Alstro - a while back you asked about working with a Norelco shaver for the hubster. I was too busy at the time to answer, but really wanted to. Surprisingly, the brilliant search feature here at TMF was unable to find that post. [/sarcasm] So I figured I’d reply separately. (Google didn’t help either. I think they need a bit of time before they index posts. I’ve had success with them before.)
I’ve used rotary Norelco shavers for a long time. Used right, they get almost as close as razor blades. There are a couple of tricks I have learned with them.
One is that they simply don’t work very well on longer stubble. A disposable type razor has no problem with longer hair, but the rotary Norelco struggles with it. So I generally shave every day. If I go two days without shaving, I resort to a disposable to get things back under control. If you don’t do that, you can use the “beard” trimmer to shorten up the hair, then go back over it with the rotary heads. It still won’t be as good, but with sufficient gray hairs in there, it’s not visually noticeable. Hit those longer hairs again as needed for a couple of days, and things will get back to the usual good shave.
The other trick is with cleaning. Open it up as often as you like to blow or brush out the trimmings. That’s no problem. But keep the deep cleaning of the cutters and combs down to every other month or so. (Combs are the pieces that touch the face, cutters are the round finger-like bits that turn inside the combs.) These two pieces get mated together and work best once bedded in to each other. When you take them apart to clean them (something that IS necessary from time to time), you lose the bedding and have to start over. It takes a week or so of shaves for these two to get properly bedded in and working well again. Until then, the shaves can be mediocre - not cutting terribly close. So don’t do this deeper cleaning too often. If you’re taking them out and cleaning them weekly, you never really get a good shave.
I generally wait until the quality of the shave starts dropping. That tells me there is enough stuff (generally facial oils - which you need to keep things lubricated - and towel fuzz) built up in the cutters to affect the shave quality. So that’s when I’ll break down and do a deep cleaning. The mediocre shaves will continue for that week or so, then improve markedly.