For those who fluctuate between having a short beard to subtle stubble to a close shave and back again, there are a myriad of tools to choose from: electric shavers, electric trimmers, safety and even disposable razors. If want to maintain your facial hair at each of these stages, you'll need more than one of the tools on the aforementioned list. If you want to tidy a short beard, you'll need a trimmer. If you want to get down to skin after using your trimmer, you'll need a razor or an electric shaver.
This creates an open market for all-in-one tools, whether they're trimmers with interchangeable heads or a shaver with a trimming edge. The Philips Norelco OneBlade is the latter — but it's incredibly good at both jobs, especially considering its affordability. For $35, there's a ton of tech packaged into this juiced-up disposable razor.
What's Good About the Philips Norelco OneBlade:
Although the OneBlade looks comically simple — it's a tiny blade attached to a medium-sized body — it can do quite a lot. You can trim your beard using one of the attachable guards, which help keep the blade far enough from the skin to only cut the hairs to your desired length. You can edge by inverting the blade and pressing it to your skin. When you're shaving, the OneBlade goes flat against your skin and can go in either direction. Tilting it to an angle, to where the coated teeth are against your skin, you can sharpen your beard's edges or carve out a mustache (or even mutton chops).
You get a close shave
A lot of shavers promise improvements in user safety, meaning their blades are less likely to irritate or even cut your skin. Philips Norelco, however, went one step further and rounded the teeth on both blades and covered the part you put flat on your face with a Glide coating. The coating also serves as a notice for when you need to replace it. The brand says every four months, but the coating also wears away when it's time to switch.
I will say, as someone who shaves to skin most of the time, I got an impressively smooth shave from such a simple product. Plus, it never snagged or stopped on my skin, even when it wasn't wet or covered in shaving cream, because you can use the OneBlade wet or dry.
It flexes along your curves and contours
The OneBlade's replaceable blade features plastic levers beneath the blade itself that help it hug your skin even as you cross the jawline, bend around the chin or climb your neck. You won't find this sort of flexibility on any of our other favorite trimmers, making this an advantage that's unique to the OneBlade.
You can also go in either direction with this blade. In fact, the brand encourages you cut against the grain. I did so comfortably without snags and my face was not irritated at all after doing so.
It's easy to clean and store
If you're worried about scratching the blade when you set it down, put a guard on it. Or, remove the blade. It's easy to do, with a bright yellow arrow pointing up at it. You simply press it and the blade quite literally pops off. Once off, you can take a tiny brush to it and the mechanisms within.
What's Not Ideal About the OneBlade:
It's cheap — at first.
The OneBlade is cheap. There's no way around it, but the device performs better than a multi-tool at its price should.
That being said, it isn't a flat fee like it is for a Philips Norelco 3000 Multi-groomer, which we've long called our best affordable beard trimmer. To keep using the OneBlade after the first blade's four month lifespan, you need to either order more blades or subscribe to a plan that ships them to you without reminder.
If you subscribe, you'll get two blades for $19 at your desired interval. If you don't, both blades will run you $24 total each time you order them. That's only four orders until you reach $150, what Braun's Series 7 Multi-Tool costs, which I'd argue gives a better close shave and similar treatment for your short beard or stubble.