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Electric Razor Recommendations?

Im mid thirties and Asian male. Throughout my life, I only used electric razors. With the majority of it being norelco rotary head razors. I only have facial hair on my moustache and my chin area. Even if I don't shave for a week or two, you don't see that much facial hair. I cannot and never able to grow a beard. I guess that is my genetics but then again very few Asian guys grow beards. Thus I never had to use a regular razor ever.

I bought a norelco series 3500 last year. It worked for maybe at most 2 months before the rotary heads would spin and thus I couldn't use it. Thus if you try to use it on your face, it would be you cutting yourself. Few months later I bought replacement rotary heads and put that in. Then it worked for maybe a bit more than a month... and then it stopped working. Basically when you open the top part of it and power it on, you do see those things inside spin. But when you close the top part back and press power, it doesn't work and its like something is stuck there so to speak to prevent it from working? Does anyone know what is the reason for this? I don't want to buy replacement rotary heads again only to find out that wouldn't work.


Now does anyone have recommendation on what electric shaver to buy? I do see some that cost more than a hundred dollars for it and shocked some cost few hundred dollars for it. The previous electric razor I used it was also norelco rotary head one, I remembering using it for many years with no issue. But this one had issues each time. I think i should always stick with norelco right? Would you recommend me buy the same model again or is that a bad idea? I do see cheaper ones that are non brand name that seem to have very good reviews. Anyone here have this exact model? I bought this last year because it was moderately priced... 60 dollars plus tax etc. Again it worked fine for the first month or so but then it had issues and i had to get replacement rotary heads for it. Then a month later, when you power it on... you see it power on but its like stuck so to speak. Anyone know the issue for this?

Also I got to assume I can't return it for warranty right? Again its over a year since I bought it... i bought replacement rotary heads for it but i used it for a bit more than a month before this issue happened again.
I do see there are lot of sales right now. A very popular one I read on the forums is the panasonic arc 5 and its on sale right now for 100 dollars.

But isn't the issue here the replacement head/foil cost a lot? Its like 90 dollars plus total. That seems just ridiculous.


Do you have any opinion on this norelco electric razor below that is on sale here at best buy? Is this almost the same as the one I bought last year in the what i post below? It seems to be wet/dry as well but for some reason when you look at the specs, it says not washable?


So from checking at amazon and best buy, I'm trying to decide between the arc5 or the earlier arc's because the replacement heads/foil dont cost that much as the arc5. Or just buy the same norelco that stopped working months ago... or get that norelco that is on sale at best buy. Thoughts on which one i should get here?

Can anyone tell me the difference between these two norelcos? Thing is I kind of don't want to buy the same one as last year as I'm concerned it will have the same issues. But is that one that is on sale as good as the one i bought? I know the one I bought came out later etc.

Again, I do not have a beard and never could grow a beard. So my facial hair is literally moustache and hair on chin. So would an arc5 be absolutely not necessary for someone like me? I used norelco rotary heads shaver all my life. So it would be foolish to get an arc5 then right? Now if replacement heads didn't cost that much, then worth it? One positive thing i could see about that arc5 is i read reviews people could literally give themselves haircuts on it by themselves? I have not been a fan of getting haircuts outside ever since the pandemic.

This arc 3 is a much lower price. And the replacement head/foil isn't going to cost that much. But is this good?



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A lot to wrap up, but a few things. Yes, Philips Norelco is a good brand, with commonly available placement parts - a good choice for a rotary shaver. Sounds like yours was defective - it happens. Second, your links don't work, but the Series 3000 Norelcos are good entry-level razors - comprehensive review here:

They are in fact wet/dry, usable with shaving soap or foam and fully washable. The higher numbers in the series have a longer battery life and faster charging.

And some considerations : rotary razors and foils are very different in their function and your technique. If you've always used a rotary (and liked it), a rotary might fit your style better. They are quieter than foils, and historically - for some shavers - are less irritating. They're also slightly more difficult clean, but both types are available with automatic cleaning stations. All that said, foils are inherently capable of providing a closer shave (thinner metal screens) and the Arc 5 is probably the closest-shaving electric available, with the potential for greater irritation. All of the Arc 5 razors are essentially the same as far as the shave, with varying options and doo-dads. The heads are costly to replace, but the advantage of the Panasonic razors versus the Brauns for example, is that the cutters and foils can be replaced separately. Since the foils generally wear faster than the cutters, you may only need to replace the foils yearly (all of my Panasonic heads have lasted well over 2 years for me, and I usually replace the complete head). The cutters in the Panasonics are all the same, and the foils are specific to the model (both usually around $50 separately now). The Arc 3 is also a good foil, with a slightly smaller head, and probably equivalent closeness. Some prefer the smaller head, because the Arc 5 head is probably the largest foil razor head and requires some practice (rumors of an Arc 6!).

Can't comment on the "haircut" reviews, but no dedicated electric razor is really ideal for haircuts - many electrics have a built-in trimmer for sideburns and mustache, but generally they're marginal even for that. I wouldn't recommend using them as a replacement for electric clippers or even scissors.

Any of your choices are good, depending on your personal preference. No electric will shave as close as a blade, with the Arc 5 probably the closest, and all of them are capable of providing a comfortable and socially acceptable shave. Philips and Panasonic both make quality electric razors, and though you didn't mention them, Braun and Remington also produce quality foils and rotaries, respectively. Good luck and report back on your experience!
Thanks for the long response. The link you posted is not the $35 best buy norelco on discount though. But is the 3000 one in my link just like the 3500 i bought last year? Again the 3500 bought last year had all those issues i mentioned. Right now I can't even use it anymore.

Well lot of people recommend the panasonic arc 5. The thing though is i read one site review who reviews almost all the electric razors say this is overkill for someone with a light beard. I do not even have a beard. So would this be completely unnecessary? Again im used to norelco rotary electric razors so i would prefer to buy the same ones but the model from last year is bad as i stilll have it now but it doesnt work with the rotary heads... just the popup trimmer works.

So bad idea buying the same 3500 model again? Or buy that 3000 model which is on sale? My concern is im not sure its completely waterproof because it says NO for Washinable... which makes zero sense if it WET/DRY?

Also I never used a razor blade ever in my life for shaving. Reason being i dont even have much facial hair and no beard. So used electric razor ever since i was young till now in my mid 30s.

So based on all this information... what is my best option? I would prefer to buy the same norelco electric razor i used many years ago but i dont even know what model that is and well they probably dont sell that one anymore. That is thrown out already. And with the arc5, if the replacement heads didn't cost a lot, i consider it even though its completely unnecessary for me? Again I have no beard, no hair on neck etc. So i thought well i can use it to shave my head etc.
The Best Buy model appears to be the Philips S3134/84, so it's still the Series 3000 range. No, it's not identical to the S3500, which has longer battery life and some additional features. The shave is essentially identical however, because the Series 3000 shavers all use the SH30/52 heads (which features a single row of cutters). Not as close as dual cutters or a foil razor, but some say more comfortable. The S3134 is a wet/dry razor, so can in fact be used as noted with shaving soap or dry (but can't be used as a corded razor), and can be used in the shower and rinsed under running water. I can't tell you what your "best" option is, because only you know how you shave and what you prefer - the link to ShaverCheck I provided has excellent reviews of many electric razors, including the Norelco rotaries and the Arc 5. I've outlined some of the differences between a foil and rotary razor, and they are not insignificant. The good news is that both Philips and Panasonic have generous return policies if you find the razor doesn't work out (Philips is 45 days, and I believe Panasonic is 30). The Arc 5 wouldn't be completely unnecessary, because if it provides a close and comfortable shave it does what you bought it for - as would the Norelco. Just a question of what type of razor you prefer using. Again, good return policies from both manufacturers, so you could try either and return if you didn't like.
Thanks for the response. But the S3134 that is on sale at best buy right now, its wet/dry ... but can't be used as a corded razor. Well isn't the 3500 the same thing as well? I'm confused why it says NO for washable. That is my concern on getting the norelco one that is on sale now. Okay so you say it has shorter battery and lesser features but what features are these? I went through specs and not sure i see much big difference.

The thing is if i get the same norelco 3500 like i did last year and it cost 60+ tax... and has same issues, i would not like it. And i notice the arc 3 only cost 80+tax. So that isn't much more than the norelco. The replacement blades for norelco cost around 25 dollars and the arc 3 cost around 45 dollars or so? So that isn't that bad if you pay an extra 20 dollars a year on the replacement blade. But the arc 5... the replacement blade cost 85 dollars plus now at the moment which is ridiculous. Even with not these big price increase, it still cost at least 70 dollars which is a lot.

Well I mean the arc 5 would be overkill for me because I do not have a beard. I only have hair on my moustache and chin. And even if I don't shave for let say two weeks, there isn't that much there either. So you can probably imagine how my facial hair looks like after that weeks based on that description? Now if all replacement heads were similar in price, well it makes zero sense to get the norelco 3500 compared to the arc 3 right? Again it could have been a defect norelco 3500 but even when i first got it, i noticed when you power it on, the motor isn't that strong. I read comments from others that say the same thing. However for me, that isn't necessary because i don't have much facial hair.

Well I did read one comment that someone who has the arc 3 comment that they are a barber and actually use it to shave the back of his customers at the barbershop and post some pictures. I thought... wow so if i get that, I could literally give myself haircuts with it.

So based on this information, which would you lean to here for me? Again i always used norelco rotary electric forever and use to it. But the one i got last year... was horrible. Again i still have it with me but it doesn't work... only the popup trimmer works.
Philips Norelco S3500 (S3212):


Philips Norelco S3134:


There's actually another S3500 model (S3560) no longer made by Philips. Actually, neither is the S3134 (although still sold by some companies, like Best Buy). So yes, it's confusing. Again, ALL of the Series 3000 razors are essentially the same as far as the shave, ergonomics, and basic cosmetics. You'll note the S3500 has 3 battery level indicators. That's one difference. It also may charge slightly faster. That's another. It's a different color. That's another. None of those may make any difference to you, and the heads are identical. The S3500 costs more, so it may have more robust components - I don't work for Philips, so I can't confirm (the S3134 has been described as an "economy" razor, but they are both fairly inexpensive in the world of modern electrics). You'll note that on BOTH razors, it says Wet & Dry. Right on the front of the razor. That means you can shave with either razor wet (with water/soap), or dry. In spite of the "specs" on Best Buy - I have no idea why it says "no" for washable. If you can shave with it wet, with soap, it's washable - Philips, the company that made this razor, says nothing about it not being "washable." That seems to be important to you. Unless Best Buy means "don't wash it in your washing machine." Or your dishwasher. I actually agree with that. Other than that, they are both wet/dry razors, suitable for shaving wet, with shaving soap, in the shower, and rinsing under water. As are the before mentioned Arc 5 and Arc 3.

If you've always shaved with a rotary and like it, it would make sense for you to stick with it. You don’t mention why you might want to try the Arc 5, other than that the Norelco might break, or the motor is weaker. The motor on all rotaries is in general less powerful (or maybe "gentler" is a better term) than foil shavers, because of their different cutting actions (which is also why rotaries are much quieter), and they don’t need the power. They are both basically equally effective at shaving, although they accomplish it very differently. And any electronic device can fail - Philips and Panasonic both have 2 year warranties. If you wanted to expand your horizons and try a foil shaver, the Arc 5 or Arc 3 are excellent choices as well.
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Thanks for the response. I did not know the best buy one on discount, the second picture you posted is discontinued. Then again it make sense because you cannot find the S3134 online if you search other sites.

Yes i did read there is the S3500 model (S3560) which is different than the one i bought last year and in the first picture. Yes you are right the 3500 has 3 battery levels. The charge time seems to be the same though. Well the big difference to me is the washable. There was someone in the comments who said its wet/dry but not submersible... which sounds like you can't wash it. Again that doesn't make that much sense if you could use it wet/dry. Also yea the heads are important as well such that i wanted to know are they both same strength which you imply they are. Yea they are both inexpensive in terms of modern electrics... but the thing is the S3134 retails for 70 dollars. I seen it on sale twice in the last month or so for 35 dollars and thats why I wanted to know more about it. Then 3500 always seem to have a discount where instead of 70 dollars, its 60 dollars. So it make zero sense to buy the S3134 as oppose to the 3500 right... especially if it cost more? But now that its a big discount, i wanted to know more about it. Yea i know it shows wet/dry in the top apart which had me confused. Then again in the specs, it says it doesn't have popup trimmer where if you read the comments, many say it does.

Yea I always used a rotary electric razor and its always been norelco for so many years. I mean i do remember when i was very young, i used some offbrand but been using norelco ever since. The one i used before i bought the 3500 was norelco and very good before battery went bad. Used it for years. Well the reason why I was considering the arc 5 was because there is a sale on it where instead of 150 dollars, its only 100 dollars. And I read this is one of the best electric razors ever. But the thing is I don't even have a beard so this is overkill right? The article i read on this mentioned this. Then I saw there is actually an arc 3 as well thats 80 dollars with very good reviews... so i thought... hey its only 20 dollars more than the norelco and probably a lot better. So I thought price is similar and this one probably won't have issues and motor is good most likely. Again the 3500 i got last year could have defects but many comments mentioned issues with it similar to mine.

Well I remembered the old norelco that i used for years before the 3500, it certainly was louder. Again the 3500 did shave fine... but it definitely didn't feel that strong. But of course, i dont have much facial hair on my moustache and chin. I did not know the rotary didn't have as strong of a sound as foil.

Well I considered the replacement blades/foils into the equation. With this 3500, the replacements only cost 25 dollars which is very cheap. Thing is I bought it last time and within a month it stopped working. Now with the arc 3 and arc 5, I saw the 5 was ridiculous as the replacement cost like 85+ dollars... which is ridiculous even if you have to change it once a year. And what if it goes bad within a month or two. Now the arc 3, the replacement heads cost around 45 dollars or so which is much more reasonable.

So I thought either... get the norelco 3500 which cost 60+tax... and buy replacement blades once a year for 25 dollars... but also risk the same issue happening when i bought it last time... or buy an arc 3 for 80+tax and replacement blade cost 45 dollars a year... and most likely it won't have much issues... then wouldn't it make much more sense with the arc 3 ? So which of the two options would you choose based on this? Now if i get the S3134 as oppose to the 3500, well that is bigger price difference compared to the arc 3.

Again the reason I don't want an arc 5 is because of the ridiculous replacement head/foil costing so much. I mean... I can pay that... but to me that is way too much. Does this make sense in what im saying?
Okay so I'm looking through amazon, best buy and target to compare all these electric razors. I also factor in electric razors that are on sale right now into it and came down to 7 choices.

Again I do not have a beard. I only have facial hair on my moustache and chin. I could literally not shave a week or two and it still isn't much facial hair. I do not want to pay a lot for replacement blades which seem to be the case with arc 5 so that is why im leaning to arc 3 if i choose an arc. I have always used Norelco rotary heads and am used to it and like it. Thus using a foil would be different from what I heard. Though I did use a bodygroom that has foil for private area.

The norelco 3500 in the 2nd link, I bought it last year but it has issues and doesn't work. So concern of buying it again. The first norelco link is on sale at best buy a poster here says it uses the same blades and head as the 3500 except it doesnt have 3 battery bars and something else that isn't a big issue. But its only 35 dollars. The replacement blades for this are only $25 which is very reasonable. But concern if it has same issues like the same one I bought last year.

The arc 3 and 5... I figure arc 3 is good because its cheaper and replacement blades don't cost alot. But the 80 dollar arc 3, i read a review that someone uses it as a barber and shaves back of head... which is nice. The $60 arc 3 seems very mixed review if you check amazon. On best buy it seem good.

The last 2 norelcos... i only posted those 2 because they are on sale at target and best buy. Its a pretty big discount. But those rotary heads shape is much different than the norelco rotary heads I normally use like the noreclo 3500 in the second link. But are these uncomfortable to use? I read online people say its a bit annoying to shave under your noise area etc. I only shave my moustache and chin area so not that much there. I did read annoying thing is the power button for these is annoying since you power on/off easily. Also replacement blades will cost just a little more since its the 5000 series and not 3000 series but not big thing. However, when I look at more expensive norelco 7000 series, all these electric razors seem to have these 5000 design compared to the 3000. So does it make it superior? Again im used to those norelco 1000-3000 series where it has that traditional rotary head. But since I see these are a huge discount.. $35 from $80 at target and $50 from $80 from best buy... better to buy one of these compared to the traditional norelco or arc? Thus its like hey... you could buy that $35 5000 series on target on sale...compared to paying the same $35 for norelco 3000 on sale or $60 for norelco 3500... when you could get a 5000 series for only $35. But reviews for the target $35 5100 doesn't seem that good though.

Also I have to buy a travel case as well for travel if it doesn't come along with it. So based on all this information, which of the 7 would be best for me? Again, the arc 5 which is most popular one is on sale and 100 dollars and people say its the best electric razor out there. I read it has like 5 foils... but that is beyond overkill for me because I read its overkill for someone with a light beard... no wouldn't this would be completely unnecessary since arc 3 should be the highest i get? If so, what about the 60 dollar arc3?

I am still leaning to sticking with a norelco as thats what im used to. Such that if I could get the same norelco 3 head rotary that i used for years... before I bought the 3500, I would buy that. But I thrown it away and don't know what model it was. But it was very good.
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1. Norelco Series 3000 S3134/84 $35 +tax on best buy on sale compared to $70 price

2. Norelco 3500 S3212/82US $60+tax on best buy

3. Arc 3 ES8103 - $80+ tax Amazon

4. Arc 5 ES-LV65-S - $100+tax on Amazon//Best Buy on sale compared to $150 Price

5. Arc 3 ES-LL41-K - $60+tax Amazon

6. Norelco Series 5100 Wet and Dry S5210/81 $35+tax on Target on sale compared to $80

7. Norelco Series 5300 Wet and Dry S5588/81 $50+tax on Bust Buy on sale Compared to $80
I'm somewhat familiar with all of those you list, and again, the basic choice is rotary or foil - they are all decent electric razors. And again, the return policy of both manufacturers is pretty generous, so a trial and return (or not) would answer many questions. The link I provided to ShaverCheck has reviews of many of these and similar razors as well, which are also just user opinions, like other reviews. Seems like you just need to make a choice.
I have shaved off and on with electrics for a long time, and I've tried virtually all of the major players (Norelco, Braun, Panasonic, etc.). I currently own an Arc 5, and I also own a 10+ year old Norelco that was originally about $40.

Keep in mind the YMMV factor, but on my face Norelco works best. Most men prefer foil shavers such as the Braun. My Arc 5 is a nice shaver, but the old Norelco does just as well.

If I were you, knowing what I know, I would buy a lower priced Norelco. I realize you got burned on your last one but that could happen with any of them.

Good luck!
Often (but not always) you get what you pay for with electric razors. There are still some stellar holiday deals out there for the top end shavers, like the Braun Series 9 for $159.99 with cleaning station at Costco down from $329, and the Panasonic Arc 5 with cleaning station at Best Buy for $149.99 down from $199.99. With that said, your beard sounds mighty light... it may be less time/effort to just use a cartridge razor and ditch the electricity entirely. I'd imagine you could get at least a year from one Gillette Fusion cartridge and $3 can of shave gel.

Just my .02 - but the driver to get into the higher end electric models is if you have issues with the less expensive ones (shaves not close enough, too much irritation, etc). If the cheap ones are working well enough for you, and you're just looking for another inexpensive electric shaver that'll last longer - I'm sure we can steer you in the right direction, but if I were in your shoes, didn't care too much about the ritual of shaving (geeking out on all the soaps, creams, badger brushes, etc) - I don't think I'd want to deal with the hassle of inexpensive electrics, having to charge/clean them, replace cutters, etc. With your light beard and infrequent shaving, with no real/material skin issues noted - it sounds like shaving with a Gillette Fusion or the like would take you ~1-2 minutes tops and give you a better shave. A Fusion is $10 with 2 blades, which based on what you're mentioning above - should last you at least 2 years, and about $6 worth of shaving gel will also last you at least 2 years, so that Fusion = $8/yr at most to run for you. No more worrying about cleaning (just a light wash under running water) or reliability. While I know you have never used a bladed razor before - for your case, I think there's a compelling need.
You have very little to shave. In my opinion, you are wasting your money to buy an electric shaver for no more than you need to shave. You could get by quite cheaply (and well) switching to wet shaving. You will get a closer shave, and you don't have to spend a lot of money to do it. No worries about worn out, expensive foils, blades and rechargeable batteries, that are too expensive to replace. Honestly, for what these companies want for the replacement parts, you are better off just buying a new shaver! I'd recommend you switch to a vintage Gillette DE razor and some made-in-USA Personna DE blades. Pair them with some inexpensive shaving soap and a synthetic brush, and you are in business. :c9:
I'm asian too, but i can grow a beard, and have very thick facial hair(I think my ancestors were french and indian)SweetLF on amazon is super good, it worked on my leg hair, and my face, and my face is like sandpaper. Been using it for 2 years. It's probably the best electric shaver under 50 dollars. I had a phillipops norco and a braun 3 previously. But this one is better for under 60. Rotary works better on my skin than foil. especially on the neck. It's great for sensitive skin, and helping ur acne scars, shaving scars heal up. My hair feels like sandpaper after a DE shave, i can literally bleed from my rubbing my hand on stubble, but with a electric shaver, it really makes it less rough enough to make my hair not visible. I think the problem with the norco is that, the blades aren't sharp enough, you won't have the problem with the sweetlf.
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