Electric Shavers vs. Razor Blades: Which Is Best? > VOLT (2022)

Asking the question about whether electric shavers or manual shavers (razor blades) is best is like asking if Coca-Cola or Dr. Pepper is best. There’s no “right” answer for the simple reason that both of these options have their own strong and weak points.

That being said, electric razors and razor blades are both amazing shaving tools, but simply better equipped for different things. So, in today’s Volt article, we want to help you tackle the pros and cons of these two shaving methods, and determine which is the best bet for you! For right now, let’scut to the chase…;)

Types of Shaving Utensils

“Electric Shaver” and “Razor Blade” are honestly twovery large blanket terms to describe the two main categories of shaving utensils. The truth is that each of these categories contains individual tools that are evenmore different from each other.

For example, the traditional straight razor is technically a “razor blade” but so is a multi-bladed safety razor! Obviously one will be better for safety than the other, but have weaknesses elsewhere.

(Video) Electric Shavers vs Razor Blades | Which is Best?

So, for the sake of simplicity, today we are going to compare the pros and cons of only 3 types of shaving tools: Electric Shavers (anything electric), Cartridge Razors (Replaceable heads), and Dual-Edge Razors (Traditional Safety Razors).

Electric Shavers

Electric Shavers vs. Razor Blades: Which Is Best? > VOLT (1)

Electric Shavers are called “shavers” because they don’t typically have actual razor blades in them. Instead, they will use what can only be described as “gates” or “foils” that allow hair through, and then sweep those gates across metal bars (or other gates) that sever the hair that enters the gate. Those gates are just small, perforated pieces of metal that allows hair to enter the device without allowing skin to enter. Often, electric shavers will lightly vibrate the skin, moving the actual skin and hair follicle to sever the hair, which avoids the typical pulling and tugging sensation that you may have experienced in the past from dull razor blades or old electric shavers.

Think of it this way, electric shavers use a scissor-like cutting/trimming method as opposed to a slicing method like actual razor blades do. So, what are the pros and cons of using electric shavers? let’s dive in.

(Video) Don't Buy Replacement Heads For Your Electric Razor, Sharpen Them.


  • Quicker Shave Times: Because electric shavers force the hair inside the machine before severing them, you can often shave larger areas of hair more easily and quickly than any manual razor blade can.
  • Reduces ingrown Hairs and Cuts: These are the benefits of a scissor-like cutting action.
  • Portability: Electric shavers (if they’re charged) can be used anytime, anywhere.
  • Dry or Wet: Most modern electric shavers can be used with or without shaving creams or butters, allowing for more versatility.


  • Doesn’t shave as closely: The downside of scissor-like cutting action is that your shave isn’t as close as with traditional razors. Typically, this is due to the thickness of the “gate” that we talked about earlier.
  • Not Completely Waterproof: Although the electric shavers may be water-resistant, allowing you to shave with shaving creams, etc., the majority are not fully waterproof for use in the shower or bath.
  • Dead Batteries: The tradeoff for portability is that there is potential for the batteries to completely die in the middle of a shave.
  • Maintenance: Electric shavers require far more maintenance and cleaning than traditional razors do.


  • Expenses: Although the initial purchase is more expensive, over the long-run an electric shaver may pay for itself and become more economic than traditional razors. so this is a tie-point.

Cartridge Razors:

Electric Shavers vs. Razor Blades: Which Is Best? > VOLT (2)

Cartridge razors have quickly become the go-to tool that everyone thinks of when you say the word “razor”. This is because cartridge razors are cheap, relatively safe, and by far the most popular shaving tool on the market. Often, cartridge razors have multi-blade designs. These multiple blades were intended to work in stages, with the first blades meant to lift the hair, and the blades behind meant to cut the hair as close to the skin as possible. This was created with the intended balance of getting the smoothest shave possible in a method that is still relatively safe.

Here are the pros and cons of this design!


  • Closest Shave For The Longest Time: These razors will provide the closest shave for the longest amount of time because they are designed to shave hairbelow the skin line.
  • Ease of Use: No complicated instructions, charging, buttons, or anything else. Just slap on some shaving cream and shave.
  • Replaceable (cheap) Blades: The handle of the razor can be re-used with multiple blade heads, making the shaving experience customizable and relatively cheap.
  • Easy to Clean: Cartridge blades are easy to clean and replace if need be.


  • Longer Shaving Time: Process is lengthened due to having to apply shaving cream or other products.
  • Blades Dull Quickly: Because of the slicing method of shaving, the blades dull rather quickly and will need to be replaced every 4-5 shaves.
  • Increased chance of nicks, burn, or ingrown hairs: This is because you often have to pass over the same area multiple times to get an even shave.
  • Less versatile: For a painless shave, you need water or some kind of lubricant, this, therefore, requires a sink or other access to water.


Expense:Although much less expensive to purchase for the first time (as opposed to electric shavers) Razor blades do require the continuous purchase of replaceable heads, making them more expensive over time. Therefore the tie.

(Video) Which Men's Razor Is The Best? | Types of Men's Shavers

Dual-Edged Razors (Traditional Safety Razors)

Electric Shavers vs. Razor Blades: Which Is Best? > VOLT (3)

Dual-edged razors have been around for nearly 40 years before the electric shaver was even patented. and 80 years before the cartridge razor was invented! They were invented in the 1880s and are still used by many people today for their simplicity, and extremely low cost of operation, making them the oldest (and arguably most reliable) razors on the list.

Safety razors were invented strictly to replace straight razors, which were, quite literally, large razor-sharp knives that required lots of skill to be used for injury-free shaving. This allowed the common man to shave more frequently and inexpensively, and marked the era of the clean-shaven look in the early to mid-1900s.


  • Cheapest Shaving Method: All that needs replacing on these razors are the actual razor blades themselves. For example, a surgical steel 50-count of these blades costs less than $10.
  • Less Ingrown Hairs:Because the single-blade method doesn’t lift and cut your hair, it instead cuts them evenly along the surface of the skin, making ingrown hairs far less likely.
  • Require Less-Replacing: Blades often stay extremely sharp for more shaving sessions before requiring blade changes. There are also two sides to each blade.


  • Requires Practice: Shaving with a Dual-edged razor often still takes some practice to get consistent.
  • Expensive Handles: Shaving handles tend to be more expensive for these razors, but will not require replacing. They are, however, harder to find.
  • Not Suitable For Every Hair Type:These razors tend to be harder to use depending on how thick and course your facial hair is. For men with thick facial hair, this razor may take longer to use or become more difficult.


So there you have it! The cut-and-dry info on all your shaving tools (not sorry). Ultimately, what you look for in a shaving tool will come down to your needs and preferences! For those who work a job with strict dress codes (think military-strict) than a reliable cartridge razor that provides a close shave for a long period of time may be optimal.

(Video) ✅ 10 Best Electric Razors Newest 2021 | best electric shaver

For those with especially sensitive skin who suffer from ingrown hairs, redness, rashes, or burning may prefer electric shavers due to their relatively-close shave without the harsh or irritating affects of cartridge razors.

For those who are looking for a reliable, cheap, moderately safe middle-ground between the two options mentioned above, a dual-edged safety razor is a great choice.


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Are electric shavers better than blades? ›

Electric shavers are better for sensitive skin

Sensitive facial skin is better served by an electric shaver. Unlike a manual razor, which runs a sharp blade across your skin, an electric shaver rolls up the skin, forcing the hairs up into a position that's ideal for cutting.

Which shaves closer an electric shaver or a razor? ›

An electric shaver will provide a close shave but not quite as close as a cartridge razor.

What is the difference between a razor and an electric shaver? ›

What's the Difference? The fundamental difference between blade shaving and electric shaving is how the hair is cut. In blade shaving, the hair of the beard is cut with a single stroke of the blade. With an electric shaver, the hair is cut between two blades like the motion of scissors.

Which type of shaver is best? ›

The Best Electric Razor
  • Our pick. Braun Series 7 7071cc. The best electric razor for most faces. ...
  • Upgrade pick. Braun Series 9 9370cc. Superior performance for heavy growth. ...
  • Budget pick. Remington F5-5800. Adequate performance, affordable price. ...
  • Also great. Philips Norelco Shaver 9300. The best rotary option.
Aug 26, 2022

Are electric shavers good for legs? ›

If speed is your goal, an electric razor wins. The hidden blades cover more ground with each pass and with little chance of cutting the skin. Just keep in mind that no direct contact between the blades and skin means that, even with multiple passes, you'll never get the close shave you will with a manual razor.

Why are electric razors better? ›

They protect sensitive skin

Whereas blades scrape and damage your face, electric razors glide over skin. That means no chance of cuts, less irritation after each pass, and no unsightly razor burn when you're done.

Is it better to shave wet or dry with an electric razor? ›

Dry shaving results in fewer nicks and cuts than wet shaving. This is because the blade of an electric shaver doesn't actually come into contact with the skin and therefore can't cut you. With wet shaving on the other hand, it can take a bit of concentration and practice to ensure you don't nick your skin.

Should I shave everyday with an electric shaver? ›

Shave daily. Here you're skin must adapt to an electric razor if you have switched from a razor blade. The skin will need to get used to and adapt to the way in which an electric razor removes hair follicles. By shaving everyday you ensure that your skin will adapt to this change quicker.

Is electric shaver good for skin? ›

Electric shavers help capture hair without pulling and tugging on the skin, which reduces skin irritation. Newer technology in the razor industry also means that common issues, like skin discomfort or irritation associated with shaving, are reduced.

How do I choose an electric shaver? ›

Here Comes The Grooms – Features To Look For
  1. Battery Chargers. A full battery charge might take anywhere from 1 to 12 hours and should provide at least seven shaves. ...
  2. Automatic Shutoff. ...
  3. Low-Battery Warning. ...
  4. Power Cord. ...
  5. Ease of Cleaning. ...
  6. Long-Hair Trimmer. ...
  7. Wet and Dry Shaving. ...
  8. U.S. and International Voltage.
Apr 24, 2016

What is the number one rated men's electric shaver? ›

Braun is the leader in the electric razor, and its wet/dry Series 9 is the best yet. It can mow through three-day beards, so you know it can tackle any other shave job you throw its way. It's a smart device too, and can sense your beard's density and then adjust its power and force for the task at hand.

How long do electric shavers last? ›

To maintain the performance and safety of your electric razor, they should be replaced every so often. You should plan to replace the blades on your electric razor every 12 to 18 months. If you shave frequently, the time frame is closer to 12 months. Coarse or thick hair can also cause the blades to become dull faster.

Which electric shaver is best rotary or foil? ›

Versatility. Rotary shavers are generally more versatile compared to foil shavers. They work well on your body contours allowing for a more even shave even when you have long hair. They can also be used on flat surfaces, including the cheeks.

How many blades should a razor have for legs? ›

“More blades provide a closer shave and work well for more sensitive skin,” she says. Aim for a minimum of five blades because, “they are positioned closer together, so prevent skin from getting into the blades which means only the hair can pass through, meaning less irritation".

How can I shave better? ›

Here are dermatologists' tips to help you get a clean shave:
  1. Before you shave, wet your skin and hair to soften it. ...
  2. Next, apply a shaving cream or gel. ...
  3. Shave in the direction that the hair grows. ...
  4. Rinse after each swipe of the razor. ...
  5. Store your razor in a dry area.

How do you shave with an electric razor for the first time? ›

Use Light, Gentle Strokes When Shaving

While shaving, apply pressure, but not too much, and be gentle as you glide the razor over your skin. Short strokes with the grain, which describes the direction your hair grows, are best rather than against the grain to avoid razor burn.

Are electric shavers faster than razors? ›

Electric razors tend to shave hair away faster than manual razors. Because they roll up the skin, forcing hairs up before cutting them, men don't need to go over the same area as many times.

Can electric shavers cut long hairs? ›

Also, entry-level electric shavers are best suited for shaving daily, when the stubble is short, while the more advanced ones can handle longer hairs decently. But if it's too long, the shaver can pull and yank the hairs and will also miss some of them, particularly the ones that lie flat on the skin.

Can you get a smooth shave with an electric razor? ›

How to Get a Clean Shave with an Electric Shaver - YouTube

Do you need shaving cream for electric shaver? ›

When it comes to dry shaving, you don't need to use shaving cream. But if you use an electric razor for wet shaving, then you do need the cream in order to get a close shave that is similar to a traditional razor blade.

Should you wash your face before using electric shaver? ›


A dirty, oily face can gum up an electric razor, making it more difficult to get a proper shave. Wash your face with water and a skincare product prior to shaving. This will help to keep the shaver from pulling out hair, as opposed to cutting it.

How often should you oil your electric shaver? ›

You should oil your electric shaver after every shave. Yet, two times per week is the bare minimum to do it. How often you should lubricate the inner parts and the blades depends on how often you shave and your way of cleaning your razor.

Can you use electric shaver on wet skin? ›

So if you have an electric razor, just be proud of the fact that you have the freedom and flexibility to do both dry and wet shaving, and to adjust depending on the scenario.

Is electric or manual shaving better? ›

Electric razors tend to shave hair away faster than manual razors. Because they roll up the skin, forcing hairs up before cutting them, men don't need to go over the same area as many times.

Which is better Philips or Braun? ›

With its foil shaving system, Braun is better for those who prefer a more traditional shaving style akin to a manual razor. However, if you want a razor that reliably contours to your face and you don't mind the unique circular style of shaving, a Philips razor may be a better option.

Which is better Remington or Philips shaver? ›

The Multigroom 3000 has a stronger motor, battery, cutting teeth, robustness of attachments, and overall feel. While the Remington PG6025 and the Philips Norelco Multigroom 3000 are both affordable, it's my opinion that the Multigroom 3000 is better quality and get's the job done.

Can electric shavers be sharpened? ›

Unfortunately, the answer to this is no. While the electric razor itself can last a lifetime with proper care, its blades cannot. Blades will dull overtime and every time you shave, the blades itself become less and less sharp. Sharpening the blades gives them a little extra vitality but this is only temporary.

How often should you change blades in electric razor? ›

The quick and easy answer is every 6 months or so. Unlike disposable razors that are made of thin and fragile materials that only withstand a few shaves, the blades of electric razors are much more solid and can last for months.

What are the different types of electric shavers? ›

There are three main types of electric shaver – foil, rotary and single blade.

Can you get a good shave with an electric razor? ›

An electric shaver can give a close shave, although it is not considered as close a shave as a cartridge razor. Try a top quality wet shave model, using shaving cream or other lubricant to soften the hairs, thus making it easier for the electric razor to get closer to the skin.

Is Rotary or foil shaver better? ›

For face grooming, rotary shavers are way better if you have a lot of hair growth around your neck. That area is the bane of most foil shavers – they perform way better on flatter surfaces like your cheeks. If it's about shaving your head and you have a more… complicated head shape like me, they make more sense too.

How often do you replace electric shaver blades? ›

The quick and easy answer is every 6 months or so. Unlike disposable razors that are made of thin and fragile materials that only withstand a few shaves, the blades of electric razors are much more solid and can last for months.


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