Electric Shaver or Razor: Which to Choose and How?

When looking for shaving equipment you have two basic options: electric shaver or razor blade. Let’s examine the differences!

Electric Shaver or Razor: Pros & Cons

(Straight) Razor: Pros and Cos

The traditional blade shave will always give you the closest shave. This is because the blade is coming in direct contact with your skin. This opens you up for possible nicks, razor bumps and cuts, but if you’re looking for the smoothest, closest shave possible, the traditional razor blade is the way to go.

straight razorPros:

  • Closest & smoothest shave
  • Low one-time costs
  • Short lifetime


  • Not ideal for sensitive skin
  • Possibility of cuts & nicks
  • Higher long-term costs 

Electric Shaver: Pros & Cons

The other option is the electric shaver. There are several benefits when considering such an option. These electric shavers do come with a higher price tag but, long-term, you are likely to save money as you don’t need to constantly purchase new blades, nor do you need to buy shaving cream. There are also a number of beneficial options regarding an electric shaver. This way, you can always find one that fits your personal needs. So whether you are always on the road and want a razor that can handle your travel needs or you like the no-nick design of these electric shavers, there is something on the market for you. 

Pros:Pros of electric shaver vs razor

  • No need for shaving cream/gel
  • Long lifetime
  • Safe use – little danger of cutting
  • Possibly cheaper in the long-run


  • Higher one-time costs
  • Not as perfectly smooth shave as with razor

You just need to determine what works best for you.

What Is an Electric Shaver?

An electric shaver is exactly that. It gives you a shave using electrically propelled blades. Now, there are several different electric designs. There are some that need to remain connected to a power source. However, these shavers are on the older side as most are battery operated. The electric shaver comes with a recharging dock or plug to ensure you have enough power to complete the shave.

electric shaver

The dock used with an electric shaver differs. Some use nothing more than a plug. This connects to the base of the electric shaver just like any other electronic device. Other shavers have docks or cradles you set the device in and the dock charges the electric shaver without plugging anything into the device. Some of these docks also sterilize the shaver as it sits, which is another benefit (although these devices are usually more expensive than the non-dock devices).

Construction & Maintenance of an Electric Shaver

The construction of the electric shaver will vary between devices. One of the more popular designs is a three-cylinder blade system. This uses three blade heads in a triangle design. This is designed to give you full coverage while shaving while making it easier to navigate over your face. Other electric shavers use longer, narrow shaving heads rectangular in design instead of a circular construction. These shavers often use two or three different shaving heads to help provide you a smoother shave.

Because the electric shaver uses a moving blade, it is important to not pull the razor too fast as this will cause the hair pulling out of the face (or wherever else it is used). It is also important to keep the blades oiled. If the blades are not regularly oiled, it will cause performance issues and the razor will not last as long as it should. Applying a small amount of oil to the moveable parts on the electric razor keeps it running smoothly and most manufacturers now provide the oil with purchase of the razor.

Different Types of Electric Shavers

best electric shavers

Foil vs Rotatory Shaver


There are two major types of shavers to choose from: foil razor & rotatory razor

What is a rotatory shaver?


Electric Shaver rotatory

A rotatory shaver is a type of electric shaver designed for grooming facial hair. Unlike traditional razors, which typically have a straight blade, rotatory shavers feature circular heads with multiple spinning blades. These blades move in a circular motion, capturing and cutting hair as they rotate. Rotatory shavers provide a very close shave with little irritation to the skin, making them a popular choice for many men. They can accomodate different types of faces and hair types due to various features such as pivoting heads and adjustable settings. 


  • Good for shaving larger areas (neck, head, etc.)
  • Quieter operation than foil shavers
  • Good for hair growing in different directions (curly, thick, …)

What is a foil shaver?

Electric foil shaver

Unlike traditional razors, which use blades, foil shavers use a thin, perforated metal foil that covers the cutting blades. Under the foil, small oscillating blades move rapidly back and forth, cutting hair that enters through the holes in the foil. Foil shavers provide a smooth and close shave with minimal skin irritation. They are typically preferred by men with sensitive skin thanks to their gentle shaving style. Foil shavers have very ergonomic designs and various accessories to enhance usability and performance.


  • Ideal for sensitive skin
  • Better accuracy than rotatory shaver (shaving a line, trimming sideburns, etc.)
  • Good for thin & straight hair

Question of Preferance: Wet or Dry Shaving?

There are now several different electric razor types. This way, you can find one that specifically fits your needs. There are both wet and dry razors. Some razors you can plug in, charge up and it will be ready, but it needs to remain dry. Others allow you to shave in the shower. If you are like many individuals in the morning, you don’t have a ton of time to get ready before you head out to work or school. With the wet razor, you can shave in the shower which helps save time. These kinds of razors often work exactly the same as the dry counterparts although the waterproof casing is applied to the razor. These razors tend to be more expensive than dry razors, but if this is interest it is worth trying out.

How to shave, style and trimm with electric shaver vs razor

There are some razors that apply lotion as you shave. This isn’t all that necessary as it is easy to apply lotion when you have finished the shave. In fact, you may find the razors that apply lotion end up collecting small amounts of cut hair while providing your skin with the lotion. It may also increase the chance of clogging your blades. In reality, the lotion feature is unnecessary and isn’t something you need to look for. It is far easier and less expensive to apply the lotion directly to your face after your shave (while you are not using a blade directly against your skin as with a traditional razor you should still moisturize after a shave to heal up any damage sustained to your skin).

Price of an Electric Shaver vs Razor

You can find electric shavers to fill any price point. There are basic models that will cost you a couple dollars more than a quality traditional razor. 

man sitting after shaving electric shaver vs razor

Other electric shavers will cost well over $100 depending on the features. Some of these features may be worth spending an increased amount while other features are unnecessary. Some electric shavers now have a flip out blade for trimming around sideburns and your nose. This is a great add-on to consider if you have facial hair you want to keep. Just make sure to look at the trimming length to see how close you’ll be able to cut with the added feature on the shaver. 

You can also consider the different dock and cleaning options. The cleaning feature is a nice option to have as it kills off any bacteria that might grow on your razor. Bacteria are more likely to grow on electric shavers that are wet based and can go in the shower with you, but any shaver may see bacteria develop from skin cells or any moisture it collects while sitting in the bathroom.

Top Reasons to Use Electric Shaver or Razor

For many, it comes down to a personal preference. You may like the super smooth feel of a traditional razor, in which case you’ll likely stick with the razor. The electric shaver is just not able to provide the same smooth feature. However, the electric razor is not as messy. You do not need to deal with shaving cream, which cuts down on your long-term cost of using the device. You also will not have any of the cuts or razor bumps associated with using a razor (as long as you keep your electric shaver sharp and take care of it).

man shaving with electric shaver vs razorOutside of personal preference, an electric shaver is easier to travel with. While you can now travel with disposable razors on an airplane, you cannot travel with a safety razor that uses the removable blades. Individuals with a safety razor must either pack the blades into the checked baggage or they must purchase the replacement blades upon arriving at the new location.

Electric razors can go anywhere and are easy to use. Some models you can use in the shower while at other times you can shave while driving. That naturally is not recommended as it is a distraction, but if you are parked and need to get rid of that 5 o’clock shadow for an upcoming date it is an option to consider. If you have never used an electric shaver before it is worth trying out. You may find you like the speed of the shaver without all the mess that normally comes with a regular razor.


There is no limit to the kinds of electric shavers available for you to check out. These shavers come in all shapes and sizes. Using this kind of shaving device is a personal preference. Some people like the traditional razor while others like the shaver. If you have never tried an electric shaver before it is worth experimenting with. However, make sure to look at the different available options and to consider what each can do for you. Some allow you to shave in the shower while others must remain dry. There are some that come with cleaning docks and side shaving features for trimming around facial hair while others are basic in design and are created for the sole purpose of shaving your face.

It is highly recommended to read shaving reviews before moving ahead with any kind of purchase. Many of the electric shavers look exactly the same so it can be a challenge to identify which one is best for you and which one may not deliver what you’re looking for. By going over the different reviews you’ll see the pros and cons of each and, from there, be able to decide what works best for you. You can then enjoy greater peace of mind when making your purchase. 

Whatever you do, chances are there is an electric razor out there that is perfect for. So whether you’re interested in something that’s faster, easier and less messy than a traditional razor or you want a device you can easily travel with, the electric razor is the option for you.

Zach Johnson
Zach Johnson

With years of experience trying out different electric shavers, manual and straight razors, he has become a pro at finding what works best. He loves sharing his tips and creates comprehensive guides so you don’t have to spend years chasing perfection!

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.