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There are two types of people in the time of quarantine: the type that leans into the apocalypse aesthetic and stops shaving altogether, and the kind that decides to just shave literally everything off. If you’re in the latter group, we’ve assembled our top four picks for the best electric razors to get the closest and smoothest shave as conveniently as possible.
While personally, I have fond childhood memories of the fresh, getting-ready smell of my dad’s old-school lather and brush shaving cream, I am also adult enough to recognize that this elaborate process is inefficient, unnecessary, and leads to more cuts than you really want. So I get the appeal of the electric razor.
In the spirit of convenience and modern technology, we selected our favorite electric razors with attention to ease-of-use, precision, battery life, and general effectiveness.
What You Should Know Before Buying an Electric Razor
There are a few key components to look for when shopping for an electric shaver, and a lot will depend on your personal preference and needs.
Rotary vs. Foil Razor: A rotary razor has three circular blades which rotate and conform to the contours of your face. The blades angle under the heads to trim the hair, while a guard protects the skin; this generally provide a closer shave. In particular, rotary razors are great for longer and thicker hair, and for anyone who doesn’t want to shave every day.
A foil razor is made of a thin metal foil which covers a cutting blade. As it moves back and forth, the foil lifts the hair follicle and guides it to the cutter, protecting your skin from direct contact with the blade. For this reason, a foil razor can work more effectively for those with thinner hair or more sensitive skin.
Cleaning Process: Electric razors have to be well-maintained and regularly cleaned for obvious reasons. So it’s worthwhile to take a look at how difficult the razor is going to be to clean. We like models that can be easily popped open and run under the tap. Even better, some include an automatic charging and washing station that cleans the blades automatically after each use.
Accessories: Many electric razors come with a variety of accessories like a pop-up trimmer that can be useful for precise touch ups. We’ve found some solid picks that come with everything you need to get shaving, right out of the box.
1. Philips Norelco Rechargeable Wet Electric Shaver
For a reliably close shave with an electric razor, this model is an excellent bet. Its rotary blades actually sharpen themselves as they work, guaranteeing a certain level of quality control. The four blade heads are flexible and automatically adjust to the contours of your face, including your neck. We like that it’s lightweight and fits comfortably in your hand and that it’s easy to clean — just pop open the razor heads and rinse them thoroughly under running water. Its shaving time is decent, and the pop-up trimmer is useful for maintaining sideburns or a mustache.
Pros: The blade system provides a very close shave.
Cons: It won’t run while still charging.
2. Panasonic Arc5 Electric Razor
If you want to go premium, Panasonic’s electric razor comes with a vast suite of bells and whistles. It’s a foil model, with super thin blades and techy features like the blade sensors, which gauge beard density and automatically adjust accordingly to provide the best comfort. A nice bonus: a pop-up trimmer is built into the razor instead of coming as an additional accessory.
Like other high-end models, the Panasonic comes with an automatic cleaning and charging station, which we like. Fans of this razor have noted the difference it makes when it comes to their morning shave. The large head may take some getting used to, but that, plus the high speed of this motor, considerably speeds up shaving time.
Pros: Provides a very close shave in less time.
Cons: The power of the razor can be uncomfortable at first.
3. Electric Razor for Men
We like this razor especially as a stash-in-the-travel bag option. Like all of our picks, it’s a wet/dry razor and because it has a USB charging system, you can keep it charged anywhere you have a USB portal (like the car, computer, wall cube, etc).
This means you can still get a quick shave in when you’re stuck in traffic and late for work, during your shower after the gym, sitting on the couch watching The Simpsons — wherever. We also like the lock feature so it doesn’t start up on its own in your gym bag.
As for the basics, it hits all the right marks. A rotary model, the razor’s floating heads move smoothly over the skin while keeping close contact by adapting to the shape of your face, making for a close and comfortable shave. The ergonomic handle fits easily in the hand so it’s not awkward to use, the motor is quiet, and it holds battery for a decent length of time. The LED display screen is a bonus.
Pros: Convenient to use and good size to travel with.
Cons: Battery life doesn’t last quite as long as other models.
4. HATTEKER Electric Shaver
Another solid product is this HATTEKER rotary razor, which includes solid features like an ergonomic handle and a built-in trimmer so you don’t have to worry about losing the attachment. It’s also among the more comfortable razors we’ve looked at, and provides a good shave without causing the skin irritation more powerful motors can cause.
On the flip side, because the blades move a little more slowly, the shave isn’t going to be quite as effective and it might take a little longer to get the result you want. Still, if you have sensitive skin, this is a good electric razor to pick up.
Pros: Comfortable to use and gentle on the skin.
Cons: Slower blades mean longer shave time.