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Braun Series 3 Vs 5 Electric Shaver: Differences Explained

by  Kin Liu- Last updated on November 1, 2020

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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

When it comes to razors we want close shaves, easy upkeep, and affordable pricing. These two older Braun models still have their Braun technology to offer without paying the outrageous price of over a hundred dollars like the newer models.

We like to keep things simple and effective and these earlier Braun models are just what we were looking for. There are also different sub-models under these two Series.

The Braun Series 3 has three different sub-models: the 310 wet and dry shaver, and two different colored 300s. Though they are all very similar, we will talk about the 310s only because it includes the wet and dry shaving.

The 310s also is the quietly updated version of the original Series 3, so we’d like to focus on what makes this razor better than its predecessor.

The Series 5 has five different sub-models, but the relative difference between each of these is the amount of extra attachments that come with each like beard trimmers and a subtle charging station.

We’ll be reviewing the Series 5 5020s because it comes with a good amount of attachments, is offered at Amazon and still comes at an affordable price. Albeit, not as affordable as the Series 3, but with newer models comes increasing prices.

It’s understandable to not know where to start when given so many options. That’s why starting at your desired price point and reading articles like this to give more clarity, is a perfect first step.

It’s hard to go wrong with a brand like Braun who is known for selling reliable and efficient razors. These two models have been updated and experienced a price drop, which doesn’t happen often with quality razors like this.

That is why it’s important to take advantage of opportunities like this and get the best razor that works for you!

Braun Series 3 Vs Braun Series 5 at a Glance

Braun Series 3 Advantages:

  • Affordable
  • Replacement timer for the shaver head
  • 3 cutting elements
  • Comes with a travel lock

Braun Series 3 Disadvantages:

  • Curly charging cord
  • Difficult to clean
  • No travel bag

Braun Series 5 Advantages:

  • Aesthetically pleasing and excellent ergonomic design
  • Easy Clean system
  • Comes with 5 beard attachments and a precision trimmer
  • Battery life indicator and hygiene status gauger

Braun Series 5 Disadvantages:

  • Complicated manuals
  • Delicate power button
  • No travel bag

Winner: Don’t want to read the full article? The editors choice is Braun Series 5.

Why Invest in an Electric Razor Than a Traditional Razor?

For those who want to get the closest shave as humanly possible, then of course a traditional wet shave is the only way to go about achieving that. Maybe it’s the adrenaline of a sharp blade running across your skin threatening to nick and cut your skin if you mess up that keeps people going back.

I find that I may be a simple guy, but I definitely choose comfort and convenience over the strenuous battle and longevity of wet shaving. Using an electric razor is much faster than traditional shaving.

For those like me who tend to scramble in the morning, a quick shave is exactly what I need to tame the unruly hair on my face. Then, cleanup is just as simple. You could run it under the tap or if your electric razor comes with a cleaning station then all you have to do is plug it in. It’s that simple.

Electric razors from reliable brands like Braun, can still give you as close to a shave while keeping razor burn to a minimum and the number of nicks to a low percentage. Am I saying with electric razors you’ll never experience razor burn?

Of course not, because the bottom line is, is that you have to do whatever is comfortable for you. I just advocate for electric razors because it is my experience that they provide comfort, speed, and convenience.

That is why I see looking into electric razors as an investment. They’ll require once a year blade replacements and the razors that come with cleaning stations will need cleaning solution replacements as well.

They save you so much time, and there are many that offer different features. The varying choices and options available make it very possible for you to find something that works easily for you and gives you the timely shave you could only dream of.

Manual razors require time to perfect skill and ease. They also require different creams and lotions to ensure smooth shaves and less razor burns, but it takes a while to perfect your technique.

Choosing an electric shave is the equivalent of choosing between a digital clock or a traditional clock. It’s important to be able to read both, but we all know which one we’d prefer in this day and age.

What’s the Difference Between Them?

Unboxing

What exactly comes with each razor? Allow me to demystify that part for you! The Series 3 and Series 5 are both going to come with different attachables and things like the battery charging cord, but it’s good to know exactly what you’re buying.

Usually companies like to keep the contents of their Razor boxes subtle, and that’s not what we’re striving for here. We want you to be able to have the absolute amount of information possible before buying your razor.

Remaining transparent is important, so allow us to explain every detail about what purchasing one of these razors entail.

The Series 3 3040s comes with:

  • A travel lock head
  • A curly charging cord
  • A small cleaning MicroComb brush

It’s also good to know that Braun razor models that come with an ‘s’ at the end usually mean that the respective razor doesn’t come with a cleaning station and have it’s own self cleaning properties.

The travel lock head comes in handy when you have to travel and don’t want your razor accidentally turning on. The charging cord is something that won’t be preferable to everyone.

They’re terribly short and outdated, but if you find that quality trivial or materialistic then you’ll definitely get the bang for your buck! Now, the MicroComb brush is another story.

It’s a small piece of bristles and plastic that doesn’t seem very effective when cleaning your razor, so it may just as well be an afterthought in terms of the packaging.

The Series 5 5020s comes with:

  • A charging cord
  • A small cleaning MicroComb brush
  • 6 different beard trimmer attachments with varying size.

This Series 5 has a few updated qualities that allow for so many attachments to come with the packaging. The charging cord is one of those updates. They decided to leave the curly charging cord design in the past where it belongs, and gives us a longer and sleeker one.

The MicroComb in this version is pretty much the same, and still feels like an afterthought, but with the EasyClean system it’s hardly utilized anyway. Now, the best part are the varying beard attachments. They range from 0.5mm to 0.7mm sizes. The variability of the options are much welcomed and definitely utilized. Nothing excites more than options!

Needless to say, it’s evident in this aspect that you get what you pay for. If features and attachments don’t excite you and you want to keep it simple, then the Series 3 is perfect for you.

Now, for those of you who enjoy the options and don’t mind spending a bit more for quality at a decent price, then the Series 5 is where it’s at. These razors are built to last and give reliable shaves, but anything more than that at the same price is definitely something now to overlook.

Verdict: Braun Series 5 

Construction

The qualities of a razor build are important when it comes to the product life longevity and overall quality. This is where the Braun Series 3 and 5 have the most differences. The Series 3 models were manufactured in China whereas, starting with all the updated models, the Series 5 was manufactured in Germany.

The Braun Series 3 is a bulkier design, but makes up for it with a strong rubber grip on the sides of the razor. Despite its size, it’s also very lightweight. The Series 3 guarantees that it won’t slip from your fingers when you do wet shaves.

If it does slip, the bulky exterior seems promising that it could easily get back up again, but we recommend not testing that theory out. The Braun Series 5 Shaver has a slimmer more modern design, with the dotty rubber texture on the sides to also ensure a reliable grip.

Both of the razors pass the test in ergonomics, and depending on your preference, they both have aesthetically pleasing designs. These razors were definitely built to last, but they were also built with modern technology in mind.

I will say that the Series 5 design was so well received that Braun applied the slimmer design with their updated, more recent line of razors such as the Series 7,8, and 9.

Now, the Series 5 does have a glossy finish, so extra care may be needed. This is because products with glossy exteriors tend to scratch easily and if you want to keep your razor looking new, a little extra care can go a long way.

If we had to pick a razor based off this category, we’d go with the Series 5 because of its modern ergonomic design. Of course, it all depends on what you like, but the quality can only get better with a brand like Braun.

Product life longevity is important and it’s only normal that the updated design should last longer than its predecessors. If you find that you’re on a budget and don’t have the means to spend a little more for trivial things such as designs, by all means the Series 3 will get you there. It all comes down to what you prefer!

Verdict: Braun Series 5

Battery Life

Time means everything in our modern world, and little things like your razors shaving time can go a long way! Braun electric razors aren’t too different from other electric razors when it comes to charging your razor.

Both the Series 3 and 5 come with charging cords and a charging dock. Some of the more expensive models and submodels may come with a cleaning and charging station, but for a much more expensive price.

For this article, we decided to review the more economic options and picked the two models that only come with the charging cord and the charging dock. It’s an industry standard to use a Li-on battery, and both of these razors contain that quality, but for different amounts of shaving time.

Of course, as the company makes its updates on older products they can only do so much.

Braun Series 3

  • 3 level battery indicator on interface of razor
  • 20 minutes of shaving time with a 60 minute charge

Braun Series 5

  • Battery life indicator and hygiene status gauger
  • 50 minute shaving time with a 60 minute charge

As you can see, with a slightly more expensive price the features that the Series 5 has, outweighs the Series 3 in terms of battery life and display interface. Even though they take the same amount of time to charge, the Series 3 is a significantly lower shaving time.

Also, the Series 5 can allow you to charge the razor and shave at the same time. If your razor dies, and you’re pressed for time, the Series 5 offers a quick 5 minute charge and shave feature that can be a life saver for those hairy moments.

Of course, for those who want cheap, quick, and simple shaves then this quality shouldn’t matter, but we think it does. Therefore, we’ll have to go with the Series 5 again.

The updated features are worth the higher price in our books, and we can be assured that the quality is reliable.

Verdict: Braun Series 5

Cleaning

An important part about choosing an electric razor is learning the cleaning and upkeep that comes with each brand. The easier and simpler a brand makes this process, the better.

For Braun, usually they offer cleaning and charging stations with their razors that come at an extra cost, of course. Their stations are well regarded and can really be worth the cost for some, but for the models that we’re discussing here, the cleaning stations won’t play a factor.

The Series 3 and 5 offer different options of easy cleaning, and it’s important to discuss them both. Maintenance is an important part of the hygienic side of shaving and Braun has some interesting designs.

Their Series 3 offers a detachable razor head for you to run under the tap. This is pretty common with most affordable razors. Though these razors are cited to be 100% waterproof, the Series 3 is not built to be completely submerged and those should be wary of bringing it into the shower.

The Series 5 has a special feature called the Easy Clean system. The razor was built with finger pointed sized holes on the sides. The razor head is not detachable because according to the Easy Clean system running the razor head under the sink allows the water to enter the holes and flush the hair out from the razor head.

It’s a great feature that ensures optimal cleaning and a sturdy razor head. Detachable razor heads may be deal breakers for those who don’t want to bother with the finesse and intricacies of getting it back on.

Of course, you can buy the cleaning stations that are provided with the razors, but if cutting down on costs is your goal then the Series 5 offers the best easy cleaning around.

The simple design goes a long way and if you’re able to clean your razor this way after every shave, then it’s no question that the Series 5 has the Series 3 beat.

Verdict: Series 5

Shaving Experience

The best electric razor for you will always come down to how the shaving performance is. We’re talking about close shaves, quickness, and comfortability.

There are many compromisable features about expensive razors that can convolute prices and luckily, these razors give just enough while still remaining affordable.

Every electric razor should be able to deliver on these promises, that is why we looked into it, so you don’t have to!

Though these razors share many things in common, due to differences in their respective shaver heads their shaving experience reflects that change.

The Braun Series 3 and Series 5 share the same twin foil and trimmer system, upon closer inspection we found that the middle trimmer is much more effective at cutting longer hairs in the Series 5.

Series 3

  • 3 directional movement

Series 5

  • 8 directional movement

Because of this particular difference, the Series 3 may not be the choice for those with longer, unruly hairs. The updated and better designed trimmer in the Series 5, can cut even flat lying hairs, promising a more comfortable shave for those with stubborn stubble.

Of course, the Series 3’s only fault lies in this respect, but given the economical price it’s understandable. Another important factor about the shaving experience, is how to set up your razor when you first get it.

In our opinion, manuals are important tools of information to utilize when something goes wrong with the razor. Sadly, their manuals have a poor reputation. Braun may be reliable when it comes to their products, but expect the manuals to be a bit confusing and vague in its information.

If they could fix this one bit of their experience, Braun would have everyone buying their razors. We still recommend the razors because they do have quality build, just be wary of the manuals in case anything goes wrong!

Better to contact their customer support rather than tear your hair out trying to decipher the convoluted wording in these manuals. In terms of speed, you may have to sacrifice a close shave if you’re running late, but the Series 5 is just better equipped to deal with those moments.

Due to the smaller motor on the Series 3, it lacks the energy needed to tackle multi-growth hairs. The updated, larger motor on the Series 5 can handle it, no problem, but the need to rush the process and shave back and forth may cause skin irritation.

The Series 5 offers a reliable, powerful shave at an affordable price. Therefore, it’ll have to be our pick when it comes to the shaving experience offered.

Verdict: Braun Series 5

Conclusion

The Braun brand knows how to make a reliable razor, that much is given. Now, if we had to pick between the Series 3 or 5, we’d have to go with the Series 5. The updated model has many helpful features and characteristics that make the slightly higher price more worth our money.

Of course, the Series 3 has many positive qualities that make it a good beginning razor. If you’d rather the cheapest price then, the Series 3 comes with conditions. You’d have to be okay with shaving almost every day, given that the Series 3 can’t handle thick and unruly hairs as well as the Series 5 and above.

The Series 3 promises quite a few things, but we found that it only delivered on half of the points. Braun is also known for its expensive pricing, so anytime we see an older model get a price drop and touch up, it’s enough to want to take advantage of that.

The Series 5 is more refined and delivers on almost all the promises it makes. Everything that was appreciated in the Series 3 is updated and enhanced in the Series 5.

It’s a perfect razor for those with sensitive skin and can shave flat, unruly, and thick hairs without causing too much irritation. The shaving experience is a premium experience without the premium cost and that alone is enough to pick this model over the other one.

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