Where Have You Been All My Life?

This week, I’m going to drag you along on my search for a decent shave.

There was a time, back when this whole shaving thing began, that I was a razor-and-shaving-cream kinda guy. It’s what my dad did, what all the other guys in the dorms at Terry Hall did. Oh, maybe there was a graduate student with one of those fancy electric razor gismos, but for the most part, it was all about dragging this really sharp blade across your face while not being far away from your styptic pencil.

The clunky, old two-sided razor eventually gave way to the new sleek and sexy razors and then, the sleek and sexy disposable razors. The problem was, on those morning when I was in a hurry or distracted, I’d have to take the time to get the bleeding to stop before heading into work.

Then, somewhere along the line, I made the switch to an electric razor. I’ve easily had a half-dozen or so over the years, each progressively better. However, the closeness of the shave was always “ok” and I’d always have to do some careful follow-up work with a Schick disposable.

Eventually, I found myself the owner of a Braun electric razor and it was pretty good. In fact, I’ll bet you anything that I’ve had it close to a decade. But the pattern that developed was this: new blades would give you that close, comfortable shave for a couple of months…until it felt like you were plucking the hairs out of your face. No fun. Then I’d have to see how long I could wait before I’d pony up another $35 for new blades. I’m so damn cheap.

The new blades would arrive and then I’d be happy again….for a while. What helped was that I tried out those Harry’s blades and everything they say in the ads is true. So, that allowed me to put up with a crappy shave from my electric razor, then easily fix the spots it missed with one of Harry’s finest.

However, this time when the Braun blades dulled again, I decided to use that Consumer Reports subscription I pay for but never use and see what their research on electric razors had to say. I couldn’t help but notice that only the mega-expensive Braun was recommended, but there were an awful lot of Panasonics in there. Really? It was a departure in design from what I was used to, but the reviews were in and while Panasonic’s top of the line model was in the $200-$300 range, I found one for $99. Sure, it was the lower-level model without the bells and whistles, but I wasn’t looking for a singing/dancing electric razor, I just wanted a close shave.

And we have a winner.

This is the one. This is what it looks like. It glides across my face, not irritating it one bit. At times with the old Braun and my refusal to keep paying the new blade extortion fee, I’d occasionally get razor-burns. Nope, every morning when it’s time to trim the whiskers, it’s one smooth experience after another. And in the two weeks I’ve been using it, it’s still mostly charged. It even has a gauge on the front to tell you how charged up it is.

So, after an almost 50-year search for the perfect shave, I have finally found it. Thank you, Panasonic. Where have you been all my life?

Tim Hunter

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