Dueling OneBlades? The OneBlade razor has been covered extensively on Sharpologist and it’s one of my favorite razors, despite the cost. So imagine my surprise when I was walking through my local megamart the other day and saw a shaver called “OneBlade,” made by Philips/Norelco. I discovered that though they may share a name, the two products couldn’t be more different.
Who Are These Guys?
OneBlade* (the shaver) is produced by Philips/Norelco, known for their mass-market electric shavers (I used a Norelco rotary electric shaver for years before I “saw the light” of traditional shaving). OneBlade* (the razor) is the brainchild of publisher Porter Stansberry and is marketed to the high-end, luxury razor buyer. Let’s compare and contrast these two products.
Philips (Norelco) OneBlade Shaver
At about US $35, Philips calls their OneBlade shaver a “trimmer/edger/shaver.” My first thought was they were trying to compete with other body trimmers, especially Gillette’s Fusion Proglide Styler razor. But after looking at the little instruction book that came with it, and reading some of the other online reviews, it appears that it’s really designed for facial hair (though it would probably be acceptable for arms and legs too).
The Philips Oneblade comes in a transparent blister pack, typical of many consumer tools (unlike some blister packs though, this one was reasonably easy for me to open!). It’s battery-powered, with a sealed rechargeable battery that runs for about 45 minutes on an eight hour charge. It comes with one multi-purpose razor head and three “stubble combs” along with the battery charger.
The Philips Oneblade has a six-inch-long, one-inch-wide, plastic handle. It’s reasonably ergonomic with textured sides and a decent grip. Considering the internals, the unit is fairly lightweight and easy to use. However I’m concerned about the “quality” of the plastic–it feels somewhat thin and I am concerned about the long-term durability of the product.
If you have used an electric shaver you are probably aware of the two major head designs, “rotary” and “foil.” The Philips OneBlade head is neither, though it behaves more like a foil than a rotary, with a vibrating motion. This unusual hybrid head design also apparently has a fairly limited life: Philips suggests replacing the head “every 4 months or when it no longer provides the shaving or trimming results you expect.” But that life is also based on the assumption that it will be only used twice a week (according to the Philips website). The typical head life of an electric shaver is usually several years. Head replacements currently run about US $15 (a little less by unit when purchased in a multi-pack).
The shaver can be used wet or dry. Edging and trimming is convenient and straight-forward. Shaving? Well…not so much. The Philips OneBlade is not suitable for shaving in the way that Sharpologist readers expect. Although the head does pivot (using flexible plastic parts), shaving with the Philips Oneblade is neither particularly close nor particularly comfortable (using the shaver “wet” does improve the experience somewhat). This shaver* is more suitable for maintaining a trendy stubble than that “baby’s butt” close shave.
On the other hand, at US $399, the OneBlade razor is a luxury shaving tool. It’s meant to shave (and like other manual razors it can trim as well). The OneBlade razor’s hybrid design–using a single blade like a classic safety razor with a pivoting head like a modern cartridge razor–is aimed to the affluent customer looking for an upgraded-but-still-familiar shaving experience.
The OneBlade razor’s handle is just shy of four inches long and all stainless steel. It feels solid, substantial, and well-balanced in my hand.
The OneBlade razor’s head is also stainless steel (including the pivot internals) and uses a Feather single-edge FHS-10 blade. One blade per shave is recommended, though most users report they can get two or three decent shaves per blade. Replacement blades run about US $0.75 per blade in quantity.
The OneBlade razor is used “wet.” I’ve written about my experience with the OneBlade razor in-depth previously. Tl;dr–a razor that is gentle but efficient and provides me with a fantastic shave. Trimming with the OneBlade* has never been a problem for me.
Will This End Up In The Courts?
Happily, no. Both companies are aware of each other and have agreed to “stay out of each other’s way” without the need for lawyers getting heavily involved. So…one name, two very different experiences.
Have you tried either OneBlade? What is your experience? Leave a comment below!