Electric shavers that actually work

Any men out there have an electric shaver you enthusiastically recommend? I tried several a number of years ago, and could never find one I was satisfied with. I felt like the shave wasn’t as close as I get from a regular razor, and it also seemed to irritate my skin more. But I really hate the process of shaving, so I’m looking for shortcuts. If I shave too fast with a regular razor, I either do a bad job or cut myself. I’m sure I could shave faster with an electric shaver, but I’m not convinced I would be satisfied with the results. I’m willing to buy an expensive one if that’s what it takes, but I don’t want to do that and then find that I’m still not happy with the results.

By far the most important factor is that the shave be close. I don’t want to feel like I need to go back with a regular razor to get a clean shave. Not irritating my skin is also important, but secondary. Beyond that, I don’t really care about anything else.

What do you recommend?

My usual regime was that I used a blade on Monday mornings, an electric through the week and usually don’t shave on the weekend, unless society norms demanded, which wasn’t that often.

I found that using a blade every day took too long and any shortcut cost in blood. Conversely an electric wasn’t capable of clearing the weekend growth in acceptable time or standard.

This was my routine for 20 years, until I was convinced to go to a Panasonic ES4243. Middling price range. Takes the rough off well without feeling like it’s plucking them out. It’s gives a good shave, I’m not convinced it’s closer than a full “up&down shave”. I’ve never used it wet.

Was told when I bought it to use it for 6 weeks before “my face got properly used to it”. I thought that was a marketing dodge aimed at whinging customers. But I did it, and it did work.


I don’t think there’s such a thing as an electric that shaves as close as a razor. They’re solutions to really different needs. Electrics are for quick shaves that are maintenance or on the go, the razor is for the close shaves. If your criteria is a close shave, you’ll probably have to suck it up and stick with the razor.

Everyone cuts themselves, there isn’t a whole lot you can do about that. I’ve found that keeping the blade fresh and not applying a lot of pressure helps minimize the nicks, though (“let the blade do the work”). I went through four electrics before I decided it just wasn’t going to provide what I needed. So I just started waking up earlier when I had to shave.

I might try **penultima thule’s **shave schedule, though. Would work for me, I think. Now to see if I still have any of those electrics…

Thanks. Yeah, the idea of combining the two is interesting. I feel kind of dumb for not having thought of it before :slight_smile:

I barely ever cut myself if I really take my time. I found that using good quality shaving cream (no affiliation – I just like the product) really helped my shaving experience. But in the morning when I’m getting ready for work, I often don’t really feel like spending the amount of time it takes to do it right, so I end up either skipping it or doing a bad job. Maybe if I get an electric and just use it on those days, it would be a decent compromise…

I’ve heard that electric shavers can cause ingrown hairs. Is that just an inevitable part of the process, or are there things I can do/look for to minimize that?

I’ve got a middle of the road Philishave, which I bought a couple of months back to replace a cheaper version that I’d had for… six or eight years. I probably could have just bought new heads for the old one, but the new one can be rinsed under the tap, which is quicker and neater than letting it fill up with stubble and having to clean it out over the bin.

Anyway, I like the Philishave, your face gets used to it after a couple of weeks, and it’s better than bleeding all over the place, or running out of shaving cream or blades.

I find shaving with a blade to be really quick and easy these days - a modern gillette razor on just a days growth takes only marginally longer than an electric, and is far closer.

I actually use an electric though - way easier on my skin, I always have problems with razor rash eventually if I use a blade every day. The electric will never be as close, but it’s acceptable. You get some skin irritation when you first use an electric, but it goes away - completely IME.

I found nothing beat a Norelco razor. I’ve tried a few electrics over the years and Norelcos come out the winner.

I found for blade the five blade fusion is the best. It’s a bit of a cost though, but it shaves very close and I almost never have cut myself with one. I was very skeptical about it at first. You know why do you need FIVE blades? But it does work well

I will admit my beard isn’t heavy though. I can almost get by shaving once every other day

I’ve been using the same Norelco for twenty-five years. The on-off switch crapped out pretty early, but I hard-wired around it and have been using it ever since.

This product must be a tough sell. First, it costs $18.00 for one jar, as opposed to around $2.75 for a can of Edge or other name-brand product. Second, it’s called “Nancy Boy.”

Norelco - I have a pretty heavy beard, and actually went 20 years without shaving - started shaving again when it started coming in white. I use a blade on the weekends (usually Saturday), and the electric during the week due to time constraints. I’ve used a Braun and an off-brand but have found that the Norelco does the best job in the shortest amount of time.

A wise man once said, “With a name like Nancy Boy, it has to be good.” Or something like that…

If you’re happy with the results you’re getting from Edge, by all means continue using it. I wasn’t, I did a bunch of research online, and I found Nancy Boy as one of the commonly recommended brands. It works a lot better for me (less irritation, better shaves). I’m happy to pay a little bit more for a noticeably better product (and on a per-shave basis, it’s still pretty damned cheap).

I use a Braun non-rotary type razor - I’ve tried the rotary kind and found they typically don’t work as well. I think you have a wider availability of replacement parts with the non-rotary kind, too. They recommend you replace the screen and blade cartridge every 6 months.

Your skin/whiskers will probably need a period of time to adjust to the new routine once you’ve found something you like - you most likely won’t be getting a super close shave right away, but if you stick with it a week or so, you will notice a difference. Unless you have a fast-growing beard, it’ll still look like a blade shave, even if it doesn’t feel very close. And if your beard does grow quick, most electric razors are cordless now, so you can carry it with you for a touch-up during the day.

There are products for pre-shave (like “Lectric Shave” and the like), but I find I don’t need it. I shave dry before I shower so my whiskers are stiffer and so the razor doesn’t get gunked up as quickly, but some you can buy have a cleaning system included where you put the business end in some liquid cleaner/bath while it charges.

I’ve had a few Philishaves. They were fine. Bought a Remington a few months ago. It’s a piece of crap. I will persist with it for a while, but I can see it won’t be too long before I suck it up and get another Philishave.