The best electric shaver 2018: fix up, blades sharp

Slay that stubble and barber that beard with the best rotary and foil electric shavers available to man

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Not all men shave every day any more. 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.

Having tried all these models, it's actually quite hard to differentiate between the most expensive, 'flagship' models.

However, for overall quality of shave at a non-crazy price, I'd personally recommend the old flagship Braun Series 9 model 9095CC (there is a bewildering array of variants).

If you really want the absolute best electric shaver, go for the current Braun flagship, the Series 9 'Titanium' model 9296CC. It's a big leap up in price, but a less big leap up in cutting ability.

How to buy the best electric razor for you

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.

This is particularly true if you don't shave every day – you'd be better off using a chainsaw or angry dog to remove three-day growth than a cheaper electric razor. 

Irregular shavers might also be better off with a beard trimmer than a cheaper electric razor. 

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. 

A lot of shavers come with charging and cleaning stations. Please be aware that to use these properly means you will need to buy replacement cartridges of cleaning fluid, FOREVER.

You can, of course, not bother with that and just pop the top off and rinse the blades under the tap after every use. Depends how hung up on hygiene you are.

You will also need to change the blade cartridge every year or so. 

The best electric razors available to buy today

1. Braun Series 9 9095CC

Best electric razor, pound for pound

Battery life: 50 minutes
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Excellent shaving+Can handle a few days' stubble+Easy to clean
Reasons to avoid
-On the pricey side-Feels weirdly plasticky
Today's best Braun Series 9 9095CC deals

Okay, you could spend another £100 and get the 'best in the world' Titanium version of the Braun Series 9. However in my opinion, this is much better value for money, offering comparable shaving especially when used daily.

It will also do a decent job of 2-3-day stubble – post-weekend, for instance – but there the Titanium is noticeably better. 

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. 

That said, it's light, ergonomically sound, waterproof to 5 metres and easy to clean. The 50-minute battery life, from just a one-hour charge, is also great. The slide-up beard trimmer is nothing to write home about, but then they never are on electric shavers, are they?

Most importantly, this incarnation of the Series 9 shaves extremely well, and is perfectly affordable.

2. Philips Series 9000 S9041/12

Best rotary shaver

Battery life: 50 minutes
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Excellent shaving+Easy to clean+Handy beard trimmer attachment
Reasons to avoid
-Kind of pricey
Today's best Philips S9041/12 deals

Philips' Series 9000 uses completely different tech to the Braun 9 Series, to achieve a near identical result. 

It's a wet and dry shaver, with the same battery life as the Braun, and similarly good shaving power. Like the 9 Series, it gives a noticeably superior cut, compared to previous generation/cheaper shavers. And again, it isn't exactly cheap, but it is reasonably priced.

Where the Series 9000 stands out is in terms of pure comfort. The three blade housings flex dramatically in eight different directions so that even the most angular jawline gets a thoroughly good seeing to. The blade head glides so smoothly across the dermis it actually feels as if it isn't doing anything; there's almost no snagging of the skin and no annoying hair snatches. 

This version comes without a cleaning station, but you can get one with as well, of course. The S9041/12 comes with a clip-on detail trimmer for moustaches and sideburns – a manscaping styler and rotating facial cleansing brush are available separately – and it is actually really good, which is unusual for trimmer attachments.

The only reason the Series 9000 is below the Braun 9 Series is that the latter handles longer growth better and I just happen to prefer foil shavers to rotary ones. They're practically indistinguishable in terms of performance.

3. Panasonic ES LV95

Samurai-bladed premium model

Battery life: 45 minutes
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Superb shaving+Build quality feels excellent
Reasons to avoid
-Kinda chunky
Today's best Panasonic ES LV95 deals

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.

4. Braun Series 9 9296cc

Best super-premium shave for the most demanding men

Battery life: 50 minutes
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Best electric shave you can get
Reasons to avoid
-Priceest electric shave you can get
Today's best Braun Series 9 9296cc deals

An improved version of the already excellent Series 9, this adds titanium-coated blades and ups the price to squeaky bum levels

I don't know if it's only the blades that have been improved, or if other parts of the spec have been bumped, but whatever the technicalities of it, this shaves better than anything else here, even on proper, three-day growth, although you do have to work a bit harder on that.

I'd assume most men going this high-end on a shaver probably shave every day, and for them, this could be one of those dream purchases. It could 'shave' a minute and a bit of irritation off the start of every day, and marginal gains can have big results.

My personal quibble is that the cheaper Braun, Phillips and Panasonic, although inferior, are not a million miles off in terms of performance, leaving the Titanium Series 9 feeling like an unnecessary luxury. 

If you've got the cash, or the price dips for Black Friday or other sales/deals/promotions, I nonetheless recommend that you get one.

5. Remington XR1400

Novel, budget shaver

Battery life: 45 minutes
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Compact, ergonomic shape+Decent value+Good for heads too!
Reasons to avoid
-Can't compare to pricier shavers
Today's best Remington XR1400 deals

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.

6. Braun Cool Tec CT2cc

Best razor with a fridge in it

Battery life: 45 minutes
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Remarkable cooling tech+Decent shaving
Reasons to avoid
-A tad gimmicky perhaps
Today's best Braun Cool Tec CT2cc deals

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.