Resurrecting an electric razor

[Salvatore Ventura] likes a close shave from an electric razor, and nothing shaves closer than a new set of blades. After shelling out for some sharp ones, the rechargeable batteries died so he set out to replace them with a couple of double A’s (not the ones pictured above as those are alkaline).

This fix actually increased the original battery life of the razor by about 30%. That’s thanks to a larger capacity than the battery that had come with the razor. But [Salvatore] didn’t get to enjoy the windfall for very long. One morning the charge light was blinking on the razor and it wouldn’t spin up at all. After testing the batteries with a multimeter he found that they had a full charge and figured it was the main board that had gone out.

The real question is, what is that board actually doing? A bit of study led him to the conclusion that it is just a charging circuit, and an on/off switch. He kissed the board goodbye, wired up the AA battery holders directly. Now he jams a paper clip into the recharging jack, shorting the pins to complete the circuit. He could even keep using rechargeables with an external charger if he was careful not to run them too low.

Comments

  1. Spork says:

    Huh, I was hoping the paper clip had solved the ‘bad main board’ issue.

    I would re-wire the charger with circuit protection and use batteries with built in discharge protection… and not have to jam a paperclip in my razor to shave. It just doesn’t seem like a proper fix after he with through the effort to take apart and document it.

  2. EngrishBob says:

    Not really a hack, more a simple repair job.
    OT: nothing shaves closer than a proper wet shave, electrics can’t even come close.

  3. vasskk says:

    paperclip, wirehanger, zipties, ductape. = real hax ;)

  4. Cri says:

    Nothing shaves closer than a hand razor ;)

  5. scooter says:

    I would probably just go buy a new razor and get back to hacking something that doesn’t have dead skin and whiskers all over it…jeezus, he could have at least cleaned it up for the pictures!

  6. fartface says:

    REal men shave with a double bladed dagger.

  7. treflar says:

    I shave with a chain.

  8. Joe says:

    Bad blade? Bad battery? Bad main board? Man, this guy should get a medal for his persistence. I would have just bought a new razor.

  9. Ben Wright says:

    I was hoping for a ride on electric razor.

  10. Taylor Alexander says:

    Haha, I just threw one of these exact shavers away because the batteries wouldn’t charge. I knew I could have fixed it but in my case I never used the thing anyway. Still, glad to see someone avoid the waste!

  11. Problex says:

    Hope no one goes to use the razor then plugs in the mains power lead, that could end badly……

  12. brad says:

    @mjrippe i’m with you. i have a few straights, strops, and a coticule. i’m completely self sufficient. no more shelling out for new blades ever! :)

    oh, and no batteries required. :P

  13. steve says:

    In my opinion it is time to buy a new one!

  14. neamerjell says:

    I believe this is how cordless electric razors should have been designed in the first place! I went through two rechargeables that wouldn’t hold a charge and finally said screw it, I’m sportin’ a (very) full beard! I finally found a corded beard trimmer.

  15. ScottInNH says:

    A lot of these electric razors are “designed to fail”.

    Bought my wife a “Remington WDF-1600 Smooth & Silky Ultra Shaver”, which had high scores. Unfortunately I did not read the 2-star reviews, nearly all of which identified that the shaver screen breaks easily (snags on the blade, and rips a jagged piece of metal out).

    Guess what the cost of a new blade screen is? Same price as a new razor. What jackasses.

    I did clean it up and salvage the parts. There’s a decent geared DC motor inside. The housing and the buttons work fine. The 2 AA NiCD only output 2.4v, but a Maxim MAX756 free sample boosted it to 5v (basically the MintyBoost v1 circuit… don’t waste an $8 LT1302 Minty v2-3 on a very low power circuit).

  16. Brian says:

    I have tried to fix an electric razor too. It would no longer hold a charge, so I replaced the ‘AA’ NiCad batteries with known good NiCads and it didn’t work. The Razor has a built-in battery meter that is now really wacky – it will display 100% charged even when the battery is obviously nearly discharged, and sometimes it shows empty even when fully charged, and sometimes it works right. It never did this before the battery was replaced – so what’s the deal! I think that there is more going on in that charging circuit board that simply charging. I’ve already expended more time than I would like to, so now I just run it while plugged in. Still, it makes me wonder what’s going on inside that crazy razor. (I’m fighting the urge to jump to the conspiracy conclusion – “They want you to buy a new one”)

  17. Kieran says:

    This sounds like a macgyver fix – great stuff!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 93,986 other followers