An electric razor may not give you as smooth a shave as a traditional razor – but the best electric razors will now get very close, while being quicker and a lot less likely to nick your skin if you’re shaving while half asleep in the morning. A good electric shaver will also protect you from razor burns and skin irritation.
You may not want to give up your traditional razor for its electric counterpart, but you should definitely have an electric shaver in your arsenal. Because there’s more to grooming than simply shaving off the stubble. There’s beard trimming, body hair grooming and razors designed to buzz your entire head. The most versatile kits will do all of the above.
And although electric shavers can be expensive, once you get past the initial investment they’re cheaper than a traditional razor.
Now is a good time to buy. Not only because of the Easter discounts we’ve found but so that, even though you can’t visit a hairdresser at the moment, you can still look good in your next Zoom meeting.
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If you’re after recommendations, have a look at our round-up of the best electric shavers we’ve reviewed. Otherwise, read on for more advice.
Electric razors for your face tend to come in two varieties: rotary and foil shavers.
A rotary shaver features circular, rotating shaving heads. This kind of razor will give you the most flexibility while shaving the contours of your face and head.
They’re also a good buy if you don’t manage to shave every day or tend to have longer or coarser facial hair. These are often waterproof and wireless, so can be used in the shower.
By contrast, foil shavers like the Braun Series 9 usually have just one or maybe two shaving heads with straight oscillating blades hidden underneath a metal grille – the foil.
The foil lifts the hairs, which are then captured in tiny holes, allowing the blades to trim them without the risk of nicking your skin.
A foil shaver should be able to get you a closer shave, with more precision, but it might be more unwieldy and slower to use to shave your neck and jaw than a rotary razor.
As with rotaries, look for a waterproof option that you can easily wash or use in the shower.
Beard trimmers are pretty self explanatory, but you’ll want to look out for the number and length of shaving guards, which will determine how much flexibility you have to trim your beard. Some, like Braun’s BT3022, have a single adjustable shaving guard.
Some will be waterproof, but not many – trimming a beard in the bath sounds like a horrible plan to us.
You can also find some trimmers marketed specifically for the hair on your head, rather than a beard or elsewhere.
They are essentially the same thing, but head-focused variants are likely to include a greater variety of guard lengths, along with extra accessories like scissors, brushes, and combs.
Some head hair trimmers are more powerful, and you can still find those that are mains-powered. However, there’s no reason not to get a wireless one now. They allow you much more movement while cutting your hair. Just make sure it has enough battery power to get your through an entire haircut.
Body groomers or bikini trimmers are similar to other trimmers, but with a few tweaks. They tend to be waterproof, as the shower is a good place to trim your body hair. They’ll also tend to have fewer, and shorter, guards.
Some use a simple direct oscillating blade like beard trimmers, but for a close shave look for one that uses a foil, which will also protect you from burns and skin irritation.