Customer Reviews: Philips Norelco 1250X/40 SensoTouch 3D Electric Razor (Series 8000)
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on February 22, 2012
I will be brief. While the aesthetics of this 1250x/40 is very pleasant, its day-by-day use is impractical. Not recommended at all to anyone who really needs a shaver!

I bought mine three weeks ago, and I am an international buyer. Unfortunately, I tore the packaging away before boarding the plane back to Brazil. Keep the packaging because you will need it to get a refund/return the product!

1. the charging stand is bulky, fragile and does not secure the shaver firmly. To make it even worse, the stand is required to have the shaver charged, since the power cord won't plug directly to the shaver. Thus, if you travel a lot, you will have to carry the shaver, the charging stand and the power cord, but keep in mind that only the shaver fits the carrying pouch!

2. the shaver makes a mess! I will copy Neil E. Lazinsky's post here: "the stubble does not stay in the shaver!! It is constantly falling out as you shave, especially if the razor heads are turned downward at all, which happens often, including when you try to use the absurdly positioned trimmer, and it makes a big mess! You also have to clean this shaver after every use because of the very small collection chambers". In summary: you will have hair debris spread all over while shaving!

3. the blades won't reach just below the nostrils. Due to a very large plastic border around the cutting heads, I simply can't get the shaver to reach the stubbles by my nostrils. I have to resort to my 12y old philips shaver to get the job done...

That's it for now. I will keep this review updated as I keep using the product. I hope my unit won't stop working all of a sudden as many have reported...
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on August 22, 2011
UPDATE October 27, 2013:

After 2 years and 2 months of owning this shaver, it died. It now displays a flashing red exclamation point and refuses to turn on. It is now 2 months after the 2 year warranty, so it seems I am completely out of luck at this point. It's as if it was designed to fail right after the warranty.

I sent an email to Phillips Norelco describing the problem. I'll post an update here if/when they respond.

There is no indication in the troubleshooting manual what a flashing red exclamation point means, so I have no idea what's going on with it. There is a description about what to do if you find that it's lighting up that indicator along with two others at the same time, but it doesn't tell you what it is if it's just that one indicator and nothing else.

I handled this shaver with kid gloves. I washed it after every use. I never mishandled it. Never dropped it. It was working fine yesterday, and now it won't turn on.

The shaver was actually very good. Easily the best I've ever had. My shave yesterday was as good as the first shave I had with the device when it was brand new. It didn't dull in all that time.

I originally gave it 5 stars. But I have since demoted it to 3 stars due to the fact that it died after just 2 years. My last shaver was a Braun, and it lasted around 10 years. Even then, it was just the rechargeable battery that needed replacement, and it still worked when plugged into the wall socket.

My original review follows:

This is my first rotary shaver since I switched to foil shavers back in the mid-90's. Foil shavers have been pretty good for me, and the last one I had was the Braun series 5 foil shaver. I used one of those for probably 8 to 10 years, I think. For the past two years, it hasn't been able to hold a charge, and I had been using it while plugged in to the wall. When the cord starting to become loose, and the shaver spontaneously shut itself off many times during my shave, it was then that I realized I definitely needed to get myself a new shaver.

The main problem I had with my Braun series 5 foil shaver was that it took about 10 to 12 minutes to get a good shave. I had to work at it, constantly rubbing my hand against my face and going back over the same area with my shaver. It was a good shave, but it required work. I wanted something that could shave in half the time.

That's when I saw the Norelco 1250x/40 rotary shaver and thought I'd give it a try and see if rotary shavers were any better than foil ones. This one is their top of the line rotary shaver, so I figured it would be a good test. Alternatively, there's the Norelco Speed XL rotary shaver, which advertises its speed over all. But I figured I'd give the 1250x/40 a try first.

I've now had the Norelco 1250x/40 for over 10 days. At first, I have to tell you, I was not impressed with this shaver. It just wasn't giving me a good shave. It took 16 minutes to shave, and even then it left some stubble. I just gave up, so it might have been 20 minutes or more of work just to get it to the point where my old foil shaver could get to. And because I was constantly going over and over the same areas, pressing harder and harder each time, it was leaving me with razor burn.

I was ready to send it back yesterday, but I decided to give it another try. This time I decided to try using it with shaving cream rather than just dry skin. Would that help any? It actually made a HUGE difference!

With the shaving cream, I was able to shave in just 2-3 minutes. It got my face clean and smooth with just one or two passes. It was one of the best shaves I've ever had. It was an even better shave than spending 15 minutes with my Braun series 5 foil (admittedly the foil shaver was dry while the Norelco was with shaving cream). There were only a couple areas which required me to go back over, but it was minor. It got 99% of the stubble in just 2 or 3 minutes.

UPDATE... Several days after this review, I've been getting better and better at shaving with this shaver as I learn which parts of my face require a little more care. Now I don't seem to be missing any areas at all. I'm so amazed every morning how good my shave is that I ask my girlfriend to feel my face to see how smooth it is. You can't feel anything. It's just skin, no stubble at all. Even 8 hours later, much of my face remains stubble free. The chin and neck grow in fast, though, but that's biology, not the shaver's fault... I've timed my shave with this shaver, and I get to 5 minutes if I'm being careful to go slow and pay attention to detail. With my last shaver, it was taking 10-12 minutes on average. So this is a big improvement in speed, and it's a much closer shave.

So I've decided not to return it after all, and I'm actually thinking this is the best shaver I've ever had. Without shaving cream, it just doesn't do a good job at all, in my opinion. That's what was surprising to me. I've never needed to use shaving cream before with electric shavers. But it's fine. I can accept having to use shaving cream if it means I can get a perfectly smooth shave in just a few minutes. That's a trade-off I'll take any day.

As for cleaning the shaver, it's a breeze. I'm confused why reviewers here think it's hard to clean. It's not. You run the top part under water for 5 seconds, then you pop open the 3 heads and run them all under water for about 15 seconds. Then you give it a little shake and let it dry on its own. What is so hard about that? Cleaning out my old Braun series 5 foil shaver took several minutes, and it involved tediously using a brush to poke in between the holes in the foil, because oil and hair gunk would block the foil holes after a while. This Norelco 1250x/40 is much easier to clean by comparison. They really designed it well.

I really like that it's a lithium ion battery and not nickle cadmium. That means you won't get the battery "memory effect". You can just charge it after every use rather than worrying about letting it run down completely before recharging it. My old shaver was like that, and I was always worried about running out of charge mid-way into my shave.

Another huge plus in my mind is the fact that it's very quiet. My old Braun series 5 foil shaver was loud enough to annoy anyone sleeping in the next room. I can use the Norelco 1250x/40 without worrying about waking anyone up. That's nice.

The beard trimmer part is not bad, either. A lot of people were upset that it looked like an afterthought instead of a well designed feature. They thought it should extend out further away from the rotary cutter head. Personally, I don't use the trimmer a lot. And if they designed it so that it protruded more than it does now, I think more people would have a problem with that. If you're finding yourself in need of the trimmer a lot, maybe you just need to get a stand-alone beard trimmer in addition to this. Even a $25 stand-alone trimmer would be better than the best built-in trimmer you can find out there.

About the only negative things I'll say about this are: 1) the battery is not replaceable, 2) it's unable to use it corded (battery only operation), and 3) the charging stand is pretty easy to topple over. All of these negatives are acceptable to me, since it does give me such a good shave. But yes, having a corded feature would be much more welcomed. And the fact that you need to take the charging stand with you when you go on trips is annoying. I really wish the designers would have done that differently.

Oh, and there is one more thing to talk about. The cost of the replacement heads is $60 at this time. That seems like a lot of money to be paying just for the heads. But I'm hoping they don't need to be replaced every 12-18 months like the manual says to do. My Braun series 5 foil cutter blocks definitely needed replacing every 6-9 months or so. But rotary cutter blades, I've heard, last a lot longer. A lot of people say they've never had to replace theirs. But who knows about the Norelco 1250x/40.

So in summary:

+ Excellent close shave, with shaving cream.
+ Very fast shave in just 3 minutes, with shaving cream.
+ Lithium Ion battery.
+ Very easy to clean.
+ Very quiet.
+ Battery level indicator.
+ Looks nice.

- Need shaving cream if you want a fast and close shave with it.
- Battery is not replaceable. So, 3-5 year lifetime?
- Battery only operation, lacking a corded feature.
- Charging stand is easy to topple over.
- Need to take the charging stand with you on trips.
- Expensive head replacement.
- Expensive shaver.

UPDATE... It's been a few weeks now since starting to use this shaver. I wanted to mention that I tried it with "Lectric Shave" liquid instead of shaving cream. While Lectric Shave was designed for electric shavers, I have to say that I still prefer shaving cream instead. After using Lectric Shave, there was a lot more stubble left, and I had some nicks on my face and razor burn. Shaving cream is a lot better. But Lectric Shave is about 50% better than shaving dry. When you use shaving cream, use it like the manual says: First wet your face with water, then apply shaving cream, then wet your shaver with water, then shave (in that order)... And as for my main review, I still really like the shaver and highly recommend it.
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on August 4, 2014
This is a great shaver. While I had some initial skin irritation switching from a Braun, it quickly adjusted. Very precise cut. I bought it more than 2 years ago, and checked the head prices back then. Something like a $49 recommended price I believe. I thought that was adequate for a higher-end razer. However, now the replacement head is $89. EIGHTY NINE DOLLARS. E I G H T Y N I N E dollars for a replacement head that costs $5 to make. And you are supposed to switch the head ONCE A YEAR. The cost is getting out of hand with this thing. I'll sell mine and switch back to a Braun or Panasonic. This pricing is just ridiculous. How can you jack up the prices on replacement parts so much?

And check this out:
This is the site where you are supposed to buy it:

And here it still says $64:
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on March 6, 2011
Received SensorTouch 3D for Xmas gift. Really liked it overall. Negatives are that edge of blades don't allow for hairs close to nose area and pop-up trimmer works poorly. Have to use another razor for those areas. Main issue is that after 10 weeks, razor ceased working ... totally died. Called Customer Service. Very nice on phone but replacement handles are backordered without a projected date for manufacturing new ones. Therefore, I recommend holding off on a new purchase until production issues resolved. Serious backorder could indicate a manufacturing or design defect since there was no schedule for when handles will become available.
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on March 21, 2011
Like a lot of guys, I was at first hesitant to move from blades to electric, but was looking for better solution than scraping my face with sharp steel every day, so eventually decided to "try" an electric face mower.

That was perhaps 10 years ago, and since then I have owned several Braun and Remington varieties. When it came time to replace my latest Lawnboy, I decided to take a closer look at the higher end offerings. I was hoping to get something that provided a smoother, more comfortable shave. Efficiency, ergonomics and any bells / whistles would be nice benefits.

It was tough making the leap to the higher price points, but the reviews strongly favored going for something like this Norelco, so I pulled the trigger and purchased the 1250X from Amazon. In the worst case - I figured - If it didn't live up, I could simply return it and get another $50 something or other.

When I got the Norelco, I charged it up and the next day took it for its first test drive. WOW, what a pleasant surprise and experience. It was like the first time behind the wheel of a well crafted sorts car after spending a lifetime driving cheap sedans.

The unit is very comfortable in the hand, light and easy to maneuver. Most importantly, the shave is close, fast and remarkably smooth. With this Norelco, there isn't the tugging and pulling that's typical of the lower priced models (even when they are new).

What's more, there is virtually no irritation. For those who have used other models, you know that it typically takes several passes to get the shave you want. Not so here. Even the difficult areas are clean with just a couple of passes.

No need for earplugs. For those of you accustomed to the jet engine roar of other models, you may enjoy getting fooled into thinking that the battery charge on this Norelco was dying, like I've been several times.

Hey, we guys have to struggle with shaving nearly every day - don't skimp out. Super quiet, a surprisingly smooth, close shave, comfortable and efficient, this product is true winner and well worth the extra dollars to own it. I wish I'd gotten one a lot sooner.
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on September 22, 2010
Package Type: Standard Packaging|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have always used regular razors and never had used an electric shaver until now. Yes, a razor will definitely perform a closer shave, the price of razors are nothing compared to this electric shaver but what this shaver has offered is way better than that: convenience.

From the moment you get it out of the box you can clearly see this is a very well made shaver, contrary to others I have seen that look cheap. For those concerned about the price well, you get what you pay for, as soon as you see it and feel it you will understand this unit's price range. As a first time user I had to go through several shaves to adjust to the electric shaver and there was minor irritation on the first days. I can confirm by experience this is no longer an issue (a note is included asking you to give it at least 21 days of usage to get used to)

Having as a reference the electric shaver of my grandfather and my dad, I was impressed by how little noise this unit makes, it is really quiet. The shave feels very smooth and close, maybe not as close as a razor but way more convenient if you shave on a daily basis. It is very compact and easy to clean. As a traveler, this is definitely more convenient (hotels normally have those cheap razors that do nothing but leave you with a red face, so I normally end up buying new ones on my trips)

The charging times are fast and the rechargeable battery has lasted for almost two weeks now without having been recharged (used on a daily basis) which I think is great.

Bottom-line, while cheaper units may do what you would consider the same job, the quality of the unit, the features and the convenience it offers would be reason enough to consider this electric shaver over others. In the end, you get what you pay for!
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VINE VOICEon October 18, 2010
Package Type: Standard Packaging|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have used electric razors for many years and one of my main compaints over the years is the fact that it's often difficult to get a close shave with an electric razor. The Philips Norelco 1250x/40 SensoTouch provides the closest electric razor shave I have ever had and, as an added bonus, it lasts a long time between charges.
I think the main advantage of the Norelco 1250 is the pivot head, which easily follows the curves of your face and allows the razor to get every last hair. The razor fits nicely in my hand and is easy to maneuver. Cleaning is easy. Just lift each individual head, run the razor under water and let it dry. At this point I am able to use the razor for two or three weeks before charging, which is a nice bonus. You also can use this razor wet or dry, which should please those who like to shave in the shower or prefer to use shaving cream or gel.
The only way to charge the razor is through the stand (the jack for the charger is on the side of the stand). So, if you lose the stand, you lose your ability to charge the razor. Also, the razor heads cost about $70 to replace, which is not inexpensive. You can probably find replacement heads online for cheaper and, unless you have a heavy beard, my guess is you can probably replace the heads at longer intervals.
Bottom line, this is a great electric razor. While a bit pricey, it does provide a very close shave and it's very easy and convenient to use.
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on November 17, 2011
First off, a disclaimer. My face is not your face. What works well for me may not work well for you. Both Norelco and Braun offer money back trial periods, so my main advice is to not overthink the decision or put too much stock in reviews like this one.

I bought this shaver to replace a 2 year old Braun Series 3, which compared to the newer series 7 has the same foils and a slightly different "trim" middle blade on the head. So it's very similar. The trimmer stopped working, the cleaning base stopped charging it, and it was time for a new head. So I decided it was time for a new shaver.

My previous Braun did a great job on my face, but it really struggled with my neck. It provided a very close shave but also missed a lot of whiskers, so it took a long time and a lot of going back and forth and stretching and pinching of my skin to get everything.

In comparison, the SensoTouch 3D is much faster and misses a lot fewer hairs. I'd estimate it cuts my shaving time by about 1/3 to 1/2, also slighty faster than a blade. It's much better at getting stray longer hairs in areas I don't always pay attention to than the Braun, although it still can leave some. Usually if I go over stray hairs a few times this Norelco will get them, where with the Braun I'd have to break out the manual razor to touch up. It's also much quieter and easier to clean.

The downside to the Norelco is that it just isn't as close a shave as the Braun and is a bit harsher on my face. Which is surprising since it requires so much less pressure than the Braun did. It's close, just not as close. Like another reviewer mentions, I also find it closer than a Gillette Fusion used with the grain. A manual razor against the grain will provide the closest shave, but also the most discomfort. The constant nicks, cuts, and mess of doing that is what keeps me coming back to electrics. Overall, I prefer this shave to anything else due to the consistancy, speed, and convenience.

It literally takes about 20 seconds to clean this after each shave. This shaver is even easier to clean than my old Braun which had a noisy cleaning system because even using that you still had to periodically clean it manually. The Norelco also doesn't spill as many clippings while you are shaving, but still can spill some.

I shave every day, and a charge lasts me over two weeks. The trimmer is best described as adequate. It works, but is probably the weakest of any electric shaver I have owned. If you do a lot of trimming, you'll probably want a seperate trimmer.

So if this is the best overall shaver I have used, why just 3 stars? 2 things, price and portability. I don't want or need a wet shave, but Norelco does not give me a choice if I want these heads. Putting these heads on a lesser dry shaver would probably cut the cost in half. Also this shaver has an awkward large shape that does not travel as well as a Braun or lesser Norelco, and because of the wet shave ability there is no travel charger. If you need to charge it, you must bring the also awkwardly large stand. With the long run time this isn't a big issue for me, at least not with new strong batteries. In a couple years it may be.

There is just nothing overly impressive about the build quality that I feel justifies the high price unless you must have the wet shave ability. But it is still the best shaver I have ever used, so I do recommend it.
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VINE VOICEon August 30, 2010
Package Type: Standard Packaging|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First let me say this shaver is pretty amazing. I have tried many electric shavers in the past and like most, have given up on them as they are either too rough on my face or they just don't shave close enough or a combo of the two. This is a rugged, well made shaver. The quality of this shaver versus lesser cost units and brands is evident in every facet of it's construction and operation. It works like a finely engineered machine. If you take shaving seriously, this is the shaver for you.

My only concern with this product is with the cost, it's not cheap. I know reviews aren't really supposed to be based on cost as prices change but you should do some math before considering this pricey shaver.

Lets say you use a high end razor with replaceable cartridges, pick one of the top of the line with 4-5 blades that really shaves super close.

The razor: $10-$15 and comes with 1 razor cartridge
Replaceable cartridges: they seem to cost from $3-$5 each, depending on where you buy them.
So, that means $15 for the razor and $50-$60 a year on cartridges assuming you use a new one each month. Less if you make the cartridges last longer than a month or find a good deal on them.

So, not only does this shaver cost a lot, it costs more than buying cartridges each year to use - they suggest you buy a $70 shaver head each year to replace the one built in. I dunno if that math works out frankly. I hope Phillips doesn't send a hit squad out on me. Anyways....

Pros of the Philips Norelco 1250x/40 SensoTouch 3d Electric Shaver:

Very close, smooth shave. The triple floating heads actually let you get anywhere you need to shave.
Easy clean up, pop the shaver heads & rinse under water. I know, crazy!
Charges fast, lasts a long time. Cool digital readouts for charging status & battery.
Can use it in the shower (or so it says, I am not brave enough to try!).
Can use dry or with shaving cream / gel.
Comes with a nice charging stand and a zip up travel case and a small brush.
Very handy for travel, no need to pack a razor and gel / cream.
Has a built in trimmer, very nice and easy to use.


It's a sealed unit & rechargeable batteries have a life span. One day the battery will die and you will either send it in for a new one or toss it and buy a new shaver. Most batteries like this last 2-3 years tops before they stop holding a charge. That's my experience.

The manual says to replace the shaving heads once a year which, I believe, cost about $70. So that means you are spending $70 a year to use this shaver at the optimum performance. I dunno about that math frankly. That's more than just buying a year's worth of top of the line razor cartridges each year.

Comes with the standard "please give this shaver 21 days of usage to let your face get used to it..." I am in the first week of that 21 days. Some irritation on my neck from the shaver. Hope it gets better.

To get a really close shave, which I like, this shaver doesn't actually save me any time. Lathering up my face & using a razor doesn't really take any more or less time plus I still get a closer shave with a top of the line razor cartridge.
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on July 26, 2014
IT would be a great razor if the 3-D heads had not been discontinued. Further, Norelco apparently has no plans for a replacement. So you are paying the price for a 3D but as soon as the head wears out, you're screwed. Thanks Norleco, way to treat your customers!
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