Manual vs Electric: Which Razor Gives the Best Shave?

Don't know if manual or electric razors are better? Join the cluck. Take a look at which razor really gives the best shave!

Razors and other shaving utensils made their first appearance around 40,000 years ago. During the Ice Age, facial hair could be a danger when wet and lead to frostbite. Anthropologists discovered early forms of shaving creams and metal blades around 3,000 BCE.

Today, our battle with unwanted body hair continues. Fortunately, we have many types of razors and brands to choose from to accomplish the best shave. Our only battle now is figuring out which razors work best.

If you ask around, you’re sure to receive a range of answers on which razor is better. Some men will swear the electric razor is the way to go. Others will tell you that the manual razor is the purest option. In some cases, people will tell you that you will need both. Whether you maintain a full beard or prefer a smooth fresh face, both razors can come in handy.

So, are you trying to find out which razor offers the best shave? Let’s find out which one is best for you.

Manual vs Electric: Which Razor Gives the Best Shave?

The Manual Razor

Manual razors are the oldest - and in some cases, the most reliable form of razors. Straight, Double-Edged and cartridge razors are all manual razors you can choose from.

A manual razor gives you the absolute closest shave that leaves your skin smooth and silky to the touch. You can use them to touch up rogue hairs or maintain your clean-cut look.

Cartridge Manual Razor Pros

The cartridge manual razor is the most common manual razor you can find. This razor consists of 2,3,4, or 5 small blades in a cartridge with safety edges all around. There are fully disposable razor options and ones with replaceable cartridge heads.

- Manual razors provide the closest and longest-lasting shave
- They are easy to use
- It’s easy to replace the blades or equipment
- Manual razors are the most cost-effective option
- Use a manual razor to tidy up other body hair
- They’re small and easy to travel with
- Manual razors are easy to clean

DE Manual Razor Pros

The Double-Edged (DE) manual razor is a single blade with a small guard along the blade. While they aren’t as popular as today’s razors, they were all the rage in the early 20th century.

The single blade may appear intimidating at first but these razors offer a surprising amount of benefits.

- A closer shave, even closer than a cartridge manual razor
- DE razors are great for shaving coarse hair
- Less drag with a single sturdy blade means less irritation
- Replacement blades are cheap and easy to replace
- You have more control over your shave

Manual Razor Cons

Despite the manual razors many benefits to getting you the best shave, there are still some cons. A lot of the pros and cons of a manual razor depend on your shaving needs.

- Manual razors cause the shaving time to take longer
- You need to use some kind of shaving cream or grooming products
- Manual razors are less versatile as they work best with a wet shave
- Using a manual razor increases your chances of razor burn, cuts, and ingrown hairs
- Manual razor blades dull quickly
- DE razors take time to learn and get used to
- DE razor handles are expensive and aren’t available everywhere

Tips to Accomplish the Best Shave with a Manual Razor

To accomplish your best shave with a manual razor, you’ll need to invest in quality grooming products.

Use moisturizing shaving creams that also help with irritation to keep your skin looking healthy. A post-shave product can help reduce razor burn and redness. It also reduces the number of ingrown hairs and prevents your pores from clogging.

Keep your razors sharp. A dull razor slows down the shaving process and increases irritation and razor burn. Regularly switch out your blades, or sharpen them, to ensure a comfortable shave every time.

The Electric Razor

Unlike the manual razor which uses stagnant razors, the electric razor uses one or more rotating blades. It’s a dry form of shaving that doesn’t require any shaving creams or water. In most cases, it makes shaving faster and more comfortable.

The small motor uses a rechargeable battery or an electric cord to power the razors. Guards cover the blades to prevent cuts or irritation while allowing you to customize the length of your facial hair.

Electric Razor Pros

The electric razor has many pros, especially when it comes to time, safety, and versatility.

There’s no need for special grooming items or water with electric razors
- Electric razors shave hair faster than manual razors
- These razors are portable
- Electric razors are versatile and can shave beards, mustaches, stubble, sideburns, regular hair, and more
- Using an electric razor reduces your chances of getting cuts, nicks, or ingrown hairs
- Electric razors are long-lasting and require blade changes only 1-2 times per year

Electric Razor Cons

While electric razors provide you with some great benefits, they have their drawbacks as well.

- First-time users find using a manual razor takes practice
- Can irritate the skin if not used properly
- These razors don’t offer a super close shave
- You need a power source or remember to charge the battery
- They’re harder to clean and need more maintenance
- The upfront costs of electric razors are more than manual razors and high-quality ones are even more expensive

Electric razors offer a lot more versatility when it comes to people who like a little stubble or facial hair. If you want to learn more, mistershaver.com reviews several of the top-rated electric razors on the market.

Get the Best Shave with the Right Razor

Finding the best razor depends on your facial hair, skin type, and personal style. What works great for one person may not work well for you.

Here’s what to keep in mind as you begin your hunt for your perfect razor.

Know Your Skin Type

One would think your hair type would play an important role, which it does, but your skin type will help you determine the best razor for you.

Take a moment to think about how your skin reacts to manual shaving. If you’re new to shaving, you’ll need to experiment a bit.

If you have sensitive skin, easily cut yourself, or are prone to razor burn, look for razors that help with that. There are manual and electric razors that cater to sensitive skin.

For those who don’t have sensitive skin and rarely experience razor burn, you’ll have a much wider range of razors to check out.

What’s Your Style

How you style your facial hair will help you decide which razor is will be the best choice. Men who enjoy a fresh clean shave will benefit the most from a manual razor. These razors offer a closer shave than an electric razor. They’re a great option for those with fine facial hair, too.

Now, if you like some facial hair or have a full beard, an electric razor is a good option. You can trim your mustache, beard, and tidy edges with an electric razor. Most electric razors come with multiple guard sizes allowing you to customize the length of facial hair.

In many cases, having both an electric razor and a manual razor on hand is the best option. This is particularly true for men with beards or stubble. An electric razor can trim your mustache and shape your beard while the manual razor tidies the edges and cleans up stray hairs.

The Brand

Just like with anything else, you’ll find some razor brands are better than others. This goes for both manual and electric razors.

Some people are brand-focused and have a brand they’ll stick with no matter what. For those who are flexible with their brands, you’ll have to do some research and check out reviews.

When shopping for manual razors, look for brands known for their quality. Consider brands that reduce razor burn and irritation. You’ll be happy to learn there are many economical options with great ratings.

The same goes for electric razors, except you’ll want to do a little extra research to make sure you know what you’re getting.

What to Look For in an Electric Razor

Honestly, investing a little extra up front will get you better quality and a long-lasting electric razor. Do you want a wired or wireless razor? Wireless electric razors are easier to use as you won’t have a cord trailing around. They either have a rechargeable battery or batteries that will need replacing.

As long as you remember to periodically charge the battery, a rechargeable electric razor will be your best bet.

Then there’s the type of razor: foil or rotary. Rotary razors have 3 or 4 heads each with a rotating blade. They’re good for thicker facial hair and those with average to tough skin.

A foil razor has a straight head with oscillating blades. You can get very precise and detailed with a foil razor. They’re a great option for those with sensitive skin and people with fine facial hair.

Shave in Style

So, which razor gives you the best shave? That’s for you to decide. But with a little help and some experimentation, you’re sure to find the right razor to rock your style.

Make 2020 the year you look and feel great. Find more tips on how to find the right style in our latest fashion stories.


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Tags:shaver, electric shaver, razor, style, facial hair, body, brand, beard, skin, clean-cut look, manual razor, power source, skin type

About the Author

Boyana Ivanova

Boyana is following men`s trade fairs and exhibitions. She is also covering fashion industry news, best dressed section, lifestyle and trends.


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