Category Archives: Buyers Guides

Face-Off! Braun 790cc Pulsonic vs Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D vs Panasonic ES-LV61. Which Is Best?

By Rayy Zar

Philips Norelco 1250X:40 SensoTouchEach of the three major shaver companies has its marquee product. For Braun it is the Series 7 790cc Pulsonic Shaver System. For Philips Norelco it is the 1250X/40 SensoTouch 3D Electric Razor (pictured). And for Panasonic it is the ES-LV61-A 5-Blade Shaver.

How do they compare? Which is the best?

Of course, much depends on personal preference. Every man’s face is different. Yet some users have done comparisons and have written some quite perceptive reviews, at Amazon and other online sales sites.

In December 2010 an Amazon customer named Comdet compared the Braun, the Norelco and the Panasonic ES-LA63. The last of these is one step down from the Panasonic ES-LV61. It is a lengthy review. Here are a few brief excerpts:

Build quality – all are very nicely put together. 

Sound – the 3D runs very quietly; the Braun and Panasonic are far more “buzzy” but not too loud.

Overall feel – for me, the Braun feels the most comfortable to hold. 

Dry shave: closeness – this is a tough call, with the Braun and the Panasonic both providing very close shaves. 

Dry shave: speed – the 3D is the clear winner here. 

Dry shave: neck – this is the most difficult area for most shavers, and all of these models left a few errant hairs here and there. 

Dry shave: comfort – Braun is the winner for me.

Wet shave – this is limited to just the Panasonic and the 3D. I’m not a big fan of wet shaving, but both of these do a very good job. 

Maneuverability – this is where the Braun really shines for me. I have a mustache, and edging it with the Braun is a piece of cake. 

Auto cleaning – I love the cleaning station from Braun. 

Manual cleaning – both the Panasonic and 3D are very easy to clean manually. 

If I had to pick just one, I’d go with the Braun. While not perfect, it excels in several areas and feels the best.

In October 2011 an Amazon customer named Dean compared the Panasonic with the Braun and with the slightly inferior Panasonic ES-LA63. Again this is a long review. Here are a few excerpts:

The shave on the 5-blade LV61 is as close as any blade razor without drawing blood! I did the chin-stubble test and with this 5-blade LV61 you absolutely cannot feel any stubble. It’s an extremely close shave! I almost always draw blood when using a razor and my skin always feels raw. Perhaps my skin is simply used to electric shavers, but I get close shaves that last beyond 5pm, with no mess of shaving cream and no nicks from razors and my skin always feels smooth.

Is it closer than my 4-blade LA63? Trying to remember my chin-stubble test for when my LA63 was brand-new, I think both are very close and still better than the Braun. The 5-blade LV61 if anything provides a faster shave (than the Braun). 

The Braun is the Cadillac. The 4-blade LA63 is the Mercedes. The 5-blade LV61 is the Rolls Royce. You can be just as luxurious in the Mercedes and be perfectly content, but when you want fine-attention to detail, slight improvements here and there, elegance, a nice solid feel, you splurge, sometimes twice the price of a Mercedes, so that you can roll around in style – the Rolls-Royce! 

In October 2011 an an Amazon customer named Boilermate compared the Panasonic and the Philips Norelco. A few excerpts:

While the Panasonic shaver looks top-heavy it is very balanced to hold. Like the Norelco, the Panasonic cannot be used with the charger plugged in. It only takes an hour to charge up. I like the flexible head, the digital readout telling me how much charge remains, and the locking power switch.

On multiple-day growth the Panasonic pulled noticeably when used dry, but no more so than the Norelco. When used with shaving cream the shave felt very smooth. It is noticeably louder than the Norelco.

The three heads of the Norelco cover more area than the rectangular head of the Panasonic, but this isn’t really an advantage in real life. Panasonic tells you to shave with a back and forth motion, rather than the rotary motion most electric shavers tell you to use. That takes some getting used to. The head has a wide “margin” around it, making precision shaving a challenge. The wide large head is most noticeable when shaving under my nose or up to the edges of my sideburns, where I cannot get as close in either case.

Shaving dry, I thought both sides were similarly smooth. When shaving with shaving cream the Norelco side was noticeably smoother to me. The Panasonic trimmer is a lot better than the one on the Norelco.

As of this writing, for the cost of one Panasonic shaver you could buy two Norelco shavers and still have money left over. For that money you get fewer accessories and a shorter money-back guarantee. You also get a shaver that shaves well, but not twice as good as the Norelco. Given a choice, I would opt for the Norelco.

* Get the latest price on the Panasonic ES-LV61-A 5-Blade Shaver.

* Get the latest price on the Philips Norelco 1250X SensoTouch 3D Electric Razor.

* Get the latest price on the Braun Series 7 790cc Pulsonic Shaver System.

Buyers Guide to the Best Travel Shavers

By Rayy Zar

Sanyo SV M730 ShaverTechnological advances and low-cost Chinese manufacturing have resulted in new shavers that combine compact size with surprisingly good performance and cheap prices. Such models are ideal as travel shavers, or as back-up shavers that you can keep in the car, office or gym locker.

What should you be looking for in a travel shaver? Here are some pointers.

Compact. Some of these new models are amazingly small. The Sanyo SV M730 pocket shaver (pictured – actually made in Japan) has dimensions of just 3 x 2.4 x 1 inches.

Performance. This of course is the key issue. Check out reviews at Amazon and other online sales sites. The Sanyo is one model that has received rave reviews for its performance. Several reviewers actually seem to be using it as their first shaver. But most travel shavers are too small to deliver a really brilliant performance. (Though ironically, the small head size of travel shavers means they can sometimes reach awkward parts of your face that larger models miss.)

Wet/dry. Some low-cost travel shavers, such as the Panasonic Pro-Curve, are wet/dry models, meaning they can be used in the shower and washed clean, a great convenience. Others are for dry shaving only.

Mode of operation. Most travel shavers use two AA batteries, making them very portable. But several, such as the Remington R91, need recharging, which might take as long as 16 hours.

Price. This of course is also an important consideration. At discount sites like Amazon several models are sometimes as cheap as $10-12, similar to a pack of razor blades, or a set of disposable razors. By contrast, the highly rated Sanyo could set you back as much as $35.

Long-Hair Trimmer. Some have them, some don’t.

Here are five of the best travel shavers.

Panasonic Pro-Curve Wet/Dry Travel Shaver 

This popular models has attracted more favorable reviews at Amazon than any other travel shaver. Compact and low priced, it is a wet/dry model. According to the company it will run for up to 90 minutes on two AA batteries.

Braun MobileShave M-90 Shaver

This is another wet-dry model. It is a little heavier than some rival models. It incorporates a long-hair trimmer. A cheaper version, the M-60b, lacks this.

Sanyo SV M730 Pocket Shaver

Manufactured in Japan, this is a quality product that is smaller and better than many rivals, but also more expensive. (Update: this model is now difficult to obtain. Check out instead the excellent Sanyo Electric Rechargeable Shaver.)

Philips Norelco PQ208 Travel Shaver

For dry shaving only, with independently floating heads. A little heavier than some rivals. It is sold mainly at Walmart, though you can sometimes also find it at Amazon and other outlets.

Remington Men’s Titanium Battery-Operated Foil Travel Shaver

One of two travel shavers from Remington, this dual-foil model has become another Amazon favorite, thanks to its low price and a very good performance.

Update: And here’s a sixth:

Eltron EL 3040 Compact Travel Shaver

Hollywood-based Eltron is responsible for this very cheap shaver that is attracting some excellent reviews at Amazon.

Update: And a seventh:

Mangroomer Professional Edition Travel Shaver

A fine looking new shaver, though more expensive than some.

* Check out the latest prices at Amazon for travel shavers