Gadgets,  Lifestyle

Shaving Razors – Manual or Electric

I have written earlier about how I solved the problem of maintaining my moustache trimmed regularly using Philips electric beard trimmer. Going by that experience I purchased online a full Electric Shaver – Philips AT 620 for Rs.2200. It turned out to be a mixed bag experience. While the Electric shaver gives a great shave, clean and soft, it has turned out to be more work.

Electric Shaver and Razor
Electric Shaver and Razor

With the manual Razor shaving once in 3 days takes me about 3-4 minutes from the time of washing my face, applying cream and actual shaving. I am careful and with 3 blade razors it’s rare for me to get the small razor cuts. With the Philips Electric Shaver (AT620) it’s an elaborate ritual. I have to plan the shave the day before so that the Shaver can be charged the fully overnight. Unlike the Beard Trimmer, the Shaver doesn’t work when plugged in, it needs to be charged before hand, a quick 10 minutes charge doesn’t help either. If that’s not enough, each shave takes about 10-12 minutes in total. The actual shave, the cyclic motions as shown in this tutorial (yes you need a video to use this), makes it a slower process. Every rinse after few strokes is not as easy as the manual razors. At the end of it, most often I had to use a razor to do the small leftover areas I couldn’t get off with the Electric shaver. What I found irritating the most compared to razor was the washing of blades, drying and storing away after each shave. I have to be careful not to leave the parts in the wash counter, for risk of losing it.  I suppose expecting a Rs.200 bag is too much for the manufacturer to provide to store safely the unit and charger. My Rs.300 Gillette Razor gives me a good store-away case.

Do I recommend an electric shaver?

Yes for those who care about how their face skin feels, needs extra close and soft shave. If you are getting photographed in close-up and for models/actors, electric shaver is a professional investment. For mere mortals who are impatient, a Razor blade is good enough. For myself, since I spent the money on buying the Philips Aquatouch I will be using it till it dies, that too only over weekends when I have the time.

While on the subject of shaving, I have in the past posted about how irritated I get whenever I had to use Gillette shaving foam can. For one the can is made by Gillette to get rusted in the first use, second the press button is designed poorly as to not work or break easily on the slightest touch, inducing you to buy a new one more often.

Gillette shaving foam. New can, button came off, sprayed all over
Gillette shaving foam. New can, button came off, sprayed all over

I never liked the foams from other brands or they were not suited for my sensitive skin, that was all until I found the one below – Nivea Men Sensitive Shaving Gel Ultra Glide with 0% alcohol. The can of this gel is powder coated, so doesn’t rust, the button is broad and wide making it less likely to break on regular usage.

Nivea Men Shaving Gel with a well designed can and easy to use button
Nivea Men Shaving Gel with a well designed can and easy to use button

Disclaimer: I don’t work for any of these brands, I am not a professional or qualified stylist in any sense, I haven’t been paid in any fashion by these brands or their competitors. I have paid on my own for all these products and tried it for my personal usage.


  • Amol

    That was a good read. Although I wouldn’t want to say that this influences my decision in buying an electric shaver.. Maybe I will buy, maybe I won’t.. I now know about the pros and cons of owning one from the user experience of a person I know. Thanks.

  • Jatin

    Venkat, this is one of my favourite topics – or should I say pet peeves?

    I hate shaving – I only do it because I have to look professional when meeting clients, or when my beard feels itchy.

    I thought of growing a full beard, and this worked well until I started greying – then it started looking shabby. Unfortunately, I don’t have the dignified salt and pepper beard of someone like Kabir Bedi.

    So I compromised and now have a goatee.

    As far as the act of shaving goes, I’ve stuck to manual razors so far. Though I’ve never tried electric, I like the precision and control provided by manuals, which is very important when you have a goatee and need to get the shape exactly right and symmetrical. I’m still using Gillette’s twin-blade Contour system – the one with the swivel-head, and plan to switch over to the triple-bladed Mach 3 once I consume my stock of blades.

    Regarding foam vs gel, I was always a believer in gel. I liked a brand called Edge, which was introduced to me when I was a student in the US in 1984. It was a revolutionary discovery for me back then and I was an ardent convert…

    …until about 4 years ago, when I discovered something even more revolutionary. It’s a shaving oil called Shave Secret ( It’s mind-bogglingly easy and smooth. I won’t tell you what it is and how it works – you must see the video for yourself. A bottle costs just $4 and lasts nearly 6 months. I still hate shaving – but this little discovery has taken away some of the pain.

    Disclosure: I too am a total amateur, not connected with any of these products in any way, and everything I have written is based 100% on my own experience.