G'day men. Yep, it's Scott again, taking over the reigns at Bagful of Notions for another Adventures in Shaving post. It's been a while, and I have a few updates that Nicole encouraged me to share.
Today's review is about the Remington WETech Power Series Shaver.
In order to help you manage your expectations from this razor, you should know that the recommended retail price of the device is $99.95 AUD (but you should not expect to pay full price).
I say this because, as you may recall, I've been incredibly spoiled by the Nicole-Procured Panasonic LV-81 (you can read a bit more about this razor at this review), which is sold for rather a huge amount more than the WETech (like about four times as much).
I know what you're thinking - didn't I just review a Remington? Yes, I suppose I did, but, there's a huge difference between these two models -- the WETech can be used (wait for it) WET! Yes, that's right, they've made sure that this razor can be used in the shower, in the bath (but do not fully submerge the razor) and deliver a quality shave with the wet-shaving products of your choice.
And believe me, this is an incredibly important feature when it comes to certain beard types (like, say, mine) and rotary style razors.
The model I've been trying out is the PR1245AU, and it comes in a box a bit like this:
The accessories are pretty simple for this one:
You get the razor, a plastic cover for the rotary head, the electric charger, a plastic brush to help keep it clean, and the pouch to store it all in or use for travel. No stand.
I've been using the WETech unit for just over a week now and feel pretty confident about understanding its strengths and weaknesses. I will add that the instructions are very clear about using it for about a month to allow your face/beard to grow accustomed to a rotary razor.
This is important, men, very important. If you've not used a rotary before, or it's been a while, there is very much a facial-learning-curve that you need to go through. Put simply, the first few days will not be particularly comfortable. Stick with it though, it may well be worth it.
So, here are my notes on the WETech:
- Better wet, much better
- Okay dry, if you go slow
- Takes a while for your face to get used to rotary razors
- Shave in small, slow, circular motions
- Takes a lot longer to shave than my Panasonic
- Edging, such as around a moustache, goatee or sideburns is not easy
- Needs face-pulling; one handed operation is not advised
- Go slow. Did I mention that?
So, who is this product perfect for? Because of the rotary style head, I'm going to say that those who don't have any sort of a beard or facial hair (and don't want it) are best off. If you want to keep a bit of growth, you'll find positioning and manoeuvring the circular cutting heads and the triangular shape to the razor's head to be somewhat awkward; it's an exercise facial geometry (lines, circles, and triangles, all intersecting).
In my case, I've had a goatee for nigh on 20 years and trying to edge around that has been tricky. Not impossible, just very time consuming. On the plus side, the rotary motion of the blades actually did a better job of some tricky areas on my face that my Panasonic often has trouble getting a close shave with. The Remington WETech has a trimming tool built in, and that does an okay job with sideburns and longer hair, but it's not really meant for close-shaving.
Cleaning the WETech is pretty straightforward. There's a button at the front of the rotary head, push it in, and the top of the head tips backwards, a bit like a Canadian on South Park. Indeed, you can pull the entire plastic assembly off, and put it back on, quite easily. This is also where you access the blades for replacement.
Do be warned, however, the three plastic rods which control the razor blades are attached to the base of the razor in what I'd call a "ball point pen" assembly.
If you've ever taken apart a ball point pen, the sort that you click to activate, then you'll know what I mean. Basically, there's a bit of plastic which is held inside of a slight "cage" on the base of the razor, and underneath that bit of plastic there's a very small spring, keeping the plastic rod pushing upwards and helping to create the "floating head" that the Remington has.
In practice, this assembly works great. However, one morning I opened the Canadian's Head a bit too quickly and the plastic rod popped out of its cage and the tiny spring did what springs are great at: it boinged energetically away.
Happy to report that the landing spot was NOT the toilet.
Putting it back together was easy enough, but my recommendation is to make sure you open the razor properly and possibly not over a bottomless pit, black hole, box of pit vipers, or similar.
The most important advice I have in using the WETech is to Know Your Beard and make a careful decision about whether a wet or dry shave is better for you. In my case, my beard seems to grow at the rate of 0.15 Grizzly Adams per day, which is pretty significant, and can create quite the challenge to a razor. Dry shaving with the Remington hasn't been the best for me.
Now, a wet shave, with the Aesop Neroli Shaving Serum, was an incredibly great combination. I actually found that the Neroli serum didn't work brilliantly with my Panasonic, but, something about the rotary shave and the speed of the blades on the Remington made this duo work spectacularly.
I know I've done a great job shaving when Nicole can run her hand over the shaved regions of my face and proclaim "OOO!" - this is easy to accomplish when doing a wet shave on my Panasonic, and the wet shave of the Remington with Neroli also had her impressed.
But the dry shave? Not a chance. Which isn't to say that the shave isn't very good, but without a doubt the best results are achieved when you're using a shaving cream or oil.
My final note on the Remington: This is a two-handed operation, men. My eyes are at that awkward stage where without my glasses the mirror on the wall is too far away for shaving (without leaning stupidly far over the basin in the bathroom), so I tend to use a shaving mirror, held in my left hand, whilst the razor is operated by my right. Never a problem with the Panasonic, but, the Remington really needs you to provide ideal shaving plains and they encourage you to pull/stretch your skin accordingly.
I definitely noticed the difference between the shaves where I tried to take care of business with only one hand and those where I really went to town with two. Ehem.
Anyway, the Remington WETech actually impressed. Being able to use it as a wet-shave razor is where it shines for me, and at the budget price it's available for, I'd definitely encourage you to take a look. Especially if you're not into the habit of edging, which, as we all know, takes a bit of practice.
If Nicole will allow me to borrow from Bagful and give this a rating, It'd look like so:
- Wet/Dry shave option
- Great introduction to rotary-style shaving
- Awkward for keeping any facial hair
- Construction is basic; a bit plasticy
- Takes a while to get used to
I'd award this a good 6.75 out of 10 bags on the Bagful of Notions rating scale. Shaving is a personal experience, not all beards are the same, and what may be the perfect shave for me, may not be for you.
*PR sample provided - Opinions and impressions are entirely mine.