The good: wet/dry use, provides a close shave, suitable for sensitive skin, good for everyday use, inexpensive, sturdy construction.
The bad: can’t be used while charging, sometimes it struggles with long hairs, a bit noisy, no cleaning/charging dock.
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Panasonic ES8103S is one of the top selling electric shaver worldwide and it’s not that hard to figure out why: you get a lot of shaver for your buck. Read along for ShaverCheck’s in-depth Panasonic ES8103S review.
Check Panasonic ES8103S on Amazon.com
Pivoting shaving head
As all the shavers in Panasonic’s lineup, the ES8103S features a foil shaving system. The actual shaving head is made out of a perforated stainless steel foil that is slightly curved and covers the actual cutting blades. Panasonic calls it a multi-fit arc foil and states that it is designed to follow the contours of your face for maximum efficiency and comfort.
The whole shaving head block can be easily taken apart for cleaning by pressing the release buttons for the foil and the foil frame.
Another feature worth mentioning is the pivoting function of the shaving head, allowing it to pivot back and forth and also sideways.
Having used Panasonic shavers for many years, I must say that I was never too fond of this feature as it didn’t seem to improve my shaving experience in any notable way. With the newer models, including this one, you have the option to lock the movement with a switch located on the side of the main body.
30 degrees „nanotech” blades
The three nanotech blades are actually two, the third one being integrated in the foil itself and serves the purpose of cutting the long hairs that are difficult to cut for the other blades.
Apart from the marketing purpose of this nanotech terminology, I must admit that while some of the competitor shavers still use a 45–90 degree angle blades, Panasonic introduced these 30 degree cutters that really make a difference. So you won’t experience any tugging or pulling with this one.
High Speed linear motor
The motor that powers this shaver is a fast, 13000 RPM linear motor that provides a counter directional move of the blades (ie they move in opposite directions) to reduce vibrations and noise. Speaking of noise levels, some may find the high pitch hum a bit on the loud side, especially when compared to rotary shavers.
A sideburn trimmer is a welcome addition to any shaver and the one we have here does a very good job, but there is one caveat. The whole shaving head is a bit bulky and with the trimmer positioned below it, you can’t really see what you’re doing.
What I’ve found to do the trick is removing the foil, the foil frame and the two blades. It doesn’t sound very practical, but they’re really easy to remove and put together again.
Wet/dry use, 100% waterproof
You can use the Panasonic ES81103S for dry or wet shaving, being completely waterproof and safe to use in the shower.
As it’s the case with the majority of the shavers today, this one operates cordless as you would expect from a shaver made by a reputable manufacturer.
However, you cannot use it while plugged in, so if you forgot to charge it and the battery is dead this may come as a downside. Panasonic tried to compensate this shortcoming by means of a quick charge mode, which should last you for a quick 5 minutes shave.
Build quality and ergonomics
The build quality of Panasonic shavers was always top notch and this one is no exception: it feels very sturdy and it looks like it can take a beating. It’s very comfortable in the hand, not too heavy and the grip is excelent. I also prefer this color scheme to the old blue/navy blue of the previous generation.
Battery life and charging
With a fully charged battery, it should last you for at least 6–7 shaving sessions, depending on how much times each takes.
Charging the shaver takes about an hour and it shouldn’t be left plugged in after the battery is fully charged, as doing this repeatedly will reduce its lifespan. The automatic voltage conversion feature means that you will be able to use it anywhere, as it adapts to any electrical outlets in the world.
The LED display has a few, but useful indicators, like the percentage of battery power left and it also displays a notification when the shavers needs to be cleaned.
Cleaning and maintenance
More expensive Panasonic models come with an automatic cleaning and charging dock/system. In order to keep the price low, this shaver doesn’t have one.
However, cleaning the ES81103S is very easy: you can rinse directly under tap water or for a more thorough cleaning you can use any liquid soap or shower gel and use the Turbo Mode for cleaning by pressing and holding the ON/OFF switch. This increases the motor’s RPM from 13000 to 17000, creating vibrations that get rid of any debris stuck inside the blades.
For the majority of potential buyers this is the decisive part when choosing an electric shaver. And it should be this way, it all comes down to a solid shaving experience regardless of all the neat features.
In this regard I would say that the Panasonic ES8103S is an excelent shaver and you can’t go wrong with it, especially for this money. You get a close, pain-free and comfortable shave. Even if you have a course and thick beard, this shaver will have no problem in delivering a smooth and irritation free shave.
The only areas where it will struggle a bit and will require additional passes are the neck and jaw line, especially if you have longer hair with several patterns of growth. In this case you have to change the direction of shaving to always go against the grain.
Other than that, you won’t experience any tugging, pulling or shaving burn, regardless if you use it for dry or wet shaving.
Being a budget shaver, at least with regards to its price tag, this Panasonic doesn’t come bundled with gooddies like a charging dock.
You will only get an AC adapter and a travel pouch. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as for a lot of people this is really all they’ll need. If however this won’t cut it, you can always go for a more expensive and better equipped shaver, and Panasonic has lots of them to offer.
Replacement parts availability
As with all foil shavers, you will eventually need to replace the cutting blades and the outer foil. Fortunately, they are available separate or as a set:
- Panasonic WES9087PC Men’s Shaver Replacement Outer Foil
- Panasonic WES9068PC Men’s Shaver Replacement Inner Blade
- Panasonic WES9013PC Combo Replacement Shaver Foil and Blade Set
Wrapup — Who should buy it?
You get more than what what you pay for, as the ES8103S incorporates the same technology like other more expensive shavers from Panasonic: same motor, same blades, same foil; the price is kept low by not including a cleaning system and other features like lift-tech foil or travel lock.
If you are looking for a reliable, inexpensive and very capable shaver you can’t go wrong with this one. Currently it is one sale on Amazon for less than half the retail price recommended by Panasonic. Check the price on Amazon.com