How sensitive are you to noise? While some expert tests rate the noise levels of rotary and foil shavers similarly, other experts and many users hold that rotary models are at least a touch quieter.
How long to you expect to go between shaves? Experts say that rotary models may handle longer hairs better than foil models do.
Do you have a hard time shaving along contours? The multiple, independently rotating shaving heads on a rotary model often do a better job of handling difficult contours (like the chin and neck) than foil models do.
Is a close shave is of the utmost importance? In general, foil shavers get you a little closer to the feel of shaving with a blade, reviews say. In addition, experts recommend shaving against the direction of your hair growth when you're using a foil shaver.
Do you intend to shave with cream or lotion? If so, you need an electric shaver with wet/dry capabilities. If you know you have very sensitive skin or that dry shaving can irritate your skin, experts recommend trying a wet/dry model that allows you to shave with cream or lotion.
In theory, electric shavers are less expensive in the long run than constantly replacing disposable razors. But is that really true? According to figures published at Razorpedia.com, shaving with disposable razors will cost you about $111 a year. The Best Reviewed electric shavers in this report cost $200, and often less, so in a perfect world they'd pay for themselves after a year or two of not having to buy disposable razors.
However, you must factor in the cost of maintaining your electric shaver. Yearly upkeep typically costs between $50 and $80 to replace the cutting blades and foils. That means you'd need to keep an electric shaver anywhere from two to four years to break even with the cost of disposable razors. If you have a cleaning station for your shaver, and chose to use it (not all do) the cost of cleaning cartridges adds to that even more.
With the rise of USB-charged portable gadgets, it was only a matter of time until a USB-chargeable electric shaver became available too. The ShaveTech USB Rechargable Travel Razor (Est. $23) is about the size of a deck of playing cards and can be recharged from any USB port; it provides about 30 minutes of shave time between charges. This rechargeable razor comes in black, but a white version is available as well
Reviewers say the ShaveTech's single shaving foil gets the job done, but its small size means it's very slow -- so it may be best for short trips and quick touch-ups before meetings.
Elsewhere in this report: