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Last Updated on February 15, 2023 by Danish M
If you’re looking to buy an electric rotary shaver but can’t find a suitable razor of your preference, then don’t worry, this friendly guide is all you need! In this article, we list some of the best rotary shavers for men.
In addition, you will get to know about the brief history of rotary shavers, how to choose one, its benefits, things to consider before buying, and more.
So let’s get started!
What is a Rotary Shaver?
During the late 1930s, electric shavers started being used around the world, throughout this time the technology has progressed extremely well which helped us a lot in our daily life.
While all of the electric rotary razors generally had only one rotary head in the past, but currently, the majority of rotary shavers have up to 3 and even more heads.
Philips Norelco (previously known as Philishave) initiated the rotary form for shavers as a next step to the first foil shavers.
Rotary razors are fitted with spinning blades which highly assist in getting an even shave effortlessly. Whereas in the foil shaver the blades move underneath the perforated foils.
A ring usually has 3 to 6 blades inside each frame of the rotary head, which spins at high speed for a closer and clean shave. Usually, the heads move freely which enables closer contact with the user’s skin.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Rotary Shaver?
- 2 The Best Rotary Shavers For Men
- 3 1. Philips Norelco 9000 Prestige SP9820/87 Shaver
- 4 2. Philips Norelco 9700 Shaver (S9721/89)
- 5 3. Philips Norelco 8900 Shaver
- 6 4. Philips Norelco 6800 Shaver (6880/81)
- 7 5. SweetLF 3D IPX7 Shaver
- 8 6. Phillips Norelco 4500 Electric Shaver
- 9 Benefits of a Rotary Shaver
- 10 How to Choose a Rotary Shaver?
- 11 Things to Consider When Buying a Rotary Shaver
- 12 FAQs on Rotary Shaver
- 13 Our Verdict On Rotary Shavers
|Our Best Pick|
Philips Norelco 9000 Prestige
|Check Price on Amazon|
|Philips Norelco 9700||Check Price on Amazon|
|Philips Norelco 8900||Check Price on Amazon|
|Philips Norelco 6800||Check Price on Amazon|
|SweetLF 3D IPX7||Check Price on Amazon|
|Phillips Norelco 4500||Check Price on Amazon|
The Best Rotary Shavers For Men
You can find various different brands of rotary shavers out there but not all of them are up to the standard and there are also many low standard brands that claim lots of advanced features which either don’t work properly or stop working after some time.
Here we have listed some of the best rotary shavers having outstanding performance and belong to reliable brands.
1. Philips Norelco 9000 Prestige SP9820/87 Shaver
Built on their prior 9000 flagship line, the Prestige series gets a substantial upgrade, notably in terms of design, performance, and durability.
The Prestige Series 9000 is present in various models (distinctions are mostly of fittings and accessories) and is definitely the best in the line thanks to its easy accessibility and lower cost as opposed to other Prestige models.
In my perspective, the new shaving head is a significant part of the Series 9000 Prestige. Accurately, the shaver introduces new cutters named SH98 that have been specially developed for this line.
The blades and the combs of the shaver are designed in such ways that provide a great shaving experience. The S9000 Prestige is probably the finest and the best rotary razor with great results.
Its close and clean shave is a lot more satisfying as well, and I feel the majority of its buyers will be happy with the performance.
Plenty of the other rotary shavers in the market are a little too harsh for the skin and can always pull a few hairs and trigger persistent tugging and irritation to your skin.
Fortunately, it isn’t the situation with Prestige 9000 Series. It’s also really amazing how it can easily grasp and shave longer and flat-lying hair easily even after 3 or more days of hair growth.
So if you usually don’t shave on a regular basis, this is the rotary shaver you’ve been searching for. Philips claims that it can easily handle a beard that is grown for over a week.
All Prestige variants contain a coated aluminum frame that looks and feels fantastic and is a huge upgrade in build quality from previous Philips razor models.
Now about the drawbacks, the Prestige variants are a bit too costly and don’t have a cleaning unit, which is quite a letdown, to be honest.
2. Philips Norelco 9700 Shaver (S9721/89)
With the arrival of the Prestige series, these older versions such as Shaver 9300, 9700, and 9800 can often be purchased at a more affordable price and can still be an impressive option.
While, The 9300 line is quite hard to find these days, and the 9700 should be the one to get.
It’s a highly efficient electric rotary razor that performs well enough in both wet and dry shavings.
It can also handle tricky hair very well, specifically on the neck and just beneath the jawline.
For a fast and effective shave, the razor needs almost no pressure at all. The extremely flexible shaving head always maintains maximum contact with the skin.
While the performance is not as great as it is proven in the latest model of S9000 Prestige, it can still be suitable for the user who doesn’t have specifically sensitive skin.
A SmartClean unit is included in the kit of Norelco 9700 which thoroughly cleans and lubricates the electric razor.
The attachment for the beard trimmer is provided in the kit as well which is really good for quick styling and touch-ups.
The 9700 shaver is potentially one of the better options as compared to other electric rotary shavers but there are also many competent rotary razors that cost much less.
3. Philips Norelco 8900 Shaver
There are certain occasions where the additional functions of premium electric shavers are just not worth the additional cost.
Having said that, in terms of price and efficiency, it’s quite difficult to get a reliable rotary shaver that can be considerably better as compared to the Norelco 8900 in the 8000 Series range.
I suggest trying out the 8900 first before you spend more on expensive shavers such as Norelco 9700 or other variants of Series 9000.
A Little confused? Let me explain it to you.
Firstly, the Philips Norelco Shaver 8900 utilizes the exact cutting blades (SH90 alternative heads) as the more costly models of the Series 9000.
Generally speaking, the only additional function that you will see in the more expensive model of Series 9000 is its customization option which includes 3 different speed modes and an advance LED display.
The 8900 is an efficient shaver that can ensure a closer and more convenient shave for most of the men who use rotary razors.
The 3 cutting heads are flexible enough to freely move in eight ways and keep close contact with the facial skin which turns into an easy and quick shave by reducing the number of required passes.
it also has a wet and dry function, the razor can also be utilized effectively with shaving gel, foam, and cream, which will further increase the satisfaction and closeness of your shave.
In addition to a good-quality travel case, you will get a click-on trimmer to style your beard with this electric razor.
Even though switching accessories can be a bit annoying, the attachment for the trimmer in this specific electric razor takes one step ahead from the basic pop-up trimmers on various electric razors that you usually see which are just barely able to trim your sideburns.
However, The trimmer that comes with this shaver is almost a perfect beard trimmer with up to 5 length adjustments that can be used to cut the whole beard.
This would be incredibly handy if you’ve not shaved for a couple of days and now you have to cut your beard back to a more appropriate length before you shave.
With the arrival of the latest SH90 cutting blades, they can now be easily washed and replaced.
The shift from the previous RQ12 heads to the latest RQ12+ or RQ12/62 (presently utilized by the specific SH90 cutting blades) was led to mixed responses, now both the 8000 as well as the 9000 Series lines are using it.
When considering this, I will highly suggest you to try out the Norelco 8900 as a much more cost-efficient choice as compared to the Norelco Series 9000.
I found the 9700 and 9300 to be just as impressive in terms of capability but honestly, I just do not consider they have quite sufficient convincing features to support their higher cost.
4. Philips Norelco 6800 Shaver (6880/81)
Although some of the advanced specifications such as aluminum body, LCD display panel, and speed toggles have been cut to lower the cost.
While its shaving efficiency and results are not bad, the Philips Series 6000 is a quite good performing electric rotary shaver that is also particularly effective to shave longer beard hairs.
The primary factor for the remarkably good results (in this price range) is the latest SH60 cutting blade technology.
They’re still utilizing the ring design to reduce friction for a smooth and irritation-free shave, which is something that we usually don’t see in mid-range rotary shavers.
The looks and the build quality of this rotary shaver are also better as compared to the Norelco 8900 model.
Therefore, if you’re not able to afford the price of Philips Series 9000, then I believe that the Philips Series 6000 can be a suitable and economical option for you.
In the USA, the Philips Series 6000 6880/81 variant is the ideal option due to its price, however, other models can be found in Europe and the quality is very similar.
As I said earlier the Philips Series 6000 doesn’t come with the speed control options available in the Philips 9000 Prestige, however, it has a different technology which is known as “Skin Guard”.
There’s a button on the shaver to activate the feature of Skin Guard which helps to control the speed of the shaver that you can adjust for a comfortable shave.
I think it’s not that much helpful because the shaver is quite gentle in standard mode but it’s still there for your convenience. Everyone has a different skin type and it varies from person to person.
The Series 6880 is definitely not as powerful as the Philips prestige since the motor appeared to be a little less strong. However, the Series 6880 can be an appropriate choice if you want a good rotary shaver.
As the cleaning unit is not available with this model, so after each shave, you’ll have to manually clean the shaver yourself.
Though it’s usually not that difficult and is actually easy to clean it.
The Philips 6880/81 is also water-resistant and be used safely for both wet and dry shaves.
This electric razor is among the top rotary razors in 2023 due to its efficiency and cost, mainly for those who are searching for a highly convenient shaver.
5. SweetLF 3D IPX7 Shaver
The special 3D technology of IPX7 provides you with 4-way floating heads that give you a close and comfortable shave for a closer shave from each and every direction.
The inner heads are fitted with 2 cutting razor tracks which makes it twice as much effective as compared to the shavers just the typical single line we normally find in basic shavers.
In every move, you will be able to cut more hair which will also cut down the time in half that you spend shaving when you wake up early in the morning.
The cutting blades stay sharp with the help of fully advanced grinding technology that makes sure you get a perfect shave every time you shave.
The blades will not irritate your skin or tug the beard hair which makes it an excellent choice for anybody having sensitive skin.
You can simply use the SweetLF IPX7 shaver for both wet and dry shave as Its body is fully waterproof which ensures that you can use this rotary razor even when you’re taking a shower.
Also, it’s very convenient to use this shaver with shaving gels, foams, and creams for a cleaner and more pleasant shave.
A pop-up trimmer is also available in the shaver which is designed to help you in styling your beard.
This rotary shaver moves quite gently on the skin giving you a more convenient and closer shave.
The high speed of its motor is really powerful and extremely silent as well.
The IPX7 also runs amazingly cool which makes it the ideal choice for those who are worried about its safety and performance.
This rotary razor uses a USB cable for charging and it only needs 1 hour to get fully charged which allows you about 2 hours of shaving time that is around full 30 shaves.
The LED display panel shows you the battery status with the help of a 5 level indicator.
This helps to make sure that you never forget to charge your shaver and charge it before it runs out of battery.
6. Phillips Norelco 4500 Electric Shaver
Its 3 shaving heads are flexible, curved, and have low friction which helps to lower down the chance of irritation and inflammation for men having a sensitive skin type.
The “Super Lift” system of Philips Norelco allows lifting the facial hairs that lie flat or beneath your skin and make sure they are properly shaved.
Its 4 direction contouring system is built to move smoothly on your face and neck. Using its “Pivot, Float and Flex” technology, they’re able to maintain close contact with your skin as well as around your neck and jawline.
Thanks to its “AquaTec” technology, you can conveniently shave your face both wet and dry.
If you want, you can also use this electric razor with shaving foam, cream, and gel to have a comfortable and easy shave. Men these days love the bald style look and they can easily use Philips 4500 to shave the head hair.
There’s a pop-up trimmer designed on the back side of the shaver’s body. It pops out from the back side which makes it a lot easier to use even when interacting with sensitive parts of the face. It quickly pops back inside after you’ve finished using the trimmer.
The 4500 requires a ridiculously high time duration of 8 hours to reach its maximum charge and provides just roughly 50 minutes of shave time, like seriously?
But if you’re in a rush, it also has a good 3-minute fast-charge system which offers you sufficient battery time to get a quick shave.
If you’re not clear about how much battery charge is left, it also has a nice LED indicator that shows you when its charge is full or low.
For those who often forget (like me), it’s a nice function that helps to prevent you from getting out of charge during the mid-shave.
The Philips Norelco 4500 provides a few accessories. There’s a safety cap, a power cable, and a cleaning brush in the package to help in cleaning the shaver.
Benefits of a Rotary Shaver
Without the intention of making this post into a sterile rotary vs foil argument, there are many aspects in which a rotary shaver will ideally be better in performance.
1. Rotary Shavers Are Best For Longer Hair Growing In Random Directions
One of the cases that nearly all electric razors are failing is when coping with long and flat-lying hair and it gets much harder if the hair grows in random directions.
So if you don’t shave regularly or don’t get the time to do it, you must at least buy an electric rotary shaver.
Few highly specialized foil shavers like the Braun Series 9 perform amazingly well when shaving beards that are longer and thicker, although that’s usually not the case with most of the foil shavers.
Sometimes, even an average rotary shaver works better than the equally priced foil shavers in the market.
2. Rotary Shavers are Also Very Silent When in Use
This is perhaps the only argument in this article that can be assured without any doubts.
The motor of the foil razor is quite fast that’s why it oscillates at a high pace which makes a loud and sharp noise along with intense vibrations, whereas rotary shavers just make a low buzz-like sound.
There are specific times when the shaver is needed to operate silently such as you may not want to wake up your partner, kids, or roommate in the morning.
3. There’s No Need To Be Extra Careful When Using a Rotary Shaver
Although a foil shaver provides more accuracy and efficiency (and others might argue even a closer shave), you have to be more persistent and careful when using it: constant, short, and precise strokes against the grain.
A rotary shaver is used with a circular movement, it takes minimal effort and enables you to be less attentive to the skin that’s getting shaved, such as your chin, jawline, or direction of the hair growth.
Shaving these complicated parts with a foil shaver will require shaving in different directions, angles, and positions to have a proper shave.
4. A Rotary Razor Can Easily Cover Wide Parts Which is Ideal for Shaving the Head
Since rotary razors are meant to be used to shave your face, rotary shavers can also be a fantastic choice for men who wants to use an electric razor to shave their heads.
Since each shaving head can pivot inward, the rotary shaver can comfortably adjust to the rounded form of the human head, which can contribute to a more effective and pleasant shave.
You can also find a separate head-shaving device which is called a head shaver and its main purpose is to shave the scalp, there are both foil and rotary-style head shavers available. There’s no doubt that a rotary-style head shaver performs better when it comes to shaving the scalp.
How to Choose a Rotary Shaver?
Shifting to electric shavers could be very useful for most men, especially in order of expenses, convenience, and even ease of use.
It doesn’t matter if you’re using the electric razor the first time or you are looking to upgrade your old electric razor with a new one, you will definitely need to make a decision whether you like to select a rotary or a foil shaver.
Since you are already here and reading this buying guide, you might have already made up your mind to select a rotary razor.
This is purely based on one’s personal choice and shaving behavior, Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of a rotary razor and how you can choose the best rotary razor.
Things to Consider When Buying a Rotary Shaver
Although most of the rotary razors follow a common basic design, however, no specific variants are exactly similar to each other. There are a few things you need to remember when searching for the best rotary electric razor.
1. The Shaving Routine
Rotary razors are suitable for anyone having an unpredictable routine to shave. They can manage nearly any hair length from light stubble to 2 to 3 days long beard.
If you don’t shave on regular basis, opting for a rotary shaver that has a sharp blade and a strong motor is the smart choice for you.
Rotary razors having a larger trimmer head are also ideally suited for managing dense or longer beard hair. Smaller heads are best for detailing the mustache and beard.
2. The Shape of Your Face
Unlike most of the other electric shavers, rotary razors are built to get a closer shave at various angles simultaneously.
Men with rough contours, like with a wide jawline, a broad chin, or an angular neck, might need to consider a rotary shaver that has a flexible head.
Although most of the rotary heads move in regular 4 directions while few rotary shavers have heads that move in 8 directions. They can quickly adapt to uneven facial curves which allows you to shave the hair in every area around the face giving you a close and comfortable shave.
3. Your Skin Type
The most common drawback of the rotary razor is that it can be hard for delicate skin types. They tend to catch and pull more hair as compared to foil shavers, which can cause pain, irritation, and sometimes even shaver burn.
If your skin is sensitive, you should aim for a rotary razor that utilizes an anti-friction feature for an irritation-free and painless shave. You must also prefer those models which have sharper blades that can easily cut your hair instead of tugging them in.
4. Your Budget
I’m pretty sure that you might be inclined to search for an electric razor having lots of features and options but do you really need them?
High-end models of electric shavers do almost always come with gimmicks that aren’t even required for your shaving routine. And this can considerably raise the price of it as compared to other similar alternatives.
5. Space in Your Washroom
If you only have narrow space available around the washbasin, you might need to think about a smaller rotary shaver instead of an electric razor with a big charging unit or additional accessories.
A smaller-sized rotary razor is also preferable for traveling as it requires very little space in your travel bag and is pretty easy to operate in a small apartment or a hotel room.
But do remember that if you’re intending to use your razor while traveling, you must opt for the model which has dual voltage.
FAQs on Rotary Shaver
You will find benefits of both foil and rotary shavers, it all depends on your skin type, the beard hair thickness, and the way you use the shaver. Normally the rotary shavers are best for men with long, thick, or coarse facial hair and for those who don’t like to shave daily.
Whereas the foil shaver is best for men with sensitive skin and men who have light beard hair who shave every day.
The quality of the shaver plays a vital role in causing ingrown hair. A bad-quality rotary shaver will definitely give you ingrown hair along with a painful red bump. It all depends on the powerful motor, sharpness, and quality of the blades of the shaver.
A weak rotary shaver with low-quality dull blades will make it difficult to cut the hair and you need to move the shaver over and over again on the same area to cut the hair which can end up giving you ingrown hair.
It mainly depends on the model of the rotary shaver that you own. the user manual that is provided by the manufacturer informs you specifically when you should replace the blades. Normally it is suggested to replace the rotary shaver’s heads and blades around once every 12 months. If your beard hair is more thick and coarse, you might need to replace the blades more frequently.
There could be many reasons if your rotary shaver pulls hair while you shave but most of the time the No. 1 reason is the bad quality of the shaver. You’ll find various brands of rotary shavers at different prices and there are some with poor quality. Sometimes a branded shaver can also perform badly because it doesn’t suit your skin type or shaving technique.
Therefore, you should select an electric shaver that is best for your skin type and you can comfortably operate it.
Our Verdict On Rotary Shavers
Choosing a rotary electric shaver over a foil shaver is an excellent choice for users who like to get closer, more effective, and convenient shave no matter if the beard is grown for a few days or if it’s just a slight stubble.
In my impression, the Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 9700 is overall the best electric rotary razor accessible in the market.
Though it’s a tad bit more expensive than other mentioned models but it delivers a better and closer shave for almost any skin type and shaving routine.
Rather than just 4 directional moving heads, the 9700 is fitted with rotary heads which can move in eight directions and provides you additional control while you shave.
Its special “V-Track Precision” cutting blades will give you a 30% closer shave for any length of hairs than other rotary shavers, and you may also use it for both wet and dry shaves.