A Comprehensive Guide to Buying An Electric Shaver

by Philip | Last Updated: May 10, 2018 When you buy something using the links on our posts, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more.

We recently published our list of the top shavers for men but some readers still had questions, so we decided to supplement it with this buyer’s guide.

We aim to teach you all the variables you might encounter when shopping, what they mean, and how to pick the right model for your needs.

Electric Shaver Buying Guide

What’s Your Type?

The first thing you have to decide is if you want a foil or a rotary shaver. These are the two categories that electric shavers are split into.

Panasonic Electric Shaver and Trimmer for Men, ES8243A ARC4, Wet/Dry with 4 Blades and Flexible...

A foil-type shaver has a cutting blade that is covered by a piece of very thin, curved metal. When you use it, this shaver moves smoothly over your face, and it cuts any stubble that pokes through the foil.

These types of shavers are good for people who have sensitive skin and break out in razor burn. They’re also good for people with short or thin facial hair who want a close shave every day.

No products found.

A rotary-type shaver comes with three or four heads with rounded edges. Blades spin below these heads as you move the device over your face. The heads are flexible, and they contour closely to your face when you use it.

They’re good for people who have thicker facial hair or more coarse facial hair. If you’re not prone to razor burn or if you don’t want to shave every day, this type is a good choice.

Important Electric Shaver Considerations

Once you decide on a type, you can move on to the other important considerations, listed in alphabetical order.


Does your electric shaver come by itself or are there accessories included? If you plan to travel a lot, look for an electric razor that comes with a travel case so you can keep everything together. Also, look for one that comes with a cleaning brush to help you keep your razor clean.

Blade Replacement

Even the most reliable electric shaver will eventually need to have the blades replaced, whether you choose a rotary shaver or a foil shaver. You should replace these at least once a year, if not sooner.

Find out if the shaver you choose comes with a replacement set of blades, and if not, find out how difficult it is to get another set. One advantage of buying from a big brand is the ready availability of new blades.

Dry or Wet Shaving Capabilities

dry shave

Do you usually shave dry or wet? This will influence what type of electric razor you choose. Dry shaving is a very quick and easy process, and it’s good for people who like a fast shave.

Wet shaving can be done in the shower, and you can submerge the shaver in water. It’s a very convenient option.

See Also: Shower Shave vs Sink Shave

Ease of Cleaning

Skin infections and breakouts can be partially blamed on an unclean razor. So, it might be worth it to spend a little more to ensure that you can get your razor clean after each use.

Some razors feature an easy manual cleaning option, but the more advanced units have a self-cleaning option that’s built into the charging port. You can adjust the cleaning levels to how dirty your razor is.

Easy to Grip

You need to be able to grip and hold onto your electric shaver firmly. The handle should have an ergonomic design that contours to your grip.

There are many shapes and sizes available even for those who are left-handed, and this makes it easy for everyone to find one with the right hand feel.

LED Interface

This is completely optional, but as technology advances, electric shavers get more advanced. A LED interface is a nice feature because it quickly shows if the unit needs to be charged or cleaned.


Being able to pick up your electric shaver and shave while walking around is very useful. If you want to shave on the go like a hard-boiled detective, don’t buy a model that needs to be plugged in with a long cable!

Power Source

You have three main choices when it comes to your electric shaver’s power source. They all work well.


As with everything, the better the brand you want, the higher the price will go. Either you pay for an affordable shaver that you need to replace often, or for a more expensive item that will last longer.

Also, factor in the shaver’s replacement part price, because the more the shaver itself costs, the more the replacement parts will cost. Remember to balance out the cost as one of the reasons people cross over to electric shavers in the first place is to minimize the cost of using razor blades.

Bottom Line

When it comes to how to choose the best electric shaver, a lot of components come into play. Our comprehensive guide gives you all of the important pieces you have to consider when you’re electric razor shopping to ensure you choose the one that is the right fit for your needs.

Author: Philip Andrew

A writer and teacher who enjoys lazing around and building winter nests out of duvets. “Most are too itchy. You’ve got to be picky.” His goal is to create a complete home spa for 24/7 access to rest and relaxation. Next on the agenda: a barrel sauna for the garden. Connect with Philip on Twitter @completehomespa.