Pros: close and comfortable shaves, powerful motor, high quality shaving head, waterproof, good build quality
Cons: availability is still limited, some ergonomic quirks, pricey
After years of focusing entirely on their high-end models, Panasonic’s entry-level 3-blade shavers finally got the first major update since 2015.
To further emphasize the novelty of this latest generation, Panasonic even dropped the Arc 3 name in favor of the rather odd Series 700 in some countries.
In Japan, where these new 3-blade shavers were initially released, they’re sold under the Lamdash 3 name, so you might sometimes find them listed that way.
I’ve been testing the ES-LT4B model for a while in this review I’ll tell you everything you need to know about this new Series 700/Lamdash 3 update.
I’ll also be comparing it to the older Arc 3 shavers that are still available and, in some cases, they can even represent a better option.
But first, a short overview of this new generation.
Table of Contents
- The new Lamdash 3/Series 700
- Features overview
- Build quality and ergonomics
- Included accessories
- Battery life and charging
- Shaving performance: How good is the Lamdash 3?
- Replacement parts availability
- Cleaning and maintenance
- Takeaway: Should you buy the Panasonic Series 700?
The new Lamdash 3/Series 700
The availability of this rebranded Arc 3 generation is still somewhat limited in various countries.
Panasonic didn’t officially launch the new Lamdash 3 in the USA but you can still buy some of the Japan-exclusive models on sites like Amazon.
Strangely, the only model officially released in the USA is the STAR WARS Stormtrooper Special Edition Arc 3.
The exact model name is ES-SWLT2-W and it’s available on Panasonic.com and Amazon.
Except for the special Star Wars-themed colorway and packaging, it is exactly the same as the other ones.
The Panasonic USA page kept the Arc 3 name, so at least in the USA, they did not switch to the more recent Series 700 or Lamdash 3 brand names.
My review unit is the ES-LT4B model which appears to be available in most other countries, including the UK.
The performance of all the models in this series is pretty much the same since they all use the same motors and foils/blades.
However, some of them have fixed heads, while others have 1-way or three-way flexing shaving heads.
In practice, this doesn’t make a huge difference, but it’s worth pointing out.
I will get into more detail in the performance section.
The ES-LT4B that I’ve been testing has the simple 1-way flexing head, so it’s like a mid-range model in the new Series 700 family.
You can identify the type of flexing head by the beginning of the model names:
- 3-way (side to side + front to back + up and down): ES-LT6 and ES-LT8
- 1-way (side to side): ES-LT4
- Fixed: ES-LT2
The letter that follows the 2, 4, 6 and 8 stands for the revision the shaver is part of.
At the moment there are two revisions: B and C.
My ES-LT4B for example is part of the B revision.
However, there are absolutely no differences between the B and C revisions apart from a couple of extra accessories (a textile pouch and a charging stand).
For more info on all the various models/revisions, you can check out my Series 700 guide.
Also regarding the model names, the letter at the very end simply stands for the color and may or may not be present.
For example, the ES-LT4B comes in blue, so the full model name would be ES-LT4B-A.
Fun fact: -A comes from Ao which is the Japanese word for blue.
With that out of the way, let’s quickly check out the main features of the ES-LT4B model.
I will also point out the differences compared to other variations like the basic ES-LT2 or the more expensive ES-LT6 and ES-LT8 model names.
1. 3-blade shaving system
Being essentially a flanker of the well-known Arc 3 family, the Panasonic Series 700 (Lamdash 3) is a 3-blade foil shaver with the trademark arched profile of the cutters.
According to Panasonic, that slight arch ensures an optimal contact surface for a close shave.
It’s difficult to quantify the effectiveness, but Panasonic razors are generally among the closest shaving out there regardless of price point.
The configuration of the cutting system is standard for a 3-blade foil shaver, consisting of two foil elements and one slit trimmer.
The middle trimmer pre-cuts longer/flat-lying hairs, while the foil elements will cut short stubble at skin level.
The three cutters can move independently and that’s a feature that’s common throughout the entire Lamdash 3 series regardless of model/revision.
Behind the foil head there are two removable blades, while the third one is integrated into the slit trimmer.
Again, it’s the standard setup we’ve seen since the very first Arc 3 generation introduced in 2008.
In fact, this latest Series 700/Lamdash 3 incarnation of the 3-blade Panasonic shaver uses the exact same foil and blades as the original Arc 3.
They have the same part numbers and even though I would have liked to see a revised foil, this is a high-quality shaving system.
Panasonic makes some of the best blades, with tight tolerances and top-notch craftsmanship.
They do have a couple of intrinsic shortcomings compared to Braun (they require regular lubrication and cost more than a similar Braun foil head).
2. Flexing shaving head
As mentioned earlier, my ES-LT4B (and the ES-LT4C from the newer C revision) has a simple 1-way flexing head.
Precisely, it moves from side to side.
In my opinion this is one of the least useful types of flexing heads.
In practice, it doesn’t help much with making it easier on your wrist or following the different contours of the face.
For example, the older ES-LL41-K/ES-LL21-K is an Arc 3 with a fixed head and I honestly don’t think it’s inferior to the ES-LT4B in any way.
A front-to-back tilt with decent range of motion is a lot more useful in practice.
The Stormtrooper ES-SWLT2-W also has a fixed head (being an LT2 model).
The more expensive LT6 and LT8 models do have that front-to-back flexing in addition to the side-to-side and up-and-down flexing.
But that implementation has its drawbacks as well (in the case of Panasonic shavers).
The head is a bit too wobbly, the front-to-back tilt is rather limited and the foil frame is larger compared to the one on the LT4 models like my ES-LT4B.
Panasonic flexing heads in general have this shortcoming regardless if it’s a 3, 4, 5 or 6-blade shaver.
So I wouldn’t necessarily pay more for a Lamdash 3 model with a more complex flexing head like the ones starting with LT6 and LT8.
3. 13 000 CPM motor
All Panasonic Lamdash 3 shavers are fitted with a very fast 13 000 CPM (cycles per minute) linear drive motor.
It’s the same unit as before, so no upgrades here.
As a side note, you’ll sometimes see another spec listed: 39 000 cutting actions per minute.
This essentially means the same thing, but they simply multiplied the output of the motor (13 000) by the number of blades (3).
4. Cordless and corded operation for select models
Most of the shavers in this new Arc 3 generation are cordless-only and suitable for wet&dry use.
Such models are the ES-LT4B that I got, the Star Wars ES-SWLT2W or the ES-LT2BK.
The latter appears to be the only model available in Canada, at least for now.
A wet&dry shaver means you can shave in the shower or use your favorite shaving cream/gel.
All shavers are fitted with a Li-ion battery that will provide around 45 minutes of cordless operation on a single charge.
Traditionally, the European and North American markets will get the cordless-only shavers, while the Japanese domestic market will also get cordless&corded models.
So if you want a 3-blade Panasonic razor that will work both cordless and corded, you will need to buy a Japanese variation.
Luckily, some of these cordless&corded models are already available on Amazon.com like this brown ES-LT2Q-T from the newer revision C:
The included charger is fitted with a universal voltage adapter and can take between 100 and 240 volts, so a Japanese Lamdash 3 model will work just fine in other countries.
The corded&cordless shavers are dry-only as a safety precaution, but all of them are waterproof for easy cleaning.
5. Pop-up trimmer
Generally, Panasonic electric razors have arguably the best hair trimmers.
The only exception is the 4-blade ES-RF31 which has a flimsy slide-out hair trimmer that’s ineffective and cumbersome to use.
But most other Panasonic razors, regardless of the number of blades, feature a high-quality pop-up hair trimmer.
It’s the same with the new Lamdash 3 that features the familiar trimmer on the back of the shaving head.
However, there are a couple of quirks about the trimmer on my ES-LT4B vs the ones on other older Arc 3 models like the ES-LT67-A and ES-LL41-K.
I will share everything about it in the performance section.
Build quality and ergonomics
From the very first Arc 3 models back in the late 2000s, Panasonic’s 3-blade shavers have been more or less the benchmark for build quality in the entry-level segment.
From the way they look and feel in the hand to how well they age, Panasonic shavers are in my opinion at the very top.
The new Lamdash 3 represents a complete departure in terms of design from the old models that featured very intricate and in-your-face aesthetics.
The new design language is all about minimalism and simplicity.
Visually, I think it looks very nice and gives the impression of a premium product.
It’s very reminiscent of Xiaomi shavers that feature the same rounded, streamlined body and very clean aesthetics.
The plastic got a matte treatment and there are no glossy surfaces at all.
And while it feels and looks nice, the grip is not the best (more on that right away).
The shavers still feel pretty solid and the fit and finish are very good.
However, the plastic panels seem a bit thinner.
This is particularly obvious in the case of the foil frame as you can’t really assess the thickness of the body panels without taking the shaver apart.
Compared to the foil frames of my ES-LT67 and ES-LL41-K, the one on the new ES-LT4B is slightly thinner and flexes just a bit when I squeeze it.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still solid and I don’t see how this would be an issue.
But at the same time, it might be a hint that Panasonic also tried to save some manufacturing costs with this latest Lamdash 3 family.
And while the build quality is still adequate, the ergonomics aren’t as good vs the aforementioned Arc 3 models.
First of all, there’s the shape of the shaver’s body and the material choice.
The round, girthy shape, along with low-grip plastic just makes holding the shaver a bit less secure and comfortable.
The handle is the thickest right where you’d be gripping it and there’s no thumb rest on the front and the very small ribbed patch on the back offers minimal grip.
For example, the ES-LL41-K features a massive rubbery insert that ensures a fantastic grip.
Moreover, the shape of the handle is sculpted and has an ergonomic shape as you can see in the image below.
Getting back to the Series 700 ES-LT4B, while it’s a compact and lightweight shaver at 155 grams, is not very well balanced.
Specifically, it is a bit top-heavy and that further amplifies the grip issue.
I haven’t tried the Lamdash 3/Series 700 models that have the full 3-way flexing heads but I imagine things are even worse.
And that’s because those are even heavier (180g) and the extra weight goes to the shaving head and the more complicated flexing system.
So purely from an ergonomic standpoint, the basic Lamdash 3 models with fixed heads like ES-LT2B or ES-LT2Q are actually better as they have lighter and smaller shaving heads.
As mentioned before, the ES-LT4B that I got is a mid-range model that has a simple 1-way flexing head (side to side).
Because of that, the foil frame is pretty compact, very similar to the one on the ES-LL41-K that has a fixed head.
Continuing this minimalist theme, the front part of the new Lamdash 3 is very basic, with only a power button (that also features a travel lock function) and two LED lights.
The travel lock is activated by pressing and holding the power button for a few seconds with the shaver switched on.
The padlock LED will flash white signaling that the power button is now locked.
To unlock it you must press and hold the power button again for a few seconds.
The other LED is a low battery/charging indicator that will flash red when you have to charge the shaver.
So it’s all extremely rudimentary. Some of the previous Arc 3 models even had percentage-based battery indicators that would show the charge level in 10% increments.
Even my old ES8103S, one of the very first Arc 3 ever made, had such a feature.
Seeing that being replaced by a simple low-battery LED on the latest generation is just disappointing and again an indication of a cost-cutting decision.
On the back of the ES-LT4B there’s the pop-up hair trimmer with a simple slide switch to deploy it.
The more advanced ES-LT6 and ES-LT8 models have a more complex multi-function switch that locks/unlocks the shaving head in addition to activating the trimmer.
Right below the trimmer, there’s that textured surface that looks like rubber but it’s actually plastic and it doesn’t improve the grip at all.
The Lamdash 3/Series 700 models that include an automatic cleaning station also have 3 metal studs on the back to connect to the station.
The ES-LT4B doesn’t have a cleaning station, so there are no contact pins on the back.
Towards the bottom there’s a small cutout to drain the water that enters through the shaver’s body when rinsing it.
This is a feature apparently (even though many other shavers have something similar but never explicitly market it).
The charging port is located at the bottom and it’s the usual Panasonic proprietary port.
Overall, despite the good materials and nice design, the new Panasonic Lamdash 3/Series 700 feels like a step back in terms of features and ergonomics.
The shavers feel top-heavy, there’s limited grip and the handle is thick and not the most comfortable to hold, especially when compared to the older generations.
The battery indicator is as basic as it gets.
Compared to the ES-LT67-A for example or even the aging ES8103S, the ES-LT4B from the new Lamdash 3/Series 700 just feels less substantial and even like a slight downgrade.
The best part is that very slim foil frame and head, but that’s only the case with the LT2 and LT4 model names.
The bundle included with this new Lamdash 3 generation varies depending on the model and revision.
That said, there are a few core accessories that come with all models:
- Protective cap
- Cleaning brush
- User manual
These are also the exact same accessories that were included with my ES-LT4B.
In the case of the same model from revision C (ES-LT4C), you’re getting an extra charging stand.
Other models higher up in this series like the ES-LT8B or ES-LT8C come with an automatic cleaning station and a textile pouch.
And speaking of storage pouches/cases, Panasonic doesn’t include any with most of the models in the Series 700/Lamdash 3.
All the older Arc 3 models used to be shipped with a cloth pouch which I guess was better than nothing.
I am however glad that Panasonic still included the tiny bottle of lubricant (paraffin oil), very practical when traveling as it takes up no space and the screw cap is very secure.
The cleaning brush is something we didn’t get with the previous Arc 3 generations, so that’s a plus.
In my opinion the lubricant and brush are a lot more useful than the textile pouch.
Battery life and charging
All Panasonic Lamdash 3/Series 700 have an internal Li-ion battery that can provide up to 45 minutes of cordless shaving.
It’s the same battery fitted to pretty much all current Panasonic shavers, including the high-end models like the Arc 6/Series 900+.
In practice, you’ll probably want to charge more often as the motor will slow down when the battery is almost depleted and you will notice a performance drop.
So it’s more like a 40-minute battery which is still adequate.
The quick charge function is present here as well and allows you to get just enough power for a quick shave from a 3-minute charge.
Charging the battery from 0 to full takes around 50 minutes, again pretty standard for a Panasonic shaver regardless of price point.
As mentioned previously, the battery indicator is as basic as it gets — an LED that will flash red only when the battery is almost empty and needs to be charged.
Speaking of that, my Panasonic ES-LT4B came with an empty battery and wouldn’t even turn on, so I had to charge it first.
The models that come with a charging stand or a cleaning station can also be charged using those in addition to plugging the cord directly into the shaver.
The charger included with all of them is the Panasonic RE7-87 which has a universal voltage adapter (100 to 240 volts) and can be used anywhere in the world.
So even if you buy a Japanese Lamdash 3, you will still be able to charge it no matter where you live. But you will likely need a simple and inexpensive plug adapter.
Shaving performance: How good is the Lamdash 3?
So far it’s been a bit of a mixed bag with the successor of the Arc 3; let’s see if it can redeem itself where it matters — the shave.
As usual, I will break down the performance section into several parts.
I will also be comparing it to the older Arc 3 models and a couple of other similarly priced shavers from Braun and Philips.
Since the shaving performance is pretty much the same across the range (with minor differences mainly related to the fixed and flexing heads), this part of the review will be relevant for all the models in this new generation.
The Arc 3 has constantly been a top performer in the entry-level segment.
And since this newest iteration uses the same motors and cutters as the previous ones, there are no surprises.
The closeness of the shave with the new Panasonic Series 700 is exactly the same as before.
That’s not necessarily bad because the Arc 3 was among the best affordable shavers in that regard.
The first one is very uncomfortable while the latter costs a lot for a double-foil razor. And both will only work well on very short stubble and the foils and blades will wear out fast.
So the new Arc 3/Lamdash 3/Series 700 is still among the closest shaving entry-level razors that don’t exhibit any serious compromises.
If your beard isn’t coarse, I’d say that you’ll be happy with the closeness.
You really don’t need an Arc 5 in that case.
For context, I have a beard of medium coarseness on the cheeks, but below the nose and on my chin it is quite rough and dense.
On the neck the hairs stay completely flat with a few patches of hair with different grain.
As expected, on the cheeks the closeness was excellent. But on the rest of my face, and especially below the nose, it could have been better.
I would still feel a bit of roughness after a dry shave, something that doesn’t usually happen when I shave with an Arc 5 for example.
Also, when shaving areas with denser stubble, the motor would ramp up briefly, and then go down to a baseline power output.
And then this cycle would repeat throughout the shave.
This is caused by the beard density sensor that should assess and modulate the power as needed.
It’s not an unusual behavior — in fact, Panasonic even mentions this explicitly and the older Arc 3 fitted with this technology would do the same.
I mentioned this just so you know that there’s nothing wrong with your Lamdash 3/Series 700.
In my opinion this technology seems pretty useless in practice and only looks promising in the specs sheet.
For example, my old Arc 3 ES8103S doesn’t have any beard density sensor and it’s just as comfortable and effective.
Overall, the closeness during a dry shave with the new Panasonic Series 700 (ES-LT4B) was very good. Users with light to medium beards will likely find it perfectly adequate.
I’d say it’s slightly better compared to the Braun Series 3 ProSkin and the Philips (Norelco) Series 3000 which are its main competitors.
Even though the design of the new 3-blade Panasonic shavers looks entirely different and modern, a lot has remained unchanged.
Among those, the most important are the motor and shaving system (outer foil and inner blades).
And as expected, the new Series 700 is as comfortable as any other older Arc 3 models fitted with a 13 000 CPM linear-drive motor.
Unless you have very sensitive skin, this shaver will always be adequately comfortable.
Some Panasonic models like the Arc 4 can be a bit too bitey and harsh when shaving dry, but the Series 700/Lamdash 3 is quite gentle and smooth.
The key is to not apply excessive pressure if for example there are some stubborn stray hairs. Pressing hard won’t help but it can cause some razor burn.
Speaking of it, I only occasionally got some on my neck but it wasn’t anything serious.
I usually apply a pre-shave lotion before I shave dry and that also helps with making the shaver a bit gentler and the hairs seem easier to cut.
I would rate the Panasonic Series 700 the same as a Braun Series 3 ProSkin in terms of comfort, with the mention that the latter is maybe a bit more forgiving when you press harder.
But for a basic foil shaver that can cut the hair so close to the skin, the Series 700 is quite impressive with how smooth it is.
I never experienced any hairs getting snagged, but it can happen if you move the shaving head too fast or if the hairs are excessively long.
Shaving a 3 to 4-day beard
If you don’t shave regularly (daily or every other day), an entry-level foil shaver can struggle if the hair is too long.
With the Panasonic Series 700 that can happen especially if the hairs stay flat on the skin and grow in different directions.
If the beard is also on the coarse side, I think it’ll be worth investing in a more capable shaver.
The ones from Braun or even Philips are usually better in such a case as they are more effective at catching the flat-lying hairs.
But getting back to the ES-LT4B, a 3-day beard was the maximum I could shave in an effective and enjoyable manner.
Past that point, some of the flat hairs on my neck were left behind and required many additional passes.
Completing my shave would also take a lot longer than shaving a 1-day beard.
The middle trimmer that was supposed to capture them is just not as effective.
In my opinion the ES-LT4B or any of these new models, including the more expensive LT6 and LT8 should be considered if you usually shave more often.
I’d say shaving every three days would still allow you to get a good shave, but if the hairs also stay flat on the skin and grow in different directions, it will only get worse as the length of the hair increases.
Also, as I mentioned previously, if your beard is coarse/thick, then a more powerful shaver should be considered (Arc 5, Series 9) as the Series 700 is in my opinion good enough for a medium beard.
With most Panasonic wet/dry razors, adding a quality shaving cream/oil will make up for some of the shortcomings that are obvious during a dry shave.
In the particular case of the Series 700/Lamdash 3, the improvements will be noticeable if you have a coarse beard and have trouble getting a close shave.
The comfort will also be about as good as you’ll ever get from an electric shaver.
I used my ES-LT4B with my favorite shaving cream from Speick and the shave was just great: the closeness, comfort and the pure enjoyment of the whole process.
I highly recommend using a good shaving cream that comes in a tube, not a pressurized can.
Apart from Speick, Proraso and Nivea are two equally good options, readily available and inexpensive.
I have a detailed guide on how to wet shave with an electric shaver if you’d like to check it out.
Using the ES-LT4B with shaving cream takes more time and there’s more cleaning to be done, but I think it’s totally worth it.
If you’re not put off by the prospect of using shaving cream again, it’s one of the best wet/dry entry-level foil shavers out there.
Then again, so are the older Arc 3 models like the ES-LL41-K or ES-LT67-A.
I’ve always praised Panasonic for their integrated pop-up trimmers.
They’re generally the best by a long margin.
That said, the one on the new ES-LT2 and ES-LT4 variations has a couple of issues.
But first, the good parts.
It’s very sharp and effective and will cut the hairs close to the skin and with little effort.
It’s ideal to shape and trim sideburns or a moustache.
You can also use it to cut the stray flat-lying hairs that the foil head fails to catch.
However, an integrated trimmer is just not good enough to (pre) trim an entire beard.
If you need to do that regularly, it would be better to buy a dedicated trimmer, even an inexpensive one like the Philips OneBlade.
Now, about the negatives of the ES-LT4B trimmer vs other Arc 3 models.
My main gripe with it is that it folds back down way too easily. It only takes a bit of force and during an upstroke it would sometimes close.
You can sort of get around the problem if you angle the trimmer more relative to the skin.
This may be just a fault with my review unit.
For example, the ES-LL41-K uses an identical trimmer and that one is just impossible to close by accident during use. It won’t budge no matter what.
The second issue which is just nitpicking, to be honest, is that the trimmer on the Series 700 models with fixed or 1-way flexing heads is a bit wider at the base vs the ones on the more advanced heads with 3-way flexing.
For that reason, it’s slightly obscuring what you’re doing, but it’s not in any way a big deal.
The fact that it can close by accident is a more serious potential issue.
Again, I’m not sure if it’s just my shaver or if it’s by design.
If you’re concerned by this, then buying one of the LT6 or LT8 models that feature a different deployment mechanism is a good option.
Or you can get one of the aforementioned Arc 3 models that have an equally good, problem-free trimmer.
Ease of use
The head of the ES-LT4B and of the other LT2 and LT4 variations is one of the smallest of any 3-blade Panasonic.
This makes it very nimble and beginner-friendly.
But a compact shaving head is just one part of the picture, albeit a very important one.
The new Series 700/Lamdash 3 has a slightly unbalanced weight distribution, being somewhat top-heavy.
This, along with the less-than-ideal grip and the thick handle makes it less enjoyable to use vs the ES-LL41-K for example.
The Series 700 models with the 3-way flexing head (LT6 and LT8) won’t even have the advantage of a slim head like my ES-LT4B.
To accommodate the flexing system, those have bulkier shaving heads and you can feel the difference during use.
I know that because my ES-LT67-A has an identical flexing head and it’s noticeably larger than the one on the ES-LT4B.
I think most users would be better off with the less advanced and more reasonably priced LT2 and LT4 models.
In my experience with various Panasonic razors, the 3-way flexing head doesn’t improve the shaving experience to a significant degree.
Noise during use
Foil shavers in general and Panasonic in particular with their powerful motors are quite noisy.
It’s the same here and the Panasonic Series 700 emits a loud, high-pitched buzz during use.
The noise however doesn’t get much louder when cutting the stubble or when the motor abruptly ramps up as a response to the density sensor kicking in.
Some shavers will vibrate excessively when cutting coarse stubble, but it’s quite contained here.
But for someone with reduced tolerance to sound, this shaver will probably be too loud. It’s not worse than other Panasonic models, but they are all loud.
In this case, a rotary razor will be the only option as those are much quieter during use.
Replacement parts availability
Like most Panasonic razors, the Series 700/Lamdash 3 uses an outer foil and two separate inner blades.
The foil and blades are the parts that will eventually need to be replaced.
Fortunately, they are readily available even if the Series 700 is a new generation of shavers.
And that’s because these parts were carried over from the very first Arc 3 generation (from 2008) and come with other 3-blade Panasonic models as well.
Here are the part numbers:
- WES9068 (aka ES9068) blades
- WES9087 (aka ES9087) foil
- WES9013 (aka ES9013) foil + blades set
The set is usually more convenient to buy as it ends up costing less than buying the blades and foil separately.
WES9013 foil and blades set
As usual, Panasonic recommends replacing the foil every year and the blades every two years.
In practice, you may need to do that sooner or later depending on how often you shave, the coarseness of your beard and how you care for the shaver (cleaning and lubrication).
The price for Panasonic replacement parts has gotten higher in the last few years.
In comparison, a replacement head for a Braun Series 3 ProSkin usually costs less.
So the Braun S3 would be a good alternative for a lower cost of ownership in the long run.
Cleaning and maintenance
Panasonic shavers are among the easiest to clean manually, to the point where you really don’t need a cleaning station.
And that is equally true for a 5-blade Arc 5 or a 3-blade Lamdash 3/Series 700.
Factor in that the Series 700 models that come with a cleaning station cost significantly more than the ones that don’t (and are mostly available in Japan), and we have all the reasons not to get one of those.
Variations that don’t include a station like the ES-LT4B that I’ve been testing are very straightforward to clean and maintain in great working condition.
Even though there are wet/dry and dry-only models (the latter only in Japan), all of them are waterproof and can be rinsed with water.
And that’s the most effective way of cleaning these shavers in my opinion.
There’s a small brush should you not want to use water and that’s fine occasionally, but it’s not as effective or even as safe as cleaning the shaver with water.
The foils and inner blades are very sensitive and will get damaged if you somehow touch them with the brush or you do it in a wrong manner.
So I’ll be focusing on how to clean the shaver with tap water and (optionally) a bit of liquid hand soap.
Once you’ve finished your shave, switch the razor off and remove the foil frame by squeezing the two buttons on the lower part of the head (red arrow):
Tip: do not squeeze the little tabs right above (blue arrow) as that will cause the foil to come out of the frame and we don’t want that now.
Once you press the foil release buttons, the foil head will pop right out with quite a bit of force, so be careful not to drop it on the floor.
I do this just so I can tap the plastic part of the foil head on the sink and get rid of the clipped hairs trapped inside.
I then put the head back on the shaver, wet the foils with a bit of water and add a bit of liquid soap to the outside of the foils.
At this point, with most other Panasonic shavers you would press and hold the power button for a few seconds and the shaver would enter in a so-called Sonic cleaning mode.
That special mode would make the blades oscillate a lot faster, lathering the soap, dislodging hardened dirt and preventing any water and soap from splashing around.
Oddly, Panasonic did not include this mode with the wet/dry Series 700/Lamdash 3 models like my ES-LT4B or the special edition ES-SWLT2W.
Instead, you would simply press the start button and let the shaver run normally for about 20 seconds (while holding it upright).
During this time you can use your finger to spread the soap evenly over the entire foil and even add a bit more water if needed.
With the shaver still running, rinse the foil head generously.
This is where that Sonic cleaning mode would have been helpful.
Since the ES-LT4B doesn’t have it, it splashed water all over the place.
You can now turn off the razor, remove the foil head again and give everything a final thorough rinse.
Don’t forget to also rinse the shaver and the inner blades (no need to remove them).
Shake off the excess water, gently pat the shaver’s body with a clean towel and leave everything to air dry with the foil head removed.
That’s pretty much it.
This cleaning method with water and soap is still very effective despite the lack of the Sonic cleaning mode.
However, that feature would’ve added a bit of refinement and it’s a trademark quirk of Panasonic shavers.
Moreover, it wouldn’t splash water everywhere and would deactivate automatically after 20 seconds.
The reason why Panasonic decided to remove it for the wet/dry models (it’s still present on the dry-only Lamdash 3) is a goofy-sounding Bubble-making mode.
If you were to press and hold the power button on a wet/dry Series 700 like the ES-LT4B, it would enter this Bubble-making mode instead (which still splashes water all over the place if you rinse it).
According to Panasonic, you can use the shaving head in this mode to lather shaving cream/soap in your palm and then apply it to the face.
I think it’s merely a gimmicky feature. It doesn’t work really well and you’ll have to add a lot of water which would make the lather much too thin.
The intention was good, but it’s just not useful in practice.
Keeping the Sonic cleaning mode would have been better in my opinion.
Also, the Panasonic Series 700 features a so-called “water through cleaning” design that supposedly allows you to rinse the head without detaching the foil frame.
Water is channeled through the inside of the shaver (separate from the electronics of course) and drains through a cutout at the bottom.
I would still highly recommend removing the foil head and rinsing it thoroughly.
The use of soap is optional, but very effective in my experience. It doesn’t take a lot more time and the soap dispenser is probably already on your counter.
But you should absolutely use soap if you shave wet with shaving cream and remove any traces of lather that hardens in the nooks and crannies.
Regular lubrication is vital with Panasonic shavers as the friction between the blades and foils seems to be greater compared to Braun shavers for example.
And it’s particularly important if you clean the shaving head with liquid soap as opposed to only rinsing it with water.
Soap will remove any traces of oil which will increase the friction and wear.
Panasonic includes a small bottle of oil with most of their shavers, so props to them for that.
Oiling the ES-LT4B is really easy and you just need a drop or two of oil on the outside of each foil element.
Also, don’t forget to add a drop of oil to the blade of the extended hair trimmer.
After that, just turn the shaver on for a few seconds to distribute the oil evenly across the cutters.
You can gently wipe off any excess with a paper towel.
I usually oil my shavers right before I shave, but it doesn’t really matter when you do it.
The foil should be dry before applying the lubricant.
As for how often should you do it, that depends on how you clean the shaver.
If you use soap, then after every use.
If you only rinse the head with water, then once or twice a week should suffice.
For more info, you can check out my guide on how to lubricate an electric razor.
Tip: when you run out of lubricant, you can use clipper oil or even a spray cleaner&lubricant for electric shavers/clippers.
Takeaway: Should you buy the Panasonic Series 700?
The Series 700/Lamdash 3 is still an Arc 3 at its core.
Despite the modern and minimalist design, we have a typical 3-blade Panasonic foil shaver with a fast motor and a quality shaving system.
Considering the price, performance, and availability of the various new models the ES-LT4B-A is among the ones to consider right now.
Panasonic Lamdash 3 ES-LT4B-A
But having used one for a couple of months, I don’t think there are any noticeable, tangible improvements in terms of shaving performance over the old models.
And that’s fine as the Arc 3 was already one of the best and more compelling options in this segment.
That said, I have to acknowledge some of the shortcomings of the new Series 700 when compared to the older generation.
It’s pricier, the ergonomics aren’t quite as good (at least for the models with the large, highly flexible heads) and there are some obvious cost-cutting decisions.
Among those, we can name the lack of a battery level indicator, the less grippy materials and there’s also no travel pouch with most variations.
And then there’s the odd omission of the Sonic cleaning mode for the wet/dry models like the ES-LT4B.
So objectively, I wouldn’t say the new shavers are better than the outgoing models.
There is one specific situation where you’d want a Series 700/Lamdash 3 instead of an older Arc 3: if you need a shaver that can work cordless&corded.
Some of the new Lamdash 3 offer this feature. Panasonic limits these models for the Japanese market but you can still find some on Amazon.
So in conclusion, unless you need a cordless&corded 3-blade Panasonic or you can get one for a great price, the Series 700/Lamdash 3 isn’t necessarily an upgrade from the older Arc 3.
The new design follows a form-over-function approach that can be detrimental (like the low grip plastic and unbalanced weight distribution).
And since the shaving performance is the same, it really makes it difficult for me to recommend one, at least for now.
There are alternatives that cost less and work just as well or even better.
So let’s check them out.
The former has a fixed head (just like the LT2 models from the Series 700), but it works perfectly fine.
Moreover, this means the head is very small with a narrow frame, making it very easy to use.
This model also comes with a couple of adjustable combs that fit over the trimmer should you ever need to trim your beard.
The price is usually reasonable and less than what you’d pay for any Series 700/Lamdash 3 variation.
Panasonic Arc 3 ES-LL41-K
In Europe, this model is available as ES-LL21-K and comes with a single comb attachment. Otherwise, it’s identical to the ES-LL41-K.
If you want an Arc 3 with a flexible head, then the ES-LT67-A is usually the one to buy.
It’s easy to find and has the same 3-way flexing capabilities as the range-topping Series 700 models.
But it does have a more useful battery indicator, better ergonomics and it usually costs less.
Do keep in mind that because it has an advanced flexing head, it is larger than the ES-LL41-K and not quite as nimble.
Next, we have the Braun Series 3 ProSkin line which is a worthy and more affordable alternative to the Series 700.
Some models like the 3040s (wet/dry, cordless-only) or 3000s (dry only, cordless&corded) can be bought for half the price and the replacement head costs less as well.
Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3040s
They are very comfortable and shave reasonably close and are even a bit better with flat-lying hairs.
But the main advantage over the Series 700/Lamdash 3 is the lower price and lower cost of ownership.
Finally, there’s the Series 3000 from Philips. A rotary works better than a basic foil razor when the stubble is longer, so it’s a good option if you shave less often.
The price is very reasonable and the rotary cutters last longer before needing to be changed.
There are some specific cons as well. The closeness won’t be quite as good for most users and it may take more time to get used to shaving with a rotary vs a foil shaver.
Therefore I usually recommend rotaries to users who know from previous experience that such a shaver works well for them.
For most users, a foil-based Arc 3 or Series 3 ProSkin will be a safer option.
That’s pretty much my take on the latest Panasonic Arc 3 shavers, aka the Series 700 or Lamdash 3.
If you have any other questions or you’d like to share your experience, make sure to leave a comment below.