If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best rotary shaver is, then we recommend the Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 9700 as the best.
Plenty of men prefer rotary shavers as a comfortable and cost-effective way to meet their everyday grooming needs. Whether you’re making the switch to an electric razor or merely looking for an upgrade, we can help you to find the best rotary shaver for your facial hair.
Our top 5 picks for the best rotary shavers:
- Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 9700
- Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 8900
- SweetLF 3D IPX7 Electric Shaver
- Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 3800
- Phisco RMS8112 Electric Shaver Razor
Our Top 5 Picks for Best Rotary Shaver
Rotary electric shavers are popular these days thanks to their elegant design, their smooth glide, and their precise cut. Here, we go over some of the best rotary electric shavers available on the market.
1. Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 9700
This top-of-the-line rotary shaver from Philips Norelco offers a versatile design that’s suitable for just about any face. As the winner of the iF Design Award in 2015, it boasts superior performance and a close, even shave.
The 9700 features V-Track Precision Blades designed to capture and lift each hair to give up to a 30% closer shave than other razors. The model is also self-sharpening, ensuring that you get a comfortable shave every time.
The blades can reach every contour of your face thanks to Contour Detect technology. Instead of moving in four directions like most rotary shavers, the 9700 can rotate in eight directions. Every pass catches more hair, giving you not only a closer cut but also a faster shave.
Philips Norelco AquaTec technology allows you to use the 9700 on both wet and dry hair. You can even save time on your morning routine by using it in the shower. The 9700 runs on a lithium-ion battery to give you a longer life when shaving.
You can use it for up to 60 minutes on a full charge. However, it takes sixty minutes to reach full charge. If you’re in a hurry, the shaver offers a 5-minute quick charge option that gives you just enough power for a complete shave.
The power system is adjustable, giving you complete control over your shave. There are settings available for those with either sensitive skin or normal skin. There’s also a fast setting for when you need a quick, easy shave.
The 9700 features a user-friendly LCD screen that displays vital information about the device. You can see battery life, a cleaning indicator, a replacement head indicator, and a travel lock indicator.
2. Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 8900
If you’ve ever felt like shaving is a tedious chore, then you might love to learn about the Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 8900. Do you want a luxurious shave that smoothly contours and tenderly caresses your skin? Then this model is fantastic in that regard.
The reason why this shaver feels so good is that each shaving head moves in eight different directions. This level of comfort from a shaver is only possible with the flexibility that these adjustable pivoting heads boast.
You’ll love that the Norelco 8900 works perfectly both when dry or lubricated. So you can lather up and enjoy a slow and comfortable shave if you wish. Or, if you need to shave in a rush before your next meeting, you’re covered.
If you need to trim your sideburns or stubble conveniently, then you can effortlessly attach the very easy-to-use beard trimmer attachment (styler). The beard styler has five length settings so you can make short work on your stubble without added effort.
No doubt this one truly belongs to the group of best beard trimmers we’ve come across. You’ll never second-guess the status of your shaver ever again. That’s because the Philips Norelco 8900 has a fantastic LED indicator light system. The LED lights inform you as to the status of the battery, shaving heads, and travel lock.
Another fantastic feature that the Philips Norelco 8900 offers is the SmartClean system. The SmartClean system makes short work of cleanup, so you never have to slave over your cleanup process.
Shaving shouldn’t be an annoyance. The charge station acts also as a cleaning station with the SmartClean system. SmartClean quickly lubricates, dries, and charges your shaver for the ultimate convenience and ease of use.
3. SweetLF 3D IPX7 Electric Shaver
- Very cost-effective
- Automatically sharpens blades
- Waterproof and shave gel compatable
- Built in pop-up trimmer
- Hard to find replacement blades
- Users say it doesn't hold well with heavy use
- Weak charging port
- Hard to clean
This sleek rotary shaver is both attractive and effective. SweetLF’s unique 3D technology offers four-directional floating heads for a close shave from any angle. The interior cutting heads are designed with two razor tracks instead of the traditional single track, which effectively doubles the number of blades.
You can cut more hair with each pass, helping to cut back on the time you spend shaving each morning. The blades are kept sharp with automatic grinding technology, which ensures that you get an effortless cut each time.
The blades won’t pull at your facial hair or irritate the skin, making the IPX7 ideal for those with sensitive skin. The SweetLF IPX7 can be used wet or dry. The casing is completely waterproof, meaning that you can use the shaver even when in the shower.
It’s also easier to use with creams and gels for a smoother, more comfortable shave. A pop-up trimmer is built into the design to help you style your facial hair. It’s gentle on the skin while still offering a close shave and available using an easy one-touch open tab.
The IPX7’s high-speed motor is both efficient and whisper-quiet. It runs cool, making the model a good option for those concerned with comfort and safety. The shaver charges using a convenient USB design.
It takes just an hour to charge and offers up to 120 minutes of shaving time, or about 30 sessions. An LED display tells you how much battery life you have left using a five-level indicator. This helps to ensure that you never find your razor out of charge when you need a quick shave.
4. Philips Norelco Shaver 3800
- Great for sensitive skin
- Easy to clean
- 5 minute quick-charge option
- Pop-up trimmer is very useful
- Weak battery life
- Can't be used while charging
- Some users say blades dull quickly
This rotary shaver is designed to give a close, comfortable shave without missing any hairs. Specially designed DualPrecision heads are designed to capture both short and long hairs using strategically placed slots and holes.
The three rotary heads are smooth, rounded, and low-friction, helping to reduce the risk of burns and irritation for those with sensitive skin. Philips Norelco patented Super Lift technology helps to lift hairs that are lying flat or below skin level to ensure that they get cut as well.
Grooves in the outer rotary mesh are designed to catch and lift any stuck hairs without pulling. The four-directional heads are designed to follow the contours of your face. They keep in direct contact with your skin even along the neck and jawline using Pivot, Flex & Float technology.
With AquaTec’s wet and dry technology, you can easily shave your face over the sink or in the shower. If you like, you can also safely shave using foams or gels. A pop-up trimmer is built into the side of the casing.
It flips out horizontally, making it easy to handle even when dealing with delicate areas. It easily snaps back into place once you’re done using it.
The 4500 takes eight hours to reach a full charge and offers around 50 minutes of shaving time. When you’re in a hurry, there’s also a three-minute quick-charge option that gives you enough power for a single shave.
If you’re not sure about the charging, a convenient LED indicator tells you when the battery is low or full. For those of us who can be forgetful, this is a good feature to help avoid running out of power mid-shave.
The Philips Norelco 4500 comes with several add-on features to improve your shaving experience. The box includes a protective cap, a power cord, and a cleaning brush to help keep the rotary blade chamber free of grime.
5. Phisco RMS8112 Electric Shaver Razor
- Reliable quality
- LED battery display
- Quick charge with long battery life
- Self-sharpening blades
- Waterproof and shaving cream compatible
- Rare complaints of battery issues after several months
- No pivoting head
The Phisco RMS8112 boasts precision heads with a double-track interior, giving you twice the cutting power and wider coverage than many other rotary shavers. The blades are self-sharpening, ensuring you get a close cut every time.
A strong, high-speed motor offers speeds of up to 2800 RPM, allowing you to shave quickly without missing any spots. It’s also designed to be quiet as it works so that you don’t have to worry about waking up the family or giving yourself a headache in the mornings.
A convenient pop-up trimmer is included in the casing to give you more control over your shave. While the rotary heads are designed to tackle large areas at once, the trimmer allows you to edge facial hair with precision.
The Phisco RMS8112 can be used both wet and dry, or with shaving creams, foams, and gels. Waterproof housing protects the elements inside, allowing you to use the device in the shower and clean it out after each shave without worrying about causing permanent damage.
A powerful lithium-ion battery takes an hour to charge by USB and delivers as much as 120 minutes of shaving time, which amounts to around 30 shaves. If you don’t have time to wait for a full charge, a 2-minute quick charge option gives you enough power for a single shave.
If you’re not sure how your shaver is doing on battery life, the Phisco offers an easy-to-read LED indicator on the base of the device. The display shows the exact battery percentage as well as a charge indicator, cleaning indicator, and safe lock indicator.
Finding the Best Rotary Shaver for You
Rotary shavers have been around since the late 1930s, though the design has evolved quite a bit since then. Whereas each razor used to have just one rotary head, nowadays, most models come standard with three.
Philishave, now known as Philips Norelco, introduced the rotary design as an alternative to the first electric foil razors. Instead of blades oscillating behind perforated steel foils, rotary razors have blades that spin.
Behind each mesh rotary head, a ring holds between three to six razor blades that revolve at high speeds for a smooth, even shave. The heads typically move independently, allowing for close skin contact.
How Does a Rotary Shaver Work?
A rotary shaver has an awesome mechanism that it uses to make that close shave upon your skin. As their name implies, rotary shavers have circular (i.e. rotational) blades which are hidden behind a circular perforated foil.
The blades rotate with high speed and trim any hairs that enter the perforations. Rotary shaver heads also adjust their angle according to your skin so they can make a pretty neat trim almost anywhere, especially if you apply circular motion.
It’s why they are very suitable to use on the back of your head, or with any typically unreachable positions—and especially when paired with a flexible head.
Do Rotary Shavers Cause Ingrown Hairs?
This depends on the quality of the shaver, as well as on the sharpness of their blades. Low-quality rotary shavers do indeed cause more hairs to turn inward and stay there, giving you that painful reddish bump.
This is because the design of the perforations, the sharpness of their blades, and the distance between the blade and the perforated foil all play a part in how well they trim the hairs.
Needless to say, a dull-edged rotary shaver won’t cut hairs as efficiently, but may instead make them ingrown as you press harder and harder down with your shaver.
What’s the Difference Between Rotary and Foil Shavers?
The video embedded above shows what’s the difference in mechanics between these two types of shavers. In essence, while rotary shavers have rotating blades hidden behind a perforated disc, foil shavers’ blades are protected behind a thin metal film (hence ‘foil’).
This foil not only protects your skin from the blades but also helps in the mechanics of trimming. It does this by pulling your hairs up and away from the skin, after which the blades can easily cut them. This is why foil shavers provide for such a close and clean cut.
On the other hand, rotary electric shavers are far better at dealing with longer hairs. Both will give you the prestige associated with a clean cut. However, don’t go expecting that you’ll get that ultra-close safety razor cut. It just won’t happen.
The Advantages of Rotary Shavers
The best electric shavers offer several advantages for facial hair of any type, whether you prefer a clean shave or create a distinctive style.
Handle Hair of Any Length
While thick, coarse hair can be great when you’re trying to grow a beard, it’s often a pain when you’re looking for a clean shave. While a foil razor can have trouble with long stubble, rotary shavers can handle days-worth of hair growth with ease.
Thanks to three heads that rotate in multiple directions, rotary shavers are also ideal for hair that grows at strange angles.
Shave Wet or Dry
Many of the best electric razors are good for “wet” shaving. This means they can be used in the shower, or with wet stubble. You can also use these razors with shaving cream or gel without worrying about clogging up the motor.
With wet shavers, you should make sure that the casing is sealed and watertight. This type of design helps to protect the interior components, ensuring that the razor has a long life.
Easy to Clean
Rotary shavers are generally easier to clean than other types of electric razors. You can quickly take them apart when necessary and clean each component. Some high-end models even have built-in cleaning systems to make maintenance easier.
With waterproof rotary shavers, you can clean your razor by merely running it underwater. You may have to take it apart every once in a while for a deeper clean. For daily maintenance, though, it’s easy to wash away old hair, skin, and shaving cream.
What to Consider When Looking for a Rotary Shaver
While many rotary shavers share a similar basic design, no two models are entirely alike. There are a couple of factors that you should consider when looking for the best rotary electric shaver for you.
Your Shaving Schedule
Rotary shavers are ideal for those with an unpredictable shaving schedule. They can handle just about any length of hair, from a five o’clock shadow to three-day stubble. If you tend to shave infrequently, it’s best to look for a rotary shaver with a powerful motor and sharp, steel blades.
Shavers with a bigger trimmer head are also better for handling thick or long facial hair. Smaller heads are better left for detail work such as edging.
Your Facial Features
Unlike other groomers, rotary shavers are designed to get a close cut in multiple directions at once. Those with hard contours such as a deep jawline, a strong chin, or an angular neck may want to opt for a shaver with multi-directional heads.
While many shavers rotate in four directions, some offer eight-directional rotary heads. These can adapt to even narrow angles, allowing you to reach hair in every nook and cranny for a clean, smooth shave all over.
One of the downsides of rotary shavers is that they can be harsh on sensitive skin. They tend to tug more on hairs than other types of razors, which can lead to irritation and even friction razor burns.
If you have sensitive skin, you may want to look for a rotary shaver that uses anti-friction technology for a smoother shave. You should also stick to models with sharp blades that will cut instead of catch, and a smooth swivel to follow contours.
While you may be tempted to look for a shaver with as many features as possible, high-end models often come with frills that aren’t necessary to your shaving routine. This can raise the price significantly over comparable options.
You should consider your budget when looking at the best rotary shavers for you. Don’t necessarily skimp on features, but don’t fall into the trap of paying more for gimmicky extras either.
If you have limited space around your sink, you may want to look at a smaller rotary shaver as opposed to options with large charging units or extra fixtures.
A smaller rotary shaver is also ideal for travel. It takes up less room in your suitcase or carry-on and is easier to use in a small hotel room or hostel. Just remember that if you plan on using your shaver when traveling, you should look for one that’s dual voltage.
The Bottom Line on Rotary Shavers
If you’re thinking about switching to an electric razor, rotary shavers are a good option for those who want a close, comfortable shave regardless of whether they’re sporting a slight shadow or days’ worth of growth.
In our opinion, the best rotary shaver available on the market is the Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 9700. While it might be a little bit pricier than other models, it also offers a closer, smoother shave for just about any shaving schedule and skin type.
Instead of rotating in four directions, the cutting blades are eight-directional to give you even more control over your contours. The 9700 also features V-Track Precision Blades, which offer a 30% closer cut than other razor systems for hair of any length, and can be used either wet or dry.
And remember, you can always visit the barbershop to get some on-the-spot tips & tricks in using these machines, as well as get a wonderful and fresh new shave.