Braun Silk & Soft Epil 5160 Review by Karena Keeleigh
The Braun LS 5160, also known in some places as Braun Silk Epil 5160 or Braun Silk & Soft 5160, is a decent middle-of-the-pack ladies electric shaver. It’s attractive and offers a close shave in the shower or on the go.
This ladies shaver is a wet/dry, floating foil, cordless model with a bikini trimmer and other attachments. Beyond that plain description lies a number of fine features and welcome performance.
Wet/dry. You can use the LS 5160 in the shower or even rinse the head under the water for easy cleaning. What’s not so obvious is just how well-sealed the body is. It keeps the motor isolated so there’s never any worry about it conking out after a thorough drenching.
Floating foil. It is pretty much what the phrase says. This shaver is a foil type, rather than rotary. Rather than rehearse the age-old and never-ending battle about which is better, I’ll just assume you’re interested in this type. Just to give away the ending: they’re both just fine. If a particular foil has good blades – as this one does – you’ll be happy with a foil shaver.
True, rotaries have some advantages. But when it comes to closeness with an electric shaver, it’s hard to beat a foil. A rotary can sometimes be better at getting into the smaller nooks and crannies, but a floating head helps a lot to compensate. That’s certainly true here. The head is also rounded on this model, making it relatively easy for this foil design to get deep into those concave areas like underarms.
SoftStrip. There is an integrated SoftStrip, a nice little extra that helps keep the dreaded razor burn at bay. It keeps the skin taut for a smoother shave and helps the foil with the job of lifting hair to get a truly-close-to-the-skin shave. That’s always a problem with electric shavers and it’s wonderful that Braun has tried to address that in such a low-cost model.
EasyGlide. The SoftStrip works in conjunction with something the company calls EasyGlide. I’m not fond of marketing buzzwords and there is a bit of that here. But the honeycomb cushion structure does assist the shaver in reducing irritation.
All in all, because of those sharp blades and floating head in combination with the floating longhair trimmer you’ll get a clean shave, whether for legs or underarms. And, because they’re quality components, there’s no uncomfortable tugging or razor rash, when used properly.
3 Attachments: OptiTrim – OptiShave – Exfoliation
That same close shave is obtainable too in those more delicate areas, thanks to the attachable bikini trimmer that Braun calls the OptiTrim. Personally, I prefer a trimmer that’s integrated with the shaver itself. That’s just my natural impatience combined with a certain amount of clumsiness in putting attachments on. Still, at this low price, I can’t complain (too much). It’s certainly easy to make a clean line with this model.
The OptiShave attachment for legs seems quite unnecessary, though. It’s designed to help you shave at the ideal angle, and I suppose if you need that, well ok. But you can do a fine job with the unadorned shaver without any extra help. Still, it’s there if you want it.
This lady shaver also includes a third attachment – a unique skin smoothing attachment that gently scrubs the skin to remove dead skin particles, revitalizing the skin for a smooth, radiant appearance.
I probably shouldn’t include the words “charging system” in the section title because there isn’t one. The LS 5160 uses two AA batteries for power providing up to 90 minutes shaving time approximately. I include those words because you can, after all, use rechargeable AA batteries rather than disposables.
That points to something I’m not entirely happy about with this model. I wish it had an integrated rechargeable battery. It’s not just a matter of price. That doesn’t necessarily require a separate charging system, just a particular kind of cord. That said, again harking back to the low price of this model, I suppose if they had to pinch pennies someplace this is a good place.
On the upside, there’s no need to fuss with a charger when you want to take this little lovely on the road. You just pack it and go. If you run out of juice while you’re away you can just pop in a new pair of ordinary AA batteries; no need even to remember to take a cord.
That being so, it would have been nice if Braun included a travel case, even a very simple one. Still, I don’t find it too hard to come up with a cloth or leather bag to slide it into, so it’s not a major drawback.
Ladies’ electric shavers, just like the men’s, range from brutal to brilliant. The Braun LS 5160, is right in the middle of that range. It offers a close shave with little to no irritation and travels easily. It lacks a few features it would be nice to have – like an integrated rechargeable battery and onboard bikini trimmer. But overall, at this modest price, it’s a fine product.