Finding the right razor is a struggle many men (and women) go through during their lives. For us fellas that have very active facial hair, shaving is a daily ritual that requires the perfect tool for the job in order not to be a total pain.
During my 15+ years of shaving, I’ve gone through more electric and standard razors than I care to remember. Razors with one to six blades, pivot heads, and even a few that come with their own lubricating mechanism have all graced my kitchen sink at one point or another. I’ve even invested quite a lot of money in electric shavers that double as hair and beard trimmers.
Out of all of these things I’ve tried, I believe the Braun is the first razor to tackle my stubborn, thick facial hair quickly and with minimal pulling. If you’ve ever used a cheap electric shaver, you’ve probably experienced the painful pulling of hair by a slow or dull blade. It hurts, and it does little to actually give you a better shave.
Braun’s 320s-4 is currently on the bottom end of its Series 3 shavers, making it more affordable for frugal geeks like myself. By affordable, I mean between $65-85 US. You can find a number of electric shavers for quite a bit less, but believe me when I say that you get exactly what you pay for when it comes to razors.
Why You Don’t Want to Go Cheap / Features to Look For
I’ve bought a number of electric shavers in the $20-40 price range in the past, and each one of them was a complete waste of money. Either the screen did a poor job of catching thicker hair or the blades were too slow to provide a good shave. I’d have to go over an area almost a dozen times to get everything, or go over my face with a standard razor to catch what the electric razor missed.
Even more disappointing is the fact that not every electric razor can be easily rinsed. Washable shavers save you a lot of time going over everything with that little brush, and in some cases extends the life of the blades. I don’t know about you, but spending more than a few minutes per month getting those little hairs out of the workings of my shaver is a waste of time.
Battery charge is also a problem with cheap electric shavers. Some take all day to charge and only give you a few shavings worth of power. Meanwhile, a good shaver will charge in about an hour and last at least 45 minutes. You may also want to look into a shaver that can run off outlet power should the battery be run down and you find yourself in a hurry. There are few things that bug me more than having to wait for my shaver to charge when I’m in a hurry.
Can your electric shaver be used with foams and gels, or in the shower? This is a question that matters because not all electric shavers are waterproof. Being washable isn’t the same as being waterproof. Some people prefer a shaver that works with lotion for sensitive skin. The shaver I use (Braun 320s-4) is not waterproof, though it is sealed. You may want to look at the 380s or 340s for that feature. I costs a bit more, but it could be worth it to you.
What About Non-electric Razors?
I came across a great deal for folks that appreciate doing things the old fashioned way, but don’t like paying $25 bucks per blade to do so. The Dollar Shave Club is a subscription service that sends high-quality razors to you for $1/6/9 per month. You can get single, quad, or six-blade razors shipped directly to your door. Depending on how many blades you get, you will receive five, four, or three cartridges to last you through an entire month.
It’s really a clever service, and one that could save you a lot of money. Granted, you don’t get the benefit of vibrating handles or fancy chrome-plated status symbol razor holders.
Have you experienced any of the same problems I have finding the perfect electric shaver? What shaver did you ultimately decide on? Are there any that stand out for good or bad reasons?