Philips OneBlade full review

I may review them, but in all honesty I’m a bit of an electric razor sceptic. In fact, I’m worse than that: I’m the sort of weirdo who uses an old-fashioned double-edged safety razor and badger hair brush - even a Gillette Mach3 is too high-tech for my stubble.

All of that preface is to add some context to what I’m about to say next: I absolutely love the Philips OneBlade, and I’m honestly not sure I could fault it.

Price and availability

Here’s the first thing I love about the OneBlade: the price.

£40/$35 will get you the shaver itself direct from Philips, together with three different length stubble/beard combs, while jumping up to £50/$50 also nets you a skin guard that supposedly helps if you want to use it to shave elsewhere on your body - though Philips didn’t provide me with this add-on for review, so I haven’t tested it.

Browse on Amazon and you’ll also find various different bundles with combinations of different combs and extra blades, so look around a bit to figure out what’s best for you.

Blades are a little pricey, at £25/$35 for a three-pack, but since each blade is intended to last four months that could be enough to cover a full year of shaving - though be aware that in the small print Philips notes that’s based on two full shaves a week, not daily use.

Either way, with some other rotary and foil shavers costing well upwards of £100/$100, the OneBlade is undeniably competitive on price, even with the long-term blade commitment taken into account, and still compares fairly favourably with most manual razors over time.

Design and build

Here’s the next great thing: the design.

I’m not going to pretend that the OneBlade is the prettiest shaver I’ve ever seen - the Remington Heritage probably wins that prize - but who really cares how their shaver looks?

What matters is that this is lightweight, compact, and incredibly portable, meaning this is almost guaranteed to be my de facto travel razor for years to come. It’s barely bigger or heavier than most manuals, despite packing in a motor and battery, which is quite an achievement.

The black and green finish is a bit bold, but the textured grip on the green sections help keep it steady even if you want to use it in the shower - it’s waterproof, naturally - and the curved shape is pretty ergonomic.

Philips ships it with a small clip-on cover for the blade, which is useful to keep it safe in the cupboard or while travelling, but it’s pretty painless to clip it on and off or attach and detach the trimmer combs.

Features and performance

Finally, here’s what I really love about the OneBlade: it just bloody works.

Philips touts (arguably oddly) that the OneBlade doesn’t shave as close as most razors, suggesting that this helps reduce skin irritation and razor burn.

I certainly haven’t had any razor burn from using it, but I’m actually also happy with how close the shave is. Sure, it’s not the closest shave I’ve ever had in my life, and it can’t quite match my old-fashioned safety razor, but it basically removes all my visible stubble, and leaves my skin smooth enough to count, if not quite baby-faced.

More importantly, it’s consistent. My experience with most electric shavers involves making multiple passes over the same patches of skin to get results, which not only takes more time but adds to the risk of skin irritation.

With the OneBlade I’ve found that one pass does the job almost every time, and because the head is so compact it does a remarkable job under my jaw and along my neck - despite a rigid design - where much more expensive razors have struggled.

So it gives me a fairly close shave, with no skin irritation, and quickly. That latter point helps battery life too - officially it provides 45 minutes of use off a charge, but since it’s so quick to use that’s probably more shaves than you’d expect. For context, in two weeks of regular (but not daily) use I still haven’t had to re-charge it once.

When you do have to, unfortunately there’s no fancy charging stand, and it doesn’t use a convenient standard like Micro-USB, so you will have to carry the cable with you, and a full charge takes a whopping eight hours. Still, that’s literally the only complaint I have about the OneBlade, which is really saying something.

Verdict

The Philips OneBlade is as close to perfect as it gets. Slap a Micro-USB port on and cut the charge time down and I’d call it flawless, but as is I can’t see any good reason not to recommend this razor to basically everyone.

I’ve long held that no electric razor could ever tempt me away from an old-fashioned manual blade, and it’s with no little resentment that I admit that the OneBlade has me seriously tempted.

Specs

Philips OneBlade: Specs

  • 8-hour charge time
  • 45-minute battery life
  • Water-resistant
  • 1,3,5mm stubble combs