Braun Series 5 5090cc (5190cc) Review: Mid-range Price, High-end Performance

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Braun Series 5 5090cc (5190cc) Review: Mid-range Price, High-end Performance
Editor's choice

Review Summary

The good: great performance for the price, very comfortable, suitable for sensitive skin, very good build quality, excellent cleaning station, can be used while charging (5090cc), waterproof, hard travel case, inexpensive replacement shaving head

The bad: pretty loud and strong vibrations during use, fiddly to clean manually, mediocre long hair trimmer, not the closest shaving razor in this price category

Our Rating:

(4.5 out of 5 stars overall)

Value for money:

Features:

Performance:

Shop Braun Series 5 5090cc

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The Series 5 line from Braun has been steadily growing in popularity, the main reasons for this being its excellent performance and reasonable price.

With a host of compelling features, the Series 5 appears to be a viable alternative to the more expensive Series 7 but without any significant trade-offs in performance or build quality.

The 5090cc is one the best-selling Series 5 models that has been getting quite a lot of attention for being basically a Series 7 on a budget. Moreover, it also includes Braun’s Clean & Charge station.

In order to find out if the hype around it is real, we have given the 5090cc the full ShaverCheck treatment and subjected it to a thorough testing.

In this comprehensive Braun Series 5 5090cc review we will take a close look at all the things that matter and see if the Series 5 line is up to the expectations.

UPDATE: the Series 5 5090cc is getting more difficult to find and was basically replaced by the 5190cc model. The shaving performance is identical and apart from a few minor differences, they’re basically the same. So this can very well be considered a Braun 5190cc review.

Features overview

3 blade shaving system

The Braun Series 5 5090cc is a three blade foil shaver suitable for dry only use. The more recent Series 5 models like the 5190cc can be used wet or dry.

The shaving head configuration is typical Braun and features two outer foils with the trademark octagonal perforations and one middle trimmer.

Braun Series 5 5090cc/5190cc shaving head

The outer foils catch and cut short stubble close to the skin, while the middle cutter, called the ActiLift Trimmer, captures longer, flat-lying hairs that grow in different directions.

Flexing shaving head

The three cutting elements can move independently to maintain constant contact with the skin, regardless of the area that’s being shaved. Braun calls this FlexMotionTec with MicroMotion.

Apart from that, the whole shaving head pivots to further improve the contact between the cutting elements and the different contours of the face.

The pretentious term used in this case is FlexMotionTec with MacroMotion.

Multi-HeadLock

Series 5 head locking switchThe head can also be locked into place when more precision is needed.

This is carried out via the head locking switch located on the front of the shaver, just below the shaving head.

There are 5 predetermined positions for locking the shaving head and you can go through them by simply pushing the head into a different one without any damage to the ratcheting mechanism.

This is a major improvement over the locking mechanism of the Series 7 that would simply break when you applied more pressure.

In the two extreme positions, the middle trimmer and one of the two foils are also retracted, so you end up with just one of the foils protruding, very handy for shaving tricky areas like under your nose.

Braun Series 5 shaving head in the locked position

Long hair trimmer

On the back of the Series 5 you’ll find a long hair trimmer, similar to the ones used on the Series 3 and Series 9.

Braun Series 5 5090cc/5190cc long hair trimmer

When fully extended, it just about passes the shaving head so you can sort of see what you are doing.

Automatic cleaning station

As all cc models in Braun’s lineup, the 5090cc/5190cc comes with an automatic cleaning & charging station.

Braun Series 5 cleaning station

The station uses an alcohol-based solution and takes care of cleaning, lubricating and charging your Series 5 shaver. We’ll cover the station in great detail later into the review.

Corded or cordless use (5090cc)

The 5090cc is equipped with a Li-Ion battery that should provide 45 minutes of cordless use.

Since this shaver is suitable for dry use only, you can also shave while it is plugged in.

The 5190cc variation on the other hand and all the newer wet&dry Series 5 shavers will only work cordless though as a safety precaution.

You can charge the shaver via the station or by plugging the included cord directly into the shaver.

Braun Series 5 5090cc/5190cc

5090cc

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While the 5090cc in our review is waterproof and can be safely rinsed under water, you cannot use it in the shower or with shaving cream or gel.

Other noteworthy features of the Series 5 5090cc include a 5 level battery indicator, hygiene status, 5-minute quick charge option and a travel lock.

Included accessories

Apart from the shaver itself, inside the package you’ll find the following items:

  • Automatic cleaning & charging station
  • One cleaning cartridge
  • Charging cord
  • Cleaning brush
  • Hard travel case
  • User’s manual

Series 5 5090cc accessories

Unfortunately there’s no plastic protection cap or a small bottle of lubricant. I would have liked to see those included, but for the price of the 5090cc, it’s not too bad

I particularly like the hard travel case that offers far better protection in case of mechanical shocks compared to the flimsy faux leather pouches used by Panasonic for example.

Braun Series 5 travel case

Unfortunately there’s no room for the charging cord inside the case.

It’s also interesting to note that other Series 5 models come with different accessories.

For example, the 5090cc reviewed here is the only Series 5 that comes with a hard travel case. All the other ones include a soft pouch or none at all.

The newer models like the 5190cc also come with a plastic protective cap. For a complete overview of all the Series 5 models and their differences, you can check out our detailed comparison.

Build quality and ergonomics

Braun’s Series 5 sits right between the Series 3 and the Series 7. However, if we consider the overall quality and performance, it is a whole lot closer to the Series 7.

To back this up, the Series 5 is made in Germany, just like the more premium Series 7 and 9. The entry-level Series 3 is made in China.

The Braun Series 5 is made in Germany

One interesting thing is that only the shaver is made in Germany.

The cleaning cartridge is made in Ireland, the cleaning station is made in Hungary, while the charging cord, cleaning brush and travel case are made in China.

The Series 5 5090cc is made entirely out of plastic, with both glossy and matte treatments. The color scheme of our review unit looks quite striking with the black and red combination.

Braun Series 5090cc design

The back of the shaver is pretty plain. There is a generous, textured rubber insert that extends to the sides and provides excellent grip even when your hands are wet.

The same rubberized material covers most of the long hair trimmer as well.

Braun Series 5 back

You can also see the two metal studs that come into contact with two metal plates inside the cleaning station.

The Series 5 5090cc is a big shaver. It’s got a considerable girth and looks very beefy.

However, it is very lightweight and feels well balanced.

It’s also quite similar to the range-topping Series 9 in terms of design language and proportions.

Braun Series 9 vs Series 5

Braun Series 9 vs Series 5

The back side of the two looks almost identical (5090cc to the left, 9290cc to the right):

Braun Series 5 5090cc (left) and Braun Series 9 9290cc (right)

The overall build quality of the Series 5 is very good, with no visible defects or unsightly gaps between the various surfaces.

The glossy black does show smudges and fingerprints and it probably scratches easily, so you’ll have to be careful with it.

The shaving head looks and feels of high quality and snaps securely into place. It also pops out easily when you need to clean it manually.

Braun Series 5 shaving head

With only 3 cutting elements, it’s also quite slim and very easy to maneuver in tight spots, especially when compared to a 5 blade Panasonic Arc 5 behemoth.

Braun Series 5 cassette

Braun Series 5 cassette

The simple and clear LED display is very practical and a definite improvement over the oddly placed and dim display of the Series 7.

Braun Series 5 5090cc battery indicator

It shows the battery level, when you need to clean the shaver or when the travel lock is activated.

Speaking of which, this is another minus of the Series 7 that was fully addressed with the Series 5. While the Series 7 doesn’t have a travel lock, you can activate it on the Series 5 by pressing and holding the ON/OFF switch for 3 seconds.

As for the not so good things about the 5090cc and the Series 5 in general, that would be the noise during use. Actually it’s not the noise itself, but the vibrations.

They are really strong and you can definitely feel them in your hand and on your face when using the shaver.

A Series 7 is much more refined in this regard. I didn’t find the vibrations to affect the quality of my shave, but I definitely couldn’t ignore them.

Overall, I must say that I am very pleased with the build quality, looks and ergonomics of the 5090cc.

Battery life and charging

The 5090cc comes with a Li-Ion battery that provides up to 45 minutes of cordless shaving time. I found this claim to be pretty accurate and it even slightly surpassed these numbers during my time with the shaver.

The newer 5190cc is rated for 50 minutes of use, so that one should be even better.

It takes around 60 minutes for the battery to fully charge and you can achieve this by plugging the cord directly into the shaver or by placing it into the cleaning base that also charges the shaver.

Braun Series 5 charging port

Being suitable for dry only use, the Braun Series 5 5090cc can be used while charging with the included cord, unlike the wet/dry 5190cc.

There’s also a 5-minute quick charge option that should provide just enough power to complete one shaving session.

The LED display is very straight forward, with 5 bars that indicate the charge status of the battery. The 5090cc is the only Series 5 with a 5 level battery indicator, the rest of them having a 3 level display or even 2 (5040s).

There is also a low charge light that will start blinking when the battery is running low. When this happens you should be able to complete your shave with the remaining charge.

Shaving performance

And now let’s get to the most important part of the review, the actual shaving performance.

I used the Series 5 5090cc exclusively for 3 weeks, shaving daily and every other day for the most part. I didn’t shave on weekends just to see how it would deal with a longer beard on a Monday morning when you probably want to get it over with as fast as possible.

Closeness of the shave

When it comes strictly to the closeness of the shave, the 5090cc (and the Series 5 in general) is pretty good.

It’s not the closest shaving electric razor in this price category — that title goes to the Panasonic Arc 4 — but most men will probably be satisfied with the results.

To me the Series 5 is on par with the Series 7 in this regard, even though it lacks some of its trademark features, like the sensitivity settings or the micro-pulsations technology.

In real life use, they don’t seem to make any significant difference.

With that said, if you have a very fast beard growth, you could see a 5 o’clock shadow creep up sooner than you would like.

If that sounds like you, then a Panasonic Arc 4 would probably be a better choice for pretty much the same money.

The Series 5 5090cc copes surprisingly well with longer hairs, at least for a foil shaver. After two or three days of growth, it managed to get the flat-lying hairs on my neck and right under the chin.

This is an area where most electric shavers I’ve used have struggled. As long as the hairs aren’t completely flat and unreasonably long, the 5090cc will do just fine.

The head locking feature was really useful for shaving right under my nose.

Even though the 3 blade shaving head of the 5090cc is pretty slim, if you lock it into positions 1 or 5, the middle trimmer and one of the foils are retracted, so you’ll end up with just one foil touching the skin, excellent for precision work and getting a close shave in tight spaces.

Using a pre-shave lotion does help in making the Series 5 glide more smoothly over the skin.

If your skin is a little damp it can hop and drag over the skin. I used Williams Lectric Shave, but any pre-shave of your choice will do.

Comfort

While the closeness of the Series 5 isn’t class-leading, this shaver shines when it comes to comfort.

Braun Series 5 5090cc/5190cc

5090cc

See the price on Amazon

It really impressed me how it always provided a perfectly comfortable shave, even when I pressed harder than I normally would.

The shaving head remained cool during the entire shaving session which is something a lot of shavers fail to do. For example, the foils and trimmers on most Panasonic shavers get really hot after a couple of minutes of use.

That’s not the case with the Series 5 or any of Braun’s razors in general.

The 5090cc is very forgiving and gentle to the skin and I never experienced any discomfort or irritation.

For these reasons I highly recommend the Series 5 if you have sensitive skin or suffer from razor burn.

How fast does it shave?

The Series 5 is fitted with the same motor as the Series 7 as far as I know, even though they sound different. The Series 7 is more refined, while the Series 5 is louder and vibrates vigorously.

I would say that they are pretty similar in terms of speed, maybe with a slight advantage to the Series 7.

A Panasonic Arc 4 with a mighty 14000 CPM motor will shave faster than a Series 5 that uses a 10000 CPM unit provided that your beard is reasonably short.

So if you want the fastest shaving electric shaver for the money then the Panny is probably the better choice. But keep in mind that it’s not as comfortable as the Series 5.

Long hair trimmer

The long hair trimmer on the 5090cc is positioned on the back of the shaver and it’s very handy for sideburn shaping and the likes.

Braun Series 5 trimmer

I don’t like the fact that it has a curved profile, I find that a straight edge works much better.

You have to tilt the shaver so that the extremities of the trimmer will come into contact with the skin. Otherwise just the middle part will do the cutting and depending on what you’re doing this may not be ideal.

Finally, I would have liked it to be a bit wider and sharper; it just takes me more time to shape my sideburns with the 5090cc compared to other shavers.

How does it compare to the Series 7?

I cannot wrap up the performance review of the Series 5 without addressing the elephant in the room — how it compares to the Series 7.

I will say it right off the bat, as far as shaving performance goes, they are very similar.

In fact, I can’t really find any compelling reason to pay more for a Series 7. The replacement shaving heads used by the Series 5 are also cheaper compared to the ones needed for the Series 7.

The Series 5 really is a viable, more affordable alternative to the Series 7.

Braun Series 5 5090cc/5190cc

5090cc

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Cleaning and maintenance

Cleaning our gear is an integral part of any shaving routine and ideally it should be fast and easy to perform.

The Series 5 5090cc comes with Braun’s Clean & Charge station, but you can also clean it manually if choose so.

I’ll first go over the manual cleaning process and then we’ll see how the station performs.

Manual cleaning

After completing the shave, the first thing I do is detach the shaving head from the hand-held unit and very gently tap it on the countertop, foils side up.

This is necessary in order to get the bulk of the hair clippings out of the shaving head.

You can also use the included brush to further clean the inner area of the cassette. Do not use it on the foils as they can be easily damaged.

It’s unlikely that this method of cleaning will be enough to remove all the hairs and dirt from the inner housing of the shaving head. You can put the cassette back, switch the shaver on and rinse the head with warm running water from the tap.

You can use a few drops of liquid soap on the foils, let it run for a bit, then generously rinse it under tap water to remove all the foam.

After that, switch the shaver off, remove the cassette and further rinse the inner area. You can then let it air dry before putting it back on the shaver.

It takes a few good minutes to get all the hairs out and I was still not convinced that there weren’t any left.

In order to find that out, I inserted a brand new cleaning cartridge into the station and performed an automatic cleaning cycle right after my thorough manual cleaning.

You can see the result in the closeup photo below:

There were quite a bit of fine hair clippings left behind, even though the shaving head seemed perfectly clean.

If a manual clean of the Series 5 seems a bit fiddly (and futile) that’s because it is.

Braun’s implementation of these cassettes, with the foils and blades merged into one piece that offers limited access is what makes a manual cleaning more difficult and time consuming compared to other foil shavers like Panasonic.

Below you can see a side by side comparison between the shaving head of a Panasonic Arc 4 (left) and the 52s shaving head used by the Series 5 (right).

Panasonic Arc 4 shaving head vs Series 5 shaving head

Thoroughly cleaning the Panasonic literally takes me less than 30 seconds.

That’s not the case with the Series 5. Luckily it comes with an automatic cleaning base that takes care of the cleaning.

Automatic cleaning

The cleaning station included with the 5090cc/5190cc has a minimalist design with a single button that starts the cleaning process.

This particular station also analyzes the hygiene status of the shaver and selects a cleaning setting accordingly: short, normal or high intensity. These are depicted by the droplets symbols on the right side of the station’s ON/OFF button.

Unfortunately this analysis is solely based on how long you have been using the shaver since the last cleaning and doesn’t accurately account for how dirty it actually is.

The cleaning cartridges used by Braun’s stations contain an alcohol-based solution that cleans and lubricates the cutting parts.

The use of alcohol has both pros and cons. It works excellent for cleaning and sanitizing the shaver and also dries very fast.

On the flip side, it is flammable and there are restrictions to storing and shipping the cartridges.

Moreover, alcohol evaporates fast. So if you won’t be using the station for a few days in a row, it’s probably a good idea to remove the cartridge from the station and put the plastic cap back on.

This is probably one of the reasons why Braun’s cartridges need to be replaced more frequent compared to the ones from Panasonic and Norelco. Here are some easy, actionable tips on how to make the refills last longer.

To insert the cartridge you have to press a button on the back of the station and it will pop open.

Braun Series 5 station

Remove the plastic cap from the cartridge and slide it from the rear of the base until it snaps into place.

Braun Series 5 station

You then close the housing and you’re ready to start cleaning your Series 5.

While not required, it helps to remove the shaving head and gently tap it on your sink to remove the bulk of hairs before using the station.

This will help you get more cleanings out of the cartridge before needing to be replaced. I personally do it every time as it takes only a few seconds.

Once placed into position, the shaver will sit at an angle into the station, with the front of the shaver facing you and the two metal studs on the back aligned with the contacts inside the station.

Braun Series 5 station during the cleaning cycle

The cleaning cycle is very short and takes approximately 3 minutes or less depending on the hygiene status.

During this time the shaver is switched on and off several times and the fluid passes repeatedly through the shaving head, cleaning and removing hairs and dirt.

The selected cleaning setting is depicted on the station via a droplet symbol (one for a short, two for normal and three for high intensity).

Series 5 station cleaning modes

Once the cleaning cycle has ended, the srying process will begin. Well, the station doesn’t do anything actively in order to dry the shaving head, but being alcohol based, the solution will simply evaporate after 3 hours or so.

This is the major difference between the station included with the Series 5 and the ones that come with the Series 7 (only the older models) and 9.

In the case of the Series 7 and 9, the stations use either induction heating or a fan to speed up the drying process.

This is one one the compromises that had to be made in order to keep the price of the Series 5 low. It’s not a very big deal as most of us won’t need to use the shaver again within a few hours of a previous shave.

The result is a perfectly clean shaving head, with all the hairs and dirt removed. The blades are also lubricated and have a nice, citrusy scent.

Braun’s stations work wonderfully and they are necessary in my opinion. They take care of all the hassle associated with cleaning your shaver manually.

I actually think the cleaning station is one of the highlights of the 5090cc/5190cc and contributes massively to what makes it an overall great package.

The costs of the cleaning cartridges are pretty reasonable and well worth the extra money in my opinion.

Braun Clean & Renew replacement cartridges

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You can squeeze more cleaning cycles out of them by using the station less often and performing a manual cleaning when you’re not in a hurry.

Replacement parts availability

All the Series 5 shavers, including the 5090cc in our review, use the 52s (silver) or the 52b (black) replacement shaving heads, called cassettes.

They are widely available and very reasonably priced and help with keeping the cost of ownership low.

Braun Series 5 52s shaving head

52s

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For example, the replacement shaving heads for the Series 7 are more expensive and so are the blades and foils combos for the Panasonic Arc 4.

As a result, the Series 5 offers excellent value for money.

According to Braun, you should replace the shaving head of your Series 5 shaver once every 18 months. This is only a broad guideline and it will depend on how often you use your shaver and how coarse your beard is.

Regularly cleaning and lubricating your shaver will prolong the lifespan of the cutting parts and minimize the wear on the blades and foils.

With the cc models like 5090cc or 5190cc you won’t have to worry about doing these operations yourself as the cleaning station that takes care of everything.

Wrapup — Who should buy it?

The Series 5, and particularly the 5090cc reviewed here with its reasonable price and excellent cleaning station represent a strong option for anyone looking to buy a quality foil shaver without a premium price tag.

Braun Series 5 5090cc/5190cc

5090cc

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The 5090cc works great when used for shaving daily or every other day. You can get away with even more days between your shaves as it can tackle longer, flat hairs better than any other foil shaver in this price range.

Being a dry only shaver, your pre-shave routine would be minimal to non-existent, consisting only in the use of a pre-shave lotion. And that’s optional as well.

You can simply grab your 5090cc, shave, then toss it into the station to have it charged, sanitized and lubricated, ready for your next shave.

If you have sensitive, irritation or acne prone skin, the Series 5 is again a very good option and it won’t cost as much as a Series 7 or 9.

Unless you’re particularly concerned with getting the closest possible shave, you’ll probably be satisfied with the performance of the Series 5.

Let’s now see when the 5090cc won’t be the ideal choice and check out a few other options.

Alternative shavers

As mentioned throughout this review, the direct competitor of the Series 5 is the Arc 4 line from Panasonic.

The main advantages of the Panasonic are in my opinion the closer shave and the faster motor; these allow the Arc 4 to shave closer and faster, but with a tradeoff in comfort. It’s also not as good with linger, flat-lying hairs.

But if you don’t suffer from sensitive skin and a closer shave is more important, the Arc 4 will be a better choice for a similar price.

Panasonic Arc 4 ES-LA63-S

Panasonic ES-LA63-S

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My pick would be the ES-LA63-S for its high-end features, great performance and excellent price. Being suitable for wet/dry use, you can also shave in the shower or with your favorite cream or gel.

The ES-LA63-S doesn’t include a cleaning station, but it is a breeze to clean manually. If however the station is a must have, it is available in the ES-LA93-K variation.

The Series 7 is another alternative to the Series 5 5090cc. If you can get one for not a whole lot more, I think the Series 7 will be worth it for the added refinement.

The Series 7 7865cc is one shaver that I would recommend in this case.

Braun Series 7 7865cc

Braun Series 7 7865cc

Buy it from Amazon

Finally, there’s the shaver mentioned throughout this review, the 5190cc. Since the 5090cc is getting more difficult to find, the 5190cc is the next best thing.

Braun Series 5 5190cc

Braun Series 5 5190cc

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It is a wet & dry model that comes in black & blue color scheme. It uses the same shaving head and performance-wise it’s identical to the 5090cc.

16 comments on “Braun Series 5 5090cc (5190cc) Review: Mid-range Price, High-end Performance

Leave a comment
  1. Richard H. Dunker

    Thank you for such thorough shaver reviews.

    I have been using a Braun Series 5 shaver for so long I can’t remember when I purchased it! I have very sensitive skin. I am on my third cleaning station. I think the battery in my shaver is finally refusing to charge. So I am about to decide if I want to continue shaving with the cord, or purchase a new Braun shaver. I started my review with the Series 9, then the Series 7, and finally the Series 5. My Series 5 looks quite different than the photos in this review. My battery indicator is two green LEDs and one red LED with the word “low” printed below. Below the “Braun” name I have the word “clean” and a yellow LED indicator. Because my model is so old, it’s probably safe to assume I should purchase the cleaning station along with a new series 5 shaver.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Richard,

      Thank you for the kind words! I’m glad you found the reviews helpful.

      Your assumption is correct, you won’t be able to use your existing cleaning station with the current Series 5 shavers. The 5090cc in this review is actually part of the third generation Series 5. They also use different foils and blades that are now merged into a single piece (cassette). Considering that you were pleased with the performance of your shaver for many years, going for another Series 5 would probably be right thing to do. The Series 5 costs less than a Series 7 and a whole lot less than the Series 9. The replacement cassettes are also reasonably priced.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  2. Ocean

    Hi Ovidiu,

    I have seen a few of your reviews and they have all given me very detailed information with comparison, thank you so much!! As a female (and obviously not a user of electronic shaver), I would like to seek your advice on choosing a suitable, good-value Braun shaver for my partner.

    My partner has been using Sanyo SV-M730 for quite some years, it looks quite a simple shaver without advanced function (the shaving head doesn’t allow movement at all). So, I believe even the basic Braun series 3 will impress him. He has sensitive skin (and eczema occasionally) and sometimes a few flat lying hair couldn’t get shaved if he wasn’t detailed enough. He only does dry shave, and is quite lazy on cleaning (so would be good if the shaver can be cleaned simply by water, or can be cleaned using both water & auto cleaner charger).

    I am thinking to buy him a Series 3 CoolTech or Series 5 or Series 7. Below my concerns:

    Series 3 CoolTech : I am particularly impressed by its cooling function which says can reduce irritation to the skin + gives a cooling feel (my partner likes stuff with cooling feel a lot). However, its shaving head doesn’t allow as much movement as series 5 or 7 which doesn’t allow a close or contour shave (and cannot trim the flat lying hair?)

    Series 5 : Good value with function closer to series 7. However, it doesn’t have as much good ratings or recommendations as series 7 (looks like everyone is talking about series 3 or 7, but when it comes to series 5 it’s just about “the middle choice in between”), and also doesn’t have a cooling effect. If I should go for a series 5, which model to recommend?

    Series 7: I am considering it simply because of its very high rating / best selling in many of the sites. I don’t have doubt over its high tech function but I am concerned about the money value – should I get a series 5 if my partner is not a sophisticated user?

    Would you please give me some directions? Would be really great if you can select the most suitable model from series 5 and 7 respectively for comparison. Thank you in advance for your help! 🙂

    Ocean

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Ocean,

      Thank you for your comment, I’m glad you found the information useful.

      Out of the three models, I personally wouldn’t consider the Series 3 CoolTech. The Series 5 and Series 7 are superior in pretty much every aspect. The CoolTech is a Series 3 after all and while the cooling technology does sound intriguing, its effectiveness is debatable.

      The Series 5 is quite similar to the Series 7 performance-wise and if budget and cost of ownership are a concern (replacement shaving heads are also cheaper compared to the Series 7), then the Series 5 would be a very good choice. It’s suitable for sensitive skin, but I do find the Series 7 a bit more forgiving and gentle. The Series 7 also feels slightly faster and more refined — the Series 5 vibrates quite a lot during use. Finally, the Series 7 requires fewer strokes to get flat-lying hairs on my neck, but this would be a concern only when shaving less often, like every 2 or even 3 days. For daily/every other day shaving it wouldn’t matter so much.

      I personally enjoy using the Series 7 more for the reasons outlined above, but again the Series 5 does offer better value for money.

      As for recommended models, I would suggest opting for one of the cc variations that include an automatic cleaning station. Even if he won’t be using it after every shave (both the Series 5 and 7 can be cleaned with liquid soap and warm tap water), the station is very useful for a thorough cleaning every once in a while. It does a better job than any manual cleaning could and it also lubricates the blades.

      For the Series 5, the 5090cc or 5190cc are usually the best picks. In the case of the Series 7, the 790cc or 7865cc would be excellent choices (whichever you can find cheaper).

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  3. Ocean

    Dear Ovidiu,

    Thanks so much for your suggestions – very useful! I finally bought a 5090cc for my partner – he just tried today and liked it a lot. He said the vibration is quite strong with noise but at an acceptable range. Also, no irritation/pain for him and it gave close shaves. Overall, he is happy with the product.

    Thank you again for helping me to pick a good gift!

    Best,
    Ocean

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      That is awesome, Ocean! I’m glad to hear the Series 5 was the right choice.

      Thank you for taking the time to write a follow-up.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  4. Alex

    Hi!…my intention is to swap to electric razors… can you share some facts about 5040s ?…it would be prefered to 3040s one ?…why?…thank you in advance!

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Alex,

      Performance-wise, the 5040s is identical to the 5090cc in this review; the only differences are that the former doesn’t come with a cleaning station and it’s also suitable for wet&dry use as opposed to dry only in the case of the 5090cc.

      Now, regarding the 5040s and the 3040s, I’d say that the 5040s is superior in every way. It is more powerful, more comfortable and a lot better at shaving long, flat-lying hairs. Since the price difference is not that significant anymore, the 5040s would be my pick.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  5. Vincent

    Thanks for your helpful reviews!

    How does the Braun Series 5 (model 5145s) compare to the Panasonic ES-LT41-K Arc3 in terms of quality of shave? Which is the better bang for the buck?

    I prefer a shaver without the cleaning station and that is easy to clean manually. From what I’ve read, the Panasonic seems like the better choice for that. But you’ve said that Panasonics are little more aggressive, which might be a concern for my sensitive neck. I’m new to electric shavers and need to work on my technique, so that and a pre-shave liquid might help bridge the comfort gap.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Vincent,

      Thank you for your comment. A Series 5 solo model (so no cleaning station) will have a similar price to the ES-LT41-K, maybe a bit more expensive. So both of them can offer great value for money.
      The cassettes of the Series 5 are indeed more challenging to clean manually, but that should steer you away from getting one.

      I can relate to you since I also have very sensitive skin on my neck and I would choose the Series 5 over an Arc 3 any day if I were to shave dry, even when using a pre-shave. For this reason I would actually lean more toward the Series 5 in your case. Definitely get a pre-shave as well; my current favorite is from a brand called Freelette and it works great.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  6. Vincent

    Ovidiu, thanks for your reply.

    I bought a Series 5 solo, then found a Series 5cc on sale at another store for $10 less than I paid for the solo. Before I go through the hassle of returning the solo and buying the cc, is the cleaning station that much more effective than cleaning the shaver manually? Would I be nuts to forego the cleaning station at the same price as the solo?

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      You are very welcome, Vincent. For $10 less I would seriously consider the cc model. I think you shouldn’t steer away from the cleaning station because of the extra costs it usually implies because there are a few ways to get around that. For example, you could use the station only twice a month to save the cleaning fluid and clean the shaver manually for the rest of the time. This will prevent dirt from accumulating inside the cassette. An automatic cleaning cycle will remove any hairs, dead skin or debris you may have missed (and trust me, no manual cleaning can match a cleaning station).

      Braun stations are very convenient compared to all other manufacturers since they use cartridges that can be taken out of the station and stored for a long time. Philips Norelco’s cartridges don’t have a cap and Panasonic stations just have a tray where you mix detergent and water.

      You can use a third-party cleaning solution that costs significantly less and works just as well.

      So my recommendation would be to get the Series 5 cc, especially at that price — I think it’s a great deal.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  7. David

    Hi Ovidiu –

    I have been using a Braun 7526 for about 15 years and stopped buying replacement heads for it at least 10 years ago (so I’ve been using the same one for that long!). I only shave about once a week and only to trim down the overgrowth on my upper cheeks, since I have worn a beard for many years. I have fairly sensitive skin and always found that it gave me razor burn if I use it in the area where my neck and jawline meet. So I just don’t use it there.

    I’m finally thinking about getting a new one. I’m very grateful for your in-depth reviews. I considered the Arc razors, but have ruled them out because they don’t have the additional long hair trimmer feature, which I use on my 7526 all the time.

    I’m looking for something that is wet/dry capable, since I do also do some body shaving (the 7526 has always done a fine job for that too). I’d like to be able to use it in the shower. I’ve pretty much narrowed it down to a 5 or 7 series wet/dry, but haven’t pinpointed the best choice yet. The way the long hair trimmer deploys on the 7 looks like it would be awkward to use, while the 5 slides up like my current old faithful 7526, so that leans me toward the 5. This leads me to the important question…

    Do you think that a series 5 will be an upgrade for me in terms of comfort and closeness coming from the old 7526? I ask only because it seems like my old one might be an early series 7 and I don’t want to downgrade by going to a 5. Is it safe to assume that a current 5 will be superior to my early 7?

    Thanks!

    – David

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi David,

      I never got the chance to use the 7526 — yes, you could say that it’s the granddaddy of the Series 7 — so I can’t really comment on the performance of that specific model. I did however use several Braun shavers from the same period and to me the current, modern Braun shavers are much better, especially with regards to comfort. That includes the Series 5 as well which is a really good shaver. How much of an upgrade will it be in your case is hard to tell. But the Series 5 seems like a suitable choice if you decide to upgrade.

      The Panasonic Arc shavers do have a long hair trimmer, but it’s deployed just like the one on the Series 7. The trimmer on the Series 5 is indeed similar to the one on your 7526, so that’s another reason to consider the Series 5 if you prefer that type of trimmer. There are several wet/dry models to choose from, with the 5190cc and 5040s (no cleaning station) usually being the best picks as they cost less.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  8. Charlie Manning

    Hi, I’ve had 7 series for the last 11 years and have been relatively happy with it. However, they have a flaw where the trimmer pullback mechanism breaks and the trimmer doesn’t fully recede into the unit. I had a replacement under warranty and the same happened again.
    It’s somewhat annoying that I have to hold the trimmer down with a finger whilst shaving but I’ve learned to live with it.

    I’d like to replace my 7 series given its age but want to go with the new body (5 series, 8 series or 9 series). The new 5 series looks to have extremely similar cutter but on a new body so perhaps its a good choice. However is it worth paying extra for the 9 series? I see 5 series at £95 (5140s) here in UK and 9 series at £145 (9260s).

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Charlie,

      That is correct, the Series 5, 8 and 9 all have very similar bodies and the design and placement of the trimmer are the same (it slides out from the back of the shaver). So it’s a totally different approach from the Series 7.
      As for shaving performance, I found the Series 8 to shave pretty much identical to the Series 5, except that it’s a bit quieter and vibrates less. But other than that, really similar. With that said, the Series 7 is a bit better than both — to me it feels a bit faster and more comfortable. I personally would choose the Series 7 over a 5 or 8 (I never had the trimmer issue with my Series 7).

      As for the Series 9, I think it’s worth the extra money especially if you don’t shave often as it’s better than the 5, 8 and 7 for shaving longer, coarse, wiry, flat hairs. If that’s something you have to deal with, then you should consider it.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply

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