With Braun’s current flagship shaver — the Series 9 — still being offered at a premium price, the tried and tested Series 7 is looking increasingly more like a very compelling alternative.
Moreover, for the majority of users, the Series 7 still represents the best choice, being a great compromise between performance and costs and only a few will really benefit from the features of the more expensive Series 9.
The Series 7 is an excellent option for men with sensitive skin that suffer from razor burn, but also for anyone looking for a high-quality electric shaver that is capable of providing close and comfortable shaves.
There’s a plethora of currently available Series 7 variations and trying to decide which one to get can be frustrating and confusing.
However, things are actually much simpler when we consider the differences between the Series 7 models that actually matter.
In this post we’ll address precisely that and help you narrow down your options so you can make the right buying decision.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- An overview of the successful Series 7
- The so-called new Series 7
- Braun Series 7 model comparison
- What are the things to consider when buying a Series 7?
- The differences between the most popular Series 7 models
An overview of the successful Series 7
The Braun Series 7 was first launched in 2007 and it quickly became one of the best-selling electric shavers of all time and a permanent presence in pretty much every list of recommended shavers.
It was and still is highly acclaimed for its performance, particularly for the supreme comfort it provides during the shave.
For the other manufacturers, the Series 7 was the shaver to beat as it quickly became the unofficial benchmark in the industry.
Its main selling points were the unmatched comfort, close shaves, reasonable price of the replacement shaving heads, excellent cleaning station and robust build quality, despite a couple of well-known issues.
Let’s tackle those and get them out of the way.
First, the head locking mechanism was prone to breaking if you tried to move the shaving head after being locked in the fixed position.
The most effective fix for this would be to simply not use the locking switch; since the Series 7 has a really narrow shaving head, you don’t really need to lock it, even when shaving tricky areas.
The second issue is related to the paint right below the shaving head that would sometimes flake and chip after a couple of years.
This is caused by the alcohol-based cleaning solution that comes into contact with the paint during the automatic cleaning process; however, the damage is only visual.
Apart from these overall minor shortcomings, the Series 7 was a versatile and highly capable electric shaver that stood the test of time and actually gained some sort of iconic status in the shaving community.
The 790cc is probably the quintessential Series 7 as all the other variations are derived from it, be it by adding or removing certain features.
Braun Series 7 790cc
It’s important to note that these features don’t affect the actual shaving performance in any significant way. This goes for all Series 7 variations as you’ll see next.
The so-called new Series 7
The Series 7 has been around for quite some time since its introduction, so Braun decided to give it a refresh.
In 2016 new models were introduced and this probably caused even more confusion.
Braun Series 7 7865cc [New]
The names don’t really make any sense and Braun also used some marketing terminology in an attempt to make the update look more than just a cosmetic makeover.
In reality, the differences compared to the older Series 7 shavers are mostly minor.
Here’s a summary:
- All the newer Series 7 models are suitable for wet & dry use; in the past, there were both dry only and wet/dry variations, like the 790cc and the 799cc respectively. Also, the wet/dry models (both older and newer) cannot be used while charging as a safety precaution. This was however possible with the (older) dry only shavers.
- You have the option of a silver, grey or black color Series 7 (market specific).
- The newer Series 7 use the same shaving heads as the previous models (70s and 70b cassettes), even though Braun says they have 4 shaving elements. They don’t, the so-called SkinGuard doesn’t count as an active element.
- The new marketing terms (Protective SkinGuard, 8-D shaving system, MacroMotion, etc) don’t really refer to any new additions that weren’t already present on the older models.
- The personalization modes (5 of them with the newer shavers, from extra sensitive to turbo mode) continue to be of little use. In theory, you would use them to adjust the output of the motor — less power for shaving sensitive areas, more for shaving thick, dense stubble. In reality, they just make the shaver feel slow and you should probably use the highest setting all the time as the Series 7 remains adequately comfortable.
- The automatic cleaning stations included with the newer shavers lack two features that were specific to this series: the induction heating mechanism for actively drying the foils and the quick clean option. The latter was only available with certain older cleaning stations. They are now completely gone (more details later on).
- Some of the newer variations come with an updated LCD display (7865cc, 7850cc, 7893s).
You can easily tell the new shavers apart from the older models as the updated Series 7 shavers follow the 78xx naming scheme.
For example, some of the models for the North American and European markets are the 7865cc (grey), 7899cc (silver), 7898cc (silver), 7893s (silver).
Other model names like 7850cc or 7880cc that are primarily sold on the European market are pretty much identical to their corresponding American models.
As it was the case with the updated Series 9, Braun tried to unify the Series 7 line with this update.
As a result, all the shavers are now suitable for wet/dry use and similar models all cost the same on Braun’s website (previously the dry-only variations were cheaper).
Braun Series 7 model comparison
Here’s a comparison table with the currently available Series 7, both the original and updated 78xx models:
|Shaver||Use||Cleaning station||Speed settings||Color|
|Series 7 790cc (790cc-4, 790cc-5)||Dry only||Yes||3 settings||Silver|
|**Series 7 790cc (790cc-6, 790cc-7)||Dry only||Yes||3 settings||Silver|
|Series 7 799cc||Wet & dry||Yes||3 settings||Silver|
|Series 7 797cc||Wet & dry||Yes||5 settings||Silver|
|Series 7 760cc||Dry only||Yes||3 settings||Black|
|Series 7 740s||Wet & dry||No||3 settings||Black|
|Series 7 720s||Dry only||No||3 settings||Black|
|[New] Series 7 7865cc||Wet & dry||Yes||5 settings||Grey|
|[New] Series 7 7850cc||Wet & dry||Yes||5 settings||Grey|
|[New] Series 7 7880cc||Wet & dry||Yes||5 settings||Black|
|[New] Series 7 7899cc||Wet & dry||Yes||5 settings||Silver|
|[New] Series 7 7898cc||Wet & dry||Yes||5 settings||Silver|
|[New] Series 7 7897cc||Wet & dry||Yes||5 settings||Silver|
|[New] Series 7 7840s||Wet & dry||No||5 settings||Grey|
|[New] Series 7 7842s||Wet & dry||No||5 settings||Black|
|[New] Series 7 7893s||Wet & dry||No||5 settings||Silver|
|*[New] Series 7 7790cc||Dry only||Yes||5 settings||Silver|
** Those 790cc variations only work cordless despite being marketed as dry-only. More details in the next section
At this point, I think we can safely say that all Series 7 shavers will provide the same shaving performance, regardless of other features.
What are the things to consider when buying a Series 7?
When trying to decide which Series 7 would be more suitable for you, there are only a few things you should factor in.
1. Wet & dry use.
If you won’t be shaving in the shower or with shaving cream/gel, then you probably should opt for a dry-only variation as they usually cost less.
The Series 7 790cc (7790cc) will probably be the best choice for most men.
For wet shaving, the 799cc, 797cc or any of the updated models like the 7865cc/7898cc/7893s are equally good options.
Again, if the corded and cordless operation is a must-have for you, then your only option would be to find an older dry-only Series 7 which is increasingly more difficult in 2021.
For example, even the 790cc that is currently being manufactured will only work cordless (790cc-6, 790cc-7). The older variations (790cc-4, 790cc-5) that would also work with the cord plugged in have been discontinued.
2. The automatic cleaning station.
As you probably know, the Series 7 is available with or without an automatic cleaning station.
The station is included only with the cc models like the 790cc, 7865cc, etc; the s models (like the 740s or 7893s) don’t come with one and usually cost less.
Braun Series 7 7893s
However, you’ll probably want a Series 7 that comes with a cleaning station for the added convenience.
Just like the Series 5, 8 and 9, the Series 7 can be fiddly to clean manually because the inner blades and the foils are merged into a single piece — the cassette — and it offers limited access for a thorough cleaning.
In time, fine hair clippings, dead skin, and dirt can remain lodged inside no matter how thorough you are.
This is where a cleaning station is very useful, even though you don’t have to use it after every shave. In fact, you shouldn’t.
But do keep in mind that the cc models are a bit more expensive and you’ll also have to buy refill cartridges.
Does the Series 7 cleaning station work with s (solo) models like 740s and 7893s?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions about the Series 7. And the short answer is YES, it works.
Braun Series 7 cc station
Now, there is a bit of a nuance to that statement.
First of all, the cc variations feature a special coat of paint that can withstand constant exposure to the cleaning fluid.
The s models don’t have it, so in time the alcohol-based solution will affect the outer finish. The damage will only be visual though.
Braun officially recommends against using the S models with a cleaning station because of that, but there are many users that have successfully done so.
And to be perfectly honest, this is a problem that affects the older cc models as well and the area right below the shaving head will eventually start to flake, despite having the special paint.
The Series 7 solo models are among the few ones in Braun’s lineup that will work with a cleaning station. The rest of them — the Series 3, 5, 8 and most of the S9 models — will NOT.
That’s because despite looking identical and even featuring the two metal contacts on the back, they lack a special chip used by the cc models to communicate with the station.
The Series 7 is an exception to this rule and even the s variants are fitted with that particular chip.
So if you’re planning on getting an s model and use it with an older Series 7 station for example, you can do that; or maybe you plan on buying a solo shaver and getting the station separately later on.
Please note that in case anything goes wrong you are fully responsible and the warranty won’t cover any damage.
Old vs updated Series 7 cleaning station
As mentioned previously, the cleaning base of the updated Series 7 lacks the induction heating system and the quick cleaning setting that were present on the older stations (790cc, 797cc, 799cc, etc.).
I wouldn’t say this is a deal-breaker, but it is a letdown to see two unique features that made the Series 7 station that much nicer gone for good.
In practice, this means that with a newer Series 7 like the 7865cc you won’t get a cleaning station fitted with a system that actively dries the shaving head after the cleaning cycle.
The Series 9 station uses a fan, while the older Series 7 used induction heating. Induction heating was an optimal solution as it was fast and completely silent.
A Series 7 that comes with the older station will be perfectly dry after 40 minutes, while the newer 7865cc for example will need a few hours for the alcohol-based fluid to naturally evaporate.
Again, I personally don’t consider this to be a major drawback — the station still does a great job at cleaning and lubricating the shaver — but I would rather have a nice feature than not have it.
You can still get it with some of the older 790cc/799cc/797cc that were manufactured previously, but you’ll have to thoroughly check that with the vendor.
Finally, you could get the old station separately from several online stores.
There are three part numbers you should be checking out:
- 81365080 — this is the old model that has both the fast clean mode and the inductive heating system. You can get it from here: Amazon, Encompass, shavers.co.uk.
- 5675 — this station is actually available in several variations despite all of them having the same part number. It can come with or without the inductive heating element, so unless you know with certainty that it does have it, the station listed above with the part no 81365080 is probably the one to get.
- 81622438 — this is the new, updated station that ships with the current Series 7 (no induction heating and no quick cleaning).
Dropping the induction heating system is definitely a cost reduction measure from Braun; we also saw it with the Series 5 cleaning station that also lacks any drying mechanism.
Another reason for this could be Braun’s very own Series 9; being the company’s top-of-the-line shaver, it needed a premium feature to stand out from the other less expensive shavers.
3. Price and availability.
If you can find a Series 7 that checks pretty much all the boxes and is significantly cheaper than other similar Series 7 shavers, definitely go for it.
As I said previously, the difference in performance throughout the entire series is negligible.
For example, the 790cc has 3 personalization modes, while the 7865cc has 5. Will this translate into any noticeable improvements in the actual shaving experience? Not really.
Just buy the one that is more reasonably priced.
Before making your purchase check out both the older and updated Series 7 models as their price seems to fluctuate quite a lot.
Braun 70s replacement head
All Series 7 use the same replacement shaving head — the 70s (silver) or 70b (black).
Also, all Braun cleaning stations use the same cartridges, so your costs of maintenance will be the same regardless of which model you end up choosing.
4. Color and included accessories.
I guess these details can matter to some extent; if for example you absolutely want a black Series 7, then you can buy the 760cc, the 740s or one of the new 78xx models (country-specific).
Some models have different travel cases (plastic, textile, faux leather) or slightly different LCD displays, but again, nothing dramatically different.
The differences between the most popular Series 7 models
As a general guideline, I would say to simply buy the one you can find cheaper, provided it meets your personal requirements (wet & dry use, with or without a clean & charge station, etc.).
My personal picks would be the 790cc for dry use and any of the 7865cc/7850cc/7898cc for wet & dry use. The older wet & dry 797cc is getting increasingly harder to find or is very expensive.
Usually, the 790cc and 7865cc will be the ones to buy as they don’t cost a lot more than the solo models and I think the cleaning station is worth having.
They’re also widely available.
Let’s now check out some of the more common buying dilemmas.
Braun Series 7 790cc vs 790cc-4
The –x used by Braun for variations of the same shaver signifies an incremental, usually minor improvement.
It also designates shavers sold in different parts of the world, even though they may be identical.
In this case, the 790cc-4 has 3 personalization settings (sensitive, normal, intensive), while the original 790cc only had one speed setting. This is a rather gimmicky feature as I mentioned previously and it won’t make any real difference.
It’s also worth mentioning that nowadays all 790cc shavers are actually the -4 (and up) variants, even though the retailers don’t always list it explicitly as the 790cc-4, 790cc-5, 790cc-6 etc. and almost everyone refers to it as 790cc, including me throughout this post:
Braun Series 7 790cc
It’s very easy to spot the 790cc-4 as the old 790cc didn’t have the two personalization buttons below the ON/OFF switch and it came with a white cleaning station (pictured below). It’s also discontinued and nowhere to be found.
The 790cc-4 includes a zip-up travel case instead of the plastic one that came with the very first 790cc.
Bottom line: the Series 7 790cc vs 790cc-4, 790cc-5, 790cc-6 etc. is a non-issue nowadays.
Braun Series 7 790cc vs 7893s
The 7893s is one of the more popular solo models. It’s part of the refreshed 78xx Series 7 generation, it’s suitable for wet & dry use and it doesn’t include a cleaning station.
Performance-wise, as in how well it actually shaves, it’s pretty much identical to the 790cc.
But since the latter comes with a cleaning station and the price difference is usually pretty small, I think the 790cc is a more compelling option.
Braun Series 7 7893s
If however you can grab the 7893s for a great price, then by all means you should get it. After all, the cleaning station can also be purchased later on.
Braun Series 7 790cc vs 760cc
The Braun Series 7 760cc used to be a great inexpensive alternative to the full-fledged 790cc.
While the shaver was almost identical, the cleaning station that was included with the 760cc had some of the features removed: no quick clean mode, and no hygiene indicator on the shaver.
Braun Series 7 760cc
This wasn’t necessarily a deal-breaker and considering that it was priced significantly lower than the 790cc, it was actually the better option in the past.
These days the price is pretty much the same (in case you still manage to find the 760cc), in which case the 790cc is the shaver to buy.
Moreover, it has an upgraded LCD display and comes with a faux leather pouch instead of the textile one.
Braun Series 7 790cc vs 7865cc/7850cc
This is a simple case of a dry only vs wet/dry Series 7 and there’s no clear winner as your decision should only be based on your shaving preferences.
The 7865cc/7850cc is a more recent iteration of a wet & dry Series 7, with 5 personalization modes and touted as a totally new shaver, but in reality, it’s pretty much the same.
You can check out my 7865cc review to get all the details.
Braun Series 7 7865cc
The cleaning station included with the old 790cc used to be fitted with the induction heating mechanism and the quick cleaning mode, but it’s not anymore.
The 790cc (up until and including the 790cc-5 variation) will also work with the cord plugged in, and for some users that is a must-have.
To sum it up: buy the 790cc if you shave dry or the 7865cc/7850cc if you prefer to shave in the shower or with shaving cream/gel.
Braun Series 7 790cc vs 7898cc/7899cc
Similarly, this is also a dry only vs wet/dry situation.
The 7898cc/7899cc is a newer wet/dry model available worldwide that is suitable for wet & dry use.
Braun Series 7 7898cc/7899cc
Both are the same performance-wise and again your choice should come down to your needs and of course, the price.
Keep in mind that the 7898cc/7899cc will not work while connected to a power outlet.
Braun Series 7 7865cc vs 7850cc
The 7850cc is a very popular model in Europe that can now also be found on various online stores in the USA.
Braun Series 7 7850cc
There are really no differences between the 7865cc and the 7850cc, so my advice would be again to simply get the one you can find at a better price.
The same goes for the 7880cc that comes in a matte black finish. Other than that, it is identical to any other cc models from the updated Series 7.
Braun Series 7 7898cc vs 7899cc
These Series 7 variations are absolutely identical, but their availability is country-specific.
The only difference is that the 7898cc comes with a travel case that has a silver zipper, while the one on the 7899cc is black. Really, that’s it.
Braun Series 7 7898cc vs 7865cc
The only difference between these two is the color: silver for the 7898cc and grey for the 7865cc. The 7898cc also comes with the older LCD display.
Other than that, they’re identical and you should get the one that is available in your country or costs less.
The 7898cc is usually a really good pick in the UK:
Braun Series 7 7898cc
All the Series 7 models use the same shaving heads and will basically provide an almost identical shaving experience, despite some apparent differences that would suggest otherwise.
Hopefully this post cleared up some of the confusion regarding the Series 7 and the various models. I will keep it updated and include new models as they are being released.
If you have any further questions, make sure to post them in the comments below.