Choosing a Norelco shaver that’s just right for you can be tough. There are tons of factors that have to be taken into consideration. Not only that but there are so many types out there on the market. It can get very overwhelming especially when you’re not entirely sure what to look out for.
Thankfully, there are well-established brands out there that are among the best in the industry.
I’m talking about Philips, of course. Philips has been manufacturing shavers since the 1930s. They’ve been in the shaving game for close to 100 years. Today, they make among the best rotary shavers money can buy.
Don’t worry, these questions and many more will be answered in this list.
Best Norelco Shavers 2021
Premium Norelco Shavers
Philips Norelco Shaver 8900 – Premium Necessities
You know what I hate the most about some mornings? That moment you realize that you missed a spot shaving but you’ve already left the house. Thankfully, an electric shaver as precise and accurate as the Norelco 8900 exists. It uses the ever desired V-Track Precision Blade System.
The reason why this blade is so great is that it is capable of shaving hair in one pass. Previous models might need you to go over the same area at least twice. But not this one.
It doesn’t end there though. The 8900 blade heads are able to move in 8 different directions.
This is what Philips calls Contour Detect Technology. Whenever the blades pass over any contours or curves on your face, it automatically adapts. So you won’t have to worry about missing out on any hard to reach areas.
The Basics of Luxury
It comes with all the basic necessities you’d expect from a Norelco shaver. It has a click-on trimmer that lets you snap a trimmer attachment in place of the shaving heads. It also uses Aquatec technology which means you can shave wet or dry. You can even take it in the shower with you.
The battery takes an hour to charge but that’ll give you 50 minutes of use already. You can also charge it for 5 minutes for one quick shave.
Unlike later models, the premium features of the 8900 really only focus on the act of shaving. If it doesn’t enhance the quality of the shave, it doesn’t have it. For example, it doesn’t come with SmartClean which is supposed to clean, lubricate, and charge your device.
Philips Norelco Shaver 9300 – Personalized Comfort
Up Close and Personal Shave
The Norelco 9300 S9311 definitely ranks close to the top among high-end Norelco shavers. It is part of the first series that comes with personalized speed settings. Previous models have only been 1-speed up until this point. You can choose between slow, medium, or fast.
If you have sensitive skin, you can choose the slow setting for a more delicate shave. If it’s been a week since your last trim, you can choose fast for a high-powered shave. Or if you just want a standard shave, there’s also the medium setting.
How can you beat that?
The Philips Norelco 9300 comes with 3 shaver heads, these are able to move in 8 directions. The quad-directional function is what gives it Contour Detect Technology. When you glide it across your face, each of the heads independently adapts to every contour. Combine this with its V-Track Precision blades which can execute a close shave in one pass and you’ve got yourself one hell of a grooming device.
Of course, a Norelco shaver is not without Aquatec Technology.
With this, you can shave however you want.
Quick-dry shave? Sure.
Wet shave with your favorite cream? No problem.
Do you want to take it in the shower? You absolutely can.
Another great thing about the 9300 is that it comes with a facial cleansing brush. It’s an attachment you can snap on to where the shaving heads usually are.
You can use this if you’re in the mood for a more comprehensive shaving routine. All you have to do is pick out your favorite face wash and deep clean for 1 minute. This should clean the leftover oil leaving your face fresh and smooth.
It also comes with a click-on trimmer and a SmartClean Station that’ll keep your shaver charged, oiled, and clean.
Extra Performance, Extra Cost
Philips Norelco Shaver 9700 – Personalized and Intuitive
The Future of Electric Rotary Shavers
You know true innovation when you find a feature you didn’t even know you wanted in the first place. The Philips Norelco 9700 is a prime example of this. Let me tell you why.
It is the only model in this list that comes with a fully digital interface. The earlier models will typically have LED indicators that show very basic information like battery life using simplified icons. The 7500, for example, only has a 1-level indicator that is only able to tell you if it’s a low battery.
Kind of inconvenient, right?
The 9700, on the other hand, will tell you the actual numerical value of the battery percentage.
Not only that but it also shows other information. It’ll tell you whether it needs cleaning, if it needs charging, or if the shaver heads need replacing. It’ll even tell you if the travel lock is on.
A really great extra feature is the motion sensor. Why does a shaver need a motion sensor? Well, why not? It’s an added luxury that turns on the shaver as soon as you pick it up. Cool, huh?
These won’t really enhance your actual shaving experience but how great are these features?
Next-Level Personalized Shaving
What’s especially great about the 9700 is that it comes with personalized comfort settings. This means that you can actually control the speed. Previous models have historically been single-speed. This one comes in 3; slow, medium, and fast.
You can switch between these on-the-fly while you’re shaving. You can go slow if you have sensitive skin. Or fast if you’re in a hurry and have to shave off a week’s worth of stubble. Of course, there’s also the medium setting if you want a standard shave.
The shaver heads come with Contour Detect Technology. This allows each of the 3 heads to move independently in 8 directions. With each subtle movement you make across your face, the Norelco 9700 instantly adapts. Every contour or curve in every angle is given equal attention.
As if that’s not enough, it gets better.
The 9700 uses the improved V-Track Precision Blade PRO which is a definite step up from the 9300. This excellent piece of technology captures and cuts each hair individually. This is great because each hair on your face won’t necessarily grow at the same rate as the rest.
So instead of having a base length setting, it adapts to the varying lengths of each individual hair. Pretty neat, right? But is it worth it?
The Cost of Luxury
I can only think of two drawbacks with this model. First, it takes a full hour to fully charge for an hour of use. However, I’d be willing to overlook that especially since you can use it for an hour. In any case, it comes with the Quick Charge feature that lets you power it up once after just 5 minutes of charging.
The second drawback is rather obvious: its price.
The 9700 is the most expensive model out of all the ones mentioned in this list. But think of it this way. It doesn’t just come with premium features like the digital display and the SmartClean PRO. The shaving technology it uses is also much more advanced than the earlier models.
Norelco Shavers For Sensitive Skin
Philips Norelco Shaver 6100 – Smoother Skin, Less Effort
The way the Philips Norelco 6100 was designed makes it very different from the others on this list. What sets it apart is the blade technology it uses. The 3 shave heads move in 5 directions with the GyroFlex 2D.
This wonderful piece of technology allows it to pivot in a circular motion. Gliding it across your face and neck is easier since the device adapts to your grip movements. The blade heads can also tilt inwards for added efficiency.
The sheer adaptability of the 6100 is especially great if you have sensitive skin. The contouring system adapts to the curves and keeps the shaver on the surface of your skin as much as possible.
Let me explain why this is a good thing.
You see, if you’re the type with thick hair, sometimes you have to apply more pressure to shave. With this technology though, you don’t have to press on your face so hard. So, you won’t have to worry about irritating your skin.
Unlike the other models, the Norelco 6100 comes with a slightly different interface. The indicators for battery life, razor replacement, and travel lock are arranged in a triangular form. All 3 have a single LED light to notify you of the statuses.
Manual Cleaning and Shorter Battery Life
One of the drawbacks I’ve noticed is that it doesn’t come with accessories. It doesn’t include the SmartClean which means you’ll have to manually clean it. Neither does it comes with a travel case so you’ll have to purchase one separately. There’s one more thing though.
It has the shortest battery life out of all the models on this list. It takes an hour to fully charge but the use time is only 40 minutes. That’s only 5 minutes more compared to the 2100 and that model is two whole series behind. What makes up for that, however, is its Quick Charge capability. If you’re in a hurry and you’ve forgotten to charge it, you can just plug it in for 5 minutes. Then, you’ll be able to shave at least once.
Get a Grip On Your Savings
The 6100 doesn’t come with a lot of qualities if you compare it with others within its price range. What really makes it attractive is the GyroFlex 2D movement. So it really depends on whether you’re willing to trade off the other features for better grip.
Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 7500 – Designed Specifically For Sensitive Skin
Comfortably Smooth Shaving
The 7500 is arguably the most unique Norelco rotary shaver out of all the models on this list. But whether that makes it worth it will depend on you. So what is it about this shaver that makes it special? Let’s see.
It comes with the standard 3-head shaving unit that moves in 5 directions. It does a pretty good job at covering those hard to reach places like your mustache area. But instead of using the usual blade types the earlier models often share, it uses GentlePrecisionPro.
The razors are fitted with Comfort Rings that have thousands of beads that feel like powder. This allows the shaver to gently glide across your skin comfortably without irritating it. So if you have especially sensitive skin, this is the shaver for you.
Standard In All Ways But One
Aside from the extra-gentle precision blades, the rest of the shaver is rather standard. Like most of the models on this list, you can use it for both dry and wet shaving. Although, since it can already do an extra smooth job by itself, your skin would benefit even more if you used it with shaving cream or gel.
The battery needs to be charged 50 minutes for a full hour of use. This length of time is around the average compared to the rest of the models on this list. It also comes with a Quick Charge feature that lets you charge it for 5 minutes for at least one shave.
Mid-Tier Norelco Shavers
Philips Norelco Shaver 5100 – The Price Is Just Right
Out of everything on this list, the Philips Norelco 5100 is arguably the most balanced in terms of price and quality. Here’s why: it has all the features you can expect from a low-to-mid-range shaver.
Like the other models in its series, its razor heads can move in 5 directions. This allows for better coverage around those pesky, hard to reach places on your face.
The MultiPrecision Blade system can also give you a relatively close shave in just a few strokes. You can either use it with shaving cream or you can use it dry. It even comes with a click-on trimmer for maintenance.
It seems to have all the essentials you would need from a shaver and a bit more. Sounds simple enough right? Not necessarily.
Power Might Be of the Essence
What this does is that it boosts the power by 10% giving you a faster, more thorough shave.
It’s a good feature if your hair leans more towards the thicker side. But if your hair happens to be soft, then this is one less thing to worry about.
An Extra Redeeming Factor
Before we go any further, I want to share with you one more thing. The most desirable quality of this shaver is that it charges faster than any of the other models on this list.
While the others need about 50 minutes to one hour of charging, the 5100 only needs 40 minutes. In just over half an hour, you’ll be able to enjoy a full 60 minutes of shaving time.
The only drawback here is that you can’t use it while charging. But that’s not much of an issue since you can also quickly charge it for 5 minutes for one shave.
Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 5500 – Quality Features But Less Battery Life
The 5500 is the middle child in the 5000 series family. And just like middle children, it is a shaver that focuses on being fair. Its features sport the perfect balance between basic necessities and extra benefits.
It includes the same components as the affordable 5100 and the pricier 5700. Its 3-head shaving section is able to move in 5 directions. The MultiPrecision Blade System lifts and cuts stubble in just a few passes.
Aquatec Technology also allows you to shave either dry or wet. You can pop off the head for easy cleaning. And it comes with a precision trimmer that you can snap on in place of the blades. It even has the Turbo Mode option for that extra 10% performance boost.
The Power of Preference
But there’s one small catch. Compared to the other two in the 5000 series, this one takes the longest to charge. Not only that but even at the full battery, it only has 45 minutes of shaving time.
The other two go up to a full hour. Of course, this isn’t really that big a deal. Especially because it comes with the Quick Charge anyway. Just 5 minutes of charging and you’ll be able to shave at least once.
Whether this shaver is worth it for you or not really depends on your preference. Put it this way. The 5700 costs $30 extra, comes with the same features, and only takes 45 minutes to charge for 60 minutes of use.
That’s for you to decide.
Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 5700 – Extra Power, Extra Cost
More Power For Your Shave
The 5700 comes equipped with the standard 3-head shaving unit. It’s able to operate in 5 directions automatically making it better earlier models. Within the unit is the MultiPrecision Blade system. Philips has promised that this type of blade lessens the number of strokes to shave.
While that’s all well and good, this might not be suited for those with sensitive skin and thick hair. For those with thick hair though, it comes with a special feature called Turbo Mode.
More Bang For Your Buck
Turbo Mode is an option that boosts the power of the shaver by 10%. This is great if you happen to have thick hair or if you’re in a rush. It speeds up the movement of the razors so you can cover more surface area faster. Whether this is good depends on your hair type though. If you have really thick hair you might have to crank it up by 10% permanently.
Is it worth the trouble?
The 5700 has all the good features expected from a medium-range electric shaver and more. You can use it for both dry or wet shaving. It can fully charge in just 45 minutes giving you a whole hour of usage.
A quick five-minute charge can yield you one shave without having to wait. It even comes with the ever desired SmartClean Station that cleans, lubricates, and charges it. So what’s the catch?
The fact of the matter is, the 5700 is a bit pricey. It costs only $10 less than the 8900, a model that is 3 generations newer with more advanced features.
Affordable Norelco Shavers
Philips Norelco Shaver 2100 – As Affordable As It Is Basic
Before we go any further, I need to tell you first that 2100 is the earliest model on the list. So, naturally, it has very limited features compared to the later models. While it does have some flaws, I still think it’s worth mentioning. Here’s why.
Its 3-head shaving unit is only able to move in 4 directions. Philips equipped it with what is called the Close Cut Blade System. While it can definitely maintain your beard, don’t expect a close shave instantly.
Also, if you happen to have a combination of thick hair and sensitive skin, I wouldn’t recommend this shaver.
Allow me to explain, its lower power may require you to run it over the same areas more than once.
So, it might cause some irritation. It also doesn’t help that, unlike the other models, this doesn’t come with Aquatec Technology. So, you’ll have no choice but to dry shave only.
Unforgivable Charging Requirements?
If you’re not the type who needs to shave every day then this shouldn’t be that much of an issue but here’s the kicker. It doesn’t come with a Quick Charge option and you have to wait until it’s fully charged to use it. So what would it take to forgive this glaring flaw?
Forgiveness Is In The Price
The only reason why 2100 doesn’t sound so great is that I’m technically comparing it to the other models. The other ones are obviously better, faster, and come with more accessories. But 2100 is the cheapest by far and it does technically do the job, albeit with less performance.
Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 4100 – Basic Cost-efficient Shaving
Shave How You Want
The 4100 is a very affordable electric shaver that comes with more than just the basic features. It uses DualPrecision blades which can shave short or long hairs. The heads are able to flex in 4 directions which, while seemingly stiff, could do the job.
It’s important to note that this technology is a lot older than recent models. Depending on your hair type, you might have to run it over areas multiple times to get a close shave.
The drawback here is that it may irritate sensitive skin. But since it supports wet shaving, you can probably mitigate the irritation with some shaving cream or gel. You can also take it into the shower if you like.
Quick and Easy
At full battery, the 4100 can operate for 50 whole minutes. It takes an hour to charge but it also comes with the Quick Charge feature. This lets you charge it for 3 minutes for a single shave.
Unlike later models, the trimmer does not come separately. Instead, it is built-in and snaps up from the side. This is much more convenient than having a separate attachment. It’s one less thing you have to carry while you’re traveling.
The 4100 is also designed to be washed conveniently. The shaving heads pop off but don’t fully detach, so you don’t accidentally lose the part. You can clean it by simply holding it under the tap and running it with warm water. Included in the box is a cleaning brush for when it needs to be thoroughly scrubbed.
Great Value For Its Features
Philips Norelco Shaver 4500 – Ergonomic and Cost-Efficient
Everyday Beard Maintenance
The 4500 comes with the same technology as the others in the same series. It has the DualPrecision blades which are low-friction heads that cut below skin level. The 3 shaving heads pivot and flex in 4 directions which gives you some basic face contour navigation. It also has a built-in trimmer that pops-up from the side. This addition is ideal for maintaining sideburns or sharpening the detail of goatees and mustaches.
As should be the default for Philips Norelco shavers, the 4500 comes with Aquatec technology. This lets you shave wet or dry. It’s a great option to have if you have sensitive skin so you can use your favorite shaving cream or gel.
Wet shaving moisturizes your skin and softens your hair so you get a cleaner and smoother shave. You can also use it dry if you just need a quick touch-up during a morning shower.
The main difference between the 4500 and its previous incarnation is the material. The 4500 sports a more modern look and is easier to hold. You’ll be able to cover every inch better without having to adjust your grip as much. It will also prevent you from accidentally slipping.
The battery is slightly different in that it takes one hour to charge for 50 minutes of use. This is a very minor variation. In any case, it still comes with the Quick Charge feature. Unlike later models, the 4500 only needs 3 minutes of charging for a single shave. Pretty good, right?
A Little Extra for Better Grip
The 4500 does little to improve upon its predecessor. It also does little in terms of increasing the price. For only $20 more, you can get a basic shaver that’s easier to maneuver and feels better in your hands.
The Definitive Guide to Choosing the Best Norelco Shavers for Men 2021
So before we dive right into the nitty-gritty details, I’d like to preface this guide first with a statement.
We understand how easy it is to feel overwhelmed by the number of shavers on the market. A lot of people just assume that most models are the same. I’m inclined to disagree with this. There is a reason why there are so many shavers to choose from. And that is because the features and qualities that work best with our skin vary from person to person.
I need a shaver that lets me maintain my clean-shaven face. You might need a shaver to trim your beard. We’re all different.
There are many reviews out there that claim they know the single best shaver. I would stay away from reviews like this. When people say a shaver is the “best” one, what do they actually mean? What might be best for one person might not be for you. I can recommend you the electric shaver that I use. But it might not give you the same results as I get.
My skin is prone to getting irritated…
The reason why skin gets irritated while shaving has to do with two things. First, it’s the directional capability of the shaving heads. The fewer directions it can move the harder it is to reach certain areas of your face. Your chin, for example, has more curves than your cheek.
So, getting each strand of hair there can get problematic. If you don’t get it at the first pass, you might try a second or even a third time. This can cause irritation to your pores causing irritation. Think of it like over-exfoliating your skin.
The second reason has to do with the quality of the blade itself. The way the shaving mechanism works is that it raises and cuts the hairs. If it doesn’t catch the hair properly, you will have to pass the shaver over another time. So, again, this will prompt you to go over the same area multiple times causing irritation.If you have sensitive skin, it is also highly recommended that you wet shave. Using a shaving gel or cream will soften the hairs and moisturize your skin which can mitigate irritation.
My face doesn’t get irritated much by anything...
If you’re lucky enough to have skin that can handle most shavers without getting irritated, then great! Of course, this is not to say that you should get any old model. The biggest advantage you can get from this is that you can use more powerful shavers. Not only that but you will also be able to finish your routine a lot faster. This can save you tons of time
My facial hair is thick and grows fast…
I get that it can be a bit of a pain to have to constantly maintain a beard. This is especially so when your hair is thick and grows fast. You have to put more effort into making sure you have a close shave. On top of that, you also have to do it almost every day. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to spend so much time shaving when you could be doing more important things. And I’m sure you would want to cut the time it takes to make sure your face looks neat. So, I would recommend going for shavers that are dependable, precise, and powerful.
I don’t like waiting for the shaver to charge
Thankfully, most of the models on this list take roughly the same amount of time to charge. They all need to charge for about 40 to 60 minutes for 45 to 60 minutes of shaving time. Most of them also have the Quick Charge feature which lets you charge it for 3 to 5 minutes for a single shave.
The only exception is 2100 which takes 8 hours to charge and has 35-minute battery life.
I need a Norelco rotary shaver that can also shave my bald head...
There are two main factors you should consider when shopping for a shaver for your head.
Norelco shavers are not just for your facial hair. The technology Philips includes in their models is fully capable of shaving heads as well. Sounds simple enough, right? Not necessarily. Technically, all shavers (Norelco or not) are capable of shaving heads. But which shavers are actually able to do the job well? Let’s dive into it.
There are two main factors you should consider when choosing a shaver for your head. The first is shaver head directional capability. Running a shaver over, across your head, and down behind your neck can be difficult. This is especially so when the shaver can’t adapt to all the curves. So, you’ll want a shaver that is adaptable to your head shape so you don’t spend too much time maintaining the bald style.
The second factor to consider is cleaning requirements. There is obviously more hair on your head than on your face. Cleaning your shaver can be a real pain if you need to do it manually every time you want a smooth bald shave. I would recommend getting a shaver that is easy to clean or can clean itself.
- Both 9300 and the 9700 shaver heads can move in 8 directions. They also use highly efficient blades that can give a close shave in one pass. They both also come with the SmartClean station which automatically dries, cleans, and lubricates the shaver. The 9700, though, comes with a digital interface and its SmartClean station comes with LCD indicators.
I don’t like carrying extra accessories other than the shaver
Click-on Trimmer vs. Built-in Trimmer
There seems to be a balanced consensus about which is more convenient: trimmer attachments or trimmers that are built into the device. If you were to ask me which one is better, I would say that it really depends. The definition of convenience may vary from person to person. So, it’s important to figure out how you perceive it.
When you remove the shaving head and replace it with a trimmer, you get the full benefits of the shaver’s ergonomics. You’ll be able to more accurately trim certain areas of your face without the shave heads getting in the way. But hey, that’s just me.
Built-in trimmers do have their own advantages. All you have to do is pop it up from the side of the shaver. You don’t have to make the effort to remove the head, attach the trimmer, then put the head back on. If you’re also the type of person who travels a lot, a trimmer is also one less thing to carry in your bag. Unfortunately, the built-in trimmer is only available in the earlier models.