Braun Series 5 5090cc Electric Razor Review

Braun Series 5 Electric Shaver Review

Recently, we’ve received an unexpected deluge of product review requests, most of which we declined because they simply weren’t all that interesting. With Christmas around the corner, we wanted to highlight a product that you might seriously be considering for yourself or as a gift. Today, we’d like to share our experiences with an essential and very personal men’s hygiene product, the electric shaver, in particular the Braun Series 5 5090cc.

Review of the Braun Series 5 shaver compared to the Philips Senseo Touch 3D
Braun Series 5 5090cc
Date Published: 11/14/2012
Despite its strong motor and great chin shaving performance, the Braun Series 5 does a poor job underneath the nose and the built-in trimmer won't be of any use in that area.
1 / 5 stars

But first, a word or two about approaching holiday shopping. This time of year, it seems like the default advice topic regarding gift-giving is the omnipresent wishlist. Here at the Gentleman’s Gazette, we consider the wishlist to be a rather useless and often stereotypical compilation of ideas  (men like shavers!) for our readers, since they lack any personal insight. Everyone has to decide on their own what product they want, but that is only possible if you know the pros and cons of a product. The best we can do is approach products from the other side, and seek to give you in-depth, useful information that we feel (though we’re biased) will create a better basis for approaching meaningful gift-giving – even if you’re just buying for yourself! Look for a few more interesting product reviews to come in the next few weeks.

 

Braun Serie 5 Box

Braun Series 5 Box

Now, back to the Braun Series 5 electric shaver. If you recall, earlier this year we compared the Philips Senseo Touch to a Double Edge Razor, and while the Manual DE razor won in terms of smoothness, it also took considerably longer to use. Lately, I have been extremely busy working long days, and so I have welcomed a 3-minute, I-can-still-wear-my-shirt electric shave. A few months ago, I was contacted by Braun and asked to review their new series 5 electric razor, and since our other review has been popular with our readers, we agreed to test it thoroughly for comparison.

Contents of the Box Cleaning Station, Pouch & Manual

Contents of the Box Cleaning Station, Pouch & Manual (Shag carpet not included…)

The Model

The Braun Series 5 5090CC is the latest addition to the electric razor family of this German company. In fact, it is not even available in the US at this point, but it should be available in the US shortly.

Braun Made in Germany

Braun Made in Germany

Just like the Philips, it came with a cleaning station and the promise of a range of new features, including a more powerful engine, patented blades that lift the chin hair, etc. Compared to the DE Razor it also lost in terms of quality of the shave, but again, it is much faster (3 minutes from start to finish ) to use and so I will point out the key  Braun vs. Philips differences.

Design

Compact Design & Solid Feel

Compact Design & Solid Feel

Unlike the Philips model, which was made in Holland, this Made-in-Germany electric shaver  does not have rotating  blades, but rather vibrating blades that move from the left to the right.  Basically, it offers the same features as its competitor, such as a built-in trimmer, power lock for travel purposes, a pouch, a LCD display, a cleaning station, and finally, it is fully washable. Unlike the Philips, it has the ability to lock the position of the brush head in place, which may come in handy for certain people.

Top View of the Braun Series 5 Razor Head

Top View of the Braun Series 5 Razor Head

Overall, it feels very solid and the rubber coating ensures a firm grip in your hands. The engine is louder and supposedly very powerful, but it also causes the entire razor to vibrate considerably during the shave.
Obviously, the design of the two razors is different, but based on looks I would not give an edge to either of them.

Dry Shave

Due to the different cutting mechanisms, the Braun Series 5 is best operated in strokes, while the Philips works best when circling across your face. In terms of time, it takes about the same time as the Philips: 3 minutes from start to finish.

On the upper lip area, the performance of the Braun was inferior because the bulky razor head was simply unable to shave off all the hair, leaving a few long hairs right underneath the nostrils. While the Philips had the same issue, I could remove these hairs with the attached side burn trimmer. The Braun trimmer is positioned so there is no way you can actually reach these hairs.

Poorly Located Trimmer

Poorly Located Trimmer

On the chin area, the Braun is better because it produces smoother results, while both perform about the same on the cheek.

The neck area feels smoother with the Philips razor, so overall one could argue that we have a draw. However, the fact that the Braun Series 5 does not allow to fully remove hair underneath the nose is absolutely unacceptable. As you might agree, visible hairs in this area looks careless and so I would always

Adjustable Razor Head

Adjustable Razor Head

need to have another razor – either a Gillette, Double Edge or electric razor – in order to achieve  a satisfactory result. So, when traveling, the Braun is basically useless because I would need to pack yet another item. All other facial areas look the same , they just feel different.

Wet Shave

Just like with the Philips, the overall results were considerably better when wet shaving. I made sure my facial hair had had enough time to soften by either taking a shower beforehand or by washing my face with water. Afterwards, I used either shaving cream lather or conditioner to ensure the shaver head could glide on my skin.

When comparing the results of the Philips to the Braun, they were too similar to closely distinguish. Maybe the Philips was slightly better around the neck and the Braun better in the chin area, but I don’t think it made a practical difference. The only problem that persisted with the Braun was the hair underneath my nostrils.

Also, when shaving with the Braun, it would leave an unfortunate dark paste of small hair bits and

conditioner / shaving cream on my face and so I had to take the extra step of washing it off mid-shave, otherwise I could not see what area still needed some work. On the other hand, the Philips transports most of the hair and lather inside the brush head, so you can still see your skin clearly.

So again, the Philips was the clear winner to me.

Can be used worldwide

Can be used worldwide

 Charger

It takes about an hour to charge theBraun’s Lithium Ion battery to its fullest capacity of 45 mins of shave time,  and it takes about 5 mins of charging to get one extensive shave out of the machine, which is good to know if you are in a hurry. Just like laptops, it can be charged anywhere in the world, which reduces the guesswork when packing.

Cleaning System

Just like with the Philips, the cleaning system seems a bit superfluous to me if you rinse and clean your electric razor properly every time you use it. It really does not take long and you do not have to dry the razor off at all. If you are concerned about hygiene, buy a larger bottle of alcohol at the pharmacy and use it to clean the razor every once in a while.

Price

In Europe, the current price is about €235 and I assume it would be about the same in US$ once it hits the market in the states. Every once in a while you will have to exchange the blades, which costs €30 for a pack of two. At this point, I cannot tell you how long they will last, but I am certain the thickness of your hair as well as the number of shaves per week will impact

Cleaning the Braun Series 5 Upside Down

Cleaning the Braun Series 5 Upside Down

the renewal cycle considerably.

Verdict

The Braun Series 5 has a compact design, strong motor and mostly decent shaving capabilities for an electric shaver. However, the positioning of the trimmer deems it useless for the area underneath the nose and so I cannot recommend this product.

For best results, regardless of time, I recommend a double edge razor. If you would like to shave in less than 5 minutes, or are always in a hurry like me, I suggest going with this Philips shaver.

2 replies
  1. Jurgen De Cleen
    Jurgen De Cleen says:

    I’ve used (through the years) both Braun and Philips. Regarding shaving quality, they are quite similar. But nothing compares to a double edge razor, it takes a little more time. But it gets you a smoother and better shave than any electric shaver on the market.

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