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:



Shop Panasonic ES-LV65-S Arc 5

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The competition in the high-end electric shavers segment is fierce, 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, 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 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 and gimmicky parts.

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.

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 to suggest that its Series 9 also has 5 cutting elements, but that’s just downright false.

So we have 5 cutting elements 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:

1. Two finishing foils. These are the outermost cutting 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. The 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 foils.

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.

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 all together 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 (ES-LV9N, ES-LV6N) probably has the best designed shaving head of any foil shaver with regards to following the contours of the face, 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 into a fixed position when more control 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. Being fully waterproof, you can shave in the shower, use it with your favorite shaving cream and easily clean it under running water.


Other noteworthy features of the ES-LV65-S include: 45 minute 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.

I like the elegant silver and black color scheme that works great with the 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

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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 the glossy black that houses the controls and LED display 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 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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

The second position locks the head into a fixed position for more precision when shaving a tight spot.

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

Further down you’ll see three round studs 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 no, 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 of all electric shaver manufacturers.

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:

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

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

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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).

But unlike Braun, Panasonic also includes a plastic cap that covers the very sensitive foils.

Battery life and charging

The Panasonic ES-LV65-S has a built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery and can only be operated cordless. This means that 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.

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.

The used 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

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No, it’s not the latest Arc 5 model, 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.


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.

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, the ES-LV65-S comes on top when it comes strictly to the closeness of the shave.


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 like the Braun Series 5 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-LF51-A Arc 4 shaver.


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 quick comb 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 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.

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 very 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 days or more and you have wiry 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 Norelco 9300 which are arguably better at shaving longer, flat-lying hairs.

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 hair trimmers to be extremely useful for touch-ups and light grooming; however, on many occasions their design and implementation leaves 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.

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.

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 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 dislodge any traces of dirt.

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

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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. Clean the foil assembly under water as well, both the inside and the outside.

Shake off any excess water, then 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

To 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

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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 from sites like Amazon.

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.

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.

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 and it really is a fantastic product.

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 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 8900.

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 ES-LV9N. 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 a superior shaver in pretty much all regards.

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

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

Along with the 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 detergent powder 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

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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.

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 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 Panasonics, Braun razors are notoriously 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

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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.

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.

You can check out my review of the ES-LA63-S for all the details.

45 comments on “Panasonic ES-LV65-S Review: Underrated and Impressive

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  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 🙂

    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.


  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.

    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.


  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?



    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.


      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?


  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!

    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.


  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.


  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?


    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!


  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???

    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author


      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.


    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.

  8. Mathieu

    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.

    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.


      1. Mathieu

        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!

        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.

      2. Wojtek


        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. 🙂


        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! 🙂


          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!


          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.


  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!


    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.


  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?


    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.


  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

    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.

  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…

    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.


  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.



    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.


  14. Bill


    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!

  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

    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?

    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.


        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

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

  16. Sebastian


    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: ?


    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.



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