If you look at the best seller lists of electric razors on various ecommerce websites, you’ll notice that the great majority of them are foil shavers. At some point in the past, rotary shavers were very much in fashion, but you don’t really see them topping the charts anymore. The Philips Norelco 6400 is one of the rare exceptions.
With that big blue shaving head and three rotary cutters, reminding me more than a little of an alien spaceship, the 6400 is an interesting specimen in more than one way. The big question is if you should buy it instead if the many excellent and popular foil-shaver options on the market at the moment. So with that in mind, let’s have a closer look at the Starship Fuzzcutter.
The most striking thing about the 6400 is that big semi-attached head. It all looks very futuristic and I find myself liking it quite a lot. The curves of the main body are nice and everything looks pretty ergonomic.
I’m usually not a fan of grooming products that are not some combination of black, chrome, and grey. In this case however, I think the shade of glossy blue that Philips has chosen works wonderfully. I am especially fond of that chrome ring around the neck of the head. It just looks awesome in my opinion.
The main buzzword that’s going along with this particular shaver is “GyroFlex”. Admittedly, one of the reasons rotary shavers often don’t get as close a shave as their foil counterparts is because they don’t follow the contours of your face as closely. That’s something they’ve tried to improve on here; the cutters have multiple ways they can pivot in order to get closer to your face. Philips also says that this means you don’t have to press as hard to get the shave you want, which means less pain and irritation overall.
The “DualPrecision” heads are apparently also something a little different. Designed to deal with both long and short hairs to further aid in an overall close shave, this also includes mechanisms to lift hairs that are lying down flat. Foil shavers handle that pretty well these days, but it’s always been a big frustration for me when shaving with rotaries I’ve owned in the past. Certainly, having to tweeze out single hairs the rotary has refused to cut is not a fun experience.
This is a wet & dry unit that’s sealed. So shaving in the shower and rinsing it should be no problem.
For a relatively inexpensive mid-range shaver the 6400 comes with a decent number of accessories in the box. You get a beard trimmer attachment, which is optional. You also get a very cool looking charging stand which goes perfectly with the style of the 6400 and really shows off its design. Apart from that, there is also a protective cap and a cleaning brush. Yup, all good.
The battery life from one full charge on the 6400 amounts to about 40 minutes – just five minutes more than my personal minimum. To get a full charge you need to charge the razor for one hour. Not too bad, all things considered. Thankfully it has a three-minute quick charge function, so you should never be caught out. There are also clear indicator lights that let you know if the battery is low or not.
Apart from that the 6400 has worldwide voltage compatibility, making it a good travel companion. Of course, since you charge wirelessly through the base station for waterproofing and all that, it means you can’t shave while charging. Not a big deal I think, since the quick charge is still there for emergencies.
So Is It Good?
Having a look at the responses from people who have bought and lived with this razor it’s clear that Philips Norelco has done an amazing job making a rotary shaver that’s actually desirable over and above many more expensive foil units.
It is especially apparent how comfortable the 6400 is to use – something that many are willing to trade for a shave that may not be quite as close as a foil shaver can provide, although in this regard the 6400 does a fantastic job as well. It’s notable that it also deals well with long hairs such as those on the neck, something that foil shavers are generally not able to do.
Some other problems that get talked about include that the trimmer attachment is not all that great and that the 2D floating head really doesn’t pivot all that much. No matter what, however, I still hear time and time again that the 6400 is super gentle.
Going for Gold
The 6400 is priced very well and I think the amount of features and amazing looks would have been suited to something more expensive. So from that point of view it is great value for money.
Its ability to deal with longer hair and the overall concession to comfort and sensitive skin are also major plus point in my book. So who is this for? Well, if you don’t shave daily, have variable length hair across your face and generally have a sensitive skin, this is probably one of the best choices on the market. For the price this is also one of the best rotary shavers you can buy. Would I buy this over a good foil shaver? Well, if price was not a factor I would go for a more expensive foil shaver, but if this is the extent of your budget, I actually think it is a more attractive choice than a lot of foil shavers for the same money.