One of the most popular and must-haves of men for grooming are shaving tools, particularly razors. What is so special about it? Shaving could kick-start mornings by giving a clean and fresh feeling! In fact, experts say that shaving tools were already used in ancient times!
Amazing is it not? However, with the booming market, finding the right shaver can be tough, given that there are different types, brands, and designs to choose from that are available. Consequently, the first and crucial question would be an electric shaver or a manual razor?
It all actually boils down to personal preference, but, knowing the difference between the two would be a great help when buying the perfect razor. Luckily, you landed in the right place! I will be giving you some tips and steps on finding not only the right shaving tool but also the best!
Table of Contents
A Brief History
Before moving on, I realized that giving a brief background would be interesting and at the same time engaging. More so, it would be nice to know a few facts about your everyday equipment!
But before that, let us first talk about hairs. Accordingly, the hair grows around 125 mm to 150 mm annually and the man spends more or less 3,000 hours shaving hair throughout his life!
As mentioned above, shaving had already been in place since antiquity. The first shaving equipment is said to be made of stone, flint, and clamshells! Can you imagine the pain our forefathers had to endure just to pluck unwanted hair off their faces? It then evolved to bronze, copper, and iron.
Consequently, not all ancient people are fond of shaving. Men who came from societies who do not shave their beards are known as “barbarians”, which literally means “unbarbered”. As for women, the practice of shaving leg hairs and underarms hairs came much later.
Let us now fast forward to Jean-Jacques Perret in 1770. The said man wrote the book “The Art of Learning to Shave Oneself – La Pogonotomie -” that provides advice for shaving products. The ideas Perret presented were innovative and paved the way for “safety razor”. It is important to note that the clamor for a safety razor is high at this point because men often cut themselves when shaving. But accordingly, it was actually George Bryan who popularized shaving.
In 1847, William Henson had the idea to create a hoe like a razor. The blade on his creation was perpendicular to its handle, hence giving the user, mostly men, more grip and control. His invention became a success.
Other notable names would be the Kampfe Brothers. They were actually the first to file a patent for a safety razor that features “a wire skin guard” on one side of the blade’s edge. Consequently, the blade on Kampfe’s brother’s invention had to be removed and sharpened. It was not until 1895 that King Camp Gillette had the idea to create a disposable razor blade.
From then on, the evolution of shaving had moved forward from the straight razor to manual razors and finally, the infiltration of technology in the shaving industry with electric razors.
Before buying a shaver, you should first consider your skin type. Do you have sensitive skin? Are you prone to razor burns? Do you always cut yourself when shaving? Answering these questions can help you on your quest on finding the right shaver because there are shavers that are highly recommended and available for individuals who have sensitive skins and are prone to razor burns and the likes.
Some consumers are brand conscious, hence I have compiled some of the trusted brands available in the market, just for you!
The top and widely used brands when it comes to electric shavers worldwide are Braun, Philips, Remington, Wahl, and Panasonic. As for manual shavers, manufacturers such as Gillette, Schick, and Bic are well-known in their field.
3.Electric Shavers: Foil or Rotary?
Before discussing in detail the function and types of electric shavers, here are some facts about them. Electric shavers became popular because it saves a lot of time. The first electric razor was patented in 1928. An electric shaver does not require shaving cream unlike in manual shaving.
The electric shaver is different from a manual shaver because it oscillates and vibrates in order to trim the hair. Consequently, there are two types of electric shaver, foil, and rotary. Understanding how these two differ could help you buy your perfect match!
Rotary shavers, as the name implies, have a set of blades that rotates. It usually has three to four floating heads. These heads have an oscillating razor embedded on each. Rotary shavers are rampant in the market. More so, the price of this is more competitive compared to other models. Accordingly, rotary shavers are also quiet compared to other models.
The main difference between rotary and foil is actually the cutting motion. Unlike rotary shavers, the blade of foil shavers does not rotate. Instead, it relies on hair to enter the foil for its effects. Hence, foil shavers are best for people whose hair grows straight. However, it is not efficient for cutting long hair but is very good for people who have sensitive skin. More so, foil shavers are noisier compared to rotary shavers.
4.Manual Razors: Disposable or Straight Razors?
Manual shavers or razors also have different types and models. The most popular and still widely used are disposable razors and straight razors.
Disposable razors are also known as cartridge razors. Many prefer disposable razor because it is much easier to use, simple and comes at a competitive price. In fact, it can be purchased in bulk without damaging your allowance! Consequently, a disposable razor comes in two types.
One is built directly on the handle; hence, the razor cannot be replaced if it becomes dull. Most travelers prefer to use this device because it can be easily disposed of after the trip. The other one is cartridge-based razors. The handle of cartridge-based razors is much better than the other one because the razors can be replaced. Hence, if it becomes dull, you just need to buy a new set of razor cartridges.
However, if you are looking for a shaver that can give an authentic barbershop shave, then straight razors are the right option for you! However, straight razors are not recommended for novice shavers because it is not “friendly”. But then again, straight razors give great shaves! More so, some straight razors in the market have a competitive price; some also have authentic wood handles!
5.Electric Shaver vs. Manual Razor: Pros and Cons
Let us now look at the pros and cons of electric shavers and manual razors.
Electric shavers are the best option for you if you want to save time. They also shave much faster compared to manual razors. It does not also require other grooming products like shaving cream, soap, and gels. Electric shavers are versatile; meaning, it is accurate in shaving beards, facial hair, sideburns, and mustaches. Using this device can also reduce cuts, nicks, and ingrown hairs.
Promising as it may sound; there are downsides to using an electric razor. Compared to manual razors, it does not provide a super-smooth feeling and is complicated to use. More so, some models of electric razors are not water-resistant.
It also needs electricity or a battery to function and should be cleaned and maintained regularly. As mentioned, it tends to become noisy. The initial purchase is also quite heavy. We will discuss in the succeeding part the money involved.
As for manual razors, it is known for easy use and budget-friendly. Aside from this, it also gives a closer shave, is easy to maintain, and is portable. Moreover, the parts of manual razors (cartridges) are much easier to find compared to electric shavers’.
Subsequently, manual razors should be used on wet skin or conditions, thus, require shaving products. Using this device may also result in cuts and nicks. Manual shaving takes much longer and might require multiple shaving.
6.Money well spent
Some of you might consider the price tag as a driving force before buying a shaver. Who could blame you? Money does not grow on trees, thus should be spent well and wisely.
Let us now lay some facts on the table. Accordingly, an electric shaver can last up to twenty years depending on the usage. A manual shaver (cartridge), can ideally last for life.
A decent electric shaver can cost around $150-$200. It is important to note that your preference for the ability of an electric shaver to function in wet conditions can also affect its price. A manual shaver (cartridge) on the other hand, is around $20-$30.
In the long run, you will have to replace an electric shavers’ blade every 18 months. An electric razor blade ranges from $15-$20. On manual cartridge razors, you’ll approximately spend $20 for a month’s supply.
Looking at these, the cost of buying an electric shaver versus a manual shaver does not go far. As mentioned, it all depends on your preference. Consequently, it is important to note that price does not necessarily, or not all the time determines the performance of a shaver! Aside from how much it can cost, you should also consider the convenience of the product you are eyeing!
As mentioned, before purchasing a shaver, you need to check the following; first your skin type, then the brand (if you are brand conscious), and the type and model of the razor you want. More so, keep in mind the pros and cons we talked about!
As constantly reiterated in this article, it all comes down to personal preference and individual choice. But then again, the best way to ensure comfortable shaving for years is to buy a quality electric shaver and use it appropriately and take good care of it!
We hope you like our detailed comparison of Electric Shaver vs. Manual Razor if you have made your mind towards Electric Shaver we have created a 10 Step Checklist that will help you in finding the best electric shaver that should provide comfortable shaving for years.
The Checklist: 10 Step Guide To Find Which Electric Shaver Is Best
If you have decided to buy an electric shaver and are fully decided on the type of electric shaver you want, here is a checklist made especially for you!
- 1. Power Source
Checking the power source is a must if you are planning to go for an electric shaver. Do you want it with a cord, cordless, or both? Having an electric shaver that can work both ways is beneficial especially if you are forgetful!
- 2. Battery Life and charging time
If you went for cordless, then you should know how many hours it can run and how long it takes to be fully charged. You don’t want your electric shaver to leave you in the middle of shaving right?
- 3. Low-Battery Warning
A recharge light is a handy feature for rechargeable shavers. Just like in knowing the life span and charging time of your electric shaver, this indicator will help you gracefully finish shaving without any trouble!
- 4. Wet or Dry Shaving
Some models and brands allow you to have both while some do not. Hence, you should know whether your shaver can function on wet conditions or not for proper use and maintenance.
- 5. Shaving performance
Accordingly, a good electric shaver runs at 10,000 revolutions per minute (RPM) or greater! So be sure to look at the label of the electric shaver you’re eyeing!
- 6. Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance
Before buying, looking at how often its blades should be replaced is a must! You should also look at the cost of replacement. More so, some models have a dock that automatically cleans the shaver. This feature is a must-have for people who do not have the time to clean their shavers.
- 7. Portability
This might not be important to everybody but to those who often travel, a travel-friendly-shaver is essential. Some electric shavers have a travel case.
- 8. Automatic Shutoff
This feature is essential if you chose a rechargeable shaver, most especially when you often forget things! With this, your electric shavers, when fully charged will automatically shut off.
- 9. Voltage
Again, this might not be important to some, but travelers need to know this especially when going abroad.
- 10. Overall Value of the Product
Last but not the least; you should be able to appropriately put the overall value of the product to its price tag.