I just read an article on the Phillips Norelco Bodygroom 7100 that brought back some interesting thoughts. I can’t think of anything more “back of mind” to me, as a man, than taking care of my body hair between visits to either the barber or a hair stylist.
I’ve used both over the years, and it was always a last minute decision to visit one or the other because my hair was starting to bother me. It would either be tickling my ear or becoming unruly because it was too long or was visibly running down my neck as I looked in the mirror.
Hair clippers and groomers at home were never an option because they were too much bother or did such a poor job that it was a choice of last resort. I would just suck it up and go to the barber. Then, getting to the barbershop and having to wait in line convinced me that there must be a better way. I'm older and wiser now and more concerned not just about the hair on my head but also some routine manscaping maintenance in other places on the body.
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Consider This Before You Buy:
I have an unusual habit of actually thinking through why I want to buy something when my mind has told me it’s time to start looking for the right thing. I’ve been disappointed other times when I just went out and made an impulse buy of a device based on what the box it was in told me. That’s a terrible way to do it.
The investment of a little bit of time and patience can pay some significant dividends. These are some of the things that appeal to me about a body groomer:
- It has to be user-friendly and intuitive about to use it just by looking at the machine.
- It must be light and easy to handle or, in terms of the marketers, ergonomically designed for comfort and ease of use.
- It has to be portable i.e. battery powered with a battery that lasts long enough to get through a complete grooming session on one charge. Rechargeable lithium ion batteries are the current technology leader, but the recent Samsung 7 debacle gives me a reason to think on that a little harder.
- It must be able to handle a grooming session without needing to be cleaned or have the cutting head bind up because of cut hair clogging the cutting blades.
- I also like options on the machine. More than three presets for cutting length for example or variable speed settings to deal with different types of body hair.
- It has to be simple to take apart and clean as well as reassemble without using any bad words in the process. It also needs to waterproof because I like to use water to get all those little hairs cleaned off. The brush just doesn’t do it well.
Hey, it’s just how I am. Do it right or keep it off the market.
The Phillips Norelco Bodygroom 7100
I had done my due diligence online and read up on a host of body groomers, hair clippers, shavers with pop-up trimmers and other devices too numerous to mention here. I even dared to look at the offerings at the local big box store. I checked off my preferences from one to six on my list of features that I required and settled on the Phillips Norelco Bodygroom 7100 as my device of choice.
My research included watching some videos on YouTube on which there happened to be one that showed the 7100 features in less than two minutes with no talking. That’s my kind of video. I encourage you to watch the video below. This is basically what sold me on choosing this body groomer over the myriad of other choices out there. The video demonstrates how simple it is to use and clean.
The Bodygroomer comes with two different cutting heads at either end of the machine. The one end is the cutter for body hair in general with a cutting guard that has 10 separate setting. I particularly like how the cutting guard is attached and controllable via a slide on the body of the groomer.
The other cutting head is a foil razor with 360-degree action that will accommodate all the strange and unusual contours of the body.
Features and Benefits of the Phillips Norelco Bodygroomer 7100
The Philips Norelco Bodygroomer Series 7100 is a body trimmer designed for whole body use with particular application for the neck use. It features a foil razor for shaving the head while the other end is traditional blade and cutting guard arrangement for cutting hair to 10 selectable lengths.
The head also has a pivoting function, allowing it to follow your body's contour closely. It is also completely waterproof and can be used as a wet razor in the shower using the various creams and lotions that come along with a proper manscaping event. Obviously, for use in the shower, leave the power cord on the sink and just run it on battery power.
High Quality in All Aspects
From the handling of the groomer perspective, it is well balanced and solid to the touch. The grip is comfortable, and all of the buttons and controls are located in easy to reach locations. It has non-slip qualities with the rubber inlays on each side of the groomer.
The appearance is very modern and pleasing to the eye using a shiny metal look using silver plastic. The groomer is curved from one end to the other putting the cutting heads at an excellent angle to do their job without interference from your hands or from the case itself.
I’ve already mentioned the attached comb system at the one end of the groomer. As it’s turned out, this is one of the best design features and was a major draw for me in choosing this device. Click-on combs tend to degrade over time or get lost.
The charging stand is a nice touch because it is solidly built and well-designed electrically keeping the metal charging contacts on the groomer firmly connected to the spring-loaded charging plates on the stand. The rubber feet on the bottom keep it in place on a wet vanity top.
Life of the Battery and Charging Time
A full charge should give you about 50 minutes of routine operation. That time could vary depending on how heavy and thick the growth of hair is you’re cutting. If you’re shaving your head with the foil cutter, it is recommended you use the other end first with the selectable cutting lengths and trim it down to stubble first using several passes at shorter and shorter cutting lengths. Then, attack the stubble with the foil end for a close shave.
Recharge to full power takes about an hour. I have used the body groomer and these times are fairly accurate. Again, the nature of the job you’re doing might drive some slight differences in how long a full charge will last.
When the charge light shows orange, you have about 10 minutes left to finish what you’re doing. That’s important because this device does not have a quick charge feature. You might have to wait an hour with a partially shaved head.
Keeping it Clean and in Good Operating Condition
The shaving heads are easily detached, so cleaning is easy assisted by the fact that the bodygroomer is completely waterproof. You should clean it after each use to prevent buildup and blade fouling which will take some extra effort to remove.
Rinse it with tap water and then brush the blade areas with the brush that was included in the package. The brush will loosen the hair and oils, and the water will sweep it away.
Let the unit air dry. Do not use a towel or anything fabric to dry the cutting chambers. You could do damage and also leave behind more debris than you cleaned out since the cloth will leave fibers behind.
Bodygroomer in Action
I found the body groomer capable of completing any body grooming task you throw at it. The flexibility of having two distinctly different cutting heads allows you to use them interchangeably to keep chest hair at the desired length using the adjustable hair guide at one end while getting a clean shaved head using the foil end, all in the same session on the same battery charge.
There are some techniques to develop to get the best possible performance out of the groomer because hair is unpredictable and grows in different directions on different parts of the body as well as on the same part of the body (neck in particular). Remember that this isn’t an electric razor and may require you to change your angle of attack to get all the hairs the same length. This is particularly the case in the groin area and near the family jewels.
I mentioned earlier that I did a lot of online research before I jumped off the bridge in choosing a body groomer to add to my personal hygiene collection of tools. The video referenced earlier was found during that process.
The reviews are always interesting to read but don’t make your decision based on a just a few good reviews. Read the bad ones carefully and separate out the believable ones from the ones that are obviously from people that live to complain.
Line up the pros and the cons and compare them to the list of desired features you were looking for in the first place. This is social proof that you are making an informed decision. Informed decisions will turn out better in the long run. They aren’t perfect all the time but, you can always go back and review the decision and tweak your process to account for any deficiencies.
What are the Alternatives – Just in Case
We didn’t talk about price in my selection and quite frankly that was planned. I wanted a good product and was willing to pay the freight. However, everyone doesn’t have that luxury, and there are other choices out there to fit most any wallet.
Phillips Norelco has the Bodygroom 5100 model as well. It is less expensive and offers the same internal technology but not the external conveniences. The click on comb system is manually done and not controlled by a slide on the body of the groomer. It also has a fixed shaving head and not one with 360-degree contour motion. It works well but is different.
Also in the Phillips Bodygroom series is the 3100 machine. It is cheaper yet but does not come with the advanced charging system. It takes eight hours to do a full recharge but otherwise is very similar to the 5100. The 5100 is about $20 more. If you have the money, go for the 5100.
The Wahl 9860-700 gives you the advantage of high-carbon steel blades that will stay sharp for a long period of time, in all conditions of use. The myriad of included accessories should be all you need to keep things well-trimmed.
The Remington PG6250 is a wet/dry system similar to the Phillips 7100 series, but its major drawback was that the adjustable cutting comb system is manual and must be changed each time you want. That feature was particularly important for my choice of the Phillips Norelco 7100 Bodygroomer. However, the Remington is less expensive and is an excellent body grooming machine.
- Read our body groomer reviews.
Let’s look at my process and pass judgment on it. I did some extensive planning in writing down what was important to me in the body groomer I was looking for. I did that before I ever looked at the possible alternatives.
Then, I invested some time and patience in researching the features and benefits of each option using my six point guide to reach some conclusions about each machine. I actually built a matrix of each machine on one axis and my six points on the other. I checked off each box, and color coded it as a complete match, partial or no match.
I bought the Phillips Norelco Bodygroomer 7100 and took it home. Immediately, I put it through an operational test using several scenarios about how I do my body grooming. Each test met my expectations which, in my book defines success.
I see no reason to change my process the next time this dilemma occurs and I have another problem to solve. This one is done.
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