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Published on August 8th, 2012 | by David


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.

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About the Author

David has been writing professionally since 2008, as a translator and product editor for Japan Trend Shop. Along the way he has worked in IT for Six Apart (and its reincarnation as SAY Media), Naked Communications, and Tokyo 2.0, as well as volunteering his nerdiness for dance events and organizations such as the Fusion Exchange and the Portland Swing and Jazz Dance society. After graduating Lewis & Clark College in 2010, David entered the Teach for America program, and taught Algebra and Geometry at Aptos Middle School in San Francisco. When he's not educating young minds or buried in a computer screen, he spends his time dancing, and frequently teaches dance with fellow TrulyNet author Ruth Hoffman.

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