Today, we’ll be looking closely at the Braun Series 7 vs. 9. I’ll be comparing the similarities and differences between the two to help you decide which one will the better choice.
The Series 7 is perhaps Braun’s most popular electric razor thanks to its superb build quality and performance.
Is the Series 9 worth the additional $$$? Or is the Series 7 still the better option because of the lower cost?
We’ll answer these questions and more in this review.
The Series 9 is currently Braun’s flagship shaver. It’s got the latest electric shaving technology that includes the upgraded shaving head that will cut the closest comfortably.
However, you’ll have to pay a premium to enjoy these features.
If you’re not familiar with electric razors, I suggest you spend a few minutes and read my article comparing Foil and Rotary shavers.
This should give you a head start on what to expect from these types of razors, pros and cons, and other important info.
Braun is a foil type shaver and widely known to be the best at manufacturing such.
Introduction to the Braun Series 7 vs. 9
The Series 7 and 9 are two of Braun’s latest electric shavers. It is important to note that there are different sub-models to each series.
The earlier generation Series 7 and 9 shavers are only capable of shaving dry.
These sub-models for the Series 7 have a 7xx format (e.g. 790cc, 760cc, 740s). The Series 9 has a 90xx format (e.g. 9090cc, 9095cc).
Men looking to wet shave must look at the newer generation options. The second generation Series 7 shavers use a 78XX format such as the 7865cc and 7893s.
For the Series 9, the updated options have a 92XX format (e.g. 9290cc and 9293s).
Aside from the capability to use it to wet shave, the upgrades in the newer versions are not significant.
Don’t look too much into the specific sub-models because these shavers use the same shaving head and will have identical performance.
Choosing a sub-variant will depend on your preference, whether you want the wet shaving capability or need the clean and charge station and budget.
Shaving Head Comparison: Braun Series 7 vs. Series 9
First, let’s look at the most important feature of these two electric shavers – the shaving head.
Choosing between these products will boil down to whether or not you need the extra piece of cutting element found in the more expensive Series 9.
The Braun Series 7 was one of the first foil shavers that comes with 3 different cutting elements. These include two OptiFoil cutting heads that flank that flank the ActiveLift Trimmer at the middle.
The latter captures flat-lying hairs on problem areas like the neck and cheek, lift them up, and the OptiFoil mows it down.
To make things comfortable, Braun adds a skin guard to protect skin from friction from these cutting elements.
8-D Flexible Shaving Head
To help cut hair on different contours, the Series 7 shaver has a free-floating head where each cutting element pivots independently. Interestingly enough, the Series 7 and the Series 5 have the same cutting element design.
To understand what 8-D means, each of the cutting element pivots left and right separately so this creates 6 different movements. Add to that the pivoting shaving head that pivots up to 40 degrees in both directions. And you have parts moving in 8 different directions, hence the term 8-D.
If you think the Series 7 shaves close wait till you see the shaving head of the Series 9. Instead of just having three cutting elements, Braun adds a forth to the mix making this shaver cut even closer than the Series 7.
The four cutting elements include the HyperLift & Cut Trimmer (this is the same cutting element as the ActiveLift Trimmer in the Series 7), Direct & Cut trimmer and two OptiFoil trimmers.
Consumer feedback has been positive with men saying that this shaver cuts closer than the previous generation.
10-D Flexible Shaving System
The term 10-D is just a marketing lingo that Braun uses to describe the individual movement of the different parts of the shaving head.
I did mention earlier that each of the cutting elements pivots left and right. Add to that the shaving head that rotates both directions. You’ll have ten different movements, hence the term 10-D.
Bottom line is the Series 9 cuts closer thanks to the extra trimmer that Braun put in. The extra blade does add a bit to the size of the head.
But if you’re after something that does the job faster then the Series 9 will make a whole lot of sense.
It’s hard to quantify how well these trimmers will perform in a real-world setting because of the different variables.
So I’ll just share with you some videos on how each will perform. Remember that your mileage may vary. Use these as a reference to know what to expect.
First, watch this video to see how the series 9 deals with long beard growth.
The performance is impressive, to be honest. If you have a beard growth this thick, just use the trimmer to mow down a month worth of facial hair then finish it off with the main shaving head. You can also use this to shave your head.
Next up let’s have a close look at the series 7 790cc. You can jump to the 10-minute mark of the video to see the shaving demonstration.
Take note that the test was done on a day’s worth of stubble. And it did shave pretty close.
There’s no sign of irritation, and the biggest benefit of using an electric razor over a cartridge razor would be the cost savings of not having to buy replacement cartridges.
Now let’s look at other factors that go into the equation in terms of shaving performance.
Before the series 9 was introduced, the series 7 was the gold standard that other brands tried to beat.
A big reason why is how close it shaves. The twin foil, middle trimmer setup provided close shaves without much irritation. It was one of the best performing electric shavers that shaves decently close without taking too much time.
The series 9 adds an extra cutting element that some say shaves closer. But this extra blade will reduce the time required to mow down even a multi-day growth.
One of the strongest points of the series 7 is how comfortable it is to use.
It utilizes what Braun calls micro-vibrations which is like getting a light massage while shaving. This feature doesn’t help with shaving closer but it helps greatly with comfort.
Even in the highest speed setting, the series 7 is comfortable to use. Men feel that this feature is just a gimmick and using the lowest setting will drag down the pace.
The series 9 is also as comfortable to use and would still be a viable option for men with sensitive skin.
Even with the extra cutting element, the shaving head does not heat up which can be an issue for electric shavers that have 3 or more blades – the Panasonic Arc 5 comes to mind.
The extra trimmer will help in speeding up the process and lessen the risk to razor burn and irritation.
The extra trimmer gives the series 9 an advantage over the series 7 in this area.
Having that extra blade will speed up the process. Remember that the series 9 is a bigger version of the series 7 with a larger motor with more blades.
It will effortlessly shave a 3 or 4-day growth easily as you’ve seen in the video above.
The series 9 will even work well on wiry, coarse beards thanks to the well-built cutting components.
Both these shavers have pivoting heads that slide up and down smoothly. You can choose the right angle or leave it unlocked.
Each of the cutting elements also pivots from side to side, giving it more traction on the different peaks and valleys on the face.
There isn’t much of a difference in terms of closeness of shave, but the series 9 is the winner when it comes to speed.
Both these shavers have trimmers that allow you to trim the sideburn area and long strands of facial hair.
The series 9 has a redesigned trimmer that slides up instead of popping to the side that negatively affects visibility.
To be honest, either of the two is great when it comes to ergonomics.
Using the series 7, you’ll have to hold the trimmer perpendicular to the surface you’re shaving, not exactly a natural way to trim your beard.
The curved trimmer profile is another downside. If you look at the best trimmers, their profiles are straight which ensures an even result.
On the series 9, the trimmer slides up perpendicular to the cutting elements.
The change in design did not have a dramatic impact on the results. Still, it is decent at trimming long stubble.
Before you commit on buying either these two variants please make sure to double check if you’re buying something that’s capable of wet shaving if that’s your preference.
Most of the series 7 shavers you’ll see in Amazon is only capable of dry shaving. The most popular series 7 variant, the Braun 790cc is only capable of dry shaving.
If you want something capable of wet shaving, go with the 7865cc or the 740s with the latter being cheaper because the 740s does not have the clean and charge station.
Most of the series 9 shavers (if not all) on the other hand have wet and dry shaving capabilities.
Build Quality and Ergonomics
Any Braun owner will tell you that their electric shavers have outstanding build quality and it is evident with both of these variants.
The Braun Series 7 during its launch set a high standard with its simple and yet robust design that will stand the test of time.
Being a few years old, the design is a bit dated, but it still scores high when it comes to functionality.
Most options in the series 7 line offer a matte, dark gray finish that is resistant to fingerprints.
The build quality feels solid and the chunky body adds more to that feel. It uses a lot of rubber on the sides which ensures that this won’t slip out of your hands even in damp conditions.
There are a few issues with the series 7 (more on that a little bit), but in general, it will stand the rigors of daily shaving.
The Series 9 looks more flashy with the sleeker body and more glossy finish. I’m not a big fan of glossy finishes since it is a magnet for fingerprint and will degrade at a more rapid pace over time.
Fortunately, the Series 9 gives you the option to go with a matte finish – the 9291cc comes to mind. The matte finish will resist smudges and fingerprints better than chrome.
Both of these razors have plastic exteriors. I was hoping that the series 9 would come with a metal exterior, but that isn’t the case.
The Series 9 is a larger version than the Series 7, with a longer handle and a larger shaving head.
Even with the larger body, ergonomics isn’t affected because of the sleeker handle. The back of the series 7 has a rubber insert that helps provide a more secure grip.
One potential issue would be the size of the head. The extra trimmer adds to the bulk and can be tricky to maneuver around the lip area.
However, once you get used to the size difference, it won’t be difficult at all to use it.
In terms of maintenance and initial purchase cost, the Braun Series 7 wins hands down versus the Series 7. A big reason for this is the cost of the shaving heads (or cassettes).
Take note that both shavers use the same cartridges for the clean and charge station, so the difference in cost would be the replacement cassettes.
The cost of the series 7 cassettes costs significantly less than the series 9.
Braun Series 7 70s/70b shaving head
Braun has discontinued the production of replacement heads for the 90xx series and has replaced it with the 92xx cassettes.
Braun Series 9 92s/92b shaving head
These new heads are backward compatible with the 90xx series shavers, so it won’t be an issue long term if you purchase the earlier generation series 9 shavers.
One advantage these new heads have is it has a titanium coated middle trimmer.
|Part||Replacement Frequency||Braun Series 7||Braun Series 9|
|Foil & Cutter Shaving Head||~18 months||Check Price||Check Price|
|Clean & Renew Cartridge Refills||~ 2 to 3 months||Check Price||Check Price|
To add it all up, the Braun Series 7 will have an annual maintenance cost of $40.2.
The Braun Series 9 will have an annual maintenance cost of $50.52.
There’s no doubt that the Series 9 interface is sleeker with the LED screen at the bottom that notifies you the battery status when you need to clean the shaver and if the travel lock feature is on.
The Series 7 does not have the LED screen, only an indicator at the bottom that tells you when to charge and clean. It isn’t as classy looking as the newer Series 9, but it still works.
Battery and Run Time
Both these shavers use the same high capacity lithium ion battery that will take 60 minutes to full charge. And will give you up to 50 minutes of cordless run time.
If you’re in a hurry, both also offer a 5-minute quick charge good enough for a shaving cycle.
You have the option of purchasing variants that include the clean/charge station for both the series 7 and 9 shavers.
The advantage of having this device is the convenience it brings to the table, but it will come at a cost, as you’ll have to pay a premium for it.
I wouldn’t discourage you from buying the shaver only options if you want to save money.
However, the Braun cleaning stations are some of the best in the industry, and it helps with keeping the cutting elements clean which in turn helps the electric razor last longer.
One reason why Braun cleaning stations are some of the best is how thorough it is.
It uses an alcohol-based system that not only cleans but also sanitizes the blades. The cleaning solution also lubricates so you don’t have to do it manually otherwise.
You won’t be able to disassemble the shaving head, so it is impossible to give it a thorough clean without the clean and charge base.
There’s an option to purchase these electric shavers without the clean and charge station.
Yes, it’ll be cheaper, but I think the convenience that the clean and charge station brings to the table is worth the extra $$$.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use the Series 7 razor with the Series 9 charging station and vice versa.
Braun Series 7 Clean & Charge Station
The Series 7 cleaning base has a more complex interface with multiple buttons for different functions.
Braun redesigned the interface in the Series 9 with only a single button that activates the whole cycle.
Braun Series 9 Clean & Charge Station
One significant difference between the Series 7 and 9 clean stations is how it dries the shaver.
The newer Series 7 clean and charge station did not retain the induction heating in earlier versions. You will not find this even in earlier models like the 790cc. So it will take much longer for the razor to dry.
The Series 9 utilizes a fan that’s three times faster than using induction heating (those found in the earlier Series 7 series cleaning stations).
A note about purchasing the Series 7 or 9 without the clean station
If you’re buying the Series 7 razor such as the 740s or the 7893s without the clean station, it has a special chip that makes it usable with the Series 7 station if you decide to purchase it separately later on.
The Series 9 solo variants (without the clean station) does not have this chip, thus it’s not compatible with the Series 9 station. So make sure to decide beforehand if you need the clean station or not if you’re going with the latter.
All Braun shavers come with a 2-year warranty. If you think that’s too short then you can purchase extended warranties from Amazon of up to 3 years.
Series 9 shavers range between $250 and $330 depending on the variant, accessories and plug type. Unfortunately, there’s no option where you can buy only the shaver without the charging base. All variants include the charging station which increases the price.
Being an older variant, the series 7 shavers are much cheaper. These range between $130 and $190 in Amazon. The ones on the lower spectrum of the price range don’t come with the charging station.
Here’s tip, if you see “cc” beside the model number, it comes with the charging station.
The Verdict: Which is the Better Option?
After going through the important features, it’s now time to make the choice between the Braun Series 7 vs 9.
Are you willing to spend more for the Braun Series 9, or you don’t mind shaving a bit longer but save some cash with the Series 7.
You should buy the Braun Series 7 if you:
- Don’t want to spend as much for the series 7 but still want a decent shave.
- Have thin to moderate facial hair that doesn’t require the extra trimmer.
- Want something comfortable to use for shaving sensitive skin.
- Need a shaver that you can use every other day.
Unless you have a thick facial hair, the Series 7 should be enough for most men. It offers one of the best values when it comes to shaving performance and price. The best value would be the Series 7 790cc if you don’t need the wet shaving functionality. It’s one of their cheaper options. Otherwise, the Series 7 7865 is a great option.
You should buy the Braun Series 9 if you:
- Want a great performing electric razor that will shave fast and comfortably.
- Have coarse facial hair that will benefit from the extra trimmer.
- Let your facial hair grow and only shave every 3 to 5 days or so.
- Have sensitive skin.
- Don’t mind paying the extra $$$ for a top-of-the-line shaver.
If you’re opting for the Series 9, the 9290cc is the best option in my opinion reason being that it is the cheapest option. You can use this to shave wet or dry, and the shaving performance is top-notched.
Regardless of your option between the Series 7 vs. 9, you can’t go wrong with either of the two, as both are the best electric shavers available right now.