Braun is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to products like electric razors. I’m honestly surprised to see anything from them that’s this inexpensive. The M90 comes in at about twenty five bucks and I have seen it for cheaper on special. That little to own a Braun product is something special.
The M90 looks freaking awesome. The matte-black and brushed metal finished really appeals to me personally. There’s nothing flamboyant about this design. It’s just pure, understated coolness. Most importantly, it looks far more expensive than it actually is. That’s a big bonus in my book.
It has a little swinging arm that makes it ready for travel. With the lock arm up the shaver can’t turn on inside your luggage and you’ll avoid those not-so-fun TSA inspections at the airport.
Curses, Foiled Again
This is a foil razor and given the size it is no surprise that it has only one head. It is however quite wide and free-floating, so it should still follow the contours of your face quite nicely. Braun has some of the best foil razor head designs, so my expectation is that this will perform very well against other mobile shavers.
Batteries Not Included
One of the reasons the cost has been kept down is that the M90 does not include an internal rechargeable battery. Instead you have to provide your own AA batteries. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It means you can use rechargeables of your choice and that in a pinch you can just buy batteries from the closest store or the hotel lobby. When you think about it, a travel shaver that does not rely on AC charging at all can actually be a big advantage.
Braun has somehow managed to find space to include an extendable trimmer for sideburns, mustaches, and beards. This is almost standard issue on regular razors, but I’m impressed to see it at this size and at this price.
Another good travel feature is that the M90 is washable. Just put it under a running tap. There is also an included cap for the foil, which means that muck, lint, and dust won’t get inside the head while traveling. Cordless razors that are meant to be used at home can get really filthy if you don’t bag them and the M90 neatly sidesteps that issue altogether. Braun will, however, sell you a hard case for the M90 if you really feel you need it.
Trouble in Paradise
Everything I’ve said about the M90 paints a picture of what seems like the perfect travel shaver. From one point of view, that’s true. It is very inexpensive, so you won’t mind too much if it gets lost or stolen. It’s compact and free of voltage standard worries and battery anxiety.
On the other hand, the foil seems to be a little inadequate for anything but the lightest growth. So if you are planning on using this to trim once every few days, you’ll be out of luck.
For daily shaving or light beard maintenance, the M90 will serve well, however.
The other problem is with the wide foil design. Since it does not float, the foil has been made wide to compensate. The problem with have a wide, thin foil screen however is that it’s prone to cracking and I do see complaints to that effect with the M90.
I can’t help but like the M90. It hits so many of the right cues for an affordable travel razor that I have a hard time criticizing it. And yet, this is still fundamentally a rather flawed product. While under the right conditions it can give a nice close shave, you’ll have to look for extra assistance from somewhere if you skip a shave.
I’ve seen a lot of people say that it works best if you use a thin layer of shaving cream, but that sort of defeats the point of an electric shaver. Of course, the inclusion of the side-trimmer goes a long way to rectifying that issue. If you have a few errant hairs that are too long for the foil to handle, you can quickly get rid of them with the trimmer.
So while the M90 is not perfect by any means, I have a hard time thinking of anything designed for travel, at this price, that would have it beat. It really is the king of its own tiny little kingdom. So if you want what the M90 is selling, you shouldn’t hesitate.