How to Choose the Best Type of Electric Razor

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Father’s Day is right around the corner, and an electric razor can be the perfectly practical gift that keeps on giving. The perfect shave is both an art and science, and finding the right razor increases quality of life in multiple ways.

A proper shave can improve skin health, reduce irritation, prevent ingrown hairs, eliminate razor burn, and increase attractiveness and skin appearance.

Single-edged razors, double-edge safety razors, and shavettes are the manual types of blades usually sold within most shaving kits. Electric razors may have more moving parts, but they usually have an easier learning curve and built-in protection to prevent injury or accidental shaving nicks. They even make perfect travel razors

There are three types of electric razors to consider: foil, rotary, and trimmers. Each has their own pros and cons, and a variety of factors affect price. If you rarely need to shave, or if you only have once or twice a week, a basic electric razor should be fine. If you have thicker hair or facial hair that needs to be shaved nearly every day, you’ll definitely want to buy a top of the line shaver. Because they last nearly indefinitely, the upfront investment will pay for itself in no time!

Foil Electric Razors – Pros and Cons

Foil razors have a thin layer of “foil” that covers a set of oscillating blades to protect your skin. They usually have two, three, or even four blades total for a very close shave. If it’s your first foray into electric razors, the straight up and down motion will be familiar to a hand razor like you’re used to, and the foil is easy to remove for cleaning. They’re the closest shave money can buy with electric razors, and can help with precise trimming around beards or sideburns.

It’s hard to go wrong with a classic, and the foil razor is the original design for the first electric razor of all time (invented in 1923). The only drawback to a foil razor is the lack of approach angles available. Especially for bigger models, certain areas under the nose or around the jawline may be hard to reach. To compensate, pull skin tightly while shaving and find a razor that’s just the right size for your face.

Rotary Electric Razors – Pros and Cons

Rotary shavers are the new kid on the block, and since their invention in the 1960’s they’ve become some of the most popular (and visually appealing) models today. To understand how a rotary razor works, three discs house spinning blades that trim hair much like a lawn mower or weed eater. And unlike foil razors, these discs can bend inwards or tilt to match the contours of your face.

Rotary razors — much like rotary engines — are a matter of preference. The flexibility is useful, but rotary razors are rarely known for the closeness of their shave. They can also be slightly more difficult to clean and replace blades, and they have a bit of a learning curve. To shave with a rotary razor, you move in a clockwise motion. Perfect for people who don’t need to shave every day — or those not worried about a five o’clock shadow.

Electric Trimmers – Pros and Cons

For the fortunate among us, beard trimmers may be an essential part of a distinguished man’s toolkit. Trimmers aren’t meant for a close shave, but neither foil nor rotary razors are meant to trim and shape beards (while keeping them). You definitely get what you pay for, and a dependable trimmer can handle thick, coarse beards with ease. There aren’t exactly “cons” for having a beard or hair trimmer, but it is slightly more difficult to clean than a simple pair of shears. Check to make sure that the blade guards can accommodate the length you desire, and you’ll be good to go!

Considerations – Wet Vs. Dry Electric Razors

Finally, some razors are meant for dry shaving and others are labeled “wet electric razors”. This does not mean they are meant to be submerged underwater (although some can be). Wet razors are designed to work with shaving cream, while dry razors should just be used dry or with moistened skin. You can find quality foil and rotary razors available in both wet and dry variations, so don’t be afraid to shop around for the best razor for your face!

Remember, if you’re looking to find the perfect razor, we have an updated collection of reviews and product guides to help!

Andrew Nelsen, TopProducts Staff Writer