Best Men's Foil Shavers

Updated May 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

14 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
166 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best men’s foil shavers

Last Updated May 2019

Whether you treat it as a ritual or a chore, shaving is a part of most men’s mornings, and a foil shaver is your best option for a clean shave or detailed trimming when it comes to electric shavers. Foil shavers don’t require shaving cream or lather, and they are less likely to irritate the skin than rotary shavers. The two main types of foil shavers are dry and wet/dry shavers.

Wet/dry shavers can be used in the shower or on dry skin, while dry shavers can’t be used with water. Some models are designed to be used only on the face, while others work well for other parts of the body. Battery-powered or cordless designs can be convenient, but corded models will never be without power as long as you’re near an outlet. How well a shaver handles different hair lengths and how quickly the blades dull will determine the best foil shaver for you according to your needs and uses.

To learn more about the factors that should go into your decision and the types of shavers available, continue reading our shopping guide.

If you’re new to shaving, foil shavers are a perfect point of entry due to their ease-of-use.

Key considerations

Before you buy a foil shaver, you should ask yourself whether it is the best option for you.

Traditional manual razors make shaving into more of a ritual. The process may take longer, and in the long run, you may spend more on manual shavers than you would on a foil shaver.

Rotary razors deal better with longer hair or hair that grows in different directions. However, they are more likely to irritate the skin.

Foil razors are easy to use and are the best choice for anyone who shaves on a daily basis, whether you shave your whole face or just touch up your beard, sideburns, or mustache. They also achieve a closer shave than rotary razors.

Foils, trimmers, and cutting speed

Most foil shavers have two micro-foils with oscillating blades, but some shavers have an additional foil or a dedicated trimmer for cutting long or flat-lying hairs. The number of additional trimmers and foils will vary. You may not find them necessary if your facial hair tends to be cooperative, but if you have hair that grows in different directions or lies flat against your skin, you may need a tool made for a trickier job.

The cutting speed, or CPM (cycles per minute) determines how efficiently a shaver works. Highly efficient shavers tend to come in around 13,000 CPM or greater.

Blade and foil durability

How long the blades last will depend on the razor, the quality of the blades, how frequently you shave, and the coarseness of your hair.

Foils can wear out as well, developing holes that can expose your skin to the fast-moving blades. In addition to resulting in a sloppy or uncomfortable shave, this can be a serious safety hazard.

You will generally need to replace the blades and foil at the same time, and these parts are typically sold together by the manufacturer. In some cases, you will replace the entire cassette — the head of the shaver. This depends on the model and manufacturer.

Following the manufacturer’s recommendation for replacing parts is your best bet, but you should also replace the foil and blades if you notice the comfort or quality of your shaves diminishing. Replacing these parts can be costly, so look into the prices of replacement parts for a particular razor before purchasing so you have an idea of how expensive upkeep will be.

Grooming uses

Some foil shavers can be used on parts of the body besides the face, as long as it’s dealing with short hair. You may want to have a separate shaver for body and facial hair.

Certain wet/dry shavers can be used with a shaving gel or cream if you prefer something closer to a traditional shave.

Corded vs. cordless

For a simple shaver that you mostly use at home over your bathroom sink, a corded shaver gets the job done and will never need batteries or charging.

Cordless shavers are either rechargeable or battery powered. Rechargeable models typically use lithium-ion batteries, which can hold a charge for several days without use and can typically provide several shaves. However, it is perfectly safe to charge your razor after every use. Some rechargeable models have a charging base, while others have a charging cord.

Battery-powered models take AA or AAA batteries, which you will need to replace every few months. This is an added expense, but you may enjoy not needing to charge your shaver.

Dry vs. wet/dry

You probably already know whether you will use your shaver in the shower or not. Wet/dry shavers give you the option to shave where you want, and they can also be used with a shaving cream or lather, which is great for extra-sensitive skin.

Some shavers have water-safe designs that allow you to clean the shaver with water, but this does not mean they can be used in the shower. To avoid catastrophe, you should carefully follow the recommended use according to the manufacturer.

Comfort and design

Foil shavers vary greatly in the design of their handle. Some are utilitarian and boxy, while others are molded to fit comfortably in your hand.

The controls may range from a single button to a multi-speed setting dial. Some models may include features like an accurate battery display or pop-up trimmer for fine details.

Noise level

Foil shavers, just like any electric razor, can be a bit loud. Some quieter models emit a low buzz, while others can make a high-pitched whine that may prove irritating. Read customer reviews before you buy to get a sense of the noise level of a shaver.

Included accessories

Many foil shavers come with the bare minimum: the shaver and possibly a charging cable. Others include accessories to transport your gadget and keep it running smoothly.

  • A cleaning brush can help you thoroughly dislodge pesky hairs and ensure that your next shave is a smooth one. If your shaver doesn’t include a brush, picking one up is a good idea.

  • A carrying case comes in handy if you plan to travel frequently with your shaver and don’t want it getting damaged. A case isn’t a necessity, but it’s nice to have and can keep your charging cord safely bundled with your shaver.
EXPERT TIP

If your shaver is tugging on your hair rather than cutting it, it’s time to replace your blades.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

If you are bothered by heat when using an electric shaver, opt for a wet/dry model. The water or shaving cream will serve to cool your skin as you shave.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Keeping your shaver well-lubricated allows it to run smoothly and without warming up too long.


Staff  | BestReviews

Men’s foil shaver prices

Inexpensive

Basic foil shavers cost between $15 and $50 and will meet most people’s needs, though they typically lack a wet shaving function. These range from compact travel shavers to everyday models that get the job done.

Mid-range

Foil shavers for $50 to $100 tend to provide a more comfortable shave and are often cordless or wet/dry. These shavers can last for years and often reach a decent CPM.

Expensive

The best foil shavers available cost from $100 to $200. These are often rechargeable and usually include a charging stand and possibly a case. A shaver in this price range should last for years and provide an excellent, comfortable shave.

Affordable yet powerful

Anyone looking for an inexpensive foil shaver will appreciate this Remington model. It is one of the few foil shavers that doesn’t struggle with longer scruff, allowing you to tidy up if you miss a day or two. Though it takes some time to charge, the battery lasts for several uses.

Tips

  • If you have particularly sensitive skin, you should clean your razor after every use to prevent infections or rashes.

  • Lubricating your shaver is a key step in caring for it and ensuring you get the best possible shave. Look for lubricants designed specifically for foil shavers.

  • If detail work is important to you, look for a shaver with a pop-up trimmer to easily nab stray hairs.

  • If you rinse your shaver with water, make sure you allow it to dry fully before using it again.

Other products we considered

There are a host of foil shavers besides the ones we covered in our shortlist that meet different grooming and lifestyle needs. One favorite of ours is the Panasonic ARC5 Electric Shaver and Trimmer. With its 14,000 CPM and long-lasting battery, this is a powerful shaver with a quiet motor and lightweight design. For something more compact, the Braun M90 Mobile Shaver is an affordable yet versatile option. The foil cover allows you to take this shaver anywhere, and the precision trimmer is a handy little feature. It’s perfect as a travel shaver, but it works well enough that you may end up using it on a daily basis.

Expect a few weeks of adjustment when switching to a foil shaver. Over time, your skin will become less irritated, and your technique will improve.

FAQ

Q. Can I use my foil shaver while it’s charging?

A. For the life of the battery, it’s best to avoid using your shaver while it is charging.

Q. How do I lubricate my shaver?

A. Take apart the head and lightly spray (or apply drops to) the foils and blades. After reassembling the head, turn the shaver on briefly to allow the oil to spread out. You should oil your shaver once or twice a week.

Q. What should I clean my shaver with?

A. Water does the trick, but if you really want to clean your shaver well, you can use soap and water, which will prevent irritation.

The team that worked on this review
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Peter
    Peter
    Writer

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