How to Use an Electric Razor (Shaver) – Everything You Must Know For A Close Shave

Updated Date: by Reet Patel

There are tons of shaving products in the market ranging from safety to straight and modern electric razors.  Out of which, we have written on almost every grooming tool but what is left is the technique of using these products, and that’s the most important thing that one should know.

In the modern era, where most men either shift or start their grooming journey with advanced electrical gadgets, we decided to write up an article focusing only on how to use an electric razor.

The article will be helpful to not only beginners but also the experts who are looking at maximizing their shaving tools.

Before knowing how to use it, you must know which type of electric shaver you have because the shaving technique depends on it.  Besides, we have also considered pre-shave steps for a comfortable and close shave.

So, let’s get started.

Types of Electric Shavers

types of electric shaver

Electric shavers are quick, safe, and less messy, and offer skin-irritation-free shaves.  Also, it resolves problems like razor burn, cuts, tugs, and pulls.

Basically, there are two types: Rotary & Foil.

Rotary shavers contain three rotating blades that move in a circular direction, ensuring a closer shave without pulling or tugging facial hair.  Also, it helps in shaving tricky areas, but that depends on the rotary shaver with contour detection technology.  So, it is advisable to check for the technology at the time of buying a rotary shaver.

Besides, it is also advisable to replace rotary blades every year for optimal performance.  

On the other hand, a foil razor contains oscillating blades that move back and forth to lift and shave your facial hair.  Unlike a rotary shaver, a foil shaver that contains more than 3 to 4 blades saves time but could make the session noisy and distracting.  Men prefer to use a foil razor to achieve a quick, efficient, and close shave as it contains a large shaver head.

If we talk about replacing blades, then it is advisable to replace them every 1 or 2 years.  Skin irritation is an exceptional case where you might have to postpone your blade replacement time.

Now that you know the difference between both the electric shavers: let’s dive deep into the preparation before the shaving process.

Preparation for Using an Electric Shaving

This step will give you an idea about what to do pre-shaving to achieve a close shave.  It is important to go through this step to maximize the benefits of shaving with an electric razor.

Wash Your Face

Before shaving, you must wash your face with a cleanser and warm water to soften facial hair.  It makes shaving easier and painless.  The cleanser will remove all the extra dirt, debris, skin cells, and excess oil.  And if you do not want to wash your face, then hold a wet cloth to your beard for a few minutes.  It will dampen your facial hair, making it wet and soft for easy shaving.

Apply an Alcohol-based lotion

After thoroughly washing your face, apply pre-shave lotion on your face. It will not only exfoliate your skin but also lift the hair straight up for shaving.  Some men find an alcohol-based lotion to be irritative, and for those, there is a powder version.  It includes Vitamin E reduces skin irritation and protects your skin.  Apart from this, there is a pre-shave oil and optimizer that improves the efficacy of electric shavers.

Find the Grain

For effective shaving with an electric shaver, you must find the direction from where the facial hair grows.  The opposite direction where you feel a pointy edge is against the grain area.  No matter what hair type you have, it is important to learn the direction of hair growth.  

Unlike traditional grooming products, electric razors need to shave against the grain for a close and better shave.  This way, you will not feel irritation, nor will it cause ingrown hairs.

Now is the time when a real game begins when you will prepare yourself before shaving.  Unlike others, we will not elaborate on the shaving technique in general as both types of electric razors have different methods of using an electric razor.  

To help you know how to shave with an electric shaver that you use, we have divided the types into two sections.

How to Use an Electric Razor? Foil And Rotary Shaver Guide

How to Use a Foil Shaver?

how to use a foil shaver

Foil shavers come with sharp cutting blades that move sideways, and the foil heads move back and forth.  There are thousands of perforations on the foil head through which your facial hair enters and gets shaved off.

Besides, the foil razor comes with a pop-up or additional trimmer to cut down the long beard.  Though it has a trimmer alongside, it is still advisable to shave only a day or two of stubble.


If you still want to use a foil razor on your long beards, then trim the long hairs to nearly about a 3-day stubble, and then use it.

You know how it works, but to know how to use it, read the next section.

Short & Controlled Strokes Against the Grain

Foil razors require short and controlled strokes for a closer shave.  But before shaving, you must know the hair-growing direction.  For seasoned shavers, finding the direction from where the hair sprouts up is not a matter of concern as they have a mental map of it, but the newbies would struggle in the initial stage.

Adjust the Foil Razor on Your Face

This type of electric razor delivers optimal performance when it creates maximum skin contact, and it happens when you hold the electric shaver at a 90-degree angle.

Stretch the Skin with For a Closer Shave

Using your other hand to stretch, the facial skin will make the skin tighter and reduce the chance of irritation.  Also, it helps in straightening the flat-lying hair.

For shaving on the hard-to-reach area, tilt your head back and chin upside to shave on the neck, chin, and below jawlines.  You can use the same stretching tips while using a rotary shaver as well.

Change the Stroking Pattern

Short and vigorous strokes are better off when there are multiple beard growth patterns.  However, it consumes a lot of time during shaving on the flat and single-directional hair growth areas like cheeks.  Hence, you can shave off with longer strokes to quickly shave your cheek hair.

Flip Your Foil Shaver

Most of the foil razors have shaver heads bent towards the front side of the body.  It is advantageous if you want to shave the trickier areas on the face.  For instance, if you want to shave below the nose, then flip the razor upside down.  Also, tilt either side of the outer foils for maintaining skin contact and closeness of the shave.

Be Patient with Foil Razor

We advise you to be patient during shaving and start with the most irritation-prone area like, below the neck area.  In the initial stage, the electric shaver will not overheat, and you will easily be able to shave.

Keep Your Foil Razor Clean

After using the electric razor, lift the shaver head frame off and clean the inner side by removing the whiskers with the help of a cleaning brush.  

So this is how you can use a foil shaver. Now let’s discuss using a rotary shaver.

How to Use a Rotary Shaver?

how to use a rotary shaver

Rotary shavers use circular blades that rotate behind metal guards.  These guards contain rotating blades that shave off short and long hair.  Most of the rotary shavers come with three shaver heads.  And if you have one, then the below-mentioned shaving techniques will help you achieve the best possible shave of your life.

Use circular, clockwise, and anti-clockwise motion

Undoubtedly, circular motions capture and shave more facial hair than other types of electric shavers.  Though rotary shavers work amazingly well if allowing them to work in a circular motion, you can still explore other motions.

No Restriction in Movements

There should be no restrictions on movement when using a rotary razor on your face.  You may find every other article stating that use the rotary shaver in only circular motion, but we’d suggest you try every possible way to shave off every facial hair strand and get the best out of it.

No Need to Apply Pressure

In this point, the foil shavers tend to win the battle against rotary shavers.  It can give a smoother shave if you apply a bit of pressure, but that’s not the case with a rotary shaver.  It will lead to discomfort and a rough shave, which will leave you frustrated.  It is always advisable to gently pass on the rotary shaver.

Rinse Your Rotary Shaver

A wet shave (under the shower or with shaving cream, gel, or foam) is possible with a rotary shaver, but do not forget to rinse off your electric shaver aftershave.  If you neglect this part, then it could clog up the cutting blades with cream or gel, which negatively impacts the shaving performance. It is common with both types of electric shavers.

Now that you know how to shave with an electric razor, you must know how different facial contours need to shave off. Besides, if you want to know how to increase the longevity of an electric razor, you can go through this article.

How to Use an Electric Razor on Different Facial Contours?


using an electric razor

Shaving with the grain from the top of your jawlines is always advisable because the other method could offer a closer shave but increases the chances of cuts and nicks, causing ingrown hairs.  Furthermore, it causes razor bumps because the whiskers grow inside the skin instead of sprouting up towards the skin.


Make sure both sideburns are evenly shaven.  You can measure by placing your index finger at the bottom of your sideburn pointing towards the reflection in the mirror.  This way, you will get to know the difference between the lengths.


electric razor shaving tips

You need to use the index finger of your free hand to lift your nose so that you get space to shave the upper lip area.  Also, you can stretch your upper lip to allow the electric razor to properly shave the mustache.


how to shave chin

Shaving under the lower lip and chin area is a bit tricky, but what you can do is suck the lower lip to expose the maximum part of your soul patch area.  Gently pass on the electric shaver for a closer shave.

Neck & Jawlines

how to shave neckline

The Neck area is the most sensitive part of the face, so it is advisable to shave it with utmost care.  What you can do is start shaving this area first and then move to other facial parts.

Here is a quick video tutorial on how to shave with an electric razor:

These are the general electric shaving tips, which every man should know before starting their grooming journey.  Now let’s answer some commonly asked questions.


1. How to get a close shave with an electric razor?

Position the electric razor perpendicularly (90 degrees) against your skin, ensuring to move it against the beard growth. It’s important also to avoid going over the same spot multiple times to lessen the chance of irritating your skin. Applying steady pressure will ensure the most effective shave without needing to exert the same force required when using a traditional razor.

2. Is it better to shave wet or dry with an electric razor/shaver?

While there are many benefits to dry shaving, an electric shaver is more likely to irritate dry, sensitive skin and cause razor burn or ingrown hairs. That’s why we recommend wet shaving, even if it’s potentially more time-consuming and expensive in the long-term.

3. How to use an electric razor for the first time?

We have listed proven steps in our article that any beginner can opt for when starting to shave for the first time. Also, professional barbers can practice it.


Getting a closer shave is not an overnight task, and it requires patience and practice.  All the tips that you read in this article are proven to be achieving the dream shave. Never restrict yourself to one technique, and always try to explore the techniques.

Learning how to use an electric shaver requires sheer dedication, and practicing makes you perfect.  So, we would strictly follow the steps given in this article and make ourselves a pro at shaving.

reet patel

Reet Patel

As a college student, I understand the value of a polished appearance. My dedication to a well-groomed beard signifies the importance I place on self-presentation and consistency in my personal and professional life. My commitment to a well-maintained beard reflects my broader attention to detail. Whether in my studies or my appearance, I strive for precision and quality.

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Published Date: Feb 9, 2024

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