When it comes to shaving your head, beard or body hair… Norelco from Phillips is a household name. It’s one of the few accessory brands from Phillips that can hold its own against models from Braun.
Norelco shaving machines are your perfect tools. Especially, the 4000 series. These devices come with a number of features that benefit our shaving experience. They are ones that I’d call mid-range shavers. So, even if you judge them from a “Price” perspective, they are well within the reach of people.
You can’t really pick the best when doing a comparison between Norelco 4100 vs 4200 vs 4500. There’s no clear winner. BUT, there’ll always be people who’ll try and nitpick between these three. Before you go bonkers giving it too much of a thought, let me take the helm and explore the topic.
In this article, I’ll be exploring the dimensions. I’ll be telling you about my experience of using these shavers, the similarities I found, and of course… a handful of differences that I experienced along the way. So, let’s buckle up for an interesting reading ahead.
Table of Contents
- Detailing My Experience with the Three Contenders
- Working with Philips Norelco Shaver 4100 (Model AT810/41)
- My Days with Philips Norelco Shaver 4200 Shaver
- How Did Shaving with Philips Norelco Shaver 4500 (Model AT830/46)Turn Out?
- What Are the Similarities Between These Three Shavers?
- Norelco 4100 vs 4200 vs 4500: Drawing the Line
- Which One Should You Pick for Your Routines?
In Depth Comparison Table
|Features||Norelco 4100 ||Norelco 4200||Norelco 4500|
|Run Time||50 minutes||50 minutes||50 minutes|
|Charging Time||1 Hour||1 Hour||1 Hour|
|Shaving System||Dual Precision||Dual Precision||Dual Precision|
|Pop Up Trimmer||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Detailing My Experience with the Three Contenders
The basic rule of thumb for any kind of comparison between multiple products is the fact that you need to use the products. That too for a considerable period. Based on their experiences and the performances of each unit, people tend to draw the line of the good, the better, and the best.
It’s the same in my case too. I tested each of the three shavers and found some similarities and differences between them. Let’s discuss the kind of performance I got out of the three models and features that intrigued me in this section.
Working with Philips Norelco Shaver 4100 (Model AT810/41)
The Philips Norelco 4100 is the first contender in the Norelco 4100 vs 4200 vs 4500 battle. One thing that is common in any Philips product is quality. I’ve never found any of their products that is downright shit. However, some are better than others.
The Norelco 4100 is equipped with a Lithium-Ion battery. It requires an hour to get completely charged. And when it is fully charged, you can use the shaver for 50 minutes, if not more.
However, it might require more than an hour to get completely charged the first time after unboxing. But that’s nothing to worry about. The fun begins once you start shaving.
The Norelco 4100 is designed with flexing and floating heads that are able to readily adjust to the contour of your face. This is very helpful when shaving around the chin, jaw-lines and the neck. They are called floating because the heads are not fixed and so are able to shift their positions to suit your needs.
But that’s not it. The heads also come with slots and holes that help you shave both long and short hair comfortably. You will not need separate heads to shave your beard and stubble. This is called DualPrecision System.
Moreover, these heads have a rounded surface that reduces friction and leaves no room for nicks and cuts. It is recommended to replace the head of the shaver every 12 months to ensure the best results.
The replacement, however, is not included with this product. The Norelco 4100 has more in store. The heads are provided with Patented Super Lift and Cut dual blade technology. This is highly efficient in cutting flat lying hairs in the neck area.
Most razors fail to cut the hair in the said area without causing discomfort. But with the Norelco 4100 you can take care of that with ease. Something that I’ve not seen mentioned anywhere is that the head of this shaver is slightly arched.
This is actually the first measure of convenience that Philips added to their 4100 shaver. Altogether they turn your shaving experience an enjoyable one. Philips has also included a Pop-Up Trimmer that helps to add detail to your mustache, sideburns and more.
Another great feature of this 4100 shaver is that it offers both wet and dry use. You can shave with gel or foam for added comfort, or simply use it dry. It has an anti-slip grip that is necessary when using it wet. Thanks to this gripping system, I didn’t encounter accidental razor drops.
To be honest with you, wet shaving seems more convenient as it does not make a mess of facial hair all over the bathroom countertop. Though others prefer dry shaving as it is faster and can be done on the go, I don’t mind wet shaving when done well.
As you can guess, it is fully washable and so it’s a breeze to clean the shaver after using it. Lastly, this shaver comes with a LED charge indicator that shows when the battery is low and when it is fully charged.
This little Norelco product is not without its blemishes. I’d have loved it if the makers made Norelco 4100 in a way so that it could work while being plugged in for charging.
What I Liked about the Norelco 4100 Shaver
- DualPrecision system lets people shave long and short beards alike without changing shaver heads.
- The rounded shaving head doesn’t have any hard edges that can lead to nicks, cuts, and bruises.
- You have the revolutionary Lift & Cut system at play with the dual blades that give closer shaves.
- Floating head of the shaver easily adjusts to the contours of our faces and doesn’t tug the skin.
- This thing has a competent display that shows current mode, battery status, and more.
- The pop up trimmer is a great addition that details body hair without needing hefty adjustments. The device is fully washable too.
What I Didn’t Like about Norelco 4100 Shaver
- Friends of mine had durability issues with this little product.
- The blades can get dull quickly if you don’t use them enough.
- Norelco 4100 doesn’t work while you put it on cords for charging.
My Days with Philips Norelco Shaver 4200 Shaver
Now that I have already talked about Norelco 4100, let’s look into our second product, the Philips Norelco 4200. In a Norelco 4100 vs 4200 face off, it’s quite hard to say which is evidently better. Visibly, they are two different products with different prices.
Just as the previous one, the 4200 has a Lithium Ion battery, which requires one hour to get completely charged. It offers 50 minutes of shaving time when it is fully charged.
As is the case with most electrical devices, it will also require more than an hour to be fully charged the first time. Since being packed the shaver has remained unused for quite some time, the battery needs a boost to get back into shape.
There is an LED charge indicator that shows how much juice it has left and if it requires further charging.
The Norelco 4200 is similar to the 4100 shaver in terms of design and functionality. It has got flexing and floating heads that easily conform to the shape of your face. This helps to ensure a close shape even in the trickiest of areas.
The 4200 is designed with DualPrecision System to cut both long and short hair with ease. There are slots and holes on the heads that assist in this purpose. Plus, the heads are rounded to help diminish any chance of bruises, nicks, and cuts.
The Norelco 4200 also requires head replacements every 12 months. This keeps both you and the shaver in a good shape.
There’s more to the Norelco 4200. Thanks to the Patented Super Lift and Cut dual blade technology, this shaver can cut any flat lying hairs like those on the neck. Everyday shaving becomes a matter of comfort if you choose to buy the Norelco 4200 or the Norelco 4100.
They both have an arched head to make sure the shaver heads are in a comfortable position with your skin. Moreover, this makes holding the shaver easy too. Just as the Norelco 4100, this shaver can be used both in wet and dry conditions. You can use it with foam or gel or simply on dry skin.
It works fantastically in both the cases.
Philips does say it is “fully washable”, but I believe it is only limited to the head of the shaver and not the whole thing. To be honest, you don’t normally need to wash the whole thing anyway. Just hold the shaver head under running water after you are done. That is all it would need.
Norelco 4200 also has an anti-slip rubber grip to make it easy to hold.
Last but not least, like the 4100 shaver the Norelco 4200 also comes with a Pop-Up Trimmer. This trimmer helps you to detail your sideburns, mustaches, and body hair if you feel like it.
What I Liked about the Norelco 4200 Shaver
- This little thing is quick to charge and retains the charge well for a long period across many shaves.
- Like Norelco 4100, this Phillips shaver is easy to clean and maintain as well. It’s fully washable.
- Norelco 4200 is fit for dry and wet shaving. It’s easy to hold and operate with. Forget slip-ups.
- You get to have long-lasting blades that can last for months if not years. They are self-sharpening.
- You get the LED display that Phillips is famous for. Also, this thing is good for wet AND dry shaving.
What I Didn’t Like about Norelco 4200 Shaver
- I found the Norelco 4200 much slower than its contemporaries. I needed more passes for a smooth shave.
How Did Shaving with Philips Norelco Shaver 4500 (Model AT830/46)Turn Out?
When comparing the Norelco 4100 vs 4200 vs 4500, the real difference I found is in their prices. One could argue that the other difference is in their appearances.
Especially the LED Charge Indicator, which is set in a different way in the Norelco 4500 unlike the other two. It has also got a Lithium-Ion battery that requires an hour to get completely charged. And after that, it can deliver a whole 50 minutes of shaving time.
However, there is one feature in the 4500 that is not found in either of the 4100 and 4200. The Norelco 4500 is the only one in this list that offers the Quick Charge feature. With the help of this feature, you can have the shaver ready in only 3 minutes.
While the Philips Norelco 4500 is similar in most ways to the 4100 and 4200 shavers, it has another feature that sets it apart. First, let’s tell you the common things. The heads of the 4500 are designed with DualPrecision System that lets it cut both long and short hair.
The slots cut the long hairs and the holes cut the short ones. The heads are also set in Flex and Float condition that allows it to adjust to the contours of your face. And of course, the heads are rounded too to leave no room for injury.
So what’s different?
The Norelco 4500 is designed with a Pivoting Head. This is a bonus to the already existing features of the heads. The 4500 is just as crooked as its siblings. That is, it has also got an arched neck. The trick with the neck makes it easy to hold the shaver against our face and neck.
The shaver is also equipped with the Patented Super Lift and Cut Dual Blade Technology. This technology helps to cut the hairs below the jawline safely and easily.
However, good things require constant taking care of. So you will need to replace the heads every 12 months to enjoy comfortable shaving all the time.
The Pop-Up Trimmer is also a common feature for this shaver. The Norelco 4500 also comes with AquaTec seal. My bad, I may have forgotten to mention this feature earlier, but both the 4100 and 4200 have it in the armory. This is the feature that allows you to use these three shavers in both wet and dry conditions.
Owing to this seal, water or any wet material does not enter the inner part of the shaver. Like we said earlier, don’t go washing the whole thing in water. Philips has added this feature to make wet shaving and then cleaning easier. After every shave, wet or dry, simply place the head under running water.
Phillips Norelco 4500 comes with a cleaning brush and of course a power cord. The power cord gives users a chance to quickly recharge the device. You can’t use it while the battery is stocking up on juice.
What I Liked about the Norelco 4500 Shaver
- The pivoting head adjusts to any kind of facial or body shape and glides through all the contours.
- You can pull off one important shave in three minutes thanks to the quick charge feature.
- Self-sharpening blades are perfect for a shaver like this but do change the blades once a year.
- Norelco 4500 is a great fit for both wet and dry shaving when, how, and where users want.
- The shaving experience was as smooth as I could hope for with no cuts, nicks, and/or bruises.
What I Didn’t Like about Norelco 4500 Shaver
- I didn’t find a cleaning unit with Norelco 4500 which is a glaring flaw in my eyes.
What Are the Similarities Between These Three Shavers?
To be very honest with you, these models are pretty similar when it comes to the benefits they offer. You’ll find striking similarities once you begin to explore them. Without further ado, let’s begin counting the number of ways in which these machines are identical to each other.
You Get the Patented Technology for Shaving
Yes, I’m talking about DualPrecision technology. This nifty addition allows the shavers to cut long and short hair alike. Make no mistake, these shavers are professional-grade and are used in barbershops. When I say, “Barbershops,” it’s a given that people use these machines for hairstyling.
Since these devices can take care of short beards, mustaches, and stubbles, you don’t really need to clog your shaving cabinet with a multitude of razors and cleaning apparatus. Anyone of these Norelco tools will do. Plus, you get a heap of attachments with these tools.
As I put it, “One shaver will solve a million puzzles.” Or, cut all your hair. Whichever way you look at it.
Lift & Cut Technique Works Like a Charm
If DualPrecision is a unique feature at work within these three razors, this is another one. With the Lift and Cut technique, these devices are able to capture flat-lying hairs within our face, body, and groin areas and shave/trim them. Thanks to this, you won’t feel one or two odd strands of hair anywhere on your body.
Lift & Cut works especially well for the ladies who want razors to shave their legs, armpits, and private parts with care. It prevents nicks, cuts, bruises, and red spots on the skin. Because the razors capture hair with care, you won’t feel any pulling or tugging on your skin.
Self-Sharpening Blades Are Great at Cutting All Lengths of Body Hair
No, really! These stainless blades of all the shavers are pieces of art. Feel free to hold the razors in whichever way you like. Users will have a smooth shave. These blades can be adjusted in the easiest manner possible. As a result, people get the close shave they always desired.
These blades rub against each other. That’s why they remain sharper and retain their edges for a long time. I’m speaking on behalf of all three Norelco shavers here. All you need to do is to apply a bit of lubricating oil. Makers supply it as a part of the package. Feel free to buy a vial if it runs out.
Getting the strands of hair off from the blades is easy as well. People can do it by cleaning the shaver head under running water for two or three minutes (at the most).
You Have the Trimmer for Your Convenience
People keep referring electric shavers as just “Shavers.” Well, it’s nothing wrong. They are shavers. But modern shaving tools like Norelco 4000 series, makers promise something more. With 4100, 4200, and the 4500 you have a pop-up trimmer at the back. Just press a switch and it’ll show itself.
This pop-up trimmer helps to keep your sideburns, mustaches, and beard-lines into shape. You don’t need to take the extra hassle of cleaning or adjusting it before and after the shaving. Like I told you, pressing a button will bring it up. Press it again and it’ll go back to its place. Very easy indeed!
You Have Rotary Shavers in Your Hands!
Yup, it’s no secret. These three shavers are rotary shavers. With the strong rivalry between the foil and rotary shavers, it’s hard to pick a side. But, rotary shaving tools have an edge over their counterparts. When you consider that the shaving blades will rotate in different directions cutting the hair, there’s hardly any competition.
Rotary shavers have rotating shaving heads with sharp blades. These blades help in styling and trimming the body hair better than the foil shavers. Also, you’ll not feel a pinch on your face every time you shave. These tools are comfortable as well as easy to manage.
Once shaving is done, cleaning is easier with the rotary shavers than the foil-based ones. It takes less time to get rid of the stubble and the skin oils that the blades accumulate.
The Batteries and the Power Cords
No matter how you look at it, all three shavers deliver similar performances when it comes to the batters. All three of them have a Lithium-Ion battery. It lasts longer than its NiMh counterparts. Also, a Lithium-Ion battery takes a lot less time to be charged. Each of the shavers takes up an hour to stock up.
Once charged, all three models run for 50 minutes straight and without any hiccups. No matter what mode you’re running with, the performance remains constant.
While I’m discussing batteries, I need to tell you guys about the power cords as well. These things are amazing. They charge up the battery inside an hour. BUT, a user CANNOT use these shavers when they are hooked up to a power cord and are receiving the charge. Otherwise, the motor might start acting up.
Norelco 4100 vs 4200 vs 4500: Drawing the Line
If you didn’t figure it out yet, these shavers are identical triplets in shaving universe. The features and benefits are a staggering 95% match. So, what’s different? Which features make up the rest of the 5%? Does it really matter? Let’s have a closer look.
- Norelco 4500 clearly comes out as the bulkier of the three. Yes, even when we compare Norelco 4200 vs 4500, the latter is bulkier. I can’t say why is the extra room given to the machine keeping the same weight. The features are ALMOST the same. It’s just that the makers made it that way.
- Norelco 4500 comes with a “Quick Charge” feature that others lack. In hurry for a meeting? Have an important date with someone? You can turn the “Quick Charge” on and get the shaver ready for a quick shaving session of three minutes.
- Norelco 4100 comes equipped with a charging dock. You won’t see that in the 4500 model. Although the latter came out in 2014, full 2 years after the 4100… it’s perplexing for me. The latest model (4500 in this case) is obviously a bit pricier than the earlier two as expected.
Which One Should You Pick for Your Routines?
Let me say this for the last time, these three shaving machines from Phillips are identical. Even though we’re doing a comparison between them, there’s hardly any difference. Yes, if you want a compact shaver at a lower price, by all means, go for the 4100. It has amazing all-around features and perks.
In fact, it’s lesser in price compared to the latest models. Also, it comes with a charging dock (which the higher model doesn’t have to be honest).
I’m a tech buff. I’m always in the hunt for latest models when it comes to machines and cars. That’s why I favor Norelco 4500. However, it’s my personal opinion. No matter which model people end up choosing, they’ll have all the features Phillips is known and famous for.