The power on electric shavers can be measured by their battery life, the time it takes to charge, and CPMs (cycles per minute). The most commonly-used battery for shavers are Lithium-Ion. These batteries can provide between 35-60 minutes of shaving time. A typical charge takes about an hour, though less powerful shavers can take as long as 8 hours for only 35 minutes. If you want to save on energy, look for shavers that only need an hour charge time for 40 minutes or more. A lot of electric shavers also have a quick-charge feature, where you can charge the battery for 3-5 minutes and have enough power for a full shave. To check on the battery, most shavers have a display and a low-battery warning light so you know when it’s time to charge. Many electric shavers are equipped with both corded and cordless capabilities for added convenience.
CPMs (cycles per minute) are no different than RPMs (revolutions per minute) – it’s just another way to write speed out. Fast CPMs allow you to shave through thick hair very easily. Most standard razors offer about 8,000-10,000 RPMs, while electric shavers can have a range of 10,000-14,000 CPMs. Linear motor drive systems (which describes an electric motor with an unrolled stator and rotor) are responsible for such fast cycles, so you get a lot of power and cutting force.Fast CPMs are also beneficial for when you’re in a hurry and need to get rid of a 3-day beard fast.
The blades on a electric shaver are extremely important. You want to choose blades that can cut close to the skin and get every type of hair (long, stubble). 2-4 blades is typical, though you shouldn’t just look at the number of blades. Materials like stainless steel and self-sharpening blades can cut 25% closer to the skin. Blades with an angle are especially effective at getting close to the root. “Nano Blades” with 30-degree angles cut very cleanly, while patented dual-blade systems like the Lift & Cut (Philip Norelco) lift hairs from beneath the skin. DualPrecision heads are also great for cutting stubble because they have slots and holes to cut both normal-length and short hairs.
How a shaver moves on your skin is just as important as blade effectiveness. A shaver could have the sharpest, most advanced blades, but if actually using the shaver is clunky and rough, what’s the point? Pivoting shaving heads navigate all the curves of your face, from your jawline to neck. Different shaver brands have different names for their contouring systems, like the Flex & Float, Pivot & Flex, and Gyroflex 2D. All these systems essentially describe the same thing: a shaver that can follow the contours of your face so you can quickly cut hair without hurting yourself or missing patches on “problem” areas. Other features to look for when you are concerned about contouring include “floating” blades, which just means that the blades flex on the curves of your skin.
Mustache and beard trimmer
All electric shavers include some kind of trimmer for mustaches and beards. They typically “pop up” out of the body of the electric shaver. Having a trimmer specifically for mustaches, beards, and side burns allows you to style more precisely and cleanly. It is also a useful tool for quickly cleaning up stray hairs on your neck or other body areas, like your chest.
Electric shavers, since they run on batteries and do not have to be connected to a cord, are typically cleaned by running water over the shaver head. It is safe to stick the shaver under the tap to rinse out the cut hairs. Many shavers also have integrated hair chambers that you open up and rinse. Frequently, the shaver will have an antibacterial coating inside this chamber. A good cleaning system on your electric shaver helps keep the shaver in good shape for a long time.
In 1939, the company made their first electric shaver, but couldn’t release it until after the war in 1948. Philips Norelco has been through several name evolutions since the 1940’s. They couldn’t use the Philips name because another company – Philco – took legal action. Philips then used Norelco, which is an acronym for “North American Philips Electrical Company.” This was the brand that released a two-headed electric shaver in 1951, which is when the product took off. In 1981, Norelco actually bought Philco, and were able to use their original name, though they continued adding Norelco to the end for brand recognition. The company has been using both names for their electric shavers since 2005. They sell both rotary and foil electric shavers, as well as electric shavers with very high speeds. As one of the leading brands, Philips Norelco shavers are pretty costly.
The Remington brand was originally a firearms manufacturer way back in 1816. Known then as E. Remington and Sons, the company also made sewing machines, farm equipment, and even the typewriter with the QWERTY keyboard. Their personal care products came about in 1937 with an electric shaver, and eventually that part of the company became Remington Products. In 1994, it purchased Clairol’s personal care business before itself being bought by Spectrum Brands. Remington currently sells electric shavers for both men and women, hair clippers, trimmers, and more.
Braun came into existence when Max Braun set up an engineering shot in 1921. By 1923, he was making radio set parts, six years later, whole radios. The company grew and even developed one of the world’s first combination radio and record players in 1932. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that the Braun brand created the electric shaver it is known for today. Its features include an oscillating cutter block with a thin steel-foil, both of which are still used in Braun shavers today. In 2005, Braun was purchased by Proctor and Gamble. Over the next three years, all Braun products except electric shavers and toothbrushes were phased out in the US.
Though the Panasonic name has only been around since 1955 when the company released its famous audio speakers, the Japanese company has origins that go back to 1918. Since making its name known with audio equipment, Panasonic has expanded its product line to include televisions, DVD players, video cameras, vacuums, microwaves, and electric shavers. Panasonic electric shavers are known for prioritizing comfort. They are also the only company that has 4 and 5-blade foil shavers. Because of these features and the durability of the product, Panasonic electric shavers can be expensive.
Wet & dry shaving
Many of the more advanced (and expensive) electric shavers allow you to shave either with gel or foam, or completely dry. This gives you more flexibility about when and where you shave, so you can shave in the shower or on the go when you don’t have time to lather up. In general, shaving with gel or foam will protect your skin more than a dry shave, but because of the innovations in shaving technology, you do not have to worry about nicking yourself when you shave dry.
For sensitive skin
If you have issues with sensitive skin, there are certain features to be on the lookout for. These include foils, which are thin layers of metal that coat the blades to ensure more gentle, close shaving. Foils allow for a much closer shave than rotary shavers, since foils catch hair in slots. A shaver with a foil can be 30% less irritating to your skin than a rotary shaver, even one with built-in skin conditioners. Systems like OptiFoil (on Braun) are especially effective. Other features to look for include nanotech blades, which spread out the pressure of the blade to the skin, and hypoallergenic blades. An added benefit of electric shavers designed for gentle shaving is that you have the option of using the razor on sensitive areas of the body, like the chest.
Cuts long hair
With many electric shavers, you need to trim with scissors first if you have a long beard because the razor cannot handle long, thick hairs. However, more professional-grade electric shavers have features that eliminate this step. Slit foil structures in blades are great at grabbing and slicing long hair right next to the skin. The foil’s vibrations lift the hair to its full length and hold it in place for a close cut. Many shavers also include special cutting elements and modes, so you can select how intense of a shave you want, from short stubble to a full beard.
Advanced cleaning features
With professional electric shavers, cleaning is more than just rinsing out hair. Braun has a particularly thorough cleaning feature called the Clean & Renew System. The system includes a one-touch button that cleans, lubricates, and dries your shaver. It also comes with a specially-designed alcohol cleaning solution that kills nearly 100% of germs. On other shavers, you can clean the razor by running it under water and selecting the Turbo mode. This spins the razor at 17,000 RPM so hairs fly out of the shaver and down the drain. Keeping your shaver clean can extend its life, so it’s important to clean it after each use.