I’ve never met a man who could tell me, babyface-to-face, that he truly enjoyed shaving. Most of the guys I know sport some amount of fur on their face, and the bulk of them don’t wear beards because they look particularly good. They do it to avoid scraping a cold, sharp piece of metal across their cheeks every morning.
Yes, I’ve tried adding blade after blade to my disposable cartridge model, and I risked cutting my throat with a straight razor ritual, but however I cut it (eh?), shaving is no fun for me. It’s a tedious and usually painful process.
So a few years ago, I stopped. I didn’t start growing a beard, though. I took the easy way out and started running a beard trimmer over my face in the mornings. And I’ve never looked back. Occasionally I’ll whip out my safety razor for a clean shave, but I’m lucky enough to work a job where stubble is totally acceptable.
Up until a couple months ago, I used an ancient Norelco. It was a very basic model, and did its job just fine, but there was one major problem.
Yeah. It left a pretty big mess. You can see the large clumps pretty easily in that photograph, but the real tough part were the single hairs it left all over the sink. If I wanted to clean up after myself, it took a good minute or two of sweeping up the hairs with my hands, and I usually just washed it down the drain. Which, of course, meant that I’d be revisiting it in a few months when the drain clogged up.
When Philips Norelco offered to send me their latest, the Vacuum Stubble and Beard Trimmer Pro QT4070, I was doubtful. A vacuum? Really? It sounded gimmicky. But I gave it a go, and the proof is in the sink. Or around it. Or, rather, not around it:
It worked. A lot better than I expected. The vacuum on it sucks your little hairs up into a chamber and away from your countertops. Just open the little door on the side and dump the hair out into a trash can. I’ve saved a substantial amount of time not having to clean up my sink between shaves and not having to unclog my drain.
The QT4070 is bigger than other beard trimmers I’ve used, and it has a fancy digital display that tells you battery life and the length of the comb. The length setting is easily adjustable with a spinning “zoomring” set in the center of the device. It cuts as close as .5mm or as long as 18mm. For the most part, I just remove the adjustable comb and use the .5mm setting, and I get close, even stubble all over my face. Not scraggly, but far from smooth. Just the way I like it.
There’s a “Turbo” mode, which supposedly boosts the cutting and fan speed, but I didn’t experience any noticeable benefits. It’s just louder and probably consumes the battery faster. Speaking of which, a full charge (which takes about an hour) provides about 45 minutes of use.
Wired: Vacuum sucks all the pesky hairs up and away from your sink and countertop. Does a bang-up job at cutting facial hair down to stubble.
Tired: Turbo mode is a little gimmicky and doesn’t seem to make that big of a difference.
Disclosure: GeekDad received a review unit of the Philips Norelco QT4070.