Braun Series 7 vs 9: Does New Really Mean Better?
3 years. How much could they mean to a person? To you?
To us, this period of time might not mean that much. But for many rapidly changing consumer trends? It’s the world. And shavers are not an exception.
We had the Series 3 electric shaver and BOOM!, before we even realized here we’re – at Series 9. A gadget considered the finest art of electric shaving.
But is it? Does it deserve an upgrade from the Series 7 if you already have one?
For newcomers, does this new Series 9 beauty deliver you the Real Deal Close Shave?
As you might already know, we love comparing shaving tools. From clippers, to trimmers and shavers. We base these off our personal experiences:
Which is exactly why I’ll have a few honest words with you regarding the Series 7 vs Series 9!
Braun Series 7 vs Series 9 shavers:
An in-depth look
Differences in the Shaving Head
In order for something to cut hair, what do we need?
That’s right: blades. Oh, and they have to move at a certain speed. And, if possible, in different directions.
Otherwise we’d get a poor shaving session and nobody who just spent a juicy sum of money wants to see that.
Cutting actions per minute: Our speed measure, the CAM paints a significant contrast. While Series 7 fares with a good score of 30,000 cutting actions, Series 9 blows it out of the water with 33% more at 40,000 CAM.
Basically, this means you’re getting a faster and closer shave. This is not some mild 10-15% increase on a previous model.
We’re talking about a pace that’s 1/3 faster!
But where things get more serious are the…
Shaving head elements & cutting directions
Braun’s Series 7 has a head that is organized similarly as my current Series 5 shaver. Look at it:
Basically, this is what Braun call the ‘4 shaving elements’ system. Two OptiFoils, a protective SkinGuard, and the ActiveLift trimmer for flat hairs.
Why flat hairs? Because these stubborn little rascals are one very good way to have your daily dose of ingrown hairs.
ActiveLift literally lifts these flat hairs, so the foils can cut them without skin irritation after that. It’s a two-step process that Braun has perfected with their lineup.
Note: Series 5 uses SensoFoil instead of OptiFoil, but to me, they have the same effect.
Series 9 is structured a bit differently.
First of all, there’s one new element and that’s the Direct&Cut trimmer. It takes care of hairs that grow in different directions.
On top of that, the ActiveLift trimmer is titanium coated (hence the golden color) and rebranded to HyperLift & Cut with improved performance:
As you can guess, as a result the Series 9 shaving head is a bit bulkier.
But a very, very crucial factor we’re looking at here is the difference in the directions in which the blades move.
Series 7 shaves in 8 directions, which is already pretty good. People will thicker or curly hair will be more than satisfied – a lot of older shavers like Norelcos support only 5-6 directions.
With Series 9, the Contour FlexHead covers 10 directions. Paired with the newly introduced Direct & Cut trimmer, this is a godsent for gentlemen whose hair has no rules in how it grows out.
How do these directions actually play out?
Basically, every single element of the floating shaver head moves on its own through individual suspension. Series 9’s 10 directions combine what Braun call “MacroMotion” (direction movement that targets your face’s larger contours) and “MicroMotion” (smaller contours.)
Differences in Convenience
The biggest convenience difference I’d like to mention is with the wet & dry shaving feature.
Summed up in short, a big portion of the Series 7 lineup doesn’t support wet shaving.
However, the newer 7865cc does. That’s why it’s also very popular!
I’ll be honest: that wasn’t a deal breaker for me when I used an older Series 7. Heck, even though my Series 5 has a wet shaving function, I don’t really use it:
But for those of you who care, knowing that the Series 9 models generally support shaving with a gel/foam/whatever might be a deciding factor.
With the Series 7, you could also pick your preferred shaving speed. Series 9 doesn’t have this option. To be honest though, foil shavers are meant to operate quickly and reach thousands of CAMs as I mentioned initially.
Making a foil shaver go slow ruins the whole idea.
It’s only acceptable if there isn’t proper protection that ensures gentle shaving. Given the fact that Braun are the kings of smooth shaving, going slow with their shavers was a questionable options anyways.
Body & Design
Series 9 definitely looks more modern. Its body is sleek, thin, more ergonomic and presentable.
I have never liked how Series 7 looked, to be honest. It was even worse than the supposedly ‘inferior’ Series 5. In fact, Series 9 is somewhat of a return to the Series 5…with upgraded parts and vision, of course.
Series 9 shavers might look as if they were made from metal, but as you can guess, they’re not. You can get a more matte model if you’re concerned about smudges. The shiny Series 9 variations are quick to attract fingerprint marks.
Another big difference is the LED display you get with the new shaver family. It looks pretty cool and modern.
Something of a smaller scale would be the pop up trimmer. In Series 9 it pops up similarly to Series 5 again: upwards, instead of 7’s to the side:
To me that’s more convenient. In any case, though, I have never gotten to use the built-in trimmer, as I use a standalone grooming tool for my trimming needs. These pop up little gadgets aren’t nearly as effective as I’ve wanted them to be.
There is only one big difference when it comes to maintaining your Braun shavers.
That’s right: the cleaning system.
As I discussed in my Braun vs Norelco comparison, the Series 9 introduces an important upgrade over existing cleaning systems:
Lubrication, cleaning and sanitizing is one thing…But also having your personal dryer inside that shaving station?
Talk about the future!
However, this is only of importance to those of you who want to buy a shaver + cleaning station bundle. For some people this is a tad too expensive and they only get the grooming tool sans the maintenance sidekick. Not blaming you if you do so.
If you want to have Braun’s Cleaning Center, though, Series 9 wins over the 7 major time.
What Remained the Same
Well, everything else, basically.
From a proprietary technological side, both Series 7 and Series 9 share the same innovations that make Braun the fantastic shavers they are. Namely:
Sonic Technology: improved hair cutting tech
AutoSense Technology: support for cutting thicker hairs
SkinGuard: ensures smooth, skin-friendly & gentle shaving
OptiFoil: probably the best foil blades on the current market
The Lithium-Ion battery has always stayed the same. Both shavers will provide you with 50 minutes of runtime on an approximately one hour of charging.
I think 50 minutes is long to stay as the industry’s standard. Why? Considering how fast new rotaries and foils move, I’d be shocked to see any Li-Ion that can support this for more than an hour!
Is going for the higher end worth it?
I’m not keen on saying that something has to be bought just because it’s the latest model.
That’s why I’m currently having fun with testing a lot of older shavers/clippers along my newer models. And guess what: a lot of them do just fine!
Similarly, if you already own a Series 7 Braun, I don’t really recommend switching to the Series 9 just because.
Sure, there are differences, but for general shaving purposes the extra money you’ll spend if you have a working Series 7 aren’t worth it.
For newcomers who want to buy their first shaver – or for people whose shaver has already died out/too old…
Yes. The Series 9 is the best Braun up to date. It’s the most powerful model, it shaves slightly quicker than the Series 7, and looks way more modern.
But if you’re on a budget or just want to be frugal, there won’t be a huge difference between these two. I’ll make an exception for:
People with very, very thick and dense hair
People with hair that exclusively grows in different directions (hence the need for the titanium-coated bonus trimmer of Series 9)
People who want to have The Latest Thing