Skull Shaver Gold full review
Skull Shaver is likely to be an unfamiliar brand to you. If you dig deep enough on the company's website you will eventually figure out that it's based in the USA. But you can buy its shavers worldwide.
The appeal is the unique design which does away with the traditional upright blades-on-top-of-a-handle that most electric shavers use and opts for what the firm calls a horizontal body/handle.
As the name suggests, it's primarily aimed at those needing to shave their head, but the Gold can also be used for face shaving too.
Skull Shaver: Price & availability
You can buy a Skull Shaver Gold from the company's website that covers Europe, but if you're in the US, head to the main site.
Alternatively, you can buy a Skull Shaver from Amazon, albeit called something slightly different (the Pitbull Gold Pro) and with a different logo on the handle.
You'll find there's a range of models offered with a surprisingly large price range from the entry-level Palm up to the Platinum which comes with a rinse stand. Replacement Forte Pro 4 blades cost £29.99 and last 3-6 months.
If you're unsure, there's a 30-day no-quibble money-back guarantee and customers in the UK and US even have return postage covered. The warranty lasts one year.
For alternatives, see our roundup of the best electric shavers
Skull Shaver Gold: Design
The reason for the unusual design is because it allows you to comfortably grip and control the shaver all over your head, even round the back.
In fact, there are a few ways you can hold it: grip the black handle from the top or slide two fingers over the back of the blades and control it that way.
The Forte Pro 4 blade is really a separate unit, and detaches easily from the handle with a simple 90° counter-clockwise turn. This makes it a doddle to replace when the time comes.
It also means that cut hair doesn't get into the workings of the motor and it's easy to clean as the top section is easy to unclip from the bottom. Cut hairs are contained within the body of the blades, which means you can use the shaver just about anywhere without making a mess: you can be fully dressed in the back of a taxi and shave on your way to the destination.
And that was ultimately why the Skull Shaver was created: designer John Lyles needed a convenient way to shave his head while travelling.
Skull Shaver recommends you rinse the blades regularly as you shave and you can choose to dry or wet shave. If wet, you can also opt to use shaving foam, but it's not a requirement.
The blades are made from 'premium Japanese stainless steel' and the foils are spring loaded so you can never press the blades too hard into your scalp or face.
As with other multi-blade designs, the four are hinged and move around to suit the contours of your head and face.
On top of the handle is the power button and an LED display showing the remaining battery power as a percentage. A fully charged battery will last around 90 minutes, which should be enough for five or six full head shaves.
So how does it perform? Pretty well overall. I like that the shaver is a lot lighter than it looks and this makes it more comfortable to use than a heavy one.
I'm not bald and don't shave my head, so I was only able to test out the Gold for face shaving. But even then, it was obvious from the start that it is a decent shaver. The blades are sharp and cut cleanly and efficiently. Even with a couple of days' growth, it was still painless to shave with no pulled hairs, but it did require me to go over areas a few times to get all the hairs.
Plus, the steel works as advertised: I had no skin irritation and no nicks or cuts even on a raised scar. It leaves a very close shave, too - not as smooth as a wet shave with a razor, but pretty good. You'll get the closest shave with it if you wet shave and use foam.
I also found the cut hair was almost all retained in the blades and not deposited in the sink, shower or on my clothes.
Having used it for a couple of weeks, there's still over 70% of remaining battery power (according to the display, at any rate) and I like the fact that it recharges via USB, so could theoretically charge it anywhere with a USB power bank.
The cost of replacement blades could make the Skull Shaver a little pricey over the long term if you need to shave your head every other day, as that will also reduce the life of the blades.
The Skull Shaver does its job well. It's comfortable to use and would certainly suit anyone needing to shave their head quickly and with minimum hassle, and especially if you need to do that while travelling.
For face shaving only it's not necessarily the best choice: the four blades are a little too large - but don't forget that the Amazon deal includes a free three-blade head as well.
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