Foil vs Rotary Shaver: Which Is Better for You?

Foil vs Rotary Shaver: Which Is Better for You?

Shaving is something most men do throughout their entire lives. If you calculate the amount of time you spend shaving in front of the bathroom mirror, chances are that it will add up to multiple months for your entire lifetime. So, it’s smart to look for what is the best electric shaver you can use, as well as how you can optimize the whole process of shaving. And with that in mind, let’s compare two of the more popular types of shavers – foil shaver vs rotary shaver – and try to find out which is better for you.

Both the foil electric shaver and the rotary electric shaver are, well – electric. This means that both aim to do most of the work for you and make the whole experience as easy and as simple as possible. They are not equal, however, and each has its strengths and weaknesses. Let’s examine them one by one.

What is a foil electric shaver?

Foil electric shavers are all the standard electric shaves with a single straight head and oscillating blades on top of it. They are also often just called “electric cutters”. The reason they are mostly referred to as “foil shavers” is in the thin layer of metal that’s holed to form a specific mesh pattern which covers the cutters themselves. This “foil” is essential as it captures the cut hairs in its holes. It also allows for close and clean shaves.

What is a rotary electric shaver?

Rotary electric shavers are called that because they typically have a set of 3 circular heads that are armed with multiple small and internally spinning cutters. These 3 heads don’t rotate between each other but their cutter blades rotate at a very high speed which is what allows the rotary electric shaver to offer such close and clean shaves. Of course, these shavers also have a protective guard that’s stationary and guarantees safety during shaving. A huge benefit of the rotary electric shaver is that the circular motion of its cutters makes it easier for the user to maneuver around difficult areas such as the chin or the neck.

How to choose between a foil shaver vs rotary shaver?

Of course, a lot of it comes down to personal preferences – a lot of people simply like one or the other. However, there are a lot of specifics, benefits, and drawbacks to both shavers, making the rotary vs foil shaver comparison much more about which item will best suit your preferred way of shaving, your beard, and your skin.

So, what are the specifics of each type of shaver that should guide your choice? Let’s start with the foil electric shaver:

  • If you want a really smooth shave – one that’s perfectly clean as if no hair has ever grown on your face – the foil electric shaver is typically better.
  • If you don’t mind shaving every day to achieve that result, the foil shaver should be your choice as it excels at dealing with short and soft hairs.
  • If your facial hair is relatively soft and fine – the foil electric shaver can face difficulties with harder hairs but soft ones are not a problem for it.
  • If you need 100% precision, allowing to fully shape every edge of your hair and facial hair – if you want to leave a goatee, to shape sideburns, etc.
  • If you tend to shave in straight lines, the foil electric shaver is excellent for that.

From those points you can see why the foil electric shaver is a prime chose for most men – it’s the best tool you can find for perfectly clean and smooth daily shaves.

So, what are the benefits of the rotary electric shaver and how does it compare to the foil shaver?

  • Rotary electric shavers are better for people with tougher skin, whether it’s because of genetics, age, or improper shaving.
  • If your beard hair is rather dense and thick as well, so it needs to the expert cutting of the spinning blades of a rotary shaver.
  • If your face has hard-to-navigate contours that require the great control of a rotary shaver.
  • If your hair tends to grow in different directions. This is quite common around the neck area but for some men, all facial hair can just grow at different angles.
  • If you don’t intend to shave every day. Keep in mind that even a rotary shaver shouldn’t be used on 3-4 day old hair and a hair trimmer is best in those situations. But if you often go 1 or 2 days without shaving, the rotary shaver is better than the foil shaver at taking care of slightly longer or harder hairs.

Simply put, if you have harder hair or skin, or if you don’t plan on shaving every day – a rotary shaver will likely be a better option for you.

Skin sensitivity is key

To summarize all of the above, people with sensitive skin should typically prefer to use foil shavers even though rotary shavers are easier to use around contours. If you have harder or older skin, however, and sensitivity is not a problem, a rotary electric shaver will likely be much easier and more comfortable to handle.

Both foil and rotary electric shavers have models that are “wet”, i.e. – they are usable with shaving cream. This is great for people with sensitive skin as shaving with cream and a “wet” electric shaver can be great for your skin. Even then, however, the foil shaver will still be more suitable than the rotary shaver for sensitive skin and soft hair.

Time is on your side

Keep in mind that whichever of the two types of electric razors you choose, if you’ve never used an electric razor before your skin will need a couple of weeks to get used to the sensation. That’s why many of the top manufacturers offer 30-day no-question refunds.

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