Electric shavers are often associated with a high upfront cost. And that’s true in the case of most high-end, feature-packed models.
Another important aspect that’s often neglected is the price of the replacement foils and blades.
Generally, the more complex and advanced a shaver is, the higher the cost of the replacement parts will be.
These things can make the budget-conscious buyer stay away from electric shavers altogether.
And for good reason — nobody wants to spend a lot of money on something when there are cheaper alternatives available.
Luckily, there are several inexpensive electric razors that offer excellent performance and do so at a reasonable price.
In this article we’ll explore some of the best budget electric shavers out there, see what makes them suitable for certain situations and find out how to get the most out of an inexpensive shaver.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- Hallmarks of an affordable but high-quality electric razor
- What are some of the best affordable electric shavers in 2023?
- How to get the most out of an inexpensive electric shaver
Hallmarks of an affordable but high-quality electric razor
Purchase price and cost of ownership are the two important factors to consider when you have a limited budget.
Obviously, you’ll want an electric shaver that offers the best value for money.
High-end, advanced electric razors come with a very hefty price tag.
They usually provide superior performance, are fitted with powerful motors, have multiple cutting elements and incorporate several advanced technologies (beard density sensors, speed settings, vibrating foils, advanced LCD displays and so on).
The Braun Series 9 is an example of such a shaver.
However, not all of these technologies will contribute to the actual shaving performance — at least not to a significant degree.
For example, the speed settings and beard density sensors often turn out to be just gimmicky features in practice.
Also, 3 individual cutting elements should be enough for most users; four or five blades can be overkill, particularly in the context of shaving daily.
An automatic cleaning station is nice to have, but it adds a lot to the purchase price and most razors are easy to clean manually.
The OEM cleaning refills, particularly the ones from Braun, imply a higher cost of ownership.
Another common practice for keeping the price low is to include fewer goodies in the retail package (things like protective caps, travel cases, lubricants, and so on) or to sacrifice build quality.
We definitely don’t want a poorly built shaver, so we’ll steer clear of those.
With that said, the things that matter the most for getting a close and comfortable shave are in my opinion a reasonably powerful motor and a high-quality shaving head.
We’re interested in finding electric razors that have these key features and leave out the ones that aren’t absolutely necessary.
In doing so, they manage to offer the best value for money and represent a great compromise of cost and performance.
Let’s now check out some of the best budget razors you can buy in 2023.
What are some of the best affordable electric shavers in 2023?
1. Panasonic Arc 3 ES8103S
Important: If you can’t get this model anymore, a perfectly good alternative would be the newer Panasonic Arc 3 ES-LT67-A or the ES-LL41-K. The shaving performance will be identical.
The Arc 3 models from Panasonic are in my opinion some of the best budget electric shavers because they really offer fantastic performance for the price.
If you’re interested in getting a very close and fast shave, I don’t think you can find a better option for the same money.
There are a lot of different models in the Arc 3 line, but the older ES8103S is usually the best pick due to its lower price, particularly in the USA.
The Arc 3 ES8103S is fitted with a very nippy 13 000 CPM (cycles per minute) linear-drive motor, just slightly less powerful than the range-topping Arc 5 or Arc 6 models from Panasonic that come with 14 000 CPM units.
This, along with the sharp, high-quality blades make the ES8103S one of the best-performing budget electric shavers out there.
Unlike the pricier Arc 4 and Arc 5 models, the Arc 3 only comes with three cutting elements. However, it is still fast enough and suitable even for a coarse beard.
A side benefit of having a less complex shaving head is the lower cost of the foils and blades set (part no WES9013PC).
Another advantage of the ES8103S (and of any other Arc 3 model in fact) is the ease of cleaning and maintenance.
Since the inner blades are separated from the foil block, you have great access for a thorough cleaning. Speaking of which, you’ll only need a bit of liquid soap and you can rinse everything with warm tap water.
All Panasonic Arc 3 shavers are fully waterproof and can be safely cleaned with water or used in the shower.
There’s even a special cleaning setting, called Sonic mode, that makes the blades oscillate at a very high speed, dislodging any stubborn dirt buildups.
I can honestly say that you really don’t need a cleaning station with a Panasonic shaver — they are that easy to clean.
Finally, it is a very robust and solidly built shaver that can take a beating. It’s also very nimble and easy to use, making it a great choice for a first-time user.
All Arc 3 models are fitted with an excellent pop-up trimmer that’s very effective and useful for some light grooming, like tweaking your sideburns or edging a beard line.
Like all entry-level, affordable shavers, the ES8103S works best when used on shorter facial hair, so shaving daily or every other day will give you the best results.
Usually, cheap electric shavers don’t fare too well with longer, flat-lying hairs and you’ll have to spend a lot more money on something like a Braun Series 7 or a Series 9 that can capture difficult hairs more efficiently.
Finally, if you have very sensitive skin, using a pre-shave lotion or even shaving cream may help since Panasonic razors can come across as a bit too aggressive (a small tradeoff for that excellent closeness).
If that’s the case you may be better off with a Braun Series 3 that is gentler to the skin, especially during a dry shave (and it’s cheaper as well).
2. Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3000s
The Series 3 is Braun’s alternative to the Arc 3 line from Panasonic and both represent viable options for a budget-friendly electric razor.
However, they excel at different things.
While the Arc 3 models are particularly good at providing close shaves, the Series 3 are more comfortable and more forgiving, especially during a dry shave.
This makes the Braun Series 3 a better option if you have sensitive skin.
They are also better at capturing those longer, flat-lying hairs compared to an Arc 3, even though not nearly as good as the more advanced Braun models.
The current Series 3 generation includes several variations, suitable for wet/dry and dry-only operation.
Some of them even come with an automatic cleaning and charging station, like the Series 3 3050cc or 3090cc, but those are a bit pricey and we’re mainly interested in the affordable ones.
With that said, the Braun Series 3 3040s ProSkin is usually my default recommendation.
It’s often sold at a discount, it’s suitable for wet & dry use and it has a long hair trimmer (not all the Series 3 models do).
However, for the purpose of this guide, I think the Series 3 ProSkin 3000s would actually be an even better pick.
While it lacks the slide-out trimmer and has a more basic battery indicator, the shaving performance is identical (it even uses the same shaving head/cassette).
However, the Braun 3000s is cheaper and it will also work corded.
These are in my opinion two important aspects.
The ability to operate a shaver corded will come in handy after years of use when the battery can’t hold a decent charge anymore.
So instead of buying a new one, you can continue using it plugged in.
As mentioned earlier, the Series 3 excels at providing a comfortable shave.
The closeness is adequate but not quite as good as the one you’ll get from a Panasonic Arc 3. In my opinion the Arc 3 will be better suited for someone that is particularly interested in getting a close shave.
Being a basic shaver, the Series 3 also works best when used on shorter stubble, so you’ll get the best results if you use it daily or every other day.
However, it does fare better than other foil shavers in its price range when used on a 3-day beard for example (it’s better than the Arc 3 in this regard).
Since the 3000s is waterproof, you can simply rinse it with water for easy cleaning.
You cannot use it with shaving cream since it’s a dry-only shaver though.
However, I don’t find wet shaving to improve the results in a significant manner in the case of the Series 3 (in my opinion Panasonic razors work way better with shaving cream or gel).
The replacement shaving heads for the Series 3, called cassettes, are the 32B (black) and 32S (silver).
The cassettes are usually priced lower than the foils and blades needed for an Arc 3, so the costs of ownership will be lower in the case of the Series 3.
Deciding which one to get should mainly come down to your needs (closeness vs comfort/better value for money).
3. Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3040s
The above-mentioned 3040s from the same Series 3 ProSkin line is another solid pick.
Its main advantages over the Braun 3000s are the integrated hair trimmer and the ability to be used in the shower or with shaving cream/gel.
The wet/dry operation also means that it will not work with the cord plugged in.
If that’s not a deal-breaker for you and you’d rather have the slide-out trimmer and wet/dry operation, it’s definitely a really good choice.
Everything else regarding the shaving performance is identical to the 3000s presented above.
Price-wise, it’s marginally more expensive than the 3000s and it uses the same 32b cassettes, so the costs of ownership will also be low.
4. Braun Series 5 5018s
In early 2020, Braun released three new lines of shavers (initially only in the USA and Canada).
Fortunately, they are now also available in Europe and other parts of the world.
Among those newly released models, there’s a new Series 5 which is also the most reasonably priced of the three.
While it’s a complete departure from the existing Series 5 shavers, the new models are a lot cheaper and offer very decent performance for the money.
No, they’re not as good as the old Series 5 like the 5190cc or 5140s, but for the money, they’re definitely good enough.
The Series 5 5018s is the most affordable model and the one I would actually recommend (in Europe, the model name is Series 5 50-B1200s).
Performance-wise, I find it pretty much identical to the Series 3 ProSkin 3000s or 3040s, so the Series 5 in its name is a bit misleading.
So it’s more like a redesigned, glorified Series 3.
But again, given the price point, that’s not really a bad thing.
Just like the Series 3, the 5018s is comfortable during use and will provide a reasonably close shave.
It’s a wet/dry model, so it will only work cordless.
Its selling point is a so-called EasyClean system that allows you to clean the shaving head without removing it.
In practice, it’s not nearly as effective as advertised and I would actually recommend you remove the head and clean it thoroughly since it only takes seconds to do it.
The Series 5 5018s doesn’t have an integrated hair trimmer, but it comes with a separate attachment that you must use instead of the regular foil head.
It’s really handy if you need to pre-trim your beard before shaving. It’s definitely better at it than the integrated trimmer of the Series 3.
To summarize, the Braun Series 5 5018s is an affordable, comfortable electric shaver that would be a suitable choice for users that are more interested in comfort than closeness.
For more details, you can check out my review of it as well.
5. Philips Norelco Shaver 2300 (S1211/81)
This particular model is one of the current best-selling rotary razors, the main reason for that being its low price.
Tip: the European version is (oddly) called the Philips Series 1000 S1332/41.
The Shaver 2300 from Philips (Norelco) is a bare-bones shaver, suitable for dry only use that can be a great option in several situations.
First of all, entry-level rotary shavers are usually better than entry-level foil shavers at capturing longer, flat-lying hairs.
During my review of the Shaver 2300 I also found this to be true and it actually performed surprisingly well in that regard.
It’s pretty comfortable too, though not quite as good as a Braun Series 3. So if you have sensitive skin, you may want to consider the Series 3 instead.
Being a rotary razor, the Norelco Shaver 2300 is very quiet compared to a foil-based shaver.
Since it’s suitable for dry operation only, you can also shave while the razor is plugged in.
Charging takes quite a lot though, requiring more than 6 hours to go from 0 to fully charged (although Philips claims 8 hours, in reality, it is faster than that).
This model uses the SH30 replacement shaving heads and again they cost pretty much the same as the ones needed for a Braun Series 3.
These are durable and reliable heads, meaning your costs for using the Norelco SHaver 2300 will be minimal.
As for the downsides, rotary razors don’t shave as close as most other foil shavers, particularly these basic models like the 2300.
So if closeness is very important to you, a foil shaver should be considered instead.
If however you’ve decided to stick to rotary shavers and also want a better performing one, the Philips Norelco Series 6000 or even the new Series 3000 are probably the best options out there that won’t break the bank (they are more expensive than the Shaver 2300 though).
The shavers featured so far can be bought at a very reasonable price.
There are cheaper shavers out there as well, including travel shavers, but after using some of them I highly recommend you to stick to the ones presented here and don’t go any lower (specs-wise) because your shaving experience will likely suffer.
It’s simply not worth the few extra dollars you’ll be saving.
Now, this guide was about finding inexpensive electric shavers that offer the best value for money. But inexpensive is a relative term and it can mean different things to different people.
With that said, the next shaver costs more than the previous models in this list but still remains reasonably priced in my opinion.
Depending on the situation, it will provide superior results and will be worth the extra money.
6. Braun Series 8 8417s
The Series 8 from Braun is in my opinion the entry point to Braun’s high-quality shavers.
In the past, that used to be the old Series 5 (not to be confused with the 2020 Series 5 like the 5018s at number 4 in this list).
However, the 5 has been discontinued and the Series 8 is my new recommendation for 2023.
The Series 8 is basically a rebranded Series 5 with a larger battery, so the performance of this line is excellent.
The performance leap from the Series 3 for example is quite significant.
This comes as no surprise since the Series 8 is basically a more cost-effective Braun premium shaver, but without the bells and whistles (speed settings, vibrating foils and so on).
There are quite a few Series 8 models available to buy; the differences include color, accessories, and, of course, price.
Since the actual shaving performance will be the same throughout the entire line, we’ll focus on the most affordable models.
The Series 8 8417s is usually priced lower than the other variations and it’s therefore my pick.
However, if you can find a cheaper one, including the older S8 83 models like the 8330s, go for it.
The shaving performance will be identical.
This shaver is remarkably comfortable and forgiving, ideal for men with sensitive, irritation-prone skin.
The 8417s is suitable for wet & dry operation, but I would stick to using it dry as it’s already very comfortable and adding shaving cream won’t really improve the closeness.
Speaking of which, I found it to be very good and most men will be perfectly satisfied with the results.
Again, a similarly priced shaver from Panasonic like the Arc 4 will get you a closer shave, but at the expense of being less comfortable.
The Series 8 fares very well with longer, flat-lying hairs, especially the ones on the neck.
Foil shavers are usually pretty bad at this, but Braun’s specially designed cutters work great and manage to capture difficult hairs very efficiently.
This means that you’ll be able to shave less often with the Series 8 and still get very good results.
The Series 8 uses the 83M replacement shaving heads. They aren’t as cheap as the ones used by the Series 3 for example, but still cost less than the parts needed for high-end shavers.
To keep the price low, the 8417s doesn’t come with a cleaning station, which means you’ll have to clean it manually after every use.
It will however work with a compatible station should you choose to buy one later on.
Also, there are variations of this shaver that come with a cleaning station, like the Series 8 8370cc or the 8457cc.
All Series 8 have a slide-out hair trimmer, similar to the one on the Series 9.
To sum it up, the Braun Series 9 is a highly capable and versatile foil shaver that works well on short and longer stubble, it’s very comfortable and easy to use thanks to the slim 3-blade shaving head.
It does cost a lot more than the rest of the other shavers on this list, but if you shave less often, or have a coarse beard and sensitive skin, I think it’s worth the extra money.
You can often buy it at a discounted price, which is what I would recommend you to do.
How to get the most out of an inexpensive electric shaver
Once you’ve settled on a particular razor, it’s time to put it to good use.
Here are a few easy, but very effective tips for shaving on a budget.
Try to shave more often.
As mentioned throughout this guide, entry-level razors can have some trouble with difficult facial hair. I’m talking of course about hairs that grow parallel to the skin and/or in different directions.
To minimize this shortcoming, try to shave while your whiskers are relatively short (less than 2mm). I mentioned shaving daily or every other day, but it really depends on how fast your beard grows.
If you have light to medium facial hair you can get away with a few days between shaving sessions.
Use a pre-shave lotion or a quality shaving cream.
Pre-shave lotions are inexpensive and also very effective in most cases.
They cause the hairs to stand upright, making it easier for the shaver to capture them and overall contribute to a smoother, faster and closer shave.
It only takes seconds to apply a pre-shave, but it can really improve the performance of a basic electric shaver.
My current favorites are the ones from Speick and Tabac; both are effective and a great addition to anyone’s dry-shaving routine.
The other option would be a shaving cream if your razor is suitable for wet/dry operation.
I know most men prefer to shave dry for the convenience of it, but wet shaving can be a great option for someone with very sensitive skin for example.
Panasonic shavers work particularly well with shaving cream, so if you have one give it a try and see how it goes.
Clean and lubricate your shaver regularly.
This is something you should be doing regardless if you have a cheap or a high-end electric razor.
Hairs, dead skin and dirt buildups will definitely reduce the efficiency of the cutters and they will also wear out faster.
Lastly, not maintaining proper hygiene of your shaver is a surefire way to infections.
Regular cleaning and lubrication will prolong the life of the foils and blades while ensuring that your machine performs as it should.
Having to replace the shaving head more often pretty much defies the whole purpose of owning an affordable shaver.
Most modern electric razors can be easily cleaned with liquid soap and warm tap water. Your user manual should include detailed instructions on how to perform a thorough cleaning.
Make sure your razor is charged.
You’ll want to take advantage of all the power of the motor as you’ll generally experience a performance drop when the battery is almost out of juice.
Not all electric razors can maintain peak power when the battery is drained and this is when hair pulling may occur.
Modern Li-ion batteries aren’t affected by the memory effect anymore, so you can charge your shaver as often as you need without any worries.
That pretty much concludes this roundup of my recommended inexpensive electric razors.
If you have any other questions, make sure to post them in the comments below.
39 thoughts on “What’s The Best Affordable Electric Shaver (2023)?”Leave a comment
You highlite lubrication but don’t give any hint of where to find shaver lubricants.
In the section on lubrication, I also link to an in-depth guide that includes information about the products you can use (and links to buy them).
I found your site while looking for a replacement for my Braun MicroScreen shaver. I have been happy with it’s performance but can’t get foils for it any more so will have to change.
What would you suggest? I have an average fairish hair, try to shave every other day and wouldn’t want to wet shave.
It’s hard to choose a shave isn’t something you can return to the store if it doesn’t suite.
Thanks for the great info.
Thank you for your comment. Was your previous Braun shaver by any means a single foil Series 1? MicroScreen is a really generic term and it would be helpful to know. But in case it’s a Series 1 or other similar shaver, I think a Braun Series 3 would good enough. I would choose the 3000s since it’s usually the cheapest model and it will also work corded.
Thank you for a personal reply
I realize I’ve given you duff info. My old shaver is a Remington model no MS2 something – I can’t just remember what – with two small foils and cutters. The replacement was part no SP69 MicroScreen2
Does the Braun 3000 have a pop-out trimmer at all? The old Remington does and it’s handy sometimes round my ears or on the odd long hair.
Thanks again for trying to help
No problem, Will. I’ve actually owned an MS2-390 many years ago. I think I’ve recently seen replacement foils as well (Amazon or eBay) if you are still considering it. The Braun Series 3 3000s does not have a trimmer at all, but other models do. The 3040s is probably the one to get as it’s widely available and includes a trimmer. It’s a slide-out trimmer that you can use for some minor touch-ups and like you said, for cutting those stray hairs.
Congratulation for your excellent work. I am in Australia, having a Grman made Braun 320 bought in Germany 10 years ago. I have used always, and this is the first time I need any part to change as foil casette change (series 32). I am very happy with the 320s. In Australia the closest to 320s is 3050cc with same foil casette but made in China. Its price is A$100. I have another option to buy the German made Braun 5030s. Its price is A$150. Please help me. I can buy a German made foil casett plus the German made 5030s, or someting new what you suggest. I don’t prefere series 9 and the more fancy electronic features. I prefer an excellent German made quality with less electronics. Would you please so kind to help me. Thanks.
Thank you for your comment. In my opinion you should just buy a replacement cassette for your 320s (32b). That’s the least expensive option and also the one that makes the most sense since you were happy with your shaver. I don’t really see a reason to buy a new shaver, be it another Series 3 or 5, at least not right now.
I am looking to buy ARC 3 LT41 or ES8103 both models which you recommend. These do not seem to be available anywhere in UK . ARE THERE EQUIVALENT MODELS MORE READILY AVAILABLE IN UK do you know?
From the Arc 3 line you can check out the ES-LL21 or ES-LT2N, those are usually available in the UK for a similar price. Other older (and cheaper) Arc 3 models in the UK come with less powerful motors, so I wouldn’t consider them.
I was interested in the ‘Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3000s’ you mention. But I really like a Wet/Dry shaver.
I see you recommend the ‘Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3040s’ – But how about the ‘Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3010s’ that’s Wet/Dry? Is it effectively a Wet/Dry variant on the ‘Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3000s’ ?
Looking for a new Electic due to Philips heads being nearly the price of a new shaver – and the Philips I have not being a patch on my old rotary Remington 🙁
However, reading your comments I think I might move away from Rotaries 🙂
That is correct, the 3010s is basically a wet/dry variant of the 3000s. Also, the 3040s is basically a 3010s with a long hair trimmer (that slides out).
Thanks Ovidiu – So you’d recommend the 3010s as a good budget shaver for sensitive skin? I’ve seen if for approx £40 which seems a good deal.
Also, there seem to be both a ‘Braun Series 3 310’ and a ‘Braun Series 3010s’, with the ‘Braun Series 3 310’ being cheaper – I can see in pics that they are different – Annoyingly similar names – Confusing
You are very welcome. Yes, in that prince range I doubt you’ll find a better shaver for sensitive skin. The 3010s is a Series 3 ProSkin model, basically a 3010 with a nicer design and a slightly different design of the foils, but overall very similar performance-wise.
I am contemplating buying a foil based electric shaver. After having searched on Amazon and other online retailers I got to know that the Braun series 7 and 9 are quite expensive in India and not many foil shavers are available. Do you think it would be wise to go for a rotary shaver? . I usually shave once a week and have sensitive skin along with coarse hair. Any recommendations would be highly appreciated.
Have you used a rotary shaver before or any type of electric shaver? If not, I think you should go with a foil shaver. Also, shaving once a week with an affordable shaver will probably not give you the best results, especially since your hair is coarse. You should try to shave at least twice a week, regardless of the shaver. The Series 9 and Philips Norelco Series 9000 (Prestige) can handle longer hairs, but those two cost a lot.
Hey thanks for the reply !!
I was going through the reviews of Philips Norelco S5420/06. The reviews mention that they have introduced a new multi precision blade system that’s designed to cut long hairs first and then go for the shorter ones. The flex heads are also independent of each other and logically this should adapt to the facial contours comfortably. Do you think this might be a good fit for me if I plan to shave twice a week ?
You are very welcome.
It should be adequate for shaving twice a week, but my main concern would be the comfort though. A rotary shaver like 5000 Series from Philips Norelco will likely be too aggressive for someone with sensitive skin.
Im looking for a shaver for thick bushy face growth, can u recommend anything for me
Check out this article, I think you should find a few good options there.
I have always used manual razor daily for my coarse beard. Now I don’t need that level of beard grooming because I’m retired. Would like to switch to manual shave a few times a week filling in with electric shave in the shower on the other days. Can you give advice on a basic wet electric razor I can try? Don’t need a top of the line whiz-bang razor. Just a comfortable shave to keep the stubble down a bit. I Haven’t used an electric razor in 50 years.
I personally find Panasonic foil shavers to work best when used wet, so that’s what you would recommend. As for which model, that depends on the budget. If you want a cheaper model to get you started with, the Arc 3 offers really good performance for the money. I would go with the ES8103S in the article. Also, for only a few dollars more, you can get the Arc 4 ES8243AA that comes with an extra blade and will likely allow you to finish your shave faster. Finally, there’s the Arc 5 line with models like the ES-LV65 that offer the best performance, but also cost more. I would stick to the Arc 3 or Arc 4 though since they’re easier to use (smaller heads).
I personally never liked shaving in the shower, but do enjoy shaving wet with a nice cream or soap and when used in that manner, Panasonic electric razors are really good.
Hope this helps.
I don’t know how much you get paid for these reviews but is sure as hell isn’t enough! The amount of info and, quality info, is mad. Well done. It still does not help me decide though, too many choices!
Thank you for the kind words, glad you found the site useful.
I actually don’t get paid (by any brands, readers, etc.), but as stated at the top of every article, it may contain Amazon affiliate links for which I can receive compensation after a purchase. If you have the time to tell me more details (like your beard type, how often you shave, if you have sensitive skin, your budget, any previous experience with electric razors and so), I’ll try my best to help you pick a suitable shaver.
Your site is very informative. Just wondering if you could give a little advice? I tried electric shaving a decade or two ago with a Norelco rotary and it gave me a nasty razor burn. Been shaving with a razor and shaving cream, in the shower ever since. Now the only time I get any burn is when I leave shaving too long or the blade is dull, but it’s never as bad as that time with electric. I have no idea of knowing, if this means I have sensitive skin or not?
After reading your reviews, I am thinking of trying electric again and I am in between the Panasonic Arc 3 or 4 and the Braun 3034 or 5 series.
I am guessing the Braun’s might be best for my skin, but the Panos seems so easy to clean (which is a big plus), and I like the idea of a close shave, like I get now.
So, I am wondering if using the Pano, in the shower, with cream or gel will offset any irritation and perhaps come close to equalling the Braun in that regard.
These things are so expensive and it’s not like you can test drive them first…
Thank you for the comment, much appreciated.
Regarding your poor experience with the rotary Norelco, I think foil shavers are a safer choice for most users. They’re just more comfortable, have a less steep learning curve and generally shave closer. Also, your first shaves with an electric razor probably won’t be great, but the results will get better once your skin gets used to the new method of shaving and your technique improves (more details here).
Regarding the shavers you’ve mentioned, all three of them are very good in their respective price range and with their specific pros and cons. I don’t think you have sensitive skin, so the Panasonic Arc 3 or 4 could be good options (depending on your budget). If you’ll use shaving cream, make sure it’s only a thin, watery, pasty layer of lather (I wrote a guide here).
Also, you’ve mentioned shaving after a longer period — with electric shavers, it’s best to do it more often.
Hope this helps.
I live in the UK and I found these:
ES8243AA, ES-LV65-s, and ES-LV95-S for an identical price of nearly £100
ES-RF31 and ES-RT37 for approximately £60 and £40 respectively.
It seems like slim picking. Which model in each of those two ranges would you suggest ?
You are welcome, Bill.
In the first tier, definitely the ES-LV95-S. That one is identical to the ES-LV65-S, but it also includes a cleaning station. You can use it or not, but since they cost the same, why not have that as well?
The ES-LV95-S and ES-LV65-S come with one extra blade compared to the ES8243AA and have slightly faster motors. They’re also a bit more comfortable and shave a bit closer. Normally, those two would be more expensive.
As for the budget options, the ES-RF31 is definitely better. In fact, I would rate it similarly to the ES8243AA, so the comparison above still stands. In my opinion the ES-LV95-S is worth the extra money over the ES-RF31, but you should choose according to your budget between the two.
Do all electric razors come with a charger? Some of the comments say they only got the razor–no charger. Seems stupid to sell a rechargeable razor with out the charger
Yes, I don’t think I’ve ever got one without a charger. The shavers mentioned in the post definitely come with one.
Your site is the best, thank you!
For fun, I’d love to see you do reviews of cheap Chinese electric shavers. You know the type, the ones you can buy for sub-£20 on eBay with USB charging, the three-head electric razors that come with multi-head attachments for trimming, nasal hair removal etc. I’d love to see your professional review of just how bad (or surprisingly, not bad…) those kinds of shavers are. As an Amazon affiliate, you could link to Amazon. To get an idea of what I mean, try searching, ‘E-More Electric Shaver’ to bring up a list of these types of shavers.
Thank you so much, I really appreciate it.
So far I’ve been reluctant to recommend those shavers (performance and reliability are pretty poor), so I thought there was also no point in reviewing them. But maybe I’ll get to do it for the most popular ones, hopefully sooner than later. Thanks again for the suggestion and your support.
” reviews of cheap Chinese electric shavers.” You mean like the $11.59 (free shipping) Wet/Dry Waterproof Cordless Men’s 4 in-1 Multi-function (Electric Shaver, Nose Trimmer, Sideburn Hair trimmer, Farcical cleaning brush) with four (actually three) detachable heads? Does 0-60 in seconds, with fast USB Transmission (and cable!)
Yes, almost all of the above (not the 0-60) is actually from a Ebay ad and there are many on sale (they say 6D on a blue body). I have bought two of these 4 in-1 Multi-function types. The first labelled “Lingke” (discontinued) actually gave quite a good shave (and I have a tough beard) – better than a cordless Remington I had bought – and it even came with 3 extra cutters. However, I ended up dropping it and broke the switch.
The second (with the 6D on it) was slower, and the cutters were not as sharp, but I was able to use the cutters that came with the Lingke which helped (somewhere in China maybe there is a giant database of all the brand names used for such goods, linked to the manufacturer).
Yet the best inexpensive shaver I bought in the last 15 years has been the Panasonic ES3831 Cordless Wet Dry single blade travel shaver. Fast vibration, and the two AA batteries last a long time, and it gives quite a good quick light shave. Your whisker mileage may vary. Still sold for about $20.00
But I think reviews of some inexpensive (like under $35.99) electric razors, one with good reviews on Amazon (Ebay has cheaper ones, but no reviews) could be interesting.
But I thank God we can get such blessed instruments, at reasonable prices. Beats going back to the days of the Romans.
Thanks so much for the comment, Daniel. I also own the ES3831, really nice little shaver, although for me it wasn’t the most comfortable and I had to use it daily in order to get a smooth shave. I will be doing more reviews in the future focused on very affordable, portable shavers.
My beard is kind of like mowing boar hair, so the roughness is not much an issue. I actually found I could somewhat sharpen the cutter by using the file on a pair of nail cutters. Thanks for the reviews.
At the relentless behest of my closest friend, who has used the cheapest Philips rotary shavers for decades and praises them to the rooftops, I have just started using a Philips AquaTouch S1121 (appears to be a wet and dry version of the S2300 above), after a lifetime of first using safety razors then Gillette Mach 3 and Fusion 5 cartridges and recently reverting to a safety razor. I shave with the Philips as I would with a blade: Proraso pre-shave, shaving cream (have a variety), post-shave alum block, finishing with a post-shave balm (a variety). I am very impressed with the results having achieved very smooth, comfortable, close shaves without too much effort. I paid the the equivalent of 29 US dollars (24 pounds) for the S1121 which, given the performance, is excellent value. You can of course pay ten times more for a top-of-the-range Philips, Panasonic, or Braun with possibly only a marginal improvement in performance. Am I right in thinking that Philips rotaries throughout their ranges use pretty much identical technology and what you pay a lot more for is largely bells and whistles, while shaving performance (closeness primarily but not only) is pretty much the same whatever you price.
Thanks for the comment, Mike.
Seems like you got a winner. Pre-shave and shaving cream do however vastly improve the performance of entry-level shavers like the one you have. But many users loathe using shaving cream and prefer to shave dry. But you seem to enjoy it and on top of that, you’re getting great results using a cheap shaver, which is ideal.
Range-topping Philips shavers do use the same technology (three rotating blades) but apart from the sensors, displays and other things that would fall under bells and whistles, some of the more expensive models also come with more powerful motors and better shaving heads. But these may not always make a huge difference depending on how you shave and your beard type. The differences are however more significant in the case of Braun and Panasonic shavers, particularly for users that shave less often or have difficult facial hair (very coarse, lots of flat-lying hairs and so on).
Ovidiu, you and the site are amazing!
Now, for the ask 🙂
I live in the UK, am on a tight budget and keep on going back-and-forth on which shaver to buy. Looking at ~30-35GBP, I have sensative skin and shave about once a week or so.
Please save me from myself… I start off at one, read and find myself debating 3-4 options…
You are way too kind, thank you.
I think a Braun Series 3 ProSkin would be a good choice — the 3000s model should be right within your budget. It doesn’t have a hair trimmer though, but the shaving performance is identical to the 3040s I recommended above. It’s an easy-to-use, comfortable, and easy on the wallet shaver. It works corded and cordless as well.