Pros / The Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV65-S has a five-blade shaving system with hypoallergenic foils and provides an excellent user experience.
Cons / Its pop-up trimmer is very small, and it doesn’t come with Panasonic’s automatic clean and charge station.
Verdict / The Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV65-S is a top-performer in terms of providing a close, comfortable shave. It would have ranked higher in our ratings if it included a clean and charge station.
The Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV65-S is an award-winning foil razor with a five-blade shaving system and angled blades. It is the next generation model of the Panasonic Arc4 ES-LA93-K, our favorite pick for a close shave. With an MSRP of $199.99, the Arc5 costs $30 more than the Arc4 and does not include a clean and charge station. You can get a cleaning station with a similar shaver by upgrading its companion product, the Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV95-S, at a cost of about $50 more.
While the Braun Series 7 is the best performing of the electric razors we tested, this Panasonic model comes close. With pivoting, multi-flex heads and motor speeds of 14,000 cuts per minute, it works well on both fine and coarse hair. Much like the Braun Series 7 and its predecessor, the Braun Series 3 3050cc, the Arc5 has an active shaving sensor that adjusts the razor’s power flow based on the density of your facial hair. To give you a closer shave, its foils have slit blades with reverse-tapered edges to lift flat-lying hairs and trim longer ones.
This shaver has a battery life of 45 minutes, which provides 15 three-minute shaves. Recharging the battery fully takes an hour, but you can still shave while the razor is charging. This is important because unlike many of the razors we tested, the Panasonic models don’t have a quick-charge feature to let you power-up for a single shave when you don’t have time to wait for a full recharge. A user-friendly LCD display give you a battery life percentage reading, along with cleaning and blade replacement reminders.
The Panasonic Arc5 is waterproof and has wet/dry functionality. You can shave wet with shaving foam or gel, and you can use this razor cordlessly in the shower. You can also clean it under running water.
Like each of the razors we tested, the Arc5 has a trimmer for detailing sideburns, mustaches and beards. It pops up from the side of the shaving head and is much smaller than most trimmers we used. If you’d prefer a shaver with a larger pop-up trimmer, the Wahl LifeProof 7061-100’s is full size. The Wahl is also our best shaver pick overall.
The Panasonic Arc5 comes with a foil guard, cleaning brush, AC charging cord and blade oil. It also has a travel pouch, universal power adaptation and a travel safety lock. This feature keeps it from accidentally activating when you’re on the road. Panasonic warranties the Arc5 for two years, and customer service is available by phone, email and live chat.