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Trying some new gadgets to help “Manscaping”

Thanks to whatever genes I inherited, I’m a hairy man. Unfortunately, though, that hair doesn’t necessarily translate to my head as I’m also balding. Luckily I’m already married cause my chances in “the wild” would be severely reduced unless I had one heck of a personality! There’s some debate about my personality…

So anyway, Norelco contacted me to see if I wanted to get a couple of gadgets they’re promoting for hair trimming/shaving. Since I cut my own hair, and have tried a variety of shaving techniques including wet shaving, I knew this was the promotion for me.

What did Norelco want me to try?
1. The Philips Norelco 3d Electric Shaver
2. The Philips Norelco Do-It-Yoursel Hair Clipper

I couldn’t turn down free stuff, but I warned them my only other experience with an electric razor, about 15 years ago, wasn’t good. It left me razor-burned and took too much time. Would this experience, with a razor costing almost $200 ($150 right now on Amazon) be any different? Can it supplant the good old Fusion razor as my preferred shaving instrument? And what about the hair clipper? Why do I need something different than the $40 kit I bought at Kohl’s, or even the $20 kits they have at Walmart?

I should add that my beard stubble is extremely thick. It’s like I have 2 hairs coming out of every pore or something, and they’re double thick compared to anyone else I know. It’s crazy and annoying. I seem to have a 5 0’clock shadow at 9am. If I shave against the grain, I might extend it out to 2pm. So, I figured having a portable electric unit would be good, since I may meet with customers in the afternoon and don’t want to look like a scruff.

First Up: The Philips Norelco 3D Shaver

You can watch the videos of the weird British (or Australian?) guy on Amazon to get the full details and how it differs from the 2D, but basically, this is their top-of-the-line shaver that has 3 heads that not only pivot inward, but also outward, can wet-shave (using lotion), has a battery timer and lock feature, a flip-out trimmer and can probably drive you to the nearest barber when needed. You can also get a self-cleaning system if you wanted to go that route, but it doesn’t look like you can buy it separately and I didn’t get it with my sample.

I’ll be blunt. I wasn’t expecting magic out of this razor, but I was expecting a quick, clean shave. I got the clean shave, but it took FOREVER! And that’s because of my thick stubble. Period. I was able to do a 2-pass razor shave and get better results in less than half the time it took to get all the last hairs shaved off with the Philips. But again, this is a problem between me and all electric shavers. At least I didn’t have as bad of razor burn, and when I did a wet shave with shave gel, I didn’t have any burn.

In the end, I found out my dad just bought a 2D version and I said return it and try out my 3D. He has much thinner stubble and CAN’T shave with blades (medical stuff), so he had to get an electric razor. I asked him this past weekend how it was going and he said the razor was great. He has a beard, but keeps his neck clean shaven and also uses the pop-out trimmer to keep everything else clean. With the 2D version, it’s a different head you need to swap on for the trimmer and the heads don’t swivel outwards.

So in the end, I don’t think any electric shaver option is right for me, but I did find that the heads bending in AND out really got all the contours of my face nicely, the shaver was very quiet, cleaned easily and was very versatile and modern. How does it compare with the market? I have no idea as I wasn’t researching other options before this opportunity, so I’d like to hear your feedback.

Up Next: The Do-It-Yourself Hair Trimmer

When the PR agent told me they were sending me a hair cutting kit, I thought it would be something like the barbershop clippers with the different heads for each length, etc. I’ve gone through 3 of them in the last 10 years or so, and they seem to work fine until you break the main guard that you use for your entire head. You see, I shave with either a “1” guard or no guard at all. My wife used to style my hair with 1’s, 2’s a comb, a taper guard, etc., but no more. I just want something quick and easy to cut my hair.

So how surprised was I when I saw the following show up (see image):

Here are some of the key features I found that differentiate it from the regular barbershop clippers:

  1. It’s rechargeable and battery-powered, so I don’t need to have an extra long cord. I like to cut my hair in the tub so cleanup is easy, but that’s also dangerous with a wired trimmer!
  2. The head swivels to 5 positions (the one shown, and 90 degrees to either side). This helps when you’re cutting your sides or back of your head and can’t get your wrist to bend properly. Just swivel the head and no more contortions!
  3. There are 3 guards, plus a trimmer head. Rather than have a case full of guards, you rotate a dial on the head to get the length of guard you want. The first guard is 0-1. The second is 1-5 and the third is 6-9. They slip on and off easily and are washable, as is the head.

How does it stack up against a barber-style trimmer with traditional guards? Well, it’s MUCH more convenient without the wires and all the different guards, and the swivel head makes trimming the back of my head much easier. However, keep in mind I trim my hair down to the scalp almost. I did test longer guards first and they worked great as long as you don’t push down hard (a habit of mine I got from using barber units).

I cut my hair about 3 times since receiving the unit, then this past weekend, I cut my hair with my normal barber unit (with no guard as usual). It took about two-thirds the time with the high-powered barber unit than with the battery unit, and the barber unit was smoother, but when you need the guards and you’re cutting your hair yourself, or even if your spouse/friend is doing it for you, I highly recommend the Norelco Do-It-Yoursel Hair Clipper. You can travel easily with it, dial a guard length, run it on battery and swivel the head. Put it all together, and I think Philips has thought up a great idea.

How do you cut your hair? Do you do it yourself? Think about doing it yourself or having your partner/friend do it? How much do you spend per haircut and how often do you get it cut? I haven’t gone to a barber since 2003 right before our wedding.

About the author

Clever Dude


  • That hair trimmer looks pretty good. I just started cutting my own hair again and it was pretty traumatic for the Mrs. She didn’t do a clean job so I had to finish it myself… If you can put me in touch with the Norelco PR guy, I would appreciate it. I want to review that hair trimmer. 😉

  • In the same boat but use the Remington short cut clippers for my head – it’s cordless and shaped like a comb. I’m a no guard man myself due to unfortunate genetics and re-shave my head every 3-4 days. Eventually I’ll move towards using a razor on my head but for now I’m still hanging with clippers.

  • @DC, I’ve shaven my head down to the scalp with my fusion razor, but I let it grow back as it felt just too weird and it would be too much work. I just buzz it down without a guard every few weeks, but it’s so easy I can do it weekly if I’d like.

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