Proper Maintenance for Shavers

IMPORTANT NOTICE: As of August 1st, 2007, we will no longer be performing any repairs on electric shavers.
  • How does it work?
  • Charging the recharagable
  • Keeping it clean
  • Foils and Cutters
  • Lubrication
  • Shaving Overseas
  • Wear and Tear
  • It's dead Jim
  • How does it work?
    Essentially, electric shavers are fairly simple machines consisting of a single or set of blades, a motor or drive unit, a circuit board or some form of electronics, a battery for rechargeable shavers and a way to deliver power to the battery and electronics. Without delving into the complexities of some of the newer "bells and whistles" on shavers, the operation is as simple as the motor turning rapidly in order to move the cutter (or blade) back and forth beneath the foil (also called a screen). As the foil is moved across the face or other part of the body, the hairs poke through the holes in the foil where they are then sheared off by the cutter. Hence, you are shaved. Of course, being that every shaver performs this task differently, no two shavers will shave you the same way. The fact that every face and skin type is different further complicates matters.
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    Charging the recharagable
    In an attempt to dispel all the myths regarding the recharging of electric shavers, consider the following rules:

    • Recharge the shaver according to the manufacturers instructions (Yes, we are actually suggesting that you READ the instructions. Heaven forbid.)
    • Use the shaver WITHOUT THE CORD on a daily basis until the charge has been exhausted or is very nearly exhausted.
    • Recharge the shaver.
    • If you did not notice that the power is nearly exhausted and the shaver loses its power halfway through your shave, plug the shaver in JUST LONG ENOUGH TO COMPLETE YOUR SHAVE. Then put the shaver down to recharge. This is considered emergency charging and doing this every once in awhile will not do long term damage to the shaver.
    Following this procedure will dramatically extend the rechargeable life of your shaver.

    A little Q&A about recharging a rechargeable
    "But wait-my shaver says that it's 'cord-cordless'. That means I can use it on the cord right?"
    -Wrong. That means you can safely follow the procedure as listed above regarding use in an emergency.

    "I've been using my rechargeable shaver with the cord plugged in for over 15 years and I never had trouble. I intend to continue this with my new shaver."
    -Congratulations. See you in 3 months.

    "I leave my shaver plugged in 24 hours a day so that it will always have a charge. Is that okay?"
    -No. Not only are you over-charging the batteries and thereby weakening them, but you are running the risk of burning up the circuit board that the batteries are attached to.

    "Can I replace the batteries in my shaver myself?"
    -No. They have to be soldiered onto the circuit board and can only be done by an authorized shaver repair center. Besides, we're not authorized to sell batteries to the general public.

    "I have a degree in electrical engineering. Can I install the batteries myself now?"
    -Sure you can. But we still won't sell you the batteries.

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    Keeping it clean
    Clean your shaver. The cleaner it is, the sharper it will stay and we cannot emphasize this enough. At least once per week, you must at least brush the hair out of the headframe and the cutters of your shaver. At least once per month you will want to do a thorough cleaning involving the removal of the foil and cutter and soaking them in some shaver cleaning solution or some straight rubbing alcohol. Just a minute or two is all that is necessary.
    Why? Glad you asked.
    Assuming that you use nothing on your face in terms of pre-shave lotions or powders, your hair will begin to build up in the head of your shaver. Moisture will begin to collect along with the hair as well as any oils and particles of skin that may have come off your face while shaving. Being that most people shave in a bathroom--which is notorious for being warm and moist--the moisture builds up even faster. All this hair, moisture and other assorted 'partices' over time become a breeding ground for bacteria. Brushing the hairs out of your shaver will keep this bacteria growth in check to some extent. The thorough cleaning as mentioned will completely disenfect the head of the shaver and kill this bacteria growth. The use of pre-shave products in any form will add to the level of bacteria growth and to the amount of cleaning that will need to be performed.

    Dont believe us?
    Use your shaver for a month straight without cleaning it. Then remove the headframe and smell it. I believe our point will be clearly proven.
    One last point--do not ever "tap" the hairs out of your shaver. Smashing your shaver against the corner of your sink to get the hairs out of it will do more damage to the internal workings of your shaver than you could possibly imagine. Even if you think you're being gentle--trust us, use a brush.
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    Foils and Cutters
    Many shaver manufacturers give all different kinds of advice as to when your foils and cutters need to be changed. We have followed the policy that plays up to be better safe than sorry. Replace your foils and cutters at the same time--once per year. Period.
    Why the same time? Because after a year of shaving every day, or just about every day, is when your cutter will start getting noticably dull. Not only will this affect the quality of your shave, but will risk the development of a hole in your foil. A hole in your foil will at very least pinch you, or at most give you a nasty little cut. Those of you who have received one of those nasty cuts know exactly how unpleasant they can be.

    Now, are there circumstances where you would just replace the foil or the cutter alone? Of course. Your son taking the shaver out for the long pass across the bedroom is a great way to bang up a foil. Not ever using your protective cover, especially during travel, is another way to guarantee a hole in the foil even if the cutter is still sharp. If it's been at least 6 months since the cutter was changed though, it's still better to replace both at the same time.
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    Ah lubrication. The most underrated feature of long-term shaver care today. Think about it--you've got a machine that makes its living by rubbing two pieces of metal together in order to remove your hair. The effectiveness is soley based upon the blade staying sharp as it moves rapidly beneath a super-thin layer of metal that is full of holes, that bends, wobbles and gets generally abused day by day. With every pass the cutter gets a little more dull and the foil gets slightly thinner. Sooner or later one of them is going to give. Properly cleaned, the foil and cutter will last just about a year. Add a little lubrication and you can get a better shave up until the very end.

    There is a multitude of aresol lubricant/disenfectant sprays out there today and they are all pretty good for getting the job done. AFTER the shaver has been cleaned, a good spray directly onto the foil--with the shaver running, will do the trick. Since most of the sprays are alcohol based, they will also disenfect the foil as well. (Note-this will NOT replace the thorough cleaning that you should do once per month as mentioned above in Keeping it Clean)

    If you do not use the spray luricants, you can also lubricate by dropping a single drop of either baby oil or mineral oil directly onto the foil with the shaver running. Do not use more than a drop or it will seep down into the shaver and gum up the works. Either of these oils are available in any drug store.
    Do not use any kind of machine oil, silicone spray, vaseline, motor oil, olive oil, or any other kind of oil that is meant for machine use or general consumption. Machine oils will smell awful as they smear across your face, and cooking oils will turn rancid in the shaver as they become exposed to the air. Yuck.
    There is no INTERNAL lubrication necessary for your shaver. All shavers are built with all the lubrication they will ever need internally.
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    Shaving Overseas
    Most electric shavers today are fully compatible with 220 volt countries and automatically switch over when plugged in. Refer to your owners manual for specific features. Of course, you will have to have the correct cord or cord adaptor so that your plug will fit into the destination countries outlets.
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    Wear and Tear
    Normal wear and tear on electric shavers today usually results in the necessity of changing the batteries, replacing the charging cord, and of course the foil and cutter as mentioned extensively above. The average battery (also called charging circuits) will last for about 3-5 years depending on how well the batteries are treated (see Charging the Rechargeable). Switch problems, trimmer problems and the occasional cracked casing will occur normally as plastic is plastic.

    Otherwise, non-rechargeable shavers will occasionally require a motor overhaul to keep things in proper working order.
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    It's dead Jim
    Eventually it's going to happen. Sooner or later your shaver will simply refuse to go on any longer. As new shavers come out and the costs of repair parts escalate, the time will come where you must make the decision as to if it's worth repairing or it's time to buy new. There are some people who swear that their 30-year old A&F shaver is the only shaver on earth that can tackle their beard, and although that may or may not be the case, who are we to argue as long as parts are available.

    Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever and parts for your shaver will be discontinued...eventually. When this happens you will have no choice but to buy new.
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