Panasonic Arc 4 Electric Shavers: Why You Should Seriously Consider Buying One

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Panasonic Arc 4 Electric Shavers: Why You Should Seriously Consider Buying One

Even though it was launched in 2011, the Arc 4 line of electric shavers from Panasonic still packs some serious punch.

In fact, I think the Arc 4 represents a better option for us — the end users — today than it has in its prime days.

In this article we’ll go over the key advantages of the shavers in this series and see what exactly makes them a great option.

Arc 4 features overview: high-end specs

The Panasonic Arc 4 shavers fill the gap between the entry-level Panasonic Arc 3 and the high-end Arc 5 shavers.

Here are the most important features of the Arc 4 family.

4 blade cutting system

As the name implies, the shavers have 4 cutting elements that exhibit Panasonic’s trademark arched profile.

That’s one blade less than the range topping Arc 5, but 4 cutters are still easily enough for anyone’s needs.

The Panasonic Arc 4 shaving head with its 4 blade cutting system

This particular design solution — the arched shaving head — is specific to Panasonic shavers and ensures optimal contact with the skin.

This, along with the powerful motors and very sharp blades will reward you with what is likely the closest shave you’ll get from an electric shaver at this price point.

The inner blades of thePanasonic Arc 4 ES-LA63-S

The two inner blades of the Panasonic Arc 4 ES-LA63-S

14 000 CPM motors

One of the reasons I always liked Panasonic shavers has to be their sheer cutting power.

And for the Arc 4 line, they didn’t skimp on power and fitted the shavers with the most powerful units they have, the 14 000 Cycles Per Minute linear motors that are also used on the premium Arc 5 shavers.

And this really shows when using one: an Arc 4 feels and sounds fast and will cut even the thickest hairs with ease.

Solid construction, wet & dry use

Even though they are made of plastic, the quality is top notch.

While some of them don’t look as posh as other shavers, I know from personal experience that they can take a serious beating and will last for years if you show them some love.

Panasonic ES-LA63-S design

Also, all the shavers are fully waterproof and can be used in the shower or with shaving cream without any restrictions.

So as far as specs go, the Arc 4 were (and still are) very capable electric shavers. And those aren’t just numbers on a paper, the real world performance really is outstanding.

How come the Arc 4 didn’t become a massive hit?

The Arc 4 shavers had all the premises to sell like hotcakes. But they didn’t. Here are my thoughts on why I think this happened.

The Arc 4 was positioned as a mid-range shaver, but the price tag was premium. So why not just buy the Arc 5 since the price was almost the same?

Also, the Arc 3 was priced significantly lower and still offered decent performance, making it a great budget option.

So the problem was the target audience — nobody wanted to buy them as there were other options that better catered to the buyer’s needs: Arc 5 for premium, Arc 3 for affordable.

Let’s see how things are today.

Panasonic Arc 4 shavers: top performers, underrated and reasonably priced

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the Arc 4 shavers have been around for quite some time.

And when that happens, it’s likely that we’ll see some massive price drops.

Luckily, that’s precisely the case with Arc 4 family. And we are the ones that benefit the most from this situation.

Panasonic will sooner or later update the Arc 4 line. But until then (and likely long after that, as it’s the case with the new Arc 3 and Arc 5 shavers) we can still get the old ones at bargain prices.

To get an idea of the prices we’re talking about, you can now find an Arc 4 costing just slightly more than an Arc 3. That’s fantastic value for money and they really are among the best shavers you can buy today.

Which Arc 4 shaver should you buy?

The short answer is any of them. They’re all almost identical in terms of actual shaving performance, so just buy the cheapest one you can find. Or the one that appeals more to you in terms of design.

Here’s a short overview of the most popular Arc 4 shavers.

Panasonic ES-LA63-S Arc 4

Panasonic ES-LA63-S

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This is one of my personal favorites and a shaver that I recommend quite often.

It offers excellent performance, being able to provide incredibly close shaves while also remaining adequately comfortable.

Its main advantages over other Arc 4 shavers are the multi-flex pivoting functions of the head and the addition of a second motor inside the actual shaving head.

This second motor makes the foils vibrate and supposedly capture flat-lying hairs more efficiently.

While the efficiency of this motor is debatable (at least in my experience), the performance is great.

The Panasonic ES-LA63-S is a complete and compelling package with top specs that I highly recommend to pretty much anyone. For more details make sure to read my review as well.

Panasonic ES-LA93-K Arc 4

ES-LA93-K

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The ES-LA93-K is identical to the ES-LA63-S presented above. It comes in a glossy black color scheme and includes an automatic cleaning and charging station.

Personally, I would skip it and just buy the cheaper ES-LA63-S.

The problem is that the ES-LA93-K comes with the older generation Panasonic cleaning station: they’re massive, look a bit dated and aren’t really necessary since the shaver is dead easy to clean manually.

If you really want a top performing Panasonic that includes a cleaning station, I suggest taking a look at a second or third generation Arc 5 (like the ES-LV95-S or ES-LV9N respectively). The updated cleaning stations are a massive improvement over the older ones.

You can check out the full review of the ES-LA93-K here.

Panasonic ES-LF51-A Arc 4

Panasonic ES-LF51-A Arc4

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This is another excellent shaver that’s also more budget friendly.

It doesn’t have the complex pivoting capabilities of the shaving head as the models above, nor does it have a second motor, but it’s still able to provide very close and comfortable shaves.

In fact, because it has a more compact shaving head compared to the rest of the Arc 4 models, it’s actually easier to use.

It features the same powerful 14 000 CPM motor and the 30 degrees nanoblades.

You can read my detailed review of the ES-LF51-A here.

Panasonic ES8243A Arc 4

See the price on Amazon

The ES8243A is usually the most reasonably priced model in the Arc 4 line.

In order to keep the price low, the shaver was fitted with a slightly less powerful 13 000 cpm motor, but that’s still plenty of cutting power.

As a result, the ES8243A performs better than most similarly priced shavers from other manufacturers (full review here).

Are there any cons?

No shaver out there is perfect and the Arc 4 is no exception.

Here’s what you should be aware of if you’re thinking of buying one.

  1. The Arc 4 is beginning to show its age. This is mainly related to the design of the shavers and the fact that they still use the aging first generation cleaning stations. Panasonic recently updated the Arc 3 and Arc 5 lines and it’s about time to do the same with the Arc 4.
  2. They are not the most comfortable shavers out there. Panasonic’s close shaves come with a small trade-off in comfort. Pressing hard can sometimes result in razor burn. Therefore, if you have very sensitive skin, you should probably opt for something like the Braun Series 7 or 5.
  3. They’re not the best with long, flat-lying hairs. Panasonic shavers in general excel at providing really close shaves and work best on short facial hair. If you shave daily or every two days at most, you’ll be perfectly fine. You could get away with more days between shaves if you have a light beard or if the hairs grow back slower. Otherwise, you’ll probably be better of with something like a Braun Series 7 that is much better at catching long and flat hairs.
  4. The bulky shaving head takes some getting used to. This is particularly the case with models like the ES-LA63-S or ES-LA93-K.

Overall, the downsides are minor and trumped by the benefits they offer: reasonable price, excellent performance for the money, close shaves and great build quality.

18 comments on “Panasonic Arc 4 Electric Shavers: Why You Should Seriously Consider Buying One

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  1. Will

    It would appear that the LA63/LA93 is the only shaver in Panasonic’s entire lineup including even the vaunted ARC 5 models that has the “dual motor” in the head.. Is that correct?

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      That is correct, the second motor is specific to the ES-LA63 and ES-LA93 models.

      Reply
      1. Will

        That’s interesting. By all accounts, this feature worked. The product reviews are outstanding for the LA-63!

        Oddly, this feature was used only once and never again?

        Maybe it was prohibitively expensive to manufacture?… prone to breaking? … Or, maybe the mechanisms on the ARC 5 models that are meant to capture longer hairs just work better/similarly?

        It just seems odd to me that such a good feature only made it to one model. Then again, this LA-63/93 shaver was never a best seller, I don’t think. Maybe that’s why:
        Maybe customers didn’t recognize this sophisticated, no doubt expensive second motor as a major selling point in the same way that they view a 5th blade as a dispositive criterion? (If that’s the case, the LA-63/93 today could potentially be one of the most perennially underrated shavers on the market!).

        Because.. If you ask me, intuitively, I’d have to say that going from one motor to two would be more impactful than going from 4 blades to 5!

        Those are my musings.

        I think I’ve made my purchase decision. You helped me a lot. I’ve read many posts on this site replete with your trenchant analysis.

        Further, since you and I both have a predilection for Panasonic shavers with a good creamy lather, your opinions are more helpful than most others’.

        -Will

        Reply
        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

          I’m very glad to know that it was helpful to you, Will.

          And yes, the Arc4 shavers are underrated and they can be bought for a very reasonable price. That wasn’t always the case, particularly with the LA63/LA93, arguably the best Arc4 variations. They used to be really expensive and the production costs were probably high as well like you mentioned. The second motor definitely contributes to that.

          I think you’ll be very satisfied with your purchase. Panasonic shavers work particularly well with shaving cream. For me this combo is a winner. And I can’t say the same in the case of Braun shavers for example, where the difference between wet and dry use is not that noticeable.

          Thank you again for taking the time to comment.

          Best,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
  2. Alex

    Ovidiu, Thank you for the wonderful article!
    Do you have any idea why panasonic blades are called nano?
    Is it just because they are sharp or they add any nano particles into the steel?

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thank you for your comment, Alex. I am pretty sure that Nano is used here only as a marketing term. They are made of hypoallergenic stainless steel. However, the blades are of very high quality. They are extremely sharp and cut the the hairs very clean and close to the skin; I personally find Panasonics to give the closest shave of all foil shavers.

      Reply
  3. Shawn Lee

    Hey Ovidiu, contemplating between the arc4 and 5.
    Black friday is coming and both are roughly in the same price range.
    My main concern is the amount of blades. Would i have issues with the arc5 shaving my upper lip/moustache area since it’s such a large head.
    Shave wise, there really isnt much difference right? But if prices are the same, which would you recommend me to buy?

    Reply
    1. Shawn Lee

      Hey Ovidiu, contemplating between the arc4 and 5.
      Black friday is coming and both are roughly in the same price range.
      My main concern is the amount of blades. Would i have issues with the arc5 shaving my upper lip/moustache area since it’s such a large head.
      Shave wise, there really isnt much difference right? But if prices are the same, which would you recommend me to buy?
      Oh yeah, i shave daily with my braun 790cc now, shave around 8am, 5pm time some stubble starts to show, hence i’m thinking of switching to panasonic. just a very slight growth which looks unruly if not shaven daily.

      Reply
      1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

        Hi Shawn,

        Thank you for comment. I’ll try my best to give give you an answer that’ll help you with your decision. I currently have two Arc 4 shavers (an ES-LA63-S and an ES-LF51-A) that I tend to use quite a lot. Also relevant to our discussion is the Panasonic ES-LV65-S (reviewed here) that is the most likely out of all Arc 5 variations to have a similar price to the Arc 4s mentioned previously.

        First of all I think you’ll be very pleased with the closeness regardless of which one you end up buying, particularly if you’re coming from a Series 7. The Panasonics are simply better when it comes to closeness, so I’m sure you will see a significant improvement there.

        The addition of a fifth blade will offer diminishing returns compared to a razor like the Arc 4 that has a similar setup, but with 4 blades; so you are right, there isn’t much difference. The closeness will be very similar between the two. With the Arc 5 you may be able to finish your shave faster, but again, the difference will be marginal. I will say however that the ES-LV65-S is more refined: it is quieter, a bit smoother and the blades do not get hot, which helps with the comfort. My ES-LF51-A does get quite hot and it causes some noticeable discomfort, but the ES-LA63-S only gets slightly warm.

        Regarding the size of the shaving head, both the Arc 4 and Arc 5 are significantly larger compared to a three blade Series 7, but you will definitely get used to it. When shaving my moustache area only the first 2 or 3 foils actually touch the skin and do any shaving, so it doesn’t really matter if the total number is 4 or 5, the extra ones won’t get in the way. Just make sure to lock the head into the fixed position, it really helps and the mechanism works great on Panasonic shavers.

        In conclusion, if the prices are the same, I would go for the ES-LV65-S for the reasons outlined above. Again, it’s not vastly better, just slightly, but since it costs the same I would buy that one. However, I think the price difference will be at least $50 and in this case I would go for the ES-LA63-S. There are other Arc 4 models, but I would stick to the ES-LA63-S one for the reasons I presented in the article.

        Hope this helps.

        Sincerely,
        Ovidiu

        Reply
  4. Bruce Glazer

    Hi, Ovidiu,

    I am about to buy the Panasonic ES-LA63-S Arc4 shaver. One question, please: Why is the Panasonic WES9025PC Men’s Electric Razor Replacement Inner Blade & Outer Foil Set ($38.21) much more expensive than other Panasonic replacement blades? Is it because of the extra foil?

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Bruce,

      Usually the more complex a shaving system is, the pricier the replacement foils and blades are. Adding a fourth cutter does increase the price of the Arc 4 foils & blades quite a bit compared to let’s say an Arc 3. Likewise, the parts used by the Arc 5 models cost even more. However, manufacturers also take advantage of this to justify the sometimes outrageous price of these parts. I cannot tell with absolute certainty, but I suspect that the profit margins for the replacement foils & blades are quite large. And users will likely buy them despite the high price because they have to and there aren’t any viable aftermarket alternatives.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  5. Seth mootchnik

    Great article. Why does the ES8243A Arc 4 not get the same ‘love’ then the other 2? How is the sound/noise between a 13000 and a 14000 cpm? Thx!

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Seth,

      The ES8243A is still a great shaver, but the other Arc 4 models are a bit better. First of all, the 14 000 CPM motors feel faster and torquier (in terms of noise, they are very similar). The ES-LF51-A also has a slightly more compact shaving head than the ES8243A even though it also uses a 4 blade system. This isn’t very so obvious from the photos or even from a side by side comparison, but during a shave it feels more nimble and maneuverable.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Most likely yes, provided that the blades aren’t completely dull or the foils warped. I use Remington Shaver Saver or Braun spray cleaner, both work really well. The Braun spray takes quite a bit longer to dry, so make sure to apply it at least 30 minutes before shaving (the shaving head must be completely dry).

      Reply

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