Today I’m continuing to look at grooming tech (yesterday’s list featured the best electric toothbrushes). More specifically, the best electric shavers (or electric razors, as I know some people call them). There are several companies that make electric shavers but only three that were worthy of this particular list: Braun, Panasonic and Philips.
I left out brands like Remington, Wahl and others because they either seemed too cheap or too “dumb” for my liking (being a tech guy, I like my gadgets as “smart” as possible). I’m pretty sure my first electric razor was actually a Remington — and I do think fondly of it — but now that I’m over 30, I’ve decided to pursue the very best.
To me, the very best means: the best design (looks, ergonomics, mechanics), the best and most-innovative features and the best price (which, for me, is under $300). You can certainly buy more expensive shavers than those listed here, but usually that just means a similar model with a few extra accessories.
This is another gadget category that guys use daily, and while it might be less “high-tech” than others typically featured here on DailyTekk, it definitely falls within our goal of bringing you useful tech products for your everyday life.
Which electric shaver looks like the best to you? Let me know down in the comments!
Braun Series 9
The Braun Series 9 shaver — currently the company’s flagship electric shaver — is very highly rated and recommended on Amazon. I can see why: not only is it sleek and sophisticated, but it’s got 3 interesting cutting elements on it’s head meant to take care of any sort of hair (problematic or otherwise). There’s a trimmer that aligns and cuts hairs that are growing in different directions, a trimmer that aligns and cuts flat-lying hairs and then 2 OptiFoil trimmers which are meant to capture short and/or stubborn hairs. Essentially, this technology is meant to leave no hair untrimmed.
But what good are the cutting elements if they don’t maximize skin contact? That’s why every element moves and flexes independently and why the entire head itself pivots. This means you won’t have to go over areas of your face multiple times which results in a cleaner shave, quicker.
This Braun comes with a cleaning station so your shaver will be “like new” every morning, is 100% waterproof, includes a trimmer for sideburn shaping and features a super-simple (or to-the-point) LED display. I also love the 5 minute quick charge feature and the fact that it can grab a full charge in just 60 minutes.
I remember that Steve Jobs respected Braun design and seeing the detail and craftsmanship that went into this razor it’s easy to see why. Braun is renowned for putting extra thought into making functional art in areas like ergonomics, materials, surfaces and interfaces.
When I buy I new shaver soon, this is the one I plan on getting!
Panasonic Arc 5
In many ways the Panasonic Arc 5 is similar to the Braun Series 9: it features multiple cutting elements (one for capturing flat hairs, one for aligning and capturing hairs that grow in different directions, etc.), it’s got a pivoting head, can be used in the shower and has a pop-up trimmer. But the Arc 5 does distinguish itself in a few interesting ways.
For starters, the Arc 5 emphasizes it’s ultra-sharp blades. These “Nanotech” blades are designed to cut hairs at the base for the closest possible shave. Another interesting feature is the shaving sensor which can automatically detect beard density and adjust power for the “right” shave. And finally the LED screen is a bit more complex than the Braun: it shows shave time, battery capacity, shaving sensor mode and lets you know when it’s time to replace any blades or when the unit needs to be cleaned.
Like the Braun Series 9, this shaver seems to be a huge crowd-pleaser on Amazon. The main complaint is simply the price; other people didn’t like that it won’t run while plugged into the wall (which can wear the batteries down faster).
The Philips 9300 electric shaver looks — and works — completely different than either the Braun or Panasonic models I’ve already mentioned. As you can see, it’s got a tri-head setup, rather than straight cutting elements, and it’s one of Philips biggest selling points: 8-direction contouring. When you think about it, being able to flex in so many different directions seems like a good way to ensure a brilliant shave.
The other standout design feature here is what Philips calls V-Track Precision blades. Basically, these V-shaped blades are meant to scoop up and cut hairs that are flat or different lengths.
Finally, this model lets you choose between 3 comfort settings: sensitive, normal and fast.
Like the other shavers listed here, you’ll be able to shave wet or dry and it comes with a cleaning dock which refreshes and recharges the shaver.
While this shaver gets plenty of stellar reviews, it’s safe to say that it has less 5-star reviews than either of the other shavers listed above.
Recommendations and Conclusion
- Most-Affordable: In this price range (and feature set), the most-affordable premium electric shaver would be the Philips.
- Highest-Rated: If you’re looking strictly at customer satisfaction, the Braun and Panasonic slightly edge out the Philips (but not by too much).
- Best Design: For me, I dig the simplicity and purposefulness of the Braun.
- Most Blades: If you subscribe to the “more blades are always better” line of thinking, go with the Panasonic.
I’ve used electric shavers for years and I could never go back to using a plain razor. The convenience trumps everything, for me. As I mentioned I’ll be buying a new electric razor soon and these were the three I narrowed it down to — and, while I’m gunning for the Braun, I think I’d be very happy with any of them.