There are fundamental similarities across all of Braun’s recent shaver lines. Whether the Braun 760cc (aka 760cc-4), or Braun 790cc (aka 790cc-4), or the latest Braun 799cc (aka 799-6 or 797cc-7), the lineage is clear. Yet, with so many models to choose from, narrowing your pick down to the one right for you can seem daunting. To overcome the dilemma is simple: drill down to the details. That’s just what I’ll do here.
|799cc, 799cc-6 |
|Cleaning Cartridge||Clean & Renew||Clean & Renew||Clean & Renew|
|Battery Level Indicator||5 levels||6 levels||6 levels|
|Hygiene status||6 levels||6 levels|
|Charging Time||1 hr||1 hr||1 hr|
|Cordless Shaving||up to 50 min||up to 50 min||up to 50 min|
|Quick Charge||5 min||5 min||5 min|
|Charging With Cord|
|Shaving With Cord|
|Replace Shaving Head Indicator|
|Shaving Head Replacement||70S||70S||70S|
|Where to Buy?||Best Price||Best Price||Best Price|
Braun has a long-established and well-earned reputation for quality. You’ll find it’s justified whether you look at a 760cc, a 790cc, or a 799cc.
There are some minor variations in color across the Series 7 models, but most are the more or less standard shiny black with one set the silvery color.
All fit the hand well, but there’s no one-size-fits-all shaver since it depends on you. Still, most guys find the Braun easy to hold and equally easy to manipulate. Whether you prefer the straight foil of a Braun or the rotary head of a Phillips is again just a matter of taste.
One thing that everybody can rely on, though, is the ability of the Braun to give you a close shave without irritation. Not surprisingly, that’s because of the company’s superb head and blade system.
Head & Blades
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.
The blades of a Braun Series 7 shaver are driven at 10,000 rpm. Not quite so fast as the super-speedy Panasonic 14,000 rpm, but they vibrate plenty quick enough to ensure there’s no discomfort from drag.
Sharp, quick blades can only be as effective as the foil covering them. The design of the Braun Series 7 gets high marks here. OptiFoil may sound like a marketing buzzword but it’s an accurate term here.
The pattern of holes handles any length of hair – short, medium, or long – so you can shave whenever it suits you.
Equally important, it will effectively cut a very wide range of hair types: thin, medium, or thick. If you’re a teen starting out or a middle-aged Greek who shaves whiskers as hard as pencil lead three times a day, the Braun 7xx can whack them all with ease.
The Series 7 shavers have an adjustment for slow, medium, or fast to help out. If you’re the first type, with a soft beard, the slow might be useful.
For anyone else, the fast setting is likely to be used almost universally. They go by the names Extra Sensitive, Normal, and Intensive but they’re a speed adjustment not a blade raising or lowering mechanism.
No matter which mode you prefer, the pivoting head sported by the Braun is highly flexible and helps shave every contour closely. Personally, I prefer the Philips or Panasonic design, but only by a margin and it really is an individual thing.
The locking mechanism on the 790cc or 799cc models will prevent pivoting, if you prefer. Take a close look at the tilting mechanism before you do. Press down on one of the twin foils left or right. You’ll see the angle changes by quite a lot.
Any of the models do a very good job of getting under the jawline, along the neck, near the ear, under the nose, or around the chin – all those tricky areas.
That said, the Active Lift of the middle trimmer is a big benefit. It really helps get those whiskers under the neck that tend (on me, anyway) to lie close to the skin. It has a unique way of lifting them that works well.
Wet Shaving Ability
There is one important aspect in which the 799 model distinguishes itself from the 790 and 760: wet shaving ability.
Every guy does things his own way. Me, I always shave in the shower, even with an electric shaver. I find that it helps reduce irritation, but again that’s a personal preference. I admit that with the Braun it isn’t really necessary.
When Braun says “wet” they mean it. All of the Series 7 shavers are well sealed, but the 799 specifically adds wet shaving ability for those, like me, who prefer that. Whether you use the old-style alcohol-based liquid, one of the more modern gels, or just the water spray of a shower, the 799 can accommodate your style.
Clean & Renew
All Series 7 shavers come with Braun’s mighty Clean & Renew cleansing system. Like the Panasonic or Philips shavers, the Braun unit doubles as a charging base. Unlike the competitors’ cleaners, the Braun is not a technological marvel, I’m sorry to say. It’s good; it does the job and very well, but it has some cons to go along with the pros.
One con is common to all: the need to change the cartridge from time to time. In the case of the Braun, that might be a little sooner than the Panasonic or Philips. But because so much depends on your habits it’s impossible to make a universal statement here.
The Braun alcohol-based solution does tend to evaporate even when no active cleaning is taking place. Panasonic uses a proprietary liquid soap solution.
You could remove the Braun cartridge and plug the hole during those times it’s not in use. Still, it’s probably more bother than anyone will want to make. The cartridge replacements are not that expensive, and you could even mix your own if you’re concerned about operational costs. It’s just alcohol, lemon juice, and a bit of silicon lubricant.
The other downside is a little more particular to Braun. Their charging / cleaning holder is simply bigger than the other guys’. You’ll need more counter space to house it. If you compete with the lady of the house for space in the bathroom, it’s something to consider.
Whether the next aspect is a pro or a con might just be a matter of taste. Or, rather, smell. As I said, the Braun Clean & Renew cartridge houses chiefly alcohol and lemon – which provides good debris removal and good sanitizing ability. The blades come away clean and disinfected.
Does it clean as well as, say, the soap solution of the Panasonic? Without lab tests, I couldn’t swear in court the answer is “yes” – but in a review I would. For one thing, there’s never a soap scum residue with the Braun. Does it smell as good? Better, in my opinion, but that’s all it is: an opinion.
There’s certainly no debate when it comes to ease of use here, though. You put the electric shaver upside down in the base, press a button, and walk away for an hour. If you’re in a hurry, you can use the FastClean option. It will clean well enough in less than 30 seconds.
Charging & Battery
One reason for that statement “walk away for an hour” is the recharging time. The Series 7 takes about an hour to go from zero to max. It will then provide roughly 50 minutes of cordless shaving time.
There is a quick charge feature that will give you enough power for one shave (of ~3 min) after charging for about five minutes. So, if you’re dashing to a meeting and find your electric shaver dead, you can still avoid being late.
Fortunately, if you can’t wait even that short time, most of the Series 7 shavers will operate with the cord plugged in, all but the 799 model. The 799 can’t because it can be used in the shower. The motor will not run while it is plugged in to avoid the risk of electric shock.
And, in either case, you don’t have to charge at all by putting the shaver into the cleaning base if you don’t want. You can just plug it in with the cord and it will charge (in the same amount of time).
Another feature might be minor or “must have”, depending on your circumstances. The SmartPlug will automatically adapt to the right voltage for different countries. For you guys who travel a lot, that can be a deal maker.
Speaking of travel, the travel pouch is a little different in the 760cc line. It’s a fine pouch, but the 790cc and 799cc models come with a leather travel pouch. A nice touch.
There are some other minor differences in the various 7xx models, essentially on the display. The 790cc and 799cc (the same shaver really, with wet shaving added to the latter line) have a better indicator. In these models, it’s a 6-level LCD. In addition, there is a Foil Replacement indicator in the center.
The 760cc charge level light is an LED instead and shows five 20% increments from 20% to 100% with a Foil Replacement indicator in the center. It lacks the “hygiene staus” indicator of the 79x models. Frankly, even as picky as I am about things like this, I don’t find the difference significant.
Any of the Braun Series 7 electric shavers will give just about anyone a close, comfortable shave. Which is best for you comes down to budget and a taste for the details that please you most. Luckily, you can’t go wrong.