When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.
When buying an electric shaver, it’s easy to get torn between choosing a rotary shaver and a foil shaver. Both types of electric shavers can provide a relatively close shave when used with the right technique. However, the way they cut hair is what makes them different, and may lead to a closer shave in one type. It’s hard to say that there’s an outright winner between the two types as some men swear by rotary shavers while others are staunch devotees of foil shavers.
However, if you’re like the majority of men who have no side, learning the difference between the two shaving technologies will help you assess your needs based on those differences.
How They Work
Rotary Shaver – This type of shaver comprises of a series of circular cutters attached to round blades, usually three blades. The blades are typically arranged in a triangular pattern and they simply spin As the name suggests, a rotary shaver is used in slow, rotating motions, almost as if you were massaging the skin with a cream.
A rotary shaver is normally ideal for longer hair. If you don’t shave frequently, a rotary shaver is what you need, for instance, those men that don’t shave for the whole weekend and want to start Monday with a clean shave.
Foil Shaver – This type of shaver comprises a series of several blades covered by a thin metallic layer. It’s usually gentler to sensitive skin. The slots on the foil capture hair which is then cut close to the skin. Thus, this type of shaver typically offers a closer shave than the rotary type. A foil shaver is also better at trimming a defined finish such as side burns. They are better at cutting shorter hair.
Which Type Should You Choose?
Although foil shavers generally give a closer shave, it doesn’t make them outright winners. Each type of shaver can be used effectively if you know how. If you don’t know which type to choose, here are a few pointers:
Choose rotary if:
- You have thick hair
- Your hair grows wildly
- Your hair grows in several directions
- You don’t want to be cleaning your shaver so often.
- You don’t want a shave that is so close
Choose the foil type if:
- You shave frequently (like daily)
- Your hair grows in a straight line
- Need a close shave
- Require more precision
- Frequently clean your shaver