Philips Norelco 510 (PQ208/40) Travel Shaver Review

One of the biggest issues with the Braun MobileShave M90 I talked about in another article would be the head that does not follow the contours of your face.

And while it does well on flat surfaces like the cheek, it struggles on areas such as the chin and cheek bone area.

This is where a rotary shaver comes in and the Philips Norelco 510 could be your solution if you’re looking for a compact and cheap shaver that you can bring with you on the road.

Unlike the Braun with a single cutting element, the Norelco 510 has two independent blades that will do a better job on tight areas.

This one big advantage a rotary shaver has over a foil shaver. And that is reflected in the reviews where a lot of men were happy with how this produce shaves.

To help guide you in this review, I’ve created a table of contents section…

First, let’s look at the features of the Philips Norelco 510 compact electric shaver…

  • Two independent floating cutting elements that provide a decent shave
  • These blades are self-sharpening according to Philips
  • Up to 60 minutes of run time (could be more depending on the battery you use)
  • You’ll need two AA batteries to use this (don’t worry this product comes with it)
  • 2-year warranty
  • Comes with a travel case

Pros

  • Very, very cheap (cheaper than a Gillette Fusion cartridge refill)
  • Not as noisy as a bigger Norelco shaver
  • Compact design makes this a great travel shaver
  • Will shave better on tighter areas because of the two rotary blades

Cons

  • Don’t expect a close shave because it lacks power and the rotary shaving heads are small
  • Some complaints about quality
  • No trimmer

What to expect from the Philips Norelco 510?

If Braun is the king of foil shavers then the same can be said about the Philips Norelco. For men looking for something that’ll cut closer than the MobileShave M90, the Norelco 510 could be the answer you’re looking for.

This shaver has two rotary heads that in theory will do better on areas such as the chin and jaw line. But if you’re coming from a foil shaver take note that the technique you’ll be using will be different with a foil shaver.

Instead of using an up and down motion, rotary shavers require you to use a circular motion. There’s no doubt that there will be a learning curve if you’re doing a transition. But one big advantage this has over the Braun would be the price.

This razor costs less than $15! It’s cheaper than a safety razor and a Gillette Fusion cartridge refill. The crazy thing is it still comes with a two year warranty! If that is not value for money I don’t what is.

CloseCut Heads

The term “CloseCut Heads” is just Philips fancy term for the two rotary shaving heads on this razor. They say that this is free floating which means each cutting element pivots. By how much I do not know.

These cutting elements are smaller so it will do better at cutting whiskers off areas under the chin and jaw line area.

Self-sharpening  Blades

Another interesting feature would be the blades that Philips says that their blades are sharpens itself.

Regardless, you’ll still need to replace the blades once every year which is longer than a cartridge razor.

Run time

Unlike a full-sized electric razor like a Norelco 9000 or a Braun Series 9, this compact shaver does not come with a built-in battery. So there’s not power cord that comes in the package.

What it uses are two AA batteries which Philips kindly includes in the package. And this shaver will run for up to 60 mins. But I reckon that if you use a high capacity rechargeable battery like envelope, it will run longer than 60 minutes.

What comes in the package?

You’ll get the following:

  • Philips Norelco 510 shaver
  • Two AA batteries
  • Cleaning brush
  • Protective cap over the cutting elements
  • Travelling bag

Shaving performance

One thing I notice in the reviews is that the men who say that this shaves close probably have thin facial hair.

Most negative reviews say that using this on thicker facial hair would bog down the blades.

Since this is such a compact shaver, only a small motor can fit inside the case. And a small motor equates to less cutting power.

What this means is that you’ll have to go over the same spot over and over again so there’s a risk of irritation. And if you’re coming from a foil shaver, you’ll use a different technique.

One thing that this rotary shaver has over the Braun would be the more sturdy cutting elements that don’t flex like the Braun MobileShave M90.

What consumers say?

With close to 1,500 reviews in Amazon alone this razor is one of Philips’ most popular shavers. Men like that this razor is compact, not as loud and still does shave decently.

One big advantage that the rotary cutting heads have over the Braun MobileShave shavers would be rigidity. I’ve read several reviews that say the Philips Norelco 510 has a sturdier head that’ll hold up better over the long haul.

In terms of shaving, it’s there were men who say that it did well but others say it did not.

If you look at the bad reviews, it seems that men with thicker beard growth did not like the way it performed. The complaints were similar. This razor does not enough power to cut anything outside thin facial hair.

You’ll have to go over the same area over and over and still not get a smooth shave.

If there’s a knock with travel shavers, this would be the biggest. Men with thin facial hair who don’t need to shave as often would benefit more from this product.

Where can I buy this?

You can buy this in Amazon for less than $15. And this will be eligible for Amazon’s two day free shipping if you join Prime. A 2-year extended warranty is also available from Amazon if you want add to the 2-years from the manufacturer.

To wrap up

Men with thin facial hair who are frequent flyers would benefit the most from this compact shaver.

Unfortunately if you have thick facial hair that grows like grass, you’d be better off sticking to something like a Norelco 8900 or 9000 with more power and larger blades.

It’s so cheap that you can just replace it when it breaks after the two year warranty. The blades are robust enough to last for at least a year which is another bonus if you’re looking for an alternative to more expensive cartridge razors.

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