A lot of guys are seriously skeptical of electric shavers. Some see them as newfangled, despite the fact that the first patent for an electric-powered razor was filed in 1898. Others complain that even the best electric shavers don’t offer as close a shave as some disposable razors or safety razors.
However, with modern morning routines being as rushed as they are, grooming with an electric shaver offers an unparalleled level of convenience. You’re bound to enjoy a more comfortable shave with an electric razor than you would hastily attempting to manually shave while putting on your shoes, brushing your teeth and making breakfast at the same time.
However, the key to convenience is reliability. If something is easy to use but breaks down or is difficult to clean, then it isn’t actually very convenient. That’s why choosing the right electric shaver is crucial. It starts with knowing what the best electric razors are, as well as the different types available.
So what are the best electric shavers? Below, we’ve ranked our favorite products and break down why they’re worthy of your morning shave.
Foil vs. Rotary Shavers
We won’t make this more complicated than it needs to be. There are two types of electric shavers: foil and rotary. Each operates differently and offers its own set of pros and cons. Here’s a brief breakdown between the two:
A first for the category, the foil shaver was originally invented in 1928 by Canadian Jacob Schick, the same man who founded the Schick Dry Shaver, Inc. razor company. These machines feature oscillating blades within a thin layer of foil that lift hairs away from the skin surface for precise shaves. Many also come bundled with extra accessories (e.g. combs, trimmer attachments) to tackle different hair lengths. The technique consists of employing back-and-forth or up-and-down strokes; circular motions cause pulling and result in inflammation.
Pros: Best for everyday use and can be used on the scalp. Provide closer and gentler shaves, faster cutting speeds and are suitable for sensitive skin.
Cons: Extremely noisy. Limited pivoting for shaving contoured areas. Cheap electric shavers are prone to overheating.
The first-ever rotary shaver was created by Philips in 1939. Most models feature three circular heads with an internally spinning cutter that seamlessly snips facial hair and provides excellent handleability for maximum traction on skin. Proper technique consists of circular motions around the face, neck and chin for a convenient, close shave.
Pros: Best for dense and wild hair. Flexible heads operate more silently. Suitable for rough skin types.
Cons: More prone to cause irritation. Not suitable for trimming. Shaving results aren’t always precise.
Those are the basic differences, but before we jump into the best electric shavers, rotary or foil, we’ve gathered some general tips that apply to both kinds.
- There’s a bit of a learning curve for first-time users of electric shavers. You’re probably going to have some skin irritation and some unpleasant hair tugging as you figure out how to use them. Stick with them for a couple weeks. Once you get the hang of them, you’ll never want to not have an electric shaver around.
- Double-check if your electric shaver is suitable for a wet shave. Because they’re electric, some are not suitable for the shower or shaving cream friendly.
- Make sure to clean, and rinse if possible, your electric razor when you’re finished. Hairs do find their way into them, especially the rotary kind, and over time hairs can clog and affect the performance of the shaver. A lot of shavers come with a little brush for exactly this purpose.
- If you’re working with longer hair at the start, be sure to trim down before shaving. While electric shavers are great for trimming facial stubble and shortening beard hair, they’re closer to a lawnmower than a weedwacker and aren’t designed to tackle long beards.
- Eventually you’ll have to replace the foil and cutters on foil shavers or rotary cutters on rotary shavers because they dull with regular usage over time. If you’re starting to notice an increase in tugging and irritation or the shaver isn’t cutting things cleanly in one or two passes, it may be time to replace the parts.
- If either rotary or foil shavers were the best, we’d offer picks on just one, but they both work well. While our best overall shaver reflects our view that foil shavers work the best to shave your face with the least amount of irritation, ultimately foil vs rotary is a matter of personal preference.
Now that all that’s out of the way, let’s get the right model in your hand. Below is a list of the best electric shavers for men that we’ve compiled based on expert reviews, fanfare (aka customer reviews) and our own testing. We’ve also taken it a step further by taking category, price, and shaving purpose into account.
1. Braun Series 9
Several grooming enthusiasts liken electric shavers to sports cars — premium machines with sleek aesthetics and serious horsepower underneath the hood. The Braun Series 9 can practically be considered the Lamborghini Veneno Roadster of foil shavers with the design, specs and performance to justify its high price tag. Hidden behind its beautiful and 100% waterproof aluminum casing is a super-powerful motor that generates 40,000 “cross-cutting actions per minute” to execute the smoothest dry and wet shaves possible. The motor also has autosensing capabilities that determine the density of hair to optimize strokes and catch more hair without tugging. Braun even bundles the Series 9 with its handsome Clean & Charging Station to dock the machine, proudly displaying it as a bathroom centerpiece.
There are a couple versions of this beauty available at different price points, each sharing the same luxury appearance as the original, but with different accessories and minor cosmetic changes. Nonetheless, if you’re going all-in on an electric shaver and money is no option, splurge away.
2. Braun Series 7
Not every man has Series 9 money, but if you’re looking for the next best thing from Braun at a relatively affordable price, then it’s the Series 7. This critically acclaimed shaver comes with numerous features tailored for men with sensitive skin. Included is a console that automatically cleans and charges the shaver when not in use. It’s also fully waterproof, so you can quickly rinse it off or shave in the shower when time isn’t on your side. What’s cool is that the Series 7 carries the same intelligent sonic and auto-sense technology as its successor, automatically adjusting power based on where you’re shaving for a closer and more precise shave. We love how nimble and flexible the shaving head feels, which provides relief shaving around fragile areas.
3. Philips Norelco Shaver 9300
BEST ROTARY SHAVER
A solid shaver with excellent craftsmanship and shaving capabilities, the Philips Norelco Shaver 9300 looks identical to its more expensive brethren, the 9700. Thankfully, it performs just as well and comes at a lower price. Weight is nicely distributed, balancing well in hand with solid grip control to perform comfortable shaves. Philips’ innovative V-track precision blade system moves in 8 different directions to move easily around the face and capture 20% more hair while also providing up to 30% closer shaves. Most electric shavers struggle with three-day beards, but this one handled mine with finesse; I found applying a thin layer of shaving cream gave the blades more slickness to reduce friction. The multi-level display and three-speed settings make operating the shaver simple as well.
4. Kemei 1102 Professional Electric Foil Shaver
BEST BUDGET PICK
The best electric shavers cost upward of $100 and offer excellent shaves, features and durability, but if you don’t need all the bells and whistles, you can still find some great foil shavers that cost a lot less. Enter the Kemei 1102 Professional Electric Foil Shaver. Despite the bargain price, this is a solid electric shaver. It has two cutters, which aren’t staggered but still trim well (there’s an additional trimmer on the back). The battery takes an hour and a half to charge, with 60 minutes of run time, and it charges through micro USB instead of a specialized charger, which is a nice touch.
One downside is it’s not clear what the metal in the foil is — the Amazon listing suggests titanium, which would be good, but that’s not supported by anything from Kemei itself. Generally, if a detail like that is unclear, that means the metal is something generic and lower quality. But Kemei sends a replacement foil in the box, so even if the foil breaks down after some time, you’ve already got a replacement foil ready to go. Lastly, Kemei claims the shaver works for a wet shave, but because it’s not rated as a waterproof shaver, we wouldn’t recommend that. All factors considered, the Kemei shaver is a mixed bag, but at under $30, it’s got more than enough going for it to recommend.
5. Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV97-K
Features make an electric shaver, and the Arc5 ES-LV97-K certainly isn’t short on them. Seriously, where do we start? The flex 16-D shaving head was designed for adaptability and pivots in 16 directions independently, allowing it to reach the most difficult areas for more effective coverage. Next up is the 14,000 CPM linear motor that delivers up to 70,000 cross-cutting motions per minute, which is higher than the Braun Series 9. Panasonic’s patented active shave sensor is very intuitive, adjusting power flow at 14x a second and measuring beard density at 220x a second.
Something else that makes the Arc5 ES-LV97-K ultramodern is its bright LED screen that indicates the battery level clearly and adds some extra flair. Did we mention the pop-up trimmer on the back? Lastly, the shaver can be used dry or wet. Like all of the best electric shavers, this product is waterproof and ready for wet shaves.
6. GAMMA+ Absolute Zero Cordless Foil Shaver & Retractable Trimmer
BEST TRAVEL ELECTRIC SHAVER
Want something that can clean up your moneymaker quickly and fits in your pocket or dopp kit? Take a look at this cordless, compact shaver. Its design may exude barber vibes, which is aesthetically pleasing, but its true worth comes in serviceability. The GAMMA+ Absolute Zero grants you 120 minutes of continuous use, and on a 30-minute charge. The gold titanium hypoallergenic foils do a surprisingly good job of snatching wild hairs and protecting skin from razor bumps, ingrown hairs and skin irritation. GAMMA+ also bundles two spare cutters should the integrated ones crap out on you. There is also a retractable trimmer on the back should you want to touch up any edges.
7. Philips Norelco OneBlade
If multifunctionality was the biggest selling point for an electric shaver, then the OneBlade would be considered the Leatherman of the category. An all-in-one device that can shave, trim, edge and style facial hair is the best way to describe this amazing creation from Philips. The dual-sided blade system is well-engineered and seamlessly mows through dense hair to create the ideal five-o’clock shadow look. You won’t achieve the same clean-cut shave as a straight razor, but its precision allows for better and more creative styling; it’s a breeze to line up your forehead and sideburns. The 45-minute battery and portable design also make the OneBlade a great travel companion. Should you want a fancier version of this hybrid trimmer-shaver, seek out the OneBlade Pro, which features an adjustable precision comb with 12 length settings and double the battery life.
8. Braun Series 5 5018s
Braun’s newest line of entry-level shavers — the Series 5, Series 6 and Series 7 — are all noteworthy investments that offer amazing bang-for-the-buck performance. We’re especially fond of the Series 5 for two reasons: its ability to plow through stubble effortlessly, and for offering similar features (e.g. 5-minute quick charging, waterproof protection) at the lowest price point. The 3-blade head demonstrated a nice range of movement and adapted to my facial contours, creating less of a headache when shaving around my neck and chin. I also appreciated the rubberized sides that provided better grip control for smoother stroke action.
9. Wahl Model 7061-100 Lifeproof Lithium Ion Foil Shaver
BEST LIFEPROOF SHAVER
If you’re looking for a durable, waterproof electric shaver, then barbershop staple Wahl has got you covered. The Wahl Model 7061-100 Lifeproof Lithium-Ion Foil Shaver is more than just waterproof. Wahl calls it life-proof because not only can it survive water depths up to 1 meter, but it’s also shock-resistant so it’ll survive the inevitable drop to the floor. Furthermore, it’s got a no-slip grip, travel lock, pop-out trimmer and LED charging light for even more convenience.
This electric shaver boasts a 90-minute run time and takes one hour for a full charge (or only five minutes for a quick charge when you’re out of battery and need a quick trim). The head pivots to help with shave angles, but so do the shave foils so you don’t accidentally cut too deep or too shallow when navigating chin angles. And if you’re more of a green instead of a grey guy, it comes in a few different color varieties (though we’ll note the yellow is about $5 cheaper). Overall, this is a solid electric shaver and it’s far more durable and waterproof than even more expensive options. Whether you keep it at home or travel with it, you can count on getting an excellent shave from one of the oldest, best and most innovative grooming companies in the United States.
10. BaBylissPRO Cordless Metal Double Foil Shaver
COOLEST FOIL SHAVER
Who would’ve thought BaBylissPro, maker of outstanding hairdryers, would produce such an awesome, cool, professional-grade electric shaver? That’s what you get with the BaBylissPRO Cordless Metal Double Foil Shaver. First, this double foil electric shaver is all metal and comes in gold, rose gold or silver. When fully charged it can run for an epic three hours, so you can groom quite a few times before having to charge it. To help prolong its life, it also has an auto-shutoff feature to make sure it turns off if you accidentally leave it running. Add in typical features like hypoallergenic gold foils as well as a carrying pouch and a free set of replacement foil and cutters and you’ve got a sleek, cool all-metal electric shaving solution.
For our pick, we can’t help but go for the rose gold color. Blame the iPhone if you must, but Apple was right about rose gold and it’s awesome in an electric shaver.
11. Andis 17150 Pro Foil Lithium Titanium Foil Shaver
BEST-SELLING FOIL SHAVER
When it comes to things like electric shavers, the user experience is just as important in identifying the best electric shavers as professional testing. Who’s to say an electric shaver is bad if thousands of people report positive experiences with it? That last fact is what drew us to the Andis 17150 Pro Foil Lithium Titanium Foil Shaver. Founded in the 1920s, Andis, perhaps best known for its hair clippers and beard trimmers, brings the same level of engineering and innovation in its clippers to its electric trimmers. This model features staggered shaver blades for improved closeness and uses a hypoallergenic gold-titanium foil in an octagonal shape to help feed hair into the shaver better. With a lithium-ion battery, the shaver runs 80 minutes on a single charge. That’s a pretty good run time for an electric shaver that costs well under $100. Sure, it might not last a lifetime if you use it every day for years, it’s not designed for a wet shave, and like all electric shavers you’ll need to replace the foil and cutters eventually, but it’s tried and true and will more than get the job done.
12. Philips Norelco Shaver 3800, S3311/85
BEST ELECTRIC SHAVER UNDER $100
Seeing as we wanted to detail one of the best-selling foil shavers, it makes sense to investigate one of the best-selling rotary shavers for the same reasons. If thousands of people have five-star experiences, they must be on to something, and it’s clear what they’re on to with the Philips Norelco Shaver 3800, S3311/85. First, maintenance is a cinch: The shaver’s waterproof, so it’s easy to rinse and clean with water by way of its one-touch open button. That also means you can use shaving cream with this electric shaver, which is definitely a bonus. In terms of design, it’s easy to hold with an ergonomic design and anti-slip rubber. As for the blades and specs, this is a well-made machine given it costs under $100.
The head of the shaver and the rotary blade caps pivot and flex to help you achieve the best shave angles as you move the shaver around your face. Underneath the caps are 27 self-sharpening blades, so you get extended life before you have to replace them. It doesn’t run as long or charge as fast as some other options, at 60 minutes and 60 minutes respectively, but because the run time and charge time roughly correlate, if you need a quick shave, you only need to charge it for five to ten minutes to get enough time to shave. One downside with that is the shaver won’t function while charging, so even given the quick charge for one use, it’s not optimal for those shave-and-dash moments. Add in a couple bells and whistles like a pop-up trimmer, a three-level battery indicator and a charging stand, and you’re getting a pretty great value for an electric rotary shaver.
13. Panasonic Men’s Card-type Compact Shaver ES518P-S Silver
MOST COMPACT SHAVER
We’ve got some pretty solid portable and travel-friendly electric shavers in this round-up. We recommend sticking with those for traveling just because overall they have more features beyond size that make them great for guys on the go. But if you’re looking for the most compact electric shaver above all else, like for a night on the town or to throw in your glove box, you can’t get more compact than the Panasonic Men’s Card-type Compact Shaver ES518P-S.
This Japanese-made electric shaver comes in a super narrow, cool silver case without many bells and whistles for maximum portability above all else. To achieve the slim profile, this shaver only has a single foil shaver and runs on two AAA batteries instead of a rechargeable battery. In practice, that means it takes longer for a full shave compared to double foil shavers and has the added upkeep cost of new batteries. But one foil still works just as well as two and this electric shaver makes up for its cons with its unrivaled compactness if that’s your number one priority.