Any useful recommendations for lower budget (i.e. less than $100) electric shavers?
March 30, 2004 10:41 AM   Subscribe

After twenty years of wet shaving, I'm buying an electric shaver, mainly for traveling. Any useful recommendations for lower budget ones (i.e. less than $100), or more importantly, ones to avoid? I have fast growing, black, thick/wiry stubble, so it needs to have plenty of torque or whatever it is that electric shavers have.
posted by carter to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total)
Well, it will take time to adjust. That is the first thing to realize. I am in your same boat. I have an extermely fast-growing, black (on fair skin) thick hairs that grow in swirl patterns. Getting a straight-razor shave at a shaving room, the professional shaver told me I have an unfortunate beard. Even when I shave completely, I still have that Homer Simpson greyness. Well after years of fighting it using every straight-razor, cream brush and cream on the market, I just gave in an bought an electric razor. The Braun I bought took a while to get used to, but it now works well. I shave very frequently and clean it once (sometimes 2x) a week in its docking station. Regular shaving keeps the irritation low and makes it easier.

I tried a Norelco, but didn't like it. The Braun SyncroSystem works the best for beard with regular use.
posted by Seth at 10:54 AM on March 30, 2004

Never tried the Braun with cleaning dock, but I like the Norelcos. I've not enjoyed the Remington models in the past. Shaving often helps as does keeping the razor clean.
posted by mmascolino at 12:21 PM on March 30, 2004

I picked up a Norelco 5801XL sometime in 1999 and was relatively happy with it, though my skin never truly adjusted to the shaver and I would develop a rather awful case of razor burn whenever I attempted anything more than a quick once-over. In 2002, I went back to blades (the Gillette Mach 3s) and have since been very happy. My beard is so thick that I generally have to shave twice to achieve a clean finish, but I've never run into the razor burn problem once since switching back.

If your skin can tolerate an electric, though, go for it. It will certainly be cheaper in the long run than buying ridiculously expensive blades.
posted by Danelope at 2:14 PM on March 30, 2004

Not sure what your shaving system is, but why does travel necessitate an electric? If the non-travel-friendly item is shaving cream, I highly recommend just using a shave oil. I personally have been quite happy with the King of Shaves brand (available here, among other places), although I know other high quality men's grooming companies make similar products (e.g. Zirh and Art of Shaving). You only need to use a couple of drops and I've found that it gives me a much closer and less irritating shave than any cream/gel i've tried. Also, tiny shave oil bottle + disposable razor is probably smaller than high quality electric razor + charger/base.
posted by rorycberger at 6:28 PM on March 30, 2004

Well part of it is having to pack all the stuff. But when travelling, for some reason, I seem to have this weird inverse relationship between my shaving skills, and the importance of whatever it is that's going to be happening later that day. If it's something really important, I can wind up looking like I've been attacked by Jack the Ripper. Maybe the hotel bathrooms put me off. So I just thought it might be easier to keep an electric one in my bag instead, plug it in, run up to the room in the middle of the day for a touch up, etc. It's a pity hotels don't have barbers ...

I'll check out the shaving oil. I currently use Gillette Mach 3 and stock shaving foam. One thing I have noticed is that European 2 blade razers (e.g. Wilkinson Sword) are almost as good as the 3 blades in the US, but the US 2 blade razers are crap.

Anyway, thanks for the advice everyone!
posted by carter at 7:11 PM on March 30, 2004

Eh? I've never been disappointed with my two-blade Atra (with lubricating strip!).

I'm gonna have to score a freebie 3-blader, just to find out what everyone is raving about.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:36 PM on March 30, 2004

I've never heard of Alta, I'll check them out. Those Gillette cartridges are good, but expensive.
posted by carter at 5:42 AM on March 31, 2004

With an electric you got to use the preshave.
posted by mss at 6:17 AM on March 31, 2004

Not Alta, Atra. It's Gillette's system pre-Mach3. Before that, there was the non-pivoting twin blade TracII.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:14 AM on March 31, 2004

Not Alta, Atra.

*sips coffee, rubs eyes*

Ah yes. Thanks! ;)
posted by carter at 9:43 AM on March 31, 2004

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