Picking out a high performing electric shaver can be a surprisingly tricky task. Most brands offer multiple product lines with various different models belonging to each. With all kinds of numbers, letters or codes to choose from, things can get confusing fast. It’s why we’re investigating the most popular men’s shavers on the market and letting you know which products are worth your cash.
For several decades, Braun has been an industry leader. The manufacturer continues to release premium grooming products with innovative features designed to bring guys ever closer to the perfect shave. Braun’s Series 7 line is one of the world’s most widely used. It offers impressive technology and a wealth of grooming options.
The problem is that it encompasses so many different models. We’re not the first to find Braun’s Series 7 line confusing and we won’t be the last. So, if it has got you shaking your head as well, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll break down four highly rated Series 7 shavers to figure out which one’s the real star.
Overview of Braun’s Series 7 Electric Shavers
Upon its initial release in 2007, Braun’s Series 7 shaver quickly became a global hit. It is currently one of the bestselling electric shavers of all time. Men love Series 7 shavers for the closeness of their cuts, how comfortable they feel in the hand and the array of practical features they come with such as automated cleaning and charging.
There are as many as thirteen different Series 7 models when counting both the older and newer releases. We’re going to contrast and compare four flagship releases: the 790cc, 7893s, 7850cc and 7865cc. First, let’s try and get to grips with Braun’s naming conventions.
The shaver models considered ‘older’ and released in the early years of the Series 7 line are identified by their three-digit codes. They include the 790cc which we’ll be looking at in more detail later. Newer models like the 7850cc, 7893s and 7865cc have four-digit codes. This is the quickest way to figure out if you’re looking at a newer release.
In some rarer cases, Braun’s models have an extra number on the end (7899cc-4) to tell customers they are an upgraded model. The added digit denotes the number of upgraded versions. The addition of a ‘cc’ means the product comes with a cleaning centre. If a model has an ‘s,’ it does not come with a cleaning centre.
Quick Comparison of Series 7 Shavers
|Shaver Model||Modes||Speed Settings||Cleaning Centre|
Common Features of Series 7
Before we compare our four target models, let’s consider the features most men regard as essential when shopping for an electric shaver. The efficiency (or lack thereof) of these features can tell you a lot about a product’s value.
Wet and Dry Modes
The majority of modern shavers have both a wet and dry mode. Some older models provide only a dry mode which is best suited to guys who shave without water or creams. If you regularly shave in the shower, you need one of the newer dual mode devices.
The only one of our targeted Series 7 shavers without a dual mode is the 790cc. The other three models are capable of wet and dry shaves. Opting for a single mode device can be a way to save money, but it requires a commitment to dry grooming.
Automated Cleaning Centre
As explained, the only one of our shaver models to come without an automated cleaning centre is the 7893s. The other three include an integrated base centre which performs a cleaning and lubricating cycle when prompted.
Even though it adds to the retail cost of a Series 7, it’s a worthwhile investment. Cleaning shavers regularly adds to their lifespan. It’s very possible to buy a device with a charging centre and recoup the extra cost by needing fewer replacement parts.
Manual cleaning cannot match the cleaning power of the Series 7 centres. We’re not just saying that to get you to spend more cash either. The blades and foils on Series 7 models form a single element. It’s quite hard to clean around this element and remove all the hair, grime and skin that accumulates. Not impossible, but harder to do well with just your hands.
As the cleaning functions can also get pretty confusing, we’re going to spend a little time clarifying how they work. As already explained, ‘s’ denotes a Series 7 shaver without an integrated cleaning centre. If you buy one of these models, you’re getting just the electric shaving device.
However, you can also buy a cleaning centre separately as a standalone product. Let’s imagine you already have an older Series 7 model like the 740s. You could purchase a cleaning centre (on its own) and your 740s would be compatible. There is a caveat though. The two pieces will function together but, over time, the older 740s (or whichever model you own) will flake and lose its paint.
According to Braun, this is because its older models are lacking a special kind of protective paint. The only models with this paint are the ‘cc’ shavers that already come with a cleaning centre as standard. After rigorous testing, we can confirm changes to the paint that occur when older models are paired with newer base centres are purely cosmetic. Yes, your shaver will lose its good looks, but performance won’t be affected.
To let you in on a secret; there are reports of this happening to ‘cc’ shavers as well. So, if you can overlook cosmetic damage, pairing an older model with a newer cleaning centre is a simple way to save some cash. Series 3, 5 and 9 shavers are NOT compatible with Braun cleaning centres.
We should also point out Braun will not replace an ‘s’ shaver that has been damaged by a cleaning centre. You know the risks.
Drying Your Shaver
You should also know Braun has phased out the drying function that once existed inside Series 7 cleaning centres. All base centres now come without induction heating. This increases average cleaning time from 45 minutes to several hours.
Though it’s less of a disadvantage than it sounds. It’s unusual for men to shave more than once a day, so there’s no problem provided the shaver is clean and dry before next use. The cleaning process also includes a topping up of the shaver’s lubrication fluid.
Braun Series 790cc vs 7865cc vs 7850cc vs7893s – The Breakdown
As we’re dealing with four different Series 7 electric shavers, we’re going to compare like to like by pitting similar features together. Even though we’ve discussed the names and identifiers, it may still get a little confusing. To keep you on track, we’ll be very clear about which models we’re discussing, and we’ll make sure to sum our findings up at the end.
To find out whether the 790cc, 7865cc, 7850cc or 7893s is the best pick, we’ll scrutinize key characteristics and features such as shave quality, shaving comfort, adjustable settings, build quality, overall design and additional details such as safety locks and charge centres.
After each comparison, we’ll pick a winner so you can make your decision based on which features are most appealing to you.
790cc Vs 790cc-4
Let’s start with an easy one. The 790cc is one of the most classic shavers Braun has ever released. It’s still wildly popular in its original form. However, it has been tweaked and improved a little since appearing on the market. Or at least the ‘c-4’ denotation suggests so.
Is the 790cc-4 really better than its predecessor? Somewhat. The only notable difference is the addition of two more speed settings. The 790cc-4 shaver boasts sensitive, normal and intensive speeds. It’s a great feature to have – and one which most Series 7 models come with today – but we didn’t use it often.
Like most guys, we played around with the adjustable settings for a week or two and then settled on the fastest speed. If you don’t have problems with sensitive skin, you might rarely use the other settings. We should point out the original 790cc is fairly old now and versions manufactured today are almost always 790cc-4 iterations. It means this first comparison is rigged (sorry). There was only ever one winner.
Winner: Series 7 790cc
790cc- vs 7865cc
The main difference between the 790cc and 7865cc is their shaving modes. The former does not offer wet shaves. The latter can provide both wet and dry shaves. Interestingly, the supposedly more sophisticated 7865cc is merely an upgrade of an older 799cc model. The 790cc and 7865cc, therefore, have more in common than meets the eye.
After extensive testing, we found only negligible differences between the upgraded 7865cc and the older 799cc. Despite having two more speed settings (five to the 799cc’s two), performance was largely the same. So, it makes sense then that the 790cc (closely related to the 799cc) would be similar to the 7865cc in speed and power.
Aside from a small increase in speed of around 10%, the 790cc and 7865cc models are similarly placed rivals. The 7865cc just edges past because, even if you rarely shave in the shower, it’s nice to have the option. Though if you don’t like to wet shave, the 790cc is a lower priced and perhaps more suitable choice.
The Winner: Series 7 7865cc
7865cc Vs 7850cc
We could find nothing but superficial differences between the 7865cc and the 7850cc models. As far as we can tell, the 7850cc is a repackaged version of the 7865cc that was originally made for the European market.
Today, you can find it in the US, and it looks a little different. However, there’s no major distinctions. Pick up whichever version is cheapest where you shop.
The Winner: Tie
790cc Vs 7893s
As you can see from their product codes, the main difference here is the 790cc comes with an integrated cleaning centre. The 7893s is what’s known as a ‘solo’ shaver because it includes only the electric groomer.
In all our tests, we’ve been impressed with the consistency of Braun’s shavers. There are slight variations in power and speed across the spectrum from older to newer models, but shaving performance doesn’t fluctuate as much as we predicted.
For this reason, it makes sense to opt for the 790cc only because it comes with the base centre and automated cleaning functions. It’s priced a little higher than the 7893s. Make it your choice if you’re not on a budget. If money is a deciding factor, buy the 7893s and just consider purchasing a cleanings centre later.
The Winner: 790cc
Choosing the Best Series 7 Model for Your Needs
The 790cc, 7865cc and 7850cc shavers are all sold in grey. The only one of our target models that differs is the 7893s sold in silver.
The following models are compatible with wet and dry shaving modes; the 7850cc, 7865cc and 7893s. The 790cc is a dry electric shaver. Like most dry groomers, it’s cheaper to buy than dual mode models. It’s definitely worth paying a little more for the extra option provided you do regularly shave in the shower or with creams. If you almost never wet shave, the dual mode is not a convincing reason to pay more.
Only the 7893s shaver is sold without a cleaning centre. The rest come with this feature as standard. It’s a largely popular addition as it increases the lifespan of a shaver’s foils and blades by preventing grime from accumulating. To use a Braun cleaning centre, simply lower your shaver head down into the container provided. The bottom of this receptacle will slowly fill with an alcohol based detergent that melts away grime and blockages.
The 7865cc, 7850cc and 7893s models offer users a choice of five shaving settings and enables greater control over speed and power. The 790cc is the only one of the bunch to offer just three speed settings though even this is an upgrade from the one it was originally released with. The adjustable settings start at sensitive (1) and increase to turbo (5) which is maximum power for all but the 790cc.
The question is, does it make a difference? Does having five speed settings really matter to the quality of your shave? Less than you might think. As already discussed, the ability to change speed is novel at first. It’s a neat feature, but we ended up using it far less than expected. You may be different though. We feel like it’s a feature best appreciated by guys who experiment with a lot of styles.
Every Series 7 electric shaver comes with Braun’s patented ‘Sonic’ technology. It uses vibrations and micro and macro pivots to stay extremely close to the face even in awkwardly shaped areas. With over 30,000 cross cutting actions per minute, it’s a dream for anybody who needs a high level of precision styling.
With all our talk of the Braun Series 7 790cc being the oldest shaver of the bunch, you’d expect it to be significantly cheaper than the others. What we found was surprising; the model’s age and ‘classic’ (almost retro) appeal have driven prices up in many regions. Some guys are willing to pay more than it was once worth, so retailers sell it for more.
These are just some of the prices we encountered online. Prices on the shelves may be different. It might be possible to get cheaper shavers from overseas. Price depends on a variety of factors. The 7893s (with no cleaning centre) and the 7865cc (with cleaning centre) are the most affordable options.
Braun Series 790cc vs 7865cc vs 7850cc vs7893s – The Verdict
Now, it’s time to decide which of these Braun Series 7 electric shavers is the best men’s grooming product.
As they span from older to newer models, direct comparisons can be challenging. They don’t all have the same accessories for a start. Is a shaver with a cleaning centre automatically superior to one without? Does the classic appeal of an older model trump the sleeker, more sophisticated technology of a newer one?
Our final decision even surprised us a little because we’re going to go for the classic; the 790cc. If we remember that the 790cc is now the same as the 790cc-4 and has two additional speed settings, we can see that it’s an all-rounder. Yes, it’s missing the extra customisation of the 7865cc, 7850cc and 7893s models. Yet, we didn’t find this to be a noticeable absence or weakness.
If you’re into precision grooming and want to control every aspect of your shaver’s performance, consider a model with five speed settings. If you’re just looking for a reliable shaver that performs consistently every time, three may be enough. During testing, we consistently stuck to one or two speed settings and rarely switched between all five.
The Braun Series 7 790cc is one of the highest rated electric shavers for a reason. It provides a clean, close and comfortable shave which is comparable to more expensive premium groomers. In its newest iteration (with the ‘-4’), it has been around for almost a decade, but we think it’s still one of the best around.
Some minor gripes include a loud cleaning centre and an overly simple hygiene monitor. When the shaver needs to be cleaned, an indicator light appears. This is a handy feature but it’s not always as impressive as it seems. The light appears a certain amount of time after the shaver’s last use. It’s a not a true indicator of cleanliness, but this can be said for all of the Series 7 shavers with a cleaning centre.
Reasons To Buy the Braun Series 7 790cc
- Upgraded Model: the 790cc is an upgraded version of the popular 790cc model that guys have loved for years. It’s a classic shaver.
- 100% Water Resistant: the 790cc can be safely rinsed under a running tap although it is not a wet/dry shaver. If you use it in the shower and it breaks, you may not be entitled to a replacement.
- Accessories Included: the 790cc includes a hard shell travel case and a small, coarse brush for cleaning. It shouldn’t be used as the only cleaning method, but it’s helpful for dislodging stubborn dirt and debris. There’s also a multi voltage power adapter which is safe for use in most countries.
- User Friendly Design: the 790cc shaver is missing a travel lock, but it does have a centrally located power button flanked by two adjustable speed buttons. We’re not mad about the display being on the base of the shaver, but this is the same for much of the Series 7 line and it’s easy to get used to.
- Close Shaving: with cutting blades that perform at 10,000 micro vibrations per minute, you’re guaranteed a close shave. Combine this with Braun’s wildly popular pivoting technology and you’ve got a shaver that always gives an intense, even performance without being heavy handed.
Overall, this seventh generation of Braun’s electric shavers are a delight to use and own. Although not without imperfections, the Series 7 line marries durability, comfort, shaving consistency and style. They can be loud and even a little uncool from time to time, but they continue to perform at a high level.
Most of their weaknesses are superficial or, over time, start to become less of an issue because most guys secretly want simplicity. The Braun Series 7 790cc continues to be a bestseller because, at heart, it’s simple and effective.