We’ve put together the main features and considerations you should be looking for when shopping for an electric razor.
Remember that razors are considered a personal hygiene product, and no company recommends sharing its electric shavers. If you do end up sharing the razor, be sure to disassemble the blade housing and thoroughly clean it with alcohol.
Some models will allow you to purchase separate blades. The blades will typically last up to two years, depending on how often you use the razor and the thickness and length of your hair.
This is a great feature to have in more expensive units. If you have a less expensive model, consider just replacing the entire unit. This allows you to start with fresh batteries, fresh blade housing, fresh foil, etc.
Lower-end models might not include a wall charger. If they don’t, they’ll probably use two AA batteries. These may or may not be included so be sure to read the packaging carefully. If you do choose a battery-powered unit, it would be a wise investment to get rechargeable batteries. You have to remove these from the razor and recharge them in a separate charger, but this process can save you money over throwing out one-time use batteries. You’ll probably also get some use out of that charger for recharging other batteries in your home.
If your unit uses a wall charger, check if it uses a cord or if it attaches directly on top of the AC adapter. This can be an important safety feature if you are looking to keep cords out of children’s reach. You’ll also want to know if a corded electric razor can be used while it’s still plugged in to charge, although most wet/dry models don’t let you charge and use at the same time for safety reasons.
Check to see if the electric razor comes with a traveling pouch or case. This could be a simple fabric pouch or a nice, clam-shell leather case. Either way, this is a bonus, because you’ll be able to keep your accessories together in one place. You’ll probably find yourself using this case even when you’re not traveling to prevent losing your smaller attachment heads and extra blades.
If your razor does not include a separate exfoliating attachment, you’ll want to look into getting your own exfoliating kit. Exfoliation is the process of removing the top surface layer of dead skin cells. It will not only provide a closer, smoother shave, but it can also help your skin look younger and fresher. You can get an exfoliation gel or cream that has a fine to medium grit to rub over your skin between shavings. This also helps prevent ingrown hairs.
An added sample of after-shave lotion is just a fun bonus if it’s included. If not, you’ll probably still want to consider getting some. Dry skin looks and feels unhealthy. Dry skin can also increase the risk of sensitivity after shaving and can leave you susceptible to nicks and razor burn.
Make sure to read the instructions to know what kinds of lotions you can use with your electric razor if you plan to use the lotion as a shaving cream. Not all shaving lotions are compatible with every electric shaver. At the very least, you can use a lotion after you finish shaving to soothe and protect the skin.
Don’t Get Caught up in Gender Branding
While electric razors for women tend to have a smaller head than electric razors for men, they both function in exactly the same way. When you stick with a brand name like Panasonic or Braun, you’re also not going to see any difference in quality between the men’s and women’s models.
If you see a good price, try not to let the “Lady Epil” or “Men’s 3-Blade” name or the different colors throw you off.
Read the User Manual
Whatever brand you get, make sure you know how to use it. Know how and when to hold the skin taut. Also know that wet shaving can actually be harder on sensitive skin than dry shaving. Most models’ manuals recommend trimming any hair growth over 2 days old before using the close shave features.
It might be tempting to go really fast if you’re in a hurry, but our electric razor reviews found that taking your time is the best way to get good results. While speeding through will get you some hair removal, it may be spotty or not very close to the skin.
You’ll also want to avoid having damp or sweaty skin when using an electric razor. When your skin is completely wet, the water creates a very thin barrier that allows the razor to glide. If your skin is damp or spotted with water, the razor can tend to jump around, which makes it difficult to get a close, even shave.
Mark in a calendar when you need to replace the blades and know when to perform routine maintenance. Some models are relatively maintenance free, but others will require you to disassemble, brush out debris and rinse the blades and housing under warm tap water.
Know the Warranty
Write down your serial number in your user manual and keep it in a safe place with your receipt. This should help you if you ever need to make any claims on the warranty.
Most warranty policies require you to have maintained your electric shaver within reason. So again, make sure you read the user manual and follow all directions on maintenance, or you could void your warranty if you ever have a problem.
Keep in mind that although most electric razor reviews these days are rated for wet/dry usage in or out of the shower, you don’t want to store the razor in the shower or near the tub. Being constantly surrounded by high humidity or immersion in water can void the warranty. If your model has an LCD screen, you might start to see water condensation build up on the inside of the Plexiglas. If this happens, make sure to keep the razor away from water as much as possible to prevent further damage.
Give Your Hair Time to Adjust
Although the best electric razor will work on nearly every hair and skin type, it may take some getting used to. Give your skin at least 3 weeks to adjust to the new hair removal process. If you still find the results unsatisfactory, make sure you’ve saved your receipt because the best electric shaver will have a 30-day money-back guarantee.
If you have especially thick, coarse hair, you can still use an electric razor, but you’ll probably want to look into a rotary style. These are the models with three circular shavers that pivot on a single head.
Buying an Electric Razor as a Gift
It can be awfully tempting to buy an electric razor as a gift, especially when a loved one has mentioned wanting or need a new one. If you go this route, make sure to keep your receipt and double-check the return policy on an opened and used razor. The best electric shaver we’ve selected is manufactured by reputable companies with good customer service according to the best electric razor reviews we’ve looked at. If the store won’t take it back, you’ll need to return it through the manufacturer if they have a 30-day or more money-back guarantee.
If you’re looking for the best electric razor, be sure to keep an open mind. You can find a razor within any budget, as some are less than $25. Although each model has its unique improvement on the electric shaving process, you may not need as many fancy options as you think to get the job done. However, the self-cleaning features of other higher-end models are hard to pass up when you’re always pressed for time. At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with any of the 4 models we’ve chosen in our top electric razor reviews.