The latest Panasonic Arc 5 Pro (or Lamdash 5 Pro as it’s called in Japan) is comprised of 5 new shaver models which will be available from June 2023 and very likely be limited to the Japanese domestic market.
If the past is any indication, there probably won’t be a global release of this iteration, which means that for the rest of the world, the newest Arc 5 available will continue to be the Series 900 (aka revision G), first released in 2021.
We called last year’s Arc 5 Pro generation the revision H after the name of several models in that series.
For consistency, we will refer to this 2023 Arc 5 update as revision J (for some reason, the letter I was skipped by Panasonic).
So let’s take a quick look at the main features and see if there are any improvements to the 2023 Arc 5 compared to the previous versions.
Table of Contents
Panasonic Arc 5 Pro 2023 features
One thing that all these Arc 5/Lamdash 5 updates seem to have in common is that they were very incremental.
Apart from the revision C which was a significant change from the abruptly discontinued revision B, all of these updates (D through H) have been minor or mainly cosmetic.
And after thoroughly checking the specs and Panasonic’s product page, I quickly came to the conclusion that the 2023 Arc 5 followed the same path.
In fact, there seems to be a single difference compared to last year’s revision H which was also the first one with the word Pro in the name.
Side note: There’s nothing Pro about the 2022 and 2023 Arc 5 series compared to any of the previous non-Pro revisions. The addition of that term is purely marketing.
With that out of the way, let’s quickly go over the main features of the 2023 Arc 5 (Pro).
1. 5-blade shaving system
The 2023 Panasonic Arc 5 Pro features the trademark head with 5 individual (active) shaving elements.
The only foil shaver with more blades is Panasonic’s very own Arc 6 or Series 900+ as it’s called in Europe.
As for this Arc 5 Pro revision J, the foil and two inner blades are the same ones from the previous revision H and G (Series 900).
As a result, the foil and blades set has the same part number, ES9040.
The shaving unit is the most important part of a shaver (alongside the motor) and will have a major impact on the shaving performance.
But as we saw, everything has remained unchanged for the 2023 models.
2. 14 000 CPM (cycles per minute) motor
The motor is also the same 14 000 CPM unit used in every range-topping Panasonic razor.
It’s a highly powerful, fast and refined motor, arguably the best in the industry and it’s flawlessly paired with the above-mentioned shaving system.
3. Flexible shaving head
We also have the same Close contact 5D head from the previous generations, so nothing new on that front either.
The head is an impressive feat of engineering, but as I said on multiple occasions, it’s not particularly useful in practice.
All that flexing makes the head a bit wobbly and the 5 blades have a limited range of motion and it takes a lot of pressure to move them.
Braun for example uses a much simpler front-to-back tilt for the head and the individual cutters move freely with greater range of motion.
4. New beard density sensor
This is the single new addition to the 2023 Panasonic Lamdash 5 Pro/Arc 5 Pro models: an improved beard density sensor that is now capable of reading information about your beard 233 times a second.
The previous one was only managing 220.
While I generally wait to test a shaver before drawing any conclusions, I think it’s safe to assume that this change will have an insignificant effect overall.
A beard density sensor is the new hype technology that all major shaver brands are using nowadays. It supposedly adjusts the power of the motor depending on the beard thickness and density, but it’s merely a gimmick.
This slightly faster sensor is the only real change (feature-wise) of the new Arc 5 Pro 2023 compared to the older generation.
5. Cleaning stations, dry only or wet/dry use
As you’ll see in the next section, three of the new Arc 5 Pro (revision J) models come with Panasonic’s automatic cleaning station, while the remaining two do not include a station (and won’t work with one purchased later on).
The station cleans, lubricates, dries and charges the shaver. It uses a detergent-based concentrate that must be mixed with water in the station’s tray.
Also, while all 5 models are waterproof and fitted with a rechargeable battery, only the dry-only models will also work with the cord plugged in.
The cordless-only models are the only ones suitable for wet shaving.
Panasonic Arc 5 Pro 2023 model comparison
Let’s now check out the actual differences between these new models.
Since all of them use the same foil, blades and motors, the shaving performance will be identical.
The differences are in fact related to the included accessories and a couple of not-so-important features.
The ES-LV9W is the flagship model and will also cost more than the rest.
It comes with a cleaning station and it’s the only one featuring a 5-level battery indicator and a hard leather travel case.
The rest only have a more basic 3-level battery display and a cheap cloth pouch that doesn’t offer much protection.
While not explicitly mentioned, all of them should still come with a plastic protective cap.
We also have the same excellent pop-up trimmer as all the previous Arc 5 generations.
Overall, the included accessories and even some of the features are a bit of a letdown for me.
In fact, that has been the case since the revision G/Series 900 iteration when some cost-saving decisions have been made.
For example, the range-topping model of a revision used to come in the past with a premium aluminum body, a feature-rich display and a smart lock function.
That’s not the case anymore. Just like the 2022 revision H Arc 5 Pro, the 2023 models all have plastic bodies and basic displays.
These displays won’t show the remaining battery charge in percentages or the duration of the shave.
There’s also just the standard travel lock, activated by pressing and holding the power button.
The Smart lock available until revision F would automatically unlock the shaver when gripping it.
Also, the cloth pouch looks and feels cheap and the pre-revision G models would come with this faux leather zipper pouch. Not ideal, but definitely better.
Only the ES-LV9W comes with a proper, sturdy leather case.
I don’t think these are deal-breakers, but considering the price of the Lamdash 5/Arc 5 Pro, it’s rather disappointing.
The shaving performance won’t be affected and I’m sure they will still provide a stellar shave. But I just don’t see any compelling reason to upgrade from a previous Arc 5 model.
Since this 2023 Arc 5 Pro generation will only be available from June and most likely only in Japan, there are some other older Arc 5 models you should consider instead.
In fact, I think these are better in several ways. Some are more feature-rich, they cost less and are easy to buy.
The first alternative would be the Panasonic Arc 5 revision G aka Series 900.
This is the newest Arc 5 widely available and it is pretty much identical to this 2023 release. It even uses the exact foil head.
If you live in Europe you should be able to get one for a fair price.
Unfortunately, it was not (officially) released in the USA, so it’ll be more difficult to buy there or the price will be higher.
North American users will be limited to the older ES-LV65/ES-LV95 or ES-LV67/ES-LV97, the only Arc 5 versions officially released there. These are still fantastic performers which can also be upgraded to the latest foil.
Finally, some of the models in the revision C are still available and are again really good options, especially if you can get a discount on them.
For example, the Panasonic ES-LV9Q is in my opinion the most premium Arc 5 ever made. Metal body, fancy display and smart lock, plus it comes with a cleaning station.
I personally don’t think the station is absolutely necessary, in which case you might consider the ES-LV6Q from the same revision C.
It has a plastic body, but it’s still solid, shaves exactly the same, and costs less.
I honestly don’t think these 2023 Lamdash 5 Pro are worth the trouble (and money) of importing them from Japan.
As we saw, they aren’t really objectively better than the older ones and in some areas are a downgrade (basic displays and accessories).
Moreover, you can always upgrade an older Arc 5, even the ES-LV65, to the latest foil which is the thing that will make the biggest difference.
The slightly faster beard density sensor of the latest Arc 5 Pro won’t really matter.
That pretty much concludes my overview of the 2023 Panasonic Arc 5/Lamdash 5 Pro family of electric shavers.
If you have any questions, make sure to post them in the comments below.