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Panasonic upgraded their most advanced shaver line (Arc5) with one more blade and finally released the world’s first 6-bladed electric shaver. Although a very efficient shaver segment, Panasonic Arc5 had a drawback for aggressive shaving operation, whereas their nearest competitor Braun Series 9, won the match with the most comfortable shaving technology. After releasing the new Arc6 segment, I was very excited to know whether the manufacturer took a proper step to provide a more comfortable performance. After the release of Panasonic Arc6 in the USA, I bought one to test this new hyped shaver. I’m sharing some exciting facts in this article, including pros, cons, and comparisons to the priors and competitors that will make you understand whether to upgrade your shaver or buy a new Arc6 shaver.
The shaver’s cutting-edge technology and innovative features may be the main responsible for being too pricy. The world’s first and only 6-bladed shaver Panasonic Arc6 has been crafted with hypoallergenic blades for the most reliable cutting ability. Although extremely sharp, Panasonic tried to make the shaving operation smoother and more comfortable with flexible foil caps on the blades. The manufacturer tried to implement a more flexible pivoting head than the prior models like Panasonic Arc5 to make the shaving process more efficient with less pressure.
Panasonic assembled the Arc6 shaver with a rechargeable battery similar to the Panasonic arc5, providing 50 minutes of cordless power. On the other hand, the shaver has a quick charging option that can give full shaving juice with a 3-minute of charge.
The Arc6 shaver is made for wet/dry shaves, where you can have a fast dry shave and refreshing wet shave with your preferred shaving lubricants. It’s also 100% waterproof, allowing you to shave under the shower and rinse it.
Panasonic added a more efficient pop-up trimmer with the Arc6 shaver for accurate precision trimming after every shave.
There are 2 models of Panasonic Arc6 available in our USA market; ES-LS8A-K and ES-LS9A-K. The Pansonic ES-LS8A-K is a solo model, and the pricier ES-LS9A-K comes with an automatic cleaning and charging station.
Table of Contents
What’s in the Box?
I don’t find any change in the box of Pansonic Arc6, and it comes with regular items like the arc5 packages. However, a smart package of ES-LS8A-K with a nose and ear trimmer is available on the market, offering an extra facility for trimming nose and ear hairs. But that will cost an extra price for the nose trimmer along with the ES-LS8A shaver. However, the regular Panasonic Arc6 packages come with the following items:
- The shaver itself
- A foil protective cap
- Charging adapter with cord
- A hard travel pouch
- Cleaning brush
- Blade lubricator oil
- Cleaning and charging unit (with ES-LS9A-K)
- Cleaning dock sachet (with ES-LS9A-K)
- User manual.
The protective cap is a plus for the shaver, whereas the competitors don’t provide it. Moreover, the new generation Braun and Philips shavers don’t come with lubricants, and you need to buy them separately.
Features and Specifications Analysis
The high price range of the Panasonic Arc 6 may disappoint at first look, but it also reflects its premium quality, features, and durable construction. I’m analyzing the arc6 shavers available in the USA (ES-LS8A-K and ES-LS9A-K). So the details may vary from other Arc6 models available in other countries.
6 Shaving/cutting Elements:
Pansonic applied the typical methodology to entitle their new and most advanced shaver line according to blades and foil count. To clarify, The Panasonic Arc3 has 3 blades, Arc4 has 4 blades, and Arc5 has 5 blades. Thus the Panasonic Arc6 is also named according to its 6-bladed shaving system.
When analyzing all the cutting elements separately, there are 4 actual foil blocks and 2 helping trimmers. However, the Arc5 also has 4 foil blocks that play the main role in shaving the hairs from the skin level. Arc 6 added two extra helping trimmer elements (N.B. Arc5 has one) to capture longer, flat-lying hairs effortlessly, whereas Arc5 has one. Panasonic says the Arc6 shavers can capture more hairs and make shaving faster than Arc5 because of these trimming elements. While comparing each other, the Arc6 shaving foils are slightly slimmer and more curved than Arc5, which adjusts head size to keep it slim since 6 blades could have made it very big.
Most Importantly, Panasonic added a comfort roller element to minimize the shaving pressure and make the shaving process more comfortable than their prior shavers. Here I found they took this action very late since Braun used this technology from the beginning in their high-end line shavers. However, I’ll talk more about the fruitfulness of this new element in the performance section while discussing shaving comfort.
Flexible Pivoting Head:
Panasonic’s prior models, including Arc5, were defeated by Braun regarding flexible foils and heads. Although the heads of prior models can move greatly in different directions, the foils are not so smooth to move up and down to compete with Braun’s shavers.
However, Panasonic focused on this fact in the Arc6 shavers and integrated new technology in the foils and head to be friendly on the skin contact. The head can move in five directions very smoothly, which is a great improvement in the upgraded shaver. The foils also got a great touch to be softer than the prior shavers to make the strokes with less pressure.
Panasonic says the Arc6 shaver heads, along with the foils, can move and pivot in 22 directions to follow the skin contact and make the shaving process effortless. I found it works well in practice, but the head needs more improvement to compete with the Braun Series 9 Pro or Braun Series 9 shavers. The Braun shavers are still the market leader regarding flexible foils to minimize shaving pressure and adapt the skin contact most accurately.
However, the new 22-D shaving head of Panasonic Arc6 is not that blameable since it does great work in practice. Moreover, it lessens the wrist work to have the shaving operations by pivoting accurately and capturing more hair than the prior models.
Another useful feature of the pivoting head is the headlock technology. You can lock the head by the slider(that opens the popup trimmer) to make precision shaves at different angles. But it only locks in one position (straight), which is still a drawback to Braun, where Braun Series 9 and Series 9 pro can lock the head in 5 different positions. However, I found that one position of Arc6 head is enough to make the job done accurately.
Panasonic always excels over competitors with their horsepower motor in the shavers. Panasonic used a 14000 CPM Japanese Linear motor for maximum shaving power without compromising the coarse beard. To clarify, the motor creates ultra-powerful torque to the blades as a result, the shaver head makes a total of 84,000 cuts per minute (14000 per foil) which is the market’s highest.
The Panasonic Arc5 also uses a 14000 CPM motor, making the shaving process greatly efficient. However, I found the Arc6 motor is a bit more powerful and refined than the Arc5’s one since it needs to create 14000 cuts for every foil by the 6 blades. Moreover, the new refined motor creates less noise than the Arc5, although more powerful. So, the new Arc6 motor provides a premium feel in the performance that could be a compelling feature for Panasonic shaver lovers.
Panasonic’s so-called Auto-sense technology applied in the Arc6 shaver, where I didn’t find the use of it. Panasonic says it can reduce and increase shaving power according to beard density. However, it could be a great feature if the option worked. Since I didn’t try the shaver with a very light beard, it’s not fair for me to blame the technology. In practice, I found the shaver uses its highest aggressive power to make the giant strokes for a close shave.
All the Panasonic electric shavers I have ever tried are engineered for Wet/dry shaving compatibility. The Panasonic Arc6 shavers are suitable for wet/dry shaving with your favorite beard lubricator or under the shower. Wet shaving is definitely more refreshing and mostly used on sensitive skin for ultimate comfort. Since the Arc6 shavers are more comfortable than the predecessors, you can also have dry shaves on your sensitive skin, and I think it’ll not cause any irritation. I’ll get into more about wet/dry shaving performance in the performance section.
However, most of the time, I use the arc6 shaver for dry shaves, which saves some extra cost of buying the shaving cosmetics and makes the operation faster.
The Pansonic Arc6 is 100% waterproof that allows you to clean with direct running water or submerge the head for thorough cleaning. For being 100% waterproof, you don’t need to take extra care to keep it away from water-causing damage. As said before, it is very suitable to shave in the shower time for refreshing shaves since 100% waterproof.
Battery and Power:
No surprise in the battery and power system of the Panasonic Arc6 shavers. The Arc6 comes with a rechargeable Li-ion battery that provides 50 minutes of cordless performance that is generally similar to the Panasonic Arc5 shaver. But when digging into the capability deeply, the new battery of Arc6 shavers runs 6 blades whereas Arc5’s one runs 5 blades; that must be a significant difference between them. Definitely, 6 blades consume more power than 5 blades, so the battery capacity of Arc6 is bigger than that of Arc5.
On the other hand, the Arc6 takes only 50 minutes for a full charge, whereas the Arc5 takes 60 minutes, so it’s a plus for the Arc6 users.
Since a wet/dry shaver, the Panasonic Arc 6 cannot be used with a cord while charging. So, it could be troublesome to have urgent shaves after getting the rechargeable battery fully drained. But the Panasonic Arc6 has a quick charging option that allows you to have a full shave with 3 minutes of charge. All the variations of Arc5 also have this facility, though.
The Panasonic Arc6 ES-LS9A-K and ES-LS8A-K come with an advanced LED display at the front of the shaver handle. This provides essential information about battery status, charging status, travel lock status, cleaning alert, and replacement head status.
The display shows the battery percentage with a 5% increment and decrement system. The new battery-showing system is more user-friendly than the prior models. This convenient and attractive display adds a new dimension to the premium feel of the shaver.
A finishing trimmer is very essential to make the final touches on the sideburns, mustaches, and edges after every shave. Like the prior models, including Arc5, the Panasonic Arc6 comes with the identical popup trimmer and technology. I always said the Popup trimmers of the Panasonic shavers are more user-friendly than the competitors. I prefer Panasonic Arc6’s popup trimmer to Braun Series 9’s straight slide-up trimmer. The Panasonic one feels more convenient and effective than the others.
Travel lock is an essential feature for a shaver to keep it safe while not in use or in a trip. However, the only premium shavers come with travel locks like the Panasonic Arc6.
Tip: To activate the travel lock, press the power button for 3 seconds, then a padlock icon will appear in the LED display, and repeat the activation process to deactivate the lock.
Automatic Cleaning and Charging Unit:
Some Arc6 models and the only USA model Panasonic ES-LS9A-K come with a cleaning and charging dock. If you are fond of cleaning the shaver with automatic cleaning and a charging station, you must have the ES-LS9A model in the Panasonic Arc6 line. Besides cleaning, the cleaning dock dries, lubricates, and charges the shaver. The dock cleans and lubricates with a detergent that you’ll find in the shaver package while buying. After consuming the included detergent sachet, you need to buy it separately from Panasonic or any other third-party supplier.
I found the cleaning and charging dock of Arc6 has identical ergonomic and features and functions to the dock that comes with the Arc5 shavers. The only difference you’ll find is the dock housing. The Arc6’s one has a bit bigger inner space to accommodate the slightly bigger 6-bladed head.
The foil shaving head is the main part of the shaver that needs replacement after getting dull. Panasonic recommends the users replace the foils and blades after 12-18 months of use. But practically, it depends on the behavior of the existing blades and foils.
However, a new significant fact in the Arc6 foil chamber is the foils, and inner blades are adjoined. To clarify, if you detach the head chamber, the foil blocks and the inner blades will adjacently come together, whereas the prior Panasonic models have separate elements. Here I found Panasonic discontinued its tradition and followed the competitors, although they had a great reputation for this system. So, you have to replace the full foil chamber instead of replacing only the foil caps or inner blades like the prior models.
Most of the time, I found the foils remain undamaged, but the blades become dull after a period of use. As a result, we could buy a separate inner blade package to replace the existing one, saving some extra cost. But the new integrated foil chamber needs to be replaced at a time that is a pricier option now. So, the replacement head of the Panasonic Arc6 is more expensive than the prior shavers.
Another replacement element in the Arc6 shaver is the cleaning sachet (only for clean & charge model) that you need to replace after draining the existing one. However, the cleaning sachet is pretty affordable and less expensive than the Braun, Philips’s cleaning lubricators.
Panasonic shavers are especially renowned for their robust built quality. The prior models of Arc shavers have a great reputation for their built quality, and the new Arc6 didn’t disappoint accordingly. The shaver is made with premium plastic and a combination with metal that feels very sturdy, which will lead to being very durable.
This is now Panasonic’s highest-end electric shaver, and they tried to make it the best in every aspect. It comes with a very premium look with refined matte black, glossy grey, silver metals, and some golden color aesthetic. Although a successor model of Arc5, the Arc6 catches my attention first with its super-premium appearance.
The Panasonic Arc 6 shaver features 6 shaving elements to make the shaving process faster and more efficient than the Arc5. Hence you may think the blades made the new shaver head a Thanos look, but practically it’s not much bigger than the Arc5 since the engineers intelligently made the blades thinner and a bit curvy.
All the blades are made with hypoallergenic stainless steel, making them durable and flawless, giving a premium feel to the head.
The newly introduced comfort roller placed in the middle added an extra layer of sophistication, making the shaver more compelling.
The foil chamber can be easily detached by a simple press of the release buttons at the edge sides of the head. However, a drawback, in my opinion, is the foil chamber; the foils and inner cutters are combined together. In the prior models, you can separate the foils from the blades and clean thoroughly where it’s non-removable in the Arc6 shaver.
The 22-direction pivoting head makes the shaving passes accurate by contacting the skin accordingly. As said before, I’m not a fan of its single-position headlock system, but it offers one more option to do the job with precision.
The rear side of the shaver is covered with a soft rubber grip that adds an extra layer of security from slipping down from your hand. Moreover, the premium soft rubber feels very comfortable in the grasp, which makes the shaving process effortless.
Performance of Panasonic Arc6
Premium shavers are mainly made for the best performance and comfort. Since a flagship shaver by Panasonic, they applied their highest-end technology and materials in the Arc6 shaver for the most reliable shaving results. But how successfully the shaver does its job in practice? I’m describing the actual performance feedback in the following steps for better understanding.
Panasonic’s least advanced shavers do close shaves with super efficiency, and the Brand has a great reputation mainly in this regard. Since the most advanced creation by Pansonic, the Arc 6 has advanced shaving features and technologies to make its results with the most accuracy. The six cutting elements along with the Linear motor, make the shaving process very efficient in every stroke. The regular foil elements cut the hair from the skin level, and since 4 foils pass in a stroke, they don’t need a second pass for close cuts. I admit, I’ve become a fan of the Panasonic Arc 6 shaver for its close shaving ability.
Shaving Long Beard:
Panasonic used 2 special trimmers in the middle of foil blocks (golden color cutters) in the Panasonic Arc 6 shaver to cut longer hairs than ever before. The responsibility of these two elements is to capture and cut the long hair and leave them to the foil elements to make a close shave. They do their job with efficiency, and as a result, the Arc 6 can handle longer hair than the Arc 5 shavers but not the market topper. Braun’s new Series 9 pro does it more precisely and cuts longer hair than Arc6. So Panasonic needs more touch up in this regard. However, it can make an efficient shave with a 3-4 day beard.
Shaving comfort is one of the most important factors to consider in premium shavers. Panasonic always got defeated by Braun in this field with their prior models, including Arc5. Braun Series 9 And Braun Series 9 Pro have the most advanced technology to make the shaving process super comfortable. However, Panasonic took it seriously, tried their best in the Arc6 shavers to make the shaving process most comfortable, and used some new technologies to achieve the goal.
The comfort roller technology is the most significant addition to the Arc6 shaver head. The responsibility of this element is to lessen the pressure made by foils while shaving and help the head to glide over the skin smoothly. Although a copy system from the Braun shavers, the Panasonic Arc6 is pretty successful in this field because I found the roller does its job perfectly to make the shaving process comfortable.
Furthermore, Panasonic made the new foils with a more skin-friendly shape (a bit curved) to make the shaving passes more polite on the facial skin. It’s also an appreciable improvement in this highest-end shaver.
This premium shaver works great in wet shaves when I use shaving cream, gel, foam, etc. Being 100% waterproof, it offers a great opportunity to shave under the shower for the most refreshing shaves. I didn’t find any compromise while shaving in wet conditions and did my shave very efficiently. Most wet/dry shavers fail to make the shaving process flawless in the shower shave and take too many passes in one place to have a close shave with shaving lubricators. But Panasonic Arc6 greatly shaved my coarse beard under the shower and with lubricators. I must admit that the Arc 6 is going to be the market leader for the accuracy of wet shaves.
The precision trimmer of Panasonic Arc 6 is more user-friendly than the competitors for its design and cutting system. Although identical design to the Arc 5, the Arc6 one does better cuts for precision trimming and edging the sideburns, mustaches, eyebrows, etc. However, it’s not for trimming the full beard or shaving long beards. So, if you need to have full beard trimming sometimes, you could get a separate dedicated beard trimmer alongside. But the popup trimmer in the Arc 6 shaver is great for making final touches after every shave and precision trimming.
- Sturdy built quality
- Great shaving efficiency
- Comfortable performance
- Very good for wet/dry shaving
- 100% waterproof
- Efficient popup trimmer
- Very powerful motor
- Greatly handles very coarse beard
- Super expensive
- Replacement heads are pricier than prior models
- Bulky head
Arc6 is the flagship model of the reputed brand Panasonic, and they tried to provide a new level of efficiency and comfort with it. The super expensive price range may disappoint some users, but they actually designed this one for those who like to have the most advanced shaving experience. Hence superior technology and premium materials are the main ones responsible for making it such expensive. In short, I found it worth its cost by its elegant aesthetic, built materials, technology, and shaving performance. So, If you’re not constrained by budget and want to upgrade your shaving life, I would highly recommend this shaver.
Why Panasonic Arc 6 is better than Panasonic Arc5?
First things first, the Arc6 shavers are designed and made with more premium materials than the Arc5. Especially the Arc6 feels more compelling at the appearance of its refined and elegant aesthetic.
According to Panasonic’s proclamation, the Arc6 shavers can capture 3x more hair in every stroke than the Arc5. The main responsible for this claim is the new technology shaving head of the Panasonic Arc6. However, I practically found a significant difference (not exactly 3x time though) between them regarding beard capture and cut. Besides foil count, the new Arc6 cutters are more efficient and powerful than the Arc5 foils, and especially the two trimming blocks can capture and cut a bit longer hairs. As a result, shaving with Arc6 takes less time, and the performance becomes more efficient.
On the other hand, the newly engineered Arc6 head is more flexible than the Arc5 head. Moreover, the foils are pretty softer than the prior models making the shaving process more enjoyable. As a result, the Pansonic Arc 6 shavers can adapt to skin contact more accurately, and the shaving process becomes more comfortable than the Arc5.
Panasonic used a more refined motor in the Arc6 shaver to provide more powerful operations than the Arc 5 ones. I found the new motor is a bit quieter than the Arc5, which may be a great plus for the Arc6 motor for those who don’t like the Arc5 for its noise in operation.
Both versions of shavers provide 50 minutes of cordless shaving power with a full charge, but the Arc6 takes less time to have a full charge. To clarify, Arc 5 takes 60 minutes for a full charge, whereas Arc 6 takes only 45-50 minutes for a full charge.
To summarize, Panasonic Arc5 is definitely a great choice for having a very efficient shave, but the Arc6 is a bit more sophisticated with upgraded workmanship. So, you do not need to change your current Arc5 shaver, but it’ll be worth buying the Arc6 if you want to upgrade your shaving experience for a more premium feel.
Q & A
How to use/open the popup trimmer of the Panasonic Arc 6 shaver?
To release the trimmer, press the small button and slide up the slider to the highest point. Thus, the slider pushes up the trimmer and pops up for use. After releasing the trimmer, you need to power it on and use it on your beard and mustaches according to your desired shape. After using the trimmer, turn off the power and slide down the slider accordingly to fold the trimmer in place.
How to activate and deactivate the headlock?
The Panasonic Arc 6 shavers have a single-position headlock system to make precise shaves in tricky areas. To activate and deactivate the headlock, you need to use the slider button at the rear side that is used to trigger the popup trimmer. To lock the head, you need to slide up the slider at the middle position (not the highest position that releases the popup trimmer) and slide down the slider in its place to unlock the flexible head.
How to refill the cleaning and charging dock?
Refilling the cleaning dock liquid is pretty easy. First, mix the detergent with water at your preferred proportion. Next, press the big button at the left side of the dock to release the refill drawer and pull it with two fingers. After that, pour your mixed liquid into the drawer and put it back in the dock carefully.