The Philips OneBlade is as close to perfect as it gets. The OneBlade 360 doesn’t add a whole lot that’s new, but I still can’t see any good reason not to recommend these razors to basically everyone.
I may review them, but in all honesty I’m a bit of an electric razor sceptic. In fact, I’m worse than that: I’m the sort of weirdo who uses an old-fashioned double-edged safety razor and badger hair brush – even a Gillette Mach3 is too high-tech for my stubble.
All of that preface is to add some context to what I’m about to say next: I absolutely love the Philips OneBlade, and I’m honestly not sure I could fault it.
That’s still true now, four years on, when Philips have sent me the upgraded OneBlade 360 to try. But since it remains extremely similar to the original, I’m updating this review to simply add in my thoughts on the newer model.
Price and availability
Here’s the first thing I love about the OneBlade: the price.
$50/£50 will get you the upgraded OneBlade 360 direct from Philips, together with a spare razor head, charging cable, and a few skin guard and comb heads.
If that’s feels a little steep, head to Amazon and you’ll find various different bundles for both the original model and 360 (which are compatible with the same shaving heads). You can buy the older razor body for a bit less, then upgrade to a 360 head if you feel the need – though for what it’s worth, you might not need to.
Blades are a little pricey, around $35/£25 for a three-pack and more for the 360 blades, but since each blade is intended to last four months that could be enough to cover a full year of shaving – though be aware that in the small print Philips notes that’s based on two full shaves a week, not daily use.
Either way, with some other rotary and foil shavers costing well upwards of $100/£100, the OneBlade is undeniably competitive on price, even with the long-term blade commitment taken into account, and still compares fairly favourably with most manual razors over time.
Design and build
Grippy and waterproof
Here’s the next great thing: the design.
I’m not going to pretend that the OneBlade is the prettiest shaver I’ve ever seen – the
Remington Heritage probably wins that prize – but who really cares how their shaver looks?
What matters is that this is lightweight, compact, and incredibly portable, meaning this is almost guaranteed to be my de facto travel razor for years to come. It’s barely bigger or heavier than most manuals, despite packing in a motor and battery, which is quite an achievement.
Setting them side-by-side, you can see not much has changed in the 360 version, which has added a silver-y patch to the body but otherwise left things pretty unaltered:
The black and green finish is a bit bold, but the textured grip on the green sections help keep it steady even if you want to use it in the shower – it’s waterproof, naturally – and the curved shape is pretty ergonomic.
Philips ships it with a small clip-on cover for the blade, which is useful to keep it safe in the cupboard or while travelling, and it’s pretty easy to clip it on and off or attach and detach the trimmer combs.
Finally, here’s what I really love about the OneBlade: it just bloody works.
Philips touts (arguably oddly) that the OneBlade doesn’t shave as close as most razors, suggesting that this helps reduce skin irritation and razor burn.
I certainly haven’t had any razor burn from using it, but I’m actually also happy with how close the shave is. Sure, it’s not the closest shave I’ve ever had in my life, and it can’t quite match my old-fashioned safety razor, but it basically removes all my visible stubble, and leaves my skin smooth enough to count, if not quite baby-faced.
More importantly, it’s consistent. My experience with most electric shavers involves making multiple passes over the same patches of skin to get results, which not only takes more time but adds to the risk of skin irritation.
With the OneBlade I’ve found that one or two passes does the job almost every time, and because the head is so compact it does a remarkable job under my jaw and along my neck where much more expensive razors have struggled.
Dominic Preston / Foundry
The 360 head is supposed to handle this area even better, with a less rigid design that allows the head to move with the contours of your face more comfortably.
I’ll be honest: I haven’t noticed a difference at all. Shaving with the 360 certainly isn’t worse, but it also isn’t appreciably better, so don’t feel the need to pay extra for OneBlade 360 shaving heads – the originals do the job just fine.
So: the OneBlade gives me a fairly close shave, with no skin irritation, and quickly. That latter point helps battery life too – officially it provides 45 minutes of use off a single charge, but since it’s so quick to use that’s probably more shaves than you’d expect. I find that with a shave every few days, I can easily go weeks between charges, and that holds true for the 360 too.
When you do have to, unfortunately there’s no fancy charging stand, and it doesn’t use a convenient standard like Micro-USB, so you will have to carry the cable with you, and a full charge takes a whopping eight hours.
The original OneBlade ships with a charger that connects to a bathroom power socket, but the newer 360 instead uses a cable where one end goes into the razor, and the other is a standard USB connector, so you’ll need to plug it into another USB charger to re-charge the razor.
Still, the slightly awkward charging is basically the only complaint I have about the OneBlade, which is really saying something.
The Philips OneBlade is as close to perfect as it gets. Slap a Micro-USB port on and cut the charge time down and I’d call it flawless, but as is I can’t see any good reason not to recommend this razor to basically everyone.
The OneBlade 360 isn’t much of an upgrade, but the price has stayed similar and it’s certainly no worse. Existing OneBlade owners shouldn’t stress about trying to upgrade to the 360, and new buyers should definitely consider the older model if it’s available, but both are excellent buys.
I’ve long held that no electric razor could ever tempt me away from an old-fashioned manual blade, and it’s with no little resentment that I admit that the OneBlade finally managed to do it.