Andis ProFoil Review: Master Of One Trade

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Andis ProFoil Review: Master Of One Trade

Review Summary

Pros: very close shaves, excellent battery life, cordless & corded operation, inexpensive replacement foil & blades, can be used as a face & head shaver

Cons: not suitable for sensitive skin, only works well on short hair, noisy, not waterproof, cleaning is fiddly

Our Rating:

(4 out of 5 stars overall)

Value for money:

Features:

Performance:

Buy the Andis ProFoil Lithium Titanium Foil Shaver

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The ProFoil Lithium Titanium Foil Shaver from Andis has long been a favorite among barbers for its ability to cut the hair at skin level.

While primarily intended for finishing fades and removing occasional stubble, the ProFoil can actually be a good option for home users as well.

Because it’s essentially a foil electric razor, it can be used to shave facial hair, but also works well as a head shaver.

However, depending on your needs and shaving routine, it may not be ideal.

In this review, I’ll share everything about my experience with the Andis ProFoil, hopefully helping you decide whether it’ll be a good option for you.

Let’s dive right in.

Andis ProFoil features overview

The Andis ProFoil is a remarkably simple electric shaver.

With regards to features and other bells and whistles, it’s as basic as it gets.

There’s no flexing shaving head, no fancy LED display, no travel lock, no pop-up trimmer, no speed settings or beard density sensors and so on.

Andis Pro Foil.

And that’s not necessarily a bad thing if it can get the basics right.

And by basics, I simply mean how well (and close) it shaves, but we’ll get to that as well in the performance section of the review.

The ProFoil Lithium Titanium Foil Shaver has the model number TS-1 and you’ll also find it listed as 17150, which is the item number from Andis — just know that they all refer to the same product.

With that out of the way, let’s quickly go over the most important features and what they actually mean.

Two independent cutting elements

The Andis ProFoil features 2 cutting elements.

The two foils and inner blades of the Andis ProFoil Titanium Shaver.

The ProFoil (TS-1) has a very simple shaving system, comprised of two micro-foils arranged in a staggered fashion.

They do move independently, but it takes a lot of force and you’ll never press that hard when using the shaver.

So they’re basically fixed.

Andis uses quite a lot the term Titanium when referring to the foils of this shaver.

Precisely, it supposedly features a Gold titanium hypo-allergenic foil for irritation-free shaving.

However, Titanium has a grayish color, so most likely the coating on the foil is actually Titanium Nitride, which has in fact a gold color.

We’ve seen it being used on the updated Braun Series 9 shaving head as well.

Titanium Nitride has anti-corrosion properties, so its use definitely makes sense here.

The actual cutting is done by a pair of blades that oscillate behind the perforated screens.

The Andis ProFoil is fitted with a 9000 strokes per minute rotary motor, so it’s adequately fast.

Super thin foils

The foils on the Andis TS-1 are extremely thin.

This is worthy of mentioning as these foils are indeed incredibly thin.

You can tell that just by looking closely at them.

Compared to other foil shavers from Braun or Panasonic, the ones on the Andis ProFoil are thinner, which should help achieve a close shave.

Cordless and corded operation

The Andis ProFoil will operate both corded and cordless.

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This shaver is fitted with a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery that can provide enough power for up to 80 minutes of cordless use.

That’s really impressive compared to most other electric razors.

And on top of that, the Andis ProFoil will also work while it’s plugged in.

The universal voltage converter (100–240v) means that you’ll also be able to charge the shaver anywhere in the world.

Dry only use

The ProFoil is unfortunately not waterproof, so you can’t even rinse it with water.

We’ll see later on how easy it is to clean in this case.

Build quality and ergonomics

Unlike many of the modern electric shavers out there, the Andis ProFoil has a really conservative, boxy, vintage design.

It’s all plastic and there’s nothing flashy or remarkable about the way it looks and feels in the hand.

The Andis ProFoil held in hand.

It is surprisingly lightweight given the beefy battery inside (134g according to my kitchen scale).

Even though it lacks any rubber-like surfaces, it’s very easy to handle and to grip firmly, again thanks to its reduced weight.

Despite the all-plastic build, it doesn’t feel flimsy or hollow.

On the front part, there’s a large triangular power switch.

There’s no dedicated travel lock, but since it’s quite difficult to slide up and turn the shaver on, I don’t think it’ll ever be a problem.

The Andis ProFoil Lithium Titanium Foil Shaver doesn’t have any battery level indicator either, just a simple notification light that will turn green while charging. That’s it.

On the right side, there’s a round foil release button that you must press in order to remove the foil frame from the shaver.

The foil release button.

On the bottom, there is a charging port with two prongs, while the back of ProFoil is completely barren.

As you can see, there’s not a lot going on here.

But despite the lack of some features that are present on other similarly priced electric shavers, there are definitely a couple of remarkable aspects about this Andis.

Precisely, the reduced weight, the excellent battery life, and the ability to use it corded as well.

It’s a utilitarian design approach that in this case actually works really well.

For example, you don’t really need a multi-level battery display when you have 80 minutes of cordless operation and you can always just plug the cord in and continue using it.

Included accessories

The accessories included with the Andis ProFoil shaver.

Here’s what you’ll find in the box:

  • Andis ProFoil Lithium Titanium Foil Shaver
  • Protective cap
  • Charging cord
  • Cleaning brush
  • User manual

That’s again pretty basic but somewhat expected at this price point. I would have liked to see a travel case though, even a soft textile pouch.

Battery life and charging

When charging the shaver for the first time, you should leave it plugged for at least two hours.

Mine actually had some charge in the battery when I got it, but I still charged it for two hours per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Charging the Andis Profoil.

The green LED will light up continuously while charging, then turn off when the battery is full.

The charger bundled with the Andis ProFoil is really compact, probably the smallest I’ve seen with any electric razor.

It has a USA plug, so I simply used an adapter to connect it to an outlet (I live in Europe).

The charger can handle 100 to 240 volts, so you can use it anywhere in the world without any worries.

As mentioned at the beginning of the review, the battery life is amazing. The ProFoil will easily last over one hour of use with no significant drop in power.

And you can always fall back on shaving with the cord plugged in.

Since the Andis ProFoil has a Lithium-ion battery, it will not suffer from memory effect, so you can charge it whenever you want.

Shaving performance

Let’s now get to the part that matters the most, and that is how well the Andis ProFoil actually shaves.

We’re mainly interested in seeing how it can fare when used as a regular electric shaver, which isn’t really the use case that it was designed for.

The ProFoil is intended for finishing fades and removing stubble, to quote the manufacturer.

So let’s start with what is likely the most impressive part about this machine, the closeness.

Closeness of the shave

I will say it right of the bat, this thing can shave extremely close.

Andis Pro Foil.

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There a couple of gotchas, but I’ll get to those right away.

The reason for being able to shave so close to the skin mainly has to do with the use of very thin foils.

And on the Andis ProFoil, they really are paper thin.

You can almost feel the blades moving against the foil when shaving.

As mentioned previously, the setup is really simple, with only two staggered shaving elements.

The staggered shaving head.

And speaking of it, this solution of offsetting the foils is surprisingly effective, allowing you to hold the shaver in a more natural way, with the two foils remaining in perfect contact with the skin (especially when shaving the neck).

Being a dry only electric razor, I only used it dry and only a couple of times I applied a pre-shave lotion.

And I can honestly say that the ProFoil gave me one of the closest dry shaves of any electric razor.

But let’s get back to those caveats.

First of all, if you have very sensitive skin, you likely won’t be able to get the best out of it in terms of closeness.

This actually happened to me as I have a very sensitive neck, and as a result, the closeness on the cheeks was noticeably better than on my neck as I could really be thorough and get a smooth shave.

Secondly, I got significantly better results, both with regards to closeness and the time it took me to complete my shave when using the Andis ProFoil on short hair.

If you don’t shave often (daily or every other day at most), this razor won’t perform at its best.

You’ll also have to make sure to always shave against the grain; failing to do so will just cause it to go over a patch of hair without cutting anything.

If you have hair that grows in different directions, you’ll have to adjust the direction of your stroke more often and always approach the hair against the grain.

Comfort

It’s usually very difficult if not impossible for an electric razor to shave very close and remain comfortable at the same time.

In the case of the ProFoil, it was pretty obvious from the first use that a compromise had to be made in the comfort department.

And while it’s not by any means terrible in this regard, it’s one of the least forgiving electric shavers I’ve used, at least on my neck.

In order to be able to get a relatively irritation-free shave, I was extremely careful to only use the slightest of pressure.

Whenever I failed to do so, it would instantly bite back, causing some nasty stinging, redness, and even a few nicks.

This again only happened on my neck.

On the cheeks, chin and below the nose it was fine most of the time, but again, I tried not to be sloppy and only use light pressure and short, controlled strokes.

Things were definitely worse when using it on a 2 to 3 days beard.

It was even less forgiving and this was when I actually saw some bleeding on my neck.

So that’s one more reason why you’ll want to use it on a short beard.

Another problem is that after a few minutes of use, the foils would start to get pretty warm.

Toward the end of my shave, they were definitely pretty hot, which didn’t help with the comfort.

The blades rub right against the foils and this friction generates a lot of heat, but that’s the downside of the shaver being able to get so close to the skin.

I would not recommend the Andis ProFoil to users dealing with razor bumps or ingrown hairs, I think there are much better alternatives, despite the fact that a gentler electric shaver won’t be able to get as close.

Using a pre-shave did improve the comfort a bit, but not to a great extent. It was still pretty rough on my neck, especially when I shaved after a few days of growth.

The immediate post-shave sensation isn’t great, with some razor burn and stinging on my neck.

The discomfort did eventually go away after applying an aftershave balm.

Shaving longer, flat-lying hairs

Long whiskers, especially if they stay flat on the skin or grow in different directions, are more difficult to shave.

Foil shavers usually have specially designed cutters to capture and trim these hairs.

This Andis doesn’t have any, so as a result, its performance in this case is not good.

In fact, it’s one of the least capable foil shavers I’ve used lately in this regard.

Not only it will just leave behind the flat-lying hairs, but you may even experience some pinching and the hairs getting yanked.

I also noticed that whenever I shaved after a few days, there’ll be a clear change in the way the motor sounds, the shaver would vibrate a lot and the hair clippings would fly all over the place.

The solution to avoid all this is to simply use the Andis ProFoil often.

Usually, that means every day or every other day if your hair grows at a slower pace. It will be particularly beneficial if you have hairs that grow in different directions and stay flat on the skin.

Shaving the head

Because it can get really close to the skin and it was actually designed for skin fades and beard lines, the Andis ProFoil can be an excellent head shaver.

I do not shave my head, but my barber actually uses a ProFoil and I can honestly say that it gets as close as a razor blade.

And when used on the sides and back of my head, it’s very smooth and comfortable and I never got any irritation or redness at all.

So if you’re looking to (also) use the ProFoil on your head, it is more than capable.

The only problem is that if you don’t have someone to help you, it may be difficult to shave the back of your head for example.

Something like a SkullShaver Pitbull will be a lot easier to use, but it won’t shave quite as close as the Andis.

And yes, you should still use it often in order to get the best results as it works best on short hair.

Noise level

In terms of noise, the Andis ProFoil is pretty average, so it’s not a quiet shaver.

When you first turn it on it’s not too bad, but when you start to shave, especially if you have coarse facial hair, it will sound like a coffee grinder.

It’s one of the loudest electric shavers I’ve used when cutting the hairs.

For me this isn’t really a problem, but I know that for some users having a quiet electric razor is important.

This isn’t the one for you if that’s a must-have as it does get quite loud.

Cleaning and maintenance

Almost all modern electric shavers are pretty easy to clean manually if you can rinse them with water.

Unfortunately, you can’t do that in the case of the Andis ProFoil.

And it may not seem like a big deal at first, but at least for me, this was the most annoying thing about the ProFoil during my testing.

You’ll essentially have to rely on the small brush included in the package to remove the hair clippings.

Here’s how a typical cleaning would go.

Once I finish shaving, I turn off the shaver and remove the foil head.

I gently tap the plastic frame on the sink to get rid of the bulk of hairs, then simply blow out any remaining finer stubble.

Tapping out the hairs from the foil head.

If you have a can of compressed air, it can be really handy in this situation.

I then move on to cleaning the blades and the body of the shaver.

Cleaning the inner blades of the shaver.

I personally remove the two inner blades to get better access (simply grab them by the ends between your thumb and index finger and just pull them straight up).

I then gently brush away the hairs from the blades. Makes sure to only brush with the direction of the blades, never across as you will damage them.

Do not use the brush on the foils as they are very sensitive.

After cleaning the blades, I move on to clean the rest of the shaver.

The Andis ProFoil Lithium shaver produces some of the finest hair dust I’ve ever seen and lots of it ends up on the exterior of the shaver.

Fine hairs on the outside of the shaver.

Once I take care of that, I put the blades back in place and snap the foil frame to shaver.

That’s pretty much it.

I really miss being able to just rinse my shaver under warm tap water and not worry about anything else.

I used the ProFoil for a couple of weeks almost exclusively and the cleaning was fiddly and a bit time-consuming — definitely more annoying than in the case of my other foil razors.

There’s no need to lubricate the blades according to the manufacturer, but I don’t think it would hurt.

I personally removed the blades and foil head and sprayed them with a spray cleaner and lubricant for electric shavers.

My favorite is the Remington Shaver Saver spray and it does seem to reduce the friction as well, causing less heat during use.

Replacement parts availability

The Andis ProFoil Lithium Titanium Shaver uses a pair of internal blades and a foil assembly that must be changed every 6 months according to the manufacturer.

That’s quite a short period of time compared to other brands that claim between 12 and 18 months of use.

But in all honesty, it’s not really a fair comparison given the how thin the Andis foils are and as a result, they will wear out faster.

The good part is that the foils and blades are reasonably priced, so even if you’ll change them more often, your cost of ownership won’t be that high.

Replacement Foil and Cutters

Andis replacement foil and cutters.

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The foils come with the Andis branded plastic frame as well, so the whole foil assembly will be replaced.

You can buy it separately and keep using the same blades for a while, but I don’t really recommend it.

The set costs just marginally more and you won’t get the best performance out of the shaver by using a new foil and a worn pair of blades.

Finally, you should take that 6-month timeframe just as a reference. In reality, things could be quite different.

The wear of the parts will depend on how often you use the razor and how coarse your hair is.

Also, if you’ll mainly use it on your head, the foil and blades should last longer as the hair on the scalp is nowhere near as coarse as the one on the face.

So the takeaway is that you should replace them when the performance of your ProFoil drops significantly and it’s not able to provide a decent level of comfort and closeness.

Wrapup—Who should buy the Andis ProFoil?

I think it’s safe to say that the ProFoil is among the closest shaving electric razors out there (alongside the Wahl Finale and some Panasonic models).

Andis Pro Foil.

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You’ll certainly have a difficult time finding a better one at this price point that can match it in that regard.

But this comes unfortunately with some major caveats.

And depending on your shaving routine and other aspects (like dealing with sensitive, irritation-prone skin), it may not be a viable option as your main electric (face) shaver.

In my opinion, you should consider the Andis ProFoil only if the following boxes are checked:

  • You shave daily or every other day at most. This razor is designed to be used on short stubble. Trying to shave longer facial hair, especially if it’s coarse, will only result in a poor shave. You’ll likely experience some hair pulling, nicks, irritation, and hair clippings flying all over the place. It’s also quite poor at catching flat-lying hairs since it only has two basic foil elements.
  • You don’t have sensitive skin. As mentioned in the performance section of the review, the Andis ProFoil is not a gentle and forgiving electric shaver. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

So if you’re planning on using this razor on your face, definitely keep these two aspects in mind.

In my opinion it would make more sense as a complementary/backup shaver to clean any remaining rough patches of hair. But that alone may not be a compelling reason to buy a second shaver.

And that leads us to the next use case where the Pro Foil actually excels — using it as a head shaver.

Because it shaves very close and it actually works better on softer hair — like the one on the head — the Andis ProFoil would be ideal for shaving the head.

You’ll probably only get a closer shave by using a blade, which comes with its own (major) shortcomings.

This makes it a favorite among barbers, but you can definitely use it to shave your head yourself.

Granted, it won’t be as easy as using something like the Skull Shaver Pitbull, but it will get the job done and again, it will give you a closer shave.

And yes, you’ll still have to use it often in order to get the best results, ideally every day.

Alternative shavers

The Andis ProFoil Lithium Titanium Foil Shaver was designed to only do a specific thing well, and that is cutting short hair close to the skin.

It’s a basic, dry only, two foil shaver that isn’t great for anything else.

And as a result, it doesn’t really have any real competition except for the Wahl Finale.

Andis ProFoil vs Wahl Finale (Five Star Series)

Wahl Finale

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When comparing these two shavers, I think there are a lot more similarities than differences.

Both use two staggered foil cutters, both are similar in terms of design and functionality, both work corded and cordless and the performance will also be quite similar.

However, I think the Andis ProFoil has the edge when compared to the Wahl Finale.

Here’s why:

  • It’s usually cheaper
  • The foil and blades set is also slightly cheaper
  • It is a bit quieter and more refined (the Wahl Finale vibrates a lot even when it’s not cutting the hair)
  • The body of the ProFoil is a bit more compact and easier to maneuver

As you can see, those aren’t very important differences, but I think overall they make the Andis ProFoil a better pick.

On the other hand, the Wahl Finale has a slightly better battery life (90 minutes compared to 80 in the case of the Andis) and it also includes a charging stand.

So for their intended purpose, either of them will work pretty much the same.

This concludes my review of the Andis ProFoil Titanium shaver. If you have any questions, make sure to post them in the comments below.

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