Shaving With An Electric Razor For The First Time

If you’ve never used an electric shaver before, but plan on doing so soon, then this article is for you.

Once you’ve settled on your first razor, it’s now time to actually use it.

However, it may not go as smoothly as you’d hope for. In fact, some users may even steer clear of electric shavers altogether after one bad experience.

So let’s see what we can do in order to avoid that.

8 simple tips for first-time users

1. Be patient and careful, just like you would be when using a razor blade.

Patience and thoroughness are key when using an electric shaver for the first time.

I think the vast majority of bad experiences when first using an electric shaver sprout from the user’s unrealistic expectations.

Just because it doesn’t have an exposed cutting blade doesn’t mean it can’t hurt you or that it’s infinitely forgiving.

Most of the time, the culprit is applying excessive pressure and going over an area multiple times.

Even though the cutters are covered by a protective foil or comb, they can still cause irritation, pain and even tiny cuts.

The fact that some of them get hot during prolonged use doesn’t help either (you can solve that by regularly lubricating your shaver).

Once you get more experienced, you’ll be able to be more adventurous with your technique and even pressure.

2. Don’t try to get a close shave from the beginning.

Getting your technique right is more important than the closeness.

Instead, focus on your technique.

Your first shaving sessions should be about getting used to the new razor and minimizing the potential discomfort.

Use short, controlled strokes, always against the direction of hair growth and do not apply excessive pressure.

With traditional shaving, we were always taught to shave with the grain in order to get a comfortable shave.

With electric shavers however you must do the complete opposite and always go against the grain.

That’s the only way your shaver can effectively capture and cut hairs clean.

3. Don’t skip post-shave treatment.

Using an aftershave balm is still a good idea.

Again, just because you’re not using a blade anymore doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow up with a hydrating aftershave balm.

Thin layers of skin cells are still being shaved off (although not to the same extent) and your skin remains vulnerable and prone to irritation.

Make sure to use a quality, hydrating and soothing balm. Avoid the ones containing alcohol, they just sting and dry your skin.

4. Handle your razor with care as the foils and cutters can be easily damaged.

Bumping them on the sink or using hard objects for cleaning will likely damage these parts and you’ll have to buy new ones. And yes, they can be pricey.

5. You may need to give your skin more time to heal between shaving sessions.

In every user guide that comes with an electric razor, there is a section saying that it takes a few weeks for your skin to adapt to the new way of shaving.

In other words, the first month or so won’t be a joy ride. Not only because it is a different way of shaving, but because you are more likely to make mistakes (like the ones mentioned above).

During this time you may need to increase the time between shaves to at least two days.

6. Make sure the razor is charged.

It’s so easy to overlook this one. A brand new shaver will have just enough power to turn on, but most of them can’t maintain peak performance when the battery is almost drained.

Because of this, it won’t cut as efficiently, you’ll be tempted to apply more pressure and do more passes; also, some tugging and pulling are likely to happen in this case.

7. Stick with it.

Again, these first few weeks won’t be a delight for some and you may even be a bit disappointed at first.

The comfort, the closeness of the shave or even the time it takes to complete a shave may not meet your expectations.

But before deciding to give up and return the razor, remember that it takes time for these things to improve.

Electric shaving has some undeniable benefits and you will eventually get there.

8. Check out our extensive tips for dry and wet electric shaving.

Apart from these points that are specifically geared towards absolute beginners, there are some general rules of thumb that will vastly improve the comfort and closeness of your shave.

They’re easy to implement and will make a big difference, so definitely check them out.

Article by

Hey. I’m Ovidiu, the founder and editor of ShaverCheck. I independently buy and test electric shavers and I’ve been sharing my findings on this site for more than 10 years, hopefully helping others choose a suitable shaver.

If you found the information useful, consider subscribing to the ShaverCheck newsletter as well. It’s free and I only send a few emails a year. Unsubscribe at any time.

16 thoughts on “Shaving With An Electric Razor For The First Time”

Leave a comment
  1. Thank you very much for the information provided on this website. I have been a lifelong safety razor user. I am in my 60’s and recently became an electric razor user.
    The information from this website was of great assistance in my decision to purchase the Braun 5190cc. I am concluding my 3rd week with this razor and I am very happy with it.
    The shaving ritual has always been an important part of the beginning of my day. I was not sure how this would be effected with the switch to an electric.
    I have been patient while on the learning curve. I continue to experiment with razor pressure and the length & direction of shaving stroke. The tips provided on this page have guided my experimentation.
    I have begun to use Williams Lectric Shave and have noticed an improvement in the quality of my shave.
    I do clean and lubricate with the cleaning station after each use. I recently conducted manual cleaning of the razor while on a week-long camping trip. I used the Braun product manual as a guide, with good result.
    Thanks again for all your help.

    • Hi Ben,

      Thank you so much for the kind words and for taking the time to share your experience. I’m glad to hear that you enjoy shaving with your new Series 5.


  2. Do the women’s electric shavers Hurt? I just brought one for the first time and am afraid of it hurting and pinching. What will it feel like on my legs ?

    • Is it a foil shaver? Can you share the exact brand and model? As long as it is a shaver and not an epilator with tweezers, it shouldn’t cause any noticeable discomfort during use.

    • Hi Winston,

      Fine hairs are a problem for most electric shavers. In order to be cut, the hair must first poke through a perforation in the foil. And it’s a lot more difficult when the hair is fine, soft or flat-lying.
      And the longer they are, the more difficult it is for the shaver to get them. So the solution would be to pre-trim the hairs with something like a beard trimmer or simply to shave more often. If the hair is short, the performance of the shaver should be better.


  3. Hi. What would you suggest for the first timer? Wet shave or dry shave? I’m shaving for more than 20 years and used every kind of razor from multiple to DE safety to a straight razor.

    • Hi,

      A dry shave is probably better at the very begging, at least until you get used to the shaver and what works best in terms of technique for your facial hair (things like the direction and length of the stroke). In order for an electric shaver to be effective at catching and cutting the hair, you must always go against the grain and a layer of lather will make that more difficult to assess visually. A wet shave also requires more prep work and thorough cleaning of the shaver afterward. It’s not by any means difficult, but it’s probably easier to get started with a dry shave.


  4. Just bought a Braun 5764.
    Always been a safety razor user, first time with electric.
    I charged the Braun and when done tried to shave. Apparently I did everything wrong. Beard was long (1/4 inch), cut every direction and pushed too hard.
    So glad I found and subscribed to your page. Now I’ll try it your way.
    Thanks !

    • Thank you for the comment, Robert. Definitely try again, any electric shaver (foil or rotary, not a trimmer with shearing blades) will perform horribly on a long beard, not to mention the discomfort. Glad you found the post useful.


  5. At first I thought it was doing nothing. Found your article, slowed down, nearly an hour later it kind of worked. Still stay hair’s everywhere and it left about ⅓ of the hair on my neck. I still think they’re absolute shit, but people keep gifting them to me. Literally 3 in the last 2 years and I hate them. Still better than the time I was gifted a shavette and cut myself up though

    • Hi Thomas,

      Keep at it, it’ll definitely get a lot better. If you’re using a suitable shaver for your particular hair/skin/shaving frequency and your technique is ok (doesn’t have to be perfect) you will absolutely be able to get a good shave. You didn’t mention the shaver model, so I cannot give any further specific recommendations.


  6. I’m thinking about buying the Braun Series 9. I have tried so many ways of shaving, no matter what my neck breaks out really bad with razor bumps and ingrown hairs. I have done all the correct methods and nothing has worked for me. I now have to shave my face everyday for my job and no matter what my face breaks out. The only thing I have never tried was an electric razor. Do you think this would be a good idea for me? I also don’t have time to go slow when shaving, I’ll need it to be relatively quick. Any tips would help!!

    • Hi Joshua,

      I think you’ll have one of the best shots with the Series 9 in this situation. Being your first electric shaver, it will take a few weeks to get used to it, so you may not get the best results right from the start. Just follow the tips in the post above and I would actually shave every two days so your skin has enough time to recover from the previous shave. The S9 is one of the best options out there if you need a close shave but also deal with ingrown hairs.


    • It works really, well, even though I (personally) don’t see a huge difference vs using it dry. It’s definitely not as noticeable as in the case of a Panasonic Arc 4 or Arc 5. Give it a try and see how it goes — here are a few tips that I think would be useful.



Leave a Comment