The Best Cleaning Station: Braun vs Philips vs Panasonic

Regardless of your stance on the electric vs traditional shaving debate, there’s no denying that electric shavers are very practical.

There’s something very appealing about being able to simply grab your razor and start shaving compared to the lengthy prep work implied by traditional shaving.

And it’s not just the preparation and the actual shaving; cleaning and drying your gear can be tedious and repetitive.

While most electric shavers are easy to clean manually, an automatic cleaning station is the ultimate device for a completely fuss-free shaving experience.

The 9477cc during the automatic cleaning process.
A Braun Series 9 Pro shaver during the automatic cleaning process.

All the major manufacturers offer variations of their shavers that include an automatic cleaning station.

And while the end goal is the same — charging, cleaning, drying and lubricating the shaver — they can be very different in many ways.

For example, the cost of the cleaning cartridges, how well the stations perform, how long the cleaning and drying cycles take to complete — are all things that should be considered by the potential buyer.

In this post we’ll examine some of the best automatic cleaning stations from Braun, Philips (Norelco), and Panasonic, see how they stack against each other for the most important aspects and ultimately find out if they are worth buying.

Braun Clean & Charge automatic cleaning stations

Braun, one of the most popular manufacturers of electric shavers, offers the option of an automatic cleaning station for all their electric shavers.

These include the Series 3, Series 5, Series 6, Series 7, Series 8 and the flagship Series 9/Series 9 Pro.

The models that include the cleaning station usually have a CC (standing for Clean & Charge) in the product name. For example, 3050cc, 5190cc, 7865cc, 9390cc etc.

The s (solo) models don’t come with a cleaning station.

As for the compatibility of the solo models with a cleaning station, that’s a bit more complicated.

Braun doesn’t really provide any reliable and easily accessible information regarding this.

Here’s a quick summary:

1. Series 3. A Series 3 solo model will not work with a compatible Series 3 station purchased later on.

2. Series 5. An old generation Series 5 solo shaver (like the 5030s, 5140s etc.) will not work with a compatible station. A new generation Series 5 solo shaver (like the 5018s) will work with a compatible station purchased later on. More details here.

3. Series 6. The Series 6 solo models will work with a compatible cleaning station.

4. Series 7. A Series 7 solo shaver, regardless if it’s from the old generation (740s, 7893s etc.) or from the new 2020 generation (like the 7020s) will work with a compatible cleaning station. More details here and here.

5. Series 8. A Series 8 solo model will work with a compatible cleaning station. More details here.

6. Series 9/Series 9 Pro. Only the Series 9 and Series 9 Pro solo models that start with either 93 or 94 will work with a compatible cleaning station (for example, 9330s, 9427s, etc.). More details here.

Important: Notice how I always mentioned compatible. For the exact part number make sure to check out the linked articles for each series and get the right station for your shaver).

Side note: will not work generally means that the shaver will only charge when placed in CC station, but the cleaning and drying (for the Seires 9/9 Pro) functions will not work.

The solo models that don’t work with a station lack a specific chip needed to communicate and pair with the station.

Overview and features

All the stations, regardless if they come with an entry-level Series 3 or a high-end Series 9, use the same cleaning cartridges.

The cleaning solution is alcohol based and Braun is the only manufacturer that uses alcohol; all the other ones use a detergent-based cleaning solution.

The use of alcohol has both advantages and disadvantages. Alcohol is very efficient at cleaning and also dries very fast.

On the other, alcohol also evaporates very fast and is flammable, so there may be shipping or traveling restrictions because of it.

Braun cleaning cartridge

Even though all the clean & charge stations across Braun’s lines of electric shavers use the same cartridges, they can be different in the way they work.

For example, the Series 3 uses a more basic variant that has been stripped off of several features, like the LED indicators, cleaning modes or the option to just charge the razor without cleaning it.

The cleaning station of the Braun Series 3 3050cc
The cleaning station of the Braun Series 3 3050cc

The cleaning station of the Series 3 is also more compact compared to the ones included with the old Series 5, old Series 7 or 9.

The stations for the new 2020 generation of the Series 5, 6 and 7 are similar and also have the same protruding arm that locks the shaver in place:

The Braun Series 7 7071cc during the cleaning process.
The Braun Series 7 7071cc during the cleaning process.

The size and shape of the opening, along with how the shaver is connected to the station via two metal plates differs throughout the different series, so you won’t be able to use your Series 7 station with a Series 9 shaver for example or vice-versa.

Another difference among the Braun stations is how they dry the shaver.

For example, some of the stations that come with the Series 7 (older models) and Series 9 use induction heating or a fan respectively to speed up the drying process, while the ones included with the Series 3 and 5 don’t use any active system to dry the shaver.

Important: the stations included with the current Series 7 models (7865cc, 7899cc, 7898cc, 790cc, 7071cc etc.) lack the induction heating mechanism, as well as the quick clean setting. Braun stopped manufacturing that particular station and all current Series 7 models will come with the updated stations that doesn’t have an active drying system.
The Series 7 updated station, pictured here with the 7865cc.
The Series 7 updated station, pictured here with the 7865cc.

As a result, the drying cycle for the Series 3, 5, 6, 8  and the above-mentioned Series 7 models takes a lot longer as the alcohol-based solution will have to evaporate naturally. On average it takes 3 to 4 hours to have a completely dry shaver.

This isn’t a deal breaker as most of us won’t need to shave within hours of a previous shave and you can simply leave the razor in the station.

Regarding the use of inductive heat vs fan, both implementations have pros and cons.

Using a fan produces some noise and also takes a bit more time.

For example, a complete cleaning and drying cycle on the Series 7 station that uses induction heat takes 30 to 40  minutes, while in the case of the Series 9 it takes in excess of 45 minutes.

The Series 9 9290cc Silver during the automatic cleaning cycle.
The Series 9 9290cc Silver during the automatic cleaning cycle.

The fan does seem to dry it completely compared to induction heat that tends to sometimes leave the shaving head damp.

However, that is also highly dependent on the alcohol concentration. Third-party cleaning solutions can use a lower concentration which can increase the drying time significantly (more details later on).

Using inductive heat is completely silent and takes less time, but Braun ditched it in favor of using a fan for the latest Series 9 shavers.

The better drying achieved by a fan and possibly the lower production costs are the main reasons for this change.

Performance

Braun’s automatic stations clean, charge, dry (Series 9/9 Pro) and lubricate the shaver and do so very well.

You can’t however choose just to dry your shaver (you can do that with Panasonic stations though).

The cleaning and drying cycles are reasonably short and quiet, even for the stations that use a fan.

The cleaning cycle takes around 2 to 5 minutes, while the drying phase lasts up to one hour, depending on what technology it’s being used (inductive heat or fan).

Some shavers in the old Series 5, old Series 7, 8 and 9 families include a more basic version of the cleaning station, lacking a few features.

For example, some of the Series 9 stations come with only 1 cleaning mode instead of 3. In my opinion this is a non-issue as the stations tend to always select the high-intensity cleaning mode anyway.

Another example is the Series 8. The newer models that start with 84 come with the same station as the Series 9, meaning they’re also fitted with a fan.

The Series 8 shavers that start with 83 get a more basic station that doesn’t have a fan.

Despite these differences, the end result after the cleaning is excellent.

The shaver is perfectly clean and lubricated (provided you’re using the OEM solution or a high-quality third-party solution), ready for your next shave.

As for the downsides, since the solution is alcohol based, it tends to evaporate fast.

It is therefore a good idea to remove the cartridge from the base and put the cap back on if you won’t be using it for a few days.

Braun cartridge with the plastic cap

Also, there’s a caveat if you’ll be using your shaver with shaving cream or gel.

Precisely, you’ll have to manually clean all the foam and soap from the shaver before using the station.

If you fail to do this the station and the fine mesh filter inside the cartridge can eventually clog.

Braun cleaning station

It’s pretty obvious why this is a bit inconvenient for anyone planning to buy a wet/dry shaver like the Series 7 7865cc or the Series 9 9290cc and use it with shaving cream or gel.

For dry shaving, this is a non-issue, but if you plan on using shaving cream I highly recommend you to consider other options from Panasonic or Philips Norelco as their stations are less susceptible to this problem and the shavers themselves perform better when used with shaving cream or gel.

Finally, because the cleaning solution contains alcohol, the paint just below the shaving head can start to chip and flake after years of using the station.

The problem was notorious with the Series 7 and we’re yet to see if it’s still present in the case of the newer series like the 8 and 9/9 Pro.

Braun says that the cc models have a coat of special paint that should withstand the exposure to alcohol, but still some users have reported issues.

However, the damage is only aesthetic and won’t affect the performance of the shaver.

Cost of ownership

Another very important thing to factor in when looking at various cleaning stations is how much money you’ll be spending on replacement cartridges.

Braun cleaning station and cartridge

While the performance of the Braun station is very good, the costs are higher compared to Panasonic and Philips Norelco.

The cartridges are priced similarly, maybe a bit pricier, but they don’t last as long.

Depending on how often you use the station, one cartridge can last between one and several months.

Braun Clean & Renew replacement cartridges

Braun cleaning cartridge

See the price on Amazon

You can prolong the time between changing the cartridges significantly by avoiding the evaporation of the fluid (putting the cap back on), using it once or twice per week and by brushing the excess hairs and dirt from the shaving head before you use the station.

There are also third-party alternatives that work really well and cost less money.

Braun solution alternatives.

This is an ideal compromise between costs and maintaining a proper hygiene of your Braun shaver.

Should you get it?

I usually don’t recommend cleaning stations if they’re not absolutely necessary, but in the case of Braun shavers, I think it’s worth getting one.

The shaving heads are can be difficult to clean manually because the blades and foils are merged into a single piece, called a cassette.

Panasonic for example uses separate blades and foils, making cleaning a breeze (except for the new Arc 6 which uses a cassette as well).

Inner part of a Braun Series 9 cassette
The very intricate inner part of the Braun Series 9 shaving head makes it difficult to clean manually. It’s the same story with the Series 7 and 5 as well.

Even if you won’t be using the station after every shave, my recommendation is to buy a Braun shaver that includes one, especially in the case of the old Series 5, 7, 8 or 9 (you can probably skip it for the Series 3).

Pros

  • Fast and quiet cycles, especially for the ones that use induction heating;
  • They do a great job of cleaning and lubricating the shaver;
  • They use cartridges, so you won’t have to mix water and detergent beforehand;
  • The refill containers have plastic caps, very convenient and practical for storage and traveling;
  • You can find third-party cleaning solutions that are very cheap and work just as well.
  • You can take out the cartridge, seal it and store it anytime you want.

Cons

  • The alcohol-based solution evaporates fast when you leave the cartridge in the station and don’t use it for extended periods;
  • The cartridges are more expensive and don’t last as much as the ones for Panasonic and Philips Norelco;
  • If you use shaving cream you must clean the shaver manually before using the station;
  • Except for the Series 9 and several Series 8 models, the stations do not have any active drying systems (fans or induction heating);
  • You can’t just dry the shaver as you can with Panasonic stations.

Philips Norelco SmartClean automatic cleaning stations

The SmartClean stations from Philips Norelco replace the older JetClean systems that used to be included with older (and discontinued) razors.

The SmartClean cleaning systems are included with Philips Norelco shavers from the Series 5000, 7000, 8000 and 9000.

Most of them can be bought with or without the station.

You can also buy the station separately later on if you choose so.

Overview and features

Unlike the older station that needed to be refilled with Norelco’s cleaning solution, the new station uses cleaning cartridges.

The model numbers are JC302 (pack of two) and JC303 (pack of three).

Philips Norelco SmartClean station
Philips Norelco SmartClean station

The new stations are also more compact and take less countertop real estate.

The cleaning solution is detergent based and as a result, it won’t suffer from the evaporation problem we saw with the cartridges from Braun.

The SmartClean stations perform the same task of cleaning, charging, drying and lubricating your Philips Norelco razor.

Using and operating the station is extremely simple, as you’ll only have to place your shaver into the holder and press a button.

A special mention has to be made for the so-called Quick Clean Pods that come with some of the latest Philips models like the Series 7000 or 9000.

The Shaver 7700 during the automatic cleaning process with the quick clean pod.
The new Series 7000 in the Quick clean pod.

These are not full-fledged cleaning stations and have some major drawbacks.

For example, there’s no mesh filter to retain the hair clippings and dirt which are then flushed through the shaving head again and it tends to foam a lot.

It’s an interesting and promising approach, but so far it falls short.

Performance

Once the ON/OFF button of the station is pressed, it will begin the cleaning cycle.

At around 13 minutes, it takes longer compared to Braun’s Clean & Charge station, but it’s still reasonably short and also quieter.

Philips Norelco 8900 SmartClean station cleaning process
Philips Norelco 8900 SmartClean station cleaning process

Once the cleaning has ended, the station will begin the drying cycle. For this it uses inductive heating and the process is completely silent.

According to Philips, drying the shaver takes a hefty four hours, a whole lot more compared to Braun.

In practice, the shaving head of my razor was always perfectly dry after around 2 hours.

The result of the cleaning process is excellent, the shaver being perfectly clean, dry and lubricated.

The SmartClean system takes the lead in front of Braun’s CC station for wet shaving: you can use shaving cream or gel without worrying about any potential damage to the station.

As we saw previously, with Braun you’ll have to manually clean the razor of any lather residues before using the station.

With the SmartClean station you only have to quickly rinse the outside of the shaving head under tap water, shake off the excess and then you can toss it into the cleaning base.

One thing I do not like about Norelco’s cleaning cartridges is that they do not have a plastic cap.

Philips Norelco cleaning cartridge

They only have a sticker that you peel off and that’s it. If for example you must take out the cartridge and take it with you on a trip, you’re completely out of luck.

Same goes if you want to use the station less often, even though in this case you could use some duct tape to cover the holes and slow down the evaporation of the fluid.

Cost of ownership

Probably the best thing about the cleaning stations from Norelco is the low cost of ownership.

The price of the cartridges is on par with the other offerings, but they somehow last a lot longer before needing to be replaced.

SmartClean system cleaning cartridges

See the price on Amazon

Depending on how often you use the station, you can easily squeeze 3 months out of a cleaning cartridge.

Moreover, since the solution doesn’t contain alcohol, it won’t evaporate as fast and there are no restrictions on storage or shipping.

Tip: you can still buy the JetClean solution and refill the cartridges for an even lower cost.

You also have the alternative of getting a third-party solution like Shaver Shebang which usually costs a lot less.

Should you get it?

If we consider the performance and the low cost per cleaning cycle then I would say yes, it’s worth buying a Norelco shaver that comes with the SmartClean station.

I would definitely consider it in the case of more advanced shavers like the Series 9000.

As for the more affordable Series 5000 or 7000, if it fits within your budget, go for it.

A quick manual clean of a Norelco shaver is easy to perform, but a more thorough cleaning that requires taking apart the shaving head completely and cleaning each individual cutter is fiddly and time-consuming.

This is where the station can come in very handy and take care of all the cleaning.

Pros:

  • Excellent performance and low cost per cleaning;
  • The cartridges last a long time before needing to be replaced;
  • The stations are fitted with an inductive heat drying system;
  • Quiet operation.

Cons:

  • The drying cycle takes a long time compared to other stations;
  • The cartridges do not have a plastic cap;
  • The protruding shaver holder makes them difficult to pack;
  • You cannot just dry the shaving head.

Panasonic automatic cleaning stations

Completing the trio is Panasonic, another major manufacturer of electric shavers and self-cleaning stations.

There are currently two generations of Panasonic cleaning stations available:

  • The older Vortex Hydra Clean Shaving Systems that use detergent cartridges. These stations are included with the Arc 4 line (the Panasonic ES-LA93-K model), several older Arc 3 shavers (Panasonic ES-LT71-S) and the first generation Arc 5 shavers (Panasonic ES-LV81-K).
  • The new so-called Premium Automatic Clean and Charge Station available with the newer shavers. These include the new Arc 3 LT series (ES-LT7N-S), the second and third-generation Arc 5 shavers and the latest Arc 6. The stations do have different part numbers depending on the revision though, but all of them are extremely similar in terms of features and performance.

Overview and features

There are similarities, but also a few important differences between the two self-cleaning systems from Panasonic.

They both use detergent for cleaning the shavers, just like the SmartClean stations from Philips Norelco.

However, the older Vortex Hydra Clean systems (now discontinued) use detergent cartridges, while the newer stations use detergent gel that comes in small sachets.

You’ll have to mix the concentrated detergent with water in the station’s tray yourself in the case of the latter.

The tray of the Panasonic stations where water must be mixed with the concentrated detergent.
The tray of the new Panasonic stations where water must be mixed with the concentrated detergent.

The older stations are also larger and in my opinion look a bit dated.

Leaking was another potential problem with the older system that was completely addressed with the new iteration.

All Panasonic cleaning stations use a fan and a heating element for the drying cycle; the one in the newer stations seems subjectively quieter when running.

This makes them by far the most effective at drying the shavers.

Performance

A Panasonic cleaning station will charge, clean, dry and lubricate the shaver.

Panasonic es-lv95 cleaning station.

As expected, they perform really well, on par with Braun and Norelco.

A unique feature specific to Panasonic stations is the dry only setting.

Precisely, you can clean the shaver manually, then dump it into the station to dry it.

The Panasonic dry only mode.
The Panasonic dry only mode.

You cannot do this with the cleaning stations from other brands.

A cleaning cycle takes approximately 10 minutes, while the drying phase can last anywhere from one up to three hours depending on the ambient temperature.

However, most of the time it will take just a little over an hour.

In this regard, the Panasonic cleaning stations fare better than the SmartClean systems from Norelco but not as good Braun’s stations which are the fastest, particularly the ones that use induction heating (but you cannot get one of those anymore).

The cleaning and drying cycles are also reasonably quiet, the newer stations being an improvement in this regard.

As it was the case with Norelco’s SmartClean system, you can use the Panasonic cleaning station with no restrictions when it comes to wet shaving.

You can shave with your Panasonic razor using your favorite shaving cream or soap then toss it into the station for a thorough cleaning without worrying that the lather might damage the station.

It is however recommended to give it a quick rinse under tap water beforehand.

Cost of ownership

Regardless of the generation, the costs associated with using a Panasonic cleaning station are pretty reasonable.

The reasons are the same as in the case of Norelco’s SmartClean system.

The cartridges (used by the old Vortex Hydra) and detergent sachets (used by the new stations) from Panasonic are usually cheaper to buy compared to Braun’s cleaning cartridges.

Panasonic WES4L03 detergent packets

WES4L03

See the price on Amazon

Moreover, they last longer.

Depending on how you use your shaver, you may need to replace them every two to three months. Since they don’t contain alcohol, you won’t have to worry about evaporation either.

You can extend the time by manually cleaning you Panasonic shaver and only using the station once a week for example.

As for third-party cleaning solutions, your options are very limited.

Precisely, it’s the concentrate from Shaver She Bang which in my opinion doesn’t have excellent lubricating properties.

Shaver Shebang 4-count.

The best and cheapest alternatives are unfortunately only available for Braun cleaning stations.

Should you get it?

Out of the three big players in the electric shavers market, Panasonic cleaning stations are the least necessary.

And that’s a paradox since the stations are quite good as we’ve seen.

However, out of all electric shavers, the ones from Panasonic are the easiest to clean manually.

It literally takes less than a minute to clean a Panasonic shaver thoroughly with a bit of liquid soap and warm tap water.

Cleaning a Panasonic shaver is extremely easy

The design of the shaving head, with the inner blades separated from the foils, makes cleaning a breeze.

Rinsing the inner blades of a Panasonic shaver with tap water

The construction of the shaving head allows excellent access for easy cleaning.

Inner part of a Panasonic Arc 4 shaving head

Finally, all Panasonic shavers, even the entry-level Arc 3 models have a so-called sonic cleaning mode.

When activated, it makes the blades vibrate extremely fast, dislodging any dried lather, debris or dirt.

As a result, I personally haven’t used my Panasonic cleaning stations in years.

But my main gripe is that you cannot take out the tray and seal it like you can with Braun’s cartridges.

Once you commit to mixing the detergent with water, you’re stuck with it on your countertop.

For you this may not be a deal-breaker though.

So my take on this matter is to buy a Panasonic shaver that includes a cleaning station if you can get a fantastic deal on it.

Otherwise just save some money and buy one without the station.

For example, I wouldn’t get one with an Arc 3, even if it’s the new LT line that has the updated cleaning system.

The Arc 3 is a budget-oriented line and the models that come with an automatic cleaning station cost significantly more than the ones that don’t.

The same goes for the Arc 4 and the first generation Arc 5 shavers that have the older Vortex Hydra Clean Shaving Systems and use the detergent cartridges.

For the second and third-generation Arc 5 shavers, like the ES-LV95-S, ES-LV97-K, ES-LV9Q, etc., I guess you can treat yourself with the automatic station if it fits within your budget.

Panasonic ES-LV95-S Arc 5

ES-LV95-S

See the price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Excellent performance, particularly the second generation cleaning stations;
  • No restrictions on using shaving creams or gels with your shaver;
  • You have the option to only dry the shaver without a cleaning cycle;
  • Economical and reasonably fast and quiet;
  • The detergent-based solution lasts longer compared to Braun’s cleaning cartridges;
  • Very effective fan + inductive heating drying system.

Cons:

  • The older generation stations are bulky and would sometimes leak;
  • You’ll have to mix the detergent gel with water yourself and also clean the filter tray when replacing the solution in the newer stations;
  • The stations aren’t really necessary since you can easily clean the shavers yourself.

Should you get a cleaning station? Which one?

Now that we’ve reached the final part of our analysis of the best self-cleaning stations, it’s time to put it all together in an actionable manner.

If you’re faced with the decision of buying an electric shaver that’s available with or without a cleaning station, here’s a quick list of questions you should ask yourself before pulling the trigger:

  1. Is the shaver easy to clean manually? If so, do you really need the station?
  2. How much will the cleaning cartridges/detergents increase your monthly costs?
  3. Are the cartridges/detergents/third-party solutions readily available?

With that in mind, here’s my personal take on the matter for each of the three big names in the industry.

Braun

If you decide to buy a Braun electric shaver, then the cleaning station is very practical and genuinely useful.

The shavers can be difficult to clean manually and the stations, while not the most cost-effective (in case you get the original refills), work excellent.

I think I would skip it for the Series 3, but in the case of a Series 5, 7, 8 or 9 I would most likely opt for a model that includes the cleaning station.

The cc models aren’t a lot more expensive than the solo variations and using a cheap third-party solution will also lower your costs significantly.

Philips Norelco

The SmartClean stations are excellent as they offer the lowest cost per cleaning (in the case of the OEM solution) and work great.

Would I get one? Probably yes, especially in the case of mid-range and high-end shavers like the Series 9000.

If Philips would make the cartridges resealable (like Braun does), I would be even more open to getting one.

A quick manual clean of a rotary shaver is easy to do, but an extra-thorough cleaning that must be performed every once in a while is time-consuming and fiddly.

For this reason opting for a cleaning station is probably a good call.

Panasonic

I’ve said it on many occasions, in the case of all Panasonic shavers, a cleaning station is not necessary. I would probably get one only if I find a great deal.

Again, the automatic stations from Panasonic are excellent and offer very good performance and value for money, but you don’t really need them as the shavers are extremely easy to clean manually.

Moreover, they are the least practical if you decide you won’t be using yours for a while.

You can’t really move it/store it as the solution with all the hairs and debris will spill and the tray is open, so you can’t put a cap on it.

Final word

That’s pretty much it — I hope this guide will help you with your decision of buying an electric shaver with or without a cleaning station.

In the end, no station is absolutely necessary. However, getting one can make sense, especially if you get a great deal and you can also source a cheap cleaning solution.

If you have any questions or you’d like to share your experience, feel free to leave a comment below.

Article by

Hey. I’m Ovidiu, the founder and editor of ShaverCheck.com. I independently buy and test electric shavers and I’ve been sharing my findings on this site for almost 10 years, hopefully helping others choose a suitable shaver.

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86 thoughts on “The Best Cleaning Station: Braun vs Philips vs Panasonic”

Leave a comment
  1. Interesting read. (I never use the Panasonic)

    I would add that you can close the Braun reservoir with a plastic lid. (in case of traveling).

    For the Philips I disliked the odor of the cleaning fluid. To me it smells like a cheap after shave…… he Brauns’s is of course on an alcohol base but at the end much more neutral.

    Last but not least, what I dislike about the Philips is that the shaver is showing its back only so not its display. Here the Braun rocks,

    Reply
    • Thank you for sharing your experience. The SmartClean fluid never bothered me in this regard but then again I’m not too picky. As long as the scent of the shaver says clean to me, be it soapy, citrusy or spicy, I’m good. You are spot on with the orientation of the shaver when placed into the station; the back of Philips shavers is not particularly pretty either.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  2. Just ordered a Braun 9290cc, the one with the cleaning station, based on your excellent detailed review. I was using an older model marked 8975, which I think was a German model series 5; it still worked but technology has moved onwards..

    Then I started looking for the replacement cartridges for the cleaning station, and came upon this statement:_

    ‘ Braun CCR 3 Clean and renew three pack ‘ new Formulae’ ‘…

    Does anyone know what this ‘New Formulae’ consists of, and is the change an improvement.??

    The older Braun cartridges still seem to be available also..

    Any input would be much appreciated..

    Thanks for what you do… AND Best Wishes for the New Year..

    Reply
    • Hi,

      Thank you for your kind comment. I am yet to try the new cartridges, but I highly doubt that the cleaning fluid is vastly different compared to the current one. It’s still alcohol based, but maybe with a different fragrance or some other minor changes. You can safely use either one as long as it’s a genuine Braun product.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  3. Hey I’d just like to add that the Philips SmartClean system is notoriously difficult to get, if you bought a shaver without it. Philips don’t sell it as a seperate produkt and even contacting them can be a mess. At least this is how it is in Denmark. I have even tried contacted them and that didnt help. The only place I found it was in the international version of amazone. If ylu know of any other place or solution I’d like to hear it.

    Reply
    • Hi Danjal,

      Thank you for your comment. That is correct, the options are limited if you have to buy a Philips cleaning station separately. You can check out shavers.co.uk, they also sell different parts and accessories for electric shavers.

      It’s a whole different story with Braun for example as their stations — even the older discontinued models — can still be bought from various sites.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  4. I have leftover Norelco solution from when I changed to from a Norelco to a Braun. When my Braun tells me it is time to change, can I empty out my dirty Braun solution pour in the unused Norelco solution?

    Reply
    • Absolutely not. Norelco’s solution is detergent based, while Braun cc stations are designed to work with alcohol solutions. The station may even (falsely) read the cartridge as being empty (based on the conductivity of the fluid).

      Reply
      • So i just refilled my Norelco station for the first time and accidentally bought Braun solution. So my question is the same as Dan’s but reversed. Just wondering if using the alcohol solution will cause damage to Norelco the station. Not worried about the false refill read cause unfortunately it already does that even with the correct solution.

        Reply
        • Dustin, I would strongly advise against using the Braun solution. Norelco shavers and stations are designed to work with a detergent-based solution. Braun’s cleaning fluid contains alcohol (isopropyl or ethanol) and the parts that come into contact with it, including rubber gaskets in the station or plastic parts that were not designed to withstand constant exposure to alcohol, may deteriorate in time.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
  5. First of all, thank you for your thorough write-ups. I currently have the Norelco 9300 and have been considering replacing it with the Braun 9290 (the 9300 just doesn’t work for me like prior Norelco razors). Hopefully you can clear something up for me. Does the regular use of a cleaning station prematurely wear out the cutting cartridge/heads? Today, I use the Norelco cleaning station once a week for fear of wearing out the cutters. If I do switch to the Braun 9290, should I stay with that practice, or is using the cleaning station daily ok?

    Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Hi John,

      Many thanks for your comment, I really appreciate it! Regarding your question, using a cleaning station after every use will not lead to a premature wear of the cutting heads. On the contrary, what usually contributes to that is improper cleaning and lubrication and an automatic cleaning station takes care of both extremely well.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  6. I’m thinking of trying a Braun after years with a Panasonic, because the Braun’s fluid is alcohol based, and because my Panasonic’s cleaning station was very unreliable. First, it would constantly blink as it should with an inserted shaver that’s fully charged – even with the shaver removed. When it did this (eventually every time the shaver was removed) the only way to get the cleaning cycle to work was to unplug and re-plug it. I contacted Panasonic and they said this was a known problem that was designed out of the new units. Secondly, the cleaning system eventually developed a horrible smell of mildew. As there is no safe way to clean the station, and the solution is water and not alcohol based, once this started I was unable to clean it. So I threw it out. Long story short, do you think these problems would be avoided with the Braun?

    Reply
    • Hi Scott,

      Thank you for your comment. Unless you receive a faulty cleaning station, you won’t have to worry about the first problem if you decide to get a Braun shaver. I personally haven’t experienced it with any of my shavers and I am not aware of anything similar affecting Braun’s cleaning stations.

      The second one is less likely to happen since the solution is alcohol-based and contained in a cartridge that you’ll be throwing away. The cleaning base may clog with hairs and dirt after many uses. However, a very basic cleaning every once in a while (wiping the inner housing with a soft cloth and using something like a toothpick to clear a potentially clogged drain) should be enough to avoid any clogging and nasty smells.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  7. Used your site to pick my new Panasonic ES-LV95-S shaver (with cleaning station) to replace my old Norelco 1280. Great articles and advice, led to a great choice. I guess I should round out the questions on using different cleaning solutions. I have some extra Norelco cleaning fluid. Can that be used in my Panasonic cleaning station? I think they are both detergent based.

    Reply
    • Hi Ron,

      Yes, both solutions are detergent based. I never used Norelco cleaning fluid with a Panasonic station, but I guess it should work.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  8. I bought Braun 7893 without station. Do you think that ultrasonic jewellery cleaner, will do the same job as Braun c&c?

    Reply
    • Hi Tom,

      Never actually thought about using an ultrasonic cleaner, to be honest. But I have my doubts about its efficiency and safety in the long run. Personally, I would invest in the convenience of a Series 7 cleaning station, they can be bought separately for a pretty reasonable price and there are very cheap third-party cleaning solutions available.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    • The stations will signal when the cleaning fluid needs to be replaced or is running low. For example, Braun stations have a low cartridge indicator that will glow continuously red. At that point, you’ll be able to use that cartridge for roughly 3 more cleaning cycles. After that, it will blink and the cleaning process won’t start until the cartridge is replaced.

      Reply
  9. Hi, I have a Braun 5090cc, the cleaning fluid is not coming into unit, it has all been checked and cleaned and still no fluid.

    Reply
      • Yes it is still charging, my wife changed the cartridge the other day, but I hadn’t noticed the liquid was not coming out after I shaved and put on to clean

        Reply
        • In this case (the cartridge is clearly not empty and the station is not in standby), if the cleaning process doesn’t start when you press the button on the station, then there may be something wrong with the electronics of the station. If it’s still under warranty, I would recommend contacting a Braun service center and sending the station for a repair/replacement.

          Reply
  10. Hi I purchased a new Braun Series 5 clean & renew docking station from a company in the Uk, I received it the other day and set it up, put the razor in and it doesn’t seem to sit in properly as soon as I push the razor against connectors it shows it is charging, but as soon as I take my hand away it stops. Is it possible it is not the proper station, do you know the difference between the 5 & 9 series units

    Reply
    • Hi David,

      Make sure that the head locking switch is in the free position so that the head of the shaver can move freely. When locked it may not sit properly inside the station, hence the issue you’re facing. The Series 5 and 9 stations look identical, but they are different and are not cross-compatible. If you can find the part number of your station, either on the packaging or on the bottom (basically inside the station), I will be able to tell you if you got the right part.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  11. Thanks again for your response, the numbers in station is 819 5430css-5AL.
    If you tell me the station is right maybe it is my razor, and after buying new station and have got 5 cleaning fluids can you tell me what Braun razors can be used in this station as I’m so far from a Braun service, I would be cheaper buying a new shaver.

    Reply
    • You are welcome, David. That is indeed a Series 5 station. It will however only work with a Series 5 shaver that originally came with a cleaning station, like the 5090cc and so on. The solo models, the ones ending in s (like 5040s, 5030s etc.) will not work. They will charge, but the cleaning function will not be available. You didn’t mention you Series 5 model in the first comment, but I assumed you have one of the cc models and you simply bought a replacement station for it.

      Reply
        • Newer Series 5 models like the 5190cc should also work (the 5090cc is being phased out and it’s more difficult to find), but those will already come with a cleaning station. As mentioned in the previous comment, you cannot buy just the shaver on its own because the cleaning function will not work.

          Reply
  12. I have just looked up the website that I purchased the station and they are saying it is compatible with 5040S,5050cc,5090cc,5140s,5145s,5147s,5160s,5190cc,5195cc,5197cc, if they are advertising wrongly then I need to know. Thank you again

    Reply
    • You are welcome, David. In my opinion that information is not correct and the station will not work with the models ending in s. Only the Series 7 s (solo) models will work with a compatible station purchased separately. The solo Series 3, 5, 8 and 9 will not (they lack the electronics needed or a special firmware that allows the shaver to pair with the station).

      Reply
    • You can of course let them know that there may be an error in their product description. Braun never explicitly mentions this information in the user manuals or product pages, so it’s not uncommon to see some conflicting information. It doesn’t mean that the company has been intentionally misleading.

      Reply
      • Hi,
        I got in touch with Braun and they have said the chip inside razor that connects to unit is probably faulty, so I got in touch with the company I bought the station from and they will take it back. I would just like to thank you again for all your help and quick response to my questions.
        Kindest regards

        Reply
  13. While online looking for panasonic cleaning station detergent I stumbled on this post and found it interesting. I purchased the Panasonic ES-LV9Q 4 weeks ago and after reading this was delighted at my choice of shavers. I have had other shavers all over $250 and I can say without a doubt, this is by far the best of the bunch. It definitely shaves as good or better than a blade. I love this shaver, pricey, yes but worth every penny and the adage, you get what you pay for is absolutely true. Before purchasing I did my research and read every review I could find. Everything I read stated a very close shave and there were multiple mentions of using a pre-shave to avoid razor burn. So I did my homework on pre-shaves and went with Proraso pre-shave. I chose Proraso because it didn’t have alcohol and again I made a great choice. Both the shaver and Proraso worked fabulous together. I look forward to shaving now but don’t have to shave everyday, now I can skip a day and couldn’t do that with anything I’ve owned before. I am not one of the unfortunate men that look like a werewolf by 5pm, but did have to shave every 24 hours. I’m just saying that the two together really work for me and don’t hate if you don’t get the same results. Now for the Pros and Cons.
    Pros: 1) Every close great shave, again using the pre-shave only. 2) Fast charging. 3) Very easy to clean manually which I do and only use the cleaning station once a week to throughly clean, sanitize, lubricate, and charge the shaver. 4) It’s a wet/dry so no worries around water. 5) It’s a Arc 5 meaning the head pivots in 5 direction so the head moves and hugs all of the hard to shave area like a head coach teaching the pros. 6) The shaver is made from aluminum not plastic and is a beautiful piece of engineering. I have never had a shaver made from aluminum and it feels great in the hand. LOVE IT.
    Cons: 1) It’s pricey, again you get what you pay for. 2) It came with a soft pouch for travel and at that price I think was a cheap move on Panasonic’s part. So my cure for that flaw was to purchase a Khanka case from Amazon made for the Arc 5 that protects my investment extremely well. It’s great at protecting but not travel due to the size. It is not compact making me plan my moves while packing my carry-on. If you are one that takes a behemoth suitcase, you won’t have an issue. 3) The plug that came with the shaver was european and they included an adapter so it could be used in the states. This was a surprise to me because all of the packaging was written in english. My problem with that is that the two together (plug and adapter) are heavy and sag down like it will fall out of the wall socket, they have’t, it’s just not secure at all. On top of that it sticks out from the wall socket 4 ⅜”. My solution to that was I ordered a plug for America (a U.S. plug) from eBay because it wasn’t available on Amazon. Now I have it the way it should have been originally.
    To sum things up, It is absolutely the best shaver I have ever owned and the pros far out weigh the cons. Would I buy it again knowing what I know now, without a doubt “ABSOLUTELY”.
    Well thanks for the rating you provided, it was a good read. I see that the last post was 9/26/19 and I hope people are still reading this like me and this helps them to make an educated decision. Good Luck All !!!!

    Reply
    • Hey,

      Many thanks for taking the time to write such an in-depth comment. An excellent, detailed review of the LV9Q which is indeed a great shaver. Glad you enjoy shaving again!

      PS: My travel shaver of choice is now the Panasonic Arc 5 ES-CV51 (ES-CV70) which is basically a miniature version of the LV9Q, but with the same quality shaving head, powerful motor, aluminum build and a classy hard leather case. It’s also pricey, but if your budget allows it, it’s well worth the money.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  14. Ovidiu,
    Thank you for that information. I will be on the hunt for the compact version of the Arc 5. Can you tell me the difference between the ES-CV51 & ES-CV70. Thanks

    Reply
  15. Hi there,
    I have recently bought Panasonic Arc 5.
    If I ran out of the detergent, can I add soap to the water or not ? What’s your suggestion? Could it hurt the machine or cleaning station?
    Thank you in advance
    Stay safe !

    Reply
    • Hi Amir,

      The answer would be no. Apart from the long term implications and the potential damage to the station or the shaver, it would just leave the shaving head covered in soapy water. The Panasonic detergent doesn’t need any rinsing and also lubricates the blades. The station may even show an empty tray warning if you use other products.

      If you run out of detergent, I would strongly recommend you to clean simply the shaver with warm tap water and a bit of liquid soap. You can check this guide for more details.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  16. Hi Ovidiu! Your site has been a fantastic non-biased gold-mine for reviews and information on shavers which can cost upwards of $300 and over so being informed is so crucial.

    I recently stumbled across a great deal for an Arc3 that includes a cleaning station, the part number seems different from the Arc5 cleaning stations but they look identical to me. Are the cleaning stations the same across all newer Arc3 and Arc5 models? I was hoping to jump to an Arc5 in the future and keep the cleaning station if so.

    Arc3 cleaning station: WESLT8NK4218
    Arc5 cleaning station: WESLV9NK4218

    Reply
    • Hi Phil,

      Thank you for the kind words, glad you found the site useful.

      Unfortunately no, the Arc 3 cleaning station is not compatible with the Arc 5 shavers despite the fact that they look identical. And even if they would work, you’d still have to buy an Arc 5 that comes with a station because the shavers that don’t include a station lack the three contact pins on the back needed to communicate with the station.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  17. Enjoyed the article. I’ve been using the Braun series 7 for almost three years, I wonder why there aren’t 3rd party cheaper alternatives of clean/charge station available out there. Is it technically difficult to develop a cheaper one?

    Reply
    • Thank you, Terrence. I think there could be quite a few reasons, ranging from technical difficulties to whether this business would actually be economically feasible. The station would be needing specific electronic components in order to be paired with a Braun shaver (and without infringing any P&G rights). Moreover, there may not be enough demand for such a product, especially since an original station can be bought for as low as $30.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  18. I honestly don’t understand the logic of buying a shaver with cleaning station. Why one should pay $50 to $80 more to buy a cleaning station in the first place, then pay another $3 to $5 per month (or waste her time to figure out how to save on this monthly cost) for cleaning solution to possibly add about a year to the life of a $30 to $70 shaver head ? Not to mention that the cleaning station itself requires occasional cleaning.
    Isn’t it cheaper and more convenient to just wash the shaver head under running water (which you need to do anyway even if you have a cleaning station), and then change it if its performance is not as good as you wish after about a year or so? This way you won’t need to deal with the hassle of having a cleaning station to maintain a used shaver head, and can frequently spend the same (or about the same) money on a new shaver head which is more likely to give you a better shave anyway.

    Reply
    • The shaver head must be rinsed with water only if you use shaving cream; otherwise the shaver can simply be put straight into the station for cleaning. Some shavers are also easier to clean than others and in certain cases the station is really handy and useful. For example, if you constantly use shaving cream/gel, some hardened shaving cream will definitely remained lodged inside the shaving head no matter how thorough you are. I always clean my shavers with water and soap and somehow some dried lather residue builds up inside, causing the integrated cutters to jam (partially). Using the station every once in a while prevents that from happening. Braun cleaning stations are particularly practical and useful and there are widely available cheap cleaning solutions.

      I personally use them alongside manual cleaning, but I understand your point of view as well.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • I see your point. I have not been using shaving cream or gel. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t see the value proposition of a cleaning station. Thank you!

        Reply
    • Well, that’s really up to the user. I usually recommend skipping the station for the Series 3 and even for some Series 5 models if the solo variation is significantly cheaper. With the Series 7, 8 and 9, the price difference is usually not that high, so you might as well get the cc model with the station. Because you can take out the cartridge, put the cover on and store it, the Braun cleaners are very practical and with the cheap third party-cleaning solutions, quite economical as well.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  19. Thank you for the informative reviews; great work you do!

    Do you use the entire contents of the Panasonic detergent pouch when refilling the Panasonic automatic cleaning station, or just a portion of it ? If just a portion of it, how much?

    Cheers,
    Monroe

    Reply
    • Hi Monroe,

      Thank you for the kind words, glad you found the reviews useful.

      Regarding your question, you should use the entire content of a detergent pack and just add tap water until the detergent and water solution reaches the maximum level line — there’s like a beveled line towards the top part of the cleaning container. Just make sure to add the water slowly so the detergent won’t foam up and overflow the container. Once the cleaning cycle starts, it will also mix the detergent with the water.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  20. Can you use a Braun Series 7 7893s shaver in a Braun Series 3 ProSkin Washable Electric Shaver Cleaning Station 5783 ?

    Reply
    • Hi Gordon,

      No, they are not compatible. A Series 3 ProSkin shaver also charges and connects to the station via a port at the bottom, while the Series 7 has two metal studs around the mid-back section. You will need a compatible Series 7 station. You can check out this post I wrote a while back for more details about the part numbers.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  21. Hi Ovidiu,
    Thank you for the answer and clear information.
    Very nice site and great public service.
    Really appreciated!
    Gordon

    Reply
  22. I recently bought a new Braun Series 9 shaver, model 9310cc. I am very pleased with the shaving performance, particularly the sonic vibrations feature, compared to my Series 5 model. My question involves the drying fan on the cleaning station. It does a poor job of drying, at least right after the drying fan has automatically switched off. When I remove the razor from the station, the head is still so damp that a small amount of cleaning fluid drips from it. Is this normal? Thank you.

    ShaverCheck Fan

    Reply
    • Hi David,

      It’s actually pretty common for the head to still be damp right after. The fan alone is just not enough in order to effectively dry it in that timeframe. I personally take the shaver out of the station once the drying cycle is completed, remove the head and let it air dry completely.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  23. Hi Ovidiu,

    thank you for the great write up! I found your website to be terrific. One question, I use Braun series 9 pro, after wet shaving I rinse it under tap to make sure no lather is left. After that can I put it straight away into the cleaning station or do I need to wait till the head is dry and only then put it in the cleaning station?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Peter,

      Thank you for the comment, I really appreciate it.

      You are definitely doing the right thing by rinsing the head after a wet shave. I recommend shaking off the excess water and even gently patting the shaver and shaving head dry with a towel before putting it in the station. I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to let it air dry for hours, but it definitely shouldn’t be wet (as a safety precaution).

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  24. Thanks for sharing information, which is really useful.

    As a supplement, I would like to point that Panasonic do have heat function in cleaning center, though not mentioned in the user’s manual.
    I am currently using a LV9, I happened to find the blade is significantly warmer than the air, so I searched for Panasonic teardown videos. The specific model in the video has induction heat function, thus we are sure some of the models do have heat function and a fan in the same time.

    Reply
    • Hi Kim,

      Thank you for the comment, much appreciated. That is correct, Panasonic cleaners have a fan and a heating element. I will be updating the post soon and I’ll also include this info.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  25. Hello
    Wondering if you can recommend a the third party cleaning solutions for Panasonic shaver WES4l03 liquid

    Reply
    • Hi Wiktor,

      I’ve only tried Shaver Shebang but I wasn’t entirely happy with it. It works fine and cleans the shaver well, but it doesn’t provide enough lubrication. The foils would get quite hot during use, so I had to lubricate them with some clipper oil to compensate. If you’re not bothered by that, it’s a decent alternative to the Panasonic detergent concentrate.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  26. I bought a Norelco 7100 shaver without the quick drying station. A few days later I realized the shaver was available with the drying station, but out if stock, which I would have preferred for the small difference in price. I tried to find the drying station on line, but could not find one that is an original Norelco product. I contacted Norelco and chatted with them and they offered to send me a package of two cartridges, but I could not get them to understand that I wanted the cleaning system and would pay for it, and they disconnected me. After two more chats I finally got them to understand that I wanted the cleaning station, but they agreed that they could not find it available as a Norelco accessory. They finally agreed to order one and as a one time accommodation to a loyal many time Norelco consumer, they sent me a cleaning station and 2-pack of cartridges at no charge. I had them both in about 10 days. Having also had a Braun 9000 with the cleaning station a couple years ago, and on my third Norelco since then, I really like the Norelco cleaning stations quietness, performance, and low cost of the cheating cartridges. The Norelco also works well, and I got 31 shaves on a single charge my first month at an average of 2.5 to 3 minutes per shave, exceeds their 60 minute claim of shaving time on a charge. The only thing I have not figured out is when to replace the cleaning cartridge, as it shows one black line on the cleaning pod, but still has fluid in the resovoir and continues to clean the shaver. Thank you for all of the information you provide, I appreciate the information, and have had all three of the shavers you talk about, going back years ago with an Elton before they stopped making them much different than the Braun. If you can be more specific on when to change the cartridge, as the manual or you tube is not real specific, I would appreciate it.

    Reply
    • Hi Steven,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with these cleaning systems. Regarding the Philips pod, you should replace the cartridge when the black line is visible, but if the fluid doesn’t look murky or overly contaminated, you can still use it a bit more. By the way, excellent customer support from Norelco. Braun is also pretty good, while Panasonic is abysmal in that regard.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  27. Thank you for your quick reply. I have always gone through electric shavers quickly, and like a previous comment, I decided to buy a new Norelco without a cleaning pod every year. I thought that since I can clean it with water, save money on replacing blades and cartridges and the shaver itself, it would cost less than the higher end shaver and I would have a new shaver every year. I did that for a couple of years, until I saw the Norelco 7100. The cleaning cartridges are so inexpensive and seem to clean the blades so well, I decided to give this a try and so far am happy with the shaver. I had a Panasonic Arc 3 (I believe) three or four years ago, and found it to give the closest shave, better than the Braun 9000 series, but as I recall the replacement head was very expensive and it didn’t seem to perform as well over the long term. The Braun 9000 series worked well, but the cartridges were very expensive and the cleaning was very loud. The cleaning also didn’t do the best job of cleaning the razor. With the Norelco 7100 I use the cleaning pod every few days, and it does a great job of cleaning, but I first rinse out the shaver with water before placing it in the cleaning pod. Thank you for answering my question about the visible black line indicating it is time to replace the Norelco cleaning cartridge. You do a great job of explaining and reviewing the shavers.

    Reply
  28. I have found you to be the most knowledgeable person ever on Electric Razors! And you take a very logical fact-based approach. I’m surprised you don’t do You Tubes with your expertise. Most of the ones I have watched are not very good. I have found Norelco especially to be weak on videos, most company based with a canned non speaking approach. Your follow up is also second to none.

    Having been recently retired from being with Jaguar and Mercedes for many years I have, and still, help people buy cars by my knowledge of cars, financing and leasing, direct relationships with Dealer Franchise Owners etc. It is rewarding to help people make good choices and good decisions with the proper information to make those choices. It looks like you get the same satisfaction by doing the same. I have done the same thing by researching other products and have shared my information with others who trust my conclusions, also saving them a lot of time and effort. I have gone through many electric shavers over the years and have always enjoyed looking at new features and their capabilities. You have obviously done the same to and to your credit you are helping a lot of people. Thank you for what you do, and if You Tubes have ever been on your radar, I’m sure with your knowledge and following you could be very successful at it!

    Reply
    • Steven, you are way too kind, thank you. I genuinely enjoy writing, talking and interacting with the site’s readers on everything related to electric shavers. I’ve been using and researching them for years and I’ve learned a ton (still do) and I’m glad if some of my expertise proves to be useful to someone. You are right, it truly is rewarding.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  29. Hi Ovidiu, thanks for your excellent reviews and information, definitely the best I’ve ever seen!

    I’ve had a Braun series 9 for a few years now and just upgraded to the 9 pro, is there much difference? (I found a great Black Friday offer for £179 for the pro version which made my mind up)

    Also, I dry shave with it, and once I’ve finished I use the little brush provided to try and get as much out as possible, then I wash it in the charging station, I’ve done it this way for years but find the head clogs up a bit, any tips?

    Many thanks

    Reply
    • Hi John,

      Thank you for the comment, you are way too kind. I’m glad you found the site useful.

      After using both consistently, I’d say there isn’t much of a difference between the Pro and the regular S9. The former sounds and feels a bit more powerful and shaves maybe a tad closer, but that’s pretty much it. For the majority of users with a well-performing S9, the upgrade doesn’t make much sense. That said, since you’ve had your for quite some time and you got an excellent deal on the Pro, you might as well get it. I compared them in more detail here if you want to check it out.

      Regarding the cleaning, your routine seems spot on. I would however use the brush only on the inside of the cassette and never directly on the outside of the foils. If the head gets clogged (with dirt and hairs) even when using the station regularly, it’s usually the station’s cleaning chamber that has collected some fine hairs and other residues. You should clean it every once in a while with a damp cloth, making sure the drain hole isn’t clogged (I wrote a guide on that here).

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • Hi Ovidiu,

        Thanks for the prompt and knowledgeable reply, it’s appreciated.

        Having just used the Pro for the first time, I can definitely say that it’s quieter, so my wife will be happier when trying to watch her TV shows :), it also appears to give a much closer shave, although this could be because it’s brand new and the other one was almost ready for a head replacement anyway, but the most noticeable thing for me is that the battery life has barely been dented, and I use this razor because I shave my entire face and head with it and it takes around half an hour, I could do it twice over again easily if I wanted to, something which the 9 couldn’t do, even when new. The good thing is that the charging/cleaning station is compatible so I don’t need to replace this, and I also agree with your comparison that it’s a little more grabby than the 9, but this doesn’t bother me at all and the shave is better I reckon.

        All the best and thanks again for your excellent advice and reviews.

        Reply
  30. Hi Ovidiu,

    From your analysis on the Norelco quick cleaning station, it looks like you are saying the use of the cleaning station means there is never a need to take apart the three sets of blades and manually clean them. Am I understanding this correctly? I use the cleaning station about every third day and from what I can see, after using the cleaning station it looks like the blades are brand new. Older Norelco’s that I had required a time consuming process to take them apart to really get them clean. If I am understanding you correctly and the cleaning station alleviates the need to ever take apart the blades for cleaning, you have made me a very happy man! And if that is the case, I am definitely very happy I was able to get a cleaning station from Norelco shortly after my purchase of my Norelco 7100 and I would agree with you that while water does a good job of cleaning the shaver, not having to ever remove the blades makes everything a lot simpler and less to maintain. Thank you again!

    Steve

    Reply
    • Hi Steve,

      That is correct — normally you shouldn’t need to deep-clean each shaving head if you use an automatic cleaner on a regular basis. This way grime and hairs can’t pile up inside the cutters so you shouldn’t need to take them apart for a thorough cleaning.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  31. Hi Ovidiu,

    Hopefully this will be my last question on the Norelco 7100 Shaver. Is there any reason when using the cleaning station not to just leave the shaver in the cleaning station until using it again the next day? It would seem that it is safe, out if the way, and covers most of the top opening of the cleaning station, maybe reducing a little evaporation? It would also seem that Norelco could design a screw on cap for the top of the cleaning station to make it travel friendly, similar to the screw on top that comes with the cartridges only sized differently.

    Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Hi Steven,

      No particular reason for not taking the shaver out, but it can prevent the moisture inside the shaving head from evaporating completely or it can slow it down significantly. In case you’ll be shaving the next day, there can still be some liquid inside the shaving heads which can actually affect your shave. I haven’t tried it so I can’t tell precisely how much of an issue this will be.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  32. Hi Ovidiu,

    I used the Norelco cleaning station last night and left the shaver in the cleaning station until using it this morning. It kept the shaver secure and took up less space, as though the cleaning station was a stand for the shaver. I found the shaver to be completely dry and it had a stronger fresh scent from the cleaning pod. Also, for some reason it seemed to glide over my face easier. I guess the next experiment would be to just rinse it under water when done shaving and lightly and carefully wipe the excess water without the benefit of the drying cycle. And then place it in the cleaning pod until the next day and see if it is completely dry. The benefit of all of this is strictly to use the cleaning pod as a secure holder for the shaver as well as saving space on the counter. Lastly, it would seem that Norelco could build a screw-on cap, like the one that comes with the new cartridges, to secure the fluid and make it travel friendly. Any thoughts on this this?

    Thank You,
    Steve

    Reply
    • Hi Steve,

      That’s awesome, thanks for the follow-up. Regarding the screw-on cap, I’m really skeptical it’ll happen. For a big profit-driven company like Philips, it would be difficult to rationalize the costs of producing it when they can argue that the cartridge already comes with a screw-on lid, so it is basically travel-friendly.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  33. Ovidiu,

    You are correct, except once the cartridge is open and poured into the cleaning station, it no longer fits on the top of the cleaning station, it is too large. It’s too bad the cleaning station and the cartridge top aren’t the same size where it could be removed from the new cartridge and be the same size as the open clean station and be used on there as well.
    Then the open clean cleaning station would be truly travel friendly as well as keeping fluid from evaporation. Well, I guess it is time to stop beating a dead horse!

    I was going through some old shavers yesterday and came across three Norelcos and a very skinny Rechargeable Braun from 2001 that still plugs in and works!

    Reply

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