We tested the top of the line electric razors from the leading brands in men’s shaving and grooming. So what did we find? As you might expect, high-end electric shavers will offer you the best shave. The Panasonic Arc 5 gets you the closest cut you’ll find from an electric razor, and the Braun Series 9 is the most well-rounded. However, we took value into account, and the best shaver you’re going to get, when performance and price are balances, is Philips Norelco 6100. A similar priced model from Wahl, Shaver Shaper, walked away with our best budget option, despite not being the cheapest (you get the most power for your dollar), and the Philips One Blade was found to be the best shaver for trimming and styling facial hair.
Finding an electric shaver can be a hassle. Finding the best electric shaver for YOUR specific needs is a nightmare.
There are so many different factors to consider, from hair texture, to skin type, or even just your style preferences. There’s no way to judge that by simply looking at product descriptions.
Many companies would lead you to believe a razor is the universal best. In reality, what’s the “perfect” product for you, is going to tear up someone else’s skin, or burn out 2 minutes into a thicker beard.
So we’ve put together this guide to help you out.
These shavers have all been thoroughly tested on different skin types, different hair textures, and different styles of facial hair. We don’t want to just show you the best. We want to show you the best electric shaver for YOU.
The results were gathered over a ten month period, so it’s not just one guy trying each razor for a single shave. This gets down to the nitty gritty, because we know shaver quality isn’t just about a single performance.
It’s got to hold up for the long run, and keep producing a beautiful shave.
Why Most Men Switch To An Electric Shaver
Blades Just Ain’t Working
If you’re anything like me, you started out shaving with blades, but quickly you found out your skin and facial hair just doesn’t react well to them.
Whether you tried the new Mach 10 Gillette razor with 20 blades or a double blade traditional safety razor that your grandpa used – nothing worked!
You’ve had to deal with razor bumps and spots for way too long.
Or.. it could be that certain spots on your face just don’t react well to blades. It could be your mustache and chin area, or your neck — and whatever you’ve tried the result is always the same – red bumps and ingrown hairs.
If you’re the type of guy that likes to look clean and groomed, it means shaving almost every day. Now think about it, do you think it’s healthy to take a razor blade to your face EVERYDAY?
You will eventually end up with weak and irritated skin. Simply not good for you!
Electric shavers are simply better at preventing razor burn, ingrown hairs and irritated skin.
A high quality electric shaver is an investment.
If you’re the kind of guy that wants to shave every day or even once every 2-3 days, you’re going to burn through A LOT of money.
Replacing blades, shaving cream, aftershave, the list goes on and on and it all adds up!
A one time investment into a quality electric shaver will save you a ton of money in the long term.
An electric razor once you’ve had a bit of time with it, is by far easier and faster to use. Not to mention insanely easy to travel with.
You won’t be dreading that morning shave anymore.
How To Choose The Best Electric Shaver/Razor?
When you’re looking to buy a brand new electric shaver, you’re going to be swamped with hundreds of different brands and models and they all promise the same thing:
A smooth, comfortable, clean shave. But which ones really deliver? Which one is the right shaver for you?
Any time we get angry or regret a purchase we make it’s because we had a certain expectation for the product and it didn’t deliver on that expectation, at all!
Think about it like this, when you go to McDonalds and order a meal, you’re satisfied with your food because you’re not expecting a 5 star meal, you’re expecting fast, cheap and OK tasting food.
Now if I told you I’m bringing home food and it’s 5 star restaurant quality and I show up with McDonalds, you’d be sad, angry and regretful. (I know my wife would be!)
So with that in mind, let’s think about what we’re EXPECTING from our purchase of an electric shaver.
Do we want an electric shaver that gives a CLOSE SHAVE above all else?
Do we want an electric shaver that causes NO IRRITATION on our sensitive skin?
Maybe you want an easy to travel with electric shaver that’s easy to carry and use on the go.
Whatever your needs are, we’ve thought of it, tested for it and wrote it down for you, so you know that when you make a purchase we recommend for your new electric shaver, you’re getting something that will live up to your expectations.
What Factors To Consider Before Purchasing An Electric Shaver?
When looking to pick up a brand new electric razor, you want to take into consideration what you will primarily be using the electric shaver for.
Here are some common factors to take into consideration:
- Are you using your electric razor as an all-in-one solution to shaving? Than you want a shaver that provides durability, a close shave and high performance.
- Are you using your electric razor as a way to trim down your hair as short as you can get it and finish off with a blade?
- Are you using your electric razor to mainly groom and trim your facial hair?
- Do you have a coarse and thick beard that needs a high powered electric shaver to cut through?
- Are you looking for a shaver for life? One that will last you for 3+ years?
- Are you looking for an electric shaver that doesn’t cause irritation and red bumps? One that works for sensitive skin?
- Maybe you’re looking for the best bang for your buck electric shaver. One that gets the job done but doesn’t break the bank?
We’ve taken all of these into consideration when picking the best electric shaver for you.
So what needs to be represented in a shaver test. Of course hair length is probably the main issue. We all have friends that have been able to grow a mountain-man beard since 9th grade.
Some of us take all of No-Shave November to grow a goatee.
These two groups have vastly different needs. The former probably isn’t as concerned with a skin tight shave, because their 5 o’clock shadow starts coming in at noon. They’re looking for something that can just keep that forest on their chin under control.
The latter group most likely does need a shave down to the skin. Spotty coverage looks bad if grown out too long, so they need it completely gone. Plus, they probably don’t have to shave every day.
Taking it down to the skin can be brutal to if you’re doing it daily. But if you’re on an every other day schedule, you can take that beating. The best electric shaver for this group is going to be less about weed whacking their face, and more about a smooth finish.
A third group is also necessary. Men with extremely curly facial hair have completely different needs. They have to worry about ingrown hairs, but also need something with power to get through their thick beards. Without this hair type, our list would be incomplete.
We’ve also looked at people with varying skin sensitivity. If you can’t shave without intense razor burn, you have to be more careful with your selection.
Let’s get into the details.
The Best Electric Shavers For Men (2017 Models)
Panasonic Arc 5
For our first model, why not start off with the king? We’ll be up front. The Arc 5 is expensive. It goes for well over $400. So this is by no means a budget option.
However, we also want to make it clear that this is worth every penny. If a $400 shaver shaves like a $100 one, we wouldn’t put it on the list.
You’re simply not going to get a closer shave with any other electric razor. Unless you want to pull out the shaving cream and the Gillette, the Arc 5 will not be out performed.
While this won’t necessarily cut through a lumberjack thicket, it’s not a bad option for those that find themselves shaving every day, or even multiple times a day.
Since previous models, Panasonic has added some extra comfort features. There are two gold strips along the head that really just stop the shave from being so abrasive.
While the Arc 5 has always been great for a close shave, skin irritation has been an issue. Not anymore. If you have to shave frequently, or just have sensitive skin, this is a great electric shaver for you.
In all honesty, the only drawback of this newest Arc 5 is the price. If you’re already in the market for a high end razor, then there’s no competition.
However, most people don’t have the budget for it. Rest assured that we have found plenty of lower-end models that still get the job done.
Braun Series 9
This next model is technically a huge price drop. But at $250, you’re still paying a hefty amount. It’s a bit more wallet friendly, but not a ton.
However, it’s a great option if you tend to let your stubble grow a little too long, or if your hair just grows incredibly fast. Some reviews go as far as to say it can get through a 3 day stubble, but obviously that’s going to vary based on fast your facial hair grows.
For some of us, even a $15 dollar shaver can do the trick. So if you’re someone that simply doesn’t grow much, or is very on top of shaving, the Series 9 might not be worth it. It’s still a lot of money, but won’t get as close as the Arc 5.
On the other hand, if you have very sensitive skin, the Series 9 does beat out the Arc 5. In fact, this is one of the most comfortable shaves we’ve gotten out of a foil trimmer.
The metal doesn’t heat up, and you’re left with fresh feeling skin, and minimal irritation. Unfortunately, it does have one major flaw in the comfort department: Unlike most wet/dry shavers, the Series 9 CANNOT be use with shaving cream.
You can still use it in the shower, making the already pleasant shave just that much better, but the cream factor might be a deal breaker. Especially if you’re concerned with ingrown hairs, shaving cream is a life saver.
Philips Norelco 6100
Next up we have the best electric shaver for a money savvy readers. Not only is it the best we found under $100 (we do have cheaper ones, however), but it’s the only rotary shaver that made the list.
It’s not that rotary shavers are bad. In fact, Philips Norelco actually offers a few great ones. But they tend to be priced way above what they’re actually worth. 6100 fixes that.
So, if you’re more about comfort and convenience (without breaking the bank), the 6100 is your best bet. It’s going to ride your jawline nearly perfectly, and really get to almost every hair, even if it won’t take it to the skin.
If you are very sensitive, this is actually a great wet shaver. The only difference in shave you’ll notice is irritation.
With the 6100, you’re getting an amazing electric shaver for under a fourth of the price of a high end shaver. Yes, the Arc 5 is better, but it is not 4 times better.
The One Blade blows the other shavers at this price point out of the water, and might in fact beat some closer to the $100 mark. It may be at the low end of this list, but for some, price is the key factor, and we get it.
This is is our pick for trimming and styling for a few reasons, but primarily, you just don’t need a $300 shaver to style a goatee. You’re likely using a standard manual razor to clean your cheeks, and just need something to get your facial hair in order.
This has a super convenient pop-up trimmer that is perfect for handling any style you can think of.
But remember this: You’re saving some money, but will have to replace the cutting implements twice as often. Price wise, it works out because the parts are cheaper, but labor wise it does not. Changing your blades is a hassle, and part of why many switch to electric razors in the first place.
Wahl Shaver Shaper
Wahl is a brand that essentially only offers cheaper models. However, a lot of it comes down to marketing. There is absolutely no glam to these shavers. That’s because they’re more marketed at barber’s than general consumers.
So the man cutting hair for a living is going to care much more about the quality of the shave than the chrome detailing.
One of their best models is, surprisingly, actually marketed for home use. It still has a minimal design, but the Shaver Shaper can get you an incredibly close shave, cutting through even the thickest hairs.
It offers different foils for different skins, but in reality, you can just stick to the standard foil. It’s called “Custom,” but the customization efforts aren’t really worth it.
This is perfect for individuals with coarse, thick beards, who are more concerned with cutting through the mess than skin comfort. At around $90, it’s also a great bargain.
Budget isn’t just about cheapest, but about getting the most bang for your buck. The Shaver Shaper has a kick you don’t usually find in that price range. That’s why we gave it the title.
Rotary vs Foil
The main two categories in the electric shaver market are rotary and foil. As you may have noticed, only one rotary made the list. Does that mean they’re inferior? No!
The main issue with them is that they tend to be marketed at a specific type of shaver. Usually young guys that are just beginning to grow facial hair, or men with all kinds of swirls and twirls when it comes to the direction their facial hair grows.
Rotary shavers also tend to cause less irritation. If you’re not used to the burn that comes with shaving, you’re going to want to start off easy. But they also tend to work better on contoured sections of the face. Besides mustaches, where do young men first grow facial hair? Usually along the chin and jawbone.
Full cheek hair tends to come in late, or not at all. If that sounds like you, a good rotary might be the way to go.
Foil shavers, on the other hand, will give you a much closer shave. If you do have a full beard that you need to keep off, foil is your go-to. Keep that five o’clock shadow at bay.
Just remember, if you have sensitive skin, you should either go with a rotary, or pay for a shaver as nice as the Braun.
Another category of shaver is wet/dry. These can come as both rotary and foil, and basically all it means is that you can use it in the shower, or completely dry.
Most wet/dry shavers can also be used with shaving cream, but some companies advise against it. It can sometimes gunk up the mechanics.If you have sensitive skin, a wet shave with an electric shaver might just be the solution.
But we came to the conclusion that the best shave is offered when your face and shaver are completely dry.
Contrary to popular belief, electric shaver do require some maintenance. You won’t be replacing things as often as with a traditional razor, but for some you will have to occasionally buy a new head or replace the blades.
The frequency changes from shaver to shaver, and also depends on your use and care. If you apply oil once a month, you can extend the lifespan quite a bit. If you shave and leave it wet and hairy in your shower, you’ll be replacing it a lot more.
When it comes to maintenance, we like to follow the “keep it simple stupid” mantra.
Clean out your shaver after every use, properly store it and you should have a long lasting life on your shaver.