What is an Electric Razor?

N. Madison
N. Madison

An electric razor, also called an electric shaver, is a device used to remove hair from a person’s face, head, or body. Unlike other razors that typically consist of only a blade or two inside of a safety casing, electric razors are run by motors. They usually have compartments into which users place batteries to run the motor; some are even rechargeable. There are some electric razors that plug in instead of using batteries, but these are less common.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

Electric razors make it possible for a person to shave without water. This is often referred to as shaving dry. When a person uses an electric razor, he rolls the cutting area over his skin, with the shaver turned on. As the electric razor moves over the skin’s surface, it forces the hair up and above the skin, making it easier to cut.

Perhaps the best thing about one of these razors is there’s less chance of injury. It is virtually impossible to cut the skin with an electric razor. Sometimes, however, shavers that are low on energy or clogged with debris can accidentally pull longer hairs out instead of cutting them. This can be painful, but doesn’t usually leave any visible injury. Some electric razors are even designed for safe use in the shower.

There are two basic types of cutting instruments on electric razors. One type, called a foil razor, consists of curved metal that is very thin and has tiny holes on it. When a user runs this device over his skin, hair stubble moves into the holes in the middle and oscillating blades cut the hair. Each razor may have either one foil or a couple of them.

Another type of electric razor has a few round heads on it. As a person moves it over his skin, cutters below these round heads spin and cut the hair. These razors are said to be quieter than foil razors, but they may not shave as closely.

While electric razors can be safer and are often considered more convenient than manual razors, they do present some disadvantages. First, they typically do not deliver as close a shave as manual razors do. Next they may have to be cleaned on a regular basis, and sometimes they break. Additionally, those that are not rechargeable require a continuing investment in batteries. A person can opt for rechargeable batteries to save money, however.

N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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