Choosing between a razor and an electric shaver is one of the big personal questions in men’s hygiene. There’s no wrong answer here. It’s a matter of personal preference, and both of them have their advantages.
If you’re on of those men who either shaves every day or likes to keep a finely-honed five o’clock shadow, chances are you’re using an electric shaver. Heaven knows that they’re not all made equal, however. Trying to shave with a cheap, ineffective shaver is a chore and a half. If you want to have a smooth, enjoyable shaving experience, you need to invest in a good electric razor.
Fortunately, they’re not all that expensive, and you can have a good model for less than $50. While that might seem like a lot of money, remember that these aren’t disposable razors: you’re making an investment. And making an investment in looking good is never a bad thing.
We’ve crafted this guide to help you find some of the best men’s electric shavers out there. Good luck.
Things to consider
Just as men’s straight razors vary dramatically in type and quality, so to do electric razors. If you work in any type of professional setting, keeping your beard trimmed or your face clean-shaven can be imperative. Here are some things to keep in mind while shopping for an electric shaver.
1. Foil or Rotary
Electric shavers fall under two categories: foil razors and rotary razors. Both of them work, but some men prefer one type over the other.
2. Closeness of Shave
Whether you prefer foil or rotary shavers, it is important that you be able to get a close shave. Not all electric shavers are equal where this is concerned. A lot of cheap shavers leave stubble behind, which some men don’t like.
3. Battery Life
No shaver can run on battery power forever, but some shavers last longer than others. Cheaper shavers have about 30 minutes of battery life, which is enough for two or three shaves. Better shavers might have an hour or more of battery life.
4. Wet or Dry
Most electric shavers are meant to be used for dry shaves, but some of them can be used wet. You should pay close attention to this because electric shavers that can only be used dry aren’t going to work in the shower. If you shave in the shower, make sure your shaver is wet/dry.
Electric shavers vary in price greatly, from less than $20 to almost $200. If you want a really good electric shaver, plan on spending at least $50.
The Best Electric Shavers
It can be challenging to tell the difference between different shavers because on the surface they all look pretty much the same, especially rotary shavers. That doesn’t mean that they all perform the same, however. In this instance, paying more really does equal a better product, and we believe that the Philips Norelco Shaver S9300 is the best electric Shaver on the market right now.
Best Electric Shavers Under $50
Kissliss Waterproof Rotary Shaver
I’ve always used a traditional razor when I shave, so trying out different electric shavers took a bit of getting used to. However, I also feel like my unfamiliarity gives me an advantage because I didn’t have any preconceived notions coming into this.
There are a few things I liked about the Kissliss Rotary Shaver. First of all, it’s a wet/dry razor, so you can use it while you’re in the shower if you want. (I don’t.) You can also use it with shaving cream or gel as a result. (I do.) Each of the three floating heads has four different blades that follow the contours of your face, which makes the shave pretty clean and close.
What I really liked about this shaver was the digital display, however. It shows you different power levels, from 20% to 100%, and it starts flashing on 20%, so you’re never left guessing if the shaver is running out of steam – or left without power in the middle of a shave. The battery lasts for up to two hours, which means you don’t have to charge it, which is also great constantly.
All in all, this is a great shaver that gets in really close, and I don’t have a lot of complaints, especially for the price.
Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 3600
The Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 3600 is another fine shaver. It’s a lot like the Kissliss, but it doesn’t have some of the nice features that the previous shaver championed. Still, if you’re looking for a clean shave, this is a good choice.
This shaver is engineered to clean stubble both long and short using a dual precision shaving system. Like the Kissliss, it features a flexible head system with four separate blades on each head that moves according to the curve of your face and neck. The 3600 uses a lithium-ion battery that maintains consistent power and can run for 50 minutes on a single charge.
The head pops open, making cleaning a breeze. The shaver can be used wet or dry, making it a perfect shaving companion for any man in any situation. It’s not as nice as the Kissliss, but it’s still a very effective shaver.
Best Electric Shavers Under $75
Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3040s
One of the challenges of trying out different electric shavers is that foil, and rotary shavers don’t work the same way. Both of them get the job done, but neither work like a straight razor, which threw me through a bit of a learning curve.
The Braun ProSkin 3040s is a foil shaver, and it uses three pressure-sensitive shaving elements. It’s a little closer to a traditional razor than a rotary, but it still took some getting used to. This works well on stubble and is designed to work on a three-day beard, although that depends greatly on whose beard we’re talking about.
The 3040s is especially designed to work with sensitive skin. It is 100% waterproof and can be used either wet or dry, so you get a perfect shave no matter what. It takes an hour to charge and can run for 45 minutes, although it also has a quick-charge setting if you need to shave in a hurry. It uses to rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
Philips Norelco Shaver 4500
The Philips Norelco 4500 shaver is an obvious step up from the 3500. It utilizes advanced AquaTec technology that provides a perfect, ideal shave whether you’re shaving dry or using gel. It also comes with a pop-up trimmer to trim your moustache and sideburns.
In most other respects, it is just like the 3500. It features four-blade heads that contour nicely to my face, and it is a pretty thorough shave, although I occasionally have to go back over an area when my beard is a little longer. It’s designed to be light on the sensitive skin, it has battery indicators for full and low, and it is easy to clean.
I have one fairly serious complaint, however. It takes eight hours to reach a full charge, which seems like an unreasonable amount of time, especially considering it only takes one hour to charge the 3500. It does have a three-minute quick charge feature, but that long charging time is inexcusable.
Best Electric Shavers Under $100
The Remington XR1410 is one of only three shavers on this list that isn’t either Braun or Philips Norelco. What I really liked about the Remington is that it’s not just a rotary shaver, but it actually comes with a full grooming kit, including a beard trimmer and cleaning brushes.
As far as the shave is concerned, the Remington performs exactly as you would expect. Like other rotary shavers, it closely follows the contours of your face, allowing for a clean, smooth shave. It can be used either wet or dry, and it is completely waterproof for easy cleaning.
What really sets this shaver apart are all the attachments. It has a beard trimmer, cleansing brushes and even an exfoliating brush that removes dead skin and preps the face for a shave. It’s innovative design allows you to hold the shaver right to your face, giving you ultimate control. It does take four hours for a full charge, but with all the accessories included, I’m a little more forgiving of a long charge time. Along with the Philips Norelco 6800, this is my pick for the finest rotary shaver at the best value.
Best Electric Shavers Under $150
Philips Norelco Shaver 6800
If you’re looking for a step up from the 3500 and 4500 models, check out the Philips Norelco 6800. This shaver not only offers a closer shave capable of handling longer stubble, but it includes several other useful accessories, including a five-length trimmer attachment, a foldable charging stand and a travel pouch.
Even better, the razor is designed to run on a variety of voltage standards ranging from 100 to 240 volts, making this ideal for traveling overseas. It can be used wet or dry, and provides up to 5an hour of shaving time, enough for several uses before recharging. Unlike the 4500, it only takes an hour to charge, with is a major step up from an eight-hour waiting period.
This is an ideal shaver for the average man. It is fairly inexpensive, comes with a variety of accessories and offers a clean, close shave. Along with the Remington XR1410, this is my pick for the finest rotary shaver at the best value.
Best Electric Shavers Under $200
Panasonic ES-LA63-S Arc4
This foil shaver from Panasonic takes a leap into the digital age with a full-on digital display. The display offers more than just battery life and charging information. It also provides reminders for cleaning and replacement so that you don’t forget to take care of business.
As far as the shaving itself, the ES-LA63-S Arc4 is really something. Each of its four blades is capable of making 14,000 cuts per minute, meaning that hundreds of individual cuts are made with every single stroke and pass – 56,000 cuts per minute! The Arc4 uses dual motors to ensure a smooth, even shave while the blades are working overtime to cut down your stubble.
Like most electric shavers, the Arc4 is designed to glide across the contours of your face for superior efficiency and comfort. A pop-up trimmer makes it easy to keep your moustache or sideburns looking trim and neat. If you’re looking for a high-quality foil shaver, this is the real deal.
Braun Series 5 5190cc Electric Razor
According to the official website, Braun is the world’s #1 seller of foil shavers and the official electric shaver of the NFL. I don’t really know why the NFL needs an official electric shaver, but there you have it.
The main feature of the Braun 5190cc is its charging station. See, this station does more than just charge your shaver; it cleans it as well. You can clean, charge and lubricate your shaver all at the touch of a single button, making it easier for you to keep your shaver maintained and saving your valuable time.
The shaver itself features a sleek, sexy, modern design that is sure to impress. FlexMotionTec with MicroMotion ensures that each shaving element individually responds to the contours of your face, providing a cleaner, smoother shave. The shaver is completely waterproof, and you can adjust the hed to five different angles to facilitate an even better shave.
The price tag on this shaver is fairly steep, but both the shaver and the charging station live up to the hype. If you’ve ever wanted to shave like your favorite quarterback, this is your big day.
Best Electric Shavers Under $250
Braun Series 7 790cc
Much like the 5090cc, the Braun 790cc is an advanced foil shaver complete with a charging station that doubles as a cleaning station. The differences between the 5090cc and the 790cc have less to do with the charging station and more with the design of the shaver itself. All is as it should be.
The two shavers are significantly different in design, and they use different settings that allow you to customize your shave. The 790cc uses sonic vibration technology to give you additional power in tougher areas, creating up to 1000 micro-vibrations per minute. The 2x OptiFoil design can trim hairs to as little as 0.05 millimeters for an unbelievably short, clean finish.
The shaver is designed with three modes for different shaving needs, and you can switch between them at the touch of a button. Also, the on/off switch is placed lower on the shaver, making it less likely for you to accidentally turn it off mid-shave. The price tag on this bad boy is a little steep, but if you can afford it, this is a great foil shaver.
Best Electric Shavers Under $300
Philips Norelco Shaver 9300
The ultimate rotary shaving experience is at your fingertips with the Philips Norelco 9300. Like the Braun 5090cc and 790cc foil shavers, the 9300 comes with a deluxe charging station that cleans, lubricates and dries your shaver while charging it.
The shaver itself works about as well as any other rotary shaver. The blades on the 9300 each move in eight different directions, and the shaver can be set to three different speed settings to accommodate different levels of stubble as well as the different thickness of beard.
Honestly, the biggest difference I noticed between the 9300 and the 6800 is the improvements made to the charger. I do think the 9300 offers a slightly closer shave, but I’m not sure it’s enough of a difference to pay twice as much for a shaver. I noticed more of a difference between low- and high-end foil shavers than rotary ones.
At the end of the day, the big difference here is in the SmartClean charging station. It’s very convenient, but I’m not sure it’s worth paying $100 more.
There is no shortage of electric shavers out there, and while they all resemble each other physically, their performances are not necessarily equal. Hopefully, this guide has provided you with the information you need to make a smart shaving decision. There’s only one thing left for you to decide: foil or rotary.
*All prices mentioned above were at the time of publishing.