on January 16, 2012
This Braun 340S-4 is so much better than my previous Braun shaver. The older version (5776) was flimsier. Compared with the older 5776, the construction of the 340S-4 is superior in every way. The Cutter-Foil Cartridge is solidly designed albeit expensive. The 5776's Cartridge was a mess and the trimmer kept disconnecting from the main body of the shaver. I am glad that Braun fixed this in the 340S-4 model.
I shave every day, and I shave my full head, not just my face. I find this Braun 340S-4 to be very comfortable, close shaving, well made and non-irritating. I have nothing to say against this shaver, but it IS on the pricy side.
I do have to rework some areas of my head and face to get the shave that I want, but I so far have not seen any shaver that did better.
I get three shaves from a single charge which is better than the 5776 did, but I miss the fact that the 5776 allowed me to shave while charging, which the newer 340S-4 does not (it will not charge & shave at the same time). Beware, if you sometimes fail to charge your shaver, you may get half a shave. There is a red warning light though, and you probably have a full shave left even when it comes on, but do not ignore it.
The engineering of the 340S-4 seems well thought out and built to last, but only time will tell. I got about a year and a half to two years of life from my previous Braun shavers. The feature that spells certain death for the Braun shavers has been the hinge-joint which allows the shaver head to swivel as you perform you shave. It eventually breaks rendering the shaver useless. This doubtful advantage has been thankfully removed in the 340S-4. From past experience, I have noticed that recharge life will gradually shorten over time until the shaver becomes next to useless as well, unless you can recharge while shaving. This is normal for any rechargeable battery, but there is no way to replace this battery in the Braun shavers, so this may be the new Achilles heal of the 340S-4.
I do not miss the black carry case of the older shavers because the carry case was poorly designed anyway and would break into two pieces at the flimsy hinge. Also the case would soon warp so that the two halves did not properly align after only a few months of use. This 340S-4 does not have a carry case at all but rather a plastic head cover which is one piece and pretty much gets the job of protection done.
on April 28, 2012
In the past few years I've owned a Panasonic wet-dry "linear motor" razor and a Norelco HQ9-head rotary. The Panasonic cut very close, but was somewhat loud and would sometimes miss some neck stubble, leaving scattered whiskers to grow longer and longer. The Norelco was very quiet and got the stubs, but didn't give as close a shave as the Panny.
The 340S-4 shaves close, almost as closely as the Panasonic, but is quieter, and it picks up neck stubble well. However, it's still very audible from the next room, unlike the Norelco. So far I've used it for two weeks on its first charge.
Unless you need the very quiet operation of a rotary, this razor is a fine choice. The more expensive versions in the Braun "S" line appear to be built slightly "prettier" but they have features I've tried before and don't want to pay for again (a "cleaning system" base). The 340S rinses clean in just a few seconds under the tap.
on June 12, 2012
I originally purchased the highly rated Panasonic Vortex ES8249. The Panasonic has 4 blades and is extremely well built. It also comes with an automatic cleaning station. Why did I end up returning it and keeping the Braun instead? The Panasonic does provide a very close shave however I found that I have to go over certain areas several times to accomplish a close shave. The Braun has only 3 blades however I was able to get a closer and faster shave with the Braun with just 1-2 passes. I have been able to get a razor close shave with the Braun within 3 minutes. I found the shave to actually be more precise and closer than the Panasonic. The Panasonic would take me over 5 minutes. The build quality of the Braun is excellent. It is built like a tank and very comfortable to hold. It has a rubber liner that makes holding it very secure and comfortable. It is actually much quieter than the Panasonic. The Panasonic has a very loud high pitched sound....similar to a hair trim clipper that barbers use. The one complaint that I do have is that Braun should have included a protective cover for the blades. It does come with a protective travel case however a guard is a must to protect the most delicate part of the shaver which is the foils. The price, performance, build quality and low cost of maintenance makes this an excellent value. The replacement blade/foil runs around $20 compared to $50 for the Panasonic.
on August 24, 2012
I've purchase 2 Braun 340 wet/dry shavers. Good shave considering my beard is very thick. However, both of the shavers have failed after about 12-18 months. The on/off switch on both of them broke. Luckily I found the receipt from the 2nd one. Braun claims it's under warranty. So I'm sending it back 08/27/2012 for repair. I purchased the second on 04/16/2011. My 9 year old electric Norelco is still working, so it's my current shaver. It too is a wet/dry shaver. However, it is not as close as the Braun. So Braun will have one chance to fix the problem or I'll start shopping for a new shaver. Quality of both Braun shavers are similar however, the craftsmanship and longevity is less then desired.
Update to review as of 09/13/2012. August 27, 2012, I mailed back both Braun Shavers with a note to Braun that they both had the same problem and purchase reciept to the most recent purchase. The On/Off switch wouldnt function. I even offered to pay for the repair of the older 2nd shaver. Well today, FedEx delivered two (2) brand new Braun 340-s Wet/Dry shavers. No charge for either. Braun replaced both of them. Thanks Braun for the replacement shavers and let's hope that they last a long time.
on February 2, 2012
I have to be honest...I bought this for my dad as a Christmas present last time. I ended up trying it out because I've used razors ever since I grew hair on my face.
To my surprise, it gave an excellent close shave! It says you can use it even when your face is dry, but that just felt odd to me. I tried it in the shower (since it's a wet shaver too) and this thing just blew me away! I got out of the shower, wiped my face dry, and touched my face...so smooth.
Granted, I don't have too much facial hair anyway, but this Braun does a much better job at shaving than my regular old razor...now I want one for myself.
Oh, it comes with a small stand that also acts as the charger. Don't be fooled by the cleaning dock in the gallery for this shaver.
on September 18, 2012
After years of buying cheap electric shavers I decided to break down a try a Braun, but thought I'd start with an "inexpensive" one. After reading many reviews, I settled on a shaver that can be used in the shower and does not have the self-cleaning feature. Many reviews of the shavers with the self cleaning seemed less than satisfactory. And I didn't want to have to buy the pricey cleaning cartridges every few months.
I had high expectations for this device and after a month of use it has far exceeded my high expectations. It is built solidly, feels good in the hand even when wet, and gives a shave as close as a blade but without the irritation. The trimmer feature is excellent as well. I successfully hacked an uneven piece of my mustache off expecting it to perform like my previous Remington piece of junk. I only use it for my facial region so I can't comment on how it would work on a shaved noggin or other body parts.
There were a couple of reviews expressing dissatisfaction about the battery life. I suspect that those commentators did not read the instructions regarding the initial battery charge/discharge procedure. The instructions are clear and concise (once you get past the obligatory idiot warnings like 'not intended for use in woodworking projects'). Just follow the simple instructions and you should have a long and happy life of shaving. There were other comments about it being noisy. If you consider a slight hum to be noisy, you're spending too much time listening to Barry Manilow music. My Remington sounded like a weed whacker compared to this shaver.
I can't imagine that the really expensive shaver models would be any better than this so save your money and just buy this one! I don't typically give anything 5 stars but I honestly can't find a fault with this unit. If I do, I'll adjust my review accordingly at that time.
yes, my face is very soft and honestly this shaves as close as the 4-5 blade razors. I bought new blades for 19$ for 4 and thought wow, that's ridiculous. So I did a little research and bought this and am very glad I did. Shaves extremely close, is quiet, the battery lasts for at least one week (using daily) and it has a great little trimmer for sideburns or neck hair. If you want an electric razor, spend no more, look no more. this is it. It also is waterproof and specifically states you can use with shaving gel/foam and or soap. I don't but you can, probably ladies would be interested in that. Its much better than the braun I had 30 years ago, but not much has changed. I guess when its not broken, braun isn't going to fix it. That is impressive.
UPDATE 9/2014: OK, I have been using this for several months now, and thought I would update. First off, the good:
1- Shaves good --IF CLEAN.
2- Great battery life, (1 week plus)
3- light weight
4- nice charger stand
5- easy to disassemble and clean
6 trimmer works great
If this is not cleaned (rinsed out with blade off), every 2 days or so, you will notice the quality of the shave declines rapidly. It will get to the point it almost does nothing. So its imperative you keep this cleaned out. The other issue I have is that the trimmer is very awkward and kind of ungainly. Its good for trimming side burns, but its almost worthless for trimming around ears or neck because of the size and angles that the trimmer is mounted.
All in all for under 60$ I am very impressed and very happy. Initially I was going to remove a star, but as I think about it, my big issue is that I need to clean it? I mean that is a given, and how can I deduct for that. I point it out so that you are aware of it and you keep yours cleaned vs thinking its not working.
I hope this is helpful.
on March 11, 2012
I am a 45 year old guy who has never been able to shave every day. I usually shaved once a week with the typical 5 blade razor and shaving cream. If I tried to shave every day, my face would break out and I could not stand the pain of shaving it every day. I just started a new job where a clean shaven face is an unspoken rule. I knew the old stand by manual razor was not going to work. I started looking for an electric razor to use. I spent time researching on line to see what I wanted to get. I knew I wanted a braun but was not sure which one. I chose the 340-S because of the lower price and the fact that it is a wet dry shaver. I have had it a week now and have shaved every day but yesterday. The first couple of days there was some burning but really nothing that bad. This morning was basically pain free. As for the shave, it is pretty good. My hair grows in multiple directions and almost in circles in some places on my face so it has been tough to get them all. I also have very coarse, tough whiskers. I think with more time, I will figure out what I need to do to get all of them shaved and close. The places the braun does get all the whiskers, the shave is comparable to a manual razor and shaving cream. When I am done my face is soft and ready for the day. What more could I ask for?
on June 12, 2012
I only shave wet, at the end of my shower. I use shaving oil, but no creams. I have a tough, fast growing beard that has a grain that goes many directions. I also shave those dozen hairs on the top of my bald head once a week.
For years I used a Panasonic 8103 shaver and liked it. I maintained it properly, but it suddenly started to scrape and nick my face. It wasn't right after changing anything either. I never figured out why it started ripping up my face, but it didn't seem to have anything wrong with it either. It may have had to do with an old guy who lost weight and the skin is looser and thinner than in years gone by.
I then tried a Philips Norelco 1250x. It was smoother and the contour forming was better, but not that significant. I thought that the rotary action would mean it would work equally in all directions. Not really. It still only works best against the grain of the whiskers - like all shavers. It was the "best" at cutting of longer hairs, but the worst at making a clean line when doing so. I liked it better than the Panasonic, but after a month it quit working after a recharge. It took me a few days to get to the pain of the warranty process and when I tried it, it was working. It turns out that it is over charging and shutting itself off as a safety issue. When the charge drops down to spec, it works again. That isn't workable, except as a backup shaver.
I never had a Braun shaver before and figured it was time to try. This is the best shaver I've ever had. It's the smoothest with the fewest nicks (almost never). It's the closest, even though the others weren't much worse. It isn't particularly good at long hairs, but that makes it safer for the edges. It has the best trimmer, but that isn't saying much as most shavers have completely useless trimmers. This one is actually useful. I thought the ergonomics would be worse on this shaver, but it isn't an issue. It's easy to hold and use in all necessary positions.
When I first got it, the charge would last about a week and half. It slowly dropped to a week. It turns out that the orange light for low battery gives a very generous warning time - a little too long. So the battery memory was shortening. I started letting the shaver run all the way down when the orange light came on. The battery memory has returned back to normal and I'm back to 1.5 weeks between charges.
I've not tried any of these for dry shaving, so this is a wet-only review. Braun recommends shaving before cleaning, but I've always had the best results shaving at the end of my shower. If you shave wet, I can highly recommend this Braun 340S as the best option. Of course, your beard may be different, but it is certainly and easily the best I've ever used.
7 Months of use.
on December 2, 2012
I have been shaving with a blade for 50 years. A medical condition required me to make the switch. After considerable research, I picked the 340S. I couldn't be happier. I shave in the shower, with regular soap (Ivory, it suds up well) for lubrication. It shaves 99% as close as a blade. Still a few awkward-angle spots that are hard to get completely, but that was true with a blade too. No cuts, no irritation, same or less time. I've had no problems with it so far (3 months). Every two weeks, I turn it on and toss it on the bed until it runs down fully, then recharge it. It made three weeks once, but I think it might have been slowing down a bit. I am as picky and critical person as you can find (a perfectionist software designer) and I have to say, this product is really well designed and constructed. I was concerned about the few critical reviews here (I checked other sources too -- overwhelmingly positive reviews everywhere, but always a few negative) but my experience has been totally positive. If you get a bad one, send it back for another.