Advice & Knowledge

How to Choose an Electric Shaver - Buying Guide

Written by Advice Team on August 24, 2017

Whether you're buying your first electric shaver or upgrading from an older model, navigating between the vast array of makes and models available can be mind-boggling. But don’t panic - our electric shaver 101 is here to help you decide which features are most important to you and help you narrow down your choices. Rotary or foil? Wet or dry? Mains powered or rechargeable? Keep reading to find the best option for you!

How to Choose an Electric Shaver

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Brand There are several big players in the electric shaving market; Philips, Braun, Panasonic and Remington to name the most well known. When it comes to shaving something as valuable as your face we always recommend choosing a trusted and reputable brand and we are proud to stock the biggest selection of branded shavers available online.

Men generally favour one brand over the other and this mainly comes down to personal preference. But as a general rule, when it comes to rotary shavers Philips is the market leader whereas Braun is the key player for foil shavers.

Check out our Philips electric shaver buying guide and Braun electric shaver buying guide.

Foil Vs Rotary Electric shavers fall into one of two categories; rotary and foil. A foil shaver is made of a thin, curved metal foil that covers a cutting blade. When moving back and forth, the foil glides over the contours of your face whilst the blade cuts stubble as it pokes through the perforated foil. Foil shavers are great if you have a shorter, thinner beard and want to achieve a close shave every day. They are also favoured by men with delicate and sensitive skin who are susceptible to razor burn as they tend to be less harsh on the skin. If you suffer from sensitive skin pay close attention to your technique and use a quality shave preparation product to protect your skin and help prevent irritation.

A rotary shaver, on the other hand, has three or four round heads which move easily in a circular motion around your features. Cutters spin below the heads as they move over the face, cutting the hair. Rotary shavers generally suit gentlemen with slightly longer stubble who don’t want to shave every day. They are also more effective on men with with medium to coarse beard density and tougher skin.

Charging Electric shavers can be mains powered, battery operated or rechargeable and the option you go for will probably be dependent on your lifestyle. Rechargeable shavers are ideal for use on the move, providing the flexibility and convenience to shave anywhere, anytime, however, the battery life may become a hindrance if it needs to be recharged too frequently. There are a number of battery operated travel shavers on the market; these are great for occasional use but are not cost effective for more regular shaving as the cost of batteries will soon stack up.

Wet Vs Dry Another key decision is wet shaving versus dry shaving. Dry shaving is super fast and clean so is the ultimate in easy shaving and many men prefer the speed and convenience of a dry electric shaver. As well as dry use, some electric shavers can also be used wet, with a shaving gel or foam giving you the best of both worlds. Some can even be taken into the shower, though we wouldn’t recommend submerging them completely. Panasonic in particular offer fantastic wet and dry technology.

Always read the manufacturer's instructions before getting your shaver wet, as not all are suitable for use in this way.

Manual Clean Vs Cleaning and Charging Stations Cleaning is a vital component of your electric shaver care and maintenance routine and you should clean your shaver after every usage. If you do it regularly it’s a quick job and not a big deal but some men just don’t have the time or inclination. The more advanced models of shaver come with their own built in cleaning and charging stations so they can clean themselves. Simply pop your shaver into the base unit and leave it to do it’s magic. It’s a hassle-free way to keep your shaver clean and hygienic. You do however need to do is top up the cleaning fluid or replace the cleaning cartridges from time to time so there is an additional cost.

Budget Price points on electric shavers vary enormously; a quality electric shaver will set you back anywhere between £50 and £300. It is worth spending as much as you can afford as a quality shaver well looked after will last many years. Having said that, as feature advancements have trickled down to the less expensive ranges all of the major brands have really good options at all price points and our offering includes excellent buys regardless of your budget. Don’t forget to bear the price of spare parts and replacement blades in mind. Ensure that the expense of keeping your shaver functioning properly fits into your overall budget.

Ready to get started? Check out our best electric shavers ranked and rated for a list of our best selling electric shavers, broken into popular price brackets. This is great way to ensure you're focusing on just the models that other customer considered the best option at each price range.

Every electric shaver is different but the same fundamental rules always apply. The best way to ensure a close and comfortable shave every day is to choose a quality shaver, use it correctly and look after it. It does take time for your skin to adjust to a new shaving routine so give it time and be persistent. However if your shaver’s really not suiting you don’t suffer in silence. Most leading brands offer a returns policy so give us a call if you are still struggling after a few weeks.