Canstar Blue’s 2021 electric shavers review has seen Philips, Panasonic, Braun, Gillette and Remington compared on their performance and reliability, comfort, ease of use, value for money and overall satisfaction.
Whether it’s on your face or your legs, sometimes we just don’t want hair there! Keeping your skin smooth and trimmed can be tricky – it can be hard to get your skin completely smooth with a dodgy shaver, not to mention that the wrong shaver could irritate your skin. When it’s part of your regular grooming routine, it pays to invest in a reliable, long-lasting tool. That being said, does price correlate with performance, or can some cheaper brands rival top-of-the-range models?
To find out, we’ve again surveyed more than 300 Aussies for their feedback on the electric shavers they’ve bought or been gifted (and obviously used) within the last three years. Respondents were asked to compare and rate brands on their performance and reliability, comfort, ease of use, value for money and overall satisfaction. Those that met the minimum required survey sample size of 30 responses were included in the results.
After combing through the results, our survey found Aussies prefer to tackle hairy problems with Philips. It received five stars in four out of five research categories ─ including overall satisfaction.
Here are the best electric shavers in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s latest review:
This year, it was Philips that got the ‘thumbs up’ with the only five-star review for overall satisfaction. Panasonic, Braun, Gillette and Remington cut it close on four stars.
Although Panasonic filled in the gaps when judged on giving bang for buck, rating as the best for value for money, and got another set of full marks for comfort.
Philips offers a wide range of shavers in both foil and rotary designs, across budget and high-end price points. Philips provides a small number of ‘lady shavers’ under the SatinShave line, including the Philips SatinShave Advanced (single foil) and the Philips SatinShave Prestige (dual foil). Prices start from $74.95 and work their way up to around $120.
Here are two women’s electric shavers to expect:
For men’s shaving, Philips offers a huge range of rotary electric shavers in dry, plus wet and dry designs. Most products now have SkinIQ technology, which is claimed to use facial hair sensors to detect hair density and automatically adapt the cutting power to ensure a gentle shave. Expect heftier prices for the men’s range, from just under $80 up to as much as $650.
Here are some models from the men’s line:
Philips received a sleek five-star review for most research categories, including performance & reliability, ease of use, comfort and overall satisfaction. It got four stars for value for money.
Panasonic produces foil shavers marketed towards men, from affordable up to high-end tools. On the lower price end, products like the Panasonic 3-Blade Electric Shaver ($174.95 RRP*) come with a three-blade cutting system and 30° nano-polished inner blades to apparently ensure a precise cut as well as even facial hair growth and less skin irritation.
If you’re willing to splurge, Panasonic alternatively sells the 5 Blade Shaver With Multi-Flex 5D Head for just under $600. It features five arched blades to collect different types of hair and a flexible head designed to move in five directions, allowing for a smoother shave. The Panasonic electric shaver also contains a shaving sensor which supposedly detects how heavy or thin the beard is and adjusts the motor rotation accordingly.
Panasonic’s line-up includes:
Panasonic rated best for value for money and got an extra five stars for comfort. It earned four stars everywhere else, including for overall satisfaction.
Braun’s range of electric shavers is predominantly designed for men, although there is a wide range of epilators alternatively available for women. Braun produces a variety of foil shavers (i.e. those that shave in straight lines), typically costing between $299 and $750. Notable features include Braun’s Sonic Technology, which automatically increases power in areas that are said to be more difficult to shave. Higher tier products have multiple modes such as ‘sensitive’ and ‘turbo’.
Most Braun shavers are wet and dry models, which means you can take them with you in the shower to save time and avoid making a mess of the bathroom sink. You can also purchase the battery-operated Braun Mobile Pocket Shaver ($29.95 RRP*) for a fairly affordable travel option.
Here are some Braun electric shavers currently available:
Braun powered through this year’s ratings with four stars in the majority of research areas, such as performance & reliability and overall satisfaction. It got three stars for value for money.
Gillette is a one-stop shop for men’s grooming. The brand stocks shaving sets, face and body shaving products, as well as custom razors. Plus, its website offers tips on how to nail different shaving styles and more. However, the brand isn’t equipped with as many electric shavers as some brands. Although one option is the Gillette All Purpose Gillette Styler, which has a body hair and beard trimmer as well as a traditional razor. It’s water-resistant, complete with three exchangeable combs and powered by what the brand calls ‘Braun-engineered technology’.
Then, you’ve got the Gillette Fusion5 ProGlide Power Styler which comes with a razor and three interchangeable heads to trim, shave and edge your way to style. Both are available from Gillette directly or the Shaver Shop.
Some products from Gillette include:
Gillette picked up a four-star review for overall satisfaction and three stars everywhere else, such as value for money and comfort.
Remington offers foil and rotary shavers marketed towards both men and women. In the women’s range, one option is the Pure Confidence model. It’s the brand’s first rotary lady shaver and features a 360° neck and flexing head to follow the contour of your body, apparently making it especially useful for hard-to-reach areas such as the knee. This wet and dry electric shaver also comes with two brush attachments for exfoliating and deep cleansing.
Moving on to men’s shavers, there are several electric shavers to choose from, including affordable models like the Remington Power Series F2 Foil Shaver or Remington R2 Rotary Shaver (both valued at $39.95 RRP*). These two products contain a pop-up trimmer and stainless-steel blades. The rotary version additionally comes with three independent flexing heads and a multi-directional pivoting neck and a washable head.
Here are a few other Remington electric shavers:
Remington got four-star reviews in four out of five research categories, including comfort and overall satisfaction. The only exception was value for money, where it got three stars.
There are a few features you’ll need to pay attention to when buying a new electric shaver. They include:
If you’ve found an electric shaver that ticks all the boxes along with your budget, then you might just have yourself a new companion. Let’s now explore the above features in detail.
Choosing an electric shaver with a quality motor and blades is important. Look out for an adequate motor that won’t leave you wanting. You’d also want to make sure the unit provides a close shave with less irritation, which is essential if you have particularly sensitive skin. Generally, the mantra of ‘buy the best you can afford’ works here.
From a comfort perspective, the quality of the rotary blades or foil heads should be the first thing to look at. Traditional shaving with men’s or women’s razors involves using sharp blades, which come at a risk, whereas electric shavers are aimed to be more comfortable to use, plus decrease irritation and cuts, while still ensuring a relatively close shave. Many quality blades also self-sharpen, but keep an eye out for rusty blades on budget-oriented models – no one wants that running on their skin!
With so many options on offer, you should expect a unit that’s easy to use. If it isn’t, you probably won’t enjoy using it, or get the results you’d like. Plus, after you’ve finished, you’ll want something that is easy to clean. Electric shavers often go one further and are waterproof, or at least able to be rinsed under the tap. Easy-clean features will also make your overall shaving experience much more pleasant, and proper cleaning can extend the life of your shaver.
Like any appliance, electric shavers require proper maintenance. Taking care of the blades first and foremost is crucial, though overall maintenance can have your shaver performing better for longer. Similar to other powered personal grooming tools like beard trimmers, there are three main aspects to maintaining your electric shaver:
The build-up of hair, dead skin, dirt and any other nasty things decrease the longevity of your electric shaver, so proper care is vital to prolonging its lifespan. Most grooming kits come with a cleaning brush, otherwise, a clean toothbrush, some soap and hot water should do the trick. Ensure that all parts are completely dry before you assemble it back together. While it might sound pedantic, cleaning your electric shaver after every use ensures your blades’ performance is not compromised.
It pays to oil and lubricate the blades to ensure they perform at an optimal level. A single drop on each foil can make a world of difference. Many brands include a small bottle; however, you can also top it up with any shaver oil.
Similar to oiling your blades, lubricating them from time to time helps to ensure their longevity. Lubricant is a bit more ‘heavy-duty’ than oil and is important for rarely-used blades. Lubricate your blades before putting the shaver to action, which is a proactive way to ensure you get the best results from your blades.
It’s also important to disinfect your shaver’s blades using commonly-found blade spray. Disinfecting your own personal shaver is simply good hygiene. You can spray every few uses to ensure you’re not subjecting your face or other body parts to a germy nightmare.
Is an electric shaver worth the extra cost compared to manual razors? Our survey respondents think so – 39% consider their electric shaver easier to use than a manual shaver. A similar percentage of consumers even said they would recommend their electric shaver to a friend (38%). According to our survey, the average spend on an electric shaver is $111, while a pack of razors can cost anywhere from $4 to $10. An electric shaver is a long-term investment and it should start paying itself off after a few months.
Keep in mind that some brands and models offer more features and extras, so it may prove worthwhile to compare your options to find the best shaver for your skin, and which one leaves you looking and feeling your best.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services, while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.
Picture credits: LightField Studios/shutterstock.com, Dean Drobot/shutterstock.com, Dima Sidelnikov/shutterstock.com, Mitch Shark/shutterstock.com.
*Prices are taken from respective retailers, correct as of June 2021.
Canstar Blue surveyed more than 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased or been given a new electric shaver in the last three years (excluding beard trimmers and hair clippers) – in this case, 332 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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*Prices correct as of publication date.