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A wet/dry shaver is a tool that lets you shave either in or out of the shower. It also means that should you find yourself in a situation without immediate access to water, you can shave dry instead. This makes the wet/dry shaver is a handy accessory to carry with you when you travel or when in a hurry.
The best wet dry shaver will come with an assortment of useful features to make the shaving experience a pleasant one for you. Things to look for in a quality shaver include a brand that you trust. You may not go by this for other things but when it comes to personal grooming you want a product that delivers as advertised. Other considerations include the number of shaving elements on the unit, the CPM or Cycles per Minute, charging options and times, as well as how heavy the unit itself is. And then there is the choice between a rotary or foil shaver.
For this article we’ve spent tens of hours researching, analyzing and testing the products themselves. Because every man has to shave at some point in life, we got our testers busy with dozens of shavers to see which ones came out the winners. We got women on board too, for shaving tools are an important component of the ladies’ grooming kit as well. Our winning shavers are listed below in a quick comparison table with a detailed product description to follow. And then we round up our experts’ opinion with a comprehensive buying guide for wet/dry shavers.
The ARC4 line from Panasonic is a very popular option for wet/dry shaving. Featuring one of the fastest CPM ever (and the fastest on our list) this model offers exceptional performance at a very attractive price. It has a powerful motor that gives you a really comfortable shave even if you have coarse hair or sensitive skin, making this model one of the best electric shavers for black men.
Of the four cutting elements on this unit, the two inner blades are removable while the outer two are integrated into the foil assembly. The shaving heads can move on two axes; up and down as well as left to right.
An outstanding feature of this Arc4 model is the inclusion of a second motor located in the shaving head outperforming other models in the Arc4 line. With a dual motor, you can feel the shaver at work with a noticeable but discreet tickling sensation against the skin. Its wet shave performance is exceptional, giving an extremely close shave.
There is a popup trimmer included, located at the back of the shaving head. The trimmer operates by the same switch used to lock the shaving head in place.
With this shaver, you get a fantastic performer without breaking the bank and that is why it is our Editor’s Pick today.
The one downside to this model is that it doesn’t come with a cleaning station. That said, it is still a very easy shaver to clean.
Panasonic is a huge name in the world of electronics and they have made this brilliant electric razor that is worthy of that huge name. It’s everything that you’re looking for in a great razor while having the long-lasting durability you’ll be looking for.
As a shaver, it works brilliantly and will give you a very close shave in a short amount of time. If you get this then you’ll time that your grooming times are drastically reduced and you won’t have to spend an age shaving as can be the case with manual shavers.
It’s not the most impressive trimmer on the market and it may disappoint you if you’re invested in that feature. It is also fairly expensive when compared to its rivals but most users see it as great value for the money and a sound investment.
Despite being quite a powerful shaver, it doesn’t make too much noise. It also has an automatic clean function, making maintenance very simple. All of this is controlled via an LCD display which helps to make this razor rank very highly in terms of usability.
The battery is another area where it impresses. It has a runtime of 45 minutes which is more than enough for any shave and once you’ve finished you can place it back in the charging station. Once you do, it will charge very quickly, meaning you’ll never be without your electric razor.
This Norelco model comes from a long line of very well received wet/dry shavers. The Norelco 4500 is a cordless rechargeable razor that gives you a comfortable shave but without the bells and whistles of many other models.
The rotary shaving heads on this unit feature DualPrecision which is equally adept at trimming long and short hairs. The heads have slots and holes which quickly snip off hair.
The shaver has a pivot, flex and float system which makes it easy to follow the contours of the face. With this build, the shaving heads remain in close contact with skin yet still remaining gentle. This features also makes this unit ideal for shaving the head with minimal irritation incurred during the process. If you need to shave your head every day, you will want something that effectively grabs short growth in one sweep without having to do numerous passes back and forth. And the Philips Norelco 4500 fits the bill nicely.
There is an LED indicator that lights up in charging mode. This tells you where the battery stands and how long until it charges up and is ready to go.
The Norelco comes with Aquatec technology, meaning it’s 100% waterproof and safe to use in the sink or the shower without any worries.
With so much to offer, the one concern that you may have is that this unit only comes with a built-in lithium battery and no charging stand. There is, however, a charging cord instead that only needs to be plugged in.
Technologically savvy, this is a wet/dry shaver that is well worth its hefty price point. There are five individual cutting elements on this unit with two foils located on the outside called OptiFoils for a close shave. Within the OptiFoils is a Hyperlift&Cut trimmer that is especially designed to lift and cut flat-lying hairs. Next to this is a Direct&Cut trimmer that works on hairs growing in different directions. And the fifth is a SkinGuard that works to smooth the skin.
The five cutters are mounted on a ten directional head that pivots and yields. You can also lock the head into a fixed position by a switch located at the front of the shaver.
The SyncroSonic technology of this shaver reads the density of the hair and adjusts power accordingly. When this is paired with the shaver’s amazingly close and comfortable shave capacity, it easily qualifies as one of the best electric shavers for sensitive skin. There is no razor burn or nasty rash experienced making this shaver fairly incomparable in terms of a comfort shave.
There is a five-minute quick charge feature that lets you charge up the unit when in a hurry. It comes with an automatic cleaning and charge station.
On the flip side, despite the impressive technology, this model uses plastic parts. This is bothersome for customers paying for a high-end product.
There are many features here that help to make it one of the best electric razors on the market. One of those is the titled head that will adjust to the contours of your face and close the shave as close as possible, even over those difficult spots.
What this electric razor isn’t great for is travel. The trimming attachment is quite bulky and the whole unit is a bit longer and wider than what you’d ideally be looking for. That being said, if you have enough room then it’d be great to take with you.
Due to its precision, it is ideal for those with sensitive skin as it will lead to a minimal amount of irritation. The razor is lightweight and that helps with your control as you can easily guide it into any spot without experiencing any pain.
The battery here is also very good with a shaving time of up to 50 minutes. That will allow you to get several shaves out of it before needing to recharge. It can also recharge very quickly and all you need is five minutes for a shave.
It works perfectly as both a shaver and a trimmer, depending on what you need. It’s comfortable to hold and will make the shaving experience as easy as possible. That is added to by the indicators on the front of the shaver that make using it as easy as possible.
This is a ladies’ three-blade wet/dry shaver that is an immensely budget-friendly option. It comes with an easy to grip handle that offers a solid clasp as you shave. The design is minimalist with an on/off switch located in front of the shaver. This model is a cordless, wet/dry one that is also rechargeable. As such, you don’t have to worry about battery replacement.
The blade mechanism on this unit works with an internal three-blade system. The head flows with the curves of the skin making shaving much easier. All three heads float independently of one another to access more hair in one go.
An interesting feature is that the blades are made nickel-free to cater to anyone with allergies. Instead, you get a hypoallergenic, stainless steel metal product.
Whether you are using water, soap, gel or foam, all are compatible with this shaver to give you a comfortable wet shave. You can also use it for dry shaving when in a hurry. The unit is fully waterproof making cleaning super easy. The design is compact and space-saving making for easy portability.
This shaver does take a full 12 hours of a 100% charge which can be frustrating if you forget to charge it the night before. But other than this, it is easily one of the best wet/dry shavers for women on a limited budget.
This is a sleek-looking shaver that falls nicely in the mid-range of such products. These shavers give you the best possible compromise between cost and performance. To keep prices low, some features may be missing compared to high end models. They may come with fewer blades, a lack of speed settings, a more basic display or with no cleaning station. Yet, these shavers make a great option in terms of performance and cost.
With this Remington model you get just that. Without too many frills involved, you get a close, clean shave. The unit is fully waterproof giving you the option to shave dry or with water in the shower.
It comes with a lithium battery that delivers an hour of cordless runtime with each full charge. There is also a five-minute quick charge option to power the unit up for one complete shave.
The head on this shaver can pivot and flex to maintain close contact with the skin and all contours. It comes with a QuietDrive motor that vibrates less and has a reduced noise level compared to other models. The popup trimmer included lets you trim your beard and sideburns for a clean cut look.
At this price the manufacturers also offer a two-year limited warranty along with a 60-day money back guarantee making this an offer too good to pass. So if you’re looking for a quality shave without breaking the bank, then give the Remington PF7600 F8 a try.
While overall performance has been commended by users, some do feel that only two shaving elements are not enough to get a good shave.
Perhaps the most unusual-looking piece on the list, this is a single blade wet/dry shaver. With a fusion of lime green and black, this Philips model sports a sleek and modern design. It works with a basic mechanism of pressing the Power button once to turn the unit on and then pressing it a second time to turn it off.
Towards the base of the OneBlade, is a small light indicator which flashes when the battery runs low or when the OneBlade is charging. The charging socket is located at the base of the OneBlade.
The lime green line on the unit’s handle gives you a firm grip when using your shaver. The tire track pattern lets you hold the shaver even if your hands get covered in shaving foam or in the shower.
The blade head on this unit looks comically small when compared to its relatively large handle, but that doesn’t take anything away from its performance. If anything, its well-thought out blade design shaves hair down to the skin level. It can also trim and maintain beard length with the additional comb attachments and it is suitable for edging and styling sideburns, mustaches and goatees.
The one area where the OneBlade may not be for everyone is regarding the blade life. Manufacturers recommend changing blades every four months for optimal performance. Not everyone may be eager to do so considering that blades on most models can last 3-4 times longer than that.
This one issue aside, all in all the OneBlade is an excellent value for its price and that’s why it’s our Budget Pick on this list.
Whether you’re getting your first wet/dry shaver or upgrading from an older model, choosing the right one can make all the difference to your shaving experience. With the right tool you can get speed and convenience in one unit, versatility between a wet or dry shave, and a clean-shaven finish. All this and much more can be packed in a wet/dry shaver.
Why a wet/dry shaver is better than a dry one?
Electric shavers can be broadly divided into two types: shavers that are waterproof to the extent that you can only rinse their shaving heads in tap water and others which are safe to use in the shower or with a lubricating agent.
Of the two, the first is only suitable for dry shaving, eliminating the option of using it with a cream or gel. This type will work if you are in a hurry or if you don’t have access to water. It probably won’t give as comfortable a shave as a wet/dry shaver.
A wet/dry shaver gives you the flexibility of going with either option. You are good to use your shaver with a gel or shaving cream to enhance the comfort and closeness of the shave. It is safe to use in the shower if you like and you also know that your device is safe to wash and use in humid environments. These shavers are explicitly marked for wet and dry operation and cannot be used while plugged in. They are fully waterproof and certified IPX7 for submergibility.
Features to consider before buying a wet/dry shaver
Not all wet/dry shavers are made the same, so make sure to look for the following features before you decide to invest in one:
Number of shaving elements
This refers to the number of cutters or blades found on the unit. Electric shavers are either rotary or foil designed. The rotary models come with three or four round heads that move in a circular motion for shaving. The cutters on these models spin below the head as they move over the surface, cutting the hair. If you prefer this type of shaver then the Philips Norelco Shaver 4500 is a prime example of a quality rotary shaver.
The foil shaver has a thin, metallic foil that is curved and covers the shaving element. As you move the shaver back and forth, this foil glides across the skin as the blade cuts the hair. The more shaving elements a wet/dry shaver has, the more efficient the tool is. Of course, speed also factors in and we’ll talk about that in a minute, but top wet/dry shavers will have at least three blade options to give a closer and smoother shave.
The CPM refers to the Cycles per Minute or speed of the shaver. The CPM determines how fast the blades on the unit move. This is an important consideration as speed is one of the biggest benefits associated with using electric shavers.
Another important aspect to look into is the shaving and charge time of the unit. Dry/wet shavers can be rechargeable or battery operated. Rechargeable varieties are more convenient to use when you travel as you can take them with you anywhere, anytime.
There are also some battery operated models available that are better suited for occasional performance rather than regular use as the cost of the batteries can stack up. It can be useful if you find a model that can be plugged into a power source and used independently of one via a battery. Only having one or the other option can become inconvenient.
That said, the battery should be able to operate for at least an hour without a cord. You may be able to find some high-end models which really long battery life, a helpful feature when traveling for long periods.
We have some excellent recommendations with minimal charging times at an almost equal shaving time on one charge. The Philips Norelco Shaver 4500, for instance, offers a solid 50 minutes of shaving time after a charging time of one hour.
The wet/dry shaver you choose should be light enough for you to use. Since you will be holding the device all the while you shave, portability and ease of use are important factors to consider. Ideally, the shaver should be around the one-pound mark or lighter. Anything 1.5 pounds or heavier may become cumbersome to hold for a longer time period.
Trimmer function availability
Many electric shavers come with a trimmer function availability which gives them the option of trimming hair rather than close shaving. The trimming feature on a shaver comes with a special head that you pop in place to cut or trim sizeable hairs without shaving them closely. Other models feature a pop out trimmer as a standard these days. It is ideal for trimming beards, as well as ear and nose hairs.
The trimmer function also lets you take down long hairs and sculpt sideburns with ease. All the models featured on our list today come with this feature included.
With so much variety in the market, make sure to get a model that comes with a solid warranty and some kind of guarantee. Even a 30-day money back guarantee can go a long way because that gives you enough time to realize whether your purchase is worth the money or not.
Cleaning and maintenance
Dry/wet electric shavers do demand a cleaning regimen and continuous maintenance to stay in proper working order. Ideally, the unit should be cleaned after every use for optimal performance.
Some models have their own cleaning station making upkeep a cinch. This feature may be missing in the basic models but more advanced ones will have their own built-in cleaning and charging stations. For such pieces, all you have to do is pop the shaver in its base unit and keep it there to clean itself. It is a quick and easy way to keep your unit hygienic and working well.
You will, however, have to refill the cleaning fluid or change the cleaning cartridge routinely to keep this feature functional.
After covering the basics, you can look for additional characteristics such as protective caps and travel pouches for safety and easy portability. Some units come with LED displays or charging indicators to facilitate monitoring the progress of the recharge. Others come with cleaning brushes to help you take better care of your shaver.
Most models require the shaving head to be replaced once a year only. This can vary from model to model with the Philips Norelco Oneblade FFP QP2520/90 requiring a change every four months. Then there are others that may need replacement after 6-8 months. One way to check is to see if any bits or rust or dirt have built up in the grooves of the shaving elements. While much of the debris is easily washed away, small pieces may add up over time.
A trimmer is a separate device used for trimming a beard or hair. It does not shave as a shaver does by cleaning up hair. Rather, a trimmer lets you keep your hair in place letting you shape or style it. To make things easier, trimmers let you adjust the trimming length as well. Beard trimmers come with both plastic guides which snap on and off and a setting to change how close the trimmer head works to your skin.
For the best close-shave experience, the Panasonic Arc4 seems to steal the show. It has everything you need for a wet/dry shave and is a unit that most people wouldn’t mind paying for. It excels superbly at delivering a very close, fast and comfortable shave without the premium price tag of other similar shavers.
If you don’t mind paying extra to get additional high-end features, then consider the Panasonic Arc5 Electric Razor for Men listed here today. No doubt, this unit will exceed many of your expectations as it is a complete 2-in-1 package with excellent shaving performance.
But if a rotary shaver is your preferred criterion for the best wet/dry shaver, then you should definitely consider the Philips Norelco 4500. With its rotating elements in place, it will meet all your shaving expectations, giving you a smooth, irritant-free shave.