Monthly Archives: November 2013

Breakthrough – The Five-Year Razor Blade

bornSharp-MAIN7_self-sharpening-razor_940x392-1Early this year I quoted a columnist in the Los Angeles Times who wondered:

We can put men on the moon. We can make computers small enough to carry around in our pockets. But we can’t make a razor blade that stays sharp longer than a week?

Now comes word that a new start-up, BornSharp, has done exactly that. It has created a razor blade system that will give you around 2,000 shaves from a single blade – more than five years of daily shaving.

According to the company:

The BornSharp System consists of a handsomely designed and balanced razor, paired with the Sharpening Port, which fully automates the sharpening process while disinfecting the blade.

At the push of a button, the BornSharp System delivers a perfectly sharpened, disinfected, shave-ready razor.

After each shave, simply return the razor to its port. Push the Start button and let it do its thing automatically. The Sharpening Port locks the razor into place until the blade sharpening cycle is completed. Two sharpening cylinders spin to sharpen and polish both sides of the blade, precisely restoring the shaving edge. The blade is bathed in UV light, sterilizing and destroying any remaining microorganisms. The razor is then released and ready for your next shave. It happens in less than two minutes, with one button.

The company is seeking to raise $100,000 through funding platform Indiegogo in order to launch production.

Gift Ideas – A Travel Shaver – Here Are Some Of The Best

A travel shaver makes a highly practical Christmas present for any man. Prices are reasonable and quality is high.

Here are some of the best:

Braun MobileShave M-90* Braun M90 Mobile Shaver

This quality product is the most popular of all travel shavers. I wrote about it:

Braun’s smallest shavers are the MobileShave line of pocket/travel shavers, in two versions, the M-90 and the M-60b. The only difference is color, and the M-90 (picture) incorporates a long hair trimmer.

The dimensions are 5.2 x 3.1 x 1.5 inches. At 6.9 ounces these models are slightly heavier than rivals from Panasonic and Remington, which are both under six ounces. Like most other popular travel shavers, they work off two AA batteries. They are washable under running water. You can read a little more at the Braun website.

Panasonic Pro-Curve Wet:Dry Travel Shaver* Panasonic ES3831K Pro-Curve Wet/Dry Travel Shaver

Another quality product. I wrote:

Is Panasonic’s Pro-Curve Wet/Dry Travel Shaver the best of all the many travel shavers on the market?

It’s quite a call. But certainly the product ticks so many of the boxes. With dimensions of 4.56 x 2.36 x 1.4 inches, and weighing just five-and-a-half ounces, it can fit into a pocket. Rather than a rechargeable battery, it runs for up to 90 minutes on two AA batteries. As a wet/dry shaver it can be cleaned under water. With a list price of $19.99 – substantially less at online sites like Amazon – it is no more expensive than most rival products.

Remington MSC-140 Men's Titanium Battery Operated Foil Travel Shaver* Remington MSC-140 Men’s Titanium Battery Operated Foil Travel Shaver

I wrote:

The low-priced Remington Men’s Titanium Battery-Operated Foil Travel Shaver has become one of the most popular of all the travel shavers. Weighing less than five ounces, and with dimensions of 7.9 x 4.0 x 1.8 inches, it is most suitable for travel, as well as for use as an emergency “back-up” shaver for the car, briefcase or office drawer.

Like many of the other popular shavers, it operates on two AA batteries. But, unlike others, it is a dual-foil model.

It has attracted many favorable comments at Amazon – some 120 reviews with an average of four stars – as well as at the official Remington website, where reviews are solicited.

Philips Norelco PQ208 Travel Electric Razor* Philips Norelco PQ208 Travel Electric Razor

Here is part of what I wrote:

The PQ208 is the Philips Norelco entry in the travel shaver market. In the US it is sold mainly at Walmart, and is even sometimes bundled by them as a giveaway for purchasers of a more expensive product.

It is very compact, but is weightier than rival models, though it boasts self-sharpening blades and independently floating heads that follow the curve of your face. Like others, it operates from two AA batteries, and claims that these will give 60 minutes of shaving. However, unlike some of its rivals, it is not a wet/dry model.

Mangroomer Travel Shaver* MANGROOMER Professional Edition Rechargeable Travel Shaver with Power Burst and Pop-Up Trimmer

I wrote about this model when it was still new and had just one Amazon review (it currently has five):

It’s not cheap: $29.95 is the list price, although it is substantially less at sales sites like Amazon. But this still makes it dearer than popular rivals such as the excellent Panasonic Pro-Curve Wet/Dry Travel Shaver….So far it has attracted just one review – highly favorable – at Amazon. The initial impression is that this is a good shaver. But expensive.

Eltron Travel Shaver* Eltron #el-3040 Compact Travel Shaver

This was also new when I wrote about it:

Hollywood-based Eltron is a long-time manufacturer and distributor of electric shavers, despite lacking the brand-name recognition of the majors like Philips Norelco or Braun. The EL 3040 model is its entrant in the burgeoning travel shaver market.

It is a battery-operated, lightweight shaver, with dimensions of just 3.5 x 2 x 1 inches, and it incorporates a trimmer. It is for dry shaving only, and cannot be washed clean. You can read (a little) more at the Eltron website.

It has attracted only a few reviews at sites such as Amazon, though these are generally very favorable, pointing out that it gives a good shave at a very competitive price.

The Best After-Shave for Men

Jovan After-ShaveLooking for an after-shave as a Christmas gift? One of the best guides to what men really want is at Amazon, where customers review and rate their purchases.

Here is what Amazon customers tell us are the best men’s after-shaves.

* Jovan Musk By Jovan For Men – an Amazon rating of 4.9 stars (our of 5). A typical commentI always (at least once a day) get such nice compliments from women and men alike about how nice I smell while wearing Jovan Musk. I love the smell and everyone says it blends perfectly with my skin to provide a natural sexy scent.

Baxter After-Shave Balm* Baxter of California After Shave Balm – a 4.8 star rating at Amazon. One commentthis after-shave came highly recommended from a barber friend. Love the cooling/tingling sensation that almost immediately comes after applying. No alcohol which is good for not drying out skin. Also this aftershave does not leave you feeling greasy at all. It absorbs nicely.

CADE After-Shave* L’Occitane CADE After-Shave Balm for Men – also a 4.8 star average rating. One commentthis has to be my favorite personal care product that I have ever purchased. It goes on as smooth as butter, doesn’t leave a greasy residue and calms and relaxes my face. The smell of it is also wonderful and it lasts and lasts.

Proraso After-Shave Lotion* Proraso Aftershave Lotion – a 4.7 star average rating at Amazon. Here is one typical commenta very pleasant surprise. I saw it has a near-cult following among straight and safety shavers, and now I know why. Simplicity. Very nice low tone fragrance which is neither ‘old guy’ or ‘young’ in essence. Just right.

A New Shaver – Perfect Christmas Gift for a Man

Philips Norelco 1150XA shaver is one of the most popular Christmas gifts for a man. But there are so many shavers. How do you choose?

One option is to let Amazon make the selection for you.

Amazon? Yes, the online superstore knows, better than most, what people want, and its gift ideas are full of practical suggestions.

Here are some of the company’s top Gift Ideas in Electric Shavers:

1. Philips Norelco 1150X/40 SensoTouch 2D Electric Razor (picture) – this is by far the most popular of all the electric shavers sold by Amazon. It is an excellent, mid-price model, suitable for any man. Read my own report.

2. Braun Series 7 790cc Pulsonic Shaver System – this is a serious present for someone who appreciates the absolute best. The Braun Series 7 is the company’s top-of-the-range shaver, and is priced accordingly. Read my report – Braun Series 7 Shavers – Possibly the Best.

3. Philips Norelco 7310 Men’s Shaving System – another mid-priced model. More than 1,100 customer reviews at Amazon attest to its popularity.

4. Panasonic ES8103S Men’s 3-Blade (Arc 3) Wet/Dry Rechargeable Electric Shaver with Nanotech Blades – Panasonic’s most popular shaver is this excellent mid-priced model. Read my report.

5. Philips Norelco PT730 Powertouch Electric Razor – possibly the best shaver for the price (a list price of $60, but currently selling for around $45 at Amazon). Read my report here.

You Want the Best Shavers? Here They Are

Braun Series 7Which is the best electric shaver? A good guide comes from the ratings and customer reviews at Amazon, where the winner is clear. And here are – the top rated electric shavers:

1. Braun Series 7 790cc Pulsonic Shaver System (picture) – with more than 1,450 customer reviews and an average rating of 4.4 stars, this is a clear winner. (And the next most popular electric shaver is also from the 7 Series – the 760cc – also with a 4.4-star rating.) I agree. Here is the headline to my report – Braun Series 7 Shavers – Possibly the Best.

2. Panasonic ES-LF51-A Men’s 4 Blade Electric Razor – the Panasonic actually has a higher average rating – 4.6 stars, which is very high for a shaver – than the Braun, but with just 90 customer reviews it gets ranked lower.

3. Panasonic ES-LV61-A Men’s Electric Razor Arc 5 Multiflex Pivoting Head – this is Panasonic’s excellent, top-of-the-line – and very expensive – shaver. See my report – Face-Off! Braun 790cc Pulsonic vs Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D vs Panasonic ES-LV61. Which Is Best?

4. Panasonic ES8243A Arc 4 Wet/Dry Shaver – less pricey than the Arc 5 (above), the four-blade Arc 4 seems also to be far more popular, with more than 1,200 customer reviews, and an average rating of 4.4 stars. See my report.

5. Philips Norelco 1160X SensoTouch 2D Electric Shaver with Jet Clean System – Philips Norelco also makes excellent shavers, but for some reason they do not feature highly on the Amazon top-rated chart. This one has about 120 customer reviews, and an average rating of 4.3 stars. In fact, the hugely popular Philips Norelco 1250X SensoTouch 3D Electric Razor, with 950 customer reviews, also has an average rating of 4.3 stars, and is a better shaver. See my report.

Electric Shavers – What’s Hot at Amazon?

Braun Series 7Amazon publishes lists – updated hourly, they say – of the top selling products in many categories. Here are the best sellers in electric foil shavers.

1. Braun Syncro Shaver System Clean & Renew Refills – actually the first three places in the list are accessories, rather than actual shavers. Though having said that, the Braun refills have an amazing 1,350 customer reviews, and with an average rating of a high 4.6 stars.

2. Braun Series 7 Pulsonic 70S Cassette Replacement – another accessory, but with more than 450 customer reviews, and an average rating of 4.2 stars.

3. Panasonic WES035P Vortex HydraClean Shaving System Solution Cartridges for Men’s Shaver – also highly rated, with around 320 customer reviews, and an average rating of 4.5 stars.

4. Braun Series 7 790cc Pulsonic Shaver System (picture) – I’ve written about this shaver several times. I think it’s possibly the best electric shaver on the market.

5. Braun 3Series 380S-4 Wet & Dry Shaver – I’ve written about these, too. I described them as seriously good.

6. Wahl Professional 8061 5-star Series Rechargeable Shaver Shaper – when I wrote about the Wahl I suggested you either love it or hate it.

7. Panasonic ES8103S Men’s 3-Blade (Arc 3) Wet/Dry Rechargeable Electric Shaver – Panasonic’s most popular shaver. I wrote about it here.

8. Remington SP290 Replacement Screen and Blades for Series 4 Foil Shavers – very popular, with 170 customer reviews and a high average rating of 4.4 stars.

9. Panasonic ES-LA63-S Arc 4 Mens Electric Shaver with Dual Motor and Multi-Flex Pivoting Head – a superior shaver with four cutting blades. Around 600 customer reviews and an average rating of 4.4 stars attest to its quality. This is an excellent shaver.

10. Braun M90 Mobile Shaver – an excellent low-cost (less than $20 at Amazon) travel shaver. I wrote about it here

Men’s Hair Trimmers – The Best Gifts for Christmas

Wahl beard trimmerHow about a nose hair trimmer as a Christmas gift for a man friend? It may sound a little weird, but in fact it is highly practical, and may be much more appreciated that a box of chocolates or a necktie.

Amazon provides a list of gift ideas in many diverse categories. Here are some of the suggestions in the hair trimmers and clippers category, with a few excerpts from customer reviews.

1. Panasonic ER-GN30-K Vortex Wet/Dry Nose and Facial Hair Trimmer – …lightweight, portable and both easy to use and easy to clean. My expectation is that it should last at least 2-3 years (Panasonic recommends replacing the blade every three years). If the model doesn’t hold up, I’ll report back the findings. Until then, I recommend this as an affordable and safer option than poking nose and aural cavities with a pair of sadistic scissors.

2. Wahl 5537-1801 Cordless Battery Operated Beard Trimmer with Bonus Ear, Nose and Brow Trimmer (picture) – I am a lifetime beard grower, and have had many different trimmers, and I happened to buy a Wahl one day, and it’s outlasted all my other big name trimmers, and I totally mistreated it and abused it, and it still trims like a dream. So I decided when i was looking to update my trimming kit to look at some Wahl Trimmers, and i was not disappointed; it’s plastic and feels light but it does the job, and it does it the first time. It comes with everything I needed, and the cradle held everything pretty well. The instructions included are very useful as well.

3. Wahl Trimmer All-In-One Lithium Ion – Pros: Powerful motor. Keeps its charge. Feels solid. Standard Wahl narrow blade head good for precise trims. Cons: Too many accessories! A better design could keep it more simple. Standard Wahl narrow blade head not as good for faster trims.

4. Wahl 9918-6171 Groomsman Beard and Mustache Trimmer – I have been using a Wahl beard trimmer for nearly 6 years. It finally started to show its age and I went looking for a new one. I tried Remington brand, and they just did not work for me. I have very thick, stubborn hair and the Remmington’s blades did not get close enough to my skin to get the hairs I wanted. So I went back to what I knew worked, and re-ordered a new Wahl Beard Trimmer. This one is very similar to my old one, except a few new things. There are more blade guards than before, and the clipper setting now has 6 stages instead of 5. Otherwise, the trimmer is the same.

And that is a good thing. Immediately, the new Wahl made a difference and I am very happy with the results. The reason why Wahl is so much better than anything else (including the Remington) is that the blades that move back and forth are so much closer  to the guard teeth that you can see the difference. Go to a store and look…you can see the difference between this trimmer and other brands. The Wahl will always cut closer and better. There is no other brand I would recommend – Wahl trimmers are simply the highest quality you can find in this price range that give the closest trim on your face.

5. Andis Company Silver Clipper Haircutting Kit – 19 Pieces (18645) – I have never heard of this brand before, so I gave a try. Well I love it!! It cuts hair like its butter. Smooth and fast. Easy to use. I recommend this item to everyone. (But note that this product has a higher-than-average number of negative reviews.)

6. Remington MB-200 Titanium Mustache and Beard Trimmer – I was looking for a cheap trimmer for my beard, which I usually keep pretty short. I bought this without seeing it in a store. I think I had seen that it had good reviews here, and it was under thirty bucks, which I figured was a good limit for something that is only going to last so long. I didn’t need anything fancy. I got exactly what I was looking for, but I’m surprised how well it works. There aren’t any parts that seem like they’ll fall apart, and it’s got a great feel in the hand. I like the action on it a lot. My first trim was immediately better and much quicker then the previous trimmer I had (which had died on me). I think this is a great deal for someone who needs an occasional shave of a beard. I really like it. Nothing fancy but it gets the job done very well. I can’t think of how it would be better.

Men’s Hair Trimmers and Clippers – The Most Highly Rated

Oster Blade LubeAmazon presents quite a useful list of its top-rated products – based on customer reviews – for many diverse categories. Here are the five most highly rated products for men’s hair trimmers and clippers.

1. Oster Blade Lube Premium Lubricating Oil for Clippers and Blades Hair Clippers Trimmers And Groomers (photo) – 4.8 stars average customer rating

2. Andis Clipper Oil – 4.8 stars

3. Wahl 84701 Professional Super Taper II Hair Clipper – 4.6 stars

4. WAHL Professional 2 Hole Precision Clipper Blade – 4.7 stars

5. Andis UltraEdge Stainless Steel Blade #50- AG Clipper Blade, 64185 – 4.6 stars