Braun Series 3 3040s Review - High Quality Budget Electric Shaver
Braun is constantly adding value to their line of electric razors, and with the introduction of the series 3 line up, it still holds true.
With the series 3 shavers, you get performance and features of the higher series lineups without the cost.
This review will cover the series 3 3040s. You will learn about the shaver and all of its parts and features. You will also learn how the shaver performs and get to know the pros and cons.
I'll also compare 3040s to other series 3 shavers so you can make a better-informed decision for your next electric razor purchase.
A Quick Glance at Braun 3040s
One of the best electric shavers for those on a budget or those who start their electric shaving journey.
Overview of the Shaver
The 3040s is designed for the budget conscious and beginner electric razor user. If you have never used an electric razor before, the 3040s is designed to make the transition quick and easy.
If you don’t want to spend over $200 for a top-of-the-line style shaver with all the added bells and whistles, the 3040s has you covered too. You have just enough features to get a nice, comfortable shave without having to spend too much money.
The 3040s is a foil shaver with 3 cutting surfaces. The design is the same as it is in the Braun series 7 and series 9 trimmers. The 3040s however, does not have a pivoting head. The two edge heads are covered in foil that collects the hairs so the blades can cut them. The center cutter lifts hair and cuts through coarse beards with relative ease.
Cordless design, the 3040 uses a Nickle Metal Hydride (NiMH) rechargeable battery that will offer up to 45 minutes of shave time on a single charge. You also have the option of quick charge where you can get enough battery power for a single shave in just five minutes.
The 3040s is also wet/dry certified and can be used with foam, gel or creams. Cleaning the head is done by rinsing it off under running water. The entire unit is also 100 percent waterproof allowing you to use it while in the shower if that is your preference.
Accessories - What Do You Get
Inside the box you will find a spare blade head (marked packages only). The heads are designed to be replaced about every 12 to 15 months. When you purchase the 3040s, you will have two years’ worth of heads already.
You will then find the cleaning brush inside the box. The brush is meant to help clean the heads when dry by brushing out loose clippings and debris. The power cord is also included. This will be used to charge your shaver when the battery gets low.
Lastly, you will find the shaver itself. It already has a small charge on the battery so you can test it. However, it is recommended you give the shaver a full charge before using it on your face.
Unlike the series 7 and 9 shavers, you do not get a travel pouch or charging and cleaning station. To save costs, Braun has left these things out. However, you get a head cover that does extend down past the On/Off switch to prevent it from being activated while packed in a bag for travel.
Build Quality & Reliability
The 3040s has an ergonomic design that provides a firm grip and it's very easy to maneuver. Even when the unit is wet, it still holds firmly in your hand.
The plastic and rubber design is solid and rugged and assembled well. The black plastic has both glossy and matte finishes, and the rubber has added bumps to provide grip with wet or covered in foam.
The weight is nice, and the entire unit feels sturdy and firm in your hand. The reliable shaver comes with the standard Braun two-year warranty. The warranty will cover defects in craftsmanship but will not cover damage due to accidents, misuse or neglect. It also does not cover the blade heads as these are designed to wear out and be replaced.
Features of the 3040s
The feature list of the 3040s is kept fairly small. Designed to be without frills and a shaver that just does its job.
The shaving head uses the familiar three-cutting head system. Two foil blades for shorter hair and stubble and the middle blade for longer and more difficult hairs. The middle blade has a ring around it with guide slots designed to guide hairs to the blade more efficiently.
The body also has a long hair trimmer that you can slide up with your thumb. This will help trim sideburns and mustaches. You will also find a battery level indicator that is 3 LED lights.
The shaver is waterproof and has rubber sides to provide good grip even when wet. Since it is also certified wet/dry usage, you can also use the shaver with shaving cream, foam, and gel.
As a safety feature, you cannot operate the shaver with the charging cord attached. You can charge the battery to full in about an hour or use the quick charge setting to charge the battery in five minutes. The quick charge feature will only provide enough battery power for a single shave.
3040s User Experience
The shave and general user experience is what's important, and the 3040s does its job.
The battery in the 3040s is a NiMH rechargeable battery that will provide up to 45 minutes of run time on a single charge. It will recharge from dead to full in just about an hour. However, if you are in a hurry, you can opt for the quick charge and let the battery recover for five minutes. Doing so will prove enough power to shave one time.
The NiMH battery will hold a charge, unused, for several days. Unlike a Lithium-ion, though, it will start to diminish after a few days. The charging cord isn’t very long and will need to be placed close to an outlet to charge the unit.
When dry shaving the razor holds up very well. If you do prefer to dry shave, you will notice that the more frequent you shave, the better your results will be. The razor does have a tendency to have issues with longer hairs, such as those that occur when you only shave every other day or every two days. (That's quite normal for a foil shaver)
Another drawback to the dry shave is the middle blade does heat up, and you can feel it get hot against your skin.
Wet shaving though, is completely different. No heat buildup, the foam and gels get taken away instead of smeared, and the overall shave is closer and with virtually no tugging, pulling or irritation.
One highlight of the 3040s shaver is that unlike most other foil shavers, there is not a lot of noise. The entire unit is quieter than expected.
Longer hairs will need a couple of extra passes, and the side trimmer doesn’t do a perfect job, even after a few passes on the sideburns, you may still have to go back again.
Overall the experience is good. You will not have irritation or razor burn; the shave is comfortable and close.
Cleaning & Maintenance
The 3040s does not come with a cleaning station. You can use the brush to dust off the foils or run the unit under water. Rinsing in running water is the better option. You can also remove the head from the unit and clean it under water and use your fingers to knock loose any clippings or debris.
The shaved head should be replaced, on average, about every 12 to 15 months. You will be able to tell when the blades begin to get dull as you will have more pulling and snagging when you shave.
The replacement heads are easily found and are a decent price.
Comparing 3040s to Other Series 3 Shavers
The Braun series 3 line up has three different models:
I'll compare the 3040s to the other series 3 models.
3040s vs. 3050cc
3040s vs. 3080s
Who Should Buy the 3040s
Anyone looking for a quality electric shaver that doesn’t mind giving up premium features to shave from paying premium prices will benefit from the 3040s.
If you have never used an electric razor or are on a budget, the 3040s could be the option for you. You won’t have a lot of things the more expensive shavers offer, such as pivoting heads, automatic cleaning, and charging. However, you will save quite a bit of money and get a very good close shave.