A Complete Guide To Buying An Electric Shaver

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Franz Rivoira
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There was a time when people used blades and blade holders to shave. Gone are the days of doing things manually. Everything including shaving has been automated to meet the accelerated pace of life that we lead today.

An electric shaver allows you to have a smooth and clean shaven look without devoting much time. Moreover, it does not come too close to the skin, thereby preventing cuts and bruises. However, not every electric shaver available on the market can meet your needs. So, it is important to understand your key requirements first before making a purchase. Here are some tips on choosing the best electric shaver to meet your needs.

Our Guide To Buying an Electric Shaver

Purpose of Shaving – Foil vs. Rotary Shavers vs. Trimmers

Do you want to shave on a daily basis to keep your face hair-free and smooth? Or do you just want to trim your facial hair so that they don’t overgrow? Identify your shaving purpose and then choose between foil shavers and rotary shavers. Foil blade razors are best suited for people who shave every day and have sensitive skin. It comes with a thin metal foil which prevents the razor from coming in direct contact with your skin. This will prevent your skin from getting irritated. However, it’s not ideal for trimming long hair. Rotary shavers, on the other hand, have spinning discs with floating heads which are designed to adjust to the facial contours, thereby giving you excellent results in cutting hairs in hard to reach areas. This type of shaver can efficiently cut long hair and facial hair that likes to grow in lots of different directions. Rotary and foil razors have variations depending on the number of heads and foils respectively.

Power Consumption and Supply – Plug-in vs Corded

Electric shavers are divided into three major types when it comes to power: battery powered (think AA batteries etc.), those with a plug-in charging unit (most modern shavers), and corded razors. With plug-in mode types, make sure that the shaver is fully charged before using it. This way, you will not have to worry about it running out of power while in use – although most modern shavers will go for up to one hour on a charge.  Battery powered razors are not ideal for daily use because of their low efficiency with regards to power consumption. They do however have the upper hand for those who travel frequently.  Corded shavers are uncommon these days as they are quite impractical, due to the fact that the cord gets in the way of shaving.

Wet/Dry Electric Shavers

Some men prefer to use electric shavers in the shower to save time in the morning (the moisture can soften whiskers making it easier to shave).  Also, if you have sensitive skin or acne you might like to use your electric shaver with gels or shaving cream.  In this case look for Wet/Dry models.

Tip 1: You do need to be careful when choosing a wet/dry shaver, as not all wet/dry models allow gels or shaving creams to be used.  This is usually the case with the higher end shavers which come with the cleaning and charging units.  The gels or creams can harm the cleaning and charging units.  The shaving units can typically handle the gels and creams, so some users still use shaving creams, clean the shaver unit first before putting the shaver in the cleaning station.  But do this at your own risk as it will generally invalidate the warranty.

Tip 2: Typically, wet/dry shaving models will not operate when plugged in. This is for safety reasons in case someone tried to use it in the shower while plugged in.


Ease of Cleaning Electric Razors – Manual Clean vs Cleaning and Charging units

Cleaning is a very important element while using electric razors. People with sensitive skin are prone to infections as a result of unhygienic conditions. So you need to clean the razor after every usage. The cleaning method may differ depending on the type. Foil razors are easier to clean compared to their rotary counterparts, but make sure the thin foil is protected while cleaning.  The more advanced (you can also read more expensive) shavers come with their own built in cleaning (and charging) stations and adjust the level of cleaning based on how dirty the shaver is.  The very latest models even disinfect the shaver.

Mobility with Electric Shavers

Mobility plays an integral part in ease of shaving and so is an important factor to consider. A shaver with a plug-in charging unit or cordless razor offers maximum mobility and better results. Although a battery powered shaver also provides excellent mobility, its usage should be limited to travel only.  As mentioned above corded razor will impede mobility as the cord will often get in the way of shaving.

Price Range of Electric Razors

Although it is very tempting to go for the cheapest electric shavers, they may disappoint you in terms of quality and efficiency. A high quality electric razor for men will last for a long time so it’s worth paying for that ‘quality’ up front. But ultimately, like with any significant purchase, you should set a budget based on your needs and try to stick to it – there are shavers available at every price point.

Ergonomics of Your Electric Razor

Find an electric razor that feels good to hold. There are different shapes and sizes available. Models shaped like disposable razors are a perfect fit for many except if you have larger hands. So before buying a shaver, try it out where possible to get a feel for it. Make sure that the razor chosen will be able to reach all parts of your face with ease, including below the nose or dimples.

Electric Shaver Replacement Blades

Like traditional straight razors, electric shavers also need blade replacement. Over time, the foil and blades in the electric shaver will wear out and so should be replaced at least once a year. When choosing razors, inquire whether the model you want to buy has a second set of foils and blades or rotary heads. Also inquire how to find and buy replacement parts. Expensive electric razors have expensive replacement parts so consider this when comparing shavers to buy.

An electric shaver is an excellent option for people who want a faster shave. Moreover, it is less messy, easier to use and can be used on dry facial hair.

If you want to investigate alternatives to electric shavers (but are fed up of disposable razors) it might also be worth considering the use of a straight razor or safety razor.


  • Franz Rivoira

    Franz is an expert in watches and grooming. He has extensive knowledge of mechanical watches and loves exploring the details that make each one unique. He's also passionate about helping men look their best and shares tips on grooming, including achieving a perfect shave or maintaining a healthy beard. Franz is a go-to source for anyone looking to elevate their style game. Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/franzrivoira/