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Men's shavers reviews

Extra features can make a shaver easier to use, but don’t always lead to a smoother shave.
 
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01 .Introduction

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We review 14 electric shavers (13 battery and one mains-powered) priced between $35 and $550.

Through our rigorous testing we reveal which shavers:

  • have the best performance for daily and three-day growth shaving
  • offer the best skin protection and comfort
  • are the easiest to use.
On this page you'll find:
Since their first appearance in the 1930s, electric shavers have been an increasingly convenient alternative to blade shaving. Just as disposable razors have an ongoing arms race for features – vibrating heads, multiple blades and more – electric shaver manufacturers are always looking to add new features to their models too. Multiple pivoting shaving heads, a cooling head to soothe the skin, sonic vibration to help lift and capture more hair, and variable levels of shaving intensity are some of the features you’ll find.

Some top-range shavers now come with cleaning stations to automate the maintenance of your shaver and keep it in top condition. These usually work well, but they may require proprietary cleaning solutions or cartridges. For less expense and only a little more effort you can usually clean the shaver yourself under the tap, with a little liquid soap if needed.

Waterproofing is becoming more common, with many models able to be used for wet shaving (even in the shower), which can be more comfortable. Most models on test can be used this way.

Rotary or foil?

  • Rotary shavers use two or three rotating heads to lift and cut the hair.
  • Foil shavers use oscillating blades beneath a perforated foil to cut the hair.

Did you know?

Each shaving method is said to train hair to grow in a particular direction. So if you’re switching from foil to rotary or vice versa, you need to give your face at least a month to adjust. The same is true for when you switch from a manual razor to an electric shaver. 

Models tested

  • Braun CoolTec CT4-s Wet&Dry
  • Braun Series 3 340s-4 Wet&Dry
  • Braun cruZer6 face
  • Panasonic ES-SL41-R
  • Panasonic ES-LV90/K
  • Panasonic ES-LF50K
  • Philips Senso Touch 3D RQ1285CC
  • Philips Senso Touch 3D RQ1250
  • Philips Senso Touch 2D RQ1145
  • Philips AquaTouch Plus AT890
  • Philips AquaTouch AT750
  • Philips PowerTouch Plus PT860 #
  • Remington DualTrack X R3150
  • Remington Titanium-X F7800 

# Discontinued but may be found in some stores.

Models not tested

This is a joint test done with several other consumer organisations, and not all models tested are available in Australia. The list above and the table include all the tested models available in Australia, or the local equivalent of the tested model.

This test included the latest Braun Series 7 model, the 790cc-7 Wet & Dry (aka 799cc-7). We haven’t been able to find out whether this model will be released in Australia or its local price, so it’s not included in the table. The tested Series 5 5030s also isn't available here and is too different to the locally available Series 5 models for the scores to be comparable.

See notes below the table for more details.

How we test

Shaving performance At least 25 trialists assess each shaver for daily shaving and for shaving three-day beard growth. A panel of experts also assesses the shaving results. The trialists consider the closeness of the shave on the face and neck, the ability of the shaver to cut long hairs and single hairs, the pressure needed and the speed of shaving. They also assess skin feeling, i.e. whether the shaver pulls on hairs, produces irritation, redness or cuts. Shavers are also rated for noise and vibration.

Ease of use The trialists assess the shavers for ease of handling, weight, general comfort in the hand, using the controls and using the trimmer. They also assess ease of charging (including the usefulness of the charge/low battery indicators), cleaning and storing the shaver.

Technical tests Charging and running time, water tightness, electrical safety, trimmer flap durability, and overall durability (drop test).

For more information on hair removal, see beauty and personal care.

 
 

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Getting the most from your electric shaver

Give your face a chance. If you’re changing from a razor to an electric shaver, your skin needs up to a month of continuous use to become accustomed to it.

  • Clean your shaver following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Hold the shaver at right angles to your skin.
  • Don’t press hard against the skin to avoid irritation and/or damage the shaving heads.
  • Go against the grain of the hair growth for best results.
  • For rotary shavers, small circular strokes give a closer shave.  
  • Pull the skin taut as this allows you to get better access to the hairs.
  • Stretch your top lip taut over your teeth for a closer shave under your nose.
  • Change the heads as recommended or when wear is evident (poor cutting, irritation and pulling). 

General recommended head (foil/blade) replacement periods (can vary depending on model):

  • Philips – every two years
  • Braun – every 18 months 
  • Remington – every six months
  • Panasonic foil – outer foil: once a year; inner blade: once every two years
  • Panasonic rotary – every six months.

Features

  • Type Rotary shavers use two or three rotating heads to lift and cut the hair. Foil shavers use oscillating blades beneath a perforated foil to cut the hair. Each type is said to train hair to grow in a particular direction, so if you’re switching from foil to rotary or vice versa, give your face at least a month to adjust – similarly when switching from a manual razor to an electric shaver.
  • Battery-powered models are very convenient. All models on test are battery-powered except the Remington Precision X-System R3150AU. Some models use a Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) rechargeable battery, but increasingly shavers now use lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries, which are claimed to have better performance. 
  • A beard trimmer makes it easy to trim longer growth before shaving. All models on test have an integrated trimmer except the Philips Sensor Touch 2D RQ1145 and Aquatouch AT750.
  • Waterproof models (often called "wet & dry") can be used in the shower. They can also be used for wet shaving with water, a shaving balm or oil to minimise irritation.
  • Washable Look for a shaver you can clean under a running tap. Usually a little liquid soap can be added to help clean the shaver head.
  • Charging/cleaning station is a base to recharge the shaver. Some stations have a cleaning system included (see the table). However, a cleaning station can lock you in to purchasing branded cleaning solutions when all the shaver really needs is a good clean under the tap.
  • Charge level indicator lets you know how much charge is left and whether it’s time to recharge.
  • Charging time Most of the tested battery models have enough power for at least one shave after only five minutes recharging. While most can run for at least a few minutes after the five-minute recharge (from flat), the Panasonic ES-LF51-S841 and ES-LV81-K841 only runs for a little over a minute, the Philips Aquatouch AT750 for just under a minute and the Panasonic ES-SL41-R for only a few seconds. The latter two also have the longest time to reach a full charge (more than eight hours, while the other models take about an hour or less).
  • Shaving aids dispense an oil or balm from a cartridge in the shaver to lubricate your skin while shaving (no shaver in this test has this). These can help minimise irritation, but shavers that can be used wet can also be used with a balm, oil or a powder stick of your choice, so it’s not necessary. It also means you’re not limited to the one shaving aid type or brand. Dry shave-only models should be OK for use with powder sticks, but check the manufacturer instructions.
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