If you follow contemporary trends, you know that today’s guy gets a second look simply by cutting back on his shave time each morning. A bit of stubble isn’t just cool-it’s also sexy. If women are complaining about stubble, they’re not saying anything.
For men, not having to shave every day doesn’t mean that they abandon trusted grooming practices. In fact, that hint of hair could require an equal amount of attention (sometimes more) if it’s to turn a man into a hunk rather than The Hulk. As a result of this need to trim, electric shavers remain hot gift picks and sellers-especially for guys who want the look but not at a price.
Historians claim that man has been shaving for 100,000 years using primitive tools that would bear National Safety Council warnings if they were employed today. Among the natural elements used to cut facial hair back when it was a liability (if it got wet, frostbite ensued) were clam shells and obsidian flakes (think arrowheads).
Egyptians took the torture one step further, say anthropologists, in their quest for all bodily hair removal by mixing ingredients like arsenic, quicklime and starch in concert with pumice stone rubbed over the skin to remove all traces. Disturbed by the idea of a close shave? Remember the Egyptians when you complain.
- From Straight Razor to Electric
- 10 Best Electric Shavers for 2018
- 1. Braun Series 9290CC Men’s Electric Foil Shaver
- 2. Panasonic ES-LV95-S Arc5 Electric Razor, Men’s 5-Blade Cordless
- 3. Braun Series 7 790cc Men’s Cordless Electric Foil Shaver
- 4. Philips Norelco 9700 Rotary Electric Shaver
- 5. Panasonic Arc 4 ES8243A Electric Razor
- 6. Philips Norelco Shaver 4500 (Model AT830/46)
- 7. Panasonic Arc5 Electric Razor, Men’s 5-Blade Cordless
- 8. Remington F5-5800 Foil Shaver
- 9. Wahl Professional 5 Star Series Finale Finishing Tool #8164
- 10. Hatteker Men’s Cordless Electric Rotary Shaver
- Your Electric Shaver’s Buyer’s Guide
- A Final Word
From Straight Razor to Electric
10 Best Electric Shavers for 2018
|Name||Type||Wet & Dry||Avg. Battery Life||Price|
|Braun Series 9 9290CC|
|Panasonic Arc 5 ES-LV95-S||Foil||Yes||45 min|
|Braun Series 7 790cc||Foil||No||50 min|
|Philips Norelco 9700||Rotary||Yes||60 min|
|Panasonic Arc 4 ES8243A||Foil||Yes||42 min|
|Philips Norelco 4500 AT830||Rotary||Yes||50 min|
|Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV65-S||Foil||Yes||45 min|
|Remington F5-5800||Foil||No||60 min|
|Wahl Professional 8061||Foil||No||90 min|
|Hatteker Mens Electric Shaver||Rotary||Yes||30 min|
Striking comparisons is no easy fete for reviewers when there are so many choices to be had that emanate from overseas and domestic manufacturers. Further, the electric shaver market is fiercely competitive and when one company produces a novel product, others follow suit and may even improve on the innovation.
In many respects, your history with one brand over another could be the determinant for the electric shaver you choose. It’s not unusual for men to favor one manufacturer or another after being influenced by male family members or being susceptible to advertising messages.
That stated, we’ve compiled the following list of 10 current best sellers, looking for the features and benefits you seek. We’ve also delved into international sales numbers, consumer feedback and company reputation for quality control so you receive a complete picture of each product’s pedigree.
1. Braun Series 9290CC Men’s Electric Foil Shaver
Call-out: The most intelligent, intuitive razor on the planet.
There’s a reason the Braun 9290CC gets rave reviews from ordinary guys and the harshest critics around: This highly-tested electric groomer beats the competition on nearly every every level and there’s a Braun study waiting to be read if you’re a skeptic that proves it.
Efficient, gentle and eager to tackle facial hair on everything from beards grown over a long weekend to a 5-o’clock shadow, the Braun 9290CC has been called the only wet and dry shaver/razor guaranteed to eliminate more hair on the first pass.
- Cutting elements include 2 OptiFoils that remove hairs close to the skin and a direct cutter that trims hairs growing in different directions.
- A novel HyperLift & Cut trimmer literally lifts up flat-lying hairs and guillotines them in one fell swoop.
- Titanium Nitride coating, a ceramic compound known for edge retention on anti-corrosion properties, means the 9290CC won’t wimp out after a year or two.
- Range of motion is amazing. Cutters sit on a head that pivots in 10 directions.
- This electric razor can be submerged in 5 meters of water and keep on performing like a charm.
- Driven by a 5-level battery with 5-minute quick charge capability so it’s always ready to go.
- Comes with a cord, travel case, one cleaning cartridge and brush plus a user’s manual.
- Given the price and technological advances, you could be surprised that some parts are made of plastic.
- Although the razor’s surface has been dimpled, it can still get slippery and fall from the hand.
- A full battery charge takes an hour, so that quick-charge feature may not appeal to you.
- The long-hair trimmer feature could feel dull, requiring you to go over the same area multiple times.
- If you rely upon the automatic function of the cleaning station, shaving cream could clog up the works.
- The drying station can be hazardous if it gets soaked; never put the wet razor into the cleaning station.
- Replacement cartridge for this razor are not inexpensive.
Video Review (3:51 Minutes)
2. Panasonic ES-LV95-S Arc5 Electric Razor, Men’s 5-Blade Cordless
Call-out: Best time saver; delivers 70,000 cross-cutting actions per minute!
If you want a shave that also meets the “snob test,” the “premium, award-winning” Panasonic Arc 5 may be exactly what you seek. Instead of the Braun’s aforementioned 4 blades, this facial hair tool is fitted with 5 precision-honed, 30-degree blades designed to skim your skin expertly to remove every last hair.
The power source speaks multiple languages! The AC 100-240V power source gives you Automatic International Dual Voltage Conversion capability so you can take it abroad, but what matters is that the motor within the appliance delivers 14,000 cuts per minute (70,000 cross-cutting actions). If you currently spend an endless amount of taming your beard, you can start thinking about what you’ll do with that extra time instead.
- Offers men 5 hypo-allergic Nanotech blades driven by a 14,000 cpm linear-driven motor
- Head pivots intuitively to self-adjust for varying beard hair depths, whether in dry or wet mode.
- Comfortable and easy to control featuring LCD capability for shaver functions.
- Use wet or dry and then clean in sonic vibration mode to disinfect the razor.
- Comes with clean/charge station, AC recharger, detergent packet, safety lock, travel pouch, pop-up trimmer.
- If you’re on a budget, you can purchase the razor alone without the clean/charge station to save $50.
- Distinctly-patterned Lift-Tech Foil features reverse-tapered edges to tackle flat-lying hairs.
- Critics refute performance claims, particularly those who return the product to Panasonic.
- Cutting power isn’t always up to par; you might have to use lots of pressure before hair is completely off.
- Because it cuts so close, men with sensitive skin complain they run into skin irritation issues.
- You may not get uniform results if you shave your head, no matter how much time you spend trying.
- The price tag doesn’t guarantee satisfaction, say consumers returning their products.
- There have been complaints that the product stopped working after a relatively short amount of time.
- If the foil comes apart-and it has-you could injure your face and realize it too late.
Video Review (4:32 Minutes)
3. Braun Series 7 790cc Men’s Cordless Electric Foil Shaver
Call-out: Out-performs competitors strokes by a factor of 2-to-1, says IPI Research Institute
While trolling for feedback, data and manufacturer’s information about the Braun Series 7 790CC, we were taken aback by the legal disclaimer that stated: Must be at least 18 to purchase. We know very few 17-year-old college freshmen eager to bring their moms razor shopping, so we began this journey on a curious note.
The Braun 790CC is advertised as “a smart shaver” that reads skin surfaces and adapts to the variety of hair growths usually found on men’s jawlines, necks and mustache areas. There are 4 synchronized shaving elements that work in concert to double down on the power of every stroke.
- Delivers 30,000 cross-cuts per minute.
- Contour flex head moves in 8 different directions.
- Sonic technology identifies hair density and direction for a smoother cut.
- Use wet or dry; with shaving cream or gel in the shower.
- Men with extreme skin sensitivity swear this razor is less painful to use than others.
- Satisfied shoppers report years of daily use without registering a single complaint.
- Comes with a cleaning center/charge station.
- Defective foil screens seem to plague this Braun model; they wear down and require replacement in record time.
- Due to the company’s non-return policy, you may have a fight on your hands if it stops performing.
- Dramatic price increases related to this model and replacement heads could frustrate you.
- Battery leakage has been reported by razor owners forced to fight customer service to get satisfaction.
- Made in Germany, this isn’t the shaver for those preferring to buy products made in the U.S.A.
- There’s that weird “must be over 18” tag to deal with.
- This shaver isn’t returnable under any circumstances.
Video Review (12:43 Minutes)
4. Philips Norelco 9700 Rotary Electric Shaver
Call-out: Be prepared for sticker shock; this is the priciest razor of all.
Expect to open your wallet wide if you decide this product is exactly what you need to deal with your beard and mustache. True, this shaver does a yeoman job of getting around the face thanks to the shaving head that moves in 8 different directions.
The love child of a pairing of two well-known brand names, Philips and Norelco, this wet/dry system stands ready to tackle any beard length, though we’re not sure that includes the facial hair grown by the rock group ZZ Top.
- Superior closeness per pass on beards that have been ignored for up to 3 days.
- Featuring Contour Detect Technology, the proprietary head system that moves independently in 8 directions.
- V-track Precision blades trap hair in optimal cutting positions for a comfortable shave that’s 30-percent closer.
- Comes with a cleaning cartridge, precision trimmer, cleansing brush, power cord and travel case.
- You can plug the charger cord directly into the outlet, bypassing the charging station if you prefer.
- Manufactured in the Netherlands, known throughout the world for precision engineering excellence.
- Highly rated by consumers and critics for the ease of cleaning not always found in foil razors.
- Not everyone is willing to spend this much cash on a rotary electric razor.
- Replacement blades are expensive and they’re only made to last about a year.
- While the shaver is made in the Netherlands, the Smart Clean system is made in China.
- Could deliver a patchy-looking shave requiring a “manual razor” rescue.
- Can’t be used and charged at the same time. Try and you could destroy this tool.
- It takes a long time–about 3 hours–to go through a complete cleaning cycle.
- The stand serves no purpose, say owners who find it flimsy.
Video Review (4:45 Minutes)
5. Panasonic Arc 4 ES8243A Electric Razor
Call-out: Best value for the money (and it’s attractive, too)
The folks at Panasonic are out to prove that price doesn’t define quality with the introduction of its Arc 4, a top pick of critics and consumers alike who are perfectly delighted to look well-groomed without feeding the dog cheap food to offset spending more on a pricier model.
The Arc 4 is no shrinking violet in terms of its substantive output and here’s proof: The pricier Braun cordless model profiled above delivers just 10,000 cuts per minute, but this shaver improves on that number by making 13,000 cuts.
- Dispels myths that you can’t get a great electric shave without paying a high price.
- Won’t cause razor cuts or burns, especially if you use a little shaving cream.
- It’s important to adjust to foil blades so go slow at first and the results are worth the wait.
- Replacement blades are cheap and could last up to a year.
- Men with course beards and those who shave their heads sing the praises of this razor.
- The intuitive LCD display on the handle delivers accurate readings.
- Can easily and efficiently be cleaned using liquid soap and water; you don’t have to buy cleaning solutions.
- Power button location is awkward; you could keep turning the unit off unintentionally in mid-shave.
- Even using shave gel or cream, the foil blades could cause razor burn and nicks on sensitive skin.
- May not be the best choice for African-American guys with thick beards.
- It could take more time to achieve a clean shave than a rotary alternative.
- Panasonic customer service isn’t the best, even if the razor is still under warranty.
- The product’s original Lithium-ion battery could present charging problems.
- LCD display could malfunction and become unreliable or simply go dark.
Video Review (6:53 Minutes)
6. Philips Norelco Shaver 4500 (Model AT830/46)
Call-out: A best bet if you’re a no-frills consumer groomer
If you ascribe to the philosophy of KISS (keep it simple, silly), the Philips Norelco 4500 may be your destiny. This rotary electric shaver has no shortage of bells and whistles despite being both affordable and reliable. This shaver’s heads feature holes and slots to capture and shave facial hair of all lengths.
Are you a fan of shower shaves? This Philips Norelco shaver offers Aquatic Technology, so while it can’t take you scuba diving, it can deliver a smooth face, especially when used with gel or foam. Don’t worry; shave dry and this tool won’t disappoint.
FYI: Though pricier Philips Norelco shavers like the one profiled above are made in The Netherlands, this cheaper razor model is fabricated in China, which can account for the lower price.
- If you love the brand, you’ll love the price just as much-especially if you like to comparison shop.
- Use a light, flexible grip and you’ll find it doesn’t matter that the head doesn’t pivot.
- Inexpensive replacement batteries could keep you going for years on end.
- An improved version of popular and older 4500 models with the bugs worked out.
- Easily cleaned without fuss by rinsing and allowing dry. No cleaning station needed!
- For some, rotary blades are far superior to foil blades in both performance and affordability.
- Since it’s 100-percent battery powered, motor noise reduction is a definite perk.
- Razor won’t operate while it’s being recharged so it can’t damage the shaver.
- Not every owner finds that cleaning the cutting blade is a breeze due to difficulty aligning the retainer ring.
- Never immerse this razor when you clean it, or you could destroy the inner workings.
- If you don’t like buying products made in China, even a low price may not compensate.
- May cause razor burn and neck irritation in men whose skin is sensitive to a rotary blade.
- Charging feature could go haywire long before you’re ready to part with the 4500.
- If the battery malfunctions, be aware of the fact that this shaver isn’t designed for easy battery swaps.
Video Review (2:41 Minutes)
7. Panasonic Arc5 Electric Razor, Men’s 5-Blade Cordless
Call-out: Delivers an impressive 70,000 cross-strokes per minute
In the war for men’s electric shaver dominance, battles are likely to be won on the battlefield of cross-cutting. The Panasonic Arc5 seems to have a physical and literal edge on competitors: this is a 5-blade system that delivers around 14,000 actions per minute per blade. In sum, this is no product to bet against because even if you’re not a math whiz, you can count on around 70,000 cross-strokes.
But the Arc 5 doesn’t hang its hat on a record number of cross-strokes: those blades are precision-honed at a 30-degree angle so if you’re looking for close shave, you may have met your march.
- Consult the illuminated 10-stage LCD display to check this razor’s status.
- Replace the foil and/or blades with easy-to-find accessories sold individually or together.
- Clean-up is a breeze. Set the shaver for sonic vibration cleaning mode and run it under water.
- Take the Arc 5 on the road by taking advantage of the handy travel pouch and safety lock.
- The Multi-Flex pivoting head and sensor system deliver a customized shave minus skin irritation.
- The pop-up trimmer makes quick work of unruly sideburns and mustaches.
- The cleaning station does a better job than previous iterations and even battery life is improved.
- You could find the price of this electric razor off-putting.
- Some purchasers claim it takes 10+ strokes to clean up an area.
- Despite claims to the contrary, you could experience skin irritation.
- Expect to devote a good deal of time to shaving your head with an Arc 5.
- There have been reports of rashes, especially in the chin/neck region.
- The self-cleaning mechanism could die an early death.
- While undertaking the cleaning process, foils could come apart.
Video Guide (5:05 Minutes)
Call-out: This razor is an all-American classic.
Nostalgia fans, take note: Remington has been around for almost as long as the iconic rifle-not as an electrical appliance, of course, but the company started long enough ago to justify homeland manufacturing pride. You’ll find reviews from WWII vets who discovered Remington straight razors and never abandoned the brand.
If you tend to shave on the run, you’ll celebrate the 5-minute quick charge function that gives you enough juice for one complete shave, at which point you can do a full, 2-hour recharge that gives you 60-minutes of shave time (20 days on average).
- One of the most affordable electric razors on the market driven by a push-button starter.
- Easy-to-understand use instructions get you up to speed in minutes.
- This appliance doesn’t require you to be heavy-handed: light pressure is all it takes for a smooth shave.
- Get a close shave in problem areas courtesy of the flexible shaving head and Intercept Technology.
- Ergonomically-designed handle for comfort, especially if you shave your head.
- Easy-to-clean using soap and water and there’s no “station” to clutter up small sink area.
- Intercept Technology could put an end to rashes and skin irritation suffered when using pricier shavers.
- May be louder than your previous electric razors and it could develop an annoying vibration.
- The F5-5800’s biggest draw, Intercept Technology, can make cleaning a more laborious process.
- Not everyone wants a cordless razor powered by a non-lithium battery.
- If foil screens are defective or pop out, you could cut or nick your face.
- There have been reports of the trimmer breaking off as a result of dubious quality control checks.
- You may have to replace foil screens more often than manufacturer claims.
- Some plastic parts could break off and batteries have died an early death.
Video Review (5:56 Minutes)
9. Wahl Professional 5 Star Series Finale Finishing Tool #8164
Call-out: Best performance by a professional electric razor
Excuse the pun, but if you’re sick and tired of being up against a hair wall every time you try to vanquish your super-beard, it could be time to call in the cavalry. This Wahl Professional 5 Star Finishing Tool doesn’t even call itself an electric shaver. Because it isn’t. It’s designed to combat stubble and does it like no other razor.
In a universe dominated by marketers who use the word “professional” indiscreetly, this product is the real deal. Intended only for professionals-or anyone who thinks of themselves as a skilled practitioner in the art of facial hair grooming-you’ll enjoy the versatility of this appliance. Hypoallergenic gold foil screens treat the most sensitive skin to a spa-quality finish as the tool glides over facial hills and valleys.
- Designed to tame stubble, this is the brand preferred by professional hair groomers.
- Quiet, uniform performance that won’t jolt you awake first thing in the morning.
- Unlike other Wahl products, this one has a stronger cutting bar.
- The Finale Finishing Tool battery can’t be overcharged, and a single charge could last for 2 weeks.
- You won’t have to put pressure on this electric shaver for it to do a terrific job.
- Especially helpful for men who shave their heads and don’t want to spend an entire day doing it.
- Recommended by barbers, hair cutters and stylists for myriad trim jobs.
- To achieve the best result, one must move the tool in different directions; sensitive skin could be irritated.
- You may have to resort to the Internet if there’s no retailer near you who sells professional tools.
- You must trim your facial hair first or you may not like the result. This tool is made to groom stubble.
- Pricey replacement foils could set you back $20+ every 3-4 weeks.
- Despite the brand name, the quality of the Finale could disappoint.
- Owners complain that foil heads come off too easily in mid-shave.
- Some units are arriving at user destinations with no charging stands.
Video Review (6:06 Minutes)
Call-out: Get to know the brand name; you’ll be glad you did!
Like the aforementioned Wahl shaver that makes no secret of the fact that it’s not designed to vanquish deep, thick beards, This Hatteker product is also engineered and marketed to be the finishing touch you crave when you’re devoted to daily facial hair grooming.
Another difference you’ll note from the get-go is that Hatteker, not a household name, is unafraid to flaunt the company’s 1-year guarantee; an assurance that comes with a 100-percent satisfaction promise. Why is this important? Because plenty of men purchase electric razors without reading the small print and since this is a grooming aid, you want every opportunity to find out whether this tool is for you.
- Even skeptics rave about the quality of this shaver, comparing it to pricier products.
- You get two charging options: the wall outlet and the USB cord.
- Easy to clean using a water rinse to dislodge hairs and flush them down the drain.
- Users are so enthusiastic about battery indicator system, they could form a fan club.
- It only takes about 10 seconds to change heads thanks to clever engineering.
- For folks who want grooming tools to look as good as they function, this razor is sleek and handsome.
- Remember that this is a 2-head system so one tackles a beard and the second delivers the smooth shave.
- You’ll have to break this razor in slowly by adapting to its foibles if you want good results.
- Razor could stop working for no reason after a few uses; save the box just in case.
- You might have to spend more time grooming your beard if it’s thick and uneven.
- There have been complaints about cheap materials used to construct this razor.
- May be louder than you prefer, especially if your previous electric razors have been ultra-quiet.
- Due to the double duty head system, sensitive skin could take a beating.
- Because the brand is new, availability could be a problem if you don’t buy on the Internet.
Your Electric Shaver’s Buyer’s Guide
Having reviewed the 10 styles profiled above, you may still have questions about the shaving experience and selection of products that can help you make a more educated buying decision. That’s why we offer you this buyer’s guide.
Whether you are confined to a specific price range, your beard requires attention that not every electric razor can deliver, you refuse to own a corded model or you’re weary of owning a tool that requires accessory and parts replacements often, the following information is designed to help you winnow down your choices.
A Final Word
If you feel as though you are suffering from information overload, you’re not alone. Technological advances made over the past few years in electric razor product development can be pretty overwhelming.
And of course, the diversity of the shavers profiled in this review is intentional: every man’s facial hair growth patterns are unique.
Having absorbed the information gathered for the buying guide and comparing brand reputation, pricing, features and benefits described in each review, it’s wise to use the process of elimination to make your final decision.
Remove from the list any electric razor that exceeds the budget you set. Next, move on to criteria we believe can’t be dismissed: Brand reputation. This includes not only a thorough understanding of guarantees and warranties, but return policies and customer service assessments.
If you’ve ever been given the runaround by a customer service representative when all you want is the answer to why the product you bought isn’t working, you know how important a brand’s commitment to customer service can be.
Finally, don’t discount word-of-mouth reviews! We live in an opinionated world. People aren’t afraid to weigh in on subjects, so asking friends with whom you work, socialize and play about their electric razor experiences is likely to yield some great feedback.