Most helpful positive review
664 of 692 people found the following review helpful
extremely close shave when used wet
on October 29, 2009
About 15 years ago I tried all kinds of electric razors (not Panasonic though). Then, the winner was Braun. It was the only shaver that I didn't have to go over a blade with afterwards. I've used every iteration of Braun (their top of the line ones) since then until their current model. (Remingtons are junk, Norelco pulled hair and never gave me a clean shave, it missed thicker hairs, there were other brands, etc). So I will basically compare the performance of this shaver to the newish (1.5 year old Braun Pulsonic self cleaning shaver which I've used exclusively until now).
A little background about me that is important for this review is that I have fast growing thick beard. I can shave more than twice a day and have a 5 o'clock shadow. And on top of that I cut myself if I used a manual razor. I have cut myself with electric razors too (I don't even know how that's possible).
So that out of the way, I can start the review.
Wet (wet means with shaving cream, not just water): This was the best shave I've had, neck, face, and all. I was always told you can't get as close to shaving with a blade, but I can't tell the difference. I was extremely pleasantly surprised.
Dry (before taking a shower): Wasn't as close as the wet and not as comfortable but it was better than the Braun. Best dry shaver I've used.
I was worried because there is an even more expensive model with the cleaning base which made me expect a long involved cleaning procedure. It doesn't! Just rinse with water and push the power button long enough for it to go to cleaning mode (repeat with foil off). It freed me from having to buy cleaning cartridges I supposed so that's a plus.
I feel guilty using it in the shower because of how much water/heat is wasted (lets say a few minutes of wasted hot water during the shave...). Also since it's a little quieter than the Braun, I can tell that it's going over an area that still needs to be shaved (hear hairs being cut). So I'd rather use it on a sink.
Instructions don't say how to make the battery last longer. Should I charge after each use? Should I keep using it until it dies? Should I maintain a 50% charge? etc.
I could not download the manual online. The website-help directed me to buy it at the parts section. I told them I wanted to see the manual before I decide if I want the razor. I want to see how to clean it etc. They were very polite and thanked me for my feedback. But I still couldn't download the manual online, I honestly would have a hard time buying anything expensive blindly without looking at the instructions.
I think even though buying an electric razor has a higher initial cost, one saves money in the long run as the cost of consumables is almost zero (as opposed to buying disposable razors).
I was pleasantly surprised the head pivots in 2 different directions so that I don't have to point it carefully at my face.
I highly recommend it. It's my first Panasonic and I wish I had the chance to try Panasonics earlier.
I took 1 star off for lack of a user's manual online and lack of battery care instructions.
EDIT (Dec 2009):
Thanks for the comments, there is the a link to the product manual in the comment section.
After using it for 2 months, I still think it's the best shaver I've used. One drawback I found was that it's hard to shave sideburns precisely with it since the head is so big (trimmer isn't that great). The motor is in the head though so the size of the head is necessarily big.
Also, I agree with other reviewers about how a stand should be included. Washing it and then letting it sit on a towel is not the most elegant solution.
EDIT (June 2010):
I'm still using this shaver exclusively. I still recommend it. But I have some more notes.
-I hate the lock button (to lock the shaver head to prevent it from swiveling) It's just easier to hold the head in your hands than try to adjust it just so that the lock button can slide.
-I mostly use it dry even though i get a closer shave when wet. It's more convenient and I'm lazy.
-I use it wet when I have to go to something formal. And this is still the best shave I've gotten regardless if it's electric or manual shaver. It takes several passes though but that's ok. There is no danger of getting cut and it's cheaper than blades.
EDIT (Dec 2010):
I'm not sure I like the price fluctuations. If I had paid for it (esp MSRP), I would be extremely angry and feel ripped off. I've seen the price dip to less than a third of original asking price. This is probably because a new model is out. Sooo, it makes me wonder how much is it really worth? It makes me not want to buy the newest model Panasonic shavers anymore since obviously I'm being taken advantage of. Just price it fairly. I don't want to play games.
EDIT (Mar 2012):
Still using it with no problems. I have changed the cutter and foil as recommended in the manual. The battery is still doing well.
EDIT (Dec 2013):
Still working flawlessly. I've had to buy new cutter and foil again (once a year). Battery doing great.
The only thing I don't like is lack of cleaning base. I don't think I can just buy the base so I'm contemplating buying the slightly more expensive model that comes with the base. I'm a little lazy and don't always clean it between shaves...