I’ve been meaning to do a Philips Norelco Bodygroom 7100 review for some time, and finally got around to having a proper go with this multipurpose shaving tool. The Bodygroom is exclusively for shaving and hair removal below the neck, which means it’s great for dealing with out of control chest or back hair, or trimming stubborn hair around the gentleman’s area.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Shaver
If you’re in the market for an electric shaver, you need to consider a few things before deciding upon your weapon of choice.
Do you want a shaving foil or rotary head?
The foil is a metal barrier that prevents the shaving blades from having direct contact with the skin- great if you shave daily or suffer from sensitive skin. Rotary shavers incorporate spinning discs which are designed to deal with the unusual contours of the face and body. Also, for body hair grooming, you may want a trimmer as well as a shaver. The Bodygroom 7100 includes a shaving head with a foil plus a trimmer.
How is it powered?
Corded razors are still available, but are, frankly, cumbersome to the point of being dangerous. Most modern shavers take standard or rechargeable batteries, or simply have their own charging unit. If you don’t want to spend a fortune on batteries, look for a shaver or groomer which comes with its own built-in rechargeable battery.
Do you need to use it in the shower?
Many shavers cannot be used in wet conditions, so always check the box when you’re buying. Shavers that can be used in the shower will be called wet/dry or wet and dry.
How is the shaver cleaned?
If you shave every day and your unit needs a deep clean every time you use it, this could get wearying very quickly. Look for shavers which can be cleaned in a matter of minutes, and preferably ones that don’t need cleaning every five strokes.
How does it feel to hold?
Of course, it’s important that it feels good on your skin and doesn’t irritate, but any shaver or groomer also needs to feel comfortable in your hand. You’ll be holding it so regularly that if you don’t take this into consideration, you’ll end up uncomfortable and cranky every time you shave. Visit a shop or ask a friend if you can hold theirs to see which fits your hand best. Look for groomers with curved, ergonomic designs.
What did I like about this groomer? The first impression is that it’s a well-designed piece of kit, easy to hold, seems easy to clean, and has the cool yet very standard silver and black theme going on which runs across most male grooming products.
This is a wet and dry groomer, although the trimmer doesn’t cope with wet skin as well as dry.
There’s a two-year warranty, but do register your purchase at the Philips website to take advantage of this.
The blades are self-sharpening, giving this shaver a long life.
The pivoting head is designed to deal with hard to groom areas like the groin creases and underarms.
The charging stand is well balanced and doubles as a handy place to store the groomer, although I will probably splash out on a case for when I’m travelling with the device.
Features and Benefits
The Philips Bodygroom range is a high-end, quality grooming collection so I was expecting something pretty special from the 7100. Here are the most important features of the device, and what I thought of them after using the device to deal with unruly body hair for a few days.
What’s in the Box?
Upon opening your brand new Philips Norelco Bodygroom 7100 you will find:
• The grooming device
• A charging and storage stand
• The adapter for the charging stand
• A cleaning brush
• User manual
As mentioned above, no carry case is included for this shaver, although there are some available online for those that like to take their groomers away with them.
The first thing you should do with this device is to charge it for 24 hours before using it. I followed the instructions and did this, so I can’t say for certain if it causes real issues if you don’t. However, not following instructions around charging normally lead to reduced battery life, so I would recommend doing this.
Charging is done via the stand that the device comes with, which plugs into a mains adapter. There is no other way to charge the device that I’m aware of, so if you go away on a trip, remember to take the stand with you.
Once the device is in regular use, it should take an hour to charge from nearly empty to full, which is pretty decent considering how long some competitive devices take to charge.
Once fully charged, you get 50 minutes of grooming time. This is usually sufficient, but if you needed to do a full “manscaping” project including back, chest, legs, groin etc, you may find that the device is out of charge before you are done. For every-day grooming though, it’s more than sufficient.
Maintenance and Cleaning
The standard recommendation is to change the shaving head once a year, but I find that they tend to last much longer than this. Cleaning is quick and easy. Just pop off the shaving head and rinse with warm water straight from the tap or shower. The included cleaning brush can be used to help remove hair stuck in the chamber.
The trimmer needs to have the comb removed before it can be cleaned properly. Then, just press a button to pop it open, and use the brush to clean the hair out. For both ends, once wet inside just let them air dry. Don’t try and towel dry or use paper towels because this could damage them.
Although the comb for the trimmer can snag on wet skin, it’s a real bonus to be able to take this groomer into the shower. You can wash with your favorite shower gel then use shaving gels or creams to keep your skin protected and moisturized, and get right on with grooming without worrying about getting out and getting dry first.
One of the most popular features of the Bodygroom 7100 is the built-in hair trimmer and comb. The trimmer cuts hair rather than shaving it, allowing you to keep it to a tidy length rather than removing it completely. Hair length ranges from 3 mm to 11 mm, allowing you to really perfect your own custom grooming.
The trimmer looks attractive in glossy black plastic, but if your skin is damp, it can catch and stick a little. This is only really an issue if you are trimming hair in your most delicate regions, so do take extra care. The comb itself is removable, but the comb also doubles as a protector for your skin against the trimming blades, so you may notice the blades pinching if you do decide to remove the comb.
Pivoting Shaving Head
The Bodygroom 7100‘s shaving head has a built-in pivot function, which in some ways makes it stand out from other body groomers. The idea is that the head pivots to fit the contours of your body, particularly useful when moving around creases or tough areas like the underarms.
Sometimes, the pivot seems to do its own thing, regardless of what you actually want it to do- it’s like it has a bit of a mind of its own. So, whilst this is an interesting and cool feature, the benefits aren’t that amazing and at times it seems a little unnecessary.
The handle has a simple yet gently curved design, plus it’s quite chunky which makes it easy and comfortable to hold. There are no really prominent buttons or pieces that stick into your hand or fingers, and this clever design means that you can take your time with grooming (while the battery lasts) without your hand getting cramped or tired. Even the vibration of the blades seems to be spread gently throughout the device.
There are also some rubber grip parts that stop it from slipping out of your hand. This is particularly useful when grooming in the shower so that even when wet, the device is easy to hold firmly and control. The shaving head is designed to be hypoallergenic. My skin is occasionally sensitive and I certainly didn’t have any reaction to either the shaving head or the trimmer, so this is another plus point for the Bodygroom.
The Philips Bodygroom is not cheap. It’s certainly one of the pricier options when it comes to body hair removers. However, it’s a dual-purpose device and is built to last, plus you’re paying for the prestige of the Philips name, too.
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What Users Say
So, I liked the Norelco Bodygroom. But what do other users say? After browsing internet review sites, I found the following comments about the Bodygroom 7100:
• “Good unit, simple to use and doesn’t nick.”
• “Good product.”
• “Easy to clean and good battery life.”
• “One of the best body groomers on the market.”
It’s clear that most customers were delighted with the Bodygroom, although some commented that they wished it had better battery life and that they weren’t impressed by the pivoting head- which matches my own thoughts, to be honest.
Alternatives to the Norelco Bodygroom 7100
The Bodygroom isn’t the only body grooming device on the market, of course. Have a shop around and you can find plenty of alternatives. Here are some others to consider.
The 11-In-1 can be used for the face and beard as well as the body, making it a more versatile tool in some respects. It also comes with a nose hair trimmer attachment.
There’s no shaving head here, just trimmers and tools, so this is about keeping it tidy, not removing hair completely.
• Price: much cheaper. Check the latest price here
• Performance: Battery life up to 80 minutes, goof trimming performance, totally waterproof
• Ease of use: Not as ergonomically designed as the Bodygroom but the tools are easy to swap and change
• Ease of maintenance: Hair simply brushes out, similar to the Bodygroom. Blades are self-sharpening on both devices.
The Series 3500 is very similar to the 5000 series in that it’s a full grooming kit, but it has fewer tools and attachments. It’s designed solely for the beard, mustache, plus ear and nose hair, and isn’t recommended for body grooming.
No dedicated body grooming attachments and may take 16 hours to charge in between uses.
• Price: Much cheaper than the Bodygroom. Check the latest price here
• Performance: 60 mins battery life, only a little more than the Bodygroom, but it doesn’t deal with body hair.
• Ease of use: Comfortable handle but not as ergonomic as the Bodygroom.
• Ease of maintenance: Cleans with a brush, similar to the Bodygroom.
The Braun Multi Grooming Kit certainly looks cooler. It’s more colorful with the addition of the energetic blue strip, grooved, and has a good grip to hold. It incorporates Gillette Fusion for its wet shaving, which makes shaving in the shower smoother and easier.
Takes forever to charge between uses. The trimmer and the shaver are combined in one end, which can feel like there is less control.
• Price: significantly less than the Bodygroom.
• Performance: Takes 10 hours to recharge which is ten times the recharge time of the Bodygroom. Plus, it only goes for 50 minutes- the same as the Bodygroom.
• Ease of use: Both devices are highly ergonomic and easy to use.
• Ease of maintenance: The Braun device recommended using machine oil for cleaning, making it a more arduous task than the Bodygroom.
Hopefully, after this in-depth Philips Norelco Bodygroom 7100 review, you’ve got a good idea of whether this is the right grooming tool for you. Body hair isn’t often dealt with properly by normal razors and shavers, so a proper piece of body grooming kit is essential if you need to keep your hair below the neck in check. The Philips Bodygroom allows you to do this in the shower, when dry, and is hypoallergenic for sensitive skin. With a shaver and a trimmer combined, it can save you from having to buy two devices, as well.