The newer machines are computerized and have programs to regulate the treatment energy in a way that tapping with a foot pedal can not match. The electrologist can control this to an even better degree if he or she learns how to set the machine in the program mode for special settings outside of the presets the machine comes with.
Anything by Apilus, The Silhouet-Tone Sequentium VMC, and the The UC-4 Deliliah are the newest machines that come to mind off the top of my head. Not new, but still really good are the epilators made by R A Fischer, their computerized models set the stage for today’s modern epilators. The Fischer Compublend, Pro-Blend, and Advanced Blend models, in the hands of a great practitioner like Rhonda Elmer of Monroe Wisconsin (Compublend) can make one feel just shy of the treatment one would get with an Apilus, but nothing can touch the comfort level available to those with the Apilus Platinum, Apilus SX-500 and Silhouet-Tone Sequintium VMC.
I can’t give you a time frame to know if you are getting good treatment or not, because one has to be getting full clearances to be able to see anything. Alas, most people don’t get full clearances when they go to their electrologist. Furthermore, most people don’t go on a schedule taylored to their hair growth, they instead go on one taylored to their paychecks.
If one were to be getting full clearances, and did not see noticeable hair reduction as compared with a before and after picture in 3 to 6 months, then one needs to either reconsider the schedule of treatments, or the practitioner.