The Panasonic Arc5 Is a popular men’s electric razor that comes equipped with five razor sharp precision 30-degree nanotech blades, complete with ultra-thin arc foil. The Innovative design of the razor allows it to smoothly follow the contours of your face for a closer, faster shave. But does it really have what it takes to stand up to the competition? Let’s find out.
Overview and Features
This is a wet and dry electric shaver and trimmer in one. This means you can shave your face and your neck, clean up your sideburns, or neatly trim your beard, using one tool. The razor’s pop up trimmer will carefully trim your mustache or style your beard. Learning how to thicken your beard all starts with trimming it in a way that gives it the appearance of fullness.
The multi-flex pivoting head closely follows the contours of your face, jaw, neck, and chin. This is accomplished with the shaving sensors which are able to detect hair density, then automatically adjust the settings for a closer, cleaner shave or trim.
This model is marketed as a wet and dry shaver, which means it can be used in the shower, with your favorite shaving products. Using shaving products to clean up your neck area or shave your head results in a cleaner shave.
The razor comes with a travel lock located on the front of the shaver. A lock prevents the shaver from accidentally switching on when it’s placed in your luggage. A razor accidentally switching on while packed away in luggage is actually a common problem most electric razor owners have when traveling.
In what seems like an odd design system, Panasonic has included the travel lock as a physical switch on the front of the shaver. But if you never travel or don’t travel with your razor then this is one feature you’ll probably never use.
The pop-up beard trimmer will keep your sideburns, mustache, beard, or goatee trimmed up for a well-groomed look. This extra feature is a huge selling point for most buyers.
Located on the sides and back of the razor you’ll find different indentations that are designed to make it easier to grip the shaver, especially when you’re in the shower. There is a texturized pattern that runs along the entire body of the shaver right below the chrome plating. If you hold the razor naturally then your fingers will easily fall into this section. The rubber is very grippy, so your fingers will not slip even if you’re shaving with foam or in the shower.
The rear handle consists of lightly texturized area. While it doesn’t help to improve your grip quite as much as the textured rubber it does offer enough friction to prevent your palm from slipping off the razor in the shower.
On the back of the razor, the first thing you’ll notice is a few metal balls that stick out from the rear. These balls are the charging terminals. To charge the razor all you have to do is insert it into the cleaning dock which will keep the razor charged up when not in use.
Charging Dock/Cleaning Station
If you don’t use the included cleaning and charging dock you can still charge the razor by attaching its cord and plugging the cord into the socket for use.
The charging dock is designed to clean the razor when not in use and keep it nice and charged, awaiting use. This ensures you’re never left with a low-powered shave or a razor that will die on you as you’re shaving. The included cleaning feature is a nice touch and one that removes all the debris and grime from the blades, helping to ensure you enjoy a clean smooth shave the next time around. You can use the included power cord to charge the razor when you’re away from home.
Charging Time and Runtime
If kept in the docking station, your razor will always be ready for action. If you forget to set the razor in the docking station, then you can expect a twenty-minute charge time, which is pretty impressive. If offers a twenty-five to thirty-minute runtime, which is average.
The head of the razor can pivot side to side and back and forth, all depending on how you apply pressure to your face. Most models of high-end electric razors come with some type of pivoting action. The pivoting head helps to keep the razor in constant contact with your skin, especially if you’re going over a contoured area such as the neck or jaw.
Three Pattern Foil Design
This model is equipped with a thin foil shaving head. The head contains a total of five blades, each of which is covered by a foil guard that has three distinct patterns. The first foil is the comb blade, which features wider slots for cutting longer beards. The second is the quick lift foil, which has reverse tapered edges that are designed to help provide a closer shave by lifting and cutting the hairs that lie flat against the skin. Next is the outer finishing foil. This foil pattern is designed to cut and capture hair that has been missed by the other two blades.
Five Blade Action
The design of the shaver shows us that it actually works from the middle foil out. The middle plate is designed to cut longer hair, the additional two blades work to lift and cut hair that lies flat or up against the skin. The two additional blades located on the outermost portion of the head, will cut and finish whatever hair is left behind.
The Innovative blade design makes it appropriate for all different types of hair. This means that the blades can easily handle even patchy and sparse beards.
The head design is pretty impressive, The pattern remains consistent across the entire foil which provides a nice even shave. One downside worth mentioning, many users reported that the foil head must be replaced often, as frequently as every four months. In other cases, users reported that the blade lost its edge after six months of use.
Manual Cleaning Option
Located on either side of the razor you’ll find a couple of buttons. If both buttons are pressed at the same time using your thumb and forefinger it will cause half of the guard to pop off. This will reveal a couple of cutting blades located inside the razor. If you flip over the foil guard head that has just been removed you’ll notice the outermost and middle blades that sit inside the detachable guard head. This design will allow you to easily clean out the guard head if you’re traveling and away from the cleaning station.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Foil head
- Five-blade design
- Ergonomic rubber grip
- Charging dock
- Power cord included
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Wet and dry shave approved
- Blade head must be replaced every four to six months
Panasonic Arc5 Versus Philips Norelco Sensotouch 3D Electric Razor
As you can see, in terms of versatility, the Arc5 is head and shoulders above the competition, but how does it measure up to the Sensotouch by Phillips Norelco?
The competing model offers an ergonomic grip as well, in addition to a faster shaving time and an innovative design that’s said to help prevent razor burn. It utilizes rotatory style blades instead of the foil head design, which some say helps to promote an even shave.
The difference in head design is what will determine which model is a winner for some users. Both offer comparable features in terms of a comfortable grip and shaving power. However, a big drawback for the Sensotouch is its longer than average shaving time. The Panasonic model can easily take a charge in as little as twenty minutes, whereas the competing model can take over an hour.
Conclusion and Rating
The Arc5 by Panasonic electric razor earned top marks from users who love the versatility, five-blade design, faster charge time, and the included docking station that keeps the razor charged, clean, and ready to go. Could this be the best electric razor on the market? Most users think so. If you’re looking for a model that’s powerful, precise, comfortable to use, and offered at a price that’s affordable, then this model is definitely worth a second and third look. I gave this razor a rating of four and a half out of five stars.