Braun Series 7 vs 9: Which One Should You Buy?

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Braun Series 7 vs 9: Which One Should You Buy?

Since the launch of Braun’s new flagship line, the Series 9, there’s been quite a dilemma in the electric shaving community: should you pick the latest and greatest Series 9 or is the Series 7 still good enough?

In this article we’ll tackle the Braun Series 7 vs 9 topic and try to objectively address all the relevant aspects. Moreover, we’ll see when you should choose one over the other and if it’s worth the upgrade for current Series 7 owners.

Different models in a series, same performance

Before diving into the meaty details, it’s important to note that both the Series 7 and Series 9 are available in different variations.

These include models suitable for dry only use (like the Series 7 790cc or the Series 9 9090cc), for wet & dry use (Series 7 797cc, Series 9 9290cc) and they can also come with or without a cleaning station.

Some models can have different names or color scheme depending on where they’re being sold. What really matters is that all the models in a series, be it 7 or 9, have identical shaving performance and selecting one variation over another simply comes down to your personal needs and budget.

For this reason I won’t be referring to specific models from the Series 7 or the Series 9, but rather to a series as a whole.

Since their original release, both the Series 7 and 9 have been updated and new models were introduced.

However, most of these updates were minor and didn’t improve the shaving performance to a significant degree. The most important addition is that all of the newer shavers are now suitable for wet & dry use.

If you would like to read more details about all the different shavers in the Series 7 and Series 9 you can check out the links below:

Braun Series 7 vs 9: shaving performance

There are many things to consider when deciding which electric razor would suit you the best.

However, most of us will agree that shaving performance is probably the most important one, so we’ll start this Braun Series 7 vs 9 debate by looking at three factors: closeness, comfort and shaving time.

1. Closeness

The Series 7 was and still is a very popular electric shaver. One of the main reasons for its massive success was the definitely the shaving performance.

The high quality micro-foil, machined with high precision, as well as the sharp blades and specially designed middle trimmer made the Series 7 one of the best electric razor of its time, capable of providing very close shaves.

Buy the Series 7 on Amazon.com

For most men, the closeness of the shave with the Series 7 should easily be good enough. The difference between shaving one side of your face with the Series 7 and the other one with the Series 9 will be negligible in the majority of cases, with a slight advantage for the Series 9.

However, I will say that getting a close shave with the Series 9 requires less effort from your part as it’s significantly more powerful and also faster.

2. Comfort

The Series 7 was for many years the benchmark in terms of comfort. As far as electric shavers go, it was arguably the best choice for men with sensitive skin.

The micro-pulsations made shaving with the Series 7 feel more like a gentle massage, while the shaving head remained reasonably cool during use, further increasing the comfort of the shave.

The four cutting elements of the Series 9

The four cutting elements of the Series 9

However, the Series 9 takes things one notch higher. With a more powerful motor and an improved design of the shaving head, the comfort during the shave is outstanding. The Series 9 remains perfectly cool during the shave, being extremely gentle to the skin.

Even men with blemish prone skin will probably be perfectly fine using the Series 9.

The redesigned shaving head, with an additional trimmer that lifts flat lying hairs, mows through the stubble with ease, reducing the number of passes and minimizing the risk of irritation.

Buy the Series 9 on Amazon.com

The Series 9 is the new reference in terms of comfort, although not by much as the Series 7 was already an excellent razor in this regard.

3. Shaving time

While the Series 9 marginally beats the Series 7 in the closeness and comfort departments, it’s the clear winner when it comes to shaving time and sheer power.

Being practically a beefed up Series 7, with more power and more cutting elements, the Series 9 shaves effortlessly even a two or three day beard and does so extremely fast.

Even if you have very coarse facial hair, the Series 9 will have no trouble in providing a very smooth and fast shave. If speed and effortless shaving is what you’re after, then the Series 9 is likely a better choice.

Winner: the Braun Series 9.

Build quality and ergonomics

The Series 7 set a very high standard for build quality and ergonomics. It was a sample of what made Braun world famous for its simple, innovative and user centered design solutions.

The new Series 9 is not really a clear advancement in this regard. The body of the razor is entirely made out of plastic and has a glossy chrome finish.

While there isn’t anything wrong with that, I would have expected the use of metal for such premium product, especially on the mighty expensive cassette — the older Series 7 actually has metal for this part.

The chrome finish is a fingerprint magnet and it’s impossible to keep it smudge-free. The glossy plastic will also begin to tarnish in time. There’s a glossy black color scheme as well, but it’s not available in the US.

The shaver itself is larger than the Series 7, but this doesn’t affect the ergonomics in a negative way; it still feels nicely balanced in the hand, with the rubber inserts on the back providing a very secure grip.

The shaving head of the Series 7 is definitely smaller and feels more nimble when shaving tricky areas, like the mustache or around a goatee. The Series 9 is bulkier and takes some getting used to, but that’s the downside of having an extra cutting element.

The pop-up trimmer on the Series 9 is definitely better; its positioning and operation are a clear improvement over the one found on the Series 7.

Winner: the Braun Series 7.

Purchase price and cost of ownership

This is a rare case in the Braun Series 9 vs 7 confrontation where the winner is pretty clear: the Series 7 takes the lead when it comes to value for money.

Braun Series 7 790cc

Check the price on Amazon.com

Braun Series 9 9290cc

Check the price on Amazon.com

We’re interested in 2 aspects here: purchase price and running costs. At the moment of writing, the price of a Series 7 is significantly lower compared to its Series 9 counterpart. Given the fact that it’s an older model, the price will probably go down even more as time passes.

The running costs imply new shaving heads (called cassettes) and cleaning cartridges (only for the models that come with a Clean & Renew station). Since the cleaning cartridges are the same, the only difference in running costs is made by the replacement heads.

The price of the Series 7 replacement cassettes is noticeable cheaper than the original 90s/90b Series 9 shaving heads (these were, as far as I know, discontinued and replaced by the newer 92s/92b cassettes).

Braun Series 7 70s/70b shaving head

Check the price on Amazon.com

The updated replacement shaving heads for the Series 9, called the 92s/92b, are backwards compatible with all Series 9 shavers, feature a titanium coated middle trimmer and are actually more reasonably priced, but they still cost more than the ones for the Series 7.

Braun Series 9 92s/92b shaving head

Check the price on Amazon.com

If you’re on a tighter budget and want to reduce your running costs as much as possible, then the Series 7 is definitely the better choice.

Winner: the Braun Series 7.

Cleaning and maintenance

I don’t usually recommend buying an electric razor with a cleaning station as I don’t consider them to be absolutely necessary, especially with foil shavers which are for the most part very easy to clean manually.

However, I will admit that Braun’s cleaning stations are probably the best in the industry and I actually suggest you opt for a model that comes with one, be it a Series 7 or a Series 9.

The reasons are quite simple. Firstly, it’s a really great cleaning station. The cartridges use an alcohol based solution that does an excellent job sanitizing and cleaning the shaver.

The solution also act as a lubricant, so there’s no need for additional lubrication of the shaver if you use the cleaning station regularly.

Secondly, Braun’s shaving heads can’t be taken apart, so a manual, thorough clean is more difficult. A cleaning station is definitely useful in this case.

Both the Series 7 and the Series 9 can be bought with or without a cleaning & charging station. They work the same way and use the same cleaning cartridges, but they are different. That means you won’t be able to use your Series 7 razor with a Series 9 station or the other way around.

series-9-cleaning-stationThe cleaning station for Series 9 has a more simplified, almost minimalist user interface that allows you to charge and clean the shaver with only one button.

However, the real downside compared to the one of the Series 7 is related to the drying phase of the cleaning cycle.

The older model that comes with the Series 7 uses induction heat for drying the shaving head and this process is completely silent.

The new base of the Series 9 uses a fan and while it is relatively silent (compared to other cleaning stations that use a fan), it takes almost three times longer to dry the razor. On the plus side, it does seem to dry it better than induction heat.

Winner: tie.

Braun Series 7 vs 9: Who should buy which?

Now that we’ve gone through all the important aspects of the Braun Series 7 vs 9, let’s see the scenarios where one would be more suitable than the other.

You should buy the Series 9 if you:

  • Want the absolute best in terms of shaving comfort and closeness and your budget is not really a concern
  • Have very sensitive, irritation prone skin
  • Need an electric razor that shaves extremely fast
  • Have very coarse facial hair
  • Shave irregularly, even every two to three days

Buy the Series 9 on Amazon.com

You should buy the Series 7 if you:

  • Want the best compromise in terms of performance, comfort and costs
  • Shave mostly daily or every other day
  • Have sensitive skin and moderate to thick facial hair

Buy the Series 7 on Amazon.com

If I were to weigh in on this matter, I would say that the Braun Series 7, regardless of its variations, would be perfectly fine for most men. My picks would be the 790cc for shaving dry or the 797cc for wet/dry use.

Series 7 owners: is it worth the upgrade to a Series 9?

If you already have a Series 7 and you’re wondering whether you should upgrade to a Series 9, the answer is not that straight forward.

If you’re currently satisfied with your Series 7, then the upgrade won’t be a significant improvement in terms of comfort or closeness. Definitely not to the extent of justifying the price difference.

The Series 9 will shave faster and you’ll likely see a difference in the time it takes to complete a shave, especially if you have very thick stubble. But that’s about it.

However, if you don’t find the Series 7 to shave as close, as comfortable or as fast as you’d like, then upgrading to a Series 9 is the more sensible decision. How significant will the upgrade be? Well, that really depends on your beard type and the shaving habits outlined above.

As mentioned in the beginning of this post, in 2016 Braun rolled out an update to the Series 9, mainly consisting in a titanium coated trimmer, wet & dry use for all variations and a new color scheme.

However, the shaving performance remains identical compared to the original Series 9. You can check out this article for an in-depth comparison between the two.

There’s really not a clear winner in this Braun Series 7 vs 9 battle when you consider all the facets of the problem. Regardless of your decision, you can’t really go wrong with any of the two as both the Series 7 and the Series 9 are arguably some of the best electric shavers you can buy today.

44 comments on “Braun Series 7 vs 9: Which One Should You Buy?

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  1. Michael Wadley

    Absolutely brilliant comparison – very, very helpful – thank you. I have long been a Braun convert and go straight to them but there is always this conundrum of a new model and technology to try and get your head around.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thank you for your comment, Michael. I really appreciate it. Glad to know you found the article useful.

      Best,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    2. Francis

      I agree absolutely with Michael. Extremely helpful article.
      I’ll stick with my Series 7.
      Thanks again!

      Reply
  2. Todorov

    Nice comparison, thank you!
    I’ve been using the Series 7 for some time. Couple of weeks ago my CC-station stopped working, so I’ve been considering an upgrade to the newer Series 9. However, looking at it, and holding it at the store left me with mixed feelings. Somehow, it feels more plasticky and not that sturdy in my hand. I’m not sure I like the chrome finish either. The positioning of the trimmer is also not that convenient IMO. So, I’m split. If the shaving performance is noticeably better for the Series 9, I’d live with the design, but otherwise… After all this thing is like 300 Euro over here. I can use my Series 7 without the CC-station just fine, it charges from the wall wart and cleans under running water. Also, once a week I “emulate” a cleaning cycle by immersing the tip of the head in a 70% alcohol with added a drop of liquid soap, and turn the shaver on for 30 sec or so. Haven’t noticed any deterioration of performance without the CC-station.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thank you for your comment. Shaving is a very personal matter and it’s difficult to objectively asses just how much better will a particular shaver be compared to another. It pretty much depends on your particular situation (how thick and dense is your facial hair, how often you shave and so on). I outlined in this article the cases where the Series 9 will be significantly better compared to the Series 7. If they don’t sound familiar, then the Series 7 will still be good enough.

      Hope this helps.

      Best,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    2. Kevin

      Todorov,

      I have had issues with my Series 7 Cleaning Station as well… what I found was that the drain gets clogged with beard dust. Check the port that goes into the receiver portion of the cassette and ream it out with a pipe cleaner. I do like your method of compromise, I’m stuck on the convenience of the cleaning station.

      Reply
  3. Todorov

    Thank you for your answer Ovidiu!

    I researched the subject a bit further, just to find that there is currently a serious shortage of Series 9 (and even Series 7 for that matter) replacement heads everywhere. Even here in Europe, these are nowhere to be found at normal prices, even in German stores.
    I didn’t expect this from Braun, apparently the P&G ownership doesn’t do them any favor. I’m not going to pay Euro 300 for something that may end up as paperweight later on, just because there are not consumables for it.
    So, I’ll keep my 7 and wait and see how Braun will resolve this shortage issue.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      You are very welcome. That is unfortunately true, there is a shortage of replacement cassettes for the Series 7 and apparently for the Series 9 as well. And the prices of these parts have really spiked as we speak. Things will likely improve in the future and the prices will probably go down again as the parts become widely available, but at least at this moment, one should probably be looking for an alternative. The Arc4 or Arc5 lines from Panasonic are two very good options. They’re also very easy to clean manually, so you can skip the cleaning station as well. In the past Braun used to have a clear advantage over the competition in terms of running costs, even for the high end razors as the replacement heads were inexpensive. The Series 5 (which is very similar to the Series 7) and the entry level Series 3 still have this advantage.

      Thank you again for sharing this with us in the comments.

      Best,

      Ovidiu

      Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      The trimmer on the Series 9 is wider, has a slightly less pronounced curvature which I find to work better and it slides up instead of sticking up perpendicular to the shaving head. It’s not perfect as the large head obscures it, but you can get around this by removing the cassette when you’re using the trimmer.

      Reply
  4. Todorov

    Well, after seeing that replacement cassettes have slowly started coming back to the market, I finally pulled the trigger on the Braun 9290 cc.

    I’ve been using this alongside my Braun 799 cc-6 for the past couple of weeks , and here is my two cents:

    Aesthetically, the Series 9, especially 92xx models are more appealing, with their matte-gray finish. The CC station also looks sleeker and cleaner in design, and although the quality of the components is perhaps the same, the whole package feels more expensive. One thing to note is that the base of the shaver (the part that accepts the shaving cassette) on the 9290 is made entirely of plastic, as is the body of the cassette itself. This is a step back from the Series 7, where there is a lot of metal parts around this area.
    Ergonomically, the Series 9 is a step up IMO. The body curves gently and fits the hand better. You get a very secure grip, which is an advantage if you shave in the shower for example. The head-blocking slider is well-positioned and oriented such, that pushing it unlocks the head-really smart. The display is easier to read, but I still prefer the segment display for cleaning status at the bottom of the 799. Here, you have only a simple drop-shaped light indicator. Compared to displays found on flagship models from Philips and Panasonic, the one on the 9290 feels low tech. Not a big deal, but at that price it should have been better. Unlike the 799, this one has a travel lock. The trimmer slides up parallel to the body of the shaver. While it feels sturdier, to use it precisely one needs to remove the shaving cassette- not optimal IMO.

    Shaving performance… hmm, this is a tough one. I recently changed the cassette of my 799, so the two are relatively new. Used dry, they are about the same in terms of closeness. The head of the 799 is slimmer, which makes it easier to shave mustache area. With two days growth of my rather coarse beard, the Series 9 has an advantage in terms of speed and comfort. I shave every day, occasionally skipping a day during weekends. I even tried 3 days (Friday-Monday) routine with the Series 9, and it was OK, whereas the Series 7 starts to struggle and it takes longer time to cut longer facial hair.
    Using wet, with Proraso shaving cream, both perform great, but again Series 9 has a slight edge, not in closeness, but in comfort. Used with a cream, I get virtually 100 % irritation-free shave. Splashing some alcohol-based AS lotion afterwards does not cause any sting.
    I’d say that the Series 9 is 5-10 % better overall. If one shaves every day or for people with softer and slower-growing beard the advantage of the newer model may be marginal or non-existent.

    The CC station works as advertised, not much to say here, except that the fan that is used to dry the head seems a bit too loud. My Series 7 CC station has quit working altogether, so I cannot compare them side by side, but from memory, it was quieter.

    Overall, I’m satisfied. This is clearly the best shaver Braun has produced to date. In terms of shaving performance it is killer, but at that price I’d expect to see a better, more informative display and a quieter drier fan in the CC station. I hope that the overall plastic construction of the head base will not affect the longevity of the product.

    Hope this helps.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thank you for taking the time to share your experience in such great detail. I must say that I agree pretty much in every aspect.

      All the best,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  5. Todorov

    Thank you Ovidiu for creating this good resource site and giving us the opportunity to share our thoughts.

    To be fair, I should say that the full price in Europe (Euro 269-299) is too high IMO. I got it for less than 200, with a pack of two extra cleaning carts included, on sale. At that price, one can say that it is a good deal, but at the regular price… I think the Series 7 prices have dropped substantially over the years, and it could be found easily for way under 200 Euro. I’d say that the Series 9 is worth no more than 20-25 % higher price than the current prices of the Series 7.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thank you for the kind words, I’m glad you found the information useful. 200 Euro for a Series 9 and two cartridges is an excellent deal.

      Reply
  6. Allan

    I’ve been pleased with the performance of my 790cc; I’ve used it for years and it’s been a great razor. However, it’s at this time just about impossible to obtain replacement cutter heads; if you can find them, the costs are absurd.

    Frankly, it sounds as if the situation with the 9 series is much worse; at least I can find heads for my 7 series, even if the price is insane. There seems to be many reports of there being simply no availability at all of any 9 series replacement heads.

    It’s been a great run with Braun, but I think it’s time to look at the Panasonic options, as I’ve eked out as much as I’m going to get with this current head, and the replacement price on the head alone is halfway to a brand new razor.

    Someone seems to be asleep at the switch there; this is like a car dealer telling you that they can sell you a car, but there are no replacement tires available for it.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thank you for your comment, Allan. Unfortunately you summed up the situation pretty accurate. The 70s/70b cassettes are expensive, while the 90s/90b or the 92s/92b are out of stock or cost as much as a new razor. There have been some complaints from the users regarding the Series 9 and reliability issues. Precisely, it has to do with the Hyper Lift & Cut trimmer (the one colored blue) falling apart after a few months of use. I haven’t personally experienced this problem with my review unit, but others have. I think this may have something to do with the shortage of the replacement cassettes – Braun trying to solve this problem and come up with a revised part. Some even speculated that the reason for the sudden update of the Series 9 (the newer 92xx models) was to actually replace the faulty shaving heads without explicitly admitting the problem. And it makes sense, the newer models only come with a slightly different color scheme and a golden colored trimmer. That’s hardly an update.

      Anyway, looking at alternatives certainly seems like a good idea, at least for now.

      Reply
  7. Phil Miller

    I’ve had a Panasonic ES-RT51 wet/dry shaver for a few years, and been reasonably happy with it, I only dry shave.
    I have a very short beard and moustache, so the trimmer doesn’t bother me as I use a separate trimmer. Lately my Panasonic has started giving me false readings for the battery.
    I tend to shave some days with a conventional razor, and then when I’m in a hurry do a quick shave with my Panasonic, because it’s not really as close as my conventional razor.

    I’ve been looking at Braun series 7 shavers because if you lose your battery power, you have the option to plug it in and use it corded, whereas my Panasonic has to be charged.
    I’ve just read your article about series 7 versus 9 and I’m not sure if that would be a good way to go. I prefer the foil type shaver so that I can easily work around my beard and moustache.
    Do you have any suggestions, I’m not too worried about budget within reason if it’s a good product.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Phil,

      For your particular case – short stubble and shaving around a moustache – I would say that a foil shaver is definitely the way to go. With that said, since you were reasonably satisfied with the ES-RT51, I would consider buying another 3 blade Panasonic. They perform very well when used on short stubble, so there’s really no reason to go for a high-end model. Moreover, top of the line shavers usually have 4 or even 5 blades, making the shaving head very bulky and highly inconvenient for maneuvering around a moustache/goatee. But keep in mind that all Panasonic shavers are suitable for wet/dry use, meaning that they cannot be used while plugged in as a safety precaution.

      Also, only the dry only Series 7 variations can be used while charging, like the 790cc. And that one is again another great option that would be suitable for your particular case (dry only shave, corded use). It is more expensive than a Panasonic Arc 3, but it’s arguably a better product as well.

      Hope this helps,

      Best,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Dennis,

      If the price is not an issue, you will probably benefit from the increased cutting power of the Series 9 since you have very thick hair – shorter shaving sessions, less passes and possibly less discomfort. The Series 7 is still a very good performer and the actual end result will probably be similar, even though getting there can be different to a certain degree when using the Series 7 or the 9. Both are pretty much the same in terms of comfort, arguably two of the best electric shavers in this regard.

      Hope this helps.

      Best,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  8. Braunster9

    Excellent insights and comparison. This week the price differential became less of a consideration for me, and I finally bought the USA version of the Braun 9295cc. Somehow, although the Braun site finally indicated it was available, Bed, Bath, and Beyond has it. Bottom line cost was $240. So not much more of a stretch cost wise. Any review I give would be kinda bogus, because I have not had it long enough to provide a true review of value. I have not had it long enough.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thank you for your comment and kind words. $240 for the 9295cc is a very good deal indeed. Hope you’ll enjoy your new shaver.

      Best,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  9. Erling

    Thanks for the great job, Ovidiu! I have had the Series 7 for a few years now, and am generally very pleased with the shaving results. The two things that bugs me are both related to build quality. First, the trimmer mechanism has broken twice, even with little use. The first time it was replaced under warranty, now I use a rubber band to keep it from popping half way up. Secondly, the paint on the body doesn’t seem to go well together with the cleaning fluid – the paint is flaking where it is in contact with the fluid. Has this been sorted out for the new offering? Or for the newer Series 7 machines for that matter?

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thank you for the kind words, Erling. While I haven’t personally experienced any of them with my Series 7, there are two notorious problems related to the build quality: the head locking mechanism that will often break – this is even acknowledged by Braun – and the chipping/flaking of the paint just below the cassette. Some users reported the flaking after a couple of years of use or more. I have quite a few shavers in my rotation and my Series 7 was used sparingly, so no flaking yet. The Series 9 is a relatively recent shaver and I cannot comment on this matter yet, but if I were to guess I’d say that this would still be a problem. Same goes for the newer Series 7. The cleaning fluid is still alcohol based and that won’t get along well with the paint over time.

      On the bright side, the damage is only aesthetic and won’t affect the shaver in other way.

      The trimmer on the Series 9 is a totally different implementation compared to the Series 7 and arguably a better one.

      Hope this helps.

      Best,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  10. Ian

    I have a series 7 and have the paint flaking issue – it looks pretty bad under the cutting head and I was thinking of changing and came upon this site as the series 7 was an option under consideration – if build quality is even weaker and less metal has been used that doesn’t seem very encouraging and suggests the corrosion by the alcohol based cleaning fluid is likely

    I think I will hold off for a while

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      I think that’s a good call, Ian. Also, there is still a shortage of Series 9 replacement heads and P&G customer support couldn’t tell me when they will be readily available. At least for the time being, I think the Series 7 and the Panasonic Arc 5 are two very compelling alternatives to the Series 9.

      Reply
  11. Dave

    Okay, I’ve been looking at these two ever since my barber used one on me after a beard trim. The major question I have here, which I haven’t seen addressed yet is which would be better for shaving your entire head on a regular basis? I have a long beard, and wouldn’t use the razor for anything on face except the neck area (bottom) to keep my lines tight. I have sensitive skin as well (Ginger hair, fair skin) but my head using conventional razors for the last couple years is like leather now. I never cut myself, my skin has hardened it seems and can take some punishment.
    Which brings me to my question in a model recommendation here…
    Braun 7 or 9? Or Panasonic Arc 5? I naturally used shaving creams while shaving head with a conventional razor, and haven’t (up to the point the Barber used his Braun 9 on my head) ever dry shaved my head before. The closeness wasn’t as good as a conventional razor (leaving head smooth as silk) but I can see myself saving a lot of time if I can dry shave and get a reasonable cut to keep my bald head looking fresh. I shave daily BTW.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Dave,

      if you plan on using the shaver (almost) exclusively for shaving your head, I would say that the Arc 5 seems to be the most suitable out of the three. First of all, the shaving head is massive and can cover a lot of ground quickly. Also, 4 out of the 5 blades are designed to cut short stubble close to the skin and this is again ideal since you shave your head daily and the shaver only has to deal with short hair. The Series 7 and 9 only have two foils designed for shaving close to the skin, the other elements/trimmers being intended to cut longer or flat lying hairs to a more manageable size. Finally, it is generally accepted in the community that Panasonic outperforms Braun strictly when it comes to the closeness of the shave, while Braun has the edge in terms of comfort. However, since you say that your skin can take some punishment, this shouldn’t be a problem. For these reasons my pick would probably be the Arc 5, even though I am quite sure that the other two will also be pretty good for shaving the head.

      Hope this helps.

      Best,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      1. Dave

        Ovidiu,
        Thank you very kindly for the reply, this is a fabulous read and it couldn’t have come at a better time. So you think that the Panasonic’s C/C base is worth it? It seems kind of inferior to the Braun’s offerings, and also no cartridges from what I can tell. It looks like little packets of possibly an alcohol mixture to clean the head. Reason I ask, currently the Series 9 can be had for as little as $240 on Amazon, but the Arc 5 surprisingly is $30 more at the time of this posting. Looking to save a few bucks if it’s not really needed. I wouldn’t even ask about the Braun, since their C/C base is pretty amazing.
        Warmest Regards.

        Reply
        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

          You are very welcome, Dave. Glad to hear you found it helpful. Regarding the cleaning stations, the ones from Braun are very good indeed and definitely better than the ones that originally came with the first generation Arc 5. However, the ones included with the second gen Arc 5 (the ES-LV95-S you are referring to) and the third gen (ES-LV9N, but that one is still obscenely expensive) were significantly improved. The small packets/sachets contain a detergent that must be mixed with water. It is actually pretty cheap to buy and will also last quite a bit, so the running costs will be lower compared to Braun’s cleaning cartridges. And Braun’s solution is alcohol based, so some might argue that it is better at sanitizing the shaver. I wouldn’t say that one base is definitely better than the other and I think you’ll be satisfied with either of them. One advantage of Panasonic’s cleaning base is that you can just toss the shaver in it even if it’s wet and covered in lather. With Braun, the shaver must be perfectly dry and free from any foam/lather/soap as this will clog the base. This is only an issue if you plan on using the shaver with shaving cream, but if I remember correctly that won’t be the case. Unlike the Series 9, the Arc 5 is very easy to clean manually – something to keep in mind if you decide to skip the CC base – Panasonic also offers that shaver without a base at a lower price (ES-LV65-S). But definitely get the clean & charge station with the Series 9. You can also refer to this article for a very detailed comparison of the Arc 5 and the Series 9, even though it doesn’t explicitly address head shaving.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
  12. Amjad

    Good comparison. Just one question, is base or cleaning station identical or series 9 shaver can be used on series 7 station?

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thank you for your comment, Amjad. Regarding your question, the answer is definitely no, the Series 9 cannot be used with the cleaning station that comes with the Series 7. They are different, the Series 7 stays slanted at an angle into the station, while the Series 9 stays straight. Not to mention that it won’t physically fit and the metal studs on the back of the shaver won’t align with the ones inside the station.

      Reply
  13. Roy

    Something I don’t think you touched enough on was the popup razor/shaver portion. The 9 looks so much better than the 7. The 9 is like the older series braun that come straight up making it much easier to control for cutting around the ears and neck. I think this is a huge difference and makes the 9 a lot better.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Roy, that is correct, I only touched on this subject and I fully agree with your opinion regarding the trimmer on the Series 9. It is indeed better.

      Reply
  14. RKSwamy

    I was frantically looking for a comparative analysis between 7 and 9 series and finally found your article. I am a big fan of Philips, for the last 8 years. Now, I want to try a foil shaver. I shave daily, so decided to buy 7 series. Thank you guys for this wonderful piece.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hey there, thank you for the kind words. Glad to hear you found the information helpful.

      Best,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  15. Rachel

    Hi, I’d like to Thank you for such a good comparison, very usefull and I’m saying this right after I called their customer care for product info, your article is so much better.

    Just a simple question, with all the improvements, will 9 feels much cleaner and better than 7? I’ve read lots reviews online and found 7 has much better ratings than 9, lots people complain about 9 takes long time with angled places and not comfortable.

    I’m trying to understand this whole new world with shaving to figure out which is the best yo buy for my bf as a girl lol, it’s quite hard though.

    He doesn’t have lots beard and he shaves everyday (not on the weekedends) his current device is a million years old from Philip’s in an extremely ugly blue colour and he’s still happy with it.

    I think he just need a fast and comfortable one so I guess 7790/7795 will be good enough but one thing that attracted me from 9 is you mentioned 9 remains cool during shaving. He has very very short hair and I heard him hoping the shaving device could just do a simple shave&clean job for his hair, but if the shaving head heat up it will burn as the skin on head area is quite sensitive. 9095 is what I’m looking at in 9 series.
    It will be good to have wet&dry but I don’t think it’s essential, budget doesn’t really trouble me but I shall hope to get the best value and experience for what I pay.

    Pls guide me on this. I will be very grateful.

    Rachel

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Rachel,

      Thank you for the kind words. In this situation – shaving daily, light to medium beard – I would say that the Series 7 would be a perfectly fine choice. The Series 7 also remains adequately cool during use, so there’s no need to worry about that.

      The Series 9 gets a lot of bashing online and there are very polarizing opinions. I think the main culprit for this is a combination of Braun over-hyping the product, the high price tag and maybe even the flashy chrome look compared to the crowd’s favorite, the Series 7. The replacement shaving heads used to be impossible to find and the price was ridiculous.

      Regarding its capabilities, I found the Series 9 to be at least as good as the Series 7, but everyone’s experience is different and there are other variables at play as well, like shaving technique, facial features, beard density etc.

      As I said in the article, for most men the Series 7 should be a suitable shaver. If your boyfriend currently uses a rotary shaver it may take a while to get used to the new shaving technique implied by a foil shaver, so keep this in mind as well.

      Hope this helps.

      Best,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  16. John

    Thanks for such a awesome review. I’m looking to replace my Norelco head shaver because blades are almost impossible to find. Stuck between the Series 7 and 9 also. I’m going to use it to shave my head and my hair on the back of my head gets a bit thick. Do you think it is worth the extra money to go to the series 9? Will these be ok for shaving my head or should I look at a different shaver?

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi John,

      thank you for your comment. For shaving your head I would say that a rotary shaver will probably work better. Reaching behind the head is already a bit tricky and a foil shaver that only works against the grain by using straight (up and down) strokes can make this more difficult and increase the time it takes to complete a shave. A rotary shaver on the other hand works better with the spherical surface of the head and the flexing heads maintain better contact with the skin. Also, you can use circular, overlapping motions, up and down or sideways strokes and still be able to shave the hairs efficiently.

      I would definitely still consider a Philips Norelco as an option before going for either of the Series 7 or 9. The Norelco 8900 for example is an excellent compromise of price and performance.

      The Series 9 has more power, an extra cutting element and more advanced flexing of the head compared to the 7, which will result in a faster shave. As I said in the article, in the majority of cases the benefits of the Series 9 over the 7 aren’t enough to justify the high price.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  17. Scott Lane

    Your reviews are so helpful, thorough, and unbiased. Thank you for all the knowledge and expertise you provide!

    I am particularly interested in having a shaver that allows both corded and cordless operation so that when the battery runs down I can instantly finish shaving prior to the next charge. Do any of the latest (2017) models of Braun Series 7 or Series 9 offer 2-way usability?

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Scott,

      thank you for the kind words, I really appreciate it.

      Regarding your question, only the models that are suitable for dry use exclusively can be used both corded and cordless. Since all the latest Series 7 and 9 are suitable for wet & dry operation, you cannot use any of them while charging. If this is a must have feature for you then your only option would be to go for a previous model, like the Series 7 790cc or Series 9 9090cc.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply

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