi models).

Remington Intercept M2822: $108 with shipping at ($130 + tax at Remington store), $19 foil should be replaced every 6 months with $16 cutter - every year (total $45 per year), 60min charge for 60min shave (1 min shave per 1 min charge), 8 hour initial charge, 5min quick charge for 3min shave, 90 days money back, 2 year warranty, made in Austria.

Pro: Cheapest as compared to other similar double foil and middle cutter shavers (Panasonic, Braun). It also gave me a reasonably close shave, much better than Norelco. Though middle cutter felt kind of rough on a skin I didn't experience any major irritation. It's fast, light, slim and has a well-thought ergonomic shape that's easy to handle with right or left hand. The head is conveniently bent at 15 degree angle. The trimmer is nicely hidden inside and is easy to pop up. With black rubber grip pad and silver colors it looks elegant and attractive. It has the longest money back guarantee.

Contra: Very noisy with a kind of ugly low pitch buzz that I personally found hard to tolerate, especially in the morning. Manual states that the Intercept middle cutter is specifically designed to cut longer hairs like the ones on the neck and under the jaw but in my case it was exactly what it consistently failed to do as opposed to Panasonic that has a similar design but did much better. Compared to Norelco and Panasonic Intercept felt a bit flimsy and fragile with a cheap, thin plastic. The plastic cap didn't secure safely over the head and tended to drop when it felt like that. The slim "deluxe" leather pouch though looking very good from the outside isn't very comfortable from the inside. You have to pack shaver, coil cord and a low-quality brush in a same tight space since it doesn't have a separate compartment like Norelco's pouch. As a result it's very easy to permanently bend brush's stiff bristles (actually my brush emerged already bent when I first opened the box and got it from the pouch) and to scratch shaver with cord's metal plugs. It has the most frequent replacement requirement for the foil - twice a year, that could be a nuisance and suggests that foils are of low quality.

Overall: Though my negative list is quite long I think Intercept is a fine choice. It's a good value (M2810 even more so), it's well supported by Remington. It's shaving quality is good and not so much different from more expensive Braun 65xx judging by my 2 day experience with it. Except for noise and long hair problems and despite other minor objections I found it quite easy to live with.

Panasonic Linear ES882s: $160 with shipping at ($160 + tax at Remington store), $50 foil should be replaced every year with $20 cutter - every other year (total $60 per year), 60min charge for 45min shave (45sec shave per 1 min charge), 8 hour initial charge, 5min quick charge for 3min shave, 30 days money back, 1 year limited warranty, just 10 daywarranty on a battery, made in Japan.

Pro: Very clean (comparable to blades) and comfortable (comparable to Norelco) shave thanks, I guess, to unique design with 12000 rpm (as opposed to Braun's 65xx 7000 rpm) linear non-friction motor and high quality and floating foils and cutter that follow face contours. It even dealt relatively well with these dreadful neck hairs (though not as good as Norelco). Tolerable noise and vibration, but nothing close to Norelco. Very well built, sturdy and, since it's a wet/dry, isolated body made of high quality materials. Though you can't shave with cord, batteries seem, compared to others, be of unusual and flexible design - manual says they can't be overcharged and even suggests to store it all the time in a charger so shaver is always fully charged. It's also not required or even recommended to discharge batteries fully once or twice a year like with some others. Again as opposed to others there's no requirement to periodically lube and/or clean foil and cutter with special sprays. The package even doesn't include a brush since it's enough to rinse the head under tap water though after that you should leave it opened to dry up, what on a road may not be very convenient). It also requires least frequent (but most expensive) replacements. I think all that greatly adds to usability. Wet shaving is also a plus though for me it's questionable why to spend $160 plus foam/gel to make the same time consuming water mess as with ordinary blades. The silver body is well shaped and looks fine except for really kitchy huge gold on black "Linear" label.

Contra: Most expensive both to buy and to run. Heavier than others. Least capacity per charge. Shortest and most limited warranty and money back guarantee. Compared to Norelco and Remington Matsushita (Panasonic brand owner) has much fewer repair centers (most states miss them at all) and parts can be ordered only directly - I failed to find 3rd party shops on the Internet that carry Linear parts. Batteries and charger can't be replaced and the manual scary tells that in case of damage, even if it's only charger's cord, "the appliance should be discarded". But I hope that because of mentioned above battery's unusual features (it's even not clear what's type: NiMh, NiCad or else) and overall impression of high quality they may last very long. The unusual induction charger though relatively small and well designed is no simple coil cord that hides in a pouch and is easy to carry on a road. Besides that Panasonic even doesn't supply a pouch for the charger. Speaking of pouches, I think Linear has the worst - almost same size and construction as the cheaper ones for glasses. The only thing you can fit into very soft and thin pouch is a shaver itself, and even this with some effort. The trimmer isn't elegantly hidden inside the body as with Norelco and Remington but simply attached to the back. It's quite possible to cut fingers with its sharp edge.

Overall: Since I wanted the cleanest shave I've chosen to keep Linear though it's expensive and some of its unusual features and limitations are hard to live (especially travel) with. Otherwise I think that among foil shavers Braun 65xx and especially Remington Intercept are better and more practical choices.

Ok, hope it was helpful and wasn't to long.


You were very helpful, Alec.  Thanks immensely for the detailed subjective comparisons of different shavers marketed in the USA.

Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 13:32:09 -0700

From: Steven Sashen

I'm totally confused! After 20 years with a blade, I'm itchin' to go electric, but can't even begin to figure out what to buy. Looking in some of the catalogs, they'll even offer two items that both say "The closest shave you can get!"

So, what to do. Let me add that, for a blade-close shave without all the cuts and scrapes, price isn't an issue.

Thanks so much,

Steven Sashen

Thanks for your note, Steven. Yes, this is the time of year with the holiday gift giving season when you see different advertisements for electic shavers claiming theirs is the best.  I hope you've been reading the Tell Mr. Steel Beard postings for ideas.  If you've been looking at the my links lately, you may have seen the Compare.Net web site with product comparisons of men's shavers. You may already know my personal preference for the Philishave/Norelco Reflex Action shavers, but other shaver users have their own preferences.  Some shaver companies have special offers to get you to buy their shaver.  Of course, I always encourage other shaver users to provide additional ideas or suggestions in response to my replies.  I hope this helps.

Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 21:51:15 -0500

From: jonathan white

First of all let me say this is a greate page! Thank you. After years of using a blade, nagging by my electric using brother, and one more bloody shirt collar I'm ready to try an electric. It seems there are both foil models and rotary models, and probably others. Where can I go to read information on what types of razors work best with what types of beards?

My beard is on the thick side and rapid growing but somewhat on the fine side. My skin is soft but I don't think overly sensitive. I realize that I will probably have to try some money back guarantees but the idea of throughing the razor in my briefcase when I know I'm going out after work is appealing. - Is it ok to shave with an electric more tham once per day?

Thanx again


And I thank you as well, Jonathan.  There are three basic types of electric shavers.  The two most commonly found use either reciprocating blades which is most foil shavers and rotating blades which use two or three rotating heads underneath slotted combs.  Another type which high-end brands like Hitachi use have a shaving action similar to that of a rotary manual lawn mower.  A product comparison web site called Compare.Net recently added a section devoted to men's electric shavers. I've recently added a link to the shaver section of this web site.  While it may not answer every question you have, it's the closest thing to a subjective product comparison web site I've found on the World Web Web on electric shavers.  Yes, you can shave more than once a day such as when going out for the evening as I do the same thing before going out.  I hope this helps.

Date: 12 Dec 98 11:49:56 PST

From: John Grant

Your list of online retail shops is very useful, as search engines don't crawl through online catalogs very well!

In particular, J & R has a Panasonic Linear shaver for $130, which is muchcheaper than anywhere else.

It is an ES882, one model number more than the original Linear formerly sold exclusively by The Sharper Image for $300, and one model number less than the readily-available ES883.

The ES883 costs anywhere from $190 to $250.


Thanks for kind words and the tip, John.

Date: Wed, 09 Dec 1998 21:09:54 -0600

From: Richard Watson

A lot of the questions I have read here are about people with sensitive skin. Well I have very tough skin and very tough hair. Shaving with the new mach3 leaves rubble on my face. Is there an electric out there that can give me a closer shave? One that doesn't decrease its effectivenes to allow its use on sensitive skin?


By the way, great page!

Thanks for your note, Tod.  While others may disagree, I'll suggest a Philishave/Norelco Micro Action shaver which has the deepest microgroove of the Lift & Cut models for a closer shave.  Since comfort is not an issue for you I would adjust the closeness/comfort adjustment closer to the closeness side.  I know that the floating heads on the Micro Action shavers are less flexible than on the Reflex Action shavers, but then the Reflex Action shavers' microgroove is not as deep as on the Micro Action shavers.  I hope this helps.

From: "Walter Lee"

Date: Mon, 07 Dec 1998 20:14:36 PST

Dear Mr. Steel,

I am searching for an electric shaver which will allow me to keep 2-3 days growth. Approximately, this is two to three times thicker than what people commonly refer to as the "five o'clock shadow".

Are there any shavers which can do this? The only solutions I have been offered is to hold the razor at a

distance away from the face, or to not press down hard against the shaver with the face (to make light contact with the foil).

A few years ago I heard of a razor which could do this, but none of the stores seem to know about one which can. Can you provide any other solutions? Would a beard trimmer work, for example?

The razors that I am thinking of buying with the intention of using the "hold away from the face method" are the pivoting head top of the line model Braun and the Panasonic linear. We do not have Grundig shavers in Australia to my knowledge.

Thank you for your great page, and this service.


Thanks for your note, Walt.  My suggestion is to use an adjustable beard trimmer.  I use a Philips beard trimmer, myself.  The current line of Philishave beard trimmers adjust to a minimum of 1.5mm for a stubble type beard which you desire.  Other competing beard trimmers may have similar features, but I like the zoom ring on the Philips (Norelco in the USA) beard trimmers.  I have not tried using a foil shaver in the way you describe to have a stubble-type beard.  Has anyone else tried this method? 

Date: Sat, 5 Dec 1998 14:56:29 -0500 (EST)

From: Mark Cory Davis

Which is best? Any comments, advice, suggestions?

1. Panasonic 881/882/883 Linear Series (There is actually one more from the Sharper Image, but it's $300)

- The Sharper Image claims this is the best

- wet/dry

- 12,000 to 13,000 RPMs

2. Braun 6550

- Hammacher Schlemmer says this is the best

- only dry, but has lots of great reviews

- ~7K RPMs

3. Grundig

- received top reviews from some European consumer magazine

- company has financial problems?

- 40 micron foil

Thanks, Mark

Thanks for your questions, Mark.  The Panasonic high-end wet/dry models do look good, but I would check to find out if the batteries are replaceable.  At that high a price, I would not want a very expensive shaver which I could only discard after the rechargeable batteries give out.  The Braun 6550 is the most readily available of the high-end shavers you listed and I had received favorable opinions about this shaver, except early on when (I'm assuming early batches of) this model had quality control problems.  You can read several comments on the Braun 6550 as you scroll down this page.  The Grundig shaver has received mostly favorable reviews.  Yes, Grundig has had financial problems lately.  The fact that Philips (yes, the Philishave/Norelco shaver company) decided to cut most of its financial interest in Grundig because Grundig's financial problems were affecting Philips' financial figures didn't help things any for Grundig.  Of the three you mention, I would pick the Braun not just because of the favorable opinions but also because replacement foils and cutters are easy to obtain.

From: "Alec Bau"

Date: Fri, 4 Dec 1998 19:18:32 -0500

First and foremost thanks for a great site! I'm new to electric shavers (used blades for 20 years) and the information on the site is of great value to me. Few things I want to share and to ask about:

Few days ago I did some Internet shopping and bought a new (not refurbished) Norelco 5825XL at for only $94 (includes 4 day shipping, 60 day money back plus some other perks) - the lowest price I managed to find. The site has a section dedicated to shavers (new and refurbished). Organization and service, at least in my case, were great.

Just wanted to share this experience with others looking to buy a new machine.

I tried the new thing for 1 week only and so far amazed at how fast, smooth and convenient it's compared to familiar water and blood mess with blades. I didn't experience any major irritation but the cleanliness of shave is disappointing! I have a fairly rigid and dense facial hair (but nothing too extraordinary) and a moderately sensitive skin. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, so here're my questions:

1. In numerous places throughout packaged materials Norelco points that one shouldn't fall into immediate desperation and it takes around a month of usage for the shaver to individually adjust and deliver real close and clean shave. Does this make sense?

2. I noticed that I tend to press hard while making circular movements recommended in the manual. I also do several passes over the same place. Can this affect closeness? Any other hints in this respect?

3. Since I have a money back guarantee I want to try a foil type shaver. Is it worth trying in my case? What brand/model under $130 is worth considering?

4. In other postings I saw Braun 6550 being frequently mentioned but very few notes about new Remington models like MICROSCREEN INTERCEPT M2822 or MICROSCREEN3 TA4570. They are cheaper than Braun and a local Manhattan Remington store currently has them on sale. How these 2 models stack against Braun and each other? What's about Panasonic ES765?

I'm sorry for the long posting and will appreciate any answers. Thanks!

Alec Bau

Thanks for your note with your questions, Alec.  I'll try to answer your questions.  First, the suggesting waiting period for you skin to become fully accustomed to the shaver is mainly for those who experience irritation symptoms such as redness when trying the shaver the first few times.  Because you mention that did not experience a lot of irritation, but was initially disappointed with shave, I'm wondering if you've experimented with the closeness/comfort adjustment on your Norelco (Philishave) Reflex Action shaver.  The instructions on my Philishave HQ5865 Reflex Action shaver reads:  The convex shape has been especially designed for the sensitive skin and the flat shape for the less sensitive skin.  Have you adjusted the control closer to the flat line to a closer shave?  I would not press too hard or shave too much in one area as that could increase irritation, but I would try using circular motion when shaving with this shaver.  I'm sure you noticed a lot of postings below for the Braun 6550 but not much for the Remington Microscreen 3 or Intercept shavers.  You may have seen the mixed opinions given below on the Intercept.  Remington has E-mailed me to mention that they follow the Tell Mr. Steel Beard postings to gauge consumer opinions to help improve their products. I would love to see postings which give opinions about the Microscreen 3 which replacements their Triple Foil line which has received favorable reviews from users.  I believe that the Microscreen 3 line is a more ergonomic variation on the Triple Foil line.  The Panasonic ES765 is an example of Panasonic's popular line of wet/dry shavers which have been underrepresented in the Tell Mr. Steel Beard postings.  Fortunately, I've received a favorable opinion on one Panasonic model, the ES 726 which I hope will be useful and you can see it below.  I hope this reply helps and I thank you again for your note.

From: Jivey40

Date: Fri, 4 Dec 1998 07:23:17 EST

Great page - I thought I was the only nut out there (as did my wife)! I'm 41 years old and, over the years, have owned between 8 and 10 Norelco's, from double headers to a Micro Action and then a Reflex Action (basic model) a couple of years ago. I've also owned several Braun's, but my father was a die-hard Norelco fan, and that influenced my purchases. I have enjoyed owning both Braun and Norelco razors - both have their strong points, although the Norelcos never gave me a close shave (not as close as I like, anyway) and the Braun foil razors irritated my neck. I've never liked shaving with blades, so I have continued to try new electrics as they come on the market. Recently, I purchased a Panasonic model ES726 Wet/Dry - I was a little dubious - it seemed small, and rather light-weight, but I tried it using liquid "Soft Soap" on my face - bear in mind that this was the first time I had used a wet/dry type razor... I couldn't believe the results - this was the first time, ever, that an electric razor gave me a blade-close shave (no, Panasonic is not paying me for this). It took me about a week to "learn" how best to use the Panasonic, and I had no significant skin irritation at any time. Are wet/dry razors the best kept secret in shaving, or am I just slow? Anyway, I've gotten used tothe "light-weight" and small size of the Panasonic - it should travel well. I also like the induction charger - although you have to be conscious of the razor's state of charge - there is no "corded operation" option so if it dies mid-shave, your stuck till it can be recharged (higher-end Panasonic models may offer a quick-charge feature, but the ES726 doesn't) I haven't seen alot of mention Panasonics on your page - I'm especialy interested in the "Linear" models. Keep up the great work!

Thanks for your note telling of your experiences.

From: "pat ben"

Date: Thu, 03 Dec 1998 10:00:25 PST

Hi Gary,

I have been a blade shave for over 10 years now and have been using Sensor Excel lately. But of late I am tired of constantly cutting myself and having little spots of blood over my face. My wife always teases me over this!! So, I need your advice to help me buy my first electric shaver. I have seen two models in Costco 4817XLD and 5887XLD. However, I could not get any details on these models from Norelco's site. Do you have any details on these models? I am also considering Norelco's 4865XL and Braun 6550. Please advice. Thanks in advance.


Thanks for your note, Ben. The XLD models seem to be promotional packages in oversized boxes which may have a bonus product inside along with the shaver.  I believe the Norelco 5887XLD shaver to be similar to the Norelco 5885XL or Philishave HQ5885 Reflex Action shavers.  The 4817XLD is a stumper as it seems to fall in between the Philishave HQ4825 and the Norelco 4805XL.  Because the Philips DAP/Philishave and Norelco web sites are not coordinated or linked to each other, I've posted a table listing Philishave and Norelco model availability in Canada, Europe and the USA.  You can find it at   It has links to descriptions of the shavers from either the Philips DAP or Norelco web sites.  The product availability info is from the Philips DAP of Canada product brochure, the Philips DAP web site for Europe and the Norelco web site for the USA.  I hope this helps.

From: "Mick Ruthven"

Date: Wed, 2 Dec 1998 21:05:58 -0800


I just found your website. I've been a happy user of Remington foil shavers since they were introduced over 20 years ago. I currently use an XLR-3000. I've tried others a few times but haven't found another one that gives me as close a shave. And the Remingtons have always been comfortable enough for me. My question is (1) are the newer model Remingtons really better (the owner of my shaver service store says they are not as good), and (2) are there any other brands that I might like better (he also says not).

Here's my contribution to the pre-shave issue. Years ago I discovered that Lubriderm lotion applied before shaving gave me a better and more comfortable shave than any of the specialty products I had tried.

Mick Ruthven

Thanks for your note and your tip on the pre-shave issue.  The Remington Microscreen Classic, which your XLR-3000 is an example, is a fine shaver which has stood the test of time.  I can still find this shaver at The Remington Store chain of outlet stores.  The main difference with the Microscreen 3 line that I see is a more ergonomic shape compared to the Triple Foil shaver line it replaces.  You already know my bias towards the Philishave/Norelco Reflex Action shavers.  Yes, Remington also makes rotary shavers.  Their unique feature is two rows of cutters on each head.  When Consumer Reports last test this type of shaver, they didn't like them. Their current models of rotary shavers are more ergonomic, but with the same head design. If other Remington shaver users or those who have tried the new more ergonomic Remington models have an opinion, please let us know.  I hope this helps.

Date: Tue, 01 Dec 1998 10:41:25 -0500

From: MK

WOW, kudos on the great page! Finally, I've found a bunch of people who are as obsessed with getting a close, comfortable shave as I am! (the wife thinks I'm nuts)

Anyhow, I was a blade shaver all my life until about 6 years ago when my wife bought me a Norelco for Christmas, the 805RX I believe. Well, I gave it a month and I loved it! Now, I've just obtained a new 5825 and it completely blows away the old razor! I can't believe how close this thing cuts! The day after it hardly even looks like I need to shave! I have found though, that my best results come from using Afta Pre Shave. I tried William's Lectric Shave and just found it too greasy! I know these products are supposed to loosen the decorative trim plates on the heads but, aside from this, is there any other reason not to use them? I had one loosen up once and with a little crazy glue, it was good as new!

I was also wondering if anyone else had any other tips or tricks that they used while shaving. Yes, I'm looking to get even closer yet! LOL



Thanks for telling your experiences and tips, Mark.  You may have seen the shaving tips links I provided as well the shaving tips on the Norelco web site.  If anyone else has any additional ideas on how to get a better shave, please let us know.

From: "Ken Barnett"

Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1998 16:45:08 -0600

I am looking for an electric razor for a husband with very sensitive and dry skin who hates to shave. What is the best razor to get for him?

Thanks for your note.  Based on the condition of your husband's skin, I would suggest the new Philishave Cool Skin wet/dry shaver which is sold in the USA as the Norelco Advantage.  The unique feature on this shaver is a built-in Nivea For Men lotion dispenser to soothe sensitive skin.  I hope this helps.

From: "Archbishop Randolph Sly"

Date: Sat, 28 Nov 1998 13:27:26 -0500

I have been an electric razor user for 30+ years. I just switched from years with Remington to a Braun which I really like (I was disappointed when Remingtion left the cutting bar off the Triple foil -- BIG MISTAKE -- which they apparently realized)

My question is about shaving preparation. I have used Lectric Shave a long time and now I can't find the "unscented" version locally -- I was also told it is not good on the shavers. I have been trying the Remington powder stick and it seems to bog down the razor. What is your suggestion? Jovan came out with a shaving lotion years ago that was great - but it is no longer available. Thanks!

Randy Sly

Thanks for your note.  An alternative is a suspended powder pre-shave lotion which Remington markets and you may find info about this on Remington's web site.  I admit that the powder stick requires more frequent cleaning and lubrication of shavers.  The problem I had with Lectric Shave was with Philishave/Norelco rotary shavers with glued on discs on the heads.  Frequent use of Lectric Shave caused the glue to loosen on the heads which made the discs fall off.  While I was told that Lectric Shave was reformulated to minimize this problem, the Norelco web site's Shaving Tips page discourages the use of pre-shave lotions because of the above problem.


From: "Robert Sheftel"

Date: Fri, 27 Nov 1998 13:47:41 -0500

Where can I find the best deal on a replacement foil and cutter for a Panasonic Wet/Dry razor? So far the best deal I have found on the net is the Gourmet Depot where I can get a cutter and foil for $33.95 plus shipping. The part number is WES9071P. By the way, how do I really know if the foil needs to be replaced?



Thanks for your note, Robert.  Besides calling local stores which handle Panasonic Wet/Dry shaver foils and cutters asking for price quotes, I'm assuming  you've been using the various search engines and the links I've provided to find Internet shops handling these parts.  The price you found seems to be the least expensive so far for the set.  The rule of thumb is to replace the foil every six months or so.  Of course, if the foil is either bent or broken it must be replaced before using the shaver again.

From: "Dave & Tama Poncar"

Date: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 19:38:13 -0500

Does anyone know how I can find out where to get Williams Lectric Shave Menthol? (Either locally to me - Indianapolis area, or order from somewhere?) All my local stores seem to have stopped carrying it, and I really need that menthol in the morning!!


Thanks for your note, Dave.  I can't find menthol around the Flint MI area either.  I did find an on line shop which sells men's toiletries which sells Williams Lectric Shave in regular and blue.  The URL for Global Drugs, based in Canada, is  I hope this helps.  Because the maker of Williams Lectric Shave is not on the Internet, this link was what I found when I used the search engines.

From: "maxrep"

Date: Thursday, November 19, 1998 5:48 AM

Dear Mr. Steel Beard,

I am a 32 year old white male and I have been trying to find a good shaving system for my tough beard since I started shaving.

I dull blades after one or two uses. Blades are expensive. Are blades meant to be used only once???

I use the gillette sensor and the mach 3.

I tried switching to elec. shavers but I haven't found one that my skin can tolerate. This is probably because I have a thick, tough beard with sensitive skin. My beard grows very quick so I have to get as close as possible. My beard is so bad that after I shave as close as I can get with blades I still have a shadow like fred flintstone. It is very frustrating. I haven't found an elec. shaver that can get real close without having to go over the same spot over and over and over again, which increases the irritation, the blades seam to get hot. I also suffer from some minor bumps.

Is there a elec. shaver that can work for me or am I wasting my time.

I have read about the remington tough beard shaver, is it designed for a black man's beard type?

I also read it doesn't get real close?

I am interested in the norelco line.

Are the blades and heads in the norelco advantage, reflex action, and micro action all the same?


Thank you,


Thanks for your note, Ronnie.  Razor blades can only be used a few times before they need replacement.  Electric shaver cutters can last a year or more with proper maintenance.  The Remington Tough Beard shaver you mentioned is a slotted head shaver whose basic design pre-dates the ultra-thin foil shavers which prevail today which have the same shaving action.  Slotted head shavers are designed to straighten whiskers before cutting them.  That minimizes problems with razor bumps.  So anyone whose face is prone to ingrown whiskers can benefit from this type of shaver.  The disadvantage, as you mentioned, is that the shave is not as close as today's foil or rotary shavers.  As for your question about the Norelco (Philishave outside the USA) shavers, the product lines you mentioned all have the Lift & Cut heads which lift the whiskers slightly before cutting them allowing for a closer shave.  The differences are as follows: both the Reflex Action and Advantage (Cool Skin outside the USA) have the same Reflex Action heads which follow the contours of the face in a three dimensional manner, yet the Advantage/Cool Skin uses more corrosion resistant materials as this is a wet/dry shaver.  The Micro Action heads have a deeper microgroove compared to the Reflex Action line to give a closer shave, but only the heads themselves float (as opposed to the Reflex Action where the entire head assembly adjusts, not just the heads).  The cams and heads on the three product lines are different so that the Advantage/Cool Skin, Reflex Action and Micro Action heads are not interchangeable.  I hope this helps.

From: "Billie"

Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 10:37:52 -0800

Hi Gary!

Well, I am ready to give you another update. After trying the Eltron, and the Panasonic Linear, I have gone to the Grundig Avant Guard Pro.

The cutter system is quite a bit different than what I'd seen in the other two. What I like best is that this shaver is comfortable! The Eltron would leave my legs flaky and "bit" at my underarms. The linear didn't but I didn't like the ergonomics, nor did using it wet make any difference for me.

The Grundig leaves my skin soft and does not ever bite. It will take some time for me to learn to be patient, as electric shavers are not as fast as a razor, but the results are worth it. Now I am curious about Park Ave.'s pre-shave, and what I can do to take good care of this investment.

Thank you again for your great site and your kind help. Colorado Shaver Center went beyond the call of duty to help me find the perfect shaver for myself.

Billie Redemeyer

Thanks for the update, Billie.

From: "M. Joseph Haurani"

Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 21:38:27 -0500

I need to buy an electric razor as a gift for someone. I have never owned one, nor tried one out myself so I am clueless as to which is a good brand/model. Money is not an issue because there is a large group of us that are chipping in for the gift. Please let me know what the most popular, reliable, and best working models are considered to be.

Also, since consumer reports has not reviewed electric razors in years, is there any other site that has review like that on it?


From a fellow Michigan resident

Joe Haurani

Thanks for your note, Joe.  If you've been reading the other Tell Mr. Steel Beard postings, shaver preference can vary from person to person.  I have not seen a subjective product comparison of different shavers lately.  If I found one on the Internet, I would provide a link to it.  My personal preference (which I'm sure you know already if you've been reading the other preferences) is one of the Philishave/Norelco Reflex Action shavers. I've received mixed reviews on the high end foil and "lawn mower style" rotary shavers so far.  I hope this helps.

From: "Henry Byun"

Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 01:45:43 -0000

Have you ever heard of a razor called the Peanut? Where can I find it?

Thanks for your note, Henry.  I've seen the Peanut, but it's not a razor.  It'a a trimmer put out by Wahl in their Professional line which you can see through the Wahl Professional home page at  I hope this helps.

Date: Sat, 24 Oct 1998 12:06:29 -0700

From: Andrew Murray

Dear Mr. Steel Beard,

I'm looking for an electric razor. Do you have a suggestion for someone with razor bumps or pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB)?

Thank you for your consideration.


Thanks for your note, Andrew.  The first shaver I thought of that meets your needs is made by Remington  It's called the Rough Beard shaver and you can read all about it at    I hope this helps.

Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 00:32:01 -0700

From: "Jack Lau"


In my internet search for electric shaver reviews I came across your excellent reader's forum. Thank you! Your comments and your reader's comments are influencing my evaluation of the various available electric shavers.

I have read every link that you and your readers have posted, and have found the sites most informative.

May I point you and your readers to a web page that I feel illustrates, and describes all leading electric shavers better than any other web page I have seen? All the electric shavers are listed together (and photographed beautifully too) on one page making it unecessary to go back and forthbetween links!

The site is maintained by The Electric Shaver Source Sales & Service Company

based in New York City. The home page is located at:


* Sales-Major Brands,Spare parts - foils, cutters


---> *What's New In Shavers - See the best shavers on the market today! It is this link ("What's New in Shavers...") that I recommend to you and your readers

The page FULLY shows and describes all the models of Grundig, Eltron, Braun, Carrera, Norelco, Hitachi


Cheung Lau

Thanks for the tip, Cheung.  I already posted the link to The Electric Shaver Source, so I took another look at it and noticed that it was recently updated to include new models.  So I put the clip art next to the listing of The Electric Shaver Source (aka Authorized Repair Service), based in New York City.

Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 10:03:17 -0700

From: Avery


I think your site rocks. Very recently I have decided that i want to switch to an electric razor. I have been researching on the web and came accross your site. I have decided that I want to buy a norelco(Philips) brand razor. The problem I am having now is choosing which model. I like the norelco advantage but wanted to know do you need to use it with the nivea shaving lotion? Or can I just use it totally dry? If it needs the lotion to work effectively then I don't want that one. Secondly I wanted to know, which of the norelco three headed shavers cuts the closest?

Closeness is a big deal to me but I don't really want to hastle with the foil razors. Well thats about it for now. Thank you for the great site.

Your help will be greatly appreciated. -Avery

Thanks for your note, Avery.  The Nivea lotion dispenser on the Philishave Cool Skin/Norelco Advantage wet/dry shaver is intended to minimize irritation while shaving.  If you find that you can get a comfortable shave without using the lotion, that's fine.  If not, that's why the dispenser is there. The shaving performance is similar to that of a Philishave/Norelco Reflex Action shaver.  As for which Philishave/Norelco model cuts the closest, it's a debate between the Reflex Action because it makes closer contact to the skin and the Micro Action which has a thinner gap between blade and shaving surface compared to other models.  I would lean towards the Reflex Action.  As I stated elsewhere, I like the way it shaves the top of my head.

Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 12:18:44 -0400

From: Howard Dansky

hi, i just have a few questions. i have an old Norelco 710RL with no power cord. i was wondering would i be able to get a power cord, is it worth getting? is the lift and cut that this model uses different from the lift and cut they have now? thanks for any help i did read your forums and if this model is not worth getting new heads and a power cord i am going to try the new Norelco's. thanks for any help.

Thanks for your note, Howard.  A replacement power cord is available from Philips/Norelco. The part number is 4822 321 10344 for the USA power cord.  You should be able to find it at shaver repair shops or order it directly from Norelco.  The 710RL is similar to the 3405LC which Norelco currently offers in the USA.  The 3405LC is also the only 3-head corded shaver Norelco offers in the USA.  The others are rechargeable.  Too bad. Outside the USA, there are higher end Philishave corded shavers available, including a corded Reflex Action model. (Thanks to Internet mail order, even they are available to American shoppers) I suggest taking your shaver to a repair shop to see if its worth holding on to.  If you decide to replace it, either a Micro Action or Reflex Action model, whichever you can afford, is highly recommended.

From: DonovanDow

Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 09:38:38 EDT

Mr. Steel Beard,

I bought on the 8th of this month a Wahl System 4400, with the gold foil screen. IT TURNS MY FACE BLACK. I called the factory and they said, "We are aware of this problem, took my name and address and said they would send a replacement foil and cutters.

Makes you wonder if anyone there shaved with the razor before they sent it to Paul Harvey to hawk it.

I have had two other Wahl shavers and I like the way they shave EXCEPT, the blades wear very quickly and so do the foils. I do not have a heavy beard and would think they could last longer. Also the are not, in my opinion very well made. Both my previous shavers from Wahl have had the motors start making a funny sound after about 8 months. They have been replaced, but I wonder.....mainly why I stick with that brand.

The black face thing is a sight; you shave only to look like you never shave.

Thanks for a great web page.

Thanks for your note and your kind words, Donovan.  I hope Wahl solves that problem with their gold foil screens.  In case you are reading this outside of North America, Wahl advertises their shavers on Paul Harvey's news program which originates from Chicago and is broadcast by radio stations throughout the USA and Canada.

From: "Andrew Watson"

Date: Thu, 1 Oct 1998 21:15:01 +0800

To: Mr Steel Beard

From: Andrew Watson

Perth, Western Australia

I wrote to you on 18 January 1998 about my shaver recharging experiences while travelling in Europe. In that email I indicated that my girlfriend and I would be travelling in the USA from 25 March. I thought you might be interested in my shaving experiences on that trip.

During the planning for the trip I decided that the 3 day charge life of my 13 year old Philishaver wasn't acceptable. (The battery had been replaced at least once in the 13 years.) I considered buying a new one duty free before we left but after checking your page I saw that I could get one cheaper in the US. An HQ5885 was about A$270 = US$178 (A$1 = US$0.66 at the time) compared to US$135 as indicated by you.

Before we got to the US where I could get a new shaver we were going to spend 10 days in Japan and 2 weeks in Britain. As we car camp the 3 days between recharges was going to be a problem.

I decided to see if there was anything I could do to run if off the 12 volt car system. I knew that the 2 NiCd batteries would deliver 2.4 volts at full charge. The lowest voltage delivered by the cigarette lighter voltage adapters was 3 volts. That was too high. However, when plugged into the mains I found that there was 2.9 volts across the terminals of the motor. Almost right. What the heck. I was going to get a new shaver. If the old one blew up I could grow a beard until I could get the new shaver.

I bought a mini-jack for 30 cents. I soldered it across the terminals of the motor. Stripped of its plastic shroud it fitted perfectly into a hole drilled in the side of the shaver. I must be honest and admit that this was done 3 hours before the plane left. Nothing like time pressure to concentrate the mind.

The system worked perfectly through Japan, Britain and the US. We landed in Miami and drove west from there through the southern states to California. Then we headed up the coast.

In the far north of California there is a free overnight camping spot right on the beach at Humbolt Lagoon. In the morning I got out my shaver and the power adapter. I plugged in and switched on. Hmm! It seems a bit fast. Smoke! Wisps of white smoke poured from the openings of the shaver body. It stopped.

As I'd pulled the power adapter out of my bag the switch had been flipped to 12 volts. The shaver was dead.

Now was the time to get the new shaver I'd been planning on. Later that day we crossed into Oregon. If you have to buy anything in the US this is the place to do it; no sales tax! In Medford we visited 4 stores for shaver prices. I had decided to get the Norelco 5825XL. Who needs a digital display to tell you how many shaves are left?

In the mall we visited there were 2 department stores whose names escape me. They wanted US$135. There was also K-Mart and Target (we have them in Oz so I can remember the names). The prices were US$99.99 and US$98.99 respectively.

The next day in Klamath Falls we found the shopping strip. More expensive department stores. Then we visited Wal*Mart. The 5825 had gone on special an hour before, US$79.88. Excellent.

They didn't have the 12 volt power adapter. Phoned Norelco. "Spoke" to their computer. Tell it your zipcode and it will tell you where your nearest Norelco service centre is. Back in Medford!

We drove up to Crater Lake. Totally fogged in. We camped out in the forest hoping it would be clear the next day. No luck. Mist drifted through the trees. Into Medford. Found the service centre. Really nice lady. No power adapter. She phoned the next service centre 165 miles north in Eugene to confirm they had one. Yes. Onto the Interstate. Arrived at 1640. They closed at 1700. Got the adapter for US$10.99.

We have an interesting problem. The shaver requires 4 hours for its first charge and then 0.5 hours thereafter. The power adapter needs 16 hours for a normal charge. That means it will be (16/0.5)*4 = 128 hours = 5 days 8 hours before I can have a shave!

We headed over to the coast at Florence. Stayed at the dunes campground. The camp host agreed to charge the shaver. Next morning I had my first shave for 3 days. Fantastic. It cut through the whiskers like a hot knife through butter. A really great shave. I was impressed. Of course I'd probably have been impressed by any new shaver compared to my previous 13 year old one.

The shaver worked all across the States, through Canada and back to Miami. We did 19,000 miles in 11 weeks. I don't know that Alamo Car Rentals were all that impressed.

At the start (5 May) I was getting about 16 days per charge. Now (28 September) it's down to about 11 days. I always let the batteries discharge completely before I recharge them. The shave is still great.

I only have one complaint about the shaver. Around the base of the shave head there is a ridged closeness adjuster. When you shave under your nose the ridges can be painful if you're not careful.

The biggest adventure we had on the trip didn't have anything to do with shaving (except that it could be called a "close shave"). One night at about 0100 while we were sleeping on our bed in the back of our car in the desert outside Las Vegas a police helicopter gunship with a spotlight swooped down on us.

When I looked out there were two police cruisers about 50 and 100 metres away. There were two police persons outside with guns drawn with two more in the other car.

"Hands out the window. Use the outside handle to open the door. Get out. Hands on car."

They checked car rego. No problems. There had been reports of machine gun fire in the desert. We'd heard it at 2000, 5 hours before. Great response time. They thought we were dead in the car, the result of a drug deal gone wrong.

"Sorry for disturbing you" and they disappeared into the night. We tried to get back to sleep. Not easy after an experience like that.

Until our next trip and more shaving adventures that's it.

Andrew Watson

Thanks for sharing your shaving adventures with us, Andrew.

From: "Billie"

Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 12:29:30 -0700

Hi Gary!

I wanted to give you an update on my shaver -buying experience.

I called the Colorado Shaver Center listed on your links page. I was handed over to Darryl to help me in my search. I have purchased an Eltron, but found it to be a little slow. Next, I am going to try a Panasonic Wet Dry.

BTW, I am staying with men's shavers.

Just for the record, I now know that women can have a close shave with an electric shaver. I'm down to seeing how fast it can be done. I'll never go back to "slicing and dicing" again!

What is important here, is that I have found THE place to shop for a shaver over the phone. Darryl is more than just helpful, and I know I am going to have the perfect shaver before this is done. If everyone did business theway Colorado Shaver Center does, the world would be a better place.

I will let you know the final decision, but thought I share this gem of a business with you. Thank you for having so much information available. At least this is one area of shopping that has become hassle free!


Thanks for the update, Billie.

From: "Gary"

Date: Sun, 27 Sep 1998 14:55:49 -0400

Has anyone had any experience using the new Q-One Norelco electric razor? It is supposedly the only shaving system with continuous automatic adjustment.

The innovative infrared technology allows the "intelligent" stand and razor to communicate and offers direct feedback based on the persons shaving experience via the razor stand mirror. Based on personal preferences and information from three skin pressure sensors and one skin position sensor, the Q-One adjusts the suspension of the shaving heads while shaving. This is suppose to allow maximum Norelco shaving closeness without compromising in skin comfort. Anyone with experience using this Q-One Norelco I would definetly appreciate any feedback.

Thanks for your note, Gary.  The only notice where I found info on the Norelco (Philishave) Q-One is from an article I was alerted about in the American edition of Playboy a few months back.  Neither Philips DAP or Norelco mention the Q-One on their web sites.  This is an obvious high-end product where availability is limited to selected stores.  Where I live, the nearest store which sells this shaver is in a shaver store in a Detroit suburb.  If anyone has had any experience with the Norelco or Philishave Q-One, please let us know.

From: Billie

Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 11:48:37 -0700

I guess the web really does have answers for everything after finding your great site!

This is an SOS. I didn't see too much for women, but I see that you are the expert, so I have to ask before making the switch to electric shaverdom....

Is there a shaver that leaves legs as smooth as a razor? I don't have to own one that is made for women. I just want the very best one! I am starting to leave more slices than I should, so I'm assuming it is time and timely to switch. Besides, I might be able to win the "out of the bathroom first race".

I have seen Herrington's add for the Grundig Roll Top ($229) and they claim it is as good as a double edge cartridge. I have also seen Braun in some of the catalogs. I saw your concerns over the availability of Grundig heads. I can only assume that women would need to replace them more often due to the additional surface area covered everyday.

I was told some time ago that foil head shavers break and will tear your skin up, so I shied away from any electrics at the time.

I can see that there is much more to this than what I ever imagined, so I am hoping that you can suggest the best shaver for a long legged female!

Thanks again for such a great service you've provided!

Billie Jean Redemeyer

Thanks for your note, Billie.  Most women's shavers are foil shavers.  Even the most famous maker of rotary shavers, Philips (aka Norelco), concentrates on foil shavers for women.  Two other notable brands of women's shavers are Panasonic and Remington.  When Consumer Reports last tested women's shavers in the October 1995 issue, two Panasonic models and a Norelco were the top three models.  Consumer Reports favors foil shavers for women.  Of course, newer shavers are now on the market.  None of the shavers tested were the very expensive models such as Grundig's.  Of today's models, the best ones are wet/dry models.  I have links to the shaver web sites which list the latest offerings from Panasonic, Philips and Remington.  Norelco is now marketing Philips brand women's shavers and you can see them at  The Philips Shave & Care (aka Ladyshave & Care) women's shavers are wet/dry models which make use of a lotion made especially for this line of shavers. While the jury is out as to whether today's women's shavers shave as good as a blade, these models show that they are becoming better than ever.  I hope this helps.

After further correspondence with Billie about women's shavers having fewer features compared to men's shavers, I should add the following: Some women seem to prefer men's shavers, including my mother who uses a Norelco corded 3-head rotary shaver. Yes, women's shavers do not have as many features as men's shavers, but there's nothing wrong with women using men's shavers. If the performance of a man's shaver is satisfactory to a woman who uses it, that's fine with me. Thanks again.

From: "Graham Goodwin"

Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 12:10:18 +0100


Thanks for the site. It has been very useful in my search for a new shaver.

I thought some info from a UK user's viewpoint might be of some use as things seem to work a bit differently over here.

I've had a Remington Microscreen for many years and have been quite happy with it, but it recently became terminal. So, I went and bought a new one but couldn't have got the exact model as it didn't have the cutter bar on the new one. Anyway, it wasn't up to the job of shaving my, admittedly quite tough, stubble. So I took Remington up on their money-back guarantee.

I then looked at alternatives and the Braun seemed to be an option. Albeit rather an expensive one. However, in the UK there is no 30 day guarantee offered by Braun and, as the 5414 model I was looking at was 3 times as much as I'd ever spent on a shaver, I was a little nervous about taking the plunge.

I phoned Braun's Customer Assistance in the UK and asked why there was no 30 day offer and I was told this was due to hygiene reasons. I pointed out that they operate this in the States but this seemed to be lost on them. It just proves that Americans are cleaner than the British!

Having seemingly reached an impasse, I emailed Braun in Germany with details of my plight and I eventually received a response from someone else in Customer Care in the UK. They were very understanding and were happy to offer me a 30 day guarantee:-)

On the strength of this I bought the Braun 5414. Unfortunately, my experience was that it was sadly underpowered. Although I could eventually achieve a good shave, I found that it was taking me twice as long to do so. This amounted to an extra 24 hours a year spent shaving and, as I pointed out to Braun, life's just too short!

So, by this stage I had become a frequent visitor to your site and I had seen that the Braun 65xx was a more powerful beast. I also read about the Remington Intercept which I hadn't spotted previously.

With Braun still backing me with a 30 day guarantee I went and bought both the Braun 6525 and also the Remington Intercept so that I could compare them to speak. I rather liked the ergonomics of the Remington but, as a previous poster pointed out, the cutter bar is nowhere near as flexible as the Braun's and was quite noticable when shaving. It also had to be recharged more frequently than the Braun. The closeness of shave of the Remington was good but the Braun fell into the 'very good' category.

The obvious outcome was that I stuck with the Braun and I am still very happy with it. It does still take me a little longer to shave but I suspect that this is me now being more aware of the closeness that can be achieved with a little more effort.

The other issue that arose during my investigations was the difference in price which we pay in the UK. I discovered that the Braun 6525 could be bought mail order from the US for £20 (UKP) less than from Currys (UK retailer) and that was AFTER taking into account postage, import duty and VAT.

In the end, I bought mine from Boots in the UK as they had a special offer at the time which evened out the difeerential to some extent.

I did inform Braun that I felt that they should be more consistent with their pricing and returns policies between different countries but they didn't have any comment to make.

Anyway, the upshot of all of this is that I have finally spent far more than I ever intended (the Braun 6525 was £120) but I have a shaver that I am very happy with, so far.

Your UK readers might like to be aware of what support they can get if they are persistent (or make a nuisance of themselves!).



ps I realise that this is a bit of an essay. Please feel free to edit, discard or set fire to all or any of it:-)

Thanks for your note giving your product comparison, Graham.  I noticed pricing differences between shavers in the USA and Canada from my perspective living near the border.  Canadians tend to pay more (and now even more due to exchange rate problems).  You may have noticed the links I have to on-line shops located in the USA and Canada in case you want to check them out.  I've also noticed differences in money back guarantees (if offered) between marketing subsidiaries of the same company in each country as well.  I think you did the right thing.  Unlike some shaver marketing subsidiaries which operate web sites, the Electric Shaver Page is global in attitude and welcomes comparisons between different marketing subsidiaries of the same company.  Here in North America, there is a free trade agreement between the USA, Canada and Mexico which some shaver companies embrace (as shown by American, Canadian and Mexican addresses on the same box.)  But there are others which still need to be NAFTA compliant.  NAFTA stands for the North American Free Trade Agreement.  My reply also reflects my committment to get the shaver companies doing business in the USA, Canada and Mexico to be fully NAFTA compliant so that both the manufacturer and consumer saves money. Right now, the worst offender is Philips with Norelco shavers in the USA and Philishave shavers in Canada and Mexico.  Even though Philips now sells Philips brand women's shavers in the USA, the packaging is still not NAFTA compliant. (excuse me while I get off my soap box)  Thanks again for my note and my apologies for being long winded as well. ;)

Date: Wed, 19 Aug 1998 09:21:52 -0400

From: Jonathan Burke

I am a student at the the Academy for Engineering and Design Technologies, and my fellow pupils and I are taking apart an electric shaver. I was wondering if you could supply us with some history on the electric shaver/trimmer/clipper. Anything would help us dearly.

signed, Jonathan Burke

P.S. I love your page. It is quite excellent. It helped us dearly.

Thanks for your note and your kind words, Jonathan.  The Electric Shaver Page, as you have noticed, is full of historical material on shavers.  They include my own material (including the Jacob Schick page at as well as links to other web sites.  The company which introduced the electric clipper, Wahl, has its own history section.  Their original clipper was patented in 1919 and you can read about it at  I hope this helps.

Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 10:48:50 -0500


I'm thinking about switching from Braun (old 4500 series) to Norelco (5800 series)for the first time in over 10 yrs., but am curious about comments that the Norelco shavers do not shave as close versus the Braun. If this is the case, can you describe how much less close?

Also, I have heard that Ni Cad batteries have memories so that they can provide less less battery reserve over time, depending on recharging habits, and Nickel Metal Hydride batteries do not have this problem. It is my understanding that the Phillishave brand comes with the metal hydride batteries, so can they be bought is the US and, if so, where?

Mail order is OK with me. Thanks, Dean

Thanks for your note, Dean.  I believe the closeness debate concerning the Philishave/Norelco Reflex Action shavers (the 5800 series) has to do with the microgroove on the Reflex Action heads which is not as deep as the microgroove on their Micro Action shavers.  But I do love the way the Reflex Action shavers shave the top of my head.  ;)  My speculation is that the designers of the Reflex Action shavers had irritation problems with the Micro Action heads on experimental Reflex Action shavers.  Opinions do vary as to which is better whether it is the rotary (Philishave/Norelco) or foil (Braun and others) type of shaver.

As for you question on availability of  Norelco (Philishave) shavers with Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries rather than the NiCad batteries commonly available, Norelco only sells NiCad models in the USA.  Living near Canada where Philishave shavers are sold, I should mention that most Philishave rechargeable shavers sold in Canada have NiCads.  The Philishave shavers sold in Europe tend to use NiMH cells which are also less toxic than NiCads which is important when disposing of worn out batteries.  There are British on-line shops which sell these shavers and I have links to some in the my list of shaver shops on-line.  I hope this helps.

From: "Brett Hall"

Date: Mon, 24 Aug 1998 16:23:19 PDT


I used your site heavily in the purchase of my first electric shaver about a year ago - and bought the Philishave HQ5885 (in that neat purple shade) from the Electric Shaver Service.

I just wanted to drop a note and mention the good service the 5885 and it's quirky electronics have given me. After a year of considerable use (and too little cleaning) it is still shaving well. I have fairly stiff stubble, but not too sensitive skin - the 5885 has been excellent for that. The shave isn't quite as close as it was with a blade, but I have found that ever so slight difference to be quite acceptable - with no razor burn or bleeding at all. In regards to the maximum shaves of 6, it now reads 29 shaves after charging, I guess I shave pretty fast. (I do consistently run down the batteries quite low before charging however)

I am looking into the cleaning products you mentioned in a recent post to the forum. I don't have any local shaver shops - does the electric shaver service carry those Norelco cleaning products? What are the approximate prices ($USD) of the RC1776, ERC100, and ECS1?

Again, thanks for keeping up a great resource for us choosy shoppers looking for a good shave.

Brett Hall

Thanks for your note and welcome back, Brett.  I checked the Electric Shaver Service web site. As of this writing (August 25, 1998), they sell the RC1776 cleaning solution for $4.69 US and the ECS1 cleaner (for use in the electrosonic head cleaner) for $4.95 US.  You can see these at  I did not see the ERC100 electrosonic head cleaner, but you can E-mail Electric Shaver Service to see if they offer it.  Norelco does sell it directly (Their toll-free number in the USA is 1-800-243-7884).  I also saw two on-line shops which sell the ERC100. I found this through the AltaVista search engine at by using ERC100 as the key word.  I hope this helps, Brett.

From: "jhearl"

Date: Sun, 23 Aug 1998 14:07:27 -0700

I currently own a Norelco 955RX in which the battery has finally died. I've been only moderately happy with it over the years. I seem to have a dense beard but not very sensitive skin. I get my closest shaves with a normal saftey razor and lather, but prefer electric for its relative ease, even though I can't get the close shave I'd prefer. I've looked at the Hammacher-Schlemmer web site ( and they appear to carry a Braun as their "Tested as Best" model. I've also looked at Sharper Image ( and they carry a Panasonic linear shaver as their top of the line. Since I've been using a rotary for the past many years, am I likely to have problems with a linear? Although the $300 price tag of the Panasonic is not a barrier to me, I'd like to be sure I'm getting the best available shaver on the planet for that price. I haven't seen any discussions of that shaver in the forum. Your (or your reader's) opinions would be welcome.



Thanks for your note requesting additional input concerning user experiences with the Panasonic linear shaver, John.  As you already noticed, I haven't received any input from users on this shaver.  If anyone reading these notes have used or is using the Panasonic linear shaver, please post your experience with it.

From: Tad Fickel

Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 06:34:41 -0700

This page proves you can find good, sound information on the internet about any subject under the sun!

A few weeks ago I attended a Seattle Mariners baseball game where you could get in free if you shaved your head like Mariners right fielder Jay Buhner.

It was a pretty good game, the free tickets were great and a good time was had by all. Now, I think I like my new look and have decided to stay clean shaven, as it were, for the foreseeable future. The problem? Shaving my dome is taking too much time!! I have to do it every day and if I skip a day I have a big five o'clock shadow around my "bald spot". I have been considering using an electric shaver thinking that that would speed it up a little, or at least get me away from a sink, shaving cream, and a new blade in my Gillette Senser every day. Tell me, what does Michael Jordan and all those other athletes with smooth domes do? Is there a lotion or cream that will inhibit hair growth? I have tried Nair but most of my hair is too coarse and if I leave it on too long my scalp burns (and looks like alien skin for about two days). Any information would be helpful.

Thanks for your note, Tad.  You asked the right person as, while I am bald, I do need to shave the top of my head.  I use a Philishave (Norelco) Reflex Action shaver to do this as I found the shaving action perfect as it follows the contours of the top of my head.  Their new wet/dry shaver, the Philishave Cool Skin/Norelco Advantage, also uses the Reflex Action heads.  You can find out more about these shavers on the Philips DAP web site at

Date: Sat, 15 Aug 1998 12:25:02 -0600

From: DPAD


I have a few questions about Braun razors. I purchased one of the first Flex models when they came out 6-7 years ago and had great luck with it. I recently replaced it when I broke it with a Braun model #5311 (which I thought would shave the same) and I am very unhappy with it. It doesn't shave as close as my old Braun. In reading messages on your site, it seems that everyone is talking about the Braun 6500 series. Are there differences from the 5311 and if so, what are they? I checked Braun's web site and really didn't find the answers I'm looking for. I am going to buy a new razor but I obviously want the best, closest shave for my coarse beard and sensitive skin. I also want the capability to shave corded or cordless (the 5311 does not let you shave corded if the battery is dead!)

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated, even if you think there's a better razor for me than the Braun, i.e. Norelco, Remmington, etc.

Thanks in advance,


Thanks for your note, Joe.  The Braun 6500 Flex Integral Ultra Speed series' unique feature, as the product line's name implies, is a faster motor.  The Braun 5311 is the lowest end Flex Integral shaver that Braun offers so I would expect inferior performance.  As you already mentioned, it only works cordless.  You may want to check out Braun's web site at to compare the different Braun models.  Both Remington and Philips/Norelco have newer state of the art models of shavers which are worth considering as well.  I suggest checking out their home pages.  The Philips/Norelco link is for the Philips DAP web site instead of the Norelco web site because the Norelco web site still does not list models.  I hope this helps.

Date: Wed, 05 Aug 1998 17:33:57 -0400

From: Terriann Bonfini


I want to buy my 21 year old son an electric razor because I'm tired of seeing his face "butchered" each time he shaves. I've read your site comments, and am quite confused. My son has a very heavy beard , but not sensitive skin. I'd like to purchase a shaver that will give him a very close shave. It sounds as if most of your visitors like the Braun 6550 and Norelco 5885. Please give me some feedback. Thanks so much

for your assistance!


Thanks for your note, Gina.  The Philishave/Norelco 5885 is what I'm most familiar with.  I have the next Reflex Action model down which is the Philishave HQ5865 which is different only in the recharging bells and whistles in that it has an LCD charge level indicator as well as it being a different color.  The Braun 6550 is certainly in the high end of Braun's product line and is worth considering for those who prefer foil shavers.  If you've been reading the other postings, you may already know that I'm used to the Philishave/Norelco rotary shavers.  The Reflex Action shavers are (not counting their new wet/dry shavers) the high-end of the Philishave/Norelco line.  I probably mentioned it elsewhere before, but I like the way my Reflex Action shaver shaves my bald head in that it follows the contours of my face and head.  There are URLs with more information about these shavers.  Click here for info on the Braun 6550 from Braun's web site.   Click here for info from Philips DAP about the Philishave HQ5890 which is similar to the Norelco 5885XL except that the 5890 uses NiMH batteries while the 5885 uses NiCad batteries.

From: "Carlos Restrepo"

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 18:33:48 -0500

Dear Gary: I recently purchased an electric shaver for the first time. I chose a Norelco 5885 and I am pretty satisfied with the results. I have one question about cleaning the heads: is it necessary to use head cleaning products or is it enough to clean them with the brush as specified in the manual? I am a little concerned since head cleaning products are not available in my country.

Thanks for your answer.

Carlos R

Thanks for your note, Carlos.  It's recommended that the head assembly of Philishave/Norelco shavers be disassembled in order to clean individual parts each month.  However, the combs and cutters must not be mixed--they should be cleaned one set at a time--because mixing the guards and cutters will affect shaving performance and it will take several weeks before optimal shaving performance is restored.  It seems as if good shavers and shaver accessories are hard to find in Colombia, isn't it? ;)  Norelco, the American unit of Philips DAP, markets two different types of cleaning accessories.  The less expensive head cleaner is basically a bottle of cleaning fluid with a large cup included to put the head assembly into.  Norelco sells this as item number RC1776.  Norelco also markets an electrosonic head cleaner (item# ERC100) which uses a special cleaning solution (item# ECS1).  This electrosonic head cleaner has been marketed by Philips DAP of Canada as item# SHC100 and the cleaning solution for the SHC100 is item# SHC200.  The electrosonic head cleaner includes a tray with hinged compartments to keep the combs and cutters together.  You can E-mail Philips DAP to ask about the availability of Philishave shaving accessories in Colombia.  The URL is

I found a American shaver shop in Colorado on line which markets both types of shaver cleaners I mentioned.  The URL for Nelson Appliances' web page for Norelco shaver accessories can be found at

I hope this helps and thanks again.

From: "Walsh, Brian"

Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 19:02:22 -0400


Please tell me where I can find Sanyo shavers. The best shaver I ever had was the one with ceramic blades from about 1990. I cant find any sanyo shavers for sale anywhere.

When I looked at the Sanyo consumer products web page a couple months age, I saw some shavers, but it sounds like they are not sold in the US.

Does anyone know where Sanyo shavers can be purchased, and where info can be found about them???

One last question please, has anyone tried the Grundig "lawn mower" type shaver. I once tried one like that a few years ago from another manufacturer, but it really did not cut well. Do most people who tried it like the Grundig or not??

Thanks for your note, Brian.  When I took a shaver to a local shop a year or so ago, I found that this shop handled Sanyo shavers.  I picked up a brochure which bore the following address and phone number for the USA:  Sanyo Home Appliance, 21350 Lassen Street, Chatsworth, CA 91311. Phone 818-998-7322. Fax 818-717-2703.  You may want to contact them asking where the nearest Sanyo shaver dealer is located. The comments I've received on Grundig shavers have been mixed.  Hitachi shavers also have the lawn mower shaving action and there is a comment on a Hitachi shaver below and the user seems to be happy with it with only shaving the ear and neck area where the whiskers tend to be flattened as the problem areas.

From: "Susan and Gary"

Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 15:25:52 -0700

Hello Gary,

Looks like there's lots of people talking about the Braun 6550 and the Norelco 5885.

If your interested in getting the Braun 6550 for $125, then go to this link >

If your interested in getting the Norelco 5885 for $120, then go to this link

If you have a Price/Costco store around you, then you can pick up the Braun 6550 or the new Norelco 5887 for only $119 each.

I recently bought the Braun 6550 as it seemed to be the best for people with sensitive skin from what I've read on your site and from what I learned from my own research.

I'm sorry to say, but I'm really disappointed with the Braun so far in that it doesn't give the nice close quick shave that I was hoping for. My 6-7 year old Panasonic ES722 Wet/Dry gives me a closer and quicker shave than my new Braun, but the ES722 battery is wearing out which is why I was in the market for a new shaver. Please note that I've only used my Panasonic ES722 as a dry shaver, but I run it under the faucet to clean it out.

I'm not sure what Braun is talking about when they refer to "Ultra-Speed", but if it's related to the speed of the cutting head, I feel my older Panasonic beats it hands down. I feel this large difference in the extra speed of my Panasonic contributes to the very comfortable close and quicker shave that I've been accustomed to. Also, the Panasonic is lighter in weight and feels better ergonomically than the Braun.

My poor Panasonic has traveled with me all around the world many times over for business, recreation, camping, backpacking, hunting, 4 wheeling, etc... It's been dropped, stepped on and exposed to most of mother nature's handy work, but yet it still keeps on ticking very well.

Although the Braun is nice, (especially that cool pop-up case) I think I'll be switching back to Panasonic for the next 7+ years!

Thanks for posting your experience, Susan and Gary.

Date: Thu, 09 Jul 1998 14:09:59 -0400

From: Andy Katz

Hey all--

Just a razor review for ya. Tried the new Remington Intercept shaver the past week. Horrible is the only word that comes to mind!

I got it to replace my TF700 tripple foil shaver that suddenly lost it's LCD readings. The TF700 replaced my trusty Braun 5550, because the Brauns motor was just too damn slow!

Anyway, the Intercept shaver has it's integrated cutter where the Braun's is, only the Remington feels like you are shaving with a bar rubbing your face--not comfy at all, compared to the smoothe feeling Braun. Plus, like the TF700, the trimmer on the new Intercept feels very rough on your face.

So, back it went, and I am now going to buy a faster Braun 6520 razor!



PS--The only difference between the 3 Braun 6500 series shavers, according to Braun customer service, is display info. The charging time is the same, and they can all be used as cord/cordless. (The 6550 does discharge the battery twice a year, but I think I can do that myself!)

Thanks for the product review, Andy.

Date: Thu, 09 Jul 1998 09:32:55 -0700

From: MLH

Mr. Steel Beard;

I don't know if you hear from women very often, but here I am. I received a woman's Norelco Triple Head electric shaver many years ago (more than 20). I am still using it. I have tried 4 or 5 others since, including a man's Norelco Triple Head 850RX and a couple of Remington shavers and do not get the same great shave I get from that old purple triple header. I am afraid, though, it is about to give out on me. Is there some place I can get it reconditioned or buy a new one that is just as good? I can't use a straight razor because it gives me a rash.

I hope you can help me out. I'm really attached to this old purple thing. Thanks


Thanks for your note.  There are shaver repair shops which have or can order parts to repair older shavers.  Of course, parts availability is an issue with certain models as I've found out with my Philishave (Norelco) HP 1601 which I mention elsewhere on the Electric Shaver Page.  I remember seeing a web site for a third party manufacturer of electric shaver service parts.  While I do not have a link to it, I should look for that web site again in order to provide a link to it. Several shaver shops which I have links to do mention that they repair older shavers.  Of course I suggest E-mailing them with info about your shaver to find out if they can repair it.  I hope this helps.

Date: Thu, 09 Jul 1998 11:25:12 -0400

From: Ozz

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing for information about a ladies Schick electric razor I purchased in a second hand store. I sent this note to the Schick company and C. Horner, from the Consumer Affairs Dept., directed me to the Norelco/Philips Company site. But perhaps someone here has info regarding this fabulous, almost jewelry like, razor.

This razor is the most beautiful razor I have EVER seen! It is called "Lady Schick Crown Jewel" and comes in a gorgeous turqoise and gold hard hinged box...rather like a jewelry box. The box is lined with gold velvet (where the razor lies) and there is white satin on the underside of the lid where "Lady Schick Crown Jewel" is written in gold. Also in this box there is the plug attachment which is in a gold cardboard sheath. There is also a little brush to clean the razor.

The beautiful razor is pearl white with SCHICK written near the top in gold. The razor's center has a gold medallion with a amber like jewel surrounded by "diamonds." The medallion is very interesting in itself as it has a honeycomb visual effect when it is turned toward the light. The razor has a gold head surrounded by, what looks like, 2 white pipe cleaners. There is a gold engraved plate on the bottom of the razor it says...Model 110, 110-120v A.C. only, 60 cycles 8 w., SCHICK INC, USA.

I would very much like any information anyone might have about this razor as it is just amazing! Gosh, I wish ladies' razors were still as lovely! In case you are interested...this razor appears to be unused and still works! (Though I do not use it to shave.) Thank you for your time and consideration.


E. Llyr

Thanks for your note.  I do recall seeing several examples of early women's shavers which do look like elegant pieces of jewellry.  I hope you found the newest history link I have on the Electric Shaver Page for a British virtual museum featuring several examples of early electric shavers. Click here to see it now.  You may want to E-mail the webmaster of that web site with your question.  I hope this helps.

From: "taa1"

Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998 23:42:04 -0500

hi, i've spent a good part of my day looking at various company sights for electric shavers and yours. i read your archives too. i had a full beard and moustache for roughly 10 years till this past march. i used an old corded double action triple head ,lift and cut, norelco (type hp 1605) to keep the front of my neck and adams apple stubble free, and it worked fine for that. i used the pop up trimmer to "do in" the beard.

however, when i got to the real work of shaving the whole face after 10 years, it turned out to be exactly that, "real work". the flat parts were no problem, though it took many passes to get the lift & cut to get the smoothness i wanted. then came the work, the curves around the mouth and chin. i managed to get it fairly smooth, but in the process the skin, which seems to sensitive, turned a pale pink and felt swollen. not to mention a burning sensation. i have a norelco 965RX that i had used only for trips because it is rechargeable. i charged it up, used it the next day and was amazed at the difference. but i used too much pressure and a few red spots appeared. yes, you can cut yourself with an electric.

well, i've been experimenting trying to find an efficient method before giving up and growing the beard back. i even tried the gillette sensor excel with gillette sensitive skin gel and water in the sink. more blood, very messy and still didn't get it all. had to do the neck with the norelco. tried williams "lectric shave" and it seems pretty oily. tried "afta pre-electric" (by mennen) and it seems to do a lot better, has something called "cassava flour" that seems to make a difference. went to wal-mart and got a marked down braun intregal rechargeable for about $70 US. it didn't vibrate and make near as much noise as a remington i tried many many years ago. it was great!!......on the flat parts. but around the mouth, chin and neck it was a real trick trying to get a close shave, and still had to get the norelco out to finish up the neck. it didn't keep a charge very long either. i gave it a chance, comparing it with the norelco, then took it back before the 30 days expired for a refund. been looking for a pre-shave powder stick, such as you mention in your replies, but haven't found one. went to service merchandise, they had the norelco 5885XL for $149.50, that's a bit high. went to fry's, an electronics super store, and found the same shaver for $119.99. i also saw the braun 6550 ultra speed, that one gentleman raved about. and.....i saw the norelco advantage, the one that dispenses "nivea for men" lotion at the head bracket. all three were the same price,120 dollars. decisions decisions decisions. well the sun was going down, so i whipped out the old mastercard and headed for the checkout line. so now i'm waiting for the initial 4 hour charge to finish so i can try out my brand spanking new norelco 5885XL........;-) i almost got the braun ultra speed to give them one more chance, but then i remembered the trouble on the curved parts and thought....nah. i've got steel wiskers in a sensitive skin with numerous curves, so i think (for me anyway) the best bet is going to be a norelco.....or just grow the beard again. i'm anxious to see if the reflx action is going to be a lot better than my 965RX. hope this has helped in some way for those who are looking to buy. thanks mr. steel beard for a great sight and a place to learn more about the wild world of electronic shaving. those 4 hours are almost done......time to go..........;-)

Thanks for your note mentioning your search for a great shave and I'm glad that the material found on the Electric Shaver Page was of great use to you.

From: "Jorge Omar"

Date: Sun, 28 Jun 1998 00:13:16 +0000

Hello, Gary

I've also received very good service from Electric Shaver Service on an international order for two Factory Reconditioned Norelco 5845XL Besides service, good prices.



Thanks for your note and your recommendation, Jorge.

From: "mocha"

Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 00:22:13 -0700

Gotta buy a shaver its been 6 years and I got an itch.

So...Panasonic linear ES883 & ES805 can't replace the batteries. Grundig might not be around for a life time supply of screens & blades Besides their technology don't cut it for the neck hairs. has reconditioned models for 1/2 price.

Haven't heard enough about Remington M2820 even though it has the center blade called "intercept" for those neck hairs. Braun seems to have it all in a flimsy wraper. Three models with the same technology 6000 series.

I'm gonna get the Braun 6520 from Target for $120 unless you tell me that I missed something. I'll spend the cash for the 6550 if it's quieter, faster, safer, or higher quality (built stronger or last longer) but I just can't find enough info. Its not even more aerodynamic like the new Grundig. I don't even wan't a rechargeable... If I am some where without electricity I am not gonna shave!

Please let me know.

Thanks, Dave Heit

P.S. Great Web Page !!!

Thanks for your note and kind words, Dave.  Braun has recently updated its web site so it now describes the differences between the 6520 and 6550 Flex Integral Ultra Speed shavers at  From what I remember, I think the main differences between the Braun 6520 and the 6550 are the recharging features.  You can also find out more at a web site I found at  Remington has also updated its web site so it menitons their Intercept shavers.  But near where I live in Flint MI, the nearest place I found that carries the Remington Intercept shavers is the Remington Outlet Store in Birch Run MI.  Unfortunately in the USA, rechargeable shavers have the better features compared to corded (or mains) models without the rechargeable batteries.  For example, Norelco in the USA (which is Philishave outside the USA) only carries low-end corded models, even though high end and middle of the line corded Philishave models are widely available in Canada and elsewhere outside the USA.  Fortunately for me, Canada is only an hour's drive from where I live.

Date: Sun, 28 Jun 1998 22:17:14 -0400

From: Geoffrey Katz

I want to applaud you for the unique site--I just recently decided to enter the world of la razor electronica, and to my dismay I could find no information outside of manufacturer advertisements to aid in my decision.  Your site, obviously, hit the spot nicely.

I hope that you, in all your wisdom, could provide me with some opinions and suggestions as I shop.  Money unfortunately is a large consideration to me, although I believe that I could muster up $130 if I had to.  I have browsed, and the two standouts appear to me to be the Braun (model # unknown, sorry--its comparable to the 5885 Reflex Action) and, my favorite so far, the Reflex Action.  My skin is fairly sensitive, and I have heard that no razor is as gentle as the Norelco, although your site has offered comments that the shave is less than the closest I could buy.  I think, however, that I'm willing to sacrifice (a little) closeness in way of comfort (is the shaver fairly close?  Some comments seemed to indicate it wasn't up to par, and $130 is big money to me).

What do think would be right for me based on this?  Would I be better off to spend the extra thirty or so dollars for the 5885 or are the 5865 and 5845 good enough?  What's the difference, exactly, between those three?  Your guidance in this most monumental of decisions would be well regarded and much appreciated.


Note: If you respond by e-mail to your questions, I should let you know that the address posted on this message is non-functional.  Thanks again for your time and input.

Thanks for your note, Geoffrey.  I usually E-mail what the submitted note and my reply would look like on the web site. Since your E-mail does not work, I hope you are reading my reply here.  The only differences between the Philishave/Norelco Reflex Action shavers you listed are the recharging features and the storage case included. The shaving performance within the Reflex Action line is identical.  In a nutshell, the high-end 5885 has a lot of recharging bells and whistles including a digital display which figures out how many individual shaves you have left before you need to recharge the shaver.  The 5865 has an LCD charge level indicator while the 5845 has an LED charge level indicator.  The 5885 and the 5865 both have recessed push button switches and hard storage cases while the 5845 has a soft storage case.  You may have read the mixed opinions on the Reflex Action line elsewhere on these postings.  I like the way it shaves my bald head.  The closeness/comfort adjustment on all the Reflex Action models is very good and if you find the closeness end irritates your skin, you can adjust the setting for more comfort in which you do sacrifice some closeness.  You can find out more about the features of the different Reflex Action shavers at

Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 14:12:52 -0400

From: Andy Katz


While surfing, I found a great electric shaver dealer on the net. Aside from decent prices, the web-site has cool pictures and descriptions of all our favorite electric shavers. The address is


PS--I don't work for these guys!

Thanks for the tip, Andy.  While I already have a link to Electric Shaver Service of Lincoln, Nebraska, USA in the "other" shaver-related links section of the Electric Shaver Page, I checked out the site and noticed that it has been greatly enhanced.  So I've added the "updated" clip art before the listing and mentioned that it has been recently enhanced with additional useful information.

From: "Jorge Omar"

Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 20:38:23 +0000

Hello, Gary

Congratulations again!

Have you - or some reader - used the Vollco sharpner for Norelco/Philishave blades ?


Jorge - from Brazil

Thanks for your note, Jorge. I've tried the Vollco head sharpener for Philishave/Norelco shavers. It's basically three plastic discs with emery cloth glued underneath which fits onto the shaver's head holder. I tried the sharpener with two shavers, a Philishave HS555 Rota Action shaver without the Lift & Cut heads (the sharpener worked OK with this shaver) and a Philishave HP1601 Lift & Cut shaver with noisy Micro Action heads, even after cleaning with the Philips ultrasonic head cleaner. After using the Vollco head sharpener, the Micro Action heads were still noisy. So I exchanged the head sharpeners for a new set of Philishave Micro Action heads.

Date: Sun, 26 Apr 1998 10:35:45 -0700

From: Karl Török


in January you mentioned that a top electric shaver company will introduce a new wet electric shaver. Is it already on the market? If so, please let me know.

Thanks a lot,


Thanks for your note, Karl.  The shaver in question is a Philishave model and is available currently in some European markets.  This revolutionary new wet shaver will have wider distribution in the next few months.  Until Philips and/or its American Norelco unit issues a press release or until the shaver becomes available on this side of the Atlantic, I'm holding off giving away more info on this product. However, I have seen material on this shaver in French and German on the WWW.

August 18--The shaver is now available stateside and is sold as the Norelco Advantage in the USA and the Philishave Cool Skin elsewhere.  The Philips DAP web site describes the shaver.

From: Alvin Chia-Hua Shih

Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 21:54:06 -0400

As there is still some uncertainty as to where to buy a Braun 6550, I just thought I'd point out that the new J&R catalogue is out and it does list the 6550 now (still at USD 150).

After returning my Braun 6550 (due to the fact that it broke in the first 11 days of use) I tried to go back to the Philishave 5885XL, but it irritates my face terribly unless I go through the hassle of putting stuff on my face beforehand.

On a lark, I bought a Wahl 4500 from a local Pharmacy for USD 53+tax. I figured I'd try another foil shaver to see if I could get around the irritation problems.

Man is this thing loud! My sound level meter shows that it's nearly 100 dB up close!

The "Close" foil is the one I tried first. It was ok around my jaw, but chewed up the sensitive skin just under my nose. I eventually learned to be careful so that I didn't have to change foils just for that.

The shaves seem quicker than those from the Philishave, which is fortunate as I couldn't stand the noise for too much longer in the morning anyway. I also miss having a charge indicator. The "popping noise" that that indicates that shaving is occuring isn't nearly as pronounced as with the Braun (probably drowned out by the shaver noise). The dual-foil design doesn't cope with long hairs very well at all, so the "integrated cutter" of the Braun seems to be an idea that deserves more credit than I originally gave it.

So, I occasionally wonder if I should give the Braun 6550 a second chance. However, the Wahl does a decent enough job so I think it's going to be my main shaver for a while.


Thanks for the update, Alvin.  

From: kime

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 98 12:27:16 -0500

Mr. Flinn,

I am guilty of sending you incorrect info, although I will only take part of the blame - JC Penney carries the 5550 for $160, not the 6550. The difference, according to the Remington Store, is faster cutting speed. Anyway, sorry for the incorrect info - I am back adrift looking for a place to get a razor...


Thanks for the follow up to your earlier note (shown below) and for setting the record straight.  I wish you well in your search for the ideal shaver.  Please let us know when you find it.

From: kime

Date: Mon, 13 Apr 98 09:51:49 -0500


Your page is a site for sore faces!

My winter beard is past-due to come off (usually gone by Easter), but it was time to replace my 10+ year old Norelco (never shaves close, even with new blades, etc.)

Anyway, since my face & I are close, I wanted a very nice shaver that would allow me to NOT have to shave twice (once with electric, once with blade) if I wanted to have a close shave.

It came down to Grundig vs Braun 8550. I was leaning towards the Grundig, but when I found out JC Penney catalogue had a Braun 6550 for $160, the extra $90 caused me to head for the Braun.

My info when it shows up (tomorrow if on time).

Nice to see a Michigan-based Web page (Ann Arbor is my home)



Thanks for the note, Glenn.  I'm looking forward to the additional info when you get it. (Posted above)

Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 17:19:21 -0400

From: 564729

Nice page!

Could anyone please tell me what life expectancy of Grundig foil screens is? I am currently deciding on buying either Grundig Avant-garde or Braun 6550, and it is a tough call. Even if Grundig gives a marginally closer shave, it will mean nothing once its foil breaks. And I have never seen any Grundig shavers in the local retail stores. Mail-order will mean incurring shipping costs and such. On the other hand, Braun shavers are all over the place, hence their foils are widely available.

Additional concern is 2 - 3 day old whiskers. These are not quite long enough (in my case, at least) to warrant effective application of the trimmer, yet the old Braun (not Flex Integral!) has extreme difficulty picking these up. Now, Braun 5550 that I currently own does that with its integral cutter, and does quite nicely might I add. From the photos of Grundig shavers that are available on the Internet, It is not clear whether or not its single foil will pick up such hairs.

Finally, what if Grundig drops this product line altogether, just like what happened to the Braun stereo systems (I bet no one remembers these nowadays)?



Thanks for your note, Thomas.  If the foil on Grundig shavers are typical of foil shavers, they can last six months or more if you take good care of them.  If the foil becomes broken or damaged, it must be replaced.  I would be very concerned about foil availability if the foil and/or cutter block is not readily available.  Of course, because Braun is the leading maker of foil shavers, replacement foils and cutters are readily available.  There was one Tell Mr. Steel Beard posting made last year which I hope you read which mentions that the Grundig Roltronic gave a quick and satisfactory shave in most places except for the neck area. Finally, you may have read about Grundig's financial situation. Philips Electronics had a financial interest in Grundig, but continuing losses at Grundig was affecting Philips' bottom line so Philips pulled out. I would be very careful in choosing a shaver if you plan on using it for years and make to make sure that replacement heads will be readily available for years to come.

From: "Gary Turner"

Date: Sat, 4 Apr 1998 20:41:47 -0500

Grundig Roltronics vs Braun 6550---The feed back I received from distributors of the Grundig Roltronics is that the Braun 6550 is the Grundig'sRoltronics Pro only competitor. I was told that consumers that have both the Grundig Roltronic Pro and the Braun 6550, some say the Grundig gives a better shave and some say they can't tell the difference. But their is a difference in the style and the price. The Grundig is ergonomically angled shaped for better handling and comfort. Also, it has a retractable head protector so there is no need to worry about losing the plastic head covers. And the Grundig is much quieter than the Braun but there is a price to pay. For the new Grundig Roltronic Pro (avantgarde) Model 8875-- $329.00, for the Grundig Roltronic Pro Model 8835--$249.00. The only difference between these two Grundigs is their body style. The Braun 6525 is selling for $150 and the 6550 for $170. Well, there you have it the main difference between two top of the line electric razors.

Thanks for the comparison, Gary.

From: "Douglas Adams"

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 08:34:03 -0800

I have finally kicked the blade habit and returned to electric shaving. What a huge difference it has made -- no more cuts, rashes, or intense discomfort. But that is not the reason I am writing. So let me get to the point, I have an older Eltron universal shaver. It is well made, quiet, and cuts very close. The problem was that I could no longer find cutter blocks for it. That, of course, was before I found your site. I was able to find a new cutter block at the Parks site on your links page. When I opened the box containing my new cutter block I discovered that they had included a sample of their electric pre shave product "Parks Pre/Aft".

What a tremendous product. This great smelling aloe Vera based product gives me a silky smooth, painless shave. It does contain a small amount of alcohol/fragrance, but it is almost imperceptible. I would highly recommend this product to anyone looking for a pre shave as it easily beats any I have tried, and beleive me I have tried quite a few. I had such success with this product that I have started using their "Parks Shave Ease" daily cleaner on a daily basis and "Parks Shaver Cleaner" on a weekly basis. The "Shave Ease" cleans and lubricates daily, while the "Shave Cleaner" is more appropriate for once a week heavy duty cleaning. I hate to sound like an advertisement for Parks but, I have been so pleased with the speed, ease, and confort of my new shaving routine that I wanted to share the great news with others. Would love to hear any feedback from those that have tried these products -- or have other recomendations.



Thanks for your note and the tip on "Parks Pre/Aft", Douglas. And thanks as well for allowing me to forward your note to Don Arbour who posted the following related note.

Date: 20 Mar 98 10:56:07 -0500

From: "Don Arbour"

I recently bought a Norelco Reflex Action 5825 and am very pleased -- my face is much happier after one week than it was shaving with a blade. I read your recommendation of a non-alcohol pre-shave (which I would like to follow to get a closer shave without drying my skin), but I haven't been able to find one. My local drugstores carry Lectric Shave, Skin Bracer and store-brand pre-shaves, but all of them list alcohol as their first ingredient (SD alcohol 40, I believe they call it). Are there specific brands that are alcohol-free? And what kinds of stores would be most likely to carry them?

Thanks for your note, Don. At the nearby drug store (a Rite Aid), they had those as well as Afta Pre-Electric (also with SD Alcohol 40 as the first ingredient). What I was referring to was a dry pre-shave stick such as Remington's. The Remington stick (Remington item# SP-5), made of talcum and paraffin, is available from shaver shops and department stores which sell shavers and shaver supplies.  Looking through a Remington flyer, I noticed they also offer a pre-shave lotion which is a suspended powder lotion with aloe, but it also lists SD Alcohol 40 as the first ingredient (item# SP-6). For readers of this note in areas where these Remington products aren't available, I suggest E-mailing Remington, through the link I've provided, asking where it may be available.  Since the stick is made in Switzerland, it may be available under a different name from other sources.

Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 09:13:58 -0500

From: Ingmar

Just throught I'd write again & say that I got one of those gyroscopic razors.

Here're my observations-

It's very cool looking- Kind of a '60s, early '70s French Renault styling. Hip but kooky.

It's made by Brevet & *is* the model supposedly sent into space.

It's heavy. & has this nifty 'magnet' action when you turn it while the blades are spinning- I guess the distribution of weight or something.

It's distributed in the US by Brainstorms. Here's their # 800/621.7500

The downside is that it takes a bit more work than I was expecting. All the adverts say 'two or three pulls', but that only lasts for about 20 seconds. It'll still probably save me time- no foam, rinsing out the sink, etc.


Thanks for the update. Because, as proven here, Brevett still makes mechanical shavers and because I had listed it in the Shaver Brands From The Past section, I'll have to make an update,too.  ;)

From: JThome33

Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 19:54:30 EST

Great Page!

i need your advice. about 5 weeks ago i bought a norelco reflex action 5825XL and was initially impressed with its performance. however, now i'm not so sure. i have to spend a relatively long time shaving and i can still feel bristle in some places. i was reading the other posts on your page and they have me wondering if a Micro-action razor would give me a closer shave, but maybe give more irritation. i have been a blade shaver but i finally got tired of constantly nicking myself and having little spots of blood over my face (i used sensor excel). can you advise? i was looking specifically at the 4845XL and my 60 day trial is nearing its end. thanks a million!

john thome (

Thanks for your note, John.  I like the job the Reflex Action shaver does on my bald head.  Otherwise, I've had satisfactory results with the Micro Action shavers as well as the Reflex Action.  My preferred shaving method to get all the whiskers is to move your shaver in a star-shaped pattern to get the whiskers growing in all directions.  Stretching your skin slightly with your free hand will help straighten whiskers before shaving.  I hope this helps.

Date: Sun, 08 Mar 1998 18:44:28 -0500

From: Ingmar

I'm writing because I'm interested in gyroscopic razors.

I read one post regarding them & wanted to see if anyone used themregularly.

I'm thinking of going back to electric (after a 8 year hiatus during which I employed a double-blade safty razor. Recently it's been causing my neck to become red.

I started reading about the new electrics online & then came across EMFs & so I decided to investigate an alternative.

If I'm not mistaken I've seen the French gyroscopic design before, but I want to know if it's:

A) comfortable

B) lasting

C) close

D) fun


Thanks for your note, Ingmar and I hope that people who have used this type of shaver will tell us their experiences.

Date: Fri, 06 Mar 1998 10:39:45 -0600

From: jacobson

As readers of this section know, I was disappointed in my new Norelco 5825 XL. Although accompanied by a superbly designed travel case, attractive, colorful, ergonometrically superior, lightweight, quiet, and very smooth, the shave simply has not been as close, even after several months, as my previous Norelco 915.

Favorable comments below about the Braun 6550 made me decide to try it as an adjunct and supplement to the Norelco. (I find that alternating between two electric shavers breaks up the tedium.)

The 6550 shaver is NOT described in Braun's current Web Site, which you reference, so I called J & R Music World in New York, mentioned below, and they said they carried the 6550. I asked for a catalog. They sent it. It was not in the catalog. I went to Walmart and discovered several Braun shavers, none of them on the Braun Web Site, ALL with identical "Flex Integral" features, and no 6550.

As far as I can tell from the J & R catalog, the shavers I examined at Walmart, and the Braun Web Site itself, every one of the "Flex Integral" shavers has the *exact* same shaving features. The very wide discrepancy in price appears to me to be only differences in the case, and in the display of the charge mechanism, charge remaining, number of shaves, etc. (just like the difference between the new Norelco Reflex Action shavers and between the Remington "Triple Foil" shavers).

With this is mind I bought a Braun 5314 (which in parenthesis, for some reason, says "5446") for only $79.95. It is cordless and rechargeable, incidentally, so I couldn't see spending any more.

And now to the point: it is a very nice, close shave. The razor is designed nicely, it is not noisy, it gives a decent shave right away, and a very close shave if you are patient. It seems to recharge almost immediately, even if you shave for a long time, it cleans easily, and, very surprising for a foil shaver, it shaves with virtually no irritation whatsoever. Less, in fact, than the Norelco, which is famous for its comfort. The proof of the pudding is that shave lotion doesn't sting at all. Not even a little bit.

(The Braun also "crackles" as you shave, giving you an audible signal as to how much beard you're removing, and which areas need more work.)

On the downside, the shaver is a little "flimsy" for almost $80, the "flex" feature really does nothing (your wrist automatically compensates for the required 90° angle in a foil razor), and, as has been pointed out below, the "hinge" which allows the "flex" is a very vulnerable, small piece of plastic. On balance I think this model is overpriced because of its inexpensive construction, and I don't think it will last as long as my Norelco, which I intend to keep.

In summary, however, I like the Braun 5314 (5446), and suspect it is every bit as fast, as close, and as comfortable as the much more expensive (and for me, very elusive) 6550.

Thanks for the update, Bill.  In my involuntarily limited recent travels, I've found the Braun 6550 only at The Remington Store location at The Outlets At Birch Run in Birch Run MI which is between Flint and Saginaw.  The Remington outlet store also sells Norelco and Hitachi shavers as well as Braun and the full line of Remington shavers.  I make it a point to stop there as well as the Philips Magnavox Outlet store whenever I'm in Birch Run.  The shavers the Philips store carries are only the Philips-made Norelco models.

From: Alvin Chia-Hua Shih

Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 10:37:55 -0500

I am writing to retract my vote for the Braun 6550.

Though the shave is much better than that of the Philishave 5885, after only 10 days of use, the charging circuit seems to have gone on the fritz. The LCD has gone blank and none of the charging indicators work.

This lack of durability in Braun's top-of-the-line product is not confidence-inspiring. (To speak nothing of the hassles of repairing/exchanging it.)

Therefore, the quest for the ultimate shaver begins anew!

Thanks for the update, Alvin.

From: Alvin Chia-Hua Shih

Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 12:17:29 -0500

While home for the holidays in Toronto, I purchased my first electric razor--a Philishave 5885. I actually purchased a refurbished unit as I found it hard to justify spending big dollars on something so speculative.

I liked the idea that I could get a quick shave without the mess of shaving cream. My first few days of use resulted in extreme skin irritation though. I surfed around a bit to see if anyone else had this problem and landed on your page.

I wound up buying a powder shaving stick from Crabtree & Evelyn. It helped cut down on the irritation, but I didn't feel I was getting a close shave with it. I found I got the best results from applying moisturizing balm to my face before shaving, waiting about 10 minutes, and then rubbing my facial hair "against the grain" to get it to stand straight up. (Probably necessary as rotary shavers go "with the grain" and "against the grain" at the same time.) However, this seemed to interrupt my morning "flow".

I tried the adjustment, but couldn't find any one setting that worked well for me. I was prepared to live with the idea of having a somewhat passable shave in the name of convenience.

My first recharge showed left the "Shaves Left" indicator showing 6 shaves. This was substantially less than the estimated 14 shaves it originally showed. So I started to shave faster to see if I could push the indicator back up. (This may be contributing to my inability to get a close shave... :-) I could only get it as high as 9 after two months of use.

While doing some gadget shopping at J&R Music World (NYC) the other day, I saw that they had the Braun 6550. J&R sells it for USD 150 which seemed reasonable given that they sell the Norelco 5885 for USD 139. The glowing review from an ex-Philishave owner suggested that I might be able to get a closer shave with the Braun. So I bought it.

After two days with it, I must say that I am VERY impressed. It gives the closest shave I've *ever* had. Closer than the Philishave. Closer than the Gilette Sensor. The "missile launcher" cassette design is also waaaaaayyyyyyy cooooooollllllll. (But that bit is bound to fail given that the mechanism uses a piece of plastic that folds back and forth rather than a real hinge.) Better still, I don't need to put any stuff on my face before or after.

My only complaint is that it is substantially noisier than the Philishave. (I like to *ease* into my day...)

My unit came in a large-ish box that said, "Limited Edition". So in additon to the hard cassette, I also got a soft travel case and 12V lighter adaptor.

Some of your contributors have suggested that the Braun may not be durable. I guess I'll have to wait and see...

In any case, let me put my vote in for the Braun 6550. It's hard for me to imagine getting a shave any closer.


Thanks for telling us your experience, Alvin.  I'm glad that the material on the Electric Shaver Page proved useful to you.

Date: Sun, 15 Feb 1998 16:55:21 +0800

From: Dale Thornton


Organization: BMAA

Dear Gary,

I wrote you several months ago inquiring about a Sanyo razor with ceramic coated foil. I finally had to give up that search. I also told you that I had never been pleased with the Norelco rotary type razors and preferred those with a foil screen. After using Remingtons for several years, my last razor was a Braun 3550. I was never satisfied with it. The shaves weren't that close and it quit on me after three and one-half years despite the high price I paid for it. Since we live in Taiwan where prices are super high, I have to wait for a trip stateside to make major purchases. We went back last November and the first item on my agenda was to find a good electric razor. Several weeks of shaving with a twin blade convinced me that I hadn't been wrong in shaving with an electric razor for the past forty years. I went to Service Merchandise and discovered that the Braun and Norelco razors still have their ridiculously high price tags. Remington's prices were better, but I was burned by my last two Remingtons so was still leery of buying one. However, they had a Wahl Systeem 4000 and System 5000. The top of the line System 5000 was only $69.95 and it came with three separate foil screens: 1) Sensitive skin, 2) Close and 3) Super Close. Their replacement screens and cutter blades are very reasonablly priced as compared to other brands.

My biggest surprise, a pleasant one, was when I used it for the first time. The vibration speed of the cutter blades is much faster than either the Remington or Braun razors I've had in the past. Even on the last shave of a charge, the speed is still faster than the Remington or Braun at full charge. I'm using the Close screen because I have fairly sensitive skin, but for those who like an even closer shave the Super Close would be great.

The only drawback I've found is that it's not particularly easy to clean, especially with the cleaning brush provided. Fortunately, I still have a brush from my last Ronson razor, vintage 1970's, that works much better.

I just thought I'd send this along and maybe someone else would like to try the more economical version of a high speed razor in the Wahl System 5000. Incidentally, I first heard of the Wahl a couple of years ago when Paul Harvey advertised it. I haven't achieved the one minute shaves he advertised, but have still been very pleased.

Dale Thornton

Thanks for telling us about your successful search for a good electric shaver, Dale.  You mave have noticed from the home page that the Wahl Clipper Company has a web site now at

Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 11:09:37 -0800 (PST)

From: "patrick j. livingston"

Dear Gary,

Sorry to hear about your fall. I think I may have found a solution to razor burn and breakouts. If you'll recall my earlier post, I've been shaving for years with a twin blade and have always suffered from moderate to severe razor burn, especially in the neck area. I've since switched to a Braun single foil and although my neck area requires some fancy maneuvering, overall I'm pleased with its performance. What I discovered is a product that prevents razor burn and breakouts, whether you shave with a blade or razor. It's face lotion or cream with glycolic acid (one of the four Alpha Hydroxy acids). Glycolic acid works at exfoliating the skin, therefore removing dead skin cells that clog pores. But what I've found that is of benefit to shavers is that it also toughens the skin while maintaining a smooth, clear complexion. I've been applying it day and night and have found that it dramatically reduces redness and irritation from shaving. It does sting and cause redness when applied, especially after shaving, but that's only temporary. You can locate face lotions and creams containing glycolic acid with other face products like Oil of Olay and Nivea. If it's working for me, perhaps other shavers with sensitive skin will benefit. Gary, thanks to your forum, our fellow enthusiasts can enjoy shaving instead of dreading it.


Thanks for your advice and for your get well wishes, Patrick.

From: sandersr

Date: 10 Feb 98 13:07:18 -0500

Dear Mr. Flinn:

I hope your arm is feeling better! I a writing to you to get some advice on purchasing a razor. I am half Japanese and half Caucasian which makes for very thick hairs on the face, chin, and neck. This coupled with sensitive skin has made shaving a chore I absolutely cannot stand. My wife, however, insists that I shave every day, so I am currently trying to find a shaver that will make this less of a nuisance and hazard. I have used low-end (the under $40 dollar range) double and triple-headed Norelco shavers with very little success (after shaving, my face still feels like sandpaper and there is only mild irritation). I have used low-end (again, under $40) Braun microscreens with almost the same results (slightly less of a sandpaper face after shaving plus a really red and sore neck). I followed the recommendations of shaving for a month every day with said shavers and still got the same results. The only way I have found to get an acceptably smooth shave (no sandpaper after shaving) is with a blade.

However, the blade comes with its own set of problems. It is very time consuming. If I don't let the shaving cream soak in for at least five minutes (even right after a long shower or bath), I can't get an acceptably close shave, and no matter what I do, the only spot on my face that doesn't get badly nicked is the skin right under my lower lip and above the chin. The only time I don't turn my face into hamburger is when I let my stubble grow out to about 0.5 cm in length, and this, of course, is unacceptable for my wife. After trying almost every brand of safety razor available, I finally settled on a Gillette Sensor Excel. With this I get a very close, smooth shave, but I am still left a bleeding mess, albeit a little less bloody than with other blades. I have finally accepted the fact that I will probably either have to live with sandpaper face plus irritation if I use an electric shaver or bloody painful mess smooth face with a blade. Given the two choices, I am opting for sandpaper face with as little irritation as possible (less pain and less time to shave are the big incentives for me here). Price is no longer an issue at this point. I am even considering the wet/dry Panasonic Linear from the Sharper Image (high blade speed = fewer passes = less irritation, supposedly). Any ideas on the highest performance electric shavers? At this point I only know what the marketers claim about the various shavers.

Because of my combination of really sensitive skin and really thick hair, I am only considering the highest performance shavers from a given company. The three I am presently trying to decide from are the Grundig Roltronic (claims to be number one in a European consumer report), the Panasonic Linear (fastest blade speed available), and the Norelco 5885 (comfort that the screen-type shavers can't match) reflex action. Are there any others that I should be looking at? Any ideas on what I should go with? I would appreciate your insight into this quest for a shaver.

Again, I am not looking for the best overall value in terms of price. I am looking for the best shaver, regardless of cost.


Robert Sanders

Thanks for your note and for the get well wishes, Robert.  All the high-end shavers you mentioned are good candidates. Another good candidate based on previous postings is a Hitachi rotary head shaver whose shaving action is similar to that of a rotary manual lawn mower.  So the Hitachi's shaving action is different compared to the Philishave/Norelco rotary shavers.  As always, advice from other shaver users who post messages to appear here is much appreciated.  Several high-end shaver companies have money back trial offers.  Norelco (the Philips DAP unit in the USA) has a trial offer and you can call 1-800-243-7884 in the USA for more info.


From: jacobson

Date: 9 Feb 98 21:05:44 -0500

I have been using Norelcos for almost 40 years, starting with the single-head No. 7735. I have a tough beard and get a new one every few years. Recently I retired my 915RX with Microgrooves for a new HQ5865 Reflex Action. I was excited about the articulated heads.

While comfortable due to the angle of the shaving heads and the ergonometric shape, I quickly discovered the shave was not as close, and took much longer. It appears to me that this is due to the absence of any microgrooving. When I inquired about this by phone with a technical advisor from Norelco USA they assured me that the new reflex action razors were microgrooved, "although it was harder to see."

When I sent Philips an e-mail inquiring about this, they ignored my question. I have gone back to using my 915RX. It's closer, faster, and the heads are quite adjustable, even if it's not a trendy color.

This is the first time in four decades I've been disappointed with a new Norelco, and I am wondering if anybody else has noticed the absence of the microgroove or had the same experience with their newest Norelco as I have.

Bill Jacobson

Thanks for telling us your five decades of experience in using Norelco (Philishave) shavers, Bill.  Did you remember the 7735's model number or did you look at the Philishave/Norelco history page to jog your memory? ;)  You may have noticed from the photo on that page and by my references elsewhere that I use a Philishave HQ5865 just like yours.  While the HQ5865 and the other Philishave/Norelco Reflex Action shavers have a microgroove, it's not as deep as the Micro Action shavers like your 915RX.  I believe this is a reaction to negative comments about the Micro Action heads irritating the skin, especially on models without a closeness/comfort adjustment which your 915 has.  I think that the Philishave designers had irritation problems with prototype Reflex Action shavers using microgrooves as deep as the Micro Action models.

From: agentc

Date: 9 Feb 98 15:02:40 -0500

Hi - nice site!

I've been using Sensor blades for my entire shaving career (about 8 years) and I'm tired of missing those though spots (where the jawbone meets the neck, etc.) and I want a nice electric. (The glowing review of the Braun 6550 is intriguing...)

What I'm curious to know: every Spring (when the cold months are over) I always get a drastic haircut of some sort - typically a mohawk - in order to keep my head nice and cool. It would be very nice to be able to simply maintain the hair at it's ultra short length instead of having to wait for it to get a few milimeters long so I can use the traditional hair clippers (Wahl).

I'm sure that the scalp is more sensitive than the face, but I don't need a shave that's "as close as a blade"... I'm sure using an electric razor on my head would quickly wear out whichever parts need replacing, so do you have any reccomendations based on what I've told you?


Thanks for your note.  If you look at my real photo on the home page (not the big-chinned mascot), you will notice that I am bald.  But I do have a few uncontrollable hairs on the top of my head.  I found the Philishave/Norelco Reflex Action shavers to be perfect for shaving the top of my head as the heads on this shaver adjust to the contours of my head for closer contact.  The rotary heads are more durable than fragile foil heads.  You can read about the Reflex Action shavers at

From: miles

Date: 2 Feb 98 23:20:46 -0500

I've always been a blade shaver, and have what may seem a silly question:

How do your shave up to your sideburns with a rotary electric razor? More specifically, how do you keep your sideburns line straight?

Miles Abernathy

Thanks for your note, Miles. I rely on the pop-up sideburn trimmer on my Philishave. But sideburn creep still occurs as my sideburns slowly grow longer. I use my beard trimmer to keep my sideburns trimmed as I trim my beard before shaving.

From: kabir

Date: 2 Feb 98 10:07:50 -0500

Dear Mr. Steel Beard,

Thank you for a very interesting and informative site. I read all the articles and found no mention of the Hitachi RX-900 rotary head shaver which I have used since Nov. 1995. This is a unique product in that the head is foil while the blade is a rotary cylinder with blades curving along it's length (think of the old reel-type lawnmower blade arrangement, with more blades). I purchased my shaver by mail-order from Norm Thompson, in Oregon.

The shaver does not tell you when its low, but it does recharge in an hour and is also usable when recharging. It makes a lot less noise than rotary shavers and cuts closer than the foil shavers with the heads that go back and forth.

I have replaced the unit once due to a broken foil (Norm Thompson exchanged it for me) but other than that have not replaced cutters or foil. The replacement cost for these components is over US$65.

I have occasionally shaved too close and had some skin irritation, but most of the time I've had close, comfortable shaves with minimal problems. I always shave against the grain. I don't particularly enjoy shaving, so when I take a day off from it (about 1 day a week) I suffer the following day with a longer beard. If I shave every day, the Hitachi does a fine job and the shave takes a very short time. Unfortunately, low on my neck and just next to my ears are whiskers which refuse to stand up and be counted, so every other shave I have to also touch up using a dry blade.

Now I would like to add a second shaver for travel and so I'm trying to decide whether to get another Hitachi or something else. I travel every other weekend, so I need something rather lightweight and probably rechargeable or battery operated. While I'm intrigued by the testimonials about the 5885 and so forth, I hesitate to spend as much, especially since I have one shaver with which I'm generally pleased. I'd love to hear about anyone who has used some of the specific travel shavers such as the little Braun model.


Best regards,

Kabir Mahadeva

Thanks for your note and for telling us your experience with the Hitachi RX-900 shaver, Kabir.  If anyone reading this uses a travel shaver, can you tell us your experience? The posting instructions are on the top of this page.

From: rcline

Date: 27 Jan 98 14:16:44 -0500

Dear Gary ,

Thanks for this page !! My wife still thinks that I'm obsessed w/ my shaver, but at least now she knows that I'm not alone !!! I'm writing to elicit your opinions on a couple of issues. I've been a Norelco fan since 1980, starting w/ a corded, then a 985, and this year for christmas I received a 5885, Reflex Action. I've been wanting to try one ever since I first saw one. The first issue has to do w/ the 5885.... I've been using it consistantly since 12/26, and still i don't get as close a shave as I do from my old 985. Especially below my chin and on my upper lip. (my beard is quite heayv) Is this common?? I've tried playing w/ the closeness settings, but it doesn't seem to work like the old one... the new one changes the angle of the cutter, and the old raised and lowered them. I'm not sure I even understand what the new settings mean !!!! The 5885 is quite comfortable, but I'm not happy losing closness. I was also surprised that the "number of shaves" readout will not go above 6... although the "self-test" shows 14 on the display. I was also wondering about your support of powder pre-shaves... I called Norelco's 800 number, and they don't recommend them. They told me that the powder could "clog up" the heads. Have you found this to be the case ???

I guess I'm writing because I'm so dosappointed w/ the 5885 right now, I've considered trying a Braun. Any opinions ??? Would you recommend a switch ?? does the Braun shave closer then the Norelco ?? Do I need to give the 5885 more time, or have I wasted my wife's money ??? HELP !!!!!!!!

Thanks for your note.  I would give the 5885 more time. Norelco says to allow 21 days and the manual for my Philishave HQ5865 Reflex Action shaver says to allow two to four weeks. I hope you read the comments below about the Philishave/Norelco 5885 Reflex Action shaver.  I noticed that the microgroove on the Reflex Action heads is not as deep as the Micro Action heads which I assume your old 985 uses.  My recommendation of a dry powder pre-shave is based on occasional use when weather conditions require it and assuming you throughly clean the head assembly each month. Norelco offers both a head cleaning solution with a cleaning cup and an electrosonic head cleaner which uses a special cleaning solution.  Philips DAP of Canada also offers the electrosonic head cleaner. Liquid pre-shaves, as long they they are alcohol-free and that you use it sparingly would also be useful to allow the shaver to glide more freely along your face.  If you look at my picture on my home page, you will notice that I have a goatee so I cannot give you direct experience on chin shaving with the Reflex Action shavers. The adjustments on the Reflex Action shavers are for different level of skin sensitivity. The curved or convex shape (curved line on adjustment control) is for sensitive skin and the flat shape (flat line on adjustment control) is for less sensitive skin. Since your skin seems to be less sensitive based on your note, I would try the flat shape to find out if you get a closer shave and if your skin gets irritated to try the middle setting.  I hope this helps and if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

From: mike

Date: 26 Jan 98 13:11:38 -0500

In the late 60s - early 70s, a local specialty shop advertised a single-head rotary shaver with a wind-up clock spring. According to the ad, this was the model that the Apollo astronauts took to the moon. From the picture and look of this thing, I think that Philips made it, although it did not have the Norelco brand.

Though technically not an electric shaver, I believe that it deserves mention. In fact, I have always wanted one of these. If anyone knows anybody selling, please email me:

Thanks for your note, Mike.  This mechanical shaver is similar to one I describe in the Shaver Brands From The Past section of the Electric Shaver Page.  The brand name is Brevette and is described as follows:

BREVETTE--This windup shaver of the 1950s was unique in that it featured a clear plastic case so you could see "the works".  It was made in Monaco and had a large windup key and a single Philishave/Norelco-type shaving head.

There are mechanical shavers advertised on the WWW. One I have a link to is for the Zero-Rad shaver which you can see a description of at

Mike has replied to my reply and has given his consent for me to post his reply:

From: mike

Date: 27 Jan 98 17:49:54 -0500

Hi, Gary,

Thanks about the info on the Zero-Rad. I think that I will pick one up. I hate to deal with batteries and re-charging when I travel- one less thing to check before I go. When I have used it, I will post a review.

I am due for a new travel shaver as my battery-operated Braun disintegrated when I went to use it last month (plastic pieces holding the switch and trimmer fell out of the case). As much as I liked it, I was a little put off by the flimsy construction (I hadn't used it enough to wear out a foil). My Norelco, though, is just too bulky and heavy for the case that I like to carry. I am one of those who believes that an entire travel case shouldn't take up much room in a briefcase - and that Braun was just the right size.

It very well may be the Brevette which interested me, although I remember the case being white (maybe it was by 1969 or maybe my memory is a little rusty). This was advertised as the shaver which went to the moon. I remember the ads running till '72 or maybe a little later. Do you know if the Brevette was still being made by then? I still wouldn't mind finding one because of the Apollo 11 connection.

Feel free to post as much or as little of this as you like.

Thanks again,

You're welcome. I'm not sure how long the Brevette was, or still is, available. If anyone knows, please let me know.

From: brmille

Date: 22 Jan 98 23:54:58 -0500

Dear Gary, I really appreciate your passion for shaving excellence. I am in need of some advice. I have a mild case of Rosacea, which is a skin disease (causes redness and sensitivity etc). I want to move from blades but a Braun electric shaver I had bought some years ago (approx. 6) was very disappointing. What would you consider the closest shaving (ie best) electric shaver on the market. I am willing to spend what it takes (up to 200 or more if necessary).

Also, would the shaver you recommend be 'as close as a blade' ? Is it true that some new tech shavers can actually shave as close (or possibly closer) than a blade?

Let me know as my dermatologist has stated that changing to an electric shaver would be best for my condition.

Talk Later, Brian

Thanks for your note, Brian.  Yes, electric shaving technology continues to advance.  Of the shavers currently on the market, the Philishave/Norelco Reflex Action shavers have received favourable opinion on several of the notes shown below. They do provide a shave comparable to blade shaving and the closeness/comfort adjustment on all Reflex Action models helps sensitive skin to get used to the shaver. As I've stated below, please allow two to four weeks for your face to become fully accustomed to the new shaving method.  I haven't had much input on the higher-end Grundig, Hitachi, Eltron and Panasonic foil shavers.  There is one person who has posted his comment on both the Grundig Roltronic and the Philishave Reflex Action shavers which you can see below.

From: patrochio

Date: 20 Jan 98 11:46:10 -0500

Dear Gary,

Great site! I would like your opinion on alternatives to twin-blade shaving. I've been shaving with the Gillette Sensor Excel for years and I'm finally fed up with razor burn that makes my face look worse than if I hadn't shaved at all. None of the "soothing lotions" or other fancy gimmicks have helped and I'm convinced there has to be a better method to remove facial hair. It's clear to me, after reading other posts, that a foil shaver is better for someone with sensitive skin. What would you recommend and what are your feelings about this closeness/comfort adjustment? Is it available on foil shavers? What about pre-shave lotion? Can you recommend any that don't smell like cheap cologne? I'm much more interested in comfort than I am a close shave? Will the comfort setting solve the problem? Looking forward to your response.



Thanks for you note, Patrick. The opinions between foil vs. rotary shavers are subjective. If you've been reading the other notes here, you know my preference is with rotary shavers. I've only seen the closeness/comfort adjustment on rotary shavers and that adjustment is useful for those with sensitive skin. Of course, the instructions for electric shavers state to allow a few weeks for your face to become accustomed to the new shaving method.

Electric shaver technology keeps moving forward. One promising development made the trade news this month as the top electric shaver company will introduce a new wet electric shaver which is perfect for those switching from a blade razor.  Because this new shaver is not yet available and because the material I have is still confidential until February, all I have to say is "watch this space".  Some material on this new shaver have made it onto the web, but until the manufacturer issues a news release, I am sworn to secrecy.

June 7--Now that I've received a product brochure for use by the general public, I can state that the shaver in question is from Philips DAP and is called the Philishave Cool-Skin.  This shaver will be available in July in the USA as the Norelco Advantage.  This is a wet/dry cordless shaver with a charging stand whose unique feature is a Nivea lotion dispenser on the shaver, providing additional comfort while shaving.  It also features contour shaving action, individually floating Lift & Cut heads with self-sharpening stainless steel blades and is fully submersible.

From: andrew_watson

Date: 18 Jan 98 06:22:38 -0500

Hi there Gary

When we travel in Europe (5 weeks 1994, 16 weeks, 1996) or the USA (14 weeks 1998 from March 25) or here in Australia (4 days over New Year 1998 - a trial run for the forthcoming US trip) my girlfriend and I car camp, ie we sleep in the back of the car (hatchback) on a mattress with sheets, pillows and blankets. We are completely self-contained except for shaving.

Every two weeks or so, depending on what stage of their life the batteries are in, my Philishave has to be recharged.   Over the years this has lead to some rather interesting situations trying to find a free power point in some unusual locations.

At the railway station in Nice, France I wandered in and sized up the power point situation. It was about 2000 and there was a large group of backpackers waiting for a train in the main entrance hall. They were all sitting on the floor. I noticed that there was a coin operated "make your own business cards" machine. I sat down beside it and pulled the cord of my shaver out of my day pack. Then I reached around behind me to the back of the machine and unplugged it. I plugged in my shaver. Two American girls sitting opposite me noticed I think but they didn't say anything. I sat there reading for half an hour until the green light on the shaver started to flash. I restored power to the machine and disappeared into the night.

On a later trip during the Cannes film festival with glitz and glamour all around my girlfriend and I sat in the dingy, dark waiting room at the "gare" for half an hour waiting for the magic green light to flash.

In Spain we went into a small combined supermarket and electrical goods store. There was a power board behind a display of stereos. I plugged in.  I stayed close making sure it didn't get nicked. I tried to look very interested in the displays. After 20 minutes or so the patrolling security guard started to look suspiciously at me. It was time for my girlfriend to become interested in the baby goods displayed in the next row. Eventually, the half hour required for the charge was up even though it seemed like much longer. I went to retrieve my shaver. There was a young guy there with his girlfriend examaining the stereos. The salesman came over and they entered into protracted discussions. The young guy looked at the back of the stereo but didn't notice my shaver. Eventually, they left and I was able to retrieve the shaver. I've often wondered how we would have explained if someone had noticed the shaver.

Back in France again one evening we came across a toilet block in a P-bay with a power point. Amazing! I plugged in. Of course I had to stand guard. It turned out to be a very popular pick up point. I had to pretend to shave or floss or clean my teeth or shave or ... whenever anyone came in. It was another long half hour. I managed to get out without being picked up.

I am in the market for a new Philishaver. I see that there is now a car adapter (HP1957) available. No more adventures!

Here in Australia the price of the HQ5885 is about A$270 (A$1 = US$0.66). Can I get it cheaper in the US? I haven't contacted Philips for the price of the car adapter yet (the stores don't carry it). What is the price of the car adapter in the US please?

Andrew Watson

Sunday 18 January 1998

Thank you, Andrew for telling us your travel experiences.  Yes, you could use an optional car adapter with the Philishave rechargeable Reflex Action shavers.  As for your question, I couldn't find the car adaptor at the nearby store to give you a price for, but you could try the various shaver shops on the web (I've provided links to some of them) asking about availability and price.  Of course you can contact Philips Domestic Appliances & Personal Care asking about the car adapter cord as well. Several American cybershops sell the Reflex Action shavers which are marketed by Philips under the Norelco name. Based on the American web sites I found, the price range for the Norelco 5885XL, which is the American version of the Philishave HQ5885, is from $135 to $160 US. Remember that shipping charges on overseas shipments can cut into the cost savings.

From: shamrock35

Date: 11 Jan 98 21:57:02 -0500

I love this page, its the best of its kind! Just wanted to say, I just bought a Remington Triple Foil Shaver, and WOW! The make is a TF 500, and it gives the closest shave i have ever gotten from an electric.Buy one! You wont be sorry:)

Thanks for your enthusiastic favorable opinion of the Remington TF500 and for the Electric Shaver Page.

From: brun9690

Date: 7 Jan 98 19:20:28 -0500

I went to the library today and did a little research regarding electric shavers. Specifically, wet/dry shavers. According to Consumer Reports, wet/dry shavers are not as good as regular dry electric shavers. They also said that rotary heads last longer than the ones with foils. Their top rating went to a Norelco, but I don't remember the specific model number, sorry. I guess I'll stick with my Norelco rotary.

I do have another question, however. I have read that you should use a pre-shave powder or lotion. Which is better, powder or lotion  pre-shave? Thanks.

R. Patrick Brunzlick

Thanks for your update.  The Consumer Reports issue you found was the October 1995 issue.  The top-rated shaver you referred to is the now-discontinued Norelco (Philips) 985RX which is a Micro Action model.  My preference for a pre-shave is a powder stick when humid weather conditions require using a pre-shave. I had a problem a few years ago with a liquid pre-shave loosening the glue which held a decorative disc onto the head of a Philishave (Norelco) shaver.  Thanks again.

From: brun9690

Date: 5 Jan 98 17:10:26 -0500

Hello. I'm considering buying one of those wet/dry shavers and I was wondering if you could tell me what you think of them? Are they any good? If so, which is the best, worst, and middle? Thank you.

R. Patrick Brunzlick

Thanks for your note.  The wet/dry shavers are good for those who want to retain the wet shaving experience. Of the wet/dry shavers, I've received more favorable opinions for the Panasonic wet/dry shavers.  I wish had more current material comparing the different models.  But from a 1995 list, two wet/dry shavers were listed.  The Panasonic model had the higher rating and was in the middle of the pack overall.  A Remington rotary model was lower rated and disliked by the testers.  If anyone else who uses a wet/dry shaver wants to tell how good or bad it is, please E-mail us your opinion following the instructions on the top of the page.

From: garyturner

Date: 1 Jan 98 08:48:28 -0500

I have been using a Norelco electric razor for the past twenty years. My last Norelco that I brought was a Norelco Reflex Action 5885, their top of the line. Everything I read about the reflex action razor just made me had to have one. I used it for about six months and overall it was a smooth shave. About three months ago I was in Macy's hardware department and a Braun 5520 caught my attention. I decided its time to try something new and if I didn't like the Braun I could return it in 30 days. Well, the shave was smoother than the Norelco and it even left my face looking smoother. The only drawback was it did seem like it took a little longer to shave (an extra 2-3 minutes) but I decided to keep it anyway.

Two months later I was in Macy's hardware department again and this time they had a Braun 6550. I looked at it and the price and I said no way ----$198. Well, I kept thinking about this Braun 6550 and went back several times to see if the price dropped. I even called different stores to see if they had this razor and none of them had it and the price never dropped. I called Braun several times to talk to different customer service reps to see if I would get a different answer with regards to the new 6550. They swore up and down the new technology used in this razor (ultra speed motor) will give a faster and closer shave.

Finally, on the 31st of December, two months after I brought the Braun 5520, I decided to buy the 6550. But when I got to Macy's to buy the shaver, the price wasn't $198 anymore, it was $250. I thought the lady was joking but she was serious. When I told her I changed my mind and started to walk away she said they were having a sale on Saturday and the razor would be selling for $178. I could purchase the razor now for $250 and bring my receipt in on Saturday for a price difference. And that is what I did. I went home and charged the battery up and shaved. The shave was UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!! I have never experience a shave like that from any razor. If the technology used in that razor (ultra fast motor) is implemented in their other razor products and sold at a much more comfortable price there won't be much competition. It's like have a Mercedes Benz. Most people can afford to spend 60K on a car. But if the Mercedes were to drop that 60k car down to 30k, it would make a difference.

To summarize everything, the Braun 6550 is FANTASTIC razor and will give you an UNBELIEVABLE shave. So now I have a Norelco 5885XL and a Braun 5520 for sale if anyone is interested.

Thanks Gary for telling us your experience with different shavers.  Can you let me know when to cut the last sentence from your note? ;)