The good: smooth and comfortable shaves, excellent wet shaving performance, quiet, solidly built with excellent ergonomics, long hair trimmer, inexpensive and durable replacements for the cutting block, good battery life, reasonably priced
The bad: can feel a bit underpowered at times, not the best long hair trimmer, works best for daily or two days shaving, no travel pouch or lubricant included, no significant updates compared to the older 340s-4
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Braun’s refreshed Series 3 line is set to maintain its strong position in the affordable shavers category.
The ProSkin 3040s, the successor of the highly popular 340s-4 is likely to become a best-seller by balancing costs and features. Without further ado, let’s see how it performed in our detailed Braun 3040s review.
The ProSkin 3040s is part of the wet & dry razors from the Series 3 and sits somewhere in the middle of the pack considering its price and features.
The shaver comes with the usual three blade setup, with two outer foils for cutting hairs close to the skin and one middle trimmer that deals with longer stubble. Around this trimmer there is a microcomb that should feed hairs more effectively to the cutters. The three cutting elements can move independently and are integrated into a single cassette, so they can’t be bought and replaced separately.
The shaver also has an integrated long hair trimmer, a 3-level LED indicator for battery status and can only be operated cordless. Other noteworthy features are the 5 minute quick charge option and 100% waterproofing, allowing it to be used in the shower as well.
Overall, a basic, no-frills razor that gets the job done.
Build quality and ergonomics
Upon first holding the razor in hand, you will notice that it’s nicely weighted and has substantial girth. The generous blue rubber inserts provide a fantastic grip and can be handled very securely, even when it’s wet.
The materials used are black plastic with both matte and glossy finish; the razor feels very solid and durable and in my subjective opinion it looks even better than its predecessor.
The power button is rubberized and it takes quite a lot of force to press. Since the 3040s doesn’t feature a travel lock, I guess this is a good thing as there is no way you could turn it on by mistake. The protective cap does extend over the ON/OFF switch and also acts as a travel lock, so props to Braun for trying to make up for the lack of a built-in one.
Here are a few photos with the 3040s used in this review:
My only gripe with the otherwise excellent ergonomics has to do with the glossy plastic of the shaving head. It becomes very slippery when wet or when used with a shaving cream and it’s a bit of a pain to remove. Besides, you must be extra careful as you have to press hard on the sides to remove it and when the head finally pops out you could drop it and damage it.
You can check out our short unboxing video below:
Battery life and charging
It’s pretty much the usual business with regards to battery life and charging. As previously mentioned, the razor can only be operated cordless for safety precautions. To do that, it comes with a rechargeable Ni-MH battery that provides enough power for 45 minutes of use.
Charging the razor is done with the included brick, pretty compact in size and one that also features an extendable cord. There is a convenient 5 minute quick charge for those times when you’re in a hurry and the battery is fully drained.
Speaking of which, battery life proved to be excellent, pretty much on par with the best razors I’ve used in this regard.
Cleaning and maintenance
The refreshed Series 3 also includes two shavers that come with Braun’s excellent cleaning & charging station – namely the 3090cc and 3050cc. That’s not the case with the 3040s in our review, so you’ll have to resort to manually cleaning your razor. And that’s pretty easy to do.
If you use the 3040s for dry shaving only, just remove the shaving head and tap it out on a flat surface. With the included brush, remove the hair and debris from the inner area of the head. Do not use the brush on the foils or inner blades as this can damage them. You can also rinse the parts under running water for a more thorough cleaning.
Once in a while it’s a good idea to use a bit of liquid soap and running hot water to remove older debris and grit that may have stuck to the cutting parts. This step is mandatory after every use if you’re shaving with cream or gel. This is when a shaver that has separate cutters and foils is usually easier to clean; Braun uses a cassette that integrates both, making it a bit more difficult to clean thoroughly.
To maximize the performance and minimize the wear on the cutting parts, it’s recommended to apply one drop of fine machine oil on the foils once a week, especially if you regularly clean your razor with water. Braun includes a small bottle of lubricating oil with some of its razors. But not with this one, which is a bit odd since it’s a wet/dry shaver that is likely to be cleaned with water and soap.
I was expecting a familiar experience with the 3040s since it’s not very different from the older Series 3 380s-4 and 340s-4 I reviewed some time ago. It turns out I was right. And that’s a good thing for the most part.
I used the Series 3 3040s as my only shaver for two weeks; during this time, I shaved daily, every other day and every two days.
Dry shaving performance was good overall; I got the best results when I shaved daily with the 3040s. This wasn’t a surprise as in my experience the lower end electric razors yield the best results when used daily or every other day.
The closeness was adequate and the comfort excellent. The razor does a very good job at shaving short hair, but has some trouble with longer, flat lying hair from a few days of growth. Some were left behind and I had to go over certain areas a few times. Again, nothing out of the ordinary for a basic electric shaver.
I didn’t experience any discomfort during use, be it irritation, razor burn or pulling on the hair. Also, using an electric pre-shave (Speick pre-electric lotion in my case) seemed to help.
While the dry shaving experience was good, using the 3040s with shaving cream was a real pleasure. The closeness of the shave was even better, while the comfort was sublime. I even tried forcing it to cause me some discomfort by applying more pressure and doing unnecessary passes, but to no avail. If you enjoy wet shaving, the Series 3 ProSkin 3040s really delivers in this respect.
I was also impressed with the noise level, the 3040s being very quiet by foil shaver standards.
I highly recommend buying this razor if you’re planning on shaving daily or every other day; longer hair can be a challenge for even top of the line razors.
Now for the negatives.
In my subjective experience, the Series 3 from Braun can sometimes feel a bit under-powered and as a result shaving takes somewhat longer than with other shavers (more on this in the alternatives section).
While shaving dry, the middle trimmer tends to get a little hot. The two outer foils remained comfortably cool. I strongly recommend putting a drop of fine machine oil on the middle trimmer if you’re planning on using it dry, as this helps with the heating issue.
The long hair trimmer was a bit of a mixed bag. While its positioning and shape were spot on, it didn’t feel sharp enough. While tweaking my sideburns it would sometimes leave hairs behind, even after additional passes.
The standard package includes the bare essentials only:
- 3040s razor
- Charging cord
- Protective cap
- Cleaning brush
No travel case or lubricating oil are present unfortunately. My particular review unit, that had Limited Edition written on the packaging, included a free 32b shaving head replacement as seen in the image above. This was a very pleasant surprise that pretty much makes up for the lack of other accessories.
Replacement parts availability
The updated Series 3 uses the same 32b/32s replacement cassettes as the older razors. They now feature a redesigned microcomb around the middle trimmer that comes in white instead of black. Other than that, they seem to be exactly the same. And that’s probably a good thing since they tend to last more than the average cutters and also cost less. They’re readily available and can be bought from Amazon.com.
Wrapup – Who should buy it?
The 3040s is definitely a great product in its category — an affordable, solid razor that offers good value for money and performs very good, especially when used for daily shaving.
If we consider Braun’s reputation for reliable products, the inexpensive and long lasting replacement cutters and the reasonable purchase price, the 3040s is shaping up to be a pretty sweet deal. Anyone who doesn’t need all the features of premium razors but also doesn’t want to pay the premium price should consider it.
Beginners should also look at the 3040s for their first shaver. Its great ergonomics, decent price the fact that it’s a basic razor, easy to use and to maintain make it a solid option.
The smooth and comfortable operation make it suitable for men with sensitive skin. Lastly, its wet shaving capabilities were impressive, so I highly recommend it for shaving with cream or gel.
As I said in the performance section, my only real complaint about the way the 3040s performs is that it can feel a bit under-powered, especially when compared to similarly priced Panasonics. An Arc 3 Panasonic like the ES8103S that has a 13 000 CPM motor will shave faster and subjectively closer. On the downside, the Panasonic uses cutters and foils that are more expensive and, at least in theory, wear out faster.
Another option is the older Series 3 340s, which is basically identical, apart from a few visual differences. Since they’re identical in the way they perform, simply buy the one you can find cheaper.
Finally, there’s the issue of wet and dry use. Some men will never use their electric razors with shaving cream; they don’t want the extra hassle of lathering and cleaning the razor or it simply doesn’t make much of a difference in terms of closeness or comfort.
If you’re in this situation, you could opt for the Braun Series 3 3050cc. It is basically a 3040s without the wet shaving seal, but for a few extra dollars, the 3050 comes with Braun’s excellent Cleaning & Charging station so you won’t have to worry about cleaning. Just shave and drop the razor into the base to have it sanitized and fully charged, ready for your next shave. You can read our full review of the 3050cc here.