What the best women's shaver has

  • A close, clean shave. The best shavers (and razors) remove all hair cleanly in a single pass, without leaving razor burn or bumps behind.
  • A handle that's easy to hold, even when wet. Many women shave in the shower, where dropping a razor or shaver can be particularly dangerous.
  • Reasonable cost of ownership. Most manual razors require replacement blades/cartridges that drive up the cost. Remember to factor in shaving cream or gel as well. Electric shavers need replacement blades and foils at least once a year to keep performing at their best.

Know before you go

  • How much noise can you tolerate? If you're very private, you might want to avoid epilators -- they tend to be quite noisy. Electric shavers make less noise. Completely silent manual razors are the most private option of all.
  • Are you prone to nicks and cuts? For those who are prone to nicks and cuts -- or for whom nicks and cuts can be dangerous because of medication or a health condition -- an electric shaver may be the safest option.
  • How do you feel about shaving cream? You can use an epilator or electric shaver without shaving cream. Most razors require shaving cream or gel, although a few have built-in gel bars to eliminate that need.
  • Do you travel frequently? A disposable razor is the best option for traveling, there's no need to carry a charger, batteries or additional cartridges.

The dollars and cents of it

If you're looking for the most budget-friendly women's shaver, don't let the initial low cost of a manual razor -- $6 to $12 each – sway you. You'll need to buy refills, which can run you anywhere from $75 to more than $100 per year, depending on how often you shave and how quickly the blades go dull, in addition to shaving cream. All factors considered, manual refillable or disposable razors are actually among the most expensive hair-removal options.

Electric shavers cost $35 and up, but cost less overall than manual razors, even considering twice-yearly foil and blade replacements (about $36 per year). Epilators cost the most upfront -- $70 to $90 -- but have no maintenance needs to speak of beyond regular cleanings.

Back to top