Williams Lectric Shave Electric Razor Pre Shave: Does it Really Work?

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Williams Lectric Shave Electric Razor Pre Shave: Does it Really Work?

Pre electric shave products are specifically formulated to improve the closeness and comfort of a dry shave while reducing the time it takes to complete the shave.

They work by drying any moisture and oils from the skin, making the hairs stand straight to be easily captured by the shaver with less strokes. They also provide a layer of lubrication and reduce razor burn.

For most men the addition of a pre shave will result in a better shaving experience, particularly when there’s still room for improvement with their dry shave.

In this post we’ll take a close look at one of the most popular pre shaves currently available, the Williams Lectric Shave and see if it’s up to the hype.

Williams Lectric Shave history

Introduced in the 50’s by the JB Williams Company, Williams Lectric Shave is one of the most iconic, successful and well-known pre electric shave lotions.

It is currently manufactured by Combe Incorporated, the company that bought JB Williams in October 2002.

Below you can see a commercial from 1958:

The Williams trademark continued to be used even after the company was bought by Combe Inc as the name gained a lot of brand equity throughout the years, particularly in the USA.

Williams Lectric Shave ingredients

The Williams Lectric Shave is an alcohol based pre electric shave splash.

Buy it from Amazon.com

Here is the complete ingredient list:

  • SD Alcohol 40-B
  • Isopropyl Myristate
  • Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract
  • Fragrance
  • Benzophenone-1
  • Trisodium HEDTA
  • Colorants: Green 5, Yellow 10, Orange 4
  • Water

If you have very sensitive skin or a medical condition that prevents you from using any products that contain alcohol, you may want to skip this one and look at other pre shave options, like the Remington Face Saver powder.

As a side note, I am blessed with dry and sensitive skin, but to my surprise I had no issues using Lectric Shave.


If you take a whiff straight from the bottle, the scent has that classic, old-school, barbershop vibe and you can definitely pick up the alcohol.

Once applied to your face, it is a lot more subdued and the scent seems quite nice. The boozy note is also less noticeable.

In my opinion the scent is a lot better compared to another popular pre shave, Afta by Mennen. To my nose that one is off-putting and way too strong.

The fragrance of the Lectric Shave is more discreet and fades quickly after completing your shave and rinsing your face with water.

Does Williams Lectric Shave really work?

Well, let’s find out.

I normally use shaving cream with my electric razors as a dry shave isn’t really a viable option for me. I never seem to get a close shave as in the case of a wet shave and the comfort is far from great.

I can only get a decent dry shave with certain Braun shavers, but again with a trade-off in closeness.

For this review I decided to test the Lectric Shave along with two electric razors. The first is a Panasonic Arc 4 ES-LF51-A, a reasonably priced mid-range shaver that can get really close, but it’s usually too aggressive for sensitive skin out of the box.

The second one is the Braun Series 5 5090cc, a dry only shaver that is very comfortable to use, but it’s not the closest shaving razor in this price category — definitely not as close as the Panasonic.

So we have two shavers with different shortcomings when being used for dry shaving. This is an ideal scenario for finding out if the addition of a pre shave can improve a regular dry shave.

A prerequisite of a good dry shave is to have your skin as dry as possible. Any moisture will have a negative impact on the performance of your shaver and the results will suffer.

That’s why one of the main functions of a pre electric shave lotion is to dry any excess moisture, sweat and oils that exist naturally on the surface of the skin.

The shave

Applying the Lectric Shave lotion is as straight forward as it gets: you simply splash it to your face and massage it into your beard, wait for 15 seconds or so for the solution to dry completely and then you can start shaving.

I was surprised to notice that it has an oily consistency after I applied it to my face. In turn, this made the skin feel very smooth, plump and slick. I was actually expecting dry and flaky.

Once I started shaving, the extra slickness really made a difference and the shaver glided on the skin without the usual hoping I would get without the use of a pre shave.

The closeness was the best I got from a dry shave and the improvement was even more noticeable with the Braun Series 5, a razor that normally fails to match the closeness of other similarly priced razors from the competition.

The Arc 4 from Panasonic is in my opinion the closest shaving electric razor that doesn’t have a prohibitive price, but whenever I use it dry it causes mild to pretty nasty razor burn and irritation.

However, when I used it along with Lectric Shave the post-shave discomfort was barely noticeable; an overall massive improvement.

This pre shave might make me reconsider my shaving routine. The closeness wasn’t quite as good as in the case of a wet shave, but definitely close enough.

Completing my shave also took less compared to a normal dry shave. Because the hairs stand upright, less strokes are needed to get a clean, smooth shave and the razors seemed to cut the hairs with less effort.

My skin felt really good afterwards, but that oily sensation was still noticeable.

After rinsing with cold water and patting dry with a towel the skin simply felt smooth and moisturized. I checked my shaver and it wasn’t clogged, so that’s definitely another plus for the Lectric Shave.

I could still detect the scent, but it was very faint.

Overall, the Williams Lectric Shave definitely made a significant improvement to my dry shave results and I highly recommend you to at least give it a try.

In terms of value for money, Lectric Shaves scores pretty good as well. It comes in 3 or 7 oz. bottles and it’s reasonably priced. You can also buy it in bulk and save some money.

Where to buy Williams Lectric Shave

You can find the Williams Lectric Shave at your local Walmart or Target, but the simplest way is to order it online.

On Amazon.com you can find it in both 3 and 7 oz variantions. I recommend going for the 7 oz. bottle as the price per ounce is better.

Check the price on Amazon

Lectric Shave Alternatives

The first obvious alternative would be Afta by Mennen. Afta is a pre electric shave gel, so it’s easier to apply.

Afta Pre Electric

Check the price on Amazon

It also costs less than Williams Lectric Shave and it’s not oily.

However, I would still opt for Lectric shave as it does seem to work better, especially when it comes to closeness. Also, the scent of the Afta is too strong for my liking and off-putting.

Lab Series Pre Electric Shave

Check the price on Amazon

Lab Series Pre Electric Shave is another excellent product. The price is way too high in my opinion, but it can be a viable option for men with allergies as it is fragrance free.

6 comments on “Williams Lectric Shave Electric Razor Pre Shave: Does it Really Work?

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  1. Tim Plocienik

    I echo the thoughts of Carey Stuart. I have just started to use Lectric Shave and also like the results. Darn well worth what I paid. I also use a Braun series 7 shaver and find an improvement using the Williams product.
    Ovidiu, I really appreciate your article and hope others will follow the trend of real journalism like you! Thanks!!!

    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Tim,

      Thank you so much for your words of appreciation! I’m glad you found the article useful.


  2. Galen

    I am a lot older than most of you (67) and I have used Lectric Shave for decades. I haven’t used a conventional razor since I was 16. Lectric Shave works better than anything I have ever tried. On a recent date about 5 hours after shaving, my girlfriend even said I smelled nice. I don’t use cologne.
    Here is something additional to know. I found out years ago that Lectric Shave has another hidded use. It makes sense when you look at the ingredients. Your wife or girlfriend calls you in to get ready for an important night out. You have just finished working on the car or whatever and your hands are stained with oil, grease, soot, whatever. Before you try to wash it off, use Lectric Shave to wash your hands. Just a splash like when you shave. Work it around well; then just wash your hands with your favorite soap. It really cuts the grease that leaves those stubborn stains on your fingers. A bit expensive to degrease your car, but saves a lot of time when you have to clean up in a hurry.

    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Galen,

      Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with our community. I never really thought about using Lectric Shave for anything else besides shaving. While a mechanic usually takes care of fixing my car, I love cycling and I’m always tinkering on my bike, so I know what it takes to wash a pair of greasy hands. I’ll give it a try next time. 🙂



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