Updated 30 June 2022
We tested shavers and name the Braun 3020S as the best in test. This shaver has a robust construction with broad shaving elements and offers effective shaving. It easily removes every hair and leaves a really tidy result.
The best premium choice is the Philips S7510/41, an easy-to-manoeuvre shaver that provides a close and gentle shave. Once you've finished shaving, it’s quick to rinse off under running water, so cleaning also gets a high score.
Our tests are independently conducted and reflect the test editor's honest and objective opinions. Selection of products and test results are in no way influenced by manufacturers, retailers or other internal or external parties.
Robust construction with broad shaving elements, gives an effective shave with incredibly smooth results
Waterproof: Yes Battery life: 45 min Charging time: 1 hr 45 min
Smooth, smoother smoothest! The results from this shaver are amazing. On ordinary hairs, whether flat or growing in another direction, it's excellent. It easily removes every hair and leaves a really tidy result. This shaver is particularly suitable for people with a lot of coarse beard growth.
The construction is solid and the shaver feels heavy in your hand. It’s broad, which means that a proper grip is needed for a steady shave, something that can feel odd for those used to a slimmer variant. The robust design also means it can be a little difficult to shave around the mouth as this area requires more precision. And on birthmarks or blemishes, the device can be a little too brusque. Cleaning is something of a challenge as there are lots of small spaces. However, this inconvenience is something that the broad, effective shaving elements definitely outweigh. Quite simply a great value for money shaver.
Well-designed shaver that gives perfect results, excellent cleaning station included
Braun's most advanced shaver has sonic shaving technology, which creates a full 10,000 microvibrations. The shaving result is outstanding and the cutting blades manage to cut both stubble and longer hairs regardless of which direction they grow. The barbers who performed the test were genuinely surprised at how fast and tight the Braun shaves, finding it easily comparable to a wet shave. The design is classically stylish with a high build quality. The shaving head is completely flexible and adapts smoothly to the contours of your face, even for more difficult areas such as the cheekbones. Very good value for money!
Provides a gentle shave and requires few strokes, handles flat hairs well
Waterproof: Yes Battery life: 45 min Charging time: 1 hr
When time is of the essence the Braun 5030S is the shaver for you. This shaver requires fewer strokes than most other machines, which means it’s much faster to finish. Both hair that grows in different directions and flat strands can be removed without any problems. The shaver also feels very gentle and soft against the skin. The grip is quite large and can feel awkward for someone with smaller hands, but with a little practice you’ll soon get the right angle.
Cleaning the Braun 5030S is easy. Just rinse the shaving head under running water, which also saves a lot of time. To make your shaver last longer, Braun also recommend adding a little machine oil once a week. The Braun 5030S thus requires a little extra care and a small amount of outlay for maintenance. However, these are really marginal negatives for an otherwise very good value device. Our conclusion is that the Braun 5030S is well worth every penny.
Part shaver, part razor with advantages and disadvantages from both
Waterproof: Yes Battery life: 45 min Charging time: 8 hrs
The Philips Oneblade is a hybrid between a shaver and a razor. The principle is the same whether you choose the regular or Pro edition of the Oneblade. The device looks like a chunky razor, but one where the head of the razor itself moves. This allows you to work your way through even thicker and slightly longer beards, without first using a trimmer.
With the Oneblade you don’t get as close to the skin as with a normal razor. That may not eliminate skin irritation, but it clearly reduces it. Unfortunately, this also means that you don’t get as smooth a shave as with a normal razor, and it takes a lot of practice to get it really short.
The Pro version of the Oneblade comes with both a charging stand and a trimmer head. Despite the charging stand, the charging time is insanely long, but the charge lasts significantly longer than the stated 45 minutes.
The trimmer head can be set to a variety of lengths, but requires a lot of practice to function very well.
The Philips Oneblade is good for those with sensitive skin. But the lack of really smooth shaving and a fairly steep learning curve means that it’s not likely to win over either razor users or shaver people.
The shaver that wants to do it all, but lacks precision
Water resistant: Yes Battery life: 60 min Charging time: 1 hr
The Philips S9000 feels like an attempt to see how many features you can pack into one shaver all at once. The package we tested included a cleaning pod and several accessories. The entire device is also connected to an app on your smartphone, which scores you on your shaving and offers you general grooming tips.
In addition to the app advising you when to clean your shaver and how to shave, the Philips S9000 is also equipped with LED lighting just below the shaver head. Its main task seems to be to flash hysterically in general. However, after you’ve been shaving for a while, it calms down and changes colour if you’re pressing too hard or too little.
In purely technical terms, there are few things to complain about here. The battery life of one hour matches what we get out of it. Like many of the more expensive Philips shavers, the three shaver heads (and neck) move independently for an even closer shave. During the months we spent using the shaver, we didn’t notice any reduction in the efficiency of the blades.
In addition to the disco lights and the rather pointless app, we discovered one major downside. We feel that the shaver heads are very large and they only really shave in the middle of the shaver head, not out towards the edges. This negatively affects precision. Over large areas, this isn’t a problem at all. But if we had any facial hair we wanted to keep, we were seldom able to get good edges around e.g. moustaches. In fact, it feels a bit like painting tin soldiers with a roller. The included beard trimmer helps a bit but not that much.
The Philips S9000 is a fantastic choice if you can live with a shaver like a gaming computer and rock a cleanly shaved look. But if you have facial hair to trim, look elsewhere.
Easy to clean and with good grip that facilitates a more precise shave
Waterproof: Yes Battery life: 40 min Charging time: 1 hr
The Philips S5110/06 has a good grip that’s well designed, which makes it comfortable to hold and easy to manoeuvre. Together with the design of the shaving head, this makes it easy to follow the contours of your face, which means you should get a very precise shave. Unfortunately, the result is often uneven and several strokes are needed to compensate for this. Hairs that grow in different directions are no problem, but flat hairs are a challenge for the Philips S5110/06. Despite the uneven shaving, the shaver doesn’t irritate the skin particularly and feels relatively gentle.
Cleaning the machine is very simple. The shaving head is easily opened at the touch of a button and can then be rinsed clean under water. This, together with the fact that the shaver is easy to operate, is still not enough to make the Philips S5110/06 very good. A more even end result after the first shave is required for it to get a higher score.
Easy to manoeuvre with simple construction that’s easy to clean
Waterproof: Yes Battery life: 40 min Charging time: 4 hrs
The Aqua Plus PR1350, which can be used both with and without water, has a light construction that’s easy to manoevre. It’s best suited for slightly larger hands as the handle is on the chunky side. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really deliver at the level you’d want. The shaver doesn’t shave very close and easily misses both flat hairs and hairs that grow in a different direction. This means that a lot of strokes are needed, which then irritates the skin. It does follow the contours of the face to some extent, but on sharper angles, the chunky construction becomes a problem.
Cleaning can be done very easily. The lid can be opened without coming off completely and can then be easily rinsed off under running water. Although the Aqua Plus is a shaver in the lower price range, we would have liked to have seen more thought go into the construction.
When you want to remove stubble or a short beard, a shaver is often the obvious option. Many of these appliances can even cope with coarse beards and can remove flat strands of hair. There are different types of shaver, and the majority now have cutting heads equipped with a number of blades, which cut the strands of beard beneath a thin, pierced, metal sheet. In general two different techniques are used by these appliances. One is to have two or three round cutting heads on which the blades rotate. Another is to have elongated, parallel cutting heads where the blades move forwards and backwards. Some elongated models also have a kind of scissor section between the cutting heads to trim longer strands of hair. Both variants have a number of advantages and you simply choose whichever suits you best. For example, the elongated cutting heads make it easier to trim moustaches and sideboards, while the round cutting heads are often quieter.
A number of shavers today also include a trimmer accessory. This can be used for other body hair, such as on the back or chest. If you want to trim your eyebrows or the hair in your nose or ears, it's better to use a nose hair trimmer, which is specially designed for these purposes.
For a shaver with rotating cutting heads, the appliance is used in circular movements along the skin. Models with parallel cutting heads are used more like a traditional razor, with shaving taking place against the hair growth at a 90-degree angle to the face. After using a shaver for a little while you get used to both techniques, and in fact neither is better than the other.
When using a shaver, you often need neither lather nor gel. Sometimes this is recommended for some models, to get a closer shave or a more pleasant experience. Some shavers are completely waterproof and can be used in the shower for wet shaving.
Many men using shavers know they can lead to a stinging sensation and irritate the skin, regardless of the brand used. A number of manufacturers have therefore improved cutting head flexibility to counteract this problem. Shavers with spring-mounted cutting heads follow the contours of the face better. In general, more expensive shavers have more advanced springs and thus are more flexible. If you have sensitive skin, we definitely recommend you to purchase an electric shaver with separate sprung cutting heads to counteract skin irritation and redness. This makes a big difference.
Today the majority of appliances are waterproof and can be rinsed off under the tap. You might think that the cleaning stations included as an accessory with the more expensive shavers are merely a gimmick. But the fact is that this special cleaning fluid is preferable to water in order to retain the sharpness of the cutting blades. The mineral-free cleaning fluid prevents the razor edge from oxidising, which takes place if the shaver is left damp after cleaning under the tap. In other words, it's not use that makes the cutting blades blunt but simply normal corrosion. The cleaning stations thus significantly extend the lifetime of the cutting blades, and in the long term are a good investment. For some shavers, it is also recommended that you apply oil to increase the durability of the machine.
Many men wonder whether they can take their shaver with them when travelling. Apart from it being helpful if it's small so it doesn't take up much space, you also need to be sure you can take it on the plane. You are permitted to have a shaver in your hand baggage, which means it's easy to take with you. But don't forget to find out what electrical outlets are available at your destination, and whether your shaver will charge using these or if you will need an adapter.