Braun Silk Epil 5 Wet and Dry Epilator Tested and Reviewed

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The Silk Epil 5 Wet&Dry is a much needed addition to Brauns Silk Epil range. Previously none of the lower models could be used in the water. If you wanted to use Braun’s epilator in the bath or shower you had to drop a wad of cash on the premium models.

So does the Silk Epil 5 Wety&Dry the Silk Epil 5 hit the sweet spot in price vs. performance?

We attempt to answer that question and more in our detailed review.

Braun Silk Epil 5 Models

There are two different types of Silk Epil 5 models The Silk Epil 5 Power and the Silk Epil 5 Wet&Dry.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the current models of Silk Epil 5.

1. Braun Silk Epil 5 Wet&Dry 5-541

Braun Silk Epil 5 Epilator 5-541 Wet and Dry purple

The Wet&Dry is the newest model of the Silk Epil 5; released early 2016. The 5-541 is the top of the line model. Decked out in a stylish purple rubber grip, the 5-541 includes the most accessories out of the Wet&Dry models.

Included in the box:

  • Silk Epil 5 5-541 Wet&Dry Epilator
  • Massage cap
  • Skin contact cap
  • Shaver head
  • Trimmer cap
  • Lighted Tweezers
  • Charging Cable
  • Cleaning brush

The 5-541 is the epilator we chose to review. This way you will be able to determine ifthe extra attachments included in the box are suitable for you.

2. Braun Silk Epil 5 Wet&Dry 5-511

Braun Silk Epil 5 Epilator 5-511 Wet and Dry blue

While it may look different with it’s baby blue rubber grip; the Silk Epil 5-511 is identical to the top of the line model. The difference is in the accessories included in the box:

  • Silk Epil 5 5-511 Wet&Dry Epilator
  • Skin contact cap
  • Charging Cable
  • Cleaning brush

Given the similarity in price between the top and bottom Wet&Dry epilators we recommend the top model (5-541) since it includes the massage cap. The massage cap is great for beginners, many find the massage cap helps make the plucking less painful.

3. Braun Silk Epil 5 Power 5-280

Braun SIlk Epil 5 epilator 5-5280 Power

The Braun Silk Epil 5 Power was originally released in 2012 and has not seen an update since. As the name suggests, the Silk Epil 5 Power is a corded epilator. Despite being corded, the epilator is no more powerful than the rechargeable wet and dry model.

While the Silk Epil 5 Power may have more tweezer heads (40 compared to the Wet&Dry’s 28) they are a third of the size and in a side by side comparison, the Power epilator performed worse.

Included in the box:

  • Braun Silk Epil 5 5-280 Epilator
  • Massage cap
  • Efficiency cap
  • Shaver head
  • Trimmer cap
  • Cooling glove
  • Travel Case
  • Cleaning Brush
  • Power adapter

Given that the older Silk Epil 5 Power is comparatively priced with the much newer Wet&Dry models, and not only performs worse but is not waterproof, we recommend skipping over this model.

4. Braun Silk Epil 5 Power 5-185

Braun SIlk Epil 5 epilator 5-5185 Power

The Silk Epil 5 Power 5-185 is exactly the same as the top of the line power model. The only difference is that this model comes with fewer included accessories.

Included in the box:

  • Braun Silk Epil 5 5-280 Epilator
  • Massage cap
  • Cooling glove
  • Travel Case
  • Cleaning Brush
  • Power adapter

Given that you can pick this model up for a similar price as the 5-280, we recommend skipping over this model.

Braun Silk Epil 5 Wet&Dry

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Unboxing

If you were to tear open the box of your brand new Silk Epil 5 Wet&Dry, this is what you would find in the box:

Braun Silk Epil 5 epilator and accessories included in box

Let’s break it down:

  • Silk Epil 5 5-541 Wet&Dry Epilator
  • Massage cap
  • Skin contact cap
  • Shaver head
  • Trimmer cap
  • Cleaning brush
  • Charging cable

You will also find an instruction manual inside the box. The instruction manual is pretty light on information and spends more time discussing how to epilate rather than the epilator itself.

Examining

The Silk Epil 5 Wet & Dry is simple but stylish. A bright purple rubber grip contrasts nicely to the plain white plastic that makes up the bulk of the epilator.

Braun Silk epil 5 epilator wet and dry front photo

The Silk Epil 5 is the first epilator to ditch the unusual twist-to-turn-on switch found on the front of the epilator in favor of a single button:

Braun silk epil 5 epilator wet and dry power button

The Silk Epil 5 comes with two different speed settings, slow and fast. The speed you choose to use will entirely be personal preference although many women prefer to use the slower speed setting on sensitive areas; like under the arms.

Since the Silk Epil 5 Wet and Dry only has a single button, the speed settings are cycled though by pushing the power button multiple times.

  • Press the button once – On/slow speed
  • Press the button a second time – high speed
  • Press the button a third time – turns the epilator off.

While the process is not as efficient as selecting your speed setting in a single movement, the responsive and clicky button makes the whole process quite simple.

Just above the power button is a small LED indicator light:

Braun Silk Epil 5 epilator wet and dry indicator light

The indicator light will shine green the moment you turn the epilator on. The indicator will stop shining when the battery runs low; alerting you that it is time to recharge.

This indicator like takes the place of the “smartlight” found on every other model of Silk Epil epilator. The smartlight is a very handy feature that allows you to quickly spot any small fine blonde hairs that have been missed.

The only logical reason Braun neglected to add the smartlight would be to get consumers to jump up to the much costlier Silk epil 7. Given that the smartlight feature is found on lower models that are going on 5 years old, Braun does it’s customers a disservice by not including it on the Silk Epil 5 Wet & Dry.

At the base of the handle you will find the charging socket:

Braun silk epil 5 epilator wet and dry charging socket at base of handle

It is here that you insert the charging cord when the time comes to charge the battery on your Silk Epil 5.

We will cover charging in more detail further down the review.

Now let’s take a closer look at the star of the Silk Epil 5, the eplilating head:

Braun silk epil 5 epilator wet and dry epilator head with skin contact cap

This is the part of the epilator that you run over your skin.

The epilator head is essentially a spinning drum with small metal clamps (tweezers) that open and close as the drum spins. When the tweezers clampo down on your hairs and pull upwards as the drum spins, the hair is plucked right out of your skin.

Braun silk epil 5 epilator wet and dry close up on epilation head

In total there are 28 micro grip tweezers, spread out across the drum. Those of you who have been doing your research may notice that this is far fewer than the Silk Epil 5 Power, which contains 40 tweezers.

At first glance this would seem like a bad thing but comparing the two side by side shows that the tweezers on the Silk Epil 5 Power are roughly a third smaller than that of the Silk Epil 5 Wet&Dry.

When we compared the two epilators we found that the larger metal tweezers of the Wet&Dry model actually outperformed the smaller but more numerous tweezers of the Power model

The cap that comes standard on the both the higher and lower Wet&Dry models is the Skin Contact cap. The cap can be remove, giving you a better view of the epilator head:

Braun Silk Epil 5 epilator wet and dry with cap removed

By removing the cap you will be better able to clean around the epilator head; removing the plucked hairs that build up here.

Flipping the Silk Epil 5 over reveals a plain looking rear:

Braun silk epil 5 epilator wet and dry rear photo

Towards the bottom of the rear you will find some basic specifications of the Silk Epil 5:

Braun Silk Epil 5 eplitator wet and dry specifications printed on rear of handle

We appreciate companies that print basic specs on their products, it makes it much easier to troubleshoot if you have misplaced the instruction manual.

Reading the rear you will learn the type (5390), the battery inside (lithium Ion) and the country of origin (Germany). Braun manufacturers all of their Silk Epil range in Germany. However the chargers are made in China.

At the top of the rear you will find a small white button:

Braun Silk Epil 5 epilator wet and dry epilator head release button

This is the epilator head release button. Pressing it allows you to remove the epilator head from the body.

Braun Silk Epil 5 Epilator wet and dry with epilator head removed

With the head released you can swap epilator head out for the shaving head (top 5-541 model only).

Braun also recommends that you separate the epilator head from the body after using the epilator wet to allow it to dry. This will prevent mold or mildew from forming.

It is worth mentioning that the epilating head connector is identical to the Silk Epil 7 and Silk Epil 9. In fact, we were able to connect the much wider epilator head of the silk epil 9 to the body of the Silk epil 5:

Braun Silk Epil 5 epilator wet and dry with wilk epil 9 epilator head attached

This is more an interesting fact rather than something you will be able to use to your advantage. The Silk Epil 9 epilator head spare part costs more than the difference in price between the Silk Epil 9 and Silk Epil 5, making it a better choice to buy the Silk Epil 9 outright if you can afford it.

Silk Epil 5 attachments and caps

Included in the box of the Silk Epil 5 Wet&Dry are a variety of heads and caps.

Unlike higher models of the Silk Epil range, the 5 does not come with any narrow facial caps. This makes the silk epil 5 Wet&Dry unsuitable for face use since it does not give you the precision you need to epilate around your eyebrows and near your hair.

Use the Silk Epil 5 below the neckline and you will be fine.

Let’s take a closer look at the various attachments.

Skin Contact cap

Braun Silk Epil 5 epilator wet and dry skin contact cap

The Skin contact cap comes standard on both the 5-541 and 5-511 models of Silk Epil 5.

The skin contact cap is the most effective of the Silk Epil caps. It allows yout o press the epilator head right up against your skin, resulting in maximum hair removal.

This cap is designed for those of you familiar with epilating. The head is not very forgiving, requiring you to hold the epilator at a perfect 90 degrees in order to be effective.

Massage cap

Braun Silk Epil 5 epilator wet and dry massage cap

The massage cap is better suited for beginners. Not only does the head pivot, ensuring you always hold the epilator at the right angle for your skin, but the massage rollers help provide relief from the plucking sensation.

The Massage cap only comes with the 5-541 Silk Epil 5 Wet&Dry

Shaver head

Braun Silk Epil 5 epilator wet and dry shaver head

In order to use the shave head you will need to remove the epilator head from the unit. The shaver head will slot neatly in it’s place.

The shaver allows you to remove hairs that you do not want to pluck with the epilator. If you find epilating your underarms is a little too painful you have the option to shave them instead.

The shaver head only comes with the 5-541 Silk Epil 5 Wet&Dry

Trimmer Cap

Braun Silk Epil 5 epilator wet and dry trimmer head

The Trimmer cap slides over the shaver head. Since epilators can struggle with longer hairs, you can use the trimmer cap to cut the hairs down to a size better suited to epilating.

The trimmer cap only comes with the 5-541 Silk Epil 5 Wet&Dry

Charging

The first thing you are going to have to do before you can use your brand new Silk Epil 5 is charge the battery.

Charging the battery is simple. All you need is the charger adapter that Braun include in the box:

Braun Silk Epil 5 epilator adapter and charging cord

The cord on the charger is an impress an impressive 7 foot in length. This should be more than long enough to stretch from the electrical outlet in your bathroom to the countertop.

We recommend you keep the twist tie that keeps the cord neat while in the box. You can use it to shorten the length of the cord so that there is no excess cable cluttering up your bathroom.

The charger is multi-voltage. This means that it will work in any electrical outlet that puts out 100-240V. That’s almost anywhere in the world you would want to travel. From America to Australia and everywhere in between.

Charging the battery is as simple as taking the cord and plugging it into the socket at the bottom of the epilator handle.

Braun Silk Epil 5 epilator wet and dry with charging cord plugged in

The indicator will blink green the moment you place the Silk Epil 5 on charge. When the battery is full the indicator light will continuously shine green.

The Lithium Ion Battery inside the epilator takes a full hour to charge. From this we were able to get approximately 30 minutes of use before needing to recharge.

Testing

With the battery fully charged it is now time to take the Silk Epil 5 for a test-drive.

For the purpose of testing we enlisted the help of 5 other users. The following contains summaries of their experience with the Silk Epil 5 Wet&Dry

The curved shape of the Silk Epil 5 fit comfortably in the hand for both left and right handed testers. The large rubber grip on the front of the epilator actually made it easier to grasp than the Silk Epil 7 and 9 models, both of which can also be used wet and dry.

Braun Silk 5 epilator wet and dry held in right hand

Pressing the power button kicks the motor into action. The sound is best described as a loud whirring noise and is loud enough to wake someone up sleeping in the next room.

Epilator to skin, the head of the Silk Epil 5 seemed to have an ever so slight wobble. Fortunately this did not appear to affect the overall performance of the epilator.

Slow strokes while holding the epilator at 90 degrees was the recipe for success. We have to stress that…Slooooooow. Moving too quick will see the epilator miss hairs, requiring more passes to remove them all.

We also noticed that performance noticeably dropped when holding the epilator at an angle. This is because the tweezers clamp down at the very top of the epilator.

The beginner in our testing group found it difficult to get used to holding the epilator at 90 degrees. Installing the massage cap, which pivots to ensure the epilator remains in contact with the skin went a long way in “training” to hold the epilator correctly.

Testers also noted that the rolling beads on the massage head seemed to help ease the discomfort brought on by plucking. That said, if your sensitive skin cannot stand the thought of epilation then even the massage head will not be enough to save you from discomfort.

In terms of hair, Braun claims the tweezers can clamp down on hairs just .05 mm tall. While this was too short for us to accurately measure, we were impressed with just how much hair was removed.

This is unsurprising given that the tweezers on the Silk Epil 5 are the same as those used on the Silk Epil 9. And that’s a good thing. If you read that review you would know we were hugely impressed with it.

The epilator adequately plucked the shortest hairs right out of the skin thick and black and find and blonde. The epilator left our skin looking hairless and feeling smooth.

A built in light would have really sealed the deal with this epilator. If you have fine blonde hairs then they can be easy to miss epilating in the comfort of your own home.

However, stepping foot outside in the daylight will cause these patches of blonde hairs you have missed to shine like a halo, making them instantly noticeable.

So care must be taken to epilate in a bright, well lit area of your home or outside in the daylight> Doing so will ensure you do not miss any of these finer hairs.

If you have longer hair then it is important that you trim it to length. The Silk Epil 5 had a tendancy to pull rather than pluck hairs that were long enough to curl over.

The Silk Epil 5 is a wet and dry epilator. So we simply had to test it in the bath and shower.

While the warm water did make the epilation experience less painful, it also made it slower. Epilating in the bath or shower took twice as long as doing it dry. While the advantage is that all the plucked hairs get washed down the drain, you may find yourself pruning before you have finished.

One of the testers commented that it would be nice to have a dedicated storage case for the extra caps and attachments when they are not in use.

Final thoughts

The Silk Epil 5 is a competent epilator and a great starting point for anyone who is serious about epilating.

We feel it is currently a little over-priced for what you get; but that is to be expected from a newly released product.

With the proper technique It left our skin feeling hairless and smooth. Exactly what you would want from an epilator.

Worth checking out.