Panasonic ES-LV65-S Review: Underrated And Impressive

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Panasonic ES-LV65-S Review: Underrated And Impressive
Editor's choice

Review Summary

The good: one of the closest shaving electric razors, fast and powerful, comfortable, wet & dry use, easy to clean, excellent build quality, extensive list of included accessories, useful LED display, excellent pop-up trimmer, great battery life, good value for money

The bad: the large shaving head may need some getting used to, replacement foils and blades are pricey, wiry and flat lying hairs require more passes, soft travel case

Our Rating:

(4.5 out of 5 stars overall)

Value for money:

Features:

Performance:

Shop Panasonic ES-LV65-S Arc 5

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The competition in the high-end electric shavers segment is fierce, with the three big names in the industry — Braun, Philips Norelco and Panasonic — offering some fantastic products.

Braun’s range-topping line is the Series 9, Philips Norelco has the Series 9000 Prestige, while Panasonic wants to take the first spot with its Arc 5 family of electric shavers.

Launched back in 2009, the Arc 5 line is currently at the third generation and almost all the different models are still widely available.

In this review we’ll take a close look at what I consider to be the most compelling of all Arc 5 variations, the Panasonic ES-LV65-S from the second generation.

Choosing a suitable shaver can be difficult with all the different products, variations and conflicting information regarding which one would be a better fit for you.

Since the Panasonic ES-LV65-S has quite a lot going on, this is going to be a very comprehensive article that’ll cover every important aspect of this particular model, including shaving performance, the good and the bad parts, how it compares to other Arc 5 variations and, of course, its direct competitors.

Let’s get started!

Features overview

As usual, we’ll kick off our Panasonic ES-LV65-S review with a quick look over the main features, without getting too hung up on the technical specs and marketing fluff.

5 blade shaving system

Being part of Panasonic’s Arc 5 family of shavers, the ES-LV65-S exhibits the defining characteristics of this line: an arched profile of the foils (hence the Arc name) and a whopping 5 blade shaving head.

Panasonic ES-LV65-S 5 blade shaving head

Panasonic ES-LV65-S 5 blade shaving head

It’s worth mentioning that the Arc 5 is currently the only line of foil shavers that has 5 individual cutting elements. As a side note, Braun tried suggesting that its Series 9 also has 5 cutting elements, but that’s just downright false.

So we have 5 cutters that form a massive shaving head. Excessive? Maybe. We’ll see how this translates into the actual shaving performance later on.

The idea behind a multiple blade shaving system is to reduce the time it takes to complete a shave and to have specially designed cutters for tackling short, long and flat-lying hairs.

With the ES-LV65-S Arc 5, we have the following configuration of the shaving head:

Panasonic ES-LV65-S shaving head components

1. Two finishing foils. These are the outermost shaving elements and are responsible for cutting short stubble very close to the skin.

2. Two reverse tapered foils called Lift Tech foils that supposedly lift and cut hairs that grow parallel to the skin. These two foils flank the middle trimmer.

3. One slit blade. This middle trimmer has specially designed slots for capturing longer hairs and cutting them down to size; the hairs are then cut at skin level by the other cutters.

The blades that oscillate behind the foils and do the actual cutting are Panasonic’s well-known 30 degrees nano-blades.

Despite the marketing terminology, these blades really are fantastic. They’re used throughout the entire Panasonic range of shavers, even on the entry level Arc 3 models and contribute to making them the closest shaving shavers in their respective class.

What makes these blades unique is the aggressive 30 degrees bevel that allows them to cut the hairs clean and efficiently.

Just like with the Arc 3 and Arc 4, there are only 2 inner removable blades.

The inner blades of the Panasonic ES-LV65-S Arc 5

The inner blades of the Panasonic ES-LV65-S Arc 5

For the ES-LV65-S the inner blades correspond to the reverse tapered foils. The other 3 are integrated into the foil assembly itself.

14 000 CPM motor with Shaving Sensor technology

The Panasonic ES-LV65-S is equipped with the fastest motor on any electric shaver, a unit capable of delivering 14 000 CPM (cycles per minute).

As a comparison, the Series 9 from Braun has a 10 000 CPM motor.

Of course, speed isn’t everything, but this is a beast of a motor and contributes massively to the shaving performance of Panasonic’s Arc 5 shavers.

The ES-LV65-S features a technology seen on other high-end models as well that allows the shaver to read the beard density and adjust the power output accordingly.

You can use the ES-LV65-S with the sensor technology enabled or you can disable it altogether and get full power for the entire shaving session.

I tested the shaver both ways and I’ll share my thoughts later on in the performance section.

Flexing shaving head

All the advanced electric razors have some sort of flexing/pivoting capabilities that help with maintaining contact with the skin.

The third generation Arc 5 probably has the most advanced shaving head of any foil razor with regards to flexing and pivoting, but the ES-LV65-S is not too bad either.

While it lacks the ability to be depressed, the shaving head of the ES-LV65-S can pivot back and forth and also from left to right.

The motion is buttery smooth and works very well during use.

The head can also be locked in a fixed position when more precision is required.

Fully waterproof, wet & dry operation

Like all modern Panasonic electric shavers, the ES-LV65-S Arc 5 can be used both wet & dry (you cannot shave when the razor is plugged in and charging though).

Being fully waterproof, you can shave in the shower, use it with your favorite shaving cream and easily clean it with water.

Miscellaneous

Other noteworthy features of the ES-LV65-S include: 45 minutes cordless operation, pop-up trimmer, LED display, travel lock, 100-240V (Automatic International Dual Voltage Conversion).

Build quality and ergonomics

Upon taking a first glance at the ES-LV65-S I immediately noticed that it doesn’t look as flashy as the official photos might suggest.

And depending on your preferences, that may be a good or a bad thing.

I personally think that it’s one of the better-looking shavers out there.

Panasonic ES-LV65-S design

I like the elegant silver and black color scheme that works great with its modern design. Despite being launched in 2013, the ES-LV65-S looks very up to date.

Design-wise, it’s definitely a go from me.

Panasonic ES-LV65-S Arc 5

Panasonic es-lv65-s Arc 5

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On the front of the shaver there’s a glossy black fascia that surrounds the controls and the LED display.

Around that glossy black surface there’s a silver trim that has a matte finish, which I definitely prefer.

The ON/OFF button is fairly small in size and has a very short travel, but it’s very clicky and responsive.

There’s a locking ring surrounding the power button that has two positions. Aligning the small knob with the padlock will lock the ON/OFF button, making it impossible to turn the shaver on by accident.

Panasonic ES-LV65-S travel lock (locked position)

Panasonic ES-LV65-S travel lock (locked position)

Rotating the ring clockwise will unlock the power button. This is a simple and convenient implementation that we’ve seen on several Arc 4 and Arc 3 models as well.

Panasonic ES-LV65-S travel lock (unlocked position)

Panasonic ES-LV65-S travel lock (unlocked position)

Below the controls there’s the LED display that shows quite a bit of useful information, including the shave duration, remaining battery, shaving sensor mode, cleaning reminder. It will also show you when it’s time to replace the foils and blades.

When pressing the ON/OFF button, the ES-LV65-S will always start with the shaving sensor enabled, signaled by the blinking of the corresponding icon.

The ES-LV65-S turned on with the shaving sensor activated.

The ES-LV65-S turned on with the shaving sensor activated.

When shaving in sensor mode, the icon will blink throughout your entire shaving session.

To disable the sensor mode and shave with full power the whole time, simply press again the ON/OFF button when the shaver is turned on in sensor mode. This will deactivate the sensor, signaled by turning off the icon.

You can also hear this as the pitch of the sound will slightly increase.

The sides are made of a lightly textured, but extremely grippy material that extends to the back of the shaver as well.

Panasonic ES-LV65-S features a generous rubberized surface

It provides a very secure grip, even when the shaver is wet or covered in foam.

The back of the ES-LV65-S definitely has more things going on compared to most other shavers.

Panasonic ES-LV65-S Arc 5 back

Starting from the top, we have a pop-up trimmer on the shaving head itself that sits perpendicularly when deployed.

Below the trimmer you’ll find a switch that has 3 positions.

Panasonic ES-LV65-S multi-purpose switch

The three positions of the Panasonic ES-LV65-S multi-purpose switch

In the first one, the shaving head can pivot and move freely.

The second position locks the head, preventing it from any flexing and allowing better control when shaving a tight spot.

Finally, the third position activates the pop-up trimmer.

Further down you’ll see three round shapes that barely protrude and actually do nothing. They are just blanks and are replaced by metal studs on the ES-LV95-S variation that comes with an automatic cleaning station.

On that particular model the metal contacts are used to charge the razor when placed into the station.

At the bottom there’s the charging port and as mentioned previously, the shaver can’t be used while plugged in as a safety precaution.

The build quality, finishing, and the overall feel are excellent. In fact, I would go as far as saying that Panasonic currently offers the best build quality out of all electric shaver manufacturers.

Panasonic ES-LV65-S scores high for design and build quality

The latest Arc 5 iteration with models like ES-LV9N have taken this to the next level and feature a brushed metal body.

However, the ES-LV65-S is still impressive, particularly when compared to the plasticky Series 9.

Everything feels sturdy and well built, with the foil frame and protective cap snapping easily and securely into place.

When it comes to ergonomics, The ES-LV65-S scores very high as well, despite the large shaving head that may take some getting used to.

The body is overall very compact for a 5 blade shaver; here it is alongside the 3 blade Braun Series 5 5090cc:

Panasonic ES-LV65-S size comparison against the Braun Series 5

The sculpted profile of the body makes it very comfortable to hold.

The ES-LV65-S feels great in the hand

At 6.9oz (195 grams), the Panasonic ES-LV65-S is surprisingly light. Despite the massive appearance of the shaving head, it’s very well balanced.

I was expecting the shaver to be top heavy, but it’s actually not.

The construction and craftsmanship of the massive shaving head are something to behold.

Overall, the Panasonic ES-LV65-S gets almost everything right with regards to build quality and ergonomics.

Included accessories

Inside the box you’ll find the following neatly packed items:

  • Panasonic ES-LV65-S electric shaver
  • Charging cord
  • Protective cap
  • Cleaning brush
  • One small bottle of lubricant
  • Travel case
  • User’s manual and warranty card

Panasonic ES-LV65-S Arc 5 included accessories

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As you can see, the bundle is pretty extensive and covers just about everything. I am particularly pleased with the inclusion of the lubricant, this really should be standard with any electric shaver that doesn’t come with a cleaning station.

The travel case looks good and it’s definitely welcome, but unfortunately it’s made out of the same faux leather material that offers limited protection compared to the hard travel case used by Braun for example.

The travel case included with the ES-LV65-S (left) vs the one shipped by Braun with the Series 5, 7 and 9 (right).

The travel case included with the ES-LV65-S (left) vs the one shipped by Braun with the Series 5, 7 and 9 (right).

But unlike Braun, Panasonic also includes a plastic cap that covers the very sensitive foils, so we can let this one slide.

Panasonic ES-LV65-S protective cap

Battery life and charging

The Panasonic ES-LV65-S has a built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery and can only be operated cordless, meaning you won’t be able to shave with the razor plugged in. This is a safety precaution since the ES-LV65-S is suitable for wet & dry use.

The battery life of this shaver is excellent. Panasonic says that you’ll get around 45 minutes of shaving time from a fully charged battery and that’s actually pretty accurate.

Another good thing is that the motor can operate at peak power even when the battery is almost depleted, with no significant drop in performance.

The battery capacity lamp will show you in percentages the remaining battery charge. Right below there’s a graphic element that depicts the same thing using a circle comprised of 6 segments.

ES-LV65-S display during charging

All the segments apart from the bottom one represent 20% of the battery charge. The bottom segment is only used to signal a low battery by blinking when the charge drops below 10%.

You’ll still be able to complete one or two shaves in this situation.

With the shaver turned on, instead of the battery percentage, the display will show you the elapsed time since you started your shaving session.

Panasonic ES-LV65-S showing the elapsed shaving session time

The elapsed time and battery capacity are only shown for 5 seconds once you start the shaver and are then turned off. After you’ve finished shaving and stop the shaver, the lamps will light up again and turn off after 8 seconds.

This timer is actually pretty useful in helping you get an idea of how long it takes you to shave and you can for example compare how different changes in your technique actually help you shave faster.

Charging the ES-LV65-S from 0 to 100% takes a little less than one hour. During this time the corresponding charging lamp will glow continuously.

While charging, the battery percentage lamp will increase from 0 to 100%. The charging brick is fitted with an automatic voltage converter, allowing it to adapt to any voltage between 100 and 240v.

Depending on where you buy it, the charging cord of the Panasonic ES-LV65-S can come with a USA or a European plug.

Shaving performance

All right, let’s now get to what really matters: how well does the Panasonic ES-LV65-S shave?

In short, amazing.

Apart from a couple of gotchas, this is without a doubt one of the best electric shavers you can currently buy and it doesn’t have a prohibitive price either.

Panasonic ES-LV65-S Arc 5

Panasonic es-lv65-s Arc 5

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No, it’s not the latest Arc 5 model anymore, but trust me, the ES-LV65-S is a beast of a shaver.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve used an Arc 5, so the results of this review didn’t really come as a surprise to me.

Closeness

Different men want different things from an electric shaver, a close shave being among the priorities.

If closeness is particularly important to you, the Panasonic ES-LV65-S should be on the top of your list.

On paper things look very good for this model: powerful motor, sharp blades and a high-quality shaving head.

Luckily, these features also translate into a stellar real-world performance as the shaver manages to provide an impressively close shave.

The Panasonic ES-LV65-S has a high-quality shaving unit

I would go as far as saying that this is probably the closest shaving electric razor I’ve ever used.

I happen to have two problem areas, with very dense and coarse hair — right above my upper lip and on my chin — and most electric shavers fail to provide a very close shave.

The Panasonic ES-LV65-S manages to get closer than pretty much all the shavers I’ve tested so far. In fact, when using it with shaving cream the results are on par with what I would get from a razor blade (minus the rashes and nicks).

I also noticed that when I shave with ES-LV65-S it takes longer for my beard to grow and to actually feel the stubble when I run my fingers over the skin. I can only blame this on the fantastic closeness of the shave.

Compared to other high-end shavers like the Braun Series 9 or Philips Norelco Series 9000/S9000 Prestige, the ES-LV65-S comes on top when it comes strictly to the closeness of the shave.

Speed

A welcome side effect of having a powerful motor and a massive shaving head is speed.

Completing a shave with the ES-LV65-S, especially when shaving a shorter beard, takes less time compared to most other shavers.

Even in the case of very coarse facial hair, this razor will be fast and effortless to use.

With certain shavers I would sometimes notice a change in the sound during use, vibrations and even get the feeling that the razor is struggling.

Not a hint of that with this one, it just mows through the stubble with ease.

And speaking of sound, the ES-LV65-S is reasonably quiet for a foil shaver fitted with a powerful motor. It’s definitely quieter and more refined compared to my ES-LA63-S Arc 4 shaver. It’s still nowhere near as quiet as a rotary shaver, but that’s to be expected.

Comfort

Panasonic shavers usually edge the competition for sheer power and closeness, regardless if we’re talking about high-end models like the Arc 5 or entry-level Arc 3 razors.

However, things aren’t always that good when it comes to comfort.

Because of the extremely close shaves, Panasonics can be a bit aggressive, especially if you suffer from sensitive skin like myself.

I’ve experienced this with several Arc 3 and Arc 4 models. What made things worse was that the foils and particularly the slit trimmers would get really hot after a few minutes of use.

I was very surprised that despite having a similar shaving system, the ES-LV65-S actually remained reasonably cool even after an extended shaving session.

At least in my case, this vastly improved the comfort compared to other Panasonic models.

No, it’s still not as comfortable and smooth as a Braun Series 9 which is in my opinion the most forgiving and gentle shaver out there, but if you don’t have very sensitive skin I think you should be just fine using the ES-LV65-S.

Just make sure not to apply too much pressure as it will definitely let you know.

Adding a pre-shave lotion will also help in this case.

Wet & dry use

All Panasonic shavers are suitable for wet & dry use. You can shave in the shower or with your shaving cream of choice if you’re into that.

I personally enjoy wet shaving quite a bit and I don’t mind spending more time on prep work and cleaning.

The Panasonic ES-LV65-S works great with a shaving cream

I usually get a closer and more comfortable shave doing so.

In my experience, Panasonic electric shavers work better than any other brand when used with shaving cream.

The ES-LV65-S is a joy to use in this manner and the addition of a quality shaving cream makes it very comfortable, definitely suitable for sensitive skin.

Most men that will end up buying this shaver will probably be using it dry for the convenience, but it’s useful to know that you can further improve the comfort if you have very sensitive skin.

Shaving longer hairs

Longer, flat-lying hairs often pose a problem for most electric shavers, particularly the basic ones. And this seems to affect foil shavers to a higher degree.

The Panasonic ES-LV65-S is definitely not a basic shaver and most of the time it deals pretty well with longer hairs.

However, when it comes to hairs that lie flat on the skin it does struggle a bit and requires more strokes to capture them.

Despite fitting the shaving head with the so-called reverse tapered edges foil, it’s just not as good as the Series 9 from Braun when shaving longer hairs that grow parallel to the skin and in different directions.

If you shave often this won’t be a problem, but if your routine implies shaving every two to three days or more and you have wiry, flat hairs, the ES-LV65-S will require more effort on your side to get all the hairs.

In this case you should take a look at the Braun Series 9 or the Philips Norelco Series 9000 which are arguably better at shaving longer, flat-lying hairs.

Having used the latest Arc 5 with the redesigned foils that are supposedly better in this regard, I can honestly tell you that they’re not. So in my opinion that’s a not a valid reason to consider them over the ES-LV65-S.

Sensor mode vs Normal mode

One of the most intriguing features of the Panasonic ES-LV65-S has to be the shaving sensor that supposedly detects the beard density and adjusts the power output accordingly.

I’ve used other shavers in the past that had similar technologies, one of them being the Series 7 with its personalization modes.

To be perfectly honest, none of the different implementations managed to improve the actual results to a significant degree and it’s the same story here.

When you first turn on the ES-LV65-S by pressing the power button the shaver will automatically start in sensor mode. This is also signaled by the blinking of the corresponding lamp on the LED display.

With the shaver turned on in sensor mode, pressing the power button one more time will deactivate the sensor and the razor will run in full throttle mode.

Upon deactivating the sensor the lamp will turn off and you’ll also notice a slight increase in the sound, signaling the fact that the motor is running at the highest output.

The sensor really works, meaning you can actually hear the shaver adjusting. But in terms of closeness, speed or comfort there isn’t really any difference. In fact, I’ll argue that having full power for your entire shave can only be beneficial to your results.

After testing both settings I always chose to deactivate the sensor and simply shave in normal mode.

Pop-up trimmer

I consider these hair trimmers to be extremely useful for touch-ups and light grooming; however, on many occasions, their design and implementation leave much to be desired.

The placement, width, and sharpness are often screwed up by the manufacturers.

With Panasonic shavers the placement is usually the culprit, the trimmer being obscured by the massive heads.

The Panasonic ES-LV65-S popup trimmer has a really good placement

Luckily, the trimmer on the ES-LV65-S is positioned quite well.

Firstly, despite the large surface of the 5 blade shaving system, the head is actually not that tall and the trimmer sits pretty close to the top.

Secondly, if you remove the foil frame and the two inner blades, you actually end up with a perfect setup with the trimmer not being obscured at all.

The Panasonic ES-LV65-S popup trimmer

With the foils and blades removed, using the trimmer of the ES-LV65-S is a breeze.

It’s probably not optimal to use it for trimming your entire beard, but for shaping your sideburns or goatee it works great.

It’s adequately wide and sharp, cutting the hairs very efficiently and I never experienced any pulling or pinching.

In conclusion, the shaving performance of the Panasonic ES-LV65-S Arc 5 — particularly the closeness — is top notch.

Cleaning and maintenance

Part of the second generation Arc 5 line, the Panasonic ES-LV65-S is a model that doesn’t include an automatic cleaning and charging station.

And in all honesty, you really don’t need one despite the fact that Panasonic’s cleaning stations are excellent (reasonably fast and with lower running costs compared to Braun for example).

I say this simply because the ES-LV65-S is very easy to clean and it really takes less than a minute to do it.

If you absolutely must have the station, then you can opt for the Panasonic ES-LV95-S which is identical to the ES-LV65-S reviewed here but it also includes an automatic cleaning base.

There are a few reasons why Panasonic electric shavers are generally among the easiest to clean manually and the ES-LV65-S exhibits all of them:

  • It is fully waterproof and can be easily rinsed under tap water.
  • The design of the shaving head offers generous access to clean the foils on the inside.
  • The two inner blades are completely exposed and can be cleaned thoroughly.
  • The sonic cleaning mode makes the blades vibrate extremely fast (17 000 CPM compared to the usual 14 000 CPM) and dislodges any traces of dirt.

The inner part of the ES-LV65-S foil block

I usually opt for Panasonic shavers that don’t include a cleaning station and I actually recommend you to do the same.

Again, they’re dead easy to clean and you’ll also be saving some money as the shavers themselves cost less and you won’t have to buy the cleaning detergent.

Panasonic ES-LV65-S Arc 5

Panasonic es-lv65-s Arc 5

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Let’s see how to clean the Panasonic ES-LV65-S efficiently and fast.

Once you’ve finished shaving, remove the foil frame and gently tap it on the edge of your sink to get rid of most of the hairs.

Snap the foils back on to the shaver, pour a little liquid soap on the foils, add some water and press and hold the ON/OFF button for more than 2 seconds.

This will activate the cleaning mode. After 20 seconds, the shaver will automatically turn off. You can also turn it off earlier by pressing the ON/OFF button.

Remove the outer foils again and press the power button for more than two seconds. When the shaver starts in the cleaning mode, rinse the inner blades under running water. Wash the foil assembly with water as well, both the inside and the outside.

Shake off any excess water, then gently pat dry with a cloth. That’s it.

There’s also a cleaning brush included that you can use to remove the hairs, but I highly recommend the method described above.

Lubricating the ES-LV65-S

The Panasonic ES-LV65-S includes a small bottle of lubricantTo prolong the lifespan of the foils and blades, you should lubricate them regularly using the included oil.

This is particularly important if you use liquid soap to clean your shaver as that removes any traces of lubrication from the blades.

With the ES-LV65-S, performing this operation is as easy as putting a single drop of lubricant on each foil.

You then let the shaver run for a few seconds, turn it off, then gently pat the foils with a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.

You can read more about the importance of lubricating your razor here.

Replacement parts availability

The ES-LV65-S uses Panasonic’s WES9032P foil & blade replacement combo.

Panasonic WES9032P foils & blades

WES9032P

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The same part was used by the first generation Arc 5 shavers like the ES-LV61-A. It’s widely available and can also be bought online.

The foil and blade combo is a bit pricey, especially when compared to the direct competitor of the Arc 5 line, the Braun Series 9.

Panasonic recommends replacing the outer foil every year, while the two inner blades should be changed every two years.

In reality this is highly dependent on how you use your device and how coarse is your beard. Cleaning your ES-LV65-S after every use and lubricating it regularly will increase the life of the foils and blades.

Bonus tip: you can use the foils and blades of the latest Arc 5 generation on the ES-LV65-S and ES-LV95-S as well. The part numbers for those are WES9034P and WES9036.

New Arc 5 foils and blades

The new Arc 5 foils and blades with the distinctive golden comfort rollers.

Compared to the WES9032P that is fitted to the ES-LV65-S, the new foils are more comfortable. In my experience the closeness was pretty much the same.

Changing these parts is very easy; the inner blades can be removed by grabbing them by the extremities and simply pulling them out. Make sure to grab them by the ends as the blades are very sharp.

Removing the foils and blades is very easy

The foil assembly can be removed from the frame by pressing the two side tabs and pushing it in.

The LED display will also remind you when it’s time to replace the foils & blades by showing a check lamp about once a year.

Wrapup – who should buy it?

The Panasonic ES-LV65-S Arc 5 is one of the highest rated electric shavers out there and for good reason — it really is a fantastic product.

Panasonic ES-LV65-S Arc 5

Panasonic es-lv65-s Arc 5

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I can think of very few scenarios where you should overlook the Panasonic ES-LV65-S, so I’ll just get them out of the way.

If you have very sensitive skin that is prone to ingrown hairs and razor bumps, you should probably check out one of Braun’s top shavers like the Series 7 and 9 (more details in the next section).

Also, if you shave every two to three days or more and your facial hair is wiry, grows parallel to the skin and in different directions, again a Braun Series 9 would probably be a better option or even a rotary razor like the Philips Norelco 9300 or S9000 Prestige.

And that’s pretty much it. If your budget allows it, the ES-LV65-S is one of the best electric shavers out there, especially if you want a very close shave.

In this regard the ES-LV65-S is only edged by the latest Arc 5 models like the Panasonic ES-LV9N and mainly because the newer foils are more comfortable, allowing a more thorough shave.

However, the price of those shavers is still extremely high and I don’t think it’s worth spending that much money for an incremental improvement in performance.

If you have very coarse facial hair and want a very fast, powerful electric shaver that is able to get you extremely close shaves while still being adequately comfortable, then you should strongly consider the Panasonic ES-LV65-S.

It can often be found at an excellent price; in fact, it’s usually priced lower than a Braun Series 7. And while the Series 7 is more comfortable out of the box, the ES-LV65-S is more powerful, shaves closer and it is a lot easier to clean manually.

Alternative shavers

The first obvious alternative to the Panasonic ES-LV65-S would be its close relative, the ES-LV95-S.

Panasonic ES-LV95-S

ES-LV95-S

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As mentioned previously, this is an identical razor except that it comes with a cleaning and charging base.

Along with this second generation Arc 5, Panasonic also introduced the updated cleaning and charging stations.

The most important changes regarding the new stations are the use of concentrated detergent packs instead of cartridges, a more compact design of the station and some performance improvements.

As a result, the cleaning base included with the ES-LV95-S is really good and the costs per cleaning are lower compared to Braun.

The detergent sachets are cheaper and the cleaning solution that results from mixing the detergent with water tends to last more than Braun’s alcohol based cleaning fluid.

However, as I said earlier, you don’t really need a cleaning station with the ES-LV65-S, but if you still want it, the ES-LV95-S is the one to have.

Braun Series 9 9290cc

Braun Series 9 9290cc

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The Arc 5 is Panasonic’s most advanced line of electric shavers and it’s only natural to put it against Braun’s best shaver, the Series 9.

In terms of value for money and closeness of the shave, the Arc 5 has the edge.

However, where the Series 9 really shines is the comfort and also when shaving longer, flat-lying hairs that grow in different directions.

The design of the Series 9 shaving head, with the two specialized trimmers that capture longer, wiry hairs, makes the Series 9 one of the best foil shavers out there for these situations.

Braun Series 9 shaving head components

So if you have very sensitive skin or tend to shave every two days or even more, the Series 9 would likely be a better choice.

My recommendation would be the Braun 9290cc from the updated Series 9 line as it generally costs less than other Series 9 variations and also comes with a cleaning station.

Unlike Panasonic, Braun razors are more difficult to clean manually, so I would actually recommend you to opt for a cc model that includes a cleaning base.

Keep in mind that the Series 9 shavers usually cost more than the ES-LV65-S, even the models that don’t include the cleaning station like the 9293s.

Also, while the Series 9 shavers are supremely comfortable, they don’t shave as close as the ES-LV65-S.

Panasonic ES-LA63-S Arc 4

Panasonic ES-LA63-S

See the price on Amazon

Finally, a more budget-friendly alternative to the ES-LV65-S would be a personal favorite of mine, the Panasonic LA63-S from the Arc 4 line.

Even if it has less cutting elements, 4 blades are still easily enough and in conjunction with the same powerful 14 000 CPM motor and sharp 30 degrees blades, the ES-LA63-S is in my opinion one of the best electric shavers in its price range.

Just like the ES-LV65-S, it’s dead easy to clean manually, so you don’t really need the cleaning station (available with the ES-LA93-K version).

Performance-wise, it’s able to provide very close shaves, it’s fast and adequately comfortable. Overall I would say that it’s quite similar to the ES-LV65-S, though not quite as refined and comfortable.

For most men the ES-LA63-S Arc 4 would be more than suitable. The shaver itself is reasonably priced and the replacement foils and blades are also slightly cheaper compared to the ones needed for the ES-LV65-S.

132 comments on “Panasonic ES-LV65-S Review: Underrated And Impressive

Leave a comment
  1. Thomas Nielsen

    At a age of 47 I finally found a razor that works with my facial hair. Using blades is a carnage that is painful and my face looks like a piece of swollen raw meat. Everytime I have asked in shops for a electrical shaver I have been recommend using Philips, and lots of “Top 5” tests in magazines also saying this – but to be honest they are crap.

    I thought that if Philips is the best razor I am just not a person thst have a to clean shave. The last 15 years I have used a trimmer and accept the the look of 2 day stubbles. My face looks okay in this way, but there will always be times, for example when dressed in a suit, where I feel like a hobo when not having a clean shave.

    Finally I got to think that several people must have the same problem as me. I googled around and found this review. Having some extra thoughts if it should be this shaver or the Braun. I went for the Panasonic. This is the best thing that have ever happened to my face. Thank you very much. Now I always look forward to my next shave 🙂

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Thomas,

      Thank you for taking the time to share your experience in such great detail. I’m glad to hear that you’re enjoying your shaves with the Panny.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  2. Paul K

    Thanks for your great and detailed report on this shaver,has put my mind at rest having just ordered one on line, 5 star details from this review, thanks.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Paul,

      I’m glad to hear that. I hope you’ll enjoy your shave with the ES-LV65-S.

      Best,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  3. Barbaro

    Hi Ovidiu,

    I always read your reviews because they are really very detailed and thorough.
    I’m very undecided between the LV65 and LA63 with or w/o cleaning station. I live in Italy and I’m currently using a Philips series 7000 with cleaning station – now its two years – and want to try something faster and ‘stronger’ like the Panasonic Arc 4 or Arc 5 series.
    Here the price is very high so i will get it from the USA.
    which one would you recommend for a close shave as a whole (under chin and neck) since I already have the Philips 7000?
    Is the cleaning station of the LA63 the new one?

    Thanks

    Barbaro

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Barbaro,

      Thank you for being a regular reader of this website, I really appreciate it. I own both the ES-LA63-S and the ES-LV65-S and they are excellent shavers. Both performed similarly when shaving my neck and right under the chin, however the ES-LV65-S did manage to get me a closer shave on the area right above my upper lip where I have particularly thick and dense stubble. I would say that overall the ES-LV65-S feels more refined and offers a slightly closer shave, but again, the difference wasn’t significant.

      The Arc 4 variation that comes with a cleaning station is the ES-LA93-K. The shaver is identical to the ES-LA63-S, only that it comes in black. The cleaning station is the older Vortex Hydra model. The new one is available only with the Arc 5 (model name is ES-LV95-S). The cleaning stations work very well, but I personally never felt the need for one with any of the Panasonics that I’ve used. If skipping the station means saving a lot of money then you probably should. At least that’s what I would do.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      1. Barbaro

        Hi Ovidiu,

        thanks for your quick and kind reply. I was leaning towards the Braun series 5, maybe because of brand name, but I’ll give Panasonic a try.
        I think I’ll get the ES-LV65-S because having the Philips series 7000 I think it’s the best option otherwise it would be something like an overlap; so why not try the top?

        Thanks
        Barbaro

        Reply
  4. GAT

    Hi Ovidiu,

    Thank you very much for this nice and detailed review. I would like to know whether I should go for the LV6N or stick to the second generation LV65. Where I live the difference in price is around 50 euros, however I’ve also seen that the blades replacement is around 70 euros for the LV6N and while for the LV65 is around 45 euros.

    Thanks again!

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Gat,

      Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it. I’ve been asked this question quite a few times and almost always the LV65 makes more sense. But that’s mainly because the price difference between the two is usually huge. However, for 50 euros more I would personally opt for the LV6N. The build quality is outstanding and the performance is also slightly better compared to the previous generation Arc 5. I know that the blades & foils combos are still expensive, but the price will undoubtedly go down as time passes.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  5. Barbaro

    Hi Ovidiu,
    I forgot to ask if you can can buy the cleaning station later if you need it and the Panasonic ES-LV65-S will work with it.
    I know that with the Braun razors this is not possible.

    Thanks.
    Barbaro

    Reply
  6. NH

    Hi Ovidiu,

    I’m so glad I discovered your site via Twitter. I’ve been procrastinating on an electric shaver forever, and your review gave me the confidence to buy the Arc5. It’s Day 4, so it’s early, but so far so good. I’m already shaving everyday vs. every other day, as with the razor.

    Any additional advice on cleaning and maintaining my Arc5? How often do you clean your Arc5 using liquid soap? Do you rinse it after every use?

    NH

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi NH,

      Thank you for your comment and for being a reader of this site. Regarding your question, it really depends on how you shave. For example, I almost always use shaving cream with my Panasonic shavers, at least when I’m not reviewing them. As a result, I must clean them with liquid soap and water after every use. Dried lather can be a pain to remove later on — I’ve learned this the hard way.

      However, if you shave dry then you can use the brush to remove the hairs or simply rinse it with hot tap water. I personally wouldn’t clean it this way for more than 2 or 3 times in a row. After that I would use soap for a more thorough cleaning.

      As a rule of thumb, I also lubricate the foils after every cleaning that involved soap.

      Hope this helps and that you’re enjoying shaving with your Arc 5!

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  7. Dr. Ahmed Essam

    If i want a closer shave for a sensitive skin. Would you recommend the Braun 9290 or the panasonic arc 5 3rd generation. I have read multiple threads about both. Will the panasonic cause irritation???

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi,

      It’s very difficult to predict how a particular shaver will perform as this can vary from person to person. The 3rd gen Arc 5 is a step up compared to the previous one with regards to comfort, but I would still place the Series 9 on top. To me the Series 9 is the most comfortable shaver you can currently buy and would be my pick for someone with very sensitive skin. The Arc 5 does manage to shave a bit closer in comparison. Unfortunately it’s impossible for me to say if it will cause irritation in your case as this depends on many variables.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Greg,

      to me they are both very similar in terms of intensity. However, the noise produced by the ES-LV65-S is more like a high pitched whine, while the Series 9 emits a lower hum.

      Reply
  8. Mathieu

    Hi,
    First time I visit your website and I must say your review is very thorough !
    I’ve been looking for an electric razor that provides razor-like shave for several months but the issue with my facial hair is that they grow slowly.
    After 24 hours, I do have a little stubble but it is not much : enough to shave with a manual razor but too short for a cheap/standard electric razor.
    So basically, I wonder if the ES-LV65-S delivers a very close shave even with a mere light stubble ?
    If not, is there an electric razor that can ? haha
    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Mathieu,

      Thank you for your comment. Shaving longer hairs is what normally causes problems for most electric razors, so the ES-LV65-S should be more than suitable if not overkill for light, short stubble. In my opinion Panasonic shavers manage to offer a closer shave compared to the competition. This particular model is one of the best in this regard, especially if we consider its price. Newer Arc 5 models are a lot more expensive but only offer a marginal performance improvement.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      1. Mathieu

        Ovidiu,
        Thank you for your fast and detailled reply.
        If the ES-LV65-S is overkill, I guess I could settle for an ES-LA63-S ?
        It is less expensive and ranks just below the ES-LV65-S in the top 5 list of the E.R. that give the closest shave.
        Thanks again!

        Reply
        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

          You are welcome, Mathieu. That one would be a very good option as well and can often be bought at an excellent price.

          Reply
      2. Wojtek

        Hi,

        Thank you for stating your opinion on the newer Arc5 models! I was wondering if I should buy the latest one rather than the 2nd generation, but when I saw the price, I cringed. Luckily, you’ve resolved my doubts and I bought the 2nd generation Arc5 with the cleaning station. By the way, fantastic article! Apart from this one, the one about using the combination of electric shavers and cream/soap (you name it), will also be helpful to me once my Panasonic arrives. 🙂

        Best,
        Wojtek

        Reply
        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

          Hi Wojtek,

          Thank you for you comment, I really appreciate it! In my opinion you certainly made the right choice, the price of the latest generation Arc 5 is obscenely high, at least at this moment. Enjoy your new Panasonic! 🙂

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
          1. Wojtek

            Hi Ovidiu,

            I decided to write a follow-up to my previous comment only now, not earlier, after I have tested the shaver thoroughly. It is an excellent device and I love it. Shaving my rough and coarse facial hair takes me approx. 10-12 minutes altogether – that’s the fastest I’ve EVER gotten, regardless whether I was shaving with a Gillette Fusion ProGlide Flexball cartridge shaver, an Edwin Jagger double-edge razor or my old Philips electric rotary shaver that I’d been using most of my life (it is the Philips that I switched from to try other shaving methods and eventually decided electric is my thing but this time I wanted to try out a “creme de la creme” shaver).
            When it comes to wet vs. dry, surprisingly wet just doesn’t work for me (and, as you know, I’ve tried every possible method, maybe except a straight razor, but come on :D). I get far better results when I dry shave – wet shaving just makes the Panny’s head slide on my face, nothing more.
            The only thing Arc 5 could be better at is getting rid of flat hair. I believe Braun Series 9 excels Panasonic at this point, but then again I only have 2-3 really small spots like that on my face (actually on my neck where most people don’t look), so it’s still a win for Panasonic over Braun. However, if someone has flat (or wiry hair) all over their face, they should sacrifice shaving time and closeness over better “problematic” hair removal that Braun guarantees. Other than that, there’s literally nothing to complain about.

            Hope my comment helps others with their choice, too.

            Thank you again!

            Best,
            Wojtek

          2. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

            Hi Wojtek,

            Thank you for taking the time to write such a thorough follow-up. I really appreciate it and I’m sure it will be helpful to other potential buyers as well.

            Having shaved with both the Arc 5 and the Series 9, I must say that the latter is clearly better at getting flat hairs. But as you said, depending on the situation this can be a just a minor issue. The Arc 5 on the other hand shaves closer and also faster (as long as you don’t have lots of long, flat lying-hairs).

            If you can get better results without shaving cream, that’s even better. I’m glad that the ES-LV95-S proved to be the right choice for you.

            Sincerely,
            Ovidiu

  9. Jordi Genovès Esacarrer

    Hi Ovidiu,

    Congratulations for your review it really help me to choose the best shaver for me. I finally bought the lv-6N that come without the cleaning station at just 20€ more expensive than the lv-65.

    Can I buy the cleaning station separately later if I want? Will it be compatible?

    Thank you so much in advance!

    Jordi

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Jordi,

      Thank you for your comment, I’m glad you found it helpful.

      That’s a really great deal you got for the LV6N. Unfortunately you won’t be able to use it with a cleaning station since it lacks the two metal studs on the back that are used to communicate with the station and also for the automatic charging function.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  10. Wojtek

    Hi Ovidiu,

    You’re welcome! One more thing that I just discovered today, so please forgive me for pestering your comment section but what I’m about to write might prove VERY useful to those in two minds about buying this shaver or the Braun Series 9.
    Guys, all of you with flat and/or wiry hair: if you just bought Panasonic Arc 5, don’t return it yet! Although I only have a few spots like this on my neck, only today did I discover that setting the shaver into the “LOCK” position (located on the back of the device) and turning the sensor OFF (meaning it’s running at full throttle) when shaving these problematic spots, it makes a big difference, at least in my case because I have these spots clean shaven now. Hope this helps.
    As for the cleaning station, Ovidiu, you nailed it: it’s awesome.
    However, and I agree with you again, the traveling case is a bummer – should’ve been a hard one, not a softie.
    By the way, do you know if I can buy a hard case for the Arc 5? Or a case that’s not a dedicated Arc 5 case but the shaver fits in it snugly?

    Best,
    Wojtek

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      No worries, Wojtek. On the contrary, the comments section is there for precisely this type of insights. And it’s pretty clear that your technique works and can work for others as well.

      I always shave with my ES-LV65-S with the sensor turned off, but since the hairs on my neck grow in every possible direction and also lie flat on the skin, this makes little to no difference in my case, even when I lock the head. It’s not a big deal since I almost always shave daily, but a 3 days beard is a real pain.

      I’ve seen a few third party hard cases on Amazon for the Arc 3/Arc 4 and even for the first generation Arc 5, but none for the ES-LV65-S/ES-LV95-S from what I recall. Some of them may be able to accommodate it, but it would be best to ask the seller before ordering one.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  11. gerry cook

    Hi I have a panasonic ESLV81 with a cleaning station and its ok however going to a braun 9092 was interesting because after 18 months it may be time for a new cassette i’d say that the braun blades wear quicker than any panasonic because, you cannot separate the foil and cutter so maybe soon i’ll go back to the panasonic seeing that i firmly tap the cassette of the braun to get the hair, out during the shave for the reason that shaving with a blade full of hair can’t be good for the shaver. I do like the braun series 9 beep with 5 minutes to shave for me very good because i am blind and can’t read a display however if the cost of replacing blades less than 18 months is a factor even though the panasonic’s foil and cutters are more expensive than braun because, cleaning is better you may get more life out of them if braun had separate cutter and foil like they use to have instead of trying to cut costs they’d be on top. that’s my opinion and whether braun listen or not that’s another story

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Gerry,

      Thank you for your comment. The Series 9 cassettes in particular appear to wear out faster compared even to other Braun shavers (like the Series 7 or 5). I’ve been getting a few emails and comments from Series 9 users about this and other user reviews seem to indicate this as well. Even if they cost less than let’s say an Arc 5 foils + blades combo, it pretty much evens out if you need to replace them sooner. And having the blades and foils separated also makes cleaning easier, so I fully agree with you.

      Reply
  12. Jason

    I just got this shaver based on your review and the fact it was on sale $200 less than the Series 9 and the current Arc 5 ($250 at Shaver Shop in Australia). I also got a reasonably good deal on one set of replacement foils and blades from Amazon for USD$50 (I like to have the consumables handy for things like this).

    It is my first electric and it is mostly great – comfortable and close – but I found out I do get 5-10 black flat hairs that no matter what I do (all the directions, pushing much harder, etc.) this shaver won’t cut. And the fact it is so close otherwise and most of my beard is blonde makes them really stand out on my face.

    I’ve found that I have to take a Mach 3 and do a traditional shave every couple days to get them. The only good news there is that a light pass with the grain gets them so it isn’t like if before when I was just doing the shaves with that – but it still is disappointing.

    If I’d have known I’d need to do both it would likely have pushed me toward the Series 9 which you say deals with these hairs a bit better. But then again if that isn’t as close and the blades wear out faster that would have been disappointing too. I guess there is no perfect razer after all…

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Jason,

      Many thanks for taking the time to share your experience. I actually have the same problem with the hairs that lie flat on my neck — and while Panasonic shavers usually get me a very close shave, they’re not particularly good with flat-lying hairs. One workaround that is more convenient in my opinion than reaching for a razor blade is to use your shaver’s popup trimmer and gently go against the grain on those 5 – 10 stray hairs. Normally it should take you only a few seconds to cut them, the trimmer on most Panasonic models is very good at this, including the one on your ES-LV65-S. Once you’ve done that you should be left with only some short stubble that the foils of your shaver will have no problem cutting. For me this works really well, so maybe give it a try.

      The Series 9 is superior in a situation like this one, but as you said it also has its own shortcomings.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  13. Don

    Hi Ovidiu,

    I’m currently trying the Panasonic ES-LF51 on their 60 day close shave money back guarantee. ShaverShop Australia is selling the ES-LV65 at a discounted price for $250 which is just $50 more than I paid for the ES-LF51. Is there enough of a performance gain in terms of closeness and speed of shave to justify going up to the Arc-5? I’ve found the ES-LF51 gives a decent shave but it could be better especially along the jaw-line under the ear. I do have a few flat lying hairs but I’ll try the trimmer tip you offered to a previous comment so that’s not a barrier to the Panasonic for me.

    Thanks,

    Don

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Don,

      The ES-LV65-S is a better shaver than the ES-LF51-A. It is more refined and more enjoyable to use, more comfortable (as long as you don’t press too hard) and you will likely get through a shave session faster. It also gives me a slightly closer shave on areas with very thick stubble like right below the nose. But regarding strictly the aspects you’ve mentioned (shaving along the jawline and below the ears) it won’t make that much of a difference. In my opinion it is worth the extra $50, but not really for those reasons.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  14. Bill

    Ovidiu,

    Thank you once again for being so thorough. I have enjoyed reading your posts, and (I think) I’ve narrowed the field of panasonic shavers somewhat in my search. As of now 🙂 , I am favoring a more advanced shaver and strongly considering comfort and closeness. Previously , I was thinking I preferred a smaller size shaving head….but I’m now wondering if I should focus more on the advantages offered by the newer 4 or 5 blade shavers.

    Specifically, I was considering the es lv65 vs the es lv9n or the es la63. As I watched, pricing on the lv65 went from $130 US to $155, with the lv9n running about twice as much. Is it worth the difference for the lv9n? And I haven’t excluded the es la63… at $95 the price is right, but I thought that the newer shavers sounded more refined and possibly offer a more comfortable shave, and that the shaving head size might be similar between the three. Do you have any experience with purchasing an open box item from ebay? I don’t mind the idea of a box being opened, but I definitely don’t want a used or refurbished shaver.

    Thanks again, you have already been a great help!
    Bill

    Reply
  15. Jordan

    I have a couple questions if I use shavin cream and always clean it with soap and water do I need to oil it and can I use my andis clipper oil ? Another question when I start the cleaning system sometimes it start from 11 like to 25 do you know why

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Yes, you should oil your shaver after every cleaning that involves the use of soap. As I mentioned in the previous comment, clipper oil will work fine. I am not exactly sure that I understood correctly your second question — can you be a bit more specific?

      Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Nick,

      I personally never shave in the shower, but I do enjoy shaving with cream when using Panasonic shavers. For more details you can check out this article I wrote a while back.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

          You are welcome, Nick. Absolutely, you can (and should) wash the trimmer as well.

          Reply
  16. Sebastian

    Hi!

    First of all, congratulations for your great site, thorough reviews and very informative articles. This is by far the best site I could find about electric shavers, amidst dozens of boring and useless “fake-review” sites filled with nothing more than rephrased press releases.

    My question now: I’ve just asked for a Panasonic ES-LV65 as my birthday present; do you know if a charging stand is available for this model, or if I can use a stand designed for another model such as this one: https://www.shavers.co.uk/electric-shaving/spare-parts-accessories/panasonic-weslt6nk7188-charging-stand.html ?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Sebastian,

      Thank you for the kind words. I really appreciate it.
      Regarding your question, the charging stand is only available with the new Arc 3 models. However, since the charging port on those and the one on the ES-LV65-S is the same, the stand should work with the latter as well. Unfortunately I do not have a Panasonic charging stand so I cannot confirm that it will 100% work with the ES-LV65-S. My only concern would be the concave area around the connector and the positioning of the charging port on the shaver that may not allow it to stand upright.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      1. Sebastian

        Thanks for your answer. Indeed the shape of the LV65 looks similar enough for the stand to work… but also different enough to be a problem. 🙂

        If any reader can test the LV65/Arc 3 stand combination, that would be much appreciated.

        I’ll try and ask Panasonic themselves, but I don’t expect any useful answer.

        Reply
  17. Omar

    Hi,

    I currently own a Braun Series 5 5040 electric shaver. I’ve had it for over a year and can get fairly decent shaves most of the time. I find that when using the wet element, either through foam or gel, I get a couple of nicks; I alternate as a result between dry electric shaving and wet electric shaving. My skin feels smooth, but I can see some stubble in some parts such as my moustache and just below my chin, so whilst it is gets the majority of hair, it does not also get all.

    I wanted to know whether it is worth me investing in the ES- LV65. I can currently get it for £100, which is slightly more than the Series 5 I purchased in January 2017. Will it improve my shaving experience more than what I currently have? I have fairly normal skin where I shave, getting the old ingrown hair or bump. Will the ES-LV65 provide a longer more fresh looking shave, as I have found that when shaving with the Braun daily, my moustache and chin have started to almost have a permanent 5′ clock shadow, whilst my cheeks have a relatively closer shave.

    Thanks in advance for your reply, and apologies for the long message, but I’ve started to develop a big interest in shaving :).

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hey Omar,

      Having used both a Series 5 and the ES-LV65-S, the latter gives me a closer shave, particularly when used with a high-quality shaving cream applied in a very thin and slick layer. I can relate to you as I have very thick stubble on my moustache and chin and that’s where most electric shavers fail to give me a very close shave, including the Series 5. The ES-LV65-S is one of the best I’ve used in terms of closeness. But again, I am able to achieve that when shaving wet. A dry shave with the Arc 5 is not as good in my case as I have very sensitive skin.

      The Arc 5 would be a worthy upgrade in my opinion if you’ll stick mainly to shaving daily (it’s not great with longer hairs) and you’re not against using shaving cream with an electric shaver. In my experience this is where the Arc 5 shines. But you may be able to get better results than me during a dry shave as well.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      1. Omar

        Thanks for your reply.

        Would you say the Arc 5 and Series 9 are the ones to compare, rather than the series 5 and Arc 5? If so why is there such a massive price difference between the braun and Panasonic? Is Braun just over priced?

        Reply
        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

          Absolutely, the Arc 5 and Series 9 are the ones to compare. The ES-LV65-S is an older model (the second generation Arc 5), hence the lower price. The latest (third generation) Arc 5 models are significantly more expensive.

          Reply
          1. Omar

            Are the newer models worth looking at? Or are they the same but just with cleaning stations?

          2. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

            I’d say no, at least not at this moment. For the current price, they don’t bring a significant performance boost compared to the previous generation. The new cleaning stations have different part numbers, but are basically the same as the one that comes with the ES-LV95-S.

  18. James

    Hi Ovidiu, just noticed in the ESLV65 manual, it states that the life of the rechargeable battery is three years. Of course, actual battery life will depend on many factors, but three years sounds quite low to me. How have you found panasonic batteries to last in the past? How do they compare to braun?

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi James,

      I never had a Panasonic shaver that only lasted 3 years. In fact, the battery on my oldest pre-Arc shavers lasted for 6 to 7 years before it could no longer hold a decent charge. With that said, I do find Braun shavers to be slightly better in this regard. I usually get more shaves out of a fully charged Series 7 compared to an Arc 5 for example and they also seem to degrade slower. However, this was merely my experience and things could be different in other cases.

      I wouldn’t worry too much about the lifespan of the battery in the ES-LV65-S; unless you’re very unlucky (batteries are not covered by the warranty), it should last for many years given proper care (see tip number 5).

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  19. James

    Interesting, thanks for your reply.

    I did some searching and although it voids warranty (if there is any left) there are videos showing how to do a battery replacement. It looks like replacement rechargeables might be available on ebay and other sites. Not a huge problem, as I am sure by the time it dies there will be a new better shaver on the market. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Absolutely. Just one thing to keep in mind, after a battery swap I personally wouldn’t consider that particular shaver to be completely waterproof and I probably wouldn’t submerge it in water or use it in the shower anymore.

      Reply
  20. Can

    Hello,
    First of all I would like to thank you for detailed reviews, they are the best in the entire internet.
    Could you give me your valuable opinion on buying whether the ES-LA63-S803 or the 5190cc as they are both similarly priced in my country ( actually the panny is 5$ cheaper).
    It will be my first electric shaver and Im planning to shave on every working day.
    I have a problematic area on my neck which gives me rashes when I shave every day, thank you.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi,

      Thank you for the kind words. Between those two models I think you should go for the 5190cc. In my experience the Series 5 is more comfortable and more forgiving compared to the Arc 4 from Panasonic, especially during a dry shave. Panasonic shavers can often be a bit too aggressive if you have sensitive skin; I think you would benefit more from using the Series 5.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

          The ES-LV65-S is a bit more gentle than the ES-LA63-S and gets less hot, but it’s still not as comfortable as the Series 5.

          Reply
          1. Can

            Thank you very Nicolae,
            I’ll take valuable advice and will go for the 5190cc instead of the ES-LV65-S803.

  21. Sebastian

    Hi!

    First shave today with my new ES-LV65, and I must say it’s a clear step-up from my old Braun 7505 in all aspects:
    – Closest shave I’ve ever experienced, and no discomfort whatsoever
    – Faster shave thanks to the very efficient 5-blade head
    – I was a bit worried about the flat hair on my neck (which you said could be an issue with Panasonic shavers), but this LV65 actually shaved it without any problem (YMMV)
    – I was worried about the noise too, but it’s actually quieter to my ear than my old Braun

    So a very positive feeling all around. Thanks again for this review, which convinced me to try this model in the first place.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Sebastian,

      That is awesome! Thank you for the detailed follow-up, glad to hear the ES-LV65-S was the right choice.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  22. David Yun

    Hi There,

    Thanks very much for your very informative articles. They are the most honest and useful reviews on electric shavers that I have found on the internet and have made choosing a new shaver a much easier task!

    I have the ES-LV65 (with no S) – Australian market. Can you tell me what the difference is between this and the S model?

    Also, I understand there are several Arc5 models and any of the foils for the 5 head models are suitable for the ES-LV65 (maybe with the exception of the very latest models released recently). This gets a little confusing when searching around and comparing prices as there are around half a dozen different foils which can be used. Are you able to provide a definitive list of the WESxxxx model numbers which are suitable for use on the ES-LV65?

    Keep up the great work!

    Many Thanks,

    David

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi David,

      Thank you so much for the kind words.

      That’s a great question and the short answer is that all the new Arc 5 foils will fit the older ES-LV65-S and ES-LV95-S models. Speaking of which, the -S in the model name is often left out, but there’s absolutely no difference between an -S and a non-S model.

      With that said, here are the part numbers of the foils that will fit your shaver: WES9175 (found on the third generation Arc 5 revision A and B), WES9177 (found on the latest revision C and D Arc 5 models). You can buy just the foils or the inner blades + foil combos, they will still fit just fine.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  23. Steven Yuen

    Ovidiu,

    Thanks for an excellent and thorough review. I’m sold. I have an old Braun Series ?? (don’t remember model number) which the charging and cleaning base is starting to frustrate me. The unit charges but doesn’t recognize a new cleaning cartridge. There are some suggestions on youtube that tries to fix this but to no avail, at least for me. With Black Friday coming up, I’ve seen the Arc 5 ES-LV65-S on sale for $99.99 (Amazon and Best Buy). To me, that’s a no brainer. Save $100 and no more cleaning cartridges.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hey Steven,

      Thank you for your comment. That sounds like a plan — the ES-LV65-S is a fantastic shaver, especially for that price.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  24. Melvin

    I’m wondering do the replacement Men’s 5-Blade Shaver Foil and Blade Set – WES9034P that are used for the Panasonic ES-LV9N-S be used for a replacement for the Panasonic Arc 5 ES-LV65-S?

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thank you for your comment, Raffaello. I really appreciate it. I’m glad you found the information useful.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  25. L. Moreno

    Hello Ovidiu,

    Thanks for your amazingly useful site! I’ve seen so many shaver blogs that were just copy-and-paste link farms that I was shocked to discover such a meticulously researched, knowledgable, and informative resource.

    I just ordered an ES-LV65-S based on your reviews. I’m replacing something that looks like it’s been dragged behind a car: a Norelco 6886XL that I’ve used for over 20 years. I replaced the battery once, and believe it or not, the blades only once too (!), and I only clean it when it’s time to recharge. It still works quite well for my 3 or 4 shaves a week, but pieces are starting to fall off, like the little button that opens the head for cleaning.

    The higher end of the current Philips line are too expensive compared to the current deals on foil shavers, and that, combined with all the reviews I’ve been reading have convinced me that it’s time to try foil. I was about to order a Braun Series 9 9290cc (which with an instant coupon and a rebate would be $150 on Amazon now), and I think the Braun might be a *bit* better shaving experience for me than the Panasonic, but in the end I couldn’t get my head around the idea of needing a little washing machine just for my shaver. The easy cleaning (and the current $100 price tag) sold me on the Panasonic.

    Thanks again for your hard work! (And off-topic, but Romanian names always catch my eye. I did a lot of backpack travel in 1970-71, including a couple of months in București spent hanging out with pro-democracy dissidents and keeping an eye out for the secret police. Beautiful city and people, sad times.)

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I truly appreciate your kind words and I am humbled whenever I hear that my reviews actually helped someone and hopefully made the tiniest difference to their everyday life.

      I am indeed Romanian (great observation) and even though I was born in the late ’80s, I know very well how things used to be during that time. You actually summarized everything perfectly — beautiful people, sad times.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  26. Melvin

    I have finally chosen my main electric shaver and its the Panasonic ES-L65-s. I also brought the WES9034P. With the Neutrogena shaving creamn for sensitive skin I get a real close shave. I dont bother using my Braun Series 9 9295cc anymore, I wish I can sell it or trade it in.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      That’s great, Melvin! In my opinion that is an ideal combination.

      I think you should try selling your 9295cc, I’ve seen many pre-owned Series 9 being listed on ebay.

      Reply
  27. Demetris

    Very interesting review
    I am thinking of purchasing EF RF31 PANASONIC as my first shaver
    I am using razor for 40 years now and I want to avoid foam anymore
    What do you think about that model?
    Will be ok for daily dry saving as this is what I want a saver for
    Regards

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Demetris,

      I would try to get one of the more powerful four-blade Panasonic shavers, like the ES-LA63-S or ES-LF51-A. The ES-RF31-S has a 10000 CPM motor, while the more powerful models are fitted with 14000 CPM units. The difference between them and the ES-RF31-S is noticeable.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  28. Taeseus

    Hi Ovidiu.

    I’m going to give you an opinion. Before I gave my opinion, I saw a comment that you had communicated with others.

    It’s about charging stand. And as I tested it, it works perfectly in the arc5 “LV” series (I’ve tested it on LV65 and LV5C, and it’s going to be fully compatible with the “LV” series), and stand very well.

    When I wrote a review of ES-LV5C on my blog, I also looked up many Japanese models. Japan also has an Arc5 “CSV” series, which includes a charging stand.

    The charging stand’s model name is not the same, but the charging terminals are all the same, so I think it’s all the same.

    I use WESST3NK9188 (ES-ST3N-K accessories).
    Are there some models in Arc3 “LT” series with charging stand? The name of the charge stand is WESLT5NK7188.
    Link :https://shop.panasonic.com/personal-care/personal-care-accessories/mens-accessories/WESLT5NK7188.html
    The model name of the charging stand is W(model name)7188.

    Charging stand are available at service centers in all countries (about $8). I told Korean about this and many people bought it.

    Your review is perfect now, but I think it’ll be better if you give the people who want to buy this electric shaver another option.

    I got a lot of help from your homepage, and I hope to share my opinion that I will get help from your homepage in the future!

    P.S. If you want, I can give you my photo.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Taeseus,

      I am sorry about replying so late, somehow I didn’t get notified about your comment. Thank you for the heads up about the charging stand. Here in Europe there’s the ES-LT6N-S Arc 3 that comes with a charging stand. It may be available under a different name as well (in the USA it’s called ES-LT5N-H). You can send me the photo at contact@shavercheck.com, I would really appreciate it.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  29. Mate

    Hi Ovidiu,

    I just wanted to thank you for the effort you put into this. Your website must be the best place for anybody looking to buy a shaver. It’s not easy know which model to buy and what to look for on the market but you made the whole process a lot easier. Your reviews are thorough and focus on the important features of the product.
    After using entry level Philips shaver for many years I decided to invest in a more expensive razor. I chose ES-LV65-S and a few shaves later I am truly impressed. It gives an incredibly close shave. Granted, it’s still a honeymoon phase but I am confident that my satisfaction with this product will only grow.

    Best regards,
    Mate

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Mate,

      Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to share your experience. Glad to hear you’re satisfied with your new ES-LV65-S, it really is a fantastic shaver.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  30. James

    Hi.
    Great work!!! Amazing info.
    I had to try all 4 shavers for myself. Lol.
    Notelco prestige, arc 5 and Braun 7 and Braun 9.

    Your reviews are spot on and the arc 5 after 1 day of testing shaves the closest.

    Norelco prestige shaved close but what a pain to do and so much longer.

    I have a question: the arc 5 head is big and on my first try I was not sure what is best on shaving the upper lift. Do I just use one foil or am I suppose to run the entire head up down , left and right and angular?
    Any help?

    I am not sure which arc 5 I bought and will have to check but it had no cleaning station.

    I still have to spend more time testing but I think the arc 5 is the winner. Finally a fast shave and good bye to my Gillette fusion.

    Closeness I rate as follows so far.
    Arc 5
    Norelco prestige (takes a long time and needs some pre gel to glide easy)
    Braun 7
    Braun 9 ( I have to shave more to see if it goes ahead of Braun 7 for my face)

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi James,

      Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it.

      When shaving above the upper lip with the Arc 5, try using only the first two foils (from the top) and use short, up and down strokes. You should also lock the head in the fixed position. This is how I do it and at least for me it works really well and the size of the head isn’t that big of an issue anymore.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  31. Dom

    Hi Ovidiu,
    Thank you very much for your tests and reviews.

    I do have an old Braun 5, and i was considering « upgrading » for a new Braun 9 or Panasonic Arc5. Like everybody i want a very close shave but i want it easy to clean without a cleaning station that take to much room…. So it seems that Braun 9 is discalified cause of this « foil/cutter black box cartrage » no that easy to clean without the station.
    So i arrive to the Panasonic …. i would have like it just waterproof like some of the Braun to be able to use it uncharged without waiting but batteries last, and as i dry shave i hope that my skin won’t be irritated.
    So i wanted to know, if with wathever Arc5 es-lv 61/65, you can just replace the foil/blades with the last one with the 2 skincare rollers like the 6N/6Q? Is everything compatible?
    Then, i’ve noticed that the main evolution between the 3 Arc5 versions is in the metal finish and with the multiflex head, that started with 2D then 3D up to 5D now. But is is worth it?
    And to finish, i was wondering if i will get use to the different way of holding the shaver vs the Braun, so i was wondering if the es-cv51 wouldn’t be a good choise …. but no flex….

    Thanks for your advice!

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Dom,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Yes, the newer foils and blades found on the third generation Arc 5 are compatible with the ES-LV65-S. Compared to the older ones, they are more comfortable, while the closeness seemed pretty much the same to me.

      In my opinion the latest Arc 5 shavers are not worth buying yet, especially since the ES-LV65-S/ES-LV95-S can be had for significantly less money and the performance enhancements brought by the newer models are marginal. I personally don’t care too much about the super flexible 5D heads, I found them just wobbly and annoying and I prefer to shave with the switch in the locked position. So from my point of you, the ES-CV51 is not really that much different. I’ve reviewed it and I think it’s a really good shaver.

      But again, you simply can’t beat the ES-LV65-S with regards to value for money. That one would still be my pick.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  32. Devan

    I just picked up the ES-LV65-S after some disappointment with bothe the Braun Series 3 & Series 5. I haven’t tried the BS-7 or the BS-9 but this particular Panasonic really leaves both the BS-3 & 5 in the dust! I was a bit concerned with the size of the shaving head due to the 5 cutter configuration but it turned out to be a non issue. I also tried the Panasonic ES-8243 & while it’s a respectable shaver I had the sense that if it ever quit working I probably wouldn’t replace it. I feel exactly the opposite about the ES-LV65-S. I’m not sure I would ever want to be without it. Thanks for all your reviews because it definitely helped guide me to the best choice.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thank you for your comment, Devan. Glad you found the review useful.

      I am definitely with you on this one, the ES-LV65-S is in a different league compared to the Series 3 and even the Series 5 from Braun. Right now it’s arguably the best electric shaver out there with regards to performance and price. And the fact that you can use the newer foils & blades of the latest Arc 5 generation is yet another reason to consider it for the long run.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  33. Lee

    Your site has been very helpful while I was looking for a first electric razor for my teen son and a new razor for me to replace a decade old Braun Series 5.
    I settled on the ES-LF51A for my son and couldn’t pass up the ES-LV65-S for me on sale for $120. I just used the ES-LV65-S today for its initial use. I opted to try a wet shave for the first time with an electric razor, and I have to say the LV65 with Cremo Original shaving cream resulted in a shave that was virtually indistinguishable from my typical Mach 5 bladed shave. It was light years better than my old Braun. And that is coming from someone with a very dense beard growth. I’m the type of guy that has a 5 o’clock shadow by noon.
    I would definitely recommend the ES-LV65-S to anyone, especially when it is on sale.
    On a side note, it appears the razor no longer comes with a cleaning brush and oil. Not sure if this a recent change, but you only get the soft travel case as the included accessory.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thank you for your comment, Lee. That’s awesome, glad to hear you’re satisfied with the performance of your new shaver. Regarding the accessories that come with the ES-LV65-S, I bought my unit from Europe a while ago, so I do not know whether this has something to do with. I will try to find out more about this and update the review accordingly.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  34. Steve

    Thanks for your website. I’ve found the information very helpful in finding the right shaver.

    After many years using Norelcos, after the 4500 I was using would no longer hold a charge, I tried several shavers and wound up with the ES-LV65-S. I get good results with little to no irritation dry-shaving before showering. I had to learn to shave my neck mostly laterally to get a close shave there; direction was not an issue with rotaries. Oiling the shaver with Wahl clipper oil greatly reduced irritation. It’s nice to know I can get the more comfortable newer blades when it’s time to replace them, or sooner if I want. I purchased in the US, and no oil or brush were included, just the charger, the cap and the soft travel case.

    I paid about $120. In the US, the only 3rd generation Arc 5 available through normal retail channels is the Revision A ES-LV9N for $300. I didn’t want to deal with possible warranty problems by getting a revision C or D shaver through a foreign seller, which would also be at a high price.

    Other shavers I tried:

    A Braun series 7, which worked well, but I had to return because 1) I am sensitive to scents and cannot tolerate the cleaning station solution, and a Braun agent told me manual cleaning would not be complete, 2) The vibrations in my hand were annoying.

    Another 4500. After the Braun it wasn’t close enough.

    An expensive Norelco Prestige, without qi charging. It looks great, and I never had any problem with manual quick daily or thorough monthly cleaning of that or other Norelcos. It shaved reasonably closely, but it was too irritating. I didn’t try oiling it.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thank you for your comment, Steve. I really appreciate you took the time to share your experience in such a detailed manner. I think you made the right decision by going with the ES-LV65-S, I still think it’s currently the best Arc 5 variation you can get, especially in the USA.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  35. Mitchell Brin

    Hi Ovidiu,
    Thank you very much for your Reviews. I have always been a Phillips user and am very disappointed with the replacement heads. Although I have not used a foil shaver, after reading your reviews, I think I will get the Panasonic ES-LV95-S. I think I will get the version without the automatic cleaner. Can you tell me how often you need to manually clean the Panasonic? I have light, non-oily hair that is turned mostly gray. Also, what is the best oil to use on the blades?

    Also, any recommendations for converting to a foil shaver?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Mitchell,

      Thank you for your comment.

      A quick rinse with warm tap water after every use will be good enough in order to remove most of the hairs. Every once in a while you should also use a bit of liquid soap for a more thorough cleaning. Wahl clipper oil works great and it’s also inexpensive, so I highly recommend it.

      When switching from a rotary to a foil shaver, make sure to always shave against the grain using short, controlled, straight strokes, holding the shaver at a 90 degrees angle relative to your face. Use your free hand to keep the skin taut and do not apply excessive pressure. Also, most foil shavers work best on shorter facial hair, especially if you have lots of flat-lying hairs that grow in different directions.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      1. Mitchell Brin

        Thanks Ovidiu. One further question. From the perspective of avoiding bacterial contamination, is there a rinsing fluid or solution that you would recommend? Is there any reason not to rinse the heads in an alcohol solution to facilitate drying?

        Thanks, Mitchell

        Reply
        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

          You are welcome, Mitchell. Regular soap is actually very effective at this as it kills most bacteria/fungi. I wouldn’t use an alcohol-based solution as it can be very aggressive to plastic and paint, especially isopropyl alcohol. And Panasonic shaving heads were definitely not designed to withstand constant exposure to alcohol. The best approach would be to clean it regularly with water and a bit of liquid soap.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
  36. Jay

    hello, I am interested in buying this shaver and I was wondering how well does it perform with daily shaves on coarse facial hair? I currently use a Braun S3 3010s and I sometimes have trouble getting a proper close shave with it, especially on my neck. I know that you mentioned that the Braun S9 might be better for more frequent shaves but that shaver is much more expensive than the Panasonic and I am also interested in the Panasonic’s closeness factor, because that is pretty important to me. My skin isn’t too sensitive either so that shouldn’t be much of an issue. Thanks

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Jay,

      In this case the ES-LV65-S should work really well. It is clearly superior to the Series 3 as far as shaving performance is concerned and you’ll most likely notice a significant improvement in closeness and speed. The Series 9 works better on longer, flat-lying hairs, but for shaving daily a coarse beard I would go with the Arc 5. It also shaves closer than the Series 9.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  37. Rick

    Loved your review… thanks!
    I just got my ARC5 and I am amazed at how close of a shave I got! This by far the best Panasonic shaver I have owned, and I have been using them for at least ten years…

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thank you for your comment, Rick. Glad to hear your Arc 5 is up to the expectations.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  38. Allan Lindegaard

    Hi Ovidiu.
    First of all thank you for some very cool and informative reviews.
    Besides this review I have read your review on the Braun S9 and as you and others have mentioned there are drawbacks on both models however maybe you can help clarify some of my concerns? Usually I shave every day or every other day but some times it happens that I dont shave in 3 days, so which shaver would you recommend for this inconsistent shaving? As I understand you the Panasonic ES-LV65-S is better for every day use, were the Braun S9 is better when you haven’t shaved for severall days. How significant is the difference?
    At the moment I have an old Braun S7 but I am thinking of changing to the Panasonic and one of the reasons is that I would like to use the wet/dry function once in while. However usually I would use the dry function so which one would you recommend in that case? How is the best way to get rid of the flat lying hairs with the Es-LV65-S and does it really make a huge difference compared to the Braun S9?
    Considering the price of the 2 different shavers and the other things mentioned which one would you recommend? Have In mind that it would be nice to have a cleaning station but it is absolutely not essential for me.
    I hope you can help me.

    Thanks in advance

    Allan

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Allan,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I will try to answer each of your questions and hopefully help you decide which one to buy.

      Your statement is correct, the Arc 5 (and Panasonic shavers in general) work better on short hair, so using it daily and every other day would be ideal. Regarding the performance on a three days beard, that of course will vary from person to person as it depends on how fast the hair grows, if it has different grains and most importantly how many of them lie flat on the skin. But again, if most of the time you’ll be shaving daily or every other day, the Panny would still make sense. The Series 9 will make it easier for you to get those difficult hair strands with fewer strokes. And with greater comfort, that’s another aspect you should keep in mind. You didn’t mention your skin being sensitive, so I simply assumed that it is not, in which case both shavers are viable options.

      Regarding the best way to tackle longer, flat-lying hairs with the ES-LV65-S, you could try the following:

      • apply a pre-shave lotion before a dry shave
      • use your free hand to keep the skin taut — this can help with making the hairs stand upright
      • shave more often

      The Panasonic is unbeatable for closeness and for shaving short, dense hairs fast and effortless. The Series 9 is very comfortable and more capable at shaving long and flat hairs, but doesn’t shave as close as the Arc 5. If you’re only getting the ES-LV65-S to use it with shaving cream, there are also wet/dry Series 9 models available if you think the S9 would make more sense in your case.

      I would get the Series 9 with a cleaning station, even if I were to use it like 4 times a month. It’s very easy and convenient to remove the cartridge, put the cap back and store them until needed. You can simply clean it manually in the meantime. The cc Series 9 models cost only marginally more than the solo models and you can find very cheap third-party cleaning solutions (they work really well).

      As for the Panasonic, I would stick with the ES-LV65-S and not get the ES-LV95-S that comes with the station. I have a few Panasonic stations lying around, never felt the need to use them, especially since they don’t have removable cartridges with caps. Once I mix the detergent with water in the tray, I’m stuck with it. The ES-LV65-S is very easy to clean manually and quite a bit cheaper than the LV95.

      The price is usually lower for the Panasonic, particularly the ES-LV65-S which can sometimes be found at some incredible deals. And even the ES-LV95-S is usually cheaper than a solo Series 9. So price-wise the Arc 5 fares better, but in different countries it may be the other way around.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  39. Melvin

    Hello Ovidiu,

    I noticed that the Panasonic WES9034P replacement blades is out of stock at http://www.panasonic.com. I found a similar blade called the Panasonic ES9036 on Amazon but the sellers are located in Japan. I’m wondering are these blades legit or counterfeit.

    Melvin

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Melvin,

      I’m pretty sure they are legit. The ES9036 is a newer iteration (but very similar to the WES9034P) and it’s the foil & blades set used by the latest Arc 5 generation 3 (revisions C and D).

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  40. Ram

    Hi Ovidiu.

    First of, I want to thank you for writing this review, it has been a pleasure to read. Also very kind of you to reply to the comments!

    My question is:
    Should I get the es-lv65 or ES-LV9Q-S803 or ES-LV6N-S803.
    Bonus question: Any major differences between these 3 beside the price?

    Thank you so much and I look forward hearing from you.

    -Ram

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Ram,

      Thank you so much for the kind words, much appreciate it. Given the current prices and availability, the ES-LV65-S would still be the best pick in most cases. The main advantages of the newer models, namely the ES-LV9Q and ES-LV6N, are the revised outer foils, more advanced flexing of the shaving head (impressive, but not really useful) and the design (for example, the ES-LV9Q is made out of brushed aluminum). Performance-wise, they are very close — in my experience, the new foils are more comfortable during use, however they will fit the ES-LV65-S perfectly if you decide to “upgrade” it later on (I wrote a detailed guide on the Arc 5 replacement foils & blades here).

      If the price difference is significant, I personally would go for the ES-LV65-S. Another bonus point for this model is that you can disable the beard density sensor (which is almost useless), which is something you cannot do with the newer models.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  41. Tony East

    Dear Ovidue,

    Many thanks for your most excellent and informative website. I’m an old codger of 75 and first started shaving at the tender age of 14 – I went to a strict boarding school where facial hair was not allowed!

    I soon found out that razor blades and my skin did not suit each other so I sent an SOS to my father who sent me a Ronson foil shaver. At that time Ronson was a well known British company manufacturing tabletop cigarette lighters and electric shavers. Later they produced the first electric toothbrush, but I digress.

    On leaving school I continued to use a Ronson shaver but with every new blade developed by Gilette or Wilkinson I would try wet shaving again, but after much blood and gore I would return to my trusty Ronson. Over the years I have had a Braun shaver, very similar to the Ronson, a Sunbeam, with 2 hollow ground blades like miniature cutthroats, which was pretty useless, a Boots shaver which was smilar to a Braun and quite good and eventually I found good old Panasonic shavers.

    I currently have an old ES8249 Pro-Curve which was wonderful when I first got it but then in 2013 I bought an ES-LV61 five blade shaver. This was a revelation in electric shaving and produced excellent results. However, despite fitting new foils and cutters it no longer gives the same shave it used too, especially on my cheeks where the hair is sparser, although it still does a good job on my chin area.

    Recently I discovered Razors by Dorco, a Korean company who make brilliant 6 blade cartridges at a fraction of the cost of Gillette blades and for the first time in my life I’ve been able to enjoy a really close, blood free, wet shave. However, I still prefer the convenience of an electric shaver so I’ve been doing a lot more research.

    I had settled on a Braun 9292CC although I had slight misgivings about the cost and closeness of the shave, but then I found your site which confirmed that I should stick with Panasonic and your recommendation of the ES-LV95 looks promising.

    However, I’m a sucker for the latest technology and so I looked at the ES-LV9Q but it’s far too pricy so the alternative ES-LQ6Q looks more like it. However, Shavers say it’s no longer available and Amazon want £173.25 for it. A little further searching took me to Costco who have it in stock for just £139.99 – a real bargain.

    Now I’m not a member of Costco but I have a good friend who is so I could buy one via him, but my question is this: Is the ES-LV9Q worth buying when I can get an ES-LV65 for £99.99? Is it worth forking out the extra £40 quid just to have the very latest? Please advise.

    Thank you for wading through my long email and for your kind and thoughtful advice.

    Tony East

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Tony,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such an insightful comment — I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

      Considering all the aspects, particularly the performance, price (value for money) and availability, going for the ES-LV65-S would make the most sense. It’s up to you if you also want to pay a bit more for the ES-LV6Q, but apart from a revised outer foil (that will also fit the ES-LV65-S) and a new design of the shaver, you won’t be getting much else, to be honest. The fact that the ES-LV65-S can be found at an excellent price, along with the compatibility with the newer foils makes it a very compelling option.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  42. Tony East

    Dear Ovidiu,

    Many thanks for your kind and thoughtful advice and understanding my mistypes too! After thinking things over and shaving this morning with my ES-LV61 I’ve changed my mind! My ES-LV61 performed very well with the new foil and cutters so why spend money on an ES-LV65 let alone the latest ES-LV6Q?

    As you say the improvements are incremental and “if it ain’t broke then why fix it?” So I’m sticking to my old 61 although next time it needs a new foil I may try upgrading to the latest one.

    By the way, do you know what enables Panasonic shavers to “sense” when a new foil is needed. If my old foil is still intact I keep it as a spare as on one occasion I managed to put a hole in an almost new foil, much to my annoyance. On fitting the old foil again the warning icon appeared Immediately telling me to replace the foil.

    I wonder if it works on a time basis or the number of uses. I’ve tried to fool it but without success.

    Thanks again,

    Tony

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      You are very welcome, Tony. I think you made the right decision by sticking to your ES-LV61. The shaver only uses a time-based counter to signal that the foil needs to be replaced. It only accounts for the time the shaver has been in use and once it passes a certain threshold, the indicator will light up. You can reset it by pressing and holding the power button for 30 seconds.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  43. Andrew

    Thank you for the informative review of the leading electric shavers, it has helped me to make my choice. I have only ever used Phillips shavers however I have seen a steady decline in quality in recent years culminating in the one I currently own, now just over 2 years old. It required replacement blades after 1 year, having stopped cutting completely, which was costly, now it is not doing a good job, again. I counsel all potential buyers to read your article to aid their choice. Avoid Phillips shavers whatever you do! Andrew.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, Andrew. Glad you found the information useful.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  44. fred freedman

    Ovidiu
    If I buy a LV65 and out one of the new foils with the comfort rollers on it will I essentially have a es-lv6n (except for a couple unimportant bells and whistles)?

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Fred,

      Pretty much, yes. I’ve already answered your questions here with a few more details.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  45. Steven

    Hi Ovidiu,

    As per my prediction earlier which I left comments on Braun Series 8 shaver, Panasonic has made an announcement launching a new shaver in Japan by early September. More details are on this page which is only in Japanese: https://panasonic.jp/shaver/lamdash5.html

    The shaver will have a new linear motor and the model number will end with letter E instead.

    I wonder if there will be new blades released with 9E models.

    Thanks,
    Steven

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Steven,

      Many thanks again for the update. Wow, Panasonic is really on a roll with these revisions. The upcoming E models, at least from the product pages, appear to be very similar to the existing D revision. They will use the same inner blades (WES9170), however the outer foil appears to be revised: https://panasonic.jp/shaver/p-db/ES9179.html
      It has the part number ES9179, while the previous one used on the C and D models was ES9177. From the photos, they look very similar though.

      I’ll probably end up ordering one from Japan as soon as they’re available in September.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      1. Steven

        Hi Ovidiu,

        From my observation on the website and the images, the shaver body looks quite identical to former models of the 9 series. In regards to the outer shaver foil, I wonder what changes have been made, the image on the website show the outer foil looks same as former models of the 9 series.

        Panasonic was giving the outer blades for free in a campaign over the past couple of months in Japan and this definitely means the new outer blades/foil most likely won’t fit into the older versions.

        If I come across the new model in the shops here in Japan, I will write my observation here.

        Thanks,
        Steven

        Reply
        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

          Hi Steven,

          Since the two removable blades are the same (since the introduction of the very first Arc 5), I think we can safely assume that at least the two innermost foils (the ones that flank the middle trimmer) will be exactly the same. The two outermost foils, the ones that have built-in blades could be revised (maybe something we cannot yet spot from the product photos) and also the middle trimmer. However, I highly doubt it, I think Panasonic would have explicitly mentioned the changes in the product pages (for marketing purposes, of course). At least that’s what they did when they introduced the third generation Arc 5 (the first 3 revisions).

          As for compatibility with older Arc 5 models, I would be a bit surprised to be honest if the new foil wouldn’t fit. But everything is possible, including some small changes to the black plastic frame of the outer foil.

          If you can find an E model, I would appreciate any info regarding this. I doubt I’ll be able to get one anytime soon.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
          1. Steven

            Hi Ovidiu,

            Thanks for your comments. I’ve a feeling there might be a slight change in the middle trimmer. It’s very hard to predict by observing the product images available online, but we will see. I will keep an eye on it in the shops here in Japan. I wonder what’s the market price for the E series. I will keep you informed if I get some new info.

            Thanks,
            Steven

  46. Tony East

    Hi Ovidiu,

    I’m not the first to do this but you may be interested in my experience. I have just fitted a WES9177Y foil to my ES-LV61, thats the one with gold coloured rollers, although it’s not listed as being compatible on the packaging. Thats says it’s for the ES-CV51, LV9N, LV9Q, LV7N, LV6N and LV6Q shavers.

    Anyway, I had a quick, comfortable and close shave using it. Now as it’s the first time that I’ve used it only time will tell if I get any longterm benefit, but first impressions are very good and I’m amazed at just how close my shave was this morning.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder they say, so I’ll let you know in about a month if I still think it’s better that the standard foil.

    Best wishes,

    Tony

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Tony,

      That’s awesome! Please do so, I for example still find the WES9177 more comfortable than the older foil, but the closeness was the same from the beginning in my case.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  47. Ray

    Hi Ovidiu,

    I am replacing an older Panasonic razor with a cleaning station that has been excellent. Currently I live part time in Spain and part time in the USA. Here are my questions:

    1) I see that the ES-LV65-S has both a European plug and an American plug that can be used and depending on where you buy it, that is what you get. Is it easy to buy the alternate plug so I have both as I move back and forth?

    2) Does the ES-LV95-S have the same multinational option since the plug goes into the cleaning station, it may not be the same?

    Thanks for your help.

    Ray

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Ray,

      1) That is correct, the plug depends on where you buy the shaver. However, it can be easily fixed with a simple and cheap plug adapter. I actually have a few Panasonic models that I bought from the USA and I use them in Europe with a simple plug adapter.

      2) Yes, it is fitted with the same universal voltage converter, so it’s all good.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  48. Paul

    Hello, I am considering buying the panasonic lv65 that you have detailed info about in this article. Are you 100% sure that what you say here: “Bonus tip: you can use the foils and blades of the latest Arc 5 generation on the ES-LV65-S and ES-LV95-S as well. The part numbers for those are WES9034P and WES9036.” is confirmed and tested by you?
    I saw a package and the do not mention the es-lv65-s as a model that these newer foils and blades are approved by panasonic.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hello Paul,

      Yes, it is tested and confirmed by me and other users as well. I wrote a detailed guide on the Arc 5 foils and blades here.
      On the package it is not mentioned that the newer foils are compatible with older Arc 5 models like the ES-LV65-S.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply

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