Philips Fabric Shaver GC026/00
- Low price
- Intuitive operation
- Visibly smoother surfaces
- Safe due to automatic switch-off when disassembling
- No rechargeable battery integrated
9.75 / 10
The Philips fabric shaver offers a simple and inexpensive way to get rid of unwanted fabric pills on garments quickly and safely. It’s immediately ready to use after inserting the batteries.
The product presented here was provided to us free of charge by Amazon. The provider had no influence on the test criteria or our rating.
The pilling problem
A pill or lint is the term used to describe small balls and lumps on garments that consist of compacted material fibres. The problem is especially present in cold seasons, when warm clothing such as woollen scarves, knitted pullovers, or felt coats are used a lot. They are caused by friction when worn, but also develop during the spin cycle in the washing machine — and then they are suddenly everywhere. The fluffy pills are particularly undesired because they look anything but beautiful on clothing. Even new garments can then look as if they’ve been worn for years.
Collection by hand is tedious and time-consuming. Alternatively, a piece of tape, nail scissors, a lint roller, or a disposable razor can be used. The most elegant option, however, is certainly to use an electric fabric shaver. With this, the garments are quickly and cleanly freed from the unwanted lint without much effort. Removed material is collected in the collection container. You can easily empty it out and dispose it in your household waste.
When you unpack the product, you’ll find the following: the electric shaver, two AA batteries for power supply and a small brush for cleaning the shaving unit and the pill container. In addition, there is a multilingual instruction manual and information on the warranty and recycling.
According to the manufacturer, the product can be used on almost all garments and many different fabrics. The following materials, among others, are included:
- Synthetic fibres
What is more, according to Philips, carpets, blankets, and even fabric-covered car seats can be cleared of annoying wear marks.
Three blades, which rotate under a flexible metal mesh, are responsible for removing the pills. This mesh has three different sizes of holes for different sizes of pills. If you pass the device over a garment that is ideally lying on a flat surface, such as a table or ironing board, the protruding pills are removed and go into the pill container. The powerful motor allows for 8,800 revolutions per minute, ensuring efficient operation. Thanks to the large blade surface, even the largest textiles can be processed in a short time.
When looking for a downside, we could only criticise that the device doesn’t have a battery that can be charged via USB, for example. But if you don’t want to use disposable batteries, you can simply use two AA rechargeable batteries instead. The product presented here is in the colours turquoise-white (GC026/00). It is also available in lilac-pink (GC026/30), and black-gold (GC026/80).
Before use, you must insert the AA batteries included. To do this, you open the battery compartment on the back of the device, which is easily done thanks to the pictogram. After that, it’s ready to go. On the side of the housing, there is a slide switch that has only two positions: 0 (off) and 1 (on). When you push the switch to position 1, the device starts.
On first sight, you might assume that the sturdy-looking height adjustment cap is a kind of protective cover that you need to remove before use. At least, that’s what happened to us in the test. However, it’s actually a spacer that can be used to determine the cutting height. That is handy when processing different fabrics that require different kinds of care. In this way, you can decide whether to run the mesh directly over the fabric or to create a gap of about three millimetres with the height adjustment cap. This is useful when working on rough woollen textiles so that they are protected and not damaged during shaving. Uneven knitting patterns should also only be treated with the cap. Avoid pressing too firmly or holding the device at an angle so that no holes appear.
When you remove the mesh, the blades are revealed. To ensure that the rotating blades don’t pose a danger, the appliance switches off automatically as soon as you unscrew the mesh. Even before it can be removed, the energy supply and thus the rotation is interrupted — an important safety feature that protects children in particular from injury. Nevertheless, you should always act with caution when using it.
The device itself has a nice touch to it. It has a good grip and doesn’t slip out of the hand when used on textiles. The low weight, which is less than 300 grams including the two AA batteries, also enables effortless fabric shaving.
Overall, lint removal is not too time-consuming a task: if only certain areas are affected, you simply run the appliance over them a few times until you are satisfied with the result. With woollen garments and blankets, removing the pills can be a little more time-consuming and therefore require several passes.
Until the next use, the devices usually disappear in the drawer. For hygienic reasons and so that the next user is not confronted with a full pill container, it is recommended to clean it regularly. All you have to do is remove it from the appliance and empty it over a rubbish bin. Declining performance is not necessarily caused by weak batteries: a full container, with pills blocking the blades, can also compromise performance.
After the container has been emptied, it is time for cleaning. The container is quickly brushed out and after unscrewing the mesh, any lint that has got stuck can be removed in seconds.
The Philips GC026 model is an Amazon bestseller that has been on sale for around ten years. The sturdy design, the simple intuitive handling, the surprisingly good results and the foolproof cleaning convinced us overall. The model is inexpensive in the literal sense: the purchase price at around £12 is more than reasonable. Moreover, there are comparable no-name products that are more expensive. But this model’s quality and reliability really set it apart from its “cheap competition”.
Images 1-7: © FinalCheck