There are two important things to consider when looking at electric razors – how close does it shave and how much does it irritate your skin. It used to be that you would choose a foil type razor for the closest shave and a rotary razor to avoid skin irritation. Today, the newest generations of foil razors have finally caught up to the rotaries in being gentle to your skin. Let’s look at how the Panasonic ES-LF51-A Arc4 Men’s Electric Shaver Wet/Dry with Flexible Pivoting Head measures up.
The ES-LF51-A is Panasonic’s mid-line entry. The four blade configuration guarantees a very smooth and comfortable shave. By making the foils and blades out of stainless steel, they ensure that they stay sharp longer meaning that your shave stays perfect. The 30 degree cutting edge increases the cutting ability of the blades. The lead foil has slots cut in it to catch and pre-trim longer hairs so the other foils can perform better.
The motor runs at 14,000 CPM so there is less pulling and snatching hairs out. This helps prevent ingrown hairs, one of the worst things about shaving. The LED display on the front makes sure you don’t run out of power in the middle of your shave and tells you when to charge it. Charging is fast – from empty to full in about an hour and a full charge will give you about 45 minutes of shaving time.
Cleaning is made as simple as running it under the faucet. A drop of dish soap on the foils and the built in cleaning mode keeps everything cleaned out and running properly. There is no need to buy expensive cleaning fluid or a separate cleaning station to keep it in top shape.
Features and Benefits
• A linear motor drive running at 14,000 CPM means the blade is moving fast enough to cut the hair off before it is pulled.
• The head pivots to follow the contours of your face so the blades are always in proper contact with your skin.
• The foils and blades are made of high quality stainless steel to stay sharp longer with less performance drop off as they age.
• A five stage LED indicator makes sure you always know how much charge is left in the Li-Ion battery.
• The battery fully charges in about an hour and gives 45 minutes of shaving time.
• It is 100% waterproof for shaving in the shower and works both dry or wet with shaving gel.
• The included Sonic Vibration Cleaning Mode makes clean up simple and easy – just turn it on under a running faucet.
The reviews for the ES-LF51-A are outstanding. 74% of reviewers rated it with a perfect five stars and 91% gave it at least four stars. Panasonic has come out with a nearly perfect shaver. It shaves incredibly close and doesn’t irritate your face. The razor also gives you the ability to shave the way that gives you the best results whether that is dry shaving, using gel, or shaving in the shower.
The reviewers were nearly unanimous that this was one of the closest shaves they had experienced. The ES-LF51-A leaves your skin very smooth. It also got high marks for good in dealing with longer hair if you don’t like to shave on the weekends. The high speed blade also ensures that it doesn’t grab or pull as you shave and allows you to get done faster.
The ease of clean up was also praised. Users were happy with the ability to quickly rinse it under running water and have it come out spotless.
Foil razors don’t work well at all when they are full of hair so the ease of cleaning is very important.
Frequent travelers were glad to see the power switch lock out that will keep it from getting turned on in your luggage. This feature will help you avoid some very interesting experiences with the TSA when your luggage starts buzzing.
The biggest complaint about this razor was the high pitched whine. While not louder than other models, due to the high speed motor, the sound tends to be higher pitched. Some people find this to be annoying, especially when shaving on your face close to your ears.
The four blade design helps the shave to be very close but it also makes the head wider than other shavers. The wider head does get in the way when shaving your neck where the space gets tight. This leads to some interesting contortions as you struggle to get that last patch of beard.
This Panasonic can’t be used while plugged in. If you want a shaver that can be used in the shower, you won’t be able to use it plugged in. This is a safety feature to prevent the less intelligent among us from killing themselves by using a razor in the shower while it is plugged into the wall.
One other complaint is the lack of a charging stand. Admittedly this is a very subjective issue, but since it was mentioned several times so I thought I would mention it. Whether you want a stand or not largely depends on hoe you store your razor. If you leave it out on the counter, a stand helps keep things organized and looking neat. If you store yours in the cabinet, a stand is just another big piece of plastic you have to store.
After looking at the reviews and the features of this shaver, I feel confident in recommending it to anyone looking for the closest possible shave. The Panasonic ES-LF51-A Arc4 Men’s Electric Shaver Wet/Dry with Flexible Pivoting Head has shown that Panasonic has kept up with the recent advances in foil razor technology. It continues to shave very close and shows improvement in the way it treats your skin. It also shows great strides in dealing with longer hairs better than older models.