Braun 799cc (aka 799cc-6 / 797cc / 797cc-7) Review by Chris Schuepfer
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The Braun 799cc is probably the best shaver the company has produced yet. Considering their long history of excellent products, that’s quite a statement. But it’s not hard to provide some compelling reasons to believe it.
The Braun 799cc is the latest update to a venerable line of electric shavers. Also known as the 797cc (an exclusive SKU for Target only) or 799cc-6, it has much in common with several other also very good models from the Series 7 line like the 790cc and 760cc.
Whatever you call it, I call it the perfect size. But then, my hands are large. Like the earlier shavers, it sits in the hand comfortably, provided your hands are not too small. This manly unit is not for ladies, nor those with super small fingers.
Head & Foil System
For those who would rather skip the long version just watch the video below to get Braun’s Series 7 shaving technology summarized in under 3 minutes.
It carries the usual Braun head. It looks a little like an advanced spaceship but less so than some of the Panasonic models, which is larger. No matter the metaphor, that shape has an important function. It lets you get at all the hairs under the neck and around the jawline without a struggle.
If you prefer, you can lock the thing at an angle so it doesn’t pivot dynamically. Most of the time, you’ll want to let the head move freely to get under the chin well.
The individual foil tilt helps, too. You can see this in action by pressing down on a foil to the left or right. They move independently and really dip quite a lot. Here, I prefer the Panasonic design by a slight margin, but there’s no denying the Braun really does the job superbly.
That great performance is in large part the result of something the company calls ActiveLift. Marketing buzzwords aside, that technology helps raise hairs that lie flat, like those pesky ones along the throat on each side of your Adam’s apple.
Last, there’s the company’s OptiFoil design. This pattern of holes helps get short, medium, or long hairs in a single swipe with equal ease. It may be no better than Panasonic’s; it would be hard to measure objectively. But “no better than”, in this case, is a pointless comparison. It’s excellent, period.
The whole thing is driven by Braun’s 10,000 cycle motor. True, here again that number may not be the highest speed on the market. But it’s plenty fast enough, especially given Braun’s vaunted super-sharp blades. They’ve really earned their reputation on that score. Not for nothing do we have the metaphor “razor sharp”, and that’s the situation here. These things are almost the equal of a manual shaver.
For those who really want, or need, to tailor their shave just so… the 799cc has three settings: Extra Sensitive, Normal, and Intensive. They do much what the names suggest. For those guys with the toughest beards, you’ll probably set it to Intensive and leave it there permanently.
Wet Shaving Ability
All that is standard with a Series 7 razor. The 799cc distinguishes itself by adding wet shaving to the mix. The other Series 7 shavers don’t have this wet shaving ability.
Every guy has his own style. But I almost always wet shave, even with an electric. Sure, if you’re on your way to a meeting and you’re running late you’ll probably do it dry. I do. But most of the time, I prefer shaving wet.
Whether you opt for a pre-shave liquid or a gel, or just water in the shower, this is the way to get the job done best. At least, that’s true if you want the closest possible shave with minimal razor burn. And there are also the nice added benefits: complete protection around water for your electric shaver and easy cleanup.
Cleaning & Charging
Speaking of easy cleanup, the 799cc also comes with Braun’s well-reputed Clean & Renew maintenance system which also serves as a charging station. Like all of these compact units, they have their pros and cons. In this case, the pros far outweigh the cons, in my view.
The cons are fairly obvious. You have to change the cleaning cartridge after every few uses. That adds to the operational cost of the shaver.
Still, if you’re judicious, it doesn’t have to add a lot. Not only are bulk purchases of replacements cheap on Amazon, you can stretch out the fluid. Just clean it in the holder once per week instead of after every use. Another advantage of the wet shaving feature.
The other downside is pretty minor for most guys: you have to find room on the counter. Luckily, my wife is pretty generous with the bathroom counterspace. It helped when I bought her a makeup holding kit 🙂
The pros are numerous. The most obvious is how easy it is to do. You put the 799cc upside down into the holder, press a button, and walk away. An hour (or less) later and it’s ready for use again. For those in a hurry, there’s a FastClean setting that will do the job to a decent degree in 25 seconds.
Usually, an hour is about right, since it can recharge from zero to full in about 50 minutes. The exact time depends on just how empty “zero” really is. It can alternately be charged using just a cord. Handy if you’re on a business trip and don’t want to take the cleaning system along.
There’s also a quick charge setting that will bring the thing up to snuff enough for about one shave in five minutes. The indicator on the front shows the battery level clearly. The Automatic Voltage Adaptation feature is also nice; it automatically adjusts to different voltages in different countries. Great for international traveler types.
The Braun system uses alcohol and lemon, rather than the proprietary detergent and water solution of the Panasonic. Deciding which is better would get us into a long debate. Suffice to say, this one cleans and disinfects, and smells good besides. That’s what you want in an electric shaver cleaning system.
Like any of these auto-cleaning systems, after that it lubricates and dries the shaver.
The Braun 799cc takes the best of the company’s product and makes it better by adding wet shaving ability. That’s like taking a star quarterback and clearing the field for him. The results are an easy winning score.