Pros: shaves close, comfortable, compact, lightweight, good build quality, wet&dry use, integrated hair trimmer, reasonably priced, easy to clean
Cons: large shaving head, charging takes a long time, only works cordless, basic battery charge indicator, no travel lock
Electric head shavers have become a viable alternative to razor blades mainly because they’re practical, safe and some of them shave reasonably close.
One such shaver is the Remington Balder Pro (XR7000) and in this review, I’ll share everything you need to know about it.
Depending on your needs and budget, it could be a great option. However, some other shavers from the competition could make more sense as you’ll see later on.
In recent years we’ve seen a plethora of head shavers, ranging from these specially designed rotary razors like the Balder Pro all the way to foil and even clipper-style trimmers.
The most popular head shaver out there is the Pitbull from Skull Shaver, so I’ll also be comparing it to the Remington Balder Pro toward the end.
But first, let’s quickly check out the main features of the Balder Pro.
Side note: the Remington Balder Pro (aka XR7000) is sold in Europe under a different model name, the Remington RX5 (XR1500). It’s essentially the same product, so the review will still be relevant for the European model.
Table of Contents
- Features overview
- Build quality and ergonomics
- Included accessories
- Battery life and charging
- Remington Balder Pro performance: How good it is?
- Cleaning and maintenance
- Replacement parts availability
- Wrap-up — Should you buy the Remington Balder Pro?
- Remington Balder Pro vs Skull Shaver Pitbull
1. Five cutting heads
The Remington Balder Pro is a rotary head shaver with 5 cutting heads designed to cut short hair (less than 2mm) close to the skin.
You probably already know this, but a rotary shaver uses circular blades that spin behind a metal guard, cutting the hairs that poke through the slits in the guards.
The Balder Pro (XR7000) is a shaver of this type and as mentioned earlier, it features 5 individual cutters, each with two concentric slit tracks.
Most rotary head shavers have at least 3 heads, so Remington definitely thinks more is better.
And it makes sense since the head is a large spherical area, so at least in theory, more heads should be beneficial and allow you to finish your shave faster.
Other factors come into play as well, like the power of the motor and how effective the shaver is at catching the hairs, but we’ll get to that part in the performance section of the review.
The 5 heads can flex, conforming to the round shape of the head, but not independently.
Precisely, pressing one cutter will cause the other four to flex inward as well.
Not a huge deal, but definitely a cost-cutting solution.
The whole shaving unit can swivel, but the range of motion is rather limited.
Remington calls this feature a Power Flex 360 neck and it’s actually useful (more details in the testing section).
2. Ergonomic handle
The main difference between a rotary head shaver like the Remington Balder Pro and a regular rotary shaver is the handle and the way you hold it during use.
A shaver with a conventional handle can be a bit awkward to use when shaving your own head, especially in the case of rotary razors (it’s less of an issue with foil shavers).
As such, the Balder Pro has this egg-shaped body that you hold in the palm of your hand in a very natural way, allowing you to shave your head comfortably and without straining your wrist.
In my opinion the Skull Shaver Pitbull is even better in this regard as you can also hold the shaver between the fingers without gripping the main body.
This is pretty effortless and allows even greater control over the shaver.
But the Balder Pro with its lightweight and textured grips is really comfortable to hold and I found it quite enjoyable to use.
Fun fact: Remington explicitly markets the Balder Pro as a head shaver, so it’s not to be used on the face.
That is a bit odd as most other shavers of this type can work just fine on facial hair as well (again, provided the hair is reasonably short).
3. Pop-up trimmer
Although a common feature on regular electric razors, a pop-up hair trimmer is a rare sight on these head shavers.
I think it’s a useful addition and even though it’s only good enough for light trimming and touch-ups, I definitely prefer having one.
You’ll want to use it on your sideburns or for edging/cleaning your beard line. I wouldn’t recommend using it to trim your beard or hair as that will take a long time.
4. Cordless-only use
The Balder Pro from Remington is fitted with a rechargeable battery that provides up to 50 minutes of cordless-only use.
It’s a bit of a bummer that it doesn’t work with the cord plugged in as well, but it does feature a 5-minute quick charge function if you’re caught off guard.
The AC charger is of course fitted with a Universal voltage adapter (100–240v), so you’ll be able to charge your Balder Pro anywhere in the world.
5. Wet/dry operation
This Remington head shaver is fully waterproof for easy cleaning under the tap, but you can also shave wet with it using your favorite shaving cream or gel.
A dry shave is quicker and less messy, but the addition of a quality shaving cream can improve the closeness and comfort.
With the Balder Pro you have the option of choosing between a wet or a dry shave and stick to whatever works best for you.
The Remington Balder Pro comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee and a 5-year limited warranty, at least in the USA.
In Europe, the RX5 XR1500 model comes with a 2+1-year guarantee when you register your product online.
The Balder Pro is designed in the USA according to the text on the box, but the actual shaver is manufactured in China.
Build quality and ergonomics
I’ve tested quite a few Remington shavers over the past 10 years and to be honest, build quality and material choice have always been pretty poor.
I didn’t have any high expectations from the Balder Pro in that regard, but to my surprise, it’s actually quite good.
First of all, it looks nice and feels well-built when you hold it.
It’s also very lightweight at only 186 grams (6.56oz) which is a good thing especially when you have a large area that needs to be shaved.
With the previous Remington electric razors, I always had the impression of cheap, ugly, flimsy plastic, with uneven panel gaps and even sharp edges.
I’m glad to report that there are none of those in the case of the Remington Balder Pro. Even the protective cap looks nice and feels sturdy.
Granted, it’s no Panasonic Arc 6, but at this price point and compared to other knock-off rotary head shavers (there are plenty of those), the Balder Pro is more than decent.
There are matte, glossy and rubber-like surfaces on the shaver.
The latter are placed on the sides and are also aggressively textured, which improves the grip.
And speaking of grip, here’s a little something that shows Remington’s attention to detail.
When holding the Balder Pro, your index finger will naturally rest exactly over the folded hair trimmer.
As a result, they added these horizontal ribs and covered the outer part of the trimmer in a soft, grippy rubber-like material.
It’s a small detail, but one that contributes to the secure feeling you get while using the shaver. Well done.
The centerpiece is of course that 5-blade shaving unit.
It sits on this strut that swivels and makes shaving with it more comfortable by putting less stress on your wrist when reaching further away behind the head.
It is rather limited regarding the range of motion, but still quite useful.
The front part of the shaving unit (that houses the 5 cutters) is friction fitted and you can remove it by grabbing it from the edges and prying it off.
You can then rinse the hair off with tap water after completing your shave.
Interestingly, you cannot disassemble the individual cutters for a thorough cleaning.
With conventional rotary shavers, you can actually take them apart and clean the blade and the corresponding guard.
In the case of the Balder Pro, the shaving unit is a single piece that cannot be taken apart.
But provided you clean it after every use, this shouldn’t cause any problems in the long run.
On the main body of the shaver we have a large rectangular power button that does not have a travel lock function, unfortunately.
Right below that we have two very basic indicators, a low battery and a charging LED.
This is where some compromises were made in order to keep the price low.
The more expensive Skull Shaver Pitbull Gold for example has a percentage battery display.
It also comes with a special USB cable for charging, while the Balder Pro is fitted with a classic Remington charger.
What the Skull Shaver doesn’t have however is an integrated pop-up hair trimmer.
The one on the Balder Pro is quite narrow and ideal only for light grooming, but it gets the job done.
It’s placed on the very top of the shaver’s body and it’s spring-loaded. You can deploy it by pressing the release button next to it.
As for ergonomics, the Remington head shaver fares quite well thanks to its low weight, grippy textured sides and flexing heads.
Overall, while the construction won’t wow you, it’s definitely a step in the right direction for Remington and good enough for the price you’re paying.
Here’s what you’ll find in the box (XR7000, USA variation):
- Balder Pro head shaver
- Protective cover
- Travel pouch
- Charger (USA plug)
- Cleaning brush
- User guide
It’s a very decent bundle and I particularly appreciate the inclusion of a small bottle of lubricating oil.
Apart from several Panasonic models, most electric shavers don’t come with one.
The travel pouch is also pretty nice, both in terms of aesthetics and quality.
It will only fit the shaver and protective cap, so there’s no room for the charger.
Later edit: at the suggestion of a reader, I was able to fit the charger as well. A bit of a tight squeeze, but it is doable, especially if you coil and tuck the cable neatly inside.
Battery life and charging
The Balder Pro (XR7000) is a cordless only head shaver, so you cannot simply plug it in when it’s out of juice and continue shaving.
And while this is a bit of a bummer, that’s unfortunately how things are nowadays as the overwhelming majority of electric shavers are cordless-only.
Remington fitted the Balder Pro with a rechargeable battery that’s able to provide around 50 minutes of cordless shaving.
When using the Balder for the first time, the manufacturer recommends charging the battery for 4 hours.
Any subsequent charges from 0 to 100% will also take roughly 4 hours, which is quite a lot.
I think Remington chose an older battery type for the Balder Pro which can only charge safely and reliably at a slower rate (they only mention it is Lithium-based) or the included charger just cannot do it faster than that.
The quick charge function is handy I guess since it can provide just enough power to finish your shave after a 5-minute charge with the included brick.
Speaking of it, it’s a compact Remington charger with a USA plug that has an automatic voltage adapter (100 – 240v), so you can safely use it abroad.
You may need a plug adapter like the one I used in the image below (I live in Europe).
The European version of the Balder Pro (XR1500) comes with an EU plug and it can also be used anywhere in the world (with a simple plug adapter if needed).
Remington only fitted the Balder Pro with a very basic battery indicator.
Precisely, we have just a low charge indicator that glows red when the battery is empty.
The other one only lights up while the shaver is being charged.
This is my main gripe with the Balder Pro’s features (along with the fact that I cannot take apart the shaving heads).
Other than that, the battery life is pretty solid at 50 minutes, although there’s nothing outstanding about it, especially when compared to other head shavers that can go for up to 90 minutes (like certain versions of the Pitbull).
Remington Balder Pro performance: How good it is?
So far things are looking great for Remington’s rotary head shaver.
It’s well built, easy to hold and maneuver thanks to the ergonomic shape of the handle, the price is pretty reasonable and you can use the shaver wet or dry.
Since it’s specifically designed to shave the hair on the head, we’re interested in three things:
- how close it can shave the hair
- how comfortable it is during and after the shave
- how fast it can complete a full head shave.
I think these are some key things to factor in when deciding which head shaver to buy.
That said, it’s important to keep in mind that the Balder Pro, like any other head shaver (rotary or foil), will only work well on short hair, so if you need a tool that can handle longer hair, there are other better alternatives (like the Remington HC4250).
The Remington Balder head shaver should be used on hair that is 2mm or less; depending on how fast your hair grows, you could get away with using it even every 3 to 4 days.
But ideally, electric head shavers should be used as often as possible (daily or every other day).
Let’s now see how the Balder Pro faired during my tests.
Side note: As you may or may not know from my other posts on this topic, I do not shave my entire head. I’ve been cutting my hair myself for a few years and I use a shaver to get a high bald skin fade on the sides and back of my head.
For this test, I shaved the sides and back of my head with the Balder Pro.
So while I haven’t used it on the top of my head, I think I still managed to get a good idea of the shaver’s strengths and weaknesses.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the actual test.
Closeness of the shave
A rotary shaver traditionally can’t shave quite as close as a decent foil shaver, at least that’s how things are when shaving facial hair.
However, when shaving the hair on the head, the closeness provided by rotary razors is generally very good if you’re using a decent machine with a quality shaving head.
I’m glad to report that the Balder Pro follows suit and it manages to shave very close.
When using smaller, circular, overlapping strokes, combined with a few linear ones against the hair grain, I was able to get a perfectly smooth finish and I couldn’t feel any stubble left.
Unlike most rotary razors from Norelco in this price range, this one feels and sounds powerful and fast.
The combs also seem to be a bit thinner than most, which definitely helps achieve a closer shave.
I couldn’t actually confirm this because as I mentioned previously, you can’t disassemble the heads like you can with most other rotary razors.
You don’t have to press the Balder Pro too hard in order to get a smooth finish, but you will need to do more overlapping passes over areas with denser hair.
I’d say it takes a bit more work to get that really smooth close shave compared to a capable foil shaver, but the Balder Pro does have other advantages.
I like that most of the hairs are trapped inside the shaving unit, but I still prefer using a small barber brush on the areas I’ve just shaved to clean any stray clippings.
Overall, I think most men will be satisfied with the closeness; it’s among the best you’ll get from an electric head shaver.
Depending on your technique and the particularities of your scalp, a razor blade will still shave the closest, but it comes with its own specific shortcomings.
The Remington Balder Pro is a comfortable head shaver provided you don’t apply excessive pressure.
If you do in an attempt of getting a closer shave, it will get quite aggressive, especially on the back of your head/neck.
But other than that, even if you use it dry, it is surprisingly gentle and enjoyable to use.
Some men have reported breaking out after using it to shave their head, however, I didn’t have any of these issues.
Apart from some redness and a bit of razor burn on the back of my head (which was largely my fault), the Balder Pro remained reasonably comfortable.
I did not test it with shaving cream as I didn’t really feel the need to, but I can imagine it’ll be even more forgiving and could even allow you to get a closer shave.
A wet shave using gel or shaving cream does require more time and it’s a bit messy, but if you’re getting noticeably better results that way, it’s worth the trouble.
That said, I think most users will stick to using the Balder dry as it’s already good enough.
I think the Remington Balder Pro managed a stellar performance here.
As long as your scalp is dry (moisture can prevent it from gliding smoothly on the skin), you should be able to finish a head shave fast while also enjoying the process.
The fast and powerful motor, along with the large shaving head and the comfortable grip are key to achieving that.
Speaking of the shaving unit, I think I would have preferred 4 cutters instead of 5.
A 4-blade shaving unit is more compact and easier to use while still providing the same effective cutting. The 5-blade head of the Balder Pro may seem a bit cumbersome, especially for beginners.
I think you’ll be able to reduce the time it takes to shave your head with the Balder Pro once you discover what works best and do some tweaks and small adjustments to your technique.
For example, you may find out that using straight instead of circular strokes allows you to get a smooth finish faster.
In my case, having the skin perfectly dry was the thing that made the biggest difference (for both the comfort and the duration of the shave).
Moisture just made the shaver more aggressive and the shaving head would often stick to the skin instead of gliding, which made me press harder and be sloppier.
I do sweat a lot in the summer, especially when I also have a bright light shining in my face, so I turn the AC on whenever I have to do any shaving.
I strongly recommend having your scalp as dry as possible when using the Balder Pro dry. With shaving cream that obviously won’t be an issue.
Overall, I have to say that I was quite impressed with the performance of this Remington and it actually exceeded my expectations.
The closeness and the comfort were generally very good and if the reliability proves to be on point too, I think we have a winner.
Cleaning and maintenance
And those are pretty straightforward and take only a couple of minutes of your time.
Luckily, that’s also the case with the Remington Balder Pro.
As mentioned above, you will need to clean it after every use and also lubricate the cutters regularly.
Here’s my preferred way of doing it (also in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations).
Cleaning the Balder Pro
Since this is a waterproof shaver, the easiest and most effective way of cleaning it is with warm tap water.
Once you’ve finished shaving, turn the Balder off and remove the top part of the shaving unit. Gently tap out the excess clippings from the hair chamber.
Don’t bother getting all of them out as we’ll take care of that next.
Rinse the cutting head thoroughly inside out with warm tap water. Wash the hair chamber as well.
Shake off the excess water and let the shaver (with the cutting head detached) air dry for a few hours.
Once the moisture has evaporated, you can reattach the cutting head and store the shaver.
That’s pretty much it — as you can see, a quick cleaning routine that should be performed after every shave is really simple and quick.
That said, every once in a while you should also clean it a bit more thoroughly to avoid the heads getting clogged with hairs and grime.
Normally this would involve taking apart each of the five cutting heads.
But since you can’t do that with the Balder Pro, there’s another even simpler way.
Precisely, you should add a few drops of liquid soap (hand or dishwashing) to some warm water. You can use your sink or any recipient.
Remove the bulk of hair clippings from the head as described above, then put the cutting head back in place.
With the shaver turned on, submerge the cutting head in the soapy water and let it run for 15 to 20 seconds.
After that, turn it off, detach the cutting unit and thoroughly rinse everything with warm tap water, then let them air dry.
You should only clean your Balder Pro in this manner like once a month or when you notice some excess dirt accumulating inside the shaving head.
I would highly recommend doing it more often if you shave your head with gel or shaving cream. Hardened lather can really be detrimental to the cutting performance of the shaver.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to mess around with dissolving soap in a container, you can simply wet the head of the shaver, pour some soap directly over the cutters, then turn it on and let it run for 15 to 20 seconds.
You can use your free hand to add more water and spread the soap across the cutters.
Wash the head under the tap while the shaver is still running, then turn it off, remove the head and finally rinse everything with water.
I personally prefer this second method as it’s quicker and seems to be effective as well. It’s basically the standard way of cleaning a rotary razor with water and soap.
Remington only mentions the previous one (with the soapy water) in the user manual.
Lubricating the Balder Pro
The second key operation that will ensure optimal operation for your shaver is lubrication.
Remington has also included a small bottle of lubricating oil in the package, which is thoughtful.
If however you run out of it or you misplace the bottle, you can use any light (highly refined) mineral oil. Clipper oil would be my choice as it’s cheap, effective and safe.
Remington recommends lubricating the blades of the Balder Pro before and after each use.
Personally, I think it’s a bit overkill; before or after will suffice, whichever you prefer.
I usually do it right before I shave as the cutting heads will always be perfectly dry.
A couple of drops on the inside of each cutter and you’re set. You can then reattach the cutting unit and turn the shaver on to distribute the oil evenly.
I use a paper towel to wipe off any excess from the cutters, then proceed to shave normally.
You should also put a drop of oil on the popup hair trimmer, but a lot less often.
Remington recommends oiling it every 6 months, but you can probably do it sooner than that.
Replacement parts availability
The detachable shaving unit with the 5 cutting heads should be replaced every 12 months according to Remington.
Rotary cutters usually last longer than most foil+blades combos since the combs are thicker and the blades rotate a lot slower.
So 12 months isn’t exactly class-leading (Norelco recommends changing the blades every two years for their rotary razors).
In reality, the manufacturer’s estimate is rather informative as it will really come down to several factors (in addition to the quality of the blades).
Among those, the most important are how well you take care of the shaver (regular cleaning and lubrication), the frequency of use and how dense/thick is your hair.
So you might need to change the cutting head sooner or even later than the claimed 12 months.
You’ll usually experience some post-shave irritation or even hairs getting a bit of a tug instead of being cut clean.
The closeness of the shave will also suffer and you’ll need to spend more time in order to get a reasonably smooth shave.
If you notice some or all of the above, it probably means that the shaving head must be replaced.
Side note: excessive dirt and lack of lubrication could also cause something similar, so make sure that’s not the culprit before you actually buy a new head.
You can get a new Balder Pro replacement cutting head from Remington’s website. The part number is SPR-XR7000 (RP00656).
You’ll also find other compatible accessories, like the head guard, hair pocket or charger.
The price of the replacement cutting head for the Balder Pro is not exactly cheap considering the price of a new shaver.
It costs pretty much the same as a 5 or 4-blade Skull Shaver replacement head.
Alternatively, there are some third-party compatible heads as well, but I wouldn’t really consider those a viable option.
From past experience, I can confirm that these won’t last much and won’t cut as well as a genuine part.
So while they might seem like a great deal at first, costing a third of the price, they’re really not worth it.
Wrap-up — Should you buy the Remington Balder Pro?
When it comes to dedicated head shavers specifically designed for the purpose of shaving your own head, I think the Balder Pro is one of the better options out there.
It seems to have good reliability which is not often the case with this type of shaver, the price is pretty competitive as well and it has the performance to match all that.
If you need an easy-to-use head shaver for frequent use that can cut the hair close to the skin, the Remington Balder Pro should be on your shortlist.
I found it surprisingly comfortable as well and the build quality was a pleasant surprise.
As I mentioned earlier in the review, the only caveat is that you’ll need to use the Balder Pro on short hair in order to be effective.
That means anywhere from daily up to every 4 days at most.
If you shave your head weekly or less often, I’d recommend getting a cheap (corded) hair clipper and pre-trim your hair before using the head shaver.
Since the Balder Pro comes from a reputable manufacturer, you won’t have any issues with the warranty, support or with sourcing replacement parts, again something that is often a problem with other head shavers.
In conclusion, I think the Remington Balder Pro is arguably the safest choice for a head shaver of this type.
Remington Balder Pro vs Skull Shaver Pitbull
I mentioned the Skull Shaver Pitbull quite a few times throughout this post since it’s a shaver with a similar philosophy and one that is often considered alongside the Remington Balder Pro as an option.
If you’re wondering which one would be better suited for you, I’ll try to present the differences between the Skull Shaver and the Balder Pro that actually matter.
I’ll address the pros and cons of each one so you can hopefully make the right decision and get the one that makes the most sense for your needs.
Side note: I will mainly refer to the Skull Shaver Pitbull Gold PRO model as that one offers the most useful features for the money compared to the Silver PRO and Platinum PRO variations.
Here’s a table that summarizes the main features of the Skull Shaver Pitbull and the Remington Balder Pro.
|Remington Balder Pro
|Skull Shaver Pitbull
|90 minutes (Pitbull Gold)
Specs alone don’t mean much, so I’ll get into the details showcasing the pros and cons of owning and using each.
Skull Shaver Pitbull advantages:
- Slightly better grip and ergonomics
- The shaving head conforms better to the different sizes and particularities of the user’s skull, especially in the case of smaller heads
- Easier to use (smaller and more conforming shaving head)
- Larger battery (90 minutes for the Gold model)
- Useful battery level indicator
- Can be used while charging
- USB cable charging
- Easier to clean: each shaving head can be removed and thoroughly cleaned.
Skull Shaver Pitbull cons:
- Reliability seems to be spotty or downright poor
- Blades don’t seem to last as much before needing to be replaced.
Remington Balder Pro advantages:
- Better value for money
- More reliable in time
- Lighter and slightly more compact body.
Remington Balder Pro cons:
- The large head makes it a bit more cumbersome to use
- Smaller battery
- Long charging time
- Basic battery level indicator
- Can’t be used while charging
- The blades can’t be cleaned individually
- No USB charging option.
If we’re only taking into consideration the performance and features, the Skull Shaver is objectively a bit better than the Remington Balder Pro.
And in my opinion the features justify the higher purchase price.
That said, I still think the Balder Pro is the safer and definitely the more economical choice.
The actual shaver performance (closeness and comfort) is very similar, maybe with a slight advantage for the Pitbull thanks to the smaller head and more flexible cutters.
Skull Shaver used to have terrible user reviews (mainly concerning the reliability of the products and the poor customer support).
Currently, things seem to have been improved, but I still get emails and comments from users that had problems, sometimes after a few weeks or months of ownership.
At least the customer support is better and the products are replaced promptly now.
In conclusion, the Skull Shaver is the better product performance-wise, while the Balder Pro is a lot cheaper to buy and own. It’s also less likely to have a reliability issue in the case of the Remington shaver.
In my opinion choosing between the two comes down to your budget and risk tolerance.
And the Remington Balder Pro in this review is, as I said earlier, the safer bet.
It’s definitely not as feature-rich and specs-wise is not as impressive as the Skull Shaver, but it shaves close, it’s reasonably priced and should be reliable as well.