Electric Shavers
June 4, 2004 8:36 AM   Subscribe

Is there such a thing as a good electric shaver?

I hate hate hate shaving but I also hate hate hate looking like some poor scruffy wank after a week so I am trying to look into an electric shaver. The last time I owned one-- way back in 1999-- it sucked because it didn't give a close shave and if you didn't shave for like three days the thing felt like it was tearing your face apart. Anyone have any good adfilter testimonials?
posted by xmutex to Shopping (31 answers total)
I've got a Norelco, and it's great. I know what you're talking about with the tearing your face apart stuff, but this one has treated me well.

The key is to invest. Put some money down, because cheap electric razors are cheap for a reason.

Also, give it some time. Your skin needs to adjust to the new method of shaving, and you need some time to learn how to get a reasonably close shave. It takes some practice, but it can be done.
posted by oissubke at 8:45 AM on June 4, 2004 [1 favorite]

IMHO, no, but I have very course, curly hair.

As an alternative, try shaving in the shower. I used to despise shaving as well (cuts, razor burn, ingrown hairs), but once I started doing it in the shower, I get a quick, smooth, pain-free shave every time.
posted by mkultra at 8:46 AM on June 4, 2004

I can't say as I enjoy the actual act of shaving, but it feels so good to scrape all that hair off my face.

I can vouch for the shaving in the shower technique. It's great. And a great excuse to stay in the shower, soaking up the heat, for an extra couple minutes.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:49 AM on June 4, 2004

I've been using Norelco triple-headers for years. I used to get actual face cuts with other type of shavers until I got a Norelco.

I still use a blade now and then but only when I'm getting dressed up and have enough time to clean up the blood.
posted by tommasz at 8:52 AM on June 4, 2004

I recently had the same dilemma, and after researching a bit I went with the Norelco 6735XB Advantage because:

1) wet/dry - best to shave while still in the nice warm shower
2) goo dispenser - seems like a gimmick, but I know of two other gadget geeks who have sworn by it since it came out, and so far I agree. (the button to dispense it is somewhat awkward, being a simple rubber bulb pump placed where no digit naturally falls, and I have to remember to use the stuff, but I'm still getting used to it)
3) self-sharpening - not sure if this really works, but I like the concept.
4) last-year's model - they have newer shinier ones, so this one should be at a discounted price.

The new razors really do seem to do a much better job than the older ones, I used to have a top-of-the-line braun foil shaver (from the early '90s) and this gives less irritation and a shave that lasts all day. (I have used it for about a week now - about 5 shaves so I can't determine durability, but everything seems solid enough)
posted by milovoo at 9:00 AM on June 4, 2004

Do any of the new razors "shave as close as a blade," as the late Victor Kiam used to say? I experimented with electric but after I scrubbed my face with metal a few times it barely made a dent in the fuzz.
posted by PrinceValium at 9:07 AM on June 4, 2004

I bought the nicest electric razor I could find a couple of years ago, and gave up on it in despair after about a month.

For me, the plain vanilla Gillette Mach 3 is the acme of the shaving sciences, everything before was sub-par, everything after was gilding the lilly.

Also, count another vote for shaving in the shower, the heat and steam softens up your beard and opens up your pores.
posted by Capn at 9:08 AM on June 4, 2004

Oops, it's also the 6735X, the B is just a bonus shower mirror (which was convenient since I needed one anyway)
posted by milovoo at 9:08 AM on June 4, 2004 [1 favorite]

Do any of the new razors "shave as close as a blade,"

Judging from the ones I have had, I would say no. They take enough of the hair off to keep you from looking scruffy, but it doesn't really cut the hair as deep. I agree with what tommasz said, If I've got a date or a formal occasion, I'll take the time and use a new blade to get the skin smooth.
posted by milovoo at 9:18 AM on June 4, 2004

Does anyone know what the deal is with that new electric mach3? I love the mach3 so much I'm tempted to buy one, but I can't tell if it's just a gimmick.
posted by TurkishGolds at 9:31 AM on June 4, 2004

Not to my knowledge. However, there was a thread about this in... april maybe. There were a number of responses.
posted by dobbs at 9:55 AM on June 4, 2004

Does anyone know what the deal is with that new electric mach3? I love the mach3 so much I'm tempted to buy one, but I can't tell if it's just a gimmick.

It seems to work a little better, and there's something thrilling about shaving with a vibrating safety razor.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:58 AM on June 4, 2004

I've got one of those newfangled Braun ones that has the cradle with the blue cleaning liquid. It works just fine for me, but then again I'm a fairly hairless chinese guy who can go 2 days without shaving and not look like a total mess.
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 10:00 AM on June 4, 2004

This saftey razor, it....

screw this, I'm going to lunch.
posted by Capn at 10:07 AM on June 4, 2004

I echo what Capn says above about the Mach3...the whole Mach line, really. I have very sensitive skin, and electric razors, even the really good ones, chafe horribly. I end up having to shave so slowly and carefully with them that it actually takes more time than it does to shave with a non-electric razor. With the Mach, I find that if I need to, I can actually shave against the grain without hurting myself, chafing, or creating ingrown facial hair...and that is really amazing. I can also shave fairly quickly with it...really, I can think of few products I recommend as earnestly as the Mach razors.

I didn't know there were Mach electrics...I'm pretty dubious.

Do any of you shave with an old-fashioned non-safety shiv-like sharpen-it-yourself blade?

google adsense: get your shit together. the ads on this page are about autism.
posted by bingo at 10:43 AM on June 4, 2004 [1 favorite]

Previous AskMe shaving thread here.

They call me fuzz for a reason. The only electric I was ever able to use was a Braun. It's expensive, but shaves much much better than the others. Before shaving, I put on an electric shaver powder that came in stick form; it dried out my face and lubricated it, and made a huge improvement. Any moisture on your face will wind up giving you razor burns that you'll regret for days. Also plan on changing the foil every 6 months or so.

Today I use a Gillette Mach3, and it's changed my life. The blades are insanely expensive, but I only have to shave once a day.
posted by fuzz at 10:52 AM on June 4, 2004

Do any of the new razors "shave as close as a blade,"

My cheap ($30?) Norelco does, if you're patient with it. Sometimes (always) you just have to keep going after that last hair.
posted by callmejay at 10:55 AM on June 4, 2004

I've been using the M3Power for about a week now. I'm guessing it shaves a bit smoother than it's inanimate cousins, but the whirring takes some getting used to. When you turn it on, you have to fight the urge to hold it against your face like an electric (or a sander), expecting it to do the work for you. And this might be just me, but I have to turn the buzzing off for my upper lip, 'cause it feels just too strange otherwise.
posted by grabbingsand at 11:55 AM on June 4, 2004

I used to be a Mach 3 devotee, until I discovered the Schick Quattro. It's great!
posted by mkultra at 11:56 AM on June 4, 2004

Are you wanting this for your face, or other body parts?
posted by page404 at 12:14 PM on June 4, 2004

I shave my entire head, and it's pretty thick and hard to corral. The last time I field-tested electrics was about three years ago, and I found nothing that worked as well or as quickly as the disposable two-blade Good News type razor.

Do it in the shower. It'll work way smoother than in the sink or anywhere else. (Also, you might want to try shaving in the shower as well.) (Sorry.)
posted by chicobangs at 12:43 PM on June 4, 2004 [1 favorite]

I've always doubted that the Mach 3/Shick 4 could be worth the premium over the old-school Atra. Am I wrong?
posted by five fresh fish at 1:09 PM on June 4, 2004

I've always doubted that the Mach 3/Shick 4 could be worth the premium over the old-school Atra. Am I wrong?

If you're like me and need to shave against the grain (because of a crazy follicle pattern), then yes. Otherwise, maybe not.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:13 PM on June 4, 2004

I have a very thick, coarse beard that grows in all sorts of directions and an angular face. For me the answer to xmutex's question has been a resounding "no"; I never found an electric razor that could shave nearly as fast and close as the cheapest disposable twin-blade razor. And I believe that the "wait until your beard/skin adjust to an electric razor" can more truthfully be phrased as "wait until you forget how easily and effectively you could shave with a regular razor". I'll admit I gave up trying about ten years ago but I really doubt there have been any revolutionary advances in the last ten years.
For me the greatest advance in shaving technology has been these Schick disposables with a stubble ejector button. I can't imagine using a multiple-bladed razor without that.
posted by TimeFactor at 2:00 PM on June 4, 2004

I never, ever cut myself with a Mach 3, regardless of what direction I go in. So that's worth it to me.
posted by smackfu at 2:02 PM on June 4, 2004

Another shaving thread. FWIW, I was leaning towards the more expensive models, e.g. Braun, but then never got around to it, and put the $$$ towards a digital camera instead - and in the process ignoring all the advice I'd received in my digicam question ;) Also FWIW I use the Mach 3s; I may have been suckered into buying the $2 cartridges; but they do work well.
posted by carter at 3:18 PM on June 4, 2004

I hated shaving until one of my ex's convinced me to ditch the Norelco and try a blade. I started out on the Schick Edge and now I'm a faithful Mach 3 kinda guy, though I've been eyeing a straight razor for a while.

If you stick w/ blades, can I suggest one of two things: get one of those hot lather machines or switch to old-fashioned shaving soap & a brush--- you'll notice a big difference.

So, in answer to your question: No. No, there's not.
posted by keswick at 5:00 PM on June 4, 2004

Piggyback question: What are the (appreciable) differences, if any, between the 'straight' or foil electrics and the 3-headed round-bladed electrics?

I've had a crappy cheap single foil one ever since I started shaving (something like...jesus...6 years ago? Can't believe I've had the POS that long) and am looking for a new one as soon as I get a freakin' job...and I'm unsure which type to get. (Altho I may try a Mach3 thanks to all the advocacy here...)
posted by cyrusdogstar at 6:33 PM on June 4, 2004

3-head round electric > straight electric.

Get a Norelco 3 head for daily use, and a Mach 3 for special occasions. Can't go wrong.
posted by oissubke at 11:09 PM on June 4, 2004

See, I recently switched to an electric after proselytizing about the Mach 3 for years. I switched because I am prone to getting ingrown hairs that make it look like I have acne, and no matter how delicately I shaved, I couldn't stop getting them.

Personally, I am happy with the razor and wouldn't go back to a blade. I find it much quicker, and, while not nearly as close, it is close enough for my purposes. It is also pleasant to do away with the added inconvenience of shaving cream. It now takes me less than a minute to shave, as opposed to five minutes with a Mach 3, and I like not taking much time to become presentable in the morning more than I like being absolutely smooth-shaven. Your mileage may vary.

I did some basic research with Consumer Reports before buying a razor, but I found CR to be pretty worthless on this front, and ended up just going with Amazon user recommendations. Cost was a concern, so I ended up going with the Norelco 6613X Reflex Plus, aka super cheapo. It has performed well.

My room mate has a Norelco Advantage, which I see others in this thread have recommended, but it seems like a piece of crap to me. You have to take the cover off in order to use the beard trimmer, for one thing.
posted by Hildago at 10:32 AM on June 5, 2004

I use a Phillips Cool Shave wet/dry electric with goo dispenser. The goo is optional, a SMALL amount of normal shave cream works a bit better. On a trip last week, the goo ran out, and gee, seems normal bar soap works great too!

STILL...Maybe a blade is faster, for that degree of closeness? Maybe the idea of needing to be that close is mistaken. And really, only a couple specific spots need extra attention, and the blade can handle that in 2 seconds (after the electric).

Days of growth? Simple. If I skip shaving more than a day, I use the blade. Duh. I do skip frequently.

My Cool Shave is a 2-round head model. I don't know if its sold anymore. I don't like the 3-headed ones, they are more bulky than I prefer. Had one on loan while the other was in for a repair (its seal broke). Not as comfortable to use.

This mach3. I may check one out. I'm skeptical. New blade types every few years makes me suspicious.
posted by Goofyy at 9:44 AM on June 8, 2004

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