My electric razor is not working: how to fix this

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The ‘how to fix’ question has popped-up quite a number of times on different message platforms and comment sections, and it has led to an unfair, collective bashing of all-electric shavers. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that there is nothing more annoying and frustrating than trying to shave before a dinner date or an important meeting, only to find out that your electric shaver has stopped working. A lot of people have these kinds of problems and I can’t emphasize how frustrating it can be. A typical scenario that shows this problem involves a recently purchased electric razor that fails to perform as expected by the user. For instance, hairs are left behind, shave is not close enough, razor burn occurs and more. Most times, this may also be the user’s first experience with an electric razor, although that is not always the case. However, this situation can be totally avoidable but only if you know what to look for and what to do even after identifying the problem.

There can be several reasons why your electric shaver is not working properly:

  • Your shaver is outright bad.
  • Your technique may not be on point.
  • Your facial hair is too long.
  • You may be using the wrong shaver for your type of beard.
  • Mishandling
  • Inadequate lubrication
My electric razor is not working: how to fix this 1

My electric Razor is not Working

Electric razors are very different from the regular manual razors because they are designed to have many parts, most of which are quite complex. So it may not be very easy to identify the problem associated with this device.

Perhaps your device has completely died, or has stopped responding, or the blades are not trimming close enough, or it does not shave with ease as it normally would. What do you do? In this case, it is important that you carefully examine the whole electric shaver, taking out each of the blades so as to inspect them for traces of a build-up or damage of any kind.

Another thing to do in this situation is to check if your shaver is well charged or not as this may be a reason why it won’t power on. You can also check to see if water has gotten into the electrical unit of your shaver.

But remember, it is impossible to fix a problem unless you know where to find it, what caused it and what parts are affected. So if you find out that your electric shaver does not shave properly or is not working at all, there might be a few factors at play. Here are some reasons why it won’t work; let us examine them and find possible ways to solve them.

Reasons why your electric shaver doesn’t shave

1. Your shaver is outright bad.

Okay, this may sound somewhat blunt and quite radical, but one of the main reasons why your electric razor won’t shave may be because it is bad.

There are several varieties of electric shavers out there on the market which come in different types, made by different manufacturers and fall in different price categories. And to be quite honest, some of them simply perform poorly.

For instance, in a couple of review platforms online, most people have had bad experiences with Remington shavers, however in a recent review we came across, the worst-performing Panasonic ever used was mentioned. Normally, Panasonic is probably many people’s favorite manufacturer, but this only shows that we should always evaluate the specific models or at least a series rather than the manufacturer as a whole.

My electric razor is not working: how to fix this 2
I, Cyberuly / CC BY-SA

Here, the Panasonic ES-SL41-S gets two thumbs down because there are simply better shavers available on the market for the same price as this. In this case, I would advise that you return the shaver (if it is still within the time frame) and purchase a better one that will best suit your needs in terms of your beard or skin type as well as your shaving habits. You may also want to check out our reviews section in order to get you started on this.

2. Your technique may not be on point.

If you are new to electric shaving or you’re just starting with this particular method, then you shouldn’t be so quick in judging the performance of your electric razor. This is because electric shaving is entirely different from the regular traditional shaving that you had been used to, be it with the cartridge, the safety of this method or even straight razor. Also, your skin may need some time to get used to this new shaving method.

Now, assuming your shaver is working properly and is suitable for the job, you may still need some prep work and a couple of technique adjustments which can really go a long way in transforming your shaving experience. So now you just need to ask yourself the kind of technique you’re using and whether or not it is efficient.

3. Your facial hair is too long.

It is important for you to know that all electric shavers, even the high-end ones, perform excellently well when your facial hair is at a reasonable and manageable length. Also, the entry-level electric shavers are usually best suited for daily shaving and when the stubble is short while the more advanced ones can handle longer hairs conveniently.

However, when the hair is too long, the shaver might end up pulling and yanking the hairs and may eventually miss some of them, especially the ones that lie flat on the skin.

Now, trying to go over those areas several times while applying even more pressure will most likely result in discomfort, irritation, and more frustration. But a solution to this problem would be to shave your hair more often (if not daily) or to use a manual trimmer before you use your shaver so as to reduce the length of your beard and to make shaving a lot easier. Also, some electric shavers function better than others when it comes to shaving longer, flat-lying hairs. There are even some razors that come with trimmers as one of their unique features. You can check out our article on “what is the best electric razor for me?”

4. You may be using the wrong shaver for your type of beard.

Another thing to know is that, even if your electric shaver is of high quality, from the best manufacturer, and you bought it based on other people’s reviews on that particular type, it may still not be the right one for you and your skin (mind you, I’m not strictly referring to the foil vs rotary decision.) The exact model of shaver that works perfectly well for your friend or neighbor might not work in the same way for you.

For instance, there are some foil shavers that are well suited for thick and coarse beards than others. While some work better for those with sensitive skin and short hairs, others can handle longer and wiry hairs better. There’s no special formula or special model that works for everyone. You just need to know your skin and hair type and find out which works better for you. A good place to start in this is by picking the right shaver and you can get that in our ultimate buying guide for electric razors and our recommended shavers list.

5. Mishandling

This factor may be another reason why your shaver will refuse to work. If you are someone that likes tossing around your shaver, not carefully storing it, or banging it against the sink often so as to get the hair out, just know that all these can cause it to either stop working or prevent it from performing well. Now mishandling your shaver is something you would definitely want to avoid. Of course, you need to get the hair out of the blade, but when shaking the hair out, do it gently and not against any hard object. When it comes to storing, you can store the electric shaver in a safe area, away from water, sharp objects, or even heat.

6. Inadequate lubrication

If you have followed diligently the checklist until this point and your shaver doesn’t fall into this category or still fails to perform as it’s supposed to, then it’s time to show it some extra care. There are certain particles like hair clippings, dirt, dead skin or lather buildups that can seriously impair the performance of an electric shaver. Now, depending on the method of shaving that you use (wet or dry), you may have to thoroughly clean your shaver more often than before. And of course, this doesn’t include the kind of cleaning that your automatic cleaning station provides- and that’s if you’re even using it regularly.

Most of the modern electric shavers that are being made can actually be safely cleaned with just liquid soap and warm running water. But be sure to always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations or guidelines for cleaning. After cleaning, you will also need to lubricate your shaver from time to time. For lubrication, you can either use light oil (like engine oil or sewing machine oil) or a spray cleaner & lubricant just as discussed in our blog on “how to lubricate my electric razor.”

Finally, depending on some factors like, your shaving frequency (how often you shave), the coarseness of the beard and the quality of your shaver, it may be required of you to replace them more often. So if you notice a sudden drop in the performance of your shaver or if it has a tendency to pull on the hairs, then you should totally buy a new one.

What Do I Need for Electric Shaver Repair?

There are different replacement parts for electric shavers that are available on retail stores or online stores, directly from the manufacturers or from other aftermarket suppliers. However, the basic repair tools to get your job done includes:

  • Shaver lubricant
  • A small brush
  • Screwdrivers

What Are the Steps in Fixing my Electric Shaver?

1. Check batteries or electrical outlet

Dead batteries are common with shavers that operate with batteries. But an excellent tip to help you extend the life of the batteries is to remove them from the shaver and store away carefully after each use. If you’re using a corded shaver, once you plug in the shaver to recharge it, be sure to check the plug-in and outlet to make sure they are in good condition. Also, avoid placing the cords and the shaver close to water because it can damage it.

When charging your shavers, be sure not to overcharge it because it can lead to overheating of the battery, hence causing it to die.

2. Stop Alternating Between Razors and Electric Shavers

Okay, we know that sometimes you don’t have enough time in the morning to actually use a shaver, so you just grab a manual razor and quickly run it over your face or neck. But if you are cautious of your electric shaving, then you would want to avoid doing this as much as possible.

We agree that shaving with a razor can offer you a close shave, but if not careful, it can also remove a layer of the skin. And due to this, the electric shaver will not be able to perform at its best. So it is advisable to avoid alternating between different shavers and stick to one so as to get that close and perfect shave that you want.

3. Service a foil-head electric shaver:

To service the foil-head electric shaver,

  • Unplug the appliance. Start by removing the head assembly which is held on by screws, clips, or a pressure button.
  • Next, remove the screen from the head and carefully wipe it clean. But if you notice that the screen is damaged or corroded, replace it.
  • Finally, remove the blade assembly from the oscillator assembly, and carefully inspect and clean the blade assembly with a spray cleaner. Also, if you think your foil-head electric shaver requires lubrication, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to do it properly.

If your electric shaver is one that you can use in the shower (waterproof), then the inner workings of the unit will be well protected from moisture by the O-ring seals. However, this is not something you can do by yourself as it requires professional service. Asides the foil-head shaver, rotary-head shavers are also simple to maintain as long as you clean and lubricate them  from time to time.

4. Servicing a rotary-head electric shaver

To do this, you need to:

  • Unplug the appliance. As mentioned above, remove the head assembly from the housing case, then remove the shaver head from the blade assembly and carefully place the assembly on a flat or work surface. 
  • Next, remove the screen and the blade unit, clean the screens with am the small brush and carefully inspect the blades. If you notice that the screen is damaged or corroded, replace it.
  • If you think your rotary-head shaver requires lubrication, follow the manufacturer’s instructions in order to get this done.

Safety

As always, we believe that your safety comes first before anything. So be careful while handling your electric shaver. One important point to note is that water and electricity don’t make the best of friends. So be extra careful when using a plugged-in shaver around the sink area. Although most shavers are waterproof, you need to be careful to only use them when they’re not plugged in. Also, never use a corded shaver in the shower or tub to avoid hazards.

The reasons why most electric shavers don’t work are listed above. So if you find that your shaver is not working, then you can identify what is wrong from the points above and easily fix it.

It is also important that you know the exact reasons why your electric shaver is malfunctioning so that you can fix the problem right away. Just note that electric shavers are essential grooming devices required by people, and they can get overused, mishandled, and broken if not operated with maximum care.

So to avoid rushing into the bathroom for a quick shave only to find a lifeless shaver and to ask yourself why your electric shaver doesn’t shave and how you can fix it, try to handle it with proper care. Since you have a better idea of what to look out for, how to troubleshoot, and how to make sure you are caring for your shaver before and after each use, shaving should be a lot easier.

Conclusion

All shaving methods have their pros and cons and at some point, you’ll have to choose what works best for you while making some compromises. And in the case of electric shaving, it is usually just a matter of choosing the electric shaver that suits you and adjusting your technique a little bit.

We hope that this post has enlightened you and will help you improve your electric shaving experience. Good luck!