Electric Shaver Reviews

Editor's Note:
Our research affirms that the Braun Series 7 remains a top choice among men's electric foil shavers -- and my personal choice as I own one myself. We found some great picks among rotary shavers, travel shavers and wet/dry models, too.
Braun Series 7-790cc Review
Specs that Matter
Foil or rotary -- FoilWet/Dry -- Dry onlyCharge time -- 1 hour
Best Reviewed

Best foil electric shaver

Braun Series 7-790cc

The Braun Series 7 790cc foil shaver offers an excellent, relatively quiet shave. It features a flexible head and customizable shave settings to provide a close, comfortable shave for many skin and beard types. Its efficient docking station cleans the shaver and charges its battery at the same time. The 60-day money back guarantee is longer than typical and helps assure that you and your face will be happy with this foil electric shaver. See our full review »

Remington F5-5800 Review
Specs that Matter
Foil or rotary -- FoilWet/Dry -- Dry onlyCharge time -- 2 hours
Runner Up

Cheap foil shaver

Remington F5-5800

For those on a tight budget, reviews say that the Remington F5-5800 can deliver a clean close shave for less than other well-regarded foil razors. There are a couple of catches, however, including feedback that indicates that users will need to use a light hand to prevent face irritation. It's a little noisy, too. But with those caveats in mind, performance still surpasses competing foil electric razors in its price class.

Philips Norelco 9300 Review
Specs that Matter
Foil or rotary -- RotaryWet/Dry -- Wet and dryCharge time -- 1 hour
Best Reviewed

Best rotary electric shaver

Philips Norelco Shaver 9300

The Philips Norelco Shaver 9300 is the top pick for fans of rotary shavers. It uses an updated cutting system that draws praise for its close, quiet shave, making it a great choice for most beards and faces. This is a wet/dry electric razor that can also be used in the shower or with shaving cream and lotions for those who prefer that style of shaving. See our full review »

Philips Norelco S9311/87, Shaver 9300
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from Amazon.com
New: $219.95 $199.95   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
Panasonic ES-LA63-S Review
Specs that Matter
Foil or rotary -- FoilWet/Dry -- Wet and dryCharge time -- 1 hour
Best Reviewed

Best wet/dry foil shaver

Panasonic ES-LA63-S Arc 4

The Panasonic ES-LA63-S Arc 4 wet/dry foil shaver has a reputation for being gentle on sensitive skin. A "wet" shave means using shaving cream or lotion, but the ES-LA63-S is fully waterproof and can even go into the shower with you. It's also easy to use and hold onto, and relatively quiet when in use. Users and experts say that it does a good job following face contours -- normally a challenge for any foil razor. See our full review »

Panasonic ES-LA63-S Arc4 Men's Electric Razor, 4-Blade Cordless with Wet/Dry Shaver Convenience
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from Amazon.com
New: $109.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
Philips Norelco Shaver 510 Review
Specs that Matter
Foil or rotary -- RotaryWet/Dry -- Dry onlyCharge time -- N/A
Best Reviewed

Best battery-powered shaver

Philips Norelco Shaver 510 Travel Electric Razor

Among shavers for travel or on-the-go grooming touch ups, the Philips Norelco Shaver 510 Travel Electric Razor earns terrific feedback for working relatively quietly without pulling or tugging at your beard. Also known as the Philips Norelco PQ208/40, this shaver's two rotating cutting heads are powered by a pair of AA batteries; it comes with a cleaning brush and a cap to protect the cutting heads. The warranty is surprisingly generous, too. See our full review »

Philips Norelco PQ208/40 Travel Electric Razor
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from Amazon.com
New: $14.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
Types of Electric Shavers
Foil Shavers

This type of electric razor has oscillating blades hidden behind thin, perforated steel foils. The foils lift your facial hair (or any hair, really) up to the blades for a close shave. Most of the foil shavers we evaluate have between three to five blades. The number of blades determines the size of the shaving head and, in theory, the speed of your shave. However, bigger isn't always better. If a foil razor's shaving head gets too big, it can be hard to maneuver over the contours of a smaller face and neck.

Rotary shavers

Rotary razors use spinning circular blades, which flex in their housing to accommodate the contours of your face. Because each blade on a rotary shaver swivels independently, these shavers may do a better job than foil shavers at following the contours of your face and neck. Rotary shavers tend to be quieter than foil shavers, handle longer hairs better, and offer the advantage of letting you shave in almost any direction -- up and down, side to side, or even moving the shaver in circles.

Wet/Dry Shavers

While most rotary razors can work either wet or dry, if a wet shave is a priority, wet/dry foil shavers get high marks. Many users comment favorably on the smooth shave they get from grooming during or just after a shower, and those with sensitive skin usually benefit from using a shaving lotion or cream. The versatility of a good wet/dry foil shaver means you can fine-tune the shaving experience to suit your skin and hair type, or to how much time you have for grooming on any particular day.

Battery Powered Shavers

Most modern electric shavers have a built-in rechargeable battery, but for travel -- especially to locations where the electric service differs from the U.S. -- a shaver powered by standard, AA replaceable batteries is worth considering. Performance is typically a notch (or more) poorer than standard electric razors, but these cost less and are lighter in weight, making them good for toting around on globetrotting adventures, or to toss in a briefcase for touch ups during the day. Both foil and rotary versions are available.

Don't make a snap decision

Some reviews suggest that rotary shavers work better for men with dense hair and round faces, while foil shavers are better suited for men with light hair and thin faces. However, your personal preferences will always trump these broad generalities. It's also important to realize that it can take a few weeks for your face to adjust to any new shaver, so if you're not happy with a new razor right away, don't be too quick to give up on it -- you may see a major difference in results as your skin and beard adapt.

If you're still unhappy after that time frame, the good news is that most name-brand shavers come with a 30-day (or better) money-back guarantee. Be sure to be aware of what kind of guarantee your new shaver includes, so you can return it within that time frame.

Although name-brand shavers from Braun, Panasonic and Philips Norelco -- all of which dominate at least one category in this report -- cost more than other models, experts say the quality of their shave and construction justifies their higher price tag. These brands consistently outrank budget brands in comfort, ease of use, performance and durability, making them better values in the long run.

The name-brand shavers in this report are all backed by a two-year warranty -- a good thing, because every single shaver has its share of durability concerns, usually related to battery life in one way or another. Shaver companies aren't known for their great customer service, although the rate of complaints seems to have eased off significantly over the last few years.

Overall, we found that the best electric shavers -- the ones that will give you a close, clean shave without ruining your hearing or yanking your beard out one hair at a time -- cost anywhere from $45 to $250 or more, with yearly maintenance costs that range from $20 to $230 depending on the shaver and what sort of cleaning stand it has (if any).

Of course, neither foil nor rotary shavers can shave quite as close as manual razors -- but the best models get pretty close. See our report on razors for reviews of the best manual models.

Finding The Best Electric Shavers
Our Sources1. ConsumerReports.org
Electric Razors2. TheSweethome.com
The Best Electric Razor3. Amazon.com
Electric ShaversSee All

Finding the best electric shavers for this report is a little bit of a challenge as the nature of your face and facial hair can play a large role in influencing which type and model of electric shaver will leave you most satisfied. Still, we found good hands-on testing -- often over long periods of time -- at several sites, including ConsumerReports.org, TheSweethome.com, TopTenReviews.com and elsewhere. In addition, we turned to retail sites that allow users to post reviews of products they own, including Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and BestBuy.com. While some electric razors get only minimal feedback, others draw hundreds -- and in some cases thousands -- of user reviews, and that helps fill in the gaps regarding shaver reliability and the long term satisfaction of users. We consider both user feedback and expert testing in our analysis, and the result is the best reviewed electric shavers for any face and any budget.