The Best Electric Razors For the Finest Shave

The Best Electric Razors For the Finest Shave

If you like a clean shave, it’s hard to surpass the close cut of a manual razor. But as technology has improved, so have the performance and convenience of electric razors. If you decide to make the switch, or are already a dedicated electric razor user and looking for a new one, read our reviews below of the best. We lay out the differences between the two main kinds (foil and rotary) and suggested a range with a variety of features.

Check out the quick info here of the top five electric razors, then scroll deeper for more helpful buying info and full reviews of these models plus other high-ranking options.

How to Choose Between Foil vs. Rotary Razors

Before you decide on an electric razor, you should know the differences between foil and rotary models.

Razor, Product, Personal care, Titanium, Metal,

A foil shaver head (left) next to a rotary shaver head.

Braun / Philips Norelco

Foil shavers tend to get you a closer cut and are better for people who shave every day. The thin layer of foil works to both catch facial hair so it can be cut and ensure the blades don’t come in direct contact with your skin. You use them similar to how you would regular razors, moving up and down in basically straight lines. The design of a foil shaver also means you can be more precise when shaving around a beard or sideburns, and most will do the job more quickly than the average rotary shaver.

If you shave only a couple of times a week, or if you have coarse hair, a rotary shaver is probably better for you. Unlike a foil shaver, the cutting heads on a rotary shaver catch the hairs and cut them, which can pick up coarser hairs that the tiny holes on a foil shaver might pass over. Unlike with the foil kind, you move rotary shavers in a circular motion. And their highly-flexible cutting heads mean they can more easily handle the contours of your face, chin, and jaw.

Some Shaver Care Tips

While most electric razors are washable for easy cleanup, not all can be used around water. Check that your shaver is labeled wet/dry before you take it in the shower. Whatever model you choose, be sure to read the maintenance instructions. They can vary quite a bit from brand to brand. If you keep your razor clean and replace the foil or cutter heads (usually every 12-18 months), your electric shaver should easily last five to seven years, which is also the warranty on Braun’s higher-end shaver.

How We Selected These Razors

To pick these electric razors, we researched reviews by expert sources like Wirecutter and GQ, considered consumer ratings on sites like Amazon, and relied on our previous reporting and testing from our roundup of the best beard trimmers.


Panasonic Arc 5 Electric Shaver

Battery life: 45 min | Charge time: 1 hr | Wet use: Yes

Arc 5 Electric Razor



$134.09 (33% off)

Though the Arc 5 is technically a foil shaver, we tested it as one of the top beard trimmers because of its powerful, impressive pop-out trimmer head. Each of the five main foil blades can cut 14,000 times per minute, which was fast and led to very little irritation. It’s not as great for clipping longer hairs, but it sweeps away stubble with ease. The Arc 5 also has a built-in sensor to adjust the power output according to the length of hair. Though the battery level indicator has a clear display, you can charge the Panasonic Arc 5 in just three minutes for a quick shave if it does run out of juice.


Braun Series 9

Battery life: 50 min | Charge time: 1 hr | Wet use: Yes

Series 9 Electric Shaver



Braun has been making foil shavers since the 1950s, and that dedication pays off with the Braun Series 9, the best foil shaver you can buy. It’s made for wet/dry use, with a head that’s more flexible than those on most other foil shavers. Plus, it comes with a charging and cleaning stand and a leather travel case. Its battery allows you to shave for up to 50 minutes before needing a recharge, and it has a nine-minute battery countdown. Delivering 40,000 cuts per minute, the Series 9’s five shaving elements are efficient yet gentle. While Braun’s Series 9 comes at a premium price over $300, you can get similar power for less if you opt for the next-in-line Series 7, which is recommended by Wirecutter and GQ.


Philips Norelco 2100

Battery life: 35 min | Charge time: 8 hr | Wet use: No

S1560/81 Shaver 2100

Philips Norelco


If you prefer a rotary shaver, we recommend the Philips Norelco 2100 for $90. Best for those who like a close shave, this has self-sharpening blades and heads that can flex in four different directions to contour to your face and neck. The heads easily pop open so you can run them under the tap and rinse clean, and the 2100 has a pop-out trimmer for touching up a mustache or sideburns. Unfortunately, it only has a run time of 35 minutes, takes eight hours to fully charge, and can only operate in cordless mode—but it is more affordable than other high-end Norelco models.


Philips Norelco 9700

Battery life: 60 min | Charge time: 1 hr | Wet use: Yes

S9721/89 Shaver 9700

Philips Norelco


The Shaver 9700 is the rotary equivalent of Braun’s Series 9. It too is a wet/dry shaver, and all it takes to wash is the push of a button when it’s set in its base filled with cleaning solution. Unlike the Series 9, however, the 9700 comes with a face-cleaning brush attachment. Rotary shavers like this one tend to be quieter than foil shavers, and this Norelco has three different speeds to fit your preferred shave and hair type. Compared to the Norelco 2100, the 9700 has much more battery life at 60 minutes. Plus, its digital interface shows the battery life you have left and you can quick charge for a shave in just five minutes.


Remington F5-5800

Battery life: 60 min | Charge time: 2 hr | Wet use: No

F5-5800 Foil Shaver



$41.71 (11% off)

Remington is an old standby when it comes to electric shavers, and it’s hard to find another model that gives you so much for so little as the F5-5800. At about $40, Remington’s model is Wirecutter’s top overall budget pick. Though it’s not designed for wet use, this foil shaver is washable, has an impressive hour-long battery life and an LED battery gauge, and can be used cordless or corded. When not using the two flexible foils for a close shave, you can even use the pop-up trimmer to put finishing touches on your beard and sideburns.


Wahl 5-Star Shaver

Battery life: 60 min | Wet use: No

5-Star Series Shaver

Wahl Professional


$69.99 (18% off)

The Wahl 5-Star shaver is a favorite of barber shops for a reason. It’s small, with a comfortable grip, and lasts up to an hour before needing a charge. If you don’t want to worry about battery life, you also have the choice of using it with a cord. The shaver also comes with a foil guard and cleaning brush to keep it looking and cutting sharp.


Braun M90

Battery life: 60 min | Charge time: N/A (runs on AA batteries) | Wet use: no

M90 Mobile Electric Shaver



Travel shavers aren’t just smaller than regular electric razors. They’re designed to store easily and often run on removable (and easily replaceable) AA batteries instead of a built-in rechargeable one. Or they feature a travel lock so they won’t accidentally turn on in your luggage. They’re also less expensive than most electric shavers, and there’s no reason you can’t use them even when you’re at home. The M90 is the most well-reviewed travel shaver by Braun at a price that’s hard to beat. This compact foil shaver features a twist cap to protect the foil and a slide-out trimmer for longer hair. It’s not wet/dry but is washable and easy to clean under running water.


Panasonic ES3831K

Battery life: 90 min | Charge time: N/A (runs on AA batteries) | Wet use: Yes

Panasonic Electric Razor Wet Dry ES3831K


If you want an affordable travel option that can withstand wet/dry use, this lightweight Panasonic is washable and runs for up to 90 minutes on a pair of AA batteries. The ES3831K uses a floating single-blade system with a smooth stainless-steel foil for a close shave. It even comes with a soft travel pouch to make it easier to take with you.

Published at Thu, 18 Mar 2021 21:14:00 +0000