The Series 8 represents Braun’s latest line of electric shavers for men.
And while launching a new Braun shaver is usually a big deal that implies some extensive marketing campaigns and promoting, that wasn’t the case with the Series 8.
It was quietly rolled out somewhere in 2019 without even issuing a press release. And for a long period of time, the Series 8 range wasn’t even listed on Braun’s USA website for example.
The new series sparked a lot of interest among potential buyers despite being this elusive product that wasn’t even available in most countries, at least in the beginning.
And unsurprisingly, the question on everyone’s mind was of course whether this was the successor of the Series 7.
Well, I bought the Series 8, used it for a few weeks and in this article I’ll cover everything there is to know about Braun’s newest shaver, including how it compares to the brand’s current top performers, the Series 7 and 9.
Let’s dive right in.
Table of Contents
What exactly is the Series 8?
When I first came across the Series 8, I immediately thought that Braun just decided to Frankenstein together different parts of the Series 5, 7 and 9.
And to be honest, the reality isn’t very far from that.
From a purely visual standpoint, the new series definitely exhibits Braun’s current design language that we first saw with the Series 5 and Series 9.
So the Series 8 is a 3 blade foil electric razor that appears to fill the gap between the Series 7 and 9 (at least from the name perspective).
However, considering its features, price, and particularly the shaving performance, things are a bit different in reality as you’ll see.
But the Series 8 does come with some distinctive features and improvements of its own.
Let’s quickly go over the most important ones.
Braun Series 8 features overview
3 Shaving elements
As mentioned previously, the Series 8 features a familiar 3 blade setup, with two outer foils that shave hairs close to the skin (called OptiFoils) and one middle trimmer for catching and trimming longer, flat-lying hairs.
It is pretty much identical to the ones used on the Series 7 and 5 as you can see in the image below.
However, it is a new part specifically made for the Series 8 called 83M and won’t fit the other two models, mainly because of the shape of the plastic frame.
Again, the foils and middle trimmers themselves seem identical to the ones used on the Series 5 and 7.
This immediately hints at a somewhat similar shaving performance, but we’ll get to that right away.
Fun fact: Braun still tries to push the idea that the Series 8 has 4 shaving elements. That’s misleading, to put it lightly. We’ve seen the same approach in the case of the S9 (which according to Braun had 5 shaving elements).
60 minutes of cordless shaving time
This is in my opinion one of the main highlights of the shaver and a clear improvement over most other shavers in Braun’s lineup.
The Series 8 is fitted with a larger battery that is good for an impressive 60 minute worth of shaving time, compared to the usual 45 or 50 minutes.
There’s no information so far regarding the existence of dry only Series 8 models, so we’ll just assume that all of them will be wet/dry shavers, meaning they can only be operated cordless.
In this context, the larger battery is definitely welcome, along with the 5-minute quick charge function.
Beard density sensor
This is the same technology found on the Series 9 and on some shavers from Panasonic for example.
According to Braun, the sensor reads the density of the beard and adjusts the power output accordingly. In reality, this technology has always been pretty much useless.
It also means that there are no personalization modes like on the Series 7 (those were also rather gimmicky, to be honest).
8D shaving head
Braun says that the Series 8 has an 8-directional shaving head. I honestly have no idea how they came up with that number.
The shaving head can only swivel up and down and the three shaving elements can move independently.
And to be honest, that is good enough. In fact, in my opinion this simple setup seems to work the best.
Panasonic’s super complex flexing shaving heads for example are just annoying and only look good in the specs sheet.
This isn’t normally a big deal that’s worth mentioning, however, in this case, I think it is important simply because the Series 7 didn’t have a travel lock.
So yes, on the Series 8 the power button can be locked from accidentally turning the razor on.
Advanced 32-bit processor
Just like the latest Series 9 93XX models, the Series 8 comes with a 32-bit MCU (memory control unit).
While such details are usually relevant in the case of smartphones or computers, a 32-bit MCU will be able to process a lot more data and a lot faster than the 8-bit MCU that other shavers use.
How much will this impact the actual shaving performance is debatable, but in my opinion it won’t make a significant difference.
Sonic technology with 30 000 cutting actions per minute
By this, Braun simply means that the Series 8 is fitted with a 10 000 CPM (cycles per minute) motor, just like the Series 7 and 9 (30 000 divided by 3 shaving elements).
The Sonic part means that we still get those tiny vibrations/pulsations that supposedly help to catch more hairs during a stroke.
The Braun Series 8 comes with a 2-year worldwide warranty and 60-day money-back guarantee.
Braun Series 8 model comparison
In typical Braun fashion, the Series 8 will offer several variations that come with a cleaning and charging station. These models have names that end in cc (standing for Clean & Charge) — for example, the 8370cc, 8390cc and so on.
The shavers that don’t include a station end in s (standing for solo) and cost less t han the cc variations. For example, the Series 8 8350s.
Braun Series 8 8350s
So far, here are the models expected to be available: 8320s, 8325s, 8330s, 8340s, 8345s, 8350s, 8360cc, 8365cc, 8370cc, 8371cc, 8380cc, 8385cc, 8390cc, 8391cc.
For example, the 8370cc (8390cc) and 8391cc are identical, except that the latter comes with a hard leather travel case instead of the common textile variation shipped with the 8370cc.
The 8370cc is the model that I’ve bought and the one that can be bought in most regions. Interestingly, it’s also the only Series 8 available in the USA and the only one listed on Braun’s USA website.
Braun Series 8 8370cc
As the name suggests, it comes with a cleaning and charging station that actually looks identical to the one of the Series 5 (and 9).
In the UK, there are currently four variations available: 8391cc, 8390cc, 8370cc and 8350s.
I cannot say with certainty if a solo Series 8 will work with a cleaning station purchased separately, but my guess is that it won’t.
Also, the Series 8 station lacks any drying mechanism. On older Series 7 models we had inductive heating, while the Series 9 station has a fan that blows air over the shaving head, helping to evaporate the cleaning fluid faster.
It’s not a deal-breaker in my opinion and it was to be expected; the Series 9 needed some extra features to justify the higher price and the flagship shaver status.
How does the Braun Series 8 shave?
While this won’t be a detailed analysis of the Series 8 performance, I will briefly go over the most important aspects.
In short, it shaves really well.
It is very similar to the Series 5 and Series 7 in terms of closeness and comfort. In fact, I’d say that it sits somewhere between those two, although closer to the Series 5, at least in my experience.
It’s gentle and forgiving but powerful enough and suitable for coarse beards as well.
I have very sensitive skin and didn’t have any major problems using it, be it dry or wet.
The closeness will be good enough for most users, but again I think the Panasonic Arc 4 and Arc 5 still have the edge here, even though they’re not as comfortable as the Series 8.
The Series 8 is also quite good with longer, flat hairs on the neck, definitely better than other foil shavers in this price range from the competition.
The slide-out hair trimmer is mediocre at best, but that’s the case with all Braun electric razors.
The battery life is fantastic and unlike the Series 7 with its useless battery indicator, the Series 8 has a simple, 5-level indicator.
The cc station works really well, the cleaning cycle is very short and does a great job of removing all the hairs and gunk from the shaving head.
You can of course clean the shaver manually and only use the station every once in a while for a thorough cleaning and remove any remaining debris from the cassette.
The cleaning unit uses the same Braun CCR cartridges, but there are cheaper third-party solutions available as well.
In conclusion, the Series 8 is a good and capable electric razor that will be suitable in the majority of the situation.
How does the Series 8 compare to Braun’s other shavers?
We absolutely have to compare the Braun Series 8 to the brand’s other top models, namely the Series 7 and Series 9.
In my opinion a direct comparison with the Series 5 makes the most sense since they are a lot more similar, so we’ll put it against the S5 as well.
But let’s start with Braun’s most popular model, the Series 7.
Braun Series 8 vs Series 7
First of all, I have to mention that I don’t personally think about the Series 8 as a new Series 7, but more like a standalone product.
The Series 7 is Braun’s best-selling shaver and it will be updated at some point…with a new Series 7.
But until then, let’s see what are the main differences between the Series 8 and 7.
Objectively speaking, the Series 8 comes with a few improvements over the Series 7.
Here they are:
1. Bigger battery
While the battery life on the Series 7 was very solid, the Series 8 is just fantastic in that regard, arguably one of the best out there right now.
2. Better battery indicator
The current Series 7 (78XX models) are fitted with a weird and useless, awkwardly placed battery indicator.
The one on the Series 8 is a simple 5-level indicator that just does its job and doesn’t require reading the manual to know what it means.
3. Better head locking mechanism
This is another well-known pet peeve with the Series 7 that was addressed with the Series 8 which features the same locking switch as the Series 5 and 9.
The Series 7 had a badly designed locking mechanism that would simply break when you tried to move the head from the locked position.
With the Series 8, the head will simply move into a different position with no damage to the ratcheting mechanism.
4. Travel lock
As mentioned earlier, the Series 7 didn’t have a travel lock. Not a huge deal, but again it’s something that was addressed with the Series 8.
It can be activated by pressing and holding the power button for 3 seconds.
5. No personalization modes
I consider this as a plus for the Series 8 since they were of little to no use on the 7.
On the other hand, the Series 8 has a built-in beard density sensor. To be honest, I cannot tell if it works or not. But it is there.
6. 32-bit MCU
Again, I don’t know how much this matters, but at least on the specs sheet, it is superior to the Series 7’s (presumably) 8-bit MCU.
7. Quieter operation
The Series 8 is (to my ear) slightly quieter than a Series 7 on the highest speed setting. It’s still not as quiet as a rotary shaver, but it’s not too bad for a foil machine.
At least at the moment of writing this comparison, the Braun Series 8 seems to cost less than a corresponding Series 7.
That can very well change, so we shall see how things evolve in this regard.
So far these are pros of the Series 8 over the Series 7.
Let’s now try to find some negatives.
1. Less solid build quality
To me the Series 8 seems just a bit more plasticky and maybe even flimsier than the Series 7. I have owned a few Series 7 and I know that they can take a beating.
Time will tell if the Series 8 will hold up just as well.
The Series 8 feels heavier despite my kitchen scale only showing the Series 8 being 1 gram heavier. It’s not a huge difference, but I could tell the difference after years of using the Series 7.
The reason is probably the different weight balance of the shaver along with the rest of the aspects that affect its ergonomics, like shape and girth.
During and after use, my hand would sometimes fatigue when using the Series 8, which is something I never experienced with the Series 7.
3. Bulkier cleaning station
The station of the Series 8 is a bit larger than the one of the Series 7 and in my (subjective) opinion it doesn’t look as good.
4. Series 8 Solo models won’t work with a cleaning station
The Series 7 solo models were the only ones in Braun’s lineup that would work with a compatible cleaning station. It’s likely that they’ll still remain the only ones.
5. Pricier replacement shaving heads
The Series 8 comes with a new cassette, called the 83M. Right now it is very difficult to find and it also costs more than the 70s cassette used by the Series 7.
So is the Braun Series 8 a better shaver than the Series 7? Specs-wise, Yes.
But is it fundamentally better? No. In fact, if we consider strictly the shaving performance, the Series 7 is in my opinion better.
Braun Series 7 790cc
While the end result will be quite similar — I actually shaved half my face with the Series 8 and the other half with the Series 7 — I would personally pick the Series 7 over the Series 8 without hesitation.
- The Series 7 in the highest power setting feels faster despite having the same 10 000 CPM motor;
- The shaving head is ever so slightly more compact. This makes it feel more nimble;
- The pivoting of the shaving head, along with the movement of the three individual cutters seem to have a greater range of motion, further contributing to an enjoyable, faster, and efficient shave;
- The Series 7 feels lighter than the Series 8; even though they weigh the same, the Series 7 is probably better balanced;
- The Series 7 seems to catch those flat neck hairs with fewer strokes despite using what seems like an identical foil setup;
- The closeness of the shave with the Series 7 is slightly better;
- The Series 7 is overall more enjoyable, more comfortable and easier to use.
Again, the differences aren’t by any means huge, but as a long-time user of the Series 7, I can definitely notice them and would actually prefer the Series 7 over the Series 8 (despite its flaws that were addressed with the Series 8).
Braun Series 8 vs Series 9
In my opinion the Series 8 vs Series 9 comparison is a bit of a stretch, however it does make sense. Some potential buyers may want to know whether getting a Series 9 is worth the extra money.
So let’s check out the main differences between the Braun Series 8 and 9.
The Series 9 has an extra cutter for a total of four, making it more capable when shaving longer, wiry, cross-directional hairs.
If that sounds like you and you also shave less often, the Series 9 is probably a better choice.
Braun Series 9 9290cc
Otherwise, most users will likely be fine with the Series 8 (or 7).
Both the Series 9 and 8 are fitted with 10 000 CPM motors, however the Series 9 feels torquier and faster, which will likely translate into shorter shaving sessions, especially if you have very coarse, dense facial hair that tends to lie flat on the skin.
The Series 9 is also more forgiving and gentle, but the differences aren’t huge. The same is true with regards to closeness, both the Series 8 and 9 being similar, but again with a slight edge to the Series 9.
So yes, unsurprisingly, the Series 9 is the better shaver and it should be given the price difference from a Series 8.
The two shavers are similar when it comes to design, size, and how they feel in your hand.
During use, however, the Series 9 with its larger 4 blade shaving head will take more getting used to.
The Series 8 battery is better than the current Series 9 generation (92XX models), however Braun recently updated the Series 9 and fitted them with the same larger battery and the same 32-bit MCU. Those models are the 93XX and are already available for purchasing.
Also, the Series 9 is still in my opinion Braun’s quietest shaver so far. Compared side by side, the Series 8 is louder.
The cleaning stations of the Series 8 and 9 look exactly the same on the outside, but the one of the Series 9 is heavier and is fitted with a fan that dries the shaving head once the cleaning cycle has completed.
The Series 8 will actually fit inside the Series 9 station and the shaver will charge, however the cleaning and drying functions will not work.
So the choice between the Series 8 and Series 9 should be pretty straightforward; if your budget allows it and especially if you have wiry, coarse, flat-lying hairs (and shave less often), then get the Series 9.
It is the more powerful, faster, and more capable shaver between the two — and it should be since it costs more.
Braun Series 8 vs Series 5
This is the comparison that makes the most sense in my opinion, despite what the names of the series might suggest.
Theoretically, the Series 8 should be better than the Series 7, but not as good as the Series 9.
But as we saw, that’s not quite the case. In fact, considering how the Series 8 actually shaves, it feels more like a revised, refined, and rebranded Series 5.
Compared to the Series 5, the Series 8 doesn’t vibrate as much, is a bit more forgiving on sensitive areas like the neck, a bit quieter and has a larger battery.
They are extremely similar design-wise and (unsurprisingly) feel very similar during use.
The shape of the shaving head frame is different, so the cassettes aren’t cross-compatible. At least at this moment, the cassette used by the Series 5 (52s/52b) is a lot cheaper and widely available.
The cleaning stations are also basically the same, despite having different part numbers.
However, the Series 8 for example won’t fit perfectly inside the Series 5 station and while it will charge, the cleaning function won’t work.
Neither has the drying system found on the Series 9 station that again, on the outside, looks the same.
In conclusion, while we were all waiting anxiously for a worthy Series 7 successor, the Series 8 is not that shaver — it’s basically a slightly better Series 5.
And since the Series 5 costs less, it’s widely available and uses a significantly cheaper (yet similar) shaving head, I would actually recommend it over the Series 8, at least for the time being.
Should you buy the Series 8?
If you can get the Series 8 without jumping through hoops and it has a reasonable price, then yes, it’s a good shaver. In Europe, in particular, you can now buy it pretty much everywhere.
Otherwise, for slightly more money, you can get a Series 7 that is still an excellent shaver despite its age.
As mentioned previously, it shaves better, it’s widely available and the replacement shaving heads are also easy to find and usually cost less.
If you can get past a few shortcomings of the 7, at least for now, it is probably a safer (and better) choice than the Series 8 for most users.
However, once it becomes more popular and the price of the replacement cassette will drop, the Braun Series 8 will be a very appealing electric shaver.
But until then, the Series 8 makes it really difficult to choose it over a Series 7 (or a Series 5 if you’re on a tighter budget).