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Foil Shaver 101: How to Use, Advantages, and More

By Viktoria
September 21, 2023
7 minutes
Foil Shaver How to Use, Advantages, and More

Do you just consider every electric shaver the same or do you have an idea about the foil shaver, rotary shaver, and some other types of electric shavers? If not, let us help you with an informative article on foil shavers, the most preferred of all-electric shaving tools.

A foil shaver is a DC-powered tool with straight oscillating blades and a thin foil. The foil holds hair for the blades to cut them without making the skin come in contact with the sharp blades making them suitable for sensitive skin. This is precisely why men go for foil shavers.

So, let us know more about foil shavers below.

Table of Contents:

Part 1: What is a Foil Shaver?

What is a Foil Shaver01A foil shaver is an electric shaver that mainly comprises of a foil, which is a thin metal piece that forms a barrier between the skin and the blades; the blade, which are sharp metal pieces used to trim the hair; and a power supply, which might be batteries or a wire for main electrical supply.

The blades of the foil shaver move in a to and fro oscillatory motion to cut the hair and shape or shave the beard. Some foil shavers also have an internal cleaning system to clean and maintain themselves automatically.

Moreover, foil shavers do not need cream, gel, or any lubricant to work and are most compatible with shaving hair on smooth and flat skin surfaces.

Part 2: How D a Foil Shaver Work?

How D a Foil Shaver Work01A foil shaver is powdered by DC supply. It turns on when the power is applied and the intensity, and speed of the shaver is then adjusted. This intensity determines the customization of your facial hair grooming needs and helps you get a close yet personalized beard.

When you bring the foil shaver close to your skin, the tiny holes in the thin metal foil grab the hair and allow the blades to work on it. A foil shaver consists of one or more blades. These blades move in two vertical directions and cut the hair offering a close shave.

The speed of a foil shaver varies between 7000 to 14000 cycles per minute and they use intercept trimmer technology to ensure that you get smooth skin without cuts, nicks, bumps, and ingrown hair.

Part 3: Advantages of  Using a Foil Shaver

Advantages of  Using a Foil Shaver02With the availability of multiple types of manual razors like straight razors vs. safety razors and safety razors vs. cartridge razors in the market, you must be wondering what is the need for an electric foil shaver, right? Well, below are the advantages of using a foil shaver.

1. Close and Precise Shave

The blades of foil shavers are arranged in a straight line. This enables you to groom the beard and mustache precisely in an aligned manner. Moreover, as the foil shave effectively trims the hair in one go, it allows a closer shaver in fewer passes.

2. Minimal Risk of Cuts and Irritation

A foil shaver is a great alternative to manual razors when it comes to the risk of cutting yourself with sharp blades. It prevents razor cuts and skin irritation.

Additionally, the high speed and shorter duration of shaving further reduce the risk of razor cuts.

3. Compatible with Sensitive Skin

A foil shaver can be the ideal tool for shaving on sensitive skin. This is because the blades do not come in direct contact with the skin. Rather, it is passed through the foil to the cutting blades. Consequently, it offers a skin-friendly experience with no razor burns, irritation, or skin redness.

4. Versatile Use

A foil shaver does more than just beard shaving. You can use it to shape the beard or get a clean shave. Additionally, it can also be used for grooming the sideburns to look more decent, trying different mustache styles, and shaving the head.

Part 4: Foil Shaver vs. Rotary Shaver

Foil Shaver vs. Rotary Shaver02The examples of foil and rotary shavers are given in Braun series 9 vs. Philips 9000 prestige. Here we will see the comparison between the two.

Design and Working Principle

Foil shavers come with single or multiple blades in a vertical alignment above which lies the metal foil. In contrast, a rotary shaver comes with 3 small spinning heads on its top with rotating blades with a metal sheet above them

The foil shavers work just like a manual razor that moves in two directions. However, rotary shavers move in all directions while trimming the hair.


A foil shaver works best for sensitive skin as it applies gentle pressure while grabbing the hair. It is also a better choice for different types of hair. Additionally, faster shaving sessions, closer shaver, and precise shaving patterns are some of its other benefits.

A rotary shaver is a better choice if your face has more contours, your facial skin is thick, and the hair is more coarse and curly. Moreover, a rotary shaver has a noise-free operation.


A foil shaver is a little difficult to use on long beard hair, curly thick hair, and hair growing in multiple directions. In addition, you might not be too fond of the high volume it produces.

Rotary shavers might irritate the sensitive skin and do not offer a close or precise shave. Furthermore, it takes more effort to clean it.

Comparison with Traditional Manual Razors and Cartridge Razors

The difference between manual razors and electric razors is explained in electric shaver vs. razor. However, the reasons why electric shaves are popular among men are given below,

  • They are more economical as you only have to spend on them once instead of having to buy blades and cartridges over and over again.
  • There are fewer chances of cuts, burns, and nicks with electric shavers.
  • They are faster than manual shavers
  • Electric shavers work with both dry and wet shaving
  • Cleaning an electric shaver is a piece of cake

Why are Foil Shavers Better?

Foil shavers can prove to be your shaving best friend when it comes to letting your skin breathe and stay fresh, shaving quickly on the go, trying different shaving styles with precision, and comfort.

Part 5: How to Use a Foil Shaver

How to Use a Foil Shaver02Here are the simple steps to use a foil shaver.

Step 1: Skin Preparation

While you do not need to prepare much if you like dry shaving, wet shaving needs little skin preparation. In both cases, you should always wash your face before shaving to soften the hair.

After that, either start shaving right away or apply a pre-shave oil/shaving gel/cream for more gentle effects.

Step 2: Trim the Hair and Outline the Beard

A foil shaver does not work well on long hair. So, if you have not trimmed the bear in a while, you should do it before using a foil shaver. Moreover, make a map of the pattern you want to shave the beard in because foil shavers are known for their precise results.

Step 3: Start Shaving

If your shaver comes with multiple speed settings, turn it on and choose the one you prefer. Then start shaving in a straight line moving from one side of the face to the other and finally along the neck.

Step 4: Pay Attention to Angle and Technique

The most suitable angle for shaving with a foil shaver is a plain horizontal 90-degree angle. So, hold the shaver close to your skin but do not apply much pressure while shaving. Additionally, if your skin is too elastic, hold it taut for the foil shaver to work more closely.

Step 5: Clean the Shaver

Wash the shaver head by running it under tap water and put it in its cleaning stand. It will help in maintaining the life and health of your foil shaver.

Step 6: Aftercare of Shaving

Check if you are satisfied with the results and rinse your face with water. Then apply a moisturizer and sunscreen and you are good to go.

Part 6: How to Clean a Foil Shaver

How to Clean a Foil Shaver01Here are some general guidelines for cleaning foil shavers.

Instructions for Cleaning

You just need to put the foil shave in its stands and turn on the cleaning mode if you have an automatic self-cleaning shaver.

However, if you have a foil shaver that needs to be cleansed manually, remove its head if removable. Give it a few jerks to take the hair out of it. Then wash it under water, apply a few drops of hand wash along with a few drops of water, and turn it on for 10 seconds.

Leather will form and clean the head thoroughly. After that, you can wash it again to remove the soap solution and dry it.

Instructions for Replacement of Foils or Blades

Although some companies replace the blades and foils when you pay for a new blade and foil set, you can do it at home by yourself as well. To replace the headset of a foil shaver, first, remove the foil and the blades underneath by pressing them upwards. Then simply put the new blades and foil above them downwards and that’s all.

Moreover, it is recommended to change the foil once every year and the blades once every two years.

Storage and Protection

Some tips for storage and Protection of a foil shaver are given below,

  • You should always clean the shaver with water and a soap solution every time after use
  • Lubricate the oil once a week to reduce the effects of friction
  • Use a spray cleaner made specifically for cleaning an electric shaver for prolonged life
  • Charge the shaver as per requirement and store it in a dry place
  • Replace the blades and foil every 12 to 24 months


A foil shaver offers a gentle method of hair removal for sensitive skin with its foil protecting your skin and blades providing a close shave. While this is true for all foil shavers, not all of them work the same.

So, you should always do your research and find information reviews about different models of an electric foil shaver before buying one. Lastly, using a correct shaving technique as explained earlier in this article can help you get the optimal results you want, and storing the foil shaver properly increases its longevity.

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