Electric shavers are great when they work, and when your beard grows as fast and is as tough as mine, it’s not always easy to find a shaver that shaves as advertised instead of painfully yanking the bristles out. If you’re an electric shaver user, you know what I’m talking about. You get comfortable in your shave, thinking that you’re going the right speed and the right direction, you start thinking about what you’re going to do later, and then wham, gotcha, a particularly painful bristle pull brings you right back to reality.
Skin scraping doesn’t work for me. Not only do I have a difficult beard that makes it painful even with a fresh razor, my face is sensitive and can’t deal with regular razor shaving. I tried off and on for years and finally realized that I had to do something to make this ridiculous task as easy as possible.
In 2010 I decided to buy a quality electric shaver. After a copious amount of research I found a shaver by Panasonic that shaves better than any other electric shaver I had ever tried. Even after three days when my beard has gotten to the point that I can clean paint off the wall with my face.
Here’s the modern version of my shaver, and if you’re feeling generous, order two and send me one: Panasonic Arc5 Electric Razor
My current Panasonic shaver is six years old and is the predecessor for the Arc5 above, and for the last year or so it had been shaving rather poorly and getting worse by the minute. I had to revisit the same areas of my face over and over and put up with random bites and nicks (which I attributed to poor shaving technique,) and it had been making a lot of noise. It was so loud that I started wearing ear plugs. I knew I had to do something but I didn’t want to buy a new shaver because top of the line shavers are expensive.
The noise made me think it was more than my shaving technique, so took a look at the online instruction manual and learned something: you are supposed to replace the foil and the blades once a year. After a big sigh and a self promise to read instruction manuals more thoroughly, I ordered a replacement set for around $30. Here’s what happened after I put them in the shaver.
First, world peace. It only lasted a couple of minutes, but I could tell that’s what happened.
Second, the shaver was quiet again. Like brand new quiet to the point where it was humming softly not unlike a baby Lamborghini waiting for the gas pedal to be pressed.
Third, the shaver worked again. It cut through the ancient petrified lawn forest of death bristles on my face like it wasn’t there. I had totally forgotten how good my shaver could be until I replaced the foil and blades.
The moral of the story is when your shaver documentation says that you should change out your blades and foils every year, take the advice seriously.