For me, nothing will replace shaving with a razor, but sometimes I just want a quick touch-up before heading out the door. That's where Braun comes in. I've had many Braun shavers over the years, and this is by far my most elaborate shaver: It has a charging & cleaning station, and something called "CoolTec" technology. Certainly this adds to the price, but is it worth it? Um, sort of.
First, the razor feels good in my hand - it's a nice, comfortable weight with a sturdy grip. That for me is very important because, if it doesn't feel good, I won't use it. The motor is surprisingly quiet for its larger-than-average size. (See photo.) But the shave? Oh it's fine. I can't say it's closer than it is with other razors I've used, but I wasn't disappointed with it.
The cooling bar is... interesting. It took some getting used to because at first it felt like I was pulling a dry ice cube across my face (which I found distracting). But after a few uses and one late-night comparison, I couldn't deny the absence of that hot, raw feeling I sometimes felt with my old shaver. So the CoolTec feels good (and MAYBE it reduces bumps?), but is no means essential for a comfortable shave.
My first impression of the cleaning station was that it was excessive: You put the shaver in the station, press a button, and it cleans and lubricates the device. It extracts hair back into the disposable cartridge in the base, so the shaver is essentially like new each time you use it. That would be fine if it weren't for the cartridge, which isn't expensive to replace but is a consumable nonetheless. That's just one more thing to maintain. The cleaning cycle takes about three minutes, though you'll need to set the shaver aside to dry for a few hours before its next use. Still... I had no problem with tapping out my old shaver on the sink; as helpful and efficient as the cleaning station is, and despite the sense as it makes, I still think it's a bit ridiculous.
If I purchased this shaver at a lower price and without the CoolTec technology and cleaning station, I would be happy with it. It handles well. As it is, the cooling is a luxurious add-on, and is potentially worth the extra expense for someone who shaves daily. The cleaning station is a great idea and it does work very well, but, since I don't have the counter space to keep it out all the time, I have a feeling it will end up in a closet.
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