Panasonic ES-LA93-K Review: as good as it gets

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ShaverCheck Rating:

Panasonic ES-LA93-K

4.5 out of 5 stars

Detailed rating:

Value for money:

Features:

Performance:

The good: very close and comfortable shaves, fast shaving times, powerful motor, slick and sturdy design, suitable for dry and wet shaving, quiet, inexpensive cleaning solution

The bad: can’t be used while charging, the 4 blades make it a bit bulky, using the cleaning system takes time

Panasonic ES-LA93-K 4-Blade Wet/Dry Shaver with Vortex Cleaning System has been around for some time and it gained a reputation for being one of the best and most complete electric shavers that you can buy.

It comes packed with features and technologies that will supposedly give you one of the best and closest shaves.

Read along as we take a closer look at it in our Panasonic ES-LA93-k review.
Check Panasonic ES-LA93-K on Amazon.com

Features overview

Going over the list of features that this shaver has to offer it’s easy to be impressed. Even though some of them are common to other Panasonic shavers (like the 30 degrees nano blades), it does have quite a few that where first introduced with this model.

Here are the most important ones:

Multi-Flex Pivoting Head

Panasonic ES-LA93-K

Panasonic ES-LA93-K

Basically this is Panasonic’s cool sounding name for a shaving head that can pivot in four directions: back and forth and left to right. This will certainly improve the way it follows the contours of the face, especially in tricky areas like the chin and jaw line.

You also have the option of locking the head in place with a switch located on the back of the shaving head. This is very useful for situations where you need finer control, like when shaving the upper lip area.

Previous and less expensive models had a mechanism that only allowed left to right movement of the shaving head.

Multi-fit Arc Foils

Panasonic ES-LA93-K blades

Panasonic ES-LA93-K blades

This razor has a 4 blade shaving system with arched foils (called ARC 4) that move independently. There are two main foils (the outer ones), one slit foil for cutting long hairs and one extra thin finishing foil.

The blades and foils are made of hypo-allergenic stainless steel to minimize irritation.

14,000 RPM motor

Even though the previous models had pretty impressive motors with 13,000 RPM, this one goes one step further.

It is one of the most powerful motors you can find on any shaver and this really gives it the extra edge when it comes to fast shaving times and cutting through coarse hair. More on that in the performance section of the review.

Vibrating motor

The ES-LA93-K has a second motor located in the shaving head with the sole purpose of producing vibrations of the outer foil (similar to Braun’s Pulsonic technology).

This lifts the hairs that lie flat on the surface of the skin, making it easier for the blades to cut them. It also reduces the amount of pressure needed when shaving, thus causing less irritation and razor burn.

Automatic Cleaning and Charging System

The Vortex Cleaning System that comes with the shaver acts as an all-in-one cleaning and charging dock. It is the standard soap, alcohol free, water-based cleaning solution that Panasonic uses and in my opinion it works very well and with minimal costs.

Other features worth mentioning are:

  • quick charge option
  • LCD display with 10 stage battery indicator
  • lock button that prevents accidentally turning on the shaver
  • pop-up trimmer
  • wet/dry shaving, fully washable

Build quality and ergonomics

Right out of the box, this shaver really stands out with its piano black glossy look. The fit and finish is very nice and the blue backlight of the LCD display adds to the classy and quality feel.

Holding the shaver in hand feels natural and comfortable and has a nice, reassuring weight that is very pleasant. The ES-LA93-K surely got the looks and it will impress anyone, even though I still think that Braun is the best when it comes to build quality.

Battery life and charging

With a fully charged battery the ES-LA9-K should last for 45 minutes of use. Charging it completely takes approximately 60 minutes.

This shaver has a Li-Ion battery that can’t be overcharged so it’s safe to leave it in the cleaning station even after it is fully charged. Doing so will make the bright blue display blink constantly, which can be annoying in a dark room.

Panasonic ES-LA93-K display

Panasonic ES-LA93-K display (click for full size)

You also get a charging cord so you can plug it directly into a power outlet. This is a great solution for traveling as you don’t have to carry the cleaning & charging station with you. It has an Automatic Voltage Convertor, making it possible to be used anywhere in the world.

The LED display has a 10 stage battery indicator and will also show you how long the shaving took, the charging status and when it’s time to clean it.

Cleaning and maintenance

You basically have two options for cleaning this shaver:

Manual cleaning

As it’s the case with all the foil shavers that are fully washable, you can clean it under running tap water. For this shaver, you need to apply liquid hand soap and water on the outer foil and then activate the turbo cleaning mode.

The ES-LA93-K has a Sonic Vibrating Cleaning Mode that can be enabled by pressing and holding the ON/OFF button for two seconds. Once it enters this mode you’ll notice a higher pitch sound of the motor and a special indicator on the LCD display.

After 20 seconds it will automatically turn off. After that you simply remove the outer foil and clean it under running water while enabling the turbo mode again.

Automatic cleaning with the Vortex Cleaning System

Cleaning it with the station is dead easy: you fill up the water container and insert a cleaning cartridge in the station. After that you simply put the shaver in place and select from the two available options: cleaning or drying the shaver. This will also automatically charge it.

The water in the container needs to be changed only when you replace the cartridge with a new one.

The costs of using the cleaning station are not as low compared to the solutions offered by other manufacturers. Also, Panasonic’s newer cleaning stations that use detergent sachets instead of cartridges have lower running costs and are more compact in size.

A single cartridge can last for 30 cleanings, so if you shave once every two days a pack of 3 should be enough for 6 months. Not bad at all.

Shaving performance

So far this shaver managed to impress with its looks and feature list, but it all comes down to how good it performs.

I’m pleased to say that it meets all the expectations, providing an overall great shaving experience: smooth, comfortable and very close.

You won’t suffer from any pulling or tugging mainly thanks to its very powerful motor and sharp blades. In my opinion Panasonic is among the best in this regard.

Also, it seems to require less pressure than other shavers in order to get a close shave. And that is always a good thing, as irritation and razor burn are often caused by excessive pressure and multiple passes.

Of course, there can be situations where you’ll need to insist more on difficult areas (like the neck), but that’s the case with all electric shavers.

Using it for both dry and wet shaving will get you great results, so it’s only a matter of personal preference and time constraints. And speaking of that, you’ll be pleased to know that the time needed for a complete shave is shorter compared to other razors. I guess the fast motor and the large shaving head with the 4 foils have something to do with it.

After that you can just put it in the cleaning station and you’re all set.

As a conclusion I guess it’s safe to say that it shaves as good as it looks.

Included accessories

Inside the box you’ll find the actual shaver and the following goodies:

  • protective cap
  • traveling case
  • electrical cord
  • charging and cleaning station
  • 1 x Cleaning cartridge

Replacement parts availability

Panasonic recommends changing the foil and inner blades once a year, but many users have found that they can last even longer. It also depends on how often you use the shaver. You can buy them separate or as a combo.

Wrapup. Who should buy it?

This is without a doubt one of the better shavers out there. There is little not to like about it. I guess I can say that using the Cleaning Station takes some time and it may seem noisy to some. And that the blinking of the LED display may be annoying. But these are minor drawbacks compared to the benefits of a close and comfortable shave.

The Panasonic ES-LA93-K would make a great choice for people with high expectations from an electric shaver. It is also suitable for men with facial hair that has several different patterns of growth.

It works great for coarse and fine hair or for shaving your head.

If you have sensitive skin that is prone to ingrown hair, razor bumps and irritation this shaver is also a great choice.

Finally, if you need fast and close shaves this one will get the job done without any problems. This wraps ShaverCheck’s Panasonic ES-LA93-K review.

Price. Alternative shavers

Even though the initial price was very high, you can now find for even half that price. Given the fact that you do get a great shaver, I’d say that this is pretty good value for money. Check out the discounts on amazon.

An obvious choice for an alternative shaver is the Panasonic ES-LA63-S. It’s bascially an identical product, but without the cleaning and charging station. And it’s only available in silver.

So for anyone looking for the same shaving experience but doesn’t need the cleaning station this is a great alternative. And it costs less, so you’ll also be saving some money.

Posted in Reviews on June 4, 2013

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