Debate On Foil Vs Rotary Shaver: 2 Popular Types Of Electric Razors

When you’re thinking of investing into a new shaver, you’ll find yourself placed within tons of debacles regarding monumentous ranges of variations and technologies. As there are plenty of options to choose from, when it comes to premium shaving – there are only two kings that stand tall above others – the foil shaver and the rotary shaver.

Both of these shavers have their unique abilities and features. Apart from their countless benefits and how good of a shave they can provide you, it comes down to your preference in the end among other minor factors that you should consider.

Thus, we reach the platform where the foil vs rotary shaver debate takes place. This comparative analysis explores all the positives and negatives of these two types of shavers so that you can precisely understand what they have to offer.

And when you place them side by side, you’ll make an assessment against your needs, skin type and the kind of shaving that you’re looking for. Thus, you’ll be finally able to settle for the shaver that ticks each of the boxes of your demands and gives you the shaving of your dream!

Types Of Electric Razors

As mentioned earlier, there are two major types of electric razors that are ruling the shaver market. Some often confuse their functionalities with trimmers, but let me tell you that they have their own differences.

Let’s now investigate into the two types of electric razors before moving on to the next section:

Foil Shaver

Foil Shaver: Foil shavers show their prominence with the foil heads that cover up the blades underneath. The foil portions are usually made of aluminum with tons of tiny holes that drive each of the beard strands into the machine to be chopped off nicely.

Such technology allows for extremely close shaves ensuring no hair patch is left unattended and minimizes the risks of ingrown hair. The foil literally drags your hair to be cut from the root and makes for a fine shave that marks as the standard of cleanliness.

The charm of such shavers is so high that even many barbers prefer them as their go-to device for professional shaving!

Some of the foil shavers that you can choose for your regular use are Panasonic, Braun, Andis, BaByliss,Remington,Wahl that can serve you in the best possible way.

Rotary Shaver

Rotary Shaver: Rotary shavers follow principles that have a common tie with foils in terms of their head which drags the beard strands into the blades. But other than that, it’s a completely different approach both in technology and the method of application.

Rotary shavers need to be applied in a circular motion for shaving as the three or four blades on the head are rotating in a circle themselves. Multiple blades work simultaneously to give you a clean shave – be that with shaving foam or without – it’s left up to your preference!

Now that you know the basics of these two types of shavers, we’ll dig deeper into their features before putting them side by side for comparison!

In case of rotary shavers, you can make your pick from Remington, Philips, Skull Shaver, Hatteker, Freedom Grooming brands to receive the most premium products!

Prominent Features: Foil Shaver

We’ll explore all the features of foil shavers in this section so that you can gather a more thorough understanding of such devices and how they can help you through your shaving process effortlessly!

There are oscillating blades lying underneath the foils that cut your beard neatly from the root. The number of these blades vary from device to device, and such quality ranks them among one of the finest electric shavers you could ever come across!

Foil Shaver Features

Apart from ensuring close shave for a very short stubble, these blades are very sharp and the self-sharpening technology keeps them relevant to your shaving duties for a longer period of time. When you feel they’ve started getting dull, you can easily replace the cartridge from making a purchase online!

Unlike most other electric shavers, foil shavers are equipped with the technology of capturing flying hair! Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who has used such a device to know that we’re telling the truth! We’ve found out that the foils capture the stray hair after shaving and stores them underneath so that there isn’t a hairy mess out of residue hair. How cool is that!

The foil technology is undoubtedly one of the greatest gifts of this generation as it takes shaving to a whole new level of comfort. The foils can have a range of numbers between two to even six in some devices. This makes shaving efficient and a neat activity, especially for the ones with sensitive skin, which is a must-have quality in such specialized shavers!

Different degrees of motor powers set the foil shaver as a highly diverse device to be used. Whether your skin requires a strong motor for thicker hair or one for your fine beard, you have a wide series of options to choose from. This versatility in motor power is quite significant and lets everyone pick something that precisely floats their boats.

To add to the arsenal of foil shavers, one of the most convenient factors is that – it’s really easy to clean! It took me only a couple of minutes to remove all the residue from the cartridge just by holding it under running water. And if you’re willing to pay a little extra, a cleaning station will make your life even easier by doing the cleaning and lubing of the blades for you!

Notable Features: Rotary Shaver

What you’re going to love about rotary shavers is the level of clean shave it’s able to provide you on a regular basis! Scrolling through the features that stand out will shed some light on the usability and supreme experience you’re going to have while using such shavers!

As the name suggests, the blades in these shavers spin at a superfast speed that ranges between 5k to 10k rpm. The number tells you how fast it operates and how well the three or four blades combined together would perform on your skin. Paired with powerful motors, these blades can chop through literally anything in a matter of seconds!

Rotary Shaver Features

Due to such a high-class of functions, these blades as a whole contribute to these shavers’ ability of removing the coarsest of hair. This ranks rotary shavers among the deluxe shavers that concentrate on shaving thick beards of any hair type – be that fine or curly. It’s going to chop through your dense bushes like a knife through butter!

One of the features that stand out in the electric shavers department is the ability to follow your contour. Other technologies of shavers won’t allow you distinction to such a level that rotary shavers are able to. Whether you have frequent ups and downs in contour or a flat face, the rotary blades will align accordingly to remove every bit of your beard evenly without causing any nicks or cuts!

For such a reason, rotary blades don’t leave behind any form of irritation or razor burn after you’re done with your shaving. It’s so smooth and comfortable that you’ll find utmost comfort in using these devices on a daily basis. This is why we recommend you to grab a shaver from this category if your beard growth is high & thick, and demands frequent shavings to keep them in check!

Now that we have the feature analysis out of our way, it’s time for us to brace ourselves for the explosive battle between these two shavers to see which one comes out on top in your dictionary!

Foil Vs Rotary Shaver: The Battle Of The Decade

Difference Between Foil And Rotary Shaver

Both foil and rotary shavers share some common features that aren’t necessary to be highlighted in the duel section and already covered in our feature review. Rather, we’ll keep the fight juicy, reflecting on the differences between them that’ll help you choose the most ideal shaver for your own requirements!

Difference In Shaving Operations

Foil and rotary shavers follow completely different animations of shaving due to their divergence in blades. This might sound like a small factor, but it adds up to the bigger picture of beard shaving in the end.

Foil shaver performs in a straight line. Due to this, it fails to follow the contour and the best result it’s going to give you is a very light stubble. On the other hand, a rotary shaver precisely follows your contours and you’ll have to shave in a rotating motion to get the job done with a cleanly shaved face.

But the trouble is, you won’t be able to shave in a straight line with a rotary shaver and it often leaves consumers bewildered on the proceedings. In the end, it’s left up to the preference of users on the type of shaving you might want – foil is good for everyday shaving and rotary is befitting for every other day.

Still torn between the two? Let’s move on to the next difference to broaden our horizon of knowledge!

Does Sound Bother You?

This is a prime concern for the ones who have sensitive ears, because these two shavers produce different levels of sounds. It’s also a good thing, because if you’re easily unnerved by loud sounds, it will narrow down your concern of picking your ideal electric shaver.

Foil shavers have aluminum heads turning rapidly and underneath it the foils, there are powerful blades that are doing the same using strong motors. So much rotation in one place generates audible sound which isn’t really much, but the ones that are bothered by anything more than a light buzz should feel a certain degree of discomfort.

Rotary shavers on the other hand only use one layer of motors that run the blades into the spinning motion. Thus, it produces significantly less noise compared to the foil ones and is often a common choice for consumers who experience issues with sound.

So, this is where the two shavers finally sprout out to opposite directions. Even though it’s up to your preference in the end, the noise factor should be considered before making your purchase!

Who Is It For?

Although it’s placed in the number three spot of the differences, this is actually the major concern when it comes to choosing between foil vs rotary shaver. Who is it for implies the type of skin and hair that you have, because each of them specialize in unique areas. This makes your selection process much easier and you’ll realize it after our elaboration.

Which Shaver Should You Choose

Foil shavers usually focus on sensitive skin and fine hair. As the foil holes tug the stray beard in for cutting, it sometimes gets difficult for coarse hair to get through for an optimum shaving. This requires a couple extra run overs for such hair types to get the job done completely, but for fine hair, only one pass is enough!

On the other hand, rotary shavers are explicitly fanciable for thick & coarse hair. Three or four blades rotating relentlessly with the help of powerful motors renders this device capable of removing any type of hair in general – even if it’s the toughest one you could ever find!

It doesn’t mean that you can’t use a foil shaver for coarse hair or vice versa, it just implies that there’s a general specialization of each shaver that aims at making your life easier to some certain aspect.

This means, a rotary shaver will do your coarse beard the justice of efficiency. But if you’re more into straight passes and frequent dry shavings, a foil shaver will get your job done with a few extra passes – that’s it!

Cordless Hits The New Craze

This is probably the only common factor that we’ve included in our foil vs rotary shaver battle, because going cordless refers to the price points as well, and you should have a clear idea where each of these shavers stand in the market.

They come on both corded and cordless variants, and surprising enough – these two share similar price ranges! For instance, cordless foil shavers would cost almost as much as cordless rotary shavers, which is significantly higher than the corded variants of both priced at the same cost gradient.

If you’re traveling frequently or don’t have any electrical outlet around your faucet, we’d recommend going for a cordless shaver – no matter which one you choose. As per the price range, since there’s no major difference, leave your choice up to the rest of the differences.

Length Of Your Beard Matters

Did you know that these two shavers are built for different lengths of your beards? While foil shavers work best with shorter hair on your face, rotary shavers can get away with slightly longer beards. Why is that? Let’s find out!

Foil shavers don’t have the capacity to input longer hair strands inside the device. Because of that, such shavers are made for everyday use as its performance peaks at shaving a stubble beard that is one day old. Learning to shave using foil shavers will help you understand the perks & efficiency of shaving every day!

While this is the case, rotary shavers allow you to shave slightly longer hair since there are three or four blades running simultaneously on your face. It doesn’t rely on dragging your hair strands inside and a couple day old stubble can easily be cleaned off of your face without much fuss.

Thus, the length of your beard and your shaving practice matters while picking between these two shavers. The rule of thumb is, foil shaver caters to everyday shaving as opposed to rotary shaver can easily accommodate shaving every other day.

Is Cleaning Not Your Cup Of Tea?

The last significant difference between these two shavers is the cleaning procedure of each of them, and it draws back to using shaving foam or cream. How are these two relevant, you might ask? We’ll answer it!

Foil shavers don’t require any sort of shaving cream or foam for operation. These shavers usually perform on dry beard and collect the residue nicely inside the storage within the cartridge. As a result, it leaves an insignificant cleaning journey after every shave.

Rotary shavers however need to be aided with shaving cream of some sort. The consequence is, you’ll have to work near a running tap to clean it off constantly. And even after the shaving is done, you’ll be left with a maintenance task of removing the blades and cleaning it for safekeeping.

This cleaning isn’t always straightforward like it is with foil shavers due to the creamy residue. So the ones who aren’t specifically into frequent cleanings, foil shavers should be your victor in this particular fight.

Let’s move on to the FAQ section before we announce our verdict on who’s the winner of our epic battle between foil vs rotary shaver!


Our experts have decided to answer some of your regularly asked questions related to the foil vs rotary shaver discussion. These answers should help you to understand their functionalities at a deeper level than before!

Q: Will a foil shaver be as close as a razor?

A: As we’ve mentioned, foil shavers use micro-foils that grab the beard strands into a hole for a removal that gets closest to your skin. If you want to compare which one is the closest, then we’d say that foil shavers are able to reach 95% of the closeness to which a razor would provide.

Q: Do rotary shavers cause ingrown hairs?

A: If you take your time and use shaving creams smartly, then rotary shavers won’t cause ingrown hairs at any point in your life. But you must not be reckless with your shaver!

Q: Do you oil foil shavers?

A: Yes, foil shavers do require some oiling on a regular basis to keep the foils as well as the blades running. But you must remember to replace them after a certain duration because oil won’t help it sustain for eternity.

Q: Can you shave pubes with a rotary shaver?

A: It’s highly discouraged to use rotary shavers on your pubes, as it’s one of the most sensitive areas of your body. You won’t be able to rotate the shaver following the required animation and it’s not ideal to bring something like this so close to your family jewels.

Expert Verdict

Now it’s time for our experts to place a verdict. Our opinion might sound weird at first, but allow us the time to explain. Foil shavers are the clear winner for sensitive skins and fine hair, as the technology and methods used in these devices align perfectly with their demands.

Rotary shavers on the other hand are victors for ones having coarse/thick hair that’s quite difficult to shave cleanly. Other modes of shavers might require vigorous actions to get the job done neatly, and so the responsibility is laid upon the rotary shavers to be performed precisely.

While such are the cases, think about the other factors like the way you’d shave, the frequency of shaving or the level of sound your electric shaver produces. These should be parts of your consideration too.

And if you find any of these shavers fitting the description of your ideal shaver that serves your every need perfectly, then ultimately that is YOUR winner in this battle, and that’s the victory that matters!

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