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Electric Shaver vs. Razor: Which One Should You Choose?

By Jason
July 14, 2023
7 minutes

We all want to shave our beards and heads so often. However, balancing one’s budget, a shaver’s effectiveness, and comfort when choosing between an electric shaver and a razor is a challenge to many. When deciding whether it is better to shave with a razor or an electric shaver, your skin sensitivity should take first into consideration then comfort.

If you want a cheap and clean shave choose a razor. But for a more comfortable, long term and effective shaving without nicks, cuts, and irritation, an electric shaver is the best. With these considerations in mind, should you use a razor or electric shaver for your pubic hair?

Razors or electric shavers come in different styles and experiences when using them are different. Equally, each has its’ own advantages and disadvantages.

To help you choose a manual razor vs an electric shaver, we’ll discuss their differences, how each works, pros and cons of an electric shaver vs a razor.

Differences Between Razor and Electric Shavers

Differences Between Razor and Electric Shavers There are different razors, but all will leave your skin without hair. They include straight razors, disposable razors, cartridge razors, and safety razors.

If you decide to choose an electric shaver because they shave faster and more comfortably than a razor, you’ll have two options: the foil and rotary shaver.

The main difference between a razor and an electric shaver is the technique of cutting the hair. While a razor cuts hair with one stroke close to the skin, an electric shaver cut hair in two motions between the blades but not too close to the skin.

Since electric shavers use rotating blades, it’s hard to cut or nick yourself but with a manual razor, a skill is necessary for one to avoid cuts, and nicks and achieve a clean shave. With a razor, you’ll need to wet (wet shaving) where you intend to shave to reduce friction between the razor blade and the face.

Similarities Between Razor and Electric Shavers

As opposed to IPL hair removal devices that offer permanent hair removal, shaving with a razor or electric shaver is temporary –hair regrows within one week. They cut hair at the skin surface without affecting hair growth factors.

Another similarity between razors and electric shavers is both can deliver a clean and comfortable shave we all admire. Provided these two contestants are clean, the blades are sharp and you have shaving experience, expect a clean shave.

Summary: Electric Shavers vs. Razors Differences and Similarities

Shaving Factors

Electric Shavers

Razor

Comfort

Smooth hair shaving and no hair nicking which is painful. Friction between the shaver head and skin.

Wet shaving can be comfortable to some but it’s generally slightly painful if the blade is nicking.

Time

With 2-3 minutes, you’re done with shaving your beard. If you prep, 5 minutes are enough if you’re time conscious.

Wet shaving takes close to 20 minutes to pre-shave, prep, shave, and post-shave.

Cost

The initial cost of acquisition is high and also a bit costly to maintain and replace blades.

It’s cheap to buy a new razor and doesn’t cost to maintain.

Portability

Other than the compact design, and light, electric shavers require no additional items to use and are thus easy to carry.

Razors are small even with a handle and are lighter making them simple and easy to carry.

Convenience

Without charge, they aren’t convenient and also not suitable for areas with no electricity.

With swapping razor blades, razors are too convenient.

Skin Safety

Safe for all skin types and it’s not necessary to use shaving products.

Not safe for sensitive skin as it may cause irritation.

Pros and Cons of Electric Shavers

Whichever electric shaver brand or style you choose; you’ll find some ups and downs. Most of them use a small DC motor which is powered by electricity or batteries (chargeable or rechargeable) to rotate the rotary system. Whether it’s an electric shaver for women or men, the designs are almost the same but have pros and cons.

Pros of Using an Electric Shaver

  1. No blades and accessories to buy

electric shaver

You don’t have to use shaving cream when using an electric shaver. However, you can use a gel or shaving foam on a shaver like Philips. This is recommendable if you’ve got sensitive skin. Apart from gel or shaving foam, the only other electric shaver replacement part that’ll cost a few dollars after a long duration is the shaver head- probably one year.

This eliminates recurrent expenditures which cumulatively increase the overall cost of the device.

  1. Protects sensitive skin

At no time will electric shaver blades come into contact with your skin. Unlike razors, the cutting blades are set behind the shaver head and are gentle to the skin hence no hard friction to the skin. Most modern electric shavers feature pressure-sensitive shaving elements that automatically retract from the skin to protect it from excess and injurious blade pressure.

With electric shaver heads washable, you can wash the head with clean water to remove harmful microbial that affect the skin.

  1. Portable

After analyzing 10 electric shavers, their average weight is 200 grams and the dimension is between ‎11.1 x 5.6 x 20.3 cm and 14.4 x 8.4 x 23.9 cm. In addition, they have a compact design. Combine these features and you’ll find electric shavers to be easy to package and carry.

To ensure maximum safety when packaging and carrying, you’ll find a travel pouch and a stubble head guard to keep the flex coils safe. The travel-lock option also helps keep the device secure during traveling – prevents it from being turned on unknowingly.

  1. Easy and quick to shave

Take for example the Panasonic ES-LV67 5-Blade Wet & Dry Electric Shaver which has 5 arched blades and the potential to make 70,000 cuts in a minute. Electric shavers have high shaving efficiency and offer quick shaving.

To shave with electric shavers is easy. Press the turn on/off button, and then glide your device on your beard and you’re done. Without the requirement for gel, you eliminate prep time thus making shaving faster.

  1. Electric Shavers Do Dry or Wet Shaving

Shave in the shower or in the grooming room and the device will be safe. Electric shavers especially the heads are washable with water which helps maintain them clean. The foils are waterproof and rust-free.

In wet shaving, electric shavers require shaving foam or gel.

Cons of Using an Electric Shaver

  1. Do Not Offer Close Shave

Even though some electric shaver heads are designed too thin to provide the closest shaving possible, the head doesn’t allow the blades to come into contact with the skin surface. Therefore, you can never achieve a close shave no matter your shaving experience.

Foil electric shavers use oscillating blades that are hidden beneath a foil to cut.

  1. Electric Shavers Can Cause Ingrown Hairs and Irritation

Electric Shavers Can Cause Ingrown Hairs and Irritation

When using multi-blade electric shavers, especially on a curly beard can cause irritation and razor bumps. Equally, cartridge razor blades if used when not sharp do pluck out hair which is not only painful but causes ingrown hair. Irritation is what you expect after shaving with faulty foil and blades.

  1. Requires Batteries and Time to Charge

Not every shaver is designed to have a rechargeable battery. Those with a rechargeable battery require replacement which adds another cost to the initial cost. And with the majority of electric shaver replacement batteries selling between $5 and $9, it’s a high cost.

As opposed to a manual razor, you must recharge a shaver battery which takes time.

  1. Difficult to Navigate Tight Spots

Looking at the shape of electric shaver heads, the blades cannot be navigated to tight spots like the area just below the nose. The head casing extends a few millimeters from the blade’s edges making it difficult to shave hair in groovy and deep contoured areas.

Advantages of Using a Razor

  1. Offers Closest Shave Possible

Offers Closest Shave Possible

Whether using straight or double-edge razors, they provide the closest shave giving you a smooth and great look. The blades are in direct contact with the hair follicles and thus cut them at the closest level to the skin.

When using razors for women , or men with multiple blades, the first blade pulls up hair strands and the second cuts close to the skin, and any hair strand left is cut by the third blade.

  1. Cheap to Buy and Maintain

On average, renowned shaving razor brands like Gillette, WILKINSON SWORD, and BIC 3 have their razors costing between $5 and $17. Some disposable razors cost $2.0 which is affordable to everybody. With some having up to 9 blade refills, it will take months before one can buy a refill blade.

Since razors have no other replacement parts besides the blades, it’s cheap to maintain them.

  1. Reduces Acne

As you glide your razor on the facial part, you unclog the skin pores. Razors with multiple disposable blades are cheaper compared to the refill type and are better at unclogging and peeling off whiteheads and blackheads.

If shaving is done right, the blades slough off dead skin cells which build up on the skin and clog the pores causing acne. Prepping up the skin before using a razor helps reduce acne.

  1. Portable

With new razor blades, you’ll not need other accessories and replacement parts when on a trip. Razors are small-sized and fit in any travel bag. You won’t feel any weight with a safety or double edge razor in your bag. It’s these features that make razors portable.

Disadvantages of Using a Razor

  1. Prone to Cuts, hair yanking, and Irritation

If you’re experienced in shaving with razors and you use shaving creams, your skin is safe from cuts. On the contrary and when the blades aren’t sharp, expect cuts, slightly painful yanks, and itchy skin. Cuts are painful and lead to scarring. Healing also takes time.

  1. Bumps and Ingrown Hair

Razor shaving is more likely to cause bumps compared to using an electric shaver. No matter the skin type, razors have higher chances of having inflamed bumps are high. Razors sometimes cut hair below the surface which makes grow beneath the skin instead of growing outwards.

Ingrown hair causes irritation and bumps.

Conclusion

If you are still confused between electric shavers vs razors, choose the latter if you love the comfort and smooth touch of the salon. They are also safe for sensitive skin and shaving is faster. But if you admire a clean shave on every tiny smile line and at the corners of your mouth, choose a razor.

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