The neck has always been the Nemesis of a good shave for many men, yours truly included.
More often than not, the neck area plays a major part in the unpleasant side of shaving: rashes, razor burn, ingrown hairs, irritation.
Electric shavers add yet another dimension to the problem: stubborn, stray hairs that are left behind even after multiple passes.
And going over and over the same area can cause even more discomfort and irritation.
Therefore, in this article we’ll take a close look at what makes some electric shavers better than others for shaving the neck.
I’ll also share a few recommendations that’ll help you narrow down your options and choose the shaver that will suit you the best.
Table of Contents
The problem with shaving the neck
There are a few reasons for the trouble associated with shaving the dreaded neck area.
Here are the main ones:
- The skin on the neck is more sensitive and prone to irritation. The skin is also thinner than on your cheeks for example. As a result, the discomfort is greater and can be triggered easily.
- On your neck, the hairs are more likely to lie flat on the skin and to grow in different directions. This can be a problem for many electric shavers, particularly for the entry-level ones. It will often lead to more strokes, more pressure applied and will increase the chances of irritation and razor burn. Also, the longer you use an electric shaver, the hotter it will get. And a hot shaving head is never good for sensitive skin. Luckily, there are a few shavers that don’t get warm during operation as you’ll see later in the article.
- There’s a higher probability of ingrown hairs and razor bumps. A hair becomes ingrown when it is cut close to the skin and then starts growing and curls back into the skin. As said previously, hairs on the neck tend to lie flat on the skin which increases the chances of the hair penetrating back into the skin. Since the body sees it as a foreign object, it will trigger an inflammatory (and painful) process.
- The oddly shaped surfaces and little leverage makes shaving even more difficult. There are a few very tricky spots, like the area right under your chin or jawline. You have to constantly adjust the length of the strokes, angle, direction and so on in order to get a clean, smooth shave. Using a shaver that can effectively capture the hairs is that much more important.
If we take into account the above-mentioned points, a good electric shaver for the neck will basically have to:
- Be suitable for sensitive skin
- Be good at shaving flat-lying hairs that grow in different directions
- Conform to the awkward shapes and stay in contact with the skin
This leads us to the next question.
Rotary or foil for shaving the neck?
In the electric shaving community, there is a consensus that one type of electric razor is better than the other depending on the situation.
And I definitely agree, with one additional note: these are only general guidelines and in practice, things won’t always turn out as expected.
For example, foil shavers are generally thought to be more suitable for sensitive skin, but there are men who can’t use anything apart from a rotary shaver.
The shaving technique required for foil and rotary shavers is different and here is where personal preference comes into play.
Using one vs the other can simply feel right and more natural. And that alone can improve the final result.
When it comes to foil or rotary for shaving the neck, here are a few things to keep in mind. Again, these are just anecdotal considerations and should serve as general guidelines:
- Rotary shavers are generally better at dealing with stubborn neck hairs: longer, flat-lying hairs that grow in different directions. By using circular, overlapping clockwise and counterclockwise motions you can capture more stray hairs with different growth patterns than you would with most foil shavers.
- Rotary shavers are better at adapting to the various surfaces and maintaining contact with the skin. The flexing, pivoting and tilting of the shaving unit and individual cutters of an advanced rotary shaver can be very handy when shaving your neck. A foil shaver only has a straight edge; for this reason, shaving the area that starts right below your jawline can be more difficult. Some foil razors from Braun are however really good in this regard as well.
- Rotary shavers are generally better at shaving longer hairs, especially when compared to entry-level foil shavers. If you don’t shave very often, a rotary razor may be better suited for you. The longer hairs are captured more efficiently by the slits in the shaving heads.
- Foil shavers shave closer. This is generally true, even though things can be different if we refer to specific models of foil and rotary razors. This is mainly due to the fact that the foil is very thin compared to the metal guards/combs used by rotary shavers, so the physical barrier between the skin and cutters is smaller.
- Foil shavers are better for sensitive skin. Again, this can vary depending on the specific models. Some rotary shavers can pull longer hairs and irritate the skin, but that’s generally not the case with high-quality razors, foil or rotary.
- Foil shavers have a less steep learning curve. Using a foil shaver usually takes less practice than a rotary razor. The use of straight, short strokes against the grain makes foil shavers a better option for beginners.
The takeaway is that you shouldn’t think about foil vs rotary for shaving the neck in absolute terms. I would simply consider my personal needs and go for a razor that meets most of them.
Previous experience is also relevant; if you’ve successfully used a foil or rotary in the past, you should probably stick to it.
For example, I have very sensitive skin and I always got along better with foil shavers, so in my case a foil shaver would be the more sensible choice.
With that said, let’s take a look at some of the best electric shavers for the neck and how to choose one that would suit you the best.
What are some of the best electric shavers for the neck area?
1. Braun Series 9 9390cc
We’ll kick off the list with a foil shaver, which is a bit odd considering that in theory rotary razors are usually better at catching the hairs on the neck.
However, the Series 9 is in a class of its own in that regard.
When it comes to foil shavers, the Braun Series 9 is probably the best in terms of comfort and dealing with neck hairs.
Improving upon the excellent foundation of the iconic Series 7, the Series 9 is more powerful and has a redesigned shaving head.
The most important addition is an extra shaving element, called a Direct & Cut trimmer that is specifically designed to capture longer hairs that grow in different directions.
This, along with the HyperLift & Cut element (found also on the Series 7) makes the Series 9 better than pretty much any other foil for shaving longer, flat-lying hairs that are likely to be found on the neck.
Side note: there’s also a newer Series 9 Pro that comes with a tweaked head that makes it even more capable at catching longer hairs. The performance is in my experience similar to the standard Series 9.
The shave is very close and supremely comfortable.
The foils of the Series 9 remain cool during use and it never pulls or yanks the hairs.
The Series 9 is available in several variations, with or without a cleaning station. The performance is however identical, so choosing one over the other comes down to price and included accessories.
The dry only Series 9 were however phased out and there are currently only wet&dry models available.
However, I do recommend going for a model that includes Braun’s excellent Clean & Renew station as it’s really good at cleaning and lubricating the shaver.
A manual cleaning can be fiddly as the blades and foils of the Series 9 are merged into one piece called a cassette that doesn’t offer the best access for a thorough cleaning.
Fortunately, there are cheap cleaning solutions out there and with a few adjustments, a cartridge will last for a long time.
The Series 9 9390cc seems to be the best pick as it costs less than other similar models, both in the USA and in Europe.
2. Philips Norelco S9000 Prestige
The Prestige line is the latest and greatest from Philips Norelco and arguably one of their best shavers yet.
While they don’t offer the best value for money — they are pricey and don’t even come with a cleaning station — performance-wise they are phenomenal.
The novelty of the Prestige line is ditching the well-known double-blade design of the cutters called Lift & Cut.
Instead, they use a more standard blade that in turn provides a significant improvement in comfort while still cutting the hairs close to the skin.
Together with a special design of the combs, this allows the S9000 Prestige to capture and catch longer, flat-lying hairs better than any other electric shaver on the market.
This makes it an ideal razor for shaving the neck.
It manages to perform impressively well even on a 5-day beard, so if you’re someone who shaves less often, the Philips S9000 Prestige should be on your shortlist.
The Philips Series 9000 Prestige has 3 personalization modes, allowing you to alter the power output according to your needs (from sensitive to high intensity).
However, in real-world use they don’t seem to make a significant difference and using the highest power setting all the time seems to yield the best results.
So why is the Prestige my second choice?
Well, despite being a very comfortable shaver compared to other rotary models (including the 9300 and 9700), it’s still not as comfortable as some foil shavers like the Series 9/Series 9 Pro or the Series 7.
Also, most users will get probably get a closer shave as well using those.
And finally, being a new model, the S9000 Prestige is priced quite high and as mentioned earlier, it doesn’t offer a cleaning station.
However, for rotary razor fans that also shave less often, the Prestige is unbeatable.
You can check out my review of it here.
3. Braun Series 7 790cc
The Series 7 790cc was regarded for many years as the benchmark in terms of comfort and performance.
And it is still is a very relevant product today.
The Series 7 is edged only by the Series 9 in terms of comfort and many men won’t even notice a difference.
However, the Series 7 lacks the Direct & Cut element of the Series 9.
This means that the Series 7 is not quite as good at shaving longer hairs. But it’s still better than most other foil shavers out there and will easily be good enough in most cases.
The shaver is very gentle to the skin and will make an excellent choice for men with sensitive skin on the neck.
The Series 7 is also priced lower than the Series 9 and can be bought in dry only or wet/dry variations (like the newer 7865cc).
But just like the Series 9, it’s probably a good idea to choose one that includes an automatic cleaning station.
The Series 7 790cc is usually the best choice as it’s widely available and the price is lower compared to other similar Series 7 variations.
4. Braun Series 5 5190cc
An alternative to the Series 7 is the Series 5, which provides an almost identical shaving performance, but it’s usually available at a lower price.
You also can check out an in-depth comparison between the Series 7 and 5 here.
The highlight of the Series 5 is the 5190cc model due to its reasonable price and the inclusion of an automatic cleaning station.
Side by side, it would be very hard to differentiate between the shaving head of a Series 5 and a Series 7:
As a result, the actual shaving performance is quite similar, with the Series 7 being a bit more refined and faster, but nothing dramatically better.
So the Series 5 is a great choice for men with sensitive neck skin and will perform very well as long as the hairs are not excessively long, in which case a Series 9 or the Philips Prestige would be a better choice.
5. Philips Norelco Series 6000
UPDATE: Philips oddly decided to discontinue the Series 6000 and replace it with a new Series 6000 with angular shaving heads and inferior blades. For this reason, I recommend the Series 7000 as an alternative in 2023.
The new Series 6000 from Philips is one of the most compelling rotary razors you can buy and also one that would be ideal for shaving the neck.
Given its price and performance, we can safely consider it a more budget-friendly alternative to the high-end Prestige models.
As I mentioned in my review of the Series 6000, the comfort is outstanding for a rotary shaver.
The main reason for that is the use of new cutters that are extremely similar to the ones on the flagship Prestige series:
As a result, the shaving performance is quite similar, even though the Prestige feels a bit more powerful and shaves slightly closer.
The pick of the Series 6000 range is currently the Philips Norelco Shaver 6900. It has a reasonable price in the USA and also comes with a charging stand and a feature-packed beard trimmer (with a built-in adjustable comb).
Because it is very forgiving and gentle and shaves the longer, flat-lying hairs very efficiently, it would be a solid option for someone dealing with difficult hair on the neck area.
So if you thought the Prestige would be a good fit, but you were put off by its price, the Series 6000 is a viable, more affordable alternative.
Hopefully, by this time you have a general idea of what electric razor would be better for shaving your neck with minimal discomfort and frustration.
These are only a few options meant to put you on the right track as I’m sure there are other electric shavers out there that would make perfectly good choices.
But apart from choosing the right shaver, it’s equally important to prepare, execute and follow-up your shave.
For these reasons I highly recommend reading these articles as well to help you get the most out of your shaver and tame the neck:
- Preparation: A Simple and Effective Pre Electric Shave Routine
- Execution: How to Shave Your Neck with an Electric Razor
- Follow-up: What to Do After Shaving with an Electric Razor
Over to you now: do you have a hard time getting a smooth, pain-free shave on your neck? What are your thoughts on improving the shaving experience? Please leave your comments below.
37 thoughts on “What’s The Best Electric Shaver For The Neck (2023)?”Leave a comment
At the moment I am using Braun Series 3 and it gives me a good shave except the neck.
I prefer to shave not every day and when hair on the neck is long it does not shave it.
How big is the advantage of rotary models over foil in shaving long flat lying hair?
And is there an advantage of more expensive foil models over mine?
an advanced rotary shaver like the Philips Norelco 8900 or 9300 will likely perform better than a Braun Series 3 when used on longer, flat lying hairs. How much better is difficult to predict as this varies from person to person and your shaving technique matters as well. The same goes for a more expensive foil shaver like the Braun Series 9/Panasonic Arc 5. The Series 9 is in my opinion the only foil shaver that performs quite good in a situation like this one. The Series 3 is only suitable for shaving daily. Upgrading to a more advanced shaver like the once I mentioned will likely result in an improvement when shaving longer hair.
Hope this helps.
I am 19 years old and I shave everyday. I use a Philips Norcello PT730 to shave my face and neck, but its performance on my neck is very poor.
I shave everyday so that I can look presentable at work. I can never get a good shave on my neck because there are always hairs leftover that my electric shaver is missing. It doesn’t matter how long I run the electric shaver for… it will not remove those hairs. However, when I’m not working, sometimes I’ll go a day without shaving and when I shave the next day after the hairs have grown longer, the shave on my neck is much better.
What is the best shaver for me if I’m shaving everyday? I’ve been using a rotary shaver for about two years now and am not satisfied with it. Should I switch to a Braun? I’m also on a budget. :/
shaving longer hairs usually causes problems for most electric shavers. Since you actually get better results when shaving every other day than daily I can only that your current razor simply isn’t able to cut the hairs or to get close enough.
The PT730 is a very basic shaver and while you didn’t mention it, the blades probably have become dull after two years of use. Also, rotary shavers have thicker guards compared to the very thin screens found on foil shavers and aren’t the best for getting very close shaves. I think these factors can be the explanation for the poor performance of your current shaver.
Since you shave every day, I think a foil shaver would be a better option. Here is an article I wrote not too long ago that should help you. You didn’t mention your budget, but below the $100 mark I would consider something like a Panasonic Arc 4 ES8243A or a Braun Series 5 5030s. For slightly more you can get the Series 5 5090cc that also includes a cleaning station. With Panasonic you don’t need one as they are very easy to clean manually.
Hope this helps.
I have a Braun Series 7 which gives a generally poor shave, and an old Series 1 which can always take off more than the 7. If I use the 7 and want a really close shave, I have to finish off with the Series 1, which always takes off what the 7 has left behind. But the Series 1 is old, slow, noisy and doesn’t have the cleaning system.
I have narrowed down the difference to the foils, the Series 1 has the SmartFoil pattern that looks like interlocking wheels, the Series 7 has the SensoFoil honeycombe pattern. The SmartFoil pattern is much better for me, but Braun have now dropped this completely.
To confirm the adage that you learn something every day. After several decades of shaving, I’ve gathered helpful information from your posts on shaving.
I’m using a Braun Series 9 shaver, started using Speick pre-shave which I really like and started shaving the neck area first and all of that has helped. However, the flat hairs on the neck are still a problem.
Have you had any experience with something like the Norelco OneBlade razor? I’ve thought about trying it on the neck first to see if it would clip those hairs and then use the Braun.
Thank you for your comment, Jim. Glad you found some useful bits of information. Haven’t tested the OneBlade yet, but I can see it working in this scenario. If you don’t mind using two machines, it may do the trick for those very difficult flat hairs and then following up with the Series 9.
I always used the older Remington shavers when I was growing up but they stopped making them like 10 years ago or so, now they have the cheap plastic ones with the small pop up trimmers to get your neck with a nice close shave. I have a Remington MS3 1000 still just for my neck and then a Braun 9 series for everything else. The Braun has a tiny little trimmer that pops up for the neck and it doesn’t really work. I wish Remington or another company would come up with a nice shaver like the Remington MS3 1000 was.
Thank you for your comment, Robert. I never got the chance to try the MS3-1000 unfortunately. I understand that you only use the wide trimmer for your neck?
Thanks for writing this article. After going through your website and reading some well written guides and reviews i bought panasonic arc 5 lv97 model. Its a great shaver, however it leaves my neck all bumpy and irritated with some hair still left in patches. Going over again and again makes it worse, do you think Braun series 9 would be better for such a case? I noticed that you did not mention any panasonic shavers in this list, is it because they are by design not good at shaving neck?
Also this is my first time ever using an electric shaver, I used safety razors before. Should I stick with panasonic or send it back and get a braun series 9?
Thank you for your comment.
Braun electric shavers, especially the ones in the high-end range like the Series 7 and Series 9 are generally better at shaving the neck than Panasonic — they fare better with flat hairs and are more comfortable and forgiving (which is convenient especially if you have to go over an area multiple times). Panasonic razors shave really close and are fast and powerful, but generally work best with short, straight stubble and aren’t quite as gentle as Braun, especially during a dry shave.
That said, I think you should not send your Arc 5 back just yet; since it’s your first electric shaver, your skin will take some time to adjust and your technique will get better as you continue using it. You usually have up to one month during which you can try the shaver before returning it, so you might as well take advantage of that. If the results are still not satisfactory, then getting a Series 9 or even 7 should be the next step.
Thanks for the prompt response. I will stick with panasonic for next couple of weeks then.
I used braun 7 for 4 years and it performed very well for an electrical shaver. I purshased recently braun 9 wishing to get ride of the few hair that left in my neck each time. But I am surprised that the braun 7 performs much better than the 9 in neck area with flat hair despite the 9 is described by braun to be more effective for that. I took my braun 9 to the service center and they informed me that the shaver is performing normal and they changed for me the head. But even after that I still have an issue (it seems that it does not shave at all in some neck area). I took each shaver in a hand and run them. I feel that the vibration of the 7 is stronger. I shave wet. Do you have suggestion for me ?
Thank you for your comment.
The Series 9 should be at least as good as the 7 with flat hairs and from my experience and user feedback, that seems to be the case most of the time. However, some users seem to get better results with the Series 7. In my opinion one of the main reasons for that is the slim shaving head of the Series 7 that is easier to “steer” and change the direction of the stroke, allowing you to tackle the problem areas very efficiently.
I don’t think the stronger vibration is very relevant (Braun probably tried to make the Series 9 quieter as well).
Here are a few things you could try:
– You can fit the Series 9 cassette in two ways. Try them both and see if one seems to work better than the other. I shared more details here.
– In order to shave flat hairs effectively, you must always shave against the grain, so make sure to adjust the direction of your stroke accordingly. Using shaving cream can make this trickier as you can’t really see the hairs. As an alternative, there’s an excellent product from Jack Black called Beard Lube. It’s a shaving balm that’s practically transparent when applied to the skin and works great with electric shavers. More details here.
– Try a dry shave as well, ideally with a pre-shave lotion like the Speick Pre-electric Shave. I love wet shaving too, but the Series 9 works great when used dry as well and again, you can easily see the patches of stubborn hairs.
Hope this helps.
Hi! Thanks for the article. My son wants a “nice” electric shaver for his birthday… and after reading I’m wondering if there is a shaver that will perform well for both face and neck. He has curly, thick hair and a lot of it. Thanks!
I think the original Series 7 (meaning models like the 790cc, 7865cc, 7893s, etc.) should be a good option. If the price is not an issue, you can also consider the Series 9 which should work particularly well for this type of facial hair.
Hi, first of all, thanks a heap to comfort users with technical info about the models to facilitate them an exact selection as per their need. I would like to have your smart review on the model Panasonic ES40033s, as it gives a well smooth shave on the mustache and cheeks rather than the jawline & neck even after several slides by wet and dry shave in every angle for every day and every other day shave.
Kindly apprise the right choice accordingly. An amicable prompt response would be highly appreciated.
Thank you for your comment.
I believe you are referring to the ES4033s which is an older (pre-ARC) discontinued shaver. I haven’t used that exact model, but I have tried other similar ones. Its underwhelming performance on the neck and jawline is not surprising given it’s only a basic, two-foil shaver fitted with the older/lower power 8800 CPM motor. The mustache and cheeks are the least demanding areas, so you can get decent results.
The models mentioned in this post would be better than your current shaver. As for which one to get, that depends on your budget.
I have never found any site that is comprehensive like yours . Straight to the point, good people. Unbiased reviews!!
But still I find this article inaccurate/biased , Because in the cases each series of a brand you declared one model as a good product for the neck area.. For example in the braun serie 5 you choose the CC (cleaning) machine as good for neck area, But in reality all the series 5 is excellent for the neck area due to the lifting function it has in its heads
In my case I have series 5 5030s which is without a cleaning station (which isn’t necessary for daily cleaning) as stated in your article on cleaning the 5 series manually
The CC models are highly expensive and has its positives.. But it’s not crucial if manual cleaning made correctly and it can be done.
So why recommend only the CC models!?
This is my only concern, other than that you are gorgeous
Many thanks for your comment, much appreciated.
If you check out some of my other articles, you’ll also see that I almost never recommend Panasonic shavers that come with cleaning stations. That’s simply because they’re very easy to clean manually and the models that include a self-cleaning system are usually a lot more expensive. In the case of certain Braun shavers, the stations are handy to have and some of the cc models don’t cost a lot more than the solo variations. On top of that, there are cheap third-party cleaning solutions that will keep the costs of ownership to a minimum. I also try to emphasize as often as I can that the performance between the solo and cc models is the same as you’ve also mentioned.
Thank you, I meant for the Braun machines
I do agree that with Station (same series) isn’t much a difference in price..
But in some countries you won’t find that many models for each series, here in Israel for instance we have only the series 5 5030 in the 5 series .. And if you
Want a cleaning station you will have to jump to the series 9 which is by far more expensive
It’s ok, you assumed all models available
Thank you, be well
So I recommend you to Generalize
I’m choosing now between a 6500 with SH50 and a 6800 with SH60
Is the SH60 noticeably better than SH50?
I would go with the 6800. The closeness is similar, but at least in my experience the SH60 is more comfortable.
Hi Ovidiu, you were right – 6800 with SH60 is the most comfortable shaver I have used for a 3-days stub, neck and for hair growing in all directions 🙂 6800 is a powerful and well-designed shaver.
In terms of closeness, it’s below the Panasonic Arc5, and I’d say it seems to be even below SH30 (I bought one for comparison purposes 🙂 But that could be inexact, as I’ve used the 6800 only once.
Awesome, glad you’re happy with it. It’s one of the most compelling shavers Philips has released in recent years. The improvement in comfort is impressive, even though the closeness isn’t quite the best.
Hi Ovidiu, I have read many of your articles and appreciate your insights. My neck is sensitive and I continually get red bumps and ingroan hairs after using a razor on the neck. My barber suggested the Braun series 9 will self cleaning but $250+ seems a lot to spend for this need.
Can you clarify if this truly is the best or if there is another cheaper alternative for my described use and sensitive skin?
Thanks for the comment, hope you found some useful info on the site.
I agree with your barber, the Series 9 would be my pick as well. The next best thing would be the Series 7, you should still be able to find one that comes with a cleaning station and costs less than a cc Series 9. For example, the Series 7 790cc or 7865cc. I won both and they’re right up there with the Series 9 with regards to comfort.
I just discovered this site and it is a huge help. I am trying to decide between the braun 9 and the philips prestige. My sole criteria is which razor is best able to shave the neck. Which one would you select? Thank you.
Both are highly capable, but I would recommend the Series 9 to most users (unless they have a strong preference from previous experience toward rotary razors). In most cases, the Series 9 will be smoother, faster and will shave closer.
Thank you for your reply. I have started to price the Braun 9.
Before I make that switch, I have a question on my Arc5 ES – LV65 -5. Your review of the Arc 5 indicated that the Es – LV65 – 5 could be equipped with the new more comfortable shaving unit that includes the comfort rollers. I read the article several times, but got confused as to part number that can be ordered. Is it ES9040? Thank you.
You are very welcome, Neil. Yes, the ES9040 is one of the newer foil&blades sets that are more comfortable and compatible with older shaver models like your ES-LV65. The ES9040 is the latest (and the best, although the differences from the previous foils with comfort rollers are rather small). If you can’t find the ES9040, you can get one of the earlier models (like ES9036 or ES9038) because as I said, the differences are minor. I posted a detailed guide on Arc 5 foil compatibility as well if you want to check it out.
Your articles are a godsend. I have struggled with sensitive skin and shaving for years. Your recommendations are appreciated. One of your tips recommended shaving against the grain for people with sensitive skin. I tried it and it has really helped. Thanks again!
You are very welcome, Neil, I’m glad it helped.
Hey Ovidiu, awesome article! I’ve been struggling with razor burn and irritation just on my neck after using the Philips one blade pro. It shaves really well for my face but I can’t seem to get it to work on my neck no matter what I do. What would you recommend I do? Should I get another razor to try tackle the neck separately? And if so which one do you reckon as I once bought the series 9 shaver you mention but that wasn’t too effective. Thanks heaps
Many thanks for the comment, glad you found the info useful.
If you’re dealing with razor burn and pimples on the neck, the OneBlade should be a really good option since it doesn’t cut the hairs very close to the skin. In theory, it should be even better than a foil shaver which cuts the hairs really close. Try using your OneBlade without pressing too hard and use slow, controlled strokes, always against the direction of hair growth. Be particularly mindful when going over the Adam’s apple and surrounding area. Wash your face and neck with cold water after your shave, gently pat it dry with a clean towel and apply a hydrating balm, preferably one without alcohol/fragrance.