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Review of: Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 8900

The Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 8900 delivers on its promises. While it's designed to be a premium system for grooming facial hair, I put it through a far more rigorous usage test. This shaver arrived about two weeks out from a planned photoshoot. This shoot wasn't going to include legs, so I hadn't shaved them. I had shaved my torso and shoulders, but still needed to shave my arms. So I used this to shave both arms and legs. This did not take long, did not hurt a bit, and produced surprisingly good results. In short, this shaver's performance is amazing.

In the past when I've done the body hair removal ritual, it's been frustrating (hair apparently defies removal and multiple passes are required) and painful (nicks, razor burns, and hair pulling).

I'm a very hairy person. So I started with the beard trimmer attachment, to knock things down. Keep in mind that in the past, I had always spent a good half hour with scissors and then with the trimmer attachment of my (existing) electric razor. Skipping the scissor part meant that hair got caught in the razor mechanism, meaning lots of painful hair pulls and not very good hair removal overall.

This easily trimmed that body hair down to size. Then I removed the comb, figuring this would leave a trail of carnage. Nope, it just left my skin smooth. Not so much as a red mark. Anywhere. Not even on the backs of my knees, an area that I had previously considered off limits to anything but a delicately-handled cartridge razor. It was not necessary to go back over the skin with anything. So in addition to being painless and producing better results than any previous method, this took only about 10% of the time normally required.

Due to the shape and design of the razor, I can reach any point on my body. With various cartridge razors, I cannot do this because the pivoting head moves the blades away from my skin on various parts of my back as I reach behind. My upper body is very flexible, but there are limits. The 8900 allowed me to safely and effectively remove all hair anywhere. Even on those parts of my back previously unshaveable with cartridge razors or my other electric shaver.

I also have the Mangroomer, and it does a pretty good job. But you have to be much more careful with it than with this, and you don't want to use the Mangroomer to shave your face. Since the 8900 is designed for face-shaving, it does that very well. And it does so much more.

That's my rundown on the shaving performance. On the downside, this is going to take up some counter space. If you have a small bathroom vanity, you'll definitely notice the footprint of the system if you have the cleaning/charging station there. One way around this is to put the cleaning/charging station under the counter until you are ready to clean the shaver using their system. You can charge the shaver with or without the cleaning/charging station, and it really does not take up much room by itself. You can protect the shaver by putting it in the travel case that comes with this system.

I read the instructions on the cleaning procedure, but since this item is still new I haven't tried that procedure yet (it's not needed until after many shaves). It seems easy enough. But still, you have to mess with a cleaning solution and a big fixture. This may be the best way to clean the shaving heads, but I don't like the idea of storing a cleaning solution and a big fixture for cleaning/charging. Also, that big fixture requires some finesse when you go to dock or undock the razor. It took me a while to get the hang of this; I almost gave up on it.

This system has many nice touches, such as the digital display and easy on/off switch (I've had other razors that are actually difficult to turn on and off without about breaking a fingernail). It's also amazingly quiet.

What sells me on this system is what I described at the outset. The shave you get is amazing.

This system is pricey, but if you're using cartridge razors you will spend far more in a year. How on earth do those companies justify a $40 price tag for a package of 5 blades, especially when you get maybe 3 shaves per blade? Crappy blades, high price; I think that poor value is driving people to discount razor clubs or to give up cartridge shavers entirely. If you're doing the latter, this is the thing to get.



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