November 8, 2007

Review of the Braun Pulsonic - Cleaning

pulsonicSmall.jpgOK, so you've shaved with the Braun Pulsonic, and now you're ready to put it back into its base station. Stop and notice one thing. There aren't a ton of beard trimming all over your sink (or all over your shirt, as used to happen to me). That's because most of the trimmings end up inside the Pulsonic. Very cool engineering, but it means you need to clean the Pulsonic after each shave. That's what that gigantic base station is for.

Cleaning Cycles
When you put the Pulsonic back in its charging station, the LEDs on the front cycle around like between four options like some Vegas game. Where will the bouncing ball land? You've won an "eco" clean! Nice! That means my razor isn't that dirty and doesn't need to go through the full cleaning cycle. Yay! I'm a winner! The Pulsonic figures out which cleaning level is needed. I apparently have had some pretty clean shaves, cause I've only ever needed the "eco" clean. Hey, what can I say. I'm eco-friendly.

Two Models
The Braun Pulsonic comes in two models - the 9595 and the 9585. They are virtually identical with the one main difference that the 9585 does not have the fast cleaning ability of the 9595. The 9585 has one big white "clean" button on the front of the base. The 9595 has the big white "clean" button and a smaller blue "fast clean" button carved out of the white one. Quite frankly I haven't timed these to see how much faster "fast" is. I'm lazy. I just put the razor in the base station when I'm done and let it do it's thing. Which one is right for you? I don't know. They're about $30 difference. You won't make a wrong choice.

Cleaning Solution
So here's the one drawback to the Pulsonic - you're going to need to buy cleaning solution. Currently a 3-pack refill of Braun CCR3 Syncro Shaver System Clean will run you $12.99 on Amazon. Not a huge deal, but definitely a recurring cost. That said, you can trail-blaze your own path and rinse the razor out yourself. The instruction book for the Pulsonic tells you that you can run the razor head under a running faucet to clean it out. Good tip when you're traveling and TSA stops you from bringing your cleaning solution on the plane.
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November 7, 2007

Review of the Braun Pulsonic - Mechanics

pulsonicSmall.jpgSo what's so special about the new Braun Pulsonic?

Braun Pulsonic is a breakthrough new shaving system and a revolution in shaving technology. It is the world’s first shaver powered by an innovative sonic technology that delivers more than 10,000 micro-vibrations per minute from the shaver head to help expose and shave more hairs with every stroke. The design combines ergonomics and aesthetic appeal and is engineered to deliver Braun’s closest, most comfortable shave ever.

10,000 micro-vibrations per minute. Does that really make a difference? I have no idea. But if you read the review from yesterday, you'll know I think the shave is great. So the vibrations must help. Or maybe their don't and it's just a marketing gimmick. Who cares? Well, actually vibrations definitely help the Gillette Mach3 and Fusion. I wonder what else vibrations could help with? World peace?

OK, let's talk about some of the other features of the Pulsonic. The pivoting head works really well. Pretty much no matter what angle you hold the razor, the head pivots so that the foils are flat against your face. I was actually really impressed at how well this works. And, if for some reason you don't like the way the shaver is pivoting, you can lock it into place.

Definitely another strong point of the Pulsonic. The trimmer juts out from the razor by pushing the flap above the power button up. It's more sturdy than it looks. And it works great. Easy to level out my sideburns.

Tomorrow we'll check out the self-cleaning system in the Braun Pulsonic.

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November 6, 2007

Review of the Braun Pulsonic - Shaving

We're going to spend a few days reviewing the Braun Pulsonic. For those who are interested in skipping to the end, this shaver rocks. Get one.

The Pulsonic feels good in your hand. It's got a nice heft and feels sturdy. When it's on it's not too loud, although don't expect your roommate to sleep through your shave.

It's the first electric razor I've used which doesn't get hot after a couple minutes of use. In the past that's been one of my biggest frustrations with electric razors. Razor gets hot, skin starts to sweat, razor gets tripped up on face, bad shave ensues. Not sure how the engineers at Braun overcame this, but I'm glad they did. The Pulsonic stays at an even temperature. Cool.

The Shave
Shaving with the Pulsonic was a series of opposites. Braun recommends you shave before you shower or wash your face, while you still have a little protective barrier of oil on your skin. A big no-no with regular shaving, this worked well with the Pulsonic. They also recommend you shave against the grain. Again, not recommended for regular shaving. For electric shaving, works great.

It took me three or four shaves with the Pulsonic before I got really comfortable with it. There's a lot more tugging of skin to make flat surfaces than in regular cartridge shaving. That said, by the third or fourth shave I was getting as close a shave as I would get with a regular razor.

Shaving above the jawline was a breeze from the get go. Shaving below the jawline took the few times to get right. I'm not faulting the Pulsonic here too much. Shaving the neck has always been the weak part of electric razors from my perspective. The hairs tend to grow sideways or not have a uniform direction, which means you end up going over the same spot multiple times. That said after a couple of uses I was able reduce the number of passes over my neck and still get a good shave. Don't give up. This is the area that needs the most practice.

Tomorrow we'll go over some of the mechanics of the razor.

The Braun Pulsonic is available in models from $208 to $235

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October 24, 2007

More Fun with the Braun Pulsonic

Starting to shave with the new Braun Pulsonic. Still a couple shaves away from being able to write the full review, but I thought I'd throw up some pictures of things I'm learning on the way.

Thing number one - in the cleaning station, the Pulsonic lists to the left. Looks like it's fallen over, but I'm guessing this is intentional. Probably makes self-cleaning work better since the fluid and excess beard trimming can flow out one side.

Thing number two - the trimmer pops up and out like so. Push the plate on the front upward, and the trimmer pops out. (Trimmer's pretty good too, but we'll save that for the review.)

Thing number three - the power cord fits both the charging station base as well as the trimmer itself. This is very cool, since if you're traveling and don't want to take the base, you can just take the cord. Also, if you're out of battery charge, the Pulsonic will work with the cord plugged in.

The Braun Pulsonic is currently $214 at Amazon.

(For those who like shaving and cats, click on over to see some outtakes from out photo session with the Braun Pulsonic.)

ArrowContinue reading: "More Fun with the Braun Pulsonic"

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October 17, 2007

Another Solar Powered Shaver!


Back in July we posted about the Sabeco Solar Powered Shaver, which at the time seemed unique in its class. Looks like the idea is catching on.

Meet the Sol Shaver Solar Razor:

The Sol Shaver Solar Razor is ergonomically designed slim and handy and comes with its own brush for cleaning the razor head[.] Everything you could want in a travel razor and also makes a great gift idea for the man who has everything.

Well, everything except the Sol Shaver Solar Razor.

Aesthetically, this solar-powered razor is a huge leap ahead of the Sabeco. Looks like one of those high-end expensive lights which cost more, but who cares. (What was there name again?) Anyway, I can't imagine the shave beats a Pulsonic or an Arcitec, but as a shaving novelty, and a nod toward environmentalism, this solar razor can't be beat.

The Sol Shaver Solar Razor is £29.99 at Jill's Eco Store. Wow, those solar panels must be heavy!

Via ecofriend.

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October 3, 2007

Grrrr!!!! I Am the Braun Pulsonic Shaver!

You wouldn't want to meet this in a dark alley.

Fear not. These aren't the gnashing teeth of a pit bull. Rather they're the beard chomping shears of the new Braun Pulsonic.

Still, I wouldn't blame you if they gave you nightmares.

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October 2, 2007

The Braun Pulsonic Unboxing

Normally I cheerfully deride the ritual "unboxing" post on consumer-goods blogs. "Ooo! Look. I'm the first person to get an iPhone and take it out of the box." Good for you.

But now, with foot squarely planted in mouth, I present to you the unboxing of the new Braun Pulsonic:

What's the first thing you notice? It's in a box! Yes, that's right. None of that confounding indestructible plastic to wrestle with. Just slide the inner box out of the outer shell, and you're on to step 2.

Oh! Look inside. There's lots of stuff neatly displayed. The shaver. The self-cleaning based. Cleaning fluid. Instruction. Oh no... plastic! Dammit! How am I going to get that razor out of there?

What's this? A simple instruction on how to pop the plastic open? Push these four black dots in and... lo and behold...

The razor is free! And I barely had to struggle.

More to come...

The Braun Pulsonic is currently $233.90 at Amazon.

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September 21, 2007

Review of the Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System 8060X - Part 5

norelco8060X.jpgSo we've come to the end of Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System review week. Thought I'd take a moment to highlight what we've learned. This will be on the test.

There are three models of Moisture Shaving System. We cover the exact differences here. Basically they are manual or automatic Nivea shaving conditioner loading, and quicker recharging times.

You're going to be buying Nivea HS800 Shaving Conditioner replacement bottles which I've seen on the web for between $8 and $10 a bottle. Probably can get them cheaper if you buy in bulk. I'm sure Costco sells a gross of them for $100. Good luck fitting them behind your mirror.

Some things we didn't talk about - the 8040X and the 8060X come with a travel pouch which is actually pretty nice (not just some junky vinyl). Also there's a sideburn trimmer which snaps on in place of the floating heads. I like it better than the one of the Arcitec because it's wider.

Can't decide between the Arcitec and the Moisture Shaving System? We recommend the latter. The Arcitec is nice, but nothing beats the comfort of wet/dry shaving with a lubricating lotion. Get the Moisture Shaving System. $79.99 - $149.99.

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September 20, 2007

Review of the Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System 8060X - Part 4

Norelco-8060X.jpgWelcome back to our set of reviews about the Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System 8060X. Seems like we've talked about everything but the shave, so let's finally dive in.

The Heat
One of my biggest complaints about electric razors is that they get hot. I take a shower, come out and dry off, and start shaving with an electric razor. Half way through the foils are hot, my skin starts to sweat, and the razor gets tripped up on my skin. Not fun.

Wet/Dry Shaving
The Moisture Shaving System solves this by encouraging you to shave with a wet face (and with the the Nivea lotion). Wet your face before you start shaving, and then as you're working on an area of your face, press the lotion-dispensing button to lay down a nice layer of lubrication. Ahhh!!! Now we're talking. Finally I'm having a truly comfortable electric shaver experience.

The Shave
I found the shave with the 8060X to be quite good, although it took me several uses to get something approximating what I can do with a blade. I imagine I will get even better as time goes on. If you're used to shaving with a blade, you'll have an adjustment period where you'll wonder how close a shave you really can get. But keep working at it. If you're used to shaving with an electric razor that's not wet/dry, I think you're really going like the Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System. It's a big step up from dry electric razors.

Couple more notes on the shave:

Because the rotaries are circular, it takes some practice shaving around sideburns and existing facial hair. This would probably be easier with an electric razor with a straight cutting surface. That said you can keep lines straight or even but it's going to take some experimenting and familiarity with where the cutting sections of the razor actually begin.

Difficult Hairs
Everybody's got the few hairs which seem to grow in the opposite direction of parallel to the skin. I found that I had to go over sections of my face several times to get a clean shave, whereas with a blade I could get everything with one or two passes. That said, a blade has it's own set of difficult hairs - most notably under the nose. Trying to get those hairs with your Fusion paddle can be its own type of challenge.

Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System 8060X wrap-up tomorrow.

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September 19, 2007

Review of the Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System 8060X - Part 3

nivea_8060X.jpgWelcome to day three of Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System 8060X review week. Today we'll take a closer look at the "moisture" in this shaving system.

As we've mentioned before, the Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System family is relatively unique among electric shavers in that it dispenses lotion as you shave. This isn't the first Norelco to do this, but I don't know of any other brand which has a shaver with this feature.

There is one major drawback to this type of system, and that is that you're going to be buying replacement bottles of Nivea HS800 Shaving Conditioner at around $9.99 a pop. (So that's what the "HS800" from the Quick Start Guide refers to!) Think of it like the equivalent of razors and cartridges. They want to lock you in. It's probably one reason that the top of the line Moisture Shaving System is about $100 less than the top of the line Arcitec.

Again, if you've got the 8060X, the Nivea shaving conditioner goes in the razor automatically. If you've got the 8020X or the 8040X you're going to need to put the Nivea in yourself. See the photo on the left for the input on the back of the razor.

But where does it come out? I've highlighted the top two holes in the photo on the right. There are two buttons on the front of the razor. One turns the shaver on and off, and you don't need to hold this button down in order to keep the razor running. The other controls the dispensing of the Nivea shaving conditioner. Holding this button down dispenses the lotion. Releasing it stops the flow. Again, the conditioner only comes out of the top two rotaries.

The sound the razor makes while dispensing the lotion is kind of comical. Reminds me of some cheap 80s sci fi special effect sound from Buck Rogers or Wonder Woman. I should have recorded it for you. There's nothing wrong with it, but if you're a fan of those cheesy sci fi shows, you'll get a kick out of it. Eee-ee er eee-ee er eee-ee.

More on the Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System 8060X tomorrow!

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