Andis 17150 Profoil
Lithium Cordless Men’s Shaver

I have a sneaking suspicion that the designers of the Andis razor spent their childhoods watching Bill Shatner mince about in the original Star Trek. Any character could wave this about in that show and no one would blink an eyelid. In a world of carbon black, dark devices, Andis boldly goes with white, brown-red and gold.

OK, I think it looks terrible. That white plastic in particular looks so cheap I don’t know what to say. At least when you go with black it makes even cheap materials look a little better, but this looks nasty.

I Love Goooold

Questionable design choices aside, the most eye-catching thing about the Andis has to be the gold-colored foil. According to the company this is actually a gold and titanium mix that’s hypoallergenic. At this price it has to be the thinnest coating known to man, but I’ll take their word for it.

Soft Steps

The other major claim that Andis makes is how quiet the Andis is meant to be. It’s also very light at only five ounces. Seeing photos of people holding it however, I get the impression that it’s bigger than the marketing photo would suggest.

Fully Loaded

The most impressive specification has to be the claimed battery life of the Andis. The company says that a full charge will net you 80 minutes of shaving. That’s one of the highest claims I’ve seen and should be good for just over two weeks of daily shaves without charging.

Skin Tight

The two foil heads are staggered so that the second one cuts a bit close to the first. In theory this means that you get two passes for the price of one and a closer shave. It’s a good idea, but how well it works in practice is a different story. Based on real world accounts however, it does seem that the Andis can get a pretty close shave. In fact, some people are using it as a finishing shaver, just to get the last bit of stubble down.

Allergic Reactions

Andis says the gold-titanium alloy is perfect for those with sensitive skins, but the truth is that electric razors in general are good for sensitive skins, since the blades never touch the skin. Unless the machine is tugging out hair I’m not sure how this is supposed to make a difference. I can’t really fault them for it, because it doesn’t seem to affect the price. However, I’m not aware of a general skin irritation problem when it comes to electric razors and feel a little skeptical about the idea.

Special Feature

What you see is what you get with this razor. You have the two heads and that’s basically it. I don’t see anything special about making cleaning easier, and there are no other attachments or pop-up trimmers. In fact, this razor really harks back to an older, more traditional foil design.

Feedback Loop

What do the people say? For the most part, this seems to be a pretty good foil shaver for the money. There are a few scattered reports of problems with the battery failing pretty quickly and the 80 minute runtime may be a bit optimistic, but overall the shaving performance seems to be right up there.

I’ve also seen quite a few reports of some razors not cutting facial hair straight out of the box. All products have some duds, but there are enough people complaining in customer reviews that I have to wonder whether there are build-quality issues.

It’s also apparent that the hair needs to be pretty short to begin with, so if you have longer hair it will have to be cut with a trimmer first and then finished off with the Andis.

The Summation

So how can we sum up the Andis? It’s a well-priced foil shaver, perfect for daily maintenance of a close shave. It’s an older design and pretty ugly. Some people have quality issues with it, but if you get a good one you’ll likely be pretty happy with it. The fact that you can return a dead unit immediately does take the sting out of the risk. At worst you’ll have to wait a few more days for a working unit and I don’t think returns are too common. So if you are on a budget and need the closest shave for the money, the Andis may very well be a good choice.