guide to buying an electric shaver
Dr. Sedat Öz
Written by Dr. Sedat Öz
21 December 2020
Average reading time of this content is 6 minutes
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How to choose an electric shaver

Buying an electric shaver, whether for the first time or to upgrade your current set-up, requires several decision to be made to ensure you get the right equipment for your skin type, budget and daily routine. There are a mind-boggling number of different variations out there, so it is important to narrow things down by working out exactly what you need before heading online to the high street to make your final choice.

The first decision to make is whether to choose an electric shaver or a standard razor. Razors tend to offer a closer shave, but take much longer to do the job and the blades need replacing more often. They also don’t have different length settings to allow for easy changes in hair or beard styles. Finally, a good electric shaver should not result in shaving rash, so long as you keep the blades sharp and the overall shaver in good condition.


Plug-in versus cordless

Once you have opted for the electric route, the next area to address is which is the best electric shaver? You will doubtless have different opinions on the various brands out there, and there are plenty of reviews and online opinions to read. The first main decision, therefore is whether to choose a plug-in model or have more flexibility – but greater battery usage with something cordless. Choosing a battery operated model will certainly eat into the budget further down the line with the more frequent need to buy and fit new batteries as the old ones run out.

Many cordless models come with rechargeable batteries, however, and a charging station for easy replenishing of power when you need it. These are excellent for life on the move – easily added to the suitcase for a business trip, romantic weekend or family holiday. They work well in bathrooms that don’t have many electric sockets, as they don’t need to take up valuable plugging-in space. Some even come with cleaning stations to reduce the time spent on maintenance – keeping your electric shaver clean and hygienic is vital for the ongoing good health and condition of your scalp and facial hair.

Choosing a plug-in electric shaver for men can have advantages too, in that you will not need to replace batteries and the shaver will always be ready for use without the annoyance of coming down in the morning to a dead battery or a rechargeable version that wasn’t plugged into its charging station properly the night before.


Wet/dry electric shavers

The next decision to make when choosing which electric shaver to invest in is whether you want it to give you a wet shave or a dry one. This will require some research into the various brands and models available, as some will not be suitable for wet shaving at all, while others have both settings and can be more versatile, even standing up to being used in the shower. Research in this area is crucial to avoid damaging the shaver if handled incorrectly and , most importantly, to avoid injuring yourself or anyone else with inappropriate use. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions before getting your shaver wet and check that you are using a suitable foam or gel alongside an electric wet shaver.

Enjoying a dry shave can offer different benefits, namely a faster process, easier cleaning routine afterwards and the ability to shape your beard or moustache in more detail. Electric shavers offering a dry shave often come with different settings to enable you to choose how long or short you want to shave your hair. You can use these settings differently on your beard, moustache and hair, making the tool extremely useful and versatile. Not to mention cheaper as you won’t need to buy a separate shaping tool or extra blades for styling purposes.


Cleaning options

As already mentioned, it is imperative that you keep your electric shaver clean and hygienic to prevent bacteria from entering your skin and causing irritation, itching and infections. You can get special cleaning stations, or do the job manually, whichever you prefer. Make sure your electric shaver is waterproof before attempting the following.

Remove as many hairs as you can from the shaver’s head, taking care not to cut your fingers on the blades. You can gently tap it on the counter or side of the sink to remove any stubborn hairs from deeper inside the mechanism. A can of compressed air works well too. Make sure the shaver is not connected to the mains, and that you have removed any batteries for safety’s sake. Apply some water and a few drops of liquid soap so that all the blades and cutting areas are covered.

Rinse it under a warm running tap for approximately 30 seconds until there is no more soap remaining. Shake off any excess water and dry carefully with a clean cloth. Leave the electric shaver out in the open to air for a while until it is completely dry. Don’t put it away in a cupboard or bathroom cabinet before this, as trapped water can lead to rust and unpleasant smells inside the device.


Electric shaver replacement blades

When looking for the best electric shaver for you, the blades can be a big part of the final choice. Electric shavers come with two different types of blade: rotary and foil. Rotary blades tend to come in three or four rounded heads, which spin round in circles to get closer into the contours of your face. They suit men who don’t necessarily shave every day, preferring to leave some stubble, or for men with a denser type of hair and tougher skin. These blades can, and should be replaced around every twelve months or so to keep them sharp and able to cut through hairs without injuring the skin beneath. They may need to be switched out sooner than a year if your skin or hair is particularly troublesome or the shaver is used by more than one person in the household.

Foil electric shavers incorporate a thin, curved metal foil that goes over a cutting blade. The shaver is moved across your face to enable the blade underneath the foil to shave stubble off. This type of electric shaver is great for men with a shorter beard who want to achieve a much closer shave. They are also favoured by men who suffer from shaving rashes, as they suit more sensitive skin types better and are less harsh on contact. Use a specially formulated gel or foam for sensitive skin for the most comfortable experience. Don’t forget to try out different shaver types!

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