Men’s Electric Shavers

Thursday, 12 June 2008 | Tags: ,

The first electric razor came on the market in 1939, promising a good shave without requiring water or lather. Traditional straight razor blade companies have since argued that only their products can provide a close shave. We find out the full story on these two beard-tackling rivals.

The Basics

  • Experts say that when used properly, a good electric shaver can cut as close as a razor, without cutting too close.

  • Electric shavers roll up the skin ahead of the whisker, forcing the whisker up above the skin line, while a razor removes a very thin layer of skin causing small amounts of scar tissue to form.

  • Electric shavers tend to irritate the skin less, reducing problems such as razor bumps, nicks and cuts.

  • Electric shavers are particularly good for seniors who tend to have more wrinkles and a less steady hand – things prone to creating nicks and cuts.

  • Electric razors tend to be less messy, quicker and more convenient than straight blades.

  • There are three styles of electric razors to choose from:

    • Foil razor blades move laterally and are kept away from the face by a thin sheet of metal (foil). They offer a closer shave but have trouble cutting longer hair. These razors are often less irritating than rotary shavers, and easier to clean, but also easier to damage.

    • Rotary razors use spinning discs with slats to catch the stubble and slice it. It works well on long hairs and is more sturdy that the foil razor, but is harder to clean.

    • Some manufacturers have begun to combine the functionalities of the two types, combining floating heads to adjust to the contours of your face, and even pop-out trimmers for sideburns and moustaches.

  • Wet vs. Dry razors: each offer different benefits. Some older model wet shavers require shaving gels. The wet model heads can be rinsed under the tap to clean and many can also be used in the shower. Dry shaving requires no preparation or gels and is preferred by most men. Some shavers are both a wet and a dry model – it can be used in either situation.

  • Experts recommend looking out for these features:

    • Single, double and triple blade heads are available. The more blades, the faster and smoother the shave, and the less irritation to the skin.

    • Any good razor should have at least a 10,000rpm motor or faster.

    • Look closely at the power and plug system associated with the razor. Consider when it will be used, how much it will travel and consider cordless or multi-plug varieties. If you decide on a model with a cord, make sure the cord isn’t too short.

    • Watch for features like low power indicators and charging indicators. These accessories are not really necessary and can add considerably to the cost.

Other Considerations

  • There are alternatives to shaving available on the market, but they haven’t really caught on with most men: laser hair removal, creams and wax are all available for men and women.

  • Some shaving tips from the experts:

    • Shave after a shower because the warm water helps soften the beard.

    • Move the shaver slowly across the skin and try not to apply too much pressure.

    • Remember to shave the tender areas of your neck and jawbone of your face first because some shavers can generate heat, which causes irritation.

  • Take good care of your new razor to get the most out of your investment. Be sure to replace the foil or cutter as instructed. Clean the shaver at least after every third use, or even better after every shave. The shaver should come with a small brush to clean out the hair from the cutter. Some even come with products to lubricate and clean the blades as well.

Be Aware

  • Once you get your razor home, don’t expect a smooth shave right away. When transitioning from a blade razor to an electric, give your face a minimum of 2-3 weeks to adjust. Most companies recommend about 30 days and warn you not to fluctuate back and forth during the adjustment period. If transitioning from one electric razor to another, still give yourself a week or two to adjust to the change.


We compared a variety of electric razors to find out if one shaves closer than the rest. We invited some male friends to help us. We tested:

  • Panasonic (foil): $99.99
. . Drugstore.com
  • Braun (foil, with pivot head and cleaning system): $149.99
. . Well.ca Drugstore.com
  • Remington (rotary, inexpensive cordless): $89.99
. . Drugstore.comicon
  • Philips (rotary, cushioned heads): $139.95
. . Well.ca Drugstore.com

(Note: prices listed above are approximate and in Canadian dollars)


Shave Test

After three weeks of trying each one, our testers reported back:

  • One tester didn’t like the foil razors because they had trouble getting some of the hairs on his rounder face and denser beard. The more effective Philips Rotary was his top pick.

  • Another tester with a more angular face preferred the foil razors. The Panasonic Foil was his top pick.

  • One special feature our testers agreed on was the Braun Foil cleaning system: it took up too much room and was ugly.


This test showed that choosing the right razor for your needs is dependent upon your face shape and hair type. If you have denser, coarser hair, choose a rotary. The Philips Rotary was the popular pick. If you have lighter hair and a thin face, you might like the Panasonic Foil razor.


Well.ca - Canada's online drugstore

top of page | | back to posts |
  • Subscribe to the A&K Newsletter

  • luraj

    My Favorite is Karmin! 🙂

  • Willie Frank

    I have been using the karmin’s shaver and works really well for my =)

  • Daniel

    Definitely Karmin’s shaver T7 =D