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Foil vs Rotary Shaver: How to Choose the Right One?

Updated on: October 18, 2023 | By: Alex Petrou

Foil shavers and rotary shavers are two popular types of electric razors, each with its own unique design and shaving system. In this article, we will explain how these two types of shavers work, what are their main differences and similarities, and how to choose the best one for your needs and preferences.

Foil Shavers

Design: Foil shavers have a rectangular shaving head with a thin, perforated metal foil covering the blades. Beneath the foil, there are one or more oscillating blades that move back and forth in a linear fashion. This means that foil shavers have a flat, rectangular head that is covered by a thin metal screen with many small holes in it. Underneath the screen, there are one or more blades that move back and forth very quickly.

Shaving Technique: Foil shavers are designed for straight, up-and-down motions. They are particularly effective for individuals who prefer a precise, close shave and need to follow the contours of their face, such as the jawline and upper lip.

Close Shave: Foil shavers are known for delivering a very close shave. The foil captures and lifts the hair before the blades cut it, resulting in a smooth finish.

Skin Sensitivity: Foil shavers are generally gentle on the skin and are a good choice for those with sensitive skin. The foil provides a barrier between the blades and the skin, reducing the likelihood of irritation.

Maintenance: Foil shavers are relatively easy to clean manually. Moreover, some premium models come with cleaning stations that automatically clean, lubricate, and charge the shaver.

Rotary Shavers

Design: Rotary shavers have three circular heads that each contain spinning blades. The heads are designed to pivot and adapt to the contours of the face, making them suitable for shaving curved areas.

Shaving Technique: Rotary shavers are best used with circular and overlapping motions. They are ideal for individuals who want a comfortable shave without the need for precise strokes.       Close Shave: While rotary shavers can provide a close shave, they may not be as precise as foil shavers. They work well for individuals with normal or slightly coarse facial hair.

Skin Sensitivity: Rotary shavers are generally comfortable for most users but may not be as suitable for those with very sensitive skin. Some users may experience more irritation with rotary shavers compared to foil shavers.

Maintenance: Rotary shavers also require regular cleaning, and many models come with cleaning stations for convenience. Cleaning the individual heads and replacing the rotary blades is part of the maintenance routine.


The choice between a foil shaver and a rotary shaver depends on your personal preferences and shaving needs. If you prioritize a precise, close shave and have sensitive skin, a foil shaver may be a better choice. On the other hand, if you prefer a comfortable shave with less emphasis on precision and have normal facial hair, a rotary shaver might be the right option for you. Ultimately, the best electric shaver for you will depend on your individual preferences and the results you want to achieve.

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