If you follow the Jewish Written Law, you may have asked yourself or debated with others if electric shavers are kosher. As a man with a beard, who follows The Torah, you undoubtedly want to follow and respect your religion, but you might also want to keep your beard looking nice and easy to manage.
We take a closer look at whether or not electric shavers are kosher. We also review some shavers that are acceptable to use if you are a devout follower of The Torah.
What Does Kosher Mean?
If you aren’t familiar with The Torah but are intrigued by the topic of this article, here’s a quick explanation of what kosher means. To truly understand kosher, you need to follow and be familiar with Jewish Written Law. When we hear of things that are kosher, many of us may automatically think food products but kosher extends beyond food and drink.
In short, kosher means “fit” or “appropriate” for people of the Jewish faith. There are specific rules for different types of foods and products, so we won’t get too in-depth.
Are Electric Shavers Kosher?
If you are asking if your shaver is kosher, you probably already know that electric shavers are controversial if you follow The Torah. If you’re well-versed, you may already know that the Talmud states that shaving fully destroys the beard, which is not acceptable.
As a Jewish man with a beard, you may use scissors to trim and manage your bed because it doesn’t destroy the beard and it leaves some stubble behind (which can continue to grow). The Talmud also states that if you use a shaver, it’s only kosher if it leaves stubble behind rather than clean-shaven.
If you can find a shaver that cuts the hairs like scissors, it’s permissible. So, what about electric shavers? Are all types considered kosher? Keep in mind that while many electric shavers have a similar design, they might not all be kosher.
Shavers with oscillating, or rotating, blades cut hair and have attachments or a screen, so the blade never comes in contact with the skin. Oscillating blades cut hair similar to scissors, which makes it a kosher type of shaver.
While there is still controversy behind shaving and you are likely to meet some naysayers, here are some electric shavers that are kosher based on their design and how they operate.
Even if you don’t use clipping combs on the Philips Norelco Beard Trimmer, the blades never touch your skin. The stainless-steel blades are self-sharpening to ensure an even and fast trim every time. The Philips shaver has a rounded contour comb that helps to lift and trim the hair and keep the blade from the skin.
The rotating blades have scissor-like action, so you don’t have to worry about a shave that’s too close to your face or destroys your beard. The trimmer comes with 17 length settings from 0.5mm to 10mm. You can choose to keep your beard trimmed at any length without worrying about violating any kosher rules.
Shavers should be easy to care for, and you shouldn’t have to spend too much time keeping it clean or sharpening blades. Since the Philips trimmer has self-sharpening blades and doesn’t require oil, you virtually need to do nothing to care for the trimmer. The trimmer is waterproof, so all you need to do to clean it is run it under water.
The battery takes a full hour to charge and will run for 70 hours before it needs another charge.
Philips Norelco Beard Trimmer Series 5100
- Comfortable and skin-friendly
- Lightweight and ergonomic
- Easy maintenace
- Holds a charge for a long time
- Scissor-like cutting action
- May require some cleaning
- More settings than you need or want
If you’re looking for an all-in-one trimmer that uses scissor-like action to cut hair, the Philips Norelco Multi Groomer is made for you. Like the Norelco Beard Trimmer, the Multi Groomer is easy to clean, is battery-powered, and keeps the blades away from your skin.
The 29-piece grooming set comes with a variety of trimming attachments as well as attachments that are suitable for body hair or the hair on your head.
A faux leather grooming bag is included, and if you prefer to use grooming scissors on some areas of your face, the multi groomer kit comes with a pair of high-quality scissors. The lithium-ion battery is rechargeable with a charge of about six hours when fully charged but can work in as little as five minutes of charging.
Philips Norelco Multi Groomer
- Variety of attachments
- Uses the same lift and cut technique as the Norelco beard trimmer
- No need for oiling, just rinse blades with water
- Quick charge
- The kit comes with grooming scissors
- May have more pieces than you need or will use
- Blades are not self-sharpening
- Does not hold a charge as long as some shavers
The oscillating blades on the Panasonic Body and Beard Trimmer move back and forth, acting like tiny scissors, so you’re not destroying the hair. If you use one of the attachments, you aren’t touching the skin at all.
The electric shaver uses 45-degree angle stainless steel blades that are super sharp and hypoallergenic. Like other electric shavers on the market, it comes with comb attachments and a variety of settings. The Panasonic trimmer has 39 precision settings, which is more than other trimmers, but helps you achieve the perfect length every time.
The trimmer has an ergonomic design, which makes it comfortable to hold, and you have the option to use it as a corded or cordless device. Like other trimmers the Panasonic is easy to clean by running it under water. For a full 50-minute charge, you need to charge the shaver for one hour.
Panasonic Body and Beard Trimmer
- Variety of trimming options
- Plastic guards keep the blades away from your skin
- Scissor-like action cuts hair rather than a close shave
- Easy to clean
- Keeps a relatively long charge
- Requires oil before and after use
- May be more settings than you need
- Plastic guards may break after several uses
The Manscaped Lawnmower 2.0 trimmer is specifically designed for trimmer hair in “hard to reach” and private areas. The nice thing about this design, even if you don’t plan on trimming hair on any parts of your body, is that there’s no way that you can nick your skin while trimming your beard.
The Lawnmower 2.0 is 100% waterproof, has two guide combs, and ceramic, rust-resistant snap-in blades. You never need to worry about blades that rust or get too hot. Perhaps the best part of the shaver is the Anti-nick feature, which means you can’t cut your skin. The blades cut like scissors and trims quickly, carefully, and evenly.
Manscaped Lawnmower 2.0 Hair Trimmer
- A wet/dry shaver
- Ergonomic design for comfort and control
- The guards prevent pulling or snagging beard hair
- Compact size
- You can sign up for subscription blades
- Requires maintenance
- Not as powerful as some trimmers
- Needs to be charged for 5 hours before initial use
Our Top Choice
With so many electric shavers on the market, it can be challenging looking for one that’s kosher. All of our top picks are kosher because they have oscillating blades that act like scissors. Our top choice of all the electric shavers in the review is the Philips Norelco Beard Trimmer.
The trimmer doesn’t have as many “extras” as some of the other shavers, but we like that it’s easy to clean, holds a long charge, and uses a gentle lift and cut technique. You can confidently trim your beard without worrying about destroying the hair.
Last update on 2019-12-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon
How does shaving or not shaving affect long term facial hair growth?
The short answer is that shaving has no significant effect on long term hair growth. For example, there is a study that describes a a group of men where asked to shave one leg per week for several months and leave the other as a control. When the total amount of hair was measured at the end of the study, there was no measurable difference in the total mass of hair on the shaved vs. the unshaved leg.
The idea that shaving somehow speeds up the rate of hair growth is simply a myth. Part of why the myth seems to be so common is that freshly shaven hair really is a bit different. The reason is that shaving creates an illusion that it appear coarser until the ends become tapered over time. In addition, the hair may look a bit darker since soaps and pollutants tend to gradually bleach hair a bit, making older hair more faded in appearance.
Most prized piece shaving gear?
This sounds like fun. I'm excited to see everyone's response.
I own lots of really expensive razors and software, but I guess my prized piece would be my Philips Norelco Beard Trimmer Series 5100. Mainly due to its efficiency, and how difficult it was for me to find one. I actually don't really use the razor much, I tend to only shave a few times a month.