We all know at least one guy who used to look like just another Joe Bloggs at one point in time, then suddenly he started growing beard and turned into a macho hunk! Yes folks, growing and shaping the beard according to your face is a sorcery every man should master. Your magic wand in this case could be an electric shaver. It’s not going to give you a super close shave like good old razors, but electric shaving gadgets are way faster and more gentle on your skin. Electric shavers have become exceptionally popular these days, even for purposes like head shaving. Everyone wants a device like this that can be used anywhere, anytime, without getting into the fuss of shaving foam, cream or gel.
Having the right equipment in your personal grooming kit is imperative for every man. Selecting the best electric shaver from many tempting choices is not going to be an easy journey. Unless, of course, you know a great deal about electric shavers. Apart from getting an idea about the most promising models of the year, you must also educate yourself on the working principle, essential features and types of electric shavers available in the market. Here, in this article, I’ve gone the extra mile of collecting the information that’ll help you understand how one product is more advantageous over another.
It took the cavemen a while to conceive the idea of grooming the bush on their chin with a proper tool. In the beginning, there was no proper tool, so to speak. After the invention of copper tools in 3000bc, mankind was introduced to copper razors. In the 4th century, Alexander the Great, a man who wasn’t very cool with the idea of soldiers keeping a long beard (because it would be easy to pull by the enemies during combat), commanded his army to go clean-shaven. From that time till the beginning of the 19th century, shaving razors went through numerous improvisations.
The first electric razor was invented and patented in 1928 by an American manufacturer named Jacob Schick. The modern ergonomic design and technology of new age electric shavers drew its inspiration from the revolving razor, a revolutionary system conceptualised by Prof. Alexander Horowitz. Today’s electric shavers do more than shave, they can be used under both wet and dry conditions, the body has gone cordless, there are different comb settings for a desirable beard length and many more exciting features to look forward to.
Electric Shavers vs Manual Razors
The concept of electric shavers has been in existence from the last century. In ancient times, bronze and copper blades were the only options to shave off facial hair. If you’re still caught in a dilemma on whether to opt for the old school manual or cartridge razor, or go for the more convenient alternative, comparing and contrasting the pros and cons of each might help you decide faster.
Manual Razor Advantages
- Manual razors come at a fraction of cost of an electric razor. Indeed it is the saviour when you don’t want to spend too much on personal grooming.
- The biggest plus point of manual razors is the quality of shave. Even some of the top-grade electric shavers fail to match the closeness of shave provided by handheld razors.
Manual Razor Disadvantages
- Maneuvering a cartridge razor safely across the skin isn’t a cake walk. If your hands are not steady, the chances of developing injuries are almost certain. Plus, the wet blade might cause bumps and ingrown hair on sensitive skin.
- Manual shaving means using shaving cream, lathering it with a shaving brush and applying after-shave lotion to prevent skin inflammation. Definitely not an option if you want a quick grooming urgently.
- The blades of a manual razor have a very poor edge retention capacity. You will have to change the blades after every 5-6 shaves.
Electric Shaver Advantages
- Electric shavers are faster and far more flexible than manual shaving kits. While the powerful motor generates great force to cut off maximum hair with one stroke, the metal foil helps pulling up the short flat hair for an effortlessly clean shave.
- You don’t have to keep shaving products like gel or aftershave lotion handy while using an electric razor which also makes them hugely travel-friendly.
- Versatility is another major benefit of an electric razor. Apart from neatly shaving the beard, it also functions as a beard trimmer that could be used to stylize your moustache, sideburns, goatee, chest and nose hair.
Electric Razor Disadvantages
- Electric shavers can cause your skin to react in the initial stage. This is called the break-in period. Your skin will require some time to adjust to the different shaving method of the electric razor.
- Many electric shavers produce excessive vibration during the process which might hamper the stability of your hand, leading to unwanted nicks and cuts.
- You will have to charge the batteries fully before using the shaver each time. If the battery life isn’t up to the mark, you may have to charge in the middle of a shave. Also when travelling, the weight of portable charger and back-up batteries will add extra weight to the luggage.
Types of Electric Shavers
Electric shavers are divided into two primary types – rotary and oscillating, or foil shavers. In both types, the blades are safely arranged behind a metal screen. The hair is drawn closer to the blades through the holes or slits of the metal screen for quick cuts.
Foil Shaving Blades
Foil shavers feature a straight head which have oscillating blades guarded beneath a perforated metal foil. The blades are commonly arranged in a linear pattern and can move left to right, up and down directions. The hair penetrates the holes of the foil to come in close contact with the sharp blades. Foil shavers are best suited for clean shaving and trimming short facial hair.
Rotary Shaving Blades
This type of electric shaver consists of three to four circular heads that rotate over the surface to remove facial hair. The cutters are placed behind a grid. The circular motion of the blade easily deals with the difficult contours of the face. Rotary shavers operate silently and provide an incredibly smooth shape. However, your face might find a little difficulty to adjust to the shaving pattern initially.
Corded Electric Shavers
This kind of shaver can be used by plugging it into the mains. These are the very basic type of shavers, ideal for beginners with no experience of electric shavers.
Cordless wet and dry shavers
Corded units crank up a tremendous power output for faster and smoother cut but lack the flexibility. Cordless models powered by rechargeable batteries can be used in the shower as well without fearing about electrocution. Note that these wet and dry models shouldn’t be switched on while recharging.
Mains Rechargeable Shavers
It is a more convenient version of cordless wet and dry shavers. In case you forget to charge the batteries and need to attend an important meeting or party fully groomed, simply plug in the unit and use, whilst obviously avoiding use in the shower.
Razors are fast but electric shavers combine speed with precision and safety. Getting a silky smooth cheek without the fuss and mess of shaving cream or gel is the biggest advantage of shaving with an electric razor. Although the entry-level models can only be operated in a dry environment, the advanced wet and dry models can be used in bathroom and washed easily under running water. Electric shavers are extremely lightweight which makes them a perfect travelling companion. Sporting a clean-shaven look anywhere you go won’t be a hassle anymore.
Are There Any Issues with Electric Shavers?
Yes, there are, depending on the demands of the user. If you want a detailed shave, electric shavers may not be able to provide you with the neat shaving effect of a manual razor, nonetheless, it’s totally a matter of individual preference. Another turn-off for budget customers is the hefty price of feature-rich electric shavers. Replacing the foils, blades and heads will alone add up to a pretty handsome amount.
Features to Look for in an Electric Shaver
Electric shavers that induce almost or more than 10 thousand RPM are the best of the lot as far as cutting performance is concerned. Achieving a clean-shaven look in minutes without developing injuries is a cakewalk for these powerful units.
Most top-of-the-line electric shavers come with an auto shut off feature which helps with switching off the charger as soon as the battery is fully charged. With this feature, the chances of overcharging are eliminated.
A solid battery capacity is highly critical for a convenient shaving experience. Lithium ion batteries generally require 3-10 hours to get fully charged which will suffice for 7 to 8 shaves. If you can tweak your budget a little, look for a shaver with quick-charge option. The unit gets ready to use within 5-10 minutes. A great feature to utilise when you’re in hurry.
The application of electric shavers isn’t restricted to just close shaving. If you are too attached to your beard and don’t wish to clear it off totally, you can try giving your stubble a cooler look using the comb attachments that come with electric shavers. Beard combs of various lengths help you pick a desired cutting length for your beard.
This is a huge factor to stress upon while shopping for the best electric shaver for personal care. Note how often the parts need to replaced, ease of availability and cost. It’s not that tough to find a model whose parts have to be replaced only once a year, that too are available at an affordable price. Cleaning the unit should not be a messy affair. Most (if not all) premium models are packed with automatic cleaning features, so you don’t have to struggle with maintaining the hygiene standard of your shaver. The auto-cleaning system squeezes out a cleansing liquid through the cutter after each shave. The economical models can be cleaned using the cleaning brush provided in the package.
Having a digital charge display on your electric shaver helps you monitor how much shaving time is left before you need to recharge the battery. Light or bars warn when the battery is low or fully charged. While it sounds like an extra feature, it will be highly useful at times when you need an emergency shave or don’t want to get stuck with a half-trimmed chin.
Electric shavers equipped with a pop-up long hair trimmer are a super cool choice for men who love their facial hair too much to let them go completely. The trimmer helps in maintaining a standard length of sideburns, long beard and even chest hair.
Experience with Electric Shavers
I am assuming that most of you reading this article have no experience of using an electric shaver. It’s important to let you know that your skin will take some time to adjust to the shaving pattern of an electric razor. After a couple of shaves, you will develop your own method of shaving and feel more comfortable with the device. If you already use a particular type of electric shaver, try sticking to the same type. Switching from rotary to foil or vice versa may cause skin irritation or rashes during the initial period.
Electric shavers are a long-time investment. Once you’ve decided to buy one, make sure you don’t sacrifice the performance to save a few dollars. In
a similar way, it’s also true that a lofty price tag doesn’t come with the guarantee of great quality. If you browse the internet for an hour or two, you’re sure to find myriads of alternatives for an expensive product offering fancy features.
No man should travel without carrying his personal grooming kit in his backpack. Apart from a lightweight profile, you should also keep an eye for a long battery life if are going to be away on a long weekend trip. Buying and carrying extra batteries or finding an electrical outlet to recharge the batteries is a hassle you don’t want to run into while you’re away.
Tips for Maintaining Electric Shavers
Purchasing a solid electric shaver is one thing and taking proper care of it is another. Electronic cosmetic devices could be delicate. In order to get the best service from your investment for long years, it should be kept at optimal condition all the time. After each shave, bits of hair accumulate between the blades. If you don’t rinse the hair properly, it won’t not only turn into a breeding ground of bacteria but will also result in dulling the blades. Reading the manufacturer’s instruction carefully for cleaning the equipment is something you shouldn’t overlook. The method of maintaining electric shavers differ from brand to brand.
While checking out the product specs, you must notice whether the cleaning method is advertised to be manual or automatic. For manual cleaning, you will need a lubricant, sanitizing soap and cleaning brushes which come with the product itself most of the times. In advanced models, you will find either an auto cleaning/charging system to do the job. Before putting the device on charge, turn off the machine using the switch lock button. If you find any traces of water on the foil, pat it dry with a cloth. Some models might be cleansed with a mild liquid soap. Begin with detaching the foil and cutter cassette from the main unit. Then hold the shaving head under the faucet to rinse the shaving foam residue. When done, rub some lubricant on the foil.
How to Re-sharpen an Electric Shaver
Sharp blades are the chief determiner of a shaver’s cutting quality. No matter how sharp the blades are, they are bound to get dull with the progress of time. When the cutter starts to lose its edge, you have to press the shaving head harder on the target spots which may result in nasty cuts and redness. Here goes the step by step guide to touch up an electric shaver:
- Start off by brushing off the remnants of hair with the help of the special cleaning brush provided by the manufacturer. Do not use water at this stage. Then gently release the cutter from the unit moving the wheel. Put the cutter under running cold water for a quick rinse. For many (if not most) electric shavers from various brands, you will need a flat piece of glass to further the resharpening process.
- Place the cutter firmly on the glass and rotate it 50 to 100 times in a fixed pattern. Make sure to lubricate the glass surface with some water or oil before this. After the completion of the method, wipe the cutter with a dry cloth or tissue and rearrange them. As I said before, this is a general guideline and may vary from product to product. Go through the manual carefully to know the recommended way of sharpening your electric shaver.
Electric shavers have gained a phenomenal popularity among youth and veterans alike in the last few years. Even professional salons are slowly switching from manual razors to their electric versions for the ultimate comfort of use. Top brands are launching newer and better products every day with the ambition to cash in on the overwhelming demand. You need some expert opinion to choose the most dependable model from innumerable options.
In the previous sections, I have already spoken about the essential qualities, pros and cons of electric shavers elaborately. Now, it’s time to select best electric shavers of the year, highly acclaimed by customers and gadget pros alike for possessing excellent technical aspects, stylish and compact exterior and most of all, outstanding shaving performance to provide you the closest possible shave in a single stroke.
Braun’s electric shavers and trimmers have been trusted by millions of men all over the globe. Their 7 790cc-4 model is a highly advanced electric shaver enhanced with German technology that delivers power-packed shaving, leaving you with a fine shaving effect. The fully flexible Pulsonic shaving system comprising an extremely powerful motor rakes up more than ten thousand micro vibrations per minute to remove thick hair in one pass from every contour of your face.
Men with sensitive skin type will be glad with the idea of having three different comb settings, ranging from normal mode to intensive to extra sensitive mode, facilitating a customised shave according to skin type. Another major highlight is the patented ActiveLift cutter housed with Optifoil that makes handling flat-lying less tricky. The flexible pivoting head adapts to the contours of your face quickly.
Braun Series 7 790cc-4 gets more points for the ease of cleaning. The manufacturer provides a special lubricator, a portable charger and a combination cleaner in the box. All you need to do is place the shaver back in the combination cleaning after you’re done with it, press the button on the charging unit and the rest will be taken care of by the cleaning unit. As if that wasn’t good enough, the makers have also included a five minute fast cleaning option for men who remember to do all the important things at the last minute.
Panasonic is one of the most trusted names in the industry when it comes to electronic grooming devices for both men and women. The Panasonic ES-LV61 Arc5 Men’s Electric Shaver is blessed with Japan’s finest shaving technology that makes it a great value for money deal for everyone. The wet and dry cordless unit features a multi-flex pivoting head that smoothly glides across the face, offering easy access to those hard-to-reach spots.
Each blade on the head is adjusted to a 30 degree angle for the closest possible shaving with each sweep. The Multi-flex shaver also acts as perfect beard trimmer for guys who want to groom their long beard instead off mowing it off. The three different foils – slit, lift-tech and finishing, ease out the process of shaping and styling long facial hair. Different men have different skin types. Panasonic’s fast linear motor trim, coupled with special blades and foil ensure comfortable shaving, eliminating the occurrence of any pulling or dragging sensation, skin rashes, redness or irritation.
Both the pop-up trimmer and shaver can be used in both dry and wet conditions. For added safety, there is a switch-lock button which prevents the machine from switching on accidentally. If you want to use shaving foam or gel, the 100% waterproof unit allows for that as well. The LED screen on the device is an attractive addition for tech-lovers which displays the ten different stages of battery charge. The stupendous performance of the razor comes from the sonic vibration cleaning mode that helps you achieve a clean shaven look without putting much pressure on the skin. The unit can be cleansed using alcohol-free solutions or you may just hold it under running water for a few seconds to get the job done.
Here comes another by-product of fine engineering from the house of Braun. The chassis is made from a heavy-duty chrome-finished plastic, giving it a sophisticated profile. The foil razor applies a four-way shear system which is basically a combination of two Optifoils and a pivot head. It’s special foil razor is one of those rare few electric razors on the market that comes close to the smoothness of a manual wet razor.
The “direct cut” element tackles the areas where hairs have grown in different directions, whereas the “hyperlift and cut” option is meant to lift up the flat-lying hair found in the neck and chins areas and tick them off. No other model at this budget is capable of handling difficult hair as efficiently as this one does. Things don’t end here. The fairly long battery life is another notable feature.
The equipment can be used for maximum one hour on a single charge. There’s also a “5 minute emergency charge” option when you don’t have much time to spare for grooming. The combination cleaning/charging station left me highly impressed with its ability to disinfect and pull the hair out of the blade automatically while the unit gets charged.
Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 9700 is a rotary shaver of a superior class. The body design is rather interesting and unconventional from usual electric shavers. The contoured handle provides a firm grip, making it easier to rotate the razor gently along the face in a circular motion for an impeccably close shave. The ultra sharp blades are tactfully arranged at a particular angle to draw the maximum hair closer to the blade. The housing of the Norelco SensoTouch 3D is sculpted from a premium quality silver, there’s a 3 brush head on top along with an in-built trimmer in the front.
The neck and jaw line are the spots on which you usually have to press the shaver head a little harder to clear off the hairs properly, which may, more often than not, resulting in unsightly nicks and inflammation. For quicker cleaning, it comes with an innovative jet cleaning system. Philips Norelco SensoTouch’s superlift cutting system takes care of the short hair on the jaws and neck in a single pass, positioning the model as one of the top-ranked electric rotary shavers of the year.
Braun CoolTech is exclusively designed for guys having highly sensitive, irritation-prone skin. The unique aluminium cooling strip tenderly sweeps off the hair from your face, causing no redness or itching during or post. The 3 stage cutting system of CoolTech is accountable for its stunning cutting performance. When it comes to detailed shaving, there’s no match with a foil cutter. It also features precision trimmers to deal with your moustache, goatee and sideburns. The clean and renew system of this wet and dry shaver uses an alcohol-based solution to sanitise the blades. The specially designed cooling bar reduces skin tension and moisture to leave you with a soothing after-effect post every shave.
If you’re looking for a fast and powerful rotary shaver without spending a single penny more than your set budget, the Remington F5-5800 Rechargeable Foil Shaver could be your go-to option. To be honest, I kept my expectations grounded, seeing the low price of the product up until I examined it with my own eyes. The ergonomically sound design integrates an intercept trimmer between two foils for lifting up long hair along with the tiny ones in order to actualise a uniform cut. The free-floating foils adapt themselves easily to the multiple contours of your face. Rinsing the blades is as simple as it gets. Since it’s a waterproof model, you can give it a quick clean under running water instead of going into the fuss of cleaning brush and lubricants.
The Arc4 ES LA93 belongs to the brand’s light-on-pocket product line. The rugged design is adorned with a “piano like finish”, giving the housing a distinct look. The unit runs on a single powerful AAA battery that will last for 1-2 shaves easily. The superior linear motor in Arc4 spins up to 14 thousand RPM to amp up the grooming process. It’s innovative 4 blade cutting system allows for great coverage, which is particularly important if you want to uproot long, thick, fully-grown beard and chest hair.
With the progress of time, personal grooming is evolving into an art, enhancing the hygiene standard as well as glamour quotient. Today, every guy wants to do the manscaping job on his own. Two big reasons behind the craze of electric shavers is the ease of use and versatility. From teenagers advancing towards and through puberty, all the way to adults, these lightweight, compact tools are no hassle to manoeuvre across the face for any kind shave of you want. If you want a clean-shaven look or don’t want to shave at all, the electric shaver may help you trim your existing stubble and sideburns to make your appearance irresistible – especially to the girls, yay!
- 1 The Origin of Electric Shavers – Buyer’s Guide
- 2 Electric Shavers vs Manual Razors
- 3 Types of Electric Shavers
- 4 Benefits of Using an Electric Shaver
- 5 Are There Any Issues with Electric Shavers?
- 6 Features to Look for in an Electric Shaver
- 7 Experience with Electric Shavers
- 8 Tips for Maintaining Electric Shavers
- 9 How to Re-sharpen an Electric Shaver
- 10 Reviews of the Best Electric Shavers of 2018
- 11 Braun Series 7 790cc-4 Electric Foil Shaver
- 12 Panasonic ES-LV61 Arc5 Men’s Electric Shaver
- 13 Braun Series 9 9095cc Men’s Wet/Dry Shaving and Cleaning System
- 14 Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 9700
- 15 Braun Cool Tec Men’s Solo Shaver
- 16 Remington F5-5800 Rechargeable Foil Shaver
- 17 Panasonic Arc4 ES LA93 Nanotech
- 18 Wrapping up