Electric Shaver Buying Tips

I recently bought a new electric shaver. It was an interesting experience. There are a lot more differences in some of these shavers than I thought there were. But in the end it didn’t take much effort to pick one out.

For the record, I ended up buying a Philips Norelco 7310XL, and I’m pretty happy with it. I get a really smooth shave from it.

Let’s start out with some basic comparison info.

What’s the difference between foil and rotary shavers?

Foil shavers are the ones that have a flat/rounded head with tiny holes. It looks like a piece of foil arched over the cutting blades that hide underneath.

The foil shavers are the most common types of electric shavers you will find. They work great, maybe some brands work better than others. I used to have a foil shaver and even though it wasn’t a very expensive one, it got the job done. It made me work a little harder to get a smooth shave, but it did work. And it was awfully convenient and easy to use.

The rotary shavers are a little less common, but still fairly prevalent. Rotary shavers consist of multiple rotary blades that cut in multiple directions as the blades pass over your skin. For this reason they seem to be a little more efficient when shaving. My new rotary shaver can get a smooth shave much more easily than the foil one that I replaced.

Some say that foil shavers have more of a tendency to irritate your skin or cause ingrown hairs. Some also say that foil shavers can be a little more awkward to use if you have a really thick beard or loose skin, they might have a tendency to pinch. But it most often comes down to personal preference and what works best for your facial hair and skin.

Look at features

The modern electric shavers have some interesting features integrated into their designs. Here are some features to keep an eye out for:

  • Blades, heads or cutting surfaces that curve to fit your face.
  • Slip proof handles.
  • LCD screens that show battery levels and shaving modes if the shaver has different modes.
  • Lifting combs or other features that help lift facial hair – this type of feature can drastically improve efficiency during shaving.
  • Travel locks – so your shaver doesn’t turn on when it’s in your suitcase.
  • Battery types – Lithium Ion batteries are the best, they charge really fast and don’t taper on power when running low on juice.
  • Ability to use dry or wet – Use it dry or take it into the shower.
  • Trimmer blades – many shavers have optional trimmer blades to help trim up sideburns or beards – it’s a nice feature to have if you need to maintain stuff like that.
  • Cleaning units – some shavers come with cleaning units that you mount the shaver in when you’re done using it. These are nice and keep the blades clean and in top shape after each shave.

Look at accessories

This is where I found many more differences between the shavers I looked at. It seemed that each shaver came with a difference lineup of accessories. Here’s some of the accessories to keep an eye out for:

  • Travel cases
  • Replacement heads or foils
  • Pop-on trimmers – some razors don’t have them built in, but instead they are an attachment
  • Blade covers
  • Cleaning solutions
  • Charging cords

I hope this helps you sort out the most important things to look at. If you pay attention to these features and accessories when checking out the different models available, you will be able to figure out which one is best for your situation and budget without much effort. Then you just need to buy it and ditch your old shaver or razor that you probably can’t wait to get rid of.

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