If you’re like me, you’ve probably had some difficulty in finding a shaver that really gets you. With all the choices we have on the market, finding the right shaver for you may seem like a herculean task and it may be tempting to settle for the first sales pitch you come across.
However, you just can’t compromise when it comes to picking a shaver. The shaver you choose can have a massive effect on your skin and hair, and subsequently your self-esteem. You need to invest some time and effort into making sure that the shaver you end up buying is ultimately the best you can get for your preferences.
So where do you start? It may be tempting to go all out and head straight for the shaver with all the latest tech features, but I’d advise you to start the search slow. When choosing a shaver, you may easily become overwhelmed with the countless options available on the market. Foil shavers are a crowd favourite; as they’re super beginner friendly & are ready to ‘pick up and go’.
The best foil shaver will differ from one person to another depending on their preferences, and this guide hopes to cover all of those.
Table of Contents
- Top 7 Foil Shaver – Comparison Chart
- What is Foil Shaver?
- Top 7 Foil Electric Shaver Reviews
- Braun Series 9 9290cc
- Braun Series 7 7865cc
- Panasonic ES-LV65-S Arc5 Electric Razor
- Braun Series 7 790cc Men's Electric Foil Shaver
- Wahl Professional 5-Star Series
- Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3040s
- Braun Series 5 5090/5190cc Men's Electric Foil Shaver
- Things to Consider When You Are Buying a Foil Electric Shaver
- How to Shave with a Foil Electric Razor – Complete Guideline
- Keeping Your Foil Shaver In Top Shape
- Downsides Of Using A Foil Shaver
Top 7 Foil Shaver – Comparison Chart
|Name||Shaving Elements||Waterproof||Run time||Price|
|Braun Series 9 9290cc||5||Yes||50 min|
|Braun Series 7 7865cc||4||Yes||50 min|
|Panasonic ES-LV65-S Arc5||5||Yes||45 min|
|Braun Series 7 790cc||4||Yes||50 min|
|Wahl 5-Star Series||2||No||60 min|
|Braun ProSkin 3040s||3||Yes||60 min|
|Braun Series 5 5190cc||3||Yes||40 min|
What is Foil Shaver?
A foil shaver has straight heads with oscillating blades beneath a thin layer of metal, which is referred to as the ‘foil’ of the shaver, to cut hair. This foil has holes that form a mesh pattern above the cutters and captures the hair with these holes, cutting it close to the skin at a very high speed. Foil shavers are the ideal choice for men with sensitive skin, fine facial hair, and who need a close shave.
Most foil shavers today have at least two built-in foils to ensure a more thorough shave. They may also have other specially designed features in place that function to capture and trim longer hairs that are lying flat on your face. Multi-blade cutting systems, middle trimmers, micro-combs…there are a lot of new designs out there that can come with your foil shaver, so if you’re set on getting a new foil razor then it’s important that you choose carefully.
Rotary shavers, in contrast, usually have three circular independent heads. These heads have an outer stationary guard that captures the hair strands, and an inner spinning cutter which trims them off.
To help you decide, I’ve decided to look through hundreds of these products on Amazon and compiled some of the top ones for you.
Top 7 Foil Electric Shaver Reviews
Now, you may wonder…… What’s the basis of this list?
We choose these 7 shavers based on their viability and reliability in terms of technology, performance, ergonomics, and portability. Here’s our picks:
You’re about to be introduced to the flagship shaver of the world’s best razor brand. Braun’s Series 9 definitely packs a punch to your wallet, but it’s capable of delivering top performance across several categories.
First, its build. While most of the Braun entries on the list come with three cutting elements, this one is armed with four cutting elements and two specialised trimmers with titanium coating to boot. When you shave with a razor capable of churning out an astounding 40,000 cuts per minute, not even the most wayward of hairs can stray away from the Series 9’s path.
But what about areas that are difficult to reach? If the Series 7 shavers feature a narrow head and 8-dimensional pivots, the Series 9 can give you 10-dimensional pivots and floating shaving elements so you don’t miss a single strand.
Apart from these special upgrades, the Series 9 delivers a combination of smart AI features from the Series 7 razors such as the Sonic and Autosense Technology, and the Clean & Charge docking station.
The wet/dry technology allows the shaver to be submerged in water up to 5 meters. That means it’s safe to shave in the shower with constantly running water. The shaver can also be rinsed under the faucet. That’s the simple way to clean. Braun included a cleaning and charging station with the 9290cc.
With the world’s only 5-action cleaning and charging station, this shaver will stay sharp for a very long time. It removes all the stubble in a hygienic manner with an alcohol cleaner. The cleaning station will clean, lubricate, and dry before beginning to charge. The cleaning cycle only takes a few minutes, too.
This shaver doesn’t take long to charge and will deliver 50 minutes of powerful shaving. In fact, the SyncroSonic Technology will automatically adjust the power of the blades based on the density of your whiskers.
My Thoughts On The Unit
Like most Braun products, the Series 9 is built to last and is expected to serve for at least seven years. I’ve personally heard of some Braun razors that have managed to last twice as long as that, so buying one of its top razors would definitely be a worthy long-term investment to make.
This is currently Braun’s top electric shaver, and is a particularly good choice if you’re already experienced at shaving and you’re willing to spend above and beyond for a top-performing electric shaver. I can confirm that it’s capable of giving a superior shave regardless of whether you use it wet or dry. If you can splurge on an electric shaver, go for this one—it’s super gentle and efficient at removing hair.
All of the great features add up to a powerful shaver that will last for a long time. There’s a state-of-the-art battery in the 9290cc. It’s a Li-Ion battery that charges in only one hour. The display counts down 5 different steps until you reach the 9 minute mark. You’ll know exactly how much time you have left before it needs recharging. It won’t lose power as it winds down, either.
The wet/dry nature of the shaver makes it incredibly convenient. When you’re late, you could run out the door with your dry shaver in hand. It’ll give you a close shave even dry. If you want to speed up your morning routine, you can take it into the shower to do two tasks at once. It’s also a terrific way to soften your skin and hair. Those with sensitive skin will appreciate that ability.
Expect to see a lot of Braun shavers on this list—this brand is known to be one of the best manufacturers of electric foil shavers. Their current flagship razor, the Braun Series 7 7865cc, comes equipped with three cutting elements and one SkinGuard—a skin-friendly precision trimmer that can easily reach difficult areas, such as under your nose or around your sideburns.
You’ve probably heard of Artificial Intelligence already, but I bet you didn’t expect to see it in your electric razor. This one comes with a built-in Responsive Intelligence tech that knows how to read and adapt to the growth of your beard, subtly changing the way the inner cutting elements are positioned to trim so you can rest easy knowing you’ll always have a close and gentle shave.
An omnidirectional Contour Adaptation head makes it possible for this electric razor to flex and extend its reach on difficult areas, which is a rare feature on foil razors because usually their movements and their coverage are limited to two directions—either up and down, or left and right.
When you’re done using this shaver, all it takes to bring it back to shape is the press of a button with its four-action alcohol-based Clean & Charge station. An electric razor that can clean, lubricate, and charge simultaneously—the ideal product for busy men.
My Thoughts On The Unit
The Series 7 7865cc is one of the pricier foil shavers on this list— but it’s definitely worth the buy because it’s packed with a variety of different features that contribute to a better shaving experience. The Braun line of products are designed to last you several years with the right care and maintenance. I highly recommend this unit if you want to make a long-term investment on your shaver.
I find that its AI features really do contribute to a superior shaving experience, and the shaver head’s increased capacity for pivot makes it super easy to shave around the jawline and neck. Finally, I appreciated the consistency of the Braun 7’s performance— even if it was on its dying breath, it still delivered the same shave it would have given at full charge.
This mammoth of an electric razor is sure to give you the smoothest shaves you’ve ever had. The Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV65-S comes with five blades honed to a 30-degree edge so it cleanly cuts hair from the root. It also comes equipped with a variety of foil patterns that make it easy to capture and cut various hairs for clean and efficient shaving.
To make sure those blades are up to speed, this razor comes equipped with a motor capable of punching out a whopping 14,000 cuts per minute. And the best part? Regardless of battery level, it still delivers a consistently close and smooth shave.
The Panasonic ES-LV65-S comes with an Active Shave Sensor Technology that is capable of detecting the subtlest differences in beard density and automatically adjusting its power flow accordingly, accelerating where your beard is thickest and slowing down where it’s not. When you’re done with the shave, finish it off by trimming with the precision pop-up shaving trimmer.
My Thoughts On The Unit
I personally find the Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV65-S to be the best razor for wet shaving—Panasonic shavers, in general, do tend to excel in this specific activity. This will be the ideal foil shaver for men with thick, dense beards, who prefer shaving in the shower or with shaving creams/gels. Its big shaver head can seamlessly cover a lot of area in one swipe, which is a huge help if you’re in a hurry or always on the go.
After a standard adjustment period of twenty-one to thirty days, you’ll have proven to yourself how efficient the Panasonic Arc5 is for mowing down unruly beards. I really appreciated how its AI helped give a smoother shave by automatically adjusting power levels according to the density of my beard, so I didn’t have to switch back and forth while shaving.
If you want to give it a go but are on a budget, you can choose to buy it without the cleaning base.
The Series 7 790cc is similar to the 7865cc, except this one is praised as the brand’s top Smart Shaver. It still has the same three cutting elements and SkinGuard working together in an eight-dimensional flexible head for a clean and easy shave, and it comes with the same Clean and Charge technology that on-the-go professionals and/or travellers would appreciate. Regardless of whether you prefer a dry shave or you normally use it in the shower, the Series 7 790cc is waterproof and easy to clean.
Here’s where it becomes a markedly different shaver. First, it’s equipped with five personalised shaving modes so you can choose how gentle or powerful you want your shaving experience to be—all at a push of a button. Regardless of how fast or slow you want your shave to go, you can rest assured that its built-in Sonic and Autosense Technology is pumping out over 10,000 micro-vibrations to help catch even the most errant strands of hair in one stroke, regardless of how dense you’ve let your beard grow out to be. You can then rest assured that the 790cc’s Autosense motor lets you mow through your beard seamlessly—the ideal companion for men with wild and unruly facial hair.
My Thoughts On The Unit
The Series 7 790cc goes for a whopping 30,000 cross-cutting actions per minute (for reference, the standard electric shaver can only do 8,000 to 10,000 cuts per minute!) and comes packed with several good features for sensitive skin. If you’ve got some extra cash to spare, this is definitely one of the foil shavers that you should consider.
It’ll definitely be a good investment. The standard lifespan of a Braun shaver is placed around 7 years with the right care and maintenance. I observed that it is also reliable in terms of performance—no matter how much battery it’s got left, it’s still capable of giving a quality shave.
This is the most versatile shaver on the list because it comes bundled with other grooming accessories— an ideal choice for men who go above and beyond when it comes to their personal grooming habits. The Wahl 5-Star Series comes with a complete professional kit of its own and is actually a barber’s favourite in certain places, so you can be sure that this is a shaver that knows how to do its job well.
My Thoughts On The Unit
It comes with two cutting elements, which may not look like much compared to what the other shavers offer on this list. However, don’t let this fool you—the Wahl 5-Star Series is just as capable of giving you an ultra-close shave, at a super competitive price. The razor heads are equipped with hypoallergenic gold foil, to minimise skin irritation and maximise baby-smooth skin.
Lastly, it promises one of the longest running times on this list. It is capable of shaving cordless for ninety minutes— ideal for people who are always on the go and may not have time to charge their electric shavers overnight. If you have a preference for vintage and aesthetics, this shaver comes in maroon and gold and is designed for a tight grip. At its price, it’s definitely worth considering.
Shaving doesn’t need to be a huge hassle—not when you’ve got the Braun Series 3 Proskin. In my experience, this is the gentlest foil shaver on the list. Its simple, intuitive design and enhanced cutting elements work together to ensure a comfortable shave. It does its job in straight, quick strokes—no need to circle over the same spot multiple times to make sure you haven’t missed a stray strand or two.
The Braun Series 3 Proskin is quite the minimalist. It has three cutting elements and a micro-comb to boot, equipped with the patented SensoFoil to keep your skin protected against its sharp blades. In addition to this, the shaver head is sensitive to pressure and will retract if pushed too hard.
You’ll enjoy using the Proskin because of its thin precision head, which makes it easy to target areas like the nose and neck. A built-in Microgrip shaving element works to capture more hairs at every swipe.
This razor worked quietly and was easy to clean after use. Its ergonomic rubber grip outfitted with the iconic Braun dot pattern makes it easy to handle and is a solid option to consider if you need an electric shaver for travelling or if you prefer shaving in the shower.
My Thoughts On The Unit
If the Braun Series 7 was the unit for expert shavers who need additional features, this is the one to go for if you’re new to electric shavers, or if you’re prone to mistakes. It’s definitely one of the gentlest shavers out there and it’s beginner friendly.
I find the thin precision head especially helpful when I’m navigating around my nose area and across my jawline, as it’s capable of catching even the most wayward hairs with ease. If you’re a no-fuss type of guy who just wants a razor that does its job of shaving super well, then this electric shaver is a strong contender.
Feel like going for a handy Braun shaver, minus all the bells and whistles? This is where the Series 5 excels. It still comes with the AI tech distinctive for the brand but is a lighter and more intuitive package to use. Braun advertises this as the shaver to go for if you’re looking for one that can handle hybrid wet and dry shaves well.
The Series 5 comes with two SensoFoil blades that shave super close to your skin, with over 899 unique apertures that help protect your skin for maximum smoothness. In between these lie an Actilift trimmer with jagged edges that are specially designed to capture flat-lying hair as well as hair growing in different directions.
My Thoughts On The Unit
It’s ergonomically designed to allow for a steady grip regardless of whether you’re going for a dry shave or for one in the shower, which is why it’s Braun’s strongest contender for the best Wet and Dry shaver title. Once you’re done, a slide-out trimmer helps carve out the precise beard lines and sideburns you’re looking for.
All throughout, the Braun Series 5 shares the burden of shaving with you through its AutoSensing motor, reading your beard and changing its approach according to its density for a more efficient and comfortable shave.
Things to Consider When You Are Buying a Foil Electric Shaver
Do you have fine, fuss-free facial hair, or does your beard grow out in tufts and stick out in all directions? If it’s the latter, then you should consider investing in shavers with a strong motor and more cutting elements so you can get more hair out in one pass. Braun has several AI-enabled razors that can read your beard and adjust its approach accordingly, to help make shaving an easier job. You can choose to go for the Series 9 if you have the extra cash, but otherwise, the Series 5 or 7 models will do an equally good job at sharing the burden.
How close can your close shave be before you accidentally nick yourself in the chin or neck? If your skin is sensitive to pressure and/or easily irritated, it may be best to consider models like the Wahl 5-Star Series or the Braun Series 7. The move to electric shaving will be a bit tough if this is the case, but if you make sure to put on some aftershave when you’re done then it can help minimise the adjustment period for electric razors. You can also opt to shave in the shower, as the water may help with relaxing your pores for the shave.
Do you prefer dry shaves or wet shaves? If you aren’t sure which one suits you best just yet, the Braun Series 5 is a safe bet for you because it’s the best hybrid shaver there is out there. Regardless, many other shavers on this list are waterproof and have been optimised for wet shaving as well in case you want to try the other options. The Braun products, in particular, are advertised to be waterproof for up to 5 metres.
Build Quality & Size
You may be the kind of guy who wants to find a razor that is sturdy, can offer a good grip, and can be brought along for travels. In this case, consider going for either the Braun Series 5, Series 7, or the Panasonic Arc5. All these choices rank high in terms of portability and have been built for a tight grip. A steady hold over your razor can make a huge difference in the quality of your shave. The size of the shaver head can also be a big factor that you should consider because while big shaver heads cover more area in one go, the narrow ones can sneak into the contours and catch hairs in areas that are difficult to reach.
The Cost of Foil Shavers
Of course, price is an important consideration when you’re out looking for a foil shaver. There’s a lot of options in the market and a wide range of products to choose from according to the budget you have and the most basic shaving needs you cannot compromise on. The Wahl 5-Star Series and the Braun Series 3 Proskin are the most affordable products on this list, but both come with some serious drawbacks in exchange for that accessibility. In contrast, the most expensive foil shavers on this list come with a lot of extra features that may make it difficult to handle and maintain for those just starting out.
How has the foil been cut? Would it have any special perforations or hypoallergenic qualities that could make my shaving experience more pleasant? If you’re looking for a more modern take to these questions, the Wahl 5-Star Series and the Panasonic Arc5 are solid contenders. The former comes with a hypoallergenic gold foil that may help with sensitive skin, while the latter comes with an intricate mesh pattern that can capture hairs easier. If you aren’t looking for any special add-ons in this area, the Braun Series 5 comes in traditional mesh foil.
Does the number of cutting elements on a shaver matter to you? If so, you may want to consider springing for the Braun Series 9. With four cutting elements and a SkinGuard to boot, it’s the best shaver to get. If not, then the Wahl 5-Star Series, with only two cutting elements, may be a good choice. While cutting elements may influence the efficiency of your shave, the Wahl remains to be a crowd favourite despite having only half the cutting elements of the Braun Series 9 so the final decision may have to be on personal preference and budget.
Are you looking exclusively for a foil shaver or are you on the lookout for one that comes bundled with grooming accessories and a professional kit? In this case, the Wahl 5-Star Series may be your top choice. It’s also a barber’s favourite, which goes to show that it’s truly proved itself in the styling industry. While all of the shavers on this list come with a trimmer to help you sculpt out some finer details, only the Wahl comes with a kit of its own.
How to Shave with a Foil Electric Razor – Complete Guideline
Make Sure Your Razor Is Fully Charged
Most of the razors that have made it to this list can only function when they’re cordless, so always make sure that your razor still has some battery juice in before you use it. In case it does run out, however, there’s usually no need to worry because most razors come with fast charging capabilities and can muster enough energy for one shave after ten to fifteen minutes of charging.
Stand Somewhere With A Mirror And Light
You’ll need this to find out the direction of your hair growth and the spots where your hair may be difficult to remove. Rub your fingers along your neck and face so you can get a better idea of how everything is laid out. Good visuals will also help you find out how to approach your facial hair.
Apply Oil or Shaving Lotion
Regardless of whether you’re using a foil shaver, a rotary shaver, or a traditional razor, shaving can be hard on the skin and if you don’t take care of it well, it can lead to acne and minor bruises. Thus it is important that you apply oil or shaving lotion prior to starting your shave.
Turn Your Foil Shaver On
Remember that you’re using a foil shaver and these kinds of electric shavers can only go in two directions! Begin shaving by moving the electric razor up and down or left and right, making sure that it is close to the area you want to trim. Cover each area twice before moving on—you can go over one area several times, but this increases the change of skin irritation.
Start With Your Neck
Your shaver heats up the longer you use it and this can irritate your skin even further, so it’s best to start off on the most sensitive areas. Use one hand to pull the skin on your neck to one side. Make sure to pull your skin taut so when you start shaving, there are fewer creases on your skin that could hide any small strands of hair and your shaver can flow more evenly over your neck. Shave in short strokes that follow the direction of your hair growth.
Move Up To Your Face
Make sure that it is at the right angle for shaving off hair. Just as you did with your neck, pull the skin tight with one hand and run the razor over your face in short motions. Start at your jawline and then work your way towards the areas of your face near your ears, mouth, and nose last.
Use The Trimmer
Make the most out of your shaver by using the trimmer to work out the finer details of your facial hair. This can be used to bring out your sideburns and/or your moustache, and can give you a whole new look.
A dime-sized amount of moisturizing aftershave over all the recently shaved areas will go a long way in soothing dry skin and minimising any irritation caused by shaving.
Keeping Your Foil Shaver In Top Shape
Some foil shavers, like the ones in the Braun Series, come with automated cleaning functions that make maintenance a breeze. However, one of the top priorities in manufacturing modern shavers is to ensure that it’s easy to clean, so even if your shaver doesn’t come with a Clean And Charge docking stand you’re still good to go.
For most cleanups, washing the shaver head under running tap water or gently brushing out the hairs with a brush will suffice. However, you need to make it a point to disassemble the shaver and clean the individual parts at least once every two weeks to make sure that you don’t get any buildup inside the shaver. Give all these parts a thorough wipe down or a wash, and take extra care around the foil. Once finished, allow them some time to dry before reassembling it.
You can finish here, but if you want to go the extra mile then you can put a drop of oil on the blades or the foil to keep them well lubricated.
Lastly, make sure you change the foil once a year to keep your shaver running in top shape.
Keep in mind that all electric shavers are unique, and the instruction manual may have some additional advice for your specific model with regards to cleaning and maintenance.
Downsides Of Using A Foil Shaver
Can only be used in straight lines
Foil shavers can only go either left and right, or up and down. As a result, they generally don’t work as well as rotary shavers when it comes to covering all the contours of your face. If you don’t have sensitive skin and would prefer to have a shaver that you can freely move around your neck and face, then rotary shavers may be the superior option. They won’t be confined to straight, vertical, and horizontal movements the way that foil shavers are.
Less equipped for dense and unruly beards
If you look at how foil shavers are built in contrast with rotary shavers, foil shavers are bound to have a more difficult time making their way across thick beards because of their limited movement system. Rotary shavers may be better suited for men with wild facial hair,
Hand movement in itself is already limited for foil shavers, but it doesn’t stop there. The shaver heads themselves, as well as the foil, move only slightly back and forth so it may take more effort from your side to maneuver it around your face.
Foil shavers are typically noisier than rotary shavers, which can be an issue for men who want to keep the volume down. If you live with other people or are simply sensitive to noise and the quieter foil shavers just won’t cut it, then it may be worth considering a switch to rotary shavers.
Foil shavers are the ideal place to start your journey in electric shaving. It’s got a bigger market and a simpler user interface, so to speak, because it’s similar in several ways to traditional razors. Overall, they’re the best shavers to consider if you’re looking for one that can help facilitate beginners entering the electric shaving market, professionals looking for an ultra-close shave, or people who plan on shaving on a daily basis.
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best foil electric shaver for you, but hopefully this guide on foil shaver reviews has helped clear out your doubts. There are so many shavers to choose from, but these seven products are the cream of the crop on the market this year and they come equipped with the latest technologies so you can be sure that whatever you choose from this list is the result of years of research into giving you the most comfortable, efficient shave you can have.