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How Electric Shaver Works – The Ultimate Guide

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Electric shaver is one of the convenient ways to shave easily within less amount of time. They are a wonderful and comfortable option for those who do not have time to shave manually.

But, how do they actually work? If you want to know the working mechanism that allows smooth and close shave, you should keep reading this article.

In this write-up, we shall explore how electric shavers are different from normal razors. We will learn how they operate and what makes them an effective option from the latter.

Let us get started.

What Are The Types of Electric Shavers?

Electric shavers usually come in two types – rotary electric shaver and foil electric shaver. Let us learn about each type in detail and see how they work.

1. Rotary Electric Shavers

Rotary Electric Shavers

As the name goes by, rotary electric shavers feature multiple rotating heads.


These electric shavers come with a unique design, and hence they are easy to recognize. Their design makes them super convenient for those with coarse facial hair or quick hair growth. They can use the rotary razors to achieve a clean shave every time they notice a rugged stubble growing on their faces.

Ideal For

Because of the multiple rotating heads, the rotary electric shavers are ideal for men who prefer shaving regularly. They can get rid of their facial hair completely.

If you are someone who does not shave daily, even then, you can use this electric shaver to get the job done. It is most suitable for such men to get an incredibly effective shave.

The Right Way To Use a Rotary Electric Shaver

When using a rotary electric shaver, you should always make sure that you use circular motions while shaving. Moving your device in circular motions allows your face to get covered thoroughly while shaving. Moreover, it helps you reach the deep crevices that are difficult to reach with the normal razors.

The circular motion enables lifting the hair away from the face, further allowing the rotating components to cut the hair inside.

Advice For Selecting the Right Rotary Electric Shaver

Here are some buying tips for choosing the right type of rotary electric razor. Opting for a device with a rotatable head will help finish your task super easily without putting in much effort. Besides, this rotatable head is capable to reach the small nooks and crannies on your face and helps cut the hairs. Never go for a cheaper product that allures you with all the features. It is advisable to spend some extra bucks on renowned brands that offer good quality rotary electric shavers. Not only do they last longer, but are also worth your investment. They help you reap the benefits in the long run.

Pros and Cons of Rotary Shavers

Although rotary electric shavers are the most comfortable and convenient devices to get rid of your facial hair, they do come with benefits and limitations. Let us have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of rotary shavers.


  • Rotary shavers are the best suitable for facial hair that grows quickly and unevenly in several directions.
  • It is a great option for people with coarse hairs, thick beards, and neckbeards, as they require expertise in getting rid of the existing hair.


  • You must and should move the shaver in circular motions for effective shaving.
  • When you do not adhere to the prerequisites while shaving, it may irritate your skin and lead to bruises and rashes.
  • You should never press the shaving head of the rotary electric shaver too hard on your skin, especially if you have sensitive skin.
  • It is preferable to use a gentle motion to pull away the hairs from the face.
  • A rotary electric shaver is not a recommended option to style your beard, preferably for the goatee shape.
  • Circular motions of the rotary shavers do not assist with precision beard styling.
  • It is advisable to go for a manual razor for specific styles like sideburns and mutton chops.

2. Electric Foil Shavers

Electric Foil Shavers

These are the electric razors with foil shavers.


These electric shavers feature oscillating blades covered by a thin layer of foil. This design helps lift the hair away from the skin, further allowing the foils to cut the hair neatly. The other significance of these shavers is that they do not harm the skin while shaving. These devices allow limited contact of blades to the skin, causing no irritation or cuts even to the sensitive skin. As a result, they serve as a perfect alternative to electric rotary shavers.

The foil electric shaver usually comes as a three-blade shaver and a four-blade shaver. Both the options give you the closest shave. However, the four-blade shaver variation gives you a faster and closer shave than the three-blade version. Multiple blades always have a positive edge, as they go different times over a single hair follicle quickly.

Ideal For

The electric foil shavers are ideal for those having light, average, or heavy beard growth. They are most suitable for even men with sensitive skin.

The Right Way To Use a Foil Electric Shaver

When using a foil electric shaver, you should always make sure that you are using linear motions while shaving and not circular motions. Moving your device in linear motions like the regular razors allows you to get the closest shave.

Advice For Selecting the Right Foil Electric Shaver

Here are some buying tips for choosing the right type of foil electric razor. Always opt for one that comes equipped with three or more blades because they are the top-performing shavers. Some of the advanced models, these days, come with added features like extra powerful motors, flexible shaving heads, and others. Ensure they have active lift technology and are waterproof products. If you want to free yourself from the hassle of cleaning these foil shavers manually, go for those having a self-cleaning option. Never go for cheaper products that entice you with all the features. It is advisable to spend extra money on renowned brands that offer foil electric shavers of the best quality. Also, make sure that these have both dry and wet shaving options, making the job more easier for you. Do not forget to choose the electric shavers with more battery life.

Pros and Cons of Foil Shavers

Just like the rotary electric shaver, even their foil counterparts come with a set of merits and demerits. Let us have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of foil electric shavers.


  • A foil electric shaver gives you the closest and much better shave when compared to the rotary electric shavers.
  • It helps you get rid of most of the hair on your face and gives you a smoother texture.
  • This electric shaver is very gentle on your skin in comparison with the rotary shavers.
  • Since you use liners motions while shaving, these shavers are the best suitable option for men having sensitive and delicate skin. Also, they are most preferred by those who are susceptible to razor burns.
  • The foil electric shavers are less harsh on the skin. They cause less irritation on the skin and assist significantly with precision beard styling.


  • You cannot use circular motions when using a foil electric shaver.
  • Since it does not contain a pivotal head, many may find it difficult to use this shaver.
  • Liner motions and lack of pivotal head may not allow you to reach the deep crevices.
  • There are chances of cuts or bruises, especially if your face structure is angular or slightly spherical in shape.
  • The high-end models from foil electric shavers tend to be a little expensive.

How Do Electric Shavers Work?

The working mechanism of electric shavers is different from the regular razor shaving blades. These devices mimic a scissor-like cutting action by allowing the hair to get inside the perforated holes. This makes your skin not get in contact with the blade. You may ask us how do the blades operate. This is possible because of the tiny, oscillating motor that moves in roundabout motion between the foil and your skin. Since the blades do not come in contact with your skin there are very few chances of irritation.

The motors in the electric shavers that let the blades move are backed by electricity. When said that, they either need power from an external battery source or a power outlet to plug them in. Most modern electric shavers come with rechargeable batteries that make shaving super convenient to the shavers.

Besides, these electric shavers also come with specific safety measures, guaranteeing extra comfort to the shavers. These include waterproof and water-resistant features. Most models from these shavers are limited to dry shave. That means you do not need shaving cream or water to get your work done. In these devices, the blades do not slide over the skin. Hence, there are fewer chances of irritation on your skin when compared to traditional razors. Few electric shavers are suitable for wet shaving, and a few more models allow both dry and wet shaves.

Let us see how rotary and foil shavers work.

How Do Rotary Shavers Work?

Rotary shavers come with round foils that are held by springs. These springs help in contouring your face while shaving. Like foil shavers, even the rotary shavers have blades underneath the foils that come installed in wheels. Whenever these wheels spin, the hair passes through the perforation holes of the foils and cut them.

During this process, the electric shaver does not get in direct contact with the skin. As a result, there are very few chances for skin irritation and cuts.

Do you have thick and coarse hair? Does your facial hair grow faster? The rotary electric shavers are the best suitable option for you. You can use them to cut those long and thick hairs during the weekend sessions. You can even use a rotary electric razor during the beginning of the week, i.e., Monday mornings, to get a fresh and clean shave. Either way, this device does the job exceptionally well, that it hardly leaves any room for complaints.

Usually, the shaving head of the rotary electric contains three rotating blades that are triangular in shape. The unique design of the rotary razors assists the shaving head and the multiple blades to contours the face as you move it in circular motions.

The best part of using a rotary electric razor is that it is very simple to manoeuvre. You can easily reach the difficult areas or crevices like the neck and chin regions. You can easily access those areas on your face that are harder to reach using a normal razor. This electric razor effectively, efficiently, and conveniently allows you to get a clean and close shave. You will see the best results even if you have a lot of facial hair.

What Are The Tips To Follow When Using Rotary Shaver?

Below are some effective tips to help you make the most of your rotary electric shaver. When you follow them religiously, you are sure to get the best results.

  • When using a rotary electric shaver, always use circular and overlapping motions. Make sure you apply the motions in both clockwise and counter clockwise directions.
  • Although circular motions are recommended for rotary shavers, do not limit yourself only to them. Use other motions that work best for you.
  • It is suggestible to apply a little or no pressure at all when shaving. Let the device do all the work for you.
  • Clean and rinse your electric shaver regularly after use, especially if you are using shaving cream.

How Do Foil Shavers Work?

Electric razors with foil shavers usually feature foil screens with cutting blades under them. These blades vibrate at high speed when you shave. When they oscillate, they move back and forth cutting the hair. These cutting blades lift the hairs and straighten them simultaneously before shaving. This makes the shaving process easier and comfortable for the user. The foil electric razor has about four rows of shaving blades that come arranged in a straight line. Whenever the blade moves inside the screen, it cuts the hair that falls into the perforations and holes of the foil screen.

The number of foils present inside the electric shaver differs from product to product. This is how they are designed: you can see these foils aligned on top of each other. This design covers the cutting blades, and you can hardly see them. Electric shavers containing double foil usually have two foil layers inside, while triple foil shavers have three layers of foil.

Foil electric shavers are ideal for precise shaving. If you are looking for specific styles like sideburns, mutton chops, mustache styling, etc., go for a foil shaver. Do you shave or trim daily? Then a foil electric shave is the best option you can vouch on.

As mentioned earlier, the cutting blades of these electric shavers come concealed behind the perforated thin steel foils. These blades vibrate at a very high speed and lift the hair into the blades. This ensures an incredibly smooth and close shave.

What Are The Tips To Follow When Using Foil Shaver?

Here are some effective tips to help you make the most of your foil electric shaver. When you follow them diligently, you are sure to get the best results.

  • While shaving, always use short and controlled strokes against the direction of your hair growth. Make sure you are applying very little pressure when doing this.
  • Since you have to use linear motions, it is suggestible to hold the foil shaver at a perpendicular angle against the surface you are shaving. Accordingly, you can adjust the angle when using the motions.
  • While shaving, use one hand to hold your skin tightly to stretch it and the other hand to shave simultaneously. This allows a closer shave with minimum chances of cuts.
  • When shaving, keep changing the length of the strokes you are applying and also their direction.
  • See to it that you keep the shaver flipped upside down.
  • You generally need to apply gentle pressure when shaving. However, if you need to put a bit more pressure, do it. However, make sure you are not putting more pressure than required.
  • When shaving, take your time. Be thoughtful, mindful, and watchful throughout.


Both rotary and foil electric shavers work differently to give you the closest shave and a smoother texture. It is up to the user to decide the right type of electric shaver that best suits his grooming needs. If you are someone who prefers shaving regularly or weekly once or occasionally, a rotary shaver is an ideal option. You can even opt for a foil shaver for the same. However, it is most suitable for those with sensitive skin and prone to razor burns.

Depending on the frequency of shaving, your shaving style, skin, and hair type you can choose the best option from both.

I hope this article gave you complete insights into the working mechanism of the electric shavers and their benefits and limitations. Now that you know how things work get started with your job and enjoy the most satisfying results.

Write to us if you need more information or have any questions. Please post them in the comments section below, and we would come with the answers at the earliest. Do not hesitate to share your feedback with us by letting us know if we missed out on any points. Let us know if you have any inputs to add. We would love to hear from you.

Stay healthy and stay safe!!!

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