After about twelve years of regular use my Braun 5515 sounded like a chainsaw, so I decided to buy a new electric shaver. Mind you, I had repeatedly replaced all the bits I could: the mesh, often; the knife, several times; once even the accumulator pack. But I figured that having someone replace the worn-out bearings (Sw. lager) of the motor would be more expensive than getting a new shaver. I poked around on the net, looked at reviews and ordered a mid-price Philips HQ7360/17.
The two shavers look pretty different. The Braun is designed to move only to and fro along one axis, preferably against the direction your stubble is pointing. This makes its action similar to that of a disposable razor. The Philips looks like a three-headed microphone and allows you to figure-skate it around your face in whatever curlicues you like. I figured it would take some time to get used to a different machine after all these years. But I’ve been an increasingly unhappy Philips user now for almost four months, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the Philips is simply not a very good electric shaver.
Every non-bearded man wants a 1) quick 2) close shave that 3) doesn’t lacerate or bruise his skin. And I’ll say this for the Philips: it’s quick (on the parts of you where it works at all). And you can rinse it under the tap when you’re done. But my list of complaints is longer than that.
The Philips is absolutely useless on your throat, your upper sideburns and other soft concave surfaces. You can shave until your skin is red and still your throat will be not just stubbly, but fucking hirsute. This has forced me to take up non-electric shaving again with all its concomitant gore just to get my throat done.
Though it works pretty well above the jaw line, the Philips is sloppy. Hours after shaving you’ll sit at your desk at work and grab your chin or lip in thought, and suddenly you’ll find a long hair sticking out of an otherwise clean-shaven area. I’ve started to carry a disposable razor around in my jacket pocket for these emergencies.
In my face, the Philips encourages ingrown beard hairs, “razor bumps”. This, to you boys and ladies, is when a hair is lopped off at the surface of the skin, retracts somewhat, loses track of its exit hole, and proceeds to develop subcutaneously, forming an unsightly pimple. When the pimple is ripe, you then find something long and curly that would make a Hasid proud rolled up inside.
I’ve got to buy a new shaver. Dear Reader, if you’re a Europid guy with dark curly beard hairs, and if you have a shaver that works well for you, I’d like to know brand and model please.