In this article we discuss what is the best electric shaver for a beginner. This information is aimed at UK and Ireland readers. When we checked on Amazon UK, there were 8,000 results for the term electric shaver and electric razor.
Having lots of choice can be a good thing, however, trying to find your way through all that information is a bit of a minefield. Here at the Shaving Emporium, we have developed solid research methods to help make this information more concise and useful to our readers.
Understanding Electric Shaver Price Points
Electric shavers’ range in price from as low as £20 and right up to £350. Why the big difference?
A basic shaver will have all the right features to give you a good quality shave. Typically, they will have 3 floating heads which hold the blades, are cordless and will come with a pop-up trimmer for doing sideburns or general trimming. These are shavers such as the Braun Series 3 300 or the Hatteker Classic.
At the higher end, electric shavers such as the Braun Series 9 9385cc Latest Generation Electric Shaver will have features such as a clean and charge station, fully waterproof, lots of cutting actions, sonic vibrations, and longer lasting batteries.
The reality is that as a beginner, you need to figure out how much you are prepared to spend. Our advice when starting out is to buy a lower priced electric shaver. If you decide you like the quality of shave it gives you, at some time in the future, you can always upgrade to a more expensive option.
Understanding Electric Shaver Brands
The two main brands available in the UK are Braun and Philips. They account for most electric shavers sold in the United Kingdom. According to Statista (the consumer research company) in 2019 Philips sold 4,900,000 shavers, Braun sold 2,800,000 shavers, Remington sold 1,672,000 and other brands sold just shy of 2,000,000 shavers.
Philips remain the leading brand and Braun are the second biggest. So, why does that matter? First, it informs us that these two brands make really good quality electric shavers, otherwise they would not be selling such high numbers.
We also found from our research two important things:
They have a local UK based customer service which means they are easy to contact them should you need to and that is important. They also have spare parts available such as replacement batteries or heads.
Both of these things can be very important as your shaver starts to get older and you need to replace worn out or broken parts. As a beginner we would strongly recommend sticking with either Philips or Braun as they have lots of experience in making these shavers. They also invest a lot of money into research and development to keep improving their products.
Skin Types and Shaving
Our advice is not to overlook understanding this section. An electric shaver is mainly used to shave the face and neck areas. These two areas have lots of contours and any good electric shaver needs to have flexible enough heads to be able to move with the contours to get a close and uniform shave.
It is important for any beginner to electric shaving to work out what type of skin they have. That can really determine your best choice of electric shaver. We inherit our skin type from our parents through our genes and can only change that with certain treatments.
There are five main skin types:
- Normal – this is skin with a regular texture and a clean and soft appearance.
- Dry – almost always dry skin is caused by the weather. Our skin simply lacks moisture and can become quite irritable and itchy.
- Oily – the opposite of dry skin where our body produces too much fat/oil from the sebaceous glands. You find a lot of this in adolescents and people under the age of 30. If you are beginner, you are likely to fall into this bracket.
- Combination – this is where the skin on our face has both oily and dry areas. The chin for example could be oily and the face cheeks could be dry.
- Sensitive – this is a fragile skin and is identified by issues such as itchiness, redness or heat.
The reason we explain these skin types is that different types of electric shaver are better for sensitive skin than others. For example, a shave that can be used for wet shaving is much better for dry or sensitive skin than using a dry shaver on it. Likewise, a foil shaver is a better choice for sensitive skin rather than an electric rotary shaver.
Rotary vs Foil electric shavers
The main difference in these two types of electric shaver is the cutting motion.
Electric shavers with foil heads have fast moving blades that move left and right under the soil.
Rotary electric shavers cut in a spinning motion usually with spinning blades under the cutting heads. The number of heads can vary between 2-8. (The most popular option is to use 3 heads)
Foil shavers will cut closer that rotary, but it is not a massive difference.
Charging time for an electric shaver
According to our research, there are two main sources of complaints when people buy and use an electric shaver. Those are:
- Not a close enough shave – this complaint is mainly about how your face feels after you have had a shave. Does it feel soft and bristle free all over? Many buyers say it does a good enough job but there are small areas, like under the chin, where it has left some short bristles.
- The electric shaver takes too long to charge – this complaint arises because people don’t want to wait for hours to be able to use a shaver. They want to be able to use it as and when they need it.
When you are buying your first shaver, these small things can easily be overlooked. Charging time can be a real issue for some people. The better shavers have a quick charge and we think that is really an important feature to go for.
So those are, according to our research, the key important things any beginner should know. Our next stage of research then broke down what electric shavers are available that meet the above criterion.
We have now shown below out top recommended electric shavers based on a range of price points.
Best Electric Shaver for a Beginner Under £50 - Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3010s
This Braun model has been around for a long time and remains a best seller for the company.
It is simply just very good value for money and ticks all of the boxes for someone beginning to shave for the first few times.
This is a foil head so good for sensitive skin, can be used for wet and dry shaving, and offers up to 45 minutes shaving time on a full charge - there is also a quick 5 minute charge that will give you one shave
It delivers a close shave and is easy to clean and has a precision trimmer as well.
88% buyer satisfaction based on 21,000 online buyer reviews
An alternative to the Braun model is the popular Philips Shaver Series 3000
The price on this shaver goes up and down and if you can find it on a sale at around £50 is exceptional value for money
This is a 3 headed rotary shaver with 27 blades sitting under the three heads and delivers a close shave.
It also has a trimmer but a key difference is this Philips option can not be used in the shower as it isn't waterproof.
The heads pivot so better for shaving around the contours of the face and a full charge gives you 1 hour of shaving time.
90% buyer satisfaction based on 16,000 online buyer reviews
Best Electric Shaver for a Beginner Under £100
This Braun Series 5 electric shaver model is the next step up from the "3 series" shown above.
The main difference, aside from the price, is that this razor comes with a battery that will last up to 3 weeks of shaving assuming one daily use and that is impressive - there are a set of battery indicator lights which are very useful
It can be used for wet or dry shaving and it has a precision trimmer
It is very comfortable to hold and also comfortable on the face - it really is up to you whether you want to spend the extra money on a longer shave time.
86% buyer satisfaction based on 5,000 online buyer reviews
The Philips equivalent of the Braun above is the Philips Series 5000 S5530/06 Wet and Dry Men's Electric Shaver.
This is similar to Philip's standard shaver with some really useful extras.
It still retains the three floating heads but this can be used for wet or dry shaving which is important
It adds in a turbo mode which is more effective on thicker stubble
It also has a battery charging indicator, cleaning indicator, replace shaving heads indicator and travel lock indicator
88% buyer satisfaction based on 5,500 online buyer reviews
Best Electric Shaver for a Beginner Under £300
This Braun Series 9 Electric Shaver is the very top of their range shaver and sells really well in the UK
Braun label this as the world's most effective razor as it has 5 synchronised shaving elements for a flawless shave in one stroke, along with 2 specialised middle trimmers that capture any type of hair. - 40,000 cutting actions cut every hair as close as 0.05mm
It uses sonic vibrations to make sure the shaver glides over the skin
It comes with a clean& and charge station that selects your cleaning program automatically, cleans hygienically, lubricates, dries and charges your shaver at the touch of a button.
88% buyer satisfaction based on 3,000 online buyer reviews
The Philips Series 9000 Wet and Dry razor is the competitor for the Braun model shown just above
It has 8 directional ContourDetect heads that follow every contour of your face and neck for closer shaving
It also has a precision beard trimmer, travel pouch and SmartClean Plus Clean & Charge system
Like most of the razors here it can be used for wet and dry shaving
It gives one hour of shaving time with a one hour charge.
90% buyer satisfaction based on 3,000 online buyer reviews
Hopefully we have given you enough information on deciding the best electric shaver for a beginner. We would always advise any man to wet shave as that is always the best option for a close shave. If like many millions of people you don't have time to do that, then an electric shaver is the handiest option.