Pros / The Panasonic Arc4 ES-LA93-K provides a close, smooth shave and comes with a convenient cleaning/charging station.
Cons / It has the shortest battery life of the electric razors we tested.
Verdict / The Panasonic Arc4 ES-LA93-K is a consistent favorite among users who want a close, smooth shave. It shaves almost as cleanly as a manual razor and has flexible, pivoting heads.
The Panasonic Arc4 ES-LA93-K provides a close shave with minimal effort. It has a four-blade cutting system with hypoallergenic, stainless steel foils and an angled inner blade, and it shaves almost as cleanly as a manual razor. Its Multi-Flex pivoting heads can be used in a circular motion, and they move smoothly over your face, chin and jawline at 14,000 cuts per minute.
It took only two or three passes for our testers to get a close shave, and they gave this razor an A+ for shaving performance because it didn’t irritate their skin. The Braun Series 7 790cc-4 is the only other electric razor we tested that earned an A+ performance score, but its MSRP of $229.99 is $60 more than this Panasonic model. However, you can find discounts on all of the best electric razors if you shop around.
The Panasonic Arc4 provides 42 minutes of use time on a one-hour charge, which is approximately 14 three-minute shaves. Although it doesn’t have a quick-charge feature to give you enough power for a single shave, it does have a corded-use option that lets you plug in to keep shaving when the battery is low. If you’re looking for more battery power, the Wahl LifeProof 7061-100’s battery life is than twice the Arc4’s on a full charge, but the Wahl doesn’t allow for corded use.
Like each electric razor we tested, the Panasonic Arc4 is waterproof and can be used to shave wet or dry. When shaving wet, you can use shaving foam or gel for smoother results. It also has a small pop-up trimmer for detailing facial hair and sideburns, but the trimmer isn’t full-sized like the Wahl’s.
This shaver’s 10-stage LCD display has indicators for battery life and charging status, along with reminders for cleaning the unit and replacing its blades. Panasonic recommends replacing the outer foil annually and the inner blade every two years. However, some consumers say it works best to replace the inner blade annually as well. Replacement blades are available for less than $40 a set.
If you’re looking for a shaver that travels well, the Panasonic Arc4 is a good choice because it has worldwide voltage adaptation and comes with a travel lock and travel pouch. The lock keeps it from accidentally activating during transport. Additional accessories include a cleaning and charging station, detergent cartridge, AC recharger and foil guard. The cleaning and charging station efficiently cleans, dries and charges the Arc4. The razor also has a sonic vibration cleansing mode that can be activated as you rinse the unit under running water.
While Panasonic’s next-generation shaver, the Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV65-S, is very similar in design and performance, it is priced $30 higher than the Arc4 and doesn’t come with a cleaning and charging station. However, the Arc5’s battery gives you three additional minutes of use time – the equivalent of one more day’s shave. Panasonic guarantees both shavers for two years, and customer service is available by phone, email and live chat.