The Silk Epil 9 is the top model from the Braun range of epilators. Promising effortless epilation and packed with a wide variety of extra features in the box, it is easy to see why this is one of the most popular epilators on the market.
Join us as we test and review the Silk Epil 9 to find out if it is the right epilator for you.
Different models of the Braun Silk Epil 9
As is common with Braun products, there are a number different models of the Silk Epil 9. Let’s be clear, the differences all come down to the various attachments included with the Epilator. Besides a color change, all Silk Epil 9 unit’s are identical.
In addition to various extras, all models come with a charging cable and cleaning brush.
The following are the current models of Silk-epil 9 epilators available in the United States of America.
Silk Epil 9 Epilator – Model 9-579
The most popular of the Silk Epil 9 models and the subject of this review. Comes with a separate facial brush that Braun claims exfoliates the skin 6x better than manual treatment alone.
- Exfoliation brush
- Shaver head
- Trimmer cap
- Skin contact cap
- Facial cap
- Charging stand
Silk Epil 9 SkinSpa – Model 9-941e
The SkinSpa trades out the majority of accessories for two exfoliating brush heads. The heads sit on top of your Silk Epil 9 and can be used to exfoliate your skin.
The blue SkinSpa brush is used for deep exfoliation while the purple brush provides a much softer exfoliating experience.
- Blue Deep exfoliation brush head
- Purple gentle exfoliation brush head
- Skin Contact cap
Silk Epil 9 SkinSpa – Model 9-941
Same as the above 9-941e model but only comes with a purple brush. Since they are both priced the same we recommend skipping over this model.
- Purple gentle exfoliation brush head
- Skin contact cap
Silk Epil 9 Epilator – Model 9-521
The most basic of the Silk Epil 9 models and also the cheapest. If all you want is the basic epilator unit without any extras then this is the model for you.
- Skin contact cap
Unboxing the Braun Silk Epil 9
If you were to tear open the box of your brand new Silk Epil 9, this is what you would find inside:
Let’s break it down
- Silk Epil 9 Epilator
- Shaver head
- Trimmer guard for shaver head
- Skin contact cap
- Facial Cap
- Charging stand
- Charging cable
- Cleaning Brush
- Facial Brush
- AA batteries for facial brush
- Instruction manual
That’s quite a bit of gear!
As is common with Braun products, the instruction manual covers multiple models of the Silk Epil 9. This means that there will be parts of the manual that do not apply to your unit. However; Braun does not make it very clear as to what applies to your epilator and what doesn’t.
I will be covering the various attachments in detail further down the review.
Examining the Braun Silk Epil 9 Epilator
When it comes to looks there is no arguing that the Braun makes some of the prettier looking epilators on the market. Made in Germany, the Silk Epil 9 has a strong sense of design and that is apparent the moment you lay your eyes on it.
The all-white design with purple highlights are instantly appealing. If it wasn’t for the release of the absolutely gorgeous Philips Norelco Satinelle Prestige, we would go so far to say that this is the best looking epilator available.
But looks aren’t everything.
Fortunately the Silk Epil 9 also has a great amount of useful features packed into the epilator. Let’s take a closer look, starting with the front of the unit.
Front and center on the Epilator handle you will find a purple ring:
This ring controls your Epilator. To activate it you press the white “lock” in with your thumb and rotate the purple ring to one of the following positions:
- I – On/Low speed
- II – On/High speed
- O – Off
Clockwise to turn the unit on. Anti clockwise to turn it off. This control method was pretty simple and because the white “locks” are located on both sides of the unit, can easily be operated with your right or left hand.
The only thing that I didn’t like about the controls is that at a glance it is difficult to tell what speed setting the Silk Epil 9 is on. And that is made even more difficult by the light that shines in your eyes if you try to look.
Yup, the Silk Epil 9 has a built in light located just above the control ring:
Shining the light over your skin will highlight even the finest blonde hairs, allowing you to give them a passing with the epilator. It is also handy in dimly lit bathroom.
The light comes on the moment you turn the Silk Epil 9 on. Braun calls it the “SmartLight”. However, being unable to turn it off is quite dumb. While the light is designed to shine towards the head of the epilator, it is still bright enough to make you blink white spots out of your eyes if you look anywhere near the power ring.
The light seems to work best in the shade or a poorly lit room. Using the light in a bright room or in the sunlight made finding those fine blonde hairs much more difficult.
Moving further down the handle you will come to a plus and minus sign, Just below the Braun logo:
This is the charging indicator. During use the plus sign will light up green. As your battery runs low the minus sign will flash red, warning you that it is time to recharge the battery.
While it is clever that the + and – represent the positive and negative of a battery, at first glance it isn’t clear what this indicator means. A battery symbol would have been much more appropriate.
If you look closely at the above picture you may notice that this part of the handle is sparkly! The addition of glitter to the plastic was an interesting choice. Whether you like it or not will all come down to how much you like things that sparkle.
At the very base of the Silk Epil 9 handle you will find the a small slot with two pins sticking out:
This is the charging socket. Stick the charging cord in here when your battery dies to recharge it.
Flipping the unit over you will find more sparkly plastic:
Since the glitter plastic has a gloss surface, and is slipperier than the plain white plastic, I was surprised to find it almost covering the entire rear.
If you look closely at the above picture you will see raised sections of the sparkly plastic, they almost look like ripples. This ribbed plastic is much less slippery and will help prevent the epilator from slipping through your fingers.
The only other point of note on the rear is the head release button. But I will cover that further down the review. First I want to cover the Silk Epil 9 Epilator head itself.
This is the part of the Silk Epil 9 that you run over your skin.
Braun has made the head of the epilator 40% wider than the other epilators in the Silk Epil range. Below you can see the head of the Silk Epil 9 compared to the head of the Silk Epil 7:
The larger head allows you to remove more hair with each pass, which makes the whole hair removal process quicker.
The head itself is actually made up of two separate pieces; an outer cap and the epilation head. The purple cap that comes on the Silk Epil 9 is the High Frequency Massage Cap. Even though there are a bunch of different caps included in the box, this is likely the one you will use the most.
The main advantage of the massage cap is that it pivots back and forth as you glide the epilator head over your skin. This movement keeps the head in contact with your skin, even as you pass over contoured areas of skin; such as your knees.
At the top and bottom of the massage cap you will find these a row of rollers:
As the head of the epilator slides over your skin, the rollers will rotate, causing a sensation that feels quite nice. I also found that the spikey bits on the rollers lifted hairs that lay flat against the skin. Interestingly Braun does not list this as a feature, so there may be little benefit to this added effect.
Once you remove the cap you will be able to clearly see the epilation head:
The epilation head is best described as a bunch of tweezers on a rotating drum.
As the drum rotates the tweezers open and close. When the tweezers clamp down on a hair the hair is ripped right out of the skin.
Below you can see the epilation head close up:
10 rows of “tweezers” wrap around the drum. By comparison the Silk Epil 7 only 8 rows.
Now before we move on to the different epilator caps included in the box, there is one last feature to look at. The plain white button on the rear of the Epil Silk 9 handle:
If you press this button down until you hear a click, the whole epilation head will pop right off the body.
The main reason you will need to remove the epilation head from the handle is after using the Silk Epil 9 under water. You will need to remove the head to allow it to dry, preventing mold or mildew from forming.
With the epilation head removed you also have the option of attaching the shaver head., which I will cover further in the next section.
At the time of writing this it does not appear that Braun stocks replacement epilation heads for the Silk Epil 9. We contacted customer support numerous times and kept getting a link to the Silk Epil 7 replacement head, a smaller less effective head.
While the Silk Epil 7 head will fit the Silk Epil 9, it is not the same product and Braun should be embarrassed for not having any readily available. If your epilator head fails, you will not be able to replace it.
Note: Braun not supporting products with spare parts is common, the same lack of support can be seen with their Series 9 Electric shaver which has been a huge problem for many consumers
Braun Silk Epil 9 Caps and Shaver head
Braun has included a whole bunch of different caps in the box of the Epi-Silk 9. The caps slide over the epilation head, resulting in a unique epilation experience depending on the cap you choose.
High Frequency Massage Cap
The cap that comes on the Silk Epil 9 as standard. The pivoting action helps keep the epilation head in contact with the skin and the rollers not only massage the skin but help lift flat laying hairs.
The power cap removes the gap between the cap and the epilation head, allowing you to get closer to the skin. This head is best used if you are familiar with epilation since beginners can find the Power Cap too uncomfortable to use.
A narrow cap that blocks off most of the Epilation head, leaving you with a more precise epilator for tricky areas such as your eyebrows, sideburns or mustache.
Installing the shaver head requires you to remove the epilation head by pressing the release button on the rear of the Silk Epil 9.
While the shaver is a nice addition, it won’t replace your stand-alone shaver. The pivoting action is jerky and the razor blades inside are the same found on Braun’s cheapest shaver for men, the M90. And in our testing of that the blades blunted rather quickly.
You will also notice a trimmer attached beside the shaver. While the trimmer flexes up and down, it can still scratch your skin when you are shaving when you are not careful.
When you want to use the trimmer you slide the lock on the front of the shaving head. This locks the trimmer into place and prevents it from wobbling around.
In order to use the trimmer without the shaver sheering hairs as you go you will need to use the trimmer cap:
The trimmer cap slides neatly over the shaving head and allows you to use the trimmer without accidentally shaving your hairs off as you go.
The trimmer cap allows you to cut those long hairs that you have let go far too long to an acceptable length, ready for epilation.
Charging the Silk Epil 9 Epilator
The first thing you are going to have to do before you use your brand new Silk Epil 9 is charge the battery.
And to do that you are going to need the help of the charger adapter that Braun includes in the box:
The cord on the charger is an impressive 7 foot in length, much better than the annoyingly short curly cord that Braun includes on their men’s electric shaver range.
We recommend you hang on to that twist tie that keeps the cord neat while in the box, you can use it to shorten the cord to length. After all, there is nothing worse than cables cluttering up your bathroom.
The charger is multi-voltage. This means that you can charge your Silk Epil 9 anywhere in the world without frying the battery. The only thing you will need is a travel plug so that the adapter can fit the odd shaped power outlets you come across in your travels.
Charging the battery is dead simple. Take the cord and plug it into the socket at the bottom of the epilator handle:
A green indicator light will begin to flash the moment you place the epilator on charge. When the epilator has finished charging the indicator light will continuously shine green.
The battery inside the Silk Epil 9 is Lithium ion. It takes a full hour to completely fill the battery from empty. Braun claims this will give you approximately 40 minutes of use before needing to recharge.
I found this claim to be fairly accurate, averaging 38 minutes of use between charges.
Those of you who buy the top model of Silk Epil 9, the 9-579 model, will also be able to use a charging stand to charge your epilator:
The charging stand allows you to set up a permanent charging station in your bathroom. Those of you who frequently epilate will appreciate how simple it makes charging your Silk Epil 9.
Underneath the charging stand are five small rubber feet. The feet help prevent the stand from slipping and sliding all over your bathroom countertop. While we would have liked to the base to be a little heavier, unless you accidentally tug on the cable, the stand stays put.
The charging stand plugs into the charging cord and allows you to simply place the epilator down on the stand to charge:
Removing the epilator is as simple as lifting it up off the stand. No more plugging and unplugging cables. If you are an epilator power user then you will really appreciate the charging base.
Testing The Silk Epil 9 Epilator
With the Silk Epil 9 fully charged, it is time to take it for a test-drive.
To test this epilator we enlisted the help of a team of testers with from a diverse range of ethnicities with our goal of testing this epilator on a broad range of hair types.
The following contains summaries of the findings.
While the Silk Epil 9 and 7 look incredibly similar, the difference is immediately apparent when you turn the power on. Where the Silk Epil 7 takes it’s time to ramp up to full power, the Silk Epil 9 hits full speed from the start.
The sound given off by the epilator is quite loud. More than loud enough to wake those sleeping in nearby rooms. In fact, the noise is loud enough that testers with sensitive hearing refused to use it near their face.
When we tested the sound with a decibel reader placed 5 inches from the epilator. 85 Decibels. If you are having trouble imagining just how loud that is, it’s similar to busy city traffic. No wonder it was too loud for many of our testers.
So while a facial cap is included with the Silk Epil 9, we do not recommend you use it on your face. Testers who could put up with the loud noise near their ears reported that the facial epilator worked best on longer hairs and would often miss shorter hairs that would have been caught with the other caps.
Where the Silk Epil 9 really shines is below the neck. With the Power Cap or High Frequency Massage Cap installed the epilator head performs remarkably well at removing hairs.
We found that the head worked much betted on hairs that were shorter, sticking upright than it did on longer hairs that laid flat against the skin. If you do not have the time to trim your body hair to a shorter length then you will be pleased to know that the epilator will eventually be able to pluck them, it will just require more passes than usual, possibly at different angles.
The Silk Epil 9 is completely waterproof and can be used in the bath or shower. For many beginner users, or those of you with sensitive skin, this will likely be your preferred method of using the epilator, since the heat will help desensitize the skin to the plucking sensation.
Out of using the bath and shower, it was easier to epilate in the bath. The water helped lift the hairs, making them easier for the epilation head to grab. In the shower the flowing water running down the legs and other pats of the body seemed to require more passes to achieve the same results.
For three of our testers, this was their first experience with an epilator, and out of them only one found it too painful to use, even in a hot bath. We had this user test out other epilators as well and she found them all too painful. This seemed to be a case of epilation not being suitable for the individual rather than a case of the epilator being too rough. For the record this tester had thick coarse hair, but she was not the only tester who had it.
The epilator worked just as well on thick black hairs as it did on fine blonde ones. Testers found that the light on the handle was of minimal benefit and often struggled to highlight small blonde hairs.
Testers unanimously agreed that the wider head of the Silk Epil 9 was a vast improvement over the Silk Epil 7. The wider head captured more hairs with each passing, resulting in a quicker epilation session.
Another area of the epilator that failed to impress was the shaver. The addition of the head feels like a gimmick rather than a useful feature, and since you have to swap the heads out you might as well just reach for your every day electric shaver, which will likely be far superior.
Despite a few minor quirks, the general consensus was that this is one of the best epilators on the market.
If you look past all the add-ons included in the box the Silk Epil 9 is an impressive epilator. But at this price you would expect as much.
We do have a concern that if your epilation head breaks that you will unable to buy replacement parts for it. But that is probably our biggest complaint about this epilator.
Overall we highly recommend this epilator.
- Promo Page – Braun Silk-Epil 9 Promo Page