Looking for a nice smooth finish to your chest? Want to tidy up unsightly body hair?
The Philips Norelco Bodygroom Series 7100 could be just the shaver you’re looking for…
- Trimmer and shaver in one unit – just flip from one head to the other.
- Trimmer has one sliding adjustable comb, so no tedious switching of attachment combs.
- FAST charging – only one hour for a full charge.
- Will eventually have to replace shaving head foil for best results.
Having owned the Philips Norelco Bodygroom Series 7100 for several months now, I have to say that chest shaving is far more pleasurable than it used to be.
That’s something I couldn’t really say about my old Philips Bodygroom shaver which I owned and persevered with – for more than six years.
Apart from shaving your pecs and abs, the Philips Norelco Bodygroom Series 7100 is great for trimming untidy hair under the armpits and in the groin region – raising your standards of personal hygiene and reducing body odor.
You can use it to banish unsightly hair on your lower back, and on the backs of your upper arms to improve the definition of the triceps.
What’s In The Box?
In the box you get:
- Charging stand
- Mains charging cable
- Small brush
Out of the box, there is no assembly required for the shaver. A quick test revealed that my shaver already had some charge although you should fully charge it before use (see ‘Charging’ section later in the review).
A full charge gives approximately 50 minutes of shaving time.
Here is the shaver showing the dual-end design: the upper end is the shaving head, and the lower end is the trimmer head.
Philips refer to the shaving head as the ‘3D pivoting head’– due to the fact that the shaving foil sits inside a cradle that pivots about two axes. This contrasts to the ‘fixed head’ of the old Bodygroom shavers – where there was no movement of the shaving foil.
Here is a close-up of the shaving foil – which sits inside the black pivoting head.
There are two buttons on the shaver, one operates the shaving head and the other operates the trimmer head. So far I haven’t had any issues with these buttons – they are nice and responsive when lightly pressed.
The built-in trimming comb is a huge improvement on the original Philips Bodygroom shaver – which used separate combs that had to be switched out for eachother – not to mention the fact they were prone to falling off mid-shave.
On the Philips Norelco Bodygroom 7100, the built-in trimming comb is slotted firmly in place. Just slide the comb up and down to the trim level you require.
There are five length settings for the trimming comb, giving you more than enough options for cutting body hair. Setting ‘5’ leaves the hair at its longest, while setting ‘1’ gives the shortest trim.
To be honest, you would need pretty long long body hair to make effective use of settings ‘4’ and ‘5’ , but the option is there for hairy guys. If you’re less hairy, settings 1-3 will be the ones you would use.
Here are the lengths of cut according to Philips:
If the hair is long, and you’re going for a close shave – first set the trimmer comb to a longer setting to remove the top layer of hair. Then choose a shorter-cut setting.
With the hair cut short, finally switch to the shaving foil head, to get in for that close shave.
This method will prolong the life of the shaving foil and is more comfortable – as there’s less chance of the foil ‘catching’ and pulling on your hair follicles.
Does it cut well?
I found that the ‘3D pivoting head’ improved the shaving performance of the foil when compared to the fixed head of my old Philips Bodygroom shaver.
It was a smoother shaving experience as the shaving head followed the contours of my pecs. Also there wasn’t excessive vibration exhibited during shaving.
The trimmer head cuts longer hair very well indeed. The cutting blades are sharp and it reminds me of a smaller version of a traditional hair clippers.
In terms of noise, each head makes a different sound during operation. The shaving foil head makes a louder, higher-pitched sound compared to the trimmer head – which makes a more subtle, low hum.
Does the shaver irritate the skin?
I haven’t experienced irritation per se – but after a chest shave, my pecs are left slightly red. The redness disappears after a few minutes – literally by the time I’m out of the shower. Everyone’s skin is different so you may not experience this.
I have not experienced any shaving rash or shaving spots/bumps after using the Bodygroom 7100.
Also I tend to go for the closest shave on my chest, meaning I shave over the same areas of my chest until really smooth. Repeatedly shaving over the same area will leave my chest looking a little more red though.
Can I use it in the shower?
Yes. The Philips Norelco Bodygroom Series 7100 shaver has a water-resistant case, so you can take it into the shower.
Although I’ve used it in the shower, I find cutting chest hair is more efficient with dry shaves. It just leaves a smoother finish to the pecs. Wet hairs tend to clog up the shaving foil and stick – rather than fall away compared to dry shaves.
Is it easy to hold?
Ergonomically – it’s very sound. The shaver feels reassuringly weighty in the hand. Although the casing is plastic, the shaver is of good build quality and definitely doesn’t feel cheap. Because of its length, there’s plenty to hold on to while you shave.
The grip on the shaver is excellent, due to the black rubberized grip running along both sides of it’s whole length.
After several months of use, the shaver hasn’t yet slipped out of my hands – important, as you don’t want to drop it onto a hard bathroom floor.
It’s a very nice looking shaver, the plastic casing on the front and back of the unit has a ‘brushed metal’ finish look. It looks good on my bathroom cabinet.
The Philips Bodygroom Series 7100 (currently on sale at Amazon) measures 18cm (7 inches) from end to end.
Getting the shaver into position to shave the lower back is easy. I’ve even managed to shave a difficult-to-reach area of the body – namely my lats. I don’t have the longest arms – and it’s tricky – but by holding the trimmer end of the shaver, the shaving head can reach the hair on my lats.
It can be tempting to shave without the trimming comb – but it’s not a good idea.
Philips say that the blades are ’rounded’ but they are still pretty sharp. If you don’t use the trimming guard, there’s a good chance you’ll get a nick or two – especially if you use the shaver in and around the groin area.
One of the key features of the shaver – and for me a deal-breaker – is the one hour charging time.
It’s so convenient.
Even charging it for just 10-20 minutes and you’ll be good to go, for a quick body shave and shower.
Take my old shaver – the original Philips Bodygroom. It needed eight hours for a full charge. Charging it was a chore. I used to hate it when it ran out of juice, as I had to leave it to charge all day, often abandoning my planned shave.
When charging the Bodygroom 7100 for the very first time, Philips ask you to charge it for 24 hours.
After that initial charge – subsequent charges take about one hour to fully charge the shaver.
To charge the shaver, first plug the mains charging cable into the socket at the base of the charging stand…
The shaver has a discreet metal charging pin on each side of the rubber grip. The shaver needs to be docked ‘face down’ so that the two metal charging pins touch the metal contacts located within the arms of the charging stand.
On the back of the shaver, there is an LED which flashes green during charging. Once fully charged, the flashing-green light will change to a constant green light.
When the internal battery of the shaver is very low, the LED will flash orange. You can still continue to shave while the orange light flashes – although I don’t know how many extra minutes you will get in the low-power state.
Philips say that it takes one hour to fully charge the shaver.
I haven’t yet run the battery down to zero, but I have taken it down to very low (orange flash on the LED). I timed how long it took for a full charge from this point – and it was around fifty minutes.
So for an uncharged battery, it probably would take around an hour as claimed by Philips.
Cleaning and maintenance
Cleaning of the Bodygroom 7100 is essential and needs to be easy – and it is.
To clean the shaver, rinse it under running water and shake to remove cut hairs from the shaving foil.
The shaving foil is removable. I remove it now and again to fully clean underneath the foil and remove trapped hairs inside the head of the shaver.
(Note: for a brand new shaver, you may need to apply extra force between your thumb and forefingers to remove the shaving foil from the head.)
Although not immediately obvious, the trimming head can be opened.
First remove the trimming comb, then push open the cutting blades. This gives you access to the inner part of the trimming head. Brush away trapped hairs with the included small brush.
It’s a given – that over time – the performance of the shaving foil will deteriorate somewhat – and will eventually need replacing. The shaving foil replacement is the Philips BG2000 – which can be purchased from Amazon.
Philips claim that for best results, the foil should be replaced every 6-12 months.
Six months is dubious. If you use the shaver twice a week on average – replace the shaving foil every 10-12 months for best results.
I’ve been using my Philips 7100 shaver for around 7 months and the shaving foil cuts fine – maybe not as good as in the first 3 months of use – but I won’t be looking to change the foil for a few months yet.
That said, your usage and method of shaving, are going to determine the useful life of your shaving foil. For example, using the trimmer to cut longer hair only, will reduce wear on the shaving foil. Let the trimmer do the hard work, and save the foil head for the short hairs.
Keeping the foil clean after every use, will help to prolong its working life.
Overall the Philips Bodygroom 7100 Series Shaver is a great mens grooming tool, that feels good to use and looks good too. Fast one-hour charging, and the dual head design means it’s practical as well as effective. Recommend.
Available at Amazon.com