The Best Electric Razor For Men 2020: Foil/Rotary Wet/Dry Shaver

Some reviews suggest that rotary shavers work better for men with dense hair and round faces, while foil shavers are better suited for men with light hair and thin faces. However, your personal preferences will always trump these broad generalities. It's also important to realize that it can take a few weeks for your face to adjust to any new shaver, so if you're not happy with a new razor right away, don't be too quick to give up on it - you may see a major difference in results as your skin and beard adapt.

If you're still unhappy after that time frame, the good news is that most of the best electric razors come with a 30-day (or better) money-back guarantee. Be sure to be aware of what kind of guarantee your new shaver includes, so you can return it within that time frame.

Although name-brand shavers from Braun, Panasonic and Philips Norelco - all of which dominate at least one category in this report - cost more than other models, experts say the quality of their shave and construction justifies their higher price tag. These brands consistently outrank budget brands in comfort, ease of use, performance and durability, making them better values in the long run.

The popular brand shavers in this report are all backed by a two-year warranty - a good thing, because every single shaver has its share of durability concerns, usually related to battery life in one way or another. Shaver companies aren't known for their great customer service, although the rate of complaints seems to have eased off significantly over the last few years.

Overall, we found that the best electric shavers - the ones that will give you a close, clean shave without ruining your hearing or yanking your beard out one hair at a time - cost anywhere from $45 to $250 or more, with yearly maintenance costs that range from $20 to $230 depending on the shaver and what sort of cleaning stand it has (if any).

Of course, neither foil nor rotary shavers can shave quite as close as manual razors - but the best models get pretty close. See our report on razors for reviews of the best manual models.

The Best Electric Razor

Best for Daily Shaving

Braun Series 9 9390cc shaver

Braun Series 9 9390cc

The Braun 9390cc is designed to tackle the low stubble of frequent shaves. It offers a close trim, thanks to an adjustable pivoting head that can be locked at multiple angles. It's easy to clean and maintain.

Best for Weekly Shaving

Andis 17150 Pro Foil Shaver

Andis 17150 Pro

If you regularly tackle thick stubble, the Andis avoids tugging. It won't shave as closely as the Braun, but it's easier to achieve an even trim.

Best Budget Shave

Remington F5-5800 Foil Shaver

Remington F5 5800

This razor isn't as easy to clean and offers fewer customization options, but it's under hundred bucks, and testers reported a shave comparable to the Braun.

How We Found the Best Electric Razor

Finding the best electric shavers for this report is a little bit of a challenge as the nature of your face and facial hair can play a large role in influencing which type and model of electric shaver will leave you most satisfied. Still, we found good hands-on testing - often over long periods of time - at several sites, including ConsumerReports, Wirecutter, TopTenReviews.com and elsewhere.

In addition, we turned to retail sites that allow users to post reviews of products they own, including Amazon, Walmart, and BestBuy.com. While some electric razors get only minimal feedback, others draw hundreds - and in some cases thousands - of user reviews, and that helps fill in the gaps regarding shaver reliability and the long term satisfaction of users. We consider both user feedback and expert testing in our analysis, and the result is the best reviewed electric shavers for any face and any budget.

Related: Electric Foil Shaver vs Rotary Shaver: Which is Better?

First, we learned all we could about both types of electric razors.

Unlike manual razors, all electric razors have some type of covering over their blades, protecting skin from unwanted nicks. Dr. Jennifer Krejci, a certified dermatologist and hair restoration expert in Texas, explains, "An electric razor tends to cause less trauma to the skin because there's no sharp blade skimming directly over your hair follicles (which can cause microscopic abrasions or cuts on the skin)."

Foil razors have straight heads with thin, perforated metal foils that cover their blades. The holes in the foils catch hair and guide it up to the blades, which work like tiny pairs of scissors.
Rotary razors have three spinning blades covered by perforated metal discs. These blades work like little weed eaters, rotating in a circular pattern to chop hair.
foil vs rotary razor

Testing the comfort and performance of our selected products.

Electric razors of both kinds require an adjustment period. It can take up to two or three weeks for your face to adapt to the new stimulus. During this time, you're likely to experience more tugging and pulling when you shave.

However, we don't ask you to wait out the full three weeks — instead, we ask to identify which razors you'd be willing to keep using that long.

And, we want to ask you to shave and evaluate the following factors:

A popular brand name: Experts say that when it comes to men's shavers, you really do get what you pay for - products from Braun, Philips Norelco and Panasonic tend to provide a closer, more comfortable shave; they also last longer. However, if your budget is very tight, Remington makes a foil shaver that's worth considering.

A trimmer: Most electric shavers come with a trimmer for dealing with longer hairs or shaping sideburns. The majority use pop-out trimmers, but in some models, the trimmer is an attachment instead.

A money-back guarantee of at least 30 days: It takes about that long for your skin and hair to adjust to the new shaver, so you'll want to be able to try it out for nearly the full trial period. Some makers offer longer, 45 or even 60-day trial periods.

A two-year warranty: Two years is the industry standard for shaver warranties. Also, check to see whether the foil and blades, or shaving head and cutters, are excluded from the warranty. This isn't uncommon, but it's a good thing to know about up front.

A quick-charge feature: There's nothing worse than being stuck with only half your face (or head) shaved. The best shavers can recover enough charge to complete your shave after just three to five minutes of charging. Some will also let you continue shaving while they are charging.

Enough shaving time: A shaver should offer at least 45 minutes of shaving time from a full battery charge.

Overall, Braun lived up to its reputation, receiving more favorable feedback than foil models from Panasonic and Wahl. Philips Norelco's rotary razors beat out Remington's by a mile, but you may generally found rotary razors less comfortable and intuitive than foil razor designs.

Our Picks for the Best Electric Razor

Best for Daily Shaving - Braun Series 9 9390cc

Braun Series 9 9390cc shaver

If you shave every day (or every other day), the Braun Series 9 9390cc foil razor is our favorite. Its stand-out feature is its flexible head, which can pivot or lock into five different angles for a smooth, comfortable shave.

Head size and flexibility were deal-breakers for many of our finalists: Take both of the Panasonic Arc5 models we tested. They can technically pivot further than the Braun, but their heads were so large that testers had trouble seeing what they were doing. "I felt like I couldn't tell where I was shaving — and I was just trying to clean up my neck," one noted about the Arc5 ES-LV95-S. "It was hard to maneuver around my Adam's apple and my skin still feels red," another complained about the Arc5 ES-LV9N-S. The Braun, by contrast, was "overall smooth sailing."

braun vs panasonic razor

Foil razors are fragile compared to their rotary counterparts, so we were also impressed with how sturdy the foils were on the Braun Series 9 razor. Our tester almost broke the Wahl's foils, and Panasonic's started to bend with a small amount of pressure.

Braun's digital display takes a no-nonsense approach: A water droplet lights up when the razor needs to be cleaned, a 5-bar battery meter is always visible, and a low-charge light flashes red when the razor needs charging. (By contrast, the Panasonic Arc5 series includes extraneous info like "time spent shaving.")

If you want to touch up your beard, the Braun's trimmer slides up from the back and can be used without the shaving head blocking your view in the mirror — a design flaw we ran into on several other models.

braun series 7 vs 9

Unlike the Panasonic Arc 5 and Remington F5-5800, which require you to replace the head and the blades as separate items, the Braun Series 9 combines both into a single part. Even better, removing and attaching that part took us less than 5 seconds.

Braun Replacement head

Cleaning the razor is similarly a breeze: Because the razor is wet/dry, you can run it under the faucet or shower head for a fast rinse, and if a deeper clean is needed, you can either dock it in its cleaning station or pop off the entire head and soak it in a cleaning solution. We didn't find the cleaning station a must-have, but it's a convenient add-on. If you want only the razor, you can pick up the Braun Series 9 9293s, which is its solo sister model.

Braun Series 9 Charger

That being said, the Braun is still not for everyone. Our tester reported that the razor would pull and tug if you're trimming down a full-length beard, noting the Braun "might be better for those who want to shave every day." If you regularly tackle thick, coarse stubble, we'd suggest our rotary pick, below. But overall, the Braun 9390cc gives an excellent, no-frills shaving experience that is comfortable, convenient, and avoids extraneous gimmicks. We'd be happy owning it.

Worried about finding Braun replacement heads?

Fear not. There was a supply issue for these parts not too long ago while Braun was finding a new manufacturer. But the problem has since been resolved, and we had no trouble finding replacement parts for this model online.

Best for Weekly Shaving - Andis 17150 Pro Foil Shaver

Andis 17150 Pro Foil Shaver

You may or may not have heard of the Andes Company and its great razors. But just keep in mind that they have been around for a long, long time (since 1922) and have sold their products world-wide. But not only does a company’s rich history force its products to be included in our reviews, but the Andes 17150 Foil Shaver is only on the list for its features & performance.

We like the Andes 17150 for its light weight. It is lighter than other electric razors and has a compact design that fits easily in the hand. It is also easy to handle due to its lightweight nature.

But don’t think the Andes 17150 doesn't have the power. Its powerful rotary motor can handle thick hair, as well as curly facial hair. It also gives you all the energy you need for the long haul.

The 17150 has a lithium-ion battery that gives 80 minutes non-stop cordless use, that is more than many other razors. It doesn’t take too long to fully charge of getting it back to cordless.

The Andes 17150 is capable of using both cord and cordless and has a battery indicator light that lets users know when it is fully charged or needs to be charged.

This razor comes with a 1-year warranty which is against defective materials or craftsmanship. Andis will replace or repair the free shaver.

What Andes 17150 can't do is wet shave. However, it is great for dry shaving and its overall performance is top-notch.

Best Budget Razor - Remington F5 5800

Remington F5-5800 Foil Shaver

For those trying to stay under hundred bucks, we recommend the Remington F5 Power Series with Intercept Shaving Technology F5-5800. It's a mouthful, we know. We'll keep our explanation short: It gives a great shave.

This foil razor doesn't have the bells and whistles of most of the razors we tested — no docking station, no pivot lock — but it performed well at a fraction of the cost. "The Remington was more comfortable than I expected. With my normal razor, there are almost always hairs that snag and get pulled out rather than shaved down. That didn't happen once with the Remington, which was a huge relief," our tester reported.

remington popup trimmer

That said, there are a couple of design flaws you should be aware of: First, there's no way to use the pop-out precision trimmer without having your view in the mirror blocked by the razor's head. Second, removing the head itself isn't easy. It requires quite a bit of pressure, and sometimes the blades come off along with the foil, which gets annoying when you're trying to deep clean the razor or replace parts. But since the razor has wet and dry capabilities, rinsing it is easy, and any annoyance is a small price to pay for such a solid budget option.

Remington Replacement Head

The Panasonic ES8103S was the only other serious contender in the under-100 categories. It has more features than the Remington — like a pivot lock plus automatic voltage conversion for travelers — but we found Remington's performance and comfort superior. Our Panasonic tester told us the razor left him with "raw skin" and that he ended up reshaving with his manual razor. The Panasonic was also unusually noisy, producing a loud, high-pitched buzz that was tough to handle early in the morning.

Others to Consider - Braun Series 7 790cc

braun 7 790cc

If you have your heart set on a Braun, but don't want to pay the full three hundred bucks for the Series 9, the Braun Series 7 790cc is also worth a look. Its quality and comfort are comparable to our Series 9 top pick, but it's cheaper.

The reason it didn't take top spot can be found in its general design: It doesn't feel as good to use. The razor itself offers a smooth shave, but we missed the ergonomic handle and upgrades found in the Series 9. The display for the Series 7, for instance, is inconveniently located on the bottom of the handle, and it shows three separate indicator bars that we couldn't interpret without turning to the user manual. (Turns out, they indicate battery status, cleanliness, and foil status.)

It's extreme closeness comes compliments of the shaver's unique foil pattern, which can catch hairs that lay flat or grow at odd angles and adjust to unique facial contours. And although the three-headed shaver has a relatively small surface area, the oscillating middle head delivers up to 10,000 vibrations per minute that varies its speed according to density of your beard, notes Wired magazine's Steven Leckart.

Consumer Reports gave the 790cc the highest score–along with all of its peers–of any electric razor (80), citing its excellent battery life, superior cleaning system, and smooth, consistent shave. That high score also probably has a lot to do with the fact that Braun seems to regularly under promise and over deliver in the feature and spec department. While the company advertises up to 50 minutes per charge, users regularly get much more–usually somewhere between 60 and 75 minutes, according to many reviews. It also has sensitive and intensive modes different facial zones and skin types.

Braun 790cc box

They're also smartly designed for travel–the cleaning system can be left behind on carry-on only trips and the power cable can be used directly with the razor to recharge or power the Braun while you use it plugged in.

Braun's shavers are also designed to last about 6 years before needing to be replaced, and with that in mind, the price really isn't not that much. I have friends who switch the HDTV more often. (Although if you have less facial hair we do have a budget recommendation above.)

Braun Series 7 charge & clean station

The pivot lock is also limited to one angle, giving you less flexibility, and we found the precision trimmer difficult to use: Like the Remington, it sticks out from the front of the razor, which means it's blocked from view by the shaving head. Our testers could only see it when they used it on the sides of their faces. If that's not enough, the razor rests at an odd, lopsided angle when docked — we kept thinking we'd seated it incorrectly, but turns out it's just designed that way.

We recognize some of these differences sound like nitpicking, but when we asked ourselves which razor we'd want to own for the next ten years, our honest answer was the Series 9. It's not that the Braun 790cc won't give a comfortable and convenient shave. We can't imagine choosing it over the 9390cc.

Others to Consider - Philips Norelco Shaver 9300

Philips-Norelco-9300

If you shave once every five or six days and need something to cut through the thicker stubble, the Philips Norelco 9300 is our choice. Philips has held the throne for the best rotary razor since the company invented the design, and if the Philips 9300 is any indication, it won't lose that seat anytime soon.

In terms of comfort and shave time, the 9300 earned high marks. The razor has a floating head that pivots, with three discs on the head that can flex in multiple directions. Most rotary razor discs only flex inward, which means that, in theory, the Philips 9300 should better follow the contours of your face. And it succeeds: Compared to our other rotary razors, the Philips 9300 was best at tackling difficult areas like the chin and neck. Even on the first day of its break-in period, our tester reported that he would happily keep using it. Color us impressed.

But to be fair, there isn't much competition. While Remington has improved its rotary line, our Remington XR1470 tester reported that the razor's dry shave was harsh and left behind reddened skin. We also tested a slightly cheaper version of the Philips, the 7500, and while it performed decently, its head flexed in fewer directions, and it lacks the 9300's helpful display screen.

philips vs remington verso

It's clear that Philips has spent time ironing out the 9300's design. Like the Braun, additional features like the power lock are easily controlled via the power button, and our thumbs barely had to move in order to access both power and shaving speed. It also comes with a hard case for easy traveling.

The razor isn't free of shortcomings. The attachment point for the shaving head and beard trimmer doesn't always work seamlessly. And given the fact you have to remove the head every time you want to attach the trimmer, this process has the potential to get annoying — especially when we compared it with the ease of replacing the Braun 9390cc's head.

But the rest of the razor's features are excellent. The display includes a 5-bar battery meter, cleaning indicator, a replacement head notification, and — our favorite — a blocked shaving indicator that notifies users when shave quality has dropped due to caught hair. Like most premium razors, the Philips 9300 can also be used in the shower. When you want to clean it, you can stick it in its cleaning station or just rinse with water. And if you want this model sans cleaning station, opt for the Philips Norelco Shaver 9800, which has a slightly different display, but otherwise offers the same performance.

Best Wet & Dry Electric Shaver

Some of the earliest shaving tools for man will make you cringe. They used flint knives and shark teeth, but with many years of technological advancement, now we have the best wet & dry electric shaver.

On the other hand electric shaver was born out of a desire for convenience. Specifically, Jacob Schick wanted to make shaving easier in chilly locals where water would often freeze. Seventy years later, electric shavers have evolved to do much more than eliminate water from the shaving equation.

Choosing the right one for you is not always the easiest task because there are so many brands to choose from, so you might be spoilt for choice or even, downright confused. However, never fear. With this smart guide, choosing the best wet dry electric shaver for you and your needs will never be a gamble anymore.

Below I have listed some of the best in the market, and the features that make them stand out among others along with their pros and cons. I also have a brief guide for choosing the best one for you so read on!

SweetLF IPX7 Rotary Shaver

SweetLF IPX7 Rotary Shaver

The SweetLF IPX7 Rotary Shaver is one of the best wet/dry electric shaver, loved for it's versatility. It is a 3D multi-functional shaver for shaving the beard, sideburns and beard shapes, to show your facial hairstyle.

It is for both wet and dry shaving so better effect could be achieved if assisted by foam or gel.

It features an upgraded double blade technique with very sharp razors. They ensure a fast, close and comfortable shave, so it will not pull and tug at your hairs to cause irritation. Since it is waterproof, it is 100% washable, making cleaning and maintenance a ease. This 3D rotary shaver conforms perfectly to the contours of your face and neck, minimizing pressure and ensuring comfort as you shave.

It has a rechargeable lithium battery with a 5 level battery remaining LED indicator guage on the razor so you can quickly see exactly how much power you have left before needing to charge. The shaver only requires 1 hour to charge and is very convenient for your daily and for travel.

Panasonic ES8103S Arc3 Men's Shaver

Panasonic ES8103S Arc3 Men's Shaver

The Panasonic ES8103S Arc3 Men's Electric Shaver is a wet dry electric shaver, meaning it can be used either to wet shave in the shower or to dry shave anywhere, anytime.

It features a linear motor drive that has 13000 cycles per minute power to provide an even, clean and consistently quick shave, regardless of your beard type or size.

It has Nanotech Blades that deliver close precision shaves with 3 ultra-sharp stainless steel blades. Each one of them is honed to a 30-degree edge with an ultra-thin arc to conform to the contours of your neck, chin and face for unrivaled comfort.

This Panasonic shaver has a 10 stage LCD on the handle that shows charge indicator, battery status and replacement reminders for that foil and blades. It has a flexible pivoting head that glides along the skin effortlessly to give even and consistent results.

It also features a pop-up trimmer for precision to add perfect detail to your mustache, beard, and sideburns. Cleaning is quick and simple as this shaver is 100% washable.

Philips Norelco S8950/91 Shaver 8900

Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 8900

This is one of the most technologically advanced shavers in the market. Each shaving head moves in 8 directions, cutting up to 20% more hair hence ensuring perfection in each pass.

The Philips Norelco Shaver 8900 has a click-on beard styler that comes with 5 length settings to give you the freedom and flexibility of selecting the look you want.

Due to the AquaTec technology, you can enjoy a comfortable shave, whether it is dry or wet with gel or foam. The wet and dry shave system cuts hairs up to 30% closer to the skin for a close but comfortable shave. It also features a clean jet system that cleans, lubricates, dries and changes the razor for easy maintenance.

This Contour-following shaver conforms to the shape of your chin, neck or jaw, minimizing pressure and irritation. Its smooth surface glides over the skin with ease, making the shaving experience with this shaver all the more pleasurable.

The Philips Norelco Shaver has indicators for a full battery charge, low battery charge, cleaning and for when you need to replace shaving head. It also features a travel lock to prevent the product from turning on by accident.

Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Electric Shaver

If you are looking for a electric shaver, here are a few things to consider before you purchase one, which will act as a buying guide to make sure you take home the best shaver for you.

Wet Or Dry Shave:
One of the best features of an electric razor is versatility, and one of the biggest benefits is the ability to dry shave, which means you can shave any place, any time. With a wet dry electric shaver, you get to shave anywhere and leave no mess. A lot of modern shavers can be used both wet and dry, so if you need the convenience of shaving in your office as well as in the shower, then the wet and dry shaver is your best bet.

Brand:
Some of the leading electric shaver brands are Braun, Panasonic, Phillips, just to name a few. These are popular manufacturers that do not compromise on quality, so there is a very good chance that a shaver from them will give you the best bang for your buck.

If reviews are anything to go by, these popular manufacturers receive a lot of positive reviews from customers. From those, you can be pointed in the right direction and be able to make an informed decision.

Wet Dry Electric Shaver Reviews

However, this is not to say that less popular brands should be sidelined. They just might surprise you regarding quality and performance so I would recommend doing extensive research before buying one.

Power Source:
Whether it is a battery, mains or rechargeable, the power source is an important factor in picking the right shaver. Rechargeable varieties are great since they can be used both at home and while on the move.

Some can be used cordless or while plugged in, giving you an extra option when you run out of charge, and you don't have time to wait for it to charge. Battery shavers for everyday use are not recommended, as you will end up spending a considerable amount of money on replacing batteries.

Foil Or Rotary:
Modern shavers are either foil or rotary. Foil shavers are made of a thin, curved metal foil that covers a set of blades. While moving them in a long back and forth motion over the face and neck, the foil often remains still while the cutter block moves side to side, cutting hair as it enters the holes of the foil. Since they are less harsh on your skin, they are preferred by men with sensitive skin that is susceptible to razor burns.

Rotary shavers typically have 3 round heads with circular cutters that rotate to conform to your face shape. The cutters spin below the head while cutting hair as a guard protects the skin from the blade. These are best suited for individuals with medium to coarse beard density and those with regular to tough skin.

Skin Type:
If you have a skin that sensitive and is susceptible to razor burn, this becomes a vital consideration when picking out your next shaver. Foil shavers are known for being less harsh on the skin when pitted against rotary shavers. It is crucial to note that even with the foil shaver, use the right shaving technique and the right pre-shave products effectively for a comfortable shave.

Did You Know?

If you're susceptible to razor bumps, skip the close shave.

Razor burn is itchy and uncomfortable, but razor bumps are the next step up, leaving visible, raised swelling after you shave. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Janet Prystowsky explains, "Razor bumps are ingrown hairs. When a shaved hair is not long enough to extend past its follicle, it can become trapped. This causes a red, inflamed bump to appear as the hair starts to grow through skin."

According to Dr. Krejci, "this condition is most common in patients with afro-centric or curly, coarse hair because as the shaved hair emerges, it can curl back into the skin." If you're prone to razor bumps, she recommends not aiming for a close shave. "Maintaining stubble is actually best," she told us. Our experts suggest using clippers to leave stubble — or considering permanent laser hair removal if you're committed to a clean-shaven look.

Post-shave care can also help reduce skin irritation.

All of our experts agree that electric razors are better than manual razors for people with sensitive skin. But if you're committed to treating your face kindly, Dr. Greene suggests adding a face lotion with alpha-hydroxy acids or beta hydroxy acids to your daily routine. These ingredients help prevent pores from clogging, which ensures that your skin stays smooth and that hairs don't become ingrown or grow out in the wrong direction. The two products Dr. Greene recommends to his patients are Serious Serum and Skin Medica's AHA/BHA cream, which can both be applied post-shave. "We've had good results from their ingredients," he told us.

It would help if you deep cleaned your razor about once a week.

Our experts stressed the importance of keeping your razor "free of debris and bacteria," in Dr. Krejci's words. A cleaning station makes this process convenient, but you can clean your razor manually, too.

The old-school method is to disassemble your razor head, per the user manual, and then use a small brush (like a new toothbrush) plus a little soap and water to scrub all the surfaces. You can also make your cleaning solution by combining rubbing alcohol (60-70 percent) plus about three or four drops of lemon essential oil. If you have a clean-and-charge station, users online report that you can refill empty cartridges with this same homemade solution. Just make sure to fill the cartridges to the same levels as when they were when new.

Electric Razor FAQs

Do I really have to wait 2-3 weeks to know if my razor is the right one?

Dr. Krejci told us that if you shave daily, you’ll probably know within a week if your new razor is not working. If you shave less often or have skin conditions like razor bumps, you’ll need to wait out the full trial period to assess how your face is responding. Most electric razors (including our top picks) have generous return policies for this reason: Philips Norelco offers a 45-day money back guarantee, while Braun offers a 60-day guarantee.

Do I need a razor with speed settings?

Our vote? No. All of our testers — even those with sensitive skin — reported no difference after changing their speed settings. It’s possible you’ll notice a change after you’ve acclimated fully to your new razor, but it's not a must-have.

Where can I find the replacement heads of electric razor?

Generally, it is a good idea to replace electric razor heads and cutters about once every 12 months. More frequent changing may be required if your hair is very thick or very course. You had no trouble finding replacement parts online.

The Best Electric Razor, Summed Up

Braun Series 9 9390cc

Best for Daily Shaving

Andis 17150 Pro Foil Shaver

Best for Weekly Shaving

Remington F5 5800

Best Budget Shave

Braun Series 7 790cc

Best Wet & Dry Foil Shaver

SweetLF IPX7 Rotary Shaver

Best Wet & Dry Rotary Shaver

Final Verdict

In our review are some of the few best electric razors out there. If you are searching the market for one, I would confidently recommend one of these. Carefully consider the specifications and make sure they fit your needs according to the above ‘things to consider' list before you buy.