The Silk Epil 3 is the entry point into Braun’s range of epilators. While it may lack some of the fancier features of the high end models, it promises effective epilation at an affordable price.
Is this the right epilator for you? We answer that question and more in our detailed review of the Silk Epil 3.
Braun Silk Epil 3
If you were to tear open the box of your brand new Silk Epil 3 epilator, this is what you would find inside:
Let’s break it down
- Silk Epil 3 epilator 3170
- Charging adapter
- Cleaning brush
You will also find an instruction book included in the box. As is common on lower model Braun products, there are very few accessories included in the box.
Note: this is the American Silk Epil 3 3170. Even if your epilator comes with different accessories, the core unit will remain the same in terms of features and functions.
The Silk epil 5 is the ugly sister in Brauns range of epilators It’s stumpy design with purple highlights is hardly what you would call good looking. Braun has a habit of making it’s lowest product models unattractive in an effort to get you to jump up to the next model.
But looks are not everything. Philips Satinelle Prestige proved that even the most stunning looks count for nothing if the epilator cannot effectively pluck hairs.
Front and center on the epilator you will find the power button:
Sliding the switch upwards will not only turn the epilator on but also allow you to choose from one of two different speed settings:
- II – Gentle/Slow speed setting
- I – Efficient/High speed setting
- O – Off
We were not big fans of the switch. While it worked, it was stiff and unresponsive. From the off position it was nearly impossible to select the slow speed, instead the switch would slide right past to the faster speed setting.
On the top side of the switch; pointed directly at the head of the epilator, is an LED light:
Braun calls this the SmartLight. With the power turned on the light will illuminate the area of skin directly in front of the epilator head.
The light helps to highlight those fine blonde hairs that are otherwise easily missed when epilating. The SmartLight is a handy feature. When we Reviewed the Silk Epil 5 Wet&Dry , which lacks the SmartLight, we noticed that blonde hairs were more frequently missed.
Flipping the Silk Epil 3 over reveals a fairly plain looking exterior.
Looks are not important here since this area of the epilator will be covered by your fingers durung use.
To help you keep a better grip on the unit, the center of the rear features small raised bumps.
At the base of the rear you can find some basic specifications:
It is here that you can find some identifying specifications that can assist you with trouble shooting. We liked that Braun lists the compatible power adapter as well as the type of epilator (5320). If you ever misplace your instruction manual you can use the specs to identify your epilator when troubleshooting.
You will also find the country of manufacture printed here. Like all of the Silk Epil range, Braun manufacturers the Silk Epil 3 in Germany.
At the top of the epilator you will find the epilating head:
This is the part of the epilator that plucks your hairs. And how it works is very simple.
The epilator is essentially a spinning drum that contains tiny discs (tweezers) that open and close. As the disc clamps down on your hair and the drum spins, the hair is plucked at the root.
Scattered along the drum are a series of raised plastic teeth. These teeth not only help raise flat laying hairs but also help guide them towards the tweezers.
You may have been wondering what those purple spikes that line the top and bottom of the epilator drum are. These are the massage rollers.
Some people, especially beginners, find epilating to be a painful experience. And who can blame them? I mean you are essentially ripping hairs from the root right out of your skin.
As you glide the epilator across your skin these massage rollers will rotate; yielding a sharp but not uncomfortable sensation. This sensation helps to somewhat reduce the painful feeling of having your hairs plucked.
While the massage rollers are useful for beginners, they do add a little hight to the epilator head. To experience the closest possible epilation you will have to remove the rollers
Fortunately, removing the massage roller attachment is as simple as giving it a quick tug.
With the massage roller removed the Silk Epil 3 can now be used at maximum efficiency.
Sticking out either side of the epilator is a small plastic button:
Pressing both of these buttons at the same time, with your forefinger and thumb, and pulling up on the epilator head at the same time will allow you to remove it from the body of the Silk Epil 3.
Removing the head makes cleaning a simpler task, allowing you to angle the head in any direction while you brush the hair clippings out of the tweezers.
At the very bottom of the Silk Epil 3 you will find a small socket:
It is here that you plug in the power cord.
The Silk Epil 3 does not contain a rechargeable battery and must be plugged into an electrical outlet in order to work.
The 7 foot long cord will give you a bit of freedom to get comfortable near an electrical outlet. If you prefer the idea of an epilator that you can use anywhere then you might want to shop around.
With the epilator plugged in and ready for use it is now time to take the Silk Epil 3 for a test-drive.
For the purpose of testing I enlisted the help of 4 other users. The following contains summaries of our experience with the Silk Epil 3.
The rounded shape of the epilator is hardly what you would call ergonomic. Testers with smaller hands found it to be a little on the large side.
Interestingly, each tester held the epilator differently. Some held it in a clenched fist while others held it between their fingers and thumb. Admittedly the rounded design does not make it clear as to how the Silk Epil 3 is supposed to be held. Through trial and error each tester was eventually able to get a somewhat comfortable grip.
The Silk Epil 3 is quite loud even on the slower speed setting. We do not recommend turning it on while others in your home are sleeping; the noise will surely wake them.
Before epilating you will have to either trim your hairs to length or shave/wax them and epilate the shorter hairs. The Silk Epil 3 works best on hairs between 0.08 and 0.2 inches tall. Any longer than the epilator had a habit of breaking the hair rather than pulling it from the root.
Running the epilator over our legs worked better for some of our testers than others. While the epilator worked wonders at pulling leg hairs, it did require multiple passes. No tester was able to remove all the hairs in a single pass, even moving the epilator incredibly slowly and following the instructions set out in the user manual.
The LED SmartLight made it easy to spot finer blonde hairs that made up some of our testers leg hair.
We found the slow speed setting worked best on these fine hairs. And once again multiple passes were required before we were satisfied all hair had been removed.
The wide opening of the epilator made it difficult to be precise. Unfortunately this made it unsuitable to be used as a facial epilator. Testers who attempted to remove light chin and upper lip hair found it to be a lesson in frustration.
One of the testers commented that the noise was a little too jarring for her sensitive ears. While she was not affected by the noise when epilating her legs, placing the epilator close too her face was were she had to draw the line.
While testers commented that the massage cap did go someway in “distracting” themselves from the painful plucking sensation, if you were serious about hair removal it was better removing it completely.
The Silk Epil 3 is a low end epilator that is capable of leving your legs hair free. While multiple passes were required to get legs perfectly smooth, a hairless result was achievable.
If you want a barebones corded epilator then the Silk Epil 3 is a good starting point. While it is not perfect we feel it’s performance and features are in line with it’s price.
But those of you who want fancier features like waterproof epilation and cordless usage will be better served by higher Silk Epil models. Just be prepared to pay extra for these features.