From the ashes of the well-known Braun 380s-4 series, the company is reintroducing the razor that many started with and grew to love. This line is visually impressive and retains all the qualities that the good name of this brand brings to men’s grooming.
The older generation of 3 series shavers was known far and wide for their clean cut, will these hold up to that reputation?
Immediately the few improvements on visual appear are apparent. These same updates that make the Braun 3080s more visually appealing also affect the ergonomics of this shaver.
When choosing the best electric shaver for you, it all comes down to preferences. Although Braun is a well-trusted brand, it’s difficult to say that anyone shaver will work for everyone. Many men swear by other brands like Philips or Remington, but the Braun 3080 can stand up to most moderately priced electric razors.
At first glance, this model is an overall improvement from its previous design. But with a further look at what makes it distinctly different from the other options on the market, we’ll see if it can keep up with the competition in this review.
The Braun 3080 Shaver
Let’s start our review by taking a closer look at the Braun 3080s series.
The Braun 3080 series shaver is a stunning razor. It has a black rubber grip with an aqua blue inlay. The shaver head attaches to a chrome piece which further improves the visual appeal.
This electric wet and dry foil shaver has a host of features that cater to many different needs. The wet/dry feature makes it stand out from many products of the brand.
However, the wet and dry feature is also part of its undoing. Where other shavers that offer a wet and dry shave option, it doesn’t work well with any shaving gel, cream or foam. Many men who prefer a wet shave but don’t want to do it in the shower.
They want to lather up with soothing shaving cream, but if you plan on using shaving cream all this is going to do is rub it around your face and gunk up the microfoils.
But besides that, it works well with a 3-blade system and an additional pull up long hair trimmer. The long hair trimmer is one of the highlights of this model. Most are great for edging, and electric razors shave, but what about the in-between bits?
The long hair attachment certainly won’t replace your beard trimmer, but it can help you clean up the sideburns, and some stray neck hairs without having to break the old timer out. If you’re in a hurry, the added attachment is the difference between well-groomed and just shaved.
Unfortunately, there is a bit of safety hazard with the long hair trimmer. Because it sits on the back and extends with a slide action, you might lose some skin. We’re serious; when you slide it back down the action of the razor, it likes to clip the meaty part of your hand just under your thumb. When you’re done using the attachment, take a hands-off approach.
The manufacturer really intended to load the Braun 3080s series with features. It’s already a mouthful to say Braun series 3 men’s electric foil shaver wet and dry so you certainly couldn’t add “plus trimmer with precision locking mechanism”. But, that’s what we’re into now. The precision locking mechanism is a feature that Braun only put on this particular series.
In an effort to make the shaver more precise and manageable, the company devised a plan. The first blade will descend and lock into place so that you can reach those tight spots. Although the concept is nice, the shaver does well at getting under your nose and over your jawline without the feature.
The precision locking mechanism is not a reason to run out and buy the Braun 3080, but it’s nice to have if some areas are difficult to reach.
A few other features to keep in mind are the LED charge indicator, charging stand, 5-minute quick-charge and travel case. The travel case is hard which is why the company felt it wasn’t necessary to include a cover for the blades during travel.
The LED charge indicator is pretty true to its charge but remembers it has a Ni-HM battery. These batteries are notorious for memorising your charge patterns. So, if you’re plugging in your shaver every night, it will behave as if it needs charging every night. But, the charge indicator seems to keep up. Your best bet is to let the shaver go as low as possible and then charge it.
Even though this model appears a little wide, the girth isn’t a problem for handling. Instead, it has slightly cushioned grip that surrounds the body except for where the light indicators are. The power switch is also rubberised and requires substantial force to depress.
Although there isn’t a power button lock or switch to keep the device off when travelling, you can’t accidentally press this power button. Above the power button is another rubberised section that is the perfect place for your thumb to rest during shaving. The extra space over the power button helps reinforce a steady but relaxed grip.
The Braun Series 3 Proskin 3080
This Braun model is one of the most loved electric shavers today. Overall it gives a close, clean shave and that’s all that matters at the end of the day, or at the beginning of the day.
What sets the Braun Series 3 Proskin 3080s apart from other shavers is the addition of SensoFoil technology. The brand takes a different approach to their foil designs. Unlike Philips or Remington, they know that you’re like to go over some spots more than once.
They don’t focus on designing blades that will cut your face to shreds and instead designed a pattern that is irregular. This irregular design means that the shaver can handle even 3 days of beard growth. Most electric shaving tools need daily use to stay in top condition and can’t take even a 2-day growth.
The irregular foil pattern also helps to avoid unnecessary tugging, although it will occasionally pull. Most men report less skin irritation because the blades glide over the skin’s surface very well.
They also have a floating system for their blades. This floating system means that each of the blades and the centre can flex to each side or depress as necessary. So those of you who try to press harder for a closer shave will see that it doesn’t help.
When you focus pressure, this shaver concentrates the blade on the area you’re working on but doesn’t reduce the space between blades and skin. The free-floating system works well for those who prefer a quick shave but still have sensitive skin or skin problems.
Many men turn to electric razors if they have acne or other skin issues because traditional blades only aggravate the preexisting condition. But you don’t have to settle for a subpar shave because you have skin troubles.
The Series 3 Proskin 3080s delivers an irritation free shave for a smooth face. However, if you find the free-floating blade system is getting in the way, you can lock them.
The precision locking mechanism pulls the first blade down just a little and locks all the blades in place. This feature meets the needs of anyone who has pesky under the nose hairs or trouble under the jawline.
Braun focuses on the issues that many men face when shaving with the Proskin 3080s line. If you have preferences, want longer battery life, or prefer to not have any trimmer on the back of your tool, this model is not for you.
To find the best shaver for you focus on your needs in the morning. Do you need to get out the door quickly? Is your sensitive skin a problem for other shavers? Do you need midday touch-ups in a dry environment? Well, this model caters to these needs very well.
The Shaver Head
The first and third blades are covered with the irregularly patterned microfoils. Between these is the centre section. This middle blade is on a slightly stiffer mount, and although it still gives some, it maintains its spot as the highlight of the Braun 3080.
The plastic bit underneath the centre is a tiny comb. The comb extends to set between the first foil blade and the centre blade. Because of its position, only long hairs are caught in the centre blade. Because you’re not wasting a good blade on stubble, this centre blade stays sharp.
Unfortunately, innovation almost always comes with a downside and the head of this Braun product has a downside. Because the blade that focuses on the long hairs is in the centre, it means that any long hairs you do have will likely get caught in the first microfoil blade. No one wants to have their unwanted beard pulled on, especially early in the morning.
So, the shaver head is the same on every model in the series. If, after reading this review, you do not like the sound of the 3080, then you probably want to move on to another option.
What Makes the Braun 3080 Series Unique?
There are 3 primary features that make the Braun 3080 shaver unique. First, there are 3 blade cutting heads. The first and last heads are covered in microfoil and focus on delivering the traditional electric razor experience.
But, the middle head is mounted with a thin plastic comb to help guide longer hairs up and into place for shaving. The head is the same in all the Series 3 models. The centre blade is a cutter that does well to capture areas of your facial hair that grow unevenly.
The ergonomic aspects of this product are one area where it shines. The long hair trimmer in the back seems like it would be an issue for gripping, but it doesn’t get in the way. Instead, the grip on the sides helps the hand curve around it. The Braun 3080 shaver and the Proskin both do well in either hand.
The long hair trimmer also extends past the level of the blades, so you can navigate the trimmer without the blades getting in the way.
Finally, the precision lock on the Braun 3080 can help you navigate the tight areas of your face, but overall, it’s an underwhelming feature. The precision lock lowers the first blade which can make it more difficult to get the hairs right under your nose because on the long hair trimmer is on the other side of the shaver.
Price is what brings most people to the Braun 3080. The initial purchase price is less than what you would expect for a Braun shaver, but the replacement blades and foils last for about 18 months. There is a quirk with this model in that it seems to last longer if you use it daily.
The long-lasting foils and blade come in a single unit so changing them is much easier than changing cartridges on other electric razors. Not to mention they’re pretty reasonably priced.
There is a minor concern with the chrome finish as it is near water often. The question of whether the chrome will tarnish or lose its sheen will only answer itself with time. For longevity, it’s best to keep the head dry anyways. After a shower, place it on a towel and pat it dry.
If you’re making this type of investment, you really do want your razor to look and perform at its best for as long as possible. But the addition of shaving cream or foam will likely cause long-term damage to the chrome finish and the blades.
Finally, when speaking regarding longevity, the battery is a concern with a price. Unlike other shavers, this uses a Ni-MH battery, so the battery is at risk of dying. Although you may be able to get a new one straight from Braun, most people take a dead battery as a sign of needing a new one anyways.
There are ways to extend the life of your battery and keep your device in top shape. Always let it die or get close to dying before charging it again.
People love the Braun 3080 as an introductory shaver and you’ll probably feel the same after you’ve read our review. Usually, after a few years, they are ready to move on to a more advanced model that caters to their preferences, but this product is universally accepted as high-quality.
There aren’t many complaints, and the most common one is about the battery. The higher end Braun models have a lithium-ion battery which has more longevity.
How It Compares
Compared to other introductory electric shavers the Braun 3080s and the Series 3 ProSkin shaver stand above the rest in both features and price. Although the initial purchase price seems higher, Series 3 Proskin 3080s is cheaper if you factor in the fact that the introductory Philips models need blade replacements every 6 months.
The 3080s series excel in charging time, how long they last on a full charge, closeness of shave and have an additional trimmer. If you’re looking for a shaver to get started with, you almost can’t beat this model.
But, if you’re experienced and have preferences in terms of handling, foils or don’t want any additions, you’re probably better off with a different model. Many men who have used electric shavers for a long time prefer higher end Braun models.
What We Think
To end our review, here’s a summary of what we think of this Braun model:
Overall the Braun 3080 shaver, and the Series 3 ProSkin shavers are both quality options for an introduction to electric razors. They’re by no means the top of the line, but you can achieve a smooth, clean shave daily in less than 5 or 10 minutes.
They are both completely waterproof, and shaving in the shower is ideal for anyone with sensitive skin. Unfortunately, waterproof doesn’t translate to handling the thickness of shaving cream or gel. Instead, the foil heads quickly clog with the shaving cream and the whole device is ineffective.
The price is optimal for those who are thinking about making the switch to an electric razor or are new to shaving altogether.
The Braun 3080 series offers an entry-level price with the quality that Braun is known for and doesn’t disappoint.