Panasonic ER-GK60-S Review: Different, But Is It Any Good?

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Panasonic ER-GK60-S Review: Different, But Is It Any Good?

Review Summary

Pros: fast, comfortable, excellent build quality, easy to use and to clean, fantastic battery life

Cons: not great for shaving the groin area, charging takes a long time

Our Rating:

(4 out of 5 stars overall)

Value for money:

Features:

Performance:

Buy the Panasonic ER-GK60-S

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Although Panasonic makes a wide variety of electric shavers and beard trimmers, it was never particularly involved in the production of body groomers.

That all changed with the introduction of its uniquely V-shaped hair trimmers in the i-Shaper line.

The Panasonic ER-GK60-S (ER-GK60-S503 being the full name) is by far the most popular model and in this review, I’m going to share everything you need to know about it after testing the trimmer for almost a month.

We’ll check out the pros and cons, see when it would be a suitable option and also take a look at a few alternatives, both from Panasonic and from other brands.

Let’s get started.

Side note: There’s a white variation as well called the Panasonic ER-GK60-W. Apart from the color, it’s absolutely identical to the one in this review.

ER-GK60-S features overview

1. V-Shaped Head

The V-shaped head of the Panasonic ER-GK60-S.

The Panasonic ER-GK60-S is a body hair trimmer with an unconventional design.

Precisely, the blade is positioned longitudinally (inline) relative to the body of the shaver.

In contrast, pretty much all other groomers out there feature cutters that sit perpendicularly to the main body.

According to Panasonic, their approach allows you to easily trim hard to reach areas thanks to the slim, V-shaped head.

You can use either side of the wedge-like head, which is really practical when you need to hold it with your other hand for example.

However, as we’ll see in the performance section of the review, this solution also has a couple of relatively minor shortcomings.

2. Trimmer attachments

The Skinguard (groin attachment) and the 3mm and 6mm combs, respectively.

The Skinguard (groin attachment) and the 3mm and 6mm combs, respectively.

The ER-GK60-S comes with 3 comb attachments that you can use in order to obtain the desired hair length.

Precisely, there’s a so-called Skinguard attachment for groin and other sensitive areas (2mm) and two comb attachments for 3 and 6 mm hair length.

You can also trim the hair without using any of the attachments, the thin blade allowing you to get as close as 0.1mm.

3. Rounded edge blades

The rounded edge blades of the ER-GK60.

Image credits: Panasonic

To reduce the risks of cuts, the blades on the ER-GK60 have beveled, rounded edges, allowing you to use the trimmer without any attachments.

However, when used on very sensitive areas (like for example the genital area), you should always use one of the guards.

We’ll see later on how effective and safe the design of the blades really is.

4. Cordless, wet & dry operation

This trimmer is fully waterproof, so you can safely rinse it with water or use it in the shower or with shaving cream.

It can only be operated cordless, the rechargeable battery providing up to 40 minutes of use according to Panasonic.

Again, in real-life use, things turned out to be quite different as you’ll see.

Build quality and ergonomics

The Panasonic ER-GK60 feels very solid and well put together.

This Panasonic has excellent build quality.

It’s made entirely out of plastic, but it’s a high-quality material, with no flexing, creaking or rough edges.

With body groomers, this is particularly reflected in the quality of the comb attachments which are often flimsy and feel cheap.

Fortunately, that’s not the case here. They are sturdy and snap very securely to the trimmer.

The three comb attachments included with the trimmer.

The three comb attachments included with the Panasonic ER-GK60.

But the best part about the 3 attachments that come with the ER-GK60-S is how easy the glide over the skin even when it’s damp.

This is again a major issue with most other body trimmers; if you sweat even a bit, they will get stuck, skip over the skin and it will be a pain to shave without using some baby powder.

I’m happy to say that with this trimmer it’s a non-issue.

All the attachments glide effortlessly on the skin, thanks mainly to their shape and the type of plastic used.

At 137 grams, the ER-GK60-S is fairly lightweight as well, definitely lighter than the double-head Philips groomers, for example.

This, together with the slim body make using this Panasonic very enjoyable.

Even though it doesn’t have any rubberized areas, the ribbed and matte body provides adequate grip.

The way you hold and use this groomer with its unusual V-shaped head actually works really well most of the time, but I’ll share more details in the performance section.

Holding the trimmer in different ways.

Holding the trimmer in different ways. Image credits: Panasonic AU

As for negatives, the charger is basically a charging stand and it’s quite bulky and heavy.

But that’s pretty much it, the Panasonic ER-GK60-S fares really well in terms of build quality and ergonomics.

Included accessories

The accessories included with the Panasonic ER-GK60-S.

Here’s what you’ll find inside box:

  • Panasonic ER-GK60-S body hair trimmer
  • 3 attachments: one groin attachment and 2 combs (3 and 6mm)
  • Charging stand
  • Travel pouch
  • Cleaning brush
  • Lubricating oil
  • User manual & warranty card

For the price of this groomer, you’re getting quite a decent bundle.

I rarely see a lubricant included for example.

The travel pouch is disappointing though — just a cloth bag that looks and feels cheap.

There’s no protective cap included, but you can actually use the groin attachment as it can act just like one and protect the blade.

Battery life and charging

I must admit that the battery was probably one of my main concerns with the ER-GK60, at least when I first saw the specs.

Precisely, it comes with a rechargeable NiMh battery that is rated for only 40 minutes of cordless use and takes a rather hefty 8 hours to charge from 0 to 100%.

Moreover, NiMh batteries are a bit more problematic than Li-ion batteries that are pretty much the norm these days.

For example, you’ll have to charge the trimmer for 18 hours continuously at least once every 6 months to rejuvenate the battery.

Also, even though you can charge it anytime you want, the manufacturer recommends to do it when the battery is completely discharged.

Fortunately, there’s a silver lining and a rather significant one.

I constantly got more than one and a half hours of use from a single charge, which is outstanding.

It is more than double the 40 minutes claimed by the manufacturer and in this regard, the Panasonic ER-GK60-S is one of the best body groomers out there.

The motor will also be able to maintain adequate power until the very last second, which is again unexpected and a pleasant surprise.

Unfortunately, there’s no battery level indicator, not even a basic LED.

When using the ER-GK60-S for the first time, Panasonic recommends charging it for at least 18 hours.

Charging the Panasonic ER-GK60-S.

The charging stand is quite large and heavy and has a red LED on the front that lights up continuously when the groomer is in position.

However, it never turns off, not even when the battery is fully charged, so it’s rather redundant.

My unit was bought in Europe and came with a charger that accepts an input voltage of 220-230v.

The ones sold in other parts of the world, for example in the USA, will come with a 110-120 volts charger.

So unfortunately, there’s no universal voltage adapter allowing you to use the European charger in the USA (unless you use a separate voltage converter).

Overall, it’s a bit of a mixed bag, but the excellent battery autonomy on a single charge pretty much makes up for the rest of the negatives.

It just keeps going and 90 minutes of use should be plenty for anyone’s needs.

Panasonic ER-GK60-S performance

This trimmer is marketed by Panasonic as an all-in-one solution for a man’s grooming needs.

panasonic-er-gk60-s

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As such, it comes with one attachment for sensitive areas, 2 combs and you can also use it without the attachments (with some exceptions).

For the purpose of this review, I tested the ER-GK60-S for almost a month.

I used it for manscaping and for trimming the hair on my legs, forearms, abs, chest and armpits.

I also took advantage of all the attachments and they do alter the experience significantly.

For that reason, I will go over what it’s like to use each of them and what are the pros and cons when trimming different areas.

Using the groin attachment (Skinguard)

Closeup of the Skinguard attachment.

This attachment is intended to be used when trimming your groin/genital area, bikini line, armpits or basically any area that would require some extra protection.

You can of course use it to trim the hair on the rest of your body if you want it really short (2mm).

In fact, this is how I used it most of the time on my abs, chest and legs where I like to keep the hair quite short.

At 2mm, the hair would be too short for my liking on the forearms, so I used the 3mm comb instead. But we’ll get back to that one later on.

Now, as mentioned previously, Panasonic intended the Skinguard attachment to be primarily used for manscaping.

The groin area is very sensitive, the skin is very thin, so it makes sense to be extra cautious.

However, the problem with the Skinguard is that it simply won’t cut those thicker, wiry flat-lying hairs efficiently.

No matter how thorough I was, the trimmer would simply go over the skin without cutting the hairs.

Interestingly, this wasn’t a problem when using the Skinguard on other areas of the body.

I think the thicker hair in the groin area was the culprit. Using this attachment on my legs for example was a lot better.

Also, when it finally managed to capture and cut the hairs down there, the hair was just too long at 2mm.

Most men (myself included) prefer to have the hair in the groin area cut at skin level and that’s obviously impossible with this attachment.

The takeaway is that the attachment designed specifically for the genital area is almost useless for its intended purpose.

After several tries, I simply gave up and used the ER-GK60-S without any attachments.

The groomer with no attachment.

I strongly recommend against doing this when trimming the groin area — it’s explicitly mentioned in the user’s manual and you can actually get injured.

In fact, I ended up with a few nicks.

Using the Panasonic ER-GK60-S down there without any attachments wasn’t particularly great either.

While it did cut the hairs close to the skin, there were some things that really bogged me.

First of all, because of the way you hold the trimmer, it makes it really difficult to shave the hip joint area — despite the narrow head.

The blade is also quite wide and it puts some strain on your wrist when you try to hold it flat against the skin.

Secondly, the exposed blade is not as forgiving as the one on a Philips Bodygroomer for example. Whenever I was a bit sloppy, it would pinch the skin and it even caused some light bleeding.

Thirdly, the hair clippings would just fly all over the place. I’ve used many body groomers in the same manner and the Panasonic ER-GK60-S is by far the messiest.

All these things really made my manscaping session take a lot longer than usual and I still couldn’t get all the stray hairs.

In comparison, using the Philips Norelco BG 7030 was a breeze:  a lot faster, easier to use, more comfortable and it cuts the hairs closer to the skin.

So if you’re a man that likes to have the groin area shaved clean, the ER-GK60-S is probably not for you.

The results just aren’t good enough, no matter if you use the specially designed Skinguard attachment or none at all (which again, you shouldn’t).

On the bright side, when I trimmed the hair on my legs, abs and chest with this attachment, it was a completely different story.

Trimming the hair on the legs.

It simply worked great, the hairs were cut effortlessly with no irritation and as mentioned previously, the head of the shaver just glides over the skin even when it’s sweaty.

As you can see from the image above, you must hold one side of the V-shaped head flat against the skin and always go against the grain.

By the way, the trimmer and particularly the head looks huge in the photos, but it really isn’t.

I love the fact that you can use both sides of the head, it’s really useful in practice.

I think it took me less time to shave my legs, abs and chest with the ER-GK60 + Skinguard than with any other groomers I’ve used before.

So in conclusion, this groin attachment is pretty much useless for shaving the groin area, but works extremely well on the rest of the body. Which is odd, to say the least, but definitely something to keep in mind.

Using the 3 and 6mm comb attachments

Using the comb attachments.

Given the rather mixed experience I’ve had with the Skinguard, I didn’t have high expectations from the two combs.

In fact, I was pretty certain that they will perform poorly.

Luckily, it wasn’t so at all and using them proved to be one of the best parts about the Panasonic ER-GK60-S.

I used mostly the 3mm comb attachment as the other one would leave the hair a bit too long for my liking at 6mm. But they do work equally well.

There are a few reasons for that.

First of all, the attachment managed to capture body hair surprisingly well. It did struggle in certain areas, like the wrists, ankles, knee caps — generally more bony surfaces — but overall it was good enough.

It is quite a large comb, even the 3mm one, so maneuvering it in those areas was more difficult.

Second, it glides effortlessly over the skin, even when it’s slightly damp.

In that regard, I must say that it is among the best I’ve used so far, right up there with the Philips BG1026/60, but it is a lot sturdier than that one.

Finally, because it cuts the hairs efficiently and doesn’t get stuck on damp skin, I was able to complete a trimming session faster than usual.

I particularly enjoyed using it on my forearms and legs; the grip and blade orientation actually helped and it was very comfortable and easy to maneuver.

Using the 3mm comb attachment.

Due to the shape of the comb, you must hold it perpendicular to the area you’re trimming and move the trimmer against the direction of hair growth.

The 3mm comb seen from the top. The part that touches the skin is slightly curved in order to glide smoothly.

The 3mm comb seen from the top. The part that touches the skin is slightly curved in order to glide smoothly.

It also works well on the abs and chest.

If you only want to trim the bulk of your body hair and not have it really short, these 3 and 6mm combs will work great for that.

I will only be using the 3mm attachment on my forearms and go with the Skinguard for the rest of my body (again, simply because I like the hair quite short).

Using the trimmer with no attachment

Using the trimmer without an attachment.

As mentioned previously, I tried shaving my groin with no attachment and it wasn’t the best experience.

But using it on the rest of the body, especially on areas that aren’t tricky to shave (like your legs, chest and forearms), will work perfectly fine.

I mainly used the ER-GK60-S with no attachment to shave my armpits.

And for that, it really worked great. I got a very close shave, comparable to using a foil trimmer. It also took little time and was perfectly smooth and comfortable.

I still prefer something like a Philips Norelco BG7030 to shave my armpits as it’s easier to use due to the angled down shaving head.

The Philips is also a bit more forgiving than the Panasonic.

In conclusion, I’d say that there are mostly positive things to say about the Panasonic ER-GK60-S.

Using it to shave the genital area was a failure, at least in my case. However, for the rest of the body, it worked really well and it will be my new groomer of choice.

It’s fast, easy to use and the battery life is phenomenal,

I will be sticking to the Philips Bodygroom for manscaping though.

Noise level

The Panasonic ER-GK60 is reasonably quiet during use.

It is a lot better than most Philips body groomers for example that tend to vibrate a lot when you turn them on.

To me, this Panasonic sounds pretty much the same as a regular hair clipper, maybe just a bit louder.

Cleaning and maintenance

Panasonic recommends cleaning the trimmer after every use.

Luckily, the process is extremely easy and straightforward.

Since the ER-GK60 is waterproof, the most effective way to clean it is with warm tap water.

The user manual describes two methods of cleaning it, one for light dirt and another one for heavy dirt.

With the first one, you don’t need to remove the blade from the trimmer.

Instead, you must turn it on and simply let water run through the inlet at the back of the shaving head.

Cleaning the trimmer.

You do this for approximately 20 seconds, then turn it off and shake any excess water, pat dry with a towel and that’s pretty much it.

To be honest, I didn’t really like this approach as some hairs would still remain inside the trimmer’s head and it wasn’t really any quicker than removing the blade for better access.

And on top of that, it tends to splash water all around.

Which leads us to the second method.

With the trimmer turned off, you must first remove the blade by pressing the metal part to the left with your thumb (while holding the trimmer with the blade facing you).

Removing the blade.

The blade should easily pop out.

Generously rinse the blade, trimmer (also the inner part of the head) and any attachments with warm tap water.

Cleaning the ER-GK60 with water.

Shake them up and down several times, then wipe off the remaining water with a cloth.

Let the parts air dry completely (with the blade removed).

That’s all there is to it.

You also have the option to use the included brush if for some reason you can’t rinse the groomer with water.

With the trimmer turned off, you start by removing the attachment, then the blade and gently brush off any hair clippings from around the blade and the inner part of the head.

You must also remove the hairs trapped between the moving and stationary blade.

Pressing the cleaning lever to lift the top blade.

Panasonic included a handy little lever that you must press to raise the moving blade, allowing excellent access to remove any hairs trapped between the two blades.

I personally prefer to clean my trimmer with water; it’s faster, more efficient and less messy.

Lubrication

Panasonic recommends lubricating the blade before and after each use.

Lubricating the blade of the trimmer.

It’s a bit overkill in my opinion, so I only do it before using the trimmer when the blades are also completely dry.

The process is really simple and takes less than a minute.

With the trimmer turned off, you remove the blade and apply a drop of the included lubricant to each indicated point (also depicted by a sticker on the trimmer):

Lubricating points.

You then attach the blade to the main body and turn the groomer on for 5 seconds in order to distribute the oil evenly across the blade.

Even though lubricating the blade is really easy and takes little time, I must note that other body groomers like the BG7030 from Philips are basically maintenance-free, requiring no lubrication.

It’s a minor inconvenience, but it is there.

And you can definitely tell the difference. Once lubricated, the ER-GK60 runs quieter and the blades don’t get hot.

Trying to slide the moving blade manually for example feels a lot smoother after applying the oil.

Replacement parts availability

The blade must be replaced every 3 years. According to Panasonic, that is the expected life of the blade when using the trimmer for 10 minutes a week.

Replacing the removable blade.

Obviously, this will depend on how often you use the groomer, the coarseness of the hair and how well you take care of it (cleaning, lubrication).

The Panasonic ER-GK60-S uses the WER9500 (ER9500) replacement blade.

WER9500

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At least at the moment of writing the review, the part is a bit pricey.

Things will likely change for the better since the ER-GK60 is a relatively new product.

Wrapup—Who should buy the ER-GK60-S?

The Panasonic ER-GK60-S is an excellent body groomer with just a couple of caveats that may or may not be deal-breakers.

panasonic-er-gk60-s

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It’s very well built, easy to use, comfortable and the unconventional design of the head is genuinely useful in most situations.

The battery life is outstanding and makes up for the long 8 hour charging time and the lack of any battery level indicator.

The attachments are of high quality and allow you to easily get the desired hair length.

You can also use the blade directly, but not on sensitive body parts like the groin area.

That is the main negative of the ER-GK60 in my opinion — it performs underwhelming when used for manscaping.

The specially designed groin attachment is pretty much useless as I mentioned in the performance section.

So that’s definitely something to keep in mind. And it really is a shame because if it wasn’t for that, the Panasonic ER-GK60-S would have been close to perfect.

I will still be using it consistently as it’s really fast and easy to use, but not for manscaping.

Which leads us to the next section.

Alternatives

The body groomer that I’ve mentioned throughout this review, the Philips Norelco BG7030/49, would be an excellent alternative.

Philips Norelco Bodygroom BG7030/49

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It has two shaving heads, one with two beveled blades and a foil for shaving hairs at skin level and another one with an integrated adjustable comb (3 to 11mm).

The foil head works great for shaving the groin area, it is fast, comfortable and shaves really close.

The trimmer with the adjustable comb attachment also works fairly well, but not as good as the Panasonic in my opinion.

Philips Bodygroom BG7030 and Panasonic ER-GK60-S.

Philips Bodygroom BG7030/49 and Panasonic ER-GK60-S.

First of all, it doesn’t glide quite as easy on the skin and because body hair generally grows downward, you’ll have to push instead of pulling, which is not ideal.

It’s also easy to clean, the parts last a long time and are cheap, it has excellent battery life and doesn’t require lubrication.

It is however a bit larger and heavier than the ER-GK60.

Panasonic ER-GK80

gk80

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This is basically an improved version of the ER-GK60.

There are two main differences between the two models.

First of all, the ER-GK80 only takes 1 hour to charge.

Secondly, instead of the two 3 and 6mm combs, it comes with an adjustable attachment that allows more granular control over the length of the hair, ranging from 3 to 11mm (in 1mm increments).

It is available in two variations, black (ER-GK80-K) and silver (ER-GK80-S) and at last in Europe, it costs pretty much the same as the ER-GK60.

It is pretty difficult to get in the USA though, at least at this moment.

So if the ER-GK60 seems like a suitable trimmer for your needs, but you can also get the ER-GK80 for approximately the same money, you might as well go with the latter.

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