Pros: very comfortable, adequately close shaves, suitable for sensitive skin, good performance on a 2 to 3 days beard, wet & dry use, excellent battery life, useful cleaning station
Cons: not quite as good as a Series 7 (despite some improvements), limited availability, mediocre slide-out trimmer, pricey replacement shaving head, no cleaning brush or lubricant included
Launched somewhere in 2019 without any drum rolls or hype, the elusive Series 8 appears to be a concoction between the Series 5, 7 and 9, but also comes with a few particularities of its own.
In this review we’re going to test a Braun Series 8 cc model that also includes an automatic cleaning and charging station.
We’ll find out how well the new Series 8 shaves, check out its pros and cons, and ultimately see if it’s worth buying or if there are better options available.
Let’s dive right in.
Table of Contents
- Braun Series 8 features overview
- Build quality and ergonomics
- Included accessories
- Battery life and charging
- Shaving performance
- Cleaning and maintenance
- Replacement parts availability
- Wrapup — who should buy the Series 8?
- Alternative shavers
Braun Series 8 features overview
Three-blade shaving head
Like most shavers in Braun’s lineup, the Series 8 features three independent shaving elements arranged in a familiar fashion:
- Two outer foils that shave hairs at skin level. With the Series 8, Braun uses its trademark OptiFoil design for the foil screens, meaning the perforations have this irregular form instead of the more common round shape. This supposedly makes them more efficient at catching the hairs and also improves comfort.
- One middle trimmer with wider slits that captures and cuts longer and flat-lying hairs.
It’s immediately obvious that the shaving head of the Series 8 is pretty much identical to the ones of the Series 5 and 7.
And that’s actually a promising start since those were really good performers.
8D Flexible shaving system
The shaving head of the Braun Series 8 can only move from front to back, which is honestly all that’s needed and in my opinion a better approach than other super complex flexing systems.
Braun makes it sound a lot more complicated than it really is with this 8D thing.
The three cutters can also move independently and that really helps them stay in contact with the skin, even when shaving tricky areas.
30 000 cutting actions per minute
This simply means that the Series 8 is fitted with a 10 000 CPM (cycles per minute) motor, again just like Braun’s other top shavers.
If we divide 30 000 by the number of shaving elements — 3 in the case of the Series 8 — we get 10 000 which is actually the more relevant number (but 30 000 sounds better).
The big names continue with the Sonic technology, which is again a feature found on other Braun shavers.
Basically, the motor also induces tiny vibrations into the foils, helping the Series 8 capture the whiskers with fewer strokes.
Beard density sensor
This is a distinctive feature of the 8370cc (and of the Series 8 in general).
The razor is fitted with a sensor that adjusts the power output of the motor depending on the particularities of your beard, precisely the density.
It all sounds good, but in reality, it doesn’t seem to do much. But more on that later on.
60 minutes of cordless shaving
This is in my opinion one of the most important features of the Series 8 8370cc and a clear improvement over most electric razors out there.
While the industry standard is 40 to 50 minutes, the Series 8 can provide at least 60 minutes of cordless shaving time (on a single charge).
Battery life on all Braun shavers was already very good, so the Series 8 should perform even better in that regard.
Since this is a wet/dry electric razor, it will not work with the cord plugged in.
As usual, there’s a 5-minute quick charge function that should enable you to complete one shave.
Cleaning & Charging station
The Braun Series 8 8370cc includes an automatic cleaning station that charges, cleans and lubricates the shaver.
Side note: The newer Series 8 models that start with 84 (like the Braun Series 8 8457cc) come with an upgraded cleaning station that also features a fan that dries the shaving head.
It is identical in size and shape to the ones that come with the Series 5 and 9.
We’ll take a very close look at how it works in the Cleaning and maintenance section of the review.
Other features of the 8370cc worth mentioning are:
- Slide-out trimmer
- 32-bit MCU (microcontroller unit)
- 5-level LED battery level indicator
- wet & dry use
The Braun Series 8 8370cc comes with a 2-year warranty and a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Build quality and ergonomics
The Series 8 in this review, namely the 8370cc, comes in a silver and black color scheme with just a dash of blue around the top part.
The entire body of the shaver is made out of plastic. While it doesn’t look or feel cheap, it’s not particularly spectacular either.
There’s no denying that it shares a lot of design elements with the Series 9 (and the Series 5).
For example, it weighs exactly the same as the 9 and apart from the smaller shaving head, the dimensions are very similar.
All the silver bits of trim have this matte, brushed finish that handles smudges a lot better than the high-gloss chrome coating found on other Braun models.
On the front part of the shaver there’s this glossy black piece of trim that surrounds the head locking switch, power button and LED display.
The head locking switch of the Series 8 is again the same as the one found on the aforementioned Braun models, however this time around it’s covered in this very grippy, rubber-like material, making it easy to operate and an ideal thumb rest.
When engaged, the shaving head will be locked in a fixed position, preventing it from swiveling.
If you force it, the ratcheting mechanism is clever enough not to break and the head will simply move in a different (fixed) position — there are 5 of them.
This switch is also easier to operate because of the added grip, even when the shaver is wet or covered in foam.
And speaking of grip, there’s a generous surface of the same rubber-like material on the back of the shaver and it extends to the sides as well.
This, along with the matte finish of the silver plastic allow you to hold it very securely in your hand, even though the body of the Braun Series 8 has quite a substantial girth.
On the back we’ll find the typical Braun slide-out hair trimmer and two metal studs that charge the shaver when placed in the cleaning station.
The Series 8 is made in Germany, just like the other Braun middle to high-end shavers.
On the bottom we have the charging port, surrounded by some glossy black trim.
As mentioned previously, the shaving head of the Series 8 looks extremely similar to the ones of Braun’s other 3-blade models, the Series 5 and 7.
While the silver foil frame is slightly different in shape and size among these 3 families of shavers, the actual foils/cutters seem to be identical.
In order to remove the cassette of the 8370cc, you must press the tabs located on the lateral sides of the shaving head.
However, only the one on the right (as you hold the shaver with the front part facing you) is actually used for this; the other one is simply there for symmetry, despite even having the same eject symbol engraved on it.
This can be a little confusing and I actually tried to press the dummy button very hard at first before realizing that it doesn’t actually do anything.
The one that does work can be a little jerky to operate sometimes, but nothing too serious.
Overall, the build quality of the Braun Series 8 is definitely adequate.
There’s nothing to wow you like for example Panasonic’s latest Arc 5 models, but then again we’re talking about a totally different price point.
I do appreciate the fact that with the release of this shaver, Braun fixed some of the problems of the Series 7 — a simple, more intuitive and useful battery display, a better head locking mechanism that won’t break and finally, a travel lock.
The travel lock on the Series 8 can be activated by pressing and holding the power button for 3 seconds.
When the shaver is locked, a small red padlock will appear on the display. It can be deactivated by pressing and holding the power button again for 3 seconds.
The Braun Series 8 8370cc comes bundled with the following items:
- Cleaning & Charging station
- One cleaning cartridge
- Charging cord
- Hard travel case
- User manual
While the absence of a protective cap and a small bottle of lubricant was to be expected, I was surprised to see that Braun didn’t include a cleaning brush.
I personally won’t miss it too much, however other users may find it useful when cleaning the shaver manually.
All the accessories look familiar and there’s really nothing new here.
The station of the 8370cc looks the same as the ones we get with the Series 5 or the Series 9 (minus the drying feature which is specific to the S9 and the newer 84 S8).
Just by looking at the 3 stations, you won’t be able to tell them apart.
The travel case is made out of hard textile material, it feels very sturdy and will offer adequate protection against mechanical shocks. There’s no room for the charging cord though.
Battery life and charging
The Series 8 8370cc is a wet&dry model and as a result, it will only work cordless. You cannot use it with the cord plugged in.
But there’s a silver lining to that: the 8370cc (and all the other models in the series) are fitted with high-capacity Li-ion batteries that will provide 60 minutes of shaving time on a single charge.
Having used the Series 8 for more than a month by now, I can confirm that the battery life of this razor is outstanding.
While I didn’t track precisely how many minutes of use I got on a single charge, I managed to shave around 15 times before needing to charge it again.
Regarding strictly the battery life, the Series 8 is definitely among the best out there right now.
While I do prefer the percentage-based battery level display of other shavers, the one on the Braun S8 is good enough.
It shows 5 segments, each one representing 20% of the remaining charge.
Certain Series 8 models, including the 8370cc reviewed here, will actually show a digit representing the remaining shaving time when it’s less than 9 minutes.
So it’s basically a 9-minute countdown when the battery is almost drained.
The Series 8 8370cc can be charged directly from a power socket using the cord or via the cleaning station.
When placed inside the station, it will automatically begin to charge (without actually starting the cleaning cycle).
It does so via the two metal studs on the back of the shaver that come into contact with two small metal plates inside the station.
Charging the Braun Series 8 from 0 to 100% takes approximately one hour. Also, charging it only for 5 minutes will provide enough juice to complete a shave when you’re in a hurry.
The charger is of course fitted with a universal voltage converter, so you can use it anywhere in the world. Mine came with a USA plug, but that may vary depending on where the shaver is being sold.
And speaking of traveling, on shorter trips you may very well leave the charging cord at home as the battery life of the Braun S8 is very solid.
Just make sure to have it fully charged before packing.
Let’s now focus on the part that really matters and that is how well the Braun Series 8 actually shaves.
Specs mean nothing if they don’t also translate into decent performance.
Luckily, the Braun S8 does live up to the expectations, but not without some glitches and hiccups.
After testing it for a month, here’s everything you need to know about the performance of this particular model.
A comfortable shave is usually taken for granted with Braun electric razors, especially with their mid-range models and up.
As mentioned previously, the shaving head of the Series 8 looks identical to the Series 5 and 7, which already hinted at a similar performance.
And when it comes to comfort, that’s a good thing and the Series 8 was more than adequate.
The shaver is gentle, forgiving and smooth and will likely be a perfectly suitable choice for users with sensitive skin.
I am one of those users and I can say that I was pretty happy shaving with the Series 8 (for the majority of the time).
I used it mostly dry, sometimes along with a splash of Speick pre-shave lotion to reduce the dampness of my skin on those hot and humid days.
The neck is usually a problem area in my case and some shavers are just too aggressive for my skin.
Again, I had no issues with the 8370cc except for some minor stings and itches.
So the comfort is really good, I’d say somewhere between a Series 5 and 7. So yes, surprisingly, I do find the 7 a bit more comfortable and smoother.
At least from the name perspective, you would expect the Series 8 to be better, but I have used them side by side, shaving half my face with each one and the S7 would constantly be a bit more comfortable, gentler and more enjoyable to use.
The difference is not by any means huge, but I was able to notice it. Even so, I think the Series 8 would definitely be a suitable choice for men with irritation-prone skin.
The closeness of the shave using the Braun S8 was generally pretty good.
I think most users will be satisfied with the results unless they are really strict about this aspect.
The shaver was particularly good on the cheeks, however on the neck and chin, I could sometimes feel a few slightly rough patches after the shave.
I do however have coarse and dense hair, especially on the chin.
With that said, if closeness is particularly important to you, this shaver (and Braun in general) may not be the ideal choice.
A Panasonic Arc 4 or Arc 5 will provide a closer shave in most cases, but do keep in mind that those aren’t as comfortable and if you have very sensitive skin, they are likely to cause some discomfort or irritation, especially during a dry shave.
Shaving longer facial hair
Braun electric razors are generally very good with longer hair, definitely better than the foil shavers from other brands.
This is particularly obvious when the hairs also stay flat on the skin or grow in different directions.
The Series 8 was quite good at catching and cutting those difficult hairs, so if you don’t shave daily, this razor could be on your shortlist.
I do however have to mention the original Series 7 as in this case it was again better than the Series 8.
Not by a huge margin, but it was definitely more effective at cutting flat-lying hairs, requiring fewer strokes and less effort.
Also, in the highest speed setting, my 7865cc was also faster and allowed me to actually finish my shave faster.
The Series 8 doesn’t have any speed settings, instead it’s fitted with a beard density sensor, but I never noticed it at work as in the case of Panasonic shavers.
The S8 just seems to run at full speed all the time, which is good in my opinion, but I would rather use the old 7865cc, especially when shaving less often, like once every 3 days. It just feels faster, more efficient and more enjoyable to use.
One of the most unexpected and pleasant surprises regarding the Braun Series 8 was the wet shaving performance.
Braun shavers usually don’t perform significantly better when used with shaving cream and in most cases it’s not really worth all the hassle of lathering, cleaning and so on.
For example, I would simply shave dry with a Series 7 or 9 as the results will be excellent, both in terms of closeness and comfort.
However, using the Series 8 with a good shaving cream like Nivea or Speick was a real treat. The results were outstanding.
The shave was closer and extremely comfortable. The biggest difference was when I shaved those flat hairs on my neck that required quite a few more strokes during a dry shave.
With just a very thin layer of slick lather, the razor was able to cut them quickly and efficiently and I managed to finish my shave faster despite spending more time prepping.
So if you’re into wet shaving with electric razors, the Braun S8 will certainly be a great choice.
As a side note, it’s particularly important to clean it thoroughly after a wet shave as the lather will harden and it will be very difficult to get it out of the cassette.
I recommend rinsing the razor under the tap and using a bit of liquid soap (check out the cleaning and maintenance section below for more details). You shouldn’t use the cleaning station if the shaver is dripping wet or covered in foam.
This shaver features the same slide-out trimmer found on almost all of Braun’s current models (except for the S7 which has a totally different pop-up trimmer on the front).
Located on the back of the Braun Series 8, you must press the small release button and then slide the trimmer forward toward the head of the razor.
The sliding action is very smooth and the trimmer is actually spring-loaded, so it will easily snap into position.
Once it’s fully extended you can press the power button and proceed to use it.
Just as a side note, the mechanism is quite clever and there’s a bit more to it than meets the eye. For example, if you don’t press the release button, the trimmer won’t budge, so you won’t activate it by accident.
Also, when the trimmer is retracted, the blades won’t shear against each other when you switch the shaver on.
And finally, if the shaving head is locked in a fixed position that gets in the way of the trimmer, it will automatically move one or two positions below so the trimmer will clear it.
However, despite the thoughtfulness behind it, the trimmer on the Series 8 8370cc is average at best, at least in my experience.
The position of the trimmer makes it somewhat awkward to use and involves a lot of wrist work.
But my main gripe with it is that the blades just seem dull and require multiple strokes to cut the hairs, especially the ones that lie flat on the skin.
The curved profile of the blades makes this even worse as only the middle part will come into contact with the skin properly. This is not ideal when trying to shape a sideburn for example and you’ll have to tilt the shaver so that the edges of the trimmer can cut the hairs.
It will eventually get the job done, but with more effort on your part and I would never use it for anything more than some light grooming and touch-ups.
Regarding the noise level during use, it’s pretty much what you’d expect from a foil shaver. It’s pretty loud, but not too bad compared to other razors.
For example, the 8370cc is a bit quieter than a Series 3, 5 and even a Series 7 in the highest power setting.
It makes a higher-pitched whine than those, but isn’t as raspy and also doesn’t vibrate excessively.
With that said, it’s nowhere near as quiet as a rotary shaver, so if that’s very important to you, the Series 8 is not a game-changer by any means. It will likely wake up someone sleeping in the same or nearby room.
Cleaning and maintenance
The 8370cc model comes with Braun’s Clean & Charge station that charges, cleans and lubricates the shaver.
However, if for some reason you cannot or do not want to use it, there’s always the option of cleaning the shaver manually.
Let’s start with that and then take a close look at the station and the automatic cleaning process.
Cleaning the Series 8 8370cc is generally very straightforward and easy.
As mentioned before, Braun skipped on including a cleaning brush, but you don’t really need it.
The most efficient way to clean this Braun (or any other waterproof shaver) is with tap water and optionally a bit of liquid soap.
Once you’ve finished shaving, remove the cassette and gently tap the plastic frame on your sink or countertop to remove most of the hairs.
Snap it back on the shaver and switch it on, rinsing the shaving head under warm tap water.
For more thorough cleaning, especially if you use shaving cream, at this point you may add a few drops of liquid soap on the foils and let the shaver run for 10 to 15 seconds, so the lather can spread evenly over the foils.
With the shaver still running, rinse the foam under the tap. Turn it off, remove the cassette and give it a rinse as well, both on the outside and the inside.
The inner part of Braun’s cassettes is very intricate and offers little access to remove dirt, so you’ll want to be thorough when cleaning it manually.
Shake off excess water, optionally pat dry the cassette and shaver with a soft cloth or paper towel and let them air dry completely.
As for maintenance, the shaver will require regular lubrication only if you don’t use the cleaning station (and especially if you clean the shaver with soap which removes any lubrication from the blades).
You can use a light lubricant like clipper oil, sewing machine oil or a special spray lubricant. Here’s a complete guide on how and when to do it.
One potential issue with cleaning the 8370cc manually is that in time, some grime, hairs and dead skin may remain trapped inside, despite regularly cleaning it.
Luckily, this is where the station is really handy (and you absolutely don’t have to use it after every shave).
I personally use it after a few manual cleanings just to prevent any dirt and hairs from accumulating inside the shaving head.
In the meantime when the station is not being used, I simply remove the cartridge and put the plastic cap back on — make sure you don’t throw it away when you install the cartridge for the first time.
The cleaning solution is alcohol-based and will evaporate pretty quickly if you don’t put back the cover.
But let’s get back to the automatic cleaning process using the station that comes with the Braun 8370cc.
Upon a first glance, it looks the same as the one used by the Series 5 and 9. Same dimensions, exactly the same design.
However, it is a different part specifically made for the Series 8 and even though the 8370cc shaver will (sort of) fit and even charge in the other two, the cleaning function will not work.
There’s a large oval button on the back of the station. Pressing it pops open the station and you can now insert the cleaning cartridge from the back of the station after you’ve removed (and safely stored) the cap.
Close the station, connect the charging cord and you’re all set.
Just a word of caution, the shaver must be dry and free of any foam before using the station.
Once you placed the razor correctly in the cleaning unit (confirmed by a beep sound), it will immediately begin to charge it (without actually starting the cleaning cycle).
The cleaning symbol — two droplets — will also appear on the shaver’s display if it’s not already shown.
That symbol is a reminder that you need to clean the shaver and it will only disappear after an automatic cleaning. When cleaning the shaver manually, you might as well ignore it.
The station of the Braun 8370cc only has one cleaning mode, so there are no short, normal or intensive modes.
These are most likely disabled by Braun as on a closer look you can clearly see three small bumps where the LEDs that show the cleaning modes would be. So other Series 8 84 models will come with this feature enabled.
However, that’s not a big deal at all since there’s little difference between those modes.
Also, the station of my Series 9 9290cc for example will always select the high-intensity mode even after a short, 3-minute shave.
To start the cleaning process, you simply have to press the button on the front of the station. The LED next to it will start blinking throughout the entire process.
The shaver will be switched on and off a few times and the cleaning solution will be flushed through the shaving head, removing any hairs and dirt.
The whole process lasts just over 2 minutes. After that, the LED lights up continuously and the charging resumes.
The droplets symbol on the shaver’s display will also be turned off.
At this point, you can simply let the shaver in the station to continue charging. After the shaver is fully charged, all the indicators will turn off.
The station of the Series 8 8370cc is not fitted with any systems that dry the shaving head, so it will take at least 3 to 4 hours for the moisture to evaporate from the cassette.
For this reason, I actually prefer to take out the shaver and just let it air dry. I also remove the cartridge from the station and put the cover back on to prevent the solution from evaporating.
To speed up the drying, I remove the cassette from the shaver so air can circulate freely through it.
The Series 8 station only has a low cartridge indicator. When it lights up continuously red, the remaining fluid will be enough for approximately 3 more cleaning cycles.
After that, it will blink red and you will need to replace it.
Using the station after every shave and leaving the cartridge inside will of course require more cleaning fluid and the cartridge will need to be replaced sooner.
But again, you definitely don’t have to do that. Here are more tips on how to make the refills last longer.
The cleaning station is very efficient at removing any traces of dirt and hairs and the solution also lubricates the blades.
If we also factor in the availability of various third-party cleaning solutions that work just as well, I think the 8370ccand particularly the newer 84 Series 8 models that include a cleaning station are worth considering over the solo variations.
Replacement parts availability
The Series 8 uses a new shaving head (cassette) specifically made for this range, with the part number 83M.
Despite the actual shaving elements being pretty much identical to other shavers in Braun’s lineup (Series 5, 7), only the 83M will fit the Series 8 properly because of the shape of the plastic frame.
And at least at the moment of writing this article, the 83M cassette can be difficult to find and quite pricey.
This isn’t very surprising since the Series 8 is a new model and we’ve seen this type of shortage before with other Braun models.
However, it is a potential cause of concern. The new cassette is not yet listed on Braun’s website, but it is listed on Encompass and on other online stores.
If you are on the fence with regard to the replacement cassette, check out the alternatives section below.
UPDATE: The 83M cassette is now readily available.
The Series 8 cleaning station uses Braun’s CCR cleaning cartridges.
They can be bought in bulk as well (usually for a better price per refill), but as mentioned earlier, you can find cheaper third-party cleaning solutions as well.
Wrapup — who should buy the Series 8?
Having tested the Braun Series 8 for over a month now, I can confidently say that it is a capable and versatile electric razor.
Braun Series 8 8457cc
It would be a suitable choice for men with sensitive skin and it’s powerful enough for even a coarse and dense beard.
It can shave longer, flat-lying hairs quite well for a foil shaver, especially when used with shaving cream or gel.
The closeness is satisfactory (at least for me), but as mentioned before, it’s not the best for the money.
Panasonic is still on top in this regard. However, not even Braun’s most expensive models can match them, so I can’t really complain.
The battery life is really impressive and arguably its strongest asset against other Braun models.
If you’re looking for a full-fledged, capable travel shaver and don’t want to bring along the charger, the 8457cc with its compact and sturdy case could be ideal.
I actually recommend getting the newer 8457cc over the 8370cc in my review simply because it comes with a better cleaning station (a fan that dries the head and 3 cleaning modes).
However, I can’t help to notice that the Series 8 did fall a bit short compared to other well-established Braun models mentioned throughout this review like the old Series 7.
Again, it’s not a huge performance difference, but it is there.
Personally, if I had to choose between the Series 8 and let’s say the old 7865cc/790cc as my main shaver, I would easily go for the latter despite some of the improvements of the Series 8 (better battery, better display, better head locking mechanism).
But since the old Series 7 can’t be bought anymore, the Series 8 is the next best thing.
With that said, let’s check out some alternatives that may be better, at least for now.
Braun Series 7 790cc
The most obvious alternative to the 8370cc would be Braun’s own Series 7.
As for which model to choose, the 790cc or 7865cc are usually the most popular, easy to find and their price is also pretty reasonable.
Despite the S8 coming with the aforementioned improvements, the older S7 still has the edge in my opinion when it comes strictly to how it actually shaves.
In short, the 790cc (7865cc) feels faster, a bit more nimble because of the narrower foil frame, more comfortable and it’s better at cutting flat-lying hairs.
Moreover, the replacement shaving heads are cheaper and easy to find.
I also prefer the cleaning station of the 790cc/7865cc as it is a bit more compact, better looking and it has the 3 cleaning modes.
Panasonic Arc 5 ES-LV65-S
For roughly the same money or even less, you can get a Panasonic Arc 5 which can be a better pick depending on your priorities.
If you’re mainly interested in getting a very close shave and you don’t mind shaving more often, a Panasonic ARc 5 makes more sense than the Braun S8.
The best picks are currently the older models like the ES-LV65-S or ES-LV67-K.
Those don’t include a cleaning station but are really easy to clean manually.
If however you want a cleaning station, you can get that as well with the ES-LV95-S and ES-LV97-K, respectively.
But do keep in mind that an Arc 5 will work best on short hair and isn’t quite as gentle as the Series 8.