Panasonic is the literal king when it comes to high-end electric foil shaving performance. The ES-LV65-S Arc5 is the newest release from the Panasonic family of foil shavers. After putting it to the test, I was really surprised at just how smooth the shaving action was with this new 5-head foil shaver.
Let’s take a look at how this, one of the most ergonomic shavers I’ve ever used, gets the job done so well:
Nanotech Blade Technology
The Nanotech blades contained within each of the 5 heads on the ES-LV65-S are Panasonic’s next generation ultra-sharp blades, capable of delivering thousands of shaves without diminishing performance. Each 30-degree blade is precision tuned to cut even the most stubborn stubble without ripping or tearing the hair from its root. Though I personally don’t have sensitive skin, Panasonic claims the blades to be highly hypoallergenic too (they also offer a cleaning solution to clean the heads with).
The Multi-Flex heads deliver a truly awesome shaving experience. As technology continues to improve, manufacturers like Panasonic are able to make the foils on a foil shaver paper thin, so the blades can cut a beard closer to the skin, without sacrificing the lifespan of the heads. These Multi-Flex heads adapt flawlessly to each contour of the face. One thing that really surprised me was the fact that the foils didn’t heat up, even after a longish shave where I had a thick 3 day growth to dispatch with!
The heads have a couple of interesting technology features included:
1. Microfoil Lift-Tech Foils: Each head has 3 micro-thin overlapping foils made to capture each and every hair on your face with minimal passes required. The Lift-Tech foils use reverse-tapered edges to vibrate stubble and make it stand up for a superior shave.
2. Active Shaving Sensor: Most of us guys know that certain areas like the mustache, jawline, and chin area have thicker hairs than those on the cheeks and neck area. I personally noticed no benefit from the active shaving sensor, which adjusts power to the heads as you pass over different areas of the face. However, I have an unusually thick beard and many reviewers have claimed to love this unique technology offering from Panasonic.
14,000 CPM Motors
Panasonic have upgraded the ES-LV65-S with an impressive 14,000 cuts-per-minute linear motor that delivers 1.5 times the speed of many of its competitors. Another smaller motor is included to facilitate the side-to-side motion used by the Lift-Tech foils for superior shaving performance. With all this horsepower, it goes without saying that the battery life is much less than you’ll get with a single motor 3-head shaver, but you also don’t need to make as many passes with the Arc5, so things do balance themselves somewhat.
One of the things I like best about using a legitimate wet/dry shaver is the ability to wet my face and use some quality shave gel whenever time permits. And when I use shave gel or lotion with my shaver, it’s essential that I be able to rinse the heads in the sink or shower as needed, to keep the heads from gumming up. The ES-LV65-S is completely waterproof and I’ve now used it directly in the shower at least 3 times now without issue. The shaver includes a special “Sonic Vibration Cleaning Mode” to rinse the heads as clean as possible under running water.
Multi-LED Battery Life Display
Once you get used to a new shaver, a battery life display isn’t really all that important, at least to me. However, all foil shavers in the Arc5 lineup come with a 10-stage LED readout to let you know exactly how much time you have left before the battery runs out. If I’m honest, this feature isn’t really essential for my needs, as I like to charge the unit up after every shave, just to make sure I’m never left with a half-shaven face (I frequently shave while sitting in rush hour traffic on the way to work!)
I’m not sure why on earth all manufacturers can’t include a universal voltage charger with their razors. For those of us who frequently travel internationally for business or pleasure, being able to charge your shaver wherever you might find yourself any given day or week is a must. The ES-LV95-S comes with universal voltage charger, carrying case, brush, and detergent soap to clean the heads with, no matter where you are. A travel safety lock is built into the shaver, so you don’t have to worry about the shaver coming on when it’s accidentally bumped (or thrown by baggage personnel!)
Overall Opinion of the ES-LV95-S:
I’ve been using foil shavers exclusively for most of my adult life. And I’m not going to tell you that the Arc5, or any other electric shaver for that matter, delivers a superior shave when compared to an actual razor.
The fact is, there’s no way any foil or rotary head razor can shave as close as a razor, without causing some serious harm to your face. However, I like what Panasonic has done with the ES-LV65-S. The Nanotech blades, high performance 14,000 CPM motor, 5-head design, Microfoil Lift-Tech foils, and wet/dry functionality all work together in harmony to cut even the most stubborn facial hair closer to the skin than I ever thought would be possible.
The ES-LV65-S Arc5 gets the job done really nicely, while keeping the price over $150 lower than the ES-LV95-S Arc5, which comes with its own hands-free cleaning stand. All in all, this Arc5 foil shaver from Panasonic is a high-performance machine that delivers, in my opinion, the best shave you’re going to get in a portable electric shaver.