Published on August 8th, 2012 | by David0
Braun Series 7: The Electric Razor Evolves
I am not an electric razor guy. Since moving from my dad's plug-in Wahl in 10th grade to disposables and shaving cream, I've dismissed electrics as unable to deliver a close, comfortable shave. I use an old Gillette double-edge safety razor with 20 cent Israeli Personna blades right now, and I'm loving the simplicity, control, and close shave I get.
A month or two ago, however, Braun contacted me and told me that they wanted to send me their top of the line electric shaver, the Braun Series 7, to try out. I was excited to see where shavers have gone in the last ten years, and hey- I'm a sucker for gadgets.
First Impressions: So many blinking lights! From the LCD on the shaver itself to the automatic cleaning stand, it's easy to see the remaining battery charge, current shave intensity, and 'hygeine level' (no idea how that's calculated). The razor itself feels very solidly built, and comes with a nice travel case and cleaning brush.
The Shave: On a flat surface, the Series 7 shaves really well. It gave me a close shave on my cheeks, chin, and moustache with no tugging or irritation, and no dealing with shaving cream or razor blades. An electric shave will never be quite as close as a good wet one with a blade, but it's perfectly passable for work. If you don't like the completely shaven look, the flip-out trimmer does a good job of maintaining a little stubble, though I wish it had an adjustable length guide.
Unfortunately, it fell flat when it came to the neck. I have a weird left-to-right grain under my jaw, compared to most guys' downward grain, and it's hard for any razor with a flat face, electric or otherwise, to deal with the concave neck area and oddly contoured Adam's apple. It took me a while to get my razor technique down for this area, and it's even created issues for some professional barbershops. The Series 7 didn't nick or scratch me, but it was also tough to get a satisfactorily smooth shave.
Maintenance and Cleaning: This is one of Braun's big talking points for the Series 7: the auto-cleaning charging base. Supposedly it tracks how dirty the foils get, and automatically runs through them with a cleaning solution when they need it. I couldn't think of a particularly scientific test of this, but I can say that I have been using the Series 7 for about two months now, and it seems to run just as smoothly and cleanly as the first day I bought it. Every now and then I hear a little whir and gurgle from the base, and the LEDs do a little dance- I presume that's the magical techno-elves at work. For when you are on the go, you can also just run hot water through the foils to clean them.
Verdict: The Braun Series 7 is a very good electric razor- maybe even the best. It hasn't converted me from blades, but for someone with the right skin and beard grain, it might just do that. I still use it as my go-to travel razor, and it's also fantastic when I feel stubbly and don't have time to shower.