Philips norelco 3100 review: do not buy before reading

philips norelco 3100 review

You’d call me mad if I told you that when I gave up on razor shaving, my first go-to with a Norelco 3100 rotary shaver. A potential of blemished skin was what I thought with the Philips Norelco shaver. Since razors were already wreaking havoc in my skin, I just took the risk and bought the shaver Norelco 3100—that was on this day 4 years ago. Since then, this cost-efficient shaver has been an integral part of my grooming arsenal. In this Norelco 3100 review, we’ll bust the myth surrounding the shaver and discuss how it achieves a squeaky-clean shave despite the low price tag!

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Things To Consider Before Buying An Electric Shaver

Getting used to a Philips Norelco 3100 in particular and an electric shaver, in general, made me frown upon the idea of razor shaving. I mean,  why ask for skin irritation when you can pull off a clean shave with an electric shaver?

The mindset behind buying an electric shaver lies in the need for a close shave without blemishing your skins. Yes, disposable razors execute the closest shave, but at the expense of your follicles that become infected with allergens.

While traditional razors are eligible for a portion of people, an electric shaver is meant to be for everyone. Think about it: a comfortcut blade system is doing the shaving on your behalf—that’s optimal!

 An electric shaver is for everyone, whether you have sensitive skin, wrinkles, allergies, and any monstrosities you can recall. Why?

On top of every electric shaver lies either a foil or a rotary head setup, enticing the hairs into the shaver so that the  comfortcut blade system can butcher them. The best part is that you won’t suffer from after-shave itching. Unlike normal razors, the shaver heads have a top protective cap that’s both blunt and hypoallergenic. So, an electric shaver is a win-win since it gives a close, hygienic shave.

However, our best seller shaver Philips Norelco 3100 (or any other shaver) shouldn’t be on your wishlist if you’re looking for an electric shaver on which you can install attachments, like nose trimmers. We call these “multi grooming kits” if that’s what you’re after.

A shaver like the Philips Norelco 3100 s3310 81 is well-suited for shaving facial hair, including sideburns and upper lip hair since Philips equips it with a popup trimmer, and that’s the case with almost every shaver .

Below, I listed the 6 golden rules that pave the way for a reliable, high build quality electric shaver: 

  1. Linear Motor Power (determined by cross-cutting actions per minute)
  2. Comfortcut Blade System (foil or rotary)
  3. Shaver Head (flexing or stationary)
  4. Grip
  5. Cost of Ownership (post-purchase replacements)
  6. Power Management (battery life, cordless shaving, etc.)

A Look At The Philips Norelco Shaver 3100 Rechargeable Electric Shaver With Popup Trimmer, S3310/81

Philips Norelco shaver 3100

Philips Norelco Shaver 3100 Rechargeable Electric Shaver with Pop-up Trimmer, S3310/81

The Philips Norelco  shaver 3100  s3310 81 is an affordable rotary shaver rocking a sub-$50 price tag. I believe that unlike most rotary shavers, the Philips Norelco shaver 3100’s skin-friendly shaving system hints at a competent shaving experience, and that’s what sets it apart from other contenders.

Included with the purchase are a 5-feet power cord, which gives you initial impressions about cordless shaving a triangular protective cap to cover the razor head for protection against potential corrosion or scratches.

I’d say the shaver 3100 is downright ideal for a smooth transition from razor shaving to the electric one. If you’re seeking both a neat and a clean shave packed in one shaver, the shaver Philips Norelco 3100 s3310 81 is definitely a go-to. “Why?” you ask?

When the Philips Norelco 3100 comes head-to-head with a market leader at this price point, like the SweetLF SW-S7105, you may get tricked into thinking that the latter’s double-track rotary circles give a more comfortable shave. On the contrary, The single-track ones of the Philips Norelco shaver 3100 have proven to be more merciful to the skin—more doesn’t always mean better! 

The superiority of the Philips Norelco 3100 may start to take shape in your mind when it stacks up against its predecessor, the Philips Norelco shaver 2100, which requires an age-long 10-hour charging cycle to rejuvenate its lithium ion battery life. Let that sink in when you consider the 8-hour cycle of the Philips Norelco 3100!


  • Affordable price
  • 2-year warranty
  • Acne-free shaving
  • Ergonomic grip and shaver head
  • Indicators for battery life with compact charging stand
  • Pop-up trimmer
  • cleaning brush


  • Battery prone to degradation if not treated well
  • No wet or dry

Philips Norelco 3100 Shaver In-Depth Review

Having laid the foundation necessary for purchasing a shaver in the previous sections, we’ll question the performance of the Philips Norelco shaver 3100  based on some of these criteria. Now, let’s see how it fares against every single title for the sake of a bias-free, user-oriented review!

Shaving Performance

I bet you’re making the transition to using an electric shaver to end the agony your skin is susceptible to. Consequently, the performance should be the core factor to consider at first. After that comes the luxury of questioning some inconveniences that you may stumble upon.

Since the Philips Norelco shaver 3100 is a rotary shaver, we’re looking here at a three-way shaving system that gently snatches the stubble inside the shaver. The first thing I took a glimpse of was the 3 “cookies” on top, which Philips calls the ComfortCut system. Only then did I discover the secret behind why the Philips Norelco 3100 doesn’t cause any redness on the skin.

It’s the single-track cutters! Do you see these minuscule cut-outs surrounding every rotary circle? That’s it! I’ve been grateful to these single-track cutters when I tried double-track rotary shavers with two rows of identical cut-outs. 

Rotary shavers are naturally aggressive since the inner blades boast a 360-degree movement to remove any flat-lying hairs regardless of their direction. In this case, I realized that a single row is perfectly sufficient if your concern revolves around a safe, acne-free shave.

It’s worth noting that you shouldn’t use a rotary shaver like the shaver 3100 s3310 81 to shave a full beard that you’ve been growing for months. Didn’t you ask yourself why they test every electric shaver on a 3-day beard? Yes, because shavers’ primary mission is to remove stubble.

However, I’ve tried to shave my full-length beard with the popup trimmer of this shaver for kicks and giggles, and it didn’t perform up to par. Still, the pop-up trimmer did its job as a precision detailer finely with the sideburns and the mustache area.

Shaver Head

philips norelco shaving head

Contour adaptation is the target that constantly powers the innovation in the shaving industry, and Philips is no exception here. The Philips Norelco shaving experience would’ve missed a checkpoint if not for the heads flex since most men retreat to the razor shaving habit once they find out that their electric shaver doesn’t support contour following.

When the Philips Norelco 3310 s3310 81 glided through my face, I noticed how precisely it follows the “topography” of my face. Even the intricate areas succumbed to the Philips Norelco shaver 3100’s 4-direction flex heads. Unlike high-end rotary shavers, the Philips Norelco 3100 s3310 81 has its shaver head stationary—the 3 shaving elements are the only moving parts of the head.

Each shaving element turns inward when you apply pressure on your skin for an intensified shave. I’ve observed how the float system functions as expected when I passed the Philips Norelco electric shaver 3100 along my jawline—the flex-and-float rotatory head could easily distribute the 3 elements to efficiently surround the area where my neck and cheek connect!

Ergonomic Grip

philips norelco 3100

Personally, I think that the form factor of the Philips Norelco 3100 is what makes it look prominent. Just look at that gray-colored recessed section at the front—that’s where I used to place my thumb to maintain a high grip on this Philips Norelco shaver 3100 s3310 81. Although Philips constructed the shaver body out of matte black plastic, it still feels premium in hand.

At the back of the Philips Norelco 3100 s3310 81, you’ll see an arched back with a cavity in the opposite direction of the recessed front area, and that’s where your remaining four fingers should supposedly wrist. Overall, I believe that the ergonomics of the grip are incredibly well-thought, and I’m glad that Philips didn’t miss out on that just because of the cost-efficient price tag.

Power Options

This is where things start to get a little complex in our Philips Norelco shaver 3100 review. Yet, I’m a fan of starting with the good news first, and the positive aspect here is that our affordable rotary shaver is capable of both corded and cordless shaving. That’s why Philips proudly supports its shaver with a long 5-feet cord!

On the flip side, the Norelco 3100 s3310 81 features a 45-minutes of shaving time from the lithium-ion battery in exchange for 8-hour charging time, the thing I’d deem normal at this price point. But what’s weird here is that the lithium-ion battery degrades over my 4-year usage period.

Negative aspects aside, I liked how Philips kept the indicators to a minimum with two simple LED display for the low battery life alert and the shaving heads replacement period.

Worry-Free Maintenance

replacement head for norelco 3100

Snap It Open!

Remember when we stated that electric shavers are a cut above disposable razors owing to their allergen-killing shaving heads? Well, it turns out there’s more to it—you can safely detach the shaving head to expose the inner blades for a cleaning session with cleaning brush over the sink!

Protruding from the lower edge of the head is a button that you have to press to reveal the 3 blades so you can wipe the stubble clean off by using a cleaning brush or wash it under the running water.

You can find indicator below the power button to remind you to replace the shaving heads, Which you can rest by holding the power button for 5 seconds.

How Long Do Norelco Rotatory Head Last?

Hear me out: you MUST replace the rotary shaving heads exterior blades every 12 months so that you can get the best results from the Norelco 3100 in the long run. Every pack that Philips sells contains 3 individual blades working with each other to revamp the proficiency of the cutters. 

I like how Philips went ubiquitous with its replacement heads, making them compatible with 1000, 2000, 3000 series—they all use the same SH30/52 replacement pieces, which you can check out here.

Norelco 3100 On Trial: User Reviews

I did what you’re doing right now at first—I searched for electric shaver reviews before purchasing the Norelco shaver. Since confirmation bias may hit in at any moment (we all fall prey to that), I also believe that you shouldn’t take only my word for it. I embarked on a journey, surfing the web for electric shaver reviews, and they’re predominantly positive!

philips norelco 3100 series

Philips Norelco Shaver 3100 Rechargeable Electric Shaver

Doesn’t Float Your Boat? Take 3 Alternatives Worth Considering!

Which Is Better: Norelco Or Remington?

After all, people may not fall in love with the Norelco 3100 as I did, and I thought that addressing some honorable mentions from Remington (or other manufacturers) is a great way to finalize our unbiased review. 

A general rule of thumb in the world of shavers is that Remington has more motor power and, in turn, more noise output, unlike Norelco’s shaver’s moderate ambient noise. Regardless of the Norelco-Remington beef, let’s look at our alternatives

Expectedly, Remington equips this electric shaver with the dual-track cutters with a motor power that enhances the shaving performance at the cost of after-shave comfort. Another thing that caught my eyes is the stubble attachment, great for 3-day beards!

Moreover, this shaver still maintains a lower price tag than the already affordable Norelco. However, the replacement rotatory head for the PR1335B are still expensive.

So far, we have:

  • High vs. low noise
  • Expensive vs. affordable replacements
  • Affordable price tags for both shavers
  • Stubble attachment for the Remington

If you have a skin that withstands aggressive yet fast shaving, considering checking this Remington out here.

I couldn’t miss adding a foil shaver to the alternatives since some people can’t stand rotary ones like the shaver 3100. Unlike the Norelco, the F5-5800 has a blade system that moves side-to-side with foils veiling it. While foils may not achieve the closest shave, this shaver boasts 60 minutes of shaving for one charge, and the razor head pivots back and forth.

A great addition is the battery gauge, something we don’t have in the Norelco.

So far, we have:

  • Foil vs. rotary float system
  • 60 vs. 45-minutes of shaving time
  • Battery gauge vs. low battery indicator led display
  • Swiveling head vs. 4-D flex heads

If you want to start your electric shaving endeavors with a more forgiving foil shaver, check this one out here.

A Last Honorable Mention

When you ponder thıs Lavieer shaver, you’ll notice two rows of straight cut-outs instead of rounded ones in the Norelco, denoting an unrelenting shaving performance. But, that always comes at the expense of after-shave convenience. However, the premium look, the fully-lit LCD showing power, and the USB charging capability are all enticing!

Also, this budget shaver features wet & dry operation, hard to find at this price point.

So far, we have:

  • Faster vs. safer blade system
  • LCD screen vs. LCD light
  • USB charging vs. charging cord
  • Wet or dry vs. washable

If you’re eager to take the memories of wet shaving experience to an electric shaver with shaving cream, then take a look at this shaver here.


Now, I hope that you’ve appreciated the way the Philips Norelco 3100 has treated me for four years. Although it may not be the most “powerful” option, I believe that this shaver’s moderate performance is what makes it shine at the end of the day, especially for men who suffer from sensitive skin. Ticking all the boxes for you? You can give it a shot here!

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