In the beginning there was man and he was hairy. Then there were razors, but man was clumsy and kept cutting himself with them. So began the era of the electric shaver, so man could enjoy a ‘closer shave’ without turning the bathroom into a crime scene.
But which is the best electric shaver going? We have put in the hard graft to find out. We’ve given a range of models from top brands such as Braun, Philips and Remington a thorough once over all in the name of finding the perfect shaver for your skin type and current cash flow.
Before we delve into the models themselves, it’s worth thinking about what you’re looking for in an electric shaver. Beyond a device that will swiftly get shot of your stubble. You see there are fundamentally two models of electric shaver: foil and rotary.
Foil shavers are traditionalists in that their oscillating blades work best when you’re using them on a flat-ish surface like your neck or cheeks. In contrast, rotary shavers take up a bigger surface area and are better suited to the contours of your face and hard-to-reach sproutings of facial hair.
What’s the best electric shaver in 2019?
We think the Philips Series 9000 is best electric shaver for most people. It’s the Goldilocks pick out of the line-up here in that it gives a great shave for a good price. While it lacks some optional features such as wireless charging and top-of-the-range blade tech, you won’t feel as though you’re missing out.
If you’re grooming on a budget then the Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3040s is our pick of the best budget electric shaver. Why? It’ll only set you back £50 and neither looks nor performs like a product at that price point. A bona fide steal of a shaver.
Finally, for a more refined shave, the Braun Series 9 9390cc is our best foil electric shaver and an excellent choice. Employing a foil head, as opposed to the rotary heads used on most Philips, it has a welcome air of class and traditionalism. More significantly, a stellar multi-directional head means you can achieve a thorough shave in minutes.
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Philips Series 9000
WIRED Recommends: The Philips Series 9000 is the best rotary electric shaver and our all-round pick
Type: Rotary | Directions: 8 | Waterproof: Yes | Battery: 50 mins
Hitting the sweet spot between value and shaving abilities, Philips’ 9000 (£160) isn’t quite the brand’s premiere shaver but it’s close enough. That title belongs to the S9000 Prestige model, which comes with a wireless Qi charging pad and NanoTech blades. Because you just know an innovation is good if it’s got ‘nano’ in its name. Also it means Philips can charge more than double the price of this standard Series 9000 for such future-facing thinking.
Back in the world of ‘normal’ blades the Series 9000 is a very good shaver indeed. Especially if you’re the type to shave every other day. Getting shot of stubble is this device’s stock in trade thanks to an eight directional head that aptly complements its rotary head, so you can swivel round your face with relative ease. As opposed to trying to wedge the thing into more tricky positions.
This is the real charm of this Philips: it makes a clean, sharp shave relatively effortless. So there’s less rubbing against a rough patch ad nauseum or spotting you’ve developed a micro-tache in the work bathroom. While the Series 9000’s plastic build isn’t totally luxe, it’s sleek enough with ample grip. Waterproofing and the ability to deliver a full shave in five minutes are also welcome features when you’re in a hurry and want to get groomed quick-sharp.
You really can’t say much fairer for the money and that’s why the Philips S9000 is our current electric shaver pick.
Pros: Great value; hassle-free shaving; feature-packed
Cons: Missing the trimmings of the Prestige model
Braun Series 9 9390cc
The best foil electric shaver
Type: Foil | Elements: 5 | Waterproof: Yes | Battery: 60 mins
Welcome to the ‘business class’ of electric shavers. Where you get the product you paid for and a bunch of extras to help justify the exorbitant outlay. Only instead of a limitless supply of prosecco and tiny crisp packets, the Braun Series 9 (£256) comes boxed with a classy leather-like carry case and cleaning station for keeping your new blades rinsed and lubricated.
Do you actually need any of this stuff? Not exactly but it does all underline how the Series 9 is built to last. Braun promises its top tier shaver should stand tall in your bathroom for seven years, which doesn’t seem that outrageous a claim given its luxe, weighty build and general shaving chops.
The best foil model going – not a particularly steep challenge given Philips specialises in rotary designs – this product goes the extra mile to deliver a complete shave. That means a 10-directional head that does a far better job of covering crevices and blind spots than a static model. Add to this 40,000 cutting actions per minute and you’ve got yourself a device that makes light work of your stubble and can handle things after failed diversion into beard territory. Naturally, this shaver is also waterproof and has the stamina for weeks of use in one charge.
Just like airborne travelling in a separate cabin from the proles, the Series 9 is more of a luxury than practical necessity. If you’re inclined to shave every day, though, then we’d forgive you for treating yourself.
Pros: Multidirectional head; quick, close shave; classy design
Cons: Reasonably expensive
Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3040s
The best value electric shaver right now
Type: Foil | Elements: 3 | Waterproof: Yes | Battery: 45 mins
What can you really expect from a £50 electric shaver? According to Braun’s Series 3 (£50), a little more than you might think. While we’d rather use one of the pricier models here as a day-to-day companion, the Series 3 has enough about it to deliver in the role.
In essence, this is a budget-friendly shaver that doesn’t feel cheap. It’s waterproof, offers a five minute quick-charge and features a design that belies its affordable status. That means textured, rubberised sides that are easy to grip and an overall weightiness that allows for greater control in the hand compared to the Remington G4.
We didn’t expect much at all of the Series 3 before unboxing it, but came away rather impressed with the thing. So long as you play to its strengths, you should feel the same way. This mainly means accepting it’ll probably end up leaving a few rough patches around your neck and the edges of your chin. No matter how persistent you are in trying to scrub them off. In other words, it’s not going to give you the absolute neatest shave going, but it’ll pass muster for everything but close inspection. If it’s a special occasion you’re shaving for, then we’d recommend breaking out the razor again.
Pros: Waterproofed; sturdy design; decent shave
Cons: Not especially refined
Philips Series 7000
The electric shaver with smarts
Type: Rotary | Directions: 5 | Waterproof: Yes | Battery: 50 mins
Having taken on a weird level of significance when attempting to sell you on a new electric toothbrush, apps have now found their way onto electric shavers to do the same. So the Philips Series 7000 (£170) promises to do one better than glide through your three-day stubble by actually changing the way you shave via its GroomTribe app.
We were skeptical too, but if you’re the kind of person who experiences redness and sensitive skin when shaving then this app is genuinely worth engaging with. It’ll adjust the vigour with which your shaver operates, offer guidance so your neck doesn’t transform into one giant rash and generally elevate your grooming routine. Honestly, we were surprised at just how useful it proved.
Elsewhere, this Philips is a fairly standard rotary shaver and we mean that as a compliment. It’s well-built, has a substantial head that can swoop into many an awkward spot and easily enough to clean if you use a shaving foam to minimise irritation. You even get a beard trimmer attachment and cleansing brush in the box. Curiously, it’s currently more expensive than Philips’ self professed ‘No. 1’ shaver: the Series 9000 which muddies the value proposition somewhat.
Pros: Useful app; unfussy design; straightforward performance
Cons: Can struggle with patches
Remington R4 Style
A rotary electric shaver for beginners
Type: Rotary | Directions: ‘Flexing neck’ | Waterproof: No | Battery: 40 mins
Even though Remington’s products tend to sit on the cut-price end of the grooming scale, they’re generally amenable to use. So long as you pick them up in the knowledge that you’re going to get what you pay for. In the case of the R4 Style (£40) that means a rotary razor that’s a little rough around the edges but otherwise good enough for first-timers. The kind of people who either don’t have too much to spend on an electric shaver or aren’t yet blessed with enough facial hair to justify spending big.
As a rotary shaver, the R4 has been made with coverage in mind and to that end it is OK. In awkward spots such as the back of your chin or just under your nose, you’ll need to persist with a shave for longer than is convenient. In general, Remington has made a serviceable product that gets the job done without too much fuss.
Other than the design of its foil, the big difference between the R4 and Braun’s Series 3 is general build quality. Remington’s model is all plastic and while this design is serviceable enough, it lacks any rubberised grip. So if you want to use it for a wet shave then brace yourself for a slightly slippery time. Like we said, you get what you pay for here and you really aren’t paying that much at all.
Pros: Affordable; serviceable; no fuss design
Cons: Struggles in tight spots, no grip; plasticky build
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