What’s The Closest Shaving Electric Razor (2020)? Top 7 List

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What's The Closest Shaving Electric Razor (2020)? Top 7 List

Getting the closest possible shave with an electric razor is something that pops up in pretty much every discussion related to electric shaving.

And there’s really no surprise in that; we all just want a close and comfortable shave.

However, switching to an electric shaver usually implies some sort of a compromise: we’re trading off a bit of closeness for the added benefit of comfort and practicality.

Naturally, we’re interested in trading off as little as possible from that much sought after closeness.

Luckily, today’s modern electric razors are capable of providing very close shaves while still remaining adequately comfortable.

But to put it bluntly, some electric shavers are simply better than others when it comes to cutting the hairs very close to the skin. And that begs the question:

Which electric shaver gives the closest shave?

Well, when it comes to closeness, the more advanced, powerful shavers will usually provide significantly better results and we’ll be taking an in-depth look at some of the razors that deliver the closest shaves.

Let’s dive right in.

What to look for in a razor if closeness is the main concern?

Sharp blades and a thin outer foil are very important in order to get a close shave.

The shaving head of a Panasonic Arc 5.

  • A high-quality shaving head. This is by far the most important part of an electric razor and it’s particularly relevant in the context of closeness; sharp blades and a thin outer foil, machined with very low tolerances, are vital for a close shave.
  • A powerful motor. An electric razor that is fitted with a more powerful motor will shave closer, faster and with greater comfort. As an example, Panasonic uses very fast 14 000 CPM (cycles per minute) linear-drive motors for its top of the line razors. Compared to entry-level, basic shavers that use 7 600 CPM units, the difference is night and day.
  • Adequate comfort. A razor that is comfortable during use will also allow you to shave closer, do more strokes and even apply a bit more pressure. Comfort is also correlated with the heat caused by the friction between the blades that operate at high speeds and the foils. Therefore, you’ll want a razor that remains reasonably cool during operation.

Foil vs Rotary — which one shaves the closest?

Rotary vs foil electric razor: which one is the best for a close shave?

While the foil vs rotary debate is multifaceted and there are solid arguments from both sides, when it comes to the closest shave an electric razor can provide, it is generally accepted that foil razors are better.

This is also my personal stance on the matter.

Having used quite a few foil and rotary razors throughout the years, I constantly found foil shavers to be that much better at providing a closer shave.

In my opinion, there are a few reasons why foil shavers generally offer a closer shave:

  • The micro-foils are thinner than the metal combs used on rotary shavers, meaning the physical barrier between the skin and the actual cutting blades is smaller in the case of foil shavers, allowing a closer shave.
  • They use reciprocating blades that oscillate at much higher speeds; as a downside, this also means more noise during operation compared to rotary shavers and possibly more heat generated by the friction between the foils and blades.
  • The actual design and operation of the foil razor; the straight edge of the cutting elements and the use of short, linear strokes allow more control and precision.
  • Foil electric razors are generally more comfortable. Most users will get a closer shave when using a razor that is more forgiving and that allows them to be more thorough.

There are of course users that get better results using rotary shavers and that’s perfectly normal. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference and anecdotal findings should not be regarded as absolute truths.

But again, in most cases, a quality foil shaver should be a safer choice.

Let’s now see which electric shavers will give you the closest shave.

What are some of the closest shaving electric razors in 2020?

1. Panasonic Arc 5 ES-LV65-S

Panasonic es-lv65-s Arc 5

See the price on Amazon

Panasonic electric razors represent a very solid option if you’re mainly concerned with shaving performance.

In my experience, they even manage to outperform the other big name in the foil shavers camp (Braun) if we consider strictly the closeness of the shave.

If you want the absolute best in terms of closeness, then look no further than Panasonic’s range-topping line, the Arc 5.

The Panasonic ES-LV65-S is a more budget-friendly, but still very capable razor from the previous generation Arc 5 line of shavers.

There are various models included in the Arc 5 family, but all of them share the same important features:

  • high-quality stainless steel blades that are sharpened at a very aggressive 30 degrees angle and ensure efficient, close and effortless cutting;
  • 5 slightly curved cutting elements that together form a massive shaving head, capable of shaving large areas with ease and also very fast;
  • 14 000 CPM linear-drive motors that provide plenty of cutting power at a constant rate.

All these features work together seamlessly to provide an extremely close shave.

As mentioned above, my personal pick from the second generation Arc 5 line has to be the ES-LV65-S as it offers the best performance for the price.

The ES-LV65-S is a very capable electric shaver that can deliver a really close shave.

The ES-LV65-S is the razor that paved the road for the newer Arc 5 models.

However, they are very similar specs-wise and the ES-LV65-S is still a highly capable machine today, definitely one of the best electric razors for getting a really close shave.

While the comfort of the newer Arc 5 models is slightly superior, this razor will be more than adequate for most men looking for a very close shave at a more affordable price.

In fact, I’d go as far as saying that they’re pretty much identical if we only consider the closeness of the shave.

The Panasonic ES-LV65-S.

The performance is pretty similar throughout the Arc 5 family of shavers and picking one mainly comes down to your budget, availability of certain models, and the need for a cleaning station.

Speaking of which, my recommendation would be to skip the station as Panasonic foil shavers are dead easy to clean manually.

By opting for a shaver without a cleaning station like this ES-LV65-S, you’ll also be saving some money. And being an older model, it’s likely to be found at an excellent price too.

For these reasons I consider the ES-LV65-S to be the ideal choice for most users looking for an electric razor that shaves very close.

The price and performance make this model unbeatable in 2020.

For more details, you can check out my complete Panasonic ES-LV65-S review.

UPDATE: Last year, Panasonic released an update to the ES-LV65, the ES-LV67. Apart from a revised design, this newer shaver doesn’t bring any significant improvements to the shaving performance. In fact, it uses the exact same foil and blades.
The newer Panasonic ES-LV67.

The newer Panasonic ES-LV67.

As a result, choosing between them should strictly come down to price and availability in your country.

The older ES-LV65-S is almost always cheaper, sometimes by quite a lot, which is why it’s still my pick.

2. Panasonic Arc 5 ES-LV9Q

See the price on Amazon

The ES-LV9Q represents the flagship of the third generation Arc 5 family from Panasonic and just like the ES-LV-65-S above, it’s one of the electric razors that can get as close to a blade with the current technology.

This shaver uses the same high power 14 000 CPM motor and excellent 30 degrees blades as the previous Arc 5 razors, but comes with a few novelties of its own:

  • Two comfort rollers that prevent the foils from being pressed excessively into the skin;
  • The shaving head can also be depressed; this, combined with the 360-degree swivel makes this razor extremely adaptable and capable of maintaining constant contact with the skin, even when shaving difficult areas like the jawline or the neck;
  • The body of the shaver is made out of brushed aluminum.

The aesthetics and build quality of the razor compared to previous, second-generation Arc 5 models are vastly improved, with the use of more upmarket materials and a classy color scheme.

The massive head with its 5 cutting elements is able to shave close to the skin even the coarsest facial hair.

The shaving head of the latest generation Arc 5 shavers with the two golden comfort rollers.

The middle trimmer and the two flanking foils are designed to cut longer hairs that lie flat on the skin, reducing them to a more manageable length for the two outer finishing foils.

Panasonic shavers don’t excel at this, meaning they work best when used on shorter facial hair (2 to 3 days at most), so in order to get the best results, it would be recommended to shave more often.

The comfort rollers ensure a smooth and gentle glide of the shaver, slightly improving the comfort of previous Arc 5 razors.

This makes the ES-LV9Q also somewhat suitable for men with sensitive skin.

While shaving is a very personal matter and the results depend on many factors, I think it is safe to say that the Arc 5 models probably shave closer than any other electric razors you can currently buy without making too many compromises.

As you’ll see later on, there are other razors that can shave closer, but they have some serious limitations.

The ES-LV9Q also comes with a cleaning & charging station. While Panasonic’s cleaning stations aren’t absolutely necessary, they can be useful if you want a complete fuss-free experience.

The only downside of this Arc 5 razor is the price; being a new model, it is rather high. The same goes for the replacement foils and blades, which can be pricey.

But again, if the purchase price is not a constraint and you want one of the closest shaves of any electric razor, this is the one to have.

If you live in UK/Europe, the ES-LV9Q is widely available and cheaper than for example in the USA as Panasonic never officially released it there.

See it on Amazon.co.uk

Otherwise, you can safely opt for the number 1 in this list, the ES-LV65-S; while it doesn’t look as posh, it will shave just as close and for significantly less money.

3. Panasonic Arc 4 ES-LA63-S

Panasonic ES-LA63-S

See the price on Amazon

If your budget is limited, but still want the closest shave for the money, you’ll have a hard time finding a better razor than the Panasonic ES-LA63-S Arc 4.

Considering its price, the performance of this particular shaver is quite spectacular.

I can only attribute this to the fact that it incorporates some of the technologies found on the more expensive razors from Panasonic, like the ones presented above.

The ES-LA63-S from the Arc 4 family is a great shaver for the budget-oriented buyer.

Here are the key features that make the Panasonic ES-LA63-S Arc 4 an excellent choice for a close shave:

  • A powerful 14 000 CPM motor;
  • 30 degrees high-quality stainless steel blades;
  • 4 individual cutting elements;
  • A second motor located in the shaving head that vibrates and helps capture longer hairs.

The result of these features is a very close shave, definitely one of the best you can get in this price range.

While the effectiveness of that second motor is questionable — this razor is still not great with long, flat-lying hairs — when used on reasonably short beards it will deliver excellent results.

Granted, the newer, more advanced (and much more expensive) razors will be slightly better, but this one is no slouch either.

I highly recommend it as a more affordable, budget-friendly option to the razors above.

4. Panasonic Arc 4 ES-LF51-A

See the price on Amazon

Another fantastic performer when it comes purely to closeness is again a shaver from Panasonic’s excellent Arc 4 family, the ES-LF51-A.

This particular model is a personal favorite of mine and a great alternative to the ES-LA63-S presented above.

The ES-LF51-A comes equipped with the same punchy 14 000 CPM motor, has 4 individual cutting elements, and uses the same excellent 30 degrees nano-blades.

The ES-LF51-A is probably the closest shaving razor in this price range.

To keep the price low, it lacks the second vibrating motor located inside the shaving head.

However, when it comes to getting a very close shave, that doesn’t make any difference at all.

Moreover, the shaving head of the ES-LF51-A is more compact, making the shaver a lot easier to maneuver.

Panasonic ES-LF51-A (left) vs Panasonic ES-LA63-S (right).

Panasonic ES-LF51-A (left) vs Panasonic ES-LA63-S (right).

Unsurprisingly, the closeness provided by the ES-LF51-A is identical and maybe even slightly better thanks to the more compact shaving head.

I would also recommend it over the ES-LA63-S to men just getting started with electric shaving as the smaller head makes it easier to use.

Like all Arc 4 models, the ES-LF51-A can often be found at a bargain price.

To keep the price low, there’s no cleaning station included with the ES-LF51-A either, but again you really don’t need one.

Cleaning the inner blades of the ES-LF51-A.

Since it’s completely waterproof, you can clean it with some warm tap water and (optionally) a bit of liquid soap.

UPDATE: Being an older model, the ES-LF51-A is not always available. In that case, a very good alternative would be the newer Panasonic Arc 4 ES8243AA.

5. Panasonic Arc 3 ES8103S

The Panasonic ES8103S, an affordable shaver that offer excellent performance

See the price on Amazon

At this point, you’re probably starting to see a trend — Panasonic is by far the most popular brand in this list.

But objectively, they are better than the rest at what we’re interested in.

Braun excels at comfort and shaving flat-lying hairs and while Remington has a few affordable models that shave surprisingly close, they aren’t as comfortable and the reliability and build quality of their current shavers aren’t the best.

So my pick for a budget-friendly electric razors that also shaves close is another Panasonic, precisely the Arc ES8103S.

This one is an older model that was launched more than 12 years ago, but it’s still a great option.

In fact, newer Arc 3 models don’t bring any significant improvements as far as performance goes, so if we factor in the (usually) excellent price of the ES8103S, it’s by far the more sensible choice.

As the name implies, it only has 3 cutters, but with a punchy 13 000 CPM motor and the same 30 degrees blades, it’s a really good performer.

In this price range you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better one.

It’s also a great choice for a beginner thanks to its slim shaving head, it’s easy to use and to clean and, of course, it shaves close.

For more details, make sure to check out my review of the ES8103S.

6. Andis 17150 Pro Foil

Andis Pro Foil.

See the price on Amazon

I was extremely hesitant about including this one in a list of the closest shaving razors.

Objectively, I think it does manage to get closer than pretty much all the shavers mentioned here, but it comes with a lot of caveats that make it difficult to recommend in most cases as you’ll see next.

Getting back to the closeness, it manages to achieve it by using what are likely the thinnest foils I’ve ever seen on an electric razor.

The shaving head of the Andis Pro Foil with its two cutters.

The Pro Foil is marketed by Andis as a tool designed for finishing fades and removing stubble.

While the first part of that statement is pretty straightforward, the latter is quite vague.

But after using it myself to shave my face on a regular basis, I can’t really say that it’s a viable option.

There are a few reasons for that.

First of all, it works best on really short hair. So you’ll absolutely have to use it daily.

I tried shaving a 2 or 3-day beard and it wasn’t a good experience.

The razor would vibrate excessively when cutting longer stubble and it felt quite rough on the face. Also, while it isn’t the most comfortable shaver, it’s even worse when trying to shave longer facial hair.

For me it was impossible to shave my neck without constantly getting some small nicks and stinging.

Flat hairs were constantly left behind as well.

But even so, I can’t really blame the Pro Foil as it wasn’t designed for this. Again, when using it to shave short hairs it performed a lot better.

But because of this limitation, it’s not very practical or versatile. Having it as a second, complementary shaver does make more sense.

You’ll be able to get a perfectly smooth and close shave on those areas where your regular electric razor just doesn’t seem to do a good job.

I was really impressed by the closeness of the Pro Foil when I used it in this manner.

Another minus that further impacts the practicality is that you cannot clean it with water.

This basically means that you’ll have to rely on a small brush or maybe using a can of compressed air to blow out the hair clippings.

The Andis Pro Foil can't be cleaned with water.

And since it manages to shave so close, it also produces some of the finest hair dust I’ve seen. And it tends to go all over the place and on the outside of the shaver as well.

I really missed being able to just rinse it clean under the tap.

So in conclusion, unless you always shave daily (it also works great to shave your head) or have a second, main electric razor, the Andis Profoil is not the best option, despite the fact that it is probably the closest shaving razor in this list.

Also, because the foils are so thin, they tend to wear out a lot faster than usual and need to be changed every 6 months. On the bright side, the blades and foils are quite cheap.

The battery life is also really good at 80 minutes worth of cordless shaving and it will also work with the cord plugged in.

7. Braun Series 9 9290cc

Braun Series 9 9290cc

See the price on Amazon

The Series 9 represents Braun’s flagship line of electric razors and incorporates the best technologies the company has to offer.

Braun’s electric shavers are notorious for being supremely comfortable during use.

The very popular Series 7 remained for many years the benchmark in terms of comfort but was often thought to be not quite as good as some of the offerings from Panasonic with regards to closeness.

The Series 9 was designed to address this issue and to offer the closest possible shave, while also remaining very comfortable and gentle to the skin.

And it almost lives up to the expectations.

The Braun Series 9 9290cc.

Being basically a Series 7 on steroids, with more blades, more torque, and more technology on board, the new Braun Series 9 builds upon an already solid foundation and represents a very compelling package.

There are a few variations of the Series 9, suitable for dry only (now discontinued) or wet & dry operation. They are also available with or without a cleaning station.

My personal pick would be the 9290cc as it can be used wet & dry and comes with Braun’s excellent cleaning station, arguably one of the best in the industry. You can also check out my detailed review of it here.

The shaving head of the Series 9 9290cc with the updated, Titanium coated trimmer.

The shaving performance of the Series 9 9290cc is overall outstanding.

So why only the last position for Braun’s range-topping razor?

While it’s difficult to objectively say if it shaves as close as the Panasonic models, in my experience, it wasn’t quite as good.

It was definitely more than adequate and I think most men will be perfectly satisfied with the closeness, but compared side by side, even the Arc 4 models were better.

Braun Series 9 9290cc vs Panasonic ES-LF51-A.

Braun Series 9 9290cc vs Panasonic ES-LF51-A.

Panasonic shavers are generally better at providing a closer shave, while Braun shavers excel at comfort.

And the Series 9 really is supremely comfortable and shaving with it is a real treat.

If you have very sensitive skin, but still want a close shave, the Series 9 9290cc is probably the best you can currently buy.

In fact, it may even be better for you than an Arc 5 in this situation, even though the latter is objectively superior with regards to the closeness of the shave.

While a cleaning station was not really necessary for the Panny, you’ll probably want one with your Series 9.

The Series 9 9290cc Silver during the automatic cleaning cycle.

A manual cleaning can be fiddly and time-consuming and you never seem to get all the hair clippings and dirt out of the shaving head, no matter how thorough you are.

The alcohol-based solution that provides excellent cleaning and lubrication, along with the reasonably quiet and fast operation make this cleaning & charging station a must-have.

There are also a few tips and tricks you can use in order to make the cleaning refills last a lot longer.

The Series 9 gets a bonus point for the purchase price of the shaver, being lower than the one of the newest Arc 5 shavers. But it’s still overall a pricey shaver.

The cost of the replacement blades and foils (92s/92b cassettes) has also dropped significantly and the price is now almost reasonable (for a high-end shaver).

To sum it up, I recommend the Series 9 to users with very sensitive, blemish-prone skin as it is by far the most comfortable shaver on this list.

Tips to further improve the closeness of the shave

Now that you’ve hopefully settled for one of the closest shaving electric razors out there, let’s see how you can make the most out of it.

I wrote a comprehensive article on how to improve the closeness of the shave with an electric razor and I highly recommend reading that one as well. You can do so here.

With that said, here are a few quick tips that can help you with getting the closest possible shave using an electric razor:

  • Try shaving with a quality shaving cream. Apart from the Andis Pro Foil, all the recommended shavers in this article can be used wet and dry. Oftentimes the addition of a shaving cream improves the closeness and the comfort of the shave. Give it a try and see how it goes.
  • Use a pre-shave lotion. If wet shaving is not an option, try the next best thing: a pre-electric shave lotion. This can significantly improve the performance of your razor during a dry shave and help you get a closer shave. They’re cheap, widely available and take seconds to apply.
  • Properly charge, clean, and lubricate your razor. This one is pretty self-explanatory. You can read more about how and when to lubricate your electric shaver here.
  • Use a spray lubricant. They work incredibly well, especially for getting that extra bit of performance out of slightly worn blades. My favorite is the Remington Shaver Saver spray as it seems to work the best out of all the brands I’ve tried. The closeness is constantly better when I use it and it will also extend the lifespan of the cutting elements.
  • Always shave against the grain, using controlled strokes and keeping the shaver perpendicular and flat on the skin. You can use your free hand to keep the skin taut.
  • Replace dull blades and worn foils. The foils and blades of your electric razor will eventually wear out and you’ll need to replace them with new ones. Always buy original replacement parts that were designed specifically for your particular razor. Spending money on replacement foils and blades is no fun, but it’s vital for a close shave and safe operation.

This pretty much concludes this guide. If you have any other questions, make sure to post them in the comments below.

What was your experience? Do you have any other suggestions of electric razors that should be on this list?

55 comments on “What’s The Closest Shaving Electric Razor (2020)? Top 7 List

Leave a comment
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thank you for your comment, John. I’m glad you found the article useful.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  1. Stephen Gooze

    Thanks for the information. I am a DE blade Wet Shaver and looking to buy my first electric. Definitely want a Panasonic. Need help choosing between the 8243, LA63, or LV65.
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Stephen,

      all three of them are actually pretty similar in this regard. The ES-LA63-S and ES-LV65-S have a slight advantage over the ES8243S: a bit more power (14 000 CPM vs 13 000 CPM) and more advanced flexing shaving heads. The ES-LV65-S also comes with one extra blade. If you have the budget for it, I would say that the ES-LV65-S is the one to have for a very close shave. Whichever you end up buying, it will take some time to get used to it coming from a DE razor. Your skin must adapt to the new method of shaving and your technique needs time to improve, especially since the Arc 4 and 5 have quite bulky shaving heads – not exactly ideal for a first time user.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  2. Peter

    Hi, this is a really informative article! I’ve been shaving with an electric shaver for years, but I’ve been always disappointed with the closeness. I’m currently using a Braun WaterFlex (it’s specifically made for wet shaving with a shaving cream) and it’s okay, but I still wish I had a closer shave. Now I’m thinking about getting the Panasonic ES-LV65-S, because I’ve read good things about it when it comes to close shaves. Have you ever tried a Braun WaterFlex so that you could compare these two? I’m sure the Panasonic will be better, but I wonder if the difference would be huge, or just minimal.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Peter,

      Thank you for your comment. I have yet to try the WaterFlex, but for all intents and purposes the ES-LV65-S should be better. A lot better. I try to stay clear of making assumptions without actually testing a shaver, but after trying quite a few I think I kinda have a feel for this and I would place the Braun WaterFlex somewhere between the Series 3 and the Series 5 with regards to shaving performance. I own all of them and at least in my case the closeness that I get with the ES-LV65-S is significantly better. It also works amazing with shaving cream.

      For me the Arc 5 is a worthy upgrade and probably for the majority of men as well. However, shaving is very personal and oddities can sometimes occur. Hopefully that won’t be the case if you decide to get it.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      1. Peter

        Hi Ovidiu, thanks for the reply!

        I’ll think about it some more, but since I really want to be finally satisfied with a shave, I’ll probably get that Panasonic shaver.

        If you’re curious, I’ll leave a comment here with my thought about it after I buy it and try shaving with it a few times. 🙂

        Reply
        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

          You are very welcome, Peter. If you have the time I would surely like to know your thoughts on the Panny.

          Reply
  3. Craig

    I’m really struggling to understand what is the best type of shaver to use on my head, will this go shorter than most clippers?

    Am I just better off using a razor, or will these take it down to pretty much nothing?

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Craig,

      An electric razor will likely shave closer than a regular hair clipper. The ones in this list are particularly good at cutting hairs close to skin level. A razor blade will get you the closest possible shave, but at the expense of nicks and irritation. An electric shaver is an excellent compromise in my opinion.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  4. Joe

    Ovidiu,

    Thanks for your site and reviews. I’m always cautious of sites that do reviews, wondering if they have an incentive to favor a particular brand. Do you or ShaveCheck have any support or incentive from Panasonic or any other brand of shaver?

    Joe

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Joe,

      Thank you for your comment. I am not endorsed by Panasonic or other brand of electric shavers. I never received incentives from anyone and I will refuse any type of compensation. I personally buy all the shavers featured in the reviews and the content on this website represents my personal, unbiased opinion. If an electric shaver is plain bad, I will have no problem saying so as it was the case with this Panasonic for example. Or this Remington model. I will never compromise my integrity or present distorted information to my readers.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  5. Simon

    Hi,

    Your articles are very thorough and I’ve tried your methods – the wet shaving but it went really bad – I cut and burned myself.
    But the dry electric lotion is great.

    I have acquired Braun 9290cc and I still have 2 months “give back money” quarantie.
    I imagined the closeness would be the same as Mach3 so I was disappointed. With lotion it is better but I still need to finish with my Mach3 to feel comfortable and not touching my face all the time.
    My question is – is there any sense in first dry-shaving and then using the regular to correct the results? Will my skin suffer?
    I’ve noticed my Mach lasts longer if I use dry shave first but I do not think it is worth it.
    I am considering returning the Braun because I like my face smooth and using both is too much but maybe it is something people do.
    I wish I checked your articles before buying but I had only few days to use my discount.
    Thank you for your time

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Simon,

      I’m sorry to hear that your first electric shaver didn’t meet your expectations. Finding a suitable shaving machine always takes some trial and error.

      Switching back and forth between a razor blade and an electric shaver or using both at the same time is clearly not ideal. I would strongly advise against doing so. A razor blade shaves off a thin layer of skin cells which triggers the body to produce scar tissue. It takes a few weeks for the body to get rid of it. During this time you won’t get the best results with an electric shaver. That’s why the manufacturers always say to allow a few weeks for the skin to adjust to the new shaving method after making the switch to electric. Constantly getting back to your Mach 3 will keep this loop going.

      It would be best to pick just one — be it an electric shaver or a DE/cartridge razor — and stick to it for at least a few weeks and only then draw a conclusion and decide what to do next.

      Also, since you are particularly interested in getting a close shave, I think a Panasonic Arc 5 would have been a better option. Panasonics also work better with shaving cream.

      Since you can still return the Series 9, the Arc 5 would definitely be worth considering. Just remember that it takes some time for your skin to adapt and for your technique to improve.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      1. Simon

        Thank you for your time to answer.

        In the Netherlands I cannot buy Panasonic Arch5. Maybe because they try promoting the Dutch Philips but still I think it is not for me as I have the time to wet shave. I will return the Braun and stay with Mach3 as it gives me no cuts and this tiny margin of lack of closeness irritates me. But this is me. My friend uses the same old electrics for years without changing the blades and is very satisfied.
        I do not have the audacity to shave with DE or a straight razor but it was a very informative experience. Not to mention I asked half a dozen of friends how they shaved 🙂

        It is good it works for you as it is a great experience to use a fancy electric machine.

        Simon

        Reply
  6. Melvin

    I have the Panasonic ES-LA63-s Arc 4 shaver and it’s great. I was using the Braun 799 because I have sensitive skin areas. I noticed that I wasn’t getting a close shave like I get with the Panasonic ES-LA63-s so I stopped using the Braun 799.
    The question I have is the Panasonic ES-LV9N-s Arc 5 better for sensitive skin than the
    Panasonic ES-LA63-s? The Panasonic ES-LA63-s can be a little tough on the skin at times. I use
    Lectric Shave lotion for pre-shave prepping.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Melvin,

      I actually have the same problem with the ES-LA63-S, it is a bit too aggressive for my skin during a dry shave. The ES-LV9N-S is more comfortable compared to the Arc 4 line — not by a whole lot, but it is. The foils don’t get as warm and the rollers do seem to help as well. It’s still not as comfortable as a Braun Series 9 or even 7 though, so it would be difficult for me to say how much of a difference it will make in your case.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      1. Melvin

        Thank you for your reponse. Do you get a real close shave with the Braun Series 9 or is the Panasonic ES-LV9N-s that much closer because I do press a little hard on my skin.

        Reply
        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

          The Series 9 doesn’t shave quite as close as the ES-LV9N-S, but for me the closeness is good enough. With the Series 9 I can shave dry with virtually zero irritation, it’s extremely forgiving and better than the Panasonic for flat-lying hairs, particularly on the neck. As you can see none of them is perfect and you’ll have to make some sort of compromise and decide which one would be more beneficial in your case.

          Reply
  7. Melvin

    I brought the Braun 9295 and I get as close a shave as I did with the Panasonic ES-LA63-s Arc 4 with minimum irration. The reason why I brought the Braun 9295 instead of the Braun 9290 was the price. There was no real difference in the price so I brought the higher number model. Thinkiing I’m will be getting a better shave but what I found out is you still get the same shave. I’m glad I brought the Braun 9295. I can deal with the chrome finish.

    Reply
  8. Rick Brenner

    The #1 choice is no longer available. Sad. Do you have a replacement #1 that is just as good?

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Rick,

      The ES-LV9A is still available, or better yet, the newer C and D revisions of the Arc 5 range. I wrote a detailed article on them here. I will also update this list with the newly available models.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  9. Rich

    I was wondering. Could I use the Arc 5 to shave my body hair? I currently use the Panasonic body groomer, but would like to use a more powerful razor with a larger surface to speed up the process. I have tried searching for this information, but was not successful.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Rich,

      Foil electric razors are designed to work on short, thick, coarse hair, so they’re not ideal for shaving body hair from the get-go. I guess it would work if the hairs are very short and don’t lie flat on the skin, otherwise you would still be better off with using a body groomer.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  10. Alex

    What is your opinion on the Philips OneBlade shaver/trimmer hybrid: https://www.amazon.com/Philips-Norelco-OneBlade-QP2520-90/dp/B01D328BG6?
    Remington has a product like that called Remington DuraBlade: https://www.amazon.com/Remington-DuraBlade-Lithium-Hybrid-Trimmer/dp/B074XHFNF2/ref=sr_1_1?crid=31JM2TAFZO8H5&keywords=remington+durablade&qid=1563201552&s=gateway&sprefix=remigton+dura%2Caps%2C276&sr=8-1
    Rowenta(a German brand) has one called Forever Sharp: https://www.amazon.co.uk/ROWENTA-TN6010-Forever-Sharp-Cortapelos/dp/B07NY27KP4/ref=sr_1_1?crid=WDFE1TRN2VPC&keywords=rowenta+forever+sharp&qid=1563201621&s=gateway&sprefix=rowenta+fore%2Caps%2C610&sr=8-1.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Alex,

      I’ve actually ordered the OneBlade a few weeks ago, but simply didn’t have the time to try it, much less to review it. So I’m afraid I cannot yet comment on it. However, if you’re after that type of shaver, the OneBlade is probably your safest bet. Remington unfortunately has been really struggling with their shavers and everything I’ve tried in the last few years has been mediocre at best. Seeing the user reviews on the DuraBlade, it doesn’t look too good either. But again, I haven’t actually used it. Same goes for the Rowenta Forever Sharp, never used any shavers from the brand, but I am a bit intrigued by it and will try to get one myself.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  11. Chantal De Graaf

    Hey!

    Thanks for the review. You tested the machines on your face. Do you have information on using the machines on the scalp.
    Last time I get irritation in the neck/back of my head by using safety razor and shavinggel. I always shave against the hear for the closest shave possible. Is there a machine with the same results as the razor?
    Thanks a lot

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi,

      Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately I cannot answer you based on my experience as I do not shave my head, but these results should also be relevant if you’re using these shavers on the scalp. You can check out this article as well that addresses the topic in detail.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  12. Keith

    I need to purchase an electric razor for my 93-year old father. Should I be more concerned with comfort or closeness of shave? He is in a nursing home, so I don’t want to buy an expensive shaver because it might disappear. What would you recommend?

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Keith,

      I would opt for an inexpensive and more comfortable shaver in this situation — something like a Braun Series 3 3000s or 3010s. The former will also work corded. Both are very easy to use and to clean. With age, skin loses elasticity and becomes more prone to nicks and razor burn, so a more forgiving razor would be preferred to one that shaves closer.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  13. Luis

    Hi,
    I have to clean shave daily due to my job and I would like to know which electric razor would should I buy.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Luis,

      If you need to shave daily, I think something like a Panasonic Arc 5 ES-LV65-S would be ideal. It works really well on short stubble and it shaves really close. If the price exceeds your budget, then the next best thing would be an Arc 4 model like the ones mentioned in the article.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  14. Stephen

    Thankyou I have a problem with a really dark shadow after shaving on chin what do I do I don’t have any dad or family to ask also thankyou for being helpful as it’s embarrassing stay safe

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Stephen,

      There’s nothing embarrassing about this at all. The chin is one of the more tricky areas as it’s difficult to get a close shave and the hairs are usually thicker and very dense. Personally, I get the best results with Panasonic shavers as they can actually cut the hairs closer to the skin due to the curved profile of the shaving elements and they also have very thin foils. Adding a pre-shave lotion or a shaving cream can further improve your shave.

      I would consider a Panasonic Arc 5 like the ES-LV65-S. If you’re on a tighter budget, an Arc 4 would be the next best thing.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  15. Etienne

    Hi. I have a hard time with traditional shaving due to the time it takes me to attain good results (which for me, is smooth skin whether I touch from side to side, or up and down), and I always hate the fact these disappear the day after, just for me to take again a lot of time to shave.
    So I’ve been eyeing electric shaving for a little while now, and I’ve been wondering what you consider close shaving with an electric razor. Is it baby bottom smooth, or more of a “I can’t see it but I can feel it” type of situation. (Also, I’d probably wet shave, since it seems to yield the best results).

    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Etienne,

      With a suitable electric shaver and a quality shaving cream (as you said), for me, the result is baby bottom smooth. The winning combo in my case is a Panasonic Arc 5 shaver and the Speick shaving cream. It takes longer than dry shaving, but as you said, the result is better. It does however take less time than in the case of traditional wet shaving as there’s no need to have that rich, fluffy lather. On the contrary, that would be detrimental to the closeness of the shave. I wrote a guide on that topic as well if you want to check it out.

      Using a shaving balm instead of shaving cream can also result in a faster shave. Moreover, you can actually see the hairs as the product is basically transparent once applied to the beard. One such product is Jack Black Beard Lube that works great with razor blades and also electric shavers.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  16. Charles Peck

    I travel a lot, sometimes for extended times. For that reason, I found the Braun I bought to be unsuitable. The open tub of fluid in the cleaning/charging station makes it entirely non-portable. I had not been made aware of this before purchase.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Charles,

      Traveling with a cleaning station (and cartridge) is definitely not practical. I would only bring the shaver (and charger) and clean it manually. Most modern electric razors are waterproof and can be easily washed with tap water.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  17. DNA

    I have the Panasonic ES-LV9Q that I purchased 4 weeks ago and it shaves as good as or better than a blade. I did my homework before buying, and read every review written. A few suggested i read stated to use a pre-shave to protect from shaver burn/ rash due to the extremely close shave that is achieved with this shaver. I did my research on pre-shaves and chose Proraso and the reason, no alcohol. The two work beautifully together. The ES-LV9Q is pricey and I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for. This shaver body is made from aluminum not plastic and it is a beautiful piece of engineering that feels like a quality build piece that sets great in the hand. Solid!!!!

    Pros: very close shave, quality build, made from aluminum, quiet, cleaning station is great and the only one that offers dry only, very easy to clean manually (easier than all top 3 shavers), cost effective cleaning solution.
    Cons: pricey, comes with a cheap soft travel case not a hard case which you would think you’d get a hard case at this price range,it has a european plug with an adapter that’s included but with the two plugged together it sticks out from the wall socket 4 ⅜”. The plug was a surprise because the packaging is written in english.
    To sum it up, the travel case I replaced with a Khanga brand case made for the Arc 5 that I ordered from Amazon. It is a great case at protecting your investment but it takes some planning when packing it due to the size. Great at protecting but not compact. And as for the plug, I purchased a Panasonic plug for the states that I got on eBay because it was not offered on Amazon. Now it is the way that it should have been from the start. In ending, would I buy it again knowing what I know now, and I say ABSOLUTELY. The pros definitely out weigh the cons and I have never had a shaver with a build quality or a shave that could come close to this shaver. I can now skip a day shaving that I could never do before. SERIOUSLY, that’s how it works for me. I hope this helps those in the market to make an educated decision and good luck.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thank you for your comment, those are some excellent insights. Glad you’re satisfied with the performance of your Arc 5.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  18. Erick

    Hi Ovidiu,

    First off, thank you very much for your thorough, insightful reviews!

    I’m looking for a replacement for my old Panasonic ES-LA93 because the battery is dying. I fully charge it, then the remaining capacity drops by 10% for each three-minute shave (which is normal), but when the capacity indication reads 60%, it won’t last for an entire shave. So I have to recharge when it’s at 60%. Every few weeks, this number seems to increase…

    Anyway, I have a medium to thick beard. Closeness is the most important factor for me. Using my ES-LA93 still leaves a very noticeable five-o’clock shadow, so if I leave home during the evening, I shave a second time that day. (This might partly be due to me not having replaced the inner blades and the foil set for way too long…)

    By the way, I never used the included cleaning station, I always cleaned the unit manually.

    Given that closeness is most important, and my ES-LA93 never gave me any irritations at all, what would you advise?
    a) An ES-LV65 for about € 120, replacing the foils with the newest foils when it’s time to replace them
    b) An ES-LV6Q for about € 230

    If the ES-LV6Q is closer, even by a small amount, I would not care spending more for it. If, on the other hand, the closeness is not noticeable in practice, especially not after replacing the foils with the newest-generation foils, then I’d go for the ES-LV65.

    Kind regards,
    Erick

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Erick,

      Many thanks for the kind words, glad you found the reviews useful.

      In this case, I would easily recommend the ES-LV65. I find the foil that comes with the ES-LV6Q to be slightly more comfortable, but with regards to closeness, they are really identical in my experience. And since your LA93 didn’t cause you any irritation, you’ll be more than pleased with the ES-LV65. Besides, you can always upgrade the foil and get the one that comes with the ES-LV6Q; it is backward compatible and will fit it perfectly. I wrote a detailed guide here on Arc 5 foils & blades compatibility.

      And finally, even if money is not an issue, I just can’t get over the fact that the ES-LV6Q costs twice as much and you’re only getting some incremental (and negligible) improvements.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      1. Erick

        Thanks Ovidiu, that helps a lot!

        (Sorry for my late reply… the delay is caused by a lack of time, not by lack of interest.)

        I have two more questions, if I may ask them:
        1. The ES-LV65 is often listed as ES-LV65-S803. The S would indicate the colour (Silver), but what does the 803 mean?
        2. How many stages does the battery-charge indicator have (10 levels, 5 levels, less)?

        Thanks in advance,

        Erick

        Reply
        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

          You are very welcome, Erick.

          Regarding your questions:

          1. ES-LV65-S803 is actually the full name, but most of the time it’s simply listed ES-LV65-S.
          2. There are 5 levels (increments of 20%).

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
  19. Sheldon

    Hey Ovidiu Nicolae,

    I have somewhat sensitive skin as I have a few pimples on my cheeks, I can’t decide between the Braun 9 series and the Arc 5, what would you suggest.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi,

      I would go with the Series 9 or even a Series 7 in this case. The Arc 5 can be a bit too harsh for sensitive skin.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  20. Fred

    Your reviews are very thorough and outstanding! Great info. Thanks for what you do. Regarding foil shavers, I have settled on two: Andis pro-foil and the Wahl Finale. Both are retro-looking and, for me, give the closest shaves from an electric that you can get. I had a Panasonic Arc 5, and while it was very good and had great engineering, the shaving head was too big and it couldn’t match the closeness of the Andis or the Wahl. And I have a fairly heavy beard (daily sandpaper). So I highly recommend either of these (they are both comparable and use similar technology with very thin foils).
    I also have an NPET rotary shaver -not quite as good as the above foil shavers, but extremely quiet so it’s great for travel.
    All 3 of these shavers are reasonably priced. Thanks again for your reviews. I have learned a lot!!

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Fred,

      Many thanks for your comment, glad you found the information useful. I’ve also read about the Andis and Wahl foil shavers, however I haven’t had the chance to try them (I live in Europe and they’re basically non-existent here). But I’ll try getting them from overseas, hopefully soon.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  21. Shital Shah

    Hi, A good site with useful shaver comments.

    I am a disabled man who uses an Andis Pro Foil shaver daily. I have to use it 10 times on same area of my face, not ideal. In past I tried a Panasonic shaver but this didn’t suit me as my hands shake and it cut my face. This Andis shaver is relatively cheap.

    Now I would appreciate your suggestion as 10 times is to much.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Shital,

      Thank you for your comment, much appreciated.

      Going over an area 10 times with an electric razor isn’t necessarily too much, although you should normally be able to get a clean shave with fewer strokes than that. It is too much if you’re left with a nasty razor burn or some nicks.

      I personally find the Pro Foil a bit too aggressive for my neck (on the cheeks is fine most of the time), so in this case, 10 times is probably too much. To reduce the number of strokes, try shaving more often (the Pro Foil only works well on short hair) and also use an electric pre-shave lotion if you can get one.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply

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