Many people tend to put grooming in the backseat when caught in the excitement of travel. While sporting a full beard may be a personal preference for some, going through days without a good shave can be quite a hassle. Making do with disposable razors from hotels or some random convenience store can quickly solve the problem, but why settle when there are great options around? Especially if you have a thick beard, these cheap plastic products just won't do. Here are some of the best portable electric razors to keep you trimmed and groomed just the way you like it.
Blade Type: Choosing a foil or a rotary type shaver is mostly a matter of preference, but there are slight advantages for both. Foil blades deliver a closer shave, especially with wide or multiple-blade shavers. Rotary blades follow the contours of the face much better. The rotary movement is also less irritating and may be more suitable for sensitive skin.
Power Source: You can choose battery-powered shavers or rechargeable shavers. In terms of portability, battery-powered shavers allow you to bring it along wherever you go. However, the motor won't be as powerful as with rechargeable shavers. Rechargeable shavers can be practical if you get it on full charge before heading out the door.
Travel Features: Since we're talking about travel, small features matter when it comes to portable shavers. A secure travel cap and a sturdy travel pouch may make a world of difference if you tend to dump your stuff in your bag. The blades can be dangerous and other items in your bag may be damaged if there are no locking features that will keep the shaver from accidentally engaging. If you will simply leave your shavers back in the hotel, then this may not be as important for you.
Our Top Pick
Panasonic ES3831K Electric Travel Shaver
- Lightweight - 5.2 oz
- Powerful motor
- Wet/Dry shave
Braun M90 Mobile Shaver
- Very Light - 3.2 oz
- Great for stubble
- Can clean under water
Philips Norelco PQ208/40 Travel Electric Razor
- Self-sharpening blades
- Closer shave than most
- Replaceable blades
- Dry shave only
Panasonic Men's Shaver for Traveler
- Sharp foil and powerful
Panasonic Electric Shaver - ES-LF51-A ARC4
- Close and clean shave
- Sharp blades
At less than $20, the Panasonic ES3831K Electric Travel Shaver is cheaper than many replacement blades of high-end shavers. This doesn't mean that Panasonic scrimped on the quality, though.
This shaver is not jam-packed with extra features, but it delivers a great shave and won't irritate sensitive skin.
The stainless steel blades are hypoallergenic and suitable for all skin types. It also has floating blades so they can adjusted to the contours of your face as you shave.
The high-speed 8,500 rpm motor is durable and powerful enough to give you a decent and comfortable shave. It is also equipped with a foil to catch loose shavings. Don't forget to empty it once in a while! :>
As you can see on the label, the shaver is fully-immersible in water, so it can be used wet or dry. You can lather on cream for a full shave, or just run it through dry skin for a quick trim. You can even shave in the shower if you want to take your time. (Personally, I spend way too much time shaving in the shower, but, I know it's not for everyone!)
The shaver is cordless and powered by two AA batteries. It cleans very easily under running water, but there's also a brush included in the package for more thorough cleaning.
The Panasonic shaver is highly portable at 4.56 x 2.36 x 1.4 inches and 5.5 ounces. It also comes with a cap and a travel pouch so you can slip into your travel or gym bag and groom on the go (and no, I don't condone shaving and driving).
While the motor is powerful, its size may not be ideal for thick and coarse hair. It will not deliver as close of a shave, and a once over with a razor might be necessary. There are no replacement blades either. While the product will last a long time, you'll have to get a completely new one once the blades have run their course.
The Braun M90 Mobile Shaver is another gadget around the $20 range. Braun is always a top choice when it comes to shavers, and this travel version delivers. It won't give you the close and tight shave a mid-level shaver would give, but this portable device does a good enough job while you are traveling.
It comes with a trimmer on the side for mustaches and beards too.
The Braun M90 is secured with a swivel cap that automatically locks to prevent accidentally engaging the shaver. When you're ready to use it, the cap swivels down to the base and becomes a comfortable handle.
All in all, the design is well though out!
It's powered by AA batteries that will run for two to three weeks for most people. It's not a completely wet/dry shaver, but it's at least washable under running water.
The wide foil blades will do a great job for thinner hair or regular maintenance of stubble.
With non-removable parts and weighing a mere 3 ounces, the Braun M90 is one of the most portable shavers you can find.
The three-headed Norelco razors are a crowd favorite for giving very close shaves, but this two-headed Philips Norelco PQ208/40 Travel Eelectric Razor does a good enough job for the light-weight traveler.
Its floating heads hug the face well and help get into those hard to shave contours. The self-sharpening blades also mean that it can last much longer than most portable razors, also eliminating the need for replacement blades.
Because of the whirring movement of the rotary razor (instead of the vibrating movement of foil razors), this is a much more quiet device.
It is powered by AA batteries and gives up to 60 minutes of cordless shave on one charge.
While there is little need to replace the heads, there are replacement heads for this device called HQ56 (should you need them). It's recommended to replace them at least once a year, which may also be necessary for hygiene purposes.
Because of its build, it's not fully-immersible in water. Cleanup is a little more tedious, which involves removing the rotary heads (which can be washed) and brushing the rotary cavity. This shaver is mainly built for dry shaves, which is often more practical when your'e traveling around.
Shaving with this two-headed rotary razor takes a little longer than shaving with foil blades. You'll have to oscillate against the skin several times so that the two heads can go over the hairs and shave them off. It does give a closer shave than the Panasonic and Braun shavers, so this might be worth thinking about.
It comes with a head cover, but it's not as secure as it should be. It has a tendency to come off if packed with a lot of loose items. It does have travel lock so if the cap comes off, the shaver still won't engage accidentally. But, some lose hair way come out.
When it comes to gadgets and technology, Japan always comes out at the top. This electric shaver is no exception.
The Panasonic Men's Shaver for Traveler ES-RS10-S is a tiny contraption with serious power.
The single foil blade is very sharp and durable, and takes advantage of the precision craftsmanship that Japan is known for. It gives a quick and comfortable shave, but don't expect silky smooth skin from a device as tiny as this. The main purpose of this shaver is portability and on-the-go shaving/trimming. Nevertheless, the blades are strong, sharp, and durable; it does the job quickly and close enough to pass most "girlfriend" inspections!
This shaver is meant for dry shaves and cannot be washed under running water. However, the top part comes off to reveal the blade for easy brushing and cleaning. One drawback is the noise - for such a small shaver, it is extremely loud. There is always a trade-off!
At a mere 3.2 inches in height, this is the most portable shaver yet. It's a huge space saver and comes with a cap to protect the blades. However, the size can also be a hindrance as it's quite difficult to handle and grip.
This product is technically just sold in Japan, but you can ship the product through Amazon.
Replacement blades are also available when needed.
If you want the best shave wherever you find yourself in the world, then this is the product for you.
The Panasonic ES-LF51-A ARC4 is a powerful shaver that gives a smooth, close shave in no time at all. This wet/dry four-blade foil shaver is the best shaver to take with you on the road. It's a bit bigger than most portable shavers, but slightly smaller than mid- or full-level shavers. If you have the space and if you want the look, then pack this shaver in your luggage.
The floating foils also pivot as you shave. With its precision-honed Nanotech blades, you get a close and satisfying shave even if you have coarse and thick hair. The high-performance dual motor delivers 14,000 cuts per minute, resulting in a clean shave without having to run through the skin several times like you would have to with other portable shavers.
It comes with a pop-up trimmer on the side as well.
This rechargeable shaver has an LED indicator to show how much power is left in the device. It comes with an AC charger but can be used cordless for convenience. The shaver will fully charge within an hour.
It's arguably not a travel shaver, but it's lightweight, works on universal voltages from 120-240 volts, and the cord/charger is easy to manage. Even though it doesn't come with a travel cap or pouch, it's a small compromise if you really after a good, clean, and smooth look regardless of your destination.
There are a lot of factors that go into choosing the best shaver, but it's important to understand that portable shavers will never deliver as good and close a shave as full-blown shavers will. If you're after keeping your face neat and clean, it would always be best to trim stubble as often as everyday to keep the shavers effective.
Overall, the Panasonic ES-LF51-A ARC4 is the best compromise between a portable shaver and a full shaver. With its size somewhere in between, it is portable enough for you to pack it in your luggage. The powerful motor and four-blade foil ensures that you get as close a shave as possible.
If shaving is something you don't want to fuss with, the Panasonic ES3831K Electric Travel Shaver is the way to go. It's small, portable, comes with a travel cap, and can be used wet or dry. You can simply toss this in your bag on your way out, whip it out in the train, or just grab it in the shower for any kind of shave, any way you want.
If you have thin hair or you regularly trim stubble, the Panasonic Men's Shaver for Traveler is ideal. You don't need all the bulk and the power of other shaver types, and this is something you can easily slip into even your jean pocket.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!