Electric Shaver FAQs

What’s the Best Electric Shaver on the Market?

This is the one question that most shaver-shoppers want the answer to and it’s the one that’s most difficult to answer!

It really is down to you whether you prefer rotary heads or foil shavers, for starters; after that it’s down to how much you want to spend and choosing between a series of large and small differences between the major brands.

If you’re looking for the best $40 shaver it will obviously have different features to the best $200 shaver, so be careful when hunting around that you compare like with like.

One good tip is to ignore Top 5 or Top 10 razor lists – often they include only one or two manufacturers, they can be marketing tools rather than proper assessments, they are generally the opinions of one person and they are rarely updated.

How Do I Compare Different Razors?

Look at your own requirements and know what you need. Then make sure you research thoroughly on manufacturer sites and review sites.

Get acquainted with the relative strengths and weaknesses of the razor you are considering, before you buy it.

What are you after? Most people, of course, want a clean and close shave with no irritation – whether that means a foil or rotary head will depend on your personal preference. But do you need a razor that you can travel with, has a long charge, cleans itself, is usable wet and dry or is price the only factor you are considering?

Remember that your own type of beard will vary from other users and your skin is also unique so don’t expect “absolutes” with these items – it’s often a case of getting used to a particular razor over time.

We can help you choose a suitable razor with the reviews on this site.

Foil or Rotary Head Shavers?

The second most popular question in Shaver Land!

The answer depends entirely on you; you probably won’t be surprised to read that. Nobody can tell you what suits your face, cheeks and neck better than you!

Both types of razor have improved over time with Philips Norelco innovating with the rotary heads and Braun and Panasonic leading the way with the foil shavers. Both types have also lasted the distance, which means there is not a huge performance difference between the two types – indeed, Remington see enough advantages in both types to include both in their range.

In terms of popularity, foil shavers probably edge it because two major manufacturers produce them.

Some commonly quoted strengths of rotary head shavers include a powerful and close shave, with low heat and low noise levels. Some commonly quoted strengths of foil head shavers are high comfort and low irritation levels when using and great cutting systems. These are anecdotal comments and nothing has been scientifically proven, though.

What’s the Best Shaver for Sensitive Skin?

If you have really sensitive skin then you might like to check with a skin specialist for tips on whether you should be buying an electric razor or using disposables.

One electric shaver model that is made specifically for people with sensitive skin is the Philips Norelco HS8420 Nivea for Men Razor; this dispenses a moisturizer during usage to reduce irritation.

Other people prefer to choose extra-powerful models that can shave close the first time, which means less going over the same area – reducing the chance of soreness or shaver burn. Less powerful razors may also mean that you have to press harder and this may aggravate sensitive skin.

Some problems with shaving can be alleviated by using pre-shaving oil– this helps to lubricate the skin and reduce any friction you may experience.

Users have reported that perseverance can pay off; allow your skin the time to adapt to your shaver before dismissing it as a bad deal. If it doesn’t work, try something else.

What’s the Best Shaver for African-Americans?

African-American men experience more razor bumps, irritation and ingrown hairs, when using electric shavers, than Caucasian men.

If you find this, then why not try the same types of shaver recommended for people with sensitive skin, detailed above. This may work, as might the pre-shaving oil tip.

Reading reviews helps but you will often hear conflicting reports about both rotary heads and foil shavers so, again, there is no definitive answer to the question. Test and test again, until you find one that suits you.

Should I Buy a Shaver with an Automatic Cleaning System?

This depends on a number of things – are you OK with the extra expense of buying a unit with a cleaning and docking station – often adding around $100 to the cost of the unit? Are you are OK with the extra ongoing running costs of the cleaning cartridges – estimated at $3-$5 per month? Are you pushed for time and never seem to be able to give your razor a thorough clean?

Cleaning stations are becoming more popular amongst manufacturers but there seems to be a split amongst users – some people love the convenience; others aren’t willing to meet the extra expense and end up cleaning their shaver under the tap anyway.

It’s a luxury item – we would say if you don’t mind cleaning the razor yourself then there’s no need for a cleaning station. Save the money and use it on a higher-end razor.

Electric Shavers vs. Disposable Shavers

Another common question among razor-shoppers is how electric shavers compare with disposables. Once again, this really does depend on personal preference.

Many people report that they can get as close a shave with a high quality shaver as with disposable blades; some say that only some areas can be shaved just as close; others dispute this and say they will never achieve the same level of closeness as with blades.

Most users do agree that you get lees cuts with electric shavers – no electric shaver should cut you at all, whereas with blades little nicks can be quite common.

Irritation levels can be higher with electric shavers, though much can depend on the shaving foam or gel you are using as much as the actual shaving implements.

Many people like the extra convenience and time-saving element that electric shavers provide – instead of having to lather, shave, rinse and dry, simply flicking the On-switch and shaving is attractive to people pushed for time or on the move a lot.

Others like the therapeutic element of a shaving ritual that takes time – they don’t want to rush the process and so prefer blades.

Price comparisons between the two types of shaver are difficult because there are so many different types of both. What should not be forgotten is that there can be ongoing costs with electric shavers as well as disposables – replacing foils, blades and cleaning cartridges, plus electricity charges all create ongoing costs; with disposables you have the blade costs plus the shaving lotion or gel that you are using.

As you can see, with so many pluses and minuses for each type, you will need to decide for yourself which best suits you – no-one can decide that for you!

How Long does it Take to ‘Break In’ an Electric Shaver?

Some people are not aware that most electric shavers need a period of “breaking in” while your face and neck become used to the device.

The length of time varies and a lot of people who have a rough time in the first couple of days with their shaver give up and stop using it.

Perseverance counts for a lot and it can take up to 3 weeks of daily shaving before maximum comfort is achieved. Your facial hair will become “trained” to be shaved in the most comfortable way for best results.


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