Batteries: most models now use a Lithium ion (Li-ion) rechargeable battery, which are lighter and recharge faster than Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) cells (Li-ion cells usually only take around an hour to recharge from flat, as oppose to 4-8 hours for NiMH). Most shavers can be operated on the mains as well, but shaving with the cord is only meant to be a back-up measure, in case the battery runs out.
Ease of use: choose a model that's easy to clean and comfortable to hold. If it has a separate blade for trimming beards and sideburns, make sure your view isn't obstructed when you use it. Cleaning is easier and quicker if the shaver can be washed under a tap, rather than brushed out.
Cleaning stations: are becoming common on high-end shavers. They’re a dock filled with cleaning liquid which cleans your shaver at the touch of a button. Some models also features sonic cleaning mode which enable more thorough cleaning when you run them underwater.
Trimmers: are intended for keeping sideburns in check or maintaining that Daniel Vettori 3-day shadow look.
Wet shavers: if you feel that a lather gives a better shave, or you like to save time by shaving in the shower, look for a "wet and dry" shaver. These can't be used on mains power, and have a charging stand.
Washable models: cleaning out electric shavers can be a messy and fiddly job. A "washable" shaver will be easy to clean, as you can just run it under the tap, but may not be intended for wet shaves.
Travel case: a pouch is easier to pack than a hard case when you're travelling. If your model has a charging stand or power pack, make sure it will fit into the travel case. Also handy for travelling shavers is a locking on/off switch (it ensures the power switch remains "off"), and a shaving head cover to protect the foil or cutters.
Indicators: a rechargeable shaver should warn you when it is about to run out of power. It's also handy to have a charging light (so you can be sure you've plugged it in properly), and a more precise display of the charge level. Other indicators may include a light to warn you that the foil or cutters need replacing, or the shaver needs cleaning.
Docking station: this can provide a convenient base to recharge your shaver and can also incorporate a cleaning solution.
Conditioner dispensing system: dispenses shaving conditioner onto the skin while shaving.
Price: many shavers seem to spend more time on sale than at their nominal retail price, so if you don’t like the current price you can often wait a month or so for it to come on sale. When shopping for shavers it also pays to look around — use the priceme.co.nz links in our product profiles to see a current price list for every store where a model is stocked.