The Best Rotary Electric Shavers


When you’re looking to invest in a new shaver, it can become quite confusing.

The first decision involves choosing between the 2 main types of electric shaver:

If you’re interested in the more expensive foil shavers, we explore the best models right here.

Today, our focus is purely on rotary electric shavers and that limited our options considerably.

Before anything else, a quick glimpse at the leading benefits of choosing a rotary electric shaver…

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Key Benefits of Rotary Electric Shavers

  • Work extremely well with any long hairs
  • Technique is not so critical with a rotary shaver so they make a smart choice for complete beginners
  • You’ll cover large areas easily with a rotary shaver
  • Rotary shavers are great for shaving your head
  • You won’t need to buy gel or foam if you don’t want to and you won’t have the expense of buying pricey blades every week either
  • These are among the quietest electric shavers you can find

So far, so good.

What is a rotary electric shaver, though?

Unlike foil razors, a rotary model comes with revolving heads that closely follow the contours of your face as you move across while shaving. Hairs slip into the openings of these 3 holes and get snipped off.

While you might get a closer shave with a foil model, rotary shavers are quieter and work particularly well with longer hair.

Using one of these shavers is as simple as following the hairs on your face and you’ll be able to cut comfortable in any direction.

When you’re looking to buy one of these shavers, you fortunately haven’t go too much to worry about. You should consider not just the bottom line but how this translates to overall value. Sometimes, paying more is worthwhile in the long haul. Think about how often you’ll need to replace the blades and establish that cleaning is not too troublesome.

Luckily, the Philips Norelco we highlight today are all strong performers in these areas so your decision should be easy if you stick with one of these tried-and-true favorites.

And on that note, we’ll launch right into our reviews now with 5 awesome Philips Norelco shavers to suit all tastes and budgets…

Top 5 Best Rotary Electric Shavers

1. Our #1 Pick:Philips Norelco 9700 Electric Shaver


If you’re looking for a rotary electric shaver, your choice is pretty limited but that doesn’t need to be a bad thing.

Philips has a number of models in their flagship Norelco range and the 9700 is the line-topping gem. If you’re looking for a cheap electric shaver, this is certainly not for you. If you’re interested in quality from an industry heavyweight, the Norelco is tailor-made.

The crisp digital interface displays everything you need to see at a glance. From battery indicator and cleaning level through to lock indicators, you’ve got everything at hand.

You can tweak the shaver through 3 speed settings so you can get the shave of your dreams regardless of skin type and stubble length.

ContourDetect technology baked in allows the shaver to move in 8 directions delivering you the smoothest shave.

With SmartCleanPlus, your Norelco will clean itself saving you precious minutes in the morning and ensuring your shaver is always running on point.

Wet and dry functionality gives you the ability to shave in the shower without worrying about the integrity of your shaver.

Runtime is a full 60 minutes which should allow you to shave for a full week before needing to charge your unit. You’ll only need an hour to impart a full charge. If you get caught short mid-shave, just 5 minutes will give you a quick boost enough to finish off grooming.

As you’d expect from Philips, build quality is first class and you’ll get a handy case to keep everything neatly together.

Things We Like

  • Wet and dry functionality to enhance your flexibility
  • SmartClean system on board keeps maintenance and user input to an absolute minimum
  • ContourDetect for a smoother shave every time

Things We Dislike

  • Ruthlessly expensive

2. Runner-Up:Philips Norelco 9300 Electric Shaver


Our runner-up and best rotary electric shaver for price/performance ratio, the Norelco 9300 punches above its weight.

If you’re looking to gain most of the benefits provided by the line-topping 9700 without paying quite so much for the privilege, the 9300 makes perfect sense.

The hard shell case thrown in gives a professional finish and plenty of protection for your shaver.

There’s a relatively bulky cleaning dock – Philips term this the SmartClean system – which keeps your shaver running optimally hands-free.

The only real difference between this model and the 9700 is the way data is displayed. That aside, you’ll get the same highly capable electric shaver primed for either wet or dry use.

If you’ve resisted using electric shavers for fear of not getting a close enough shave, you might rethink that after using the Norelco. You can tweak the pace from slow through to fast depending on how long and thick your stubble is.

Whether you’re looking for your first electric shaver or you’re an old hand looking to upgrade, the Philips Norelco 9300 is the connoisseur’s choice. Packing the V-Track Precision blade, you’ll get a close finish every time.

Things We Like

  • The best overall value model from the Norelco line
  • Self-cleaning keeping maintenance super-simple
  • Precision trimmer for perfect finishing

Things We Dislike

  • Shaver itself is reasonably bulky

3. Philips Norelco 8900 Wet and Dry Electric Shaver


The mid-range Philips Norelco 8900 is another rock-solid choice if you’re looking to invest in an electric shaver but you don’t want to say goodbye to wet shaving completely. You’ll be able to use the 8900 wet or dry for maximum flexibility.

The 8000 series is finished in a dark blue over black and features the same rugged build you’d fully expect from Philips.

As with all the shavers from this range, you can get a full burst of charge into the lithium-ion battery in just 60 minutes. Runtime takes a slight hit at 50 minutes but that’s still more than enough for several days of shaving before you need to give it some juice.

A winning combination of a blade that moves in 8 directions following the lines of your face and a blade designed to cut closer and deeper, you’ll get a shave like you’ve just stepped out of the barber’s chair without needing to leave home or break out the straight razor.

If you’re looking to buy into a brand you can trust and to pick up one of the best rotary electric shavers on the market, road test the 8900 at your earliest convenience.

Crowned with a dependable 2-year limited warranty, what’s not to love?

Things We Like

  • Aquatec technology makes it equally easy to shave dry or using your preferred gel or foam
  • Clip-on beard attachment with 5 length settings for grooming facial hair impeccably
  • 8-directional shaving head for a close and thorough shave

Things We Dislike

  • 50 minutes of runtime could be improved slightly but not a deal-breaker

4. Philips Norelco 4100 Electric Shaver


If you’re considering picking up a Philips Norelco but you don’t fancy the stiff price tag of the 8000 or 9000 series, why not take a look at the 4100?

We’ll state off the bat that you can’t expect and nor will you get the same experience with the 4100 but it’s more than fit for purpose on a budget.

The DualPrecision heads on the 4100 have both slots and holes enabling them to deal with long and short hairs without standing on ceremony.

As with all the shavers in the Norelco line, shave dry or using foam/gel according to your preference.

The shaver heads are designed to flex and float across your skin giving you a close shave without irritating sensitivities.

The manufacturer recommends a head replacement once a year so factor this into your budgeting.

Cleaning is a cinch and all you’ll need to do is rinse your shaver under running water.

For a solid and portable shaver from a brand you can rely on, the Philips Norelco 4100 is another home run.

Things We Like

  • Exceptional value considering brand heritage
  • Get up to 2 weeks of shaving before you need to recharge
  • Onboard trimmer to get rid of those irritating stray hairs

Things We Dislike

  • Runs quite noisily and feels fairly sluggish

5. Philips Norelco 3100 Electric Shaver


The bargain basement end of Philips Norelco’s multiple lines, the 3100 is a no-nonsense rotary electric shaver that gets the job done without any frills.

The 3100 is a remarkably lightweight and portable shaver that packs a hefty punch.

The blades move around in 4 different directions so you can attack hairs from multiple angles and deliver a smooth, close shave.

The 45-minute runtime is less than ideal and the 8 hours required for charging is an outright nuisance. Philips goes some way to mitigate this by allowing you to use this shaver with or without the power cord.

You’ll get no accessories bundled with this model but in return you’ll pick up the 3100 at an exceptionally competitive price.

If you fancy a cheap but highly efficient entry-point to the world of electric rotary shavers, we can’t recommend the pocket-friendly Philips Norelco 3100 strongly enough.

Things We Like

  • Heads designed to flex in 4 directions promoting a cleaner, closer shave
  • Use shaver with or without cord for complete versatility
  • Pop-up trimmer for manicuring your beard or sideburns

Things We Dislike

  • 8-hour charging time is tiresome so make sure you don’t get caught unaware


Well, you should have a pretty clear overview of the most effective electric rotary shavers on the market now and they all come from Philips!

Rotary shavers are not to everyone’s liking so make sure you scope out electric foil shavers as well before committing to purchase.

As a parting piece of advice, if you’re still not sold on the benefits of switching to an electric shaver and you’re not sure how you’d feel shaving without foam or gel, make sure you shoot for a wet/dry model so you won’t need to compromise or feel like you’re missing out.

Bookmark the PrinceLA for all your home and garden needs. We hope we’re continuing to deliver on our promise to you, namely to bring you nothing but the finest products with honest and impartial reviews to guide you. We’ve got a busy month planned in October so don’t forget to come back soon!

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