The New Panasonic Arc 5 (LAMDASH) Revision C/D: Panasonic’s Best Shaver Yet?

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Panasonic Arc 5 (LAMDASH) Revision C: Panasonic’s Best Shaver Yet?

Panasonic is one of the three major players in the electric shavers industry alongside Braun and Philips Norelco.

Their high-end line is the Arc 5, currently at the third generation. They feature a massive 5 blade shaving unit that exhibits the characteristic arched profile of the foils (hence the Arc in the name).

This third incarnation of the Arc 5 family debuted in September 2015. The international models were the ES-LV6A-S (no cleaning station) and ES-LV9A-S (automatic cleaning station), while the ones for the American market were the ES-LV6N-S (no cleaning station) and ES-LV9-N (automatic cleaning station).

Panasonic Arc 5 ES-LV9N-S/ES-LV9A-S

Just one year after the launch of this third generation, Panasonic rolled out a minor update, the revision B. To differentiate them from the original ones, the international models feature a B instead of an A in their names: ES-LV6B-S, ES-LV9B-S etc.

The updates introduced by the rev. B are:

  • The use of a textured material instead of a smooth finish for the thumb rest
  • An increase in the front-to-back tilt angle of the head (from 17 to 20 degrees)
  • The introduction of a low battery alarm

These new shavers also use the same foils and blades as the previous ones and they look extremely similar overall. As a result, the actual shaving performance remained pretty much the same.

Note: Panasonic uses the term LAMDASH for the shavers sold on the Japanese domestic market. The name is derived from the Greek letter LAMBDA (Λ) which also happens to have the value 30 in the Greek numerals system — corresponding to the bevel angle of Panasonic’s nano-blades.

The new revision C Arc 5 / LAMDASH shavers

In the summer of 2017 Panasonic quietly rolled out yet another revamp of its Arc 5/LAMDASH shavers, the revision C.

At this moment they only appear to be available for the Japanese and European markets but can be ordered from sites like Amazon or ebay.

There’s also no official info regarding the availability of equivalent models specifically for the North American market so far.

Apart from a few presentation pages like the one on Panasonic.jp, the details of this update are pretty scarce.

You can tell the new shavers apart from the previous ones by the letter C in their model names — for example, ES-LV9C-S, ES-LV7C-A etc. These are now available in Asia and will likely become the international models.

The ones currently sold on the European markets follow a different name pattern: ES-LV9Q, ES-LV6Q, ES-CV51.

Here’s a table depicting all the different models in this latest update:

ModelCleaning stationLCD displayMetal bodyTravel case
Panasonic ES-LV9CX-S (silver)
Yes10 stageYesHard travel case
Panasonic ES-LV9C-S (black)
Yes10 stageNoSoft pouch
Panasonic ES-LV7C-T (brown)
Yes3 stageNoSoft pouch
Panasonic ES-LV7C-A (blue)
Yes3 stageNoSoft pouch
Panasonic ES-LV5C-K (black)
No5 stageNoSoft pouch
Panasonic ES-LV5C-R (red)
No5 stageNoSoft pouch
Panasonic ES-CV70-S (silver, compact)
No3 stageYesHard travel case
Panasonic ES-LV9Q (silver)
Yes10 stageYesSoft pouch
Panasonic ES-LV6Q (black)
No10 stageNoSoft pouch
Panasonic ES-CV51 (silver, compact)
No3 stageYesHard travel case

The compact variations are particularly interesting; performance-wise they are fully-fledged Arc 5 shavers, being fitted with the same motors and cutting elements. They’re lighter and the reduced dimensions make them more suitable for traveling.

UPDATE: I just reviewed the Panasonic ES-CV51/ES-CV70 compact shaver. Spoiler alert: it’s REALLY good.

Here’s a side by side comparison:

Image credits: dime.jp

What are the differences compared to the previous Arc 5 models?

1. New design and colors

I think we can all agree that these new Arc 5 shavers look stunning. In my opinion, Panasonic absolutely nailed the design and construction of its third generation Arc 5 family and this C iteration is the best yet.

Image credits: kakakumag.com

I can’t think of any shavers from the competition that can come close to the new Arc 5/LAMDASH design. They just ooze quality and hi-tech.

The new colors look classy and suit the overall aesthetics of the shavers perfectly. You can tell that a lot of thought was put into the color schemes and I particularly like the gold accents around the shaving heads and the pearly metallic finish.

The blue and brown variations look spectacular in my opinion.

The man behind this is Panasonic’s brilliant product designer, Tomoaki Ino.

He is also responsible for the design of the new Panasonic LT Arc 3 razors.

Here’s a side-by-side photo of an ES-LV9A Arc 5 (left) and the new ES-LV9CX (right):

Image credits: higesori-club.com

It’s also worth mentioning that not all models in this lineup have a metal body (you can refer to the comparison table above to see which ones have it).

2. Advanced flexing of the shaving head

With this new update, I think Panasonic currently has the most advanced flexing shaving unit ever made.

The A and B revisions featured a shaving head that was able to move in 3 planes: left to right (20 degrees), back and forth  (17 or 20 degrees tilt), up and down (2.5mm).

With the new C revision, the shaving head can also twist (10 degrees) and slide back and forward (1mm). Here are two pictures that illustrate this:

Panasonic calls this Multi-flex 5-D and it allows superior contact with the skin, especially when shaving under the chin and the neck area. While I will only be able to confirm this claims after I review one, it is nevertheless an impressive technical achievement.

The compact models, namely the ES-CV70-S and the ES-CV51 appear to have a fixed head. The 5 shaving elements can still move independently.

3. New smart lock function

This is another novelty feature that is likely to wow you. Available only with the ES-LV9CX and ES-LV9C/ES-LV9Q  variations, this function automatically detects when you’re grasping the shaver in your hand and unlocks it, allowing you to turn it on and shave.

The mechanism also locks the shaver 60 seconds after you have released it to prevent erroneous operation. This is basically a smart travel lock. Not entirely necessary, but quite the feat of engineering.

The rest of the shavers have a classic travel lock that is activated by pressing and holding the ON/OFF button.

4. New outer foils

The C revision LAMDASH / Arc 5 shavers use a new outer foil with the part number WES9177 (ES9177). It replaces the older WES9175 (ES9175) foil used by the previous A and B Arc 5 models.

Panasonic ES-CV51 (ES-CV70) shaving elements

1 — Finishing foils, 2 — Reverse tapered foils, 3 — Power Quick Lift Trimmer

It looks extremely similar to the older one (5 shaving elements, 2 comfort rollers) and at this point I cannot say with certainty what are the actual differences and improvements. The motor is the same punchy 14 000 CPM linear-drive unit.

The novelty seems to be the Power Quick Lift middle trimmer that captures longer hairs, by far the Achilles’ heel of all Panasonic shavers.

This trimmer is supposedly an improved version of the one found on the previous A and B Arc 5 models (called a Quick Lift Foil on those models). Right now I cannot tell if that’s really the case or is just a marketing gimmick.

UPDATE: After testing the compact ES-CV51 that comes with the updated trimmer, the improvements over the previous one seems to be negligible. It’s still not great with longer, flat-lying hairs.

The two inner blades however are the same used by all the other Arc 5 shavers, including the very first generation (part no WES9170).

As usual, a foil & inner blades combo is also available and has the part no WES9036 (ES9036).

In my opinion the improvements in shaving performance over the A and B revisions will be minimal, so if you can get those at a better price that’s probably the right decision.

5. New travel cases

The ES-LV9CX-S and ES-CV51/ES-CV70-S come with new hard storage cases. These look great and also offer excellent protection in the case of mechanical shocks.

Panasonic ES-CV51 travel case

The hard travel case that comes with the compact Arc 5 models.

Unfortunately the rest of the models only include Panasonic’s usual soft pouch.

The hard cases are also available separately (part no ES-2L13).

6. New LCD displays

The newest Arc 5 models are available with three different LCD displays.

The range-topping versions — ES-LV9CX, ES-LV9C, ES-LV9Q, ES-LV6Q — feature a 10 stage multifunction display, while the ES-LV5C comes with a 5 stage display that shows the remaining battery in increments of 20%.

The rest of the shavers in the lineup feature a 3 stage indicator that only shows a High, Mid or Low charge status.

7. Automatic cleaning stations

Available only with the ES-LV9CX-S, ES-LV9C-S, ES-LV9Q, ES-LV7C-T and ES-LV7C-A, the cleaning stations seem to be the same ones included with the A and B Arc 5 revisions.

While I don’t think you absolutely need one, Panasonic’s cleaning stations are arguably the best in business.

Here’s why:

  • You have the option to use just the dry function of the station without a cleaning cycle
  • The detergent-based solution lasts more in comparison to Braun’s alcohol-based fluid
  • The price of the detergent sachets is reasonable
  • The stations are compact and look very slick

As expected, the models that include the cleaning station are more expensive than the ones that don’t.

Update July 2018: Arc 5 LAMDASH Revision D has been launched

In July 2018 Panasonic introduced a fourth iteration of the Arc 5 family, the Revision D (press release). The new models for the Asian market are the ES-LV9DX, ES-LV9D, ES-LV7D and ES-LV 5D.

The only changes come in the form of an improved beard density sensor that can detect variations up to 1.8 times faster compared to the C generation and a matte finish instead of glossy on the ES-LV7D and ES-LV5D versions.

The 2018 D models use the same foils and blades. Apart from the differences mentioned above, everything else remains unchanged.

Final word on the new Arc 5/LAMDASH shavers

I am going to be perfectly honest and upfront and tell you that I am very intrigued by these new models and I am looking forward to reviewing one.

I’ve always appreciated the quality, performance and what is basically Panasonic’s take on electric shavers. And this C revision of the Arc 5 family looks very impressive.

I am skeptical about their availability and success on the American and European markets, especially since the previous A and B models didn’t do too well either. The price was (and still is) too high in my opinion and older generation Arc 5 shavers like the ES-LV65-S still offer great performance at bargain prices.

However, this shouldn’t stop you from getting one if you really want too. But keep in mind that at least at this moment you would have to pay a premium price for one and the replacement foils and blades are also very expensive.

It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth getting what looks (at least on paper) to be the most advanced electric shaver out there right now.

100 comments on “The New Panasonic Arc 5 (LAMDASH) Revision C/D: Panasonic’s Best Shaver Yet?

Leave a comment
  1. Peter

    Many thanks for this post!

    I ordered the European version of the ES-LV9CX-S , the ES-LV9Q, on Amazon.de
    (i’m living in the Netherlands) and have great expectations of it based on my initial impressions of the compact version ES-CV51 which i bought last week: great design, great performance, and which i plan to use as my travel Panasonic instead of the ES3831K

    Will receive the ES-LV9Q by the end of april and looking eagerly forward to it…:)

    regards, Peter

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Peter,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I actually wasn’t aware of the European versions until now, so I really appreciate you mentioning them. I will update the article and include those models as well. I hope you’ll enjoy your new ES-LV9Q, it should be at least as good as the compact model.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      1. Peter

        Hi Ovidiu,

        Thank you very much for this quick update!
        Remarkable that the European version of the ES-LV9CX-S comes with a soft pouch instead of a hard travel case….one wonders what the philosophy of Panasonic is behind this….

        But then again there is the EV-CV70-S/ES-CV51 compact meant/suitable for travelling which does have a hard travel case…:-)

        Peter

        Reply
        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

          Hey Peter,

          You are very welcome. I was also pretty surprised to find out that they’ll only be including the flimsy bag with that particular model. After all, it’s a premium product with a premium price tag. But it is what it is I guess.

          Best,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
      2. Roni

        Hi ,

        Which one is the Q version for the USA market ? I can’t find the Q in the USA or the CX. Thanks

        Reply
        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

          Hi Roni,

          So far there isn’t a USA version, I will update the article once they’re launched. The CX (Asian version) is actually available on amazon.com, but it’s sold by a third-party vendor. Other options right now would be ebay or amazon.de.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
    2. Fabio

      HI from Italy. Did you get your Panasonic es lv9q?
      Let me know what you think of it.
      Thanks
      Fabio

      Reply
    3. peter

      IM curious about the differences between the two compact models?? The es-cv51 vs es-cv70? I travel a lot so curious if their performance is a step up from the Eslv61 and if they’ve improved in the neck area?

      Reply
      1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

        Hi Peter,

        The two compact models are exactly the same. I recently got the ES-CV51 and shaved a couple of times with it. This new compact model is definitely an improvement in comfort over the ES-LV61. It’s also a bit quieter, the foil gets less warm and again, it’s a lot more comfortable during a dry shave. It’s still not great with flat hairs on the neck though — so no improvements there, at least not in my case. But it’s an impressive little machine, it looks and feels expensive and the performance is top notch, especially if you shave more often and your hair is not too long. It will definitely be my new go-to shaver for traveling.

        Sincerely,
        Ovidiu

        Reply
  2. Markus

    Which of the new models have a premium metall finish?? Is on only the LV9CX silver!!!
    Its a shame, and not understandable, why Panasonic did not include a hardcase by all new modells!!

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      As far as I know, all the models have a metal finish. And I agree, it’s a shame Panasonic didn’ include the hard case with every version.

      Reply
  3. Jean Landa

    HI. I enjoy your reviews very much. Any idea when you might be reviewing the newest “c” models. I am looking at the ES-LV5C-R LAMDASH and will probably wait to see what you have to say about it before possibly getting one. Thanks. Regards jean l

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Jean,

      Thank you for your comment and for being a reader of this website. Unfortunately I couldn’t tell you when that will happen as I am yet to buy one and have a few other reviews in the works at this moment.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  4. Ali Poor Aiyoubi

    Hi
    I am really confused … i was going to order ES-LV9N and thought that is the latest model of panasonic , then i came to this page.
    which model is the latest model of panasonic ? what about the ES-LV9Q ? what is the difference ?
    i appreciate if you help me
    regards

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Ali,

      Unfortunately the new, current and old releases can get really confusing when it comes to electric shavers. The ES-LV9N isn’t the latest model anymore; the latest are the ones presented in this article. The ES-LV9Q is the latest Arc 5 model sold on the European markets. You can check out the table above to see exactly what are the differences between the various models.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  5. Zezito Martins

    Is there any version of the Panasonic Men’s Shaver “LAMDASH” ES-LV9CX-S without the cleaning station? I do want o buy it but the cleaning station is useless for me.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      If you mean an identical shaver, with metal body, 10 stage LCD display and all, but without the cleaning base, then the answer is no. Your only option would be an ES-LV5C model or the European ES-LV6Q.

      Reply
  6. Shad

    Ovidiu, thank you so much for the write up! Greatly appreciated. I’ve been looking to switch from my Norelco 1290x to try a foil shaver and I’ve been traveling more lately. The 1290x is particularly painful to take on an extended trip due to requiring the stand to charge it.

    I’m trying to determine the difference between the two travel models ES-CV70-S and the ES-CV51. It seems in the excellent table above that they share the same base attributes and are both current generation travel models.

    In the one comparison photo I saw between full and compact models it appears that the length difference between the full and compact model is roughly the length of the head unit, does that sound about right? Sorry I was trying to determine which full and which compact model was side-by-side in that photo. Unfortunately in my local stores most didn’t have any Panasonic models and the one store that did had an older generation full size ARC5 and an ARC3.

    Do you have experience using either of the compact models and how they do with hair on the neck/under chin since they don’t have as many degrees of movement compared to the full models?

    Not sure if it is a consideration but at times I also shave my head with the 1290x, Are these foil razors able to do a decent job on the head?

    The only other two thoughts I had are that one, the razor head seems so much larger/bulkier than I’m used to and two, I’ve not used cleaning stations and don’t have a desire to due to the subscription nature of them and the linked review on cleaning stations seems to indicate for Panasonic in particular they aren’t required.

    Thanks so much in advance for any light you can shed on these questions!

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Shad,

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

      The two compact models (ES-CV70-S and ES-CV51) are identical. Compared to the fully-fledged model, the body of the compact shaver is a bit shorter and wider, but as you said, the main difference between them is the lack of the complex flexing mechanism that takes quite a lot of space. This allows the shaving head itself to be recessed into the body of the shaver and achieve that compact form factor. I haven’t used it yet, but from the feedback of other users, its performance seems to be top-notch. The flexing head is indeed impressive, but in real life it doesn’t make that much of a difference. If that’s your only concern with regards to the compact models, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

      The 5 blade shaving head can be an issue for first-time users, but coming from a Norelco 1290x I think you’ll get used to it right away. I personally find an Arc 5 easier to use compared to any other large rotary shaver.

      I do not shave my head, but I consider rotary shavers to be more practical in this regard. The way they work is just more suitable for shaving a large spherical area. That doesn’t mean that you can’t do it with a high-quality foil-based shaver — you certainly can.

      Regarding the station, I can confidently tell you that you don’t need one with any Panasonic shaver. They’re nice to have, but definitely not a must-have.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      1. Shad

        Ovidiu, I really appreciate your prompt response and additional details. I’m looking forward to trying the ES-CV70-S/ES-CV51. It looks like I can get an ES-CV70-S imported on Amazon. I don’t even see the ES-CV51 listed there, but I am in North America so it seems there are a few less options for these models here.

        From your followup it appears I should be fine with the compact model and with some experimentation, probably okay shaving my head as well with it. I’m really looking forward to the change. The Norelco 1290x was by far the largest rotary I owned and felt considerably larger than past models. Plus the aforementioned pain traveling with it since you had to have the stand to charge it and the stand and charging cable do not fit in the travel pouch at the same time as the shaver.

        Thank you,
        Shad

        Reply
        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

          You are very welcome, Shad. I’m glad I could help and I hope you’ll enjoy shaving with your new Arc 5.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
    2. John Harrison

      Would it be accurate to say none of the arc 5 developments after the ESLV65- results in giving the user an overall significantly closer shave than the ESLV 65? And,if not, why not because the subsequent motors are identical and the subsequent foils appear to be substantially the same,right? Love your articles on electric shaving,particularly the “closest shave” ones[ARC 5 always seems win]. I just want the closest shave; to me, bells & whistles irrelevant.

      Reply
      1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

        Hi John,

        Thank you for your comment. That would be pretty accurate — because of the minor performance gains and the hefty price tag of the latest Arc 5 models, the ES-LV65-S is still the one to have (at least for now). I always recommend it over other more recent Arc 5 models because it’s a fantastic shaver, and not just for the money. It isn’t the most comfortable out there (no Panasonic shines in this regard, to be honest) but it does shave very close.

        Sincerely,
        Ovidiu

        Reply
  7. Peter

    From my experience in the past weeks i can say that both Panasonics, ie the compact travel model
    ES-CV51 and its big brother the ES-LV9Q give me a BBS shave without the least irritation. However i must say that i’ll have to use my Gillette Fusion for a touch up of a few spots that refuse to get BBS no matter what i do….:-)
    After shaving for nearly 16 years with Str8, DE and cartridge razors this is the best way for me to get a BBS shave with absolutely zero irritation/100% comfort.
    PS: i only use both razors wet with Proraso shaving cream applied with my fingers. I haven’t used them dry and probably never will…
    I use the cleaning station once per week and find it an easy way to keep my razor in perfect condition…

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thank you again for the extensive feedback, Peter. Greatly appreciated.

      I only use Panasonic shavers dry when I have to test them for a review; otherwise shaving cream is the way to go. Apart from Proraso, I also use Nivea (original mild shaving cream) and Speick, these two are brands are fantastic and I highly recommend them if you want to give them a try. They’re inexpensive and the performance is stellar.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    2. Shad

      Hello Peter,

      I also appreciate these details as I am considering the ES-CV51/ES-CV70-S. Interestingly I also use Proraso though despite the wet/dry operation of my current Norelco 1290x I tend to use it dry and only use the Proraso when I shave wet with my Gillette Fushion in the shower.

      Do you use a pre-shave cream for your Panasonics?

      I’m probably terrible here but I’ve never lubricated my 1290x… Is that a change I’ll need to make if I switch to rotaries?

      Cheers,

      Shad

      Reply
      1. Peter

        Hi Shad,

        i only make my beard wet with lukewarm water and subsequently apply a very tiny bit of Proraso cream to get a very thin slick layer that covers my stubbles.
        I use no preshave.
        As after shave i use Trumpers coral skinfood.

        Peter

        Reply
        1. Dale

          Hello Peter, how is the LV9Q? I may import from Germany too. Have you used any Braun products for comparison?

          Reply
          1. Peter

            The ES-LV9Q gives me a BBS shave within 2-3 minutes without the least irritation when used wet with Proraso cream.
            I’ve been using a Panasonic wet dry from around 1992 until 2002 but switched to classic wetshaving since i was not satisfied about the result and the quality of the shave with the Panasonic ES8068 at that time.
            But technology has improved tremendously since those days….apparently….:)

            I have never used a Braun and i never even considered trying one since i was fully convinced about the quality of the newest Panasonics particularly after having read the extremely thorough reviews as written by Ovidiu at this place….

            Peter

  8. Dale

    Hello, just wanted to say I love your website. It has been very help full. I bought a Braun Series 9 but for me it is not the best so I am switching to the ES-LV9Q, I can either import from Germany or wait until UK release but there have been no updates or information on the release dates or pricing in the UK since February. I am afraid that I will order from Germany and soon after they will release for the UK lol oh what to do.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Dale,

      Thank you for your comment, I’m glad to hear that! So far Amazon.de seems to be the only option for the European buyers. You could also try contacting Panasonic UK and see if they can point you to other retailers that carry the ES-LV9Q.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      1. Dale

        I have ordered from Amazon.de paid a hefty price but should be a very good razor that should last me a few years. I will also try some pre electric shave lotion this time and may even get a shaving brush and cream.
        Do you happen to know if with these new editions the replacement sachets for the cleaning liquid are the same as the older revisions?

        Reply
        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

          Hi Dale,

          Yes, they use the same detergent packs as the previous models (Panasonic WES4L03). And I agree, at least at this moment the price is very high, but as you said, it should last for years. I’ve been using Panasonic shavers for more than 15 years and they can take a serious beating.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
        2. Rasmus

          Hi Dale

          I’m not sure if it’s in polite to ask but how much did you have to fork out on the Amazon.de website for the LV9Q?

          I just placed an order yesterday at 315 euros…was wondering if the price point has changed…

          Reply
  9. Shad

    Ovidiu, Peter, thank you for the additional comments.

    I have to echo Dale in that these seem somewhat hard to get our hands on. I’m in California and went to several stores with no luck at all, and the one Panasonic Arc 5 I saw was an older model. It seems like there have been several revisions since.

    Admittedly I have a little more luck searching Amazon but even then it seems that quite a few of the newer models/revisions are missing.

    Reply
  10. Shad

    My ES-CV70 arrived from Japan today and I just got home from work to plug it in! Unfortunately the manual is in Japanese but I am assuming I can find an English manual for it or an equivalent model which should cover the basics like how often to oil, any do/don’t items, etc.

    I have to say that except for the rather large head the shaver is nice and compact and seems to be premium top quality build. The case also has a very nice premium feel to it.

    I can’t wait to try it later tonight!!!

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Shad,

      That’s great — looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it. Regarding the user manual, everything related to cleaning and generally taking care of your shaver shouldn’t be dramatically different than the instructions for previous Arc 5 models and you can find the English user manuals for those online. After all, it’s a 5 blade, wet/dry, cordless operation only electric shaver — just like the ones before it. If you have other specific questions I’ll gladly help.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  11. Shad

    Just a heads up that the ES-CV70-S gave a great shave, and that was face, neck, and head.

    I will say that turning on/off the travel lock and turning on/off the wet sonic cleaning mode are very similar and it seems that some times I trigger one instead of the other when trying to do the cleaning mode. Also it seems like sometimes after the sonic cleaning mode (push power for 2 seconds after applying soap/water) that when I hit the power button again it does not turn off, which I would have expected.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Shad,

      Many thanks for the follow-up, glad to hear you had a great shave with the CV70.

      For the latest Arc 5 and Arc 3, Panasonic ditched the physical travel lock switch and solely relies on the ON/OFF button for powering, locking and entering the sonic mode. And this can cause this type of erroneous operation. Entering the sonic mode is done by pressing and holding the power button with the shaver turned off. For activating the travel lock you must do the same, but with the shaver turned on (in normal shaving mode if I may say so). So they are indeed similar and to be honest I think a dedicated travel lock would have been better.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  12. Garry shield

    Hi there
    I was wondering when will the Panasonic Es lv 9 q be available in the uk I asked Panasonic but got no real joy I’ve seen it on amazon Germany but I can’t read German to order it.
    Many thanks

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Gary,

      Unfortunately I have no information regarding the availability in the UK. However, you can log in to Amazon.de using your Amazon.co.uk credentials and set the language to English. I think it will be automatically set to English once you’re logged in.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  13. Giangiacomo

    Hi,
    first of all: Ovidiu, kudos for the amazing site and the very pervasive reviews.
    I have an ES-LV95-S803 and I’ve just bought an ES-LV6Q-S803 from a German website. The new razor is awesome but unfortunately is incompatible with the cleaning station (RC9-15).
    Now I’m selling the LV95 and looking for a clean&charge unit fitting the LV6Q.
    Which model should I look for? RC9-…? Is it sold separately? Maybe as a spear part of the LV9Q? or LV9C?
    Thanks for the advice!

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi,

      Thank you for the kind words. The cleaning stations of the revision C Arc 5 look the same as the RC9-15, but at this moment I cannot confirm that they have indeed the same part number. Unfortunately, your ES-LV6Q-S803 won’t work with any cleaning station. Panasonic shavers that didn’t originally come with a cleaning station have blanks on the back instead of the metal studs needed to communicate with the station.
      Maybe you can still return it and get the ES-LV9Q-S803 instead.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      1. Giangiacomo

        Thanks Ovidiu!
        yep, I’ve personally acknowledged that the LV6/LV9Q won’t fit the RC9-15 because even mechanically the parts don’t match.
        But the true game-changer is the “Panasonic shavers that didn’t originally come with a cleaning station have blanks on the back instead of the metal studs needed to communicate with the station” part!
        And the three contacts on the LV6Q’s back are different form the LV95’s indeed…
        I’ll keep it wo/ the cleaning station: it’s a marvellous razor anyway.
        Thanks for the help and keep on with this awesome blog of yours.

        Reply
  14. MV

    Live in the US. Bought the ES-LV5C based on this great article.
    Really could use the English manual for this model (pretty sure it does not exist) or equivalent Panasonic shaver.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thanks for the comment. Here is a link to the English user’s manual for the ES-LV6Q (apart from the LCD display it’s basically an identical shaver).

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  15. Limetron

    On Amazon japan I can see an LV9DX-S, do you know what they’ve changed in the 2018 version?

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      As far as I know, they come with an improved beard density sensor and some new color options. Those are the only differences compared to the 2017 models.

      Reply
  16. Claud

    Hi Ovidiu,

    I am looking forward to reading your review of the (c/d) revision models and comparing it to a Braun Series 9 amongst other things. I read your review comparing the original Panasonic Arc 3rd Gen (a) model to the Braun.

    I own a series 9 and find it as you write extremely comfortable but its is not the closest. So my skin is smooth but you can tell it could go one step closer and it doesn’t quite easily pick up all the neck hairs. The cheeks almost like a wet shave with a razor however.

    But I would like to buy the c/d model to see if an improvement in the closeness can be achieved with the Panasonic. Maybe I will wait till the d version is available in Europe.

    Fantastic Website – THANK YOU

    Claud

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Claud,

      Thank you for your comment, greatly appreciated. I’m also eager to test them and hope to do so asap. Strictly in terms of closeness, I expect them to be better than the Series 9; in my experience even the second generation Arc 5 models are superior in this regard.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      1. Claud

        Thank you for your reply Ovidiu.

        Could you please post on here the European version of the revision D when it is released? At the moment as other posts have mentioned only the C revision is available in the European market atm.

        Thanks,

        Claud

        Reply
        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

          Hi Claud,

          Absolutely, I will update the post whenever there’s new information available.

          Reply
  17. Kenneth M.

    Ovidiu, thanks for your extremely informative article! I was about to order the ES-LV95 from Amazon or the LV9N which is very difficult to find in the US (other than from Hammacher Schlemmer or backordered on Panasonic website) when I read about the new features of revision C in this article.

    I have used top-line Norelco electric shavers with the three rotary blades (e.g., 1290X, 8894XL) for the past 15 years and decided it was time for a change when my latest razor died. I was debating between the Panasonic Arc 5 and Braun 9 series shavers, but your article and strong customer reviews of previous Arc 5 models, combined with the comfort rollers and latest Multiflex 5-D features convinced me to order the LV9Q.

    Since it’s still not available in the US, I decided to order it online from Mercury Shaver Centre in Canada which seems to have a good reputation and a website for US orders offering free shipping. I’ll let you know how I like the LV9Q compared with my previous Norelco shavers after it test it out next week.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Kenneth,

      Thank you for your comment. That’s great, looking forward to hear your thoughts on it. Just something to consider after using rotary razors exclusively — you may need to try out different things like altering the length of the strokes, pressure and so on before getting the best possible results. But you’ll definitely get used to it after a few shaves.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      1. Kenneth M.

        Ovidiu, my LV9Q was delivered today and it charged in about an hour on the compact, nice-looking cleaning unit. I too was very impressed by the quality and design of the shaver, especially by the gold colored accents and high-tech LCD display which looks the same as the rest of the metal handle with no obvious screen until it lights up. Note that the LV9Q also has the smart lock feature, which you mentioned might only be available with the ES-LV9CX and ES-LV9C models.

        I compared the shaving performance of the new Arc 5 with my old Norelco Spectra 8894XL rotary razor (since my 1290X is broken) by using each on different sides of my face. While the Norelco rotary razor gives a close shave (noting that my facial hair grows slowly and is not very dense/coarse), the Arc 5 was even closer! I was also pleasantly surprised that the Arc 5 was as comfortable as my rotary razor and didn’t require much pressure to be applied.

        The only minor downsides of the Arc 5 compared with the rotary is that it is noisier, similar to the sound of razors used at barbershops, and the trimmer is a bit harder to see since is doesn’t stick out very far from the wide head (although it does cut better). Both razors have a harder time shaving on the neck area and were comparable after a few extra passes.

        Thanks again for your excellent reviews and let me know if you have any questions as I get more experience using the LV9Q.

        Reply
        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

          Hi Kenneth,

          Many thanks for the detailed follow-up. That’s awesome, glad to hear you’re happy with the performance of the new shaver.

          While it made sense for the LV9Q to include the smart lock feature, it’s nice to have the confirmation from someone that actually used it. The noise is an inherent downside of all foil-based shavers because of the reciprocating blades and high-speed motors. But the Arc 5 is not too bad compared to other shavers and given its performance I think it’s a minor inconvenience.

          Thank you for the heads-up regarding the part number of the cleaning station, I really appreciate it.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
          1. Ken M.

            You’re welcome, Ovidiu. Incidentally, I recently bought the ES-2L13 hardcase on Amazon from a seller in Japan. It is much nicer than the flimsy travel case included with the LV9Q and fits it nicely.

            I also started using the Lab Series electric shave lotion this week. It works really well to help the LV9Q shaver glide over my face and get a cleaner shave without being too oily or strong smelling. It’s a bit expensive at $22 USD for 3.4 ounces but is a great option, particularly for those with sensitive skin.

          2. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

            Hi Ken,

            Thank you for the followup. If you can get it, check out the Speick Pre Electric Shave Lotion as well. I personally find it to work the best out out of every pre-shaves I’ve tried so far. My main gripe with the Lab Series is that it still feels oily, even though not to the extent of the Lectric Shave for example. The Speick pre-shave is not oily and even though it has a spicy fragrance, it’s not off-putting and disappears pretty quickly. I’m able to get my closest shaves when I use it, definitely better compared to Lab Series and my face feels great afterwards.

            Sincerely,
            Ovidiu

          3. Ken M.

            Ovidiu, thanks for the tip about the Speick electric pre-shave lotion. Although I got a good shave using the Lab Series lotion, it was too oily and made my skin break out after a few days of use. The Speick lotion works quite well, is not oily and has a great subtle scent.

  18. Michael

    Hi Ovidiu,

    I finally got my new ES-CV51 from Ubaldi in France (165 Euro incl. VAT) a couple of weeks ago after your heads up in this article several months ago. It is a fantastic and sophisticated little muscle shaver that impresses with results as well as tactile and visual qualities.

    Coming from an ES8103S Arc 3 I have one question which I hope you can answer; when looking at the razor from the side, the blade row closest to the beard trimmer protrudes a bit more than the the other four, which are in the same plane.

    This, along with the fact that the blades are cut at an angle makes me think that there might be a preferred direction vis a vis the shaver head for moving the razor across the face. That is, lead directionally with the row closest to the beard trimmer or with the row at the other end of the head?

    Is that an inane question? At any rate, thank you for bringing this power-packed little marvel to my attention.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Michael,

      Many thanks for the detailed follow-up, I’m glad you’re enjoying your new shaver. The ES-CV51 does seem like a fantastic little beast of a razor and I’m very anxious to try it myself.

      Regrading your question, it is not inane at all, in fact it’s a great question. First of all, because the Arc 5 has a symmetric disposition of the blades relative to the central slit foil, it doesn’t really matter which is the leading edge/row (unlike the 4 blade Braun Series 9 that features an asymmetric shaving head for example). However, because of the tilt of the shaving head, leading with one edge vs the other will be more convenient depending on the area that’s being shaved.

      For example, I always shave leading with the foil closest to the trimmer when going over the cheeks, mustache, chin and most of the neck. I only reverse it when shaving the area right below my chin and on the jawline right below the ears. I hope this makes sense. Anyway, the whole point is of doing any of these adjustments is to make it easier, more comfortable for you to maintain a 90-degree angle between the shaver and the face, so feel free to experiment and just use whatever feels better and more natural.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  19. bill taylor

    Amazon uk ( well through wowdiscounts ) is currently doing the

    Panasonic ES-LV95 5-Blade Electric Shaver Wet and Dry

    for £129.99.

    That seems very cheap. 10 part display one ( rev C ? ) as well.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Bill,

      That is an excellent price indeed, thank you for sharing that with us.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  20. Michael

    Ovidiu,

    Thanks for that. Your piece of information in answer to my question was the missing piece that doesn’t conflict with any of my observations and of course is absolutely correct.

    I shave the same way you do and now I realize that if I get a closer shave with the razor turned one way or the other it is due to it being/not being held at a 90 degree angle to my face/neck surface.

    Cheers,
    Michael

    Reply
  21. NJweb

    Thanks for the great detailed article on these shavers!!!
    Based on it I bought the ES-LV5C from Japan for a great price as I wanted the latest Arc 5 C revision performance but did not need the cleaning station, metal body, hard case, different LED display etc. that the more expensive 9C offers.
    Not as impressed with my new LV5C it as I thought I would be, especially for neck hair trimming, compared to my Braun 9 series which I got on sale a year and a half ago or so for a fantastic price.
    Checked online for manuals for other Arc 5 models but, based on the photos in the Japanese manual, the points noted in the ES-LV9N are VERY different.
    If anyone who owns the new C series or knows the manual can provide any translation help of the NEW manual that comes with the ES-L5C/7C/9C it would REALLY be appreciated. I do not want to miss anything important (warnings/ don’t do’s etc.) in the manual which is all Japanese…
    If I could find the Japanese manual online I could paste into google translator at least…
    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hey,

      Thank you for your comment. Here you can find the user manual in English for the ES-LV6Q which is basically the same as the ES-LV5C (minus the LCD display). I uploaded it on my server because the direct link to Panasonic’s website would result in an error.

      Also, Panasonic shavers work best when used on short facial hair. Braun, particularly the Series 9 models, are better at getting longer hairs, especially on the neck.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      1. NJweb

        Thanks a lot Ovidiu. Yes, that does help!

        However, after using the ES-LV5C for about month or so now, I am probably going to go back to shaving with my Braun Series 9:
        The Panasonic Arc 5 revision C is not as impressive as I had expected, even when it comes to overall shaving – the head flexing in all directions seems more of a distraction / gimmick in actual use and I prefer my Braun 9290 relative of movement in that regard. Also the Panasonic is only marginally closer if that.

        I read the article
        https://shavercheck.com/best-electric-razor/ but, in my case at least, the article’s statement that “if ones shaves daily the problem of Arc 4 not catching longer, flat-lying hairs won’t be a problem” does not hold true: Even though I shave daily, the Arc 5 does not catch and cut some of my neck hairs, forcing me to use the trimmer instead.
        I read that this C revision might have improved in that regard, but to me it misses hairs as noted above.
        To me this is the big thing that shifts the scale in the Braun 9’s favor since it truly excels in this regard (at catching stubborn neck hairs).
        Too bad because I was really excited to try the Arc 5 and had such high hopes. Oh well, at least the Braun 9 is doing well so I have a solution for my neck.

        To be 110% sure, I will do some final side by side comparison tests this week (shave one side of face and neck with my series 9 and one side with my Arc 5) and make a final decision on whether to resell my Arc 5.

        Regardless of MY personal preference for the Braun (each reader should decide for themselves as each person’s face and needs are different).
        I really appreciate all your efforts and research; keep up the great work Ovidiu! I will keep coming here to check on the latest shavers.

        Reply
        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

          Hi,

          Thank you for your comment. I totally agree, results can vary for different users and my experience with a particular shaver won’t always translate into something similar for someone else.

          Yes, Panasonic shavers are clearly edged by Braun in this regard. I personally was skeptical about this new and improved trimmer because it seemed pretty much identical to what Panasonic has been using for years. Unfortunately that still seems to be the case.

          While I am yet to try the latest Arc 5, I do own the new Arc 3 that has a similar shaving head with regards to pivoting/flexing and I just shave with it in the locked position. I also think it’s too much of a good thing and it has become more of an annoyance. A simple implementation like the one on the Series 9 just works better and actually improves your experience.

          Thank you for taking the time to share your experience in such a great detail, it’s very useful to any potential buyers.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
  22. Norman

    This may come too late but Amazon.de have dropped the price for the ES-LV9Q since yesterday from about 370 euros to 315 euros including VAT. Of course, that could change again at any moment. They do ship internationally and the total cost (using a US credit card) to the US with shipping comes to about $330. Still expensive but not as much as before. Out of stock at the moment but will ship when they have.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thank you for the heads up, Norman. Anyone interested in getting that shaver should keep an eye on the price as it can vary quite a lot.

      Reply
    2. Ken M.

      The LV9Q is also currently available from shavercentre.com with free shipping from Canada to the US, although the price increased from when I bought it from them last month to $349.95.

      Reply
  23. Norman

    I don’t know when I will receive my LV9Q but I think I saw earlier that it comes with a new charger RE7-87. According to the Panasonic website that appears to be 4.8v 1.25A. I will still be keeping my old LV95 and my existing charger RE7-59 which says on it 5.4v 1.2A. Will they be interchangeable if the voltage is quite different? Will the 87 provide enough voltage for the LV95 and will the 59 provide too much voltage to the LV9Q and potentially overload it? I’m not an electrician so I want to be sure if I need to keep the chargers separate for the two shavers.

    Reply
    1. Ken M.

      Norman, I’m interested in the answer to your question as well. I would like to buy an extra charging adapter for my LV9Q, however the RE7-87 is not readily available. The plug shape seems similar to the adapter from older Arc 5 models, but I’m not sure which one to buy.

      Reply
    2. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Norman,

      The RE7-87 is the new, more compact charger that comes with newer Panasonic shaver models (the new Arc 3 as well). Despite the slightly different voltage and current outputs, it should work fine with older shavers like the LV95. Likewise, the RE7-59 should also work with new shavers like LV9Q. In fact I’ve been using some RE7-59 chargers with a new Arc 3 with no issues. Using one charger vs the other should only translate into slightly different charging time.

      However, Panasonic says to only use the charger models that originally came with the shavers (this is also written on the back of the shavers near the charging port), so to avoid any potential damage to your shaver it would be best to contact Panasonic support about this matter before doing anything. I personally didn’t have any problems interchanging the chargers, but I cannot recommend doing this to anyone for obvious reasons.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  24. peter

    So I guess the question is this…. Will you be doing a review between this and the Braun series 9?? I really am curious to see if this razor can do the neck with ease as I am a current panasonic user but have been eyeing the braun cause of the neck area good reviews.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Peter,

      Absolutely. I will be reviewing the new Arc 5 soon and of course compare it to the Series 9.

      Reply
  25. Henrikas

    Hi,

    Just wandering, if You had a chance to try ES-CV51 compact shaver? Need a replacement for my Philips 9x shaver, as not happy with replacement heads quality and trying to decide which to take, either ES-CV51 (for 173 Eur at amazon.fr) over ES-LV95 with docking station (for 183 Eur at amazon.co.uk). I do travel often, but not sure if ES-CV51 will give same comfort of shave as ES-CV51 even being more compact. As well, even if station is not a necessity, probably it will make my life easier if I would use it at least once / twice a week for proper cleaning and keeping shaver in good condition (and oiled), cleaning all other time just over tap than cleaning ES-CV51 manually at least once / twice a week with soap and then oiling it manually.

    Also would be great, if You could advice, if ES-CV51 inside hard case would be much smaller compared to ES-LV95 inside hard case (which I believe I would need to buy separately)?

    Thanks a lot for any thoughts!

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Henrikas,

      Haven’t tried the ES-CV51 yet, but I am pretty sure that it’ll be at least as good as the ES-LV95-S/ES-LV65-S models. I would actually pick it over those if I were to travel a lot. It’s probably the most capable electric razor out there in such a compact form factor and it doesn’t compromise on the performance at all. The Panasonic cleaning station is nice to have I guess, but hardly necessary. I never felt the need to use my Panasonic stations as the shavers are extremely easy to clean and I simply lubricate them myself (either with a spray or with some light oil).

      The hard case of the ES-CV51 is clearly more compact than any third party hard case for the ES-LV95-S. The one included with the ES-LV95-S is just a faux leather soft case.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
          1. Henrikas

            Hi, received my ES-CV51 today, and first impression is really good, to summarize (everything in comparison to my Philips 9x shaver):
            – really feels nicely build, quality in each detail of shaver;
            – small body (even compared to my currently shaver), but also feels really good and convenient in my not-so-big hand;
            – really close shave (tried dry shave), though for first time it feels like bit too close, I can feel my skin bit irritated. But probably I really need some time to get used to it;
            – I personally don’t miss flexible head at first shave, seems even nice to have more control of shave with fixed shaving head;
            – Included case is rather compact as well, just as big as to fit shaver inside, and feels really protective;
            – Small bottle of oil included as well, so I can start oiling right away, after first cleaning with soap;
            – It comes only with charging cable, which is connected at the end (bottom?) of the shaver, some stand would be nicer, but not necessary. Initial charge took about 45 minutes.

          2. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

            Hi Henrikas,

            Many thanks for the detailed follow-up, I really appreciate it. Glad to hear the new shaver is working great. I actually placed an order for the ES-CV51 last night, I’m really excited to finally try it out.

            Sincerely,
            Ovidiu

  26. Norman

    Hi again

    My ES-LV9Q is now on its way to me. Should have it by the end of the week.

    I have a question about the replacement parts. I still have an unopened WES9032 (foil and cutter) for my old ES-LV95. From what I can see, the 9Q cutter part has the same part number as the one for the LV95 so, when I need to replace it, I can use my spare.

    The foil has a different part number because of the different operation and the gold bit. However, did I see somewhere that my spare foil could actually be used on the 9Q so as not to go to waste?

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Norman,

      That is correct, the old foils & blade combo should work perfectly fine on the ES-LV9Q.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  27. Norman

    Thanks, Ovidiu.

    What I am still a bit confused about is what I would be losing by using my old foil compared with the one that comes with the 9Q? What’s the difference?

    Best regards

    Norman

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      You are welcome, Norman. I just got the ES-CV51 and I only shaved twice with it but compared to my ES-LV65-S that uses the older foil I’d say that the new one is clearly more comfortable. In terms of closeness they’re pretty much identical and I also didn’t find the new one to be better with longer or flat hairs (despite Panasonic’s claim of using an improved slit foil). That’s about it. Again, I will be testing it for at least a couple of weeks before writing a review, but this would be my first impression.

      I’ll be getting the ES-LV9Q as well, it should be at least as good as the new compact model.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      1. Fabio

        Hi Ovidio
        Got the new es Lv 9Q and I think the real improvement is the new foil…not the new body.
        I think the old ( fantastic) ES LV95 plus the new foil…is the combo to buy…
        Less expensive and easier to use…
        That’s my opinion

        Best

        Fabio

        Reply
        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

          Hi Fabio,

          Thanks for the follow-up. That’s definitely a viable option as well. I’d also add that the new shaver is a step up in build quality and aesthetics. I only shaved with the compact model (ES-CV51-S) so far, and the new foil is more comfortable than the previous one. I can actually use it for a dry shave without any issues. I will be getting the ES-LV9Q as well once I can find one in Europe.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
  28. Gary Soldow

    I purchased the shaver, and I’m very pleased. Unfortunately, I ordered it without the cleaning station, and it will not work with the cleaning station I have currently. Can you provide me with the model number of the cleaning station that will work with the shaver?

    Thank you,
    Gary

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Gary,

      Panasonic shavers that didn’t originally come with a cleaning station have blanks on the back instead of the metal contacts needed to communicate with the station. This means that if you bought a model that didn’t include the station (like the ES-LV6Q) it will not work with any cleaning station.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply

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