Norelco (rotary) vs Braun (foil)...the age old debate
Here's some information about me: First off, I'm not very hairy. The fact that I'm asian should give you an idea about my hairiness or lackthereof. It would take me a while to grow a full beard (or as close as a full beard as I could get). However, I am hairy enough to justify using an electric shaver.
I hate shaving, probably because I didn't really have to shave until I was in my late teens/early twenties. Now that I'm in my late twenties, I do shave regularly. I shave once every 2-3 days, but I really need to shave only once a week to look clean. Another reason I hate shaving is because I get razor bumps. The hairs on my neck area (told you I'm hairy enough to justify an electric shaver) grow in various directions and after shaving with a shaving with a blade, I get ingrown hairs causing razor bumps. That's why I switched to an electric shaver. around 2007, I bought an inexpensive Remington foil shaver. I enjoyed it except that it couldn't cut anything longer than 2 days worth of growth. However, no more razor bumps. But eventually returned to the Mach 5 razor as the Remington stopped charging.
In November 2011, I purchased a Norelco 1255x (include extra head) for $140 and $30 MIR from Costo B&M (total $110 + tax after rebate). I purchased the cleaning base about a week later (total $160 + tax after rebate). After much researched, I figured this was the better option for me since I don't shave as often. I didn't shave for over week as I waited for the shaver to arrive and wanted to test the shaver's ability to cut longer hairs for those times I hibernate and get too lazy to shave. As soon as the battery was fully charged (took about 1 hour), I tried it out and loved it. It gave me a really close shave and it was really quit compared to a foil. It had no problems with cutting 3/8-1/4 inch hairs. I have finer facial hair, not coarse by any means. I have seen internet videos of people shaving off 2 weeks worth of fuller, thicker facial hair with not much complaints.
After several weeks of regular use (ever 2 days), I started noticing I would get razor bumps, razor burn, and cuts in the neck area. My face would hurt shaving. I tried dry shaving and wet shaving (Norelco is waterproof and can be used in the shower). Both started giving me the same results. So then, I had to reconsider whether or not the Norelco was the best option for me.
After 3 weeks of using the Norelco, I decided to try somthing else. Thanks to SlickDeals, I found a great deal on the Braun 7 Series 790cc-4 on Amazon.com for $160 (free shipping) and $50 Amazon credit (total $110 after Amazon credit). At first, I was hesitant to purchase a foil shaver because of my previous experience with the Remington. After doing more research, I found out that the Braun has a cutter for long hair. I didn't shave for a week as I waited for the Braun to arrive to put it to the test. After its initial charger (took about an hour), I tried it out and immediately noticed it did not shave as close as the Norelco, but still acceptable for an electric shaver. I figured my face just needed to adjust to it. It did well with the longer hairs too. After several weeks of use, the shave felt a little bit closer, but still not as close as the Norelco. In particular, the neck area is where the Norelco shined over the Braun. However, not once have I had razor bumps, cuts, or razor burn with the Braun. I do wish the Braun would provide a closer shave. I tried different all 3 sensitiviy levels and still no bumps, cuts, or burn. I also tried a wet shave (not supposed to do this and cannot be used in the shower). I prefer a dry shave with the Braun.
-Easy to clean
-Made in Netherlands
-Wet or dry
-Water resistant (can be used in the shower)
-No problem with 1 week long hairs
-Felt good in my hands
-45 day trial period
-Sleek cool look
-Gave me razor bumps, cuts, and razor burn
-Must use charging stand (stand does not fit in travel case)
-Slide out trimmer is not that great
-Expensive replacement heads
-No sensitivity levels
-Did not give me razor bumps, cuts, or razor burn
-Made in Germany
-Excellent pop up trimmer
-Can cut 1 week long hairs
-60 day trial period
-3 sensitivity levels
-Can be charged directly on the unit (better for travel)
-Cheaper replacement heads
-Does not give as close of a shave as Norelco
-Digital cleanliness indicator is pointless
-Not water resistant (cannot be used in the shower or as a wet shaver)
The answer to the age old question, "Which is better Norelco (rotary) or Braun (foil)?"
This is probably not the answer most people are looking for. However, my research shows that each individual will, probably, have a different experience. There is a good reason why the manufacturers give trial periods for their products. You will have to just try it out for yourself and stick to what works best for you.
I think there are a couple of things that are important to mention:
#1 The Norelco will provide a closer shave than the Braun.
#2 If you get razor bumps using a regular razor blade, then there is a good chance you will get them using the Norelco.