The good: very comfortable, close shaves, recommended for sensitive skin, good build quality, very good battery life, quiet, excellent cleaning station, replacement parts last a long time
The bad: dry only operation, not the closest shaving razor in its price range, pricey
The Braun Series 7 790cc is one of the most popular, technology packed and acclaimed electric shavers of all time.
Launched back in 2010, it has received rave reviews for being able to provide close and supremely comfortable shaves.
Read along to get the whole story in our in-depth Braun Series 7 790cc review where we take a close look at the pros and cons of this iconic shaver.
Table of Contents
- Features overview
- Build quality and ergonomics
- Battery life and charging
- Cleaning and maintenance
- Shaving performance
- Included accessories
- Replacement parts availability
- Wrap-up. Who should buy it?
- Alternative shavers
- Pulsonic Technology
- ActiveLift system
- 3 individual cutting elements
- Flexible Shaving System
- 3 Personalization Modes
- Clean & Renew System that cleans, lubricates, dries and charges the shaver
- LCD display with advanced capabilities
- 100% washable
- Quick Charge Option
Here is a breakdown of the most important features:
One of the main features of Braun’s top of the line shavers is the ability to capture more hair by using microvibrations, up to 10000 per minute according to Braun.
Basically a motor causes the shaving head to oscillate and to more effectively catch stray hairs with the special foil design.
In the Performance section we take a closer look at this and see if it really makes a difference.
Hairs that lie flat on the surface of the skin tend to always be a problem for most electric razors.
In an effort to address this shortcoming, Braun came up with a special design of one of the three cutting elements.
The middle cutter oscillates sideways and lifts the hairs lying flat, then cuts them to a manageable size for the other two foils.
You can see the ActiveLift system in action here.
As it’s the case with its other shavers, Braun opted for a different shape of the perforations in the foil.
As a result, they have a hexagonal shape and should allegedly be more efficient at capturing hairs than the more common round ones.
Here you can see a more detailed animation.
3 individual cutting elements
As you already know, Braun opted for a 3 blade cutting system for the 790cc; the blades can be depressed independently.
The outer ones are classic cutters that oscillate behind a perforated foil, while the one in the middle is the specially designed ActiveLift trimmer.
Flexible Shaving System
Almost all top of the line shavers from different manufacturers feature a flexible shaving head that can follow the contours of your face.
The 790cc is no exception and allows up and down pivoting of the shaving head and can also be locked into place by a switch located on the side.
3 Personalization Modes
A unique feature of this razor is the ability to select one of the five modes that best suit your skin and technique, from Extra Sensitive to Intense.
You can of course use different settings for shaving different areas of your face. Switching between modes is done by pressing one of the two buttons located on the sides of the ON/OFF switch.
We’ll see later on if these settings do make a difference in real world use.
Build quality and ergonomics
As expected, the 790cc doesn’t disappoint and impresses with a solid construction and good ergonomics.
While its design is rather lackluster and a bit dated, the build quality is very good, with no cracking noises or flimsy materials.
As far as ergonomics go, it strikes a nice balance of weight and shape, with grippy rubber on the sides and back.
One potential problem that is well known in the electric shaving community is the locking mechanism of the shaving head.
When locked into place, the mechanism can simply break if you apply excessive pressure on the shaving head.
Battery life and charging
With a fully charged battery, you can expect up to 50 minutes of use from your shaver. Charging it takes approximately one hour, with the option of a 5 minutes quick charge that should provide enough juice for one complete shaving session.
Charging begins automatically when the razor is placed in the Clean & Renew System. You also have the option of using the supplied cord that plugs directly into the shaver. This is very convenient when traveling as you don’t have to carry the charging station along.
Another bonus point is that the 790cc can also be used while plugged in. The wet & dry sibling of the 790cc, the Series 7 799cc cannot be used while it’s charging.
The automatic voltage adjustment (100-240V) means that you can use it anywhere in the world and being a Li-Ion battery, you won’t have to worry about fully discharging or overcharging it.
Cleaning and maintenance
One of the things you can do to ensure a quality shave and to maintain your razor in top shape is to properly clean it after every use.
You can either manually clean it or use the automatic cleaning station.
With the shaver switched on, the shaving head can be rinsed directly under running tap water. For a more effective cleaning, it is recommended to use some liquid soap.
Another option is use the included brush to clean the inner area of the head. In order to do that, you must remove the foil and cutters assembly. You should not use the brush for cleaning the foil and cutters as they can easily be damaged.
However, Braun shavers are notoriously more difficult to clan manually due to the design of the shaving head, called a cassette.
The cassette integrates the blades and the foils into a single piece and they cannot be separated. As a result, getting all the dirt and hair clippings out is fiddly and takes more time.
Luckily, the 790cc comes with an automatic cleaning and charging station.
Using the Clean & Renew Station
This unit automatically cleans, lubricates, charges and dries your shaver. Simply put, it is one of the best and most effective cleaning stations out there.
Compared to the ones from Panasonic for example, it is quieter and faster (approximately 30 or 40 minutes, depending on the program). By using an alcohol based solution, it is also very effective at cleaning and sanitizing your shaver.
The shaver features a hygiene indicator alongside the one for battery status. When it is hygienically clean, all the 6 segments are shown.
After every use, one segment drops and it will only go up if you use the cleaning station, no matter how effective your manual cleaning is.
Since the shaving head assembly can’t be taken apart like on some other shavers, you can’t really clean it thoroughly just by rinsing it.
Braun recommends an automatic cleaning after every use, but you can probably get away with using it every two or three days.
When placing the razor in the station, it will automatically select the appropriate program depending on the hygiene status.
There are three options available: short economical / normal / high intensive. The LED display at the base of the cleaning station shows you how many cleaning cycles you have left from the current cartridge and the type of cleaning that will be performed.
A full cycle that includes cleaning, lubricating and drying your razors takes about 30 to 40 minutes. In the first part of the process the shaver will switch on and off.
The drying phase is completely silent as the station uses induction heat to dry the shaving head. With the Series 9 for example, Braun decided to use a fan (which takes longer and also makes some noise).
There is also the FastClean feature (25 seconds) that only cleans the razor without drying it.
The cleaning stations that come with the Series 7 are in my opinion the best that Braun has ever made.
Braun Series 7 790cc
Keep in mind that alcohol tends to evaporate pretty quick, so you’re not going to use the station for a longer period, remove the cartridge from it and put back the cap.
The shaving experience with the Series 7 790cc is one of the best you can get with an electric shaver. There’s no way to put this any other way. The shaver is particularly impressive when it comes to comfort, but the closeness is more than adequate for an electric shaver as well.
The 790cc is also pretty good at cutting hairs that lies flat on your skin or that grow in different patterns.
Anyone that has some experience with electric shavers knows that this is their Achille’s heel. By using the combo of micro pulsations, specially designed middle trimmer and foil, the 790cc manages to perform better than most other shavers.
No, it’s not as good in this regard as the Series 7 or an advanced rotary shaver like the Norelco 9300, but it’s definitely on of the better foil shavers when used on longer stubble.
The slim head also makes it very maneuverable as opposed to other models that some may find a little bit unpractical due to their sheer size. I’m talking about shavers like the Panasonic Arc 4, Arc 5 or even Braun’s very own Series 9.
When shaving with the 790cc it’s important not to apply too much pressure, but let the shaver glide on your face. However, since the 790 is so gentle and forgiving, you can get away with it.
The only areas that may require a couple of additional passes are right below the jaw line or the neck.
It’s also a top performer when it comes to comfort: no pulling or tugging even when shaving every two or three days.
The long hair trimmer is also pretty good for light grooming and trimming.
Using the 5 personalization modes doesn’t seem to make any difference at all. Moreover, the Sensitive settings just make the shaver feel slow, so you should shave with the highest power setting at all times as the 790cc remains perfectly comfortable.
In the package you’ll find the following items:
- Series 7 790cc shaver
- Clean & Renew System
- Cleaning brush
- Electric cord (100V – 240V)
- 1 X Clean & Renew Cartridge
- Travel case
Replacement parts availability
When the foil and cutters assembly have worn out, a replacement indicator will show on the display of the shaver (after approx 18 months). It will light up for the next 7 shaves and then it will reset automatically.
You can reset it manually by pushing the reset button with a ball pen for 3 seconds.
All the Series 7 models, including the 790cc in our review use the 70s (silver) or 70b (black) cassettes.
Braun 70s replacement head
The cleaning cartridge must be replaced when the level indicator on the station blinks red. The cartridges can be bought in packs of 2, 3, 4 or 8 refills.
Braun Clean & Renew cartridges
Both the cassette and the cleaning cartridges are available in retail stores, but buying them online from Amazon will save you some money as they are generally cheaper.
Wrap-up. Who should buy it?
It goes without saying that men who want one of the most comfortable shavers should definitely consider the 790cc. It is equally effective at shaving coarse and soft hair.
Men with sensitive skin that suffer from breakouts, irritation or ingrown hairs should also consider this razor for their next upgrade.
It is also quieter than most other foil shavers, so if noise is an issue you will appreciate the low humming of this razor as opposed to the loud, high pitched noise of others.
Braun Series 7 790cc
Braun Series 7 7865cc
The 7865cc from the updated Series 7 line is a very similar electric shaver.
The main differences are a new grey color treatment, wet & dry use, updated LCD display and 5 personalization modes (as opposed to only 3).
As I mentioned in the review of the Series 7 7865cc, its shaving performance is excellent, maybe even slightly better compared to the 790cc thanks to that Turbo mode that is presumably 12% more powerful.
Being a newer model, the automatic cleaning station lacks induction heating and quick cleaning, but so does every Series 7 station currently manufactured.
However, the main reason to buy the 7865cc is the price. Despite being a newer release, it can sometimes be found for less money than a 790cc.
Keep in mind that it only works cordless as safety precaution.
Braun Series 5 5090cc
The Braun Series 5 is a more budget friendly alternative to the Series 7.
With an almost identical shaving head, it offers a very similar shaving performance, but at a lower price.
The Series 5 5090cc / 5190cc (black & blue version) is a model that comes with an automatic cleaning station and is suitable for dry only use, just like the 790cc in this review.
So if you are on a tighter budget and the Series 7 is looking like a very suitable option, definitely check out the Series 5 as well. For more details here is my complete review of the Series 5 5090cc.
Panasonic ES-LA93-K Arc 4
Considering the price and performance, the Arc 4 line from Panasonic is the direct competitor of the Series 7.
Both families have their own strengths and shortcomings as we’ve seen in the direct comparison of the two. However, when it comes strictly to the closeness of the shave, the Panny has the edge.
The ES-LA93-K is a 4 blade wet & dry electric shaver that also comes with a cleaning station.
So if closeness is particularly important to you and you don’t suffer from sensitive skin — Panasonics can be a bit aggressive compared to Braun — then the ES-LA93-K is probably a better choice.