When you shop for an electric razor, your first decision is to choose between a foil and rotary model. Experts note that choosing between the two usually boils down to a matter of personal preference, and some trial and error is part of the process; that's why manufacturers offer you a money-back guarantee for 30 days or more after you purchase the shaver. They want you to not only try the shaver out, but give your skin and beard a couple of weeks to adjust to it before you make your decision.
Foil versus rotary: Thinking through what you really want from a shaver before you shop helps narrow your choices and greatly speeds the trial and error process.
Common reasons you might choose a rotary shaver include:
Common reasons for selecting foil models include:
Do you need an electric razor with wet/dry capabilities? Shaving experience is your best indicator: If you're as comfortable as can be with a dry shave, there's no need to spend extra money on a wet/dry shaver. However, if you know you have very sensitive skin or that dry shaving can irritate your skin, experts recommend trying a wet/dry model.
Some men prefer shaving in the shower, or just after a shower, for the sake of expediency or comfort. If this is you, keep in mind that wet/dry capability doesn't automatically mean an electric shaver is fully immersible or waterproof. Select a model that's specifically designed for use in the shower. Check the documentation to be sure; some models display a shower symbol on the shaver casing, too.
Many shavers offer upgraded models with snazzy features like an automatic cleaning base or LCD display. Pay attention to these features if really matter to you, but experts recommend that you look out for other features that are more crucial to a good shaving experience:
Once you buy your next shaver, hold onto the packaging until the very end of the trial period; we saw some regretful reviews from people who had thought they had the right shaver, thrown out the packaging and then changed their mind before the trial period was over -- but they couldn't return the shaver without the packaging.
Finally, once you try the shaver out, make hand comfort, noise and vibration your priorities. The shaver should feel comfortable in your hand, and it shouldn't be annoyingly noisy. Check the cleaning system, too -- users warn that sometimes the cleaner is loud, even when the shaver itself is not. Some models vibrate -- users say it can feel a bit like a facial massage or a cell phone vibrating -- so be sure and try this feature out, too, if your shaver has it.
If the shaver feels awkward or uncomfortable in your hand or against your face, you'll either stop using it or dread shaving. But if you're willing to put a little effort into finding the right electric razor for you, shaving can become a ritual to look forward to.