Which is the best: electric razor vs manual razor? There's several traits to discuss here to come to an accurate decision. Both electric razors and manual razors have there pro's and cons but knowing which one is better depends on the person.
I'll go over the important characteristics and people habits that would make one of the options more suitable to you. In the end you should know which of the two suit you the best.
Electric: Rotary or Foil?
First you need to understand the important difference between rotary and foil shavers. Most men actually get this wrong because they assume there isn't a difference or the difference isn't important. Choosing the wrong type of electric razor for your facial hair type could be the reason electric shavers didn't work for you the in past.
Foil shavers are the most popular type of electric shaver by sold volume. You can identify them by the head of the shaver. It will have horizontal metal going across the top that usually are in 3-5 rows.
This type of electric shaver is best suited for someone with facial hair that's thinner, straighter, and grows in a straighter pattern. These three traits qualify you as someone who should be using a foil shaver over a rotary shaver.
Rotary shavers aren't as popular as foil shavers but may be more suitable to you. If the shaver head consists of 3 circular metallic blades it's a rotary shaver. These shavers also require you to shave a little differently to get the full benefit. The key to using a rotary shaver is to shave in small circular motions. This helps rotary shavers pick up more hairs when in use.
Rotary shavers are best suited for someone with facial hair that's thicker, curly, and grows closer to a circular pattern. These are the three core traits to using a rotary shaver and feeling successful with it.
Manual: Cartridge or Safety Razor?
Just as it's important to know the differences in the types of electric razors it's important to know the differences in the types of manual razors. There are three main types of manual razors that I'm going to talk about: cartridge, safety razors, and straight razors.
Cartridge razors are today's form of modern razor. You'll see them with anywhere between 3-5 blades and sometimes even more. The good side of cartridge razors is they're very low maintenance. The blade heads are disposable and you just click a new one on when the old one dulls.
The drawback of cartridge razors include the cost of the replacement blades, the 3-5 bladed heads, and the fact they're designed to not last long. The companies behind cartridge razors want you to continue buying new ones as much as possible.
Safety razors used to be the old school style of shaving but they're now coming back in popularity. These razors consist of a quality shaver that's typically made out of metal and usually with high quality craftsmanship. These razors are designed to last.
The big difference is they only use a single blade to shave. Typically it's a double edge razor blade and these blades are extremely affordable. You can pick up a 100 pack of blades for around $10. Each blade can last you a week or more so it's easy to see where you could save some money compared to cartridge razors.
There are also different types of safety razors. There are aggressive open comb types and there are types more suitable for beginners. I've written plenty of reviews if you would like to find a good beginner safety razor.
Straight razors are also coming back in popularity just not quite like safety razors are. Either way I thought it would be worth covering in case you're interested in these razors.
These type of razors are made out of a single piece of metal with the exception of the scale it's attached to. These razors require the most maintenance and I believe that's why they aren't as popular as the other types. You'll need to learn to strop and hone these blades if you're going to use a cut throat razor seriously.
Some people worry they won't get a good shave with these since there's a single blade. In reality you can get a shave just as smooth as a cartridge razor with a straight razor.
If you want to get into wet shaving as a hobby and learn skills you can teach to your children I would go with a safety razor or a straight razor. It can be a fun educational bonding moment to have with your offspring.
The Best Option For Sensitive Skin
The topic of sensitive skin is an important one. There are two types of people when it comes to skin sensitivity. There's the person who gets sensitive skin from time to time and then there's people who are genetically born the sensitive skin and its an everyday thing.
Shaving and sensitive skin are in this love hate relationship. We often have to shave our face and it can feel refreshing afterwards but if we slip up and give ourselves razor burn or get ingrown hairs it can be an equally dreadful experience.
As it relates to the electric razor vs manual razor discussion I would recommend electric razors. Using an electric razor eliminates the blade to skin issue entirely. Running a razor blade across your skin is the root of all issues related to shaving and having sensitive skin.
While electric razors won't give you a silky smooth shave the result is still quite pleasant. Now a days these shavers are getting closer and closer to a razor like shave but I don't think they'll ever beat a manual razor entirely. However, you'll benefit from avoiding razor burn, skin irritation, and ingrown hairs.
If sensitive skin is a huge factor for you then use an electric razor.
What Kind of Morning Person?
This was one of the biggest determining factors for me personally. Understanding yourself and the type of morning person you are will play a role in choosing which type of razor is best for you. When it comes our electric razor vs manual razor discussion these type of razors have quite the different morning routine.
Early Riser With Spare Time
If you're the early riser type and you love the morning time you may not need an electric razor. Manual razors require more time in the morning so if you're not in a rush they're great.
If you select to use safety razors as your manual razor of choice you may turn your shaving routine into a hobby. The process of exfoliating, lathering shave cream, and art of shaving with a safety razor can become a soothing and relaxing experience.
It's also another way to boost your morning with energy. The water splashing on your face and warm washcloth across your skin can be energizing.
Late Riser With Less Time
Do you often find yourself hitting the snooze button and having to drag yourself out of bed? If so you will be much better suited with an electric razor. Electric razors are built for convenience and to be quick.
When you have less time in the morning it's great to be able to pick up an electric razor and run it over your face a couple times and be done. It's a quick and easy dry shave that will be more suiting to your lifestyle.
Most electric razors now have wet shave technology. So if you wanted to wet shave while in the shower it's possible. It's the ideal selection for ultimate convenience.
Which Type Is Easier For Travel?
If you're in the United States then the air travel regulations have changed a lot and they continue to change and get stricter. Overall it's a good thing but it can make air travel more complicated.
If you try to take a manual razor with a blade onto a plane it'll have to be checked in. There are more rules against manual razors and being able to take them onto a plane. Especially if you try to take a straight razor onto the plane.
Electric razors aren't nearly as weighed down for air travel. Mostly because they don't have actual razor blades that could be used as a weapon. So if you're going to travel you may want to consider using an electric razor. You may also want to consider having an electric razor that you use only for travel since they're easy to lose or leave in a hotel.
Which Type Is Cheapest to Own?
Cost is a big factor for a lot of people. If you want a great shave and something budget friendly the clear winner is the safety razor. Second best would be a straight razor but both types are ideal for a smooth razor shave and costing you very little money.
The second best option would be an electric razor. If you get a high quality product you can expect over a decade of use with proper maintenance. Even then the higher end shavers come with cleaning stations that handle most the maintenance for you. So, once you're past initial cost of the shaver you're looking at saving money in the long run.
I've written reviews on some of these quality shavers like the Braun Series foil shaver.
The most expensive type of razor to own are cartridge razors. It may seem convenient to pop on and off the heads when you need a fresh blade but you're paying out of pocket for it. The continual cost of the replacement razors adds up through the year.
Final Decision: The Best Type
I can't directly crown a king for which is better for electric razor vs manual razor but with the given information you should be able to pick the one best for you. It comes down to things like which type suits your lifestyle, budget, and skin.
It's important to pick the right type of electric razor from rotary or foil if you lean towards electric. So don't forget to step back and assess the type of facial hair you have.
I do have some articles on each type of razor you would be interested in. If you're looking for an electric razor (read here), safety razor (read here), straight razor (read here), or even a cartridge razor (read here).
Before You Go!
I hope you found this article helpful and informative. You should be able to make a good decision on the electric razor vs manual razor debate. If you did find this helpful then please let us know by leaving a comment.
Also leave a comment below if you want to share any tips or suggestions on this discussion. Thanks for reading!