While many of us wish we could shave with the glamour of James Bond and his cut throat blade and femme fatale, we simply don’t have the time. Or as a matter of fact, the skill.
Analogue razors keep boasting about adding yet another blade to their arsenal but it's 2019 and that simply won’t cut it. Electric shavers prove the best value for both time and money.
The first decision you will be faced with is foil vs rotary. A foil shaver has a straight head blade beneath a mesh metal layer which catches the hairs. Foil shavers will suit those that shave daily and those with fine facial hair. A rotary shaver is made up of three circular heads that have spinning blades at their centre. Rotary shavers suit those that don’t shave every day, those with thicker hairs and those with tougher skin.
Now we've got the boring bit out of the way, HITC has rounded up the best men’s shavers on the market with each shaver put to the test by our writers; many grown men parted with much adored beards for the production of this article.
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I got a shaver for Christmas! Now all I need is some facial hair :D— Alex Heindl (@alex_heindl) December 25, 2013
Philips Series 9000 Prestige Electric Shaver (£330)
HITC says: A flawless shaver that is worth every penny despite the enormous amount of pennies it may cost.
Philips’ Series 9000 Prestige shaver is the gold standard for shavers. It is impossible to beat when it comes to closeness and thoroughness. The boffins have employed a BeardAdapt sensor that scans 15 times a second to adjust for fluctuating thickness. It may sound like science fiction levels of precision but it works. This is a sensationally close shave.
It would take us hours to list all of the bells and whistles that go into making the shave as close as it is, NanoTech and other impressive details go into the product. What also makes this shaver so impressive is its thoroughness with no hair safe from its grasp. A ContourDetect works to adapt to each crevice, ensuring nothing is missed.
Charging is wireless... but what else did we expect from this Terminator of shavers? Cleaning is super easy, just pop off the head and rinse under the tap, and Aquatec Wet and Dry technology means that you can shave dry, with gel or in the shower.
Easily clipped on attachments can be used for grooming and styling. It is impossible to find a flaw in utility or performance, the only obstacle is price but from our experience it is worth the outlay.
Where to buy: Boots
Philips Series 6000 Wet and Dry Shaver (£85)
HITC says: A shaver that may not have all the bells and whistles but it packs a punch for the budget.
Philips’ Series 6000 Shaver provides fantastic value for money. MultiPrecision blade technology is joined by anti-friction coating and five direction flex heads in an effort to provide an accurate, comfortable and easy shave.
There’s no doubt that the blade technology serves its purpose well, the Series 6000 gives an exceptionally close shave, though this does require a level of patience as the blades don’t whir with the gusto of some of their competitors.
A fully charged battery lasts an hour which should average out to 21 shaves according to Philips. Although five minutes on the dock is supposed to be enough juice for one shave, don’t expect to be able to tackle any thick bristles in that time.
One of the key selling points is the Aquatec Wet and Dry technology. Dry shaves aren’t a nightmare, shaving with gel is a breeze and you can groom yourself in the shower if you’re in a hurry. Big bonus.
We found the product easy to clean, just pop open the shaver head and rinse under the tap. Helpful LED lights will remind you when to charge and clean and when to replace the head.
Where to buy: Boots
Braun Series 7 799cc (£199)
HITC says: The best cleaning system in the game and a precise and reliable shaver that is a doddle to maintain.
Braun’s Series 7 range has been near the top of every best seller list ever since its launch, having appeared in many iterations since - this is still one of the best value for money men’s shavers on the market.
The Series 7 foil is unique, holes are patterned in such a way that hairs short and long are grabbed without causing discomfort. Irritation is also avoided by the pivoting contour head which moves with the shape of your face to catch every hair. Although the movement does take some getting used to, it is excellent when mastered.
As expected from a foil shaver, this is an impeccably close shave. You have five easily adjustable settings to choose from which are essentially just different speeds to suit your skin sensitivity. We found the head lock feature incredibly useful, this easy to engage function keeps the head in one place and makes hard to tackle areas much easier to shave.
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The shaver can be used wet or dry and operates in near silence which is in stark contrast to others on the market. It is important to note that wet does not include shaving foam or gel. Whilst the shaver can be charged in the cleaning dock it can also be charged through the adapter. An hour’s charging should give you 50 minutes of shaving time, with five minutes plugged in enough for a quick three minute shave.
Braun have excelled with the cleaning operation for this shaver. The Series 7 comes with the FastClean dock, a cleansing station without compare. When you pop your shaver into the dock it is cleaned, dried and lubricated. The dock is efficient and easy to use. The alcohol based ‘cassette’ of fluid that you insert to clean your shaver will have to be replaced eventually but a pack of 12 should last around two years and set you back no more than £20.
Where to buy: Amazon
Remington Heritage Foil Shaver (£89.99)
HITC says: Sleek, nostalgic design that will have you cutting about like Don Draper.
Remington’s Heritage edition is undeniably the most attractive shaver on our list. The short and stout design with a metallic finish combine to give a nostalgic character to the shaver. Aside from aesthetics, the shape and size of the shaver makes it uber portable, super handy for the man on the go. Whilst this is a particularly weighty piece of kit, this isn’t too much of an inconvenience, just think of it as an extra workout.
This foil shaver features two heads that are separated by a hybrid intercept trimmer which looks to grab longer hairs. These three components work symbiotically, bobbing and weaving up and down in order to match the contours of your face.
The reality of the shave is that you do get a very close finish but this requires persistence. On a first pass there will be rogue hairs that have escaped the Remington’s attention. This is easily solved with another pass or two, the end result being a satisfyingly close shave. Those with super sensitive skin may want some balm on hand but the need for persistence is by no means cause to avoid the product.
Wet and dry capability means you can smoothen yourself out in the shower, gel and foam are also on the table for those that can’t stomach a dry shave. You can also pop out a small detail trimmer which we found handy for fine edges, give yourself a goatee with ease if that’s your thing.
There is a lot to be admired when it comes to charging and cleaning. The micro usb charging port means you can even charge in your car, allowing you to dash out of the house and tidy yourself up at work. Two hours plugged in should give you an hour of shaving. Cleaning is super easy, just wash remove the head and wash under the tap.
Where to buy: Argos
Wahl Lifeproof Shaver (£41.93)
HITC says: A reliable, indestructible shaver that will outlive its user.
Do what you want, you will not be able to break this shaver. The Wahl Lifeproof Shaver is designed to withstand just about anything you throw at it, or throw it at. This is a shaver that is as durable as it is impressive in performance.
The shaver employs a three cut system which they claim won’t miss a hair. They aren’t wrong; this is a close and thorough shave - you won’t need to make multiple passes to do the job. This is thanks to the agility of the two foil heads, they flex to and fro as you go in order to adapt to the contours of your face.
Wet and dry capability is a bonus but oing to the lifeproof tag Wahl have taken this to the extreme: this shaver is waterproof up to one metre or for thirty minutes - this also includes a tolerance of shaving foams and gels.
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Charging is another strong point for this inclusion as it boasts the longest battery life of any shaver on the list. An hour on charge will give you an impressive 90 minutes run time, with just a couple of minutes giving you enough juice to buzz off some morning stubble when you’re in a rush.
Maintenance is the only category in which the Wahl Lifeproof falls short of its competitors but this is a minute inconvenience. You will just need to whip out the provided cleaning brush to give the foil a once over before washing the shaver under the tap. Wahl recommend that you replace the heads every six months or so but judge for yourself. If you’re sensible then you won’t need to call upon the impressive and generous five year warranty.
Where to buy: Amazon
Panasonic ES-LV95 (£172.30)
HITC says: This shaver operates with surgical precision and is very easily maintained, just a shame it doesn’t come with noise cancelling headphones.
The Panasonic ES-LV95 is part of the Arc 5 series. This collection of shavers get their name from the belt and braces approach of using five blades. Whilst this may seem a bit OTT to some, these five blades do a spectacular job.
A comb blade in the middle deals with your longer hairs with two blades either side of it doing the heavy lifting. This blitzkrieg approach to shaving will leave your face smooth as the proverbial after just one pass, albeit with a couple of minor trade offs.
This uber efficient shaving system may be a touch irritable for those with sensitive skin. However, wet and dry capability means that you can use this shaver with foams and gels, either of these will do a good enough job to avoid any rash.
The second trade off is the noise. The five blades give you an impeccably close and fast shave but they let the house know they’re doing a good job. Given the consistent results this product produces, the noisiness can be easily shrugged off.
Cleaning is a doddle but also another noisy affair. Simply pop the shaver into the cleaning station and push a button - detergent will have to be replaced but this doesn’t come at any great expense. You can also just pop the head off and brush and rinse if you prefer analogue maintenance.
Whilst the battery only runs for 45 minutes - understandable given the gusto - the LCD screen on the handle gives you a precise measurement of how much juice you have left. Charge regularly and you won’t be caught out.
Where to buy: Amazon
HITC Best: Philips Series 9000 Prestige
There is no better electric shaver out there than the Philips Series 9000 Prestige. The only issue with the product is the price but you are certainly paying for quality. If you want a shaver that will reliably give you a close and comfortable shave then you need look no further. If you’re on a budget then the Series 6000 does a sound job for the price. If you’re always on the go then the Remington Heritage Foil Shaver is a must.
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