Philips Norelco 9000
The Philips Norelco Series 9000 is the best rotary shaver that we have reviewed but 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 from the Braun models. But if you are limiting yourself to rotary shavers only, the Philips Series 9000 offers the best you can get.
Philips Series 9000 Review
When it comes to electric shavers, two brands dominate the market. Philips, who focuses on their rotary shaving technology and Braun, the market leader, which leverages foil shaving technology.
While Philips has a number of rotary shavers, the Series 9000 is the top of the line model and is worth the extra money over Philips lower models. Shaving performance is much improved and more comfortable over the lower models. This is mostly due to the increased pivoting points and new blade technology that allows the shaver to contour better and shave closer than previous models.
Table of Contents
Rotary vs Foil Shavers
For those of you that are familiar with the types of electric shavers that are available, there are two main types, foil shavers, and rotary shavers. Foil shavers feature several blades with a foil cover like the Braun Series 7 or Braun Series 9. Rotary shavers, such as the Norelco shavers, include multiple rotating circular blades on the shaving head.
The Norelco Series 9000 takes advantage of some benefits that rotary shavers have over foil shavers to provide a more comfortable shave that can better follow the contours of your face and neck while shaving. Overall we have found that foil shavers tend to provide a closer shave than rotary shavers, but it is less pronounced in the top of the line models.
One major advantage rotary shavers have over foil shavers is the ability to better handle shaving longer stubble. If you typically go 2-3 days between shaves you should strongly consider the Series 9000 over competing foil shavers.
If you have ruled out buying a rotary shaver in the past, you may want to give them another look. The Philips Norelco Series 9000 shavers are a significant improvement over past models and deliver a close shave that can rival many of the foil shavers available on the market today.
Norelco Shaver 9000 Prestige
Since we originally reviewed the Norelco Series 9000, Philips has introduced a new top of the line model, the Norelco Shaver 9000 Prestige. This newest model of the Series 9000 family has a number of differences between the other versions that we decided should have its own section.
While the overall design of the Shaver 9000 Prestige appears to be the same as the other Series 9000 models, the exterior is mostly aluminum instead of the plastic and metal composition of the other Series 9000 models. Compared to other Series 9000 models a different and more premium travel case is also included.
The Philips Norelco Shaver 9000 Prestige sets the bar high as far as rotary shavers are concerned. The premium finish and upgraded shave are the best of any Philips shaver we have reviewed.
Prices as off 2021-08-02 at 05:50 / Contains affiliate links.
See our model comparison section for a full comparison between Series 9000 shaver models.
Performance and Features
With the Series 9000, Philips has developed new V-track precision blades to allow for a closer shave than previous Philips rotary shavers. The Series 9000 has three rotary blades that are each capable of moving in eight directions.
Rotary shavers tend to struggle to provide the same quality of shave that many foil shavers provide, but the additional range of motion and high tech cutting blades have managed to close the gap with foil shavers while still providing the benefits a rotary shaver can provide.
The additional pivoting points also help provide a more natural shaving experience instead of having to constantly shave over the same areas with different ranges of pressure to remove all hair. The sideburns and around the nose provided the most difficulty while using the rotary shaving head, but a trimmer attachment is included to clean up around those areas.
These shavers also include 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. The medium and fast settings allow you to move quicker over your face or through thicker beards.
While the Series 9000 shavers are capable of both wet & dry operation, We have found that using the shaver out of the shower when the face is dry provides the closest shave. You can also use these shavers with shaving cream for comfort, but do not expect the same closeness as a dry shave.
While you cannot use the shaver while it is plugged in and charging, there is a 5 minute quick charge option that can charge the shaver quickly in a pinch. The built in LED provides the battery status at all times.
Cleaning, Charging and other accessories
Some models of the Series 9000 include Philips SmartClean system. This system is a clean and charge station similar to the cleaning stations you can get from Panasonic or Braun. You place your electric shaver in the cleaning station and press a button to start cleaning. During this process, the cleaning system lubricates and cleans the blades and thoroughly dries the entire shaver so that it is ready for the next use.
The SmartClean system uses replacement cleaning cartridges that we have found generally last between 35-50 cleanings. 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 & cleaning status to let you know when to clean and charge your shaver.
For models that do not come with the SmartClean system you will need to periodically clean and lubricate the blades 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.
The trimmer attachment is slightly different than those included on some foil shavers which are built into the shaver. This attachment requires you to remove the shaver head and attach the trimmer to clean up sideburns and neck area. The Norelco Shaver 9700 also includes a cleansing brush that can be used on the skin.
The last included accessory with all Series 9000 models is a travel case, which is well built and protects the shaver but does not allow for the charging cord to fit within it. This shouldn’t be an issue for short trips as long as you ensure your shaver is charged before leaving.
Philips Series 9000 Model Comparison & Recommendation
As we have noted in this article, there are a number of Philips Series 9000 models available. The two original models that were launched are the Philips Norelco Shaver 9300 and Philips Norelco Shaver 9700.
The shaving performance between these models is identical with the only differences being aesthetic. The Norelco Shaver 9700 also includes a cleansing attachment but this can be purchase separately and is not worth the price difference between the two models. For these reasons we recommend the Norelco Shaver 9300 as it is usually cheaper in price.
The Norelco 9000 Prestige is the newest model within the Series 9000 line and includes an upgraded aluminum exterior and a new shaving head. In an odd decision Philips decided not to include their SmartClean station with this new model despite the higher price. Overall the shaving performance remains mostly the same and we only recommend this new model for the upgraded materials and aesthetics.
Prices as off 2021-08-01 at 18:10 / Contains affiliate links.
The Philips Norelco Series 9000 offers the best performance of any rotary shavers we have tested and would recommend them to anyone seeking a comfortable shaver that can power through longer stubble and contour to around your face. If you aren’t sure that the Series 9000 is right for you, consider some of 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 biggest factor to consider between Braun and Panasonic shavers versus the Philips Norelco shavers is the different shaving technology. Foil shavers, like the Braun shavers, typically provide a closer shave with the tradeoff being less pivot points to contour around the face. This can require an adjustment in shaving technique if you are used to using rotary shavers.
The Philips Norelco Series 9000 provides an excellent shave that can compete with some of the best foil shavers available today. The wet & dry shaving capability, included trimming accessory, and SmartClean station truly provide a top of the line shaving experience that Philips Norelco is known for. We recommend the Norelco Shaver 9300 due to the better value it provides over the Norelco Shaver 9700 or Norelco Shaver 9000 Prestige.
The Philips Norelco Series 9000 delivers the best shaving performance from any rotary shaver we have reviewed. The Shaver 9300 model is our pick since the shave is the same as the more expensive Shaver 9700 and similar to Shaver 9000 Prestige, but at a much lower price.
Prices as off 2021-08-02 at 05:50 / Contains affiliate links.