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Last Updated on October 14, 2020
Okay, so during the international lockdown that we have all experienced in some shape or form, shaving every day might have started to be a distant memory.
Perhaps you tried out a goatee, or grew the twirly moustache you’ve always suspected would suit you, or just went for the full-on caveman vibe.
But returning to the world means doing something about that daily facial hair growth. Maybe you’ve always used a manual razor, but you’ve decided that you’re now an electric shaver kind of guy.
Or maybe all your facial hair games during lockdown have caused your shaver some issues so you’re looking for an upgrade. Either way, you’ve decided to get a new shaver, but knowing which one is the right choice for you can seem a bit overwhelming.
There’s no doubt that you’ll have seen that Braun somewhat dominates the electric shaver market. Braun have been making electric shavers since the 1950s, and they are still making them with high-end German technology today in Germany itself.
This means that you know that they are effective, reliable and have cutting-edge technology. But how do you work out which is the right shaver for you? The Series 7 acts as the unofficial benchmark for all shavers, but is it worth spending the extra dollars on it?
Well luckily for you, we’ve done the research so that you don’t have to. So take a look at the article below, and we’ll go through the main features of each series, the various models, and how to tell them apart so that you can decide which shaver is the best one for you.
Braun Series 5 vs Series 7 at a Glance
If you don’t have much time, but still want to work out what the main differences are between these two electric shaver series by Braun, we’ll give you a super-quick run-through here.
Braun Series 5 Advantages:
- Nice, ergonomic design
- Very similar shaving head design
Braun Series 5 Disadvantages:
- Less power
- The trimmer blocks your view a bit when in use
- Bulkier, less effective clean and charge station
Braun Series 7 Advantages:
- AutoSense technology to adjust for beard density automatically
- Skin guard makes it better for sensitive skin
Braun Series 7 Disadvantages:
- More expensive
- Head locking mechanism prone to breaking if moved after locked
- No travel lock
Winner: Don’t want to read the full article? The editor’s choice is the Braun Series 7.
What’s the Difference Between Them?
Okay, so now we’re going to get into the main differences between the Braun Series 5 and Series 7. But before we explore the main features, we’ll give you a quick run-down of how to differentiate between the various models, so that you’ve got a better idea of what’s available.
The Braun electric shavers have such an overwhelming large selection, that it can feel almost like they’ve created them just to confuse you. But fear not, it’s actually quite simple to tell them all apart.
And the main thing to remember is that within each series (i.e. within all the Series 5 shavers, or within all the Series 7 shavers), the main differences tend to be about whether it is a dry or wet/dry shaver, whether or not it comes with a clean and charge station, the color, and what accessories it comes with.
So, once you’ve worked out whether you want to go for Series 5 or Series 7, the rest will just be about which extras best suit your needs.
Firstly, you’ll notice that the model names tend to come with either an “s” or “cc” next to the number. The “s” indicates that it is a solo shaver, in contrast with the “cc”, which highlights that it comes with a ‘clean and charge’ station. We’ll go through the different cleaning options in more detail below.
If you are looking at the Series 5 shavers, then the next thing to realise is that they originally came with three digit numbers, and the upgrades have four digits. These shavers that have four digit model numbers all begin with 50** or 51**.
The ones that begin with 50** are the first line of the newer models, while the ones that begin with 51** are the result of another mini upgrade, known as the 5² generation.
Again, as we mentioned, all of the Braun Series 5 electric shavers have similar shaver features, but they have been improved somewhat in terms of the modes they work on, or their battery life.
In terms of the Series 7 shavers, they are also split into two generations, the first of which has three digit model numbers starting with 7**. These shavers come in black or silver and have three speed settings (except the 797cc which has five settings).
In contrast, the new generation of Series 7 shavers begin with 78**. They all work in wet & dry, have five speed settings, and come in silver, black or grey. The only one that doesn’t follow this pattern is the new Braun Series 7 7780cc, which is dry only.
Both series have a huge array of models available, offering a variety of features and accessories.
Although the Series 5 has more options, the Series 7 brought out its new range in North America and Australia at the start of 2020, with it reaching Europe in summer.
As such, it has been upgraded more recently, so the Series 7 is our choice for this round.
One of the big advantages of the electric shaver over a manual razor is the additional power that it can provide. But is the Series 7 a big step-up in terms of power? And how much power do you really need?
Well when it comes to max power, there is less of a difference between the Series 5 and the Series 7 than you might think. They actually both have a shaving efficiency of 30,000 per minute, compared to 40,000 for the Series 9.
Having said that, the Series 7 does provide a faster and quieter shave. However, the bigger difference lies between the different settings available. As we discussed when we went through the different models above, the older generation of the Series 7 has three settings, while the newer generation has five settings.
In contrast, the Series 5 mostly has three settings, except the 5090cc, which has five settings, and the 5040s, which only has two settings. These different settings are designed to help with reducing the power for more sensitive areas, such as your neck.
Both shavers have similar max powers, but the variety of settings makes the Series 7 a better choice when it comes to power.
The Series 5 and Series 7 are both very similar in terms of the design of their shaving heads, also known as cassettes. Both shavers use two outer foils, which have a pattern of irregularly shaped holes.
This design is meant to be optimal for catching the smaller hairs. These outer foils have ActiveLift Trimmers, which are also more adept at catching the flat-lying hairs that tend to grow in all kinds of directions.
In the centre of the two outer foils, there’s a centre trimmer, which is better at catching and trimming the longer hairs. The three elements also have the ability to pivot independently, a feature which the Series 3 shavers do not have.
This is really useful for trying to catch the hairs that are lying in different directions. In fact, Braun calls these shaving heads “8-D”. It’s not anything to do with time and space, but rather that they both have the flexibility to move in eight diffections.
This helps it to adapt to your skin and capture the hair effectively, even in the hard-to-reach spots.
The two series have pretty much the same shaving heads, so we are going to have to call this one a draw.
Despite having almost identical shaving heads, the two series actually have really different shavers. For a lot of people, the trimmer on the Series 5 was a bit of a disappointment after the Series 3 shaver, which popped up to be higher than the shaver, making it more usable.
The Series 5 shaver is located at the back, which is what Braun has repeated for the Series 9. However, in contrast to the Series 3 trimmer, the trimmer on the Series 5 doesn’t really reach any higher than the shaving head.
The location makes it difficult to see when in use, and given that the trimmer is often the feature required for the trickier areas, this is a bit of a design flaw. In contrast, the Series 7 has put the trimmer at the front, and it pops up perpendicular to the shaver.
While the shaving head does still obscure the view somewhat, it is much easier to use than the Series 5 trimmer. Neither is good enough to replace a stand-alone trimmer, if you have one.
However, if you don’t currently own a trimmer, or if you tend to travel a lot and want to carry fewer items, the Series 7 is a reasonably good stand-in.
Neither series has nailed the trimmer yet, however, the Series 7 is a notably better option than the Series 5.
The key difference between the two lies in the Sonic Technology that the Series 7 has implemented. If it sounds high-tech, it’s because it is. This is a feature which provides 10,000 micro-pulsations per minute, which helps the foils to vibrate, in turn lifting the hairs better, to provide a more efficient shave. I
t means that you need to use fewer strokes to catch and cut your hairs, in particular the flat-lying hairs. This is also part of the reason why the Series 7 is better for sensitive skin. It is more forgiving on your skin if you have a tendency to push too hard when you shave too.
Whether you have sensitive skin, want a closer shave, or are looking for a quicker shaving experience, the sonic technology makes the Series 7 a real winner with this feature.
If you’re moving to your first electric shaver, you might be concerned about having to keep it charged. However, with both the Braun Series 5 and the Series 7 shavers, this doesn’t need to be a concern as they both have a great battery life.
Firstly, they both only take an hour to reach full charge. From there, the older Series 5 models last for 45 minutes, while the newer models (those in the 51** range) last for 50 minutes. The Braun Series 7 shavers also last for 50 minutes.
To put this into perspective, four minutes is a standard shaving time. So with 50 minutes of charge, you can shave around twelve times without needing to recharge your shaver. This makes either a series a great option for if you tend to go away a lot and don’t want to have to take a charger with you.
They also both have the great option of a quick charge. This means that in just five minutes, the shaver will have enough charge for you to do a full shave. So even if you’re often in a rush, you should always be able to get your shave in without having to wait to charge first.
The newer Braun Series 5 shavers have improved to match the Series 7, however, as the whole of the Series 7 range lasts for 50 minutes, the Series 7 shavers are the winners when it comes to battery.
All of the Braun Series 5 and Series 7 electric shavers are waterproof up to 5m, so keeping them clean isn’t an issue. If you have one of the shavers from the “s” range, they will need to be cleaned under running water after every couple of shaves, and they should also be lubricated every week or so.
However, if you don’t want to have to worry about the cleaning routine, it is probably best for you to go for a shaver from the “cc” range. For both the Braun Series 5 and the Series 7 shavers, there is the option of getting a shaver with a “clean and charge” station.
This does exactly what you might imagine. You plug your shaver into the station, and it cleans it while it charges. It uses an alcohol-based solution which sanitises the blades and dries quickly, as well as lubricating the foils and blades.
There is a bit of a difference between the two clean and charge stations. The Series 5 station is a bit bulkier, so if you have limited surface space, and want it to be a permanent feature, the Series 7 station is a better choice for you.
The Series 7 stations are also compatible with the solo “s” range, which the Series 5 stations are not.
Both shavers have the excellent option of a clean and charge station, however the Series 7 station is more compact and provides a better service, so the Series 7 is the better choice for this feature.
If price is your main concern, the Series 5 is the shaver for you. However, there isn’t that much difference between the two series. The Series 7 is an upgraded series, and one of the standard-setters in the industry.
However, it has been out for a while now, and both shaver series lie in the mid-price bracket. The Series 7 has quite a few upgraded features, which probably make it worth the extra $20 or so, but if you don’t think the few upgrades are worth it, the Series 5 is still a great choice, and it’s cheaper.
The Braun Series 5 is cheaper, so when it comes to price, it is the clear winner.
So, to recap. Both the Series 5 and the Series 7 can be for dry only, or for wet and dry, and both can come solo (“s”) or with a clean and charge station (“cc”).
They are both equally powerful, but the Series 7 has more settings, which allow you to alter the speed depending on what is required. The Series 7 also has Sonic Technology, to help to provide a smoother shave, and a better design for the trimmer.
So while the Series 5 is a cheaper option, and provides a fairly similar experience, we prefer the Series 7 shavers. But it doesn’t matter what we think. Which series will be better for you?