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- If you don’t mind spending a little extra, an electric razor can give you a close shave, while also helping you perfectly groom your facial hair and more.
- The Braun Series 7 is our top pick because it is powerful, versatile, and effective at removing facial and other body hair.
A few generations ago, when you wanted a really close shave, you’d head to the barber shop, where you’d put your life in the barber’s hands. The barber would hold a straight razor inches from your jugular, and then tell you to relax.
Fortunately, today you can achieve a close shave at home using electric razors, which remove the possibility of slicing your skin open or worse. Electric razors can’t quite match the closeness of the shave you’d receive from a talented barber, but they’re far more convenient and safe than the straight razor.
An electric razor uses spinning blades or blades that oscillate back and forth to cut the coarse hairs on the face tightly to the skin.
Guards surround the blades on the razor to protect your skin from the moving blades. Most guards also contain slots or holes that catch the hairs and lift them upward, so the blades can clip them more effectively.
The heads on the electric shavers will flex singularly from each other, allowing the razor to match the contours of your face, which helps you achieve a closer shave.
One of the best features of modern electric razors is the ability to use them in wet or dry environments, as well as with shaving gel or foam.
Foil vs. rotary electric razors
The primary choice you’ll have with electric razors is the design you want. Some people prefer a foil-style shaver, while others like a rotary-style shaver.
- Foil: The foil electric shaver contains oscillating blades that move back and forth at high speeds. These blades are covered with guards that lift hair for cutting and that protect the skin. A foil razor will often have a few separate cutting blades that flex independently to match the contours of your face. However, because a foil head has a rectangular shape, it might not match your face as well as a rotary razor.
- Rotary: The rotary razor has round blades that spin. You’ll receive protection from the spinning rotary blades with a slotted guard that sits atop the blades and helps to lift the hairs so they’re easier to cut. The heads flex in multiple directions, giving you a close shave by hugging the contours of your face. However, rotary heads are more difficult to clean after shaving versus the foil shaver.
Here are the best electric razors you can buy:
- Best razor overall: Braun Electric Shaver Series 7 790cc
- Best high-end razor: Braun Series 9290CC
- Best rotary razor: Philips Norelco 9700
- Best razor for thick hair: Panasonic Arc5 LV65-S
- Best affordable razor: Remington F5-5800
- Best professional razor: Andis T-Outliner
Updated on 02/12/2019 by Malarie Gokey: Added related shaving gear buying guides and updated prices.
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best electric razor overall
Why you’ll love it: The Braun Series 7 is able to “read” your beard, automatically adjusting its power to give you the closest shave ever.
The Braun Series 7 may just be the most useful item in a man’s bathroom. This electric razor is capable of determining how thick your facial hair is in order to automatically adjust its power, so you’ll be able to get a clean and even shave in just one pass.
This magical power is brought to you courtesy of Braun’s Sonic and AutoSense technology, and when coupled with its eight-directional flexible shaving head, the shaver moves with the contours of your face and neck for a careful, close shave.
Thanks to MicroMotion technology, you’ll be able to move each element of the shaving system independently across delicate or difficult to shave areas like your neck or Adam’s apple. MacroMotion, on the other hand, lets the head of the razor pivot up to 40 degrees, so you can turn your razor any which way as you make your way across your face.
Taken together, these two features mean that you can make quick work of your morning shave, confident that you haven’t missed a spot or left any stubble.
The Braun Series 7 comes with a Clean and Charge Station with cleaning solution, a cleaning brush, and a travel case, which makes maintaining the razor as easy as maintaining your own hygiene.
The Series 7 is also entirely waterproof, so you can even bring it in the shower with you or rinse it off in the sink when you’re done. – Lulu Chang
Pros: Quality construction, waterproof, provides a great, close shave in just one pass
Cons: Some customers have reported a slower shave
Buy the Braun Electric Shaver, Series 7 790cc Men’s Electric Foil Shaver/Electric Razor for $199.94 (originally $289.99)
The best high-end electric razor
Why you’ll love it: The Braun Series 9290CC offers all of the latest design features found in an electric razor to make it more comfortable to use, while also yielding a close shave.
The Braun Series 9290CC electric foil shaver is an upgrade to both Series 7 and older Series 9 Braun shavers with the latest design features. Although you’ll pay extra for these features, the 9290CC is well worth the extra money.
The cutting head consists of four separate areas. The outer areas cut close to the skin, while the two inner areas lift and cut hairs. That way, you catch hairs that are lying flat and those that are growing in an odd direction.
If you haven’t liked the feel of pivoting heads in electric razors in the past because they didn’t fit the contours of your face well, don’t worry about that issue with the 9290CC. Braun included a 10-direction pivoting head that provides all of the flexibility you’ll need.
As one final advantage over its predecessors, the 9290CC has one of the largest heads found on an electric shaver, allowing you to finish shaving a bit more quickly than with other electric razors. This Braun razor will work in wet or dry conditions, and you can use it with shaving foam or gel.
Expert reviewers like this razor, too. Techlicious says the Braun 9290CC is the best electric shaver currently on the market, while Man Tripping likes using the Braun 9290CC as a travel razor, because it ships with many extras, including a case that keeps stray trimmings from flying loosely in your suitcase.
Amazon shoppers give the 9290CC razor great reviews, too. One buyer named JS says the Braun 9290CC is especially good at trimming stubborn and extra-coarse white and gray hairs in your beard, and it also excels at personal grooming in other places. – Kyle Schurman
Pros: Flexible 10-direction pivoting head, offers four different cutting areas for close shaves, excels at trimming stubborn hairs on the face, has a large shaving head to complete the job faster
Cons: Plastic design in the razor body that feels flimsy, carries an extremely high price point
The best rotary electric razor
Why you’ll love it: The Philips Norelco 9700 boasts eight-directional ContourDetect technology and V-Track Precision Blades for a smooth, comfortable shave.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one razor, look no further than the Philips Norelco 9700. Thanks to the ability to add attachments like trimmers and facial brushes, this is one razor that takes care of everything for you, making your morning grooming routine a breeze.
Key to the 9700’s effectiveness is its ContourDectect technology and V-Track Precision Blades, which are able to cut each individual facial hair, while the three-head shaver tracks closely to your face, getting rid of any and all excess hair.
This razor is able to achieve a remarkably clean cut on each individual hair, but won’t leave you with cuts or scrapes. That’s because the three-headed shaver design allows each head to move in eight directions, contouring to your face and catching more hairs in a single pass than other razors on the market.
Moreover, the Philips Norelco 9700’s V-Track Precision Blades carefully cut hairs from two directions, so you’re actually trimming and not pulling hair from your face.
This razor also comes with a SmartClickc precision trimmer so that you can finish off your grooming by never skimping on the details. You’ll have complete control over the blade, and the ability to easily replace it once it wears dull.
There’s also a large digital display that shows the battery level, cleaning indicator, replacement head indicator, and more at a glance. It’s also remarkably ergonomic in your hand, so shaving is actually comfortable on all counts. – Lulu Chang
Pros: Superior shaving experience; easy-to-read display; extremely close and comfortable shave
Cons: Pricey storage case does not store attachments
The best electric razor for thick facial hair
Why you’ll love it: If your electric razor painfully pulls your coarse beard hairs more than it actually cuts them, get the Panasonic Arc5 LV65-S razor for a really clean cut on tough beards.
Some people have coarse beards, while some of us, after trying to grow a beard for a week, are asked what the smudge is on our face.
Although having thick facial hair looks good, it does have a drawback when you want to be clean shaven. Cutting through that coarse hair can be difficult, especially with many electric razors, leaving you with what seems like a permanent 5 o’clock shadow.
The Panasonic Arc5 LV65-S uses five shaving heads with lifting foils to catch every hair on the face, even the really thick ones. Additionally, the Arc5 cutting system can deliver up to 14,000 cuts per minute, which ensures the razor cuts coarse hairs closely.
The Panasonic also wins in terms of accessories. There’s a shaver cap so that you can prevent your blades from going dull when it’s not in use, a travel pouch, and a lock that ensures that your shaver won’t magically turn itself on when you’re not around (and having been around my fair share of self-vibrating razors, I can tell you that’s a major perk).
There are five blades that offer an extremely close shave, and its precision-honed 30-degree inner blades do, in fact, provide a very exacting result. The 14,000 cpm linear motor isn’t just impressive-sounding: it delivers, too, resulting in a quick grooming routine. In fact, the efficiency of the razor has been what has convinced the men in my life that this is the way to go in terms of electric shavers.
The Multi-Flex pivoting head allows for easy contouring around your face, and similarly, the Multi-Fit foils conform to the curves of your face for a more comfortable experience. And as for that fancy-looking charging dock, it also serves as a cleaning station that automatically sanitizes and dries your razor when you’re done for the day.
Unlike some other electric razors made for thick facial hair that do more ripping than cutting, Autumn Damask’s review says the Arc5 LV65-S delivers a sharp cut use after use, thanks to its fast moving oscillating blades.
This also is a wet/dry shaver, meaning you can use it with shaving foam or gel if desired. Using the Arc5 with shaving foam delivers an even better performance when shaving coarse hair, according to ShaverCheck. – Lulu Chang and Kyle Schurman
Pros: Provides an extremely close shave on thick beards, cuts coarse facial hair better than razors that pull, reasonable price for this style of electric razor, includes multiple extras and accessories
Cons: Oversized head can make it tough to reach spots under the nose, may be too rough for some people in the neck area
The best affordable electric razor
Why you’ll love it: If you need to save money on your razor, the Remington F5-5800 has just enough features to make it a smart, budget-friendly choice.
Electric shavers can be expensive, especially foil style shavers, but Remington consistently offers models in the lower end of the market that work well. The Remington F5-5800 is one of the better razors available for such a low price. It certainly has some drawbacks, but it will give you a decent level of performance, considering what you’re paying.
The F5-5800 has a nicely contoured handle that makes it comfortable to use. Meanwhile, the head on this electric razor is just the right size to reach hard-to-shave areas, such as just below the nose. Keep in mind, though, that the Remington F5-5800 does not allow for wet shaves, and it won’t work with shaving foam or gel.
The rechargeable battery on the Remington F5-5800 works well, and the handle of the razor contains a series of LEDs that indicate the current charge level, which is convenient.
Many people like to use the F5-5800 as a travel razor or as a second razor at the office, because of its small size and low price. Expert reviewers agree that it’s a solid budget option.
Shaver Guru likes the popup trimmer that allows you to closely trim your mustache or sideburns, which is a feature you don’t always find on an inexpensive electric shaver.
Because the F5-5800 has two foil areas, it will match the contours on your face more closely than foil shavers that just have one foil, according to Male Sense Pro.
Amazon buyers also rate the Remington razor highly. One buyer named Philip says he has to shave his coarse beard twice a day, and the F5-5800 stands up to this regular usage extremely well, providing a close shave every time.
One problem many Amazon reviewers, including Steve C, mentioned is the failing of the foil screens on the razor after several months. This can expose sharp edges on the F5-5800 that cause nicks and cuts while shaving. – Kyle Schurman
Pros: Extremely low price point for a foil style shaver, small size and comfortable handle, includes a popup trimmer for close grooming work, foils on the shaver will tilt back and forth to match your face
Cons: Doesn’t have the longevity of other electric razors, will not work with foam or gel, may develop sharp edges over time
The best professional electric razor for shaving your head
Why you’ll love it: The Andis T-Outliner is the perfect electric razor for guys who shave or buzz cut their heads because it’s professional grade.
If you shave your full head multiple times a week and you’re sick of paying the barbershop to get it done, you may want to pick up the professional grade Andis T-Outliner. This electric razor is used in many barbershops, and guys who shave their full head swear by it. You can also use it for trimming your neck, beard, mustache, and to do edging around your ears.
The Andis T-Outliner trimmer uses a close-cutting T-shaped blade that’s perfect for full head shaving, fades, and designs. Andis sells a cordless version, but the one we reviewed has a heavy-duty 8-foot cord, so even though it’s corded, you’ll still have plenty of room to move.
The trimmer’s carbon-steel blades are specially hardened so that they last longer than your average blade. The blades are fairly easy and inexpensive to replace, though, so when the time comes, it’s an easy swap.
You do have to oil it often to keep it running smoothly, and every now and then it’ll need a full tune-up. That does require unscrewing some small screws to oil the insides, but you won’t have to do this regularly.
Our tester has used this trimmer for 12 years, and he uses it at least twice a week to fully shave his head. It has worked like a charm for all these years, and he fully expects it to continue to do so. He’s also only had to replace the blade and open it up for oiling once in 12 years.
Reviewers on Amazon second our tester’s statements. Many say it’s the only trimmer they’ll use and others say they’ve used the T-Outliner for 25 years or more. – Malarie Gokey
Pros: Professional, affordable, dry shaving, phasing, great for full head shaving, lasts years
Cons: Needs oiling, which involves removing screws
Check out our other shaving gear guides
A decent beard trimmer should be precise, versatile, and easy to use. They give you more granular control over the length and shape of your facial hair than your average electric razor.
Here are our picks for the best beard trimmers you can buy:
It’s very easy to miss some whiskers on your neck or elsewhere on your face if the mirror in your bathroom isn’t clear, large, or well-lit enough. If this is the case for you, or if you just want a fogless mirror you can use to shave in the shower so you can save a few minutes in the morning, then it may be time to add a dedicated shaving mirror to your kit.
Here are the best shaving mirrors you can buy:
- Best shaving mirror overall: ToiletTree
- Best lighted and magnified mirror: Elfina
- Best countertop mirror: Hamilton Hills
- Best wall mounted mirror: Deco Brothers
- Best travel shaving mirror: Shave Well
To assemble the best shaving kit, you need the best supplies. We’ve picked out the five essential items that every man needs in his shaving kit, from a steel safety razor to a manly (but gentle) aftershave that will help you achieve the perfect shave every time and leave your skin feeling as great as it looks.
Here’s everything you need in your shaving kit:
- Best razor: Merkur MK 23C long-handled safety razor
- Best blades: Personna double-edged razor blades
- Best shaving brush: Edwin Jagger badger bristle shave brush
- Best shaving soap: Proraso menthol & eucalyptus shaving soap
- Best aftershave: Lucky Tiger aftershave and face tonic
You can’t beat a classic, and the British-made Edwin Jagger DE8 safety razor is our favorite due to its excellent construction, great fit and finish, and timeless design that looks as good on your shelf as it feels in your hand.
Shaving brushes make it easy to work up a good lather for shaving, The Edwin Jagger pure badger brush is our top recommendation for any man who’s looking to add a bit of luxury to his wet shaving routine.
You should also consider the Omega boar bristle brush, the Vie-Long horsehair brush, the Fendrihan synthetic brush, and the Maison Lambert silvertip badger bristle shaving brush.
Whether the grooming at hand involves a full shave or a minor shaping of the beard, with a sharp razor and a great shaving cream, you’re always ready to look your best. Barbasol Thick & Rich Arctic Chill Shaving Cream is our top choice because it goes on thick and smooth, leaves skin tingling and fresh, and doesn’t cost much, either.