Electric shavers, such as the Norelco 4100, have a unique place in the annals of U.S. innovation.
Jacob Schick was a retired U.S. Army soldier when he received the first patent for an electric razor back in 1928.
His first electric shaver went on sale in 1931, and he parlayed its success into one of the most recognizable brand names in personal care. Schick razors (electric and otherwise) are a mainstay in the shaving section of your supermarket.
Electric razors help take the pain out of shaving. They eliminate the risk of nicks and cuts and the expense of replacement blades and shaving cream.
They also bring a level of convenience, allowing you to shave anywhere in your house rather than standing in front of a half-filled sink of cold water scraping your face with a disposable blade.
Not all electric razors are created equal, though. Some come with heftier price tags than others. You can also buy packages that include different grooming accessories.
The truth is: The Norelco 4100 sits in a crowded market of electric shavers. Is the Norelco 4100 your path to a smooth shave? Maybe. But first, you need to know more about electric shavers in general.
Electric shavers offer two different designs.
The first is the foil shaver, built with opposing oscillating blades that alternate directions at a high rate of speed. Some foil shavers come with three and four blades and are best for straight-ahead shaving over larger areas (such as shaving your head.)
The other type is the rotary shaver, with blades aligned around a rotating disk. The blades spin in a tight circle as you move the razor over your face. Many say rotary shavers provide closer shaves.
Beyond design, there are some practical considerations in deciding which shaver is for you. Perhaps the most important is battery life. Look for shavers that offer upwards of an hour of run time.
Consider also cycles per minute. The more times the blades rotate or oscillate, the sooner you’ll be done with your shave.
Finally, consider what else comes in the package. Some razors differentiate themselves by adding certain accessories, such as trimmers for nose and ear hair.
Once you’ve factored in design, speed, lifespan, price, and accessories, you’ve got all the information you need to decide.
Introducing the Norelco 4100
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Today’s electric shavers offer a wide range of features and price points. You can find no-nonsense, just-give-me-a-shave models up to highly engineered razors with sensors and unique materials for improved performance.
The Norelco line of shavers, including the Norelco 4100, reflect this comprehensive set of options.
For instance, for several hundred dollars, you can get yourself a shaver from the Norelco Prestige line with Nano-technology blades, metallic pigments, and sensors that judge beard length. But you can also find basic rotary shavers.
The Norelco 4100 is part of the brand’s 4000 series of wet and dry shavers. It’s more toward the lower end of the line. Let’s look at what it offers for shaving comfort.
The Norelco 4100 rotary shaver promises a run time on batteries of 50-plus minutes if it’s run continuously. (If it takes you 50 minutes to shave, we have a different problem.)
The razor re-charges after about an hour. (That’s a huge step up from the prior model in the line, the Norelco 3500. A previous reviewer found that model took eight hours to charge fully.)
The system uses the standard lift and cut approach. The rotating blades first lift your small facial hairs before the blades come around to do their assigned duty.
The Norelco 4100 includes an integrated pop-up trimmer for some of the detail work you might need on your beard, mustache, or sideburns. You also get a protective cap, cleaning brush, and charging cord in your package.
Norelco recommends changing shave heads at least once a year. You can stock up on extra shaving heads and additional protective covers.
If you’re a traveler, you can also purchase a handy hard case to keep the shaver intact in your suitcase.
How does it do on your face, though? The Norelco 4100 offers what it calls a “dual-precision system” to allow the shaver to get at both short and long hairs. This system consists of slots and holes to help the razor maneuver between the different hair lengths.
The Norelco 4100 allows you to shave with your face dry and wet. For wet shaves, you can use shaving cream or gel.
Combined with the fast charge times, this makes the Norelco 4100 an excellent workhorse razor for your stubble or beard.
Customers and Comments
The Norelco 4100 is one of the most widely reviewed electric razors online. The reviewers who love the razor frequently cite its long battery life, with several reviewers commenting that they can get almost a month of shaves on a single charge.
One interesting observation was that the razor is waterproof, so he’s able to use it while showering. Many praise the razor for the close shaves.
How We Reviewed
Let’s be honest: No one really likes to shave. It’s a thing we do as a matter of proper grooming and better looks. There are plenty of resources out there to help us make the best of a bad situation.
For this review, we started by digging into the Norelco website. That, we felt, was the best site to give us an understanding of the types of electric shavers in their line and how the Norelco 4100 fit in.
We also looked at lifestyle writers who put together best-of lists for electric shavers, in publications such as Business Insider, Gear Patrol, and Men’s Health.
Then, we looked closely at the features and benefits and spec page for the Norelco 4100 to tell you what the razor does for you.
Finally, to round out our resources, we looked at reviews from people who have bought and used the razor.
Product Comparison Table
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Alternatives to the Norelco 4100
Our research on electric razors wasn’t confined to the Norelco 4100. As we alluded to earlier, electric shaves represent a big market.
We examined three competing razors in greater depth for comparison purposes. Whichever choice you make, stay focused on the basics of battery life and shave closeness.
Panasonic Arc5 Electric Razor
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To provide a contrast, our first alternative to the Norelco 4100 is a foil razor. The Panasonic Arc5 Electric Razor is a wet or dry shaver for use in or out of the shower.
The unit offers 5 blades, angled at 30 degrees, which Panasonic believes will provide an optimal shave experience. The Arc5 is also designed to pivot as it moves across your face.
The price is a bit higher than the Norelco 4100, but not the highest we saw on the market. For the extra money, you’ll get the benefits of an embedded sensor that adjusts based on the length of your beard on a particular day.
Accessory packages are similar to the Norelco 4100 — the shaver includes a pop-up trimmer for fixing mustaches, beards, and sideburns.
Happy customers have commented on the quiet nature of the razor. They also appreciate the information-rich LED screen, which shows how much time the shaver has been in use and the battery life left. Several users said the speed of the razor is particularly impressive.
Venyn Rechargeable Electric Shaver
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As an alternative to the Norelco 4100, the Venyn Rechargeable Electric Shaver offers quite a bit of value based on what else is in the box.
Besides the shaving unit, Venyn also provides a precision trimmer, nose hair trimmer, and a rotary brush. (The brush is for cleaning your face.) The price for all of this is less than what you’ll pay for the Norelco 4100.
Venyn’s razor is also available for dry or wet (in the shower) use, with or without shaving cream or gel. It’s fully washable to keep older hairs from creating further problems down the road.
Unlike other shavers, the Venyn unit is charged via a USB cord. The company promises an hour straight of run-time and a full charge in 90 minutes.
The nose trimmer is a useful addition and it’s easy to clean. The shaver also runs very quietly.
EUNON Electric Shaver for Men
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We looked at some of the biggest brand names in electric shavers for our Norelco 4100 review. But you don’t necessarily have to, as there are well-regarded products with less recognizable brand names.
For instance, we liked the EUNON Electric Shaver for Men. This shaver charges in an hour and promises 90-minutes of continuous use on battery. That’s among the best battery specs of razors we reviewed. You can also use the razor while plugged in.
One of the features that struck us as unique was the ability to mute noise from the motor (so you don’t wake the kids in the early morning hours.) This rotary shaver offers a shave head that flexes in four directions.
We also like the smart LCD screen. The screen displays battery status in percentage terms, which is easier to act upon when needed.
This razor also falls into the wet and dry category. It’s available for use both in and out of the shower, with and without gel or shaving cream.
Users feel the EUNON shaver offered great value for the money. They found it as durable and practical as shavers from some of the better-known brands.
Shaving is a chore that we all, men and women alike, contend with daily. And the competition for you to buy one, for the sake of convenience, is fierce.
Given the affordability of razors today, we’d suggest you dive in and give one a try. But don’t worry about finding the perfect shaver right off the bat.
Start at the lower end. The Norelco 4100 will let you get a sense of the world of electric shaving without requiring a significant investment.
For us, the key is value. We liked the razors we reviewed that offered extra attachments for nose hair and other grooming tasks.
But at the end of the day, it’s going to all be about the closeness of the shave. Given one a try and see how it works.
Let us know what you decide, and how you like your new purchase, in the comments below!
Last update on 2021-01-27 at 08:45 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API