Time is of the essence for many men. You’re off to work, you have family, school and other commitments, and you also try to leave time for a proper social life.
In some cases, you don’t have the time for a traditional shave, i.e., one that includes shaving gels, lotions, and a manual razor. Or, you’d rather not take the time.
And that’s one of the reasons why the shaving gods gave us electric razors.
Electric shavers are fast, convenient to use, and don’t require much shaving technique. But you can still get a close shave, especially with a quality electric razor like the Braun Series 7 line – our pick for the best electric razor for 2017 – and others.
In this post, we’ll cover the 5 best electric razors for men, including what to look for when buying one, how to use one, and a comparison of electric shavers with other types of razors.
Let’s get started.
- Before you buy: 8 things to consider before you purchase an electric razor
- The 5 best electric shavers for men 2017
- The proper way how to use an electric shaver (A simple, 7 step illustrated guide)
- What’s the difference? Foil vs. rotary electric shavers
- Electric razors vs. All the rest
- We chose these razors because…
Before You Buy: 8 Things to Consider Before You Purchase an Electric Razor
Let’s take a moment before we delve into our electric razor reviews to discuss some important considerations before you buy your shaver.
1. Foil vs. Rotary
Electric shavers fall into one of two categories: foil or rotary. Both types operate in similar ways and achieve the same results, but there are some differences. We’ll get into those variations a bit later but, in general, rotary shavers are ideal for beards of medium to coarse beard density (and effective for longer beard hairs), while many men find that foil shavers are better for sensitive skin.
2. Cord or Cordless
Electric razors often come with a power cord while many others are cordless. Which one you choose may depend on a variety of factors, including freedom and convenience (which cordless razors provide), and whether you prefer relying on battery power that needs to be recharged from time to time (something you don’t worry about with a corded razor).
Cordless razors are definitely better for traveling. If you choose a razor that has a cord the length of the cord and its convenience.
3. Battery Life
If you choose a cordless razor you’ll want to make a note of its battery life; particularly, how long you’ll be able to use the razor on a full charge. Most users opt for razors with a longer battery life.
4. Blade & Trimmer Options
Most high-quality electric shavers have multiple blade options that allow you get the smoothest shave possible. The more blades, the smoother the shave. The best electric razors usually come equipped with pop-up trimmers that enable you to do detail work on your beard, mustache, and sideburns.
How fast the blades move is another important consideration when purchasing an electric shaver. The faster the blades move – measured in cycles per minute (CPM) – the closer the shave. Many quality razors reach 14,000 CPMs.
6. Wet & Dry Option
Some electric razors are only for “dry” use while many others are also suited for wet shaving, i.e., they can be used in the shower and with shave gels and creams. Some men prefer shaving in the shower because they believe that the warm water softens their facial hair and results in a closer shave. The good news is that most electric shavers on the market today are good for both dry and wet shaving.
Be wary of purchasing an electric razor that doesn’t come with a warranty or guarantee of some sort. If possible, get the longest warranty available.
Last but not least, define your budget before you buy. Electric shavers come cheap and also come at the cost of hundreds of dollars. Determine how much you’re willing to spend and shop accordingly.
The 5 Best Electric Shavers for Men 2017
It wasn’t as if Braun needed to dramatically change its product line when it launched its Series 7 line of electric shavers in 2010.
Braun, after all, has been designing and manufacturing electric shavers since 1938 and is a familiar and highly-respected name when it comes to men’s grooming products.
But Braun’s introduction of the Series 7 was, in a word, magnificent, and no discussion of the best electric razor for men is serious unless it includes the various options within the series’ line.
With unequaled performance that includes exceptional comfort, durability, and consistently close shaves, the Series 7 became one of the best-selling lines of shavers of all-time while providing a benchmark for other manufacturers to follow.
The main issue with reviewing Braun’s Series 7 line as part of electric shaver reviews is figuring out where to start. The original Series 7 included four shavers while 2016 saw the introduction of newer models that created some confusion for some consumers.
The newer Series 7 versions are available for wet and dry use – unlike some of the “older” versions – but other changes were minor, at best. Here are some features that you’ll find on all Series 7 models – features that helped Braun set itself apart from the rest of the competition:
- Advanced Sonic Technology
Series 7 technology allows your shaver to “read” your face and adapt to its contours, as well as to the density of your facial hair. The shaver emits 10,000 micro-vibrations per minute to capture more hair with every stroke.
- Multiple Shaving Modes
Braun introduced Extra Sensitive, Normal, and Intensive modes to create a more personal shave and while realizing that no two beards or skin types are alike.
- Active Lift
The Series 7 introduced Braun’s patented “Active Lift” technology designed to eliminate the problem reaching flat-lying hair in hard-to-reach areas such as the neck. The oscillating middle trimmer makes 130 movements a second, enabling shavers to reach those areas where the hair lies flat against the skin.
Braun introduced OptiFoil technology that featured ergonomically designed foil holes to capture more hair while cutting deeper.
- Precision Trimmer
All models in the Series 7 line include a precision trimmer for beard styling.
This video gives you an in-depth look at the 799cc:
The Braun Series 7:
- Innovative technology that helped changed the electric shaving game
- More personalized shaving modes
- Durable and made to last for up to seven years
- Newer models create some confusion while deciding what shaver to choose
The fact is, Braun knows what it’s doing when it comes to designing and manufacturing electric shavers. The Series 7 line set a new standard when introduced in 2010, and its shavers remain among the cream of the crop. You’d be well-served by choosing any one of these razors.
With their ES8103S Arc3 shaver, Panasonic delivers in two categories: quality and value. The quality is in the razor’s technology, features, the closeness of shave, while value comes from the fact that it’s the best electric shaver under 100 dollars.
If you like bells and whistles, then you’ll like Panasonic’s superb shaver. But the bells and whistles aren’t just for show as they’re designed to help you get a close and comfortable shave every time. Better yet, the shaver consists of high-quality materials that are made to last.
Let’s dig deeper:
- Shavers aren’t the only game in town for Panasonic. They started in 1918 in Japan as a manufacturer of light bulb sockets but have expanded greatly since then, to say the least. Today they’re among the largest manufacturers of televisions in the world. They’re also a major player in the electric shaver market.
- The ES8103S has a foil head that sits at a 30-degree angle with three independently floating blades meant to protect the skin from irritation. The head pivots to follow the contours of a human face, which are unlike the contours found anywhere else on your body. The Nanotech blades consist of stainless steel and are hypoallergenic.
- The Panasonic ES8103S is fully washable and designed for wet and dry shaving. While it doesn’t come with an additional cleaning unit like some shavers, all you need to do is rinse it after every shave. You can also use it with shaving creams, foams, and gels, and works superbly for dry shaving.
- The shaver has a 13,000 CPM motor that’s fast and delivers power so that you won’t experience the pulling and tugging you get with slower shavers. In turn, this eliminates skin irritation.
- You’ll love this shaver’s built-in pop-up trimmer that enables you to detail your beard, mustache, and sideburns with ease.
- The ES8103S has a 10-stage LCD indicator that allows you to monitor your shaver’s battery status quickly. The LCD indicator is part of a digital display that includes a cleaning reminder and sonic vibration cleaning mode.
- It’s cordless, meaning you can move around freely while shaving and comes with a charging cable that you’ll only have to use intermittently.
- It comes with a pouch that makes for easy storage and travel.
- The sonic vibration “turbo” cleaning mode accelerates the motor to 17,000 CPM to shake off any residue that sticks to the shaver’s foil or blades. You’ll need to remove the foil before rinsing it out under the tap, but then you can use the turbo mode to eliminate excess moisture.
- Pivoting head provides a more accurate shave
- Pop-up trimmer is excellent for fine detailing
- Good for wet and dry shaving
- It doesn’t come with a charging dock or cleaning tools
You can pay a lot more money and not get a shaver of the same quality as the Panasonic ES8103S. Panasonic goes out of their way to deliver a razor that provides the smoothest shave possible with superior ease of use. And you can use it anywhere.
There’s always going to be friction when using an electric shaver because of the motion of the blades. Friction, meanwhile, can lead to skin irritation and if you have sensitive skin irritation may build to intolerable levels.
Have no fear, however. If you have sensitive skin, Philips Norelco has a solution for you.
Norelco’s 7300 shaver has what it takes to combat skin irritation thanks to its patented “Comfort Rings.” The rings have a microbead coating that Norelco says reduces friction for 85 percent of men who use their 7300 razor for sensitive skin. The rotary-style razor glides easily over your face to provide a smooth and comfortable shave.
We like it so much that we think it’s the best electric shaver for sensitive skin.
For veteran Norleco users, the 7300 represents a nice upgrade from previous models. And for fans of rotary shavers, the 7300 is worth a closer look if you don’t already own it.
Besides the Comfort Rings feature, the 7300 also comes with Philips’ signature DyanmicFlex technology. The technology allows the shaving heads to move in five directions – which enables shavers to shave the many contours of their face and neck comfortably. It also enables users to get to those hard-to-reach areas that remain elusive for many other razors.
Still, there’s more:
- The Norelco 7300’s blades are specifically designed to cut facial hairs in the most optimal position. The blades also play a part in reducing friction, which is another plus for men with sensitive skin. Nevertheless, you can get an extremely close shave whether you have long, short, or flat-lying hairs.
- The newer blades cut at a higher CPM than previous Norelco models which means it will cut hair more efficiently.
- We really like the Norelco 7300 SmartClean system. With the simple push of a button, the SmartClean system cleans hair, foam, and gel through its dual-filtration system. The system uses an alcohol-free, skin-friendly formula that also lubricates the blades to keep them in top condition while also helping to reduce friction.
And there’s more: the SmartClean system also charges the shaver so it’s ready to go the next time you use it.
- The Norelco 7300’s LED display shows you when the battery is low, when you need a new shaving head, when you need to clean the shaver, and when the travel lock is on. The travel lock is helpful because it prevents the unit from turning on by accident.
- AquaTec Technology allows you to use the 7300 either wet or dry. If you have sensitive skin, you’ll enjoy the extra moisture you get from shaving in the shower. Moreover, you can use gel and foam with the 7300.
- You get a fast, close shave
- Ideal for sensitive skin
- SmartClean technology serves many purposes
- A little on the expensive end for a shaver that doesn’t have a pop-up trimmer
Men with sensitive skin need to consider adding this razor to their grooming arsenal. With all kinds of technology designed to reduce skin irritation and also the versatility of wet/dry shaving, this is a high-quality razor.
We’ve already discussed Braun and its stellar reputation for developing some of the best electric shavers on the market. Their Series 7 line is second-to-none, but they make other products – such as the Series 3 ProSkin 3040s – that are almost as good and among the best electrics available.
The 3040s is a great option for anyone who wants to save money but doesn’t want to skimp on quality. It’s budget friendly and has a wide variety of features that you won’t find on some other more expensive razors. In short, it does everything you need from an electric shaver.
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Braun Series 3 3040s is its shaving head. It looks different than other foil shavers in that has three separate shaving elements that work together to give you a close, comfortable shave. And Braun’s patented SensoFoil technology protects your skin from the razor’s super-sharp blades.
Each of three foils is slightly different than the other and ensure that all types of facial hair get cut – long, short, coarse, etc. Even a few days worth of beard growth is cut cleanly without irritation. Furthermore, each foil features Braun’s Micro Comb technology that ensures you’ll capture more hair with each pass of the razor.
Braun’s blades are, as mentioned, very sharp, but retract automatically to protect your skin from nicks and cuts. Again, users who’ve called on this razor to cut thicker-than-stubble beard growth are pleased with the results. There’s no pulling and tugging of longer beard hair that can make a routine shave feel like medieval torture.
There are plenty of other things to like about the 3040s, including:
- It’s ideally suited for wet and dry use. You can use it with the water, foam, gel, in the shower, you name it. The 3040s is waterproof for up to 5 meters and simply rinsing it under the tap will sufficiently clean it. But if dry shaving is your thing, not to worry – you’ll still get a clean, comfortable shave.
- The Braun 3040s has a Ni-MH battery that’s quickly rechargeable. A full charge gives you about an hour and 45 minutes of shave time, while you’ll need 45 minutes to bring it back to full charge after you’ve run the battery completely down. However, a quick five-minute charge – even if the battery is completely dead – gives you enough juice for one shave.
- You’ll love the 3040s ergonomically-designed grip that enables you to hold the shaver firmly in your hand even when the unit is wet. Each side of the razor has a rubberized grip.
- There’s a large precision trimmer on the back of the Braun 3040s that’s excellent for trimming your sideburns, beard, and mustache.
- The razor comes with an LED display that indicates the current battery level. When only one of the green lighted lines is visible, it’s time to plug it in for a shave.
- It’s cordless to give you the convenience of shaving when and where you want.
- Braun offers a 60-day satisfaction guarantee. If there’s something you don’t like about the razor, you’ll get a full refund as long as you return it within 60 days of your purchase. It’s the same guarantee offered with all of Braun’s shaving lines.
- Good for wet and dry shaving
- 3 pressure-sensitive shaving heads
- Comfortable, ergonomic grip
- Not many, although the charge cord is shorter than some
The 3040s is typical of Braun’s superb technology, and if you’re looking for a razor that delivers high-end performance without wreaking havoc on your wallet, this is for you. You can spend a whole more and get a whole lot less with other shavers.
Looking to save money? Take a close look at the Kissliss Electric Rotary Razor, which fits into any man’s budget.
Looking for a quality razor? Ditto.
The Kissliss 100% Waterproof Rotary Razor is an inexpensive yet high-quality razor that gets the job done while also garnering a plethora of positive reviews. There’s just a lot to like about this razor, period.
- It comes with three floating heads with blades that cut in four directions while closely following the contours of your face. You’ll get a fast – but smooth – shave every time. The contact surface of the floating heads is larger than on many other razors and makes for a faster shave.
- The Kissliss Electric Razor is good for wet and dry shaving. You can use it in the shower with your favorite foam or gel, while it has a detachable head that makes it easy to clean under the faucet.
- This razor comes with a USB cable which allows you to charge it within an hour fully (while getting nearly two hours of shaving time). The cable makes it convenient to take the razor wherever you go.
- A 5-level LED digital display lets you know when the battery is running low and when it’s completely charged. When it flashes to 20%, you’ll know it’s time for a recharge.
- It also comes with a pop-up trimmer that’s ideal for shaving sideburns and beard shapes.
- The razor is housed in a lightweight, ergonomic body.
- The Kissliss Electric Razor also comes with a cleaning brush and instruction manual.
- Wet & dry shaving capability
- USB cable for convenient charging
- May not last as long as other razors
You have to like a razor that accomplishes the same things more expensive razors do yet doesn’t cost a fortune. The Kissliss Electric Razor is versatile, easy to operate, and able to provide a clean, close shave.
The proper way how to use an electric shaver
Now that you’re ready to bring home your new electric razor and start tidying up those parts of your face now covered by your spectacular beard, here are some tips for using it. Follow these and you’ll be shaving like a pro in no time.
1. Give It Time
We’ve already discussed how you should buy a razor that has a 30-day money back guarantee because you’ll need that time to give your skin and facial hair time to adjust. Don’t give up. You should start to see results in no longer than three weeks.
2. How To Hold It
Hold the razor at 90 degrees. Shave up and down and sideways when using a foil shaver. Shave in a circular motion with a rotary shaver.
3. Go Against The Grain
Unlike how you would use a traditional blade, shave against the grain with electric shavers. Also, stretch your skin with your free hand to get a better shave, and cut in all directions.
4. Wash Later
Don’t wash your face before dry-shaving.
5. Go Easy
Don’t press too hard, because it can cause irritation. Some areas may need more pressure, just be careful.
6. Bring in a Trimmer, if Needed
Use a beard trimmer or hair clippers to get your facial hair down to a “shaving” level if it’s too long. An electric shaver won’t be kind to you or your long facial hair, unless you like pulling, tugging, yanking … you name it.
7. Take Care Of It
Always clean your shaver after use by using either a cleaning station, running it under the faucet (if it’s waterproof), or using a brush. This will prolong the life of the blades. And always replace dull blades when necessary – which is usually every 1 to 2 years for most models.
What’s the Difference? Foil vs. Rotary Electric Shavers
As mentioned previously, electric shavers come in two types – foil and electric. The type you choose depends on a variety of factors, not the least of which is skin type. Let’s take a look at the two types, including their differences and similarities.
Foil shavers have been around for nearly 100 years and were on the first electric shavers invented by the venerable Jacob Schick. Here are some of a foil shaver’s characteristics:
- The foil head contains oscillating blades (which means they move back and forth). The head is rectangular in nature and has limited pivoting capabilities.
- A thin, curved metal foil covers the cutting blades and remains still during the shaving process. The foils physically lift the hair before guiding it into the blade. The blades then cut the hair as they oscillate back and forth under the thin foil cover.
- Most foil shavers come with several different cutting blades while many come with spring-loaded heads.
- Foil shaving heads are a bit noisier than rotary shavers.
- The technique used for shaving with a foil head involves up and down or left to right movements. Unlike with a rotary razor, you do not want to use a circular motion when using a foil razor. This can be an adjustment if you’re accustomed to using a rotary shaving head.
- The faster the foil shaving head, the more the hair that enters the foils (and reaches the blades, resulting in a closer shave).
Rotary shavers represent a more modern invention although they have been around for some time.
- Most rotary shavers have three circular heads that cover a spinning cutter blade. A stationary, outer guard guides beard stubble into the blade.
- Rotary shavers are designed to follow the contours of your face as you move the shaver in a circular motion that makes it easier to maneuver around tricky areas of your face such as the neck and chin.
- Most rotary shavers pivot in any direction and also gently flex inward in the middle of all three circular shaving heads. The ability to pivot also makes this type of razor ideal for shaving in and around hard-to-reach areas of your face.
- Remember: A circular motion is a key when using a rotary shaver. Using an up and down shaving motion as you would with a foil shaver will pull your hair and result in a fair amount of irritation.
Which Type of Electric Razor is Right for Me?
Choosing between a foil and rotary razor isn’t just a matter of personal preference, it’s also a matter of skin type, the thickness of your hair, and how you use them.
A foil shaver may be best for you if:
- You have relatively fine facial hair that’s not too long
- You have strong hair growth
- You prefer to shave in straight lines
- You prefer the completely bald look on your cheeks
- You intend to use your electric razor every day
A rotary shaver may be best for you if:
- You have regular to tough skin
- You have thicker, coarser hair or beard density
- You’re cutting longer hairs, like after you’ve gone a weekend without shaving, yet still want a close shave
- You don’t intend on using your electric shaver every day
- Your beard hair grows in different directions, particularly around the neck area
- You want easier maneuverability around the contours of your face
A note on sensitive skin and foil and rotary shavers
Skin sensitivity is a major factor in choosing between a foil and rotary razor. While rotary razors adjust to the contours of your face and are easier to maneuver during the shaving process, they’re not as kind to your face as foil shavers. On the other hand, some men with sensitive skin report no issues when using a rotary razor.
Again, what works best for sensitive skin often comes down to personal preference, but neither a cheap rotary shaver nor a cheap foil shaver will serve you well no matter your skin type.
Electric Razors vs. All The Rest
There’s definitely something to be said for using an electric razor. But there’s a lot to be said about other types of razors too, whether it’s a straight edge, cartridge, double-edge or disposable. Let’s take a brief look at the different types and offer a comparison
Why you’ll like an electric razor:
- Convenience – Electric razors can be used at anytime, anyplace, and you don’t have to mess with shaving creams, gels or lotions. Cordless electric shavers are particularly convenient – as long as you make sure to keep the battery charged.
- Ease of use – There’s not a ton of technique when using an electric shaver; a first-time user can get the hang of it in very little time. Moreover, it doesn’t take a lot of time to shave with an electric razor because they force the hairs upward and shave more hair with each pass – meaning you won’t have to make multiple passes.
- Safer – Yes, it’s possible to get skin irritation when using an electric razor (because of the friction) but the chances of cutting yourself – as with a traditional razor – are slim and none.
Cons of an electric razor:
- Not the closest shave – Electric razors won’t give you the same kind of close shave as you’d bet with a manual razor. You’ll still get a close shave, mind you, just not as close in most cases.
- Battery-powered – Not that there’s anything wrong with battery power, but it does mean you have to monitor your electric razor’s power source so it doesn’t quit in the middle of your shave. Fortunately, most electric razors include LED battery-charge monitors.
Why you’ll like a straight razor:
- Because it’s bad-ass – Using a straight razor is old school but very cool old school. It was the only choice for shaving in many previous centuries and is still used today by men who prefer the ultimate in manual shaving.
- Close shave – A good straight razor will give you a close shave unlike any other. Its blades are sharp, sharp, and sharper, and with the right technique (and perhaps a pre-shave hot towel on your face to soften up your facial hairs), you’ll get a shave as smooth as a baby’s butt.
Cons of a straight razor:
- You’ll need some practice – Not many men can pick up a straight razor for the first time and get a perfect shave. For one, the blade is fully-exposed, which raises the risk of nicks and cuts, but you do have full control of the blade’s angle, which you don’t have with other manual razors.
- Price – Most quality straight razors cost more than many other razors. Then again, you’d be hard-pressed to find a closer shave once you get the hang of it.
Why you’ll like a safety razor:
- It covers all the bases – The great thing about a safety razor is that it addresses three main shaving issues – time, safety, and ease of use. There’s a much gentler learning curve than with a straight razor though you’ll need to take more care when shaving than you would with an electric.
- The price is right – You’ll find many high-quality safety razors priced as low as $30.
- The option – Safety razors come in one-piece, two-piece, and three-piece designs.
Why you’ll like a cartridge razor:
- Availability – You never have to go far to purchase a cartridge razor. You’ll find one in practically every supermarket, pharmacy, convenience store – and even at your corner gas station.
- Ease of use – It doesn’t get much easier than a cartridge razor. They’re designed with the novice in mind (although not every man who uses a cartridge razor is a novice) and has a fixed angle that decreases your chances of getting nicks and cuts. Many of them include a lubrastrip that lubricates your skin as you shave.
Cons of a cartridge razor:
- The price – While the initial cost of a cartridge razor is very inexpensive, the cost of replacement razors is usually anything but cheap. No wonder that many supermarkets keep replacement cartridge blades in an enclosed case that an experienced bank robber can’t access.
- The shave – While you can still get a close shave with a cartridge razor, it certainly won’t be as close as a straight razor, or as close as a cartridge razor.
We Chose These Razors Because…
We take into account several factors when choosing the products for our “best of” reviews, and the same is true when it comes to electric razors. Performance is, of course, of vast importance and we studied each of the chosen razors carefully to make sure that they delivered where it counted most, i.e., when shaving all types of facial hair growth.
We also considered the various features of each razor, such as trimmers, LED displays, and whether they were appropriate for wet or dry shaving, or both. Moreover, we made sure to include both foil and rotary shavers in our reviews.
Last, but certainly not least, we considered the price of each electric shaver. We always want to include a broad price range, from expensive to budget. Perhaps surprisingly, many of the razors we included come at a price that won’t cost you an arm and a leg yet still deliver a high-quality performance.
With that, we wrap up another review. As always, we encourage your feedback – whether it’s about the shavers listed here, or about another brand of razor you use that you think should be included on our list, or about anything related to men’s grooming. We’d love to hear from you.