The best electric shaver 2018: remove up to 7 days of stubble with the best electric razors

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, and these are the BEST electric shavers.

One thing you can say for sure about electric razors is that they make great Christmas presents for men (without beards). There will most certainly be deals on them in the run-up to the holidays, and then probably in the Boxing Day sales too.

What is the best electric shaver?

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 new flagship Phillips Series 9000 model S9211/26. 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 just the same as with the more expensive Braun Series 9.

That said, if you don't shave daily or really want the absolute best electric shaver, splash out on the upgraded Series 9000 Prestige. This will deal with 5-7 days-worth of stubble and comes with a wireless charging pad that also works on compatible phones. 

The current Braun flagship, Series 9 'Titanium' model 9296CC  is best if you don’t like rotary shavers, and efficacious even on the third day of growth.

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 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. 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 a beard trimmer. 

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 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 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.

The best electric shavers available to buy today

Best electric shaver: Philips S9000 Prestige


1. Philips Series 9000 Prestige

Highly desirable wet-and-dry mega razor

Specifications
Battery life: 3 hours wireless charge, battery life not quoted but seems like 2+ hours in all
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+The best electric shave ever+Stylish with it+Handy Qi wireless charging
Reasons to avoid
-You do not wanna be paying RRP for it

This retails at £450, at least in theory, but look out for it around the £300 mark at your favourite online retail outlets. How does it justify that price? By being the best electric shaver you can get, by a comfortable margin.

By using 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 also has three intensity levels, so the especially sensitive-skinned can keep it lighter. This does affect how well it works on really bristly beards, but even using it as someone with pretty sensitive skin, we found the top two settings as comfortable as any other razor we’ve tried. Which isn’t to say we never got any irritation from it at all, but we have it much lighter than usual, and we get a better shave for it.

This model also comes with a beard trimmer that is unusually good for a shaver attachment, and also a rotating brush that you can use to deep cleanse your face. It’s no Foreo, but it makes a nice travel set, since all the attachments (and the charging pad) fit in the accompanying case.

Further upping the Luxe Quotient, that charging pad is wireless Qi compatible – you can also juice your phone and other gadgets on it.

The battery life is solid – we get about 10 daily 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.

Our only small gripe is that the chrome-looking outside feels plasticky (because it is), so it doesn’t come over quite as premium in the hand as it looks, but the grip is really comfortable and ergonomic, so we’re not super bothered about it.

=1. Philips Series 9000 S9211/26

The best shaver a man can get (without spending a fortune on the Prestige)

Specifications
Battery life: 50 minutes from a 60-minute charge
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Incredibly comfortable to use+Removes a day's stubble with minimal effort+Not bad at longer stubble either
Reasons to avoid
-More effort called for on your neck and jawline

The old Series 9000 from Philips was good but definitely lagged behind Braun's Series 9. By upgrading the blades, however, Philips has now sprung ahead in the facial depilation arms race.

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.

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 most other razors. Then again, who other than ageing mods uses a beard trimmer like this these days anyway?

• There are a number of variants on the Philips Series 9000 but conveniently Amazon has all of them on a single page here. Clearly the best value is the one without a cleaning and charging station, but you might fancy the Star Wars one…

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.

3. Braun Series 9 9296cc

The best Braun shaver can handle three-day growth

Specifications
Battery life: 50 minutes from 60-minute charge
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Best electric shave you can get on longer stubble
Reasons to avoid
-Very similar performance to Philips but usually a bit pricier

There is not a lot in it, but if you shave every day, or at least 4-5 times per week, I reckon the Philips is a better bet than this excellent electric shaver from Braun. 

If you're a two to three shaves per week guy you might prefer this 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.

• There are a number of variants on the Braun Series 9 but conveniently Amazon has all of them on a single page here

4. Panasonic ES LV95

Best electric shaver under £200

Specifications
Battery life: 45 minutes
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Superb shaving+Build quality feels excellent
Reasons to avoid
-Kinda chunky

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.

Braun Series 9 9095CC

5. Braun Series 9 9095CC

Non-titanium-tipped version of the Braun Series 9

Specifications
Battery life: 50 minutes from 60-minute charge
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Excellent shaver in its own right
Reasons to avoid
-Older and not as good as the 9296cc… -Yet somehow more expensive

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.

• Amazon has both the version with a charger/cleaner and the one without

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…

6. Remington XR1400

Best budget shaver

Specifications
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

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.

7. Braun Cool Tec CT2cc

Best razor with a fridge in it

Specifications
Battery life: 45 minutes
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Remarkable cooling tech+Decent shaving
Reasons to avoid
-A tad gimmicky perhaps

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.