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A Terrible Step Down In Quality From Braun
on June 12, 2012
I've used a Braun electric razor for over 35 years Braun was the first company to come out with a cleaning system and their unusual foil has a multitude of worldwide patents. I have the 790cc which I've been crazy about for the few years I've had it. In fact my review of this razor was the first review I wrote for Amazon.
Unfortunately, when Proctor and Gamble bought out Braun for whatever reason they scrapped the small appliance division and replaced the Smart foil with the "new" Optifoil - it's a significant step backwards. Now, all of their razors once made in Germany are now made in China with the exception of the 7 series. And the now much compromised build quality in the lower end razors is significant.
Worse, P&G has discontinued the original cutting block and foil. A year ago I found one at a Bed Bath and Beyond and was glad I held onto it. Because this new replacement head couldn't be more generic nor a poorer performer.
What made the original work so well were the wide variety of shapes and sizes of the cut holes on the foil. Hexagons, octagons, half moons, circles, squares, an so on. It appeared random but there was a method to the madness. These foils cut effortlessly, quickly and literally as close to a blade as possible. The center blue strip that lifted the hairs up without pulling is gon as well. A shave head that really did last 18 months - now is shot within three-four months. Like printers the profit is in the ink. My guess is P&G want's the revenue from frequent head replacement - but at a dramatic drop in quality to the consumer.
The Braun innovative foil is gone forever and has been replaced with a sub par generic. I've tried it and it's terrible. Aesthetically it defeats the look of the razor with it's cheap matt finish plastic silver stamped "Series 7" in place of the gleaming chrome with the raised word "Pulsonic"
A minor point, but when you're paying $200-$300 for an electric razor you have every right to expect an uncompromised integrity and continuity of design.
The more pressing issue is that this "new" foil and cutter is really just poor in every respect. The only positive reviews about it are from new Braun users who don't have the experience with the original cutter block to make a fair comparison. I see a lot of reviews and comments on and off Amazon from long time Braun users who like me are so disappointed with this step down to mediocrity that they're looking for a new brand of electric razor.
Braun now exists in name only. This often happens when a giant buys out a small company - it's a shame Braun was a remarkable company with innovative products that exceeded your expectations. For those of you searching for the Optifoil with the blue strip, happy hunting -but I have yet to find a single one.