Datum poslední aktualizace
Published: 03/18/2018
Datum poslední aktualizace
Last update: 08/01/2022
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Rotary or foil: what is the best electric shaver?

Having electric shavers in our lives saves us time, effort and, in some cases, money. Whether foil electric shaver or rotary electric shaver, both types are becoming more and more technologically advanced compared to history and bring increasingly better comfort. Whatever type of shave you require, there is a shaver for that. Be it on the body, face, wet shaving, dry shaving and so on. But which technology to opt for? That's what we'll try to answer in the following article.

Foil shavers

Foil electric shavers use an oscillating blade under the blade, which is typically made of metal. Manufacturers strive to achieve a minimum thickness of the blade to ensure the closest shave possible. The blade has holes (perforations) that allow the beard to penetrate towards the blades, which then trim the beard. The shape of the perforation varies nowadays to ensure that the foil captures different types of beard. In the past, the perforations were often the same throughout the blade.

The original and now the largest manufacturer of foil shavers is the Braun brand. The lowest ranges of shavers offer only one blade. Moving up the manufacturer's product portfolio, we can then see two foil most often, but also other shaving features that complement the shortcomings of the foil technology. Good examples are the Braun 3030s and Braun 9290cc, where the Series 9 representative has 5 shaving elements right away.

The higher number of blades allows for a faster and more thorough shave. However, if there are too many blades, the shaver becomes heavy, bulky and does not adapt well to the curves of the face.

Rotary shavers

Nowadays, rotary electric shavers most often have three round shaving elements that are independently movable. These shaving elements are usually attached to the shaving head, which is also movable. However, in the cheaper models, we can still find a lower number of shaving elements, which may also be statically fixed. Due to the lack of elasticity and mobility of static shaving elements, unpleasant skin irritation may occur when shaving. However, this can also occur with some foil shavers, so it is not a specialty of rotary machines only.

Elegant curves will delight you every time you walk into the bathroom
Elegant curves will delight you every time you walk into the bathroom.
Do you like the design of the 7300 series?
Do you like the design of the 7300 series?

Each shaving head has stationary guards on the outside that serve multiple purposes. The first is, of course, to protect against the blade itself, the second is to catch the beard and guide it to the cutting area. The shaving head usually has several types of grooves that capture different lengths and types of beard, which are then trimmed by the rotating blade inside the shaving head. The outer grooves are usually designed for longer and irregular beards, while the inner grooves are designed for shorter ones. The original and largest manufacturer of rotary shavers is the Philips brand.

Which shaver to choose: a foil or a rotary shaver?

You'll often learn from many sources that choosing a shaver technology is a completely individual matter, and making the right choice requires trying both options. Both a foil shaver and a rotary shaver. This statement cannot be disputed. However, it's hard to imagine a situation where you buy two shavers instead of one, and that's quite an investment. There are, however, some guidelines that will make it easier to choose a particular type of shaver so you can avoid making a double investment.

For whom the foil electric shaver is suitable

Even though foil shaver feature movable shaving heads, their ability to follow the sharp contours of the face is not the best. They are also not suitable for those individuals who take a break from shaving for a few days. They are generally noisier compared to rotary shavers.

Will a foil electric shaver suit you?

  • You generally shave daily,
  • have a straight growing beard,
  • ideally finer and less dense beards,
  • want the ultimate close shave (like a razor),
  • require high razor precision around the sideburns,
  • you do not have pronounced facial contours,
  • your skin is prone to irritation,
  • you prefer a linear shaving motion (up and down),
  • you do not mind higher noise levels.

Who is the rotary shaver suitable for?

Following the contours of the face is the domain of rotary shavers. The Philips S9711/31, for example, moves in 8 different directions. You'll appreciate their dimensions just as much when shaving under the nose. You'll appreciate the rotary shaver if you don't shave every day, but also leave a few days' worth of stubble.

Will a rotary shaver suit you?

  • You shave irregularly (you often shave stubble),
  • your beard grows in different directions,
  • you have a hard and thick beard,
  • you will be happy with a less thorough shave,
  • you do not require too much precision from the machine,
  • you have pronounced facial contours,
  • you do not have hypersensitive skin,
  • you prefer circular shaving movements,
  • you appreciate the quieter operation when shaving.

Foil electric shavers ranking

 ProductRun timeWet shavingCleaning stationRating
Braun 9290ccBraun 9290cc 51 min.AnoAno4,5
Braun 7899ccBraun 7899cc50 min.AnoAno4,2
Braun 5050ccBraun 5050cc45 min.3,6
Braun 3030sBraun 3030s45 min.3,4
Braun CT2sBraun CT2s45 min.Ano3,4
Braun 130sBraun 130s2,0

Rotary electric shavers ranking

 ProductRun timeWet shavingTypeCleaning stationRanking
Philips S9711/31Philips S9711/3157 min.AnoRotaryAno4,6
Philips SP9863/14Philips SP9863/1460 min.AnoRotary4,4
Philips S7370/12Philips S7370/1250 min.AnoRotary4,3
Philips S5400/06Philips S5400/0645 min.AnoRotary3,9
Philips S5130/06Philips S5130/0640 min.Rotary3,3
Philips S5100/06Philips S5100/0638 min.Rotary3,3

Differences between rotary and foil electric shavers

Manufacturers of shavers try to eliminate the individual disadvantages of one or another technology as much as possible. In practice, the differences are often not very marked. It is very important which two particular models you are comparing. Therefore, take the above specifics of the technologies mentioned only as a starting evaluation criteria for your future shaver. Probably the most central factors that will influence you in your choice of a rotary or foil shaver will be:

  • skin sensitivity,
  • facial contours,
  • frequency of shaving.

For example, if you shave every third day, have pronounced facial contours but very sensitive skin, then choosing a shaver is even more difficult.

Fortunately, nowadays there are shavers with Wet & Dry function, where you can use shaving foam or gel while shaving and avoid skin irritation. The Philips Series 7000 S7370/12 Wet & Dry model, for example, is directly designed for individuals with sensitive skin. It thus provides maximum comfort with all the other benefits of a rotary shaver. Otherwise, you may prefer to shave daily, with pronounced facial contours and with skin that is not too sensitive. This also doesn't prevent you from choosing a foil shaver, you'll just probably have to look at higher-end models, such as the Braun Series 9 9290cc whose 10D shaving head system can definitely handle pronounced contours better than lower-end models.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

What is the best way to choose a men's shaver?

It always primarily depends on what type of shave you want (body hair shaving, beard shaving, wet/dry shaving, etc.). The deciding factors, especially if you are choosing between a blade and a rotary shaver, are the frequency of shaving, skin sensitivity and also the contours of your face. If you shave daily, require a close shave and have sensitive skin, you may prefer a foil shaver. If you have pronounced facial contours, shave irregularly and do not require a close shave, then opt for a rotary shaver.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Platelet shavers are based on the oscillation of the blades under a metal, perforated plate (here the beard penetrates, which is then trimmed by the blades). The thinner the blade, the closer the shave the machine offers. A higher number of blades also guarantees a faster and more thorough shave. The largest manufacturer of foil shavers is Braun.

What is the working principle of a rotary shaver?

Rotary shavers usually have three round, independently movable shaving elements (blade guard, beard guide to the cutting point) located on a movable shaving head. The shaving head of the shaver has several types of catching grooves which allow different lengths of beard to be caught and then trimmed by the rotating blade inside the head. The largest manufacturer of rotary shavers is Philips.

Who is a foil electric shaver suitable for?

A foil shaver is suitable for men with less pronounced facial contours who shave daily and require a close shave. At the same time, they have finer and straighter beards and sensitive skin.

Who is the rotary shaver suitable for?

A rotary shaver is the best option for men with strong facial contours, who shave more irregularly (prefer stubble), have a hard and thick beard and do not require too much precision from the shaver.

What's the best electric shaver?

Based on our comparison tests, the best foil shaver is the Braun 9290cc and the best rotary shaver is the Philips Series 9000 S9711.

Rotary or foil: what is the best electric shaver?
Article Name
Rotary or foil: what is the best electric shaver?
When buying a shaver, we often don't just think about the brand or a specific model. The choice of a blade or rotary shaver is a much more fundamental issue. In this article, we will tell you who is suitable for a foil shaver and who is suitable for a rotary shaver. So you can choose the right type for you.
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