Braun Series 3 3040s Review: A Solid Budget Shaver

Review Summary Editor's choice

Pros: smooth, close and comfortable shaves, surprisingly good performance with longer, flat-lying hairs, solidly built with good ergonomics, wet & dry use, long hair trimmer, inexpensive and durable replacement head, good battery life, easy to clean, reasonably priced

Cons: can feel a bit underpowered at times, not the best long hair trimmer, works best for daily or two days shaving, no travel pouch or lubricant included, noisy

Our Rating:

[4 out of 5 stars]

Buy the Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3040s

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Braun’s refreshed Series 3 ProSkin range is set to maintain its strong position in the affordable shavers segment.

The Series 3 ProSkin 3040s, the successor of the highly popular 340s-4, is likely to become a best-seller by balancing cost and features.

This, along with its worldwide availability make the 3040s model the pick of the ProSkin range.

Without further ado, let’s see how well the Braun 3040s performed in our review and if it would be a good fit for you.

We’ll also compare it to a few similarly priced options from Braun and from the competition.

Braun 3040s features overview

The 3040s is part of the wet & dry razors from the Series 3 ProSkin and sits somewhere in the middle of the pack considering its price and features.

The shaver comes with the usual three-blade setup, with two outer foils for cutting stubble close to the skin and one middle trimmer that tackles longer hairs.

Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3040s shaving head.

Around this trimmer, there is a micro-comb that should feed hairs more effectively to the cutters.

The three cutting elements can move independently and the blades and foils are integrated into a single cassette, so they can’t be bought and replaced separately.

The shaver also has an integrated long hair trimmer, a 3-level LED indicator for battery status and it can only be operated cordless.

Other noteworthy features are the 5-minute quick charge option and 100% waterproofing, allowing it to be used in the shower as well.

Overall, the 3040s is a basic, no-frills razor that gets the job done.

Build quality and ergonomics

Upon first holding the razor in hand, you will notice that it’s nicely weighted and has a substantial girth.

The generous blue rubber inserts provide a fantastic grip and can be handled very securely, even when it’s wet or covered in foam.

Braun 3040s held in hand.

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The materials used are plastic with both matte and glossy treatments; the razor feels very solid and durable and in my subjective opinion it looks even better than its predecessor.

The hair trimmer is positioned on the back of the razor and slides forward, barely passing the shaving head when fully extended.

Braun Series 3 3040s trimmer.

The power button is rubberized and it takes quite a lot of force to press it. Since the 3040s doesn’t feature a travel lock, I guess this is a good thing as there is no way you could turn it on by mistake.

Series 3 plastic cap covering the ON OFF button.

The protective cap does extend over the ON/OFF switch and also acts as a travel lock, so props to Braun for trying to make up for the lack of a built-in one.

Overall, the 3040s fares very well as far as build quality and ergonomics are concerned.

I would have liked the body of the shaver to taper a bit since it’s rather bulky, but with that generous grippy teal rubber, it’s not really an issue.

My only other gripe with the otherwise excellent ergonomics has to do with the use of glossy plastic on the shaving head. It becomes very slippery when wet or when used with shaving cream and it’s a bit of a pain to remove.

Besides, you must be extra careful as you have to squeeze the sides hard to remove it and when the head finally pops out you could drop it and damage it.

You can check out our short unboxing video below:

Battery life and charging

In the case of the 3040s, it’s pretty much the usual business with regards to battery life and charging.

As previously mentioned, the razor can only be operated cordless as a safety precaution. It comes with a rechargeable Ni-Mh battery that provides enough power for 45 minutes of use.

Charging the razor is done with the included brick, pretty compact in size and one that also features the old extendable cord (it was discontinued and replaced by a regular, straight cord).

The shavers sold in the USA will come with a USA power plug (my review unit was bought from Europe).

There is a convenient 5-minute quick charge feature for those times when you’re in a hurry and the battery is completely drained.

Speaking of which, battery life proved to be excellent, pretty much on par with the best razors I’ve used in this regard.

I constantly got a bit more than the claimed 45 minutes from a single charge, so battery life is very solid.

Cleaning and maintenance

The refreshed Series 3 family also includes shavers that come with Braun’s excellent cleaning & charging station, like the 3090cc and 3050cc.

That’s not the case with the 3040s in our review, so you’ll have to resort to manually cleaning your razor. And that’s pretty easy to do.

If you use the 3040s for dry shaving only, just remove the shaving head and tap it out on a flat surface. With the included brush, remove the hair clippings and debris from the inner area of the head.

Do not use the brush on the foils or inner blades as this can damage them. You can also rinse the parts under running water for a more thorough cleaning.

Cleaning the Braun 3040s with tap water.

Once in a while, it’s a good idea to use a bit of liquid soap and warm tap water to remove older debris and grit that may have stuck to the cutting parts.

This cleaning method is mandatory after every use if you’re shaving with cream or gel.

Cleaning the 3040s with soap and water.

This is when a shaver that has separate cutters and foils is usually easier to clean; Braun uses a cassette that integrates both, making it a bit more difficult to clean thoroughly compared to a Panasonic foil shaver for example.

Series 3 cassette (left) vs Panasonic Arc 3 foil head (right)
Series 3 cassette (left) vs Panasonic Arc 3 foil head (right).

To maximize the performance and minimize the wear on the cutting parts, it’s recommended to apply one drop of fine machine oil on the foils once a week, especially if you regularly clean your razor with water.

Braun includes a small bottle of lubricating oil with some of its razors. But not with this one, which is a bit odd since it’s a wet/dry shaver that is likely to be cleaned with water and soap.

Shaving performance

Let’s now get to the most important part of the Series 3 3040s review and see how well it shaves.

I was actually expecting a familiar experience with the 3040s since it’s not very different from the older Series 3 380s-4 and 340s-4 I reviewed some time ago.

It turns out I was right. And that’s a good thing for the most part.

Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3040s

Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3040s

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I used the Series 3 ProSkin 3040s exclusively for two weeks; during this time, I shaved daily, every other day and every two to three days.

The dry shaving performance was quite good overall; I got the best results when I shaved more often with the 3040s.

This wasn’t a surprise as in my experience the lower-end foil electric razors yield the best results when used daily or every other day.

The closeness was adequate for the most part and the comfort was excellent.

The razor does a very good job at shaving short hair, but has some trouble with longer, flat-lying hairs from a few days of growth.

Some were left behind and I had to go over certain areas a few times. Again, nothing out of the ordinary for a basic electric shaver.

In fact, it was quite a bit better compared to other similarly priced electric razors, like the Arc 3 from Panasonic.

I didn’t experience any discomfort during use, be it irritation, razor burn or hairs being yanked. Also, using an electric pre-shave (Speick pre-electric lotion in my case) seemed to help.

While the dry shaving experience was good, using the 3040s with shaving cream was even better, especially with regard to closeness.

I know most men will prefer to shave dry as it takes less time and you don’t have to mess around with lather, but if wet shaving is your thing, you can definitely use the 3040s with your favorite cream or gel.

The Series 3 is definitely not the quietest electric shaver out there; it emits a raspy buzz and also vibrates a bit more than Braun’s high-end shavers.

Overall, I highly recommend buying this razor if you’re planning on shaving daily or every other day and need a gentle and inexpensive shaver; longer hairs can be a challenge for even top-of-the-line razors.

Now for the negatives.

In my subjective experience, the Series 3 from Braun can sometimes feel a bit underpowered and as a result, shaving takes somewhat longer than with other shavers (more on this in the alternatives section).

However, this will only be a problem if you have very thick and dense facial hair.

While shaving dry, the middle trimmer did get a little hot. The two outer foils remained comfortably cool though.

I strongly recommend putting a drop of fine machine oil on the middle trimmer if you’re planning on using it dry, as this helps with the heating issue.

The long hair trimmer was a bit of a mixed bag.

While its positioning and shape were spot on, it didn’t feel sharp enough. When tweaking my sideburns it would sometimes leave hairs behind, even after additional passes.

To be honest though, even the Series 9 trimmer works pretty much the same, so I can’t really complain.

Included accessories

The standard package includes the bare essentials only:

Braun 3040s accessories
  • 3040s razor
  • Charging cord
  • Protective cap
  • Cleaning brush

No travel case and lubricating oil are present, unfortunately.

My particular review unit, which had Limited Edition written on the packaging, included a free 32b shaving head replacement as seen in the image above.

This was a very pleasant surprise that pretty much makes up for the lack of other accessories.

Replacement parts availability

The updated Series 3 ProSkin uses the same 32b/32s replacement cassettes as the older razors.

Series 3 ProSkin shaving head

They now feature a redesigned micro-comb around the middle trimmer that comes in white instead of black.

Other than that, they seem to be exactly the same. And that’s probably a good thing since they tend to last more than the average cutters and also cost less.

Braun Series 3 32B

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Side note: the models in the regular Series 3 like the 300s, not the ProSkin range, use a different (and less capable) cassette called 21b, but they are cross-compatible.

Wrapup — Who should buy the 3040s?

The Series 3 3040s is definitely a great product in its category — an affordable, solid razor that offers good value for money and performs very well, especially when used more often.

If we consider Braun’s reputation for making reliable products, the inexpensive and long-lasting replacement cutters and the reasonable purchase price, the 3040s is shaping up to be a pretty good deal.

Anyone who doesn’t need all the features of premium razors but also doesn’t want to pay the premium price should consider it.

Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3040s

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Beginners should also look at the 3040s for their first shaver. Its great ergonomics, decent price and the fact that it’s a basic razor, easy to use and to maintain make it a solid option.

The smooth and comfortable operation makes it suitable for men with sensitive skin.

Lastly, its wet shaving capabilities were impressive, so I highly recommend it for shaving with cream or gel.

Alternative shavers

As I said in the performance section, my only real complaint about the way the 3040s performs is that it doesn’t shave quite as close, especially when compared to similarly priced Panasonic models.

An Arc 3 Panasonic like the ES-LT67 and ES-LL41-K that have a 13 000 CPM motor will shave a bit faster and closer.

Panasonic Arc 3 ES-LT67


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On the downside, Panasonic uses cutters and foils that are more expensive and, at least in theory, wear out faster.

The Panasonic is also a bit more aggressive, especially during a dry shave. So if you have sensitive skin, it may not be the best option.

Another option would be the Series 3 ProSkin 3010s, which is basically identical to the 3040s, except that it lacks the extendable hair trimmer.

The Series 3 3010s front and back view.
Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3010s (front and back). You can notice the absence of the slide-out trimmer on the back.

However, if you can get past that and you can buy it for less money, it’s a really good alternative.

Finally, there’s the issue of wet and dry use.

Some men will never use their electric razors with shaving cream; they don’t want the extra hassle of lathering and cleaning the razor or it simply doesn’t make much of a difference in terms of closeness or comfort.

If you’re in this situation, you could opt for the budget-friendly 3000s.

This one is usually among the most affordable Series 3 models you can buy and as a bonus, it will also work corded:

See the price on Amazon

Performance-wise, it’s identical to the 3040s that we tested in this review, uses the same shaving head, but just like the 3010s, it doesn’t have a slide-out trimmer.

Even if it’s a dry only shaver, it’s still waterproof and you can safely clean it with water.

Article by

Hey. I’m Ovidiu, the founder and editor of ShaverCheck. I independently buy and test electric shavers and I’ve been sharing my findings on this site for more than 10 years, hopefully helping others choose a suitable shaver.

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49 thoughts on “Braun Series 3 3040s Review: A Solid Budget Shaver”

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  1. It’s replacement head costs about Rupees 3850 which we have to spend for 18 months…this is bit extra cost as machine itself Rs4500

  2. I had given up on electric shavers decades ago because of my sensitive skin, but decided to try the Braun 3040s after reading your review. Even shaving dry with it, I have not experienced any significant irritation. I do notice that it sometimes misses a hair, and have to go back over the spot repeatedly to get it, but this is so much more convenient than a manual razor that it’s worth the extra effort! Thank you for the review!

    • Hi Dan,

      Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with the 3040s. I’m glad to hear you found the review helpful. Less advanced electric shavers can miss stubborn stray hairs, but as you said it is a minor inconvenience given the benefits.


  3. The replacement foil is near cost as much as the razor. come on Braun get these foil prices down, or will be chaning make.

    • The price usually varies between $20 and $25, which is lower than what you’ll be paying in the case of other foil shavers.


  4. Besides the long hair trimmer, is there a difference between this model and the Shave & Style model which comes with a set of combs?

    • The sound of the Arc 4 has a higher frequency and you can perceive it as being louder because of that. As for the trimmer, the one on the Arc 4 is clearly superior, it cuts way better.

  5. Will the 3050’s Charge & Clean station work with the 3040? And if so, is the clean station available as a separate purchase?

    • No, it won’t work with the 3040s or with any other Series 3 models that didn’t originally come with a cleaning station. Only the Series 7 solo models will work with a compatible station purchased separately.

  6. It would appear from the picture that this shaver does not have a UK mains plug! The one shown is a Euro plug. Do I really have to use it with a bulky mains adapter in the UK?

    • Hi,

      They are apparently sold only with the Europlug in Europe, so you would need an adapter to use it in the UK.


  7. Hi!

    I’ve been using a Braun Series 3 Wet&Dry 380s-4 since 2012. I am not satisfied with it at all. But it’s not that bad as my previous cheap Phillips rotary (that tore out my skin so hard). Very slow, and impossible to maintain a close shave without a proper preshave. Does really messy work. Been using standard Gillette blades instead, but want to go for a new electric one – without compromise. I have sensitive skin, a little flat beard at my neck area, but my beard isn’t coarse at all.

    Which waterproof model would you recommend, if money is not an aspect, and my goal is a fast, clean, close shave? (I don’t need a cleaning station, but I’m okay with it.)

    • Hi,

      I would go for a Series 5 or, better yet, a Series 7 if money is not an issue. They are vastly superior to the Series 3 and perfectly suitable for sensitive skin. You can opt for any of the s (solo) models as they don’t come with a cleaning station. For example, the Series 5 5040s or Series 7 7983s are two such models that are also waterproof. You can check out all the details about the various S5 and S7 models here and here.

      Hope this helps.


  8. Can this model be used as trimmer? Means can the trimmer kits be set up in this model? Or is it just a shaver?
    In short can I trim beard with this?

  9. Hi, does this shaver can baby smooth close shaved? If yes how many times do we need to repeat at the same area to achieve baby smooth result?

    • Hi,

      That really depends on your facial hair. Someone with light to medium hair can get a very close shave, but the 3040s is really just a simple, entry-level shaver, so I wouldn’t really expect a bbs shave.


  10. I have used this model for the last 5 years, it is not bad and I do find my complexion feels a lot smoother after a wet shave. Recently the cassette light has come on indicating new foil needed. Was therefore looking to just purchase another razor within that price range and was wondering if there are better alternatives within that category or whether I should stick to this model. Also, is the clean and charge station worth it or is it just a gimmick from Braun. Please email back.

    • Hi Andrew,

      If you were satisfied with the performance, I would suggest sticking to the same model. In the same price range (although a bit more expensive) there’s the Panasonic Arc 3 ES8103S, but as mentioned in the alternatives section of the review, it comes with its own specific shortcomings.

      In my opinion you shouldn’t bother getting a Series 3 with a cleaning station.


  11. Shifting from razor to Braun Series 3 3040s. Not as close a shave but excellent nonetheless. No more nicks and cartridge purchases. No need for shaving cream. Very happy with this purchase so far. It doesn’t pull on the whiskers much. I thought it wasn’t cutting anything but it was. Just need a few passes.

    • Thank you for your comment, Antonio. That sounds about right — it’s not the closest shaving machine out there, but definitely good enough for the money and pretty comfortable as well.


  12. Hi I’ve been using my 3040s for 10 months now and feel sometimes I get a great shave from it and sometimes it underperfomes. I oil it once a month. Do I oil the springs or just the cassette?

    Also I worry about overcharging it. Is this possible?

    • Hi,

      There’s no need to oil the springs, just a couple of drops on each of the three cutters will suffice (make sure to spread it with your finger and let the shaver run for a few seconds). I personally would do it more often though, like at least three times a month.

      As long as the shaver is charged, reasonably clean and lubricated, the performance should be consistent. There may be some other factors that affect the quality of the shave, not necessarily related to the shaver (maybe your skin is a bit damp which isn’t ideal during a dry shave, maybe your beard is a bit longer than usual, etc.). No worries about overcharging it. You should also charge it as often as you need to, the battery won’t be affected.


    • It is very effective as a lubricant, however, I wouldn’t really recommend it for electric shavers since it’ll be touching your skin. Clipper oil would be a safer option.


  13. Thanks for this great resource Ovidiu.

    My 380s is dying after many years of solid use, and so time to replace. It looks like I’ll be going with the 3040. I do worry though that Braun may be soon to release a new version, since the 3040 has been out for a while. Oh well.

    One question, re charging. In the 3040 manual it says initial charge is 4 hours then do a complete discharge, then charge again to full, and after that the shaver should only take an hour to charge. I’m wondering though if that second charge to full should also be for four hours. Braun doesn’t specify. Any thoughts? I know NIMH batteries can be finicky, so want to get it right.

    Thanks again for your great content which quickly helped remind me why I like foil shavers the best.

    • Hi Phil,

      Thank you for the comment, I really appreciate it.

      I wouldn’t be too worried about Braun discontinuing the Series 3, it’s still going strong and even in the event of an update, the older ones will continue to be sold alongside (the same goes for the replacement cassettes). After the initial 4-hour charge, you should just charge your shaver normally (1 hour or until fully charged which is usually done in less than one hour).


      • Hi Ovidiu,

        Well I just got the 3040s today, and there’s 1 hour left for the initial 4 hour charge. I’m lucky (thank you Braun), that the case and stand which came with the 380s will also work with the 3040s. I was interested to see on the outer box it says that the 3040s shaver unit and the protective cap are made in Germany, with the brush being made in China. (The power adapter is also made in China). I got 4 months short of 10 years usage out of the 380s. We’ll see what happens with this one. As you note the power adapter no longer includes the coiled cord. I prefer the coiled cord to the straight one provided with the 3040s, but I expect that I can just continue to use the cord from the 380s instead.

        Ovidiu, I will be reading up next on your shaver maintenance and cleaning content. The 380s lasted remarkably well considering it was not cleaned as often as it should have been. I hope to do a better job with the 3040s. I do have some of the machine oil at least.

        Thank you again for all the detailed information that you provide.

        Best Regards,


        • Hi Phil,

          Thank you for the comment, much appreciated.

          The 3040s, as well as the other models in the Series 3 ProSkin lineup, is pretty much the same as the former generation (380s, 340s, etc) minus the design changes, so I am confident that it will be very reliable. Many of the previous accessories will still work, so you can certainly use the coiled cord (I also prefer it) and the charging stand.


  14. Hi,
    I have been looking at purchasing this as a first electric shaver for my son.
    He has autism and I am now put off after you mentioned how loud it is.
    Are you aware of a similar shaver which is quieter?

    • Hi Stacey,

      It is loud and may be too much in this case. It emits a raspy buzz and also vibrates which can only accentuate the perceived noise. All foil shavers are loud I’m afraid, so I cannot really recommend a similar shaver because of that.

      The only option would be a rotary shaver which is significantly quieter, but it is in my opinion more difficult to use, especially for someone just getting started with electric shavers. It requires circular motions and gentle pressure. I wrote more about the pros and cons of foils and rotaries here — maybe you can get a better idea if a rotary would be a viable option. I recommend the Philips Shaver 2300 or Shaver 3500 in that case, those are easier to use than most.


  15. Hi Ovidiu
    I have written to you before with compliments for your thorough and readable information. It is a life saver.
    I have just purchased a 3040S (541B / 32B) but it did not come with a plastic protective cap. Do you know where I might purchase one? I can go online.
    It did come with a zip case.
    Many thanks. Patrick K (Sydney Australia)

    • Patrick, thank you for the kind words, much appreciated.

      The part number for the protective cap that will fit your 3040s is Braun 81559881. Unfortunately not many online shops seem to have it in stock. I did manage to find it here, but I do not have any personal experience ordering from that particular shop. It seems trustworthy though.


  16. My ancient 6520 won’t die, however the battery barely holds a charge… my 13 year old Series 5 (w/ cleaning station) finally disintegrated & fixing it seemed unlikely…& based on some other reviews I’d read on current Braun options left me with concerns on investing in one of Braun’s higher end models. Your Series 3 / 3040s review was spot on, very happy with the purchase. Only one question, from the Toronto Canada area: My understanding was ‘Made in Germany’ models were primarily available in Europe, while North America/USA/Canada received the ‘Designed in Germany’ (Made in China) models. I managed to find/purchase a Made in Germany Series 3 at our local Walmart. Wondered if you had any perspective on this?

    • Hi Mike,

      Many thanks for the comment — I’m glad your happy with your new Series 3 3040s. This one is in my opinion the budget Braun shaver to buy nowadays — the new Series 5 and 6 aren’t better in my opinion, while the Series 7 360 Flex is more powerful but not really comfortable and a downgrade from the old Series 7. The next better Braun shaver would be the Series 8, but it cost a lot more than a Series 3.

      I don’t think that Made in Germany matters so much nowadays. For example, large subcomponents can be made in China and assembled in Germany, hence the Made in Germany text on the box. Also, I got a couple of Series 3 shavers from Europe and both are Made in China and have the German Technology label as well. And the quality is solid.

      As for the USA and European models, I think it has to do more with the family of the shavers; the Series 7, 8, 9 and 9 Pro are usually Made in Germany, while the more budget oriented models like the Series 1, 3 and 5 are usually Made in China. I don’t think I’ve ever bought a Made in Germany Series 3 (and I live in Europe). But as I mentioned, it doesn’t really mean anything.


  17. I bought a 3040s 3 weeks ago from Argos £75. Did as per instructions re charging. Let it discharge till red light appears for a few hours. Just had a wet shave and before I finished red light appeared. Are there problems you know of in this regard.

    • Hi Philip,

      Just to make sure I understand this correctly. Did the red light come on after a single shave (with a fully charged battery)? If so, you should ask for a replacement. The Series 3 ProSkin and the 3040s are actually very reliable, with no such recurring issues.


    • Hi, Ovidiu
      Do u know any shaver recommendations for baby smooth results? Close shave? And price not that expensive? Perhaps medium? Thank you,

      • Hi Henry,

        Check out the Panasonic Arc 4 ES-LF51-A. That one is the closest-shaving mid-range shaver in my experience. You can read more about it in this post. If you cannot find it, the Arc 5 ES-LV65/ES-LV67 would also be a great option, but it usually costs more than the ES-LF51-A.



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