Welcome to Robb Recommends, a regular series in which our editors and contributors endorse something they’ve tried and loved—and think will change your life for the better. If you purchase a product or service through a link in this story, we may receive a small commission.
As a grooming editor, I test dozens of new products and devices in a week, and usually have to pass them along to my friends, even if I like them. It’s the only way to keep them from piling up and, sure, it’s a nice problem to have. Call it a perk of the job. (And a perk of being a grooming editor’s friend.) But every few weeks, I fall in love with a product so deeply that it stays in rotation until it’s expired. Or, if it’s a device, it just sticks around until it’s kaput, allowing little wiggle room for a new favorite to emerge.
One of these devices is Panasonic’s body groomer, the ER-GK60-S. This device was tailor-made for me: I’m extremely hairy, all over, and in particular want a smooth back without having to use an actual razor. This thing is so ergonomically friendly that it allows me to shave my own back without having to beg a friend or partner for an extra hand, and results in a barely-there stubble, akin to what you’d get from an electric shaver. But it’s the angled, vertical nozzle that makes all the difference—and along with a perfectly-distanced blade guard, this upright angle prevents nipping and cutting in other places, like the groin and armpit. My one complaint was that I wanted slightly more than the three short length options with its standard guards; thus, I didn’t use it on my chest, in favor of a beard trimmer I substitute for that task. (I like to keep a hairy chest, albeit trimmed to a centimeter or so.)
So, when Panasonic sent over its newer body groomer last year—an updated version of the one I love—I hesitated to take it out of the box. Mine was still working perfectly, so what difference could the new device make?
But, as is my job, I did give it a spin, and now I have to live with the guilt that I found a body groomer I love even more. This new model, the ER-GK80-S tackles everything—even the awkward-crevice tidy-ups—just as well as the original (thank goodness). But it’s like they heard my wishes with the more customized trimming lengths, too: this one has 20 cutting length adjustments in half-millimeter increments. So virtually whatever length you like to wear your body hair, this thing can be customized accordingly. (I’m not the only one who appreciates the update: this thing won a Red Dot design award.)
Here’s the caveat: Primary retailers like Amazon are often sold out of the newer ones. So, if you’re lucky, you might find the new model the ER-GK80-S for its recommended retail price (roughly $100) instead of jacked up by sellers due to low inventory. Otherwise, I’d still highly endorse picking up my old favorite, the ER-GK60-S, for $70, especially if DIY back hair trimming is your primary concern. But if you want to maintain medium-length hair on your chest or elsewhere instead of trimming them short, I suggest holding out until the ER-GK80-S is properly stocked.