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Panasonic ES-LV95 review

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Awards

  • Recommended by TR

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Summary

Our Score:

9

Pros

  • Incredibly close, fast shave
  • Excellent display
  • Cleaning station

Cons

  • Initially harsh on sensitive skin
  • Sounds like a swarm of bees

Key Features

  • Wet-and-dry
  • 5 blades
  • 14,000cpm motor
  • Cleaning/charging station
  • Intelligent Shaving Sensor
  • Manufacturer: Panasonic
  • Review Price: £329.99

What is the Panasonic ES-LV95?

It’s become something of a cliche in the razer world that evolution means adding yet another blade. The Panasonic ES-LV95 follows this trend by packing five blades – and sure enough it has the shaving performance to make it a superior breed of shaver.

As befitting a flagship electric shaver, it also comes supplied with a cleaning station to flush the facial fluff off all those blades at the push of a button. But there are plenty of other nice touches that make this wet-and-dry model the best shaver currently on the market.

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Panasonic ES-LV95 1

Panasonic ES-LV95 – Design

The ES-LV95 is dominated, quite understandably, by that five-blade head. The middle comb blade is designed for longer hairs, the two either side of it have lift-and-cut foils for hairs that lie flat, and the outer foils are for cutting down close to the skin.

The head pivots both up and down and side to side, while the whole foil assembly is removable for easily brushing it out. A head guard is also supplied, for times when you don’t want to pop the LV95 in its cleaning station, and there’s a leatherette case for travel.

Below the head is the on/off button, which is surrounded by a rotating switch for locking it to stop young hands from turning your shaver on by accident. It’s also useful for ensuring you don’t turn the LV95 off by accident while shaving. A nice touch.

The LCD screen is one of the best around. Not only does it display the LV95’s battery life as a percentage – a far more precise indication than most – it also tells you how long you’ve been shaving, in minutes and seconds, when you turn the power off.

The shaver itself is quite light at 200g and sits comfortably in the hand. The chromed plastic feels a little cheap, but not so much as to put me off.

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Turning to the back of the head reveals a built-in trimmer, which is flicked up with a switch.

Panasonic also claims that the ES-LV95 has an Intelligent Shaving Sensor, which supposedly adjusts power automatically depending on the thickness of your beard.

Panasonic ES-LV95 – Performance

The Panasonic LV95 offers easily the closest shave of any shaver I’ve tested. On a single pass, it does an admirable job, especially on the top lip.

It does still require knowledge of your beard growth direction, to ensure you shave against the grain, but the efficiency of its cutting makes this less of an issue. Whether this is down to the five blades, the Intelligent Shaving Sensor or both, I'm not entirely sure, but it’s certainly helped by the fact that the dual-pivoting head hugs your facial contours better than most.

There are a couple of small downsides, though. One is that such close shaving is quite aggressive on sensitive skin, so you might need longer than usual to acclimatise to it. This issue remains even when use it wet – the LV95 is waterproof, so it’s worth experimenting with dry, wet or gelled skin to see what suits you. We’d advise keeping plenty of moisturiser on hand, though.

The other niggle is the noise. The ES-LV95 sounds like it has a swarm of angry bees inside it. It’s not necessarily any worse than most electric shavers, but it’s certainly not quiet.

Panasonic ES-LV95 6

Thanks to the supplied cleaning and charging station, washing the blades is as simple as pressing a button, although it does make some pretty disturbing noises during the cleaning cycle. Cleaning and drying takes around an hour.

Panasonic ES-LV95

Unlike Braun’s cleaning system, it doesn’t require expensive cartridges of ready-mixed cleaning solution, but rather uses cheaper sachets of detergent. These are emptied into the cleaning station’s reservoir – accessed via a push button on the left side of the station – which is then topped up with tap water. As well as being cheaper, the sachets are easier to store in bulk.

Should you wish to go the old-fashioned route and brush-clean the blades – or if you're travelling and just don't want to take the charging station with you – dismantling the head is simple enough. Squeeze the buttons on either side to pop the top off, exposing the two lift-and-cut blades, while the other three remain in the top part. A little brishing and a few gentle taps will get most trimmings out.

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Should I buy the Panasonic ES-LV95?

If you can afford it, the ES-LV95 is the best electric shaver you can get.

It’s not perfect – if you like a minimum of fuss, you might be better off with the Philips Series 9000, which is quieter and requires less thought about shaving direction. If you have particularly sensitive skin, we’d recommend looking at the Braun CoolTec CT4s.

However, this Panasonic is still the finest all-round shaving package.

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Verdict

Those five blades are more than just one-upmanship; they offer the closest shave around. Add to that a variety of user-friendly touches and this is the flagship shaver to beat.

Overall Score

9

iFrank

September 20, 2015, 10:35 pm

Sharp intake of breath! £330, less one penny!

I suppose they will sell 'some'.

Dead Words

September 21, 2015, 1:23 am

Even our shavers have displays. What next, toothbrushes? Oh there's probably already toothbrushes with displays...

LeeTronix

September 21, 2015, 8:33 am

I expect it has an app for it. What a rip off though. What do these companies do sit around and pull a figure from a hat lottery around the board room. So shaving ones face now equates to facial hair or debt :(

fried_egg

September 21, 2015, 1:18 pm

Looks as scary as hell...

chaosdefinesorder

September 21, 2015, 2:30 pm

Well we just had a good laugh at this in the office! £330 for a shaver... 5 blades... mahoosive shaving head... certainly got us tickled!

Bugblatter

September 21, 2015, 6:20 pm

I bought an ES LV-81 a little over three years ago. Seems virtually identical to this, including the 5 blades (that's not a new feature).

I previously had a similar Panny that had 4 blades, which I felt was enough to be honest. I'd even have been satisfied with 3; two would have been pushing it.

However the 5 blades certainly do a great job; the guys at work can't believe it's an electric shave and my wife says she's never known a man with such a good shave (not that she's known very many men you understand).

I always shave in the shower, and perhaps that's why the shaver's now starting to fail, with the battery going from 100% to empty in 2 minutes one day and lasting a week the next. The previous shaver went a similar way. They're waterproof, but don't expect them to last more than 2-3 years if you use them in the shower.

I paid £245 for mine and it was worth it. A very quick google shows this new one for £175 at a very well known online emporium. I'll probably get one. Looks like the ES-LV65 is the same thing without the cleaning station and that's £130.

It's good that the cost of the cleaning solution is a lot less now; with mine it came in the old expensive cartridges. However those cartridges did include a filter, which presumably has gone now.

Also take into account that every 6 months of so you'll have to shell out £40-50 on a new block and blades if you want to keep it shaving nicely.

Bugblatter

September 21, 2015, 6:25 pm

Hang on, £12 for 3 detergent sachets? That's taking the right Michael!

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