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In this guide
Shaving your face is like any other job: it's easy when you have the right tools. The best electric shaver is robust, showerproof, and cordless, with sharp blades that don't take too much maintenance. Some even have pop-up trimmers to help touch up sideburns and facial hair. If you're looking to keep some length, beard trimmers or hair clippers are also great options. We've done the research, and here's what we reckon are the top electric razors in Australia.
How we picked
When you're willingly putting rotating blades near your face, you want to be sure you're picking a product you can trust. We started our search with CHOICE, Australia's biggest consumer advocacy group, to see how electric shavers ranked in their independent testing. Only a few products were readily available in stores, so we headed over to ProductReview.com.au to see what Aussies thought.
After adding the top-ranked razors with the most reviews to our list, we cross-checked our picks with what was available with major retailers. Only a few made the cut, so we made a second pass for razors with fewer reviews, and added one final listing to be sure we had a good selection. That's how we ended up with our guide to Australia's best electric razors.
Is an electric shaver better than a razor?
The long and short of it is: it depends. An electric shaver is ideal if you don't have time to muck around. Electric shavers are designed to be more ergonomic, so they're easier to use. Blades don't get as close to the skin, which makes for a gentler (albeit less close) shave. Replacement blades or foils can be pricey, but many electric shavers are designed for use in the shower, with or without water. This makes it easy to breeze through facial hair when you don't have time to waste.
Classic razors are usually cheaper than an electric shaver, though they can be more of a hassle. Razor blades are smaller and more exposed. This means you can get into tight spots with a razor for an extra-close shave, though it's easier to cut yourself as the blades sit closer to the skin. You'll also need to use water and some sort of lather, which can make shaving with a razor both time messy and time consuming.
TL;DR - electric shavers have the edge because there’s less risk of you cutting yourself and they’re quicker and easier to use than lathering up a razor. Although the closest shave still belongs to a razor.
What makes a good electric shaver
Being able to use an electric shaver wet or dry is a big help. It means if you're running late, you can chuck it in the shower with you and shave away. Plus, a waterproof electric shaver makes sense from a safety perspective too, especially if you're using it in the bathroom.
The best electric shavers have pop up trimmers, making it 2 tools in 1. If you fancy tidying up your sideburns or hairline or need to get rid of a stray long hair, a pop up trimmer lets you do that, without having to invest in a separate tool.
This is more a nice-to-have than a must-have, but a LED screen is something you'll be glad you splashed a little more cash on. Why? Well, it'll tell you when your shaver needs charging for starters. No more wondering about battery life. Simply look at the screen to find out how much juice your shaver has left. Really smart ones will even tell you when your electric shaver needs a decent clean.
Picture the scene: you really really need to shave and you're running late. You grab your electric shaver but uh-oh, it's dead and it takes over 1 hour to charge! What are you going to do? Hopefully just hit the quick charge button and a few minutes later you have enough power to tidy up your face. Disaster averted.
What's the difference between an electric shaver and a beard trimmer?
Electric shavers are often confused with beard trimmers. But as the names suggest, an electric shaver shaves hair with blades that sit close to the skin, while a beard trimmer cuts hair closely, leaving some length. If you want a bare face or a bald head, an electric shaver is the way to go. To maintain your 5 o'clock shadow, or touch up that moustache, a beard trimmer is a better bet.
What kind of electric shaver should I choose?
When choosing an electric shaver, you're faced with two broad choices. Rotary shavers have three circular heads which contain blades. To use a rotary shaver, you move the heads in a circular motion against the contours of your face, and circular guards guide hair into the blades for a clean shave. Foil shavers have perforated foils designed to run directly over the skin, and the hair that pokes through the holes is cut by oscillating blades that sit behind these protective foils.
Both rotary and foil shavers are similarly priced, taking a similar amount of time to get the job done. Rotary shavers are more heavy-duty than foil shavers, which makes them slightly rougher on the skin. That's why rotary shavers are ideal for those with thicker facial hair, especially if you've been shaving for years. Multiple circular blades also mean rotary shavers are good for getting round facial contours and different hair directions, so they're great for an all-over shave.
If you shave every day, have skin that's easily irritated, or need a shaver that'll give you straight lines, a foil shaver is a better option. Protective foils are gentler on the skin than the circular heads of a rotary shaver, making them ideal for fine facial hair or sensitive skin. Foils also allow you to shave in straight lines like you would with a traditional razor for a bare-faced shave.