Philips Shavers Comparison & Buyer’s Guide (2024)

Philips (Norelco) is one of the three major electric shaver brands alongside Braun and Panasonic.

With a rich legacy and a loyal user base, Philips managed to stay at the very top for decades.

Moreover, they stuck to their guns, being the only large manufacturer that makes rotary razors.

Their lineup is constantly changing, with many models being discontinued, updated or rebranded.

And to make things worse, there’s a lot of confusion regarding the performance of various series as well as the old vs new generations.

Choosing a Philips electric shaver can be difficult.

This Philips comparison and buyer’s guide aims to make it easier for everyone to understand the differences between the various shavers and series.

Without all that clutter, you can simply choose the Philips shaver that’s best for your needs and budget.

I’ve owned and used almost every Philips electric razor of the past 15 years, so I’m able to compare and evaluate them from a user’s perspective.

As you’ll see, choosing a Philips shaver is pretty straightforward when you only consider a few key aspects that really matter.

Let’s get started.

Philips shavers in 2024: a quick overview

Various Philips rotary electric shavers.

Philips (or Philips Norelco in the USA) makes a wide range of grooming tools for both men and women.

However, we’re only interested in their men’s electric shavers for this guide.

In a world where foil electric shavers are ubiquitous, Philips carried on with their original rotary design.

The Braun Series 9 PRO+ and the S9000 Prestige.
A Braun foil shaver next to a Philips Prestige rotary.

All current Philips electric razors are of the so-called rotary type.

Without getting into too much detail, a rotary razor uses circular blades that rotate constantly in a single direction behind a perforated metal guard (or comb).

A guard and a rotary cutter from the Philips S9000 Prestige.
A guard and a rotary blade.

Hair pokes through the perforations or slots and gets cut by the rotating blade.

Philips Lift&Cut system in action.
Image credit: Philips

We’ll talk more about the specific pros (and cons) of rotaries later on, but the benefits that are universally agreed upon are:

  • quiet operation
  • better performance with longer facial hair
  • more durable shaving heads

The rotary razors in Philips’ lineup are grouped into a so-called Series.

For example, the 3000 Series, 7000 Series or 9000 Series.

Philips Series 3000, 7000 and 9000.
Philips 3000, 7000 and 9000 Series.

The higher the series number, the more capable (at least in theory) the shaver is.

As we move from the lower series to the high-end ones, we also get more features, more efficient blades, more powerful motors and various technologies.

However, not all of these will have an impact on the actual shaving performance and some are downright gimmicks.

The light ring in action on the Philips Series 9000 Shaver 9500.
The light ring on a Philips Norelco Series 9000.

This means that you don’t always have to pay more for a Philips shaver in a presumably superior series to get better performance.

Some Philips models simply offer better value for money.

And that’s my main goal with this guide — to showcase the truly important aspects to someone interested in buying a Philips shaver.

I will go over every Philips series separately, but before that, there are a couple of things that I would like to address.

Making sense of model names

Philips (Norelco) electric shavers are part of a Series, which is essentially a family of shavers with very similar characteristics.

With a single exception, the performance of any shavers belonging to a series from the same generation will have identical shaving performance.

The exception is within the Series 2000 and I will explicitly mention the models and the differences in the respective section.

But getting back to the names, these series are organized hierarchically, from low-end, less capable shavers, to high-end, advanced models.

For example, a Series 9000 shaver is better than a Series 5000.

The higher the series number, the better the shaver, at least in theory.

So the Series number would be the first, all-encompassing layer.

Next, we have the actual shaver model name.

It usually starts with S, followed by the series’ first digit.

For example, the S3212/82 is a shaver in the Series 3000, while the S9985/84 is a shaver in the Series 9000.

The model number, including the part after the /, also refers to things like color, the region where the shaver was released and so on.

I think you’d agree that these model names are not very memorable and don’t sound particularly exciting.

Therefore, Philips came up with a more user-friendly moniker for the most popular models in addition to that sterile model name.

For example, the S3212/82 above is also known as the Shaver 3500, while the S9985/84 is the Shaver 9500.

These are a lot easier to remember and to market.

The first digit in the Shaver xxxx moniker is of course a reference to the series the shaver is part of.

Let’s look at the Shaver 3500 and Shaver 3800 in the Series 3000.

They shave exactly the same, use the same shaving heads and the most important features are the same.

However, the differences are related to color and accessories — the 3800 also includes a charging stand.

The Norelco Shaver 3800 and the included charging stand.
The Philips Shaver 3800 and the included charging stand.

And these are usually the differences you’d expect between Philips shavers belonging to the same series (from the same generation).

Models that come with more stuff or maybe a more advanced battery indicator (like 3 levels vs a single low-charge LED) are usually more expensive.

For some users, the extra stuff is not worth the extra money since the performance will be the same, so the decision is entirely yours.

The Philips naming scheme is a bit redundant and confusing at the same time, so hopefully it makes more sense now.

Fun fact: Philips sells its shavers and groomers under the Philips Norelco brand in the USA.

Because of a trademark issue, it couldn’t use the Philips name back in the day, so they used Norelco (North American Philips Electrical Company) instead.

Because it gained a lot of brand equity, they decided to append it to the Philips name once the legal issue had been solved.

Key features of a Philips electric razor

1. The cutting heads

The S9000 Prestige head next to the Series 3000.

A rotary Philips electric razor has a shaving unit comprised of several cutters or heads.

The vast majority of Philips shavers have three heads.

Three is a great compromise in terms of performance and ergonomics.

They’re plenty to cover large areas with great efficiency while the shaving unit remains manageable and not overly bulky.

Other rotary shavers that aren’t intended primarily as face shavers feature 4, 5 or even 6 heads.

For example, the Remington Balder Pro, a rotary head shaver, has 5 heads.

The Remington Balder Pro held in hand.
The Remington Balder Pro with the 5 rotary cutters.

Such a high number of heads is still fine ergonomically when shaving your head but it’s very cumbersome to use on the face.

That’s why having three cutters seems to be a great, balanced solution favored by Philips.

Philips Norelco Shaver 2300, one of the best budget electric razors you can get.

The only Philips razors with two heads are a couple of travel shavers like the 510 or some older (discontinued models) like the Click & Style S738.

So in 2024, no matter which Series is part of, a Philips shaver will most likely have 3 cutting heads.

Now, a Philips rotary head can have single or double tracks.

The two concentric blade rows.
The double tracks on a Series 9000 Prestige.

A head with a single track will have a rotary cutter with one circular row of blades inside, while a dual-track head will have a cutter with two rows of blades:

The SH71 cutter (left) next to a rotary cutter with two rows of blades.
Rotary cutters with one and two rows of blades, respectively.

In the past, we even had Philips heads with 3 tracks like the excellent RQ9 (highly praised by the community).

Currently, Philips rotary heads only come with a single track or with two tracks in the case of the higher-end models (from the Series 8000 and up).

Philips (Norelco) shavers with two and one track heads.
Philips (Norelco) shavers with two and one track heads, respectively.

Fun fact: some of the more advanced two-track heads are actually compatible with the lower-end series, so that’s a relatively inexpensive upgrade. More details later on.

As you might have guessed, a head with more tracks is more effective at catching the hairs, especially the ones that stay flat on the skin.

The closeness isn’t necessarily impacted by this, but because the shavers with double-track heads also have more powerful motors, getting a faster/closer/smoother shave is often a convenient side effect.

Close-up with the 3-blade shaving head of the new Philips Prestige.
The Philips Norelco S9000 Prestige.

For example, the entry-level Series 3000 uses the SH30 single-track heads, while the Series 9000 Prestige comes with the double-track SH91 heads.

Objectively, the S9000 Prestige is better performance-wise; it has a more powerful motor and more effective, independently flexing cutters.

2. Rounded vs angular heads

Still related to shaving head characteristics, we have rounded and angular (aka pentagonal) shaving heads.

The original (left) and new (right) Philips S9000 Prestige.
Rounded (left) vs angular shaving heads (right).

Until somewhat recently, Philips always used a conventional, rounded design of the three heads that comprise the shaving unit.

For any long-time Philips (Norelco) user, it’s a very familiar design.

Philips shavers with rounded heads.

And it also worked very well since these heads also tapered down toward the edge, making the shaver more manageable especially when shaving above the upper lip or around the sideburns.

Comparison of the shaving head size: old Series 9000 Prestige (left) vs new Series 9000 (right).
Shaving head size: old Series 9000 Prestige (rounded) vs new Series 9000 (angular).

But with the introduction of the new Series 7000, Philips moved gradually toward a new angular design language which in the meantime became the norm.

Except for the entry-level Series 1000/2000 and 3000, all current Philips families use this new angular design of the shaving head.

In my opinion this is a case of form over function because from an ergonomic perspective, this change doesn’t make much sense.

These new heads are thicker, wider and require a bit more work when shaving the tricky areas I mentioned earlier.

Most users aren’t bothered by this and I admit that I have gotten used to it.

New vs old Philips Prestige.

I think there’s a reason behind this — the angular heads look striking and sleek — and also for making these shavers compatible with the new cleaning pods (more on that later).

Personally, I prefer the old rounded heads design as it’s more user-friendly and makes the razor easier to use.

And at least for now, we can still opt for such a shaver.

For example, the old Philips S9000 Prestige (still available) comes with rounded heads, while the new one features the angular, larger heads.

But the trend is definitely to move completely toward this new design which is now present on all the latest generations from the Series 5000 and up.

3. Double vs single-edge blade design

Rotary shavers have an inherent weakness compared to a typical foil machine.

Because the guards are thicker than a foil screen, the closeness offered by a Philips rotary isn’t generally as good.

To compensate for the closeness issue, Philips came up with a unique design of the blade.

Specifically, they used two cutting edges instead of one, the so-called Super Lift&Cut system.

SH91 Lift&Cut blades closeup.

Side note: single and double-edge only refer to the individual blade tips on the rotary cutter, it’s different from the single, double or triple blade tracks discussed earlier.

The idea was that the first edge would grab the hair and pull it up, allowing the second one to cut the hair at skin level or even below.

The Super lift and cut system from Philips.
The Super Lift & Cut system from Philips. Image credit: philips.nl

And the solution worked but came with a major compromise to the comfort of the shave.

These double-edge blades were very unforgiving and aggressive, especially for men with somewhat sensitive skin.

For example, I found them very grabby and irritating and would even nick the skin on my neck.

Men who weren’t affected by this loved the Super Lift&Cut blades because they were able to get very close shaves.

However, the comfort compromise was probably not worth it and Philips gradually phased out the Super Lift&Cut blades throughout the different series.

As of 2024, only the 5000 Series comes with the original Super Lift&Cut blades (the SH50).

All the other ones were switched to either more comfortable single-edge blades or a new, refined double-edge design called Lift&Cut (without the Super).

To be more specific, the lower-end, budget shavers now use single-edge blades (Series 1000 through 6000), while the mid to high-end families use the new double-edge Lift&Cut design (Series 7000 through 9000/Prestige).

This new double-edge design is a lot more comfortable than the old one and still allows the blades to cut the hair close to the skin.

One of the ways they achieved this was by reducing the gap between the two blade edges:

SH90 vs SH91.
Comparison of the old Super Lift&Cut and the current Lift&Cut design.

Again, these Lift&Cut blades only come with the range-topping series (7000 and up).

In my opinion, the switch to single-blade tips for the more budget series was the right move as it made Philips razors more user-friendly.

Seasoned, life-long Philips users on the other hand may not be as happy with this as some feel that the new blades aren’t as bitey as the old ones (despite being more comfortable).

But the Series 5000 still offers the old system and as mentioned, the 7000, 8000, 9000 and 9000 Prestige even come with upgraded, more comfortable Lift&Cut blades, so you’re getting the best of both worlds.

Some of the old and aggressive double-edge Super Lift&Cut heads (like the SH90) can still be found and will even fit newer shavers.

Likewise, more comfortable single-edge heads are available for older shavers if you feel like your Norelco could be more forgiving.

I will explicitly discuss the compatible parts when going over each series later on.

4. Motor speed

The blue light ring when no pressure is being applied.

Entry-level and high-end Philips shavers are different in several ways.

Apart from blades, features and accessories, motor speed is one of the more important aspects as it has a major impact on the performance.

While rotary shavers usually have slow rotating motors (around 2000 RPM) compared to foil shavers (up to 14 000 CPM), a difference in speed and torque is noticeable among the different Philips models.

Philips doesn’t share any explicit RPM numbers, but they do mention some useful bits of information, like the motor consumption (wattage) and especially the cutting actions per minute.

The latter is particularly helpful in determining (approximately) the motor speed of a certain series/shaver.

And that spec is useful because a theoretically lower-end series with the same motor and blades as a more expensive one will shave the same and be a better buy.

Let’s take a practical example, the new Series 9000.

The Philips Norelco 9500.

Philips says it’s able to deliver 150,000 cutting actions per minute.

We also know that the SH91 rotary heads that come with the Series 9000 have 72 individual blades (24 per head).

SH91 blade and guard.
SH91 blade and guard.

If we divide 150,000 by 72 we get approximately 2100 which is actually the RPM figure we’re looking for.

So the Philips Series 9000 is fitted with a 2100 RPM motor and the SH91 Lift&Cut blades.

With that info, we can easily conclude that the Series 8000 for example also comes with the exact motor and blades, so it will perform identically.

But the Series 8000 usually costs less than the 9000, making it the better pick.

5. Cordless and corded operation

The corded-only Philips Norelco 1100.

Most of today’s electric razors will only work cordless.

There’s an obvious trend toward cordless-only shavers and all the major manufacturers seem to have embraced it.

Braun for example only has cordless shavers in its lineup (with a few exceptions in the entry-level Series 3 range).

Panasonic only sells corded shavers in Japan, while the rest of the world gets only cordless variations.

Philips (Norelco) is no exception and most of their current shavers are cordless-only.

I think cordless and corded operation makes even more sense for rotary razors in the context of long-term use and low costs of ownership.

Luckily there are still a few cordless&corded and even corded-only Philips models available.

This feature is a must-have for some users who don’t want to stress about charging a shaver.

I will explicitly mention the ones that work with cord; unfortunately, there are very few and only in the low-end segment.

There are no high-end cordless&corded Philips shavers anymore.

Side note: even though corded&cordless Philips shavers are marketed as dry-only (for safety concerns), they are still waterproof for easy cleaning (with the cord unplugged of course).

6. Integrated vs click-on trimmers

Another feature that may be important when choosing a Philips shaver is the hair trimmer.

While Panasonic razors for example only use integrated, pop-up trimmers, Philips (Norelco) shavers have either integrated or separate (click-on) trimmers.

The integrated ones are more practical since they’re always there and you simply deploy them when needed.

Philips Norelco Shaver 3800 pop-up trimmer.
Philips Norelco Series 3000 integrated trimmer.

On the other hand, the separate click-on trimmers are more capable and even suitable for trimming an entire beard (although I wouldn’t use one regularly).

Such a trimmer will fit in place of the rotary shaving head and some even have an integrated adjustable comb.

Philips Prestige (old generation) trimmer.
Click-on trimmer on an old generation Prestige.

But you’ll always have to remove the rotary shaving head and snap the trimmer in its place.

They’re also a bit too bulky for things that require more precision (edging a sideburn or a moustache).

I wouldn’t however recommend any of them for regularly trimming a beard.

You’ll be much better off with a dedicated beard trimmer like the Multigroom 7000.

Since I shave often and don’t need to pre-trim my beard, I prefer integrated Philips trimmers.

The hair trimmer on the Philips Shaver 9500.

I only use them for my sideburns and they’re ideal for that type of grooming, even though the Philips pop-up trimmers are nowhere near as good as the ones from Panasonic.

The click-on trimmers are more fiddly to use since they’re thicker and bulkier, but again, more capable for more extensive trimming.

To some users, having a shaver with a particular type of trimmer matters a lot, so I will mention it for every Philips series later on.

7. Cleaning systems

For many years, Philips shavers belonging to different series at different price points were available with or without an automatic cleaner.

Philips Norelco 8900 with SmartClean.
A discontinued Philips Norelco 8900.

These were full-fledged cleaning stations that charged, cleaned and dried the shaver.

And I’m using the past tense because nowadays, none of the current Philips series include such systems anymore.

Instead, there’s only the option of a so-called Quick Clean Pod or no cleaning system at all.

The Philips Quick Clean Pod.
The Philips Quick Clean Pod.

I will get into more detail later on, but the important thing is that the latest (current) iteration of a Philips shaver can at most include a Pod, not a fully automatic station.

The Quick Clean Pod is a very simple cleaning device that uses the shaver to power itself and flush the cleaning fluid through the head.

The fully automatic station only comes with older/discontinued generations of the Series 5000, 7000, 8000 and 9000 if you can still find one.

Those stations evolved throughout the years, the latest one before the decision to drop them being the so-called SmartClean system.

Philips SmartClean station.
Philips SmartClean station.

The SmartClean station uses a detergent-based solution that comes in cartridge refills.

A Philips cleaning station uses induction heat to dry the shaving head.

This system works best and is the most effective when paired with a fan. However, only Panasonic stations use both.

Generally, a Philips SmartClean station purchased later on will work with a shaver that didn’t originally come with one.

It will however need to be compatible with it, so a Series 9000 station will not work with a Series 5000 shaver.

Whether a cleaning station is necessary or not — that’s entirely up to the user.

I think it can be practical and useful and the Philips detergent solution lasts a long time.

Again, the current Philips razors can only come with a less advanced Quick Clean Pod (it’s the same device for all the series).

8. Price and value for money

I think the price is a key factor when deciding which Philips shaver to buy.

Prices can vary a lot throughout the same series for no logical reason.

For example, a shaver in the Prestige line with a different color can cost significantly more than another, even though it doesn’t come with any improvements.

It just costs more.

Also, the price difference between two Philips series can be significant.

And as you’ll see, some of the presumably inferior series can sometimes shave pretty much the same and even use the same blades/motors as the next one in the hierarchy.

This was one of my main goals with this comparison guide — to show the Philips razors that offer the best performance for the money and are worth buying.

The new Philips Quick Clean Pod

Since the full-fledged cleaning and charging stations are now history, the Quick Clean Pod is the only option for automatic cleaning.

The Philips Quick Clean Pod.

The Pod is available with various shavers from the Series 5000 and up and it’s the same no matter the shaver model.

So a range-topping S9000 Prestige will come with the same Pod as a budget Series 5000 for example.

Let’s take a look at the device and how it works.

The Quick Clean Pod is a very basic automatic cleaning system comprised of three elements:

  • a container (essentially a plastic tub)
  • a cleaning cartridge
  • a lid that features an intake tube and a cleaning chamber
The cartridge inside the quick clean pod.
The Pod lid and the tub with the cartridge inside.

With the cartridge placed inside, you would then screw the lid on top, with the intake tube submerged into the cleaning fluid.

The Pod is not electrically powered and doesn’t have any type of logic to determine the fluid level or if the shaver is placed in it.

Instead, it relies entirely on the shaver to provide the power.

Inside the intake tube, there’s a small impeller that pushes the cleaning fluid from the cartridge into the cleaning chamber where the shaving head rests.

The Philips 9500 during the cleaning process.

And the way the Pod works is quite ingenious.

The shaver has a small metal piece at the very center of the shaving unit that rotates when the shaver is switched on.

Closeup of the tiny metal nut that powers the pod.

That tiny metal piece splines to a plastic shaft at the very center of the pod and that shaft connects to the impeller in the intake tube.

Top view of the pod.
Top view of the pod. You can see the small shaft at the center.

So when the shaver is placed inside the Pod, it would actually drive the impeller shaft, causing the cleaning fluid to go up into the cleaning chamber.

This system has both pros and cons.

In my opinion, the pros are the compact size of the Pod, its portability, the ease of use and the fact that there’s no way for the Pod to force you to replace the cartridge.

You would simply replace it when you feel like the solution is way too contaminated with grime and hair.

Philips recommends once a month, but I think you can go longer than that.

The cleaning is pretty effective and the solution also provides lubrication for the blades.

As for the cons, the Pod will not charge or dry the shaver.

Also, the cartridge doesn’t have a mesh filter, so the clipped hairs from previous cleans can actually end up in the shaving head.

Once the cleaning is done, the shaving head is dripping wet and foamy, so you will need to let it air dry (with the head unit open).

The foamy shaving head.

The Pod compatibility is a bit strange.

A Philips shaver that comes with a Pod is fitted with an accelerometer that determines when it’s placed inside the pod.

So instead of an electrical connection (like in the case of a fully automatic station), the accelerometer will sense when the shaver is upside down and completely still and presume that it must be inside the Pod.

As a result, the shaver will enter a special cleaning mode.

Fun fact: You can actually fool the accelerometer if you hold the shaver upside down very still — it will think the shaver is inside the pod and enter the cleaning mode.

Once you start the cleaning by pressing the shaver’s power button, it will turn on and off, flushing the fluid through the shaving head.

The shaver will turn off automatically after approximately one minute.

The shavers that didn’t come with a Pod lack this accelerometer, so they can’t know when they’re upside down and will never enter the cleaning mode.

But because they still have that tiny rotating metal piece, they will still power the Pod.

However, the shaver will run continuously until you manually switch it off.

Here’s a video of my S9000 Prestige that didn’t come with a Pod. I tried cleaning it using a Pod from another shaver and this is how it went:

So if you plan on buying a Pod later on, just know that it will only be partially compatible, but as you can see in the video, it will work.

I think the Pod is quite useful despite its shortcomings and it’s probably worth getting from the start.

Philips (Norelco) shavers comparison and differences (2024)

In this section, I will go over each Philips series of shavers currently available.

As you’ll see, there will sometimes be an older (even discontinued) generation alongside the current one.

Some of the older models are still available and because many users still own and use them regularly, I thought it would be useful to mention them as well.

I won’t be getting into as much detail as with the current shavers just to keep things simple.

With that out of the way, let’s check out the Philips shavers available in 2024 and see how they stack up against each other.

Philips Series 1000 & 2000

  • Motor speed: <2000 RPM
  • Cutting actions/min: <55 000
  • Replacement heads: SH30 (single-edge blades, single track, 9 blades/rotary cutter)
Norelco Shaver 2500 and 2300.

Overview

The 1000 and 2000 Series are the very basic, entry-level shavers currently available from Philips.

The reason why I referred to them together is because the Series 1000 and 2000 are essentially the same shavers (feature and performance-wise).

In Europe, we have only the Philips Series 1000, while in the USA we have both the Philips (Norelco) Series 1000 and 2000.

The shavers in the 1000 and 2000 series are 3-blade rotary machines, reasonably priced and with somewhat modest features.

Some of those (like battery level indicators) won’t have any impact on the performance, but others, like motor speed and blades, will (when compared to a superior series).

Model comparison

ModelOperationBattery lifeMisc
Series 2000 Shaver 2100 (S1111/81)Dry only (cordless & corded)30 minutes (NiMH)10-hour charging time
Series 2000 Shaver 2300 (S1211/81)Dry only (cordless & corded)40 minutes (NiMH)8-hour charging time
Series 2000 Shaver 2400 (X3001/90)Wet/Dry (cordless only)40 minutes (NiMH)1 hour charging time
Series 2000 Shaver 2500 (S1311/82)Dry only (cordless & corded)45 minutes (NiMH)1 hour charging time, more powerful motor
Series 2000 Shaver 2600 (S1311/82)Wet/Dry (cordless-only)50 minutes (NiMH)1 hour charging time, more powerful motor
Series 1000 Shaver 1100 (S1015/81)Dry only (corded only)--
Series 1000 Shaver 1100 (S1016/90)Dry only (corded only)--
Series 1000 S1332/41 (Europe)Dry only (cordless & corded)45 minutes (NiMH)1 hour charging time, more powerful motor

The table above depicts the most popular models in the Series 1000 and 2000.

You may come across some other country-specific models (that don’t show up in the table) depending on where you live.

These shaves can work either cordless (wet/dry models) or cordless & corded (dry-only), while the Shaver 1100 (USA model, dry-only) can only be operated corded.

A wet/dry Philips shaver can also be used with shaving cream/gel or in the shower.

With most current shavers (regardless of brand), cordless-only operation seems to be the new norm.

The Shaver 2300 held in hand.

Philips on the other hand decided to offer corded&cordless models, even though these are limited to the entry-level series like the 1000 and 2000.

The mid-range and high-end models are cordless-only as you’ll see later on.

Corded&cordless operation is a must-have feature for some users and it’s one of the selling points of the Series 2000.

Philips clearly caters to the budget-conscious buyer with these models.

It even goes to the extreme of offering a corded-only shaver, the Philips Norelco 1100, so you won’t have any battery-related worries even after years of use.

The corded-only Philips Norelco 1100.
Philips Norelco 1100

The corded&cordless Series 1000 and 2000 shavers are suitable for dry-only use as a safety precaution.

However, all of them are waterproof for easy cleaning (with the cord disconnected).

The Shaver 2300 was the best-seller of the series for many years.

It offered decent performance, cordless&corded use and was very reasonably priced.

However, nowadays I think the pick of the range would be the Shaver 2500.

The Philips Norelco Shaver 2500.
Philips Norelco Shaver 2500.

It has a couple of advantages over the 2300: charging takes less than 1 hour (compared to 8), the battery lasts a bit longer (45 vs 40 minutes) and it is slightly more powerful (~2000 RPM).

Considering that it costs almost the same, I think the Shaver 2500 is now the budget Philips shaver to buy, the corded&cordless operation being again one of its pros.

In Europe, the Series 1000 S1332/41 would be my pick for the same reasons.

All these shavers have a flip-open head for easy cleaning and an integrated hair trimmer.

Getting the hairs out.

The trimmer isn’t great, it falls back easily and requires many strokes to get a clean cut, but it’s still better than nothing.

The extended hair trimmer of the Norelco Shaver 2300.

Replacement heads

The Philips Series 1000 and 2000 rotaries use the SH30 replacement heads.

These are single-track, single-edge cutters that are very comfortable, durable and reasonably priced.

SH30 blade and guard.

They aren’t as effective as the more expensive ones from the high-end series, but they’re still decent.

You can easily source them and according to Philips you should replace the heads every two years.

That will of course depend on how often you shave, the coarseness of the stubble and how well you take care of the razor.

Cleaning

Since these are low-end rotary shavers, there’s no automatic cleaning system or even a Quick Clean Pod available.

So you will need to clean your Series 1000 or 2000 manually.

Rinsing the shaver with tap water.

Because the shavers are waterproof and you can pop the head open with the press of a button, cleaning is easy and simple.

A deep clean is more fiddly and you’ll need to clean each pair of guard and blade while making sure you’re not intermixing them (they are matching pairs).

Cleaning the rotary cutter.

Luckily, you will only need to do that every few months (it’s the same with any rotary when you’re not using a cleaning system like the Pod).

Key takeaway

The Philips Series 1000 and 2000 are budget-friendly rotary shavers with decent performance and low cost of ownership.

They are ideal for men who shave more often since the shaving system isn’t the most effective and advanced but should still work fine on a 3-day beard.

The Series 1000 and 2000 razors are easy to use thanks to their form factor and compact shaving head, making them a good option for beginners as well.

The closeness is decent and the comfort is excellent, but I wouldn’t recommend them to men with coarse beards.

In short, they offer great value for money, corded & cordless use and decent performance, especially in the case of the Shaver 2500 fitted with a more powerful motor.

Philips Series 3000

  • Motor speed: ~2000 RPM
  • Cutting actions/min: 55 000
  • Replacement heads: SH30 (single-edge blades, single track, 9 blades/rotary cutter)
The Philips Norelco Series 3000 (Shaver 3800).

Overview

A Philips Series 3000 shaver is extremely similar to the ones in the lower-end Series 2000.

They look almost the same, use the same cutting heads and feel pretty much identical in hand.

The Philips Series 3000 next to the Series 2000.
The Philips Series 3000 next to the Series 2000.

However, the Series 3000 models do have a few extras to justify the higher price.

Among those are the larger batteries (almost all models offer 60 minutes of cordless operation from a 1-hour charge), more useful LED displays (selected models), more grippy material on the sides and some extra accessories like charging stands.

But the most significant advantage of a Philips 3000 Series over most Series 2000 models is the slightly more powerful motor.

For example, a Shaver 3800 from the Series 3000 feels and sounds a bit faster than a Shaver 2300.

This translates into a more pleasant, slightly faster and more effective shave (although not dramatically better).

But as we know from the Series 2000 above, there’s one model in the Series 2000 that is different and is basically a Series 3000 in disguise: the Shaver 2500/2600.

Philips Shaver 3800 vs Shaver 2500.
Philips Shaver 3800 vs Shaver 2500.

Despite the very basic battery level indicator and grippy side inserts, the Shaver 2500 shaves exactly like a Series 3000.

So it’s a worthy alternative, especially if we consider the lower price and the fact that it works cordless and corded.

All Series 3000 models are wet/dry, cordless-only models.

They feature a flip-open head and an integrated hair trimmer, same as the Series 2000.

By the way, you will see a 5D flexing head in the specs for the Series 3000, but it’s merely a gimmick as the range of motion is extremely limited and pretty much useless.

This 5D feature refers to the flexing of the entire shaving unit, and not of the individual heads.

You can see it barely moving in this animation:

The 5D flexing system in action.

Let’s now check out the most popular Series 3000 that are readily available, both in the USA and Europe.

Model comparison

ModelOperationCharging standBattery
Series 3000 Shaver 3900 (S3341/92)Wet/Dry (cordless only)Yes60 min, 3 levels (Li-ion)
Series 3000 Shaver 3800 (S3311/85)Wet/Dry (cordless only)Yes60 min, 3 levels (Li-ion)
Series 3000 Shaver 3600 (S3243/91)Wet/Dry (cordless only)No60 min, 3 levels (Li-ion)
Series 3000 Shaver 3500 (S3212/82)Wet/Dry (cordless only)No60 min, 3 levels (Li-ion)
Series 3000 S3210/51Wet/Dry (cordless only)No60 min, 3 levels (Li-ion)
Series 3000 S3134/84Wet/Dry (cordless only)No60 min, 1 level (Li-ion)
Series 3000 S3115/81Wet/Dry (cordless only)No60 min, 1 level (Li-ion)
Series 3000 Shaver 5000XWet/Dry (cordless only)No50 min, 1 level (Li-ion)
Series 3000 S3145/00 (Europe)Wet/Dry (cordless only)No60 min, 1 level (Li-ion)
Series 3000 S3233/52 (Europe)Wet/Dry (cordless only)No60 min, 3 levels (Li-ion)
Series 3000 S3333/54 (Europe)Wet/Dry (cordless only)Yes60 min, 3 levels (Li-ion)
Series 3000X X3002/00 (Europe)Wet/Dry (cordless only)No60 min, 1 level (Li-ion)

All Philips Series 3000 shavers are identical in terms of shaving performance.

Therefore, choosing one should only come down to price and accessories.

For example, some users find the charging stand very practical as they can leave the shaver sitting in it on the countertop.

The Shaver 3800 for example includes a charging stand and a travel pouch.

Charging the Norelco Shaver 3800 via the stand.

The 3500 on the other hand doesn’t include the stand but it usually costs less, so it’s probably a better buy if you don’t need a charging stand.

Any Series 3000 shaver can be charged either directly with the cord or via the stand.

The Series 3000X which is a new release (in Europe) comes only with a USB-A cable that has a Philips connector on the other end.

So the charger is not included in the box and you will have to use an existing USB-A charger or wall socket.

As you can tell from the table, all Philips 3000 Series are wet/dry shavers that only work cordless.

So if you want an entry-level Philips you can also use with the cord, you will need to buy a Series 2000 like the Shaver 2500.

The Shaver 5000X is a bit of an oddity.

Philips Shaver 5000X.
Philips Shaver 5000X

First, there’s the name that might suggest it is a Series 5000. However, it is not, it’s still a Series 3000 that uses the same blades and motor.

Second, its design is different from the rest of the shavers in this range and it has a separate click-on trimmer. This also means it lacks the flip-open head feature.

The Shaver 5000X supposedly has a special coating around the heads that allows it to glide easier on the skin.

But ultimately, its shaving performance is in line with the rest in the 3000 range.

Replacement heads

The Philips Series 3000 uses the same SH30 heads as the Series 2000.

These are the workhorse heads of all entry-level Philips shavers — simple, durable, and with decent performance.

Like all other Philips heads, they should be replaced every two years (or when needed).

By the way, you’ll sometimes see some conflicting statements on official Philips product pages.

For example, a European Philips site might recommend replacing them every two years, while the USA site says a new set is needed yearly.

Since these are the same heads and traditionally Philips recommends a two-year interval, I think we can safely go with that.

Cleaning

Rinsing the shaver with warm tap water.

Unsurprisingly, the Series 3000 shavers aren’t available with any cleaning stations/pods.

That was to be expected since these are still entry-level, budget-friendly shavers.

Cleaning the shavers by hand is however very simple with the flip open heads and the IPX7 waterproofing.

Key takeaway

The Series 3000 used to be my default recommendation for a reasonably priced rotary.

I used to choose them over the Series 2000 mainly because of that small power bump.

However, with the Shaver 2500 which comes with the same snappier motor, it’s a bit difficult nowadays to recommend a Series 3000 over a 2500.

If you don’t care for the corded&cordless operation of the 2500 and you’d rather have a charging stand or a wet/dry rotary — only then would a Series 3000 make sense to buy.

It’s a very easy-to-use razor, especially when compared to the latest Philips shavers with angular, thicker heads.

But you should always try to get a good deal on a Series 3000 — I wouldn’t buy one that costs a lot more than a Series 2000 like the Shaver 2500/2600.

Philips Series 5000

  • Motor speed: ~2000 RPM
  • Cutting actions/min: 90 000
  • Replacement heads: SH71 (double-edge Lift&Cut blades, single track, 15 blades/rotary cutter)
Philips Series 5000.

Overview

The current Series 5000 is the first in the Philips hierarchy to feature the new angular head design.

And while the Series 5000 is ultimately a budget Philips razor (price and performance-wise), it does come with a few notable upgrades over the Series 3000/2000.

The motor output remained the same at around 2000 RPM, however, the SH71 blades it comes with are better than the basic SH30 of the Series 3000.

SH71 guard and blade.
SH71 guard and blade.

Specifically, there are 15 blades per rotary cutter instead of 9 and each of these 15 blades has a double edge.

As we know, the double-edge design (Lift&Cut) allows a closer shave, and having 15 blades instead of 9 will make the shaver more effective (more cutting actions per rotation).

In practice, these do make a difference, however, I wouldn’t say it’s a massive one.

It will likely take you less time to get a clean shave with a Philips Series 5000 vs a Series 3000 and the closeness will be a bit better.

The Philips Series 5000.
The Philips Series 5000.

But the limiting factor is still the motor speed and the fact that we still have single-track heads.

The Series 5000 features a flip-open head and an integrated hair trimmer, just like the Series 3000.

It’s also the lowest-end Philips series available with a Quick Clean Pod, although these models are not released in the USA.

Let’s now check out some of the most popular models from the current Series 5000 generation.

Philips Series 5000 model comparison

ModelUseBatteryMisc
Series 5000 Shaver 5300 (S5588/81)wet/dry, cordless-only60 min, Li-ion3-level battery LED
Series 5000 Shaver 5400 (S5880/81)wet/dry, cordless-only60 min, Li-ion3-level battery LED
Series 5000 (S5588/20)wet/dry, cordless-only60 min, Li-ion3-level battery LED
Series 5000 (S5887/13) (Europe)wet/dry, cordless-only60 min, Li-ion3-level battery LED, textile pouch, charge stand
Series 5000 (S5884/35) (Europe)wet/dry, cordless-only60 min, Li-ion3-level battery LED, hard textile case, charge stand
Series 5000 (S5898/35) (Europe)wet/dry, cordless-only60 min, Li-ion3-level battery LED, hard textile case, charge stand
Series 5000 (S5898/50) (Europe)wet/dry, cordless-only60 min, Li-ion3-level battery LED, Quick Clean Pod, hard textile case
Series 5000 (S5579/50) (Europe)wet/dry, cordless-only60 min, Li-ion3-level battery LED, Quick Clean Pod, hard textile case
Series 5000 (S5887/50) (Europe)wet/dry, cordless-only60 min, Li-ion3-level battery LED, Quick Clean Pod, hard textile case

The most important takeaway from the comparison table above is that all Philips Series 5000 will shave exactly the same.

They’re fitted with the same motor and blades and the differences come down to color and accessories.

You’ll sometimes notice some significant price differences — just know that a higher price doesn’t necessarily reflect a better shaver.

Again, all Series 5000 shave the same.

Among the included accessories the most notable is of course the Quick Clean Pod which we know is a very basic automatic cleaning device.

Philips Series 5000 S5898/50.
The S5898/50 that comes with a cleaning pod. Image credit: Philips

There’s one Series 5000 variation I didn’t include in the table above, the S5466/18.

Philips Series 5000 S5466/18.
Image credit: Philips

This is an unusual European model; it comes with the less advanced SH30 blades (the ones from the Series 3000 and 2000) and has a smaller battery.

Because of that, its performance will in fact be slightly less compelling vs the other Series 5000 models.

I personally wouldn’t consider it unless you stumble upon a great deal or you want this model for some specific reason.

Replacement heads

The current Philips Series 5000 generation uses the SH71 cutters.

SH71

As mentioned above, they have more blades per rotary cutter (15) vs the SH30 (9) and also feature the Lift&Cut double edge, so the closeness will be better.

The SH71 replacement heads are a balanced compromise considering their cost, durability and performance.

They are readily available worldwide and according to Philips, they should be replaced every two years.

Again, that can vary depending on various factors.

Upgrading the shaving heads

The double-track SH91 heads that come with the Series 8000 and 9000/Prestige will fit the Series 5000 as well.

So that would be a quick and relatively affordable upgrade.

The SH91 blades will make the Series 5000 a more effective shaver, but it won’t transform it into a Series 9000 which also has a more powerful motor.

Cleaning

All Philips Series 5000 models are wet/dry, cordless-only shavers, and fully waterproof for easy cleaning.

Unlike the previous S5000 models, they also feature a convenient flip-open head.

Series 5000 flip open head.

Another plus of the Series 5000 over the more basic Series 2000 and 3000 is that it has individual locking rings for each of the three heads:

The locking rings of the Series 5000.
Series 5000 locking rings.

The Series 2000 and 3000 have a single locking bracket that once removed, unlocks all of the three heads at once.

Series 3000 locking bracket.
Series 3000 locking bracket.

In practice, this can be a problem when deep cleaning the three heads.

Specifically, the guard and blade are matching pairs and it’s very easy to intermix them when all of them are unlocked at once.

With the Series 5000 (and all of the subsequent higher-end series), there are separate locking rings for each head, so you can simply clean one at a time.

Apart from a manual clean, you also have the option of using the Quick Clean Pod if your Series 5000 comes with one.

In the USA for example there aren’t such models available, so you’ll have to buy at least a Series 7000 to get a Pod.

Key takeaway

The Philips Series 5000 is a compelling rotary shaver in the low to mid-range segment.

It’s a particularly good option if you can buy one for a similar price to a Series 3000.

The shaving performance of the Series 5000 is adequate, being very gentle and offering a satisfactory close shave.

However, for men with coarse and dense facial hair, it may be worth investing in a more powerful and more capable razor from a higher-end series.

Upgrading to the SH91 heads won’t turn the Series 5000 into a Prestige because the motor will still have an output similar to a Series 3000.

Series 5000 old/discontinued generation

Some of the previous Series 5000 models are still available and you can easily tell them apart as they feature rounded instead of angular heads.

Shaver 5100 S5210/81.
Shaver 5100 S5210/81 (old generation). Image credit: Philips

Apart from that, the main difference would be that the old models don’t have integrated trimmers and flip-open heads units.

The Li-ion battery is smaller, offering only 40 minutes worth of cordless shaving vs 60 minutes in the case of the new models.

The old Series 5000 also comes with SH50 Super Lift&Cut blades that a few seasoned users prefer as they’re able to get a closer shave.

However, for most men, these can come across as too aggressive.

Luckily, the gentler SH71 blades of the new Series 5000 are compatible as well.

I think the old models can still be a worthy option but only if you can get a great deal on one.

Philips Series 6000

  • Motor speed: ~2000 RPM
  • Cutting actions/min: 90 000
  • Replacement heads: SH71 (double-edge Lift&Cut blades, single track, 15 blades/rotary cutter)
Philips new Series 6000.

Overview

The current Series 6000 is probably the strangest in Philips Norelco’s lineup.

There seems to be a single variation available in the USA, namely the Shaver 6800.

Side note: There’s a Shaver 6600 as well, but only available as refurbished.

And this Series 6000 with its angular heads is essentially a Series 5000: same motor, same specs, same blades, same performance.

In fact, I am pretty sure it’s just a rebranded Series 5000. Philips doesn’t even list the Series 6000 on their USA or European websites.

Therefore, I will not get into much detail as everything about the Series 5000 above applies to the Series 6000 as well.

Also, there’s a single model available, the Shaver 6800 that comes with a hard travel case and a trimmer attachment with a built-in guard.

Key takeaway

The current Philips Norelco Series 6000 is rather unremarkable, being a rebranded Series 5000 that’s only available in the USA.

As a result, it makes sense to get it over a Series 5000 only if you can get a better deal for it.

Let’s now quickly take a look at the previous Series 6000 which is in my opinion better and much more interesting.

Series 6000 old generation

The Series 6000 Shaver 6800 is a sleek-looking machine.

The old Philips Series 6000 was in my opinion one of the most compelling families of rotary shavers in recent years.

It was released somewhere in 2019 and the availability has been somewhat spotty ever since.

You can easily tell the old Series 6000 apart from the current one (the rebranded Series 5000 above) as it uses rounded heads.

What impressed me the most was the performance, comfort and some rather premium features that you don’t normally get with a mid-range rotary.

For example, the old Series 6000 features dual-track heads (SH60), extremely similar to the ones on the much more expensive Prestige.

The shaving head of the old Series 6000.

The two Series 6000 models available in the USA are the Philips Norelco 6880/81 (Shaver 6800) and the S6810/82 (Shaver 6900 ).

The shaver 6800 held in hand.
Philips Norelco 6880/81.

The differences between them are only related to the included accessories.

The 6900 offers an additional charging stand and a hair trimmer with an integrated adjustable comb.

In 2024, these two shavers are rather difficult to find and the price is sometimes pretty high.

But a few years ago, this Series 6000 was the mid-range Philips shaver to buy as the price was excellent.

The replacement SH60 blades are sometimes difficult to source, but you can safely use the SH91 from the higher-end series; they will fit perfectly.

So if you own an old Series 6000 or you managed to find one at a great price, you will still be able to buy compatible heads in the future.

And on that note, I would highly recommend buying the old Series 6000 if you can get a good deal.

With its dual-track heads, it’s more capable than a Series 5000 or even 7000.

The shaving heads of the Series 7000 with a single track next to a Series 6000 that features 2 tracks.
The shaving heads of the Series 7000 with a single track next to a Series 6000 with 2 tracks.

The compact, rounded heads also make the old Series 6000 very easy to use.

As for downsides, you don’t get a flip-open head or an integrated trimmer (only a separate attachment).

Philips Series 7000

  • Motor speed: ~2000 RPM
  • Cutting actions/min: 90 000
  • Replacement heads: SH71 (double-edge Lift&Cut blades, single track, 15 blades/rotary cutter)
The Philips Norelco Series 7000.

Overview

The current Series 7000 was the first one to get the new angular head design which has now become the norm for all mid to high-end Philips razors.

And considering its price and performance, the Philips Series 7000 is definitely a mid-range electric shaver.

The motor and blades, as well as the overall shape and design, are carried over from the Series 5000.

The razor held in hand.

So it comes as no surprise that the Series 7000 will perform very similar to a more affordable Series 5000.

However, the Series 7000 does offer a few extras that can make it the better pick, especially if you won’t be paying a lot more for it vs a Series 5000.

To be more specific, here’s what you’ll get with a Series 7000 over a Series 5000.

  • a special coating on the head holders that supposedly makes them glide easier over the skin
  • a motion sensor that sends data to a mobile app and helps you improve your technique
  • more accessories: hard travel case, charge stand, beard styler; a Quick Clean Pod is also available with most models.

I personally didn’t find the sensor and app to be of much help and seemed rather gimmicky.

The special coating is also not as effective as the one on the latest Prestige models which seem to glide easier during a dry shave.

So the extras you’re getting with a Series 7000 don’t improve the shaving performance significantly vs a Series 5000.

Philips Series 7000 model comparison

ModelPodAccessories
Series 7000 Shaver 7200 (S7887/82)Noprotective cap, USB-A cable, cleaning brush
Series 7000 Shaver 7600 (S7886/84)Yeshard travel case, USB-A cable, cleaning brush, 1 x pod cartridge
Series 7000 Shaver 7800 (S7885/85)Yeshard travel case, USB-A cable, cleaning brush, 1 x pod cartridge, charge stand
Series 7000 Shaver 7700 (SS7782/85)Yeshard travel case, charger, cleaning brush, 1 x pod cartridge, charge stand
Series 7000 S7783/35 (EU)Nohard travel case, charger, cleaning brush, charge stand
Series 7000 S7887/35 (EU)Nohard travel case, USB-A cable, cleaning brush, charge stand
Series 7000 S7788/59 (EU)Yeshard travel case, charger, cleaning brush, 1 x pod cartridge, charge stand, beard styler
Series 7000 S7788/55 (EU)Yeshard travel case, charger, cleaning brush, 1 x pod cartridge, charge stand
Series 7000 S7886/55 (EU)Yeshard travel case, USB-A cable, cleaning brush, 1 x pod cartridge, charge stand
Series 7000 S7885/63 (EU)Yeshard travel case, USB-A cable, cleaning brush, 4 x pod cartridge, charge stand

All Series 7000 models are wet/dry, cordless-only shavers fitted with Li-ion batteries that provide around 1 hour of use.

The integrated pop-up hair trimmer is present on all the models, but some include an additional beard styler/trimmer attachment as well.

The hair trimmer of the Series 7000 Shaver 7700.

You’ll notice that some shavers come with a charger (the so-called old Series 7000 variations), while others (the new ones) include only a Philips-to-USB-A cable.

This change is part of Philips’ efforts for sustainability and reducing waste. The shavers themselves are the same.

You can also tell from the comparison table that most Philips Series 7000 are available with a Quick Clean Pod.

Philips Norelco Shaver 7700.

Some even include a large bundle of cleaning cartridges.

The travel case is sturdy and looks very nice. It is in fact the same one that comes with the Series 5000.

The shaving performance is identical throughout the entire Series 7000 range, regardless of price difference.

Replacement heads

The Philips Series 7000 comes with the SH71 heads, the same ones you’re getting with a Series 5000.

We know that these are single-track heads with decent performance that are readily available in most countries.

However, you can upgrade your Series 7000 with the SH91 dual-track heads.

The Series 7000 with the SH91 heads of the new Series 9000/Prestige.
The Series 7000 with the SH91 heads of the new Series 9000/Prestige.

The SH91 are currently the most advanced blades from Philips and they use them on the range-topping Series 9000/Prestige.

But as we saw with the Series 5000, this won’t turn your Series 7000 into a Prestige as it still lacks the power.

Cleaning

As all waterproof Philips razors with a flip-open head, the Series 7000 is very easy to clean with water.

The individual locking rings also allow you to disassemble the heads one by one for a thorough cleaning.

If yours came with a Pod, then you can also rely on it to automatically clean your shaver.

The Shaver 7700 during the automatic cleaning process with the quick clean pod.

I think it’s worth getting the S7000+Pod considering that it doesn’t cost a lot more and the cleaning device is quite practical and economical.

Key takeaway

We can view the Series 7000 as being the most feature-rich mid-range family of shavers from Philips.

But as we saw, the extras don’t really translate into better shaving performance compared to the very similar Series 5000.

The power of the shaver and the blades are the same.

The bundle of accessories is however better and that, coupled with the plethora of models that include a Pod can make the Series 7000 a better buy.

For more info, you can check out my full review of the Series 7000.

Philips Series 8000

  • Motor speed: ~2100 RPM
  • Cutting actions/min: 150 000
  • Replacement heads: SH91 (double-edge Lift&Cut blades, dual-track, 24 blades/rotary cutter)
Philips Series 8000.

Overview

The current Philips Series 8000 is among the newest entries and comes with a couple of noteworthy upgrades over the series below it.

Specifically, it’s fitted with a more powerful motor (2100 vs 2000 RPM) and uses the SH91 heads.

So unlike the Series 7000 which had the same specs as the Series 5000/6000, we truly get a performance bump when going from the Series 7000 to the 8000.

With the Series 8000, we’re stepping into the high-end Philips shavers.

Design-wise, the Series 8000 is extremely similar to the lower-end Series 5000, 6000, and 7000. But it also resembles the more advanced Series 9000.

In fact, the Series 8000 is essentially a rebranded Series 9000 but it’s only available in several countries (the UK, Ireland, and the Netherlands).

This limited availability is the main reason why the Series 8000 will not be a viable option for users outside those countries.

Series 8000 model comparison

ModelAccessoriesCleaning Pod
Series 8000 S8697/23charge stand, cleaning brush, USB-A cable, nose trimmer, protective capNo
Series 8000 S8696/35charge stand, cleaning brush, USB-A cable, hard travel caseNo
Series 8000 S8692/55charge stand, cleaning brush, USB-A cable, hard travel case, 1 x cleaning cartridgeYes

Since the 8000 is not readily available outside of a few select regions, we only have a few models to look at.

All of them are wet/dry, cordless-only shavers fitted with a Li-ion battery that will provide around 50 minutes worth of shaving.

So the battery is in fact a small downgrade compared to the other mid to high-end Philips razors that offer 60 minutes of cordless operation.

The differences between the available Series 8000 models come down to color and accessories. As expected, they all shave exactly the same.

The S8692/55 for example comes with a cleaning pod, while the S8697/23 includes a nose trimmer attachment.

All the Series 8000 shavers have a pop-up hair trimmer.

We also get Bluetooth mobile pairing and the companion GroomTribe app with its questionable usefulness.

Replacement heads

The 8000 is the first series in the pecking order equipped with the SH91, currently the most advanced Philips heads.

The SH91 features double-edge blades (Lift&Cut) and 24 blades per rotary cutter arranged in two tracks.

SH91.

This makes the SH91 very effective at catching difficult hairs and the heads are very comfortable and provide a close shave.

The standard replacement interval is two years.

Cleaning

It’s business as usual regarding the cleaning since the Series 8000 shavers are waterproof and feature a flip-open head.

Cleaning the Series 8000.
Image credit: Philips

The Quick Clean Pod is available as well with the S8692/55 model but it’s not as easy to buy as the other variations.

Key takeaway

The Series 8000 is the entry point to the more advanced Philips rotary razors.

With more power and better shaving heads vs the series below it, the 8000 should be considered by users with coarser, denser stubble who want a capable razor.

It’s also effective when used less often and normally should handle a 5-day beard as well.

The selling point of the Series 8000 is that these shavers are essentially Series 9000 in disguise and the price is often lower compared to a Series 9000.

In that case, a Series 8000 does make more sense than a Series 9000.

However, they’re not as easy to source as the Series 9000 and in most countries, the Series 8000 is not available at all.

Philips Series 9000

  • Motor speed: ~2100 RPM
  • Cutting actions/min: 150 000
  • Replacement heads: SH91 (double-edge Lift&Cut blades, dual-track, 24 blades/rotary cutter)
The Philips Norelco 9500.

Overview

The Philips (Norelco) Series 9000 will be the high-end rotary to buy for the majority of users.

Unlike the Series 8000, the Series 9000 is readily available and it comes in many variations.

The Series 9000 also features a couple of exclusive features:

  • an LED ring around the head that changes color depending on the pressure you’re exerting
  • a Menu button that allows you to cycle through three different screens (battery level, travel lock, light ring control)
Deactivating the light ring on the Philips Norelco 9500.

Not all Series 9000 models come with the Menu button and the advanced display though; as we’ll see, the more budget-oriented variations lack these.

The current generation features the now notorious angular head design, a departure from the old generation that had rounded heads.

Specs-wise, the Series 9000 is the same as the Series 8000 above and uses the same 2100 RPM motor and the SH91 blades.

Let’s check out the most popular models in North America and Europe.

Philips Series 9000 model comparison

ModelAccessoriesMenu & OLED displayLight ring
Series 9000 Shaver 9400 (S9502/83)Hard travel case, chargerNoNo
Series 9000 Shaver 9500 (S9985/84)Hard travel case, charger, cleaning Pod, 1 x cleaning cartridgeYesYes
Series 9000 Shaver 9600 (S9507/87)Hard travel case, charger, charge standNoNo
Series 9000 Shaver 9800 (S9987/85)Hard travel case, charger, cleaning Pod, 1 x cleaning cartridge, charge standYesYes
Series 9000 S9987/55 (EU)Hard travel case, charger, cleaning Pod, 1 x cleaning cartridge, charge stand, cleaning brushYesYes
Series 9000 S9987/59 (EU)Hard travel case, charger, cleaning Pod, 1 x cleaning cartridge, charge stand, beard styler, cleaning brushYesYes
Series 9000 S9975/35 (EU)Hard travel case, charger, charge stand, cleaning brushYesYes
Series 9000 S9974/55 (EU)Hard travel case, charger, cleaning Pod, 1 x cleaning cartridge, charge stand, cleaning brushYesYes
Series 9000 S9986/63 (EU)Hard travel case, charger, cleaning Pod, 4 x cleaning cartridge, charge stand, cleaning brushYesYes
Series 9000 S9980/74 (EU)Hard travel case, charger, cleaning Pod, 4 x cleaning cartridge, charge stand, beard styler, cleaning brushYesYes

All these Series 9000 variations have a few things in common:

  • identical shaving performance
  • wet/dry, cordless-only operation
  • 60 min operation from a fully charged Li-ion battery
  • integrated pop-up hair trimmer
  • GroomTribe mobile app pairing

The differences are related to color, accessories, and several features (light ring, menu button & OLED display).

The European Series 9000 lineup has more variations and some of them come with a generous bundle, like 4 cleaning cartridges and a beard styler with an adjustable comb.

In the USA, the Norelco Shaver 9500 variation is probably the one to get considering its price and included accessories.

Philips Norelco Series 9000 accessories.
Philips Norelco Shaver 9500.

Among those, the Quick Clean Pod is the most noteworthy and I think it’s a useful device despite its shortcomings.

The light ring and the more advanced OLED display are nice extras, but hardly necessary and won’t make the razor shave any better.

I found the light ring to be more of a gimmick and a bit inconsistent, you definitely shouldn’t rely (solely) on it to get the pressure right and improve your technique.

The light ring in action on the Philips Series 9000 Shaver 9500.

So buying a less feature-rich Series 9000 variation like the Norelco Shaver 9400 (USA) is a good option if you’re on a tighter budget.

Again, the performance will be identical.

There are some other country-specific Series 9000 variations apart from the ones in the table above.

Just keep in mind that the only differences are again related to color, accessories, and features like the Menu and OLED display.

Replacement heads

As mentioned before, the Philips Series 9000 is fitted with the excellent SH91 dual-track blades.

Disassembling one head at a time.

These heads should last around two years before needing to be replaced.

Since these are currently the best blades Philips has to offer, there’s no upgrade option available.

Cleaning

All Philips Series 9000 shavers are fully waterproof for easy cleaning with tap water.

Rinsing the Philips Series 9000 with water.

Most models will however include the Quick Clean Pod.

It’s the only option available for automatic cleaning with the current Series 9000 generation.

With the previous one, you had the option of getting a fully-fledged automatic cleaning station.

Unfortunately, it’s not available anymore and a current Series 9000 shaver will not work with an older SmartClean Philips station.

Key takeaway

If we consider its price, performance, and availability, the Series 9000 will be the best option for most users looking for a highly capable Philips rotary.

Just like the Series 8000, it can deal impressively well with longer, flat-lying hairs, making it ideal for men who shave once or twice a week.

The power is adequate and the blades are very comfortable and provide a close shave.

The Philips Norelco 9500.

As for downsides, the current Series 9000 is a large shaver and the body has this rectangular shape that’s not particularly ergonomical.

Series 9000 old/discontinued generation

I will only briefly go over the old Series 9000 models as many users still own one.

These shavers featured rounded heads and came with the rather aggressive SH90 heads.

The SH90 uses the original Super Lift&Cut double-edge design, which many users find too grabby and uncomfortable.

It’s one of the reasons I wasn’t particularly a fan of that generation.

The head also doesn’t have the flip-open hinge and there’s no integrated pop-up trimmer.

On the bright side, you had the option of getting a model with a fully automatic cleaning station (like the 9300 or 9700).

If you have one of these older Series 9000 shavers and it’s still in good shape, the best thing you can do is to upgrade the heads to the SH91.

The SH91 are significantly more comfortable while providing the same close shave and will fit the old Series 9000 perfectly.

I don’t see a reason to buy a new Series 9000 shaver if the old one works fine and especially if you have one of the models that came with a cleaning station.

Philips S9000 Prestige

  • Motor speed: ~2300 RPM
  • Cutting actions/min: 165 000
  • Replacement heads: SH91 (double-edge Lift&Cut blades, dual-track, 24 blades/rotary cutter)
The Philips S9000 Prestige.

Overview

Finally, we have the range-topping S9000 Prestige.

Objectively, the Prestige is the best electric shaver that Philips currently offers.

We can make a case that it doesn’t provide a lot more over the Series 9000 — after all, they come with the same SH91 blades.

However, after owning and using both, I’d argue that the S9000 Prestige is worth the extra money.

The motor is probably the most important upgrade you’ll be getting with the Prestige.

It can run at 2300 RPM and it’s a very refined, torquy and powerful unit.

The Philips S9000 Prestige can only be used cordless.

In practice, it makes the shaver very enjoyable and effective and just feels effortless to use vs a lower-end model.

The 2300 RPM power output is only available in the highest power setting.

Unlike other Philips shavers, the Prestige features so-called Personal Comfort Settings that allow you to choose between 3 shaving modes:

  • Comfort (1900RPM)
  • Dynamic (2100 RPM)
  • Efficiency (2300 RPM)
The Personal comfort settings on the new S9000 Prestige.

And while the first two modes could be useful for men with very sensitive skin, I think for most users (myself included) the high power Efficiency mode is the best.

The shaver remains adequately comfortable, but it’s faster and cuts the hair in fewer strokes.

Fun fact: in the Dynamic mode, the power output is identical to the standard Series 9000 (2100 RPM).

Another aspect that in my opinion makes the Prestige better than the Series 9000 (and 8000) is the improved ergonomy.

The Prestige is better balanced and the shape of the handle allows you to grip it comfortably and securely.

Side view of the new Prestige.

Even though the shaving unit is the same size and shape, it somehow feels more compact during use.

Also, the head just seems to glide smoother over the skin.

All these things add up and make the Prestige a great and enjoyable rotary shaver, in my opinion the best you can currently buy.

It’s not all great though — because of that sculpted body shape, a pop-up hair trimmer couldn’t be integrated.

As such, the Prestige is only available with a wonky click-on trimmer attachment.

The new Prestige with the trimmer attachment in place.

And then there’s the price. You will need to spend a hefty amount to get the top-of-the-line Philips shaver.

S9000 Prestige model comparison

ModelAccessoriesCleaning PodWireless charging
S9000 Prestige SP9872/86premium case, USB-A charger, Qi charging pad, trimmer, cleaning brushNoYes
S9000 Prestige SP9841/84premium case, charger, 1 x cleaning cartridge, trimmer, cleaning brushYesNo
S9000 Prestige SP9886/89premium case, USB-A charger, Qi charging pad, 1 x cleaning cartridge, trimmer, cleaning brush, nose trimmerYesYes
S9000 Prestige SP9840/90premium case, charger, 1 x cleaning cartridge, trimmer, cleaning brush, 1 x SH91 extra setYesNo
S9000 Prestige SP9871/22 (EU)premium case, USB-A charger, Qi charging pad, beard styler, cleaning brush, nose trimmerNoYes
S9000 Prestige SP9840/31 (EU)premium case, charger, 1 x cleaning cartridge, beard styler, cleaning brushYesNo
S9000 Prestige SP9840/32 (EU)premium case, charger, 1 x cleaning cartridge, trimmer, cleaning brushYesNo
S9000 Prestige SP9885/35 (EU)premium case, USB-A charger, 1 x cleaning cartridge, beard styler, cleaning brush, nose trimmerYesYes

As you’d probably guess, the core features and performance are identical throughout the entire Prestige line.

There is however a multitude of models available, some of them country-specific, that come with various accessories at various price points.

In my opinion the most important ones to keep in mind when buying a Prestige are the Quick Clean Pod and the Wireless charging feature.

Charging the shaver via the wireless QI pad.

The latter is particularly interesting because the Prestige shavers that come with wireless charging cannot be charged with a regular wired charger.

And that’s despite being fitted with a Philips charging port (covered by a plastic flap) — it simply will not work.

Removing the charging port cover.

So wireless vs wired charging is something you’ll need to decide before making a purchase.

Charging the Prestige wirelessly via a Qi pad takes a lot more time (3 hours vs 1 hour).

That said, it may not be a problem if you simply let it rest on the pad all the time.

I think for most users a Prestige variation with wired charging and Quick Clean Pod (like the SP9841/84) will be more useful.

The battery life of the S9000 Prestige is excellent.

All models are wet/dry, cordless-only shavers fitted with a Li-ion battery that provides approximately 60 minutes of cordless shaving.

The included premium travel case is of great quality and there’s enough room inside for the shaver, trimmer/beard styler and charger.

The Premium travel case.

The downside is that it’s rather bulky compared to the regular textile hard travel case.

The price of the Philips Prestige varies a lot, especially in Europe where you’ll see huge price differences between the available models.

The important thing to know is that all of them shave exactly the same, so as long as any Prestige model comes with the accessories you need (like for example the Pod), you can safely buy it.

Replacement heads

As we know, the latest Philips S9000 Prestige shavers come with the SH91 heads.

Just like with the Series 8000 and 9000, you would normally replace the heads every 2 years.

Cleaning

Cleaning a Prestige is not any different than cleaning any waterproof Philips shaver that is available with a Pod as well.

Rinsing the head with tap water.

You can quickly open the head unit and rinse it with tap water or you can clean it with the pod if it came with one.

As we know, the Philips shavers that don’t include a Pod are only partially compatible with one (you’ll need to stop the cleaning cycle yourself).

Key takeaway

In my opinion the Philips S9000 Prestige is the rotary shaver to buy in 2024 if your budget allows it.

It is the most capable and enjoyable Philips razor out there and I think its pros over a Series 8000 or 9000 are worth the price difference.

I would however look for a great deal on a Prestige that comes with a cleaning pod.

As for wired vs wireless charging, that’s entirely up to you. Both are viable options but one usually makes more sense than the other depending on the use case.

If you enjoy shaving with rotaries, there’s a great chance you’ll love the S9000 Prestige.

It shaves close, it’s very comfortable and effective and it should handle even a one-week beard.

For more details, you can check out my in-depth review of the Prestige.

S9000 Prestige old/discontinued generation

The original S9000 Prestige series is still available to buy in 2024, even though there aren’t many models to choose from.

When it was first launched, I called it a game-changer as I was so impressed by the excellent comfort.

A Philips S9000 Prestige rotary razor held in hand.

It was so much gentler than the available Philips shavers (S9000 with Super Lift&Cut) of that time.

And the old Prestige still is a worthy option even today.

You can easily spot the old generation as it has rounded heads:

The new and old Prestige heads.
The new and old Prestige models, respectively.

Moreover, it has a couple of advantages over the new/current generation.

The body of the old Prestige is made of metal, while the new one is plastic.

This makes the old shavers feel even more premium.

Metal (light silver) vs plastic body (dark grey).
Metal (light silver) vs plastic body (dark grey).

Another benefit stems from the rounded, more compact heads — the original Prestige is a bit easier to use under the nose for example.

You do lose the flip-open head feature though.

Performance-wise, the old one feels exactly the same. The motor is the same and we get the same 3 power settings.

The blades that come with it are however different. The old Prestige uses the SH98 (currently discontinued) heads.

A guard and a rotary cutter from the Philips S9000 Prestige.
SH98 guard and blade.

Compared to the SH91 of the new one, the SH98 are single-edge (no Lift&Cut). However, the performance (comfort, closeness) is very similar.

You can of course use the new SH91 heads in the old Prestige, they will fit perfectly.

There’s no Quick Clean Pod available with the old Prestige and it will not work at all with one.

Overall, I think the old models are still a great alternative if you can get a great deal.

Which Philips shaver should you buy?

Some of the best Philips shavers to buy.

With all these series and generations, it may seem complicated to choose the right Philips shaver.

But if we only consider the things that matter — actual shaving performance, price and value for money — we can narrow it down to only a handful of options.

Here are what I consider to be the best Philips shavers in 2024.

1. The budget pick: Series 2000/3000

Philips Norelco Shaver 2500

Philips Norelco Shaver 2500.

See the price on Amazon

If you’re looking to buy a very affordable Philips razor that also has a low cost of ownership, I think the Philips Norelco Shaver 2500 from the Series 2000 is the best pick.

It’s essentially a Series 3000, but costs less and works cordless and corded.

Unless you need a wet/dry razor or one of the accessories of the Series 3000 (like a charging stand), the Shaver 2500 is simply a better buy.

While the closeness of the Series 2000/3000 isn’t the best, it’s still decent and the comfort is excellent.

The Philips Norelco Shaver 2500.

Even though it comes with the basic SH30 blades, it deals surprisingly well with more difficult, flat-lying hairs, especially when compared to a similarly priced foil shaver.

The Shaver 2500 is a USA model, so if you live in Europe, I would consider a Series 3000 like the Philips S3241/12.

If you have denser/coarser stubble and shave less often, the Series 2000/3000 will probably not be up to the task.

In that case, it would be worth it to invest a bit more in a more capable shaver.

2. The mid-range pick: Series 6000/5000

Philips Norelco Shaver 6800 (Series 6000)

Philips Norelco Series 6000.

See the price on Amazon

A couple of years ago, the Series 6000 (old generation, rounded heads) was by far the best pick for a mid-range Philips.

And strictly from a performance point of view, it still is.

The Philips Norelco Series 6000.

Unfortunately, it’s getting more difficult to find.

In the past, the Series 6000 would cost only marginally more than a Shaver 3800 from the Series 3000, so buying one was a no-brainer.

If you can’t find a Series 6000 anymore (for a reasonable price), the next best thing would be the Series 5000.

Philips Norelco Series 5000 (Shaver 5400)

Philips Norelco Shaver 5400.

See the price on Amazon

As we know, the Series 5000 shaves just like the current Series 6000 (angular heads) and the Series 7000. All use the same motor and the same shaving heads (SH71).

But the Series 5000 usually costs less, so it makes sense to recommend it over the Series 7000.

The Series 5000 is also available with a cleaning pod, but only in Europe.

So USA buyers will need to opt for a Series 7000 in order to get a shaver with a Pod.

The Shaver 7700 during the automatic cleaning process with the quick clean pod.
The Series 7000 Shaver 7700.

A Series 5000 and especially a Series 6000 (old models, rounded heads) are more effective than a Series 2000/3000 and require less work for a clean shave.

But you will need to step up to at least a Series 8000 for a noticeable performance upgrade.

And especially for men with very coarse beards, I think it will be worth it doing so.

3. The high-end pick: S9000 Prestige

Philips Norelco S9000 Prestige SP9841/84

Philips Norelco S9000 Prestige (SP9841/84)

See the price on Amazon

If you have the budget for it, the S9000 Prestige is without a doubt Philips’ best shaver.

It’s the most powerful, comfortable and capable rotary you can buy in 2024.

This shaver performs impressively well on both short and longer stubble (up to one week) and the result is excellent.

Testing the new Philips Prestige.

The SH91 heads are very gentle and still manage to cut the hair at skin level.

The old Prestige (rounded heads) is still available and it’s a perfectly viable alternative to the new one especially if you can buy it for less.

If the price is still outside your budget, you can consider the Series 9000 or even the Series 8000 (if you live in Europe) — whichever you can buy for less money.

In the USA, the Shaver 9500 is usually the one to buy as you get a Quick Clean Pod and the price is pretty reasonable as well.

Philips Norelco Series 9000 Shaver 9500

Philips Norelco 9500

See the price on Amazon

The Series 8000 and 9000 are still great performers — only slightly less powerful than the Prestige — and they use the same SH91 heads.

The Prestige however has better ergonomics and feels a bit more powerful and more refined.

The Shaver 9500 and the new Prestige.
The Series 9000 and the new S9000 Prestige.

The end result, in terms of closeness and comfort, will be similar when using a Prestige or a Series 8000/9000.

But it will take more effort to get the same smooth shave with the latter.

As for what I would pick, my favorite shavers from Philips are the old Series 6000 (rounded heads) and the S9000 Prestige (both generations).

Philips Series 6000 and S9000 Prestige (old generations).
Philips Series 6000 and S9000 Prestige (old generations).

I am rather picky when it comes to rotaries and these two are the ones I enjoy using the most.

It’s a shame the old Series 6000 is getting so difficult to find, it really was a fantastic shaver for the money.

Final word

This pretty much concludes my 2024 Philips (Norelco) shavers buyer’s guide.

Hopefully you now have a clear picture of the differences that matter and you can choose the Philips shaver that makes the most sense for your needs.

Philips customers are usually long-time users who prefer rotaries over foil shavers and are simply accustomed to their pros and quirks.

But men who are new to rotaries or electric shaving in general can consider one as well.

Usually, a Philips shaver will work great on both short and long stubble (up to one week), the cost of ownership is low and they’re quieter than other types of electric razors.

If that sounds like something you’d want, a Philips razor would be an option worth considering.

If you have any other questions or you’d like to share your experience, make sure to leave a comment 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.

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60 thoughts on “Philips Shavers Comparison & Buyer’s Guide (2024)”

Leave a comment
  1. Thanks for the detailed report. I’ve relied on you over the years. About 11 months ago I purchased model 5588 which calls for the SH71 heads. It did a better job than my old Norelco. I do want the most comfort I can get. If I understand you correctly the SH91 head will fit and should be more comfortable?

    Reply
    • Thank you for being a reader for such a long time, Jim, I appreciate it.

      Regarding the comfort of the shave, I find the SH71 and SH91 to be pretty much the same (excellent in both cases). The latter is however more capable and more effective with the two tracks of blades. So I don’t think you’ll a major difference in comfort, but the shave should be better nevertheless (faster and a bit closer). I’ve used the SH91 heads in both the Series 5 and 7 and can confirm that they do fit.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  2. Good update on rotaries. I’ve been using Braun since the early 80’s. Before that I was using Norelco. I tried Panasonic when the sonic-vibrating motors first came out. Then returned to Braun when they implemented them. I’ve had a Series 9 for a few years, and I replace the head once a year – whether it needs it or not.
    Now regarding Phillips. I recall with the rotary head Norelco, my hairs took on a circular growth after a while. And that led to some nasty in-grown hairs, that were not pleasant as you can imagine. Do the new Phillips, the 9000 series for instance still have that issue?
    Lastly, I travel a lot and know exactly how my Braun case easily fits in my bag. I keep an extra power cord in my bag so that I never concern myself with not having a charge. That Philips wireless looks like a monster to carry, and not something conducive to hotel bathrooms, so going wired would be my preference. What’s the travel case like? With the rotary head, how bulky is it.
    You can probably tell, that switching to rotary would be a big lift for me. But I’m always open to new ideas, otherwise I wouldn’t keep us with your great writings. Thanks, Michael

    Reply
    • Hi Michael,

      Thanks so much for the comment and feedback.

      I think the current rotaries have come along way and are more forgiving, but some men do get more ingrown hairs using one type vs the other — whichever that might be. A more aggressive shaver that cuts the hair very close will usually cause more ingrown hairs. The current 9000 is, at least in my experience, unlikely to cause serious ingrown hair issues, but it’s again something that varies from one user to another. The only certain way of finding out is to actually try one. Norelco does have a very convenient 45-day money back guarantee in the USA, so that should be plenty to of time to find out if it’s working well for you.

      The Norelco 9000 (not the 9000 Prestige) comes with a reasonably compact travel case considering how large that shaver is — it’s like an inch longer than a Series 9 case and half an inch taller (here is a side by side picture). The Prestige on the other hand comes with a larger case, not as travel-friendly, but it will accommodate the trimmer and charger in addition to the shaver.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  3. That is the most comprehensive Philips/Norelco shaver guide I have ever read. Thank you for going to so much time and trouble to prepare it, it’s most appreciated.

    Reply
    • Hi Jonathan,

      It’s a bit like apples to oranges, but I’ve always said that for most users, in particular those who have never shaved with an electric razor, a foil shaver is generally a safer choice, i.e. there’s a greater chance for a good, satisfactory shave.

      In my case, the Series 9 Pro (compared to let’s say a Philips Series 9000 or S9000 Prestige) is equally comfortable, but I do get a slightly closer with the Braun shave and it takes me less time as well. I also feel more in control with it around the jawline and below the nose. Shaving wet makes both even more comfortable and enjoyable, but I don’t find the difference as dramatic as in the case of a Panasonic Arc 5 for example (which totally transforms into a better shaver during a wet shave).

      If you have large patches of hairs that grow in swirls/multiple directions and tend to stay flat on the skin, a capable rotary like the S9000/Prestige has the edge in my opinion vs any foil shaver, including the S9 Pro — it’s more effective and needs less effort to catch all the difficult hairs. So if that’s something you’ll be dealing with (especially if also shave less often), a rotary could make more sense.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  4. My older S-9000 with the updated 98 series heads handles a 7-day beard with no problem. However I have to deep clean the heads before running it in the smart clean system/charger. Otherwise the drain hole in the cleaner reservoir gets plugged and the heads don’t get fully cleaned. No biggie in the grand scheme of life. I still would like to have one of the older all metal Prestige Shavers. Don’t need it, but want it.

    Reply
    • Thank you for the comment, Clayton. I actually do that with may foil shavers as well before using a cleaning station, just a small niggle.

      The old Prestige is one of the nicest shavers I’ve handled alongside the Panasonic ES-LV9Q (also with a brushed metal body). You can also clean the Prestige head unit (fitted to the old shaver) with the SmartClean station .

      But an old Series 9000 in mint condition with upgraded heads, be it the SH98 or SH91, is in my opinion a fantastic combo. You get pretty much the best of everything. It doesn’t have the same premium feel in the hand, but I think that can be easily overlooked.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  5. Hi Ovid,

    I just thought of another question regarding the S9500 and the cleaning pod.

    If I shave wet I need to rinse the shaving cream off before putting it in the pod. Does it need dry before putting it into the cleaning pod?

    If I shave dry I will probably be using Speick pre-electric. Should I also rinse with water before putting it in the cleaning pod?

    Finally, if I just rinse with water and don’t want to put it in the cleaning pod every day, do I need to lubricate the cutters each time?

    Thanks for all you do here! These companies should be paying you to translate all of these model combinations for the rest of us!

    Reply
    • If you want the pod fluid to last longer always rinse your shaver of all shave cream, and hair stubble. No need to let it dry before placing it in the pod. Atleast lube your shaver once a week if dry shaving. Daily if you are wetshaving, and rinsing it. Basically lube it everything you clean it.

      Reply
    • Hi Jonathan,

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

      Regarding your questions:

      If I shave wet I need to rinse the shaving cream off before putting it in the pod. Does it need dry before putting it into the cleaning pod?
      — Rinsing the foam off is definitely a good idea. If you shake off the excess water and just gently pat the shaving head with a towel or paper tissue it will be enough. No need to let it dry completely before using the pod. The idea is just to avoid diluting the solution with water, so it’s perfectly fine if the head is damp but not dripping wet.

      If I shave dry I will probably be using Speick pre-electric. Should I also rinse with water before putting it in the cleaning pod?
      — No, the residue from the pre-shave is minimal or non-existent. I’ve never rinsed any of my shavers (regardless of brand) before using a cleaner system. Pre-shave lotions evaporate completely and apart from the Afta pre-shave gel, there won’t be any significant residue on the shaving head.

      Finally, if I just rinse with water and don’t want to put it in the cleaning pod every day, do I need to lubricate the cutters each time?
      — No, it will not be necessary. Lubrication is not really an issue with rotary shavers, especially if you’ll be using the Pod from time to time.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  6. Great review. What about the build quality? Has this improved? I moved away from Philips 6 yrs ago in favour of Panasonic and now Braun. I felt some of the models had the feel and build quality akin to McDonald’s happy meal toys. As new models came it seemed that all efforts were being made to reduce costs. Trimmer mechanisms for example re designed that just release the trimmer whereas they used to control the closing. Metal parts replaced by plastics etc etc..

    Reply
    • Hi Mark,

      Thanks so much for the comment — those are some great observations. I usually address build quality in detail when I review individual shavers and this article was already getting extremely long, so I decided to only point out a few noteworthy aspects like the build quality of the old Prestige generation.

      The current Philips shavers feel a lot less plasticky and hollow compared to the the previous generations, especially in the low to mid-range segments. But the even older ones (like the XL models for example) were built like tanks.

      In my opinion Panasonic is by far the best in terms of build quality nowadays, even though some costs reduction measures are obvious across the entire industry — but to a far lesser degree in the case of Panasonic, which can’t be said about Braun and Philips.

      Some Panasonic models are truly impressive and sometimes feel over-engineered, with release tabs for the foil head even on their travel shavers like this one. Braun for example have ditched them, the only exceptions being the Series 8 and the Series 9. The old Series 7 and 5 used to have them, but not anymore.

      The Philips hair trimmers still only have a release mechanism and a rather weak spring that holds them upright. You will need to fold them back with your finger. A Panasonic trimmer on the other hand is in a whole different league — it doesn’t budge once extended and you can retract it with the switch which also has a second function of locking/unlocking the shaving head.

      The current Philips S9000 feels to me a bit better than the old one, while the Prestige models are genuinely nice, especially the body panels and fitting. The head units still don’t feel as well engineered and put together as a Panasonic though.

      Philips unfortunately is the only brand that makes decent rotaries, so there’s really no alternative. I’ve tried other brands and all of them were underwhelming to say the least.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  7. Hi Ovidiu, once again the most comprehensive review I have ever read. For over 60 years I was a dedicated Philips user owning the best models that were available unfortunately the last one I owned was replaced three times within warranty. Eventually after reading your reviews I bought a Braun S9. And I’m so impressed I will never return to a rotary shaver. I know that it’s a personal view but in my opinion the quality of the Braun is exceptional. Many thanks for your work. Regards Eddie

    Reply
    • Hi Eddie,

      Thank you so much for the comment, that’s very kind — I’m glad you found the info useful.

      I’m a Braun S9 user myself whenever I’m not reviewing or comparing different shavers and for me it also works best as my everyday, dry shaving machine. Your experience is in line with what I’ve been told by other men switching from a rotary to a decent (and suitable) foil razor. Then again, a rotary can be solution when nothing seems to work and I’ve seen some incredible results — men who’ve never used one were getting their best shave ever.

      I’ve often said that for most users a foil shaver is likely to be a safer option with a greater chance of delivering a satisfactory shave, but it will of course not always be the case.

      Thank you again for the feedback and for being a reader of this site — much appreciated.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  8. Please advise which gives the closer shave. Philips, Panasonic, or Braun. Using closeness as the only criteria!
    Thank you and I greatly appreciate you doing this for all of us. Your articles are well written and extremely informative.

    Reply
    • Hi Les,

      Thank you so much for the feedback.

      For most users, a Panasonic shaver will likely deliver the closest shave without any major compromises. There are some other shavers that while capable of getting even a bit closer, do so with some major caveats (such shavers are the Andis ProFoil or reSURGE). I have a topic dedicated to closeness as well if you’d like to check it out.

      But in short, a Panasonic Arc 5 would be my pick if closeness is the number one criteria.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  9. Hey Ovidiu,
    I have been reading plenty of your blogs about electric shavers and love how informative they are. I currently have a Braun series 8, and find it very difficult to shave my neck hairs as they lay flat on my neck. If I attempt to wet shave, I find that I nick my neck quite often. Is it because I am shaving incorrectly, or should I give a rotary razor another try. I used to use the Philips series 3000, and never had these issues. Any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Matteo,

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

      I think it might be worth it to try a rotary if nothing seems to help with your current shaver. If you’ve used rotaries before with good results, chances are that they’re just better suited for your beard, skin and technique.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  10. Hello Ovidiu…

    Thank you for the “Philips Shavers Comparison & Buyer’s Guide” dated April 12, 2024. I read it with great interest. You certainly spent a lot of time to do the research and to write this. Your attention to detail and your clear writing style are impressive. Thank you.

    I’ll try to make this as brief as possible, but I wanted to give you a history of my experience with Norelco (now Philips Norelco) electric shavers, but without going into a lot of great detail.

    By the way, I’m writing from the East Coast of the United States. I’m 79 years old—soon to be 80—and I’ve been shaving for a long time. I began to use an electric shaver when I was in college back in the 1960s, mainly because the lines to use the sinks in the dormitory bathrooms were always long while the guys were shaving. One of my professors said that he used a Ronson electirc shaver. I bought one, but it did not work very well for me. I then got a small Norelco shaver. I remember that it was white and curved and that it fit nicely into my hand. It was corded, and it had 2 rotary blades.

    I used that Norelco to shave in my dorm room. I just plugged the it into the outlet and off I went.

    I used that shaver for a while, but soon after I got what they called a “Norelco Tripleheader.” It had 3 rotary blades plus a pop-up trimmer, and it was corded. I used it until the late 1960s when I grew a full beard. I had my beard for 10 years, but I kept the Norelco to trim the edges of my beard.

    I finally got tired of my beard in the late 1970s, and I shaved it off. I then bought a brand-new Norelco shaver. This was probably 1979 or 1980. It had 3 rotatry blades and a pop-up trimmer, and it worked well. I continued to use Norelco (Philips Norelco) shavers into the 2000s and 2010s, and I was always happy with them. They were readily available in pharmacies and in many other stores such as Bed Bath and Beyond and Costco.

    At some point in the 2000s, Philips Norelco changed the design of their shavers. Many of them no longer had a pop-up trimmer. Instead, the trimmer was a separate attachment, meaning that you had to remove the shaving head and replace it with the trimmer. Philips Norelco also somehow changed the way that the rotary blades were replaced. I never had a problem putting in new blades through the 1990s, but at some point, the blades were held in by small plastic retainers, and some of them had little orange-colored tweezers to turn the retainer rings.

    You have used the word “fiddly” to describe the changing of the blades, and that was true for me. At one point, I was trying to put new blades into my shaver, and one of them became permanently stuck. (This was a Philips Norelco Shaver 9850 (S9733) with shaver heads SH90.) After that, the shaver was useless.

    That’s when I switched over to Braun.

    I now have 3 Braun electric shavers, and I like them very much.

    First, I bought a Braun Series 7 in 2016. It is a 740s-7, and the cassette is a 70s. I bought some extra cassettes at the time. I still have one brand-new one, and it’s still in the package. From what I’ve read, it could be the best shaver that Braun ever made.

    Second, I bought a Braun Series 9 in 2018. It is model # 9295cc, and the cassette is a 92s. It still works, and I’m sure that I’ll have to buy a newer cassette one of these days.

    Third, I bought a Braun Series 3 in 2022 from my local pharmacy. It was on sale for about $39.00. It was too good to pass up. It is a ProSkin, Model 3040s. I have not used it very much yet, but I like it.

    I usually shave every day, sometimes every other day. Here’s my current routine:

    1: For the “First pass,” I use my “old” Braun Series 7 to get most of the stubble off. Sometimes I just let it go at that because it gives me a decent shave.

    2: I do not use the trimmer on the Braun. I have discovered over the years that trimmers on electric shavers are not all that great. I use a Gillette Fusion-type manual razor because of the trimmer blade on the back; I use the trimmer to shave under my nose and to trim my sideburns.

    3: If I feel like it, I might do a quick “Second pass” on my cheeks and jaw lines with the Fusion-type razor or a Gillette Mach3.

    4: I do not like canned shaving cream, mainly because I am sensitive to fragrances, and I no longer want to bother with a shaving brush. I use a fragrance-free soap, such as Dove fragrance-free soap: I work up a lather in my hands and I apply it to my face, especially on sideburn area and under the nose. It works well.

    5: After the shave, I rinse my face with cold water and then I apply fragrance-free Witch Hazel. After that, I put on a fragrance-free facial cream or Vitamin E cream.

    I have been doing this for years, and it works well for me. I know that many people say that your face has to adapt to an electric shaver and that you should not run a manual razor over your face if you’re using an electric shaver. But the process that I described above works well for me.

    Well, this turned out to be longer than I had intended, but I did want to thank you again for your great review of Philips Norelco shavers.

    Best wishes,
    Dean

    Reply
    • Hi Dean,

      I want to thank you for taking the time to write such an insightful post — I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I’ve only started shaving in the early 2000s, so I’ve missed out on a lot of the now vintage shavers. It’s always intriguing to me when someone had the chance to use different shavers from totally different generations.

      The Braun Series 7 (now sadly discontinued) is arguably one of the most successful Braun models and one that was a safe option to buy for pretty much anyone. It’s a shame it got replaced by a new generation that is inferior in every single aspect.

      As for your shaving routine, I think it’s great and most importantly, it works well for you which is ultimately what matters.

      I’m glad to have you as a regular reader and I appreciate your feedback greatly.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    • @Dean.

      A big thank you for writing this long and informative post/comment about all your different shaving products & routine from way back till this day. Very nice indeed. And happy birthday in advance! I hope you still have many years to come!

      Cheers,
      Karl

      Reply
  11. First of all, I extremely enjoy all of your articles about shaving and shavers. I find every single one to be an enjoyable read – very well written and informative.

    I did not see the 9731 mentioned, most likely as it is actually very similar to another model – soooo many model numbers and features to pick from for seemingly very similar shavers. Would you say that the 9731 fits in with your description of the “old” 9000 series – it looks identical to the photo you have under that section?

    I have a 9731 (with the SH91 heads) which I really had to search for on eBay. I managed to find one for right about 90 dollars, in near perfect shape. I also found the cleaning base from another seller for 20 dollars – money well spent!!
    I really wanted this for the round heads vs the new style that they all have – I’m just not a fan of the boxy/rectangular heads on the new models (I do have a 7783 with that style head, my number 2 go-to razor – it also has the SH91 blades installed).

    Most likely, I will eventually get the 9820 – I’m addicted to shavers, just looking for the best shave and experience possible. After all, it is something that most of us do every day!!

    Making a comparison of my favorites, the 9731 is top of the list, then the 7734, followed by my ARC 5, then oddly enough, the typical number one rated for most reviewers, the Braun 9000 Pro comes in last. I feel that the Philips just give me a better and more comfortable shave – probably the rotary vs foil…. ….I get a better shave on the corner of my jawbone, just below my ear with a rotary.

    Reply
    • Les,

      Thank you so much for the comment and feedback, really glad you enjoyed the post.

      You are absolutely right, the 9731 is part of what I referred to as the old 9000 series. I didn’t however mention any individual models in an effort to keep everything as short and tidy as possible (and I’m not sure I managed to achieve that).

      In a way, the old 9000 with the SH91 heads is pretty much the best combo, especially in this case as you managed to get a fantastic deal for the shaver + cleaning station.

      The 9820 will feel like a nice upgrade especially in terms of build quality and refinement — the metal body looks and feels a lot more premium. And you’ll still be able to use your cleaning station if you attach the Prestige head unit to your 9731 (it’s a perfect fit).

      The Braun S9 Pro is a very safe choice and versatile shaver that does everything good enough — that is in my opinion one of the main strengths of that shaver and the main reason why I recommend it — there’s a great chance it’ll provide a satisfactory shave (if it fits within the budget of course). But in this case it certainly looks like rotaries are working better for you.

      Thank you again for taking the time to leave a comment.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  12. It took me a few days to digest all of this incredible report, Ovidiu. It is by far the most thorough treatment of Philips shavers that I’ve ever read. I can’t imagine the research and the time spent in creating such a report. I want to express my gratitude to you for working so hard to present this information to your readers.

    Reply
    • Wayne,

      You are too kind, thank you so much for the comment. It did take a while to put everything together and I struggled the most to keep the text as short as possible and remove any unnecessary info. But with so many series and things that needed some clarification, like model names and motor speed, it came out a lot longer than anticipated. But I do hope it will still be useful to many.

      Thank you again for the feedback and for being a regular reader who always provides incredibly useful and insightful info in the comments.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  13. Hello,
    Thanks for the excellent review!
    Do you think it’s worth buying the “Prestige” instead of the 9000 series for a closer shave?
    Thank you very much,
    Thierry.

    Reply
    • Hi Thierry,

      Thank you for the comment, much appreciated.

      Strictly for a closer shave the answer is probably not. I find the closeness to be pretty much the same, although the Prestige is a bit faster and more enjoyable especially in the highest power setting. It also feels smaller in the hand and a bit nimbler, even though the size of the shaving unit is the same. I do prefer the Prestige for those reasons, but again, having used both I don’t think it has a definitive advantage regarding the closeness of the shave. So I wouldn’t get it over the 9000 series for that alone.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  14. Ovidiu, thanks for the comprehensive review of Philips shavers. I have given you comments before on your other general shaver pages.
    I have settled back in to using the Philips S9985/84 and couldn’t be more satisfied. After having physical issues with the high pitched sound of Braun shavers the Philips shaver is refreshing. I like shaving “dry” with a pre shave but agree with you that a “wet” shave (I use Edge Gel) is closer and leaves my face much softer as opposed to the alcohol based pre shave lotions.
    The Quick Clean unit provides just enough cleaning and lubricating. As you noted, I did find that you have to take the shaver out of the unit and let it air dry if you want to shave dry the following day, but that is not necessary when shaving wet.
    Being 80 years old I keep looking for a state of the art change in mens shaving. Perhaps one day there will be a laser like device that will make it much easier for all of us.

    Reply
    • Hi Mike,

      Thank you for the feedback and for taking the time to share your experience. I’m glad you’re enjoying your Series 9000 — that particular model (with the cleaning Pod) is probably the high-end Philips shaver that offers the best value for money.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  15. Ovidiu

    I am not sure your comment about Norelco being the only rotary manufacturer is 100% correct. It is, if you only consider the top three as regards market share. I believe Remington makes rotary shavers as well. I have no experience with Remington other then remembering my dad used one when I was a child.

    Reply
    • Hi Jay,

      That’s absolutely correct, Remington does make quite a few rotaries and Xiaomi also has a couple in its lineup. I was indeed referring to only the three large manufacturers.

      I have been testing other non-Philips rotaries, mostly Remington, and the performance was unfortunately underwhelming or just plain bad. I think competition is great, especially for us, the users, but right now Remington rotaries just aren’t good enough. There is one exception though, their rotary head shavers which are quite good and reasonably priced. But those only cater to a more niche segment of buyers.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  16. Hi. Great reviews – I’ve had a beard for about 15 years and after reading your reviews got a Braun S9 mainly to do my neck but have gone beardless for a month or so. I’m thinking to try a Philips as I think my stubble especially on my neck grows in many directions. I’m getting very confused by the Series 3 models and what is available in the UK. Do the model numbers change around the world and any easy pointers to available Series 3 models that you would recommend. Thanks, Nick

    Reply
    • Hi Nick,

      Thanks so much for the feedback.

      New Philips models do pop up frequently, I’d say more than in the case of other brands. Right now the S3145/00 seems to be one to get (large 60 minutes battery, readily available).

      If you’ve been shaving with a Braun S9, the Philips S3000 may seem a bit underwhelming, especially if your beard is coarse/thick. Even though it works fairly well with flat-lying hairs, it’s still a very basic, entry-level rotary.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  17. Thanks for the comprehensive reference. I’ve wanted something like this for a long time. I’ve used Norelco razors for the past 50 years. I’ve used an S3500 for several years, but its efficiency seems to be fading even with new blades. I’m going to try one of your suggestions. I ordered an old model S6880 with the round heads on eBay and a new set of SH91 heads. That’ll let me inexpensively experiment with an upgraded class of shave. Hopefully that’ll give me a quicker close shave and let me ponder purchasing a new 9000 series.

    Reply
    • Hi Roy,

      Many thanks for the comment. That’s a great solution especially if you got a good deal on the shaver and heads. The SH60 that come with the old Series 6000 are in my experience already better than the SH30, but you should get an even better shave with the SH91. Just makes sure you don’t intermix the blades and guards when swapping the heads and keep the original pairings.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  18. Thanks for the guide. I had an over 10yr old Philip shaver which I like alot but unfortunately can’t find the replace head, and I didn’t see you included that model in the guide. It an 3d sense touch and by the model 1260x if I recall correct, it still charge and work fine but the blade had wear out can’t find replacement anymore. I had purchased an replacement head some years back was around $80 back then, and when time for 2nd replacement it cost around $150 on amazon didn’t pull the teigger back then and I did some search couple yr back over internet found out Philip discontinued the production on replacement head. Do you know it’s this American specific model doesn’t have much info on Google and I think the part for the head is call RQ12 did found the replacement on Ebay but from the picture they post it different from what i had on my shaver any suggestions for the replacement part.Thanks
    But the way I got an Panasonic Arc6 from reading your review yr back was undoubtedly best shaver I ever own and it shave almost as close as using razor blade.

    Reply
    • Hi,

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

      Your shaver is one of the models that have been long discontinued and in an effort to keep the article as short as possible, I didn’t include the very old models. The 1260x uses the RQ12 heads (also long discontinued) and the only other compatible heads are the SH70 which you might still be able to find.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    • Hi Alex,

      It’s mostly in-line with my assessment of the S9000 and the Prestige. The standard S9000 does offer better value for money and I often recommended it as a more affordable alternative to the Prestige.

      That said, I would still say that the Prestige is objectively a better shaver. The motor in the highest speed setting is faster and it sounds and feels more refined. Then there’s the better ergonomics, the Prestige being more comfortable to hold and easier to use. I own both and I would always pick the Prestige for a shave. Again, budget and value for money aside.

      Regarding the the reddit review, there are a few things to put into context.

      1. The author only refers to the older generation which was not available with a cleaning Pod. The new Prestige and the one I’m recommending the most does come with a Pod.
      2. The price difference between the S9000 and the Prestige is not usually that steep. From what I understand, that was the situation two years ago (in Denmark). There are currently a few Prestige variations in Europe that for some reason are priced extremely high, so those are definitely not worth buying.
      3. The author mentions that many review sites (including shavercheck.com) said that (and I quote) the Prestige is by far the closest shave due to its unique shaver heads. That is factually and completely false, at least in the case of my review. I haven’t read the other ones, but I explicitly mention in my review of the 9500 that in terms of closeness the two are extremely similar. Moreover, I never said that it had unique shaver heads, on the contrary — I mentioned several times that it uses the exact same shaving system as the Prestige.

      I’d say it’s up to the user to decide whether it’s worth paying more for a Prestige. I always tried to present all these nuances so everyone could make an informed decision.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  19. I have read numerous reviews on Philips shavers over the years. All of them combined do not provide the insight of your one review. I own multiple Philips shavers and wish I had access to your review before I purchased several of them as it took my time and money to learn what you published about the closeness, coverage, cleaning, etc. Thanks for putting this together!

    Reply
    • I appreciate your detailed work on shavers (that have more subjective comments than any other product on the market). I have a question if you’d like to answer, in my country I can buy 5887/10 with sh71 for 80$, and 8692 with sh91 for 175$ (more than two times the price). Should I save money and buy sh91 for 60$ when stock sh71 dulls? I don’t shave that often, and cut only hair on my cheeks and neck.

      Reply
      • Thank you for the comment, much appreciated.

        The 8692 is a Series 8000, so in addition to the better blades it will also have a more powerful motor than the Series 5000. It would be difficult to say if it’s worth spending more than twice the money for the Series 8000 without some context though.

        Can you tell me for example what shaver are you currently using (or what was something you’ve used in the past) and what is wrong with it (like it takes a lot of work for a smooth finish)? Also, do you have patches of hairs that grow in different directions or stay flat to the skin? Or anything else you deem relevant.

        Sincerely,
        Ovidiu

        Reply
        • I couldn’t justify the price difference and bought 5887. I had a very old hq7330, so it is an improvement. I will try the better blades as they dull.

          Reply
  20. It seems not all of the old Series 6000 have the same head with dual track (SH60) like you mention here. I found the S6610/11 here in Canada but the heads are different with single track cutter. Still round head but not with dual track. What do you think of this model and is it still a better option than the new 5000?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Nik,

      That is an excellent observation. You are right, not all the old Series 6000 come with the dual-track SH60 heads. Just like the Canadian S6610/11, the European models also come with single-track SH50 heads. So in this case the only real advantage of the old 6000 over the new 5000 would be the form factor of the round shaving heads. Also, the new 5000 comes with the SH71 heads which are gentler than the SH50.

      If you decide to get the S6610/11, you will be able to swap the heads in the future with the SH71 (or the excellent SH60 if you can still find them).

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  21. Great article. Obviously, you are a detail oriented person. I have been using a Norelco 7610XL ( my 2nd one) since about 2009. It still shaves great even though I have never replaced the heads. If it didn’t shave well, I would hear from my wife. I was looking at a 2500 or 2600 due to the pop up trimmer and price. After reading this, I am going to go for the 2600, since for $4.00 more on sale, it comes with a travel pouch and I travel a lot.
    As an aside, I shave in vertical overlapping strokes. I had been doing 3 passes with each vertical stroke but recently went to 4 passes per stroke. However, the main reason to replace it is because the charger cord is worn and electrical tape can only help so much.

    You truly are providing a valuable service for us Norelco users. Thanks, again.

    Reply
    • Dan,

      Thank you so much for the comment.

      It’s quite impressive that your XL still cuts well enough after all these years with the original heads it came with.

      The 2600 comes with the SH30 heads that while are more comfortable than the HQ6 on your shaver, are not as bitey and some lifelong rotary users may find that they don’t shave quite as close as the older, more aggressive Super Lift&Cut blades. But there’s really no other option in the lower-end segment nowadays. Nevertheless, I hope you’ll enjoy shaving with it.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  22. Great article and very thorough. I have one of the 9000 series shavers (the 9500 one I think). Compared to my previous Philips shaver that had round heads it does seem a little chunky and the differently shaped heads on this one made me think it would be harder to reach areas like under the nose, but actually that doesn’t seem to be a great problem after all. The pressure sensing light rings are a bit gimmicky I find and the shape of the handle sort of almost compels you to grip the shaver in such a way that you are likely to exert more pressure. Probably the poorest aspect of the design in my experience is the connection between the charging dock and the shaver itself. The shaver has two pins at its base which go into a couple of corresponding holes in the charging dock. The problem is that if you have rinsed the shaving unit after using it, even if you leave it for a little while to drain it the excess water off ot even invert it to let the excess water drain out, there still seems to be somewhere in the shaving head that retains water which then drips out and down into the charging dock when you place it there. Whilst there is a small hole in the charging dock itself to let this water drain through I don’t think it’s adequate, because after less than two years of use I am noticing that there is a build up of what looks like a white corrosive residue. The shaver is no longer sitting properly in the charger either and needs to be propped vertically so that the pins underneath of it can make contact with the parts inside the charging unit. This shaver has a 2 year warranty so I have contacted Philips about this issue and hopefully they will assist me in resolving it, as it was not an inexpensive shaver. Apart from that it seems to work well and I have no issues with it. Thank you to the author of this post for your comprehensive review and comparisons of the different models of Philips shavers and their various pros and cons.

    Reply
    • Lee,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, much appreciated.

      The water dripping into the dock is a bit of a nuisance. I am maybe a bit too wary when it comes to water and electricity and usually allow my shavers to dry overnight before I charge them. It’s not very convenient or practical though. I hope you’ll get it sorted out with Philips.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  23. Thanks Ovidiu, I must say Philips (Australia / New Zealand) have been very good to deal with. I reported the problem to them and they asked me to send them a couple of photos of the shaver / charging dock plus a copy of my purchase receipt. I also discovered that when I had registered the product originally that they had provided an additional year to the warranty, which made it a 3 year warranty in all. I have already had an email back from them to say they have ordered a replacement of the shaver to be sent to my home, so I certainly can’t fault their after sales warranty service.

    Reply
    • Lee, that’s great news, glad they were able to help. Philips customer service is usually excellent, confirmed by users from different countries as well. Panasonic for example has some catching up to do.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply

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