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.
A shaver may have only two to three cutters with a higher CPM than another with five cutters but a lower CPM. Just remember that the lower the CPM, the more uneven or uncomfortable the shave will be. Take a look at the Panasonic ES-LA63-S Arc4 and Philips Norelco OneBlade FFP QP2520/90 models as our highest CPM contenders.
Shaving and charge time
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.