None of us can deny a simple fact, the world continues to become increasingly fast paced. As a result, products and inventions are constantly developed to streamline our daily needs. Inventions falling under this expediting desire include a wide variety of areas such as microwaves, online banking and shopping, and as you can assume, the electric razor.
The electric razor was perceived as revolutionary following its inception as it allowed a smooth, relatively, close shave in fractions of the time to traditional shaving. As with any idea, electric razors have continued to progress and evolve throughout time leaving us with truly exception options.
We drafted up this article as a guide of sorts when looking to purchase and understand modern electric razors. On this guide, we reviewed 10 very popular electric razors and determined our favorites. More specifically, we find the Braun Series 7 to be a good well priced shaver, then we like the Braun Series 9 and it’s probably the best electric razor to choose from among the reviewed razors with all the bells and whistles, and Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 8900 with Smart Clean to be a great value for money, although not the cheapest option.
We feel there is no better place to begin an article on electric razors than starting with their origins and history of this once revolutionary approach to shaving.
The History of the Electric Razor
Almost 90 years ago in 1930, Colonel Jacob Schick was granted a patent for the first dry electric shaver. Schick came up with idea in the 1910s as he recovered from an injury which occurred during a gold exploration trip to Alaska and British Columbia.
During his recovery, he found it extremely difficult to shave. While lying around and healing, he drafted some plans for a shaver with a shaving head controlled by a flexible cable and powered with an electrical external motor. Thinking he had something revolutionary, he sent out his plans for a prototype to be created. As quickly as they could, the potential manufacturers rejected the idea because it was far to bulky and cumbersome (the motor was the size of a large grapefruit). Shortly after getting the news, Schick returned to military duty in WW1 and the electric dry shaver was put on the backburner for awhile.
Returning home from service, he gleaned some inspiration from some of the weaponry he saw during his military stint and went back to the razor drawing board. He began to develop an idea he called the Magazine Repeating Razor and in 1925 started a company around the idea. The razor mirrored the concept behind repeating firearms and blades were sold in a clip like form and could be “loaded” on the razor without having to touch them. While this idea was fairly successful, Schick wanted more and thought the electric razor was the future of shaving. In 1927, the first electric razor was finally marketable.
After selling off his other razor company to have the finances to push the electric razor, Schick started a new company, Schick Dry Shaver, Inc., in 1930. Schick was initially disappointed as the early electric razor was not as widely accepted as he had hoped but regardless he continued to push the product forward. Though electric razors took a while to be appreciated, they have since become a staple in the marketplace and a great option for the everyday shaver.
Benefits and Detriments of the Electric Razor
Buying an electric razor maybe the best option for you or a poor fit to your daily shaving needs. Before buying an electric razor, one must look at the pros and cons of each.
- As stated in the opening paragraph, electric razors offer a faster than manual razors. They require no prep other than being charged and they roll up the skin which forces hair to extend upward before they are cut and men don’t have to go over the same area time and time again like with other razors.
- They are surprisingly portable. Yes it is true that they are heavier than most manual razors but they don’t require anything other than the razor. You don’t need water, shaving cream, gels, replacement cartridges, or sharpening tools like manual straight razors do. All that will ever be needed is an electrical outlet.
- Electric Razors are far more versatile in dealing with various types of facial hair. They can trim beards, mustaches, and sideburns while manual razors like cartridge or safety razors only offer a close shave option.
- You don’t have to worry about nicks, cuts, and ingrown hairs because they have a guard that protects from the blade.
- While it can be more expensive upfront, buying a long-lasting electric razor can shave money in the long run.
- Electric razors don’t shave as close as manual razors as a rule of thumb. This means that men who have thicker facial hair have to shave more often and do not ever appear stubble free.
- There is a learning curve with shaving even though it is harder to cut and nick the skin. Many first time users push down too hard and have pain and irritation, usually called razor burn, as a result.
- Only some razors can get wet so shaving in the shower isn’t necessarily a good option. Some may not mind this but others will not like shaving other places because it requires more clean up.
- If you wake up before someone else you live with, electric razors are a little noisy and can be problematic for the late sleeping cohabitator.
- When you forget to charge your razor, you can’t shave. If you didn’t charge the razor enough, one side of your face could be shaved then the razor could die and leave you in a tough spot.
- Electric razors need to be cleaned. Cartridge razors can be replaced in, virtually, no time but electric razors need maintenance to function properly.
Criteria to Choosing The Best Electric Shaver for your needs
When choosing an electric razor it is important to assess how you want to use the razor. Do you want to shave daily? Do you want to stay clean shaven or have some facial hair. Where do you want to shave and how portable does it need to be? Here’s how you can make a purchase that best suits your particular needs.
Foil vs. Rotary
Foil blade razors are preferable if you intend to shave daily and/or have sensitive skin that is easily irritated. It works as it comes with a thin metal foil that covers the blades so that they don’t make direct contact with the skin. As a result, less irritation takes place. Another advantage for those with sensitive skin is that foil razors are easier to clean. A big drawback for some is that it does not work well on longer hair.
Rotary razors have discs that spin within floating heads so that it can bend and mold to the various contours of the face. For this reason, rotary razors work well in getting into the harder to reach areas. Since it is so adaptable, it works well with longer hair.
Rechargeable battery Operated vs. Corded
Technically, electric shavers come in three forms of power: true battery powered, plug in rechargeable battery powered, and corded. We do not recommend using a true battery powered razor because they have a low efficiency with regards to using power and, either, don’t have enough power for a shave or use batteries unbelievably fast.
Rechargeable battery plug in razors are great for those that develop a good system of charging them. If you will have problems remembering to charge them, opt for the corded razor. You should always makes sure that your razor is fully charged prior to using. By doing this, the razor will not run out while using it. Most modern razors can be used for around an hour before dying on a full charge. These razors are portable, can be used anywhere, and tend to be the most popular types of electric razors.
Corded razors are getting harder and harder to find. They work well for those who would have a problem plugging in a rechargeable battery but many find that the cord gets in the way of shaving. Another deterrent is that the cord is often short so that you are confined to a small area when shaving.
Wet vs. Dry
More and more men are opting to shave in the shower. It saves time and softens the facial hair so it is easier to save. Clean up time is greatly reduced and for those with really sensitive skin, they allow gel and cream usage for added protection and comfort. If shaving in the shower, make sure the razor clearly states that it can be used wet. If you don’t intend to shave in the shower, a dry electric razor will be sufficient as they are all water resistant enough to withstand a little water.
Handle and Display
Pick up the razor, if possible, before you buy it. Does it feel good in the hand and does it feel like it is good quality? Most handles are plastic with metal accents. It is usually easy to tell how well it is built by handling it and looking at it intently.
Next, look at the display. Does it clearly show the battery status? Does it provide speed options? Look for a razor that clearly identifies both so that you can be assured that it is functioning as it should.
Ease of Cleaning
Cleaning is really important when using an electric razors. Electric razors are a breeding ground for bacteria and just overall unhygienic conditions and should be cleaned as often as possible (usually after every use). Newer, more expensive models come with self cleaning features in the charging base and they can be adjusted based on how dirty the razor is. Some even disinfect the razor.
When buying a razor, it is always tempting to opt for the cheaper route. Electric razors are a great example of the vernacular, “you get what you pay for.” If you choose a razor that is cheap, it will be cheaply made and the quality and efficiency of the razor will let you down. A high quality razor is built to last and will end up being able to be used for a long time and eventually pay for itself. You don’t have to buy the nicest razor but spend a little extra money to buy one that will last. Look for a brand that is trusted and offers a good warranty just in case.
Eventually, all razor blades need to be replaced. The blades eventually wear out and a good rule of thumb is to look to replace the blades around once a year. Make sure that you do the research for how expensive replacement blades will be and how easily they are obtained.
An electric razor is great for those who want a fast shave, want something that can be used anywhere, and makes less mess. Below we reviewed some of the most popular electric razors to consider before your next purchase.
Our list of the best electric razors for men
Philips Norelco has been a long trusted, American born razor company for years. In 1981, Norelco bought the company that invented the electric razor, Schick but they have been making electric razors since 1939. This razor is one of their long line of electric razor offerings.
The Shaver 3100 gives a good quality product at a reasonable price. It is built to reach the deepest crevices of the face with its 4 direction Flex-Heads, yet still shaving the skin, relatively, smooth and nick free with it’s ComfortCut Blade System. The blades are able to be easily cleaned as the razor comes with a one touch opening top that allows the blades to be fully washed off.
When you purchase this razor it comes with the shaver, a power cord, and a cap for protection and safety when traveling. The lithium-ion battery last for 45 minutes when it is fully charged (takes around 8 hours to charge completely). Some users report to only have to charge it every other week or so.
The razor comes with a convenient pop-up trimmer so that the beard and sideburns can be shaped and groomed easily. This is a pretty good razor for the price but those that have sensitive skin will not get the best results. It will feel like it pulls the hair rather than cut it as with most rotary razors. This is mostly like due to low cutting power.
The shave with this razor is not necessarily close and men with thicker facial hair often have to shave again in the afternoon. Although you get a very good value for the money, we feel that with a bit more money you can get a very good shaver that delivers a closer shave.
Philips offers a mid tier razor with their 1150 shaver. It like most Philips Norelco Razors is designed to handle all the bends and contours of the face. The razor can obtain this because it has a GyroFlex 2D contouring technology. This technology is able to tilt and pivot in a circular motion while tilting inward. As it does this, pressure and irritation is reduced while the quality of the cut is not.
The cut is close through DualPrecision heads that aim to cut close stubble. These two blades lift the hair and cut below the skin level while reducing irritation through its low-friction SkinGlide.
After opening the box to this razor, you will be greeted with the razor, a charging stand, a click-on precision trimmer head, a cap, power cord, and cleaning brush. Trust that this razor is built to last as it comes with a two-year warranty. The razor is multifaceted as it has a AquaTec seal that allows you to shave wet or dry. It even has a nice non-slip grip so that handling it in the shower is never a problem.
A click-on precision trimmer gives it the ability to neatly trim sideburns and other facial hair.
Charging this razor is really convenient as it will shave for 40 minutes after only a one hour charge. Additionally, it has three minute quick charge option that will charge just enough for a single shave. It has a two level battery display so that you can clearly see when the battery is full and when it is getting low.
Travelling internationally is easy with this razor as it adjusts from 100 volts to 240 volts ac. The design and quality of this razor are top notch. We would like it to provide a slightly closer shave but we would certainly not complain about it.
Philips Norelco delivers a razor on the higher end with several nice features in its 8900 shaver. Many claim this razor has no limits in terms of where it can be used. It is a wet and dry electric razor with an Aquatec Wet and Dry V-Track Precision Blades that have a specialized technology to contour and detect all the contours of the face. The razor accomplishes this by having 3 heads that independently move in 8 directions. As a result, the blades cut 30% closer to the skin than most other electric razors.
Another beautiful feature of this razor is that it self-sharpens the blades so that they stay sharp for use after use. Cleaning is extremely easy, as well, by placing the razor in the SmartClean system that is alcohol-free and skin safe. After placing the razor in the cleaning base, the razor will be, simultaneously, cleaned, dried, and charged.
The LED display shows a three level battery indicator so that the razor never dies without proper warning. It charges really fast as it only takes an hour to fully charge and will last for 50 minutes of use afterwards. A travel lock is included so that the razor will never turn on without your permission when traveling. Trimming a short beard or sideburns is no problem as the razor comes with five built in length settings with rounded tips and combs so that the skin is never irritated while using.
Be warned that this is an expensive razor for Philips Norelco. The price is largely due as it is a versatile product and it’s built to last. Unlike other products on this guide, this shaver comes with a two year warranty.
A few men have claimed that the blades dull after around 4 months so if you feel that way the razor can easily be returned due to the warranty. Most users have the opposite experience and claim that it gives them the closest shave of any electric razor. We do like this product and find it an easy razor to use and maintain.
Braun is a German based company founded by a mechanical engineer, Max Braun. While it started as a machine shop that made things like radios and record players, by the 1950s it began to make electric shavers. The S 50 was the original razor from Braun. Years later Braun was taken over by the Gillette and now Proctor and Gamble owns both of these companies.
Braun have long been a loved producer of electric razors because they offer an exceptional shave while being comfortable on, nearly, all skin types. It delivers an exceptional cut that cuts more hair in a single stroke than other electric razors do after several passes (up to .005 mm). This is accomplished with four specialized shaving elements and an extremely thin head.
Braun has what they call Sonic technology that adapts well to any beard length. For example, since the hair is longer around the chin, the razor responds with extra power. It has five shaving speeds from sensitive to turbo so that it can meet all mens’ needs. The blades seem to float and come below a fully flexible head that adapts to all pockets of the skin.
User don’t need to worry about cleaning as it comes with an extremely efficient 5 action alcohol-based clean and charge station. All the stubble and debris is quickly slept away and the blades are lubricated so that the razor feels, almost, brand new everyday. Feel free to use this razor in the shower as it is 100% waterproof up to 5 meters. The battery is a lithium ion that will last for 50 minutes after only one hour of charging.
When purchasing this razor you receive a razor, cleaning unit, cleaning cartridge, travel case, and power cord. If you are looking for a really good foil electric shaver at a reasonable price, look no further.
You will appreciate the cut and control you have with this razor. Although it comes with a high price tag, we’re confident that you will proudly claim that it is one of the best shaves you have ever gotten from an electric razor.
Another foil razor from Braun. This razor has a lot of similar features to the above razor but it is slightly better in most regards. Instead of the 4 shaving elements of the Series 7 razor, the Series 9 has 5 shaving elements. These are all specialized for different types and lengths of facial hair. It takes very few strokes to cut all hair because of the design. The razor has a titanium coating so that it is really durable and never corrodes.
Just like the Series 7, it has the sonic technology that adapts to the beard thickness and provides extra power when needed. In addition, it bodes a 10-D contour adaption so that the floating blades and flexible head get low and into crevices so that it does not miss any hair. Like the Series 7, it has a 5-action alcohol based cleaning and charging station.
The Series 9 is completely waterproof so it can be used in the shower and with gel and cream. The same Li-Ion battery as the Series 7 is used that lasts for 50 minutes after fully charging in a single hour. Using an LED display, the razor does something the Series 7 doesn’t as it actually counts down the remaining minutes of charge that the razor has so you are always able to tell the exact status of the battery.
This is Braun’s higher tier model from the Series 7 and the price tag actually reflects that. While we really like some of the features of this razor, there aren’t many things that this shaver can do better when compared to Series 7. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful electric shaver with great features and performance that won’t leave any man down.
We recommending looking first at the Series 7 but the Series 9 is definitely one of the best electric shavers to buy if you are looking for a razor with all the bells and whistles.
Panasonic is a Japanese multinational electronics company. It was founded in 1918 to produce light bulb sockets but is now one of the largest electronic companies in the world. In fact, they are the 4th largest tv manufacturer in the world. While they make a wide variety of electronic products, their electric razors are always well built and designed.
Most users of the Arc5 razor constantly sing its praises. The Arc5 delivers a high performance shave with a 5 blade ultra-thin foil cutting design. These five blades are ultra-sharp and hypoallergenic. When you pair the blades with its high efficiency 14,000 cpm linear-drive motor, you understand why people love the quality of the shave. A multi-flex head bends and molds to the contours of the face and it’s smart shaving technology sends more power for areas with more dense hair.
Made with a sleek design, it feels really nice in the hand and is very easy to control and handle. It has a LCD display that shows the razor’s status with a 10-stage status system. The razor is water-resistant so that it can be used wet or dry. A pop up trimmer gives beard and sideburn trimming options. Included is a cleaning and charging station that cleans the razor or the razor can be cleaned under running water by switching on the sonic vibration cleaning mode.
The razor comes with the shaver, charge/clean station, power cord, travel pouch, and cleaning detergent.
One thing that must be said, the razor is nice and sleek but the charging station is bulky and cumbersome. While this is a good razor and most men will like it, we do not believe it is as good as other foil razors for that price point. It has some great features and is built to last but it does not shave as closely as the Braun. One positive of this razor is that it is much quieter when shaving with it compared to any Braun’s shavers.
Panasonic offers a cheaper foil electric razor in the Arc4. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the Arc5, it is still a dependable, wet/dry razor for most men.
It has a four blade shaving system with 30 degree nanotech blades that lift up and cut hair at the base. The blades are powered with a 13,000 cpm linear motor that cuts smoothly without pulling or tugging on hair. Have sensitive skin? This razor has hypoallergenic foils and blades and is uniquely designed to handle the most sensitive of skin.
As the face contours, the Arc 4 handles all tough areas really well. It has a flexible pivoting head that moves side to side and up and down so that the motion is continuous and always adjusting to your needs. Don’t worry about getting this razor wet as it can handle wet and dry environments. Detailing the beard and sideburns are as easy as the push of a button with the pop-up trimmer on the back.
You will love the LCD Display on this razor. It is built into the handle and shows remaining shave time, a five stage battery indicator, a cleaning reminder, a sonic vibration cleaning mode (this pulses when placed under running water for a confident clean), a blade and foil change reminder, and shows you how charged your battery is when plugged up.
When buying this razor you receive the razor, a travel pouch, and the power cord. While we really like this razor for the man on a budget, it is not as good as some of the higher end razors we are reviewing. The warranty is a two year limited manufacturer warranty.
The shave is good but not the closest and it can not be used when plugged in. It also doesn’t offer a true quick charge and has less run time. One other detriment is that it only has one speed when using. We think this is a good option for the man on a true budget but if you can spend a little more, you will be glad you did.
Most men think about firearms when they hear the name, Remington. This is due to the name, Remington, originating as E. Remington and Sons founded a weapon company in 1816. Throughout the years, the company branched into other fields such as sewing machines, farming equipment, and typewriters. Remington didn’t begin to make personal care products until around 1937 as they started making electric shavers.
Today, they offer a rotary electric razor that they proudly claim gives a comfortable, close shave in their Hyperflex. The name, Hyperflex, comes from the innovative design of the entire top and individual heads that adjust to every angle with what they call, ActiveContour. The heads are designed to cut both long and short hair and they are anti-microbial. The blades are stainless steel and but to stay sharp.
The lithium battery has a good running time of 60 minutes in just 90 minutes of charge time. If you don’t have 90 minutes, it offers a quick charge option as well. Trust that this product is built to last for a few years as it comes with a 60 day money back guarantee and a two year limited warranty. The razor can be used wet, with gel, or dry as it is 100% waterproof.
If you need to detail your facial hair, it comes with a pop-up trimmer. The digital display is nice as it shows you the exact minutes of runtime remaining on the charge and travels locks so that it doesn’t cut on when you don’t want it to. A turbo speed mode lets you give extra juice to the tougher areas of the beard.
This isn’t a top notch electric shaver by any means. It has nice features for the price and it gives you a decent shave. Good value for the money but not the closest shave a man can get with an electric razor.
Braun teamed up with the company, Old Spice, to offer a cheap electric razor. This razor cost less than just about any other razor you can find at under $40. It serves more of a catch all trimmer than it does a true razor. As a result, it will not give a close shave. They claim it is the swiss army knife of trimmers and razors as it does a little bit of everything, just not well.
It can be used wet or dry. The narrow foil works with the blades to get to harder areas. Do you want the option of having a beard but also going clean shaving sometimes? This razor comes with an adjustable beard guard that has 4 settings from 1.2-6mm. You can even trim your eyebrows with this.
It is sensitive on most skin with its Sensofoil system. The razor comes with a charging stand and cord, a beard guard, brush and eyebrow trimmer with the razor. A pop-up trimmer is also on the back. The battery last for around 30 minutes on a full charge.
We don’t love this razor but it is good for men who are looking for a body hair trimmer or beard trimmer. It just does not deliver the closest clean shave.
Wahl is an American company that has made hair clippers since 1919. They now make grooming products for people and animals. This is a decent razor for a good price of under $60. It gives a pretty good shave in about a minute and the battery lasts for a long time (90 minutes of use on single charge) and the battery quality doesn’t reduce over time.
This foil shaver works in wet and dry environments as it was designed to be used under water if needed. It is shock resistant and has a pop-up trimmer for all grooming needs. The shave happens with dual floating foil shaver heads that cut both long and short hair. It feels good in the hand and is built to last (5 year warranty).
Buying this razor gives you a travel bag, blade guard, brush, oil, and power cord with the razor. We love how durable this razor is but in times, it feels more of a trimmer than a razor and doesn’t shave really close. If you need a good body/beard trimmer that will last for years, this is it.
Electric Razors are so practical for most men and we hope you enjoyed learning and reviewing them with us. We hope you find a razor that fits your needs and gives you happy, productive future shaves.