Last updated on August 15th, 2018 by Garrick Dee
I have good news.
You don’t have to spend that much money for a decent rotary shaver.
The Norelco 4500 has some of the features found in more expensive Norelco variants at a much cheaper price.
Men looking for a decently close shave with lots on contours on their face should certainly give this a look.
It’s got Dual Precision heads that work great on long and short stubble. Aquatec technology allows this to be used as a dry or wet shaver.
The latter would benefit men who may have sensitive skin and would want that layer of protection of a shaving cream.
At just under $60, this rotary shaver is one of the best budget electric shavers available right now.
Before I continue, let us look at the features of the Norelco 4500…
- DualPrecision blades will cut short and long stubble for a decently close shave
- Wet and dry shaving functionality
- Comes with a popup trimmer for trimming sideburns or long strands of facial hair prior to shaving
- Waterproof design makes it easy to clean
- Fully charges in 8 hours and will run for about 50 minutes
- A 3-minute quick charge features is also available if you’re in a hurry
- 2-year warranty
- Affordable electric shaver option
- Capable of shaving with or without shaving cream
- Decent 50 minute run time
- Consumers say that this will work great on thicker facial hair growth
- Trimmer not a strong point
- Takes too long to recharge
What to expect from the Philips Norelco 4500?
One big reason I like featuring older electric shavers in this blog would be the value for money proposition that these products bring to the table. The Norelco 4500 is one such product.
It has some of the features found in higher-end Norelco shavers like the 8900, 5570 and such.
Let’s go through these features one by one.
At the heart of this electric shaver is a DualPrecision head that allows it to shave long and short stubble. One of the biggest problem spots for a lot of men would be the chin and neck area. This feature helps cut facial hair on these spots that grow in different directions.
If you have not read our guide comparing a rotary and foil shaver, I suggest you spend a few minutes in doing so.
Philips says that their shaver lifts up facial hair to cut it below skin level.
Another feature that makes this a great option would be the pivoting heads. All three cutting elements pivot inward individually. This allows the 3 blades to follow the contour of the face. Unfortunately it will not pivot outward.
If you want this feature then you’ll have to spend a few more $$$ and get the Norelco 8900 or the top of the line 9700 that costs close to $300!
This is one of the last Norelco shavers that have a popup trimmer. It’s a great tool to have for trimming sideburns or longer strands of facial hair prior to shaving. The position and how it is built though makes it a bit awkward to use as a pure trimmer.
It does a great job at trimming sideburns. Newer Norelco shavers don’t have a popup trimmer. Instead you’ll have to replace the whole shaving head and put the trimmer in its place.
Some men like this feature because it gives them better control and visibility. Others though do not like this because it’s a separate piece that you’ll likely misplace.
Unlike newer variants that have large LED interfaces, the Norelco 4500’s interface is small and shows three important stats – battery status, quick charge and charge indicator.
Fully washable head
Cleaning this shaver wouldn’t be a problem because the head is fully waterproof. You can wash this under running water. To remove stubborn hair and grim that running water can’t dislodge, use a brush. But don’t brush the foils as you can damage it.
If you wash this every day, you’ll need to add sheen oil to prevent it from rusting.
Battery and run time
The Norelco 4500 uses a NiCad battery that’ll take 8 hours to recharge. It’ll run for about 50 minutes on a full charge. If you’re in a hurry and can’t wait for 8 hours, there’s a quick charge option that’ll only take 3 minutes which is enough for a full charge.
Wet and Dry Shaving
You also have the option to shave with or without shaving cream thanks to the Aquatec technology. Wet shaving is a great option for men who have sensitive skin. It adds a layer that protects the skin from direct metal to skin contact. If you want to learn more about shaving cream then check out our guides here and here for more information on how this product is beneficial.
What do consumers say?
With over 2,000 reviews in Amazon this electric shaver is one of the more popular rotary shaver options. Men say that the Norelco 4500 shaves decently close even on though beards. The shaving head is designed such that it will pick up long and short strands of facial hair. This shaver will work well on areas like the neck and chin area.
But not all men like how this shaver cut their facial hair. So this is the case of Your Mileage May Vary. If you’re thinking of trying this product out then go ahead because there’s no risk. Philips has a 45-day money back guarantee in addition to the 2 year warranty.
The charging time though leaves a lot to be desired. It uses a NiCad battery so it’ll take 8 hours to fully charge. This is another source of complaint in the reviews. But it does have a quick charge feature that’ll give you enough juice to run the shaver for a single shave in just 3 minutes.
Battery life may also be an issue in the long term since it uses an older NiCad technology. Some have reported it to give out within the 2 year warranty period. One option would be the get the extended warranty.
The trimmer isn’t as good as the ones found in higher end Norelco variants. One reason would be the motor. It uses a weaker motor which is another factor why the trimmer doesn’t work as well.
Where can I buy this?
You can buy the Philips Norelco 4500 in Amazon for less than $60! And it’ll be eligible for Amazon’s 2-day free shipping if you join Prime.
If the 2 year warranty isn’t long enough, you can avail of extended warranties from Amazon of up to 3 years.
To Wrap Up
The Norelco 4500 is great budget option if you’re looking for something that’s less than $70 and provide a decent shave. It does come with a NiCad battery so recharging this will take 8 hours. And it might fail prematurely depending on how you use it, environmental conditions plus other factors.
It does come with a 2-year warranty and if you buy this in Amazon there’s an extended warranty available if you want that extra peace of mind.
Take note that this Norelco shaver will not cut as close as a higher end Norelco like the 9700 because it has a weak motor. The head only pivots inwards so this also affects closeness and reach a little bit.
As for shaving performance, it’s a Your Mileage May Vary scenario. It’s either it works for your skin/facial hair or not.
Garrick spends his days researching and writing about grooming. When he’s not in front of his computer, you can find him hanging around with his wife and son.