Buying Guide: Electric Shavers

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What Are The Different Types Of Electric Shaver?

There are two types of electric shavers:

Foil heads: A number of fine, angled blades that move quickly from side-to-side, partially pulling hairs through the holes in a very thin foil (metal) screen before cutting them. Electric clippers with foil heads:

  • Give you a closer shave with less irritation (great for sensitive skin)
  • Are easier to clean than rotary blades
  • Are available in single (for fine hair or slow beard growth), dual (for coarse growth and sensitive skin) and triple foil heads (for longer stubble or flat-lying hairs on the neck and under the lips)
  • Aren't suitable for shaving long hairRechargeable electric shaver

Rotary blades: Circular blades spin under a slotted head. Some rotary blade shavers have floating heads to adjust to the shape of your face so you can get around tricky spots. Electric shavers with rotary blades:

  • Are the best choice for longer hair
  • Have a gadget near the blade that lifts the hairs for a cleaner shave
  • Are available in dual and triple rotary heads
  • Can be difficult to clean

Go For Power

Electric shavers are powered in a number of ways:

  • Mains: Only works when plugged into a powerpoint. Since they need to be plugged in these electric shavers are less flexible and can't be used on the move
  • Mains rechargeable: Can be used when plugged into a powerpoint and recharging, or unplugged running off its battery
  • Rechargeable: Can be used cordlessly, but not when being charged
  • Battery: Used mostly for shaving whilst travelling, but not recommended for everyday use as the batteries can wear out quickly

Helpful Additional Features

  • Pivoting heads: Adjust to the curves in your face and neck for an easier shave.
  • Lifting comb: Pulls hair up before cutting, for a closer shave
  • Beard trimmer: Attached to the back of the shaver head, beard trimmers allows you to style your moustache, beard and sideburns
  • Moisturiser: Some electric shavers dispense moisturiser as you shave, handy for those with sensitive skin and great for dry shaves
  • Self-cleaning: The electric shaver cleans itself while it's recharging in the dock. This is a handy feature because hairs can hide bacteria, which can infect nicks or cuts
  • Travel case: Especially useful if you travel frequently
  • Ergonomics: It's important that your electric shaver is comfortable and easy to use — e.g. slip-proof handles, timers and comfort settings
  • Shower usage: If you prefer to shave in the shower, make sure your electric clippers are fully waterproof, not just washable

How To Clean An Electric Shaver

  • Dry cleaning: Some electric shavers can't be cleaned with water, but come with a special brush to remove hair
  • Wet cleaning: Some electric clippers can be run under the tap for an easy way of keeping them clean

Choosing The Right Electric Shaver For You

When buying an electric shaver, it's important to select one by the type of facial hair you have or the sensitivity of your skin.

VS rechargeable electric shaver

  • Fine/sparse hair: If you don't have sensitive skin and a relatively light beard growth, a single foil shaver may be well-suited
  • Medium hair: If you experience skin irritation when using an electric shaver, a dual foil shaver is better suited
  • Coarse hair: A triple foil rotary head electric shaver is suitable for a wide range of beard types — including longer stubble — and is also ideal for sensitive skin

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