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Has this been your experience re: DE safety razors vs electric shavers?


My exploding razor knows secrets
I found that the electric always bypassed some of the longer hairs on the face and no matter how I moved I couldn't cut it.
And rechargeable electronics give me residual power/battery aging anxiety.

The cartridges always have some hair stuck in the corners, which cannot be rinsed off even with strong running water, and must be removed slightly with small tweezers.
Even more difficult to accept is that brands often change the head-fixing module.(Trac-II is not among them, it is probably the most versatile among them)

It wasn't until I started experimenting with traditional razors like DE and open blade razor that I found Nirvana.
My grandfather taught me how to shave with a 1959 vintage FatBoy. Then I moved to the "newfangled" TracII in college. A few years later I switched to electric because "shaves as close as a blade or your money back". I did that for several years until I happened on my grandfathers old Fatboy when going thru his things maybe 10 years ago. I hadnt seen it since 1977. I cleaned it up, bought some German Wilkies and that was the end of the electric shaver. I dug out my old cup and brush from storage and even found my TracII from college. So now, for most days I use one of my vintage DE Gillettes, yes I fell down that "must have all sorts of DE Gillettes" rabbit holes. I even found the Russian Rubie and Russian Rubin which are clones of the black beauty and the super speed adjustable razors. I found a Techmatic that, despite the shade thrown at it, I like quite a lot. And finally a Schick injector from 1939 that is a great shaver. I will never go back to an electric. The razor burn was awful, replacement blades were way to expensive, and screens were just as bad. Plus looking back, it saved no time at all.
I shaved for a long time with an electric shaver before switching to DE. The electric is still my weapon of choice for a very fast < 1min shave. I don't need to use that option very often, but it's nice to have it when necessary. The shave is not as clean as a DE shave, but it puts my face in a presentable state.
Because I used to fly extensively for work before my retirement, I gave electric razors more than once a chance, but the results always fell short of those with a good safety razor.

I believe this is because of the design of electric razors where an oscillating/rotating head operates behind a thin metal foil. So there is always this foil between the skin and the cutting action, which makes for an imperfect shave, as stubble of the thickness of this foil will always remain.

Most safety razors have a slightly negative blade exposure, the blade is recessed a small amount, which in my book may preclude a true BBS shave, but is still more than enough for a DFS shave, maybe even close to BBS depending on one’s criteria, but in any case closer than with an electric razor.

It becomes more interesting with safety razors with positive blade exposure (and sufficient blade gap), as with these razors the razor blade is in direct contact with the skin, similar to a straight razor, albeit only within a narrow angle defined by the safety razor’s head design. With straight razors or safety razors with positive blade exposure I can achieve what I define as a BBS shave.

Most shavers who prefer a “mild” safety razor will probably use a safety razor with negative blade exposure and by my reasoning that would allow shaves close to BBS, but not quite.
Of course, one’e definition of BBS is subjective, so some might well consider the results of their shaves with a mild razor “BBS”.

Be that as it may, looking at the timespan after a shave when I begin to feel my stubble again, the shortest time was after electric shaves (about 8 hrs), the longest after a straight shaves or a shaves with a safety razor with positive blade exposure (about 11 hrs). So I think I am not too far off with my theory.

I prefer mild razors like the Gillette Techs, the Henson mild, the Winning razor, and Game Changer .68p. I don't even particularly favor the sharpest blades. Astra plats, Gillette Silver Blues, Voskhod are frequently in use, no Feathers for me.
Now try not to be an old traditional shaving grouch, be objective.
I have a Panasonic Arc 5 electric shaver that I have used for months at a time. My experience is that the worst shave I have ever had from a DE safety razor was a closer, cleaner shave than I get from my top tier electric shaver.
I am trying to encourage myself to settle for an SAS or DFS instead of relentless pursuing a BBS, which frequently gets me nicks, cuts and irritation. Any DE safety razor shave is a good shave, IMO.
I love to poke the hornets' nest!

Not much to add, other than I agree 100%.

I never even thought about BBS when I used an electric, and could never achieve anything other that a socially acceptable daily shave.
Used to use an electric but tried wet shaving and never looked back. I still use an electric trimmer for certain areas.
I used a Norelco shaver for 6 years. Shaving in a circular motion took a few passes to get a decent shave, but never got nicks/cut (which was an issue with carts. Issues with my next electric is what got me started looking into shaving methods and my shaving needs. I ended up getting a Braun series 5 which did provide a decent shave quicker.

After several months I checked out DE shaving and have been using it since. I find the shaves closer and my skin feeling better. It is more time consuming (10 minutes vs 2-3), but I find shaving to be an enjoyable morning routine as opposed to a necessity.
I was given an electric razor as a Christmas gift when I was about 19..just didn’t work out for me, was able to get a much closer shave with the blue single blade disposables and barbasol. Then one year my dad gave me a vintage Gillette razor, some DE blades, brush, shaving bowl, and a decent shave soap. It took a little getting used to at first since I was used to shaving at a steeper angle with those disposable razors but I’ve never shaved with anything else since and I’m certain all the best, closest, and most comfortable shaves I’ve ever had were with DE razors.

After 12-13 hours after shaving with a DE razor my face still feels smoother than it did right after finishing up with an electric and I never really found them convenient since I’d have to keep going over various areas so many times. The best thing is if I get lazy or too busy to shave and skip several days, no more clogged up disposables and no more having to use a trimmer before shaving with an electric razor I can just use a more aggressive DE razor with wider safety bar gap and the stubble rinses right out.
I only tried an electric a handful of times and hated it. Was using Carts all of my life until about 2months ago and they were good enough. For me, shaving was just a task to get done so you can look presentable. Now with DE the task is no longer a task but an experience you look forward to and the end results seems better.
I was shaving with cartridge razors for 30 years and hated it. Everytime it gave me razor burn and ingrown hairs, I tried electric but this was even worse. Now I am shaving with DE/SE/SR and all my problems have gone away. For my YT channel I tried a Fusion 5 some months ago. I compared it with my Slim Adjustable, yes, after three passes I had similar smoothness, but on the side with the Fusion I had razor burn for three days, not exaggerating.

There is some correlation between the number of publications about Pseudofollicolitis barbae, ingrown hairs from shaving, and the history of shaving, when the stainless steel blade was introduced, the number of publications sank nearly to zero and climbed when the cartridge razor was invented and skyrocketed whenever there were more blades added... pseudofolliculitis barbae - Search Results - PubMed - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=pseudofolliculitis+barbae&timeline=expanded
I would like to second @Ladit, I never quite understood how more blades should be skin friendlier than just one scraping over the skin than 3 or 5 or even more. I think one really sharp DE blade might have a higher risk of injury due to mishandling, but particularly people who have trouble shaving with an electric razor or a cartridge might find their salvation with DE razors.
I've used Braun electrics for travel or when time was tight. I could get a quick shave on the interstate on my way to work. The problem for me is that no matter how close it feels, in 3 hours I have a five o'clock shadow. One co-worker even asked if I had forgotten to shower that day. By 5 o'clock, people are asking where my cup is so they can put money in it.

I do still use it some evenings at the request of the Fifty-one percenter to clean up bristles in the Vandyke area. It has its place in the shave den.
I've used a couple of trimmers in the past to shape my beard, but I've never fully shaved with one or with an electric shaver. One say I said that enough is enough and it's time for me to move on something else than cartridge and at that moment, I had to choose between a DE and an electric razor. I've talked to a couple of people and they basically told me that getting a BBS with an electric razor is impossible and the good ones cost a lot of money and I also have to be very careful with them, since a lot of things can go wrong and I need to replace the blade once a few years. Then I've decided to go with the DE razors and never looked back.
I remember the Remington microscreen commercials from the 1980s: "Shaves as close as a blade, or your money back!"

My Dad has been using electrics for 40+ years. I think it takes him at least as long, or longer, to get to a good shave than I take with a DE razor.

I haven't used an electric daily for probably 20 years or so, but I do have a battery-operated Braun travel shaver that I use on occasion. It's a wet/dry shaver and it provides a socially acceptable quick shave in a short amount of time. Not nearly as close or comfortable as a "proper" DE shave, though.

I got a Remington in 1980 because I thought Bic disposables were wasteful.

The shaves weren't too bad, not as good as a blade though,
and if I had any length at all, it got grabby.

Two screens and cutting blocks later, Remington disappeared.
The screens and the cutting blocks were expensive and I realised
that electric razors were not the answer.
You will always get a closer shave with a blade - any blade. Nature of the beast - bare blade against your skin - an electric will always have the thickness of a foil or comb between you and the cutters. "Better" is subjective. More comfortable? It depends.
Was gifted a Remington 3 blade rotary on my 18th birthday. It made an awful lot of noise, and shaved worse than an old Eagle meat grinder!
Used generic and Gillette disposable for years after that.
Then in my late twenties I discovered a Gillette tech a have never looked back.
My father used and electric shaver of some kind. I tried one a couple of times when I was starting to shave as a teenager, but it left my skin really irritated and didn't do the job on my beard. I soon switched to the Gillette Trac II, canned shave foam and Skin Bracer. I used disposable cartridge razors up until almost 2 years ago when I switched over to DE safety razors. Electric shavers do have their place for some people just not for me.
I've given various highly-rated electric "razors" chances at various points in my life, but I always- always- return to a blade, usually sooner rather than later. I find the electrics to be ridiculously expensive at the acquisition + maintenance points, as well as requiring much more time than shaving with any blade for less-satisfying results.

So, lemme see: spend more time + money for Thing A giving me results ranging from mediocre to poor or spend a lot less time and money on Thing B for results that range from decent to BBS. Frankly, not a difficult choice.

And that's without even mentioning the sheer fun of collecting + using classics of American industrial design like Gillette Old Types, Techs, Aristocrats, etc.

I've used an electric Remington foil shaver for two days in a row. I got some bad irritation swapping around razors, blades and soaps last week and thought I'd be ok to shave ATG for some odd reason- which I never do. It was a stupid moment on all counts because I've been doing this for many years and know what razor, blade and soap doesn't mess up my skin. Seeing all the stuff I've hoarded over the years messes with common sense at times.

Anyway, I've used the Remington "wet" the last two days and went back to my routine of regular soap. I've been somewhat impressed with it. I can go ATG with an electric and get no irritation and a smoother shave than my normal WTG passes with my DE razors. The irritation and ingrowns I got are clearing up. I'm glad I decided to get it out of the cabinet after many years of not being used instead of not shaving at all for a few days. In this respect, the electric is working great for me right now.
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