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The following review is by Nick G. (posted here with his permission)
Any triple blade (circle) electric razor I have used has been great as far as getting a close shave, but Norelco has the best triple blade electrics. And the Norelco Advantage is no exception. Norelco, as seen in commercials, has innovative features, thus why Norelco razors are typically double the price of other brands. The Advantage is the one with the Nivea shaving gel dispenser. It is basically built in shaving cream, and doesn't even need it. It is basically painless to use, and only once shaving both head and face have I gotten a cut. Basically, it is an all round great electric razor. The one thing that is wrong with it and all electric razors I have noticed is you have to run the blades over the hair many more times then a normal razor to get a smooth shave. Thus, shaving my head alone w/ the Advantage takes about double the time compared to a normal razor. However, sometimes it is good break from using a razor and the cuts associated with them. I also have noticed that on vacations it is great to shave your head with, because sometimes I don't have access to a mirror behind me. Therefore, I can run the Advantage all around my head and not worry about having to see my head or cutting my head. The bottom line is this razor is all around great except for the time it takes to shave. But you can sit there and watch TV like I have done before and shave my head as oppose to being in a bathroom!
The following review is by David Slipp (posted here with his permission).
I use a top of the line Braun Synchro most days. It does a terrific job, and the auto-cleaning base unit thing is great, too. The triple action swivel head on the Synchro keeps things comfortable and close throughout the job. It does a B+ job.
Once a week or so, I do a "real" shave with a blade for that A+ closeness. I've been using the Schick Extremes, but I have ordered a HeadBlade and can't wait to try it.
Note: I've been informed that the 8066 model has been recently discontinued. The 8023 model has apparently replaced it. I'm told that they are very similar, so readers may consider these reviews to be related.
The following review is by M. J. Armstrong (posted here with his permission).
This electric razor really does get as close as a blade. (Unless you're willing to do one of those blade shaves where you go over every slightly rough spot over and over, risking razor burn.) After shaving, I can run my hand both with and against the grain and find my head to be as smooth as glass. I have a Norelco Advantage, have used a Braun Syncro, and feel that the Panasonic does the best job. Perhaps it's because of the more powerful motor--the blades whirl at 13,000 rpms!
It is a breeze to clean, and requires no expensive cleaning solutions to purchase. You just use ordinary liquid soap.
The manual says you can use shaving foam (as opposed to gel or other lubricants), as well as using the shaver dry. Both ways provide a very close shave.
I like a good blade shave, but find an electric is extremely convenient, as well as safe. It's cool to be able to sit down and watch TV or your computer while you're mowing down those hairs.
There is one warning I feel obligated to give about the Panasonic: once the razor strayed down too low on my neck--lower than the area requiring shaving--and I suffered horrible razor burn. No problems, however, before that on either my head or neck.
The Panasonic Linear is a great electric for head-shaving--the best I've found so far.
The following review is by Shaun Winter (posted here with his permission).
I would like to give a review of the Panasonic Linear Sonic Max Model ES8066. This is an unbelievable product.
I recently started shaving my head due to hair loss but was becoming discouraged by all the nicks and razor burn. I found your website and got some great tips on shaving but was still not all that comfortable and satisfied using a razor. I tried both the Gillette Mach 3 and the Shick FX.
I decided to try an electric and read the review on the Panasonic Linear and decided to try it for myself. I found mine BRAND NEW on eBay for $59.
Words cannot describe the performance and ease of use for this shaver. After only 3 days of getting used to it I can shave my entire head in the shower in under 15 minutes and leave it feeling smooth as silk. No nicks, no mess, no stray hairs, and absolutely no visibly noticeable rough spots. While I still use a razor for my face I will NEVER go back to head shaving with a razor after experiencing the power and precision of the Panasonic Linear Sonic Max.
The only drawback was experiencing some slight irritation on my neckline at first, but I believe that is only due to the fact that I have a very uneven hair growth line on my neck.
Overall I would rate this shaver as a perfect 10 out of 10.
Note: I've recently been informed that the 8023 model has recently replaced the 8066 model, so reviews of the former model may be related.
The following review is by Bennett Williams (posted here with his permission).
The Panasonic ES8023 electronic shaver is THE BOMB for head shaving. It has the same high-speed linear shaving features as the other aforementioned Panasonic model, and can be used in the shower.
I have tried the Mach 3, the Head Blade, and other various razors, and they all resulted in numerous nicks and razor burn, leaving a rather scarred and scab-laden shaved head.
The Panasonic really is tremendous. I would even go so far as to say that it is as close as any razor shave that I have ever accomplished, without all the razor injuries. I will never go back to razor shaving my head, unless my barber does it with his straight razor (and if you really want the true-blue smooth head, that is the rolls-royce of shaves.)
Anyway, if you are considering going electric, I would seroiusly consider the Panasonic. I have also tried Norelco, but it was useless. Go to the Panasonic website to check out more details. Let your chrome dome shine!
The following review is by S. Stokes (posted here with his permission).
I recently purchased a Panasonic ES8023sc Wet/Dry Linear Shaver. So far (about a week's use), I can second (and third and fourth) what the other reviewers have written: used with soap or foam (NOT GEL, according to the owner's manual)-- the 8023 really does shave as close as a blade. Without soap or foam ("dry"), it shaves close enough that it LOOKS like you shaved with a blade, although there will still be patches that are rough to the touch. It does take a little time to mow down a full head of hair, although not any longer for me than a blade shave (but then, I'm a very slow and cautious blade shaver). There's almost no vibration, and I have noticed almost no friction/razor burn and certainly no knicks (but I've also been EASING into using this thing, applying almost no pressure other than the unit's own weight until I'm more used to it).
I was moved to try electric because of the expense of blade shaving. Turned out that only the Mach 3 was the only really comfortable blade for me, and then only for, at most, five shaves per cartridge. At around $2 per cartridge (a little less for the regular, a little more for the Turbo), this works out to approximately $12 per month or (of course) $144 per year, plus whatever foams/gels/aftershaves, etc. (say you're using a $3 can of Edge every month, and you're up to $180 for the year).
The 8023, on the other hand, can be had from various online sources for as little as $79.99 (search around before you spend the $146 MSRP, or the $100 or so some places will charge). That's not the only expense, of course-- you may still want shaving foam (NOT GEL), and then there's aftershave, lotion, or whatever your after-shave pleasure may be.
But wait, there's more: an electric shaver of this style has two parts that need periodic replacement: the foil (the metal piece with holes that is between your face/scalp and the blades); and the blades. According to an online shaver retailer's website (with a good FAQ at http://www.arazorhouse.com/best.html), Panasonic foils should be replaced once a year; blades, once every two years. The MSRP for foils is $23.72; the MSRP for blades is $24.00. Now, I'm not sure, but I'm guessing that these timeframes might be considerably shorter if you are using this shaver to do a whole skull once a day or every few days. The question is, will it cut those times in half? Will it cut them even more than that? Also, will keeping the shaver on for fifteen minutes significantly decrease its motor's lifespan as compared to the two or three minutes needed to shave a face? I haven't noticed it heating up at all, so I think the design keeps the friction pretty low, but it's an open question so far. I'd be curious if any other readers have experience/input on these questions, after longer-term use.
Anyway, on the recommended schedule, the foil that comes with your 79.99 (call it 80.00) razor is supposed to last one year; to start the second year, you're supposed to replace it. My total cost for the first year, then (less shaving products): $80.00 (vs. $144 for a year's worth of Mach 3 blades, remember). Of course, if shaving my whole head is going to mean I have to replace foils more often than recommended, the price will go up.
Just to be clear, I'm very impressed by this product. It seems well-designed, with a solid heft. It's easy to hold and operate out of sight (i.e., on your head). It's easy to clean (you just use water or liquid hand soap, and I like that Panasonic doesn't try to chisel some extra pennies out of you by "recommending" some in-house brand of soap). I'm only wondering if shaving my head with it on a regular basis takes the shaver too far out of the parameters-of-use the engineers had in mind. Only time will tell.
P.S. One random warning: if you are not a frequent shaver, you should know that this style of razor is described on various consumer websites as not doing all that well with longer stubble/hair, although the 8023 does feature a "center slit" designed to catch longer hairs. Not sure how long those hairs can be, though...
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