You may just now be discovering the different types of electric shavers. You've got questions: what is a foil shaver, what is a rotary shaver, which should you use, and you likely just need a point in the right direction.
My goal is to answer all the questions that someone now discovering electric shavers may ask. I want to have you well prepared to begin using electric shavers and I want to help you avoid some of the beginner mistakes people make.
What Is A Foil Shaver?
A foil shaver is one of two types of electric shavers. Foil shavers have horizontal sheets of metal across the top with small holes. These pieces of metal act as a guard between your skin and the razor inside the shaver.
These shavers are great for getting a quick and convenient dry shave. They'll cut quite close to the skin and give you an acceptable shave but you're not going to get the same shave you'll get from your standard razor blade.
Should You Use A Foil Shaver?
Foil shavers will perform best if you have the right type of facial hair. If your facial hair doesn't match up well for a foil shaver then you likely should be using a rotary shaver. If that's the case you can scroll down to the rotary shaver information below.
Take this time to judge your facial hair. Is your facial hair mostly straight, on the thinner side, and is the growth pattern straight? If you lean towards these traits you're going to want to use a foil shaver for your electric shaver.
This is the one area a lot of people make a mistake. They choose a foil shaver when they needed a rotary shaver. If you've done that you probably thought the shaver was horrible but it just wasn't a good match for your hair type.
How Often Should I Buy Replacement Heads?
The standard time to replace shaver heads is once per year. Although different manufacturers will tell you different times. I would recommend following their guide but you can typically get away with once per year.
Generally people use their electric shaver between using a normal razor. If you're not using the electric shaver every single day then a once per year change will be fine. If your electric shaver is your main form of shaving then follow the manufacturer recommendation or change at least every 6 months.
How To Clean Your Foil Shaver
I've written an in depth guide on this topic. However for more basic cleaning you can rinse most shavers under water. Just make sure your shaver is water resistant. Every couple months you're going to want to do a deeper clean.
The deeper clean requires you to take your shaver apart and also clean the inside. This maintenance process will have your shaver lasting years. My guide I linked to above is the how to for the deeper cleaning process.
Which Foil Shaver Should You Get?
There's a wide range of different foil shavers out there. I would recommend either this Braun shaver or this Panasonic shaver. Both of these electric shavers are great and you can read my review of both of them.
One decision you'll need to make is if you want a foil shaver with a cleaning station. If you prefer to deal less with the maintenance side of things then pick up the cleaning station version. It'll save you a lot of headache in the long run.
What Is A Rotary Shaver?
Rotary shavers are the second type of electric shaver you're able to get. These shavers have the 3 small circular heads on top. Each small head has its own blade inside and each shave head operates independently of the others.
Rotary shavers require you to shave while moving your shaver in a small circular motion. This helps the rotary shavers catch more hair and give you a closer shave. Rotary shavers are also better at wet shaving if you're looking to continue using shave gel with your electric shaver.
Should You Use A Rotary Shaver?
Rotary shavers work best with a particular facial hair type. For the best results your facial hair should be curly, thicker, and have a circular growth pattern. If your facial hair matches or leans towards these traits a rotary shaver will give you the best electric shave.
Make sure you remember to move in small circles as you shave for the best effect. Moving the shaver in small circular patterns helps catch more hairs and gives you a closer smoother shave.
How Often Should I Buy Replacement Heads?
Rotary shavers are pretty similar to foil shavers when it comes to replacing the shaver heads. If you're using your shaver between normal razor shaves you can replace the head once a year. If you're shaving every day with it and it's your main go to shave then roughly every 6 months.
Your shaver will also come with documentation that recommends when to replace the head. So pay close attention to those details as well. Just keep in mind they're basing it off someone using the shaver every single day.
How To Clean Your Rotary Shaver
I find rotary shaver to be easier to clean. Some of them come with a simple push button that flips the top up to expose under the rotary head. This lets you very conveniently rinse it under water and get a good clean.
You should also consider getting a rotary shaver with a cleaning station. It takes all the maintenance out of the equation and is a great thing to have.
Which Rotary Shaver Should You Get?
If you're in the market for a rotary shaver I would suggest looking at this Philips shaver. It's a higher end rotary shaver but it's one amazing rotary shaver. If you need something more budget friendly the 5500 model is a good choice.
Before You Go!
Well now I've answered: what is a foil shaver? You should have a good understanding of both foil and rotary shavers to a point where your comfortable making a decision on one. Hopefully I was able to also help you avoid the mistake of choosing the wrong type of shaver for your facial hair type.
If you have any tips or suggestions that you would like to add for someone reading this please leave it in a comment below. Thanks for reading!