Battle of the Buzz: Foil Shavers vs. Rotary Shavers

foil shavers and rotary shavers

If you’re considering an electric shaver, you’ve got a decision to make before you start checking prices. There are two types of electric shavers—foil shavers, and rotary shavers. They use differing mechanisms, they offer completely different shaving experiences, and they’re optimal for different types of people. We’re here to break it down.

How do they work?

Both shavers have a housing that protects your face from directly contacting the blades. Rotary shavers have three spinning heads (give or take one) that trap and cut your facial hair. Rotary shavers work best if you move them around your face in a circular fashion. The structure of the shaver is designed to help it follow the contours of your face, which is good! Any help in getting a closer shave is useful, considering how much gadgetry is standing between your skin and the blades.

Foil shavers are more straightforward. They have a thin, perforated sheet of steel foiln on top. The blades are underneath the foil, oscillating incredibly fast. As you move the shaver up and down your face, the foil grabs your hairs and brings them in close to the blades.

Who are they for?

Rotary shavers don’t really cut as closely. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. People who have thicker, coarser hair can find them advantageous. Rotary shavers can also prove useful for people with curly hair or hair that grows in many different directions. If you don’t shave often or if you have trouble shaving parts of your face, a rotary shaver is a good call. Also, if you don’t like cleaning your shaver, this is your best bet.

Foil shavers may not offer the closeness of a traditional razor, but they cut closer than a rotary shaver. If you want a close shave and don’t mind cleaning your shaver more often to get it, this is the choice for you. Foil shavers are good for people who shave every day and for people with finer, straighter hair. Also, if you’re looking for precision on your sideburns or elsewhere, a foil shaver is the better bet.

What do they cost?

Both options are pretty similar. You can spend anywhere from $20 to $200. On average, getting a well-liked shaver from a well-established brand might be a little cheaper with rotary shavers. Honestly, though, you can spend as much as you want on either type of shaver and come away happy.

What are the drawbacks?

Either way, you don’t have to worry about shaving creams and the like, which is nice. But each has a downside. You’re either tethered to the wall or reliant on batteries and chargers. Then there’s the noise to consider. Both options are going to make a fair bit of noise, but the foil shaver, in particular, is going to make its presence known. While the rotary shaver is quieter, it’s also less gentle on your skin. Either option can cause irritation, but the rotary, in particular, has a greater risk of causing discomfort to sensitive skin.

All in all, if you’re going to go with an electric shaver, a foil shaver is probably your best bet. It comes down to individual preference, of course. But unless your hair is thick enough to demand a rotary shaver or you just can’t stand the noise, foil shavers generally give you a closer shave with less wear and tear on your skin.

(Images via Facebook, Amazon.)