Monthly Archives: August 2013

Braun Series 7 Shavers – Possibly the Best

Braun Series 7 790cc Pulsonic ShaverBraun’s Series 7 shavers are the German company’s top of the range models. They incorporate all the high-tech bells and whistles you can imagine. Many users believe they are the best shavers around. (Check my article “Face-Off! Braun 790cc Pulsonic vs Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D vs Panasonic ES-LV61. Which Is Best?” for more.)

The key attraction is the company’s intelligent sonic technology, with 10,000 micro vibrations per minute, helping it shave more hair than other models. It also incorporates what Braun calls ActiveLift technology, designed to capture flat-lying hair in problem areas such as the neck.

These shavers have attracted numerous laudatory reviews. Here is one from Wired magazine:

If you’re going to drag a motorized gadget across your face, it’s comforting to find one that underpromises and overdelivers. Braun advertises up to 50 minutes per charge from this foil shaver, but we regularly got more than 75. Although the three-head business end boasts a relatively small surface area, the oscillating middle head delivers 10,000 vibrations per minute. Translation: It’s just as effective as a bottle of Nair. But it’s also infinitely customizable; at the push of a button, for instance, you can dial down the power for lighter stubble.

WIRED Charging dock cleans, lubricates, and dries the blades. Foil holes never tugged, even on three-day stubble.

TIRED Buzzes like a fridge … with a chain saw inside. Dock display is almost as obtuse as Ulysses.

At Amazon the 790cc model has attracted more than 1,300 reviews, a huge number, with an average rating of a high 4.4 stars.

At its official website, Braun lists three Series 7 models – the 720s-4, the 760cc-4 (which comes with a self-cleaning system) and the 790cc-4 (which is made of a durable metal and also comes with a cleaning system).

* Get the latest price on Braun Series 7 shavers.

The Vogue for Stubble – Men’s Shaving in Decline

Men’s toiletries are now selling about as well as men’s shaving products, and are set to leap ahead. It will be the first time, within the men’s grooming sector, that shaving products are not the top sellers.

This is according to a report from Euromonitor International, which notes that trends in the men’s shaving market tend to be decided by Gillette, which has a 60 per cent market share of this category.

According to the report:

The vogue for stubble, the relative non-hairiness of Chinese men, growing acceptance of the unshaven look in the workplace and, most importantly, the ever increasing cost of shaving have all been damaging to men’s shaving and Gillette alike. Furthermore, a slow innovation pipeline, with only three major new product launches since 2005, one of which was a collaboration between Gillette Venus and Olay, indicates that Procter & Gamble’s financial issues have affected its R&D activities.

Nonetheless, in 2012, Gillette introduced its first major innovation in two years – the Fusion ProGlide Styler, a 3-in-1 battery-operated razor which serves as both a shaver and styler. This indicates a new era in men’s shaving, with razor manufacturers creating more sophisticated multi-functional products with higher unit prices in an effort to compensate for lower demand and longer repurchasing cycles.

The report coincides with the launch of a dedicated Men’s Grooming Store at Amazon

Review – Braun Series 5 Shavers

Braun Series 5 ShaversThe Series 5 shavers, lying midway – as you would expect – between the Series 3 and the Series 7 models, incorporate two foils to shave you, along with an integrated trimmer that lifts and cuts hairs lying flat against the skin.

The company’s new FlexMotionTec technology delivers significantly more skin contact in problem areas for efficient shaving with less skin pressure than did previous shavers. Braun has also developed new motors that it says generate 20 per cent power than before, for high speed cutting even on dense hair.

Other features include a precision trimmer for beard and moustache shaping and a multi-head lock for varying the shaving angle. A one-hour charge gives 45 minutes of cordless shaving, and a five-minute charge will be sufficient for a single shave. The shavers have an automatic worldwide voltage adjustment (100V-240V). They can all be cleaned under running water.

There are four models in the series, including the 5040s, which can be used in the shower. The top-of-the-line 5090cc model (picture) comes with metal surfaces and has the most advanced display of the series – a precise five-level battery status indicator with low-charge warning, as well as a travel lock and hygiene indicator. It also features the Clean&Charge Station, which cleans, charges and lubricates the shaver.

The Series 5 shavers have become extremely popular – although not as popular as the top-selling, and cheaper, Series 3 models – with numerous favorable reviews from customers.

Here’s a review at the Costco website:

I got this razor for father’s day, the first foil razor I own. So far it is a great razor, really close and smooth shave, even on those hard to shave spots. I have only used rotary Norelco razors, because of the ability to use on wet skin. That’s why I was a little reluctant to use this razor. But I must say that I am impressed with how smooth it leaves my skin. I now shave every day with no skin irritation whatsoever.

The only issue I have found so far is that the clean & renew system is not as good as I expected. I’ve never had a razor with a cleaning system so I don’t know if my expectations were too high. I can see that after a clean cycle I still have to clean it with a brush to remove all the little hair particles left over, so what I do now is I use the clean & renew every other day, and every other day I clean it under running hot water, and so far so good!

At Amazon the shavers have attracted hundreds of generally favorable reviews. For example, there are currently more than 170 customer reviews for the 5090cc model.

* Get the latest price on the Braun Series 5 Shavers.

Braun Series 3 Shavers – Seriously Good

Braun 380S shaver

Within the Series 3 line are a number of models, and it can be a little confusing trying to sort them out. Braun itself offers a useful comparison table, and so does Amazon, although they give slightly different numberings to the various models.

Essentially you have the choice of two wet/dry models that can be used under the shower, with two others that use what Braun calls its Clean and Renew system, for automatically cleaning, lubricating and charging the device.

Much of the popularity of these shavers comes from the three independently moving cutting elements that adapt to all facial contours, effectively cutting hairs of any length with every stroke. A three-stage cutting system is built into each of these floating blades, and each blade is also comprised of a special foil pattern to help you cut hairs growing in different directions. There is also a long hair trimmer to trim sideburns, moustache or beard.

One hour of charging time gives up to 45 minutes of cordless shaving. A quick five-minute charge is sufficient for one cordless shave. The shaver incorporates an automatic worldwide voltage adjustment and adapts to an outlet voltage between 100V and 240V.

The shavers have picked up some pretty good reviews. Here’s an excerpt from the AskMen website:

Of course, with regular use comes quality concerns over whether or not a product has the ability to shine over the long haul, but Braun is a star in that department too. Blades last for about a year and half — far longer than the two-week lifespan of a disposable razor cartridge — and replacement parts can be bought at the quick click of a mouse button. Most importantly, it’s regular maintenance that will ultimately keep your razor and skin healthy. The patented Clean & Renew System disinfects, lubricates and protects the razor after every use. It’s just one more way that Braun may manage to be the first electric victor in this age-old beard battle.

Recommended retail prices are up to $120, depending on the model, but you should be able to pick up one of the basic models for less than half that at sales sites like Amazon.

* Get the latest prices on Braun Series 3 shavers.
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Philips Norelco Click and Style Shaver – Styler and Bodygroomer, But Not Always A Close Shave

Philips Norelco Click and Style2The Philips Norelco Click and Style Shaver – also known as the Philips Norelco YS524/41 Click & Style Shave Toolkit – is a solid product for those who are looking for a modestly priced, quality model that does more than just shave your face.

It comes with a styler attachment for stubble or beard trimming and a bodygroom attachment for body trimming and shaving.

It is a wet-dry model that can be used in the shower and cleaned under water. A one-hour battery charge gives 40 minutes of cordless shaving.

Read full specifications at the official Philips website, where you can also find some user reviews. Note that though these are generally favorable, some men felt the shaver did not give a sufficiently close shave.

At Amazon it has attracted more than 90 reviews, again generally favorable but also with complaints from some customers that it takes time to get a really close shave.

* Get the latest price on the Philips Norelco Click and Style Shaver.

The Three Best Travel Shavers

Sanyo Electric Rechargeable ShaverI’ve already posted about this (Buyers Guide to the Best Travel Shavers). Let’s narrow it down to the best three.

Number one, in my opinion, is the Sanyo Electric Rechargeable Shaver (picture). Though just a single-blade model, it is strong and rugged, and some men report that they use it as their regular daily shaver. It has a pop-up trimmer and worldwide voltage. It also has a built-in charger.

But, as you might expect for such a sturdily-built product, it is expensive – around $60 – when compared to rival models. If cost is an issue, then consider one of the two following.

The Panasonic Pro-Curve Wet/Dry Travel Shaver would be my next recommendation. And with a list price of $20, and substantially less at Amazon and other discount sales sites, it is a veritable bargain compared to the Sanyo.

Also known as the ES3831K Single Blade Travel Shaver, it runs for up to 90 minutes on two AA batteries, and as a wet/dry model it can be cleaned under water. You probably wouldn’t choose to use this as your daily shaver, but it certainly gives a pretty good shave. Some 265 Amazon reviews, with an average rating of 4.2 stars, attest to its popularity.

My third choice is the Braun M90 MobileShave. This is very similar to the Panasonic, though a little more expensive. It works off two AA batteries and is washable under running water. Unlike the Panasonic it also incorporates a long-hair trimmer. At Amazon it has attracted around 340 customer reviews – far more than any other travel shaver – with an average rating of 4.1 stars.

* Check out the latest prices for travel shavers at Amazon.

A Great Travel Shaver – Sanyo Electric Rechargeable Shaver

Sanyo Electric Rechargeable ShaverLooking for the best travel shaver? The Sanyo SV M730 Pocket Shaver is the best, in my view, though it is more expensive than rival models. But, in any case, it is now difficult to find. (For more, see my Buyers Guide to the Best Travel Shavers.)

In its place check out the Sanyo Electric Rechargeable Shaver. This too is more expensive than many other models, but it is a first-class, very rugged product that gives an excellent shave for such a compact size. Many purchasers report using it as their regular shaver, not simply for when they are on the road.

It has a pop-up trimmer and worldwide voltage. It also has a built-in charger, so you will not be able to lose it, or forget to bring it when traveling.

Probably the main issue for some potential buyers will be whether or not it is easy to obtain spare parts. Sanyo is now incorporated into the Panasonic empire, so in theory it should not be difficult to replace worn components. But some US consumers have reported problems.

That said, this is an excellent product that for many users is as good as a Braun or Philips models costing several times the price. It does not have a lot of customer reviews at Amazon – nine at last count – but all were four- or five-star reviews.

If you are looking to buy a travel shaver, or even a low-cost regular shaver, do at least check out this model.

* Get the latest price on the Sanyo Electric Rechargeable Shaver.

Mangroomer’s New Travel Shaver

Mangroomer Travel ShaverEarlier this year I posted my “Buyers Guide to the Best Travel Shavers.” I’ve just discovered a new entry, the Mangroomer Professional Edition Travel Shaver.

It’s not cheap: $29.95 is the list price, although it is substantially less at sales sites like Amazon. But this still makes it dearer than popular rivals such as the excellent Panasonic Pro-Curve Wet/Dry Travel Shaver.

According to the official website

…Enables you to shave anywhere and at any time with its compact size, extreme rechargeable battery life and use of a single floating foil blade with bonus trimmer.

It features a floating foil blade that follows all the contours of your face for a smooth and comfortable shave. It also has a pop up precision long hair trimmer on back for quick trimming of side burns, neckline, goatee or beard. It can be used in or out of the shower and cleans easily by rinsing under running water.

Additional features include a hypoallergenic foil and stainless steel blades, plus a POWER BURST® button to create an explosive burst of power when pressed to easily trim through extra thick and coarse hair or stubble. The body of your new travel shaver is built with stainless steel body construction and ergonomic design for extra durability and a protective cap is included for storage and travel when not in use.

So far it has attracted just one review – highly favorable – at Amazon. The initial impression is that this is a good shaver. But expensive.

* Get the latest price on the Mangroomer Professional Edition Travel Shaver.