By Rayy Zar
Technological advances and low-cost Chinese manufacturing have resulted in new shavers that combine compact size with surprisingly good performance and cheap prices. Such models are ideal as travel shavers, or as back-up shavers that you can keep in the car, office or gym locker.
What should you be looking for in a travel shaver? Here are some pointers.
Compact. Some of these new models are amazingly small. The Sanyo SV M730 pocket shaver (pictured – actually made in Japan) has dimensions of just 3 x 2.4 x 1 inches.
Performance. This of course is the key issue. Check out reviews at Amazon and other online sales sites. The Sanyo is one model that has received rave reviews for its performance. Several reviewers actually seem to be using it as their first shaver. But most travel shavers are too small to deliver a really brilliant performance. (Though ironically, the small head size of travel shavers means they can sometimes reach awkward parts of your face that larger models miss.)
Wet/dry. Some low-cost travel shavers, such as the Panasonic Pro-Curve, are wet/dry models, meaning they can be used in the shower and washed clean, a great convenience. Others are for dry shaving only.
Mode of operation. Most travel shavers use two AA batteries, making them very portable. But several, such as the Remington R91, need recharging, which might take as long as 16 hours.
Price. This of course is also an important consideration. At discount sites like Amazon several models are sometimes as cheap as $10-12, similar to a pack of razor blades, or a set of disposable razors. By contrast, the highly rated Sanyo could set you back as much as $35.
Long-Hair Trimmer. Some have them, some don’t.
Here are five of the best travel shavers.
Panasonic Pro-Curve Wet/Dry Travel Shaver
This popular models has attracted more favorable reviews at Amazon than any other travel shaver. Compact and low priced, it is a wet/dry model. According to the company it will run for up to 90 minutes on two AA batteries.
Braun MobileShave M-90 Shaver
This is another wet-dry model. It is a little heavier than some rival models. It incorporates a long-hair trimmer. A cheaper version, the M-60b, lacks this.
Sanyo SV M730 Pocket Shaver
Manufactured in Japan, this is a quality product that is smaller and better than many rivals, but also more expensive. (Update: this model is now difficult to obtain. Check out instead the excellent Sanyo Electric Rechargeable Shaver.)
Philips Norelco PQ208 Travel Shaver
For dry shaving only, with independently floating heads. A little heavier than some rivals. It is sold mainly at Walmart, though you can sometimes also find it at Amazon and other outlets.
Remington Men’s Titanium Battery-Operated Foil Travel Shaver
One of two travel shavers from Remington, this dual-foil model has become another Amazon favorite, thanks to its low price and a very good performance.
Update: And here’s a sixth:
Eltron EL 3040 Compact Travel Shaver
Hollywood-based Eltron is responsible for this very cheap shaver that is attracting some excellent reviews at Amazon.
Update: And a seventh:
Mangroomer Professional Edition Travel Shaver
A fine looking new shaver, though more expensive than some.
* Check out the latest prices at Amazon for travel shavers.