In a world where everything is turning wireless, cordless and untethered, corded electric shavers are becoming a rare breed.
Yes, most of us would rather shave without a cord dangling from the razor, but as a fallback solution, being able to use an electric shaver directly from a power outlet is a handy feature.
And for some users, it is a must-have.
But almost all current electric shavers will only work cordless. While there used to be many cordless/corded shavers in the past, your options are rather limited in 2024.
However, there are still a few excellent shavers out there that will work with the cord plugged in.
You’ll still be able to use them cordless, but also have the peace of mind that you can always plug the cord in and start shaving.
We’ll also check out a few corded-only razors at the end that you can still buy.
Without further ado, let’s see what’s the deal with corded electric razors and check out some of the best options that will suit different budgets and different needs.
Table of Contents
- Corded electric shavers: pros and (no) cons?
- The best corded & cordless electric shavers for 2024
- What about corded-only electric razors?
- Why are there so few corded electric razors available?
Corded electric shavers: pros and (no) cons?
I decided to write this article after getting many emails and comments from readers asking for recommendations for electric shavers that they can use both cordless and corded.
The main reason for wanting such a shaver was always the same: to be able to use it even after the battery is no longer able to hold a decent charge.
That’s a perfectly valid reason, especially for someone who plans to hold on to a shaver for a few good years.
It’s a known fact that rechargeable batteries have a finite number of charging cycles.
When that number is reached, they’ll no longer be able to provide the required power to operate the motor.
And if it’s a cordless-only shaver, that can be a problem.
In this situation, the first thing you could do is replace the battery.
However, pretty much all electric shavers are fitted with batteries that are not user-replaceable.
So officially, you cannot replace the battery yourself.
Unofficially, you can actually do it and for the more popular shaver models, the compatible batteries are available and you can even find tutorials showing you how to do it step by step.
But if your shaver is not one of those, the batteries are difficult to find or aren’t available at all to end-users.
Another problem with opening the shaver if you do manage to source the battery is compromising the waterproofing.
Precisely, if your shaver was originally water-resistant and you could wash it under the tap, you’ll probably no longer be able to do that.
Water ingress can and will damage the shaver irreversibly.
So ending up with a shaver that you must baby and take extra care when using and cleaning it doesn’t sound like fun.
Even shaving in an environment with high humidity can be a problem.
Luckily, there are still a few electric razors you can buy that will also work corded.
These shavers are suitable for dry use only, meaning you shouldn’t use them in the shower or with shaving cream or gel (due to safety concerns).
That’s the downside of corded electric shavers, but a minor one as most users would rather shave dry anyway.
Despite this limitation, modern dry-only shavers are usually waterproof and can be safely rinsed with water (with the cord unplugged, of course).
Important: dry-only doesn’t always imply that a shaver will work with the cord plugged in — there are a few models that won’t — but it’s a good place to start your quest for a corded razor.
The wet/dry electric shavers will generally only work cordless; again, as a safety precaution.
With that said, let’s check out some of the most compelling corded shavers out there, both budget-friendly and also in the high-end segment.
The best corded & cordless electric shavers for 2024
1. Braun Series 7 790cc
Important: Only the older Series 7 790cc-4 and 790cc-5 will work cordless and corded. The newer models, ie 790cc-6, 790cc-7 will only work cordless. You should definitely check this with the vendor before buying as that model name is not always listed.
For anyone familiar with electric shavers, the Series 7 from Braun shouldn’t need any introduction.
It’s one of the most successful, popular, and iconic electric razors of the past decade.
And while it’s definitely not flawless, it’s a really good, versatile shaver that will be suitable in a variety of situations.
First of all, it does tick the box for cordless and corded operation, the thing we’re interested in particular here.
Being an older model, it’s a dry-only shaver, unlike the newer Series 7 iterations that are all wet/dry models and will not work while charging.
It’s also waterproof, so you can safely clean the 790cc with tap water.
The cc in its name stands for Clean & Charge as it comes with an automatic cleaning station that cleans and charges the shaver.
You can plug the cord directly into the shaver and as mentioned previously, it will actually work in this manner.
So what are the main pros of the Series 7 790cc and who should buy it?
First of all, it’s a very comfortable and forgiving electric shaver.
The fact that it’s a dry-only razor isn’t a deal-breaker in this case as the 790cc is really comfortable and the closeness of the shave will also be satisfactory for most users.
I’ve been using wet/dry Series 7 models like the 7865cc with shaving cream and to be honest, the differences in the quality of shave were marginal.
So it’s not really worth the trouble of using shaving cream anyway.
For men with sensitive skin who suffer from razor burn, irritation, bumps, and ingrown hairs, the Series 7 790cc would be ideal if it fits within the budget.
Unfortunately is getting very difficult to find nowadays, and the price has spiked as well.
The Series 7 can handle longer, flat-lying hairs better than other foil shavers in this price range. So if you don’t shave often, the 790cc would again be a good option.
It only has 3 shaving elements, but it performs great and it’s powerful enough for a coarse beard as well.
And with proper care and maintenance, it should last for years and you can still use it even after the battery’s performance degrades.
I chose the 790cc over other corded Braun Series 7 from the old generation because it’s basically the only one still available.
The current Series 7, aka Series 7 360 Flex, will not work cordless and the shaving performance is also not as good.
2. Braun Series ProSkin 3 3000s
The second Braun on our list of corded&cordless shavers is from the entry-level Series 3 ProSkin line.
Precisely, the Series 3 ProSkin 3000s model.
It’s a dry-only shaver that is affordable, offers very decent performance for the price, it’s comfortable, reasonably powerful and a great choice for the budget-conscious buyer.
While the Series 7 above is clearly a more advanced (and better) shaver, the 3000s is not too bad for such an inexpensive razor.
It’s a basic, no-frills, 3-blade foil shaver that will work great for someone who shaves more often and has a light to medium beard.
While it will eventually shave a dense, coarser beard as well, I highly recommend going for a Series 7 in that case.
The 3000s is easy to use and clean, making it ideal for a beginner as well. It is waterproof, so you can simply wash it under the tap.
The replacement shaving heads are inexpensive and widely available, reducing the costs of ownership to a minimum.
The comfort during the shave is Braun’s main advantage over the other brands in this price segment.
The closeness is not the best though, but if you want a comfortable and affordable foil shaver that will work corded, the Series 3 3000s is one of the very few options available.
Other Series 3 models that will work while charging are either difficult to find (3020s), have poor battery life and an inferior shaving head (300s) or they cost a lot for a basic razor (3090cc, 3070cc, 3050cc, etc.).
3. Remington F5-5800
Remington is another important name in the electric shavers industry, but one that has lagged behind the Panasonic, Braun and Philips trio.
The quality and reliability of their recent shavers just aren’t quite up there with the best.
Nevertheless, the F5-5800 is a model that stands out from the lineup.
It’s also probably the most popular Remington shaver in recent years.
The main reasons for that are the affordable price and surprisingly, the performance.
Specifically, the closeness.
The F5-5800 shaves closer than other shavers in that price range, like the Series 3 from Braun.
However, it does so at the expense of comfort to some degree. So the F5-5800 won’t be a suitable choice for users with very sensitive skin.
It also works well only on short facial hair. So if you don’t shave daily or every other day at most, the Braun Series 3 3000s above will again be a better option.
And then there’s the problem of reliability which seems to be very spotty with Remington shavers.
There are reports of the blades eating through the foils after a few months of use, so this is something you should consider as well.
The Series 3 from Braun has a better reliability history.
But even so, the Remington F5-5800 is a very interesting option for a corded and cordless foil shaver.
It comes from a different brand than the rest and is capable of delivering some very close shaves, provided that you don’t have very sensitive skin and you usually shave more often.
4. Philips Norelco Shaver 2500 (S1311/82)
Important: The so-called new version (X3052/91) is cordless-only, so make sure you’re getting the old one above (S1311/82).
Up to this point, we’ve only looked at corded foil shavers.
Well, for users who prefer rotary razors, the choices are even fewer, unfortunately.
Philips (Norelco) is basically the only option and most of their shavers still in production will not work with the cord plugged in.
But again, we can still find a few exceptions.
The Shaver 2500 (SS1311/82) and 2300 (S1211/81) are affordable, entry-level, dry-only rotary razors that operate both corded and cordless.
And while both are part of the Series 2000, the Shaver 2500 is a special model.
Specifically, it’s more powerful and has a larger battery, so it’s like a corded&cordless Series 3000.
It’s therefore my pick of the two, but the 2300 is still a decent option, especially if you can get one for significantly less money.
The Norelco Shaver 2500 is easy to use and clean, it’s quiet and works surprisingly well on longer facial hair.
It’s also fitted with a pop-up trimmer and while it’s pretty average, it’s nevertheless a useful and welcome addition.
As for the downsides, the closeness could be better, so if that’s a deal-breaker, you will be better off with one of the foil shavers above.
But it does check the most important boxes: it’s a reliable, durable corded&cordless rotary shaver.
The SH30 replacement heads are also inexpensive and last longer before needing to be replaced vs a foil head.
Unfortunately, if you were hoping for a more advanced rotary razor that you can use while charging, you’re out of luck.
All the middle to high-end Philips shavers will not work corded.
So the Series 2000 and some older Series 3000 are basically the only options nowadays.
5. Panasonic Arc 5
Most Panasonic electric shavers are cordless only models.
However, there are a few unicorns that will work corded as well.
The most accessible — price-wise and also how easy it is to get — would be the compact Arc 5 ES-CV70.
This one is essentially a 5-blade Arc 5 that comes in a compact form factor.
And while it was intended to be a travel shaver, because its performance is pretty much the same compared to a full-size Arc 5, it can also work as your main shaver.
There’s only one compromise, in the sense that it has a fixed shaving head, but I didn’t find that to bother me at all.
The closeness, power and also the comfort set this shaver apart.
As mentioned above, the ES-CV70 will work both cordless and corded.
Other (full-size) Panasonic Arc 5 models that can be used while connected to a power outlet are only available as imports from Japan.
For some reason, Panasonic does not make them officially available outside of Japan.
But you can still find some anyway like this one from the new Lamdash 3/Arc 3 series:
The ES-LT2Q-T above only has 3 blades instead of 5 and a slightly less powerful motor.
But it’s still a very decent shaver, similar to a Braun Series 3 ProSkin and costs a lot less than a 5-blade Arc 5.
What about corded-only electric razors?
For the purists out there, an electric shaver that has no battery at all is the ideal machine.
While back in the day this was the norm, currently there are even fewer than the cordless/corded models listed above.
But even so, you can actually still buy some.
These are all very basic, no-frills, inexpensive rotary razors, but still work decently.
So let’s check them out.
The best option for a corded-only electric shaver in 2024 is in my opinion the Philips Norelco 1100.
The newer S1016/90 variation is in my opinion the one to get.
Philips Norelco Shaver 1100
The performance will be identical to a Philips Norelco Shaver 2300 (all of them use the same SH30 cutting heads and are widely available).
Surprisingly, despite being powered directly with electricity from the mains, it’s not more powerful than the typical Series 2000.
For example, the corded & cordless Shaver 2500 at number 4 feels and sounds a bit more powerful than the corded-only 1100.
Finally, we also have a corded-only rotary from Remington called the R50.
It’s again a very affordable and basic rotary shaver, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Performance-wise, I think the Philips Norelco 1100 has the edge, but it’s good to have more options.
Also, the replacement cutting heads for the R50 don’t seem to be listed anywhere.
Why are there so few corded electric razors available?
As I mentioned earlier in this post, I get quite a few messages from users complaining about the somewhat short lifespan of today’s electric shavers compared to what they used to be back in the day.
While it wasn’t uncommon to use a shaver for 15 years, that seems far-fetched nowadays.
And the argument of being able to use a shaver corded is almost always brought into the discussion.
This makes sense as the battery is usually the first component that will fail.
So why there are so few of these shavers on the market?
I guess we can always make a case for the manufacturers’ intent to sell more products and thus making them intentionally less reliable.
It’s a recurrent theme that we’ve seen in the case of smartphones, cars, or washing machines.
The official reason in the case of cordless only electric razors is safety.
Since a large chunk of them are suitable for wet and dry use, the manufacturers decided to prevent operation when the shaver is connected to a power outlet.
You could argue that it’s a cop-out and a convenient one instead of making an effort to educate and inform the user and so on.
But then again the risk is real in the case of improper use and we must look at this from their perspective as well.
And since most users won’t be bothered by cordless-only operation, at least not to the point of not wanting to buy an electric shaver, it’s pretty clear where things are heading.
We’re likely to see even fewer corded electric shavers in the years to come.
I personally would like to see electric shavers with user-replaceable batteries. And USB charging.
That seems utopic right now, but we can always hope, at least for the latter.
I usually have a hard time coming up with lists of recommended shavers for specific situations.
And the main reason is the sheer number of available models.
However, in this case, precisely the cordless & corded electric razors that are still readily available, there were only a few to consider.
If the ability to use your shaver from the mains is a must-have, the above-mentioned models should be available in most countries and you should pick one based on your needs and budget.
I hope this article will be useful and will help you in your search for a suitable corded razor.
Over to you now: what was your experience with corded electric razors? Are there any other models out there you would recommend?
If you have any questions, make sure to post them in the comments below.