Top positive review
Amazing Difference - Philishave to Foil Convert
4 April 2019
I was a Philishave rotary shaver user for the last 30 years, so when my razor started tugging and pulling, I had to decide whether to replace the shaver head or the razor.
I undertook a lot of research and it seemed obvious from my research that the quality of the Philips products had gone down hill in recent years after moving manufacturing to China - yet they maintained their premium prices.
So my research led my to the Braun series of foil razors and the premium range is the 9 series. I was really impressed with the wet and dry capabilities of this razor and that you can use it with foam or gel. I often used a wet shave razor so was keen to see how this compared.
I decided on the model with the clean and renew station, as it is a plug and play and forget solution that cleans, disinfects, lubricates and recharges the razor.
I have to be honest the first time I tried dry shaving I was a bit disappointed with 3 days growth. It did a fine job on the cheeks, but did struggle with the neck and neck side areas, requiring many strokes to get those angled hairs.
However, when using some gel it was a different story, I was really impressed with how it coped and made a far better job of the awkward hairs on the neck. But with the gel, you can go over several times at several angles where the razor just glides over your skin. You can rinse it off in water and carry on. Afterwards, my face felt as smooth as a wet shave with a manual razor blade.
The trimmer is great for sideburns and awkward to read areas.
The Braun is actually designed, engineered AND made in Germany. They have designed these to have a life of 7 years. So assuming that is based on 365 shaves a year - if you only shave 3 times a week you should be able to nearly double that or longer! The heads are replaceable as are the batteries which is good news. Again the cutting head cartridge should be replaced every 18 months - but again depends on use.
It is important to remember that only the 9 series of shavers that have a 'CC' after the model number come with a clean and renew station, but more importantly only the "xxxxCC" shavers have the integrated circuit chip inside the shaver and the contact lugs to be able to work with a clean and renew station. So you cannot buy a clean and renew station at a later date as they will not work with non "xxxxCC" models. You can of course buy replacement clean and renew stations if you need a replacement.
You have 2 options here. Some people don't want the hassle of cleaning their razors after each shave and others like me do like to clean them after each shave.
If you use foam or gel, you must rinse it off first before using the clean and renew station. This only takes a couple of seconds to pop the head off and swish it about in some lukewarm water - ditto with the head - just splash it about and rinse off. Then allow it to dry and you can stick it in the station and perform a cleaning cycle. If you do this, then all the hair and foam are removed before the cleaning stage. As the clean and renew station is designed to capture all the hair and debris, and to trap this in the cartridge, it will last far longer as you have already got all this out beforehand.
The cleaner then activates the razor and lubricates the cutting blades, disinfects the cutters and leaves a fresh lemon smell afterwards ready for the next shave. it also has a drying facility, so actively dries the shaver out of cleaning fluid after the cycle. Once finished, it then starts charging.
If you dry shave and don't want the hassle of cleaning the razor, then putting it in and activating the station will rinse all the hair out and trap this in the cartridge. Depending on use, over a few weeks this will turn the solution really gunky, and then it will need to be replaced when the light indicates it is time to replace it.
Money Saving Tips:
As said, I spend 30 seconds or so running the razor and the razor head under water after each shave, wipe the excess water off and leave if for a while to dry out, then put it on to charge without using a cleaning cycle. This will prolong the cartridge if you only clean it every 3 or 4 shaves or once a week.
Another tip is to remove the cartridge carefully after each cleaning operation and reseal the cartridge using the supplied plugs. This will stop the alcohol solution from evaporating naturally - which is will do in the cleaning station. I bought mine on Feb 22nd and 6 weeks later with an average 4 times a week shave my cartridge is almost still three quarters full - which is what is they are generally filled to when new. So I anticipate that this original cartridge will last a few more month yet. And as you can see, because I clean the shaver under the tap first, the fluid is still the original colour.
Lastly, Proline make an alternative solution for Braun shavers, that can be bought in 1 litre bottles for about £12. This should be enough to fill about 7 cartridges, which when you consider the originals cartridges are about £14+ for 3, it makes sense. I bought a box of three spare original cartridges, so that I can make my own refills with this standalone solution. It should save a fortune in replacements.
So overall I am extremely pleased with the performance and the quality of the shave. I also use it to do the back of my neck up to the hairline as it has a straight foil, which is impossible to do with a three-head rotary shaver.
So yes, I highly recommend this and hope this has given prospective buyers an honest appraisal and some useful tips.