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 on Amazon.com. A gadget considered the finest art of electric shaving.
But is it? Does it deserve an upgrade from the Series 7 on Amazon.com 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, this time round, Braun series 7 vs 9. 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
What they have in common
When dealing with a comparison between the Braun Series 7 vs 9, it’s easy to focus on what makes them different. Before we get into the differences, let’s explore where they are similar and what their strengths are.
One thing to note is that each of the two series, there are variations.
What I mean to say is that you can get different versions of the same model.
For example, let’s take a look at the Series 7 740s. The 740s can be used wet or dry and has a cord for the charger. The 790cc of the same Series 7 has a charging dock that also cleans and sanitizes it. Not only that but it has a couple of high tech features that the 740s doesn’t have. Namely, it can sense thicker hair and adjust the power accordingly due to the Intelligent Sonic technology. Then, it also has ActiveLift that picks up the hair before it gets cut. This gives you a cleaner shave that is less likely to give you razor bumps or ingrown hairs.
Where the 790cc comes up short is that it can’t be used to shave in the shower. It isn’t fully sealed so it will fail.
The Braun Series 9 has a couple of different options, too. The 9095cc has a detail pop up trimmer to help you get the edges of your beard and even your hairline nice and crisp. It also features several different shaving heads including two of the Optifoil razor heads to get an extremely close shave. The 9291cc, on the other hand, doesn’t have the pop-up trimmer and has the type of razor heads as the Series 7. It does include a hard shell carrying case, however.
The Series 9 9090cc also does not have wet or dry shaving ability. You can only use it dry. The only way it can be wet is when it is in the chraging and cleaning dock.
Both of these Braun Series 7 vs 9, in whichever version you get, will give you a supremely comfortable and close shave.
They all feature a good range of movement of the shaving heads to follow the contours of your face and maintain good contact with the skin in any position.
They are all ergonomic with a lot of thought put into the design to give you a solid grip that can be held in many different positions.
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.
This is what separates the pros from the pretenders. A powerful motor will provide a smoother, closer and faster shave than one with a weaker motor that doesn’t provide enough CAM.
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 Braun series 7 vs 9 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 from Amazon.com 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.
Think about it like this:
When you get a wet shave at a barber, he uses a brush to apply the lather. While working it around over your skin, the hair is getting lifted up. Then the foam keeps it up so the razor can cut underneath it.
It is the same concept with the ActiveLift. As the foil moves over the hair, they are kept up away from the skin so the blades can get as close as possible.
In addition to it being a close shave, it is a more comfortable one. The hairs get cut cleanly in an almost blunt cut. This allows the hair to grow easily when it starts to come back in. Very common among electric razors is the fact that some guys, especially guys with curly facial hair, will experience ingrown hairs.
I wish I had a microscope so I could show the difference in the older electric razors and the Braun Series 7 vs 9, because the hairs cut from the Series 9 are very smooth and when you see the hair from the competition or the older Braun Series shavers, it looks torn up and shredded. This means the follicles get snagged on the skin as it grows and increases the risk of it growing back around and causing the ingrown hair.
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, and that makes a difference between Braun series 7 vs 9:
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 godsend 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 calls “MacroMotion” (direction movement that targets your face’s larger contours) and “MicroMotion” (smaller contours.)
Keeping close contact with the skin is essential for a closer and more comfortable shave. If you don’t get good contact, then it means you end up having to go over the same spot multiple times. This eventually leads to razor burn and is why many guys don’t like using electric razors. I was one until I tried the newer versions of the Braun Series razors. Whether we are talking Braun Series 7 vs 9, the result is that you can cut more, in fewer strokes for a more comfortable shave.
For this reason, the Series 9 is ideal for shaving your head with little to no irritation at all.
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 on Braun series 7 vs 9 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. The other thing to factor into the lack of speed settings is the fact that some of the versions have the Intelligent Sonic technology to give a power boost when it senses the hair changes thickness or becomes harder to shave. You don’t even need to think about how fast or how much power the razor needs to keep cutting efficiently.
A lot of the appeal of an electric razor is getting your shave done quickly. Negating that doesn’t make a ton of sense.
But, also you end up having to go over the same spot many times to get all the hairs if the blades are moving slowly.
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.
I already went over the fact that you get a smooth and close shave due to the ability of both the Braun Series 7 vs 9 to give you a lot of contact with the skin, so with that in mind, you know that even getting the shave done quickly you will not deal with discomfort.
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. This lets you know how much longer until the battery dies and then lets you know it is done charging.
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.
I also have thick hair, so if your hair is thinner the pop up trimmer might be strong enough. In any case, it is nice to have it even if you plan to use a dedicated trimmer to trim the edges down or line up your beard.
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 on Braun series 7 vs 9, 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
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