Formally known as the SensoTouch 2D, Philips Norelco has rebranded one of their most popular shavers to fall in line with the rest of their “Series range”.
There is a reason why Philips Norelco have included the 6100 in their revamped line up. It packs a lot of features at a very tempting price.
Is this the electric shaver you have been searching for? Find out in our incredibly detailed review that covers everything you could possibly want to know about the Philips Norelco 6100.
Philips Norelco 6100 Electric Shaver
If you were to open up the box of your brand new 6100 shaver, this is what would be waiting for you inside:
Quite a lot, huh?
Let’s go through it together, piece by piece.
First up is the Instructions:
Usually, Philips instruction manuals are easy to follow. Not this time.
Unfortunately, Philips has decided to include a single instruction manual that covers the 6 different variations of this model. As a result, it is quite difficult to read along.
A card is included in the instruction manual prompting you to join Philips Shaving Club and register your shaver. Registering your shaver is a simple step and highly recommended. Completing your registration will reward you with an additional 6 months of warranty.
This extends the warranty from an already generous 2 years to 2 years and 6 months.
Next up is the star of the box. The 6100 electric shaver:
I will be examining the electric shaver in much greater detail further down the review.
For now, let’s continue with what else is in the box.
Up next is the removable beard trimmer.
Perfect for trimming your longer beard hairs to a suitable shaving length. Simply click in the trimmer and you are good to go.
Unfortunately, Philips does not include travel case with the 6100 shaver. Instead, you keep your shaver head safe with this protective cap:
The cap slides over the head of your shaver, protecting it from bumps and crashes that would otherwise damage it.
A double sided cleaning brush is included to help you sweep away hair clippings from the shaver heads:
Stiff short bristles on one side, longer bristles on the other. As you can see in the photo, the plastic molding is quite poor. But as long as the bristles are not falling out this won’t bother you too much.
Next up is this large plastic contraption:
This is the charging stand. The 6100 cannot be charged without it. I will cover how the stand works further down the review.
Finally there is the charging cord:
The charging cord plugs directly into the charging stand. You gotta get that electricity flowing somehow.
That covers everything you will come across in the box. Let’s take a closer look at that shaver.
The first thing that hits you when you look at the 6100 is the color choice. A glossy dark blue plastic covers the entire front of the shaver.
Now looks are something that is subjective. But I believe that gloss blue and racing stripes should be reserved for racecars rather than shavers. You will either love the looks of this shaver or hate it.
Just below the shaver head are the words:
Philips Norelco SensoTouch
In recent years Philips has rebranded it’s shavers to what is now known to be the “Series” range, where each model of the shaver is now identified by a 4 digit number (in this case the 6100).
But before this, the 6100 was called the “SensoTouch 2D”.
And it’s here where the 6100 has its identity crisis. While the box calls the shaver the 6100, the instruction manual and shaver still have SensoTouch branding.
It was annoying to see that Philips could not keep the branding consistent across the shaver.
The front of the shaver is seamless. Running your fingers from top to bottom reveals a surface that is entirely smooth. It doesn’t feel like there are any buttons at all.
The only hint of a button is the universal power switch symbol. Pressing down on this rewards you with a loud clicking sound and also turns the shaver on.
Unfortunately, turning the 6100 on is not very enjoyable at all. Too much pressure is required to press the button. It’s nowhere near as smooth as the 7000 or 9000 series shavers also by Philips.
Pressing and holding the power button for 3 seconds activates travel lock. With travel lock activated, pressing the power button will not turn your electric shaver on.
This means that you can throw the shaver in the bottom of your bag or suitcase without the shaver turning on by accident. This ensures the batteries won’t drain prior to you reaching your destination.
I myself am guilty of activating travel lock then forgetting about it. Then when I go to use my shaver I am puzzled as to why it won’t turn on.
Fortunately, the indicator below the power button (marked with a padlock) lights up, so you can tell at a glance whether or not travel lock is on.
There are three other indicators on the face of the 6100 electric shaver:
1. Battery Indicator: Warns you when you have 5 minutes or less shaving time remaining
2. Charging indicator: Blinks when the battery is charging. Stops blinking when there is enough charge for a 5-minute shave
3. Change shaving head indicator: Lights up once a year to remind you to change the shaving head (Part Number: RQ11) to maintain shaving performance.
That just about covers everything on the front of the shaver, let’s flip it over and check out its booty.
There is not a whole lot to see on the rear of the shaver.
While most electric shavers choose to use a soft rubber grip on the rear, Philips has decided to cheap out and go with a hard plastic shell.
Printed on the shell is all the basic specs like model number, replacement shaving head part numbers, and country of manufacture (The 6100 is made in the Netherlands).
The plastic shell is slippery when your hands are dry. As you can imagine, it gets worse if your hands are coated in shaving foam.
To make the shaver slightly less slippery The 6100 features a slither of rubber grip wedged between the bright blue plastic on the front and the hard black plastic of the rear:
This rubber grip of strip lines up with your fingertips and while not as good as a completely rubber rear, helps stop the shaver slipping from your grip.
Annoyingly, Philips has chosen to place the charging studs in the rubber grip right where your fingertips rest.
These studs are located either side of the shaver handle:
The charging studs are a necessary feature. When the studs come into contact with the charging dock, electricity flows into your shaver, charging the battery.
But did they really have to be placed right where your fingers naturally sit?
The studs feel uncomfortable under the fingers. I found myself positioning my fingers in a way where they would not touch the studs rather than holding the shaver naturally and comfortably.
However, you may find that you hold the shaver differently and as a result, the stud placement may not be an issue at all.
Speaking of holding the shaver:
The 6100 is very comfortable to hold. The shape is very similar to the next step up in the Philips shaving range, the 7300.
If there is one thing Philips is good at, it’s making comfortable to hold shavers. The handle is not as bulky as Braun’s monstrosities and allows you to easily pivot the shaver using your wrist if you need to.
Perched atop the 6100, like a crown, is the most important part. The shaving unit:
The shaving unit is made up of 3 shaving heads that sit inside a bracket. each shaving head consists of a patterned guard and razor blade.
But before we take a look at the shaving heads, let’s examine the shaving unit itself:
Just like the 7000 series and 9000 series, the whole 6100 shaving unit can pivot in a circular motion.
But it’s not just the shaving unit that can move. As you move the shaver over your face, the shaving heads tilt according to the contours of your face:
The Philips marketing team call this basic movement “GyroFlex 2D Technology”. Fancy.
Unlike the higher end Philips shaving heads that tilt individually, the tilt on the 6100 is all or nothing. Pressing down on one shaving head will see all of them angle inwards.
While not perfect, the tilt made shaving along my jawline a much simpler task. So much so that given the choice of the 6100 and a rotary shaver without tilting shaving heads, I would choose the 6100 every single time.
Now, let’s take a look at those shaving heads:
This style of Philips shaving head is named “DualPrecision” because of the two different patterns in each shaving head.
1. Tapered Slots Lift and cut longer and flat lying hairs
2. Small circular holes Capture and shave short stubble, leaving your face feeling smooth.
The dual precision head is found on all of Philips Series shavers priced under $100 with the exception of the 3100 and 2100 (the cheapest and nastiest of the Series range).
I will examine just how well the shaver head works further down the review.
Pulling up on the black section of the shaving unit splits it in half:
There are two reasons why you would want to do this:
1. Change the shaving head: Philips recommends you change the shaving heads once every 12 months to guarantee an effective and smooth shave.
2. Deep clean the shaver: If you notice your 6100 starting to accumulate hairs and gunk you are going to have to take it apart and give it a “deep clean”.
Let’s take a closer look at exactly how the top half of the shaving unit works. If you flip it over, you will be greeted with this sight:
The green piece of plastic you are looking at is the retaining frame. This holds everything in place.
Sliding the retaining ring down will allow you to remove the individual cutting blades:
It is here that you will notice a huge difference between the 6100 and the higher priced 7000 and 9000 Series Shavers.
The razor blade disc only has 9 angled cutting blades while the 7000 and 9000 series have a whopping 24 blades.
let’s compare them side by side:
Compared 7000 and 9000 series on the left, the 6100 razor blade disc looks like a balding hedgehog.
I just wanted to make it clear that there is a huge quality difference if you can make the jump to the 7300, the next level up in shavers.
While other shavers include a pop-up trimmer attached to the body ( Braun Series 7) Philips has again opted top include a separate beard trimmer attachment.
To use it you have to pull the close shaving head off and then attach the trimmer.
Fortunately, thanks to the quick click connector, this is incredibly easy. Simply pull up on the whole shaving unit and it will detach with a satisfying clicking sound:
With the shaving unit removed you will realize just how weird the 6100 handle looks. Kind of like the nunchuck controller on the Nintendo Wii.
Now all you need to do is attach the beard trimmer head. Simply push the trimmer into the 6100 handle. When you hear the click you will know that it is properly connected.
As you can see, the shaver looks a lot uglier with the beard trimmer connected:
While it may not seem like a big deal, compared to a pop-up trimmer, swapping out the trimming and shaving attachments can get old really quickly.
It is like comparing a remote car lock to an old-fashioned key. While turning the key only takes a few seconds, once you have had a remote, there is no going back.
The only advantage of a separate trimmer is that your view is not obstructed by the shaving head when you are trimming to trim down your hairs.
The beard trimmer included in the box is definitely not going to replace your every day beard trimmer.
While the trimmer works just fine for detailing sideburns, mustaches, and goatees, it struggles on thick patches of beard, giving you quite an uncomfortable trim.
It’s nearly getting to the point in the review where I test the shaver out but first, the 6100 is going to need to be charged.
And in order to do that, we have to set up the charging dock.
As I touched upon in the unboxing section, you cannot plug the charging cord directly into the shaver. Instead, you must use the included charging dock.
I made it very clear in my Just like the review of the Remington XF8700 that I am pretty unimpressed with this method of charging.
If you require a travel shaver then the charging stand is just one more thing you have to remember to take along. Those of you with limited bathroom counter space will be unimpressed with the real-estate the stand takes up.
Fortunately, the stand works a LOT better than that of the Remington XF8700, which was just awful.
You might also want to check our detailed review of another Remington product, the Hyperflex XR1370.
The shaver sits in the cradle nicely and will not fall out at the slightest bump.
The charger works on any voltage that falls between 100V and 240V AC (Every country you could possibly want to travel to). Great for if your shaver runs flat while on vacation.
A full charge takes one hour and provides you with up to 50 minutes of shaving time. In my testing, I found the usage time to be closer to 45 minutes, but that’s still a good 14 or so shaves before needing to top the battery up.
If the battery runs flat a 5-minute quick charge is all that is required to give you 3 minutes of shaving time. Just enough time to slay that stubble before rushing off to work.
With the shaver fully charged it’s time to take it for a test drive.
For the price, the 6100 works fairly well. While it cannot compete with the superior build of the 7000 or 9000 Series, it would make an excellent first electric shaver
Being a rotary shaver, you must use circular motions rather than up and down motions. If you are new to electric shaving this technique definitely takes practice.
Upon pressing the power button you will be greeted with a high pitched whirring sound. One of the major benefits of rotary shavers is that they are much quieter than foil shavers, (When we reviewed Braun’s Series 9 Shaver it sounded like a jet engine).
Despite being made of metal, the shaving heads are low friction and move comfortably across your skin without catching.
The tilt of the head is an absolute wonder for your jawline and with good technique will even effectively cut that annoying under-the-chin area.
When it comes to finer areas, like under the nose or near your sideburns you will have to carefully use just one of the three shaving heads, which does make shaving a little slower.
The neck is where most electric shavers really struggle. The 6100 did require more passes to get every last hair (especially those hairs that lay flat), but it still did the job to an acceptable finish.
If your hair growth is longer than 3 days then the shaver really struggled to do the neck. If you only shave once or twice a week then you are better off trimming your hair down to a stubble before shaving with the 6100, or you will be very unhappy with the results. However, this is true of most electric shavers.
The 6100 can also shave wet. How well did it do?
Pretty good. If you have the burden of sensitive skin then you will be very impressed with the wet shaving performance and I would go so far to say it shaves as well wet as it does dry.
However, I was not as impressed when using shaving foam. The blades seemed to miss more hairs when shaving foam was used. And then there was cleaning.
Using shaving foam seemed to make hair clippings build up in the shaving unit much quicker than a dry shaver or using water to lubricate. Removing the build up requires you to take apart the whole shaving unit, which is time-consuming and fiddly.
For the most part, you will be able to clean the 6100 by simply applying some hand soft hand soap and rinsing the shaver under running water.
Then split the shaving unit in half and run that under warm water as well.
Unfortunately, hair clippings will eventually start to build up and a deeper clean will be required, especially if you use shaving foam. This involves taking the whole shaving unit apart and brushing at the gunky areas with the cleaning brush.
It is here that I miss the included cleaning dock of the 7000 and 9000 series. The effectiveness of the cleaning docks means that it is very rare that you will have to take apart your shaver to remove build up.
Just be sure to lubricate the blades with a drop of mineral oil every now and again (I do this once every 6 months) to maintain the cutting performance.
So should you buy the Philips Norelco 6100?
For a shaver under $100, it is definitely value for money. If you are just getting into electric shaving and considering a rotary shaver then the 6100 is a great starting point.
Despite a few small flaws, the 6100 hits the sweet spot between cost and performance like no other electric shaver (at the time of writing). For those of you electric shaving on a budget, this is the best value for money you will get for a rotary shaver.
If you are looking for the next step up, consider the Philips Norelco 7300, reviewed here.
If you are still on the fence about rotary shavers, why not take advantage of Philips’ 45-day money back guarantee. This guarantee allows you to try the shaver for a few weeks and if you do not find it suitable, return it for a refund of the full purchase price. Just be mindful that your refund will be in check and takes 6-8 weeks to arrive after Philips receives the shaver back.