Pros: very close shaves, very comfortable, powerful, suitable for very coarse beards, great wet & dry performance, suitable for sensitive skin, excellent build quality, very effective pop-up trimmer, decent accessories bundle, easy to clean manually
Cons: pricey, still not the best with long/flat-lying hairs, large shaving head
In 2021, Panasonic finally did it — they added yet another blade to their already impressive Arc 5 shavers.
Meet the Panasonic Arc 6 (or Lamdash 6), the world’s first and only 6-blade foil electric shaver.
Of all the new, high-end shavers introduced last year, the Arc 6 got me the most excited.
As a long-time Panasonic user, the idea of a 6-blade electric razor was intriguing, to say the least.
Initially, the Arc 6 line was a Japan-exclusive release, so you had to import it from Japan, meaning even more money for what was already a pricey shaver.
As a result, it makes perfect sense to find out if the Arc 6 is worth the trouble.
Panasonic finally released the Arc 6 globally (including in the USA) in June 2022 (press release).
Panasonic Arc 6 ES-LS9A-K
Also, if you already own an Arc 5, you may want to know whether an upgrade to the Arc 6 will bring any noticeable improvements to your shave.
I just couldn’t resist the hype and I bought one from Japan prior to the global launch — I will share later on my experience of buying it — and in this Panasonic Arc 6 review I will share everything you need to know about it, pros and cons included.
I’ll also be comparing the Arc 6 to the most popular Arc 5 models and see if it brings enough benefits to justify getting it instead.
Without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Important: The currently available models in the USA are the ES-LS8A-K (no cleaning station) and ES-LS9A-K (includes an automatic cleaning station).
My Arc 6 is the wet/dry Panasonic ES-LS5A (Japanese model), but it’s identical performance-wise to the ES-LS8A-K/ES-LS9A-K. So you might as well consider this a review of the Arc 6 ES-LS8A-K.
The ES-LS8A-K and my ES-LS5A are somewhat the entry-level Arc 6 models as they don’t include the cleaning station, so they’re usually the cheapest.
The ES-LS9A-K comes with an automatic cleaning station, but again, the shaving performance is absolutely identical to the ES-LS8A-K or any of the Japanese models (ES-LS9AX/ES-CLS9AX and ES-LS9N).
Table of Contents
- 1. Features overview
- 2. Build quality and ergonomics
- 3. Included accessories
- 4. Battery life and charging
- 5. Shaving performance
- 6. Panasonic Arc 6 vs Arc 5: Which one is better?
- 7. Cleaning and maintenance
- 8. Replacement parts availability
- 9. Wrapup — Who should buy the Panasonic Arc 6?
- 10. Alternative shavers
1. Features overview
1. 6-blade shaving unit
Let’s start with the defining characteristic of this razor, the bonkers 6-blade shaving head.
Now, 5 individual cutting elements were already plenty. In fact, the Braun Series 7 is proof that even 3 cutters can be enough when done right.
The new Arc 6 comes with 6, slightly curved cutters.
Excessive? Overkill? You bet.
But that doesn’t mean it can’t work well. Besides, it’s better to have an over-engineered product that can do the job without breaking a sweat.
I will be getting into all the details in the performance section of the review.
So what does this new 6-blade head brings? Well, compared to the Arc 5, it comes with an additional slit trimmer, so we now have two for the Arc 6.
These trimmers are supposed to better catch long, flat-lying hairs, something that Panasonic electric razors have always struggled with.
So here’s the structure of an Arc 6 shaving head:
There are four foil cutters and two slit trimmers (mentioned earlier).
The foils are the ones that cut short hairs at skin level, while the golden cutters capture and trim longer, flat-lying hairs to a more manageable length.
Panasonic says this new structure of the Arc 6 shaving head allows it to capture 4 times more hairs in a single stroke compared to the Arc 5.
Fun fact: the two trimmers are exactly the same as the one on the 2021 Panasonic Arc 5 revision G, only that we get two of them on the Arc 6.
Unlike the Arc 5, we now have a single comfort roller (7) at the very center. This helps the massive head glide easier on the skin.
Another important difference compared to the Arc 5 is that all the blades are now integrated into the foil block itself.
So for the first time, we have no inner, removable blades as we did with the Arc 5, Arc 4 and even the Arc 3.
With the Arc 6, Panasonic decided to go with a single piece that combines the foils and blades, just like Braun has been doing for years with their cassettes.
It’s a bit less complicated as you don’t have to buy them separately.
On the other hand, it makes the head very intricate and more likely for gunk and dirt to accumulate in time if you don’t clean it properly after every use.
The 6-blade head is massive; however, if you’ve used an Arc 5 before, I don’t think you’ll have any issues shaving with the Arc 6 (more details later on).
2. Flexible head
The shaving heads of most Panasonic high-end shavers are really impressive in the way they can flex in multiple directions.
The new Arc 6/Lamdash 6 is no different and can move in 5 different planes as this picture illustrates:
While this is similar to what we’ve seen with the generation 3 Arc 5 shavers, in the case of the Arc 6, the movement is smoother and feels better when shaving.
With the Arc 5, I’ve always found the head a bit too jiggly.
So things appear to be better in the case of the Arc 6. As usual, you can also lock the head in a fixed position via a multi-function slider on the back of the head.
But I still have my pet peeve with this head as I think a simple front-to-back tilt with an adequate range of motion is the way to go.
Well, that plus a smooth movement of the 6 individual blades.
And speaking of that, the Arc 6 blades feature a new so-called Adhesion float blade mechanism that should improve the previous system found on other Panasonic shavers, including the Arc 5.
This was getting a bit long in the tooth and I’ve always said that Braun simply does it better with their basic shaving heads and foils that move effortlessly with a generous range of motion.
On a quick glance though, the Arc 6 doesn’t seem to be much better: it takes a lot of pressure in order to move a cutter and the range of motion is still way too short.
In practice, this means you’ll have to be more mindful when moving the shaving head over different areas of the face in order to maintain optimal contact with the skin.
Again, in the case of a Braun Series 9 or 7, the shaver does most of the work for you and it’s also more forgiving if you press too hard. And that’s mainly thanks to the longer and smoother range of motion of the foil cutters.
3. Powerful 14 000 CPM motor
The motor fitted to the Panasonic Arc 6 appears to be the same from the Arc 5 line, at least in terms of specs.
It’s a compact, powerful and smooth unit, arguably the best out there right now.
But compared to the Arc 5, the Arc 6 is a bit quieter and more refined, in the sense that it vibrates less.
It’s still loud by any means (as are all foil razors), but just feels like a more premium shaver.
We also get the now ubiquitous beard density sensor that should adjust the power output of the motor in order to provide maximum efficiency and comfort.
As was the case with the newer Arc 5 models, you cannot deactivate the sensor. We’ll see later on how well the Arc 6 performs in that regard.
4. LED display
The Arc 6 models come with an LED display that shows various information.
The one I bought for this review, the ES-LS5A, has a very basic 5-level battery indicator:
There are 5 segments on the white backlit display that turn off gradually as the battery charge drops. Each segment amounts to roughly 20% of the battery charge.
The more expensive Arc 6/Lamdash 6 models that come with cleaning stations, precisely the Panasonic ES-LS9A-K, ES-LS9AX/ES-CLS9AX and ES-LS9N, have a more advanced LED display that shows the battery percentage in 5% increments.
The exception to this rule is the ES-LS8A-K which doesn’t include a station but still features the more advanced percentage-based display.
Unfortunately, none of the Arc 6 models will display the elapsed time, which is a bummer. That was a very nifty feature found on older Arc 5 and even Arc 4 models like the ES-LV65 and ES-LA63-S, respectively.
5. Wet & Dry and Dry only use
All Panasonic Arc 6 variations are waterproof and can be safely washed with water.
However, only the ES-LS8A-K, ES-LS9A-K, ES-LS9AX/ES-CLS9AX and ES-LS5A are officially suitable for wet & dry use, meaning you can shave in the shower or with shaving cream/gel.
Because the ES-LS9N is a dry-only razor, it is the only one that will work with the cord plugged in.
The other ones are cordless-only shavers.
All Lamdash 6 models are fitted with rechargeable Li-ion batteries for approximately 45 minutes of cordless use.
The range-topping ES-LS9AX and ES-CLS9AX are offered with a charge-through travel case that uses a USB-type C connector.
6. Misc features
Other noteworthy features are the pop-up hair trimmer, travel lock, sonic cleaning mode and universal voltage converter (100 to 240 volts, so you can charge it abroad as well).
2. Build quality and ergonomics
For the past 10 years or so, Panasonic has been setting the benchmark for build quality, particularly with their high-end shavers.
For example, a few Arc 5 models in the third generation come with an aluminum body.
And with the Arc 6 being the new flagship shaver, it had some pretty big shoes to fill in.
Luckily, it managed to do that and more.
From an aesthetic point of view, it looks like a more mature, refined and premium product.
And while it’s not exactly minimalist in design, compared to the Arc 5, it’s definitely simpler and more streamlined.
It has none or very few glossy surfaces for example (depending on the model).
Personally, I think it’s the best-looking Panasonic shaver out there right now.
The color schemes are elegant and subdued, comprised mostly of black, dark grey, a touch of gold, as well as some brushed aluminum trim on the range-topping Japanese-exclusive ES-LX9AX/ES-CLSX9AX.
My ES-LS5A Arc 6, as well as the ES-LS9N and the two USA models ES-LS8A-K and ES-LS9A-K, feature a glossy plastic panel instead of aluminum, but still look rather stylish.
Let’s take a closer look, starting from the top.
The new 6-blade shaving head is absolutely massive. Compared to the Arc 5, it has the same length, but it is wider/taller by approximately 5mm.
The foil frame can be easily removed by squeezing the two release tabs located on the sides of the head:
As mentioned earlier, all 6 blades are now built into the foil, so we don’t have the two inner blades anymore.
The foil can pop out of the frame by squeezing another pair of tabs on the sides:
Once it’s out, you can easily observe what Panasonic calls an Adhesion float blade mechanism, basically what allows the foils to move independently.
There are tiny springs at the ends of a cutter, so it can flex and stay in contact with the skin.
In my opinion there are still two major issues with Panasonic’s implementation.
First of all, the range of motion for each cutter is very limited (less than 2mm). A Braun shaver for example has at least double of that.
Secondly, the plastic ends of each of the 6 cutters rub against the plastic frame — which results in a jerky motion and it takes a lot of pressure to move the cutter.
Again, this is in stark contrast with the smooth moving foils of a Braun Series 9 or 7.
It’s an inherent problem of Panasonic’s foils/foil frames that cannot be addressed unless they completely redesign them.
This was something that I’ve always noticed with all Panasonic lines of electric razors, from the Arc 3 to this latest Arc 6.
But what I wanted to emphasize is that they still haven’t managed to address it, despite mentioning this new Adhesion float blade mechanism extensively in the official product pages.
That aside, the foil block is very sturdy and well made, the materials are of high quality and no compromises seem to have been made.
There are six pins that drive each cutter, the linear motor being connected directly to them (as opposed to the older rotary motors that required additional linkage to transform the rotational motion to linear).
This ensures optimal power delivery and reduces vibrations.
As a side note, Panasonic has been using these linear-drive motors since 1995 (with the introduction of the innovative ES881 shaver).
The head of the Panasonic Lamdash 6 is extremely flexible and can move in 6 planes.
However, I wouldn’t say this is also very useful in practice. But it’s an impressive feat of engineering nevertheless.
The front of the Arc 6 is quite minimalist and there’s not a lot going on.
For example, we do not have a rubberized thumb rest area above the power button anymore. In my opinion that would have been useful.
The front fascia has a smooth, matte finish, again a departure from the glossy one on the Arc 5.
I think that’s a good decision, both visually and practically. It will not show hairline scratches or smudges and it’s also grippier.
The power button is now round and quite small, but very clicky and easy to operate.
It doubles as a travel lock, activated by pressing and holding it for 3 seconds while the shaver is running.
A flashing padlock icon will signal that the travel lock is activated.
With the ES-LS9AX/ES-CLS9AX and ES-LS9N, we have a Smart Lock system instead — basically, the travel lock is active at all times and it deactivates automatically when you grab the shaver in your hand.
Below the power button we have the LED display.
It’s quite nice, with no backlight bleed, very even, sharp and bright. It shows various information, the most important one being the remaining battery charge.
The range-topping Japanese Arc 6 models have a more advanced display that shows the charge in 5% increments, while my ES-LS5A has a very basic display, only showing 5 bars, so 20% increments.
Luckily, the global/USA Arc 6 (ES-LS8A-K and ES-LS9A-K) comes with the better display.
One of the biggest letdowns regarding the Arc 6 display is that none will show the elapsed time anymore. That was one of the more useful features on some Arc 5 models like the ES-LV65 or ES-LV9Q.
The Arc 6 is fitted with the typical Panasonic proprietary charging port, located at the very bottom of the razor.
On the back, we have the pop-up trimmer located on the shaving head itself.
It can be deployed via the multi-purpose switch located right below it.
The switch can also lock the head in a fixed position when you need more control and precision, for example when shaving the area below the nose.
Here are the 3 positions of the switch:
The ribbed rubbery surface on the back extends to the sides and towards the front of the Arc 6 and ensures an excellent grip.
Despite the large size of the shaver, the body is quite thin and you can hold it very securely.
Compared to the Arc 5 head, the one on the Arc 6 doesn’t feel much larger during use and you’ll definitely have no problem switching from an Arc 5.
My Arc 6 ES-LS5A weighs 209 grams, so only 10 more than a generation 3 Arc 5 (plastic build).
The ES-LS9AX/ES-CLS9AX and ES-LS9N tip the scales at 220 grams, a small bump in weight likely caused by the smart lock system.
Overall, the build quality and ergonomics of the Arc 6 are really good.
It’s a pity Panasonic couldn’t come up with a better solution for the independently moving blades though, that would have made the Arc 6 stand out in comparison to the Arc 5.
3. Included accessories
The Panasonic ES-LS5A, the budget model in the Arc 6/Lamdash 6 family, comes bundled with the following accessories:
- Charger (model RC1-80, 100–240v)
- Protective cap
- Cleaning brush
- Storage pouch
- User manual (Japanese only)
This is a pretty good bundle in my opinion. For example, Panasonic is the only one among the big 3 that still includes these small bottles of oil.
You won’t find one with a Braun or Philips shaver; the protective cap is also becoming a rare sight.
The only letdown is that storage pouch. It’s like a textile/velvety bag that looks and feels cheap and won’t offer much protection while traveling.
It’s also a lint magnet as you can see:
Even Panasonic’s old faux leather pouch would have been a step up from this.
The other more expensive Arc 6 models do come with upgraded cases.
The ES-LS8A-K, ES-LS9A-K and ES-LS9N come with a hard leather travel case.
The range-topping ES-LS9AX/ES-CLS9AX includes a plastic USB-charging case, similar to Braun’s PowerCase that made its debut with the Series 9 Pro.
Unfortunately, Panasonic’s case is not fitted with a battery, so it will not charge the shaver on its own (like a power bank).
Instead, it has a USB-C connector, so you can use your phone’s charger to charge the shaver when placed inside the case.
As a side note, a must-have accessory for any Panasonic shaver owner is a USB charging cable.
It has Panasonic’s proprietary connector at the end that goes into your shaver’s charging port, while on the other end there’s a regular USB-A connector.
This is in my opinion a very useful cable, especially when traveling and it’s the next best thing until Panasonic finally decides to drop their port in favor of USB type-C.
4. Battery life and charging
A new Lamdash 6 line would have been a good opportunity for Panasonic to also bump up the capacity of the rechargeable battery.
Both Braun and Philips have been doing that for the past few years with their premium razors.
Unfortunately, Panasonic has lagged a bit behind and things aren’t any different with the Arc 6.
Precisely, the Li-ion battery will provide enough power for approximately 45 minutes of use. So that’s a bit underwhelming for a premium-priced electric razor.
Also, you’ll probably want to charge it before it drops below 20% as you will notice the motor slowing down and your shave won’t be the best.
The Panasonic ES-LS5A that I’ve been testing is a wet & dry Arc 6, so it will only work cordless. It’s the same with the ES-LS8A-K and ES-LS9A-K.
The Japanese ES-LS9N on the other hand is dry only, so you can also shave with the cord plugged in.
As for how long it takes to charge the Panasonic Arc 6, not that much actually.
It needed less than 45 minutes to charge from 0 to 100%, which is really good.
There’s also the 3-minute quick charge feature that allows you to get just enough juice into the battery for a quick shave.
That won’t be a problem with the dry-only ES-LS9N as you can also shave while the razor is charging.
You can charge your Arc 6 by plugging the cable directly into the shaver’s port but also via the cleaning station (if it came with one).
With the ES-LS9AX/ES-CLS9AX, you also have the option of charging it through the USB case using any USB type-C cable.
All in all, nothing too spectacular regarding the battery life of the Panasonic Arc 6. The charging time is short though and you can also opt for a model that works while charging (ES-LS9N).
5. Shaving performance
So far so good, but how does the Panasonic Arc 6 actually shave? And also, is it better than an Arc 5?
Well, let’s find out.
As usual, I will go over a few key areas, starting with the closeness.
Closeness of the shave
Having more blades can yield certain benefits, however, when it comes to closeness, particularly in the case of the Arc 6 and its blade arrangement, things are not as straightforward.
Out of those 6 blades, only the two outermost ones are the so-called finishing blades that are able to cut the hairs very close to the skin — so the same as the Arc 5.
Compared to the Arc 5 though, we have one extra slit trimmer (the pair of gold cutters) that captures and cuts longer, flat-lying hairs to a stump (which are then cut at skin level by the foils).
So objectively, the Arc 6 shouldn’t be better than the Arc 5 when it comes strictly to how close it can cut the hair.
And after using it for almost two months, I can also confirm that the closeness is the same as in the case of the Arc 5, regardless of the generation.
That said, it’s really good, arguably the best out there right now.
Panasonic ARC 6 ES-LS8A-K
And when used together with shaving cream, at least in my case, I really don’t see how an electric shaver can get closer than this — it really is razor blade close.
I shaved with the Arc 6 wet and dry (with and without a pre-shave) and the results were excellent every time.
But as I mentioned previously, in order to get the absolute closest shave with a razor, using a quality shaving cream is the way to go.
Most men will however prefer to shave dry. In this case, a pre-shave lotion (like Tabac or Speick) would also be beneficial. It takes seconds to apply and you’ll most likely get a better (and less time-consuming) shave.
The Panasonic Arc 6/Lamdash 6 is particularly impressive at shaving areas with coarse, thick, dense stubble.
When shaving dry, those areas are usually a problem in my case (below the nose, on and under the chin).
The Arc 6 manages to get closer than pretty much any other electric shaver I’ve tried. Again, it’s on par with the Arc 5 in this regard.
By the way, Panasonic explicitly mentioned how good the Arc 6 is when shaving under the chin — and I can confirm that the 6 cutters plus that curved profile make the shaver really effective.
Despite the large head, I didn’t have any serious issues shaving above the upper lip and around my sideburns.
Again, for Arc 5 users, shaving with the Arc 6 will feel extremely familiar.
Bottom line: the Arc 6 is (alongside the Arc 5) one of the closest shaving razors you can currently buy.
While things were pretty much the same with regards to closeness, the new Panasonic Arc 6 is definitely better when it comes to comfort.
In fact, I’d say that the Arc 6 is the most comfortable and forgiving Panasonic shaver I’ve ever used.
As long as you don’t press too hard — the only way to get some razor burn — I think even men with sensitive skin can use it without any worries.
I found it to be reasonably gentle even when used dry, with no pre-shave lotion, as long as you’re not sloppy or press too hard.
The addition of a pre-shave or shaving cream will make things even better, but nevertheless, it’s one of the very few Panasonic razors that’s good enough out of the box.
The foils never got hot during use, but I did make sure to lubricate them every time (more details on this later on).
From past experience with other Panasonic shavers, I know that as time passes, the foils will start to gradually get warmer and warmer during use.
And one effective way to counteract that is to use a spray lubricant for electric shavers on a regular basis.
The takeaway is that the Panasonic Arc 6 is very comfortable and the vast majority of users will enjoy shaving with it, even the ones with sensitive, irritation-prone skin.
I wouldn’t say it’s quite as comfortable as a Braun Series 9 or 7, but it’s very close.
Shaving longer, flat-lying hairs
Another key area where Panasonic electric shavers have traditionally lagged behind Braun or Philips is dealing with longer, flat-lying hairs.
Even Panasonic’s latest Arc 5 models were only mediocre, so the Arc 6 promised to fix that with the pair of specially designed gold trimmers.
Fun fact: the 2021 Arc 5 revision G and the 2022 Arc 5 Pro, use the exact same slit trimmer, but it only has one.
With the Arc 6, Panasonic says it’s 4 times more efficient than the previous generation.
To test this, I let my beard grow for 3 to 4 days and shaved dry (with a pre-shave lotion).
So how did the Arc 6 deal with the flat hairs on my neck? Decently. Better than an Arc 5 (with the older generation foils), but not significantly better than for example the 2021 Arc 5 with a single gold trimmer.
It still required multiple strokes and changing the direction in order to capture all the flat-lying hairs and get a smooth shave.
In contrast, a Braun Series 9 or Series 9 Pro is more efficient and takes less time to cut this type of hair.
So while the Panasonic Arc 6 is an improvement in this regard, it wouldn’t be my first option for someone that doesn’t shave often and has areas with flat-lying hairs and multiple grains.
If you plan on shaving regularly and the hairs are still reasonably short (let’s say less than 1 to 1.5mm), I think it’ll handle the job just fine.
But if you usually shave twice a week or less, I think going with a Braun Series 9/9 Pro or even a rotary like the Philips Norelco Prestige would be better.
As a side note, when using shaving cream, the Panasonic Arc 6 was a lot more effective at catching these difficult hairs.
Speed, noise, hair trimmer
The Arc 6 comes with Panasonic’s fantastic 14 000 CPM (cycles per minute) motor.
It’s a very powerful, reliable, fast and torquey motor that makes a great contribution to the shaver’s stellar performance.
And as long as your facial hair is reasonably short (so the foils can catch it with fewer strokes), you’ll be able to finish your shave very quickly and effortlessly.
That said, it is quite loud and makes this high-pitched noise. Some users find it less annoying than Braun’s lower hum, while others think it’s even more disturbing.
I personally don’t mind it too much as I got used to noisy foil shavers.
The Panasonic Arc 6 is however a bit quieter than an Arc 5, primarily because it vibrates even less.
If however you need a very quiet electric razor, you will need to opt for a rotary.
The pop-up hair trimmer on the Arc 6 is the best of this type I’ve ever used.
Until now, my favorite was the one on the Arc 5.
While the Arc 6 trimmer looks absolutely identical, it seems to cut even better.
It’s great for on-the-fly tweaks and grooming, particularly for shaping sideburns, edging a beard line or cutting a few stray flat hairs.
You could use it to pre-trim an entire beard, but I don’t imagine it’ll be too enjoyable. If you must do that often, I recommend getting a cheap beard trimmer.
My ES-LS5A Arc 6 is a cordless only, wet/dry shaver, so I’ve also used it with shaving cream quite a few times.
I don’t always shave wet as it takes me more time, but when I do have a few minutes to spare, using this razor is a real treat.
The Arc 6 is absolutely phenomenal during a wet shave.
All Panasonic razors are in fact really good and that’s the main reason I went with a wet/dry model for the review (plus the fact that it’s the cheapest Arc 6).
My favorite shaving cream is from a German company called Speick, I’ve mentioned it quite a few times on this site.
Speick shaving cream
I like to wash my face with warm water and then apply a very thin layer of pasty, watery lather. I wait a few minutes to let it soften the stubble and then proceed to shave, making sure to hydrate the lather more if needed.
The result is the closest, most comfortable shave I’ve ever got with any electric razor. In fact, the closeness is similar to what I would get from a cartridge or DE razor.
I’m not by any means implying that you’ll automatically get the same results, but the closeness will definitely be good enough.
I highly recommend shaving wet with the Arc 6 if you have the time, maybe on weekends or for those occasions when you want to look extra sharp.
6. Panasonic Arc 6 vs Arc 5: Which one is better?
I’ll try to keep the Arc 6 vs Arc 5 comparison short, actionable and to the point.
I won’t be getting into details that don’t really make a difference when shaving (like beard density sensors, smart locks or displays).
Having used lots of Arc 5 models through the years, I have a pretty good idea of their pros and cons.
After shaving with the Arc 6 for two months, I can say that it is a better shaver, but only slightly.
Regarding the closeness of the shave, I find the Panasonic Arc 5 to be just as good as the Arc 6.
You will NOT get a closer shave by switching to an Arc 6.
Well, you probably will, but only because the Arc 6 will have brand new, sharp blades, but you can achieve the same thing by replacing the foil and blades of your existing Arc 5 with fresh ones.
Side note: you can upgrade any Arc 5 to the latest revision G foil, it will fit perfectly (more details in this guide).
I happened to have a brand new ES-LV95 Arc 5 for this comparison and I shaved with it at the same time — I even shaved the other half of my face with the Arc 6.
So take my word for it, in terms of closeness, they are the same.
The Panasonic Arc 6 is on the other hand more comfortable. It’s gentler, the foil doesn’t get as hot and you’re less likely to get razor burn when you’re not very careful or when you press too hard.
This is particularly obvious when you compare the Arc 6 to some of the older Arc 5 that don’t have comfort rollers, like the ES-LV65/ES-LV95, ES-LV67/ES-LV97 (again, you can actually upgrade the foil to a newer, more comfortable foil).
The Arc 6 also feels more refined and as I mentioned earlier, it vibrates less. But it’s still a loud razor nevertheless.
The Arc 6 beard density sensor seems to be less aggressive as I pretty much never hear a change in the sound of the motor, which means that it runs at full power for most of the time.
With the Arc 5, I can hear it a lot more often.
As far as ergonomics are concerned, both have a large head and might feel cumbersome at first. If you didn’t have any issues with the Panasonic Arc 5, you’ll feel right at home shaving with the Arc 6.
Both are very powerful, fast and perfectly suitable for men with coarse hair.
The main highlight of the Arc 6, its ability to tackle long, flat-lying hairs, proved to be a bit underwhelming.
While it is more capable than an Arc 5, it’s not some groundbreaking Panasonic that you can use once or twice a week. The Braun Series 9 Pro will be a much better option if you plan on using it that way.
Price, availability, value for money
The Arc 5 wins this hands down.
It’s cheaper and you can likely buy one locally, even if it’s not one of the latest models (usually sold exclusively in Japan).
The ES-LV65-S and ES-LV67-K are usually the best picks.
The Arc 6 is currently only available in Japan (officially) and it will probably remain that way at least until April 2022.
UPDATE: The Arc 6 is finally available globally as well as of June 2022.
However, you can actually buy it on Amazon or eBay. I had to import mine from Japan as it wasn’t available anywhere else at the time.
I used a proxy service called forward2me.com (not affiliated). They’ll assign to you a Japan address that you can use to have the shaver shipped and then they’ll send it to you for a reasonable fee. You will still need to pay customs fees (country-specific).
The Arc 5 foil + blades combo usually costs less than the Arc 6 foil head and again, you can find several variations (older or newer) no matter where you live.
Any Arc 5 foil will fit any Arc 5 model, regardless of the generation. Here is my Arc 5 foil guide for a complete rundown of all the different foil models and differences.
Important: the Arc 5 foil will not fit the Arc 6. Likewise, you can’t use an Arc 6 foil on an Arc 5 shaver.
At least for now, the Arc 5 offers better value for money than the Arc 6, especially the older models mentioned above.
Arc 5 owners: Should you upgrade to an Arc 6?
If your shaver is in good shape and you’re happy with the performance, then no.
And by performance I’m mainly referring to the comfort of the shave. Again, you won’t really get a closer shave (unless your current Arc 5 shaver has really blunt blades and worn foils).
Also, the performance of the Arc 6 with flat-lying hairs is still not great, so it won’t be a massive improvement in that regard.
If however your shaver is pretty beat up, doesn’t hold a charge and you don’t mind spending more in order to get the very latest, the Panasonic Arc 6 is a fantastic option.
7. Cleaning and maintenance
Basic, waterproof foil shavers are generally the easiest to clean.
The Panasonic Arc 6/Lamdash 6 is not by any means basic; with 6 individual cutting elements, it has one of the most intricate shaving heads out there.
Luckily, cleaning and caring for it is easy and straightforward for the most part.
As mentioned several times in the review, you can get an Arc 6 with or without a cleaning center.
That will give you the option of cleaning it manually or automatically.
I went with the cheapest Arc 6, so I didn’t get the cleaning station.
And on a related note, the ES-LV5A will NOT work with a cleaning station purchased later on.
This is a common question as some users plan on getting just the shaver and eventually buy the station when it becomes available, ideally for a fair price.
In this case, you cannot do anything with the station, it will not work — it won’t even charge the shaver for that matter.
And that’s because the three contact studs that connect the razor to the station are missing on the ES-LV5A.
With that out of the way, let’s see what a typical manual cleaning involves. After that, I’ll also address the cleaning station as it’s pretty much identical to the regular Arc 5 cleaning stations.
Since all Panasonic electric shavers are waterproof, even the ones intended for shaving dry, the easiest and most effective way to clean them is with water (and soap).
There’s a tiny cleaning brush included as well and you can use it sparingly when you’re in a rush for example (never directly on the foils tough).
But for most of the time, cleaning your Arc 6 with water will be much better.
Here’s how I do it.
Once I finish my shave, I turn the razor off and remove the foil head.
I tap the plastic frame on my sink to remove most of the hairs, maybe even give it a quick rinse, then snap it back in place.
If you shave with cream/gel, you can skip the tapping as all the hairs will be engulfed in lather.
Now, you can either just use warm tap water which is fine, but at least every once in a while I would also use some liquid hand soap.
Personally, I use soap after every shave as I like keeping my shavers clean.
Press and hold the power button for a few seconds — you will notice that the sound of the motor will change into this high-pitched whine, while the LED display lights will turn on and off.
This is the so-called Sonic cleaning mode that makes the blades oscillate really fast for around 15 seconds.
Rinse the head with warm water while the shaver runs in this cleaning setting.
Because the blades move faster, but the actual side-to-side motion is shorter, it won’t splash water all over the place.
You can rinse it until the shaver automatically turns off (after around 15 seconds) or you can do it sooner by pressing the power button.
After that you can remove the head, give it a final rinse inside out and you’d be pretty much done.
You can pat it dry with a towel and let it air dry (with the head detached).
This is how you would clean the Arc 6 using only water.
The better way is to also add a bit of liquid soap.
After you’ve tapped out the hairs, put the foil head back in place, add a bit of water to the foils and pour a few drops of liquid hand soap on it.
Press and hold the power button to start the cleaning mode.
Use your index finger to spread the soap evenly on the foils and add more water if needed to get a nice lather.
Once the shaver turns off, press and hold the power button again and with the razor in the cleaning mode again, generously rinse it with water.
After it stops, remove the foil head and give it one final rinse inside out and rinse the shaver body as well.
Shake off the excess water, pat dry with a towel and let it dry with the foil detached.
Even though the inner part of the head is very intricate which makes it more likely for dirt to build up inside, if you clean it like this regularly, I’m pretty confident you won’t have any problems at all.
So in my opinion the station isn’t absolutely necessary. It never is actually, but with Braun shavers for example it is more practical (I will get to that right away).
In case you’re thinking of buying an Arc 6 model that comes with an automatic cleaning & charging station like the ES-LS9A-K, here are a few things to consider.
The station is basically the same as the one that comes with the Arc 5, both aesthetically and functionally.
In fact, it will even work with an Arc 5 (that originally came with a station).
It has a few minor tweaks like a larger opening to accommodate the 6-blade head of the Arc 6 (props to Allan for the info), but everything else has remained unchanged.
It has a small footprint, looks sleek and feels more robust than other cleaning systems from other brands.
It automatically charges, cleans and dries the shaver.
And it does the job really well, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. You can also just dry the shaver without going through a cleaning process, which is something you can’t do with other stations.
Personally, I never really end up using my Panasonic cleaners.
It takes me less than one minute to thoroughly clean my razor manually (following the steps I described above).
But the main reason is the way it handles the cleaning fluid.
Unlike Braun stations that use a cleaning refill that you insert into the station only when needed, then simply remove it, put the lid back and store it in a cabinet, the Panasonic cleaning system has this open tray where you mix the concentrated detergent with water.
And once you do that, you’re pretty much stuck with it. And you must always be careful not to tilt it or knock it over as the fluid will spill.
I cannot take out the container, seal it and store it like I can with my Braun stations. And I often have to do that in order to clear some space on the sink and it’s just too fiddly for me.
This may not be a problem for you and if that’s the case, again, the Panasonic station is great.
It uses these detergent packs that you must mix with water and the solution doesn’t evaporate as fast as Braun’s alcohol fluid — again, you can actually fix that by sealing the Braun cartridge.
The solution also lubricates the blades, so if you’ll be using the station regularly, you don’t have to oil the blades in addition to that.
The price of the detergent sachets is usually pretty reasonable, but nowhere near as cheap as some of the third-party Braun solutions.
Unfortunately there aren’t many alternatives for Panasonic stations; there’s only one that I know of from Shaver Shebang; I haven’t personally used it, but it is cheaper than the OEM Panasonic packets and has good reviews.
As with any electric shaver, you will need to lubricate the Arc 6 regularly.
In my opinion this will make a big difference in the short and long term as Panasonic foils/blades are more susceptible to wear than others because the tolerances are so tight.
The blades will rub against the foils and the friction can generate a lot of heat, making your shave less comfortable. The blades will also get blunt faster.
Fortunately, fixing this is really easy and straightforward.
Panasonic still includes a small bottle of lubricant (which is in fact highly refined mineral oil/paraffin), so props to them for that.
You should apply one or two drops of oil on each of the 6 cutters (on the outside of the foil), then turn the shaver on for a few seconds and spread the lubricant with your finger so that it coats the foils evenly.
Gently wipe any excess with a paper towel, and you’re all set.
As for how often you should do it, twice a week should be enough if you only clean the razor with water or with the brush.
If you use liquid soap, I would lubricate it after every cleaning. Just make sure that the foils are dry before applying the oil.
I personally oil my shavers right before I shave, but that’s just my preference.
From time to time, apply one drop on the pop-up trimmer blade as well.
If for some reason you don’t have the Panasonic oil, you can safely use any clipper oil (like the one from Wahl or Oster). Those are basically the same stuff and work just fine.
Another alternative is a spray cleaner & lubricant for electric shavers.
The best is in my opinion Remington Shaver Saver, that one just makes a massive improvement especially when the blades are beginning to lose their sharpness.
Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to get in Europe. If you live in the USA, you should still be able to get it.
The next best thing would be the Andis CoolCare Plus spray, which also works well, it’s cheap and comes in a very large can.
Tip: always wait for the spray lubricant to dry before shaving. If you use any of the recommended oils above, you can shave right away.
8. Replacement parts availability
The Panasonic Arc 6 uses a head unit that integrates the foils and the blades.
Until now, all Panasonic razors, regardless if it was an Arc 3, 4 or 5, had two removable blades.
This change introduced with the Arc 6 should make things easier and less confusing for the user that often needed to buy the foil and the blades separately.
It was also fiddlier to change the blades and you had to be really careful not to damage them.
Personally, I was hoping that this new Arc 6 foil unit would also be cheaper. Unfortunately, it’s not the case, at least not for now.
The part number of the Arc 6 replacement foil (and blades) is ES9600 and it’s only available in Japan, at least for the time being.
And as I mentioned earlier, it’s expensive. That said, it doesn’t cost a whole lot more than an Arc 5 foil+blades set.
The only difference is that you will need to import the Arc 6 foil from Japan, whereas the Arc 5 replacement heads are widely available in several variations.
As for how often you’ll need to replace it, Panasonic says once every one and a half years.
With the previous foil + removable blades system, it used to be one year for the foil and two for the blades.
Since you cannot remove the blades, 1.5 years is probably just a middle-ground estimate.
The longevity of the shaving head will greatly depend on a few factors like the coarseness and density of your beard, how often you shave and how well you take care of the razor (cleaning, lubrication).
I usually get between one and two years from an Arc 5, so I suspect things will be the same here. Again, lubrication is particularly important.
Being a brand new shaver, I cannot say at this moment how reliable the new head is or if it needs to be replaced sooner (or later) than what the manufacturer recommends.
However, the fact that the foils don’t get hot at all is encouraging. I will update the review if anything happens along the way.
9. Wrapup — Who should buy the Panasonic Arc 6?
Objectively, and not taking into account things like value for money or how easy it is to get in 2022 for users outside of Japan, the Arc 6 (Lamdash 6) is now Panasonic’s best shaver.
Panasonic ARC 6 ES-LS8A-K
As mentioned throughout this article, the improvements over the previous flagship, the Arc 5, aren’t massive, but I was able to notice a few.
In my opinion, the main one is actually related to the comfort during the shave, especially when compared to an Arc 5 that uses the older foil without the comfort rollers.
The closeness is the same, so among the best you’ll get from any electric razor.
So who should get the Panasonic Arc 6?
Well, anyone looking for an electric shaver with top-notch performance if the budget is not an issue.
It will work brilliantly if you have coarse, dense, thick facial hair and you want a very close and fast shave. It will just mow through the beard without breaking a sweat.
Then again, so will an Arc 5, the difference being that the Arc 6 will be smoother, more comfortable, a bit more refined and won’t get as warm.
Even if you have sensitive skin, you’ll be able to get a comfortable shave even when using the Arc 6 dry.
It will also be a bit more effective at catching longer, flat-lying hairs than the Arc 5, but you’ll still have to work a bit in order to get all of those difficult hairs.
That’s why the Arc 6 will work best when used regularly (the hair is still short).
Also, if you’ve tried (and enjoyed) shaving wet with an electric shaver, the Arc 6 is probably the best out there — it’s just amazing when used with a quality shaving cream.
That said, there are some great alternatives out there that you can get easily right now and for less money.
10. Alternative shavers
Unsurprisingly, the tried and tested Arc 5 would be a great option.
While the closest performance-wise to the Arc 6 would be the 2021 Arc 5 revision G, that one is also a Japan-exclusive model that won’t be easily accessible to most of us.
Also, if we factor in the shipping and import fees, it will end up costing a lot.
Therefore, the ES-LV65 or the ES-LV67 (whichever is cheaper) are the ones to get.
Panasonic Arc 5 ES-LV65
If you can buy any of these at a discount, you got yourself a winner.
It’s a great shaver, it shaves just as close as the Arc 6 and it has the same punchy motor. It won’t be quite as comfortable, but with a bit of extra care (and a pre-shave lotion) you won’t have any major issues.
The ES-LV65 has a feature-rich display that also shows the duration of the shave and you can actually deactivate the beard density sensor and shave in full power mode every time.
You can get it with a cleaning station as well for not a whole lot more (the models are ES-LV95 and ES-LV97), but as I mentioned earlier for the Arc 6, the station isn’t really a must-have.
If you have the budget, you can also opt for a newer Arc 5 like the ES-LV6Q (no cleaning station) or the ES-LV9Q (cleaning station included), especially if you live in Europe where these models were officially released.
These come with the more comfortable foils, but again, you can upgrade the ES-LV65/ES-LV67 as well to use them.
If you won’t be shaving often, the flagship models from Braun will be a better choice for most users.
Braun Series 9 Pro 9465cc
The Series 9 or the Series 9 Pro are now available pretty much everywhere and you can simply get one that suits your budget.
You can opt for one with or without a cleaning station.
I actually like the Braun station for the reasons I outlined above, so my pick would be a 93xx cc model like the 9390cc or 9370cc.
The Pro models are a bit more powerful and shave just a tad closer, but generally cost more. However, lately the price has dropped and the 9465cc Pro for example can be had for almost the same money.
The performance is however similar and either will be a good pick.
That pretty much concludes my experience with the new Panasonic Arc 6.
Hopefully this post will make it easier for you to decide whether to get it or not.
If you have any other questions or you’d like to share your experience with the Arc 6, please leave a comment below.
274 thoughts on “Panasonic Arc 6 Review: Better Than an Arc 5?”Leave a comment
Thank you for doing these reviews. I have been a Braun user since the early 80’s (before high motion vibrating motors). I have also owned version 3?, 5, 7 and now 9. I have always been intrigued by Panasonic and read your reviews. I’m currently on Braun S9. I have a though whisker face. I usually go over my face quickly before showering and then finish shave dry after getting out of shower and face is clear of all oils. And I shave daily. I replaced the S9 head after a year. I don’t know if it needed replacing but I figured once a year is fine. I’m not overly frugal. From your last comments about Braun in this review it appears that S9 is still preferred. When I’m due for my next head replacement do you think I would benefit from a change to Panasonic? Thanks.
Thank you for the comment, Michael, much appreciated.
Both the S9 and the Arc 6 are excellent shavers but you should get the one that makes more sense for how you intend to use it. Regarding the last part of the review, I would recommend the S9 to someone that shaves less often (once or twice a week) as it’s a lot better at catching longer, flat hairs. Since you shave daily, the Arc 6 would definitely be suitable. In my opinion it’s the best performing foil shaver for coarse and short hair. That said, if your S9 gives you a satisfactory shave — and that seems to be the case — I wouldn’t necessarily replace it with the Arc 6.
It’s difficult to say if you would benefit from switching — probably not since it doesn’t seem to be anything really wrong with how your current shaver works. If you have coarse hair, the Arc 6 will probably give you a closer shave.
Thank you, Ovidiu, for this excellent review, as always! We disagreed with you in only one main conclusion – the improvements are massive and not incremental. I was able to shave dry and dry shaving would not be possible with my trusted Arc5 due to my skin condition. For that simple reason, I would never go back to my the Arc 5 and I consider the Arc6 to be the major breakthrough! I usually shave wet but to have an option to shave dry when I don’t have time it is a complete game changer for me. Granted, if the skin condition is not an issue, there is no reason to buy the latest and greatest, Arc5 or Braun would be good enough. I am personally waiting for the next iteration of Arc6 as I am excited to discover how Panasonic can improve this already outstanding shaver! Thank you again for your excellent review!
Thank you for the comment, much appreciated. That’s awesome, glad you’re finally able to shave dry with a Panny — it used to be a struggle for me as well. The first breakthrough (but only to a point) was with the third generation Arc 5 and now with the Arc 6. As I mentioned in the review, the Arc 6 really shines with regards to comfort and it’s the one area where the improvements truly are significant in relation to the Arc 5. Men with sensitive skin can finally consider a Panasonic without any worries.
If Panasonic somehow manages to improve the remaining few shortcomings with a future update — perhaps with a new foil block like they did with the Arc 5 — it’ll be a tough one to beat. And we will certainly get a new Braun Series 10 in 2 or 3 years as well. 🙂
Could not agree with you more, Ovidiu, and Braun 10 would be very difficult to bypass.
Outstanding review as always Ovidiu, and spot on! Thank you!
Allan, you are way too kind. Thank you, I really appreciate it.
Does the Brain 9 Pro work in a Braun 9 (92xx) cleaner and charging station or does it need one that is unique for the 9 Pro?
No, it will not work with a 92xx station. It only works with the type 5430 S9 station, which is in fact shipped with both the Pro models (94xx) and the standard 93xx. You can check out all the details here.
Another excellent review Ovidiu.
I’ll be watching in April to see what the prices and packages are in North America.
With your long-term experience with Panasonic razors — how long do you think Panasonic will take in working out any kinks of the new product and releasing Arc 6.1?
Many thanks, glad you found the review useful.
In the press release they actually mention two prices: $399.99 and $499.99 for the single and the shaver + station variation, respectively. The Series 9 Pro for example is already cheaper, so that will probably happen with the Arc 5 as well.
Regarding any future revisions, if the Arc 5 is any indication, we should be getting it in a couple of years, maybe even sooner. We might also see some Japan-exclusive revisions. The shavers will probably remain more or less the same, but the foil block will be tweaked and most likely remain backward compatible.
Once again Ovidiu, awesome review. I’m glad you included the info from the CES 2022 press release. I’ll definitely be ordering the $399.99 Arc 6 from amazon.com in April. Personally, I find the cleaning station to be something I use a few times and then put away as I find them too time consuming to use. Manual cleaning with soap and water has always worked perfectly fine for me for my Arc 5 and literally takes a few seconds everyday.
Keep up the good work Ovidiu!
Thank you for the comment, Ben, much appreciated. The single Arc 6 will definitely be the best pick in most cases. I feel the same way about the Panasonic station — I think I even have a couple of them from a few years ago that I’ve never used.
Great review as always!
I’m still happy with my ARC 5, so no ARC 6 for me yet, but maybe at some point in the future. I am hoping to be able to get the new rev. G blades when it’s time to replace my current blades. The one on Amazon Japan doesn’t ship to my address and I don’t want to deal with a forwarding service if I can avoid it. I’d get it on eBay, but the price there is over $140 or about double the Amazon price, so for now I’m just waiting patiently until there’s some change in that situation 🙂
Many thanks for the kind words, glad you found the review useful.
$140 is outrageously expensive, definitely wait a bit more until you can get it at a fair price.
I just bought my new Arc5 and it hasn’t arrived yet – and then I got an email notification for this article, lol. I can easily get one of these from our close neighbor Japan (btw, I use Buyee for shopping from Japan (no affiliation). I bought some studio equipment from Japan and it couldn’t have been easier). I’m going to stick with the Arc5 though because the Arc6 doesn’t seem to be that much of an improvement in the areas that concern me. But I wouldn’t know that on my own, so thanks for another typically thorough, and technical review, Ovidiu.
You are very welcome, glad you found it useful.
I think you made the right call by getting the Arc 5 — the biggest improvement of the Arc 6 is in my opinion the comfort during a dry shave.
A few hours after I made the above comment, the ARc5 arrived! I charged it up in about 50 minutes and had my first wet shave with it. Extremely impressive! I feel that it beat my bladed razor. This morning, I touched up yesterday’s afternoon shave, dry. What a breakthrough for me! It reminds me of using a fine writing instrument. Its all about technique. Instead of dreading shaving and often skipping it when I know I shouldn’t, I’m looking forward to shaving with the Arc5! I can only imagine what the Arc6 can do! Thanks Ovidiu.
That’s awesome, MJ, especially since you got that result from the very first shave. Enjoy your Arc 5! 🙂
Another superb review! I find with Panasonic that for best results I replace the foil and blades on my LV9Q every 6 months. After your review last year I purchased the rev G set up Japan. It was only £20ukp difference in price so was worth the test. I have been using this same foil and blades for nearly a year and find no reason to change yet so they are lasting longer, however I will go back to the standard foil (gold rollers) as the price difference is now over £40ukp. I’m sorely tempted to try the Braun 9, but I had a Braun 7 which pulled a fair bit when a new cutting head was fitted.
I only usually shave twice a week and find the Panasonic misses and needs more strokes to catch under chin and jawline, how do you find the Braun behaves with this issue?
Again thank you for your superb information !
You are very welcome, glad you found the site useful. The ES9040 set of the revision G is indeed really expensive and I’d also recommend buying a previous iteration — doesn’t really matter which one as they’re all really similar. Also, I highly recommend the Remington Shaver Saver lubricating spray if you can source it — it works wonders on Panasonic blades/foils that start to feel blunt. You will get at least a few months of quality shaves out of a set.
As for Braun shavers, I find them better at catching difficult hair — flat-lying and growing in different directions. That said, Panasonic shavers — particularly the Arc 5 and Arc 6 — are consistently better on that very area right under the chin, the result is smoother even when compared to a Series 9 Pro.
On the jawline the Series 7 (older generation) and the Series 9/9 Pro are definitely more agile and more effective, mainly due to the slimmer shaving heads that have greater range of motion and because the foils stick out a lot more and conform to the shape of the area being shaved. Panasonic foils are practically fixed and the heads are massive. But when they do catch the hairs, they’re able to cut them closer to the skin. So you will be making some compromises either way. Also, the QC on Braun shaving heads is not stellar, which would explain why the new head of your S7 performed badly. And it can happen with the S9/S9 Pro as well.
If you really want to give the Series 9/9 Pro a try, maybe wait for a good deal and take advantage of the money-back guarantee in case you won’t be happy with it.
Excellent advice as always thank you.
Good evening Ovidiu, you made an excellent review as usual and I want to thank you for this. As I had already told you I own both a Braun series 9 and a panasonic arc 5.
However, for three months I have been using the new Philips S 9000 with the new dual precision heads.
And I have to tell you that since I started using the new Philips I found my total happiness because I can get very close shaves, very comfortable.
For me who shave every day and therefore I need a very reliable razor, with this Philips I am very happy because I can shave in less than a minute and I have no problem with irritation.
And I was very surprised because I didn’t think that these new dual precision foils, were so superior to the previous ones that were on the s9000 and Prestige that I already owned and that they had not convinced me much.
As soon as it is also available here in Europe, I would still like to try this new Ark 6 because Panasonic razors I know are always of excellent quality.
Hello Ovidiu –
Amazing… when will it end? an Arc 10? I wanted to let you know that I tried the Speick Electric Pre-shave lotion. Of course, nothing compares to UNO and Speick was a disappointment. I used it for a week and I could not wait to go back to my $3 bottle of Lectric Shave. With Lectric Shave, a thorough, close shave takes under 4 minutes. With Speick, it was close to 6 minutes and by the end of the day my beard was noticeable. I was forced into daily shaving. I can shave every other day and in half the time with Lectric Shave and that is what I will stick with. I wish Shishido would bring back UNO.
Now that the Arc 6 is available, I would like to by the latest model Arc 5 available in the deluxe (metal body) model because I am sure it became more affordable. Can you please let me know the newest Arc 5 shaver, top of the line model?
I really enjoy your reviews. Thanks.
PS: I forgot to tell you one other thing. You would never believe what I discovered to clean my Arc 5 with…. my Water Pik. The jet of water gets into every nook & cranny and it has been on my counter top for years and for some reason, I tried it out and was amazed. I still use the Arc cleaner because I feel the cleaning solution lubricates the blades, but the cleaning is done first with the Water Pik. Has anyone ever mentioned using a Water Pik to you before?
I don’t think so, but a strong water jet can be very effective. Just make sure it doesn’t deform the foils as they can be very sensitive to any mechanical shock.
Thank you for the comment, much appreciated.
I’m sorry the pre-shave didn’t work well — in most cases the results are great. If the Lectric Shave lotion works better, definitely stick with it, it’s a lot cheaper as well.
I actually hope not, 6 blades are plenty. Heck, even 3 can be good enough.
Regarding your question, the 2021 Arc 5 revision G is the latest Arc 5, however, in this iteration, none of the shavers come with a metal body. So you’ll have to go with the previous revision, the F Arc 5 in order to get one with metal body. Precisely, it’s the ES-LV9FX model.
Excellent review Ovidiu, as always! And thanks for getting the Arc 6 from Japan so you could review it for us
I have a Braun S9 Pro (9477cc) which I got recently based on your nice review. I have a very sensitive skin, and it’s much better than my old Arc4 Panasonic in that regard. It also cuts the longer hair much more easily, and in a single pass, in the neck area for example.
In terms of comfort, especially skin irritation (for those with very, very sensitive skin), how would you compare the new Braun S9 Pro to the new Arc 6? You mention the Arc 6 is improved, but I’m wondering if the Braun S9 Pro is still better for comfortable skin and at cutting long hair which lay flat around the neck area? Thanks!
Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. The S9 Pro must have been quite an improvement over the Arc 4 which can be pretty aggressive, especially when used dry. The Arc 6 is a big leap in that regard and a very comfortable shaver — I’d say that it’s on par with the Pro, it’s really that good. However, the S9 Pro is still a lot better at catching long/flat hairs in fewer strokes, particularly on the neck. So in my opinion the S9 Pro is more suitable in this situation.
I have found your website two days ago as I was looking for best electric shaver. I like the way you write and your reviews are very informative, thank you for all you hard work.
By the way, I am from Slatina,Olt and now I live in UK.
I would like to know if the Panasonic Arc 6 is the best shaver out there if budget is not a problem. Do you think Panasonic Arc6 replacement heads will drop in price in the future, as they are quite expensive compared to Braun’s.
Also if Braun 9/9Pro are used as often as the Panasonic, which head will last longer.
At the moment I am using a 9.5 years old Philips HQ8270. Is a shame that I cannot find a full head with blades replacement as there is nothing wrong with mine, even the battery is strong. Please let me know if you know.
Also you mentioned in the review that Panasonic will last 45 minutes and Braun 60 minutes. Are the batteries in both shavers user replaceable?
Also what are the benefits from moving for spinning heads to foil head?
Once again I am looking to invest in the best shaver and want to use it for 10 years if possible. As Braun will come out out with Series 10 in 3 years time, I am wondering if Panasonic will move to Arc7 or Arc6 improved by then.
Thank you and much appreciated.
Thank you so much for the comment. Your shaver is one of the more reliable rotaries of the past 20 years in my opinion. The heads have been discontinued, I’m afraid.
If I understood correctly, you’ve never used a foil shaver before. If that’s the case, you can check out this section where I go over the pros and cons of both — hopefully you’ll get a better idea of whether a foil shaver like the Arc 6 or the S9/S9 Pro would be a good fit for your needs.
I tend to steer clear of these absolute statements like the best shaver as it really depends on the needs of the user and how the shaver will be used. The Arc 6 is a fantastic shaver, but the Series 9/Pro is a lot better at cutting longer/flat-lying hairs in fewer strokes, for example. The Arc 6 does manage to cut the hair a bit closer to the skin, especially if the user has thick and coarse hair. So the Arc 6 will perform optimally if you shave often and your hair grows relatively straight. Otherwise, the S9/Pro would make more sense.
It’s difficult to weigh in on the durability of the foil/blades since the Arc 6 is a new product. I will say however that Panasonic blades in general are more susceptible to wear if lubrication is not on point.
The batteries are not user-replaceable — but that hasn’t stopped some users from doing it. The waterproofing will be compromised and there’s always the risk of damaging the internals, so it’s entirely up to the user if he decides to replace the battery.
Panasonic will probably continue with their usual revisions, so there’ll be updated Arc 6 shavers in the future, but the number of blades will stay at 6. The improvements will also be pretty incremental if I were to take a guess.
By the way, a shaver that lasts for 10+ years with regular/constant use is not quite as common these days. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but a bit unlikely.
I’ve taken apart a few Panasonic shavers and consider any concerns about compromising of waterproofing to be grossly exaggerated. All rubber seals are securely glued to the body parts and all you need to take care of is to fully tighten all the bolts when reassembling. I am convinced that if you take your shaver to Panasonic for battery replacement, their employee will do exactly the same thing as you. Namely: disassemble your shaver as shown at the end of each instruction, replace the battery and reassemble it in reverse order. Panasonic shavers are fairly easy to disassemble and the battery isn’t soldered and can be easily removed and replaced. There is a small chance of damaging a small percentage of the plastic parts of the body at the points of contact with the bolts when unwinding if the shaver has been in operation for a very long time, but this would also happen in the service and is unlikely to affect the waterproofing. It takes brute force to damage the internal components, and you actually won’t interact with them much just by changing the battery. Therefore, I would boldly open the instructions and slowly go through all the steps to disassemble the shaver. But in fact, Panasonic takes pride of place in the battery market and makes really high-quality batteries. Their shavers show a solid self-discharge, but they can lie for years, after which you charge them and the battery will give out the values declared in the technical specifications. When battery wear will reach a critical point, you are more likely want to buy a new shaver, because the current one will not be in the best condition.
Definitely a fair point. I do however take extra care and I am a bit more conservative with (publicly) recommending anything that goes against what the manufacturer states and that could result in something going wrong. I agree that it’s extremely unlikely to damage the internals, but poking anything with a screwdriver is always a possibility and I simply have to mention it as a disclaimer. I think a service center will also replace the rubber seals after opening the shaver for repairing (like horologists do when servicing a watch). Those parts aren’t easy to source for the end user, so at least applying some silicone grease would be beneficial as the rubber can get rigid and won’t seal the gaps properly.
Your position is understandable and more than justified. And, of course, everything that the user does, he does at his own peril and risk, and you, as a responsible person, must warn about this risk. And I also don’t encourage anyone to take apart their shavers without realizing the risk of damaging them. I just wanna emphasize that the risk is actually minimal. The rubber seals that are present between the two parts of the inner case present here rather as a preventive measure, since in reality, depending on the model, little or no water gets there at all. I understand the fears that the rubber can get rigid or even loosen, but I think they are also very exaggerated.
In any case, I believe that, normally, the battery will enough the entire life cycle of the razor itself. And if the user wants to replace it, he is unlikely wanna give a lot of money to the service to extend the life of a worn shaver. I think he will rather buy a new one or want to replace the battery on his own, and there is definitely such an opportunity and it’s not difficult to do this if you use the instructions for a specific model.
Can the Panasonic Arc6 blade and foil be used on the Panasonic Arc 5 ES-LV65?
As mentioned in the review, no, it will not work on any Arc 5 model, ES-LV65 included.
I really love the Shaving (Elapsed) Time display on my EV-LV95. I was going to purchase an ES-LV9Q which is currently discounted (with the intent of fitting a rev G foil when it comes time for its replacement) until I saw your review and the global press release for the Arc6.
You mention you found it gentler but Panasonic does not claim this. Do you know what has made it gentler? And how much of a difference is it?
For me, it is a trade off of display and price (LV9Q) vs looks and gentleness (Arc6) but given you are the only one to mention the gentleness I am concerned I will not notice it. Any advice on choosing between these too and my trade off?
Note: I dry shave with my LV95 (running rev C foils) and I often get slight razor burn (a bit of redness) on my upper neck just under the jaw line. A shave takes me 5~6mins to get it as close as I like it (I know this thanks to the display!).
Panasonic never really makes too much fuss about the comfort of their shavers — they always try to emphasize the sharpness of the blades and how close they can cut the hairs to the skin. That said, I’m definitely not the only one that noticed how comfortable the Arc 6 is. Just this review alone has quite a few comments from users that were really surprised by the comfort. And the Arc 6 hasn’t even been released outside of Japan.
Now, even with that in mind, I still think the ES-LV9Q would be a suitable option for your needs. If you’re only getting a slight razor burn when shaving dry with your LV95 with rev C foils, you can expect pretty much the same with the LV9Q, maybe a slight improvement with the rev G foils. If this redness doesn’t bother you, I think getting the LV9Q would make more sense. The Arc 6 is gentler and the foils stay even cooler, but if we factor in the price, the convenience of buying it and even some features (better display, larger aluminum body panels), the LV9Q sounds more appealing, at least at this moment.
Also, have you tried a pre-shave? I use Tabac or Speick and in my case it definitely helps with the comfort.
Thanks for the interesting observations. It’s surprising that the addition of another cutter should make a difference mainly in comfort. I like to alternate between Panasonic, Braun, and Wahl shavers. Thy all do a pretty good job, except under my jaw & on the sides of my neck. The Arc 5 is the least bad there, I’m guessing because the arc shape helps to maintain contact & even pressure with the looser skin in these areas. Still, there seems room for improvement. Two questions:
Do you think the 6 would be an improvement in this regard?
Also, I wonder about stepping up the “arc” idea not by increasing the number of arcs, but by decreasing the radius. My hunch is that this might increase the risk of irritation, but it might offer a closer shave over relatively loose skin …but there’s only one way to find out. Do you know whether Panasonic or anyone else offers or plans to offer a shaver with even more of an arc?
Thank you for the comment, those are some excellent points.
The improved comfort of the Arc 6 is not the result of a sixth blade — but rather of the complete redesign of the foil block itself. All the blades are now built-in and again, it’s a brand new, improved element, not just an Arc 5 foil with an extra cutter.
Regarding your other question, the Arc 6 seems to be slightly better when shaving under the chin, but to be honest, the Arc 5 was already really good at that, arguably the best out of all fil shavers. So I think it’ll be better, but I don’t think you’ll see a huge improvement (unless your Arc 5 foil & blades are worn out).
Decreasing the radius will in theory help achieve a closer shave, however, it will come with other major shortcomings. The engineers are probably aware of that and have come up with a compromise. For example, it would be extremely challenging for the blades to oscillate behind a very curved foil without limiting the range of motion of the blades or even their lifespan. Reliability also plays an important role here and I think they probably explored this route and didn’t seem doable.
Hi! Are you planning to review this new ES-LT67? I sent you an email but didn’t recieve an answer… My years with Braun are gone. It’s either this or 100 euros pricier ES-CV51…
I’m afraid I did not receive any email. I did however review the ES-LT3N which is absolutely identical to the ES-LT67 minus the color and the LED display. Hope this helps.
I currently have a standard Braun Series 9 and I’m considering upgrading to either the Arc 6 when it comes out or a Series 9 Pro for the stronger motor when it eventually drops a bit more in price. I mainly use my electric shaver to shave my head, which would be the better option? I never got to try an Arc 5 on my head sadly but I used to like it a lot when I shaved my face and found it slightly better than the Braun.
In this case I would rather go with the S9 Pro. Even though Panasonic shavers have an advantage when shaving facial hair (slightly closer shave), when used on the head, I doubt you’ll notice any difference. Moreover, I consider Braun’s head + flexible foils better suited for shaving the head. I do not shave my entire head, but I do cut my own hair and currently using the Series 9 Pro for high skin fades and it works brilliantly.
Thanks Ovidiu. As always, an exhaustive review. This will probably be my next Panasonic shaver, but in the very distant future. I will most likely miss a few revisions. It’s a pity that they removed this comfortable thumb pad, I really like that detail on their latest shavers.
Ovidiu, have you noticed any functional convenience associated with the fact that now the first trimmer is located closer to the first foil or with the fact that this shaver essentially resembles a 2 mini-Arc 3? When shaving the area around the Adam’s apple with Arc 5, I sometimes get the feeling that the difficulty in catching long flat hair is due to the trimmer being a bit far away. Or is it more likely due to the low efficiency of the trimmer in the foils of the first revisions and there is no difference between Arc 6 and the ES9040 in this aspect?
Is there a very significant difference in comfort between Arc 6 and Arc 5 revision G? And between ES9040 and ES9036/ES9038?
Really interesting questions. In my opinion — and I’m mostly referring to the Arc 6 in relation to the revision G Arc 5 or any Arc 5 using the ES9040 set — there’s no intrinsic advantage as a result of the trimmer being located closer to the first foil in the case of the Arc 6.
Even though on the Arc 5 there’s a larger gap between the outermost foil that first comes into contact with the hairs and the trimmer, it will eventually get to them. The main issue in my opinion is that this trimmer is still not quite as effective as a Braun when the longer hairs also stay flat on the skin. It will take several passes before getting them. With the Arc 6, the number of passes will sometimes be smaller since there are two opportunities for the trimmer to get the hairs during a stroke. But it’s not a linear improvement, as in I don’t find it twice as effective as the Arc 5 rev G — not even close.
You’ll probably find the ES9040 better around the Adam’s Apple compared to the original foil, but I wouldn’t call it a massive improvement. It is more comfortable though and the Arc 6 is even better in that regard. I’d say the Arc 6 is a big step up in comfort compared to the ES9170 Arc 5 (no comfort rollers) and more of an incremental one compared to the revision G or even the older ones like the ES9036.
Ovidiu, thanks again for such a detailed review and additional explanations. For me, they are reason enough to stick with Arc 5 for the next few years, most likely with the latest revision foils when the time comes.
A significant improvement in comfort is already a big success for Panasonic shavers, even if performance with long flat hair is still not very good. Although I have pretty sensitive skin, I can get a comfortable and close dry shave with Arc 5 with foil without comfort rollers, as long as the foils stay cool and I’m reasonably gentle. The comfort improvements you describe with the foils of the latest Arc 5 revisions seem sufficient and the benefits of the Arc 6 don’t seem enough to justify the price difference.
It will be interesting to watch the further development of the Arc 6 line. If they do manage to significantly improve performance with long flat hair, Braun will be hard pressed to get away with further cosmetic changes of Series 9.
My pleasure, Artem, glad I could be of help. I think that’s the best decision for the time being.
Regarding any subsequent updates to the Arc 6, I think we’ll be seeing incremental improvements at least for the first 2 to 3 years (a similar approach to what they did with the third Arc 5 generation) — for example, the two Arc 6 models for the North American market will be called ES-LS9A and ES-LS8A. That’s just aching for a revision B. The Series 9 Pro is probably the last makeover of the Series 9, so there’ll be a Series 10 for sure, probably in a couple of years, which should make things really interesting.
The last messages disappeared somewhere. Apparently, there was an error in the site.
Thanks for the heads up, everything should show up as normal now. Please let me know if you still have trouble seeing any of the comments.
Thank you so much for your detailed review. I was using Braun and Philips shavers for years, but switched to a Panasonic ES-LV97 not too long ago after reading your reviews. Mainly because I wanted to try something different than Braun/Philips. And I really, really like the shaver, as well as its cleaning station and how the replacement of the cleaning solution works way better (and is more eco-friendly, I guess) than with Braun and Philips.
I have sensitive skin and my skin got irritated at first after using the ES-LV97, but that went away after a few weeks. The shaving result is always great, it only struggles a little bit under my chin, but not as bad as my old Braun Series 9.
After reading your review, I will eventually replace my LV-97 with the new Arc 6, because of its performance to shave under the chin. Right now, I always use a safety razor to get rid of the remaining hairs under my chin. I shave about every 2 to 3 days.
Anyway, thank you again for your review and for maintaining this site. I’ve stumbled upon it a few years ago and have been reading your reviews ever since.
Many thanks for your comment and for being a frequent visitor here, I truly appreciate it.
I think you’ll find the Arc 6 at least as good and enjoyable as your LV97. In my case it is the best performing Panasonic when shaving under the chin. I would however wait for the global launch before buying it.
Hi again from Finland!
Should I buy ES-LV9Q for 199 euros (outlet price on a local store) compared to ES-CV51 for 299 euros.
Which one is better plus powerful for a sensitive skin, especially for neck and chin?
Like I said, my Braun days are gone. Older 9 series (9060 or something) I bought from outlet was horrible, worse than my old 7 series.
In this case I would definitely go with the ES-LV9Q — you’re really getting a lot more for your money. It’s not just the price difference (which is significant), but the ES-LV9Q also comes with a cleaning station and detergent (regardless if you’ll be using it or not) and the shaver itself has some extra features (better LED display, flexing shaving head, slightly better pop-up trimmer). Both will shave the same since they use the same foil and blades. But again, in this situation, getting the ES-LV9Q makes a lot more sense.
First, I have to say how impressed I am with the your detailed reviews. Thank you! As for the Panasonic Arc 6, I want to buy one right now to replace a recently broken Braun Series 7, but despite the Panasonic press release stating April 2022 for availability through Amazon, and it now being more than half way through the month of April, I’m not seeing the Arc 6 for sale on Amazon or anywhere else in the US. Is there any more info on the Arc 6 global release schedule?
Many thanks for the comment, Bob, glad you found the reviews useful. I’m afraid not, there’s still no info regarding the global or USA availability of the Arc 6. I will update the article as soon as there’s any news.
Intriguing new shaver. Thanks for the review.
Question: on PURELY comfort grounds alone (no consideration of cost, closeness, etc.) how would you rate the Arc 6 against a Braun Series 7 (original 7, not the dumbed-down version)?
My “holy grail” quest is always for maximum comfort. So far I haven’t found anything – for me personally – more comfortable than a Braun 7 used wet (and its closeness is just fine for me, not looking to shave closer).
But it sounds like the Arc 6 might be in the running as the most comfortable shaver. Thoughts? Thanks as always for a great website.
Really good question, however, the old Series 7 is still more comfortable. The Arc 6 is really impressive compared to other high-end Panasonic shavers, particularly the older Arc 5 that most users know (the Japan-exclusive models being virtually unknown), but the Series 7 is clearly on top when it comes to comfort. So I’m afraid the Arc 6 won’t really be an upgrade in that regard. I also consider the Series 7 to be the benchmark for comfort (on par with the Series 9, at least in my case).
Thanks for the fast reply. Based on that it doesn’t sound like the Arc 6 would be a good move for me, based on my personal needs and preferences.
So … two related but different questions for you.
1) Just interested to learn whether, for your own personal use when not reviewing, you tend to reach for the Arc 5, the Arc 6, or something else?
2) With all the talk of an “adjustment period” when starting with a new shavers, does this present any issues for you as bounce among different shavers for reviews?
I, myself, have never experienced this whole “adjustment period” thing, but I have to assume it has some merit, as pretty much all manufacturers make note of it.
As ever, thanks for your terrific website.
You are very welcome, David.
I usually shave with an Arc 6 when I have the time for a wet shave or before an event and I want a really close shave. It’s the best shaver I’ve used in this manner. Most of the time I shave dry for the convenience and I usually grab a Braun Series 9 Pro. Before buying it I think my most used shaver was a Series 7 7865cc. It’s still a fantastic shaver, it’s a shame Braun decided to replace it with an inferior product.
I never need an adjustment period when switching between different electric shavers (excellent question btw). I think manufacturers assume that most users will be switching from a manual razor, in which care there will likely be an adjustment period, both in terms of technique and the skin getting rid of any existing scar tissue (manual razors exfoliate the skin quite aggressively compared to electric shavers, so the skin will produce a lot more scar tissue, like a thicker layer of skin cells that can prevent an electric shaver from performing optimally).
Panasonic have just released updated models in Japan last week. The new Pro 6 series ES-LS9BX etc. Very similar naming to the Braun 9 Pro.
Release date in Japan June 1st.
Interested to see what is new other than the name.
Thank you for the comment. It does seem like the most incremental update I’ve seen so far from Panasonic. I didn’t expect a revision B that soon, to be honest, but then again, they didn’t do much. Apart from the bubble making mode (probably using the sonic cleaning mode or something similar), the Pro models appear unchanged from the original Arc 6.
Looks like this is a new (useless?) feature-
NEW bubble making mode
You can use facial cleanser * 4 or body soap to quickly and easily create shaving foam.
* Compatible product number: ES-LS9BX / ES-LS5B only
How about Izumi Shavers. Their top of line has 6 blades.
Unfortunately I never had the chance to try them, so I cannot say anything about their performance compared to the high-end Panasonic models.
What is difference between LS9AX and CLS9AX? Thank you in advance
As far as I know, the only difference is the color of the protective cap (transparent grey vs black). I think we can safely consider them identical.
Does “C” stands for Clear?
Thank you Mr. Nicolae, you are really awesome!
You are very welcome. Can’t confirm it, but it was the same name scheme (with a C preceding the model name) in the case of the newer Japanese Arc 5 models. The color of the plastic cap was the only difference in that case also.
April is almost over and still no Arc 6 available on Amazon. I really wish Panasonic would be more forthcoming about their release dates.
I’m am definitely going to be purchasing the Arc 6 with the clean/charge station and power case as soon as it becomes available on Amazon.
Thank you for the comment. That is true, contrary to the official press release by Panasonic, the Arc 6 still hasn’t been launched globally and no one seems to know why. I am currently trying to get more info on this and will update the post as soon as I have any news.
PS: because of spambots, the comments have to be pre-approved and do not show up immediately on the page. Thank you for your understanding.
Great information. I just realized I think I made a massive mistake in purchasing the ARC 6. I could only find the ES-LS9N-K which I realized was DRY ONLY. I occasionally like to use a little bit of shave cream for a slick service. What is the real difference on these versions and will I still be able to use a bit of cream one in a while? I mostly shave DRY but it’s a treat to use a bit of cream now and again. I’m just wondering if I should cancel my order and opt for a different version.
Thank you in advance. Keep up the good work.
Thank you for the comment, much appreciated.
All Arc 6 models are waterproof, so the shaver itself should be fine since it can be washed with water just like the wet/dry models. That said, Panasonic makes the dry-only models dry only since they also work with the cord plugged in, which does pose a serious health hazard and should never be used wet with the cord plugged in. I do not recommend using the ES-LS9N-K with shaving cream since it’s against what the manufacturer recommends. If you can still cancel your order and get a wet/dry model instead, that would probably be the best option.
Ok I think I understand. If I’m using some logic on this I believe that as long as I don’t shave with the cord plugged in or use in the shower, the shaver should handle the same as the other versions. If they all use the same foils and they all are waterproof, I can’t see why a tiny bit of cream or gel would hurt. I realize that you can’t go against the manufacturer’s recommendation so I am reading between the lines on this. I will lubricate first with the oil they give me but you still have to turn on the shaver for that as well. I will let you know but I think just missed being able to cancel my order.
Thanks again for your thoughts on this.
Also – I’m not talking about a full lather. Just a dab with water on the face to make the surface slick. Thanks again,
It IS available on the US Amazon site – just fabulously expensive:
Less expensive on Amazon Japan, even with shipping (realizing warranty service may be different or invalid):
Thank you for the heads-up. The ES-CLS9AX-K was available for quite some time (from third-party vendors), but it is not one of the two Arc 6 models that should have been officially released by now in the USA (at a more reasonable price). Precisely, the ES-LS9A and ES-LS8A. Those should still come pretty soon hopefully.
Okay, I just talked to a customer service representative at Panasonic and they told me the Arc6 will be available in North America May 31st 2022. They also directed me to this video https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=717_NG5OQGA. Which premieres the same time.
Many thanks for the update. Looking forward to finally seeing the global launch happening.
I received my ARC 6 model today w/ cleaning station. It’s very nice.
It’s fully charged and ready to go and excited to use tomorrow morning before work. I noticed the LED display had a small picture of foil, a water faucet and a lock box with the #1 inside. All 3 pictures are below the 100%. Is there any significance to this? Is it telling me to clean it first with water? I can’t read the Japanese instructions so I’m hoping you know. Thanks in advance.
There’s no need to clean it or do anything special before the first shave. Since the battery is fully charged, you can go right ahead and shave. On models that come with a cleaning station you also get a cleaning reminder that lights up when the shaver thinks it needs cleaning (with the station). It gets reset once you put the shaver through the automatic cleaning program. I wouldn’t mind it too much though.
Hope you’ll enjoy shaving with your new Arc 6. 🙂
Hi Ovidu. Still quite interested in the Panasonic roll out of this new product.
First, looking at the picture, in some ways it seems like two Arc 3 shaver heads, welded together in the middle, with a roller bar added. Is that an unfair description? I’m still unclear as to why it performs better than its humbler, earlier-release, Panasonic shavers.
Second, whether this shaver or any other, if a customer purchases it and decides against it during the money-back trial period, what does the company then do with the returned shaver? Pop a new head on and sell it as new? Give it to the employees? Discard it? Sell it on eBay? Just wondering if there any deals to be had for a customer scouting around for a returned shaver selling at a discount.
Thanks as always for your terrific website.
Thank you for the comment, those are some really great questions.
At first sight, the Arc 6 shaving unit does seem to be just two Arc 3s glued together. Of course things are not quite as simple. There’s a lot of R&D and testing involved. For example, the way the blade sits inside the corresponding foil has been constantly refined from the Arc 3 onward. And it really is obvious in the case of the Arc 6 which cuts the hairs really clean and comfortable. The motor is also an evolution — it’s more compact, faster and vibrates less.
Large companies like Panasonic or Braun never sell used shavers nor give them to employees. I think they most likely recycle them and use the parts on new shavers. Unfortunately I do not know what exactly the recycling part involves.
Premieres Jun 1, 2022
12:00 AM (no time zone listed)
Thank you for the video, Michael. I will update the post as soon as it’s listed on Amazon.
Yes. “J” on May 5, 2022 posted this info with YouTube video link he got from calling Panasonic customer service. Of course the Arc 6 still isn’t on Amazon, never mind that it was supposed to be available back in April. You’d think a large corporation like Panasonic would coordinate with their main US retail partner to actually make the product purchasable at time of supposed release, whatever revised date they may land on.
And to expand on my comment back on April 19, 2022: I personally want to try the Arc 6 out ASAP due to a recently (going on two months now) dead Braun Series 7 (790cc) that was great for many years. I of course considered buying a current Series 9, but it appears the Braun cleaning base changed (starting with Series 8) and now the cleaning fluid cartridge loads from the rear of the base. This would be hugely inconvenient for me due to where I have the base located in a cabinet, but even for more typical setups I would think it would be a nuisance as most people probably have the base up against a wall or backsplash and would have to move the base away from the wall every time they need to change the cartridge. That combined with my general desire to not waste so much plastic every time I need more cleaning fluid has led me to want to give the latest Panasonic a try. Panasonic just isn’t making this easy to do.
That is correct, the station of the old generation Series 7 is the only one that loads through the front. I totally understand your frustration with Panasonic and I hope you’ll soon be able to sort it out.
And all prior generations of Braun cleaning stations, that I am aware of, loaded the cartridge from the front, going as far back as the Syncro series that I had. As a long time Braun user (even prior to Syncro) I don’t know why Braun changed the station loading, but it strikes me as a very poor design decision. Meanwhile, they did nothing to reduce the actual cartridge waste, which if they were going to make a change is a big one I would have advocated for.
It also seems that people report the Braun device quality in general having decreased in more recent models whereas I haven’t seen such reports on any of the Panasonic models.
I don’t know if you can comment on any of this, but it’s all part of why I want to give the Arc 6 a try.
The stations for the older Series 5, Series 8, 9 and 9 Pro are likely based on the same platform/design (the stations look the same) and they simply add/remove features depending on the series. So the loading of the cartridge through the back was a consequence of using the same design. Purely from a user experience perspective, it is indeed a poor choice.
I agree that the quality of Braun shavers (and even Philips to some degree) has decreased with newer models — to me that was particularly obvious with the new Series 7 and Series 5, a clear downgrade from the outgoing generations. Panasonic is in my opinion the last of the big 3 that still hasn’t made significant compromises to the quality of the shavers in an attempt to cut costs — although they did make some with the 2021 Arc 5 rev G and the 2022 Arc 5 Pro as I also mentioned in the linked articles.
Thanks again for the reply, Ovidiu. I tried to reply in thread, but the reply link was missing – Looking at some previous comments, it appears that at a certain comment nesting level reply is no longer an option.
I appreciate the info on the Braun back loading variant of cleaning stations and how Braun seems to have gradually introduced it, some might say in a piecemeal fashion. I am not familiar with the specific older Series 5 you mention, but have owned multiple generations of Braun front loading cleaning stations starting with the original Syncro and going up to the (“old”) Series 7 I mentioned. I can’t recall all the models and series I’ve owned in between (I try to get many years of use out of them before buying a new one), but I believe they were all considered the most performant/top-of-the-line at the time and they all had a front loading station, even if the exterior shape and appearance of the station changed somewhat. That’s why when I first saw the “new” to me Series 9 station I almost didn’t catch that it was back loading. To me it just was the latest Braun styling, not a functional change. I’m glad I figured it out and didn’t order one.
And it certainly gets confusing that Braun repurposes some of their Series names, such as the new Series 7, and offer what seem to be a fundamentally different shaver with the same series name. I remember however many years ago first seeing a “new” Series 7 and thinking “That’s not a Series 7! What are they doing!” It’s nice that you spend so much time trying to keep these distinctions clear in your reviews, but it’s a shame Braun product marketing and management can’t just keep things more straightforward to begin with.
I see you posted the Amazon link for the Panasonic ES-LS8A-K, but not the ES-LS9A-K. At least in the US, Amazon does have both showing on their site now (finally!), but currently both are showing as out of stock and/or shipping in 1-2 months. It’s also not easy to just search for them on Amazon because the string “panasonic arc6” returns a bunch of ARC5 models before the ARC6 appears further down the results page. I assume Amazon wants to steer people toward what’s in stock vs. what the customer is actually looking for.
I never expected buying a replacement shaver would be such a production!
You are very welcome, Bob. I also added the link to the ES-LS9A-K at the beginning of the post. The shipping timeframe is likely to go down, at least that was the case with some of the previous new releases from Braun. Hopefully it’ll be the same. The delay and poor communication is entirely Panasonic’s blunder. They created a lot of hype around the Arc 6 and now all that has subsided and turned to frustration as we still cannot buy them.
By the way, I forgot to mention this in a previous comment — one way to reduce plastic waste with Braun cartridges is to buy a third-party cleaning solution and just refill the cartridge. I’m able to use the same cartridge for years (until the mesh filter breaks or isn’t effective anymore). I’ve been doing this for a really long time and apart from reducing waste, I’m also saving money as the solutions are really cheap and work great.
The ARC6 is $350 (US).
ARC6 with cleaning station is $430 (US).
And… the price has now increased, (US).
ARC6 without cleaning station, ES-LS8A-K >> $372 (US)
ARC6 with cleaning station, ES-LS9A-K >> $475 (US)
I’m pretty interested in trying this shaver, but it’s apparently gonna be awhile till the price gets to the point that I’m willing to pay.
I have several good shavers, the Braun Series 9, and the Philips Prestige — my favorite.
And I’ll patiently wait…
The prices will inevitably drop, that’s what happened with the Series 9 back in the day and also more recently with the Series 9 Pro.
Ridiculously priced still. Then again everything else is too, so maybe it will drop and maybe not.
It will likely drop, but not right now as the global models were just launched.
Quick question I own a Braun Series 9 Pro for my head shave, and it is really very good, I read when shaving wet that it is only suitable for shaving foam and gel or also for a shaving cream like the Panasonic Arc6?
because I tried rs once with shaving cream and it dries very quickly on my scalp, so that the Seris 9 Pro didn’t cope so well with it. It partially clogged the shaving head, that didn’t happen to me with shaving gel, because the Braun razor glides better or did I do something wrong? greetings stephan 😉
I already replied to your original comment here, but I will paste the text below as well:
It’s definitely suitable for use with shaving cream as well. I think the problem is with your lather as it wasn’t properly hydrated. I posted a wet shaving guide a while back where I recommend using a more watery, thin layer of shaving cream and rehydrating it if needed. Dry lather will clog any shaver and prevent you from getting the best possible results.
Alternatively, you could try a shaving balm like the Jack Black Beard Lube or a non-foaming shaving gel, I think the drying will be less of an issue when shaving your head (shaving cream tends to dry a lot quicker). Just keep in mind that the Beard Lube contains menthol and it can irritate the scalp in some cases. If you decide to try it, I recommend applying it first on a small area and see how it goes.
Hope this helps.
Hello Ovidiu thanks again just wanted to ask, as soon as I have used Black Beard Lube and am done after shaving, do I have to rinse the razor well and also open the shaving head and make it sour before it goes into the cleaning station?
Yes, I would remove the shaving head and give it a thorough rinse with water before putting the shaver in the station (make sure you also shake off the excess water).
hello ovidiu thanks again for the answer what I also wanted to ask is I have the new Braun Series 9 pro as I already said 9460 model can I also use it for the normal series 9?
because you said the Series 9 is a little gentler on the skin than the 9 pro? would that be better for my scalp? and what about the proximity to the shave? both just as good or is the Series 9 pro better?
greetings stephan 😉
Yes, the Series 9 cassette will also work on the Series 9 Pro shavers. It is a bit gentler, but the differences are even less noticeable when used on the head compared to the face, at least that was my experience when using both. It’s the same in the case of the closeness — extremely similar in the case of a head shave.
As a side note on the Arc cleaning stations (that use a removable solution container), the cleaning solution appears to be mostly detergent with probably some sort of lubricant and scent added. Conveniently packaged in single-use packets, easy to use and competitively priced, they last me well over a month before the “Low” light comes on with my Arc 6 station, and seem to be effective at both cleaning and lubricating the razor. Not being fluent in reading Kanji however, as a PSA the packets seem to have an expiration date (length unknown). The solution SHOULD be a pale, bluish white color and slightly viscous – determined by purchasing new from Japan. The (presumably) expired solution is a dark (or darker) brown, which has lost much of the scent (but still has some), is more watery and non-homogeneous, and I doubt retains much of its lubricating properties. I’ve had some that turned sitting in my closet for a couple of years, and have received a few from Amazon in this condition out of the box, so I suspect the realistic date in storage is 24 months-ish or less. Caveat emptor.
Thank you for the comment, Allen. I think I’ll be able to confirm the shelf life as I have one of these packages that were manufactured in 2019. I’ll get back with the conclusion.
Hello Ovidiu, I still have a question for you, I shave my head every 2 to 3 days, so I think I will stick with the Series 9 Pro shaving head or would the shaving head from the normal Series 9 be better?
And what else I noticed or I’m wrong, when I shave with the Braun razor, my sides and the back of my head are a little smoother closer to the skin than on top of my head, could that really be the case or do I mean it only ?
I ordered the Jack Black Lube to see if it made it even smoother closer to the scalp, I’m curious I’ll receive it the day after tomorrow, I’ll tell you then.. 🙂 what would you think?
Having used both, I’d pick the Series 9 Pro for the slightly closer and faster shave. Both are equally comfortable as head shavers. It definitely is easier to get a closer shave on the sides and the back of the head, my guess is because the skin sits over soft tissue, as opposed to the top of the head where the skin is really tight over the hard surface of the skull. But that’s no scientific explanation, I’m aware of that. 🙂
You can also send me an email at email@example.com, I think it would be easier that way.
Hello ovidiu i got the jack black lube today for shaving
it says in the description you should moisten the scalp a little, and then spread the jack black lube you have to spread it in your hand or spread it directly on the scalp, which is better?
and i noticed that jack black lube is very moist, like a little water, do you think man can put it directly on the skin without moistening the scalp? or is it better to moisten the skin a little beforehand ?
I ask for an answer, greetings stephan 🙂
I would wet the scalp with warm water before applying the product. I prefer to spread it in my hands, but it should work either way.
Hey ovidiu thanks again for the answer, I asked because the jack black lube is already as moist as water, so I thought you could use it directly on the scalp without moistening it first?
Hey ovidiu thanks again for the answer, I asked because the jack black lube is already as moist as water, so I thought you could use it directly on the scalp without moistening it first?
As I mentioned in the comment above, I still think it’s better to wet the scalp first before applying the product.
Thanks for this review and forum — I have been reading it (lurking) for a while now in anticipation of buying the ARC 6. I finally got it last week and have used it three times, once with a heavy beard (10 days growth) and every other day since. I find that the ARC 6 is definitely faster than my ARC 4 (which I bought in 2011); but I’m not sure it is *better* than my ARC 4. It almost feels that the closeness of the shave is not on par and of course the lay flat hairs are still a problem. I’ll provide more feedback as I use the ARC 6 more.
As a product, it is nice to utilizes, good grip, not too noise, cleaning station is better.
Thanks again for all your reviews and insight!
Thank you for the comment, much appreciated it.
Your observation is spot on. The Arc 4 was and still is a shaver that can cut hair really close to the skin, so the fact that you found the Arc 6 similar in that regard is not surprising. I also noted that the main improvement compared to the Arc 5 for example has to do with the comfort of the shave, not necessarily with the closeness where Panasonic was already a top performer. It is however more refined and quiet than an Arc 4 (that only came with the old Vortex cleaning systems). Hope you’ll enjoy shaving with it! 🙂
I read your Arc 6 review with interest, but I’m in two minds about buying the Arc 6 to replace my broken Panasonic ES-LV6Q. Although I wet shave daily, I find the Panasonic struggles with my jawline and neck.
I also question Panasonic’s reliability. So far I have had three ES-LV6Q, and all three suffered from charge retention issues. The first lasted 5 days before being returned. The second 9 months, and its replacement, 3 years. Even though the battery was replaced on the third shaver, it continues to fully discharge within 2 minutes of use, which to me, points to an underlying issue with the control board.
I am thinking about changing to a Braun, but I do really like the close shave Panasonic offers. So I am reluctant to jump ship, but at the same time, reliability and the jawline problems keep niggling at me.
Would sacrificing a close shave be worth it to get a better jawline and neck shave with the Braun, or will the Arc 6 address all my issues, and the battery discharge is no longer relevant?
I’m really sorry for your streak of bad luck with the three shavers. Panasonic shavers usually have good reliability. That said, it is understandable why you would want to switch to a different brand.
Shaving the neck and jawline has been a long-time problem for Panasonic shavers, including the Arc 6. I prefer using a Panasonic when I wet shave and my beard is really short for the excellent closeness, otherwise I think a Braun shaver is more effective, especially on those areas you’ve mentioned (the old Series 7, Series 9, Series 9 Pro). You do give up on a bit of closeness, in my case that would be on the chin and below the nose. I use both Braun and Panasonic depending on the situation, but if I were to only pick one, I think I would go with a Braun just so I can get a clean shave faster on those problem areas. My neck and jawline are basically covered with flat-lying hairs and all Panasonic shavers struggle unless I shave daily.
Thank you for your feedback. I didn’t realise how big the close shave issue was to me, until I got to the checkout to buy a Braun 9 Series Pro, where I would abort at the last minute. I then found out Braun regularly offered a 100 day try and return option. Unfortunately, for me, the last one ended on the 30th June. So I’ll will have to wait for Braun to re-introduce their promotion.
wanted to ask you what do you think which electric razor is the best for head shaving?
do you think the new Panasonic Arc 6 or the predecessor Arc 5 ? or even better the Braun Series 9 or 9 pro? would like to know that, which one would you suggest?
I shave my head every 2 to 3 days most of the time
greetings stephan 🙂
All of the models you mentioned are very capable as head shavers. There are some differences between them though.
The Braun Series 9 and 9 Pro are more comfortable. With the Panasonic Arc 5 and even with the Arc 6 I get some irritation on the back of my neck. With the 9/9 Pro I can even press harder without noticeable discomfort. The flexing of the head and of the foils is better with Braun and this makes them a bit easier to be used as head shavers (they adapt and conform better to the shape of the scalp). The closeness between the 9 and 9 Pro is the same in my experience and it is very good. That said, the Arc 6 and Arc 5 shave a bit closer — if you run your hand over the scalp it will feel a bit smoother at the end. The Arc 6 is also more comfortable, but if you don’t have a sensitive scalp the Arc 5 will be perfectly fine as well. Also, the Arc 5 is a bit easier to use as a head shaver since it has a smaller head and two rollers instead of one, so it glides even easier. The differences won’t be huge though.
As you can see, all of them have some specific pros and cons and you should just use the one that makes more sense for what you need. Again, the differences I’ve mentioned are not by any means significant and all of them work really well as head shavers.
i’m a long time Braun user; most recently using the original Series 7.
I recently decided to upgrade and debated Panasonic arc 6 vs Braun pro9.
I went with the Pro9 a month ago and hate it. Every morning is a torture session as the shaver tugs and pulls on individual hairs. It is painful. It feels as though someone is pulling hairs out individually. I’ve tried varying the direction of shaving etc with no relief. Is this a characteristic of the pro 9? I’m considering throwing in the towel on the pro9 and trying the Panasonic arc6 despite the insane current cost.
Suggestions? BTW: I contacted Braun and was told the 9pro cassettes are out of stock – they suggested swapping in a new cassette- and they have no idea when a replacement might be available.
A tug here and there is common with any shaver, but it clearly sounds like there’s something wrong here. Normally a Series 9 Pro does not snag the hairs. For example, it only happened to me a few times when I moved the shaving head too fast and the hair was also quite long (3 to 4 days of growth). Any chance your beard is way too long or your stroke speed is too high? Because otherwise I would suspect a faulty cassette. You’ve been using Braun shavers for years, so technique is definitely not the culprit. I would contact support and ask for a replacement cassette, even a 92s if the 94M is not available.
Thanks for the response!
I shave daily so hair length is /should not be a problem.
Given my years using ( painlessly!) Braun shavers I don’t believe it’s a technique issue though I have tried varying the stroke direction, speed, etc but with no success.
I did contact Braun and they are shipping a replacement cassette but given its back order status they have no idea when it should arrive . Apparently there were cassettes which had a burr from manufacturing, however the serial Number etc for my 9 pro does not appear to have been in that group. And just running my fingers over the foils etc , they appear normal.
Regardless; I am curious re the Panasonic arc 6: You have said the pro9 is more comfortable but i’M curious in what way? Obviously if the new cassette isn’t the answer for my Braun I’d be very curious to try the Arc 6 though not if it would be trading one problematic shaver for another. Thoughts?
In my case, when using the Series 9 Pro and the Arc 6 dry, the former is more comfortable in a few ways. (I have very sensitive skin, so this may not be the case for other users).
With the S9 Pro I can press a bit harder and be sloppier and the shaver would still be reasonably gentle. The Arc 6 is a bit more sensitive to that, especially on the neck, and it can bite back. Also, it is less likely to get some post-shave razor burn or bumps with the S9 Pro (also partly because it doesn’t shave quite as close as the Arc 6). And finally, if my beard is longer, the S9 Pro catches the flat-lying hairs more effectively during a stroke; with the Arc 6 I have to go slower and a few more times to get a clean shave.
I understand you shave daily, so this latter part won’t be an issue.
The cassette ( 94M) was/ is clearly defective! While awaiting a replacement cassette from backorder, Braun sent a 92s to try and it was totally different experience. No pulling on hairs, no pain , and it shaves much closer than the 94M which came with the shaver. The experience vis similar to that of using my old series 7 , though a definitely closer shave with the 9. The 94M replacement is apparently now on its way, so I’m curious to see/ feel and difference.
My curiosity re the ARC 6 Panasonic remains however, but will wait to scratch that itch intill the Braun is sorted out. Thanks for your help.
No problem, Howard, glad you got to the bottom of this. It was clearly something wrong there. The differences between the 92s and 94M are rather subtle during use. I find the latter a bit more aggressive, which could result in a slightly closer shave. But again, nothing dramatically different.
Hope you’re well. How would you compare comfort of shaving with arc 6 versus shaving with Braun series 9 pro? And how would you compare comfort of shaving with arc 6 with arc 5? Both for dry shaves and wet shaves. Thanks
I’m very well, thank you, hope you are too.
The Series 9 Pro is more comfortable than the Arc 6 (at least in my case) during a dry shave. With a good shaving cream, I’d say they pretty much the same. The Arc 6 is gentler than an Arc 5 when shaving dry, especially if the Arc 5 has the older foil (ES-LV65, ES-LV67 etc). During a wet shave, the differences are minor, but I would still give a slight advantage to the Arc 6.
That’s interesting because with a wet shave I didn’t find arc 5 comfortable… and I found a series 9 pro dry shave more comfortable than a wet shave for arc 5.
But you’re saying a wet shave for arc 6 isn’t more comfortable than a wet shave with arc 5. Which makes me think arc 6 wet shave isn’t more comfortable than a dry series 9 pro shave…
Yes, that was my experience with the Arc 6 and Arc 5. Good shaving cream and proper prep make the Arc 5 really comfortable, but again, that may not be the case for everyone. Sometimes these comparisons that involve different users aren’t the most reliable and the results may be inconsistent. I can only present my experience in what I hope is a useful way for others to determine whether a shaver would be suitable for them as well.
just wanted to ask, I own the Braun Series 9 pro, can you actually shave your head with it every day? or should one take a day off at least?
Yes, you can definitely use it daily as well. It should work fine anywhere from daily up to every four days or so (the hair must be shorter than 2mm for the best results).
forgot one more question I have small ingrown hairs on my neck and larynx area from time to time, is the Braun series 9 Pro good for that? or better the new Panasonic Arc 6 I ask you again to answer greetings stephan 🙂
I would say the 9 Pro is better. The Arc 6 shaves really close which can make things worse if you usually get ingrown hairs.
Great reviews me source of information. I came across this accidentally. Sitting in Italy trapped and surrounded by C-positive family while I am negative (so far, can change every day). In a y case, onward trip got cancelled and while sitting in the lovely countryside of Tuscany the battery of my S9 ran out. I didn’t bring the charger and usually would shave wet but due to circumstances longer use of bathroom without mask is not permissible. So I bought a new 7 series overpriced and without researching since, of course, then no wifi. No doing all this finding your pages I wonder this: I love the S9 but it has always trouble in curved areas, neck over to chin and under chin. I solve it by using the simplest M60 shaver which gets those areas done. I have relative sensitive skin but it got better with age.
Q: since I have an S9 is it worth getting a Pro? The charging case I thought would be nice but since it needs the original charger, what’s the point
Would the Arc 6 tackle those problematic zones better? I love my traditional close wet shave with Gillette cassettes but it takes more time so if the Arc 6 gets close and can tackle those zones better…
Thanks for reading/answering.
Thank you for the comment, much appreciated. I am sorry about your trip, hope you and your family are doing well.
I don’t think getting the Series 9 Pro will drastically improve the things that bother you about your Series 9. Getting the hair under the chin is a bit of an issue with all Braun shavers, including the Series 9 Pro. The Arc 6 is definitely better at shaving the part right under the chin, but I wouldn’t say it’s any better for the rest (chin, jawline), especially if you shave less often or the hair starts flat. When it does capture the hairs, the Arc 6 usually shaves closer. But I would only consider the Arc 6 if you plan on shaving often (daily or every other day) and your hair grows relatively straight.
PS: all the comments go through, but must be moderated as there are many spam comments from bots. So it can take a bit of time until the comment shows up.
Sorry, please delete my repeat comments. I think they disappeared so wasn’t sure. Thanks that is very helpful then. I usually have straight hair and shave daily. So I might give it a try then, my Braun is a 2d gen, works fine but would be nice to try the Panasonic for a change.
Does anyone know whether the ES-CLS9N-K is both wet/dry cordless version?
I am so confused with all the different model numbers!
It’s a dry-only model that works cordless and corded. If you’re interested in a similar wet/dry Arc 6, check out the ES-CLS9AX-K (Japanese model) or the ES-LS9A-K (USA/global model). The performance is identical.
Thanks Ovidiu! Your two articles have been super useful for me.
I am still undecided between ES-LSA5K ($263.29 USD) or ES-CLS9AX-K ($372.80 USD) on ebay. Over for $100 LCD screen, cleaning unit and usb travel case. I am in Australia so options are limited.
Also do you know what this model is ES-CLS5A-K?
It is US$277.59 on ebay, quite affordable. I can’t seem to find anything about this model on google.
You are very welcome. Usually the models with C in front of LS are identical to the LS variations, except for a minor difference (for example the color of the plastic cap). It’s still unclear why Panasonic does this and why they don’t list the CLS models on their website on a dedicated product page.
As for choosing between the ES-LS5A and ES-CLS9AX-K, what matters most is that they shave the same. If you think you’ll be using the cleaning center and the travel case, then the price difference makes sense. Otherwise I’d go with the cheapest Arc 6 I could find.
Thank you very much for you thorough and insightful reviews!
I am considering going electric as I suffer from often razor burns and I was wondering what would be you recommendation if I were to choose between Arc 6 and Series 9 Pro.
I owned and Arc with cleaning station about 6—7 years ago but unfortunately I don’t remember the model. While it was better than a regular razor, I can’t say it was stellar in terms of being gentle on sensitive skin.
I normally shave every 2—3 days since my hair grows in quite slow and uneven manner and I guess I have those flat lying hairs as I need to use horizontal strokes in addition to vertical with a regular razor to achieve a clean shave.
I can pull a trigger on either of the mentioned models but was wondering if you have any advice.
Thank you for your comment, I’m glad you found the site helpful.
A Panasonic shaver with a cleaning station from 7 years ago means that you probably had an Arc 5 ES-LV95 or an Arc 4 (less likely). I feel like the Arc 6 is a definite improvement compared to those (it’s noticeably gentler to the skin). Getting and using the Arc 6 will feel like an upgrade. That said, I would still consider the 9 Pro as the more comfortable shaver when used dry. And it is definitely better at getting difficult facial hair (flat-lying, growing in different directions etc.). If the hair is short it won’t matter that much as both will be just as effective.
All things considered, the 9 Pro looks like a better match, but it’s a really close call and you can’t go wrong either way. The Arc 6 might give you a slightly closer shave, but for everything else, I think the 9 Pro is better suited.
made it back to the US and received my Arc 6 I ordered white still in Italy, the ES-LS9A-K. I thought it had the USB charging case but, nope. Can you tell me what the difference is between the ES-CLS9AX (Japanese model? USB charging case) and the ES-LS9A-K (US model standard case)? I ordered the latter from Amazon now and return the other one but when it came I realized it does not have the USB charging case (which was a big selling point for me). I The ES-CLS9AX on Amazon was even a bit cheaper – but is the razor itself the same, same LCD?
Just to clarify on the USB case – which you may already know – it doesn’t actually charge the razor like Braun’s S9 Pro: it just allows you to use a USB C/A cord to connect to a USB port and charge in the case. As opposed to just plugging in the razor to an outlet with the proprietary Panasonic cord (which may in fact charge quicker, but I haven’t measured it). In my view, small difference, and the case is actually considerably more bulky than the standard hard case. One conceivable advantage might be you could use a C/C cord and charge from your phone if it has that capability, or a battery pack, but you’re more likely traveling to be in a place that has available outlets than you are that has available USB ports, although more common now.
As a PS, I have both models and they are identical, with the exceptions that the Japanese model has instructions printed in Kanji on the back versus English, and the US model includes a protective cap and has pictographs on the back of the trimmer rather than “free,” “lock,” and mm to indicate position of the head.
Thanks. That’s helpful. I know that the case has no battery and actually think that is better. With battery it cannot go into check-in luggage although I lately also have a carry on anyway. But more importantly I always have a USB C cable or can get one while it’s not so easy to get the special one for the shaver itself. Had that now with my Brown S9 which started this whole thing.
Thank you for the feedback, Allan. I knew the case was basically a glorified USB adapter, but at least in my view, it’s still pretty useful. I mainly see it as a way to charge the shaver when traveling without bringing the cord (most of us have phones that charge via USB C, so we can use that for the shaver as well).
wanted to ask you, I have a Braun series 9 Pro for my head because I’m bald, you said that the new Panasonic Arc 6 shaved closer to the skin than the Braun
is the difference very big that the Arc6 shaved closer? I’m pretty happy with the Braun, but would an Arc6 be more worthwhile for the scalp or not necessarily?
I shave my head mostly every 2nd day, sometimes every 3rd day.. what would be better in your opinion.?
I’d say no, in the case of a head shave, the difference won’t be that noticeable. For facial hair (particularly in the case of thick, dense beards), the Arc 6 would probably be worth getting.
Thank you again so the difference in head shaving is only slightly better with the Arc 6 or do you even think it is equally good with the Braun Series 9 Pro
Slightly better with the Arc 6, but you may not even notice it. I don’t think it’s worth getting the Arc 6 for that alone.
At first, I was definitely going to buy this.
Then after reading everything here… I thought I’d maybe buy it. I already have the Braun Series 9, and my favorite, the Philips Prestige.
Then the expensive price came out. Then the price increased. Then I thought that I’d just pass.
And then I just read all the reviews at Amazon (USA). Now… I’m going to buy it. Albeit, when the price comes down a bit.
Some of the reviews are very good, very detailed. Not as good as Ovidiu’s reviews of course.
I totally get you as I have this itch constantly. You’ll probably end up buying it and I think you’ll enjoy shaving with it, even though the Arc 6 has a slightly different profile than your current shavers. Precisely, it shaves really close but shines when used on short hair. You can get away with more days between shaves if your facial hair grows almost straight. The Prestige and Series 9 are more effective and better suited for longer/flat-lying hairs.
So, I finally got the Japanese model with the charging case and I got to say it tackles those critical areas a bit better than the Braun, at least for these first three or so shaves. So f at I am quite happy.
How often should one do the cleaning with the station? I clean it manually after each shave with the brush.
Glad to hear that — seems like a good fit. Regarding the cleaning, if you only use the brush (no water/soap), I personally would clean it with the station twice a week (once if I rinse the shaver with water). By the way, be careful not to use the brush directly on the foils as they can get damaged easily (only brush the inside of the foil block). This is explicitly shown in the user manual, but you might miss it in the Japanese leaflet.
wanted to ask you when will the Panasonic Arc6 actually be available for purchase in Germany? I’m from Germany myself, so I wanted to ask you if you might know that?
From what I know it’s already available in several European countries, including Germany. It is however sold under a different name — Series 900+ instead of Arc 6/Lamdash 6. There are two versions available, the ES-LS6A and ES-LS9A (which includes a cleaning station).
Thank you Ovidiu first of all I found it 🙂 is there actually a cleaning cartridge on the Panasonic ES-LS9A that you have to replace like on the Braun series 9? and how expensive are they? and the shaving head also lasts almost 2 years if you take good care of it? and how is the price?
Panasonic stations do not have removable/replaceable cartridges like the ones used by Braun. Instead you must mix a pack of concentrated detergent with water in the station’s tray. The packs have the part number WES4L/WES4L03 (the latter is a 3-pack). The head could last for up to two years, but it’s highly dependent on how often you use it and the coarseness of the beard. The cleaning and lubrication will also influence the lifespan (a lot). The replacement shaving head is rather pricy and seems to only be available in Japan for now.
Follow up question, if I may: The Panasonic shaving cleaning packs – are they a one time use?
Or can you leave the fluid in the cleaning station and reuse? Sincere doesn’t seem to be a waste container, I assume not?
The content of the pack must be mixed with water in the station’s tray. You can then clean your shaver repeatedly — the solution should last between 1 and two months, maybe even more if you don’t use it as often.
Thanks. But it doesn’t separate waste water from fresh cleaning or does it? Not so much an issue as a preclean with the brush but…
You are welcome. It has a very fine mesh filter that stops the residue from being flushed into the shaving head again (all cleaning stations use a similar approach).
I have a question, unfortunately I’ve had a razor burn on my neck for a while now, with red spots and occasional pimple inflammation, what do you think would be better?
with the Braun series 9 pro or better with a sharp wet razor and shaving gel?
While some users do get good results with a DE razor and a high-quality shaving cream (definitely not canned foam), using a mild electric shaver like the S9 Pro is in my opinion better. There’s a higher chance the razor burn and bumps will go away or diminish to a significant degree. A razor blade will still cut the hairs very close and exfoliate the skin which is not ideal in this case.
PS: please post Series 9 Pro related comments here as other S9 Pro users might find them useful as well.
first of all, thank you for the answer and info, I will try it out with the Braun series 9 pro, do I have to shave my neck every day, or better every 2nd day?
because the whiskers on your neck come back after just one day? And should I use a balm with aloe vera after shaving?
You are very welcome. You will have to try it for yourself to see which approach yields the best results. For example, if your neck gets irritated post-shave, it might help to allow the skin an extra day to heal before shaving again. If you can tolerate shaving daily, then you can do that. You should use any balm that works well for you (avoid the ones containing alcohol).
You helped me with a buying decision last year and its now time to either replace the cutters and head on the Arc 4 ES-RF31 that I ended up getting or upgrade to an Arc 5 probably after reading this review.
In your opinion would upgrading to the Arc 5 be a noticeable improvement ?
Compared to any of the Arc 4 models with the 14000 CPM motors (like your ES-RF31), an Arc 5 will be a bit more comfortable, more refined and slightly better with flat-lying hairs (in the case of the newer Arc 5 models from the third generation). The closeness to me is similar, though an Arc 4 can require a bit more work to get a similarly close shave.
If you didn’t find those things to bother you when shaving with the Arc 4, then an Arc 5 may not feel like a substantial upgrade. Then again, if you can get a great deal on one (you wouldn’t be spending a lot more compared to the price of the Arc 4 foil + cutters), I think it’s worth getting it.
quick question, I have the Braun series 9 pro and I also use it for my head shave, I’m bald and I’m quite satisfied with the closeness of the shave.
the new Panasonic Arc6 would come much closer to shaving your head? because I read the reviews on Amazon that it should be really good, and also comes much closer, the comfort should also be very good for the skin, wanted to ask you if that’s true? is the Panasonic Arc6 worth it for head shaving..?
greetings stephan 🙂
I wouldn’t say the Arc 6 shaves much closer when used as a head shaver, but it is indeed closer than an S9 or S9 Pro. If you’re happy with your current shaver, I don’t think it’s worth spending that much money for a slightly closer shave. Again, it can’t be much closer since the S9 Pro is already really good when used on the head.
The Arc 6 is more aggressive on the back of the neck, I always get some redness and stinging in that area which never happens with the S9 Pro. On the rest of the scalp it is however just as smooth.
thanks for the answer what is the difference between the panasonic arc 6 and the previous model arc 5 is there a big difference to notice when it comes to the closeness of the shave for the scalp?
or is the Brauns series 9 pro better than the Arc 5?
Many people on Amazon say in the reviews that the new Arc 6 shaves the scalp very gently
I’d say no, no noticeable differences regarding the closeness when shaving the head between the Arc 5 and Arc 6. So the Arc 5 is also slightly better than the 9 Pro in that regard. As for comfort, the Arc 6 is in my experience noticeably better than the Arc 5 when used on the face. For head shaving, they are again pretty similar, maybe with the slightest advantage for the Arc 6.
Hi, does the Panasonic Arc 6 charge in the Arc 5 cleaning station?
In the older Arc 5 stations (like the ones that come with the second generation Arc 5 — for example, the ES-LV95-S) it will not physically fit, the Arc 6 being way too large and shaped differently. In the newer stations, like the ones that come with the generation 3 Arc 5 (ES-LV9Q, etc) the Arc 6 will barely fit. Very tight squeeze, but the station will charge the shaver since the three contact pins will be aligned with the plates on the station. I doubt however that the cleaning program will start.
Also, very important, if you buy an Arc 6 that doesn’t come with a cleaning station, you won’t be able to use it with one, be it an Arc 5 or an Arc 6 station. That’s because those Arc 6 shavers lack the 3 contact pins on the back.
I am 74, wow! and my beard has changed appreciably in the last 5 years, thicker, rougher and grows denser more quickly! go figure. I have rotated between the Braun, early early Panasonic version,) maybe one of the first, and now Norelco Prestige. I have just felt, coming up on a year that the Norelco, was just required too many passes to get my beard. Thought I’d replace the blades, and then started looking again. Over many websites, repeatedly came back to your articles as a definitive resource. I ordered the LV97 and used it one day, and while excellent, had some concern over comfort as my skin is real sensitive. After reading another round of your articles, I just ordered the ARC6, based upon your assessment of the comfort. I will use a pre-shave as well as an after shave, and I think following your advice on maintenenace, I will get the performance I’m looking for, and mitigate the skin rash /sensitivity issue with the Arc 6 design, and the pre and after shaves. The LV97 is going back; and I appreciate your very thorough reviews, showcasing all these products in their best light, and basing them on experience, not just advertising and specs. You have helped me make what I belive is a sound decision. Thank you!
Thank you so much for the comment, Chip, glad you found the site useful. The Arc 6 is definitely an improvement over the Arc 5 models that use the older foil (like the ES-LV97), so hopefully it’ll be just what you need. Grey hairs are a lot drier and feel rougher which could also make shaving more tedious. Definitely try a preshave as well (Speick is my go-to).
Hello Ovidiu I have another question, namely I have very small hairs in the larynx area which the Braun series 9 pro does not get rid of properly, I usually have to shave with a wet razor afterward, do you think the new Panasonic Arc 6 would do it better?
and the small hairs on the larynx also get inflamed from time to time and small pimple nodules appear
I hope you have a tip for me which razor would be better for? or do you think only wet shaving blade with gel would be better?
Is your shaver not able to capture them or it just can’t shave them as close to the skin as you’d like? If it’s the second, the Arc 6 will be better, but since that’s a very sensitive area, shaving them really close to the skin can favor razor bumps/pseudofolliculitis. That area is more difficult to shave also because of its shape, so try using short, controlled strokes from different directions, gradually advancing as the hairs are cut. Using a blade will likely worsen the pimple problem in my opinion.
I would continue using the S9 Pro, maybe with a pre-shave lotion as well — it can help by making the hairs easier to cut. I really like the ones from Speick and Tabac.
thanks for the reply Ovidiu so you think the panasonic Arc 6 would be too aggressive for the larynx area? When I shave with the Braun Sereis 9 Pro, it actually does it very well, it just doesn’t quite grab the very small hairs on the larynx area.?
because after 6 to 8 hours, new small hairs are already pushing their way through my neck and larynx, and they usually get inflamed with me, and small pimple nodules appear
I would really like to know where this is coming from or is it an ingrown hair? so you mean with wet shaving would not be good, not even this Gillette SkinGuard Sensitive razor for sensitive skin 2 blades he has?
Or is it really better to continue shaving with the series 9 pro and use a pre-shave beforehand? greetings stephan 🙂
No problem, Stephan. Definitely try the S9 Pro with a pre-shave before buying any new shaver.
As I said, I think the Arc 6 can shave that patch of hair closer to the skin, but I doubt the pimple problem will disappear — in fact, it could get worse. My guess is that the follicles in that area (I sort of have the same problem, but not to the same extent) are rather inflamed/protuberant and surround/cling to the hair making it more difficult for any shaver to cut them clean at skin level. Morover, any tiny bits of skin tissue that get scraped off during your shave can get infected/inflamed, which may explain the post-shave pimples. All things considered, I think you’d be better off with a milder foil shaver (like the S9 Pro) and a pre-shave.
thanks again ovidiu i will keep trying with the series 9 pro as you said but this time before with a pre shave and after shaving applying a balm would be best right ?
Yes, that would be the best approach.
Hello Ovidiu just a question, the shaving head from the Braun series 9 lasts about 18 months if you clean it regularly in the cleaning station, which I also do after every shave.
The display of my Braun razor now shows me four dashes, when do I have to replace the shaving head? if only one line can be seen on the display?
In theory, it should be changed when all the bars are turned off. In practice, you should only replace the shaving head (of any razor) when you can’t get a good shave anymore (closeness, comfort, the time it takes to complete the shave, etc.).
I’ve been reading your truly excellent reviews on the Arc 6 and the S9 Pro.
I shave 2-3 times a week no more and use the Arc5.
I was disappointed when I upgraded to the 9Q with the comfort rollers as good as the save was I struggled under chin. Following your reviews I switched the head to the revision G and found it slightly better but not perfect in this area.
I change foil and blades approx 7-8 months and could not find the revision G this time around so went back to the earlier version. I kept the rev G foil for a spare shaver I have.
I can state now that my spare shaver with the rev G is far far better than the previous version.
I’m tempted to try the Arc 6, but I also like the sound of the S9 pro♂️
My problem is that I had a previous Braun 7 series and I hated it as it snagged long hairs which resulted in a very uncomfortable shave, can I ask if this is still and issue with the S9 pro? It seemed it was in your review?
Does the Arc 6 perform better under the chin as it looks like it only has one comfort roller? Sorry for the questions!
Thank you so much, really glad you found the reviews useful.
From what I can tell, the main struggle is with the hairs under the chin, in which case I don’t think a Braun Series 9 Pro would solve the problem. On the contrary, the Panasonic shavers are usually the best for a close shave there. I personally never had a problem with the old Series 7 snagging hairs, it was really smooth even on a longer beard. The 9 Pro on the other hand does snag occasionally a few hairs, more so than the standard S9. My guess is that the wider gap between the two rows of teeth of the redesigned gold trimmer is the culprit. And in my opinion that’s yet another reason to stick to your Arc 5s.
I think the Arc 6 will give you a slightly better shave, but I doubt it’ll be so much better to justify the price. Some users that find the comfort rollers of the Arc 5 foils to get in the way have reverted back to the old set (ES9032). I would consider that an option if you usually shave often as that set isn’t quite as capable at catching more difficult hairs (compared to the rev G foil for example).
Thank you Ovidiu, I think it’s got to be the Arc 6 as soon as the price becomes reasonable in the UK!! Thank you for saving me from wasting my money in the Braun!!!
No problem, Mark, hope you’ll enjoy using it. Definitely keep an eye on it and wait for a good deal.
wanted to ask how long does the shaving head of the new Arc 6 last? just like the Braun Sereis 9 per 18 months if you clean it regularly in the cleaning station ?
does the shaving head last as long as with Braun? 18 months
and wanted to ask where you can get a replacement shaving head for the Arc 6 if you have to buy a new one? and how expensive are these?
do you have a link where i can buy the shaving head on amazon maybe? I also need the exact designation of the shaving head?
I ask for an answer would be nice:) greetings stephan
As far as I know, the Arc 6 replacement head (part number ES9600) is still not officially available outside Japan. So you would need to import it from Japan (amazon.co.jp, ebay.com, etc).
Regarding the lifespan, it’s difficult to tell since the Arc 6 is relatively new. Mine still cuts really well, so I cannot yet compare it to the Series 9 for example. The blades and foils of my older Arc 5 shavers for example last around the same provided I clean and lubricate them regularly. Panasonic blades seem to be more affected by friction compared to Braun, so lubricating them is really important.
Thanks for the answer, I then think that the Arc 6 shaving head probably doesn’t last as long as the Braun series 9 per shaving head? because you think the old Arc 5 often has to be lubricated despite the cleaning station?
I also shave my head am bald, does the Arc 6 shave much closer than the Braun Series 9 Pro? and which cleaning agent do you have to buy for the Arc 6? there are no cartridges like brown, right?
It’s difficult to say with certainty how much it will last, but again, I do think the Panasonic blades are more susceptible to wear if not properly lubricated. I wouldn’t say it shaves much closer, but it is a tad smoother to the touch compared to the 9 Pro.
For the Arc 6 you would need to buy the Panasonic concentrated detergent packs that need to be mixed with water.
Thanks again ovidiu
the cleaning agent packs for the Arc 6 can you get them from amazon in Germany? do you have a link maybe?
and i wanted to ask if i sometimes shave my head first every 4 days, is my hair stubble a little longer naturally, if i then shave with the Braun series 9 pro, small hairs always come out of the shaving head, is that normal That’s right?
greetings stephan 🙂
You can certainly get them in Germany as well. The part number for the packs is WES4L (here’s an Amazon.de link as well). It’s the same detergent for all Panasonic models, so ignore the fact that the Arc 6 model doesn’t appear in the title.
Regarding your head shaving question, that’s perfectly normal.
Hello Ovidiu, thanks for the awesome in-depth reviews!
I’m having a really hard time deciding between the series9 pro and the arc 6, but I am leaning towards the Panasonic due to the closer shave, even if my sensitive skin would probably prefer the 9pro. Anyway, I have a few questions before I decide to pull the trigger on either of them, if I may.
I live in Europe and the models I have seen available at various vendors are the ES-LS6A, another ES-LS6A-K803(is there any difference between these 2?), and the LS9A model with the charging station. I would like to have the charging station handle the cleaning and lubing for me, however the LS9A is extremely scarce still, and when it’s available, it commands a hefty premium. Do you have any idea if the LS6A models available on the European market can work with a charging station if I purchase one later? You mentioned that one of the Japanese models doesn’t have the contacts for it, so it would not work, and I do not know how the Japanese naming scheme translates to the European one. Looking at various product pictures I can’t see any contacts that might match the ones on the charging station, but I have no idea if they are readily visible.
Also, you mentioned that the charging station is backwards compatible, but since the shaving head is larger on the arc6, it wouldn’t fit in an arc5 station, correct?
Thank you for your time!
Many thanks for the comment.
The ES-LS6A and ES-LS6A-K803 are the exact same shaver. The latter is in fact the full name but it’s often left out by vendors or Panasonic themselves. -K only stands for the color (black).
The ES-LS6A will not work with a cleaning station purchased separately. None of the Panasonic solo models (Japanese or global) has contact studs on the back. So unfortunately you will need to buy the LS9A from the beginning.
Regarding the station, I do not recall mentioning that the Arc 6 will work with an Arc 5 station. If I did, please correct me and show me where so I can rectify it. The Arc 6 shaver will fit in a generation 3 Arc 5 station (like the one that comes with the ES-LV9Q), it’ll be a really snug fit but the station will charge it. It is unlikely that the cleaning program will work though (I’m pretty sure it won’t). In a second-generation Arc 5 station (like the ES-LV95), the Arc 6 will not fit at all.
Thank you for the swift reply, Ovidiu!
Oh, sorry, I should have made it clearer, no, you did not write anything wrong in the article; by a backwards compatible charging station I meant the Arc 6 station working with previous Arc 5 models, which makes sense, and is exactly what you said in the review as well. In my musings, I was wondering if the clearance would also allow the Arc 6 shaver to fit in an Arc 5 station, but since the LS6A doesn’t work with a station at all, that idea became irrelevant. I do appreciate the detailed answer nonetheless, hopefully it will prevent someone from buying the wrong station in case theirs breaks down.
I guess this means I’ll likely be going for a 9pro unless I manage to find a good last-minute deal on an LS9A, so thank you very much for helping me pick out my next shaver! I wish you a great weekend!
You’re very welcome. Hope you’ll manage to grab the LS9A at a good price. Have a great weekend as well 🙂
I’m trying to decide between the Arc6 and Braun S9 and my deciding factor is neck hair. My current electric shaver gives me a smooth shave on my face, but leaves a lot of flat neck hairs.
Based on my problem would you recommend the Arc6 or Braun S9?
I would lean more toward the S9. I have the exact same problem with flat hairs on the neck and the S9 is clearly more effective, especially when I shave after three days or even more. The Arc 6 and Arc 5 do shave closer especially on areas with thick, dense hair like below the nose or on chin in my case, but for the difficult neck hairs, I have to say the S9 is better.
Thanks for the detailed review. I have an Arc5 and like it but the foil/blade replacement cost is at almost $90! The shaver itself is around $105 right now. Had my eyes on the Arc6 with cleaning station but $499? Then it just dropped to $424 so I bought it. It’s in the box sitting on the table and after reading your review I’m now thinking of keeping my Arc5 and returning the Arc6.
So, thinking of seeing if the foil/blade pack goes down, buy the $105 Arc5 shaver kit, or possibly get the Braun Series 9 with cleaning kit at Costco for $150. What do others think?
There are other newer replacement foil and blades that will fit your Arc 5 just fine and some of them cost less than the part officially needed for your shaver. If you can’t source any of them, getting a new Arc 5 at that great price is a perfectly fine option as well.
The Arc 6 + cleaning station is a great package (albeit a premium product with a premium price) and it makes sense if you need it. From what I can tell, you were pretty happy with your Arc 5 minus the costly replacement blades and foil.
The Series 9 with the cleaning station is also great value for money, but again, you shouldn’t buy it just because it’s cheap. I recommend getting it if you shave less often as the Series 9 is more effective on longer and flat-lying neck hairs than the Arc 5/Arc 6. I also think the Braun station is more practical and more cost-effective in time (thanks to the third-party cleaning solutions). The S9 won’t shave as close as the Arc 5 or Arc 6, so that’s something you should consider when deciding which one to buy.
Ha – I went full circle. I read some of your other articles on the Arc6 and bought one with the USB charging cases on Amazon-JP for a very good price. Can’t wait to get it and try it out.
OK – then today I see Target stores were offering $50 off on the $109 Arc5!
Awesome, hope you’ll enjoy shaving with it.
Ovidiu – Thanks again for these reviews. I just received my Arc 6 from Japan and I love it. Don’t know why or how you can purchase the shaver from Japan for more than $100 less than the US plus get the nice USB charging hard case. Would never have thought to do this until reading this article.
Awesome, glad you like it. As for the price, that does happen, especially with models that were initially intended for the domestic market. For the global ones, there are marketing costs, taxes and maybe even some mods required to be in line with the local legislation and all that adds up to the final price.
I wanted to ask you, I’ve been using the Braun sereis 9 pro for 9 months now, the Braun one has a shaving head display with dashes where I got the new one, it still had a full 5 dashes, which is also normal.. Now after 9 months the shaving head display only shows 3 dashes, is that normal, I only use it for shaving my head, so I wanted to ask you if you had the same problem?
And does he shave just as well with 3 strokes as with 5 strokes? They say you should change the shaving head every 18 months, that would actually also fit that I only have 3 lines now, right? I also use the cleaning station regularly, and do I have to replace the shaving head if I only see a dash on the display? I ask for an answer would be great. Greetings Stephan 😉
That’s perfectly in line with Braun’s claim of 18 months of use. But nevertheless, I wouldn’t immediately replace the head if it still gives me a decent shave, even if all the lines are gone. The indicator is there for your reference, but shouldn’t be definitive.
hey Ovidiu thanks for the answer,
is it normal that after 9 months of use, I only see 3 dashes on the display? and you say even if all the lines are no longer aligned, you don’t have to replace the shaving head yet?
and does the Braun sereis 9 pro shave with no more strokes like when it was new? and when do i know exactly when i need to replace the shaving head? i thought if i only see one line on the display, i should replace the shaving head better..?
As I mentioned in the previous reply, it is perfectly normal. You should replace it when it can no longer provide an effective, close or comfortable shave, you will definitely notice it.
Thanks for a great reviews!
I’ve been using Panasonic electric shavers for over 10 years, currently using Arc 5 (ES-LV9N). I have very sensitive skin, especially on the neck (hair is especially dense and thick there), so I can only shave with electric razor – wet razors are too rough for my skin. I usually have wet shave every 2-3 days and pretty satisfied with my Arc 5. The only problematic area is the neck – since the hair is dense and thick and grows flat in various directions. Arc 5 gets it, but just not close enough, so I have to go over and over the same place in various directions to get a pretty close shave and it usually results in razor burns and red spots after the shave.
Currently thinking about upgrade and struggling to choose between the Arc 6 and Series 9 Pro. Since Braun is more comfortable and gentle for the skin – maybe it will solve my problem with the neck? On the other hand, I want really close shave (when I need smooth skin both all the day long and night – I even have to shave twice a day on occasions – in the morning and in the evening) and in terms of closeness Series 9 Pro is worse than Arc 6? So, what would you advise? I guess, trying to get a closer shave I’ll have to go over and over the same area with Series 9 Pro and can get razor burns event with it?
Thank you in advance!
Thank you for the comment, much appreciated.
I think with either the Arc 6 or the S9 Pro you will be making a compromise — you pretty much summarized it yourself above — however, I think the results will be better than in the case of your current shaver.
The Arc 6 is remarkably comfortable for a Panasonic, so I don’t think you’ll have serious issues with razor burn. That, plus the better closeness is what makes me lean more toward it. The Series 9 Pro will just not shave as close, even if you go over an area multiple times. Past a point, it just can’t cut the remaining stump. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still close and smooth, just not as good compared to what the Arc 6 is capable of, especially with dense and thick hair where the Arc 6 really shows its capabilities. Also, if I were to shave again in the evening to look sharp for an event for example, I would 100% wet shave with the Arc 6. Nothing comes close to that combination in terms of closeness and comfort.
Thank you for the recommendation, Ovidiu. Yes, Arc 6 seems more preferable for me, since I want a close shave comparable to a wet razor. And if it’s really more comfortable than Arc 5 and doesn’t irritate the skin on the neck – I don’t mind shaving every day or every other day. So, I’ll give it a try.
Got my Arc 6 for the New Year and using it for a week now. Brand-new shaver feels great. For me new construction does especially well on the cheeks – I need now only 2-3 passes to have them clear. I’m satisfied with it but oddly it seems for me even slightly more aggressive than Arc 5, maybe due to the new razor sharp foil cutters and trimmers. Sadly, I can’t have a close shave with it without irritating my skin. And what’s even more odd, maybe I need to give it more time, but it seems that it’s dealing with flat-lying hair on the neck a bit worse than Arc 5 – my guess is that it’s because of the new construction – Arc 5 had 2 foil cutters next to each other, 1 trimmer and again 2 foil cutters and they did better. Arc 6 has 1 foil cutter, trimmer, 1 foil cutter, comfort roller, 1 foil cutter, trimmer and one more foil cutter – and maybe they are doing a bit worse. What do you think? Have you noticed something similar? Maybe I’m just expecting too much from it and going too aggressive with pressing it to the skin.
I agree with you that it’s a decent upgrade for an old Arc 5 shaver or even older models, but it really doesn’t feel like a next-generation shaver. Maybe Panasonic has already reached the top and we can’t expect any major upgrades in the future.
Anyway I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to upgrade their old shaver, it has a better build quality, fresh design and slightly better shaving performance, but in terms of the performance it’s very close to the Arc 5. I think, those who doesn’t have sensitive skin and whose hair grows mainly perpendicular to the skin will notice the difference the most – shaving will go even faster for them, this new 6-blade head really cuts much more hair.
Many thanks for taking the time to share this. It’s pretty much in line with my experience with the Arc 6 minus the comfort part. It really is surprising that you’re getting some irritation, not only because the Arc 6 is overall gentler than an Arc 5, but because you have a brand new shaver with sharp blades and unworn foils. Having sharp blades actually improves the comfort compared to using a shaver with old/blunt blades. My guess is that maybe you’re pressing the shaving head too much.
I find the Arc 6 just slightly better with flat-lying neck hairs compared to the Arc 5, so there’s no clear improvement in that area. In your case, it seems to be worse, but that can be exacerbated by a few other factors like the size of the shaving head and some slight adjustments you’re making with your stroke to account for that. But nevertheless, none is particularly good with that type of hair. This seems to be an inherent weakness of Panasonic shavers and I don’t think they can address it with more blades or small tweaks to the foil. Then again, changing their design dramatically will have other implications and it’s probably too much of a compromise. I think we can only expect a radical change in a few years, maybe in response to Braun’s next top-tier shaver.
thanks again for the answer if I buy a new shaving head, should I buy the series 9 pro shaving head again or should I buy the normal series 9 shaving head? which one is better more thorough for that ? I only shave my head with the Braun neck very rarely?
I’d say to only get the 94M Pro head if you can get it for a decent price — roughly the same as the regular one. Otherwise, the normal S9 head will work just fine and the differences will be minor, especially since you use the shaver mainly on the scalp.
PS: Kindly post any Series 9 Pro related comments on the S9 Pro review page.
I just purchase the Panasonic ES-LS5B-K version of the Arc 6/Lamdash from Amazon USA. Is this just a slightly different version from the one you have? I assume all the Arc 6’s have the exact same shaving head.
BTW, Happy New Year
-Rob from Boston, MA.
That is correct, chronologically the B models like yours are the latest iteration, so newer than the model in my review, but essentially identical. I covered the Arc 6 B models in greater detail in this post if you want to check it out.
Hope you’ll enjoy shaving with your new Arc 6. Happy new year!
Thanks for letting me know, and especially for sending me the link to the Arc 6 models.
Again, thank you for your excellent reviews, and I look forward to reading many more.
Hi. This is a great review, one I feel I can trust. I currently use an ES-LV95. I like it. It gives a comfortable close shave. The issue I have is that if I don’t shave frequently, which I’d prefer not to, it takes a good effort to hack off the hairs. I have to move the razor in every direction multiple times. I eventually get where I want but it takes quite some time.
Based on your review I was wondering if perhaps a Braun Series 9 Pro would be better for my needs. I know these have been around a long time and I’m somewhat concerned that once I finally make the significant investment, a superior Series 10 will come out shortly thereafter. Any advice on this? Thanks and appreciate any feedback.
Thank you so much for the comment.
That’s actually the main weakness of all Panasonic shavers, including the Arc 6 — they’re just not as effective if the hair is too long.
The Series 9 and 9 Pro are, at least for me, superior when shaving less often. I prefer using my Series 9 over the Arc 5 or Arc 6 if I haven’t shaved in 3 days or more. That said, the Series 9 and 9 Pro just don’t shave as close on areas where I have really thick and dense hair, like the moustache and chin in my case. If that’s something you can live with, the Series 9 Pro will be a good choice.
There’s no official info regarding a new Braun flagship series, not just a flanker of the current Series 9, but I think we can assume it’ll happen sooner or later, maybe within a year or two.
another question for you, I shave my head every 2 to 3 days. Is the Panasonic arc 6 just as good in terms of comfort as the Braun series 9 pro, or is it a little better? I’m only asking about the scalp..?
For shaving the scalp, I’d say the S9 Pro is more comfortable, especially on the back of the head/neck. I use them both and with the Arc 6 I have to be more mindful of technique and pressure to avoid razor burn. On the face, I’d say they are about the same — again provided you don’t press the Arc 6 excessively.
Thanks for the answer
I’m considering whether I should go from the Braun Series 9 Pro to the Arc 6, because Arc 6 also shaves closer than Braun, and I’ve also read that Arc6 should also be very comfortable, or I better waiting for the Braun series 10 but I think it will take a while, right? greetings stephan 🙂
No problem, Stephan. I think it would make sense to consider the Arc 6 only if you’re not happy with the closeness of the S9 Pro when shaving your head. Otherwise, considering the rest of the aspects (including some advantages of the 9 Pro), I don’t really think it’s worth spending that much money on it.
The Series 10 will probably come out in a couple of years, maybe earlier.
Thanks again ovidiu
I’m still undecided whether I should get the arc 6, I’m sure the proximity will be much better with the arc 6 than with the Braun Series 9 pro because I have to shave over my head a few times with the Braun, until it’s smooth I guess with the arc 6 you don’t have to do that, right?
If that’s the case then yes, getting it makes sense. Maybe you can buy it from a store with a larger return window even if you’ve used it — just in case something is amiss.
Thanks again Ovidiu
what I wanted to ask I come from Germany is there a shaving head for the arc 6 to buy in Germany after 18 months if you have to replace it? and also the cleaning liquid for the cleaning station?
The cleaning detergent is the same Panasonic has always been using, so you’ll have no problem getting it. Currently, the shaving head is not as easy to get in Germany and it is pretty expensive (the part number is ES9600). Amazon.de seems to have it in stock, but the availability of the ES9600 should be less of a problem one year from now for example.
quick question does arc 6 also have a shaving head indicator like the Braun series 9 pro where you can see when the shaving head needs to be replaced?
It does have a very basic icon that shows up once every 18 months, but it’s not very reliable as the shaver computes this based on a 3-minute daily shave. So you may need to change it sooner or later than that if the foil is still in good shape and provides a decent shave. The Series 9 has a more granular notification with those 5 bars that turn off gradually.
Hello. I have an old ES-LV61 which seems like it is on its last legs.
I have narrowed down its replacement to either an ES-CLS5A (6 blade) or an ES-LV5V (5 blade) from Japan. I can get the CLS5A for ~ $192 and the LV5V for $170. Which would be better of the two? I do not shave every day and I use a Philips trimmer to deal with long hairs before I do a close shave so long hairs are not an issue for me with the Panasonic.
Thanks for any insight.
Both are quite similar; the ES-LV5V is noticeably more comfortable than your ES-LV61 (with the original blades) but not quite as gentle as the Arc 6 ES-CLS5A. That’s the main difference between the two, the comfort, the Arc 6 being better in that regard. The closeness is however the same and I also didn’t notice the Arc 6 to be any better with flat-lying hairs compared to the newer Arc 5 models like the ES-LV5V.
I think you should be getting the 5-blade Panasonic; it’s cheaper, the replacement foil & blades are cheaper and easier to source (and you have more options as there are quite a few other compatible foils), the 5-blade head is a bit more manageable.
Thanks. I was looking at the Braun Series 9 as well (specifically the 9419s), but I just remember my last one not being great many years ago. The Panasonics just tend to work and give a better shave. Even though I have sensitive skin and such, with the prep I do it has never been an issue.
wanted to ask you the arc 6 shaved but closer than the arc 5 I think right? and is the ar6 also more comfort softer than the arc 5?
I wouldn’t say it shaves closer, but you probably can get a closer shave compared to an older Arc 5 like the ES-LV65 since the Arc 6 is on the other hand more comfortable and gentle, allowing you to be very thorough and even apply a bit more pressure.
Hello, I recently bought and returned the Arc 6 (due to a price cut), and bought it again at the lower price. I owned the first Arc 6 for 2 weeks before returning it.
I noticed that the shaver foils of the first one started sticking for some reason. When I would press down on them, I felt noticeable resistance. I used the arc 6 cleaning station with Panasonic’s detergent that came with the shaver. Could this have possibly caused the issue?
I just received the 2nd Arc 6, and can confirm that there is no resistance in the foils (I have not used or cleaned it yet). They go down and up smoothly. Now I am worried that there is a problem with the Arc 6. I noticed that there are 12 springs inside the shaver head. Is it possible that the springs are prone to sticking after getting wet? I just don’t understand. Isn’t Panasonic’s detergent supposed to lubricate the shaver?
I think it’s unlikely that the cleaning station/solution caused the issue. Did the sticking issue only occured after cleaning the shaver? It could have been a problem with that particular unit, although these are very uncommon.
The individual cutting elements of all Panasonic shavers in general require more force to be moved compared to Braun for example. This is an ongoing issue Panasonic still hasn’t solved with the latest Arc 5 and Arc 6 models. It’s just more friction and more resistance and you would never press the head this hard during use. But the foils should nevertheless move and spring back into the normal position. In time they won’t move as smoothly (wear, mineral deposits, hardened lather, etc), but the regular use of the cleaning station should help prevent or reduce this.
Indeed, it did happen after using the clean/dry station. I noticed it one day when shaving; I could actually feel one of the foils clicking up and down, and it felt very awkward. The foils were very smooth at first.
I’m at a loss as to why this would occur in a brand new product (2 weeks of use). While it might be acceptable after a few years, certainly not 2 weeks, and not with a $400 shaver. This brand new shaver felt rusty after 2 weeks, so odd. It still cut just fine, but it felt like the foils would eventually break or something.
I guess I will find out soon with this 2nd Arc 6 if the problem was really specific to that shaver. I’ll report back in 2 weeks and let you know. If the issue is again present in the 2nd shaver, I might be looking at another return. Maybe I’ll opt for the series 9 pro, but I really feel that the Braun trimmers are inadequate.
If I do end up having to return it again, do you have any recommendations for a trimmer for sideburns to supplement with the shaver?
Appreciate your help Ovidu, and your reviews are excellent by the way!
Thanks so much.
That is really odd, I’ve been using Arc 5 shavers for more than 10 years and I am yet to see that happening to a brand new shaver. The Arc 6 is really similar despite having all the blades integrated into the shaving head. I’ve only experienced the problem you described after years of using them with shaving cream and not doing a great job of cleaning the head. The hardened lather causes the foils to jam and the motion to be very jerky. But that happened after years of use and it was partially my fault. Obviously, the problem will go away if I were to buy a new foil.
The foils on the Series 9 move a lot better and smoother, but the hair trimmer is below par. The one on the Arc 5 and Arc 6 is by far the best integrated trimmer I’ve ever used. I think a separate trimmer just for the sideburns would be tricky to find. Most are large and highly capable, but not ideal for sideburns (very large and cumbersome to use). Maybe check out the Philips OneBlade or the Braun Series XT5, those have a really compact and thin shaving head that might work just fine for the sideburns.
Please follow up if you have the time. My Arc 6 unit doesn’t have a cleaning station, so I’ve only cleaned it manually with water and soap.
Great review, Right now I have the ES-LV9Q which is great and I’m thinking of buying the Arc 6, If I just bought the razor without the cleaning station could I just use the one that I got with my ES-LV9Q?
Thank you, Chris, I appreciate it. Unfortunately no, it will not work. The Arc 6 shavers that don’t come with a cleaning station also lack the contact pins on the back, so they won’t connect to the station for charging or cleaning. The Arc 6 station is also slightly different with a larger opening compared to the Arc 5 stations.
Hello Ovidiu, one more question for you?
I don’t shave my head every day, mostly every 2 to 4 days, then stubble has grown back, which is normal.
is the Braun series 9 pro better for shaving every 2 to 4 days, or does the panasonic Arc 6 cope better with it? greetings stephan 🙂
I only used them as head shavers on very short hair, but I think both can handle up to 4 days of growth without any major problems like pulling the hairs or missing some. The S9 Pro might have an advantage though when used in this manner.
first of all thanks ovidiu why do you think the brown series 9 pro could have an advantage? because the arc 6 has 6 bladed knives?
Because the S9 and S9 Pro are generally more effective at catching even longer hairs with fewer strokes/less work. At least that’s the case when used normally (on the face). So not really related to the number of blades, but more to the type of cutting elements.
hello thanks again ovidiu
i understand what you mean but you say on the face did you just test it ? But maybe it could be different on the scalp, right? or do you think the s9 pro is a bit better than the rArc 6?
Could be different, but I cannot say that with certainty as I’ve only used them on very short hair (as head shavers).
1. So if I am consistently using the cleaning station, I never need to oil the blades with lubricant?
2. For the Arc6, just to confirm, I only need to purchase one replacement part every 1.5 years, as compared to the two replacement parts of the Arc5?
3. I love your advice on shaving in general. Have you written a guide on the best way to shave, like which direction to stroke, etc?
Thank you for your comment, much appreciated.
1. That is correct, if you clean the shaver regularly with the Panasonic station, the blades will be properly lubricated.
2. Also correct, the Arc 6 shaving head integrates the blades and outer foil in a single piece that must be replaced every 1.5 years. The Arc 5 has two inner blades in addition to the foil which only integrates three. The price will however be more or less the same as the Arc 6 head is still pretty expensive.
3. I’m glad you found the site useful. I did post a guide on how to shave with an electric razor for the first time and I’m currently working on a very comprehensive guide that encompasses absolutely everything. Hopefully it’ll be up sometimes next month.
did I understand it correctly in your post above what you say, every 1.5 years does the Panasonic Arc 6 shaving head have to be replaced? because with Braun Series 9 pro you say every 1.8 years
Does the Arc 6 shaving head not last as long as Braun?
I actually said 18 months in the case of the S9 Pro which is the same as the 1.5 years in the case of the Arc 6. In my experience, Panasonic blades go blunt faster especially if they lack proper lubrication.
Thanks for the answer Ovidiu,
I got what you mean, so is it important to always clean the Arc 6 regularly in the cleaning station? and lubrication is just as good as with the S9 Pro cleaning?
wanted to ask is the new Arc 6 gentler when shaving than the old Arc 5 ? does Arc 6 have a little more comfort.?
and Arc 6 has no cleaning cartridges how long does a bag last? also about 3 to 4 weeks as with the Braun cartridge with every 2 days of use? greetings stephan 😉
You can either clean the Arc 6 regularly in the cleaning station or lubricate it regularly if you don’t use the station.
The Panasonic solution will generally last longer since it doesn’t have any alcohol, I’d say up to two months. Both Braun and Panasonic solutions provide adequate lubrication.
In my experience the Arc 6 is noticeably gentler than the old Arc 5.
Thanks again I didn’t know that the Arc 6 solution has no alcohol and that’s why the solution lasts for 2 months as you said? Braun cartridges contain alcohol and therefore they only last 3 to 4 weeks I think with every 2 days use in the cleaning station?
How much does the Arc6 solution cost in Germany? I think there are 3 packs that you can get?
and the arc 6 solution comes in an extra compartment in the cleaning station? and in another subject the water is that right? and then it automatically mixes:?
Yes, that’s more or less how much the solutions last. If you take the cartridge out of the Braun station after every cleaning it will also last about the same. The Panasonic station has a single tray compartment in which you mix the concentrated detergent with water yourself. The price for the detergent packs varies but should be between 3 and 4 euros per pack.
I’ve been following you for a while, amazing reviews as usual, very thorough and detailed.
Just had a quick question regarding the Panasonic Arc 6…There’s just so many different models of the Arc 6, I am slightly confused which one to buy. I live in the UK right now so would it better to order the Arc 6 from Amazon UK or should I import the Arc 6 from Japan ?
Also, which model of the Arc 6 is the best of the best as of right now ? I’m looking to purchase the model with the most features as well as one which includes a cleaning station.
Thanks for your help, greatly appreciated.
Thank you for the kind comment, much appreciated.
The latest Arc 6 is the so-called revision B or Arc 6 Pro — I wrote about it here. However, the differences from the original Arc 6 models, the ones globally available in Europe, the USA and so on, are pretty much non-existent. These rev B models are also only available in Japan, so importing one means spending more money and possibly some issues with the warranty.
Because of that, my recommendation would be to simply buy one of the officially released Arc 6 models (also marketed as Series 900+). Precisely, the Panasonic ES-LS9A is the one that also includes the cleaning station and the one I think you should buy.
I wanted to ask you, have you already tested this BaByliss PRO FX3 double foil shaver Turbo 110-220 FXX3S? I read he should raise even closer than the Arc6 wanted to ask you if that’s true? and is also as gentle comfort as the Arc6? greetings stephan 🙂
I haven’t tried the FX3 yet, but the FX2 (which in my opinion should be very similar) does shave a bit closer. Not quite as gentle and comfortable as the Arc 6 and since it has just two (fixed) foils it also takes more to complete the shave. I’d say the FX3 is better suited for touchups like blending a skin fade or shaving close to the beard line, not to be regularly used for shaving the entire head.
Thank you first, but I think for sensitive skin, the Arc 6 is better than the fx3 or fx2, right? because I shave my whole head every 2 to 3 days and that’s why I wanted to ask you which would be better?
i saw in a youtube video someone shaved his whole head with the babyliss pro gold fx2 and it looked pretty smooth but i still think the arc 6 is better suited for head shaving or what do you think? and how long does the shaving head of fx2 or fx3 last? how many months does it have to be replaced?
No problem — I’d say the Arc 6 is more comfortable than any of the BaByliss double foil shavers. Those can definitely shave close and smooth, but the Arc 6 will likely be a bit more comfortable and more suitable for shaving the entiore head on a regular basis.
Those barbershop shavers like the FX, Andis ProFoil etc have really thin foils, so they will wear out faster. Difficult to say as it depends on how often are being used and the coarseness of the hair, but will probably wear out twice as fast compared to the typical Panasonic shaver.
thank you again is that a big difference because of the close shaved the fx2 or fx3 much closer smoother than the arc 6 or pretty much the same?
Assuming I choose fx 2 or fx3, do I have to shave my head every day or at least every 2 days? or is it every 3 days? and is fx2 much harder aggressive than the arc6 big difference ?
and how do you know if the shaving head of fx 2 needs to be replaced? because the Arc 6 definitely has a shaving head display like the Braun Series 9 Pro, I think right? and does the fx 2 always have to be oiled because there is no cleaning station?
I’m still thinking about what to buy because fx2 or fx3 is much cheaper than the Arc 6 but it shouldn’t be too aggressive either?
greetings stephan 😉
The difference in closeness won’t be that noticeable — in fact, you will probably be able to get a similar closeness with the Arc 6 if you put more work into it. You would need to use the FX2 or FX3 on shorter hair — with the Arc 6 you can get away with 3 days without any issues.
The head of any shaver needs to be changed when it doesn’t shave well enough anymore. I wouldn’t really rely on the display alone. The BaByliss double foil shavers will benefit from lubrication since the foils are so thin and the blades rub right against them. Those FX aren’t waterproof, so you can’t clean them with water. You would need to use a brush and there would still be some hair dust left, so not ideal as the oil will make a mess. I think a lubricating spray like the Andis CoolCare Plus would be better than oil.
My FX2 is actually not too aggressive when I use it as a head shaver. It’s definitely gentler than the Andis ProFoil and the only area where it does cause me some discomfort is the back of my head, but it’s ok as long as I don’t press it too hard.
thanks again ovidiu
i will think twice about which razor i will buy so the arc6 shaves just as close as the fx2 no difference to see? just like you say you have to shave your head with the fx2 every 2 days right? at 3 or 4 days would the stubble be too long? but the arc 6 has no problem with it?
I’m from Germany how expensive is the FX2 in euros? and I think every 6 months you have to replace the shaving head, right? with the Arc 6 every 18 months only ?
After using both I’d say the Arc 6 requires a bit more work to get the same closeness as the FX2. But if the hair is longer (4 days) the Arc 6 will be slightly faster and more effective. The FX2 should ideally be used on short hair (like two days, maybe stretching it to three). If the hair is longer the FX2 will need more work and slower strokes for an effective shave.
The prices vary a lot depending on the stores as well, so you should just check out any local/online stores that sell it (the FX2 is nevertheless a lot cheaper than an Arc 6). As I said in the previous comments, there are multiple factors that will influence how fast you’ll need to change the shaving head. But the Arc 6 will definitely last longer.
thank you ovidiu
one more question does the Braun series 9pro shaving head shave closer than the old shaving head from series 9?
and does the Panasonic Arc6 also have a shaving head display with dashes when it needs to be replaced, like the Braun series 9 pro? greeting.
I’d say the 9 Pro head shaves slightly closer when used on a Series 9 Pro shaver. I tried the 9 Pro head on my regular Series 9 and the closeness seemed the same. The Arc 6 head only displays a replacement head notification when the shaver estimates 18 months have passed.
thank you again if i should buy the babyliss FX2 i shave my head every 2 to 3 days how long do you think the shaving head would last when does it have to be replaced every 6 months is that possible?
and do you think the nuee fx3 shaved closer than the fx2 and even more gently? because I’ve read that the fx2 should be better
I haven’t used the FX3, so I can’t say if the closeness is any better. But it should be very similar in my opinion. I think at that rate you should be able to get at least 6 months (BaByliss doesn’t really give any info on when to replace them).
PS: you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions, I think it’ll be easier that way. 🙂