Which electric shavers are halakhically acceptable for shaving a man's beard?

5 Answers 5


According to this article from the Zomet Institute, even unaltered "lift-and-cut" shavers are permitted lechatechila.

  • This source says "almost all" Jul 5, 2018 at 11:48

Please note that there is a potential Torah prohibition here. As always on mi.yodeya, please ask a reputable Orthodox rabbi.

There is a variety of opinions on this matter but the range seems to be from "there is no such thing as a kosher shaver" to "there is no kosher 'out of the box' shaver currently being sold." According to the latter view, however, Norelco Lift-and-Cut shavers can be modified after purchase to be halachically usable.

  • 2
    It seems the range includes a number of shavers 'out of the box' that are completely fine. See the very links included in this answer for the details.
    – Curiouser
    Aug 5, 2011 at 18:49
  • 1
    Also, see Vram's answer.
    – Double AA
    Feb 13, 2012 at 4:57

There is a site dedicated to explaining how to make a Norelco "lift and cut" shaver acceptable for use (http://www.koshershaver.org). In their FAQs they quote R' Dovid Feinstein as ruling that no other brands currently on the market are acceptable without modification.

  • There are now a new range of Norelco/Philips shavers which are kosher out of the box. Check the Kosher Shaver website mentioned above for more details.
    – user4523
    Nov 28, 2013 at 14:52

Here is an informative article regarding the Norelco/Phillips Lift and Cut shavers written some time ago by Rabbi Gil Student. Needless to say, from the Zomet article and from the Hirhurim article, it is clear that it is not clear that Lift and Cut is the big problem others may have you believe.

Also, recently I was informed that Rav Fuerst, of Chicago, holds that the Norelco lift and cut system is not a problem.

  • 4
    Welcome Back!! Jun 17, 2013 at 6:31
  • It's good to be back!
    – Yahu
    Jun 17, 2013 at 7:09

In a recent book on the topic (The Halachic Haircutting Handbook: A Breakthrough Exposure of an Obscure Mitzvah by R Chaim and Binyamin Jachter), the authors conclude that almost all electric shavers are permissible and add that while they use the word “almost,” they are not aware of any electric shaver that is forbidden.

As R Gil Student writes in his book review

One aspect of the debate is whether the Talmud allows shaving with scissors. Another aspect is which, if any, electric shavers operate like scissors. Those who permit shaving with scissors would allow an electric shaver that functions in a scissor-like manner.

In a surprising breakthrough, Rabbi Jachter and Binyamin Jachter spoke with engineers and examined videos of shaver tests to clarify exactly how they function. Their unequivocal conclusion is that facial skin does not provide enough resistance for an electric shaver to cut against. Rather, all electric shavers function like scissors. After showing their evidence to a number of leading rabbis and posekim, the unanimous conclusion is that these electric shavers are permissible.

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