Everything You Need to Know About Foil Shavers

Best Foil Shavers Guide

What are the foil shavers? To put things simply, a foil shaver’s straight heads, which use oscillating blades, are located underneath a thin layer of metal. This metal is referred to as a ‘foil,’ and contains a mesh-like pattern that covers the blades.

What Is a Foil Shaver Used For?

If you are unfamiliar with the world of electric razors, you may be wondering what foil shavers are and when a man could use them. Foil shavers are used as an alternative to rotary electric shavers, for users who desire the closest possible shave.

How Does a Foil Shaver Work?

When you use a foil shaver, your hairs get caught in the foil’s tiny holes. The foil protects your skin from the razor’s ultra-sharp oscillating blades, but the hair is shorn off. You will be left with a clean, precise shave.

Types of Electric Razors

There are two main types of electric razors: foil and rotary. We have already gone over how to foil shavers work, but rotary razors are a bit different. While a foil shaver has 1-3 foils covering its straight heads, a rotary razor will have 3-4 round heads. Spinning blades lie beneath the head, pulling in hairs and trimming them.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Foil Shavers

Foil shavers offer several advantages. Their straight head design can be used on very fine hair and provide an extremely close shave, much closer than what you could achieve with a rotary shaver.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Foil Shavers

In addition to this, a foil shaver can tackle pretty much any kind of hair. Whether your facial hair is wavy, coarse, or flat, the perforated foils will raise the hairs and shave them with just one pass.

You will likely get a faster shaving time with a foil shaver than with a rotary razor. According to Shaver’s Paradise, a foil shaver’s blades spin extremely quickly and can even reach 14,000 rotations per minute. It means that you can get a clean shave without spending a lot of time labouring in front of the mirror.

Foil shavers

Foil shavers are great for sensitive skin and are therefore better for people who shave every day. The foil’s design provides more surface area, which keeps your skin from being exposed to the razor blades. A rotary shaver, on the other hand, can be more aggressive on your skin. You will also be spoiled for choice when shopping around for foil shavers. There is a vast variety available, each with its unique features.

As you can see, foil shavers have many benefits – however, they also have a couple of disadvantages. The most pressing is that foil shavers do not fit the natural contours of the user’s face the way that a rotary shaver does. You can’t use the razor in a circular motion. You can only use it in vertical, horizontal, or straight motions. In addition to this, foil shavers are often noisier than rotary shavers.

What You Need to Know Before Shaving with an Electric Razor

What You Need to Know Before Shaving with an Electric Razor

Are you wondering how to use an electric razor? According to ShaverCheck, you must keep the following in mind when using an electric razor, regardless of whether it is a foil or a rotary shaver.


Before shaving, you must prep your skin. Some people choose to use shaving cream, while others like a dry shave. Regardless of which you choose, you must first eliminate all moisture from your face. Do not wash your face or take a shower right before shaving. If you use a pre-shave lotion, it will absorb motion and tone your skin.

Charge and clean your electric razor

If your shaver is low on battery, it will not run at peak performance. Then, it will end up pulling on your hair, and you won’t get a close shave. So, be sure to charge your razor before shaving! Make sure that there aren’t any hairs or gunk stuck in your shaver; so, give it a thorough cleaning, whether manually or via an automatic cleaning station.

Face Treatment After a Shave

What you do after shaving is almost as important as the shave itself! Once you finish, first use cold water to wash your face. The cold water tightens your skin’s pores, which will tighten your skin. Next, pat your skin dry with a towel – do NOT rub! And, finally, apply an aftershave balm. It will relieve discomfort from any micro-cuts that you may have gotten while shaving.

Reviewing Battery Life in Electric Shavers

An electric razor, a brush, and a nozzle are on the wooden table

As mentioned, it’s important to keep the batteries in your electric shaver fully charged to get peak performance out of it. While the batteries in some top-of-line shavers can last seven or more years, the average shaver battery will last from three to five years. You will get the most out of your shaver battery by adhering to manufacturer recommendations.

Lithium-ion batteries can last for several years, and they hold a large amount of energy. NiMH batteries are quite popular these days, and they last longer than their lithium-ion counterparts. Nevertheless, you want to maximize your shaver battery’s life span. Here are a few tips:

  • Drain the battery as much as you can before you fully recharge it. Your shaver might not have a battery display, but you can take a mental note of how many shaves you can get out of a fully charged battery.
  • Discharging your shaver’s battery regularly will maintain the battery’s maximum capacity. A battery’s charge won’t only degrade when you use it, but also when it sits unused for some time.
  • Believe it or not, temperature affects the lifespan of a battery. It’s advisable to keep a battery at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius.
  • Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for recharging and maintaining your battery.

How to Shave with a Foil Shaver

How to Shave with a Foil Shaver

If you aren’t sure how to use a foil shaver, follow these simple instructions from Shavercheck for the best possible shave:

  1. With one hand, grasp the razor; with your other hand, determine which direction your beard hair is growing. You must be sure to always shave against that direction! Otherwise, your shave will not be as close as possible, and there will be some stray hairs left on your face afterwards.
  2. Hold the razor at a 90-degree angle from your skin; this is when it will perform optimally.
  3. Stretch your skin with your free hand. This will allow for a closer shaver and minimize your chances of skin irritation. You can also stretch your neck skin by tilting your head back, and you can stretch your cheek skin by pressing your tongue against the side of your mouth.
  4. Adjust the strokes depending on the area that you are shaving. While shaving your cheeks, you can make long strokes. However, if you are cutting a more contoured area, or your grain direction varies, shorter strokes would be better.
  5. For certain areas, such as right under your nose, flip your shaver upside down and tilt it towards an outer foil. It lets you get the closest shave possible even in tricky areas!
  6. Depending on your razor and skin sensitivity, experiment with the pressure you place on your foil shaver. You should gradually do this and ease up if you experience any discomfort.

How to Choose the Best Foil Razor

The difference between foil and rotary electric razors comes down to the shaver’s head. As aforementioned, a foil shaver’s blades are located under thin, perforated sheets of metal (also called foils), while rotary shavers have spinning blades located under circular heads. So, which is better – a foil or a rotary shaver?

Foil vs Rotary Shaver: What’s REALLY the Difference

It is a hotly debated topic; some people like the flexibility that a rotary shaver has, and how it can align with the contours of your face. On the other hand, some people like the extremely close shave that a foil shaver can provide. So, there is no clear-cut answer; it just comes down to which factor you prioritize. If you find that a foil shaver best fits your needs, you can use the following factors to help you pick out the perfect one.

The Cost / Price / Budget

The Cost / Price / Budget

Going for the cheapest electric shaver model, you can find might not be a wise idea. Spending a little more on a higher-end model will ensure that your shaver will be high-quality, efficient, and long-lasting. Of course, you don’t want to spend more than you can afford. So, set a budget and be sure to stick to it.

LED or LCD Interface

A shaver that has an LED or LCD display is handy; it can tell you the battery status, settings, cleaning reminders, and more – depending on the model, of course.

Corded or Cordless

Corded or Cordless

You can find electric shavers powered by batteries, ones that must be plugged into an outlet, and ones that have a charging unit that plugs into an outlet. Most modern electric shavers will come with a charging unit. This is the best option, as corded shavers can be impractical and shaves consumer batteries pretty quickly.

Accessories / Attachments (additional trimmers)

What is a foil shaver attachment? Such attachments snap on to your razor’s body and give you extra capabilities like maintaining stubble or sculpting your beard.

Charging Time

Charging Time

You don’t want to be caught in a bind with a dead razor; you want to make sure your rechargeable foil shaver can charge fast so you can use it whenever needed. Some shavers may take 4 hours to recharge, while others can recharge in only 90 minutes!


Look for a foil shaver that comes with a lifetime warranty, so you can rest assured that any defects will be covered.

Wet vs dry capabilities

Wet vs dry capabilities

Wet/dry models offer the most convenience. Make sure that your chosen model lets you use shaving cream or gels if you prefer to use those. If you use such products, be sure to clean your shaver thoroughly before putting it into a charging unit. Also, shavers with wet/dry capabilities will usually not operate when plugged in, to reduce any risk of electrocution.

Mobility (travelling)

Ease of travel is an essential factor to consider when shopping for an electric razor. For maximum mobility, choose a cordless razor or one that comes with a charging unit. A battery-powered razor is excellent for travelling but is not ideal for daily usage. Corded shavers should be avoided altogether while travelling.

The Maintenance Requirements

The Maintenance Requirements

Some electric shavers come with an automatic cleaning station, which is extremely convenient! Others may come with a brush, which can be useful for unclogging hairs.


Waterproof shavers will be the easiest to clean, as you won’t have to resort to dry cleaning methods.

Keep Your Electric Shaver Clean to Prevent Acne

A man is cleaning the head of the electric razor with the water from the tap

Aside from extending the life of your electric shaver, keeping it clean will also help prevent acne. A shaver is prone to contact bacteria as you shave and even when it’s stored. The best solution to this problem is to clean your shaver head with hot water, rubbing alcohol, or a specialty shaver head cleaner before you shave. Of course, there are other ways that the shaving process can lead to acne.

Shaving can be a delicate task if you already have acne. Those affected should be careful when they are going over a troubled area with an electric shaver. You definitely don’t want to apply too much pressure and aggravate a pimple. You should also avoid going over the same place more than once.

Be sure to prepare your skin before and after you shave properly. Exfoliation is a key factor in reducing shaving related acne outbreaks. This deep cleans your skin and eliminates any dead cells or other impurities that can clog your pores and lead to pimples. You are also at a higher risk of developing acne if you shave against the grain. Use an aftershave to close your pores after you finish shaving and light moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.

How to Clean Foil Shavers?

Before attempting to clean your foil shaver for the first time, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions. There may be slight nuances, but you will generally follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your shaver is waterproof. If it isn’t waterproof, you will have to dry clean it, which we will discuss later. Also, make sure that your razor is not plugged into an outlet.
  2. Remove the shaving head and give it a very gentle tap. It will unclog most of the trapped hairs.
  3. Reattach the shaving head and run the shaver underwater. Add a couple of drops of liquid soap to the foils and turn the shaver on so it forms a lather. You should let the shaver run for several seconds. If your shaver has a cleaning mode, go ahead and activate it now.
  4. Rinse the head off with more water until the lather has disappeared. This should take 10 seconds or so.
  5. Turn the razor off, remove the shaving head once more, and give it a thorough rinse.
  6. Shake away any excess water and pat the shaver dry with a towel. Let the shaver’s pieces air dry before putting them away.

So, what if your razor isn’t waterproof? In this case, you must dry-clean it. You can use compressed air to blow away any hairs trapped in the cutter. You should also use a lubricant and a spray cleaner to clean the blades and to eliminate any deposits of minerals.

How to Clean a Philips Norelco Shaver?

How to Clean a Philips Norelco Shaver?

According to Philips, you should first check your cleaning instructions, since the various Norelco shavers can have nuances in cleaning methods. There are many methods for cleaning their models, which you can read about here.

How to Clean a Remington Shaver?

How to Clean a Remington Shaver?

According to Remington’s website, you should clean your shaver after each usage and deeper weekly cleaning. Remington’s foil and rotary shavers let you easily detach the metal screen portions so that you can clear out clippings from the cutters. Take off the top of the head and gently tap it to dislodge any hairs. For deeper cleaning, use the micro-brush that was included with your razor to dislodge any collected hairs. If the shaver is waterproof, go ahead and use water to rinse out hairs.

How to Clean a Braun Shaver?

How to Clean a Braun Shaver?

You can watch this video to see how to clean a Braun shaver.

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Bad Habits That’ll Reduce an Electric Foil Shaver’s Lifespan Faster
There are several habits that you must avoid if you want your electric foil shaver to have a long lifespan. Stay away from these practices:

  • Ignoring Overheating: If you find that your foil shaver Is emitting an unusual amount of heat, simply use a small amount of oil to lubricate the foil’s metal surface.
  • Pressing Too Hard Against the Skin: Foils are extremely thin and are therefore subject to warping. You must be gentle when applying pressure so that you don’t damage the perforated metal.
  • Tapping the Shaver Too Hard: When you are trying to remove any hair residue from your shaver, do not tap it against your palm or the sink. This can cause damage to the shaver’s delicate foil.
  • Not Trimming Excess Hair: If you have a lush beard, you should first trim any excess hair before going in with a foil shaver.
  • Storing the Shaver Wet: After each shave, you should clean your razor. But, be sure not to put it away while it’s still wet. Shake off any excess water left on the shaver and leave the pieces out to dry on a towel. Once it’s dry, you can put it away.
  • Only Using a Brush to Clean the Razor: If you are using a brush to clean out your cutter, this is not very effective. You should be sure to use a cleaning spray to get rid of excess residue.
  • Not Assembling or Disassembling the Razor According to the Manufacturer Directions: Every foil razor is slightly different, so be sure to read the directions before attempting to assemble or disassemble your shaver.
  • Ignoring the Protective Cap: The protective cap is included for a reason! Be sure to use it, or else you are risking damage to your foil’s delicate metal.
  • Not Cleaning Your Razor Properly: It is preferable to clean your shaver after each shave. If this can’t happen, then at least do it every 2-3 shaves.
  • Don’t Let Children Play with Your Razor: Your shaver is not a toy and should not be treated as such. If a child gets a hold of your shaver and drops it, the damage will inevitably ensue.


How to Sharpen Foil Razor Blades?

If you are wondering how to sharpen shaving razors, your question has a very simple solution: foil razor blades can’t be sharpened. Because the blades are so tightly packed underneath the foil, you won’t be able to get the required space needed to sharpen the blades. In addition to this, each blade is incredibly thin and would bend easily if you tried to sharpen it. If you find that your foil shaver’s razor blades have become dull, you will need to replace either the blades or the foil altogether. Blades might need to be replaced every few months, while the entire shaving head should be changed once every 12 – 18 months.

How to Remove Razors from Shavers?

In most cases, the foil’s head should pop off directly. Be careful not to use too much force, or else you may break the plastic. Once the razor head is open, you can carefully remove the razor blades and add in your replacement cutters. For an easy visual tutorial, watch this video. The tutorial shows how to replace the foil and cutter on a Braun Series 1 Electric Shaver, but the general principle applies to most foil shavers.

How to Open a Remington Shaver?

Remington produces both rotary and foil razors. In order to open a Remington rotary razor, you must push the release button that you can find on the razor head. Simultaneously, pull up on the shaver’s head. The head will pop off, and you can turn the cutter counterclockwise to pull it out. To snap the cutter back into place, twist it clockwise. You can reattach the head by placing it on the body and pressing it down. There is no need to press the button while reattaching the head.
For a Remington foil razor, there are two buttons on either side of the shaver’s head. You must push both buttons and pull up on the head to remove it.

How to Stop Shaver’s Rash?

To prevent razor rash and bumps, make sure you replace your blades when they become dull. Furthermore, exfoliating before shaving will remove dead skin and, thus, help prevent razor burn. Using a foil razor, rather than a rotary cutter, will also do wonders towards avoiding irritation.
If you find that you have still obtained shaver’s rash, apply a soothing lotion with ingredients such as aloe. Keep your skin moisturized and resist the urge to itch the rash.

What Is a Mini Foil Shaver?

A mini, or travel-sized, foil razor is small enough to fit in your pocket and makes it very convenient to shave on-the-go. When picking a mini foil shaver, keep the following factors in mind:
Lightweight: Try to find a mini foil shaver that weighs less than 6 oz. You don’t want to lug a heavy razor around with you during your travels!
Battery-powered: Using batteries is much more convenient than finding outlets when you are travelling, especially if you visit a country with a different kind of power outlet. Using a mini foil shaver that uses AA or AAA batteries can get you out of a sticky situation.
Waterproof: This will make it easier to clean your razor. And, if you have any spills in your travel bag, you don’t have to worry about the shaver being damaged.
Built-in Cover: Because most travel razors are mini and lightweight, they can be subject to damage. Plus, they are often tossed haphazardly into a suitcase. So, you want to be sure that your chosen mini foil shaver has a blade cover to keep the blades safe.
Decent RPM: Mini foil shavers aren’t going to give you the same kind of shave that a full-sized foil shaver can. However, you can close the gap by making sure only to buy a mini foil shaver that features an RPM above 6000.