Panasonic ES-LV67-K (ES-LV97-K) Review: How Good Is the New Arc5?

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Panasonic ES-LV67-K (ES-LV97-K) Review: How Good Is the New Arc5?

Review Summary

The good: very close shaves, comfortable, fast and powerful, suitable for coarse beards, excellent build quality, lightweight & well-balanced, wet & dry use, generous bundle of included accessories, easy to clean, excellent popup trimmer

The bad: not ideal for shaving long and flat-lying hairs, the large head takes some getting used to, pricey replacement foil & blades, mostly a visual update over older Arc 5 models

Our Rating:

(4.5 out of 5 stars overall)

Value for money:

Features:

Performance:

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Panasonic has been one of the more active manufacturers in recent years when it comes to releasing new high-end shavers, and, unsurprisingly, decided to add yet another model to their already confusing Arc 5 lineup.

Presented at the IFA 2019, the new Arc 5 is available in two variations: ES-LV67 (just the shaver) and ES-LV97 (includes an automatic cleaning station). Other than that, the two shavers are absolutely identical.

And speaking of model names, the ES-LV67-K and ES-LV97-K are simply the black versions, while there’s also a blue option that will be available in specific countries like the UK.

So the -K simply designates the color, but it’ll often be left out of the name and the shavers will simply be referred to as ES-LV67 and ES-LV97. In fact, even Panasonic does that on their UK and Australia websites.

Given that there are currently 3 Arc 5 generations out there, with the third one comprising of 5 distinct revisions (A through E), with weird names and some of them only available on the Japanese market, it’s no surprise that there’s quite a bit of confusion regarding where the new ES-LV67/ES-LV97 will fit and how they compare to the existing Arc 5 models.

Well, in this review I’ll address precisely that as I’ve thoroughly tested the new Panasonic Arc 5 ES-LV67 and I’ll share all the important aspects, including how it performs relative to other Arc 5 shavers.

Let’s dive right in.

ES-LV67/ES-LV97 features overview

Since the ES-LV67-K and ES-LV97-K are the two models available in the USA, I decided to get the ES-LV67-K for the purpose of this review.

As mentioned earlier, the ES-LV67 is the shaver that comes without a cleaning station and it’s also the cheaper option.

However, the review will be relevant in the case of the ES-LV97 as well since it’s really the same shaver (plus the station).

Let’s now take a quick look over the most important features and weed out some of the marketing fluff.

5 blade shaving system

The 5 blade shaving head of the Panasonic ES-LV67/ES-LV97.

A) Quick Slit Blade B) Quick Lift Foils C) Finishing Foils

Since it’s an Arc 5, it had to feature that one defining characteristic: a slightly arched, massive, 5 blade shaving head.

And the new ES-LV67 and ES-LV97 use a familiar foil setup that we’ve seen on the older (first and second generation) Arc 5.

In fact, they use the exact same outer foil and inner blades. This is a very important detail and we’ll get back to it later on.

Here is a quick overview of the 5 shaving elements and what they’re supposed to do:

A)Quick Slit Blade that captures and pre-cuts longer hairs, including those that grow in different directions.

B) — Two Quick Lift Foils that lift and cut short, flat-lying hairs. These foils are supposedly reverse-tapered to capture the hairs more efficiently.

C) — Two Finishing Foils that are very thin and should cut the hairs very close to the skin.

The blades are Panasonic’s well-known stainless steel blades that have an aggressive 30 degrees bevel for a more efficient cutting action.

As usual, there are two removable inner blades corresponding to the quick lift foils, while the remaining three blades are integrated into the foil block.

The exposed inner blades of the Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV67-K.

The exposed inner blades of the Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV67-K.

To summarize, there’s nothing new about the actual shaving elements of the new ES-LV67/ES-LV97.

Panasonic actually makes a few revised, updated foils for their newer Arc 5 in the third generation (that feature the distinctive gold rollers), but they fitted the ES-LV67 and ES-LV97 with the older foil used on the ES-LV65 and ES-LV95.

The good news is that the revised foils are actually compatible with the ES-LV67/ES-LV97 (more details later on).

New 16D flexing shaving head

The shaving head of the ES-LV67-K.

The shaving head of this shaver has some impressive flexing capabilities.

Precisely, it can swivel up and down, left to right and vertically. The 5 blades themselves can also move independently.

It’s not the most advanced Arc 5 shaving head available though.

The revisions C, D, and E of the Arc 5 (for example, the ES-LV9Q) are equipped with shaving heads that can also twist and slide back and forth.

While these features have debatable efficiency and benefits during use, it’s worth noting that again with the ES-LV67 and ES-LV97 Panasonic didn’t use the latest available technology and these two models are shaping up to be a mix of some older shavers.

In fact, the body looks pretty much the same as the one of the ES-LV9N and ES-LV9A.

So while the ES-LV67-K/ES-LV97-K are chronologically the newest Arc 5 releases, they’re not the most advanced. This of course doesn’t tell us much about the real-world performance (we’ll address that later on in the review).

14 000 CPM linear drive motor

The shaver comes with the same nippy and powerful 14 000 CPM (cycles per minute) motor, the same one used in the rest of the Arc 5 line and on some Arc 4 models.

It’s the fastest motor fitted to any electric shaver and one of the contributing factors to the Arc 5 excellent shaving performance.

Panasonic touts about the 70 000 cross-cuts per minute which is nothing more than the number of cycles per minute multiplied by the number of blades (14 000×5=70 000).

Intelligent shaving sensor

A sensor that supposedly detects the density of the beard is nothing new and we’ve seen it on past models as well.

The effectiveness of this technology is still limited and with previous models (like the ES-LV65-S for example) you could simply turn it off and shave in full-power mode at all times.

With the ES-LV67 and ES-LV97, the sensor cannot be disabled anymore.

According to Panasonic, it reads the beard density up to 220 times per second and adjusts the power of the motor accordingly (up to 14 adjustments per second).

This should ideally ensure maximum cutting power when shaving coarse hairs and a gentler shave for light to medium beards.

Wet & dry use

The new ES-LV67-K is of course suitable for wet and dry use, meaning you can shave in the shower or with your favorite cream or gel.

This feature also implies that the shaver will only work cordless (due to safety reasons). As such, it comes equipped with a Li-ion battery that should provide 45 minutes of shaving time on a single charge.

While this is pretty standard, I would have liked to see a bigger battery fitted to the shaver. For example, Braun recently updated the Series 9 and fitted them with larger batteries, increasing their autonomy to 60 minutes.

The shaver can of course be safely washed with water.

Misc features

Other noteworthy features of the ES-LV67 are: a popup trimmer, travel lock, 5-level battery status indicator, 3-minute quick charge, universal voltage converter (100-240v).

Build quality and ergonomics

One area where Panasonic has been constantly killing it in recent years is build quality and design.

Compared to the other major brands, they seem to be in a league of their own, at least in this regard.

The ES-LV67-K is no different and the shaver impresses just by looking at it.

Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV67-K

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While the design is familiar, being almost identical to the previously released ES-LV9N, it is extremely sleek and it looks even better in this matte black finish.

It actually has more of a dark, deep, blueish grey hue and the matte texture feels very smooth and refined when handling the shaver.

The difference in hue is obvious if you look at the bottom half of the shaving head or at the thumb rest — those have a true black color.

The only other splash of color is some gold used for the Lamdash logo and right below the shaving head.

Speaking of which, it is a 5 blade behemoth that’s an impressive feat of engineering.

Despite the looks, the shaver is not top-heavy at all, being well balanced and at just under 200 grams, it’s also pretty lightweight.

Even though the body of the ES-LV67 is made out of plastic (unlike the aforementioned ES-LV9N that featured a brushed aluminum body), it doesn’t feel cheap or plasticky at all.

There are no rough edges, no cracking noises and the gaps between the various surfaces are extremely small and consistent, which is not always the case with other premium shavers.

Everything feels solid and almost over-engineered and that’s a good thing since you’ll probably want the razor to last for many years of use.

On the front of the shaver, right below the head, there’s a large thumb rest and its position is pretty spot-on, especially if you have larger hands.

The Panasonic Arc 5 ES-LV67-K held in hand.

The power switch is a simple, round button that also doubles as a travel lock.

And while it has decent tactile feedback, it is a bit too easy to press, so you could accidentally turn the shaver off during use if you put your thumb on it (it happened to me a couple of times).

The padlock icon signaling that the travel lock is activated.In order to activate the travel lock, with the razor switched on, you must press and hold the power button for 2 to 3 seconds.

The shaver will enter in travel mode and you won’t be able to turn it on. This is confirmed by a small padlock icon on the bottom of the display that will flash when trying to turn the shaver on.

To deactivate the travel lock, you must simply press and hold the button again for 2 to 3 seconds.

The battery level display on the Panasonic ES-LV67-K.The long and slim display will show various information, the most prominent being the battery level.

I am personally not a fan of it, with all the numbers being displayed at once and taking up basically the entire display.

Also, some older Arc 5 and even Arc 4 models used to display a timer letting you know the length of your shaving session, which was pretty neat.

Unfortunately that feature is gone with the ES-LV67 and ES-LV97.

On the sides and back of the razor, there’s a generous rubberized sleeve that ensures a fantastic grip.

Side view of the ES-LV67, revealing the sculpted ergonomic shape.

This, along with the ergonomic shape of the handle and the balanced weight distribution make the ES-LV67 one of the easiest to handle shavers I’ve ever used.

Turning the shaver over we find the pop-up trimmer on the shaving head itself.

Panasonic ES-LV67 back view.

Being positioned toward the top of the head, it makes it easier to see what you’re doing, improving the experience massively compared to older Panasonic models that had the trimmer located lower (on the actual body).

The switch below the trimmer has 2 functions: to lock (and unlock) the shaving head and to deploy the hair trimmer.

For that, there are three positions to choose from.

Panasonic ES-LV67 switch.

In the FREE position (1), the shaving head can move freely and follow the various contours of the face.

Sliding the switch forward in the LOCK position (2) will — as the name implies — lock the head in a fixed position for more precision.

Unfortunately this is a single, predetermined position; for example, on Braun shavers, there are 5 predetermined positions.

Also, if the top of the head is not aligned with the slider, trying to push it forward can feel jerky and it will require quite a lot of force.

Finally, in the third position, the trimmer is activated and you can then turn the shaver on and use it.

Also on the back of the shaver you may have noticed 3 dots where the metal contacts of the ES-LV97 would be. Those are used to charge the shaver when it’s placed in the cleaning station.

Finally, toward the bottom, we have some info about the shaver. It’s neat that Panasonic also provides the model of the charger (RE7-87) so you’ll know which one to buy in case you lose it.

Overall, the ES-LV67/ES-LV97 managed to impress with the solid build quality and sleek design.

Included accessories

While it’s not always the case, the packaging can be an indicator of the quality of the items inside.

As such, the ES-LV67-K came in a compact and nice-looking box made out of thick cardboard with some nice illustrations.

The Panasonic ES-LV67-K packaging.

This is in stark contrast with the cheap, thin boxes Braun uses with all the items piled together.

In this case, the contents are very neatly packaged. Here’s what you’ll find:

  • ES-LV67 electric shaver
  • Travel pouch
  • Charging cord
  • Protective cap
  • A small bottle of lubricant
  • Cleaning brush
  • Operating instructions, warranty card (2 years for both the shaver and the battery) and cleaning instructions.

Panasonic ES-LV67 included accessories.

Overall, the bundle is pretty impressive. I must however mention the soft, faux leather pouch which was a bit of a letdown.

While it does look quite nice, it offers little protection and it’s getting a little bit long in the tooth. Panasonic really needs to replace it with at least a hard textile case.

Also, other Arc 5 models come with a really nice hard leather case for example.

But considering the rest of the goodies, I think we can let it slide.

I really appreciate it when manufacturers include lubricant and protective caps; I know it doesn’t sound like much, but these items are really useful and we rarely see them included nowadays.

Battery life and charging

Like all current Panasonic electric shavers, the Arc5 ES-LV67/ES-LV97 will only work cordless.

So you won’t be able to use the razor while it’s charging, which may be a deal-breaker for some potential users.

Unfortunately that’s how the vast majority of today’s electric razors work, not just the ones from Panasonic.

There are only a handful of models still in production that will actually work when connected to a power outlet.

The reason for this is of course safety and all wet & dry electric shavers are confined to cordless operation.

The Panasonic ES-LV67 and ES-LV97 are fitted with a rechargeable Li-ion battery that will provide a decent 45 minutes of cordless use.

That’s basically the industry standard and it should be enough for anyone’s needs.

It would have been nice to see a bigger battery inside this new Arc 5 release, but it is what it is.

From past experience, I never had any significant issues with Panasonic shavers and battery longevity, so in my opinion this shouldn’t be a cause of concern.

Getting back to the ES-LV67-K in our review, the battery life was solid during my tests and I actually managed to get a bit more than the claimed 45 minutes.

I don’t actually recommend you doing so; just charge the shaver whenever you can, as you would do with your smartphone for example.

This will not have a negative effect on the battery (contrary to some of the myths still lingering).

Charging the shaver from 0 to 100% takes just under one hour.

The included charger is the standard Panasonic RE7-87 that’s shipped with all their current razors.

Charging from 0 to 100% takes almost an hour during which a charging symbol will be shown on the bottom of the display and the corresponding battery level will flash.

It does unfortunately have a proprietary connector, so we’re not getting USB-C any time soon.

The battery level indicator is a bit crude in its design as I already mentioned, but it is functional and clear and it gets the job done.

Side note: the ES-LV97 model can be charged either directly with the cord or via the cleaning station.

My unit came with a USA plug, but this can vary if you buy the shaver from Europe for example.

However, you will still be able to use it anywhere in the world with a simple plug adapter since it’s fitted with a universal voltage converter (100-240v).

The quick charge feature is present as well and you should be able to get just enough juice in the battery with a 3-minute charge to complete a shave.

All in all, the battery life of the ES-LV67-K was good and consistent and pretty much what you would expect from a quality shaver.

Shaving performance

Right, let’s now get to the most important part of the review — how the Panasonic ES-LV67 actually shaves.

Spoiler alert: it’s fantastic.

Performance-wise, I’d say it’s one of the best shavers out there right now.

However, there are a few caveats you should keep in mind before pulling the trigger.

So I will be going in detail over what I consider to be the 5 most important aspects, starting off with the closeness.

1. The closeness of the shave

With any Arc 5 that I test, I always have high expectations regarding the closeness of the shave.

I’ve mentioned it on many occasions, I think the closeness is the selling point of pretty much all Panasonic shavers over similarly priced models from the competition, particularly Braun foil shavers.

And there’s really no other way of putting this — the ES-LV67 (ES-LV97) is one of the closest shaving electric razors you can currently buy.

Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV67-K

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It consistently provided a very close and smooth shave and what’s even more impressive (at least for me), it did so regardless of the area being shaved.

For example, I have a really bony chin with very thick and dense stubble and getting a smooth shave is always an issue for me. The same goes for the area right under my chin and above the upper lip.

This Panasonic managed to pass this test with flying colors.

It was effortless to get an extremely close shave, regardless if I used it wet or dry which is again a big deal for me as I can normally get a really close shave when using shaving cream.

On the cheeks, the closeness was again among the best I ever got from any electric shaver.

The powerful motor and the sharp blades made it effortless to get these stellar results.

I really don’t have any complaints with regards to closeness, so if that’s what you’re after, the ES-LV67-K is really a fantastic option.

Fun fact: this shaver uses the exact same foil and inner blades as previous Arc 5 models, the highly acclaimed and popular ES-LV65-S and ES-LV95-S.

Those two were also top performers and the unsurprisingly, their successors, the ES-LV67 and ES-LV97 respectively, follow suit.

So that’s something to keep in mind if you’re trying to compare and decide between them: they use the same cutting elements, so in this regard, the newer ES-LV67 doesn’t bring any improvements.

Which is fine really, as the older shavers were excellent.

Another difference would be the shaving sensor that in the case of the ES-LV67 and ES-LV97 is always on.

This didn’t seem to impact the closeness compared to my ES-LV65-S that I always use with the sensor off, so in full power mode.

I think the ES-LV67 may be fitted with an updated sensor that’s better at modulating the power output as it didn’t seem to vary it is often and abruptly.

So stellar performance as far as closeness is concerned.

Let’s now move on to comfort.

2. The comfort of the shave

Considering the A+ closeness, the comfort was actually remarkable.

Unless you have very sensitive skin and suffer from ingrown hairs and bumps, I think most users will be perfectly fine using the Panasonic ES-LV67-K (be it wet or dry).

It’s really difficult to make an electric shaver that excels at both closeness and comfort. A small compromise must always be made and sacrifice one of the two.

Braun for example sacrifices a bit of closeness for comfort. With Panasonic, it’s the other way around.

However, it’s not too bad. Out of all Panasonic shavers, the Arc 5 is the most comfortable.

I only have two relatively minor issues in this regard while testing the ES-LV67-K.

Precisely, I have very sensitive skin on my neck and when doing a faster stroke as opposed to a slower, more controlled motion, it would sometimes pinch and sting, maybe even yank a hair or two if I haven’t shaved in 3 days for example.

But I could easily get around this problem by being a bit more careful.

The second issue was a mild rash, more in the form of some redness rather than actual discomfort on the neck and around my upper lip area.

But again, it wasn’t a really big deal and it always went away after applying an aftershave balm.

So while it’s not as comfortable as a Braun Series 7 or 9, the Panasonic ES-LV67 will likely be good enough for most users.

Again, if you suffer from more serious issues, I think the aforementioned Braun models will be a better choice.

Also, the newer, revised Arc 5 foils (that have the two golden rollers) are a bit more comfortable and they will actually fit the ES-LV67, so you can upgrade it in the future (you can find the exact part numbers in the replacement parts section of this review).

I personally like to use a pre-shave when I shave dry as it makes the shave that much more comfortable and it can also improve the closeness.

I got the best results doing so with the ES-LV67-K; my pre-shaves lotions of choice are called Blue Stratos and Speick, I highly recommend them if you can buy them in your country.

3. Shaving longer hairs

This is the only bigger drawback of this shaver (and Panasonic in general): shaving longer, flat-lying hairs.

Despite the use of those specialized shaving elements, like the quick slit blade and reverse-tapered foils, it’s still their Achilles’ heel.

While the ES-LV67 is really fast and will easily cut wiry and coarse hairs with ease, it can struggle if the hairs are longer and lie flat on the skin.

My neck basically has a lot of those and the direction of growth is also inconsistent, which makes shaving even more difficult.

Unsurprisingly, this razor struggled a bit when shaving a longer beard, which in my case is 3 days and up.

When the hair was shorter, it wasn’t actually that big of a deal and it managed to do the job decently.

But when trying to shave long and flat hairs, it would miss some of them and it would take quite a few strokes while constantly adjusting the direction just to capture them.

The very large head doesn’t help either, mostly because it pretty much obscures the area you’re shaving and you need to be aware of the hairs’ direction of growth and always go against it.

I found it easier to tilt the shaver so that the middle slit blade was the first one coming in contact with the skin (despite the general rule of thumb of always keeping the shaver perpendicular to the skin).

The shaver seemed to capture those difficult hairs more efficiently when doing so.

Also, the complex flexing shaving head did a decent job of maintaining contact with the skin, especially when shaving the neck and jawline.

I actually prefer the simple heads of Braun shavers as they have a greater range of motion and the blade themselves require a lot less force to be depressed, which can help with comfort and maintaining contact with the skin.

This is an old and ongoing issue with all Panasonic shavers.

So the takeaway is that the ES-LV67/ES-LV97 is not ideal for shaving less often, especially if the whiskers stay flat on the skin.

They will work great when used on short stubble, so depending on your shaving routine, a Panasonic Arc 5 may or may not be ideal for you.

4. Wet use

I know most men prefer to shave dry, but you do have the option of using a nice shaving cream with the ES-LV67 and enjoy a potentially even more comfortable and close shave.

You can use the ES-LV67 with shaving cream or gel.

If you’re getting satisfying results using the razor dry, this may not be worth it; there’s more prep work needed and the cleaning has to be thorough.

However, if you have irritation-prone skin, this could improve your experience significantly.

I tried it a few times and it was great. In my case, the biggest difference was the lack of any irritation and redness on my neck and closeness was, as expected, amazing.

In fact, I’d say that it was comparable to what you would get from a razor blade.

Also, the flat-lying hairs issue was greatly reduced, even though a few stray hairs still gave me a hard time.

Since it’s fully waterproof, you can also shave in the shower if you prefer doing so.

5. Popup trimmer

The ES-LV67 is fitted with Panasonic’s typical popup trimmer located on the shaving head.

The popup trimmer of the Panasonic ES-LV67-K.

And it’s a great trimmer for some light grooming, like shaping and edging sideburns or goatees.

I wouldn’t use it constantly to pre-trim an entire beard. You can do that, but I imagine it will take a long time, so it would be a good idea to invest in a dedicated beard trimmer.

But for its intended purpose, it works great. In fact, I think Panasonic makes the best trimmers out of all the electric shaver brands.

It’s positioned just right toward the top of the head and you don’t have to remove the foil and inner blades to see what you’re doing.

Front view of the Panasonic ES-LV67-K trimmer.

The trimmer is really sharp, adequately wide and has a straight edge (which I definitely prefer over an arched one).

Also, the spring holding it in place when deployed is pretty strong and the trimmer won’t fall back like the one on the Braun Series 7 or on most Remington shavers.

Cleaning and maintenance

When faced with the decision of getting either the ES-LV67 or the ES-LV97, the choice was pretty easy for me: I went for the former and also saved some money doing so.

I’m not saying by any means that the station included with the Arc 5 isn’t good, on the contrary, I think it’s one of the best out there.

I just don’t think it’s necessary and it’s also not as practical as the ones from Braun for example (I’ll get to that right away).

However, it’s entirely up to you to decide if the convenience of the cleaning dock is worth the extra cost.

Panasonic electric shavers are the easiest to clean and maintain out of all the brands in my opinion.

And that’s the case with the ES-LV67-K as well.

There are a few features of Panasonic shavers that make them easier to clean compared to other foil shavers: they have removable inner blades and offer great access for a thorough cleaning, they have a special cleaning mode and they’re fully waterproof.

So let’s start with manually cleaning the shaver and then take a look at what the station has to offer in the case of the ES-LV97.

Manual cleaning

Upon completing the shave, the first thing I do with any electric razor is to remove the bulk of hair strands trapped inside the head.

With the shaver turned off, on both sides of the ES-LV67 head there are two tabs and once you press them, the foil frame pops out.

Tap the plastic part gently on the sink to get rid of the hairs.

Tapping the hairs out of the foil frame.

You can also use the long part of the included brush on the inside of the foils, but I personally don’t bother doing that.

For a more thorough cleaning, you should use a bit of liquid soap at least every once in a while.

With the shaver turned off, put the foil frame back on the shaver, add a bit of water and a few drops of soap, then press and hold the power button for 3 seconds.

Cleaning the shaver with soap and water.

Cleaning the shaver with soap and water.

The Sonic cleaning mode will be activated, signaled by the high pitched motor noise and the flashing of the battery level indicators.

During this mode, the blades will oscillate at a very high speed, effectively cleaning any hardened dirt and gunk from the blades.

It will also prevent water splashes.

Add more water if needed so the soap can lather and coat all the foils.

After 20 seconds or so, the shaver will automatically turn off. You can do it earlier by pressing the power switch.

Press and hold the button again to activate the cleaning mode, then rinse the head under the tap.

Cleaning the shaver with water.

Remove the foil frame again and give it a rinse under the tap. Do the same with the inner blades.

Giving the foils and blades one final rinse.

Shake off the excess water, pat the shaver with a clean cloth and let all the parts air dry completely for 24 hours before putting them back together and storing the shaver in a cabinet.

Lubrication

In order to ensure optimal performance, you should lubricate the blades of your shaver regularly.

This is particularly important if you use soap as it will remove any traces of lubrication.

Fortunately, Panasonic did include a small bottle of lubricant (which is basically a highly refined mineral oil) and the lubrication process is very straightforward.

I personally do it right before I shave, but that doesn’t really matter as long as the blades and foils are dry (this in turn matters).

Lubricating the shaver with the included oil.

With the shaver turned off, place a single drop of lubricant on each foil, then switch the shaver on for a few seconds so that the oil can spread evenly. Gently wipe off the excess with a paper tissue and you’re all set.

I recommend lubricating the shaver after every cleaning that involves the use of soap. If you only use water or just the brush, once a week should suffice.

Automatic cleaning

While I went for the ES-LV67, I have a good knowledge of the station that comes with the ES-LV97 and I can share some thoughts on it.

I have quite a few of those stations laying around unused because as I mentioned, cleaning Panasonic shavers is really easy and takes seconds.

And besides that, once you decide to use the station, you pretty much have to stick with it.

Unlike Braun stations where you can simply take out the cartridge, put the cap on and store them for future use, the Panasonic station has a tray in which you mix concentrated detergent with water and you’re out of options if for some reason you don’t want to use the station for a period.

Knowing that, I’ve only used mine sparingly (if at all).

But practicality aside, the Panasonic station is really good. In fact, it has a few key advantages over all the other brands.

The detergent solution lasts a long time, you have the option of only drying the shaver and the station is fitted with both a fan and a heater to dry the shaver efficiently.

And I can confirm that at the end of the drying cycle the head won’t be damp like a Series 9 for example.

So yes, if you have the budget for the ES-LV97 and you think you’ll be using the station on a regular basis, then by all means go for it.

Also, you won’t have to lubricate the shaver manually as the cleaning solution also acts as a lubricant.

Replacement parts availability

The ES-LV67 and ES-LV97 feature Panasonic’s usual shaving system comprising of two removable inner blades and one outer foil.

The foil and inner blades of the Arc 5 ES-LV67 and ES-LV97.

They can be bought separately or as a set.

The two inner blades are the WESS9170P, which are the same inner blades used throughout the entire history of the Arc 5 line. Yes, from the very first models, up to the current ones, including the Japanese-only models, the inner blades are the same.

The outer foil has the part number WES9173P and again, it is the exact same foil used on older Arc 5 models like the ES-LV65-S, ES-LV95-S or the first generation ES-LV61-A.

You can purchase them as a set too (part number WES9032P) and this option is usually a bit more advantageous financially.

WES9032(P) Foil and blades set

WES9032P foil and blade set.

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As mentioned previously, the newer, revised outer foil that features two gold comfort rollers are compatible with the ES-LV67 and ES-LV97, so you may choose to buy those instead when it’s time to replace the older one.

The ES-LV67-K with the newer WES9175 foil.

The ES-LV67-K with the newer WES9175 foil.

These foils have the part numbers WES9175, WES9177 and you can also buy them together with the two inner blades since again they are the same.

For a detailed overview of all the replacement foils and blades and their compatibility with various Arc 5 models, you can check out this guide.

As for how often you’ll need to replace them, that really varies a lot among different users and their shaving routine.

Things like the coarseness of the beard, how often you shave and how well you take care of your razor will have a great influence on the lifespan of these parts.

Panasonic recommends replacing the inner blades every two years and the foil every year. Again, this will depend on the aforementioned factors.

I also suggest replacing both the blades and foil at the same time; uneven wear of one of the replacement parts can actually accelerate the deterioration of a new part and the performance won’t be optimal from the get-go.

Wrapup — Who should buy the ES-LV67?

This shaver had all the premises to deliver a stellar performance and it did just that for most of the time.

If you want a very close shave, you don’t suffer from ingrown hairs or very sensitive skin and you usually shave more often, the ES-LV67/ES-LV97 would be the ideal shaver for you.

Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV67-K

See the price on Amazon

As outlined in the performance section of the test, it is not the best out there if you have wiry, flat-lying hairs. Again, it is less of an issue when the hair is shorter, so shaving more often should improve the performance.

For beginners or users with light facial hair, the ES-LV67-K could be a bit overkill in the sense that they would still get really good results with a less expensive razor like an Arc 4 or even Arc 3.

The bulky shaving head is the result of having 5 shaving elements that while ensure a really fast and efficient shave, can make maneuvering the razor more cumbersome, especially for beginners.

So it can take some time until you get used to its proportions.

The Panasonic replacement parts have always been pricey and it’s the same story here. You shouldn’t neglect this aspect if your goal is to get the most cost-effective shaver out there. The ES-LV67 is not that shaver.

Finally, I think the strongest argument against buying the ES-LV67-K or the ES-LV97-K is the very existence of the older and cheaper Arc 5 models, the highly popular ES-LV65-S and ES-LV95-S.

Which leads us to the next section.

Alternative shavers

I think it’s obvious at this point that this new release is more of a visual update.

Yes, the design is modern and sleek, the shaving head has some impressive flexing capabilities and the build quality is top-notch despite the use of plastic instead of metal.

But the things that really matter for shaving performance, like the motor and the foil and blades, have remained unchanged from the ES-LV65-S (ES-LV95-S).

Panasonic ES-LV67-K vs ES-LV65-S

In my experience, the results are basically identical between my ES-LV65-S and the ES-LV67-K. The latter does seem to be fitted with an improved beard density sensor, but that’s pretty much it.

So that obviously makes you wonder if you should spend more on a new design when the results are basically the same.

That’s totally up to you, but my personal pick would still be the older Panasonic ES-LV65-S as it offers fantastic value for money, at least at this moment.

Panasonic ES-LV65-S

Panasonic es-lv65-s Arc 5

See the price on Amazon

Moreover, you can also disable the shaving sensor and, surprisingly, I quite like the flashier, quirky design of the ES-LV65-S. And it will also display the length of your shave, a feature that was left out with the ES-LV67.

But the price is the decisive factor here and in a Panasonic ES-LV67-K vs ES-LV65-S situation, I would opt for the latter.

Despite being released a long time ago, the ES-LV65-S is still as relevant as ever and a fantastic choice. The same goes for the ES-LV95, the model that comes with a cleaning station.

You won’t have to worry about the replacement parts either, as these shavers are also compatible with the newer foils.

Finally, if you have very sensitive skin, your whiskers grow parallel to the skin and you shave less often, I think you’d be better off with a Braun shaver, be it a Series 9 or a 7 (depending on your budget).

Braun Series 9 9290cc

Braun Series 9 9290cc

See the price on Amazon

They are much better in these situations and despite not shaving quite as close as a Panasonic Arc 5, I think most users will be satisfied with the results.

They’re also better suited for African American men and for shaving the head.

Unlike with Panasonic, I think you can confidently go for a cc model that includes an automatic cleaning station in this case.

12 comments on “Panasonic ES-LV67-K (ES-LV97-K) Review: How Good Is the New Arc5?

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  1. Mark S.

    I am trying to decide between the ES-LV67-K and the ES-LV65-S. Besides the difference in price, do you feel that one stands out over the other in any way?

    Many thanks,
    Mark

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Mark,

      As I said in the review, apart from the more up to date design of the ES-LV67, no. In my experience, the ES-LV65-S is just as good and if you can grab one at a discount too, it’s clearly a winner. In terms of value for money, I don’t think there’s a better shaver out there right now (assuming that it’s a suitable shaver for your needs).

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      1. Mark S.

        MANY thanks for your reviews and answering our questions! Some will consider these great in-depth reviews somewhat “ridiculous” for lack of a better word. HOWEVER, when one shaves, as MOST guys do, ALL of your input and extra detail is HIGHLY appreciated! Otherwise, the rest of us could only find out these things by purchasing numerous electric razors ourselves to determine any information and the differences from one device to another!

        Best regards,
        Mark

        Reply
        1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

          You are very welcome, Mark. I’m truly glad that I’m able to provide some useful insights with these reviews. I try to be as concise as possible, but there are always so many important aspects to cover and I often end up writing more than planned.

          Thank you for your kind words, much appreciated!

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
  2. Johny

    Thanks for your very detailed review! I just bought a ES-LV65-S after reading your review a few weeks back, it works very well and the price is much more reasonable than this years model which is almost 2-3 times higher

    I opened it and checked the battery, it is a 650MAH li-on 14500 battery. The strange thing is that once the battery is removed even for a second, no matter what charge you have left on the battery, the charge indicator on razor will reset to 0 (You can still run it since there is still lots of charge). You have to charge it for an hour to turn the charge indicator to 100%, even the battery is full. This is a very strange charge indicator design from panasonic …

    I found out that a regular molex pin can be squeezed and sit very tight on those charge pins. I soldered two molex pin to a USB cable (Or you can just cut the original proprietary connector and solder it to a USB cable), then this USB cable can fully charge the razor to 100% in an hour, perfect for travel

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Johny,

      Many thanks for the information, that’s actually very interesting (I never opened an ES-LV65).

      The DIY USB cable solution is also really handy and clever.

      Thank you again for taking the time to share this, much appreciated!

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    2. Steve

      I would be interested to know whether opening the ES-LV65-S compromises the waterproofing, possibly resulting in temporary or permanent malfunction after substantial water exposure.

      If it can be opened without ill effects, then the battery could be replaced when it eventually loses its ability to hold a charge, avoiding the need for a new shaver.

      I shave daily. I got 22 years out of my wall-powered Norelco Rotatract shaver. New heads were getting hard to find, so I got a Norelco 8894XL rechargeable shaver, which I replaced after 11 years because it was falling apart, although the battery was OK. I then got a similar-looking, much cheaper Norelco, the battery of which died after 3 years. Then the ES-LV65-S this past January, which is much better than the Norelcos.

      It would be nice to get a decade or two out of the ES-LV65-S.

      Reply
      1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

        I think it would be best to assume that opening the shaver will compromise the waterproofing to a certain degree and water ingress may happen in certain situations. I would take extra care when washing the shaver (like only rinsing the outer foils and removing the inner blades for cleaning) and of course never use it in the shower.

        Sincerely,
        Ovidiu

        Reply
        1. Steve

          Hi Ovidiu,

          The manual says “If you dismantle the shaver yourself, it will no longer be waterproof, which may cause it to malfunction,” consistent with what you said. I would not want to lose the easy cleaning with water, and have to remove the inner blades to clean them.

          I will plan to buy a new shaver when the battery no longer holds a charge, which I hope will not be for a long time.

          Thanks,

          Steve

          Reply
          1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

            You are very welcome, Steve. I would also do the same in this situation.

            Sincerely,
            Ovidiu

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