In the last few years, one company has gained a lot of traction in the electric razor market. Know which one? Panasonic.
One razor in their line up has garnered lots of praise. Users rave about the Panasonic ES8103S Arc3. They champion its reliability, claiming it’s an underdog on the market.
Tired of the oversaturation of Braun, Wahl, and Philips Norelco, many consumers feel like the Panasonic line doesn’t get enough attention.
But what makes the Panasonic ES8103S Arc3 a better, or even comparable, option against the well-known competition?
The only way to find out is to test the shaver. So, I’ll go in-depth the Arc3’s top features and see how the shaver performs.
Can the Arc3 really perform better than the competition? Read on to find out.
|Features||Panasonic Arc3 ES8103S|
|Head Type||Flexible Pivoting|
|Motor Speed||13,000 cuts per min|
|Run time||40 minutes|
|Number of blades||3|
|Pop up trimmer||Yes|
|Charge time||1 hour|
The Unboxing: My First Ten Minutes with the Shaver
Opening the Arc3’s packaging is a tame experience. Everything comes sandwiched in a molded plastic shell. It’s a small collection of items. But for this price point I wasn’t expecting much else.
Here’s the full list of included items with your Arc3:
- Arc3 Electric Razor
- Protective Cap
- Travel Pouch
The razor weighs less than half a pound. But it doesn’t feel like a hollow plastic toy. The shaver’s rubberized sides go a long way in making the device feel solid.
The protective cap and charger are well made. I like that the ES8103S can be charged with universal voltages. Many devices at double the price cannot.
If you travel to Europe, you must buy your own charger adapters. The included two-prong plug only works in North America.
My only gripe with the package is the travel pouch. I wish Panasonic opted for a hard-shell case. The travel pouch will protect from scratches in a carry-on luggage pocket, but that’s about it.
Thankfully, you can buy a shaver case online cheaply. Frequent flyers should purchase a better carrying case.
The Top 5 Features of the Arc3 ES8103S
The Panasonic Arc3 ES8103S sports five impressive features that are worth explaining. This isn’t an exhaustive list. But it proves why the shaver is as a competitive option in its price range.
Depending on your shaving preference, this can be a deal maker. For some men, the option to shave in the shower saves them crucial minutes in a busy morning schedule.
The Arc3 is fully waterproof. The cutting blades and foils adapt to dry and wet shaving. You can shave dry, with water only, or with your favorite shaving cream or gel. Whatever you prefer.
The Panasonic shavers famous Arc name is not just a trick of advertising. Arc shaver foils and blades curve 30 degrees for full-contact with your skin.
When you press down on your face your skin curves inward. The Arc blades bend to match that inward curve. Panasonic shavers are the only brand to implement this technology. Many customers argue it’s the Arc system that delivers such a close shave.
Because of its arc technology Panasonic didn’t have to create independently tilting foils. Instead, they focused their attention on a fully pivoting head. Their unique head design moves both side-to-side and up-and-down. This means you get a device that contours effortlessly to your face.
Nanotech Blades and Foils
A shaver’s foils need to be as thin as possible. The thinner the foil, the closer the shave. Every extra bit of metal separates the blades from your skin, leaving you with stubble.
Panasonic’s Nanotech foils are ultrathin. They’re made of stainless steel, and along with the blades, are hypoallergenic.
10-Stage LCD Display
The back-lit display tells you everything you need to know about your shaver. You’ll never be unaware of remaining battery life or when to clean the cutting blades.
Most shavers in this price range don’t bother with LCD displays. Manufacturers save such displays for more expensive models. It’s nice to see such a detailed display on the Arc3.
My Arc3 Shaving Experience
It doesn’t matter what an electric razor boasts. If it can’t give you a close shave every day, the device is worthless. So how does the Arc3 perform?
My first test was a dry shave on two-day stubble. I shave every two days. If a shaver can’t handle a two-day beard it’s as good as useless. The Arc3 did a fantastic job.
I noticed that the Arc3 sounds louder than a few other brands I’ve tested. It’s not loud enough to grate one your ears, but you can hear the linear motor’s 13,000 CPM (cuts per minute) wail away as you shave.
I think my favorite aspect of the Arc3 is a combination of the pivoting head and the Arc blades. Other shavers skip hairs on my neck and under my chin.
The Arc3 had no problems. And because of is pivoting abilities, I never awkwardly moved my hands to re-shave places the electric razor missed on its first pass.
As a wet shaver, I found the Arc3 performed well, too. I tried a wet shave in the shower just with water, and at the sink with a thin layer of shaving gel.
My only complaint with shaving gel and the Arc3 is more of a complaint with all electric shavers. I can’t accurately see where I’m shaving. The razor’s head gets in the way and I miss spots. But I’ve had this problem with other shavers, so I can’t fault the Arc3.
Overall, I preferred the Arc3 as a dry shaver. But if you’re the shave-and-shower type, I don’t foresee a problem using it in the shower.
The Panasonic ES8103S’s results impressed me. My skin was smooth, and I rarely had to make over two passes in any one area. The ultra-thin foils seemed to catch most of my hair on the first pass, and the second pass was mostly a precaution.
Impressive Battery Life
There’s no point in buying a shaver today without a lithium ion battery. We’ve stacked too much evidence against the old Ni-Cad shavers. Over time they have memory problems and the power output dwindles as the charge drops below 50%.
Thankfully, Panasonic opted for lithium ion in the Arc3. It’ll charge from 0% to full within an hour and last about 45 minutes of continuous use. In daily life, a full charge lasted me about five days.
The front LED displays your battery life percentage. I plugged in the charger once the display hit 20% or so just in case.
Not that a dead Arc3 would put a dent into my day. The Arc3’s battery is quick-charge capable. That mean’s if it drains completely, you plug it in and wait five minutes. Then you’ll have enough charge for a full shave.
Aside from shaving performance, every standout electronic razor must be easy to clean. A shaver that offers good maintenance possibilities will last longer than one you can’t clean or clean well.
With the Arc3 you can clean the blades and foils separately. That’s a huge plus over other manufacturers like Braun, where the blades hide inside a cassette. An unreachable blade is a dirty blade no matter how much you rinse it.
A quick release of the foil top and you can wash the exposed blades under the tap. Remember, gunky shaver blades lead to faster erosion and replacement.
The Arc3 also includes a sonic vibration cleaning mode. I tried it several times and found it helpful. Just submerge blades in warm water in your sink and watch the hair melt off.
But nothing works better than a little oil. Buy yourself a tube of clipper oil and place a drop on each blade every week or two and this shaver will last you years.
What I Like About the Panasonic ES8103S Arc3
- I think the ultrathin foils and 13,000 linear motor combine for a close and long-lasting shave.
- You can shave however you want, wet or dry. The shaver performs well either way.
- I found the cleaning mode’s sonic vibrations made for easy, between shave maintenance.
- Clear information on the 10-stage LCD display means I know the battery level and when to clean the device.
- Great price for value point on the Panasonic line of electric shavers.
- The long-lasting lithium ion battery doubles the shaver’s longevity, and the quick charge helps, too.
- The attractive, sleek silver design stands out among the dull black and gray shaver trend of the moment.
- Universal voltage lets you take this electric razor with you wherever you go.
What Could be Improved with the Panasonic ES8103S Arc3
- The ultrathin foils achieve a close shave, but the downside is they’re delicate, so be careful!
- I wish the shaver came with a nicer carrying case. But you can purchase one cheaply online.
- I’d like a docking station to sit the razor in when I’m finished, but at this price I can’t complain.
So, are consumers right? Is the Panasonic ES8103S Arc3 a better choice than the competition?
Truthfully, I agree with the praiseworthy user reviews. I like this shaver. Its design might seem flashy at first, but it performs well.
I think at this price range you must accept that you won’t get everything. The Arc3 doesn’t come with a fancy traveling case or a clean and charge station.
But what it exceeds at sets a high bar that other shavers at this price do not reach. The Arc3’s shave is smooth and long lasting, it’s solidly built, and it’s easy to maintain.
I highly recommend the ES8103S Arc3. Thousands of happy customers sing its praises, including me.