If you currently find yourself on the hunt for a new personal shaving system, the Panasonic ES-LT71-S electric foil shaver should certainly be a consideration. This triple-head shaver from Panasonic retails for less than $150, which is perfect for the budget minded.
However, if you’re looking to spend hundreds of dollars for the Rolls Royce of electric shavers, you’ll quickly (and mistakenly) be turned off by the low price of the ES-LT71-S and move onto more feature-rich and expensive models.
Note about foil shavers vs rotary models:
If you’ve never purchased or used an electric shaver before, you might be confused as to what a foil shaver really is. Foil shavers have 3 – 5 heads built into them, with a sharp blade inside a foil-screened covering. The foil lifts the hair so that the blades can cut it off at skin level. Foil shavers work best in an up-down motion going against the grain of the hair.
Rotary heads typically only have 3 heads with blades that spin inside them. Rather than a foil, rotary shavers have circular metal heads with multiple grooves cut in the side of each that lift the hair as the shaver’s moved in a circular motion on the face. As the hair enters the grooves, it is then cut by a blade spinning inside the head.
Foil shavers have been around since the 1940s and were the very first design for an electric shaver. They’re also considered the favorite among electric shaving enthusiasts. Neither design is good for the occasional “Monday shaver” who waits until they’ve grown a week’s worth of beard before standing in front of the mirror to shave.
Pros of the ES-LT71-S:
When it comes to what you choose to shave your face with day in and out, price shouldn’t be the only consideration. However, it’s worth mentioning first that this is one of the best foil shavers you’ll ever buy for less than $150. The purchase comes with a cleaning/charging stand and the heads feature the latest Arc-Foil and Nanotech blade technology from Panasonic.
The ES-LT71-S gives a remarkably great shave considering Panasonic now offers 4 and 5 heads as the standard on their Arc series of foil shavers. One of the most intriguing aspects of shaving with this electric is its ability to get in clean and close without having to go over the same area again and again, which can cause plenty of irritation. This benefit can be largely attributed to the powerful 13,000 CPM motor, the head design, and Nanotech blade technology used.
Long Battery Life
With only 3 heads to power, the ES-LT71-S seems to run forever on a single charge. The large LCD battery display takes forever for the charge to drop. Long battery life is a definite bonus if you like to carry your shaver in a work or travel bag – or just don’t care to charge it as often.
There’s nothing worse than a dry shave. Whether with a traditional razor or an electric shaver, dry shaves lead to irritation 9 times out of 10. The ES-LT71-S can be used in the shower or while standing at the sink shaving with your favorite shave foam or gel.
Cleanup is as easy as rinsing the shaver under running water while you shave, and then placing it in the cleaning/charging station after you’re done for an even more thorough cleaning. The dual purpose cleaning/charging station is a definite benefit in this price category. Panasonic charges a full $100 extra for this feature on their Arc4 and Arc5 series of foil shavers. Bought separately, you’ll find the stand retailing for up to $120 on its own.
Panasonic recommends that you replace the Arc-Foil and Nanotech heads once every year on this model. This recommendation is standard with most electric shavers, but the precision Nanotech blades are so sharp and durable, you can definitely squeeze an additional 6 months to a year out of each set, if you have a beard of average thickness. The rest of this aluminum body shaver and tough plastic cleaning/charging stand are definitely made to stand the test of time too.
Cons of the ES-LT71-S:
Cleaning Station Efficiency
One thing that’s often noted in the various reviews for the ES-LT71-S is that the cleaning function doesn’t work flawlessly each and every time. Meaning that sometimes you’ll be left with an errant stubbly hair or two in the shaver after the cleaning cycle has completed. This is hardly worth mentioning, because the cleaner does an excellent job considering it’s a hands-off feature, however, for the nitpickers out there, now you know.
You Need to Use it Properly
Newer Panasonic rotaries are designed to shave up-down, sideways and even in a circular motion if you wish. The ES-LT71-S doesn’t have the modern foil design of these models, and so you have to shave in an up-down pattern only, lest you develop some pretty uncomfortable skin irritation from pulled and/or ingrown hairs! This would only be an issue if you’ve mostly shaved with a rotary before, or if you never bother to read the directions on how to use it properly.
Not Terribly Travel Friendly
When you choose to buy any shaver that requires you to place it in a charging stand in order to charge, it can make toting around your shaving gear difficult. If you plan to travel a lot with the ES-LT71-S, you’ll want to buy a separate charging cord, so you don’t have to lug the cleaning stand and solution around with you everywhere you go. Amazon and other retailers offer a number of separate charging cords you can buy, but you do have to make sure what you’re buying is made for your specific shaver.
Considering the Panasonic ES-LT71-S comes with Arc-Foil and Nanotech blade technology, and you get a cleaning/charging stand worth $100 or more when bought separately, this apt little foil shaver is a great deal. This foil shaver also has arguably the best battery life of any Panasonic electric in this price category.
Sure, an Arc4 or Arc5 with more heads may give you a slightly faster, potentially more comfortable shave, but you’ll also spend hundreds more for the features each of Panasonic’s newer foils have to offer, especially if you want a cleaning/charging stand.