The Best Electric Razor

If I were buying an electric razor, I’d get the Braun Series 7 760cc.  After speaking with professional barbers, researching published reviews and literature for over 20 hours, and personally testing the finalists, we think it’s the best you can buy and well worth the $175 price tag.

WAIT: January 7, 2015
Panasonic unveiled their new electric razor, the Arc3 3 Blade Wet/Dry Electric Shaver (as well as a variant that comes with a built-in trimmer) at CES 2015. Featured and priced similarly to our current pick, the Arc3 could be a contender to our current pick, We’ll take a look at it, along with a whole lot of other gear, in the update to this guide we're working on now.
Expand Most Recent Updates
September 24, 2014: This guide is still on wait status. We ran into some roadblocks, but we've resumed research and expect to have this updated in the next few months.
January 2, 2014: We need to refresh this guide, so it's being set to wait status while we work on it.
May 31, 2013: Braun has announced their new line of CoolTec electric razors. They'll be in stores in August, and we'll be testing and researching as Braun gives out more information. For now, we're still certain that our pick, the Series 7 760cc, is the best electric razor you can buy.

Before we start, a caveat: You’ll likely never get as close a shave with electricity as with a regular blade. (See: our best manual razor guide.) As shaving expert and reviewer Corey Greenberg of ShaveBlog told me: “Electrics are purpose-built to leave stubble, it’s inherent in the design. There is always a gap enforced between the blade and your skin. It can never be as close as a razor.” He’s right, but modern electric razors come close, which will be enough for most men. If you’re prone to nicks, have sensitive skin, or want to shave as quickly as possible, invest in a solid electric razor and you’ll be satisfied with the result. 

Foil or rotary?

Your first decision when choosing a razor style is between foil or rotary blades. Foil razors have perforated bars that prop up the hair so the blades just underneath can clip the hair. They get a close shave and are especially good at trimming precision areas, like a goatee. They make a lot of noise, but they’re idiot-proof and, with a good shaver like our pick, they can give a really close shave because the foils (the perforated bars across the head) are thin and let the blades get close to the skin. With these, you shave in an up-down motion, similar to if you were using a true razor. After a few passes with the grain, they can be used against the grain to get every last hair.

If you have a beard with thick, strong hair and have never had any issues with ingrown hair, you can get a rotary shaver. That said, we’ll take a sure bet and get a foil shaver.
Rotary shavers have circles of slots where beard hairs enter—blades move in a circle underneath those slots and snip the beard. The motor connects to the blades with gears, usually three cylinders that drive the rotators. You move a rotary razor in tiny circles around your face, a method that, as manufacturers and rotary advocates explain, handles tough spots like the jawline and chin. They tend to be quieter than foil shaver, too.

Deciding between the two will depend on your facial hair, but we can guarantee that foil shavers will work for almost anyone. Craig Whitely, barber to celebrities and author of TheMensRoom.com says, “Foil lets you follow the growth pattern of the beard.” Rotary shavers, on the other hand, “can yank the hair out.” If you have a beard with thick, strong hair and have never had any issues with ingrown hair, you can get a rotary shaver. That said, we’ll take a sure bet and get a foil shaver.

Do you need Accessories?

Almost every base-model electric razor has a premium version that, once you get past $150 or so, comes with a self-cleaning station. The selling point is that these systems use special fluids that get the blades exceptionally clean and keeps the mechanics lubricated. That means longevity for the machine and a closer shave. There’s plenty of skepticism that this is a superfluous accessory designed to keep you buying replacement cartridges, but it’s certain that electric razors need special attention. To keep them cutting well, the mechanisms need to be clean and lubricated, which is something you can do manually with running water and machine oil. If you don’t mind doing that yourself, you can save some cash and get a razor without a cleaning station and clean, dry, and lubricate it on your own. As with everything regarding electric razors, the cash you spend on a dock goes towards convenience, which, as I’ll explain, is a price worth paying.

That doesn’t mean you need to buy the most expensive option. As Pauper’s Dime noticed, the vital components among different models within a brand’s lineup are all basically the same. “If you look carefully, you will notice that multiple razors at different price points all use the same few interchangeable replaceable heads. This means that the part that actually does the work and the motor in the razor that drives it are identical between these models, and you are only paying more for the fancy chrome exterior.”

A quick shaving primer

There are plenty of online guides to shaving electric, but a few rules make a huge difference. Craig the Barber’s advice:

  • Shave with your face dry, which will let the razor cut as close as possible. Don’t wash your face before shaving.
  • If you want an especially close shave, get a pre-shave lotion from Jack Black or Lab Series. They let the razor glide over your skin and keep the hairs from gumming up the motor.
  • Use the correct technique. With a foil shaver like the Braun, shave with the grain, then against it if you need to get closer. With a rotary, shave in small circles.
  • Take care of the razor. For all shavers, replace the screen and blades or the rotary heads yearly, and keep the razor clean between uses. Apply machine oil regularly, too.

Our pick

The Series 7 760cc has all the strengths of an electric razor with the fewest drawbacks. It’s the best electric razor you can buy right now. The thin screens and blades are precisely shaped to catch short facial hair and cut it close to the skin. It makes around 10,000 micro vibrations per minute, meaning it’ll account for every odd edge on your skin and prop up every hair. The intensity is adjustable according to your skin sensitivity—press the minus sign button and the motor slows a bit, or hit the plus and it’ll go faster to get as close to the skin as possible. Braun says the Series 7 gets up to 50 minutes of use per charge, but reviewers usually get between 60 and 75 minutes of use—we like when a product under-promises and over-delivers. Plus, there’s a two-year warranty to back you up if anything goes awry.

Wirecutter-Braun-Series-7

Braun makes three models of the Series 7, and we like the 760cc the best because it has every important feature of the 790cc, but usually costs $20 or so less. We spoke with Braun to confirm and there are two differences between the 790cc and 760cc. The 790cc’s LED screen has a readout for both the razor’s hygiene and battery levels, while the 760cc only reads the battery, and the 790cc has an option for a “Quick Clean” — the dock will kind of clean it in 25 seconds instead of the normal three-minute cycle that the 790cc and 760cc use.  That, and the 790cc comes in “Noble Metal” while the 760cc comes only in black. Consumer Reports even used the 760cc to test in the 790cc’s stead (subscription required). We say save the extra cash.

The 760cc (and the 790cc) come with a dock that charges the razor, cleans it with alcohol, and keeps the mechanics lubricated. Braun says that cleaning a razor in this way is ten times more hygienic than simply running the razor and the pop-off foil under the sink faucet (which you can also do). When the station is plugged in, simply set the Series 7 in position and press “clean.” It runs the blade in the solution for a few minutes and comes out clean and lemon-scented. If you’re traveling, the plug for the station fits in the bottom of the razor itself. The alcohol has the benefit of driving water away from the blades, keeping them sharper for the life of the blade.

Cost of ownership

Follow the guidelines that’ll keep the razor running at its potential.
Electric shaving isn’t cheap. You pay up front for any shaver that does its job well. Here’s how the long-term breaks down for the Series 7. A pack of four cartridges for the cleaning station costs $20, and Braun recommends that if you use your Series 7 and run the cleaning cycle daily, you should replace the cartridges once a month—I’ve been getting away with running the cleaning cycle just a few times a week without diminished performance, but we’ll go by their recommendation to be conservative. That’s about $60 a year for cleaners, plus $30 per year for a replacement cartridge of screens and blades. You’ll pay $175 for the full rig, which will last you a year, then a bit under $100 for each year after that if you follow the guidelines that’ll keep the razor running at its potential.

Sound expensive? Learn to wet shave and $100 will last you a decade. If you want a quick shave without nicks, be ready to pay extra for going electric.

Who else likes it

Every publication that has tested it lauds the Series 7. Most reviewed the flagship 790cc, but every mechanical quality in that model applies to the 760cc as well. Again, the only difference is $20, the color, a hygiene meter on the handle, and the quick-clean option.

“This is certainly the best foil razor ever made.”

Consumer Reports (subscription required) tested electric razors by giving testers time with a test unit and had reviewers gauge their shaves’ closeness by comparing the feel to sandpaper. Consumer Reports ended up giving the 790cc an 80 out of 100, the highest score in the test. Its strengths included a long battery life, thorough cleaning system, and machinery that consistently gave users a close shave. They have a video of their testing.

Pauper’s Dime, which has the most comprehensive evaluation of electric shaving we’ve found, picks the Series 7 (specifically the 760cc) as their favorite foil shaver. They say of it, “For the foil razor lovers out there or those with very sensitive skin, look no further. This is certainly the best foil razor ever made.” It’s powerful, good looking, and effective.” They lade the Series 7 with every superlative. 

Apartment Therapy put the Series 7 790cc through their Tech Test Lab Review and issued it a “Strong Recommend.” They said, “The 790cc is priced at the top end of electric shavers, but considering it performs so well, it embodies the axiom of ‘you get what you pay for,’ and in the long run should save users money compared to the cumulative cost of disposable cartridge razors.”

Esquire named it among their list of “15 Grooming Products Worth Splurging On.” This one has micro-vibrations (10,000 strong) and a special function that captures-matted down hair while the head adjusts to the contours of your face,” says Matthew Bell. “Also, it’s easy to clean and charges up fully in just five minutes.”

Wired selected the Series 7 as the Editor’s Pick for their roundup on electric razors. Steven Leckart said of the Braun, “Although the three-head business end boasts a relatively small surface area, the oscillating middle head delivers 10,000 vibrations per minute. Translation: It’s just as effective as a bottle of Nair.”

Craig the Barber also says the Braun Series 7 is his pick. “You can’t go wrong with it,” he says, adding that especially for those with “curly hair, go for the Braun.”

On Amazon, the 760cc sits at 4.5 out of 5 stars with just under 300 reviews.

Gizmodo’s conclusion was the only test anomaly, which put the Series 7 in fourth place out of four electric razors. Author Andrew Tarantola said that “shaving the neck was a nightmare. It was like the last three hairs remaining somehow always fell outside the realm of the shaver’s ability—needing five or six passes to finally capture.” Tarantola’s top pick was a rotary model, which makes sense. He has coarse hair and rotary razors perform better for those who have thicker hair.

 One drawback

The most common complaint for the Series 7 is that the thing is really loud, much more so than your barber’s clippers. But this is an issue you’ll run into with most electric razors, and for the performance you get from the Series 7, it’s an acceptable trade-off. Just don’t shave in the library.

The competition

Among credible reviewers, Norelco and Braun are the top electric razor brands. “I’ve had clients who have used razors outside of Braun and Norelco and not been impressed,” says Craig the Barber. We’ll address brands besides those two, but the biggest competitor to the Series 7 is the Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D. It’s comparable to the Series 7 in all the important criteria: it offers a close shave, similar pricing, and a good battery life. The difference is that the SensoTouch is a rotary razor while the Braun is the foil.

As we mentioned, the drawback to rotary shavers is that the rotors can yank out hair, which can cause ingrown hair. Again, if you have an absolutely problem-free beard, you can get away with the quieter SensoTouch. If that’s you, another selling point is that the Norelco can be used wet, meaning while you’re in the shower, or using shaving cream. We’re not sold on that benefit—electric razor shaving, unlike wet shaving, is best done with a dry face.

We’d get a foil Braun Series 7 because the SensoTouch’s few advantages over a foil razor don’t supersede the possible disadvantage of ingrown hairs. However, if you have thick beard hair and have absolutely no history of issues with ingrown hairs or sensitive skin, you can get the SensoTouch 3D 1250X. We say skip the cleaning setup since it has a sealed head that, unlike a foil setup, can be cleaned easily with a faucet.

Also Great
Philips Norelco 1250X/46 SensoTouch 3D Electric Razor, Frustration Free Packaging (Series 8000)
If you've never had an issue with ingrown hairs and want something a bit quieter than the Series 7, the SensoTouch 3D is the best rotary option.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $180.

Within Braun’s big lineup of electric razors, the Series 7 760cc is our favorite, but you have options. Basically, a higher price means less upkeep within the Series 7 range—with the 790cc and 760cc, you get the aforementioned dock that cleans and charges the razor. The 720s means you’ll be rinsing and applying machine oil to the razor yourself—no thank you.

Another major competitor to Braun and Norelco is Panasonic, which has an enormous electric razor lineup. Their four- and five-blade models with second motors can hit prices of $500. We’re not ready to pay that much for performance that’s not as well ranked as the Series 7. The best Panasonic option is the Arc4. But even the $300 ESLA93-K didn’t beat the Series 7 according to Consumer Reports.

A step down

If you’re looking to trim while traveling or if you don’t need to shave every day, you can kind of get away with spending less than three figures on a razor. You won’t get the close shave of the Braun Series 7, but if you really can’t spend that much, we recommend a Panasonic Arc 3 for $80. Unlike their much more expensive options, this model has a solid cost-to-performance ratio.

All our research indicates that with shavers, you get what you pay for. If you must go cheap, definitely don’t bother with anything under $70.

If you must go cheap, definitely don’t bother with anything under $70.
At that point, they won’t give you a passable shave, as Consumer Reports found with the $10 Emerson shavers and the $40 Braun Series 1. Even the Remington Pivot and Flex Foil F-5790, which they rated as a Best Buy, makes us nervous because of its 3 out of 5 stars on Amazon. If you’re looking to save cash shaving, learn to do a wet shave properly.

The Arc 3, though, is a solid option. It has a pivoting head that houses blades attached to a motor that can hit 13,000 rpm—the Braun Series 7 has 10,000 “micro-vibrations” per minute, for comparison. In cleaning mode, the motor goes up to 17,000 rpm to shake off all the hair and water.

Unfortunately, there are few reviews of electric razors in the under-$100 price range. To pick this, I went by the generally flattering reviews of the more expensive Panasonics like the Arc 4 and looked at customer reception to the Arc 3—on Amazon, the Arc 3 has nearly 1,300 user reviews averaging out to 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Another benefit is that, if you need to get an electric shaver quickly, you can get this one at Target for $80.

Another close competitor in the budget realm is Norelco’s line of PowerTouch rotary razors. Pauper’s Dime really likes the PowerTouch AT830, but they note that its ability to shave wet is a major benefit. As mentioned, it’s just better to shave dry when using electric. Aside from that, when going budget, we’re less inclined to risk using a cheaper rotary shaver that may tug on hair.

 In the end, we’d say that if you plan on going electric with any frequency, splurge and get the Braun Series 7.

Wrapping it up

If you’re looking to get an electric razor for daily use, spend the cash on the Braun Series 7 760cc. It’s the closest shave you’ll get without a blade, you can use it on any type of beard, and it’ll work reliably for years. After trying them all and reading all the literature, it’s what I use.

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Sources

  1. Top Electric Razors, Consumer Reports, April, 2013
    "80/100; Recommended."
  2. "This is a very technologically advanced razor designed to give a close shave, even when hairs aren’t standing up using their Pulsonic micro-vibration technology. They have put in significant engineering effort to get the most out of a foil shaver, and you won’t be disappointed. This is the best foil razor on the market. If you’ve been thinking about buying a foil razor, just buy a Braun Series 7. They are so good that they’re hard to critique!"
  3. Gregory Han, The Best Electric Shaver, Apartment Therapy, October 11, 2012
    "During several test shaves I felt nary a pull, tug, or even the suggestion of pain while trimming down my face. What was most notable compared to other electric shavers I've tried in the past was the 790cc didn't require multiple drive-bys to finish off all the hairs; most sections required no more than two passes, including those annoying flat hairs on the neck, to leave what felt like a nearly-razor shave smooth finish."
  4. "This one has micro-vibrations (10,000 strong) and a special function that captures-matted down hair while the head adjusts to the contours of your face. Also, it's easy to clean and charges up fully in just five minutes."
  5. Steven Leckart, Blade Runners, Wired, July 26, 2011
    "Braun advertises up to 50 minutes per charge from this foil shaver, but we regularly got more than 75. Although the three-head business end boasts a relatively small surface area, the oscillating middle head delivers 10,000 vibrations per minute."

Originally published: May 8, 2013

  • Russell Milliner

    I’ve always received machine oil with my razor, but the documentation never specifies where to apply the machine oil to. Any tips on that?

    • http://TheSweethome.com Joel Johnson

      You’ll have to check with the manufacturer for the specifics, but generally it goes right on to the place where the cutting/shearing surfaces meet.

  • Mike A

    What about electric clippers? The cheap one I got at Target is killing me with missing hairs and the poor construction, but I don’t know what to replace it with.

  • Jeb Adams

    My Braun 7 Series charging/cleaning station stopped working one day. Just wouldn’t clean anymore, or charge. It took a while to navigate Braun’s customer service desk from the west coast–they close at 3PM Pacific time and I just could not manage to call in the AM.

    Anyway, I emailed and got an answer within a couple of hours. Sent it off for repairs–anything within two years is covered.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Nice. Thanks for sharing that.

  • Bren

    I disagree with the comment about not bothering with a shaver under $70. The Remington R6150 Titanium-X gets 4.5 stars from 128 reviews and is the best electric shaver I have ever used. Much better than the Braun Series 5 I had previously. I got it from Amazon for 40pounds (62USD)

  • Gavin Dendy

    I picked this up through the site last week. It’s absolutely wonderful. I had a Braun for many years, in excess of 7 and replaced the parts here and there. This new and improved version is fantastic. Such a smooth shave. I literally went from the bottom of my neck up to the top of my cheek without flexing my wrist and leaving the skin. Thanks for the reviews! Keep it up!

  • rovingkid

    Sooooo your last update to this was May 31 2013, where you said you’d look into the Cooltec Series? Is this still a thing that’s happening or was this section forgotten?

    • asdfdsfdsf

      Oh how I wish this site would update more often.

      • rovingkid

        I love the Wirecutter and Sweet Home. I really do. But

        “We need to refresh this guide, so it’s being set to wait status while we work on it.” On January 2nd 2014.

        Today is September 24, 2014. There is no other word for this but “pathetic”.

        • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

          It’s not pathetic when you see the amount of work that goes into our guides. One thing we pride ourselves on is extended testing & long term testing/notes. You can’t get a good idea of how well something works (especially a razor and or multiple razors!) in a few weeks of testing. Not to mention, facial hair needs to grow in order for the razors to be tested.

          This is one of the more rare circumstances where a guide needs this type of additional time for testing – but rest assured when it’s complete, it will be the only guide you need to see in order to make the correct purchase — and that makes it all worth while.

          • rovingkid

            Touché. My mistake for not differentiating the product type. Naturally, a razor will require a different timeframe for reliable testing than, say, a smartphone. Also, “pathetic” may have been a bit strongly worded, admittedly.

            Good to see you’re still on top of this. What may help offset this type of lingering feeling would be if you posted an update saying “rest assured we’re still on this, but hair needs to grow before it can be cut again, so this one’s taking a while longer” or something along those lines. Just to let us know this category hasn’t completely been forgotten.

            But, in short, you, sir, are correct!

          • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

            No worries. Good point about the additional update box info! I’ll forward that along!

  • Marvin S.

    Price for the 760 on Amazon is now $185. Price for the 790 is now $190. Seems the latter is worth the price difference. Also, any update on the CoolTec?

    • Marvin S.

      Update: The 790cc is on sale now for $150 at Amazon, or $35 less than the 760cc.

  • JohnOCFII

    I see that the runner-up Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D is available today and tomorrow at Sam’s Club for $99.98. This is model 1280X/48, which includes the high-end display, and does not include the Jet Clean system. I bought one this morning based on the review here.

    http://www.samsclub.com/sams/norelco-sensotouch3d-1280x-43/prod11160031.ip?navAction=

  • Bill Stigler

    I just ordered the Philips Norelco 1250X SensoTouch 3D from Amazon, where you have the option of getting a free trimmer attachment normally costing about $23. So I took them up on the option and then made the purchase. But then I noticed something interesting: Before selecting the option, the model number was formally listed in the cart as “1250x/46”. And after choosing the option, the model number changed to 1250x/40HP. (See below.) So I’m left to wonder if the model that I get will be the same one that was tested in this article. Can anybody explain this difference in model number and what it means?

    Before:

    Philips Norelco 1250X/46 SensoTouch 3D Electric Razor, Frustration Free Packaging – Philips Norelco

    After:

    Philips Norelco 1250x/40HP Sensotouch 3D Electric Razor with Bonus RQ111 Click-On Beard Styler and Precision Trimmer – Philips Norelco

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      If you see the section on the Amazon page labeled “What’s in the Box” you’ll see a chart showing all of the different models and what the model numbers mean. Hope this helps! If not, feel free to ping me back!

  • ANDY

    just bought a braun 790cc, used NORELCO for 12 YRS. I have 4 bottles of norelco jet clean- can i use for braun cleaning system?

    • Alexander George

      Hey, Andy!
      Since the Braun uses these crazy special cartridges, I am sad to say that I think the Norelco fluid won’t transfer — that’s part of how they keep you committed, I figure. That said, you might be able to inject the fluid into the Braun’s cleaner’s cartridge. You should check the ingredients, but I’m sure they’re almost the exact same chemicals. We can’t guarantee it, but I can’t imagine it’ll hurt the Braun. Let us know what you end up doing — anything to outsmart these expensive cleaning systems.

    • steveo

      I suspect that Jet Clean will work even though the fluids are very different. The Braun fluid is alcohol based and the Norelco is water based. In my Braun system, the razor dries by the alcohol evaporating. In my Norelco, by a heat dry.

      The reason I think it should work is because of a replacement cleaner that I bought called Shaver Shebang. To use it, you rinse out your old cartridge then refill it with Shaver Shebang. It’s a water based shaver cleaner that claims to not evaporate on purpose so that it can leave behind lubricants for a smoother shave. That feature is somewhat noticeable, but the reason I bought it is the price. So I think the Jet Clean will work if you do not mind a bit of wetness with your shave.

      I first bought a two year supply for my aging Braun but then my wife gave me a new Norelco Sensotouch 3D. Shaver Shebang is also sold as a Jet Clean replacement so I’ve happily been able to salvage my investment in Shaver Shebang.

  • Charlie Tevez

    Great article. I’m 24 and had never used a power shaver. This article played a large part in my research. Got the razor a few days ago and am really happy with my purchase. Now I kinda look forward to shaving my face.

  • David Bjerke

    How soon before the update or wait status removal? I’m in the market for a new razor and, while I’m sure the current recommendation will do just fine, I’m curious as to if there is a new one that has been found to trump this one in price/performance….

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      From our Best Deals page:

      “We’re in the process of updating our guide for the best electric razor, but this is our pick for now (see link below) because it has a thin screen for getting the razors closer to the face, a third head that creates micro-vibrations to raise stray hairs and a great battery life. Alexander George said the screen and blades are “precisely shaped to catch short facial hair and cut it close to the skin.” He also liked the adjustable intensity level that’s capable of up to 10,000 micro vibrations per minute to help account for every hair, even on the odd parts of the face.”

      http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B003YJAZZE/?tag=thesweethome-20

      http://thesweethome.com/reviews/the-best-deals-we-can-find/

      Hope this helps!

      • Jeffrey Wear

        Hi Tony, any update on the wait status?

        • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

          It’s being researched!

  • improvius

    The article completely fails to so much as mention the wet shave capabilities of the Panasonic and Braun shavers. Please do your homework next time.

    • Alexander George

      Hey, Improvius–

      If you look under the Competition section (I know, not very logical), we have some intel on whether to wet shave. In short, wet shaving works best with a rotary like the Norelco, but the Braun and Panasonic are best used when your face is bone dry:

      “As we mentioned, the drawback to rotary shavers is that the rotors can yank out hair, which can cause ingrown hair. Again, if you have an absolutely problem-free beard, you can get away with the quieter SensoTouch. If that’s you, another selling point is that the Norelco can be used wet, meaning while you’re in the shower, or using shaving cream. We’re not sold on that benefit—electric razor shaving, unlike wet shaving, is best done with a dry face.”

      • improvius

        Panasonic’s high-end shaver line (Arc IV and above) will give you the best wet shave out there. Their wet/dry capability is one of their main selling features. I mean, some of this is subjective, of course, but the Panasonics are quite well known for their wet shave capability.

  • collier

    I don’t suppose you plan on adding to your review info whether any of these are equally good for use on legs?

  • eaadams

    still waiting….

  • Samuel Feldman

    Is this going to be updated? I would love to buy and support Sweethome, but I’ll have to go through some other more recent reviews, I guess, if this isn’t updated soon.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      We’re working on an update right now. Sit tight if you can!

  • Luigi Proud DemoCat!

    What about replacing the rechargeable batteries? I’d sure love to find an electric shaver that allowed me to replace the batteries. I have a remington razor I loved, but I destroyed it taking it apart to solder in new batteries.

    If you can’t replace the rechargeable batteries, what’s the point of a cleaning system to make the shaver last forever when you’re going to throw it in the trash when the batteries die?

    BY THE WAY – I could plug the cord into my Remington and use it that way, but with the Remington, if the battery dies, the razor will no longer work on the cord. This is a common design: the razor actually runs on the battery and the cord charges the battery. Some (don’t know which) will run on the cord even with a dead battery.

    I’m tired of replacing perfectly good shavers because the batteries died, they won’t work on the cord with a dead battery, and replacing the batteries is next to impossible.

    P. S. I’m running out of time to tell my husband what kind of shaver I want for Father’s Day from our kids.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      I’ll forward this along to our researchers since we are in the process of updating this. Thanks for the feedback!

      • Luigi Proud DemoCat!

        Thanks for response, but I decided to buy a $10 double edge safety razor and forget about the electrics. It’s Dr. Bronner’s shaving gel and Clubman styptic and after shave all the way for me!

        I asked for an Emmi-Dent electric toothbrush. It’s fabulous and now the kids want one for their bathroom.

    • Maggiemay

      Exactly.

      I’ve got a bucket full of razors and trimmers that it was cheaper to buy a new one than replace the battery.

    • Chris VanDoren

      I purchased my high end Braun shaver in 2005. I have replaced the cutters & foil 7 times. I still get 3+ weeks between charges. Get a Braun. BTW, I have never applied machine oil in 9 years and it runs fine.

  • shockandaudrey

    Is it really taking you 7 months to refresh this guide?

  • Christopher Koles

    I’m in the market for a new razor, I would LOVE to read your input, please update this ASAP!!!

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      We’re working on it. Sit tight!

    • Ron Watson

      I switched from norelco to a braun series 3 340s and I am very pleased! I am 62 and have a lot of experience shaving.

      • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

        Happy to hear!

  • John123John

    Any chance for a “The Best Epilator”?
    My… girlfriend is asking…

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      We’re working on an update to this. If it’s not too far along I’ll see if we can add some info about these!

      • jj

        +1, any chance they’ll make it?

  • Aom

    Nice Racer I am looking for. Interesting the door hardware http://pickdoorhardwarelock.com/

  • jj

    I’m interested in being notified when this review is (finally) updated. Keep it up!

  • Artur Pericles

    This has been on wait (Jan till Sept) longer than it hasn’t (May till Jan). Please, please update it!

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      We’re working on it as fast as we can without cutting corners! Takes a while for hair to grow, ya know 😉

      • Bryan

        Waiting to hear on this as well.

        • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

          Working on it!

  • James

    Any ETA on the update? If it’s coming in the next month or so, I’ll hold off buying anything. Otherwise, I’ll probably go with the Braun. Would appreciate any news.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      We’re working on it. Should be pre-Christmas but not a guarantee.

      • James

        Has there been any movement on the ETA? I’m thinking about getting the shaver before the new year if the update has been delayed. Thank you for the help!

  • Happereand1934

    the best electric razor which i am using fromso long is Braun Series 7-760cc Pulsonic Shaver System.

  • George

    You should have shaved over 350 times since this article was put on wait status. Hard to imagine with 350 shaves you still can’t have tested enough shavers. I wonder how many decades it took to do the original in which you were starting completely fresh.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Actually, with the rate hair grows, variations in hair type & different lengths at which it’s cut for testing purposes, and testing 10+ different models, it wouldn’t be anywhere 350. More like 5 times per razor.

  • Peter Olson

    I’m looking to get something soon and wondering about your “update post” on the new Panasonic. You know anything about the ES-RT97? Thanks!

  • paul schrynemakers

    Hi Tony, appreciate your dedication to being thorough and will most certainly purchase your suggestion for this category.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      You’re welcome – and I promise we’re hurrying along with this.

      • vote4pedro

        what’s the status, yo? my shaver died this morning and i need a rec for new replacement.

        • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

          I know it’s being worked on. Was next priority after manual razors IIRC and that’s been done for a while now!

  • yipyip

    @tony can those of us patiently waiting for a new update get an ETA? thx!

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Soon, but not this week. That’s all I can say :(

      • hughdunnit22

        This was 3 months ago. Any progress? And what is the new panasonic you mentioned? The link is now dead.

  • lasvegascolonel

    Remember, they are using the word “electric” loosely here. There are just one or two true electrics from Braun, Remington and Norelco. These are battery-operated which, when the battery dies, the shaver will have to be discarded or an expensive repair. True electrics run on electricity, have consistent power all the time, and never ever need batteries. Unfortunately, these battery shavers are the most expensive as they have the most features. Of course, the companies make more money on these shavers too.

  • watchingmewatchme

    Any idea on when there will be an update? Doing my wedding registry!

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      It’s being worked on. All I can say!

  • http://mcdevzone.com/ mike3k

    Amazon is selling the 790cc for only $1 more than the 760cc, so I just ordered it yesterday.

  • Florian Simmendinger

    Really waiting for that update!

  • Ron Grube

    Now would be a good time.

  • paul schrynemakers

    got an e.t.a. on this? My beard is getting looooong.

  • Tom Ham

    Any day now!

  • http://russelljsmith.co.uk/ Russell James Smith

    Looking forward to that update…

  • nrpardee

    I’ve been using electric shavers for over 40 years, including 4 or 5 rotaries from Norelco for most of that. I tried the foils, but they abrade my face. Your review is quite thorough, and I appreciate covering the pros and cons. One point that I would make is that Phillips, at least, would have you change blades and heads far more often than necessary. Yes, I get good shaves, yes, the shave is speedy, no I’ve never bought a new blade or head. ALso, they don’t necessarily need the frequent cleaning or anywhere close to what is recommended. (I know, it depends on how fussy one wants to be) One thing I would like is some commentary on how often to recharge. Most rechargeable batteries have a finite number of charge cycles, so I have historically not charged my shavers until they needed it (a charge indicator is really helpful!) I think that strategy works, as I’ve only had to replace batteries once.

  • Ryan

    Just to let you guys know there’s a few links that lead to dead pages in this guide, i’m not talking about the amazon links though.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Which ones in particular? I’ll get them taken care of!

      • Ryan

        The first paragraph – Shaveblog link – Site no longer up.

        Under the “Cost of ownership” heading – The “wet shave” link is invalid.

        Hope this helps!

        • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

          Thank you!

  • JohnOCFII

    Interesting that none of these comments are showing as older than 1 year, when clearly, many of them are older. I bought the Norelco runner up, and got a great deal on a slightly upgraded model. It’s been over a year (closer to 18 months now) so I went to go look at replacement blades. I was surprised that the newer Norelco has you replacing the whole head at prices that are 2/3rd of the price I paid for the whole unit! Also – apparently Norelco stopped making the original style heads, and came out with a cheaper replacement that has the Amazon reviewers up in arms. http://www.amazon.com/Philips-Norelco-RQ12-Replacement-SensoTouch/dp/B00M1E5F1W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431910266&sr=8-1&keywords=norelco+rq12+heads

  • James Veitch

    Yep. Any idea when the update will be out ? The arc3 is half the price of the one you recommend so if it is up to scratch would be good to know. Must buy within the week.

  • minted

    @thetonykaye:disqus I’m looking for a women’s electric razor, or a male electric razor that could be used for bikini line, and possibly underarm. I realize that I’m part of a market that, unlike the market targeted here, may be prob too small to warrant its own article. Still, I’ve heard that some of the “male” versions are more effective than their female-marketed counterparts. If you did an update could be interesting to get a woman’s 2-cents on the top models. (BTW I don’t mean to imply this article is sexist in any way, just that I’m in the market for one of these and would love to have the info, and perhaps others might as well. My peer group may be anomalous here :))

  • Whillowhim

    I’ve used your current recommendation for years, and completely agree with your guide. However, there are a couple things that I’ve noticed weren’t discussed, and I wanted to point them out. (Especially when you’re looking at updating the guide).

    The first issue I noticed left a bitter taste in my mouth… quite literally. The cleaning fluid is alcohol based, with enough other stuff to make it not a good idea to drink it. However, there are desperate alcoholics out there, so they are required to add a bitterant to the mixture to discourage people from drinking it (I think this is a law, but it might just be good industry practice). This bitterant, of course, gets all over the head of the razor during the cleaning process. Thus, when you are shaving, you’re also rubbing bitterant all over your face and if you lick your lips afterwards will get a pretty strong bitter flavor. In most cases, this isn’t a problem, because I take a shower after I shave in the morning and it rinses off pretty easily. However, before I figured this out there were a few cases where I shaved in the evening before going out on a date and didn’t wash my face afterwards, with consequences I’ll leave to your imagination.

    This isn’t really a drawback, because it is almost certainly the same with all self-cleaning razors and is easy to avoid, but it should be mentioned in the guide so that other people don’t run into the same problems.

    The second thing I wanted to point out is that the trimmer on this is excellent for shaving non-face areas. When shaving some more wrinkly areas, hair trimmers can be notoriously bad about causing cuts, as skin gets into the blades. On this particular model, howver, the non-moving top blade has a lot of protrusions past the oscillating bottom blade, which help ensure that no skin gets into the cutting area. It is still possible, of course, but it is a heck of a lot less likely to happen. It is by far the best trimmer I’ve seen for this purpose, though admittedly I’ve only tried a few others (all of which nicked you if you looked at them funny).

  • Greg

    I am curious how you reached the conclusion that a foil shaver works for everyone and a rotary does not. The one time a tried a top-level Braun with cleaning system a few years ago it was much more irritating (if a little faster and closer) than the Philips/Norelco rotaries I had been using for some years. I had left my razor behind somewhere and on a whim tried the Braun because I knew I could return it to Costco if I had trouble. After a month, I did just that and replaced it with another Norelco. It’s still a short test but a month should have been enough time for my face to adjust to the different setup.

    Anyway since then I’ve concluded that my face is not ideal for a foil shaver. To be fair you did say foils work for “almost anyone” so I suppose I could simply be the oddball in the almost camp here. 😉 Also tried a blade after years of electric shaving, and that was even worse. Shaving for me is bad all around but the rotary seems to be the least bad for now. I’m doing a new round of trying pre- and after- shave products at this point on the off chance something will help where it hasn’t before. Over the last year or two I have taken to always waiting first two days and now usually three days between shaves. Doesn’t seem to be much difference between two or three but the shave does work better if I wait at least two days. More than three is too much and hurts more.

    • Spellbound1016

      I just posted that I use a 12+ year old Norelco rotary and last weekend I tried out a Braun 3-series foil shaver that a co-worker bought at Goodwill near-new and had not used. I too favor the rotary and I frankly cannot use a blade because I will bleed to death one day if do. I use a generic electric shave pre-shave liquid that seems to reduce razor burn. I also prefer Dove aftershave. It seems to soothe the neck area which is most prone to razor burn.

  • Nancyp

    Karmin makes the best in my opinion! :)

  • Brian Kramp

    The 790 model is down to $140 on Amazon for Father’s day. Jump on it, or should I consider waiting for an update?

  • Spellbound1016

    I have a Norelco 6618X circa 2003 maybe? I have replaced the battery once, and I replace the heads every two years. I tried to use conventional three blade razor for a while and nearly bled to death. Plus, the handle plus the cartridges cost me as much as I spend on the electric razor per year and I can use the Norelco in the car on my way to work. I have used an electric razor for the majority of the past 23 years and I doubt I will ever convert to a regular razor regardless of the number of blades per cartridge.

  • SD

    Well it’s been many months. Is the update coming soon? Thanks.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Getting closer!

      • SD

        Cool thanks!

  • Florian Simmendinger

    HEY! Update!

  • Andrew Roehr

    I jumped the gun on the arc3, “it was on sale for $100.” I’ve used Panasonic since I switched to an electric shaver and considering that it kept working even after all the negligence it received I wanted to stick to Panasonic.

    I preferred the uniform design of the shaver over the braun, I was planning to try both but was satisfied with the arc3 so I never got the braun 760. What turned me off from the braun 760 was the peeling plastic that was reported by users and the over all design just didn’t suit my taste. And its been reported to be very loud. Issues that really don’t matter when choosing a razor I know. I also heard it was very loud. Not to mention the Braun 760 is dry shave only apparently.

    I’ll start off by saying I’m sure the Braun 760 is a better shaver, but I don’t believe the arc3 is far behind, if it was on sale again id recommend, it but for 30 dollars more you get quite a bit more from the Braun 760 it sounds. (Just checked the Braun is apparently $192 now instead of $160 and the arc3 with $130 with a free foil replacement promo. So if money is an issue its something to consider.)

    The Arc3 is quite, I feel no tug as I shave with it, leaves my face feeling as smooth as a straight edge shave and I forgot to mention early has a nice beard trimmer which was another reason I went with it. It’s uniform in the way it stands straight in the charger instead of leaning over and for those who prefer making home-brew cleaning solution for their shaver, you won’t have to get a funnel and pour into a plastic hole, it comes with an easy to pull out permanent cartridge. After making my own solution with some essential oils I noticed a smoother shave. That’s one downfall of the Arc3, you have to manually oil it if you stick to their detergent packets as opposed to the auto cleaner oiling it for you on the Braun 760.

    This is just my personal experience, to help anyone who can’t wait for the update. I am interested to see what the update has to say though. Cheers!

  • Abdul Moid Khan

    Guys, this article hasn’t been updated because the electric razors they mention as “Arc3” have not been released yet! The link incorrectly leads to another Arc3 razor that has already been released.

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/panasonic-debuts-new-mens-electric-shavers-at-2015-international-ces-300015653.html

  • Dimitri Katsaros

    Looks like the ES-LT7N and the ES-LT5N are going to be released in September… any chance you guys are going to get a hold of them before that to review?

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      It’s possible, but we might have to look at them after we update :(

      • Dimitri Katsaros

        Maybe I missed it… when is the update expected?

        • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

          No ETA. Still in testing phase I believe.

  • http://mybraunshavers.com/why-braun-series-7-790cc-is-the-best-electric-shaver/ Kiran Ateeqe
  • Rickie Liu

    As i think all the time, electric shaver is an important tool for man, so we are man, should buy the best one for us, you know.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      I have no idea what you said but we will update with the best one for men (and women too!)

  • Jonathan

    What about the Braun Series 9? I think they just released it for foreign markets, but no word on when it hits the US. Y’all should test it for the next update.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      It’s possible!

  • SD

    Plssssss

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      We’re working on it!

  • AbCd121

    …………….? Been in wait status for nearly a year?! UPDATE!

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      We’re working on it I promise. If you would like to stay ahead of the curve, I would suggest subscribing to our newsletter. We let our subscribers in on our upcoming picks earlier than everyone else. This way you know when we’re publishing about certain items and know what our new pick will be!

      eepurl.com/mqZTH

      • AbCd121

        Thanks for the tip; I subscribed :)

        • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

          You shan’t regret it!

  • George

    According to Brian Lam’s LinkedIn, The Sweethome was founded in January 2013. If you started writing this article on day 1 it took at most 5 months to publish the original. That is it took you 5 months to review all electric razors in history and come up with what you thought was the best one. On January 2, 2014 you decided to update it. Now, 20 months later, you still have not updated it. Why has it taken 4 times as long to update the article as it did to write the original?

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      We used to publish home related guides on The Wirecutter prior to The Sweethome launch. That means we moved some guides over from Wirecutter to Sweethome because they were a better fit ie home products. This is one of those situations.

      Regardless, we are working on this update as best we can. Occasionally, some guides take priority over others.