Why buy the best electric shaver, you might ask. Not all men shave every day anymore. Well, not their faces anyway. Some men barely shave at all. But for the old guard who prefer a smooth appearance, and younger men turning away from the beard, an electric razor is just the thing, and these are the best electric shavers.
Having tried all these models, it's actually quite hard to differentiate between the most expensive, 'flagship' models. I tried them on a daily basis, after three days and – in a bid to be more scientific – I grew a bit of a beard and then trimmed it to 3mm with one of our best beard trimmers.
So what was my verdict? For overall quality of shave at a non-crazy price, I'd personally recommend Braun's updated flagship Series 9. It gets you smooth even if you haven't shaved for 3 days and I prefer the feel of foil to rotary.
That said, nobody is likely to feel let down by Phillips Series 9000. This is so gentle on your face, it almost feels like nothing is happening. But it is. If you use the 9000 Series daily, the outcome is much the same as with the Braun, although I'd say the Series 9 just has the edge with longer or tougher stubble.
A cheaper option is Braun's amazing new Series 7 70-N7200cc which comes equipped with a flexible head that shaves as close as a razor.
However, if you really want the absolute best electric shaver, pay that premium and get the Series 9000 Prestige. This will deal with 5 days worth of stubble and comes with a wireless charging pad that also works on compatible phones. It's also notably more premium in terms of look and feel than any other shaver.
You'll find our full rundown of the best electric shavers below along with the best prices for those shavers. "But can it be possible to shave a whisker more off those prices?" you ask. "Why, yes!" we reply. "As sure as you will have 5 o'clock shadow at the end of the day, there are always, always electric shaver deals to be had."
How to choose the best electric shaver for you
My first bit of advice is to look at what the best shaver deals today happen to be. Their prices go up and down like rollercoasters, and you will frequently find that the most high-end razors somehow cost less than the more bog-standard ones. For instance, normally I would say the Series 9000 Prestige – the absolute crème de la crème of male shaving – is overpriced. But in today's deals, it might suddenly be the same price as a Braun Series 9, or even less.
There are a lot of different versions of the Braun and Philips shavers, as you can see. It would take too long to run down the difference between all of them – there are different model numbers for ones with and without cleaning stations, and with and without various accessories such as trimmers and carry cases.
However, the crucial thing to be aware of is that the most recent Brauns have model codes beginning 93 and the most recent Philips ones begin S97 or S95 – plus the Prestige. There is nothing wrong with the older models you will find online, and sometimes they are at real bargain prices, but they're not the very latest and bestest.
If you want to stay smooth, without facial irritation, you simply MUST go high-end when electric razor shopping.
That's because, despite decades of product development, and billions spent in research, they've really only recently started to crack it, and even then, only on the flagship devices from each of the half dozen brands that dominate the sector. For anyone who only shaves once or twice a week, but wants to be smooth when they do, a manual razor is always better. Irregular shavers who don't need to be baby smooth will be better off with the best beard trimmer and, if you're looking to remove the hair from your body, you'll want the best body groomers and even one of our best IPL machines.
Another thing to note if you don't shave every day is that you'd be better off using a chainsaw or angry dog to remove three-day growth than a cheaper electric razor. So that's another reason to go high end.
The good thing about electric razors is there isn't really a 'correct' way of using them, unlike bladed razors, but if you suffer irritation easily, a wet and dry model could prove a boon. You can use them with running water, or even shaving cream.
Particularly when it comes to Phillips shavers and, to a slightly lesser extent Braun, there are usually at least three versions of each shaver. You get the same basic electric razor model in each but with a different array of accessories, from a travel pouch to automatic cleaning and charging stations, for cleaning and sterilising your shaver with an alcohol-based cleaning solution.
Please be aware that to use these stations properly means you will need to buy replacement cartridges of cleaning fluid, FOREVER. You could, of course, not bother with that and just pop the top off and rinse the blades under the tap after every use. Depends on how hung up on hygiene you are.
You will also need to change the blade cartridge every year or so, depending on how often you use it and other variables such as how wiry your stubble is.
Finally, if you're looking to remove the hair from the top of your head, these electric shavers won't cut it – you need the best hair clippers for that job.
The best electric shavers available to buy today:
Especially given that the trend is to shave less nowadays, I now recommend the Braun Series 9 foil shaver over Philips' almost equally impressive efforts. If you're a two to three shaves per week guy you will probably prefer this too, as it is slightly better on longer stubble patches. That's thanks to the titanium tipped blades that give it its 'gold-painted' appearance.
Braun used to be noted in its glory days for producing perfect combinations of form and function, using cutting-edge design techniques. Now I'm not saying Dieter Rams would necessarily be upset by the design of this but, while its functionality is hard to argue with, aesthetically the 9 Series is quite lacking. It looks and feels plasticky, and the way it slots into its charging and cleaning base is not very satisfying.
But then again, so what? The Series 9 is light, ergonomically sound, waterproof to 5 metres and easy to clean. As with its Philips rival, the 50-minute battery life, from just a one-hour charge, is great. The slide-up beard trimmer is nothing to write home about, but at least it's always there, unlike Philips' clip-on one.
Possibly the real killer feature of the Braun for me is that using it actually feels like shaving. The rotary motion of the Philips is more like rubbing your face.
This is an unusual situation where the product at #1 is slightly less good than the one at #2. Why? This has a higher RRP, and is much less frequently discounted. And while the Philips Series 9000 Prestige shaves better and looks much better than its Braun rival, it's not worth paying twice as much for a shave that is only slightly better.
However, if you want to splash out, or you find it at a bargain price, this is a great purchase.
Thanks to a new blade design and more generously sized foil holes, this can tackle thick stubble – up to a week’s worth, even. And it really works. Where other electrics force you to hack away over and over if you’ve missed a few days, you can pretty much just run this over once, and then look for only a few minor spots that might need a second go.
And the shave it gives you is almost unbelievably close. It really does feel like you’ve used a multi-blade traditional razor. It manages this partly through that new blade design, which pulls the hairs deeper beneath the foil before cutting.
It achieves this with minimal irritation, partly thanks to an anti-friction coating that most of Philips’ other razors don’t include, but you can happily use this one with shaving foam if you require more protection from the whirring blades.
It has three intensity levels, the idea being that the especially sensitive-skinned can keep it lighter. I have to say, the lower setting just feel underpowered to me. Using a rotary shaver is weird enough at the best of times, as they have such a light touch. Also, even though my skin is quite sensitive, I never felt any irritation while using the Prestige on its highest setting. Still, presumably some men must find this ability to turn the power down useful, or it wouldn't be there.
Another big thing in the favour of the Prestige is that it looks way better than the Braun Series 9 – and, come to that, all Philips' own other shavers. When you pick it up, you might be a bit disappointed that it is actually plastic and not the steel that it looks like. However, the grip is really comfortable and ergonomic, and there's no denying it looks great.
This model also comes with a beard trimmer that is unusually good for a shaver attachment, although it would be better if it was a built-in, pop-up one rather than having to be fitted as an attachment – you pull off the rotary head and put this in its place. In some Prestige packages there's also a rotating brush that you can use to deep cleanse your face. So that's nice.
Further upping the Luxe Quotient, Philips 9000 Series Prestige also comes with a wireless Qi charging pad, which you can also juice your phone and other compatible gadgets on. Battery life is solid – I get several weeks worth of shaves out of every charge.
A full recharge is actually comparatively slow at three hours, but obviously the idea is that you leave charging pad and razor out. This way it's always ready for action, and also any house guests can see that you own the World's Best and Most Expensive Razor. Cunning.
This new, designed-from-the-ground-up offering from Braun is an absolute cracker in every respect, but mostly in the way it shaves. As pointed out above, as brilliant as the Philips rotary models are, they do feel like you’re rubbing your face with the back of a spoon. By contrast, this brand new foil model feels firm, narrow and not quite as comfortable against the skin. But, by jove, it doesn’t half shave well. Actually I’ll rephrase that: it shaves as close as a wet razor, only in half the time. And that’s no exaggeration.
This writer has an extraordinarily skinny face with more acute angles than a myriagon (I had to look that up) and this shaver is my new Holy Grail. How so? Well, like the top Philips models, the whole head is spring loaded so it moves around with the contours of the face. On top of that, the three slim foil blades also move independently from side to side. The upshot is a shaver head that mooches around the face like a caterpillar, snipping here, there and everywhere until there isn’t a bristle left in sight. I was frankly astounded by how close it shaved, even ‘dry’ straight out of the box. In fact I can’t remember a time my visage felt quite so smooth.
Naturally you can also use the Series 7 70 as a wet shaver – the whole unit is fully waterproof – but I don’t see the point given how well it performs using it dry. Simply go about the morning business while shaving and before you know it the job is done.
According to Braun, ‘AutoSense technology reads and adapts power to beard density’. I’ll take their word for it. What I do know is that the grip is nicely contoured and comfortable in the hand. I also like the way the tiny LCD tells you when it’s time to change the foil (about £40 a pop) along with the usual battery level indication.
The Series 7 comes with a hard case, a single precision trimmer attachment and a SmartCare Centre – an automatic head cleaner-cum-lubricator which you will use until the solution runs out and then never use again.
Battery life is very good (50 mins on a full charge of its Li-Ion battery) but the sparse icon-based manual sucks and I’m not the only one to think so. But, hey, that’s small fry stuff compared to the Series 7 70’s insane ability to shave so amazingly close. Top dollar.
The old Series 9000 from Philips was good but definitely lagged behind Braun's Series 9. By upgrading the blades, however, Philips sprung ahead in the facial depilation arms race. But then Braun upgraded its shavers, and now Philips is narrowly behind. Phew, exciting huh?
This is a rotary shaver and so you use it by rubbing it on your face in a circular motion. This feels totally unnatural, to me at any rate. Since the 9000 Series makes a very quiet noise – almost like its battery is running out – and is very low-irritation, you might expect it to be totally ineffectual but the stubble vanishes as if by magic, even if you've got a few days' worth.
That's particularly true on your face. In trickier areas – your jawline and below – you'll have to rub a bit longer although even then, it doesn't cause much at all in the way of soreness. I find the Braun is quicker and feels more like 'proper' shaving but for those with very sensitive skin Philips' rotary action might be better.
The clip-on 'beard trimmer' (realistically, it's just for making sure your sideburns are straight) is quite good I don't really like the fact it's not permanently attached as on Braun razors. Then again, who other than ageing mods uses a beard trimmer like this these days anyway?
Another strong aspect of the Series 9000 is that it's very easy to clean, just by taking off the top and sluicing it out. What someone really needs to come up with is a device to then remove the shredded stubble from your sink, but that appears to be beyond mankind's science, so far.
Deploying an entirely ridiculous array of five blades, this is another wet–and-dry winner.
The Multi-Flex 3D pivoting head and Quick Lift Foil help make shaving smooth and almost enjoyable. This is particularly true if you've got a few days of growth. The Panasonic ES LV95 will actually sense this, and slow down its motors to methodically lawnmower it.
In all honesty, I couldn't tell any difference in terms of comfort when this deployed, but if you have very sensitive skin, you might find it useful.
More importantly, overall shaving performance was very good indeed. I felt like the bulk of it made the Panasonic less enjoyable to use, but I am pretty sure you'd get used to it, if it were your only shaver, rather than you were testing half a dozen of the buggers.
Overall, there is very little to tell between this and its premium rivals, but a slightly shorter battery life and higher RRP moved it down the list. If the best price above is a DEAL, however, I'd strongly recommend this.
In one of those curious quirks that you get with mass-market consumer devices, here we have an earlier version of the Braun Series 9. It has all the good points of its slightly later, titanium-tipped sibling but is unquestionably and deliberately, not quite as good.
However, it is also, at present, more expensive. How? Supply and demand, presumably.
As such, it's remarkably hard to recommend. However at some point – Black Friday, say, shops might decide to dump stocks and it'll suddenly be a bargain. Keep watching those prices, people…
A rather old-fashioned design at heart, this is short and stubby and designed to be pressed sideways into your beard rather than upwards. It's a little reminiscent of an updated version of the electric razors of the 1950s.
Given its low price, this Remington is not a bad performer by any means, especially if you shave every day.
It's also, if Amazon reviews are any judge, a highly popular choice amongst the bald community, with its easily-gripped form making for comfortable and effective head shaving.
Another more affordable model with a novelty twist, the CT2 actually has an electro-mechanical ceramic cooling strip built into it.
The result is that within seconds of being turned on, the foil chills to near zero, 'reducing irritation'.
Now, while this technology is really amazing, I am not sure it really leads to the shave being any better, but if you suffer very bad skin irritation as a result of heat, it could be worth a try.
Overall performance is perfectly acceptable, although not on par with the more premium shavers.
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