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Question about rechargeable shaver
Old 06-22-2013, 03:58 PM   #1
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Question about rechargeable shaver

What happens to a rechargeable shaver when the battery goes bad? I had assumed that since you could use it cordless or corded when it was working normally, you could do the same later........that is use it corded when the battery got bad. Is that not true?

I bought one about 6 mos. ago, used it cordless for a few months, didn't seem to have enough power eventually even tho I charged it and so used it corded for another few months. Today it seemed very weak and then went to sleep temporarily while corded.

I called customer service and they said to charge it for 8 hrs and it wasn't supposed to work corded.........I didn't remember at the time that the manual said it could be used corded........so it sounds like, as usual, some of the reps don't know what they're talking about but does it matter eventually if you use it corded and the battery doesn't get charged..
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:12 PM   #2
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Hmmm...I've had my cordless for about 8 years, but if you added up the total usage it is more like 3 years worth of daily shaving, due to going back and forth between the gillette and the electric. Mine charges on a docking station. Have never replaced the batteries, never use it corded and don't think it is even possible with mine. I've never replaced the foil or the blade either.

If you've had it less than a year (or just over a year, I suspect that yours was a lemon. What was the warranty?

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Old 06-22-2013, 04:37 PM   #3
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I have several devices that have only a charging circuit...meaning that when it's dead, it needs to be recharged and you get low/no battery performance when first plugged in. I even have one device (wireless headphones) that do not work at all when plugged in! Even if the battery is charged. Of course the "features" list didn't mention this annoyance.
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:45 PM   #4
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When the batteries give out it is gone. Alas, mine does not seem capable of working on the outlet if the batteries are bad. I believe some 3rd parties sell replacement battery kits for some of the shavers. You need to know how to use a soldering iron if I recall correctly.
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:40 PM   #5
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My Norelco will work off the cord when the battery is discharged.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:26 PM   #6
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Some devices are fully battery-dependent, while others are both cord/cordless operation (usu listed on package as it is very useful feature!).

Personally I would never try to solder a rechargeable battery. Consequences of overheating seem a bit too dangerous for me
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ERhoosier View Post
Some devices are fully battery-dependent, while others are both cord/cordless operation (usu listed on package as it is very useful feature!).
Thanks, all, for all the comments. Just noticed that the package says cordless and corded use.........perhaps I saw it when I bought it but I didn't remember.
I did use it cordless for a long time so thought somehow plugging it in bypassed
and cut the battery out of the circuit altogether. Apparently though , the battery must still somehow play a role. This AM, it seemed dead. Tonight after recharging for 8 hrs as suggested, it seems to be working again.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:21 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
...... Tonight after recharging for 8 hrs as suggested, it seems to be working again.
NiCd batteries require a fairly long charge time compared to Lithium Ion batteries.
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:41 PM   #9
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Some years ago I was looking to replace a shaver that started to have motor problems. Probably worn-down motor brushes, but they were no longer replaceable like in my earlier shavers.

I was surprised to see some shavers that seemed to cost less than the one I bought years earlier. Carefully looking over the "features" of different models, I started to notice a discrepancy in wording. I found a review by a customer that reported that their "cordless" shaver with an AC cord, would not work if the battery was run down, even if it was plugged in. To run, it had to have a charged battery.

That's not what I wanted, because that battery would start to lose capacity in time, and when the battery was weak, the shaver would be useless.

So I had to learn the lingo and really dig into models and what they had. I had to pay more $ for one that the battery output and the AC-cord-derived DC to run the motor are OR'd together. So if the battery was discharged, deceased, or missing, it would run with the cord just fine. That was ~9 years ago, it's still running fine on AC.

When this one goes, I'll look for the same setup for the next one.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:10 AM   #10
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Tellly, thanks. That seems to describe the situation. What is the lingo you look for........I'm going to call Norelco back and thank them for their advice but then suggest that their wording is deceptive..........and how to improve it?
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:39 AM   #11
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My shaver manual says to fully discharge the battery every so often (maybe every 6 months, can't remember). Perhaps this would be a good thing to try? I just run it down and then leave it on until it goes completely dead. The dang thing seems to take forever to fully run down.
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:05 AM   #12
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I got a very old (talking over 20 years) Norelco in which the battery can't hold a charge anymore. But the blades are still sharp (still original) so I use the shaver as a corded one. So the shave doesn't try to charge the battery, I also use a Belkin On/Off switch

Amazon.com: Belkin Conserve Power Switch: Electronics

and just leave the cord plugged in and don't have to unplug/plug the shaver each time.
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:42 AM   #13
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Tellly, thanks. That seems to describe the situation. What is the lingo you look for....................
Oh, I'm sorry, I don't remember, it's been a long time. I do remember looking at Walmart online to see what they have in the stores, looked in a store, then spent time on Norelco and Remington websites to find the details. I was a Norelco triple-header user from way back. But in this hunt I found Norelco to have the most weasel-worded descriptions. Remington was more clear, though I could still see some weasel influence. I went with a Remington R-950, which has three heads too. I have no idea if they "updated" the R-950 over the years and changed features, or if they use a new model number for every different shaver design.

With a battery onboard, I think it breaks down into two different design approaches:

The first uses cheap low-current low-power circuitry to convert 120 VAC to a low voltage DC to charge the battery. This cheaper circuitry does not handle much power, just trickle-charges the battery over time. Can not use the shaver if the battery is down, as the circuitry cannot provide the real-time power needed to run the motor.

The other method also charges the battery somewhat slowly, but has the power capability to run the shaver with the cord plugged in, no matter what the state of the battery. So this circuitry has to handle more current, more power, therefore is more expensive.

A lot of the marketing hype is to get a bunch of positive buzz words in, and have models cheap to build, and compete near the bottom (which may be where most people buy them). Once I realized the weasel wording, I had to research, including looking at reviews. Most reviews are trash, but there are some reviewers that are pretty smart, and notice things.

Norelco lost me as a customer. But it could change when I need another one, will see.
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:50 PM   #14
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Norelco lost me when they replaced the self-sharpening blades with the ones that last about 6 months and then cost $30 to replace.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:18 PM   #15
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My Panasonic is a great shaver and was reasonably priced at Amazon. It does not work in the corded state which is only for charging apparently. The blades are to be replaced every 18 months as I recall.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:43 PM   #16
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My 3 head Norelco has lasted 10+ years now and only one blade exchange. Works with or without the cord and still keeps a charge. Daily shaver, here.

Just replaced my cordless toothbrush after 10+ years. Battery finally went dead...Phillips / Oral B cheapy model was well worth it.
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