philips norelco

Shaving is tiresome. It just is, and humankind has spent millennia trying to work out easier, faster, and more convenient methods of dealing with facial hair. Electric razors promised great things initially, but for decades their promise was better than their performance. That's changing, and if you have a bad opinion of electric razors in general, consider the Norelco SensoTouch 3D and give these shavers a chance to redeem their image.

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The Norelco SensoTouch 3D Razor

You could be forgiven for being slightly confused by the Norelco line of shavers. There are several Norelco series and many individual razors within each series. The Norelco SensoTouch 3D is actually a type of tech that Norelco puts on many of their razors. Seven models of Norelco razors have SensoTouch 3D tech, and all are in the 8000 series. Norelco no longer calls them SensoTouch 3D (it is now known as Gyroflex), but many people still do use the term, and the tech itself is very much a standard at Norelco.

What all the shavers in the series have in common are the three independently heads that flow smoothly over your face, going around every contour with ease. This is a rotary razor, as opposed to a foil razor, and the rotary model typically shines in working with thick, curly hair that grows in many directions. The Norelco SensoTouch 3D doesn't disappoint in this regard.

Product Specs

For this particular review, we looked at the Norelco 8900 Wet & Dry edition, which uses the SensoTech 3D heads and is one of Norelco's most popular shavers.

How the Tech Works

How It Shaves

The Bottom Line

How It Compares

Norelco has some serious competition in the shaver market, particularly from Braun and Panasonic. Remington has been making quality products for decades, too, so we've done a little comparing. In addition to the SensoTouch, we tried these electric razors:

  • Braun Series 7 720
  • Panasonic Arc5
  • Remington F5

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Ease of Use

Shave

Durability

Warranty

PROS

  • Very fast shave
  • Battery charges quickly
  • Excellent shave for electric
  • SmartClean system works very well
  • Light and easy to maneuver

CONS

  • Expensive heads must be replaced frequently
  • Not as close for those with lighter beards

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Braun has been trying to grab top spot in the electric razor market for a while now, and their 7 Series is a great combination of convenient, close shave and reasonable price.

Specs and Feel

This is a foil shaver, so it typically gives a closer shave with fewer passes; however, it is less effective on really dense beards that grow in all directions. Braun has newer shavers on the market, but, tellingly, the Series 7 remains their most popular.

This is a heavier electric shaver that has a solid, quality feel. The head has two foils to get both short and long hairs, and Braun's SyncroSonic tech moves those foils in micro-vibrations that help catch more of the hair in the foils. This unit comes bundled with Braun's cleaning and charging stand.

Ease of Use

Shave

Durability

Warranty

PROS

  • Extremely close shave
  • Great quality
  • Comfortable
  • Good battery life

CONS

  • No travel lock
  • Cleaning station isn't durable

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At first, Panasonic tried to wedge their way into the electric razor game by providing a decent-but-not-great razor at much cheaper prices than other manufacturers. Their razors weren't considered the best, but they were usually very reasonably priced and did the job fairly well.

Enter the Arc series, which is a game changer. No longer content to sit at the kiddie table, Panasonic has upped their game, and their price, with the Arc5. While it's definitely more affordable than the Braun or Philips shavers, it's still going to run you about $100.

Specs and Feel

This razor has a five-blade system in a foil system. That translates into a very close shave and a very large razor head. Does it shave you quickly? You bet. Is it the perfect shape for getting those sharp contours? Not so much.

However, for what it can reach, you can expect a nice, clean shave. Add to this excellent head the fastest motor in the electric razor market, and you've got a very good shaver.

Ease of Use

Shave

Durability

Warranty

PROS

  • Fast and powerful
  • Good battery life
  • Excellent value for money

CONS

  • Shaving head is very large
  • Not as comfortable for people with sensitive skin

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This incredibly low-priced razor will work really well for some people and hardly at all for others. It's a razor you want to think carefully about before buying; but if it works for you, you'll be the envy of your friends with a close shave and an extra $100 or so in your pocket.

Specs and Feel

This has plenty of power and looks great. It is also deliberately designed for travel and is lightweight and convenient to carry around. This offers a very comfortable shave, awesome battery life, and a pop-up trimmer that will let you shape your beard easily.

Ease of Use

Shave

Durability

Warranty

Conclusion

The Norelco Sensotouch 3D is a great razor and a solid choice for anyone who wants a close shave. It is a high-end razor with a price tag to match, but if you need a close shave, and particularly if you have a dense beard, you will love the Norelco Sensotouch 3D.

If budget is a big concern to you, the Remington is worth a look. Just take into consideration that if it doesn't work for you, then you didn't save anything. It might be better to go up to the Panasonic, which is still cheaper than the Braun or the Norelco Sensotouch 3D and provides a better shaving experience.

We also really loved the Braun Series 7, and if your beard isn't too uncooperative and you like a very comfortable, close shave from an electric razor, then take a look at Braun.

But in the end, we were pretty impressed with the Norelco Sensotouch 3D. The SensoTouch system is fantastic. It's almost impossible to beat the speed and ease with which those independent heads whirl around and cut everything. We would give this shaver four out of five stars and recommend it to our friends and family.


Featured image source:  Flickr

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