The Best Rotary Shavers For Men In 2024

Switching to electric shavers can be beneficial for most men, especially in terms of convenience, comfort, and even costs.

Whether you’re a first-time user or simply looking to upgrade your current electric razor, you’ll be faced with the decision of buying a rotary or a foil shaver.

Since you’re reading this article, you’ve probably already decided that a rotary shaver would be a better fit for you.

While this ultimately has to do with personal preference and shaving habits, let’s quickly see what they have to offer and how to find the best rotary shaver for your needs.

Pros of rotary shavers — when should you use one?

With no intention of transforming this article into a sterile rotary vs foil debate, here are some use cases where a rotary razor would be, at least in theory, better suited for the job.

Rotary shavers work better with longer hairs that grow in different directions.

One of the situations where almost all electric razors struggle is when dealing with long, flat-lying hairs.

Things are even worse if they also grow in different directions.

Series 9000 vs Series 9.

Since a foil razor requires shaving against the direction of growth, a rotary shaver used with circular, overlapping motions makes it easier for the hairs to poke through the shaving heads.

You have very thick facial hair.

The three-blade shaving head of the Philips Norelco 9500.

The wider slits in the combs of a rotary razor also help in this case whereas a foil shaver would sometimes go over thick hairs without capturing them.

That’s because the holes of a foil are usually quite small and some very thick hair strands just won’t get through.

If you shave less often, a rotary razor is generally better.

Closeup of the Prestige angular heads.

As stated previously, due to the design and operation of rotary razors, they usually work better with longer facial hair than foil razors.

So if you don’t shave daily or every other day, you should at least consider a rotary shaver.

Some advanced foil shavers like the Braun Series 9 or Series 9 Pro work remarkably well when shaving longer beards (up to 5 days between shaves), but that’s generally not the case with most foil shavers.

Even basic rotary shavers manage to perform better than similarly priced foil razors.

You can get away with a sloppier technique when using a rotary shaver.

While a foil shaver offers more precision and control (and some might say even a closer shave), you have to be more thorough and mindful when using one: short, controlled strokes, always pushing the shaving head against the grain.

The razor held in hand.

Using a rotary razor with circular motions requires less strict form and allows you to be less aware of the particularities of the surface being shaved, like the jawline or your chin or even the direction of hair growth.

Shaving these tricky areas with a foil razor would require multiple changes of direction and angle to get a clean shave.

Rotary razors work great as head shavers.

Again, due to the way they are intended to be used, rotary razors can be a great option for men who need an electric razor for shaving the head as well.

The flexing rotary heads of a Philips shaver.

Because the individual shaving heads can flex inward, a rotary razor can easily adapt to the spherical shape of the head, which can lead to a more efficient and enjoyable shave.

So men who shave their head don’t have to use a different machine for that.

Granted, foil shavers can work perfectly fine as head shavers, but rotaries usually require less effort for a complete head shave.

Rotary shavers are very quiet during operation.

This is probably the only statement in this list that can be objectively verified.

Rotary shavers are very quiet during use.

Foil shavers have fast motors and blades that oscillate at very high speeds, producing a loud, high-pitched whine and sometimes strong vibrations, while rotary shavers only emit a low whir.

There are certain situations where a quiet operation of your shaver can be important — like not wanting to wake up your significant other, your children or your roommate.

Also, some users suffer from Hyperacusis (noise sensitivity), in which case a rotary razor is definitely the better option.

The rotary cutters usually last longer before needing to be replaced.

Rotary razors use circular blades and thick metal combs that generally last longer than any foils + blades setup.

The SH71 cutter (left) next to a rotary cutter with two rows of blades.
Rotary blades.

They’re not only more substantial, but the blades also rotate at a much slower speed compared to the vast majority of foil shavers, so there is less friction and wear.

Philips for example doesn’t even recommend oiling the blades, while most foil razors come with specific instructions on how and when to lubricate them.

Therefore, a rotary razor can actually end up being more economical in time.

There are even sharpening kits like the ones from Vollco and work reasonably well.

A rotary head is better at containing the clipped hairs.

Finally, a small nuisance of most electric shavers is less of an issue here.

Specifically, a rotary razor will catch the bulk of the clipped hair inside the hair chamber.

A rotary razor is better at containing the clipped hairs inside the head.

So instead of the hair ending up on your shirt or forearm, it will be conveniently contained inside the head unit.

Rotary razor brands: limited options

While there are quite a few manufacturers of electric razors out there — some of them lesser known to the general public — rotary razors are practically synonymous with Philips (Norelco).

A Philips Norelco rotary shaver.

First introduced in 1939, Norelco has continuously refined and improved the design of their rotary razors and became the undisputed market leader in this segment.

Disclaimer: I am not endorsed/sponsored by Philips Norelco; all the shavers reviewed on this website were bought and tested by me.

The rotary shavers market is unfortunately dominated by a single brand as the other ones simply don’t offer good enough alternatives.

For example, all Remington rotary razors I’ve tried for the past 10 years or so were underwhelming or downright bad.

So at least for now, Philips (Norelco) still is the only viable option.

In finding the best rotary shaver for you, the most important aspects to consider are:

  • cost/performance ratio
  • availability and cost of replacement blades
  • ease of cleaning and maintenance
  • how suitable is a given shaver for your needs (coarse hair, shaving frequency, sensitive skin, etc.)

I will highlight the pros and cons of each razor and also mention when it would be a suitable choice.

Without further ado, here are some of the best rotary shavers you can currently buy.

Which are some of the best rotary shavers in 2024?

1. Philips Norelco S9000 Prestige (SP9841/84)

Philips Norelco S9000 Prestige (SP9841/84)

See the price on Amazon

Also available at Walmart, Philips.com

Pros

  • Very comfortable and close shaves
  • Highly effective on longer stubble (3 to 5 days)
  • Great build quality
  • Feature rich
  • Premium travel case

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No automatic cleaning station
  • Mediocre click-on trimmer

The Series 9000 Prestige is the latest and greatest from Philips Norelco.

Price aside, it is arguably the best electric rotary shaver you can currently buy.

Based on their previous flagship series, the old Series 9000, the Prestige line represents a significant improvement, especially in terms of comfort and build quality.

The new Prestige generation.

Available in several variations (the differences mainly consisting of the included accessories), the S9000 Prestige SP9841/84 model is probably the pick of the range.

Part of the new Prestige generation, it’s readily available and has a lower price compared to the other Prestige versions.

It also includes a so-called Quick Clean Pod instead of a less useful wireless Qi charging pad.

Side note: UK/European buyers should consider any S9000 Prestige variation that includes a Pod — the performance is identical throughout the range.

The Philips Norelco Prestige inside the Quick Clean Pod.

This pod, while it’s not a full-fledged automatic cleaning system (it doesn’t charge or dry the shaver), it’s still quite practical and useful.

In my opinion, the highlights of the S9000 Prestige are the comfort, closeness and overall smoothness.

Testing the new Philips Prestige.

And we can atribute that mostly to the new shaving heads called SH91.

The design of the blades and the combs ensure excellent comfort while still cutting the hair remarkably close.

Unlike the previous SH90 blades of the discontinued Series 9000, they used a refined variation of the SuperCut&Lift design, so they are a lot gentler.

SH90 vs SH91.

The S9000 Prestige is by far the smoothest and most forgiving rotary shaver I’ve ever used.

The closeness is also more than adequate and I think the majority of users will be pleased with it.

Other rotary razors out there are a bit too rough for my skin and will often yank some hairs and cause a constant pinching and stinging sensation.

However, that’s not the case with the Prestige.

This shaver is also very impressive in how it can capture and cut longer, flat-lying hairs, even after 4 days of growth or even more.

So if you don’t shave often, this is the rotary razor you’ve been looking for.

Philips says that it can handle up to one week of beard growth. I haven’t pushed it that far, but I think it can be done.

Unlike the old Prestige models, the new one has a plastic body, but still feels very well built.

The original Prestige featured a brushed metal body that really gave it a premium feel.

Metal (light silver) vs plastic body (dark grey).
Old vs new: Metal (light silver) vs plastic body (dark grey).

And speaking of the old Prestige, that one shaves pretty much the same, but doesn’t come with a Quick Clean Pod and also doesn’t have the flip-open head for easy cleaning with water.

Rinsing the head with tap water.
Cleaning the S900 Prestige (new model).

But it can still be a worthy alternative if you can get a great deal on it.

As for the downsides, the Prestige models and quite pricey and don’t include a full-fledged cleaning station, which is a bit of a bummer.

Philips changed their approach completely and no automatic shavers are included with any of their shavers in 2024.

So it’s either a Quick Clean Pod or no station at all.

The replacement shaving heads for the Prestige, while very capable and smooth, are also on the pricey side.

The Prestige will end up being quite expensive, but if you want uncompromised performance from a rotary, this is the one to get right now.

For all the details about this shaver, you can check out my review of the new Philips S9000 Prestige.

2. Philips Norelco Series 9000 Shaver 9500

Philips Norelco 9500

See the price on Amazon

Also available at Walmart, Philips.com

Pros

  • Very comfortable and close shaves
  • Very effective on longer stubble (3 to 5 days)
  • Good build quality and sleek design
  • Cheaper than the older generation
  • Integrated hair trimmer

Cons

  • Bulky shaving head
  • Quick clean pod feels half-baked
  • Not quite as good as the Prestige
  • Smart features are more of a gimmick

The regular Series 9000 is the tier just below the Prestige range, the flagship in Philips’ lineup.

However, it’s no slouch by any means and considering its price, it’s definitely worth considering.

The new Series 9000 generation, with models like the Shaver 9500, replaces the old one and the main improvements are related to build quality and comfort.

It features these angular shaving heads (same as the new Prestige) that we’ve seen trickling down to the less advanced models like the new Series 7000 or 5000.

The Philips Norelco 9500.

The design language is modern and a step up from the older models, but what really matters is the performance.

The new Series 9000 comes with the same shaving heads as the Prestige (SH91), so the performance is unsurprisingly similar.

The Prestige however is just a bit more powerful, refined and the handle has a better ergonomical shape.

The Shaver 9500 and the new Prestige.
The Shaver 9500 and the new Prestige.

So that’s the main difference between the Prestige and non-Prestige S9000.

Compared to the old Series 9000 which used the aggressive SH90 heads, the new Series 9000 is noticeably more comfortable and gentler to the skin.

The Philips Norelco 9500.
The Philips Norelco 9500.

The old heads were in my opinion too harsh for users with sensitive skin and I’m glad they ditched them in favor of the SH91.

The Series 9000 is a smooth rotary that deals impressively well with difficult longer hair.

It also costs less than the Prestige models, which can be a significant plus despite the aforementioned shortcomings.

The Philips Norelco 9500 S9985/84 in particular is the Series 9000 model that offers the best value for money.

It also comes with a Quick Clean Pod like some of the Prestige models.

The Philips Quick Clean Pod.

The pod was first introduced with the Series 7000 and it’s essentially a very basic cleaning station.

It’s not powered electrically and has some quirks — it foams up and doesn’t have a mesh filter to retain the hair clippings — but it’s still quite useful and practical.

The Philips 9500 during the cleaning process.
The Philips 9500 during the cleaning process.

It takes little space and you can actually remove the detergent container and screw the lid back.

The Quick Clean Pod cartridge.
The cartridge that goes inside the pod.

There’s a smartphone app as well for the new Series 9000 that shows various info and also gives you tips to improve your technique. I find it gimmicky and not particularly useful, but it is there.

The Philips Norelco 9500 (S9985/84) is in my opinion the Series 9000 to buy thanks to its price and the inclusion of the cleaning pod.

It is more comfortable than the old Series 9000 and the closeness is very similar.

The older Series 9000 does come with a full-fledged cleaning station and again, you can also upgrade the cutters to the smoother SH91.

The price you’re able to get for either should be the decisive factor in my opinion.

For more info, you can check out my in-depth review of the new Philips Norelco 9500.

3. Philips Norelco Series 9000 (old generation)

Philips Norelco 9300

See the price on Amazon

Also available at Walmart, Philips.com

Pros

  • Very effective on longer hairs
  • Excellent cleaning station (certain models)
  • Compatible with the new SH91 shaving heads
  • Close shaves

Cons

  • Not suitable for sensitive skin
  • Difficult to find in 2024

This is the old, original Series 9000 that I’ve been referencing above.

With the launch of the new generation, these older models can sometimes be found at a more reasonable price and they still represent an excellent choice.

This is especially the case with some models like the 9300 and 9700 that come with an excellent automatic cleaning station.

The SmartClean station included with the Philips Norelco 9700

The old Series 9000 is a highly capable rotary electric shaver that works really well both wet and dry.

It deals impressively well with difficult hair, especially on the neck or right below the jawline.

The shaver needs little to no pressure at all for a close shave. The highly flexible shaving heads ensure optimal contact with the skin at all times.

While the comfort isn’t quite as good as in the case of the newer S9000 Prestige and 9500 above, it would still be adequate for someone who doesn’t have particularly sensitive skin.

Tip: the SH91 blades of the new Series 9000 and Prestige are backward compatible and will fit the older Series 9000.

There’s also a beard trimmer attachment included in the package, useful for light grooming and touch-ups.

But just like the one that comes with the Prestige, it’s rather clunky to use and I personally prefer the integrated pop-up trimmers.

Even though it’s an old model that’s getting difficult to find in 2024, I think the older Series 9000 still represents an excellent rotary if you can get a great deal on one.

4. Philips Norelco Series 6000

Philips Norelco 6880/81.

See the price on Amazon

Also available at Philips.com

Pros

  • Close and very comfortable shaves
  • Good performance on longer stubble
  • Reasonably priced
  • Feels like a budget Prestige
  • Enjoyable and easy to use

Cons

  • Difficult to find in 2024
  • Mediocre click-on trimmer

Update: If you can’t get it anymore, the Philips Series 7000 represents a good and affordable alternative.

The Series 6000 from Philips is pretty much a budget-friendly Series 9000 (Prestige).

While some of the premium features like the metal build, LCD display, and speed settings were ditched in order to keep the price down, the shaving performance is not that far off.

Precisely, the Series 6000 is a very comfortable rotary razor (just as good as the Prestige in my experience) and it’s also really impressive at shaving longer facial hair.

The main reason for the surprisingly good performance (at this price point) comes down to the excellent SH60 blades.

If we take a close look at them, they seem to be identical to the ones on the original Prestige:

The SH60 blades (left) and the SH98 (right) used on the Shaver 6800 and Prestige, respectively.
The SH60 blades (left) and the SH98 (right) that come with the Series 6000 and old Prestige, respectively.

They even use the same metal-reinforced locking rings, which is again something we’re not used to seeing on mid-range rotaries.

So if you were put off by the price of the Series 9000 Prestige, I think the Series 6000 can be a worthy, more affordable alternative.

The Shaver 6800 and Prestige side by side.

The Series 6000 6880/81 (Shaver 6800) model is usually the best pick thanks to its price (at least in the USA).

Alternatively, the Shaver 6900 can be bought if the price is lower (the performance is identical).

Important: there are a few European variations of the Series 6000 available as well, however, in the case of those, Philips decided to use the older SH50 shaving heads instead of the new (and excellent) SH60 found on the American models.

As mentioned previously, the Philips Series 6000 doesn’t have the speed settings found on the Prestige, but comes with its own implementation called Skin Guard.

This mode, activated by pressing a dedicated button, should make the shaver even more comfortable by slowing down the motor.

The button that activates the Skin Guard mode on the Philips Shaver 6800.

In practice, I found it to be of little to no use since the shaver was very comfortable in the normal mode, but it’s there nevertheless.

The closeness wasn’t quite up there with the Prestige as the motor seems to be a bit less powerful; however, it was still adequate for a rotary razor.

Because it’s more compact and the shaving unit is smaller compared to the Series 9000/Prestige, it’s also very easy to use.

There’s no cleaning station available, so you will have to clean it manually after every shave.

Rinsing all t he parts with water.

And as usual, that’s easy and straightforward for most of the time.

The Philips Series 6000 is waterproof and suitable for wet & dry use.

For most users, this shaver is one of the best rotaries in 2024 given its performance and price, especially for users looking for a very comfortable razor.

You can check out my full review as well to get all the details.

5. Philips Norelco Shaver 3500

Philips Shaver 3500.

See the price on Amazon

Also available at Walmart, Philips.com

Pros

  • Close and comfortable shaves
  • Good performance on longer stubble
  • Reasonably priced
  • Integrated pop-up trimmer
  • Flip-open head
  • Inexpensive and durable replacement heads

Cons

  • Cordless only use
  • No travel lock

The new Series 3000 from Philips is in my opinion the budget pick for most users.

It punches above the price point — in my opinion it’s better in every aspect than the pricier new Series 5000 for example.

There are basically two highly popular models in this series: the Shaver 3800 and the Shaver 3500.

The only difference between them is the color and the fact that the former also comes with a charging stand.

Charging the Norelco Shaver 3800 via the stand.
The shaver 3800 in the included charging stand.

Performance-wise they are absolutely identical.

So unless you need the charging stand, you might as well go with the Shaver 3500 and save some money.

It’s a really good rotary that gets the job done and it’s a very enjoyable and easy to use shaver.

In fact, I’d say I prefer the head design and form factor to any of the previously listed razors.

The Shaver 3800 held in hand.

It also deals with difficult hairs surprisingly well and it’s certainly better than any foil razors in that price range when used on a longer beard.

Even though the Series 3000 only uses single-track cutters (the previous ones on this list have two concentric tracks per head), it still performs well on difficult facial hair.

The Philips Norelco Shaver 3800 uses a classic 3-blade cutting system.

Philips gets this right, unlike Remington for example which isn’t as effective even with two tracks.

The battery life is also really good at 60 minutes of cordless use.

The Shaver 3500 and 3800 will however not operate with the cord plugged in since these are wet/dry shavers.

I found the closeness and comfort perfectly adequate, maybe only slightly below the Series 6000.

The blades and guards are suspended on these very responsive springs and the plastic holders also tilt inward.

The 5D flexing system in action.

The heads glide easily on the skin and always remain in contact with it.

And speaking of cutters, the Series 3000 uses the SH30 heads, which are reasonably priced and reliable.

SH30 blade and guard.

The cutters use a single-blade design, hence the excellent comfort without that constant feeling of stinging.

For most men, I think the Shaver 3500/3800 would be the ideal budget pick unless you want a shaver that can also work with the cord plugged in.

And that leads us to the last shaver on the list.

6. Philips Norelco Shaver 2500

Philips Norelco Shaver 2500.

See the price on Amazon

Also available at Walmart, Philips.com

Pros

  • Close and comfortable shaves
  • Good performance on longer stubble
  • Reasonably priced
  • Integrated pop-up trimmer
  • Flip-open head
  • Inexpensive and durable replacement heads
  • Corded & cordless use

Cons

  • No travel lock
  • Very basic battery indicator

Finally, there’s the Philips Norelco Shaver 2500 (S1311/82) that offers the best bang for your buck.

While it lacks the wet & dry operation of the shavers above, it costs significantly less and most users will shave dry anyway.

It is waterproof and you can still clean it with water.

The Philips Norelco Shaver 2500.

The Shaver 2300 is a basic, no-frills rotary razor that will get the job done.

As is the case with all entry-level razors, the 2500 works best when used more often, even though during my tests it managed to cope remarkably well with longer, flat-lying hairs.

The closeness and comfort are adequate, but again can’t really match the performance of high-end rotary razors like the Philips Series 9000.

The Philips Norelco Shaver 2500 works cordless & corded.

And to top it off, it works both corded and cordless.

Important: The so-called Latest version, aka Shaver 2600 (X3052/91) is cordless only. Definitely get the Shaver 2500 if cordless and corded use is important for you.

As for the downsides, the Norelco 2500 has a very basic battery level indicator (a single LED).

The 3500 above has a 3-level battery charge display.

But apart from, that, it’s basically a Series 3000 that works cordless & corded.

The 2500 is a unique model in the Series 2000. Other models like the highly popular Shaver 2300 have a less powerful motor and take a lot more time to charge (6 vs 1 hour).

Norelco Shaver 2500 and 2300.
Norelco Shaver 2500 and 2300.

The battery capacity of the 2300 is also slightly smaller, providing 40 minutes of use compared to the 60 minutes in the case of the Shaver 3500 and 2500.

But you do have the option of shaving with the cord plugged in.

Both the Shaver 2500 and 3500 use the same SH30 blades, so the costs of ownership will be minimal in the case of both.

For more details, make sure to check out my complete review of the Shaver 2300.

Cons of rotary razors — are there any shortcomings?

So far this guide might make you think that rotary shavers are flawless and represent the absolute best choice.

I’m afraid that’s not the case as rotaries do have a couple of specific disadvantages.

Generally, a rotary razor will not shave as close as a decent foil shaver. That’s a physical limitation caused by the thicker guards.

The Philips Norelco Shaver 3800 uses a classic 3-blade cutting system.

The foils are really thin, while the guards on all rotary razors are thicker.

While this allows the rotary cutters to last longer, it also means they can’t cut the hair quite as close to the skin.

That’s not set in stone though. Some men can only get a decent shave with a rotary.

The second con has to do with comfort.

While some of the more recent head designs have rectified this, a good foil razor is usually more forgiving than a rotary.

This means you can get away with a faster stroke and even apply more pressure, especially with Braun shavers which are in my opinion the best option for men with very sensitive skin.

Finally, rotary shavers have a steeper learning curve if you’re an absolute beginner.

But in the end, any electric shaver, regardless of the type, means you’ll be making a small compromise.

You just have to go with the one that makes the most sense in your case.

Final word

This pretty much wraps up my top 6 recommendations that will hopefully cater to everyone’s needs for a rotary shaver.

There are of course other excellent razors out there, so definitely check out the reviews section as well for in-depth, real-world reviews of the most popular electric shavers.

If you have any other questions regarding rotary shavers, make sure to post them in the comments section below.

Article by

Hey. I’m Ovidiu, the founder and editor of ShaverCheck. I independently buy and test electric shavers and I’ve been sharing my findings on this site for more than 10 years, hopefully helping others choose a suitable shaver.

If you found the information useful, consider subscribing to the ShaverCheck newsletter as well. It’s free and I only send a few emails a year. Unsubscribe at any time.

98 thoughts on “The Best Rotary Shavers For Men In 2024”

Leave a comment
  1. Thanks for your helpful point can you please elaburate how to clean the heads should it be cleaned by decapping them or wadhig them would be sufficient? Specially the one located in the center .
    Thanks
    Sparsamail@gmail.com

    Reply
  2. Thanks for your helpful point
    I got a Q-rotary Shaver with 5 heads.
    can you please elaburate how to clean the heads ?
    should it be cleaned by decapping each head to clean . or washing them under watet would be sufficient? Specially the one located in the center which doesnt seem to be oppend easily.
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Saeid,

      I haven’t personally used a Q Shaver, so I’m afraid I cannot give you any advice on how to take apart the center shaving head. Your user’s manual should normally include detailed instructions on how to perform this operation. Regarding the actual cleaning, the exact steps and how to perform them when taking apart the shaving heads for a more thorough cleaning will vary for different shavers. I’ve only used Norelco and Remington rotary shavers, so I don’t think it would be of much help in this case. It usually involves removing the shaving head holder, removing a retaining frame that holds the cutters inside the combs and then cleaning the cutters and the inside of the combs one by one, taking extra care not to mix them up. In the case of your shaver this can be different to a less or higher degree.

      Also, this in-depth cleaning should be performed from time to time, like once every week or two if you don’t have or use an automatic cleaning station. Again, this depends on your shaving frequency and you can do it more or less often.

      Reply
  3. I had an Arcitec Shaver, used the now discontinued RQ 10 replacement head. I bought a 7000 series razor which isn’t as good as the Arcitec. Why did Norelco Philishave discontinue the RQ10? Haven’t enjoyed a shave since then.

    Reply
  4. Hi,
    first wanted to congratulate You for this site. I have a question regarding new Philips Star Wars edition of rotary razor – SW6700. Have You checked that out or will You check it in near future? What’s interesting in this little fellow – same shaving head as 9000. Also I believe it uses the same replacement blades as SH90. Instead of personalization mode it has turbo mode, probably known from 5700. I was wondering about razors performance because in my country You cannot find 8900 so there is no cheaper 9000 alternative and maybe SW6700 could be one (around 110$).

    Reply
    • Hi Mike,

      Thank you for your comment. I haven’t tried the SW6700 yet, but its performance should be similar to the 8900. You are correct, they use the same cutting heads as the Series 9000. For $110 I would say that it looks like a good deal as well.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  5. Hi, could you include Philips AquaTouch S5070? It’s so hard to find decent review of this particular type.

    Reply
    • Hi,

      I haven’t got the chance to try that one yet, so I’m afraid I cannot help you.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  6. First of all, amazing articles!!!, this place is the shaver heaven!!, thanks for share.

    I am searching for a new shaver, actually, I have an HQ6950 which is more than enough (I don’t have a lot of beard, in fact, I shave every 3 days my mustard and I use the pop up trimmer every 5 days.
    I am planning to buy a 4100 and a Multi Groomer MG3750. What do you think? I also thought in a foil shaver buy I never had one and for the mustard maybe the rotary is better.

    Thanks!!

    Reply
    • Thank you for the kind words, Santiago. Since you were pleased with the HQ6950, going for another rotary shaver is probably the right thing to do. The 4100 is a very good shaver in its price category and I think it’ll serve you well.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  7. Which razor have you heard is the best for shaving heads? I shaved my head over a year ago and with blades, I sometimes get razor burns on my head. A friend recommended using a 3 head electric razor. Just don’t know which is best for heads. Can anyone help? Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Mitch,

      Any decent electric shaver can be used for shaving the head as well. The Series 9 is really good (and it’s even being used at barbershops specifically for this). It’s also very comfortable and gentle, so you likely won’t get any significant razor burn. Rotary shavers can be more practical as they adapt better to the spherical shape of the head but aren’t as comfortable in my opinion and foil shavers also shave closer in most cases.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  8. A question regarding the slots and holes on the Norelco heads. The simpler SH30 heads (Comfort Cut) come with only slots whereas the SH50 (Multiprecision Cut) heads have both holes and slots. I know many men who swear by the simpler head found in the 3000 series and below. Have you any experience with this? In other words, is the explanation given by Philips actually valid or more marketing hype than anything else (i.e. that the holes provide for a closer shave in terms of picking up stubble whereas the slots more easily pick up longer hairs sometimes found on the neck)?

    Reply
    • Well, in my opinion the main advantage of having both holes and slots is the better performance when shaving longer hairs. The improvement is particularly obvious if we compare a basic rotary shaver like 3000 Series with the S9000 Prestige, the latter being arguably the best in that regard. A simpler head (with only holes) could yield better results for someone that shaves often for example, so it’s mostly short stubble.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  9. Honestly, the best combination is to get the cheaper Norelco 9300 and then add the SH98 blades. The new blades fit the older 9000 series razors(even though Philips says they don’t, look up the reviews of the blades on Amazon) and the blades are what make the s9000 prestige so good. The extra sensing motor really doesn’t do all that much(I had the s9000 Qi but returned it), at least not as far as I can tell.

    Getting the 9300 with the SH98 blades, gives you the shave of the S9000, along with a cleaning base, for a cheaper overall price.

    Reply
    • That is true, I’ve even mentioned this in my review of the Prestige. For current 9300 owners, it is definitely a worthy upgrade.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  10. I am a long time Philips Norelco user. I purchased Prestige shaver last year. It gave a close shave but it would pinch my neck skin between the heads. I sold it and bought a foil shaver. It shaved a little closer, but as you have noted, it was very noisy and it did “burn” my skin. I noticed that Philips updated their 3000 shaver to a “new series” 3800 model. It’s like one I had years ago. I bought it and I find that it gives a good shave when using a gel and it doesn’t pinch my skin. It is far less cheaper than the Prestige, had “flip top” cleaning, and comes with a trimmer installed. It was like “back to the future”.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your comment, Michael. The pinching is the main issue I also have with rotaries, especially with the models that use the Lift & Cut double blades. The Prestige does actually come with a single blade row, so I find it a lot less likely to pinch. So at least in my experience, it was better in that regard than most other Norelco models I’ve used. I haven’t tried the new 3800 yet, but it uses the same blades as the old 3000, so I think the performance will be similar as well.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  11. The top five are all Philips Norelco. Hum. That seems just a little suspicious. What were all the brands that you considered? Are you paid or reimbursed in any way for your opinion?

    Reply
    • Just as it is stated in the about page, this website is not paid or reimbursed in any way by Philips or any other manufacturer. I buy and review all the shavers myself. The reason why all 5 are Philips is because Philips is currently the only brand that makes decent rotary razors. I’ve used (and reviewed) Remington rotary shavers as well, but they’re just plain bad. And apart from a few cheap Chinese knock-offs, that’s pretty much it.

      By the way, in my top 10 shavers of 2020, there are only two Philips shavers. Two out of ten.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  12. I recently bought a Chinese Jinding 5-cutter rotary shaver. Big mistake. It doesn’t shave nearly as well as a 10+ year old Norelco 8865 with the original parts. (The Norelco’s power switch/button has worn out.)

    No discussion of electric shavers I’ve seen addresses the problem of the vibrations from foil shavers aggravating Reynauds syndrome. This involves the loss of circulation in fingers due to the destruction of the capillaries from using tools such as chainsaws – and foil razors.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your comment, Steve. Chinese knockoffs are usually very poor when it comes to performance.

      I actually posted an article some time ago where I make the case that rotary razors are better in certain cases due to the reduced noise and vibrations. I am not a medical professional so I cannot weigh in on the specific matter of Raynaud’s syndrome.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  13. Hi Ovidiu,

    In your Best Shaver Guide, you said:
    “Because of that, I can’t really recommend getting the European versions.”

    However here you instead stated:
    “while in Europe there are other variations available, but the performance is identical.”

    Should probably mention the inferior head in this article too.
    Also the international versions seem to have 60min batteries.

    Any thoughts on the new pentagonal Series 5 & 7?
    I appreciate the lubrication guide, very slick!

    Reply
    • Hi,

      Many thanks for the heads-up, I will update the information here as well. The European versions do have a different/inferior head as mentioned in the Best Shavers Guide. I’ve just received the Series 7 with the new cleaning pod (model S7782/85), but I haven’t got the chance to shave with it yet. I will of course post a detailed review after a few weeks of testing.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    • With regular/daily use, at least 3 years would be a reasonable expectation. That’s standard battery lifespan according to most shaver manufacturers, but generally a battery should last longer than that (provided you take proper care of it).

      Being a new model, I’m afraid I don’t have any info regarding the exact type of battery needed.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  14. CVS Pharmacy is still selling the 2500, and at a “good” price. If you’ve reviewed this one in the past, can you point me in the direction of the review, please? Thanks, Ron

    Reply
    • Hi Devon,

      You can check out my in-depth review of it here. I didn’t include the S7700 in this roundup because the Series 6000 is a better budget pick in my opinion.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  15. As an owner of a Prestige 9000 for a couple of years now I thought I’d share my two cents worth. It is without doubt the best rotary shaver I’ve ever used after 20 odd years experience of using multiple lower end shavers include Phillips and other brands.

    The reason I say it’s the best is due to the closeness of the shave and also the comfort in that I have never experienced any irritation, pinching or any other discomfort. However the biggest thing for me was how using it has eliminated ingrown hairs from around my neck and throat area.

    I had horrible cystic acne when I was younger which persisted into adulthood particularly around the neck / throat. I now realise that this was probably caused by the cheap “lift and cut” rotary shavers I have previously used. The single blade heads in the prestige 9000 have completely eliminated this issue for me therefore greatly increasing my self confidence. I bought this in June 2019 in Australia for a great price ($450) during end of financial year sales.

    Worth every penny

    Reply
    • Many thanks for taking the time to share this, Dylan. I was never a fan of the lift & cut blades either — I didn’t get ingrown hairs, but almost always resulted in folliculitis in addition to being very uncomfortable during use. Glad you’re enjoying your Prestige, it’s also my favorite rotary (by far).

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  16. Hello, Ovidiu

    I’m looking to upgrade my rotary shaver soon, and I’ve found your article very helpful. I just have one question to ask that will help me make my purchase decision. I’ll try to be as specific as I can, so you know exactly what I’m asking.

    Can I buy a Philips Norelco Series 9000 S9721, or similar, which comes with/uses an SH90 head, replace the head with an SH98 head(the one used by the prestige), and have it work just fine? Would it fit onto the shaver? What would be the difference, if any? Would I still be able to fit it in the Smartclean stand, and have it clean just fine?

    Reply
    • Hello Paul,

      Yes, the SH98 will fit the older Series 9000 (it is a tighter fit, but still works fine) and you will be able to clean it in the Smartclean station. The main difference in my case (SH90 vs SH98) is the vastly improved comfort provided by the SH98.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  17. I mainly use foil shavers, but recently picked up a Norelco Series 5000 on sale, to add a bit of variety to my routine. After about a week, the closeness & comfort seem adequate, not great. Some questions:

    Since rhe closeness does not seem adequate to account for the level of irritation, I wonder whether Norelco’s Lift & Cut feature might be the culprit. I think you mentioned the Prestige models avoid this feature, which mbegs the question why other models still have it. Is there a comprehensive list of rotaries that do & don’t have Lift & Cut?

    Why, precisely, does a rotary shaver call for shaving in a circular pattern & a foil shaver does not? I have used a circular motion with foil shavers also, on areas where hair grows in different directions, and it seems equally appropriate in such areas irrespective of the type of shaver. Am I missing something basic?

    Reply
    • Hi Barry,

      Those are some excellent questions. In my opinion the Lift&Cut blade is the main culprit for the discomfort during the shave, but could also contribute to post-shave irritation. Another cause could be the slow rotational speed of the rotary blade which can yank some hairs instead of cutting them clean.

      The idea behind circular vs straight strokes is to optimize the way the hair is fed into the cutting heads. In the case of both rotary and foil shavers, the movement should be against the direction of growth, and since the holes of a rotary head are arranged in a circle, going in these elliptical/circular patterns is usually the most effective way of shaving. I strongly recommend trying various techniques depending on your hair type though. For example, when using a foil shaver, you will need to adjust the direction of the stroke multiple times as you’ve also mentioned since the hairs have different grains.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  18. Hi Ovidiu,

    I was delighted to come across your site!

    I have a old ( I have to buy generic blades as Norelco no longer supports the model) 5811XL Norelco razor, Which is beginning to “chirp” internally.

    For me, the major feature is that it came with a “drop in” recharging station”.

    Is there any model of Norelco razors that still off that feature or do they all require being plugged in like a cell phone to recharge?

    Reply
    • Hi Clint,

      Thank you so much, glad you found the site useful.

      There are actually several Philip Norelco models at various price points that do come with a charging stand. Here are a few (from high-end to more affordable shavers): the new Series 9000 9800 (S9987/85), the Series 7000 7700 (S7782/85), the Series 6000 Shaver 6900 (S6810/82)>, the Shaver 3800 S3311/85. There might be others as well (for example the old Norelco 6100 that was discontinued), but those are the ones I immediately thought of.

      Alternatively, there’s a Philips Norelco charging stand (sold separately) that is compatible with quite a few (older) shaver models if the ones mentioned above aren’t suitable.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  19. I have a BRAUN series 3 330 dry foil rechargeable/mains shaver and also a PHILIPS series 3000 wet/dry rechargeable shaver; both shavers are fantastic, giving me very close, clean, smooth and redness/irritation-free shaves every time; when it comes to a very close and more detailed shave, the BRAUN 3 330 dry foil is wonderful only if I use it every day or every other day, it can be used for every morning shave and the results are just great; but if I leave my face without having a shave for more than 5 to 6 days, then the PHILIPS 3000 wet/dry shaver is the champion, the only downside is that this shaver can give me a bit of irritation if I use it for an everyday morning shave that is not even that much but in comparison with the BRAUN 3 330 foil dry shaver that is the only bad point of the PHILIPS; in resume, both shavers are complete to my full satisfaction and personaly I could recommend any of these shavers to anyone that needs good and cheap shaver to get optimous results.

    Reply
    • Thank you for the comment, Eddi, that actually makes a lot of sense. The Series 3000 is clearly better on a 5 to 6 days beard, though not as comfortable as a mild foil shaver like the Series 3 from Braun.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  20. Thanks for the informative article. I have a Norelco 1290X which works fine but the blades (RQ12) are not great and don’t last long (have purchased several replacement heads for the unit). Are the blades on the Prestige or the 9000 unit different or better? If so, can I purchase those blades and use them on my 1290X unit or do I need to buy the new one? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Dan,

      Thank you for the comment. I think the blades are RQ12+ or RQ12 Pro, the original RQ12 have been discontinued for many years. Regarding the SH98, I think they should fit your shaver, but I cannot say that with certainty as I don’t own a 1290X to try them. I definitely think they’re better than the RQ12+/RQ12 Pro. But again, I am not 100% sure they’ll fit your razor.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  21. Ovidiu,

    Love your comprehensive, detailed reviews! One question: Will the SH98/72 Heads fit my 9450 (Sh9531/83) shaver and, if so, is that the preferable Head for the 9450?

    Thank You!

    Joe

    Reply
    • Thank you so much, Joe.

      Yes, they will fit your shaver. In my case the upgrade to the SH98 is definitely noticeable and the shaves I get are a lot more enjoyable and smooth. That said, if you’re not particularly bothered by the more aggressive SH90 cutters, the performance bump may not feel that significant. But you should nevertheless experience a better shave.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    • I wouldn’t really recommend it. The new Series 6000 was downgraded from the excellent SH60 blades (of the old and discontinued generation) to the single-track SH71, very similar to the SH30 on the entry-level Series 2000 or 3000. I would get a Shaver 3500 or 3800 instead — cheaper, easier to use, integrated trimmer.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  22. Hello Ovidiu,

    Thanks so much for this terrific review! There is no better review site for shavers. Do you know if the entire head of the Series 9500 shaver can be removed and replaced with the entire head of the Prestige shaver (as opposed to just removing the 3 combs/cutters from the 9500 and replacing them with the 3 combs/cutters from the Prestige)? Just asking because I noticed that they sell the entire head of the Prestige separately as a replacement part. Just curious if it could be clicked onto the body of the 9500 rather than just the body of the Prestige?

    Reply
    • Hi Neil,

      Thank you for the comment, you’re too kind.

      Regarding your question the answer is yes, you can absolutely replace the entire head of the 9500 with the Prestige head, it will fit just fine.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  23. yeah I learned the hard way with that 9000 series with came with the cleaning station, my god it’s terrible for sensitive skin, even with foams and gels it just ruined me, it was almost like it didn’t spin up fast enough to cut the hair ( sensitive skin + tough hair sucks) and they stopped making the series 7 heads for the older Braun which was my go to..

    Ah well just need to finish up using all the Gillette Sensor Excels I got first lol

    Reply
    • Thank you for the comment, Brandon. If you ever plan on getting another electric shaver, I’d suggest the Braun Series 8. It’s extremely similar to your Series 7 in all regards.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  24. If you like the Prestige’s SH98 heads better than the 9500’s SH91 heads but the SH98s are compatible with the 9500, isn’t the best option to get the 9500 and then, eventually, replace the SH91s with SH98s?

    The 9500 is less than $200 on Amazon, the trimmer is integrated onto the device, and it has a cleaning device. I don’t see what advantages remain for the Prestige at $300+ except for minor things (aesthetics maybe, or a “better” case).

    Reply
    • That’s definitely a viable option. The problem is that the SH98 heads are supposedly being phased out and the price has spiked. Also, while you can replace the three guard and blade pairs on the 9500, you’ll still be left with the angular and bulky head of the 9500. Not an issue for some users, but I for example very much prefer the conventional round design of the Prestige. It’s more manageable and easier to use.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • I did just that. Got the 9500. Very happy with it.

        And I really put it to the test. I refrained from shaving for 5 days before trying it out for the first time. Moreover, I have been using razor blades for literally all my life (except once about twenty years when my dad showed me how to use an electric shaver – he had a Philips rotary too), so if it’s true that your skin takes a while to “adapt” to an electric shaver, then this was indeed a true test for the 9500.

        Bottom line: It shaves very close, it saves a ton of time and hassle, and most importantly, there’s literally ZERO irritation of any kind.

        I suppose it’s true that, in a couple spots – my chin and on my neck under my jaw – it wasn’t quite as close as a razor, but it seems to get closer each time, perhaps due to better method on my part or perhaps because my skin is slowly “adapting” to it. But the difference is basically neglible, and the advantages mentioned above are massive. For less than $200, I’m very happy with the buy.

        I’ve always refrained from getting an electric shaver because I assumed they just wouldn’t provide a shave, but either the tech has gotten hugely better in the last several years or my face and skin are just well-suited to it.

        I considered which shaver to buy pretty intensely. I went back and forth between Braun and Philips. I ultimately went with the 9500 because I plan to shave wet sometimes and because I don’t usually shave more than two or three times per week, and those criteria, in your reviews, seemed to favor the rotary models.

        I’m sure the Brauns are great and a foil shaver of some kind would have worked well too, but the 9500 works well for me, I really like the attached trimmer, and it’s very user-friendly.

        Reply
        • Evan,

          Thanks so much for the detailed follow-up. I’d say you definitely made the right choice buying a rotary. A great shave right from the get-go and on a 5-day beard is not that common. Performance-wise, electric shavers have gotten better, although in several other areas, I’d say some have gone backward.

          The skin adapting mainly has to do with not getting irritation, and from what I can tell, that wasn’t an issue anyway. Your technique will naturally get better as you continue using the shaver.

          Enjoy your 9500, it really is a better pick than the Prestige provided you get along well with the larger heads — the price, the integrated trimmer, and the quick clean pod, regardless of how useful those are to different users.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
  25. I really like my Arc 4 that I recently purchased. However, I just saw on Amazon that replacement foils and blades are $60!

    We can’t speak to the new Norcelos, but I have a Norelco Quadra Action that is about 20 years old. I purchased it second hand a couple years ago, cleaned it up, and sharpened the blades with the Vollco Sharpener. The Vollco Sharpener’s price is $19 and it has great reviews on Amazon. As far as I know the steel combs and blades on my Quadra Action are original. They still look great and shave closer than my new Norelco 5300. The Vollco Sharpener can be used over and over to keep Norelco blades sharp.

    Reply
    • Hi Mike,

      The price of Panasonic replacement parts has spiked recently, not only for the Arc 4. Even the Arc 3 foil & blades cost almost the same. With Norelco, the prices for the lower-end blades are more reasonable, but the high-end ones (SH91, SH98) cost a premium as well.

      Rotaries are more cost-effective though. I haven’t tried a sharpening kit but they really seem to work well.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • Ovidiu, I know this site is geared towards current shavers, but it would be interesting to see you buy a 20-30 year old quality Norelco, clean it, sharpen with Vollco, and see how it compares. I really question if replacement combs and cutters are even needed for Norelcos. What do you think of this idea?

        Reply
        • Absolutely. In fact, I think I already have a couple of old rotaries with somewhat dull blades. I just need to find a seller willing to ship the VSH-2 to Europe (on eBay most likely).

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
  26. Hello Ovidiu,

    I appreciate your excellent assistance and the valuable information you provided. Your website has proven to be a valuable resource.

    I currently own the Philips S9211, which is an older model, and I’m interested in finding a new head for it. You kindly mentioned that the new heads (SH91 and SH98) are compatible with the older models as well. However, I’m unsure which one I should purchase – the SH91 or the SH98. I would greatly appreciate any recommendation you can provide.

    Thank you once again for your help.

    Best regards,
    Sam

    Reply
    • Hi Sam,

      Thanks so much for the kind words — I’m glad you found the information useful.

      If you can easily get both the SH91 and SH98 for the same price, you might as well get the SH98. These were the heads introduced with the Prestige and recently discontinued. I’ve used both the SH91 and SH98 and the differences are minor, with maybe a slight advantage for the SH98, but that could just be some bias toward them. The two heads even look identical. The SH98 are getting harder to find nowadays or they cost more, in which case you should just buy the SH91 — you’re really not missing out on anything.

      Both the SH91 and SH98 will fit your shaver perfectly. Personally, I think they’re a major upgrade over the old ones (SH90) and I find them a lot gentler and the shave is more enjoyable.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • Hi Ovidiu,

        Thanks a lot for your quick response and helpful feedback. I’ve decided to go with the SH91 set since it seems to available here in Ireland.

        The thing is, my current Panasonic ES-LV9Q shaver heads are worn out, so I’ve had to dust off my old Philips S9211 shaver and recruit it again. As you know, the upgraded heads (ES9040) for the Panasonic shaver are quite pricey. I haven’t been able to locate them in any European market. It looks like I’ll have to order them directly from Japan.

        Once again, thank you for your time and kind assistance.

        Best regards,
        Sam

        Reply
        • You are very welcome, Sam. That’s true, unfortunately the price for Panasonic replacement parts has spiked. And it’s the same for the lower-end series like the Arc 3.

          As a side note, I would also check out other foil & blades sets for the ES-LV9Q. The ES9040 is indeed the newest, but the previous ones (ES9038, ES9036) are really similar and again a great alternative if you can easily get them at a better price. Only the older ES9032 are more aggressive, but the shave is just as close otherwise. Just something to consider for the future in case you want to use your Arc 5 again.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
  27. Thanks for what seems like a very complete review. Just want to double check this. Been reading about razors and it seems some recharge with a standard wall cord and some with a USB cord, and Amazon for example is not always very clear on that.

    So am I correct in saying the Norelco 2300 uses the standard cord and can be used corded or cordless, while the Braun Series 3 is USB and cordless only?

    Reply
    • Hi Ed,

      Thanks for the comment.

      That is correct, the Norelco 2300 uses a standard wall charger and the cord connects to the shaver via a 2-prong port. It will work both cordless and corded. It’s the same situation with Braun Series 3 — it does not have a USB port, but also comes with a standard wall charger that connects to the shaver via a Braun proprietary port. Series 3 shavers can work corded & cordless or cordless only depending on the model. Please refer to this comparison to see the exact models that work corded&cordless.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  28. Hey Ovidiu! Thanks for this material is great. Question, between the 9400, 7600 and 7000 which one is the best? They’re all at a similar price point the 9400 being only $10 more though is it worth it? I like the cleaning pod and charger with the 7600 which I don’t believe the other 2 have. Please inform me thanks !

    Reply
    • Hi Daniel,

      Thank you for the comment, glad you found the article useful.

      Performance-wise, the 9400 is better — more powerful than the Series 7000 and comes with better dual-track blades, so it’s a bit more effective (less work for a smooth shave). It doesn’t have a cleaning pod like the Series 7000 7600 though. I would still get the 9400 since the price difference is that small though. As I mentioned in my review of the 9500, the cleaning pod has some limitations and I don’t think it’s a must-have.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  29. Hello Ovidiu – Thank you for the amazing information on shavers–this is the best site I’ve seen for reviews and recommendations!
    Now here is a question that I bet you haven’t seen before–I’m looking for a rotary shaver that is comfortable, but doesn’t give an especially close shave. I currently use a Philips OneBlade and while I like the length of my beard after shaving, it is not a comfortable shave and the blades are both pricy and have a short life with daily use. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for all you do,
    Jimmy.

    Reply
    • Hi Jimmy,

      Thanks so much for the comment, glad you found the info useful.

      That really is a question I don’t get a lot. I can recommend a couple of very gentle rotaries, but they will still shave closer compared to the OneBlade which is designed to leave some stubble. A rotary shaver, while usually not cutting as close as a razor blade or even some foil shavers, will still give you a clean shave. I’m not exactly sure that a clean shave is what you want. From what I can tell, you need a tool that will leave some stubble after using it.

      I think a more suitable option would be a a beard trimmer with a 0 or 1mm guard like the Philips Multigroom 7000. That one is a lot more powerful and effective than the OneBlade, it has a very sturdy shearing blade that lasts a lot more and I think it’ll be a better fit compared to a rotary which will give you a smooth, clean shave.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  30. Hi Ovidiu,
    Like everyone else, I’m grateful there are someone like you that takes in interest and publish excellent information. I was hoping to get a opinion from you.
    I’m now my 60’s. When I started shaving as a teenager, I got a Braun. It was looked upon being ‘not your father’s shaver’. It shaved a bit rough. Since then, I’ve had Norelco (like my dad). The last one broke, it was a cheap 2300 where the opening the shaver head broke.
    After that I researched, reading your articles and others, I thought I should again try Braun. I got a series 7 (9823). Though it can shave close, it’s kind of a hit and miss for me. Not sure I’m onboard with this shaver. I’m again looking for a Norelco.
    This time the 9 series Prestige and 3500/3800 got my attention. Both have good reviews from you. As I typically buy my shavers ‘Open box’ the price is drastically lower, I can afford either one.
    Though the want in me is looking at the Prestige, I’m torn between the two models. The price for the Prestige is double of 3800/3500. However not a big issue. I just want to be sure I’m making the right decision in terms for closeness, battery life, and shaving feel.
    Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Hi Peter,

      Thanks so much for the kind comment.

      The 3500/3800 and the old style Series 9000 Prestige are my current favorite Norelcos in the affordable and premium price categories, respectively. I find both very comfortable and enjoyable to use. The 3500/3800 use the exact same shaving heads as your 2300, but they are more powerful. I can definitely notice that and you can think of those as a slightly more powerful and more effective 2300. I wouldn’t say they shave closer, but are more enjoyable and require less effort for a smooth shave.

      The Prestige models are a bit more powerful in the highest setting than the standard Series 9000 and overall the best performing Norelcos you can buy today. I’d say a Prestige will shave closer and faster than the 3500/3800, but it costs a lot more and I actually prefer the form factor of the smaller 3500/3800. But the old Prestige with rounded heads is still better than the new one with the angular design as far as ergonomics go.

      If you have the budget for it, the Prestige is objectively the better performing shaver. The 3500 and 3800 represent a very compelling cost-effective option, but your experience with the 2300 should also help you decide which one to get. If you were happy with it, then a slightly better 3500 would be the obvious choice. Otherwise, if you felt the need for a faster and closer shave, maybe you can get a great deal on the Prestige.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • Thanks Ovidiu. I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I will give this some thought and also see what is available pricewise. Thanks again.

        Reply
  31. Hi not sure if anyone could advise me here, I have a old SensoTouch 3D (RQ1295) which is now discontinued, but still works great even after around 9 years, but I think would benefit a new set of blades, so am wondering if anyone can help as to what replacement blades I could use to put in it, any help would be much appreciated

    Reply
    • Hi Lyle,

      You can get the SH91 blades used by the latest Series 9000 Philips shavers, they will fit your shaver as well. The ones that originally came with it, the RQ12, were discontinued a few years ago.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • Thats not entirely true. Original(first) RQ12 cant be replaced with series 9000 blades. The whole head is integral with metal guards and have different connection with blades.
        That changed with RQ12+, where head is the same with first series 9000 and has that orange rings.
        There was also sh70/72 that looks like last interation of head from series 9000 with blue metalish rings.
        All of them were discontinued.

        So if someone had rq12+ or sh70/72 can use series 9000 blades but with original RQ12 that wont work.

        Reply
  32. You covered a lot of territory here. Impressive! But believe it or not, I still have a question. You mentioned the Series 6000 came with either the SH50 or SH60 blades, depending whether it was European or American. That got me thinking about my Series 5000, which came with the SH50 blades. I find it irritating to my skin, and I blame the blades. I wonder whether I could replace them with the SH60s, and if so, what that combination would be like. Any insight? Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Thank you for the comment, Barry.

      The SH50 have the double blade design (Lift&Cut) and are noticeably more aggressive. I too find them uncomfortable. If you can still get them, the SH60 will fit your Series 5000 and you will likely see an improvement in comfort. They’re also dual-track blades, so a bit more effective catching the hairs.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  33. Thank you, for your ratings on Norelco. I’ve been using Norelco for 30 years now and find that the current blades have gone backwards in time. I found that foil blades, back then, required me to shave twice a day whereas the lift and cut system did not.
    With Norelco ditching the lift and cut system and attempting to recreate the shaving head had left me with trying out the new Norelco. The huge guards irritated my skin to no end as they dragged arcoss my face, the blades themselves have reverted to a one row cut that fails to cut my stubble and leaves me spending more time shaving in an attempt to get a clean smooth shave. But in the end I never reach that nice clean shave of the old Norelco blades.
    I have noticed the 9000 series is bring back the second row of cutting heads, possible because they “failed to reinvent the wheel” and are now realizing that the older style Norelco was in many ways superior to the current ones.
    Well, all in all I can’t wait and will be checking out your article on Foil blades with the hopes I can find one to give me that clean shave I so desperately need without shaving twice a day.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Steven,

      Thank you so much for the comment.

      If you can tolerate the Lift&Cut blades, they can indeed cut the hair closer then the current ones. I was never able to get an irritation-free shave with the Lift&Cut blades, they were just too grabby and uncomfortable on my skin.

      The current Norelcos only use two rows of blades for the high-end series like the 9000 and 9000 Prestige. So you probably got a 5000 or 7000 with the new large heads.

      I think you should definitely give foil shavers a go, I am pretty sure you won’t have to shave twice a day with something like a Panasonic Arc5. Check out this article and this one as well if you have the time, I think you may find them helpful choosing one.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  34. Hi,

    Currently I own s7370 razor, but it is getting worn
    Would I be okay with 3500 or 3800 or do you
    recommend something else?

    Reply
    • Hi Howard,

      I would actually recommend the Series 6000 (like the S6880) if you could still find one. I think it would be the perfect replacement — it has the rounded heads and the blades have two rows (just like your S7370) and it feels just a bit more powerful than the 3500 and 3800. The problem is that Philips discontinued the Series 6000, so it’ll be more difficult to find or very expensive.

      Alternatively, the 3500 would be a good option, even though it’s slightly less capable, but very easy and enjoyable to use. And it costs a lot less.

      There’s the new Series 7000 as well, but it has the new angular heads which are bulkier and the blades have a single row now, so I don’t think it’s as good as the Series 6000 I mentioned earlier.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  35. I have a 8280xl that I messed up replacing the battery. I love the HQ9 floating heads and wondered if I should replace the razor (doesn’t seem to be available, in fact I bought mine at TG Maxx more than 10 years ago) with one using the same heads. Any ideas?

    Reply
    • Hi,

      There aren’t any available anymore with the HQ9 heads, I’m afraid. In fact, none of shavers have heads with three tracks, only with two or a single track. I think with the current Philips shavers, the high-end model that offers the best performance for the money is the Series 9000 (like the Shaver 9400 or the 9500 that I reviewed).

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  36. I’ve used the same Phillips razor for years (replaced the head once) and found it very reliable and fairly low maintenance, but I have found that shaving with a borrowed foil razor to be quicker and more effective. Would you recommend switching to foil, or instead buying a new and better rotary razor?

    Reply
    • Hi James,

      Since you had the chance to try both and the foil one gave you a better shave, I think switching to a foil razor makes sense. You didn’t mention the model you’ve used, so there are quite a few options available. I have a dedicated topic for foil shavers with various models at different price points and for different use cases if you want to check it out.

      One thing to keep in mind is that with foil razors you will likely need to buy replacement heads more often vs rotaries.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  37. Hi Ovidiu, thank you for everything you do. Have been reading a lot on your website since it was time for a new shaver. I’ve had the old Braun series 7 for many years, but it finally broke down. I could never shave every day, my skin gets way to irritated. My hairs grow in one direction on my left side, changes direction under the jaw line, in two directions under my chin, yet another direction on my right side and another one on that side of the neck. Why I was cursed I do not now know. I don’t have a lot of beard growth, would say maybe medium plus, but the hairs are kind of coarse. I decided to try the Panasonic Arc 5. Unfortunately it was terrible for me, so back it went. Purchased the Braun series 8 instead which is fine, somewhat like the old series 7 but maybe not quite. However, my skin gets just as irritated as with the old 7. I can’t shave just up and down, it will leave hairs everywhere. So I need to move it sideways sometimes and do a bit of other movements to get a proper shave – always had to. But now I’m getting frustrated. Should I try to do it manually with something like a Gillette, or try a rotary shaver? I have sideburns so always thought rotary was out of the question. Would be interesting to hear what you have to say, sorry for the long message. Thank you and all the best, Joel

    Reply
    • Hi Joel,

      Many thanks for the comment and feedback.

      The Arc 5 can be too aggressive vs a more forgiving Braun foil shaver, especially if you shave in the same manner and apply the same amount of pressure — the Panasonic isn’t very forgiving. The Series 8 is also not quite as good as the old 7, so your experience with these shavers pretty much reflects this.

      A rotary might just work better for a particular combination of facial hair and technique, but there’s no way of knowing that since you never tried one. Philips does have a money back guarantee if you’re not happy with the product, so it might be worth trying one.

      Regarding the sideburns, a rotary isn’t as easy to use around (and close to) the sideburns but you can use the hair trimmer (either integrated or a separate attachment) to edge and shape the sideburns before shaving and also trim the hair right below the sideburns. You can then shave and get as close as you can — it should still be pretty decent.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  38. I see you recomend series 7000 as alternative to series 6000.
    But is it really better than for example series 5000(last model the angular one). They both have same blades sh71 and same 9W motor/engine, at least thats what official philips web sites says. 5000 is cheaper and in both cases you can upgrade blades to sh91.

    Reply
    • Hi Michael,

      When I originally posted the article the angular 5000 wasn’t released yet. The 7000 was the first family with the now ubiquitous angular heads. Also there were Series 7000 + pod variations that were just a more compelling package for only slightly more money. But your observation is correct, both have the same power and will work with the SH91 heads. A Series 5000 that costs less than a similar Series 7000 variation (ie without the pod) is definitely a better deal since the performance will be the same.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  39. I am confused about conflicting claims concerning the Norelco 2500 v. 2600. You state that the 2600 can only be used cordless, and therefore is not really comparable to the corded/cordless 2500. However, vendors selling the 2600 have represented that it can in fact also be used both ways. Could you please clarify this matter? If in fact the corded feature is also available on the 2600, which of the two razors would get your recommendation?

    Thanks for your great help and support.

    Malvern

    Reply
    • Hi Malvern,

      Thanks for the comment. The 2600 (S1311/82) is a cordless-only shaver. Some vendors could have just (erroneously) assumed that it’s identical to the 2500.

      So if you want the cordless and corded use feature, you will need to get the 2500. Performance-wise they are the same (same motor, blades and design/ergonomics).

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply

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