Many men maintain a beard or short stubble to forever avoid an actual shave, myself included. And who can blame us? There are lots of risks that come with a razor, like irritation, bumps, nicks and ingrowns. For this reason, it feels safer and smarter to use a reliable beard trimmer and maintain some semblance of stubble. But, even that gets old. What if we want to showcase our shaved faces, minus all those risks of razors? Or, what about trimming parts of the beard, but shaving the rest—like keeping a clean neckline, or maintaining just a mustache?
That’s where the electric shaver comes in.
Now, not all electric shavers are going to give you an ultra-smooth, bump-free shave. But the best ones will. They have thin foil heads or rotary caps that protect your skin from their sharp blades, and the top models of late consider things like design, portability, battery charge, waterproofing, wet/dry duality, LED displays, warranty, trimming extensions and battery hold (as in, how long a charged device stays charged, when not being used — for this, look for a lithium battery).
These are the factors we considered in naming our favorite electric shavers of the year, in addition to the precision and power with which they actually perform. So, if you’re looking for a new electric shaver, or are converting from bare razors and beard trimmers, then here are your best bets.
Best Baseline Foil Shaver: Gamma+ Italia Absolute Zero
Gamma+ Italia’s lightweight shaver looks beautiful and performs as such, designed for convenience and class. The shaver has hypoallergenic gold titanium foils, stacked staircase-style so that it grooves and flexes comfortably along your neck and face. There’s even a retractable trimmer at the rear, for small detailing around the cheeks, mustache, sideburns and neck. You can charge it in the wall or with a USB, and each shaver comes with two replaceable cutters. While other shavers impress with add-ons, Gamma+ Italia’s excels in all the essential ways.
Top Feature: Lightweight ergonomic design and gold titanium foils
Charge Time: 30 minutes
Charge Lasts: 2 hours
Warranty: 1 year
Best Travel-Size Shaver: Braun MobileShave M-90
Whether you’re cleaning up on a red eye before a business meeting or just minding your whiskers at the gym, Braun’s tote-able shaver is an excellent companion. It comes with an auto-lock swivel cap and is safe to rinse under the faucet. Its catch-all foil head competes well against brawnier models (pun intended), and it also has a retractable trimmer for any detailing around the hedges.
Top Feature: Protective auto-lock twist cap
Charge Time: 2 AA batteries (one set included)
Charge Lasts 1 hour
Warranty: 1 year
Best Wet/Dry Shaver: Wahl Smart Shave
If you made a checklist of the features you’d want in an electric shaver, Wahl’s would check most of the boxes. You can shave wet or dry (since there are some shower shavers among us who demand a waterproof device); it has an LED charge display; its lithium ion battery stay charged, and can generate a 5-minute shave on a 1-minute charge; its flexible foil heads move to each contour; an ergonomic rubber grip ensures you won’t drop the shaver on your shower floor; a stainless-steel retractable shaver pops up from the rear; an travel-lock prevents it from turning on in your gym bag… the list goes on.
Top Feature: Shower-friendly design (rubber grip and waterproof)
Charge Time: 1 hour
Charge Lasts: 90 minutes
Warranty: 5 years
Best Multipurpose Device and Spot-Check Shaver: Philips Norelco Multigroom 9000
The lithium-ion Multigroom is an electric beard trimmer, face shaver, sideburn detailer, chest-hair manager, nose-hair nipper and more. And of all the interchangeable beard trimmers out there, this one is the best for spot-check shaves. Just attach its foil head, and clean up the perimeter of your cheeks, your neck line, or the little bridge between your mustache and beard. It’s a good device to own if you have various needs (beyond different head lengths) but still only want one tool for all those tasks. Lastly, don’t underestimate its 6-hour run time and 10-year warranty.
Top Feature: 25 pieces for all grooming needs, shaving head for spot checks
Charge Time: 2 hours
Charge Lasts: 6 hours
Warranty: 10 years
Best Self-Cleaning Shaver: Panasonic Arc 3
Panasonic’s Arc3 shaver is a powerhouse as a standalone device. It has a flexible triple-blade head, with ultra-thin hypoallergenic foils, wet-dry duality, an ergo-grip body, retractable trimmer and LED display. It also has a shave sensor that gauges facial-hair density and boosts or lessens power accordingly. But it stands on more than just those impressive details: The Arc3 comes with a two-in-one cleaning-charging station; just push the foil head into the station (after adding cleaning solution), and it disinfects the shaver while also lubricating the blades.
Top Feature: Cleaning and blade lubricating station
Charge Time: 1 hour
Charge Lasts: 45 minutes
Warranty: 2 years
Best Rotary Shaver: Remington HyperFlex
If you’ve got thick hair or shave infrequently — routinely managing a five-day stubble instead of a five-o’clock shadow — then you might want a rotary shaver instead of a foil shaver. And Remington’s is your pick: Like our favorite foils, it shaves wet and dry, has a long-lasting lithium battery and flexes to the contours of your face, jaw and neck. You can also switch on its turbo mode for heavy-duty chopping.
Top Feature: Turbo mode for cutting especially thick, wiry hair
Charge Time: 90 minutes
Charge Lasts: 1 hour
Warranty: 2 year
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