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Last Updated on October 19, 2020
Shaving can be a tricky business. There are lots of edges to navigate, wrinkles to overcome, and nooks and crannies to maneuver around. Plus there’s the problem of sensitive skin or avoiding spots and blemishes.
And that’s all without taking into account the decisions that need to be made about what beard style will work best, how long to keep the sideburns, and where to stop shaving between the neck and the chest.
But while these are problems that you will have to solve yourself, there is one aspect of shaving that we can help you with, and that is which shaver you should buy.
If you’re looking into getting an electric shaver for the first time, or if you are looking to upgrade or replace your existing shaver, chances are that you’ve decided to go for a Braun electric shaver.
They were some of the first on the market, back in the 1950s, and they’ve been leading the way ever since. The question is, which shaver should you get?
Braun has a number of different series, which tend to come in a similar price bracket and offer similar shaving experiences. In this article, we will be taking a look at the Braun Series 5. We also have reviews of the other series’ shavers on this site which you can take a look at too.
Here we are going to be explaining the key aspects of the Braun Series 5 electric shavers. We’ll be talking about the design features, how best to clean them, the battery life, how the trimmers fare, and, most importantly, the performance of the shavers.
But before all of that, we’re going to explain the system that Braun Series 5 has for its different models.
Different models available
If you’ve taken a look online at the Braun Series 5, chances are that you’ll have been somewhat overwhelmed by the amount of choice available to you.
There are a lot of different models available, and it can be really hard to tell what the difference is between them all, and why some of them seem to cost so much more than others.
But although it seems overwhelming, there’s actually a fairly easy way to tell them apart.
The Series 5 began with shavers that had three digit numbers. Braun then did an upgrade within the series, so the newer shavers have four digit numbers instead. These new shavers all being with 50** or 51**.
The ones that began 50** are the first line of newer models. The ones that begin with 51** are the result of another mini upgrade, known as the 5² generation. All of the shavers have similar shaver features, but have been improved in terms of their battery life or the modes available.
You’ll then see some which have an ‘s’ next to the number, while others have ‘cc’. The ‘s’ options are a simpler option, while the ‘cc’ indicates that it comes with a ‘clean and charge’ station. We’ll go through how this works when we discuss the cleaning of the shavers below.
From the indicators that we went through above, it becomes easier to work out the different prices that you will be presented with. In general, the ones with three digits will be cheaper, as they belong to an older generation.
The shavers with four digits that begin with ‘50**’ will mostly be in the middle of the price range. They often make a good choice because they are very similar to the newest line, but because they are a bit older, their price tends to be a bit lower.
Then the ones that have four digits and begin with ‘51**’ will be the more expensive ones, because they are the newest in the line. Similarly, the ones that end with ‘cc’ tend to be more expensive, because of the clean and charge stations that they come with.
You’ll also be able to see that some of the shavers tend to come with different accessories, like travel cases, or extra beard brushes. Needless to say, these additional features tend to lift the price a little.
The design of the Braun Series 5 electric shavers is fairly homogeneous across the whole range. They come in the slick black colour that we associate with the Braun shavers, and the Series 5 has a glossy finish.
Although this makes the shaver look sleeker than the Series 3 shavers, it does mean that it is easier to smudge or scratch the shaver, so it might require a little extra care.
The Braun Series 5 is a majority black colour, with small bits of red or blue detail, while the shaving heads (cassettes) come in either black or silver.
The design of the Series 5 is so sleek that the Series 9, which is the high end of the Braun range, has the same design. The handle is widest at the top, near the cassette, and then tapers down in the middle.
This means that it is a very comfortable fit in the hand, with the thumb resting easily over the power button. The shavers come with a rubber grip which means that it feels really safe in your hands, including if it’s going in the shower and getting wet.
The display panel sits under the power button and has LED lights that indicate the battery status and the cleaning status. In the latest 51** models, the battery indicator has three lights to keep you more updated. This shaver is longer and heavier than the Series 3 models, but it still feels sturdy in the hands.
Although knowing about the grip and the colour scheme of the shavers is good to know about, it is the shaving heads, also known as cassettes, that are really essential to know about when you’re purchasing a shaver, so let’s look at what they have to offer.
The Braun Series 5 shavers use two outer foils, which are designed to catch the smaller hairs, and between these two foils lies the centre trimmer. The Series 5 cassettes are a big step up from the Series 3 shaving heads, and actually more closely resemble those of the Series 7 shavers.
The outer foils have ActiveLift Trimmers, which are more adept at catching the hairs that lie flat against the skin and grow in different directions. The trimmer in the middle catches the longer hairs and trims them.
Another difference between this and the more rudimentary Series 3 is that the three elements can all pivot independently, which should really help you to catch all the hairs, even when they’re growing in different directions.
It can also lock into place in five different positions. When the shaving head is locked in one of the more extreme positions, the foil retracts, so that you can get a closer shave. This is a really neat trick within the Series 5. The lock feels a bit sturdier than some of the more advanced models too.
All of the Series 5 models come with a pop-up trimmer that simply slides up the back of the shaver. This trimmer is a great way to access some of the trickier parts of shaving, such as the moustache, sideburns, or a goatee.
In contrast to the Series 3 trimmer, this one doesn’t extend quite as high over the shaving head, which is a shame as it means that there is slightly less visibility.
However, as it is a little narrower, there is better precision when using this trimmer, so you can achieve a neater shave.
Having said that, the trimmer is not very powerful. As it is also a bit clunky with lower visibility, this trimmer probably won’t replace your dedicated trimmer for such areas, but it is a nice addition to the shaver.
It is particularly good if you often find yourself on the road, or travelling for business, and tend to want to keep your luggage to a minimum.
The Braun Series 5 electric shavers have a great battery life. The older models last for 45 minutes, while the newer shavers (those in the 51** range) last for 50 minutes. This means that if you tend to shave for around 4 minutes, you can shave twelve times without needing to recharge.
Plus, if you do need to recharge, they all have the option of a quick charge. This quick charge only takes 5 minutes and will provide sufficient charge for you to shave. So if you’re in a rush, or if you often forget to charge your shaver, you still shouldn’t have any problems fitting in your morning shave.
The Braun Series 5 shavers use Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) batteries, which are a bit lighter than the old Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMh) batteries that the Series 3 uses. Plus they are more efficient at charging.
The shavers can be charged by plugging in directly to the bottom of the shavers, or by using a charging stand.
Some of the electric shavers come with clean and charge stations, as we will discuss below, which can be an easy solution. There are now also some cordless models, such as the 5190cc, which will make it much neater to use.
One of the great aspects about the Braun Series 5 electric shavers is that they are all waterproof up to 5m. This doesn’t mean that you need to take it with you to the bottom of the swimming pool, but it does mean that you can really easily keep it clean.
It’s really important to keep your electric shaver clean, so that it continues to run smoothly and so that you can get that fresh shave. Keeping it clean also means that it has a much longer life-span.
Given that they are waterproof, you can clean it after every couple of shaves under running water, and that should do the job. Some people even recommend using sewing machine oil around once a week to lubricate the blades, but that’s your choice.
If you want to keep the shaver clean, but you know that you have a tendency to be a bit lazy about it, maybe you should continue getting one of the models that comes with a clean and charge station. They tend to cost a little more, but they are super simple to use.
You can plug it in after every shave, or whenever you think it needs it, and it will use an alcohol-based solution to clean the shaving head for you, all while it charges it too. Of course, this accessory makes the models cost a little more, but it could well be worth it if it helps to preserve the life of your electric shaver.
One downside of the clean and charge stations that is worth mentioning, is that they aren’t very good if you’ve been using shaving foam.
You would need to clean that off before you plugged them in. So if you tend to shave with foam, it might be worth getting a model that you would just clean by hand, rather than forking out for a feature that you couldn’t use.
Now for the final aspect that we are reviewing of the Braun Series 5 electric shavers, the performance. The Braun Series 5 is a great model that uses the technology of the more advanced models, like the Series 7, but at a lower price-tag. It is far better than the Series 3 model at tackling longer hairs, or hairs that grow in different directions.
Plus the ability to pivot and the retracting foils mean that it is much easier to obtain a closer shave.
Although the trimmer could be more powerful, it is still good at dealing with those longer hairs. Meanwhile, the bigger motor means that it can tackle hair that has been growing for more than a couple of days, which the Series 3 really struggles with.
There are different versions that work in both wet and dry, or just dry, so you can choose what would suit your shaving needs best.
Needless to say, the ones that have wet capability don’t work when plugged in, as a safety measure. Only a couple of the dry-models do, in fact. However, given the great battery life, this is unlikely to be necessary anyway.
Now that we’ve been through the features that mark out the Braun Series 5, you should feel much more comfortable making your purchasing decision. We’ve been through the battery life, that tends to be 45-50 minutes, and the charging, which can involve a clean and charge station too.
We’ve seen that they are all waterproof to 5m, so can be cleaned manually, and we’ve taken a look at the shaving heads and trimmers, to see how they achieve that close shave.
And we’ve also been through the differences between some of the different models. So now you should be able to go off and buy the electric shaver that works for you with a lot more confidence.
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