Cost, convenience and closeness are the deciding factors when it comes to choosing either a manual or an electric shaver – Groom+Style compares.
Asking which is better, a manual or an electric shaver, is like asking whether tea is better than coffee — they’re both hot, brown and wet, and they both contain caffeine. It’s personal preference. You can buy tea and coffee which costs a little, or you can buy tea and coffee which costs a lot, it’s the same with shavers.
What Is a Manual Shaver?
A manual shaver is anything without a motor, which requires you to run a blade over your beard to cut the hairs. That includes everything from disposable Bic razor, to expensive Gillette Mach III razors.
The Pros of a Manual Shaver:
The Cons of a Manual Shaver:
What Is an Electric Shaver?
An electric shaver can be either a foil, rotary or clipper. See Groom+Style’s article comparing electric shavers for a full run-down. Electric shavers feature oscillating or rotating blades, covered with some form of protective cover.
The Pros of an Electric Shaver:
Big plus — If you’re a guy who suffers from acne or uneven skin, an electric shaver can help to prevent nicks and cuts, by separating your skin from the blade, either by foil or a rotary casing.
The Cons of an Electric Shaver:
What About Fusion Razors?
Razors such as the Gillette Fusion combine a manual razor with a vibrating head. The idea is to retain the control and feel of a manual shave, while introducing the hair-lifting and speed benefits of an electric shaver. If you’re on the fence about which one to use, a fusion razor could be the answer, although they’re not the most economical — you’ll be paying for both batteries and replacement razors.
In Celebration of the Safety Razor and Straight Razor
With the possible exception of a beautiful straight razor, a safety razor will not only shave closely with a healthy dose of nostalgia thrown in, it also makes a great gift. Sturdy, single-blade safety razors have been around for a long, long time. Check out Groom+Style’s picks for the Top 5 Safety Razors.
If you’re feeling really fancy, you might want to consider a straight razor (like the kind a traditional barber might use, or Sweeney Todd.) The cost of a straight razor (otherwise know as a cut throat razor) is pretty similar to that of a safety razor (depending how fancy you want to go), plus a leather strop for sharpening. The fun factor is through the roof with a straight razor, but be careful, it’s easy to cut yourself with one of these, and getting a good shave requires some practice. Find out more at how to shave with a straight razor. You might also want to make sure that you’re using the right products with your straight razor.
Conclusion – What is Best for You?
What it comes down to is this: if you have the time to shave manually and you enjoy it, get a manual shaver, safety or straight razor. If convenience and a decent shave are what you’re after, get an electric shaver. If you have money to burn, get a fusion.
Check out the Groom+Style Art of Shaving section for more.