While it’s safe to say that electric shavers still can’t get as close as blades these days there’s very little in it when it comes to a close shave. Most electric razors offer simple convenience above all, and the comfort of not dealing with nicks and razor burn scrapes.
Electric razors come in a host of different shapes and sizes including the ubiquitous pink monstrosities marketed to women. Don’t be fooled though, they all work the exact same way no matter what color or brand they are.
Rather than using your hand motion to drag blades across the skin they are powered by a fast motor that causes the blades to move rapidly, slicing through hairs as you drag them across the skin. The concept hasn’t changed much in almost 50 years but there have been significant improvements in technology in that time.
Electric razors are ideal for those who have little time to shave as you can use them dry without having to wash or lather and with some models they can come in the shower with you too. You’re less likely to suffer from razor burn so they’re also ideal for sensitive skin.
It takes a few weeks for your skin and hair to adjust to an electric shaver and at first you may find you do get irritation but it’s important to give them a real try and wait it out.
Foil vs Rotary
There are two main types of electric shavers – foil and rotary. While both work in the same way using small blades to slice the hair off they have a very obviously different design. It foil razors the rounded blades are protected by a thin foil with holes for the hair to pass through.
These give a closer shave than a rotary because they can physically get closer to your hairs and often have lifters to stand the hair up before trimming. Rotaries use spinning grooves that slice the hair blade off as they spin. They’re designed to fit perfectly around the chin angle and has a much more flexible head.
The key with buying an electric razor is not to go cheap.
Most razors are like cars and you will get what you pay for in terms of trading extra functions and poorer performance for price. Many cheap razors boast features comparable with high end brands but if the blades can’t perform it doesn’t matter how many extra gimmicks it has because it won’t give you a good shave.
The only thing you need to concentrate on is the blades and a replacement head being available when it dulls. For example, Phillips uses many similar blades and cutting heads on their rotary shavers despite having different designs and features. The 8000 SensoTouch alone for example uses the same head for over 10 different models.
If you want to save yourself some money check out the heads as well since you may be able to swap a better head onto a cheaper body.
Best Electric Shaver Reviews for Men
Panasonic ES-LV81-K Arc 5 Wet/Dry with Charge Station
An award winning design that has a 5 blade head with 30 degree angled hypo-allergenic nanotech blades for a clean and comfortable shave. It has a whopping 70,000 actions from a 14,000 cpm motor for total efficiency. It has a flexible head and pivot action so that it can hug the contours of your face with multiple foils to catch hairs no matter how awkward.
It comes with a premium charging station that cleans and takes care of your razor to leave it like new each time. It uses an alcohol free cleaning solution to remove debris and hair and dries the razor when it’s done, though you can still rinse it under the faucet instead.
There’s a pop up trimmer and a 10 stage LCD display for battery level and a cleaning reminder. The foil has a tapered edge to life hairs and make the shave even closer.
- 14,000 cpm
- 5 Blade
- Pop up Trimmer
This works for a variety of styles and it’s very easy to clean, with or without the cleaning station. The handle is comfortable and contoured so you can get into tight angles for an accurate shave and it’s submersible which makes it ideal for use in the shower.
It’s fast and shaves pretty smooth with both wet and dry and the pivoting head really does help with accuracy. It’s nicely designed and feels solid.
The cleaning system also sanitizes the blade which helps prevent bumps and irritation and there’s also a sonic cleaning mode for when you’re traveling to shake out anything without the cleaning station.
It’s a pricey razor, and you’ll see the price jump anywhere from the high $180s through to the low $300s despite the tech being a few years old.
The replacement foils are almost $100 on their own which is ridiculous. For something so pricey it’s a let down on how close the shave is.
Philips Norelco S3310/81
The cheapest of all, this is a comfortable and affordable choice. It has 4 direction heads that are in the classic rotary design that Philips is known for. It’s a long lasting lithium battery and plugs directly into the charger cord so you don’t have to worry about a bulky base taking up counter space.
The shaver is washable so it’s quick to clean and there’s a pop up trimmer for precision. It’s a smart all black design which does look a little basic to some of the chromed out alternatives but then it’s a hundred dollars or more cheaper.
It has a 45 minute use battery and comes with the standard “use it for 21 days to adjust” that Philips issues with all their models
The razors last about a year which makes this a cost effective choice. It’s a dry razor only and shouldn’t be taken in the shower.
- 10,000 cpm
- 45minute Battery
- Dry only
- Simple to use
A good economical choice for someone who wants to try an electric razor but perhaps doesn’t want to shell out hundreds right off.
It runs whether plugged in or not and is simple to use. There’s not a lot of bells on it just a simple close shave with an on and off button. Ideal for someone older or who doesn’t want to get into gadgets just to shave.
A miserably long 8 hour charge really hampers this as there’s no quick charge and no battery indicator. Once it’s dead it’s dead so you’ll have to remember to charge it. The model is pretty basic so there’s not a lot to go wrong as long as you’re not expecting impressive features.
It’s not a very close shave and it’s hard to clean on top of the fact that when you clean it it’s impossible to dry all the water out so it runs out the bottom when you tip it back up to use it. It’s also not suited for longer hairs and will simply rip them out.
Braun Series 7 790cc-4 Electric Foil Shaver with Charge Station
Braun is one of the leading shaver brands, and they’ve been around for almost a century. This is an intelligent design with sensors to increase or decrease power through difficult areas or denser hair types. It has a max of 1,000 microvibrations per second and can cut hair as short as 0.05mm for a very close shave. It uses ActiLift technology to lift hair as it travels so that the hair can be cut shorter.
The cutting elements are both flexible and mounted on a fully pivoting head which helps hug the contours of your skin.
There are three different modes to adjust your shave depending on what and where. The charging station has 5 cleaning modes including blade lubrication and a drier so that your razor will always be sharp and ready. The battery lasts for up to 50 minutes of shaving and has a 2 LED display. It’s currently (as of Dec 2016) the number one bestseller for mens shavers.
- 50 minutes
- Charge/Cleaning station
With a grip that is comfortable to hold it’s a well put together design at first glance. It provides a nice close shave and you’ll be hard pressed to cut yourself with it.
The hair lifting bar juts out a little which makes it more convenient for sideburns and mustaches where you’ll need to see the edge clearly.
The li-ion battery lasts years which means you can expect the expensive price to end up much cheaper than disposables over time (about 12¢ a shave).
It’s certainly not one of the cheaper models and asides from the cleaning station it doesn’t really have a lot to define it. The cleaning station however start to cost a fortune because of the special solution needed to clean the razor, so if you want a clean razor every shave you’ll be buying solution often.
This is a dry razor only, something you’ll want to consider if your skin is especially sensitive. It’s also not particularly quiet and has a distinctive buzz.
Panasonic ES8243A Arc4 Electric Razor Wet-Dry
This is decidedly a different ball game than the 790, it’s a simple 4 blade cordless that can be used wet or dry. It has a flexible, pivoting head for contours which can tilt up to 30 degrees and has a slight outward curve to the blades. The blade can vibrate up to 13,000 cpm, faster than the 790, which means it causes less pulling for less irritation.
The wet shave option is useful if you’re prone to that as well so you can combine it with a soothing shave gel. It also has a pop up trimmer for detailing and areas like mustaches or sideburns where you can get better precision.
The LCD display illuminated and show a variety of information like battery health, shave timer and a cleaning reminder as well as a replace blade notification. The razor itself has a sonic vibration cleaning mode that shakes out any stuck hairs to keep your razor clean. You can also rinse the entire shaver off and it comes with a travel storage pouch.
- 50 Minutes
- Pop up trimmer
A fast and ergonomic design that has two large and two small blades to provide better contact with the skin and a closer shave. It’s not quite as close as a razor but it’s still pretty close.
The battery life is reasonable – neither especially impressive or poor, and will last a couple of shaves but about 2 years before replacement.
However, the battery indicator is clear and incredibly useful since it show levels rather than just telling you (as it runs out) that the battery is low. For the price it’s pretty good and performs well on an everyday basis.
The large blade surface is cumbersome and it’s hard to keep it to the skin because it’s so wide. The replacement foil and blades are also about 80% of the cost for a new unit, so it’s questionable why you’d want to pay that much and risk the motor going out not too long after.
It doesn’t have a cleaning station so it’s harder to clean and usually doesn’t get very clean without work despite the sonic feature. It’s pretty noisy which can be annoying.
Philips Norelco S9311/87
The 9 series Philips has the traditional rotary head design but it turns an impressive 8 direction on a twist and pivot point so it’s always able to turn to follow the contours of your face. This means you can cut up to 20% more hair than a standard razor.
It works as a wet or dry blade and has three settings for skin and hair types. It has a smart cleaning station that cleans, lubricates and charges and it’s sealed for use in the shower too.
It has an advanced LED display that shows a 5 bar battery status so you’ll get a heads up when it starts to die. It’s also won the 2015 IF Design Award for design achievement. The blades are V-track shaped to scoop up hairs as close to the skin as possible. It comes with a hard case and will do a 50 minute run on a full charge.
- 3 Speed
- Charge/Cleaning station
- V shaped blades
The design is intended to catch all the hairs it can and it certainly performs better over the Braun 7 at that. There are very few missed hairs using this which shows that the 8 direction technology does work. The motor is fairly quiet and does a good job of getting close to the skin.
It’s easy to use and comfortable, though you’ll have to get used to the unique circular motion expected to catch everything – and it does that. The cleaning solution isn’t alcohol based, unlike Braun, which means there’s less irritation likely even though the cleaning process is much the same. The adjustable speed is nice as you can use it to power through tough areas.
It’s rather expensive and it’s not got a sturdy feel at all. It feels light but cheap and plasticky (great for being agile bad if you drop it on a hard sink surface). Philips says you need to use this for at least 21 days before your skin adjusts to be able to see the “real” shave so you may waste 21 days trying it and then rush it back when you don’t like it.
The cleaning unit takes up a lot of counter space and the solution is really expensive. There’s also the issue of having to run the battery dry 3 times before the indicator is accurate, which, since there’s no quick charge feature means you might run out in the middle of a shave if you’re not careful.
Panasonic ES8103S Arc3 Wet and Dry with Nanotech Blades
A step down version of the ES8243A it’s a three blade design with a similar pivoting head that traces body contours even through problem areas. It has a similar motor and also does 13,000 cpm but has a design that’s intended to keep producing maximum output until the battery dies.
The floating head also makes it easy to contour to areas like sideburns with the pop up trimmer all with hypo-allergenic blades. There’s also a travel pouch for convenience and it charges via a direct AC port so you don’t have to clutter your counter up.
The blade are set at a 30 degree angle to shave nice and close and they’re set into a curved arc to hug the skin better underneath the chin area. It has an LCD display that shows 10 different degrees of battery charge (so you have plenty of warning before it cuts off) as well as a cleaning reminder and a sonic cleaning mode.
- 3 Blade
- Pop up Trimmer
Really the only difference between this and the ES8243A is a single blade and the price, for which you’re spending a lot less and getting much the same razor. It’s 100% washable so you can take it in the shower without worrying and it still provides a gentle shave.
It’s nice and quiet compared to most others even with the fast motor. Cleaning is a breeze since you can just rinse it out under running water like you would with a regular shaver. It’s very lightweight which makes it easier to handle and agile enough to turn all contours on the body.
For $20 you can also get a version where the head locks, and this is great for hard to reach areas on the body where you might not be able to see well so why get the cheaper version?
The design of the foils means that there’s a knack to shaving with this that might differ from what you’re used to so it can take a few shaves to get it right. The trimmer has a nasty habit of snapping closed if you don’t hold it just right while shaving.
Braun Series 9 9095cc Wet and Dry Foil shaver with cleaning center
A hypo-allergenic cleaning station that cleans and lubricates as well as charges seems very similar to the series 7. In fact, the charger does all the same things with 5 different modes but in a much smaller footprint, and you can even take the cord out and plug the device in directly without the charging station if you’re traveling.
It’s far from the bulky countertop box of the series 7. The unit has a similar battery to that of the Panasonic ES2207P in that it also will run at maximum capacity until it dies. This is where the similarities end. It has a whopping 40,000 cpm motor in it which gives an amazingly close shave and almost no pulling or irritation.
It’s lightweight and quiet despite having the bigger motor which means it almost feels cheap but it’s much easier to handle. The head is broad for a quicker shave and it might take some getting used to but it works out well.
- 50 minutes
- Charge/Clean Station
The impressive speed and motor means that snags and pulls are a thing of the past. It’s quick and comfortable which is the most important part.
That being said it could be a little closer but it’s close enough to the 7 and most others around this price that you won’t notice a lot of difference. Like the 7 it has the convenient pop up trimmer for precision too.
The series 7 actually gives a closer shave and misses less hairs. It has a slightly longer body too which means it’s a little bit less easy to turn when using. It struggles with longer hairs and is ideal if you’re shaving every day but not after any length of time.
The lock button is in an unfortunate place and you’re likely to hit it while shaving which is annoying and inconvenient. The price is also a little prohibitive as this is one of the most expensive razors you can find since it’s still fairly new and the replacement foils are similarly expensive since they only last about 12-18 months.
Old Spice Wet & Dry Shave & Trim by Braun
A rather tiny pocket sized razor that’s idea for traveling and for someone who’s an Old Spice enthusiast. It works well as both wet or dry and is easy to clean. It come with lubricating oil for the razors and has a wide trimmer for cutting long hairs, though it’s not as wide as to be difficult to use like some.
It’s solidly built and fits well in the hand. This is a really good deal because you’re getting the gimmick from Old Spice but it’s Braun technology in there which is normally much more expensive.
In fact, it’s essentially the Braun 320-4 with the same strong motor at half the price so it’s also compatible with the matching Clean and Renew system if you have one laying about. It’s a floating three blade design with a 4 level battery indicator and you can still use it while it’s plugged in for convenience when the battery dies.
- 10,000 cpm
- 45 minute
- 3 blade
- Compatible with clean and renew system
For the price you’ll be hard pressed to get another Braun that works as well as this. The small size makes it ergonomic to hold and it’s impressively quiet. Does the job in one pass and manages to lift up flat hairs so that you’re not missing a lot.
The charging stand is small and doesn’t take up a lot of space plus it also has a beard guard to allow you to trim everything.
It tugs noticeably at longer hairs and isn’t suitable for taking in the shower as it’s not sealed. Cleaning does not really get into the bits behind the blade and you’ll find that the head may pop apart during cleaning which is then a hassle to put back together.
Not being able to clean it properly is a serious problem that can also lead to irritation and discomfort. It’s finnicky about the 90 degree suggested angle and anything but means you won’t get a close shave at all.
Philips Norelco 4500 AT830/46
A name that is often the first that people turn to when purchasing razors, the company has been around a while and does obviously know what they’re doing. The thing is their brand isn’t at the top, it’s very middle ground these days so they’re hard to consider being in “the best” category unless they’re the top of their range.
The 4500 is better than your average Philips. The reason for this is that it has both that traditional triple head deign but it also has a few extra features that can compete with other brands. The 4 direction heads have slots and holes so they can turn quickly without getting stuck on longer hairs and it’s usable as a wet or dry shaver too.
The pop up trimmer is easy to use for precision areas and it’s designed with a floating and pivoting head so that it covers every angle. The unit is sealed for use in the shower and it has a lift and cut action to get even closer to skin level. There’s also a 3 minute quick charge feature for when you forget to charge it and need enough for 1 quick shave, though the battery will hold a standard 50 minute max on a full charge. You’ll have to get used to the rotary style if you’ve only used foils before.
- Pop up Trimmer
- Quick Charge
- 50 minute
- Compatible with Jet Clean system
While it doesn’t come with a charging station it’s actually compatible with the 8260cc Jet Clean so if you’re thinking of upgrading you might still get the same compatibility.
It’s strong enough to cut through even dense hair and rinses easily with water if you haven’t got a cleaning station, though you’ll have to flip it open to do so.
It’s the most basic of this line and when you compare it to the 9300 you’re missing out on the docking station benefits. There’s only a little light to indicate low battery and no warning that it’s getting close so the 3 minute quick charge is almost a necessity since it won’t warn you it’s about to die.
You can’t use it plugged in either so when it dies, it dies. The 4 direction blades don’t always catch everything and they’re significantly lower in power than the Panasonics.
Panasonic ES-LF51A Men’s 4 Blade Cordless
Another of the Arc-4 line this uses similar hypo-allergenic nanotech blades with ultra thin foil to deliver a close shave with a curved angle to fit around face contours. It has a flexible pivoting head and a pop up trimmer for detailing.
It has an impressive 14,000 cut motor which, with four blades, comes out at a massive 56,000 actions total. It maintains power until the battery dies and works as a wet or dry shaver, though it’s not suitable for the shower.
The design is easy to hold and has an illuminated LED indicator with 5 stages of battery power. It’s easy to clean, just rinse under running water and has a universal voltage for travel. It does have a 3 minute quick charge so you can get a shave in with a dead battery, though you can’t use it plugged in.
- 56,000 cpm
- 4 Blade
A good fit in your hand and a deign that feels robust enough to last. The lock button adds convenience and it also has independent springs on each foil for perfect balance. The charge indicator is useful and has enough blades to handle head shaving as well as face.
It doesn’t have a base which is technically a minor gripe what is a major problem is not being able to get replacement parts and blades so you may find yourself having to buy another within 6 months. It doesn’t work well on thick hair and will struggle to get close.
The batty life is also very short so you’ll find it loses power quickly no matter how often you recharge (though not charging it everyday does help).
Best Electric Shavers for Women
Women’s shavers are often a bit of a joke, many women simply use mens razors because they’re often more advanced in technology and easier to handle. That’s not forgetting the “pink tax” imposed on anything that is marketed to women.
It’s a difficult market because mens razors are often more flexible and more ergonomic, not to mention cheaper. The humble ladies razor is often just that – a basic electric tool designed for shaving straight areas of your legs and arm pits.
So why bother with electric shaver reviews for women? Because some of them are designed better for a womans curves.
Panasonic ES2207p Ladies Electric Shaver 3 -Blade Wet or Dry
This is rather bargain basement material and any woman recognizes the shape and design since it’s often the first shaver we ever get. It’s no secret that this Panasonic design has been around for decades. It has an independent floating head that can move to the contours of your body and better shave tough areas like underarms.
It works as a wet dry razor so you can even use plain soap lather for convenience in the shower. The blades are hypo-allergenic and sharp to reduce irritation. There’s also a pop up trimmer at the back for precision areas or longer hair grooming.
The ac charger is small and plugs directly into an outlet so you’re not taking up extra counter space. It also has a cleaning brush and travel pouch.
- Hypo allergenic blades
- Floating head
- Pop up Trimmer
- Cleaning brush and pouch
So much easier than traditional shaving when it comes to doing your whole legs, as long as you’re using it either or, when it comes to the wet or dry feature, it glides easily. The trimmer is essential for longer hairs.
The battery lasts 30 minutes or more so it’s ideal for doing everything and it fits well enough into your hand that you won’t have any problems using it for that long either.
The cleaning process is pretty easy, though you’ll need to take the plastic cap off and use the little brush which can be fiddly. It’s also ideal if you don’t like shavers that lift the hair as it’s not designed to do that at all and has no lift or lifting action.
It gets jammed up with hair pretty quickly, especially if you’re shaving longer hairs and you may have to clean it not only after each use but during as well.
You’ll need to use this on a full charge as well since once the blades start to slow down it can cause nicks. What it means by wet also means in the shower wet, not just damp after stepping out or it will skip over areas rather than glide smoothly.
Remington WDF5030A Wet and Dry Rechargeable
An open blade system that means the shaver is much more exposed for a closer shave and better agility. It’s a fixed floating head at an optimized angle to get into hard to reach areas.
This Remington model has a wet and dry mode and a dual sided blade arrangement which catches flat hairs to make sure you get everything and the blades are treated with an antimicrobial element to stop you getting bumps and irritation.
It’s cordless and can be used in the shower. The blades also have an almond oil strip above them to nourish the skin and lubricate it even if you’re not using a shave gel.
The Lithium ion battery lasts 30 minutes on a full charge and it also comes with the base, bikini guard and a storage pouch. The handle is non-slip to prevent slips in the shower and helps provide grip for better control.
- 30 minutes
- Anti-microbial blades
- Almond oil moisture strip
- Charge station, bikini guard and storage pouch
It doesn’t provide the closest shave, which technically is a problem but also means it’s almost impossible to nick yourself or catch a hair. This is ideal for anyone with bleeding issues or delicate skin for that reason.
You can also go back over if you want a closer shave. You can pop the top off for easy cleaning (just seat the razors back in properly otherwise the head doesn’t stay on).
It’s a little hefty and cumbersome so it’s harder to be agile with it when you need to get to difficult angles.
There’s no battery indicators and there’s no way to tell if it’s charged since the charging light is the same green light that comes on when it’s in use and doesn’t turn off or change color while charging.
There’s no point in trying to buy new blades for this, they’re most of the price of the unit which is expensive and pointless.
There are plenty of different styles of shavers out there, but it’s very much a case of whether you prefer foils or rotaries.
Most women’s shavers are foils but they’re not very high power so it’s no wonder that many women choose to go with one of the mens instead.
The best electric shavers get pretty close to razor smooth, and they’re getting closer as technology improves.
If you want a really close shave figure out if you prefer the foil or rotary design first and then go with what’s comfortable. Remember that price isn’t always an indication as are extra features. Choose something that has good blades and does the job before opting for a fancy cleaning system or LED screens.
Hopefully, you’ve learned something from the best electric shaver review list and about what to look for in a good shaver and have some of the best electric shavers to check out for more.