Foil vs. Rotary Shavers

There are a few myths floating around regarding foil vs rotary shavers.

Maybe myths is the wrong word, but the topic has confused so many people and it’s time to set the record straight.

Before we get to our comparison of the Braun Series 7 and the Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D, we need to clear the confusion between these two types of electric razors.

What’s so confusing you might ask?

Well, when two “facts” contradict each other, things can get really confusing.

Let me explain with a little example starring my friend Timmy:

One day Timmy stumbles into a forum discussion…

"Hi guys, my name is Timmy and I'm new to shaving. Just wondering which shaver is better, foil or rotary?"


"A foil will always out-perform a rotary. I have always used a foil shaver so I know it's the best."


"Foil shavers can't shave the hairs around your neck. Rotary shavers have a design which works better."


"Electric shavers suck! Wet shaving gives a smoother shave %100 of the time."


"Wow, I didn't know it was this confusing."


Now, there are actually some really helpful shaving forums around, but there’s also some like the one I just made up above.

You might stumble across a discussion like this and see 10 posts in a row from people all in favor of the foil design. You think you’ve found a winner, then all of a sudden a group of rotary users give their opinion, along with a grumpy traditional wet shaver.

The problem arises when everyone’s opinion is stated as a fact. So when you read two opinions which look a lot like facts and they contradict each other, you get confused. Who wouldn’t get confused?

It’s not just forum discussions. There might be an article which lists the pros and cons of each, and the author decides to say that one is better for shaving the cheek area, and the other is better for the neck area. Is this true? Maybe…

Both designs clearly work. With all shaving products and shaving techniques, it usually always comes down to personal preference. The truth is, it’s all based on personal opinion.

This personal preference applies to the discussion between electric and blades as well. There’s not a clear winner. There will always be people on each side of the fence.

So what are you to do?

I think it’s much better to analyze and compare specific products. When you just compare “designs”, you’re really looking at a broad list of products because there’s so many types of each, and they’re all a bit different.

Comparing specific models is a better approach to finding the right shaver for you, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do here. We’re going to look at the Braun Series 7 vs the SensoTouch 3D from Norelco and hopefully by the end of the comparison you will have enough information to choose the right one for you.

Final Thoughts

Let’s do a quick review.

First, I hope we made it clear that when it comes to foil vs rotary shavers, there’s no clear cut winner. There are too many specific products, and too many personal experiences and opinions which contradict any theories regarding which are better.

Some people only like one type, and others like both. End of discussion.

After clearing that up we did what everyone should do: analyze two specific products side by side, rather than debate over broad categories.

Specifically we looked at the Braun Series 7 – 790 cc and the Philips Norelco SensoTouch 1250xcc.

The first main difference was in the design of the shaving head. The Braun’s design makes having the cleaning station a bit of a necessity in my opinion. You can clean the shaver manually but in the long run I think it’s worth getting the cleaning station.

The SensoTouch 3D shavers can be cleaned manually pretty well so there’s always the option of just getting the razor by itself and saving a bit of money. In this case the 1250x is recommended.

The actual cleaning stations both perform really well and after using both systems for quite some time, I can’t tell if one cleans better than the other. The Braun shaver does come out smelling much fresher though.

When I compared the shaving performance of each shaver, I personally found that the Braun produced a better shave. They both work very well, however I enjoyed the process a bit more with the Braun.

At the end of the day I think you will like both. Based on my personal experience I would recommend the Braun Series 7 first, however there are many positive reviews on the SensoTouch 3D so it’s certainly a close call.

Whatever model you do choose, I hope you get good results!

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