A couple of weeks ago I was watching TV, just your usual vegging out type of stuff, and a razor commercial came on. Normally, I tune these out because they seem to be all the same for the most part. They’re usually some variation of “Look at this awesome razor we developed, we added some shiny new features now give us your money” type of thing. Anyways, this particular commercial was advertising the Philips Norelco OneBlade electric razor and it grabbed my attention because they claimed it was a razor that could cut through any length of hair.
If you’ve watched any of my shaving videos on YouTube you know that one of my main complaints against all cartridge razors, aside from the expense of buying them, is that the longer your hair is the faster they tend to clog up. Furthermore, the longer your hair is the harder it is to remove the hair from between the razor blades and continue on with your shave.
With that claim, they lured me in enough to do a little research and buy a razor. I tested the razor and I was impressed with its performance. You won’t get a super close shave with it, but it will cut through long hair without an issue. What you lose in closeness of shave you gain back in the convenience of shaving longer hair.
What is the Philips Norelco OneBlade?
The Philips Norelco OneBlade is branded as a “hybrid” electric razor. It appears to be Philips’ response to the increasing number of men who have been growing beards the last few years. At first glance it has the appearance of a single flat blade. However, this flat blade has more in common with a set of clippers than the typical blade you would find on a Mach 3 type of razor.
The hair gets drawn into grooves or channels and then a moving cutter chops the hair off. Since they are catering to the beard crowd, they don’t have to attempt to stack multiple blades on top of each other in order to try to claim it gives a really smooth shave, which is flawed anyways. Instead, they are opting to just get it close enough. They are giving up on a really smooth shave in order to be easier and gentler on the skin. Not only that, but it appears to be fully geared towards helping men who sport the stubble look keeping their stubble at a specific length.
What Does the Philips Norelco OneBlade Offer?
From a product standpoint, you’ll get the electric body, a varying amount of blades depending on if you bought it off of Amazon or in a store like Wal-Mart, a charger, and trimming combs. I bought mine from Wal-Mart and it came with only one “OneBlade” head.
One of my favorite places to go whenever I am looking for information on a product is Amazon. Usually they are pretty good about giving you all the relevant details including price. The price appears to be in the mid $30 range for the razor itself and mid $20 range for a pack of two replacement blades(and I thought the five packs of Mach 3 razor blades were expensive when I was still buying them.) Obviously, the price may vary due to different factors, but those were the prices at the time I wrote this article.
From the Amazon product page here is what appears to be the key selling points:
- Two blades last up to eight months – I’m cracking up laughing here because that is based off of only two full shaves per week. That comes out to around 32 full shaves before you need a new one, which is right around the amount of time Gillette is advertising that their razors will last. However, if they are targeting the beard crowd and all they need is a touch up once or twice a week I guess this isn’t as bad as I originally thought.
- “Trims, edges, and shaves any length of hair” – I’m not really the “Rico Suave” type of guy who trims and edges his beard, so I’m just going to focus on the shaving part. However, this seems to be where this razor shines and the best use case.
- Some type of glide coating – The usual it’s great for your skin, yadda, yadda,
- You can use it to dry or wet shave and with foam – I guess it can save you some money on shaving cream if you used it to dry shave.
Negative Aspects of the Philips Norelco OneBlade
- Price – As mentioned all throughout this post, the cost of those replacement blades seem outrageous. I understand that it’s for a hybrid electric razor and all, but I don’t know if getting a consistent length of stubble is worth the amount of money you’ll be spending in blades. Maybe for some men it is.
- Battery charge vs shave time – You have to charge it for eight hours in order to get forty-five minutes of shave time. Obviously, forty-five minutes of shave time is enough to shave your face and head and probably a few other body parts before you plug it in and leave for the day letting it charge for the next day. My main concern is that as the battery goes through charging cycles and use, how much is that shaving time going to drop? If it starts dropping by more than 50%, or if the battery just goes bad, then you are going to run into the issue where you don’t have enough of a charge to make it through shaving all the parts that you want to shave. Edit: After initially posting this I found out there is a more expensive model that offers a larger battery which largely negates this negative.
- Won’t get a really smooth shave – If you’re the type of guy that likes to get a really clean shave it’s not going to happen with this razor.
Positive Aspects of the Philips Norelco OneBlade
- Fills a new gap in a beard centric world – You’ve probably heard the reports about how men are growing beards more often causing the razor manufacturers to not be as profitable as they once were. I applaud Philips for developing a new product that caters to men that like to have stubble as a part of their style. I can see the allure to being able to achieve the same length of stubble day in and day out as well as trimming and styling beards. This razor seems to fit that bill very well.
- You can use it in the shower – I think this is a great benefit especially if you are going to use it to trim the “manly” areas.
- Sensitive skin types – Since it’s not designed to shave as close to the skin as your traditional cartridge razor with umpteen blades, your skin will probably not be as irritated or inflamed when using this blade.
Using It To Shave
I finally got around to testing this razor out by shaving both my head and my face. I have to admit it shaved a lot better than I anticipated. I was truly impressed with how good of a job it did. It cut through long hair like it wasn’t anything. Philips did a really great job with this razor.
Even though I’m still not a big fan of razors where you have to buy expensive replacement heads, this razor performed very well when I actually used it to shave. I’m not man that trims or edges my beard, but it seems like it perform very well in that use case as well. Norelco’s claim that it will shave any length of hair is definitely valid.