$60 at area Sears stores
Wahl has been providing barbers with professional clippers since 1919, so we hoped for great results from its consumer line.
Pros: What’s not to like? It’s flimsy, painful, and not close at all.
Cons: See above.
Verdict: We hate to trash a family-owned American business that’s been around so long, but you’d be better off with a hacksaw. The next time we want the Wahl treatment, we’ll head to our favorite South Philly barber.
Remington Titanium MS5500
$158 at area Linens ’n Things stores “The world’s only shaver with three microscreens” promises a close and comfortable shave.
Pros: Whether you’re in Bryn Mawr or Botswana, this shaver will work for you, thanks to its worldwide electrical compatibility.
Cons: It’s so loud, the neighbors will think you’re drilling holes in plaster. And the shave is neither particularly close—nor comfortable.
Verdict: The only tool worth this kind of racket is a John Deere; we’ll pass.
Braun 8595 Activator
$200 at area Macy’s stores
The “ultimate shaver foil” head moves in four different directions, which means it takes fewer strokes to get smooth. This bugger can tackle even you Howard Eskins out there.
Pros: One of the closest shaves of the bunch—and it has a built-in sideburn and mustache trimmer.
Cons: It lost its juice after just a few shaves, and caused some patchy redness under the chin.
Verdict: If you’re sold on self-cleaning razors, this is the one to get.
Norelco 9190 SmartTouch XL
$200 at area Bed Bath & Beyond stores
No major bells or whistles, just a flip-up trimmer, a mechanical sensitivity adjustment and a money-back guarantee.
Pros: The closest, quietest and most comfortable shave of the bunch. And a full charge lasts about 90 minutes, so you can shave in Schuylkill traffic and still have oomph to spare.
Cons: Cleaning hair bits out of a razor blows. So does finding your razor on the floor because its charging base is so unstable.
Verdict: By far the best we tested.
Gillette Fusion Power
$10—$14 where disposable razors are sold
It may look like any cheapo disposable, but there are five blades and one AAA battery inside, producing “gentle micro-pulses for an incredible shaving experience.” Basically, the handle vibrates.
Pros: The Fusion cleaned up the rough patches the real electric razors left behind. And you can’t beat the price.
Cons: It’s still a blade, so you will cut yourself.
Verdict: Forget wi-fi. The city should give these to every male resident, so at least we’ll look sharp.