Ferociously competing at almost the same price range, both the Braun Series 5 and 7 unceasingly clash to achieve a clean and close shave quality. Since Braun shavers have been the best thing since sliced bread, it’s unbearably daunting to decide on the “chosen one.”
Luckily, the Series 5 has been gliding through my face for a long time. So, I asked myself: “is the Braun Series 7 a worthy upgrade?” Since then, the Braun Series 5 vs 7 thoughts have been roaming the corridors of my brain.
To put an end to this puzzle, I found no escape other than hitting the store for the Series 7, dividing my face into two territories, and observing the change, which is so intriguing that it deserves an article on its own. And here I am—delivering some unbiased views!
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Let’s Render Our Comparison Fair
The word “Series” refers to an umbrella under which a lot of variants abide. So, both the Series 5 and Series 7 don’t denote individual shavers. Before we delve into how each electric shaver fares in the shaving comparison, I’ll walk you through some prominent rules of thumb to follow about model names before you hit the buy button.
Which Is The Best Braun Series 5 Models?
Owing to the vast generation gap, Series 5 Braun shavers are pretty limited regarding model numbers. The Series 5 shaver that rocks the shaving market right now is the Series 5 5190cc, featuring a station to clean and charge and a wet-dry capability. Models in the 51XX format mark the recently released shavers in this series, 50XX models being older.
For instance, the Series 5 5040s is a wet-dry electric shaver that doesn’t come with a station to clean the razor head, and the Series 5 5020s doesn’t come with either a station to clean or wet-dry capability. The more superior 5XXXcc models boast a cleaning station and wet-dry operation, except for the old 5090cc that supports a station to clean the shaver, but no wet-dry.
Dissecting The Series 7
Back in 2007, the Series 7 shot the market with 6 different shavers bearing the Series 7 7XX shaver format, among which the Braun Series 7 790cc established authority. In 2016, Braun decided to revamp the Series 7 with the new 78XX models, all capable of wet-dry shaving, considering that dry shaving had been a hindrance that alienated people from buying.
I want to pick the new Series 7 7865cc shaver to stack up against the Series 5 5190cc since the former has improved speed settings (personalization modes)than the 790cc. In essence, you won’t find any incremental changes in the shaving experience when you scroll through the models’ catalog of either shaver—the updates merely revolve around refurbished designs/finishes.
Before venturing into the Series 5 vs Series 7 battle, variants are a thing to be considered, especially the model numbers’ last initials. Noticed the pattern? The Braun shaver ending in “cc” ships with a cleaning station since “cc” stands for clean and charge.
On the other hand, models ending in “s” (for solo) deprive you of the luxury of utilizing a cleaning station and are not even compatible with it since they don’t have the chip that establishes communication between the shaver and the station. Also, a dry-only solo Braun shaver can’t perform corded shaving as a safety precaution.
After reaching a compromise between both realms, we’re ready to shave some stubble to unveil the shaver that deserves the trophy of our Braun Series 5 vs 7 showdown!
Which Is Better The Series 5 Or 7: Short Answer
Buy The Series 5 Models If You:
- Crave an automatic shaving intensity.
- Like 1-click cleaning mode procedures.
- Are on a tight budget or a teenager.
Buy The Series 7 If You:
- Have sensitive skin.
- Want manual/automatic shaving intensity.
- Can afford replacements.
Both of them are great options for shaving for an older man.
Who Will Deliver A Clean Shave?
One look at that comparison table, and you’ll appreciate how challenging it is to tell the substantial nuances between the Series 5 models and Series 7 without GENUINELY exposing each shaver to a real-life test. I’ll base my review on how each Braun shaver has shown competence against 6 criteria that encompass the overall shaving experience.
It’s intuitive to kick off our comparison by taking a glimpse of the elements that shape the guts of both the Braun Series 5 and Series 7—they even determine the shaving outcome more than the motor power does. Each foil shaver comprises a razor cap that makes contact with your facial hair whilst shaving, and this cap gives us an idea about efficiency.
My Braun Series 5 sports a 3-way blade system that employs 2 SensoFoil blades for stubble removal to execute a clean shave and 1 ActiLift Trimmer in the middle to swallow the flat-lying hairs that are always omnidirectional. Note that the SensoFoil elements have nearly 900 honeycomb-shaped gaps that locate hair follicles.
Although foil shavers are inferior when it comes to achieving a close shave, the Braun Series 5’s foil blades do shave as close as 0.5mm, almost similar to its rotary-style contenders. I took my philtrum as a reference to split my face into two, and the Series 5 gave me an exceptional shave without the need to press against the grain.
But does this 3-blade layout differ so much from the Braun Series 7’s superior system?
The truth is that there’s no difference whatsoever! Why? Because the Series 7 brings nothing new to the table other than the protective Skin Guard that surrounds the shaving head to provide an after-shave soothing feel. Braun’s Skin Guards are typically made out of hypoallergenic stainless steel, but so are all the elements!
Passing the Series 7 on the other half of my face, it’d clean out and shave both stubble and flat-lying hairs, just like the Series 5 would. At first, I speculated that the Series 7 would offer a better shave, but when I didn’t miss getting replacement heads for my Series 5 to compete fairly, both shavers took in my facial hair without a single complaint!
Many people neglect the importance of the hero that sorts out their sideburns and mustache area. I dedicated a section for the pop-up trimmer since, surprisingly, we have a winner here, the Braun Series 5!
I didn’t like the awkwardly-positioned precision trimmer in the Braun Series 7 owing to the shaving head’s bulk. The trimmer sits at an acute angle that hindered me from comfortably reaching the upper lip area. On the other hand, the Braun Series 5’s trimmer slides up at a straight angle to the shaver, allowing for improved control to maneuver inaccessible areas.
Winner: the Braun Series 5
To the untrained eye, the linear motors of both the Series 5 models and the Series 7 may not stand as a decisive factor in the comparison because of the same power of 30,000 cross-cutting actions/min. However, haven’t you thought about the technology that every motor packs? By shaving efficiency, I mean how fast each model conducts the same clean shave.
At the core of the Braun Series 5’s motor lies the AutoSense Sonic Technology that detects the density of your beard for optimum facial adaptability. So, in case of sensitive skin, beware that Series 5 models may switch to the high-intensity fourth gear to clean off the remaining stubble if it’s so dense. So, I’d recommend trimming your full-length beard before shaving flat-lying hair.
Having said that, there’s something innovative I like about Series 7: it lets you have the best of both worlds. The Series 7 also boasts the same sonic technology that optimizes the motor’s power depending on how challenging your beard is. But, here, it checks the density 13 times per second to save power and protect sensitive skin.
Simultaneously, Braun reinforces the Series 7’s motor with its Syncro Sonic Technology, which emits 10,000 micro pulsations per second to further boost the efficiency of the 30,000-action threshold. What do we get in return? Yes, you shave more hair and clean the targeted areas faster with every stroke.
Combine the sonic technology with the extra SkinGuard, and sensitive skin is destined to be treated as expected with the Series 7.
Although the shaving performance is almost indistinguishable in this Series 5 vs Series 7 clash point, the latter surely deserves a round of applause. Even if your skin is annoyingly sensitive, you’ve got two 5-level +/- buttons at the front to control the shaving efficiency manually!
Winner: the Braun Series 7
Both the Series 5 and Series 7 lie flush on my dominant hand, securing a grip that borders the palm so that you wrap your hand web seamlessly around both shavers. Like the Series 7, the Series 5 still features the rubberized back that gives a premium feel once you hold it. However, I believe it’s a bummer that the plastic on the Series 5 remains untouched in Series 7.
A tremendous ergonomic addition from Braun is the incorporation of a mechanism that prevents both the Series 5 and Series 7 from accidentally powering on when they’re packed with other items: travel lock. I found it super useful since my old Braun Series 3 used to wake up by accident.
To activate the travel lock by long-pressing the power button on Series 5 and Series 7 for 3 seconds. Once triggered, you’ll see that the travel lock symbol appears beside the lithium-ion battery gauge for both the Series 5 and Series 7. You can switch it back off by pressing the on-off button for another 3 seconds. The Series 7 comes with a travel pouch in all models. This travel pouch isn’t included with the series 5 models.
The Braun Series 5 vs Series 7 battle hits a blank wall when you consider the shaving heads, where Braun’s MacroMotion implementation manifests itself. The Braun Series 5 has its shaving head pivoting back and forth with an incremental movement between -20° and 20°, and so does the Series 7’s shaving head.
Similarly, both the Series 5 and Series 7 allow you to fix the swiveling shaving head via Precision HeadLock, which fixes the shaving angle at 10-degree increments to get a personalized shaving mode that spans 5 different angles. But do the shaving elements and head of the Series 5 or Series 7 cooperate to pull off a shave based on contour adaptation?
Yes! Braun calls that the “MicroMotion,” which relies on the free-floating shaving elements that improve how the shavers make their way through your facial “topography” to obtain a customizable shave the more you exert pressure on your skin. I was personally impressed with how the Series 5/Series 7 managed to clean my tenacious jawline stubble—thumbs up for both!
Overall Winner: Tie
Braun says that you can shave with the Series 5 or Series 7 in the bathtub. Although both shavers can withstand being submerged up to 5 meters in water, I wouldn’t recommend taking either the Series 5 or 7 under the shower since you may irrevocably damage the power slot.
Water resistance primarily serves when you manually clean the razor cap. You should run the Series 5 or Series 7 cordlessly and hover it over the sink under running water to wipe off any stuck hairs.
Since both electric razors support wet-dry shaving, it’s safe to use foam, gel, or clean if you want to reminisce about the memories of shaving with a disposable razor! However, the foam particles could cause performance degradation since electric shavers are meant to be used for a dry shave.
Based on my use, the denser the foam you apply to your face, the more the shaver will struggle to finalize the shave closely. It’s worth noting that this issue is ubiquitous in the realm of electric shavers and not exclusive to either the Series 5 or the Series 7—so far, so good!
Clean And Charge Station
I’ve always loved messing out with the Clean and Charge station of both shavers, and that’s the most enjoyable round of our Braun Series 5 and Series 7 comparison. First off, I should point out to a warning: NEVER use the included cleaning brush to clean the cutting elements of the shaving head since it’ll leave the meticulous details of the OptiFoils/SensoFoils flawed.
The Series 5 comes with a reasonably minimalistic clean and charge station—it only has one power on-off button that triggers the station to start the best hygienic solution depending on how unclean the shaver is. Included with the purchase is Braun’s Clean&Renew cartridge, which you insert in the station’s lower compartment.
It’s worth mentioning that this is a 3-stage cleaning station, meaning it charges, cleans, and lubricates. It was only when the Series 7 was released that Braun decided to remove the curtains to showcase its top-of-the-line 4-stage cleaning station, which charges, washes, oils, and DRIES the shaver!
The 4-stage cleaning system is only part of the equation; the station comes with LED display to indicate via droplet signs how the hygiene status level that the Series 7 needs, 3 droplets being an indicator that high intensive cleaning is required. On the left, there are 3 LEDs that act as a reference to the remaining volume of the Clean&Renew, which lasted for 30 sessions with me.
Both shavers support a 5-minute quick charge via the charge station, and they provide 50 minutes of run time after a 1-hour charging cycle. Sorry, Series 5, I must give it to Series 7 in this one!
Winner: the Series 7
Cost Of Ownership
I bet you’re not buying either shaver to throw it in the landfill the next month, right? That’s why Braun is keen on winning the aftermarket by keeping shaver head replacements always in stock, even for its low-end shavers, like the Braun Series 3.
The less expensive the replacements, the better the post-purchase experience in the long run. Well, common sense dictates that the replacements for the Series 5 are far cheaper than that of the Series 7, and it’s true.
There’s a fancy term for these shaver heads: cassettes. Unlike most manufacturers, Braun extends the lifespan of its razor caps to 18 months instead of 12. If you persist in rolling an expired cassette over your face, you’ll be prone to skin rashes, redness, or even acne.
Winner: the Braun Series 5
At the end of our Series 5 and 7 comparison, both shavers has excellent build quality that we’re familiar with in Braun series shavers. Crowning either as the utmost king of shavers would be a product of bias since the subtleties are so hard to tell apart that you would get indiscernible experience if you were to shave blindfold with both! series.
I’m really passionate about shaving and grooming. I shave my friends’ hair as a hobby and totally enjoying my time writing about shavers and razors. My main job? Ok, I’m a pharmacist!