Shaving with an Electric Razor for the First Time: What You Need to Know

If you’ve never used an electric shaver before, but plan on doing so soon, then this article is for you. Once you’ve settled on your first razor, it’s now time to actually use it.

However, it may not go as smooth as you’d hope for. In fact, some users may even steer clear of electric shavers altogether after one bad experience.

So let’s what we can do in order to avoid that situation.

8 simple tips for first-time users

1. Be patient and careful, just like you would be when using a razor blade.

I think the vast majority of bad experiences when first using an electric shaver sprout from the user’s unrealistic expectations.

Just because it doesn’t have an exposed cutting edge it doesn’t mean it can’t hurt you or that it’s infinitely forgiving.

Most of the time, the culprit is applying excessive pressure and going over an area multiple times.

Even though the cutters are covered by a protective foil or comb, they can still cause irritation and pain. The fact that some of them get hot during prolonged use doesn’t help either.

Once you get more experienced, you’ll be able to be more adventurous with your technique.

2. Don’t try to get a close shave from the beginning.

Focus on your technique instead.

Your first shaving sessions should be about getting used to the new razor and minimizing the potential discomfort.

3. Don’t skip post-shave treatment.

Again, just because you’re not using a blade anymore doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow up with a hydrating aftershave balm.

Thin layers of skin cells are still being shaved off (although not to the same extent) and your skin remains vulnerable and prone to irritation.

Make sure to use a quality, hydrating and soothing balm. Avoid the ones containing alcohol, they just sting and dry your skin.

4. Handle your razor with care as the foils and cutters can be easily damaged.

Bumping them on the sink or using hard objects for cleaning will likely damage these parts and you’ll have to buy new ones. And yes, they can be pricey.

5. You may need to give your skin more time to heal between shaving sessions.

In every user guide that comes with an electric razor, there is a section saying that it takes a few weeks for your skin to adapt to the new way of shaving.

In other words, the first month or so won’t be a joy ride. Not only because it is a different way of shaving, but because you are more likely to make mistakes (like the ones mentioned above).

During this time you may need to increase the time between shaves to at least two days. This simple tweak can make this transition go smoother.

6. Make sure the razor is charged.

It is so easy to overlook this one. A brand new shaver will have just enough power to turn on, but most of them can’t maintain peak performance when the battery is almost drained.

Because of this, it won’t cut as efficiently, you’ll be tempted to apply more pressure and to do more passes; also, some tugging and pulling are likely to happen in this case.

7. Stick with it.

Again, these first few weeks won’t be a delight for some and you may even be a bit disappointed at first. The comfort, the closeness of the shave or even the time it takes to complete a shave may not meet your expectations.

But before deciding to give up and return the razor, remember that it takes time for these things to improve. Electric shaving has some undeniable benefits and you will eventually get there.

8. Check out our extensive tips for dry and wet electric shaving.

Apart from these points that are specifically geared towards absolute beginners, there are some general rules of thumb that will vastly improve the comfort and closeness of your shave. They’re easy to implement and will make a big difference, so definitely check them out.

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Hey I’m Ovidiu, the founder and editor of I independently buy and test electric shavers and have been sharing my findings on this site since 2013, hopefully helping others choose a suitable shaver.

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8 thoughts on “Shaving with an Electric Razor for the First Time: What You Need to Know”

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  1. Thank you very much for the information provided on this website. I have been a lifelong safety razor user. I am in my 60’s and recently became an electric razor user.
    The information from this website was of great assistance in my decision to purchase the Braun 5190cc. I am concluding my 3rd week with this razor and I am very happy with it.
    The shaving ritual has always been an important part of the beginning of my day. I was not sure how this would be effected with the switch to an electric.
    I have been patient while on the learning curve. I continue to experiment with razor pressure and the length & direction of shaving stroke. The tips provided on this page have guided my experimentation.
    I have begun to use Williams Lectric Shave and have noticed an improvement in the quality of my shave.
    I do clean and lubricate with the cleaning station after each use. I recently conducted manual cleaning of the razor while on a week-long camping trip. I used the Braun product manual as a guide, with good result.
    Thanks again for all your help.

    • Hi Ben,

      Thank you so much for the kind words and for taking the time to share your experience. I’m glad to hear that you enjoy shaving with your new Series 5.


  2. Do the women’s electric shavers Hurt? I just brought one for the first time and am afraid of it hurting and pinching. What will it feel like on my legs ?

    • Is it a foil shaver? Can you share the exact brand and model? As long as it is a shaver and not an epilator with tweezers, it shouldn’t cause any noticeable discomfort during use.

    • Hi Winston,

      Fine hairs are a problem for most electric shavers. In order to be cut, the hair must first poke through a perforation in the foil. And it’s a lot more difficult when the hair is fine, soft or flat-lying.
      And the longer they are, the more difficult it is for the shaver to get them. So the solution would be to pre-trim the hairs with something like a beard trimmer or simply to shave more often. If the hair is short, the performance of the shaver should be better.


  3. Hi. What would you suggest for the first timer? Wet shave or dry shave? I’m shaving for more than 20 years and used every kind of razor from multiple to DE safety to a straight razor.

    • Hi,

      A dry shave is probably better at the very begging, at least until you get used to the shaver and what works best in terms of technique for your facial hair (things like the direction and length of the stroke). In order for an electric shaver to be effective at catching and cutting the hair, you must always go against the grain and a layer of lather will make that more difficult to assess visually. A wet shave also requires more prep work and thorough cleaning of the shaver afterward. It’s not by any means difficult, but it’s probably easier to get started with a dry shave.



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