Panasonic has been refining the design of their foil shavers since they released their very first over a half-century ago now. They’ve been a front-runner in electric shaving ever since and now sit high atop the mountain with other premium shaver manufacturers.
While Panasonic have a number of advanced 4 and 5 head foil shavers available today, the following review is for the ES-RT97-S; a 3 head shaver with a number of invaluable grooming and maintenance attachments that make it an absolute value for men looking for an electric shaver that does much more than simply shave their face.
As mentioned, the ES-RT97-S comes with plenty of valuable extras. Notably the cleaning/charge station and the multi-length adjustable trimmer attachment which can be used for trimming beards, along with head and body hair:
• Clean and Charge Station
• Charging Cord
• 5 Setting Trimming Attachment (1 – 7 mm)
• Bottle of Cleaning Solution
• Cleaning Brush
What Makes the ES-RT97-S Tick?
Linear 10,000 CPM Motor
Panasonic now offers shavers with a 14,000 CPM motor in their Arc4 and Arc5 shavers. However, the ES-RT97-S can definitely hold its own with the 10,000 CPM power plant inside of it. One thing that really stands out about this Arc3’s motor is that it’s really quiet in operation and the power stays true right up until the battery’s dead.
30-Degree Nanotech Blades
Nanotech Blades are now standard in all Panasonic shavers. These 30-degree precision honed blades cut very close to the skin without causing irritation. The secret to their effectiveness is not just in the 30-degree angle that’s been found by the company and its customers to be most effective; but also in the fact that the hypoallergenic blades are stamped from a solid piece of cold hardened stainless steel, making them stay sharp for up to 18 months of daily shaving.
Pivoting Heads and Adjustable Foils
The micro foils inside the ES-RT97-S Arc3 are softly curved to follow every curve on a man’s face and body. Additionally, the heads are designed to pivot, allowing them to keep in constant contact with the skin as you move from your neck, to the cheekbones, to the chin and upper lip.
The pop-up trimmer on the ES-RT97-S Arc3 is one of the nicest designs out there. Panasonic really understands how to make a pop-out trimmer that’s both practical and comfortable for use on all areas of the beard and sideburns. The trimmer comes out of the head at a perfect 45-degree angle for precision trimming perfection.
5 Setting Comb Attachment
The 5 setting comb attachment might seem only practical if you have a mustache, goatee or beard to trim. However, this adjustable comb can also be used to trim head and body hair in increments of 1 – 7 mm.
The ES-RT97-S can be used as a dry shaver when you’re on the go and don’t have time to lather up. However, like most modern Panasonic foil shavers, you can toss some shaving foam or gel on prior to shaving to get an even closer, more irritation free shave. Since it’s completely waterproof, you can even take your Arc3 into the shower with you to save loads of extra time each morning.
This Arc3 release comes with a comfortable textured ergonomic shape and grip that makes it easy to hang onto, even while shaving in the shower.
Rechargeable Lion Battery
A two color charge indicator lets you know how much charge power is left for your shaves. The lithium-ion battery inside powers the 10,000 CPM motor and lasts for up to an hour of total shave time (enough to last 1 – 8 days of full shaves). Last, the battery can be charged full, from empty, in around 45 minutes.
Awesome Body Groomer
Body groomers are increasing in popularity and have a very similar design to this and other Panasonic foil shavers. In fact, while the ES-RT97-S doesn’t have the most powerful motor offered in a modern Panasonic electric, the 10,000 CPM motor is more powerful than most low and mid-end body shavers, making it perfect as a body groomer as well.
Cleaning and maintaining this Arc3 shaver couldn’t get very much easier. You can rinse it off in the sink or shower while you shave and/or set it into the cleaning/charging station as needed to give it an even more thorough cleaning with the included hypoallergenic cleaning solution.
The cleaning station runs the shaver through a cleaning cycle, lifting it in and out of the solution a number of times, then lifts it upand leaves it to dry and finish charging once the cycle has completed. This feature makes cleaning and maintaining your ES-RT97-S completely hands-off and hassle-free.
Closing Thoughts on the ES-RT97-S Arc3 Foil Shaver:
The shaving performance of the ES-RT97-S is on-par with any other premium 3 head shaver out there, if not far better. The price point, for all the value you’re getting, is in fact the best to be found anywhere:
• 3 Quick-pivoting foils for ultimate comfort.
• 3 precision Nanotech 30 degree blades for comfort and long term shaving performance.
• 5 setting comb attachment for trimming all areas of the face, head and body.
• Ergonomic design to reduce slippage and/or damage from dropping the shaver.
• Can be used as a body groomer.
• Included cleaning/charge stand worth over $100 if bought separately.
Two other benefits to owning this shaver that are worth noting are that it comes with a 30 day money back guarantee and a 2 year warranty on all its parts. This will help ease the decision to purchase for those of you who’ve never owned an electric shaver before and/or have never bought a product from Panasonic before.
All in all, the ES-RT97-S is a great investment in this price category, especially considering you’re buying a Panasonic product, and also taking into account all the extra features you’re getting in this shaver that can cost hundreds more when stepping up to an Arc4 or Arc5 shaver from the same company.