You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to achieve a great shave. The best budget electric shavers prove that shaving can be easy, quick, and, most importantly, affordable.
Table of Contents
- 1 Philips Norelco Shaver 2300 (Our Top Pick)
- 2 Remington F5-5800 Foil Shaver
- 3 Braun Electric Series 3 Razor
- 4 Braun Electric Razor For Men Series 5
- 5 Panasonic Arc3 Electric Shaver & Trimmer
- 6 What To Look For When Buying An Affordable Electric Shaver
- 7 How Much Should I Spend On An Electric Shaver?
- 8 Are Expensive Electric Shavers Worth It?
Philips Norelco Shaver 2300 (Our Top Pick)
Philips has cornered the market when it comes to home-use electric shavers. While some of this brand’s offerings really get up there in price, this is easily the best electric shaver under 50 dollars.
It’s a rotary shaver, which is what I always recommend to men who don’t mind shaving often as long as the process is quick, mindless, and easy. This type of blade design can cut hair really easily no matter in which direction you move the shaver or in which direction your hair grows.
The foils on this shaver are flexible and very smooth. The final result is a clean, relatively close shave by rotary shaver standards. I recommend it for all hair and skin types except for the severely sensitive ones, who may prefer a tool that has wet shaving capabilities like the Braun Series 3.
It comes with a pop-up trimmer for precision trimming hard-to-reach areas, and it’s also washable for easy cleaning.
The battery itself is the only major point of contention. You’ll have to charge this shaver for at least 8 hours in order to achieve a full charge… which only lasts for 40 minutes. That said, it can be used when plugged in, so you won’t have to resign yourself to a stubbly face just because you forgot to charge overnight.
- Rotary shaver is incredibly easy to use with minimal brainpower.
- Blade design can cut hair no matter the direction of hair growth.
- Flexible, smooth foils provide a close but gentle shave.
- Pop-up trimmer deals with hard-to-reach areas.
- Can be used when plugged in if it runs out of battery at the wrong time.
- Very short runtime especially compared to how long it takes to charge.
Remington F5-5800 Foil Shaver
If you prefer a foil shaver, this Remington tool is an excellent choice. Foil shavers can provide a slightly closer shave than rotary shavers. While they can be a little tricky to use, this design from Remington actually problem-solves some common issues.
This shaver has two foil-covered blades and a center trimmer that cuts down longer hairs. This means you can use it even if you only shave a couple of times a week, which isn’t true for a lot of other foil shavers.
When shaving with this electric razor, you can expect a fairly close shave. It’s about on par with the Panasonic Arc3, although I find that it’s a little more gentle on the skin, despite not having wet shaving capabilities.
It’s only suitable for dry shaving, but that also means that it can be used both cordless and plugged in. The battery itself lasts for an hour of use, and you’ll only need to charge it for 2 hours. Plus, there’s a quick charge function, which can be useful if you’re in a rush but don’t like fussing with cords.
- Foil design with center trimmer can shave longer hair, which is perfect for men who only shave 2-3 times a week.
- Provides a very close shave that can rival a manual razor.
- Fairly gentle on the skin despite the closeness of shave.
- An excellent battery that lasts for an hour and can be used both plugged in and cordless.
- Cannot be used for wet shaving.
Braun Electric Series 3 Razor
This foil shaver from Braun is the best affordable electric shaver for sensitive skin. It provides a gently but not overly close shave, so it works incredibly well on skin that needs a bit more TLC.
This shaver excels with sensitive skin thanks to ultra-smooth SensoFoils that move over the skin gently. Combined with sharp blades, they cut hair closely without causing irritation. There is some flexibility in the head, as well, which allows the shaver to move more comfortably over the contours of the face.
This shaver is designed with a larger than usual slide-out trimmer, which I find is more stable than some of the pop-up trimmers from other brands. This trimmer is excellent not just for precision work but also for crisp outlining
You can use this shaver both wet and dry, which is excellent if you need the extra glide from shaving cream.
The battery is this shaver’s weak point, with a 45-minute runtime after a 1-hour charge. Since it can be used both wet and dry, there’s no option to use it while it’s plugged in, so if you purchase it you’ll have to stay on top of keeping it charged. There is a 5-minute quick charge option, which does provide an emergency solution.
- Designed with ultra-gentle foils so it’s an excellent choice for men with sensitive skin.
- Flexible foils move comfortably over the contours of the face.
- Can be used wet and dry which is excellent for men who prefer wet shaving.
- The large trimmer is very stable and excellent for outlining and precision work.
- A fairly short 45 minute run time means you’ll have to charge it often, with no possibility of using it while plugged in.
- Doesn’t give the closest shave.
Braun Electric Razor For Men Series 5
The Braun Series 5 is the next level up from Series 3. It’s a great upgrade if you want something a little more robust but still fairly affordable. It’s one of Braun’s newer releases, with some performance upgrades, especially when it comes to the design aesthetics and ergonomics. This shaver has a sleeker look, and it’s much more comfortable to hold.
The closeness of the shave it gives is about on par with the series 3, as is the level of comfort. It’s really pleasant to use, although it can struggle a little over coarse hair or hair that grows in different directions. It’d be best for men with medium growth who shave at least every two days.
Like the Braun Series 3, this shaver can handle both dry and wet shaving, and it also comes with a replaceable trimmer head. If you ever go a little too long without shaving, the trimmer head is a great quick fix that’ll trim your beard down to prepare it for the full shave.
The way the head is fixed to the handle also allows for easier cleaning – you can actually rinse away all of the stubble by just holding it under the faucet at the right angle.
As for the battery – expect 50 minutes of use after charging this shaver for an hour, although there’s also a quick charge feature.
- An upgraded aesthetic makes for a nicer-looking, more ergonomic shaver.
- Provides a comfortable if not super-close shave.
- A replaceable trimmer head offers a quick fix if you forget to shave.
- An excellent option for men who like to wet shave.
- Very easy to clean thanks to a unique head design.
- Slightly pricier than other shavers, though still within the budget-friendly realm.
- Not suitable for very coarse hair.
Panasonic Arc3 Electric Shaver & Trimmer
If you’re willing to spend just a little more for a super-close shave, give the Arc3 from Panasonic a try. It’s affordable but slightly more upscale than the other budget shavers on the list, and it gives an ultra-clean shave with both wet and dry shaving capabilities.
A combination of a powerful motor and three cutting elements come together to give a nearly bare shave. I usually recommend wet shaving for those who want a very clean look, but this shaver comes really close even when used dry.
For some, it might even be too close. Those with sensitive skin may find it a little irritating if used for dry shaving, although wet shaving with it shouldn’t cause any issues.
However, unlike the Remington F5-5800, which is also very close-cutting, this shaver isn’t quite as forgiving of longer hair. You’ll still have to use it regularly if you want great results.
It does have a detail trimmer, which I always appreciate for the sideburns and under the nose, and it even has a cleaning mode that makes getting stubble out from the blades really easy.
The battery is what you’ll probably have come to expect when looking at even the best budget electric shavers – it requires an hour to charge, which nets 45 minutes of use. There is a battery display and a quick charge option, though, which do help prevent serious morning disasters.
- Provides an extremely clean, close shave even when used to dry shave.
- Waterproof design makes wet shaving a possibility and can prevent irritation for men with sensitive skin.
- Cleaning mode makes it very easy to get stubble out of the blades.
- One of the pricier shavers on this list.
- Too aggressive for men with sensitive skin to use for dry shaving.
- Can struggle with longer growth, so you’ll have to use it regularly.
What To Look For When Buying An Affordable Electric Shaver
You’ll have to be prepared to make some compromises when shopping for an affordable electric shaver, but that doesn’t mean you have to let go of all of your standards.
Despite the low cost, the best budget electric shavers can still provide a very clean, close shave. Nowadays, even affordable shavers are designed with flexible foils and added cutting implements that guarantee a closer shave, even if it’s been a few days since you took care of your facial hair.
With that said, I still wanted to give you a few options. For an ultra-close shave that rivals a manual safety razor, I included the Remington F5-5800 and the Panasonic Arc3. Men with sensitive skin may prefer a shaver that doesn’t cut too closely, like the Braun Series 3, instead.
Wet and Dry Shaving
For some men, the whole point of using an electric shaver is that you can dry shave. Others like wet shaving on occasion.
If you know for a fact that you only want to dry shave, I suggest going with a dry shave-only shaver like the Philips Norelco 2300, since you’ll be able to use it when it’s plugged in. If you like the versatility or you have sensitive skin, shavers from Braun or Panasonic will give you the best of both worlds.
Most budget electric shavers have the same level of battery performance. Most of them will work for just 45 minutes to an hour on a full charge, which usually takes between 1 or 2 hours to achieve. This means you can expect to charge your budget shaver about once a week or so unless you’re a very fast shaver.
If you choose a shaver that’s only suitable for dry shaving, remembering to charge it isn’t a huge deal. You’d be able to just plug it in and use it as it charges.
How Much Should I Spend On An Electric Shaver?
We think that at the very least, you should be willing to spend at least $30 to $50 for the best budget electric shavers. Although, I recommend going higher if you can.
There are a lot of excellent budget electric shavers to be had at this price range, without compromising fundamental elements like durability, gentleness, and shaving overall performance.
If you go any lower, you’ll be looking at very old, outdated models or no-name shavers with low-quality construction from fake brands that will disappear from the market in less than a year.
Are Expensive Electric Shavers Worth It?
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get an excellent shave, but that doesn’t mean that more expensive shavers aren’t worth it.
For the most part, the difference between a budget shaver and an expensive one is the level of innovation, as well as the number of genuinely useful added features.
The best budget electric shavers will usually be a no-frills product. It’ll give you a great shave, which is, fundamentally, what you’re looking for. However, you can expect a shorter battery life or longer charge time when compared to expensive shavers, and no fancy features like charging stations or added cutting implements.
For some men, these kinds of features are must-haves, while others are more than willing to give them up if it means forking out less money. In other words, expensive shavers can definitely be worth it, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be worth it for you.