Buying guide: which electric shaver or trimmer is best for you?

Shavers Buying Guide

When it comes to choosing the best shaver for you, there are a few things to consider.

The good news is, here at Harris Scarfe, we've done a bunch of research to help you make the right decision.

Our team has put together this handy electric shaver buying guide and has selected the best shavers and trimmers for men to stock in our range.

Now, let's help you decide which shaver to buy, starting with why an electric shaver is the way to go for your hair care needs.

Why choose an electric shaver vs a razor?

Convenience, versatility, precision - these are some of the reasons people choose electric shavers and trimmers over razors.

What's the difference between an electric shaver and a razor?

There's a huge difference between an electric shaver and a razor. A razor is used manually and features a razor blade (or five) that you pull along your skin to remove the hair. Razors are generally used with either shaving cream or soap and water.

An electric shaver is a small, electrical appliance that also removes hair, but usually without the use of water. It uses a mechanical movement, often including spinning blades.

We love the versatility and convenience of electric shavers and trimmers, so that's what we'll focus on in this buying guide.

What's the difference between an electric shaver and a trimmer?

Let's chat trimmer vs shaver. Trimmers are great for beards, chest hair and pubic hair. Trimmers will still give you a fairly close shave, but it won't be as close as an electric shaver.

Electric shavers offer a closer finish than trimmers, however, trimmers often have a range of different length options. If you'd like the best of both worlds, some of the best electric shavers do also come with a detachable trimmer head.

Both are great products and have their place, it depends on your needs as to which is best - a trimmer or a shaver.

What are the various types of electric shavers?

It's time to get into the specifics.

Rotary blade shaver

A rotary blade shaver usually has between two and four rotating 'heads'. They move in a circular motion against the skin (much like a disk sander, or buffer). It's multidirectional, meaning you can push it in any direction. It also offers a close shave without having to see what you're shaving. These are great for beards with more curl or texture.

Foil head shavers

The razors on a foil head shaver are mounted, rotating against your skin like a tyre on the road. Unlike the rotary blade shaver, they use a circular motion but on the vertical plane. The blades are under flexible metal with holes, called a foil. These shavers can't be pushed in any direction, and they only work in an up and down motion. Foil head shavers generally work better on beards with straighter hair.

Foil vs rotary shaver

Both types of shavers have their benefits.

Rotary shavers work well with thick or fast-growing hair, and the range of directions they can move in makes it easier to get to any tricky spots.

Foil shavers give a more precise and gentle shave. There's less pulling of the hair, and they're a popular choice for people who want to style their facial hair and sideburns in a more manicured manner.

When it comes down to it, personal preference is key.

What should I look for in an electric shaver or beard trimmer?

How do you go about choosing the best beard trimmer for you?

The best thing is to figure out what features you're likely to use. Some people love having a charging stand so everything's ready on the counter, others prefer to pack their beard trimmer away after use.

If you shave in the shower, a waterproof option is best, like this Vivitar Wet/Dry Aqua Foil Shaver. And for frequent travellers, choosing non-wired shavers is a handy idea.

We love this battery-powered Vivitar Rotary Shaver And Trimmer (which also comes with a great nose hair trimmer.)

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a shaver or trimmer:

  • Power options - is it rechargeable, battery or wire operated?
  • Pivoting heads - will the shaver move to the right angle with little effort?
  • Lifting comb - do you want to be able to adjust length settings for beard trimming?
  • Detachable heads - are you looking for a larger range of hair length options?
  • Beard styling features - can your shaver easily cut to the length your beard requires?
  • Portability and travel cases - how often do you shave on the road?
  • Water-resistant and waterproof - is shaving in the shower or wet shaving part of your routine?

What's the best electric shaver or best trimmer?

We can't play favourites here - because the best trimmer for men is the one that suits their particular needs. However, we've carefully chosen our range of trimmers to ensure a quality option for everyone. As well as the features above, it's also a good idea to take into account:

  • cost
  • versatility
  • hair growth rate
  • facial hair type
  • ease of cleaning
  • durability

How to clean an electric shaver

Each electric shaver in the Harris Scarfe range comes with its own care instructions. We can't stress enough that the best way to clean your shaver is by following them.

We recommend familiarising yourself with any shaver's maintenance needs before purchase. Some have self-cleaning options, some cannot be used with water and others have wet options. It's important to note which would suit you best before purchasing.

Popular electric shavers and trimmers

What is the best electric shaver? We can't play favourites, but here are our top five best selling hair clippers:

As you can see, our customers don't play favourites either, with a good selection of rotary and foil shavers featuring in our most popular seller list.

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View our great collection of other hair maintenance products, men's sleepwear, men's accessories, massagers and sporting wear, all chosen with the quality and style you expect from Harris Scarfe.

Shop shavers and trimmers online or visit us in-store today.