What’s best, a handheld old-school manual razor, or the modern electric shavers? As for most things in life, there’s advantages and disadvantages to each invidiual method, so let’s find out which criteria fit each type of razor, and leave you with the decision of which one is best for you. Let me share a tip my father shared with me; if you want the closest shave, then there is nothing that beats the old school razor, but if you have sensitive skin, then an electric shaver can be a nice idea. However, if you are happy with short/long stubble then the more modern beard trimmers are a better solution.
The Electric Razor
- More gentle on the skin than (dull) razor blades
- Requires less equipment, no shaving cream, no water required
- Easier to control the overall shape of the beard
- Does not always provide a close or uniform shave
- A good electric razor is quite expensive
- Requires a fair bit of maintenance and cleaning
The electric razor is the first choice for quite a few men these days in their daily shaving routine, and it makes perfect sense. It is easy to use, it does not irritate the skin too much, or leave marks you have to wear with you to the office, and above all it does not require much time. Just turn on the machine, and you’re ready to go. Depending on the quality it can provide a fairly close shave, but most types typically have some degree of difficulty with the more stubborn beard on the neck and jaw.
And while the electric razor beats the old-school aproach in terms of speed, there’s something to be said for maintenance as well. If you want to take good care of your machine, it must be cleaned at regular intervals, and keeping everything oiled and clean is important. Electric razors are often recommended for men with sensitive skin, but some models will irritate more than others, and there’s only one way to find out for sure. The best approach is probably to shave right after a bath and use some aftershave, done this way tends to leave less red bumps and irritations.
The old fashioned razor
- By far the cheapest way to shave
- Provides the closest shave
- Can quickly become a cherished ritual in the morning
- May require a bit of training, especially if you are using cream or gel
- Risk of cutting yourself when you are new
- A quality set of razor along with blades and equipment can cost a bit of money to start with
The classic razor has made a comeback in terms of overall popularity in most countries, and for good reason. This type of shave is simply proven by time, and provides a baby smooth shave if you wish, but once you master the blade, you can control with almost surgical precision the exact shape of your beard. And while electric razors tend to last a few years, a good razor can last a lifetime, and the blades are extremely cheap to buy, especially if you buy in bulk.
Since shaving can be a daily occurence, the money saved over time can add up quickly. In addition to this, a sharp razor blade also offers a much closer shave than the razor. The two types of shaves can’t really be compared at all, but it does require a bit of exercise with the manual to get it right. The risk of cutting or getting skin irritation can be significantly reduced by shaving after having been in the bath where the skin is soft, and then using a good shaving cream or gel to layer.