Last updated on December 5th, 2018 by Garrick Dee
When it comes to foil shavers, many consider Braun the best.
Quality and precision is a hallmark of this German based manufacturer.
It has been a bestselling product for years and they continue to innovate.
Today we’ll be looking at their whole line of electric shavers and compare them side by side.
In 1921, Max Braun (an engineer) established an equipment manufacturing workshop in Frankfurt, Germany.
He didn’t design electric shavers out of the gate but developed different types of products based on market need that opened up. He paid close to the latest technological developments and used that to his advantage.
Max was the fist to create a radio that had both receiver and loud speaker. Historians consider him a pioneer in Germany’s radio production industry.
In 1932, Braun was one of the first to manufacture an appliance that had a radio and phonograph.
By 1935, he built the first battery-powered radio and this invention earned him one of his first international awards.
During this time the Braun received their raised A trademark that identifies the company until today.
It wasn’t until 1950 that Braun launched their first dry electric shaver called the S50. This was a project that Max Braun had been working on since the earliest days of the company.
It had an oscillating cutter block covered by a very thin, yet strong steel foil. Until today Braun still uses the same design principle.
In 1967, Gillette bought a majority share of the company and took full ownership of the company in 1982.
Braun sells all sorts of products not just electric shavers. Some of these products include epilators, toothbrush and even watches. And despite all this other product, people know Braun for one thing – Electric Razors [source].
Frequent flyers know how tough it is to shave outside the comforts of your home.
Schedule is tight with meetings lasting for hours. Sometimes you even skip meals to fit these calls into your schedule.
This can take a toll on your body and appearance. The MobileShave series helps aims to address the grooming part by offering a compact shaver that uses two AA batteries.
It only has a single foil which means it won’t cut as close as a cartridge or safety razor. But if you’re in a hurry and just need to look decent in business meetings this is a great option.
The MobileShave series is great for travel because you don’t need to bring a cord or charging station. It uses a couple of AA that you could probably find in most retail stores in the world.
Currently there are two available variants:
Each man has a preference and this is especially true in the world of shaving.
Some men prefer dry shaving (shaving with shaving cream) out of habit or they simply don’t have the time.
While other men have no choice but to apply shaving cream because their skin will if a piece of cold metal makes contact.
Others like to shave inside the shower.
The WaterFlex series is for the latter two. This variant is designed to work with a foam or gel cream.
And here’s fasten your seat belts gents, you can also use this inside the shower! Not just that you can use this even underwater (up to 5 meters deep). Can you imagine yourself shaving literally while scuba diving?
It has IPX7 standard certification which means it is 100% waterproof.
This variant is designed for wet conditions. The handle utilizes a rubberized material called “Thermal Plastic Elastomer” (or TPE). It ensures better grip so the razor will not slip out of your hands inside the shower.
It has a 3 blade system that uses a middle trimmer and two OptiBlade foils that will provide a reasonably close shave.
The shaving head does not rotate but it swivels up to 33 degrees to help reach tough to shave spots like the neck and chin area.
There are three color options:
Difference is just aesthetic as all will have the same features, run time and shaving quality.
The Series 3 is similar to the Water Flex series in terms of design but with one key difference, the shaving head.
In the Series 3, the cutting elements pivot from side to side independently. This allows it more adaptability and better coverage compared to the Water Flex.
Since it is fully waterproof, you can use as a dry or wet shaver. That would depend on your preference.
Run time is rather short and this would be the biggest Achilles heel.
A full charge will only yield 20 minutes of shaving but it does have a 5 minute quick charge feature.
There are two variants available:
If you don’t need the wet shaving feature then opt for the cheaper Series 3 300.
Not all men go for the clean shaven look.
Some like to have some facial hair left on their face. Whether it be having mutton chops, a goatee or chin curtain they will need tools to sculpt and trim facial hair to the perfect length.
This is where the Series 3 Shave & Style series comes in.
There are two variants:
Only the gray 3010BT has the wet shaving option while the 3000BT can only dry shave. Both will have the same number of comb attachments plus a trimmer.
In terms of features it is similar to the standard Series 3. It has the triple action, free floating system that adapts to the contours of your face.
This is also compatible with Wet & Dry shaving and is 100% waterproof up to 5 meters.
It has a longer run time compared to the standard Series 3 – up to 45 minutes. And it has a 5 minute quick charge feature just in case you’re in a hurry.
The “Pro Skin” series comes with the upgraded cutting head with fully independent cutting elements and MicroComb trimmer that works like a comb to align and cut hair that’s all over the place.
Braun says that this variant will provide a close and comfortable shave because of the upgrade head.
There are a total of 4 variants:
- 3010S (no MicroComb technology, 3 level battery indicator)
- 3040S (MicroComb technology, 4 level battery indicator)
- 3050S (MicroComb technology, w/ clean & charge station)
- 3070S (w/ clean & charge station and travel pouch)
- 3090S (w/ clean & charge station and travel pouch)
All variants have wet and dry shaving capabilities.
The biggest difference between these would be accessories and charge level indicator. Shaving head are the same with the exception of the 3010S that does not have the MicroComb middle trimmer.
This is the first variant where Braun introduced the Clean and Charge station that uses an cleaning solution with alcohol to clean, disinfect and dry the shaver.
Braun made a lot of upgrades when they introduced the Series 5. This was their first electric shaver that combined the MicroMotion and MacroMotion features.
MicroMotion refers to the individual cutting elements that move up and down independently to maintain maximum contact with the skin.
MacroMotion refers to the whole shaving head that pivots back and forth.
The MultiHeadLock feature will allow you to lock the shaving head at 5 different angles. This will help give you a more precise and comfortable shave in trouble spots like the neck.
Here’s a close look at the Series 5 5090cc
If you watched the whole video I’d say the bottom line is impressive. It shaved what looked like a 3 day beard growth to almost BBS smooth. You can also use it on your head.
Remember to follow the instruction guide pre-shave. That includes washing your face with hot water and a facial soap. Taking a hot shower would be better because it will hydrate the hair follicles making it more pliable and easier to cut.
Lithium Ion Battery
This is also the first Braun shaver that uses a lithium ion battery improves the lifecycle because it’s more durable. Power fade will be minimal.
A full charge will last for 45 minutes and it has a quick charge option.
Another upgrade is the clean and charge station that cleans has a 4 stage process of cleaning, charging, lubricating and drying.
The series 5 has two variants:
Of the two, only only the 5040 can shave wet while the 5090cc is only dry shaving compatible. But the latter comes with the clean and charge station.
Braun ups the ante with the Series 7 shavers. It has several upgrades that allow it to cut closer than any of the previous generation shavers.
Let’s go over them one by one.
Whereas the Series 5 shavers have only 3 cutting elements, the series 7 has 4. The additional cutting element increases the overall size of the head but it will shave closer and faster.
Intelligent sonic technology
The series 7 is the first Braun shaver that it equipped with the intelligent sonic technology.
It has four specialized shaving elements that produce 10,000 micro vibrations per minute. These microvibrations help lift hair up and provide a closer shave.
Braun says that this feature also checks beard density and adds power to areas that needs it.
So it will provide more power on denser areas.
8-D Flexible Shaving System
The head of the Series 7 like the Series 5 pivots back and forth. This again helps in terms of areas that are hard to shave the like neck or chin.
There is also lock the head for a more precise shave in trouble spots.
It also comes with a pop up trimmer on the side. Unfortunately because of the sheer bulk of the shaving head, the trimmer will be limited.
You can use the trimmer to trim the side burn area but sculpting the beard will be hard.
The three individual cutting elements also move up and down to hug the contours of your face.
Protective Skin Guard
Around the whole shaving head is a skin guard that shields the skin from irritation.
5 Shaving Modes
You can adjust the power of the razor to suite your needs. There are 5 speed settings from sensitive to turbo mode.
There are a lot of variants in the Series 7 product line and here are the latest…
All these are usable for wet and dry shaving.
If you see a “cc” at the end that means it has the clean and charge station.
Functionality of the cleaning part of the charging station is similar. There are variants like the 790cc that have a quick cleaning feature that does the job in around 25 seconds.
The normal cleaning cycle will take as much as 25 minutes.
Here’s a video about the Series 7 recorded by Electric Shaver Guide…
This is a comprehensive review that covers the features of the charging base and the shaver itself. If you prefer to wet shave then go for the 790cc.
If you need the wet shaving functionality opt for any of the new variants I listed above.
Lastly we’re going to have a close look at the Series 9. Braun calls this the world’s most efficient shaver.
It has the largest head of all the Braun shavers with 5 cutting elements.
- HyperLift & Cut trimmer (lifts and cuts flat lying hair)
- Direct & Cut trimmer (aligns and cuts)
- Protective skin guard
- Another OptiFoil
This brand new shaving head has the SyncroSonic technology that has 40,000 cross-cutting actions per minute. The head also vibrates which again helps lift facial hair up for an even closer shave.
The HyperLift & Cut trimmer (gold part) is made from titanium which means it is harder and will last longer.
All of these cutting elements flex individually to hug the contours of your face and cut more facial hair.
The head also pivots back and forth. And you can lock it into position or leave it to free flow.
Another improvement would be the status display that tells you everything you need to know in a crisp, easy to read format. It shows you battery status, hygiene status (when it needs cleaning) and a travel lock indicator.
Here are the latest variants…
Here’s a short demonstration of the capabilities of the Series 9 on a week’s growth.
Wow. That was my first impression of how this razor performed. The pop up trimmer was pretty effective at trimming off excess beard growth before the shaver finished the job.
If you’d do the same job with a safety razor, it’ll probably take around 15 to 20 minutes. And you’ll need a separate trimmer.
What you do prior to shaving plays a huge role in the success or failure of the actual shave.
Here are some things you need to do pre-shave to help you get a close shave. I’ve talked about this in detail in this article. Make sure to check it out.
Take a hot shower
This is probably the most important step because the process of taking a bath helps rid your skin of contaminants that could impede the razor.
Hot water also opens up the pores and softens hair follicles making it easier to cut.
If you can’t do a hot shower then wash your face with hot water and a pH balanced facial soap.
This step helps rid the skin of excess oil and dead skin that again will diminish the effectiveness of a razor.
If possible you could even spread a hot towel over your face to further open up the pores and soften facial hair.
One difference though would be in an electric shaver, manufacturers recommend that you dry off excess water of the stubble.
Wet shavers may skip this step.
Braun recommends holding the shaver at a 90 degree angle so that the shaving head will have maximum traction.
The newer Series 7 and 9 variants have pivoting heads so it wouldn’t be as taxing on your wrists as it would on a fixed head electric razor.
Linear Motions Only
Using a foil shaver is much like a manual cartridge or safety razor. Braun recommends that you use a straight back and forth pattern for a comfortable shave.
Underneath the foil cover are blades that move in a side to side motion. If you’d use a circular pattern, it would pull and tug facial hair. And it’ll be an uncomfortable shave.
Shave the Neck Area First
Electric shavers will generate heat the longer you shave. Which is why if you have sensitive skin, it would make sense to shave the neck area first while the foil is cool.
Give It Some TLC
These machines are precision instruments that need periodic maintenance. Like your automobile, neglecting this step would mean an early trip to the junkyard.
One way to make sure that it performs at peak level would be regular cleaning. This is done after every shave.
If the Braun you choose has a cleaning station, running it through a cleaning cycle would be ideal. But if you want to save on water, manual washing is possible.
Just turn on the razor and rinse off the shaving head under the faucet face down. Make sure to remove the head and air dry. Most variants come with a cleaning brush to clean the underside of the head.
Avoid using the brush on the foils or you can damage it.
Lastly if you do a manual cleaning cycle, make sure to regularly lubricate the cutting elements with sheen oil. You can purchase these products separately in online stores.
Replace shaving head every 12 to 18 months
Depending on different factors like shaving frequency, water type, beard density, etc. you will need to replace the main cutting element every 12 to 18 months.
Give It Time
If you’re transitioning from a safety or cartridge razor to an electric shaver there will be a “break in” period of a month or so. In case you experience some level of irritation, don’t worry it’s just your skin adjusting to the new piece of metal gliding on the skin.
Don’t worry though, Braun shavers do come with a 45 day money back guarantee just in case you don’t acclimate. You can send it back, no questions asked.
Honestly you can’t go wrong with a Braun electric razor. There may be cheaper brands like the Remington but when it comes to quality, precision, comfort and closeness it’s hard to beat this brand.
These are group into 8 different product line, each with their specific purpose.
This will be great for busy folks
MobileShave is made for the busy executive who flies thousands of miles. It requires only 2 double-A batteries to run so you don’t need to bring any cords with you.
The single foil design means it will not shave as close as other variants with multiple cutting elements but for those quick shaves it is a great product.
For men who like to shave wet or inside the shower, the Flex Wet & Dry series is a great option because it is 100% waterproof.
Why the series 3?
The Series 3 is the first Braun shaver that utilized independently flexing cutting elements that provides a closer shave compared to the other variants before it. Men who need more sculpting than shaving should opt for the Shave & Style Series
If the Series 3 doesn’t cut close enough then the next step up would be the series 5 that comes with the UltraActiveLift and Multi Head Lock that locks the pivoting head at 5 different angles. Battery is also upgrade to a lithium ion so the razor will last longer.
It was also the first to come with the clean and charge station.
The series 7 adds a microvibration feature to the mix to help their products cut closer.
It also has a feature that detects beard density and adjusts power depending on how much it detects.
There’s also a speed setting that allows men to choose depending on their skin or beard type. The lowest setting would suite men with sensitive skin.
If cost isn’t an issue then the series 9 would be an excellent choice. It comes with 5 cutting elements with a titanium finished “HyperLift” trimmer that will resist corrosion better.
These 5 cutting elements will independently move up and down to shave off every strand of facial hair. Braun claims that this will cut the closes most efficiently.
Garrick spends his days researching and writing about grooming. When he’s not in front of his computer, you can find him hanging around with his wife and son.