Tips for Purchasing an Electric Shaver: Electric Shaver Buying Guide
If you’ve never used an electric shaver, are undecided about which is better—foil or rotary—or you simply need more information before purchasing an electric shaver, then this guide is for you! I want to provide you with as much information as possible so that you can make an informed decision and buy the best electric shaver to suit your needs.
I will also be discussing issues such as sensitive skin and razor burn. But first, let’s talk about the difference between rotary blade and foil shavers.
Rotary Electric Shavers
Rotary blade technology is widely used by companies like Philips Norelco and Remington. Rotary blade shavers feature circular blades that rotate. Most rotary shavers consist of three rotary blades in a triangular pattern though there are some variations as well as those that consist of two rotary blades.
Rotary shavers are great for those tough to shave areas such as the chin and neck. Most rotary shavers are designed to conform to the contours of your face allowing for less pressure for a smoother shaving experience.
One of the pitfalls of a rotary shaver is it takes longer to get a good shave (depending on brand, there are some really good rotary shavers that work excellent!). You have to work the shaver in circular motions slowly over the face. Often, you may need to hit the same are several time to get desired results. This can cause skin irritation for those with sensitive skin.
However, there are wet-dry rotary shavers that allow you to take advantage of using shaving cream or gel to make for a more comfortable shave. I personally prefer foil shavers over rotary, but then again, I don’t have a really thick beard.
Foil Electric Shavers
Whereas rotary shavers have blades that rotate in a circular motion, foil shavers work by lifting the hair and then running blades along the base of the hair. Of course this happens extremely fast allowing for a closer shave. Companies that are well known and produce quality foil shavers are Panasonic and Braun.
Foil shavers use a metallic foil like screen that shields the skin from the blades below. The slits in the foil work to grab and lift the hair allowing the blades to then do their job.
Foil shavers used to make it difficult to shave areas such as the chin and around the neck. Though, with many advances over the years, many foil shavers are now flexible making it easier to get an all around quality shave.
There are quite a bit of foil shavers on the market now that offer wet-dry shave features. It is nice to have the flexibility to have a quick dry shave if you’re in a hurry, or wet shave for a smoother shave avoiding skin irritation.
Best type of Electric Shaver for Thick Facial Hair
There has been a long-standing debate about which technology is better—foil or rotary. A lot of times it comes down to preference and skin type.
If you have a thick beard, I suggest a rotary shaver. It may take a while to get the beard down, but they work much better at cutting thicker hair than do foil shavers.
If you have thick hair but keep it trimmed and shave regularly, I recommend a foil shaver. The reason is, they can be easier on the skin reducing your risk of razor burn, and with many of the newer models, and they are just as flexible and good at getting those tough areas as a rotary.
Razor Burn and Sensitive Skin
As someone who has very sensitive skin and used to get razor burnall the time (before getting my Panasonic ES8103S!)I highly recommend a foil shaver. And particularly a foil shaver that offers a wet-dry shave. Using shaving gel or cream designed for sensitive skin seems to help quite a bit.
If you have a thick beard you may want to consider getting a cheap rotary shaver for trimming and a foil for closer shaves. I say this because while foil shavers are good for a smooth shave, according to other guys with thick beards, they don’t do as well as rotary shavers.
Features to Consider
Once you have decided between a rotary or foil (don’t worry if you haven’t decided, you can always take a test drive) there are some things you need to consider such as battery life.
While most electric shavers are of course rechargeable, you still need to know that some charge quicker than others and some stay charged for longer. This is important if you are always on the go. There are however many shavers that come with a charging dock rather than cord which make it more convenient to charge.
One of the things you want to consider is “shave time”. This is the amount of time you typically have on a full battery before it needs a recharge. Most good shavers feature at least 45 minutes of shave time which is roughly equivalent to two weeks’ worth of shaving between charges.
Also, make sure to get a shaver that has a quick charge feature. Just in case you forgot to charge your shaver, a quick charge allows you to charge the shaver for a few minutes providing it with enough juice for one shave. This is of course irrelevant if you get a corded shaver.
If you are an international traveler, you will need to buy an electric shaver that has a “worldwide voltage function”. This will allow you to adjust the voltage generally from 100 to 240 volts AC.
A final consideration when buying an electric shaver are replacement parts. Rotary heads and foils generally need to be replaced once a year. While they are not that expensive, it’s still something to consider.
Final Thoughts on Buying an Electric Shaver
Here’s my suggestion if you’re still undecided between rotary and foil–as well as a good idea for future purchases–buy one of each, try it for two weeks, and then return the one you don’t want.
Just about all electric shavers (at least the big name brands like Braun and Philips Norelco etc.) come with a 30, 45, or 90 day money back guarantee as well as an extended warranty. Take advantage of this! There’s nothing wrong with comparing to get the best shaver possible. Also, you can find some really great shavers for right around $50 or $60 so you won’t be out a lot of cash.
I hope this electric shaver buying guide has been helpful. I have covered quite a bit of information, but if you didn’t find the answer you were looking for, please feel free to leave a question or contact me via the “contact” tab. Also, go to “all about shaving“ for a great resource and overview on things like how to prevent razor burn, proper methods for shaving, pre-shave, and after shave tips. Thanks for checking out my electric shaver buying guide!