Philips Norelco Series 9000
The Philips Norelco Series 9000 is the best rotary shaver we have reviewed. However, we recommend the Braun Series 7 or Series 9 for most people. For the same price, you can get a closer and more comfortable shave with the Braun models. However, if you’re only going to buy a rotary shaver, the Philips Series 9000 is the best option.
- Best Rotary Shaver
- Good for Thicker Stubble
- Contours to Face and Neck
- Foil Shavers Provide Closer Shave
- Not The Most Comfortable
- Attachable Trimmer is Easy to Lose
Currently, there are two companies that dominate the electric shaver market. Braun, the market leader, uses foil shaving technology. Philips, on the other hand, is focused on rotary shaving.
Although Philips offers various rotary shavers, the Series 9000 is Philips’ top-of-the-line model and is worth the extra money over Philips’ cheaper models. This model provides improved shaving performance and comfort over the more affordable models.
This is mainly due to the upgraded blade technology and the increased pivoting points on the shaving head. With these features, the shaver contours better and shaves closer than previous models.
Philips has introduced another model of their Series 9000, the Norelco Shaver 9000 Prestige. The Shaver 9000 Prestige is one of the most expensive shavers on the market and we took the time to update this review and include the new model in our model comparison section.
Rotary vs Foil Shavers
Electric shavers fall into two main categories: foil shavers and rotary shavers. A foil shaver has several blades with a foil cover like the Braun Series 7 or Braun Series 9. Rotary shavers, such as Norelco use circular blades on the shaving head that rotate.
The Norelco Series 9000 utilizes some of the benefits of rotary shavers over foil shavers. One of these features, more flexibility in the shaving head, helps to provide a more comfortable shave that better contours around the face and neck. Another advantage of rotary shavers is that they can handle shaving longer stubble.
Should you typically go 2-3 days without shaving, you should strongly consider the Series 9000 over competing foil shavers.
Foil shavers’ main advantage over rotary shavers is giving a closer shave. The Norelco 9000 is the closest rotary shaver we have reviewed, but it falls short compared to the Pansonic Arc5 or Braun Series 9.
Even if you have previously been hesitant to invest in a rotary shaver, you may want to reconsider. Philips Norelco’s Series 9000 shavers are a substantial improvement over past models, delivering a close shave that can contend with many foil shavers in the market today.
Currently, Philips has a number of Series 9000 models available. The two original models that were launched are the Philips Norelco Shaver 9300 and Philips Norelco Shaver 9700. Both models have identical shaving performance; the only differences are aesthetic and included accessories.
The Norelco 9000 Prestige is the latest model within the Series 9000 line, and it features an aluminum exterior and a new shaving head. Philips chose not to include their SmartClean station with this more expensive model, which seems strange considering the higher price. However, the shaving performance is largely unchanged and we only recommend this model for its upgraded materials and aesthetics.
Norelco Shaver 9000 Prestige
Philips has introduced a more advanced top-of-the-line product since we reviewed the Norelco Series 9000, the Norelco Shaver 9000 Prestige. Although this model looks the same as other versions of the Series 9000 family, we felt a few differences deserved a separate section.
Though the Shaver 9000 Prestige appears the same as the other models in the Series 9000 line, its exterior is mostly aluminum. This is in contrast to plastic and metal found in other models. Also, compared with other Series 9000 models, a different and more luxurious travel case is included.
In addition to changing the materials of the Shaver 9000 Prestige, Philips introduced an upgraded shaving head they call “NanoTech Blades.” Phillips claims that these blades will cut better through thick hair, but in our experience, anything beyond three days of stubble is not enjoyable or productive.
Philips’s most notable change to their Prestige model was not including a cleaning station with it. As a result, unlike the Shaver 9300 and Shaver 9700, which come with a Philips cleaning station, you will have to clean the Prestige manually.
The Philips Norelco Shaver 9000 Prestige sets the bar high when it comes to rotary shavers. The premium finish and upgraded shave are the best of any Philips shaver we have reviewed. Because the Norelco 9700 does not include a clean and charge station, we recommend the Norelco Shaver 9700 to most people.
Performance and Features
In the Series 9000, Philips has developed new V-track blades that provide a closer shave than previous Philips rotary shavers. The Series 9000 has three rotary blades that can move in eight directions each.
Rotary shavers have historically been unable to offer the same quality shave as foil shavers, but thanks to the increased range of motion and high-tech cutting blades, rotary shavers have begun to close this gap while still providing the benefits that rotary shavers offer.
By providing more pivoting points, a more natural shaving experience is provided instead of constantly shaving over the same area with varying pressures to remove all the hair. When using the rotary shaving head, sideburns and around the nose were the most difficult areas to clean up, but a trimmer attachment was included for this purpose.
Also included are Philips personal comfort settings. This feature has been standard on Norelco rotary shavers for quite a few years and allows you to choose from 3 separate speed settings – slow, medium, and fast.
Slow is great if you have sensitive skin or are shaving in the neck area. With fast and medium settings, you can move over your face and through thicker beards faster.
Despite being capable of both wet and dry operation, we have found that shaving when the face is dry provides the closest shave when using the Series 9000 shavers. For added comfort, you can use shaving cream with these shavers, but don’t expect the same level of closeness as with a dry shave.
All Series 9000 models have a battery life of about 50 minutes. This is comparable to other high-end shavers, such as the Braun Series 9 or Series 7.
The shaver can not be used while it is plugged in and charging, but there is a five minute quick charge option that can power it up quickly. There is also a built-in LED that indicates the battery status at all times.
Cleaning, Charging and other accessories
Some models of the Series 9000 include Philips SmartClean system. Similarly to Panasonic or Braun’s cleaning stations, this is a “clean and charge” system.
To use the cleaning station, you place your electric shaver in the cleaning station and press a button to start cleaning. During the cleaning process, the cleaning system lubricates and cleans all the blades. It also thoroughly dries the entire shaver to prepare it for the next time it is used.
For most people, we recommend purchasing a model with a clean and charge station. One of the biggest factors in getting a close and comfortable shave is making sure that the shaver is fully charged, cleaned, and lubricated before every use. By doing so, you will not only get the closest shave, but it will also reduce the risk of ingrown hairs.
The drying feature is another excellent feature only a few electric shavers on the market include. Cleaning and lubricating your shaver is very important, but so is having a dry shaver. Putting a cold and wet shaver on your face is uncomfortable, and having a dry shaving head reduces the skin’s tugging.
The SmartClean system uses replacement cleaning cartridges that typically last between 35 and 50 cleanings. However, the time between replacement is heavily dependent on the thickness of your beard and how often you use the shaver. Replacement cleaning cartridges are readily available online.
There is a built-in indicator on the Series 9000 models that shows you the battery and cleaning status so you know when to clean and charge your shaver.
Models without the SmartClean system need to be regularly cleaned and lubricated manually. Replacement shaving heads are also widely available for all Series 9000 models.
Note that the Norelco 9000 Prestige model uses different replacement shaving heads than the other Series 9000 models.
For trimming around the sideburns and neck area, the Norelco Series 9000 comes with a trimmer attachment. In order to use this attachment, you must remove the shaver head and attach the trimmer to the body. Additionally, the Norelco Shaver 9700 comes with a cleansing brush attachment that can be used on the face.
The last accessory included with all Series 9000 models is a travel case. While it is well made and protects the shaver, the charging cord cannot fit inside. As long as you ensure your shaver is fully charged, this shouldn’t be an issue for short trips. However, for those taking longer trips, you’ll need to bring the charger and the shaver separately.
We found the Philips Norelco Series 9000 to be the best performing rotary shaver we’ve tested. We would recommend them to anyone looking for a comfortable shaver that can get through longer stubble and contour to your face. If you’re not sure if the Series 9000 is the right one for you, consider these other shavers.
Braun Series 7
The Braun Series 7 is our favorite electric shaver and can often be found cheaper than the Series 9000. We believe most people will appreciate the more comfortable and closer shave that the Braun Series 7 offers over the Philips Norelco Series 9000. If you know you want a rotary shaver, stick with the Series 9000, otherwise you should consider the Series 7.
Related: Braun Series 7 Review
Braun Series 9
The Braun Series 9 delivers an even closer and more comfortable shave than the Series 7 that we have praised on for years. The Series 9 is Braun’s top of the line model that competes directly with the Series 9000 and may of the advanced features are shared between the two competitors. The price of the Series 9000 and the Series 9 is usually similar, so the decision comes down to personal preference. We believe that most people will get a better shave from the Series 9.
Related: Braun Series 9 Review
The Panasonic’s Arc5 delivers the closest shave of any electric shaver we have reviewed. The Arc5 is often overlooked by many people shopping for an electric shaver, but it deserves a chance. The Arc5’s shaving comfort is similar to the Series 9000, but the Arc5 will deliver a closer shave.
Related: Panasonic Arc5 Review
The Philips Norelco Series 9000 provides an excellent shave that can compete with some of the most popular foil shavers. The wet & dry shaving capability, included trimming accessory, and SmartClean station provide a top of the line shaving experience that Philips Norelco is known for. We believe that the Norelco Series 9000 is the best rotary shaver available on the market today.
Panasonic Series 9000