Choosing The Best Electric Razor

Choosing an electric razor requires more than just looking at brand names. Carefully consider the features before you buy.

It's easy to get hung up on brand names. But is your face or your legs a brand-name product? Well, if your name is Tyra Banks or Tyson Beckford, yes, but for most of us, no. Since you don't have a brand-name body, don't simply go for brand-name loyalty when you are looking for an electric razor. Look for quality overall, and features that suit your needs.

Of course, if a brand has been serving you well for years and it's time for a new model because the old one's shot, looking to your old brand may be a good start.

One thing to remember is that not all electric razors cut the same way. Some feature rotary cutters, while others have foil-based cutters. The shaving style can feel very different.

What's the difference? With foil shavers, a cutter moves rapidly from side to side, and the thin metal mesh over the blade (the foil) keeps the blade from actually cutting your skin. Single-foil razors have only one blade, and are better for people with slow growth. Double- and triple-foil shavers tend to do faster work than single-foil models.

Rotary cutters feature two or three spinning blades covered by a circular head. Double-action razors have devices near the blade to lift hair prior to cutting for a closer shave. Micro-action razors are also designed to provide closer shaves than standard rotary razors, by placing less metal in the head between the blade and your skin.

Also, do you want mobility? That will bear a great deal on your choice between a plug-in cord-style shaver (also called a "mains" shaver), a rechargeable one, or a shaver that combines both options. Shavers that are battery powered but not rechargeable really don't serve most people well for everyday use. Save those for travel or other occasional needs.

As long as we're on the subject of rechargability, does it feature a charge display so that you know when the power is low? Maybe you don't want or need one, but it's something to consider. And how long is the running time with a full charge? If you don't plan on recharging it often, you'll want a longer running time, of course.

Do you want to shave in the shower? If so, you'll want a waterproof model. A word about water and electric razors, though: Don't think that a "washable" razor is the same as a waterproof one. Washable simply means that you can wash the shaving head under running water.

How does the shaver feel in your hand? Is it a good fit? Does the cutting head feel like is has a good shape for your face or legs? Granted, these are things you cannot tell with an item that's in a box, so if you can go to a store that has display models, that might be a good idea.

Price is also a consideration, but don't let it be your only consideration. A good electric shaver can last you a long time, so paying up front for quality isn't a bad idea.

Enough with the razor itself, though. Consider whether you want an electric shaver at all. Electric razors often don't shave as close as a blade. That means you may have to use the shaver more often or have more stubble-shadow showing. If you have fair-colored hair, that might not be an issue. If your beard or leg hair is very dark and you need a close shave, an electric might not be your best choice. Also, if you want to save a little time, you might find that a blade is faster.

Also, because electric razors may require you to go over the same area multiple time (more often than with a blade, anyway), people with sensitive skin might want to think twice about electric razors and go for a disposable blade shaver and a good shaving cream for sensitive skin. This can be especially true if you have coarse hair to shave. On the other hand, an advantage of an electric razor is that the possibility of nicks and cuts is more remote than with a blade.

Another consideration: If you aren't going for a complete shave (i.e. you have a mustache, goatee, beard, etc.), an electric razor is hard to maneuver around your facial hair, and a blade is probably your best choice for precise shaving.

Another plus side with electric shavers is that they don't require you to constantly buy replacement blades, so they generally cost less over the long run.

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