Category Archives: Reviews

Reviews – Remington MS2-390 Shaver

By Rayy Zar

Remington MS2-390The mid-priced MS2-390 is the most popular of Remington’s range of shavers. According to an official product description:

This product has two titanium microscreens with ComforTech contour technology. It also utilizes a CleanShave washable design and an easy grip surface. There is a three position pop-up trimmer for precise trimming and hard to cut hairs. This shaver is rechargeable and corded with charging indicator light. It will do a 1 Hour Quick Charge and is compatible with worldwide voltage. A full charge will produce a 60 minute run time. It comes with a deluxe travel pouch and cleaning brush. Manufacturer has a 30 day performance guarantee.

It has attracted more than 740 reviews at Amazon, a high number, although it should be noted that  the average rating is just 3.5 stars. The most popular shavers from rival manufacturers generally carry ratings of more than four stars.

Here is an excerpt from a three-star review that reflects some of the negative feelings about the shaver:

I have owned several Remington Shavers for many years. I found this one to be OK, but not spectacular. The titanium foil on the heads gives it a closer and slightly more comfortable shave than the stainless steel foil on previous models. Where it falls short is in the overall quality of the shaver. It just doesn’t feel as substantial as some of the earlier models I have owned, and still own. The pop up trimmer, at least the one on my shaver pops up very very slowly. “Pop up” is a little optimistic, I would characterize it more properly as “saunters up at a casual pace”. While this is no big deal, I think it reflects that this model was just not made up to the highest standards of Remingtons that I have owned in the past.

And part of another three-star review:

This trimmer is pretty weak and inefficient compared to other shavers I’ve used. It’s just not powerful and doesn’t cut the hairs well. Eventually I get a good shave, but it takes a long time of going over my face over and over. I think I’m going to buy a different shaver and just keep this as a backup. The previous Remington model that I had, Remington F4790, is cheaper than this one and does a better job (at least as far as the trimmer goes). I might order that same one again.

And yet…this shaver does have more than 450 four-star and five-star reviews, a high number. Many users say this is the best shaver they have ever used.

* Get the latest price on the Remington MS2-390 Shaver.

Reviews – Wahl Professional 8061 5-star Shaver

By Rayy Zar

Wahl Professional 8061Wahl is one of the smaller players in the men’s shaver market, but its mid-priced Professional 8061 5-star Series is very popular.

The only official product description available is brief:

  • Super-close bump-free shaving
  • Coated hypoallergenic foil
  • Cord/cordless operation

Nevertheless, it has attracted more than 180 customer reviews at Amazon, with an average rating of 3.9 stars – good, but not great. Though more than 100 of the reviews are five-star, there are also quite a few one-star and two-star reviews, suggesting you love or you hate this shaver.

Here’s an excerpt from a four-star review:

This shaver replaced a Panasonic that cost over twice as much. The Wahl shaved faster, closer, and with less skin irritation than the Panasonic. It also lasted longer between charges. The only flaw immediately apparent was the lack of a pop-up trimmer. I thought it was an excellent value. I have a heavy beard, and it did the job. After having the product for a while, I purchased a new replacement foil & cutter bar assembly, as suggested in the instructions. The new replacement foil lasted exactly two weeks & fell apart (making it and the shaver useless) – it had a defect in the molding of the plastic which held it together. After some miscommunication, Wahl Customer Service replaced the defective part at no charge, telling me that they were aware of the defect and had remedied the situation. The shaver now works as well as it did when new.

And part of a five-star review:

I’ve been using this shaver for years (thanks to my old barber) and it definitely works – BUT only for stubble-length hair. This shaver won’t do much for hair longer than that… In my opinion this shaver gives me the closest shave I’ve ever gotten without having to put a blade & shave gel on my face or scalp. I highly recommend this product.

* Get the latest price on the Wahl Professional 8061 5-star Series Shaver.

The Elite Shaver – Panasonic ES-LV81

By Rayy Zar

Panasonic ES-LV81 shaverThe ES-LV81 is Panasonic’s top-of-the-range model, and is priced accordingly – around $600, though you can often find it for nearly half that amount at sites like Amazon. It is the same shaver as the ES-LV61, with the addition of a cleaning system.

According to the company:

Face-Hugging Multi-Flex Pivoting Head – Head motion range: approximately 25 degrees back and forth, approximately 20 degrees left and right. Conforms to neck, under the chin area, and jaw line.

30-Degree Stainless Nanotech Blades – Nano polished 30-degree-angle stainless hypoallergenic blades cut hair at its base for ultimate precision.

Fast, Linear Motor Drive – A rapid-fire 14,000 cycles per minute linear motor drive delivers a faster, closer shave. The fast, linear motor ensures a quick cut, eliminating pulling, tugging and irritation.

Multi-Fit Arc Blades – Five independently floating blades follow the contours of your face, chin and neck for a close and smooth shave.

Automatic Cleaning and Charging System – Cleans, dries, renew and charges the unit automatically keeping the blades sharp and ready for the next shave.

Wet/Dry Shaving – Enjoy the convenience of a quick shave provided by the Panasonic ES-LV81-K Arc 5 Multi Flex Wet/Dry Nanotech Rechargeable Shaver using the dry operation or use wet, with foam or gel, for a smooth shave. Three stainless steel hypoallergenic blades and foils provide comfort and less irritation for sensitive skin types.

It has received many excellent reviews. But not everyone is equally impressed. Wired magazine reviewed four shavers, and said this about the ES-LV81:

As good as this wet/dry is at tackling five-o’clock shadow, it’s better at trimming dollars from your wallet. So is it worth the Bugatti price? No. That’s not to say the handling and performance are lacking. The head pivots on two axes, with a motor cranking 14,000 rotations per minute, to deliver a quick, gentle shave. But the bulky head makes it difficult to see where you’re going, which is the last thing you want when you’re shaving. Or driving. Or both.

At Amazon the shaver has received nearly 100 customer reviews, with an average rating of 4.2 stars. Here is a summary from a four-star review:

Pros:
* Quiet and Smooth
* 5-blade cutting system works
* Cool looking blue LCD display
* Every feature you could want in a razor
* Fast and effective cutting
* Improved cleaning & drying system

Cons:
* Crazy expensive
* Awkward ergonomics
* LCD display could be more useful
* Trimmer tends to close when moving “upward” 

And here’s another summary, from a three-star review titled “Like a Mercedes, with Drive-through Car Wash Included:”

PROs:
– Closer shave than Norelco style rotary shavers
– Wet or dry use
– Switch lock (prevents accidental suitcase-ON)
– Smart charger is fast (1 hour) and energy efficient (zero drain when finished)
– Battery status indicator
– Instructions for hand cleaning with standard soap & water
– Fit and finish is good. Doesn’t feel cheap.

OKs:
– Large blade area – 1.0″ x 1.6″ – good for straight-aways, awkward on curves
– Automatic Cleaning system – Might not be worth the hassle 
– Lithium Ion battery provides 45 minutes shave time (my Norelco is 30 min.)
– Warranty: 2 years
– Satisfaction Guarantee: 30 days 
– Travel case: vinyl
– Head swivels left-right, up-down (benefit?, prone to breakage?)
– Owner manual: Clear and readable

CONs:
– Louder than Norelco style rotary shavers
– Expensive
– Consumables are also expensive

* Get the latest price on the Panasonic ES-LV81 Shaver.

Panasonic’s Most Popular Shaver – The Arc 3 ES8103S

By Rayy Zar

Panasonic ES8103S Arc 3 ShaverPanasonic’s most popular shaver is its ES8103S Arc 3 wet/dry model. Though not cheap at $150 – but generally available for considerably less at online retailers – it is a solid, high-quality product with many features.

According to the company:

The ES8103S electric razor is a three-blade shaving system, for maximum coverage and closeness, even on the most difficult parts of your beard. Panasonic men’s shavers feature 30-degree-angle blades, to cut hair at its base for close, accurate precision. The flexible pivoting head allows the shaver to float effortlessly along the contours of your face for a fast shave, especially around your sideburns and the area under your chin. The fast, linear motor eliminates tugging and pulling that can occur with slower shavers, while maintaining peak power right up until the end of the charge.

The ES8103S men’s three-blade electric shaving system with Nanotech blades comes equipped with a travel pouch, hypoallergenic blades and foils for sensitive skin, a pop-up trimmer, and wet/dry cordless operation.

It has attracted around 1,000 customer reviews at Amazon, a huge number for a men’s shaver, with a high average rating of 4.3 stars. Users seem particularly impressed that – for many of them – it gives a very close shave.

Here’s an excerpt from a four-star review:

I purchased the Panasonic ES8103S and the Norelco 1150x at the same time and this review is a comparison of these 2 shavers side-by-side. I used both shavers for 3 weeks, shaving one side of my face with the Panasonic and the other side of my face with the Norelco. I didn’t switch sides during the test to allow time to adapt to each shaver. Both of these shavers rated nearly the same amongst other Amazon reviewers and were the top-2 rated shavers under $100. 

…Shaving Performance: I found that both shavers did a relatively good job overall. However, the Panasonic performed slightly better on the flat cheek areas whereas the Norelco did slightly better on the curved areas around the jaw bone and neck. I found that the shavers required different shaving techniques. The Panasonic, being a foil shaver, required an up-and-down or side-to-side motion whereas the Norelco, being a rotary shaver, required a circular motion. No matter how I shaved with the Norelco I could not get quite as close as the Panasonic. After some time I did find a technique with the Panasonic that allowed me to shave my neck and jaw bone area as close as the Norelco. I tried shaving both wet & dry and found no difference. I almost always shave dry and I found the Norelco didn’t move as smoothly across the skin as the Panasonic. Overall, I give the edge to Panasonic for a better overall shave.

…In summary, the Panasonic rated higher than the Norelco in all areas with the exception of the warranty. My only real complaint with the Panasonic would be the noise. It is much louder than the Norelco but not so much so that I would return it. Based on my experience, I will be returning the Norelco and keeping the Panasonic.

And a three-star review:

I am sure this works for many people, but it didn’t meet my expectations after using it. I don’t shave my face on a daily basis so I tried to allow sufficient time for my face to get accustomed to the new foil razor. This was the first time I decided to use these due to the reviews promising a more comfortable shave. It is more comfortable, but it also take 3 times as long to shave my face than it has in the past. I have coarse hair so take that into account when reading this…

Pros:
Easily Cleaned
Awesome Battery Life
Comfortable Grip

Cons:
Super Loud
Slow Shave

* Get the latest price on the Panasonic ES8103S Arc 3 Shaver.

Panasonic ES-SL41-S Milano Arc 3 Men’s 3-Blade Wet-Dry Shaver

By Rayy Zar

Panasonic ES-SL41-S Milano ShaverPanasonic makes shavers at a wide range of price points. The ES-SL41 is a mid-price product, with three blades, but a weaker motor than some of the company’s other models and a longer recharge time.

According to the company:

Wet/dry washable – enjoy the convenience of dry operation or use with foam or gel for a pampering, silky-smooth shave. 100% waterproof – rinses clean under running water. 3-blade cutting system for a fast, smooth & close shave.

Switch open water shutters to allow water to flow freely through the unit. Shutters allow for an easy, quick cleaning of the inner blades without having to remove the outer foil. Multi-fit arc foil follows the contours of your face for efficient coverage and maximum comfort. 30-degree inner blades featuring nanotechnology cut the hair at its base for a close shave.

The pop-up trimmer is great for grooming your moustache or sideburns. Just pop up when ready to use and tuck away when you’re finished. Convenient carrying holder for storage or travel use. Also protects power button from accidentally switching on. The indicator light glows red while charging.

It has attracted many favorable reviews. At Amazon it has more than 60 reviews, with an average rating of 3.9 stars. The main complaint against it seems to be that it does not give as close a shave as desired by some users.

Here’s a summary from a four-star review:

Wet: This shaver works best in the shower or when wet. You can use shaving cream with it which I highly recommend as it cuts down on shaving irritation and bumps that I seem to only get with electric razors. The result is a smooth clean shave that doesn’t pull at your hairs like some other razors.

Dry: It works well dry but it takes around 3 passes for each area to really get all the hair. I experienced some skin irritation from shaving dry with this razor. Using aftershave helped.

Cleanup: Cleanup is easy as you can totally submerse this thing in water and wash it out.

Cons: If you want to shave in the car or office with this I would warn you about lots of small hairs that fall out of the shaver onto your clothes/desk. After you shave with this you will see a fine residue of tiny hairs on whatever surface you are nearby. If in the car that would mean small hairs on your clothes and in your car.

Note that this shaver won the 2013 Housewares Design Award.

* Get the latest price on the Panasonic ES-SL41-S Milano Arc 3 Men’s 3-Blade Wet-Dry Shaver.

Philips Norelco HS8420 Nivea for Men Razor

By Rayy Zar

Philips Norelco HS8420 Nivea for Men RazorAs you would expect, this model from Philips Norelco dispenses Nivea lotion onto your face as you shave. According to an official company description:

Nivea for Men conditioner is dispensed through the shaving heads directly onto your skin, moisturizing it while shaving. The conditioner contains Natural Microtec which protects your skin against irritation.

The shaving heads have unique rings with a stretch and lift pattern that contributes to a great shave. They gently follows the contours of your face for a close shave, even in hard to reach areas. You can shave in and out of the shower: Hot water opens your pores resulting in a close shave.

Replaceable cartridge – simply pump the Nivea for Men shaving conditioner from the refill can directly into the Advanced Skin Protection System.

It is a popular product, with more than 160 customer reviews at Amazon, though with an average rating of 3.9 stars, a little below most other Philips Norelco shavers. Some users have complained about the expense and availability of the Nivea refills. Others note that this shaver is not as good as a razor shave.

Here is a useful three-star review that sums up well the pluses and minuses:

This is my first wet razor after using a dry shave electric for a couple of decades. I loved it at first, and I still love the shave it gives. It’s much closer than any electric razor I’ve had before, including an expensive Braun that didn’t last 2 years. The lotion dispensing system gives a great gliding surface which makes it easy to get close and go over tough spots a couple of times without irritation. I’ve also used it with canned shaving cream applied directly to my face as some other reviewers recommended, and it did well too, though losing the convenience of the on-board lotion dispenser. Overall, it gives a great shave and the price is lower than most in this category, so I’d rate it highly for that.

Here’s the bad stuff, though. It seems they’ve gone to extra lengths to make the thing small, and in doing so have sacrificed capacity, both in the lotion reservoir and in the battery life. Using enough lotion to get a comfortable shave will use up the whole reservior in 3 or 4 days. They certainly could have enlarged the reservoir and doubled the capacity and still had a sleek small machine. Also the battery life is a little disappointing. My old Remmington started off with a couple of weeks’ battery life, and I decided to replace it when it got down to 5 or 6 days a few years later. This razor barely does any better than this, needing a charge every week or so. Plus, it charges from a stand rather than a direct connection, so when it gets low and stops dead (the Remmington got slower and slower for a couple of days giving fair warning) you can’t plug it in and keep shaving. I had to dry off and go back to the old machine when it conked out halfway through the shave. And the directions tell you not to leave it on charge all the time as that will reduce the battery life. A bigger battery might have addressed this issue, and a direct plug in charger would have been much better.

It’s a good razor and I recommend it for the shave quality. If you don’t mind frequent refils and charges, it’s good for the price. Next time I think I’ll pay attention to those things before I buy.

* Get the latest price on the Philips Norelco HS8420 Nivea for Men Razor.

Reviews of the Philips Norelco AT830 PowerTouch with Aquatec Electric Razor

By Rayy Zar

Philips Norelco AT830 PowerTouchThe AT830 is part of Philips Norelco’s popular mid-price PowerTouch range. The “AT” (Aquatec) designates it as a wet/dry model. It is similar to the AT810 model, though with what the company calls a Smart Pivot, for hard-to-reach areas, in place of the flexing heads of the AT810.

According to an official company description:

The first blade raises each hair while the second blade comfortably cuts it below skin level, for a really smooth result. The grip’s unique, ergonomic design and anti-slip materials make it easy to shave with precision and comfort.

The AquaTec seal on the Philips electric shaver makes it 100% waterproof. Use it in the shower with your favorite shaving gel or foam for extra skin comfort. Naturally you can also shave dry for convenience.

An efficient, powerful lithium-ion battery gives you more shaves per charge. Charge it for an hour and you’ll have up to 50 minutes of shaving time – that’s around 17 shaves. Charge it for 3 minutes and you’ll have enough power for one shave.

DualPrecision heads comfortably shave both long hairs and short stubble. 1. Slots cut long hairs. 2. Holes cut stubble. Rounded low-friction heads adjust to the contours of your face to limit skin irritation. The low-friction SkinGlide shaving surface slides smoothly along your skin for a close, easy shave.

Flexing heads stay in close contact with your skin, while the pivoting neck adds an extra dimension of movement – all giving you a close, fast, and comfortable shave. Complete your look by using the Pop-up trimmer. Perfect for maintaining a moustache and trimming sideburns.

The AT830 has received generally good reviews at various websites. At the Philips Norelco site it has attracted more than 80 reviews, with an average rating of 4.4 stars. At Amazon it has received more than 220 customer reviews, with an average rating of 4.1 stars.

Here’s part of a four-star review:

Personally, I prefer regular razors over electric razors, but this one is pretty decent. Anyway, this one shaves well, is shaped well to the hand, and runs for about 45 minutes until you have to charge it again. Charging takes only about an hour, which I don’t think is too bad. There is a blinking light that tells you when the thing needs charged. It seems to be constructed well also.

There isn’t a stand for the thing, as other people have mentioned, but I don’t care, since I just toss it in a drawer when I am done anyway. There really isn’t anything fancy about this razor. You get a razor that works well and a charger. To me, that is perfect. I don’t want to pay for extra stuff I don’t really need or won’t use. I don’t need a charge meter, a stand, a charger with multiple settings, or backup singers. I just want a razor at a reasonable cost that works well.

And here is an excerpt from a three-star review:

I shaved with a blade for many years, but have tried several different electrics over the past year because I like the convenience of not having to stand in front of a bathroom mirror to shave. In my quest to find the right razor for me I tried a Norelco SensoTouch 3D, a Braun, and now this Norelco AT830.

The AT830 actually gave me a better shave than the fancier and more expensive SensoTouch. The closeness and time shaving were about the same, but I got less irritation with the AT830, particularly in the sensitive area below my chin. One big thing I like about the Norelco rotary razors is the fact that they are really quiet. They’re also comfortable to hold and lightweight. Thumbs up for ergonomics.

What I didn’t like about the AT830 were the lack of features. There is no battery meter, only a light that flashes when the battery is about to run out. A big detractor is the fact that you cannot use this razor plugged in; you have to wait until there is a charge and unplug it before you can use it. If you need to shave and the battery’s run out, you’re out of luck.

* Get the latest price on the Philips Norelco AT830 Powertouch with Aquatec Electric Razor.

Review – Philips Norelco AT810 PowerTouch with Aquatec Electric Razor

By Rayy Zar

Philips Norelco AT810 PowerTouchThe Philips Norelco AT810 PowerTouch with Aquatec Electric Razor is part of the popular PowerTouch range, and is a wet/dry model.

According to an official description:

The first blade raises each hair while the second blade comfortably cuts it below skin level, for a really smooth result. The grip’s unique, ergonomic design and anti-slip materials make it easy to shave with precision and comfort.

The AquaTec seal on the Philips electric shaver makes it 100% waterproof. Use it in the shower with your favorite shaving gel or foam for extra skin comfort. Naturally you can also shave dry for convenience

An efficient, powerful lithium-ion battery gives you more shaves per charge. Charge it for an hour and you’ll have up to 50 minutes of shaving time – that’s around 17 shaves. Charge it for 3 minutes and you’ll have enough power for one shave.

DualPrecision heads comfortably shave both long hairs and short stubble. 1. Slots cut long hairs. 2. Holes cut stubble. The flexing heads of your Philips shaver keep the shaving surface in close contact with your skin for a fast and efficient shave. Rounded low-friction heads adjust to the contours of your face to limit skin irritation. The low-friction SkinGlide shaving surface slides smoothly along your skin for a close, easy shave.

Complete your look by using the Pop-up trimmer. Perfect for maintaining a moustache and trimming sideburns.

At the Philips website the shaver has attracted more than 130 reviews, with an average rating of 4.2 stars. At Walmart it has more than 80 reviews. At Amazon it has more than 190 reviews with an average rating of 4.3 stars.

Users are generally happy with the shaver, believing it represents good value for the price. There are some complaints about a weak performance from the trimmer, along with comments that it is not as good as a razor shave.

Here is a useful summary from a four-star review titled “Good, cheap shaver:”

Pros:
-cheaper than buying cartridge razors like the Fusion, especially if you shave twice a day
-less irritating, once your skin gets used to it
-waterproof
-light, long-lasting battery pack (I charge it once a week)
-easy to clean

Cons:
-not as close of a shave as disposable blade razors
-hard to get a close shave on angle of jaw and neck
-big and bulky and traps water in its nooks and crannies, not the best travel shaver
-planned obsolescence: Battery pack is not user serviceable, once it stops holding a charge, it’s scrap. Also with the high cost of replacement heads at half of the cost of a new shaver, it’s almost a foregone conclusion you’ll be upgrading to a new one in a year or two. 

* Get the latest price on the Philips Norelco AT810 Powertouch with Aquatec Electric Razor.