How Does a Foil Shaver Work? (Unveiling the Mechanism)

So how does a foil shaver work?

It’s a simple question with a deep answer. 

Well, today in this article we’ll go through just that! 

I’ll explain the mechanism, the benefits, and the tips for using a foil shaver. 

So with that said, let’s get started!

How Does a Foil Shaver Work?

Let’s start with the obvious question…what exactly is a foil shaver?

A foil shaver is an electric razor that has one or more thin metal foils covering a set of oscillating blades. 

The foils have tiny holes that capture the hairs and guide them to the blades, which cut them close to the skin. 

The foils also protect the skin from direct contact with the blades, reducing irritation and nicks.

The term foil comes from the thin sheets of metal that make up the foils

Best foil shavers for barbers

There are three main parts in a foil shaver:

  • The shaving head, which contains the foils and the blades. The shaving head can be fixed or pivoting, depending on the model. A pivoting head can adjust to the contours of your face, giving you a smoother and more comfortable shave.
  • The motor, which powers the blades and makes them move back and forth at high speed. The motor can be corded or cordless, depending on the model. A cordless shaver runs on batteries that need to be recharged periodically. A corded shaver plugs into an outlet and provides constant power.
  • The handle, which holds the motor and the shaving head. The handle can have different shapes and sizes, depending on the model. Some handles have ergonomic designs that fit your hand better and provide more grip and control.

What are the benefits of using a foil shaver?

There are many reasons why you might want to use a foil shaver instead of a rotary shaver or a manual razor. 

Here are some of the main benefits:

A foil shaver can give you a closer shave than a rotary shaver because it can cut the hairs closer to the skin without pulling or tugging them. 

A foil shaver can also give you a more precise shave than a manual razor because it can follow the edges and angles of your face better and avoid cutting too much or too little.

A foil shaver can be gentler on your skin than a rotary shaver or a manual razor because it has less contact with your skin and causes less friction and heat. A foil shaver can also reduce ingrown hairs and razor bumps because it cuts the hairs straight across instead of at an angle.

A foil shaver can be faster and easier to use than a rotary shaver or a manual razor because it requires fewer passes and less pressure to achieve a smooth shave. A foil shaver can also be more convenient to use than a manual razor because it does not need shaving cream, water, or rinsing.

How to use a foil shaver properly?

Now that you know what a foil shaver is and what it can do for you, let’s see how to use it properly to get the best results. Here are some tips to follow:

This video goes through how you can use a foil shaver:

And if you want the best type of shave, you want the best personal foil shaver in the market such as the Braun 9 series:

You can read more about this shaver in our article on the Best Professional shavers

And you can pick them up below:#

But in general, you want to:

Prepare your skin

Before shaving. Wash your face with warm water and soap to remove dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. This will soften your beard and make it easier to cut. You can also exfoliate your skin with a scrub or a brush to prevent ingrown hairs and razor bumps.

Dry your skin 

Before shaving. Pat your face dry with a towel or a tissue

Do not rub your skin too hard, as this can cause irritation and redness. 

Make sure your skin is completely dry before using a foil shaver, as moisture can interfere with its performance and damage its components.

Shave against the grain 

for a closer shave. Hold the shaver at a right angle to your skin and move it in the opposite direction of your hair growth. 

This will lift the hairs up and cut them closer to the skin. Do not press too hard or go over the same area too many times, as this can cause irritation and nicks.

Shave with the grain 

For a gentler shave. If you have sensitive skin or are prone to ingrown hairs and razor bumps, you may want to shave in the same direction as your hair growth. 

This will reduce the risk of cutting too close or causing inflammation. However, this may result in a less close shave and more passes.

Stretch your skin 

For a smoother shave. Use your free hand to pull your skin taut and expose more hairs to the shaver. 

This will also prevent the shaver from catching or pinching your skin. Be careful not to stretch your skin too much, as this can cause wrinkles and sagging over time.

Clean your shaver 

After every use. Remove the shaving head and tap it gently to get rid of the hair clippings. You can also use a brush or a cloth to wipe off any residue. 

Some shavers are washable and can be rinsed under running water. Check the manufacturer’s instructions before doing so. 

Dry the shaver thoroughly before storing it or using it again.

In doing all of this, you’ll have a cleaner shave AND keep your shaver for longer! 


A foil shaver is great for men who want a close, precise, and comfortable cut. It works by having thin metal foils covering oscillating blades that cut the hairs close to the skin.

Use it well and you’ll have a smooth shave for years on. 

If you’ve found this article helpful, check out the other articles on this topic below. 

Patrick Boulang

Patrick Boulang

Patrick is the Primary editor for Clipphub. He has sales background however has always had a passion in barbering and personal self grooming. He now he spends most of his time giving information to hair clipper users to get them comfortable with personal grooming and improve their work on clients as he believes anyone can become skills with their blades.