Even the best electric shavers are badly underestimated and underused by the general shaving public. But anyone who does rely on them knows that they deliver a nearly-smooth shave, minus any irritation. That’s because they buzz you as close to the skin as possible, without breaking the surface (and thus without inviting ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and razor burn). This is highly favored by guys with sensitive skin who want to do a clean shave frequently, but would rather not pick up a razor and suffer the consequences that might arise from a too-hasty blade shave.
Many of the best electric razors can be used for wet shaving or dry shaving—that is, with shaving cream or oil, in the shower, and rinsed clean. Others are lightweight and hold a long charge, making them easy for on-the-go shaves for a weekend away or post-gym freshening. They have foil heads for an antimicrobial clean, or a cleaning station that helps flush out debris and preserve the quality of the device. There are even electric shavers designated for long beards and bald heads.
But the main thing they do is clean up your face in a hurry. The best electric shaver will get the hair so close to the skin that, to the naked eye, you have a noon-o’clock shadow, if anything at all. It’s far superior to the stubble that you’ll get from a guard-free beard trimmer, and the same can be said for bald-headed guys needing an electric shaver over the buzz-inclined hair clippers.
So, after lots of shaving and testing at GQ Best Stuff grooming laboratory, here’s our list of all the top-shelf, high-end, all-around best electric shavers for men.
The Best Foil Electric Shaver: Panasonic Arc5
Panasonic’s wet-dry Arc5 electric foil shaver is our top pick for several reasons, but the biggest is its ergonomic flexible head. The Arc5 touts what Panasonic calls a “16-D flexible pivoting head”, which is to say that it pivots in 16 different directions, thanks to five foil blades, and hugs the contours of your face. Its motor speed adjusts with the thickness and density of your facial hair, so that it knows precisely how forceful and fast to cut stubble. The Panasonic Arc5 cordless shaver can operate for a full 45 minutes after just one hour of charging, and gives you enough juice for a quick shave after just three minutes plugged-in.
The Best Rotary Shaver: Philips Norelco Series 9000
Philips Norelco’ wet-dry shaver soars over your neck, chin, and face without getting caught. (Try it on your shoulders, upper back, and such, too.) It promises to cut hairs up to 30% closer than the competition with its three rotary heads that rotate eight ways each. You can adjust the speed of the shaver if you want to take it slower, or if your skin is too sensitive for its rapid-fire removal. The device is easy to clean since it’s a wet-and-dry shaver, but it also comes with a cleansing stand for quick, effective disinfecting. This cordless shaver lasts three hours with each charge, and a digital display tells you how much charge remains.
The Long-Standing Favorite Shaver: Braun Series 7
Braun shavers have been celebrated for delivering comfortable shaves for long time, and for good reason. Consider all the benefits of Braun’s excellent rechargeable Series 7 shaver: It’s got both a cleansing base that also serves as a charger; it’s a wet/dry shaver for whichever method you prefer; you can adjust its speed (with 5 options); it lifts hairs away from the skin for an even, close shave; and it lasts just shy of an hour on a full charge. Plus, it comes with a pop-up trimmer to get a clean line on your sideburns.
The Best Body Shaver: Mangroomer
We know that, secretly, many of you are here to find the best manscaping device. Mangroomer’s double-headed wet-dry device gives you a trim or a shave (with 8 different length settings on the trimmer, so that you can trim or shave to your liking on chest or junk.) Its foil shaving head glides smoothly over the contours of your, uh, curves, snipping everything down without nicking the skin anywhere—particularly not in your most sensitive areas.
The Best Bald-Head Shaver: Kibiy
If you’re rocking a polished dome—maybe you’re auditioning for the next Fast and Furious—then you’ll want an easy-to-use, ergo-friendly rotary shaver. (That is, if you don’t want to actually shave your head with a razor.) While Kibiy’s palm-held device boasts attachments for clean beard outlines, facial cleansing and exfoliating, and nose-hair trimming, it is is a head shaver above all. Just grip it and zoom every which way around your head—it even works in the shower if you prefer a wet shave, and it holds an hour-long charge.
The Best Buy: Panasonic travel shaver
You’ll be pleased with Panasonic’s portable shaver even when you’re not traveling, since it’s particularly useful for a quick neck-beard trim. It hits all the angles with its no-frills, single-blade head, and is easy to clean (not to mention waterproof). This is certainly the smallest and lightest of the bunch here, perhaps due to a lack of an internal battery. The shaver instead runs on AA batteries, which will last a while if you’re simply using it for touch-ups. Of the lot, it’s the one that every guy should have, regardless of his facial hair, since it is the easiest to transport and the least expensive.
The Best Trimmer for Ingrown-Prone Men: Bevel electric trimmer
Last year, Bevel made waves with an upgrade to its cult-status shaver (including a particularly science fiction-looking all-black model). While it’s technically a beard trimmer, the beautifully designed machine gives a close-enough shave for guys who are otherwise prone to shave bumps (and who prefer a pinch of extra stubble for that reason). You can also use its T-head trimmer for clean edges and detailing.
The Barbershop Favorite: Andis foil shaver
This gold-titanium foil shaver from from Andis gives you a bump-free shave, and is also great for cleaning up the base of fresh fades. It’s a barbershop favorite for a reason, and has tiered heads for a closer shave on heads, cheeks, and necks alike. Its lithium ion battery holds an 80-minute charge.
The Best Travel Shaver: Gamma+ foil shaver
A 2-hour runtime makes this Gamma+ gold-foil shaver ideal for a weeklong escape if you still want to keep it all trim. It’s both lightweight and compact, and touts a precision trimmer at the rear, for detailing and spot checks. One surprise perk is that it charges with a USB cable, which is something these other brands need to incorporate into their shavers. We charge everything else that way these days, why not our hygiene devices, too?
The Most Unique Shaver: Philips Norelco OneBlade
This cartridge-esque electric shaver is safe for both body and facial hair, and it works like a great T-blade for clean edges on your mustache, neckline, sideburns, etc. It has three guards for tiered trimming and detailing options, and comes with a 45-minute battery life. Don’t forget to buy additional “razor” heads, too, which will ensure that you practice good razor hygiene (though that’s inherently easier when you’re working with an electric trimmer instead of a standard cartridge). Lastly, this one shaves wet or dry, so bring it in the shower if you fancy a quick multitasking once-over.