Likes a fat handle in his hand
A Review For Those Who Don't Mind
Modern Shaving Devices
I am primarily a DE shaver these days, but on occasions when I am not feeling well, pressed for time, or just not in the mood to DE shave, I like having an electric shaver. Also, sometimes I will miss a few whiskers short of a BBS when DE shaving, and so electric shavers are great for doing a quick once over, to correct such an oversight. I already own a Panasonic Arc4 electric shaver, that I bought during the pandemic. I wanted to get the Arc5, but it was priced out of the market for me, at the time, so I got the Arc4 instead. I used the Arc4 long enough to dull the blades, and while it may be a good shaver for some, ( Folks with soft beards perhaps ) but it doesn't work very well, on my course dense whiskers. Nearly 2-years later, I finally bought the Arc5!
The box comes packaged fairly well, the shaver comes in its fake leather case, and the power adapter has its own spot. Oddly enough, while they have a compartment for storing the acclaimed shaver oil and brush, they are not found in the LV65 packaging. Unless you buy the full LV95 kit, I just don't think you get those items, so better have some on hand, or you will have to buy those.
The case is pretty nice quality actually, solid zipper on it, fake leather feels good in the hand, fits the shaver well, along with a shaver brush you can put inside as well. The power adapter also seems like quality, space saving design so it doesn't take up your entire outlet, and comes with a good amount of cable. Unfortunately, while the shaver is indeed made in Japan, the power adapter is made in China, so just keep that in mind.
As you can see, the 2nd generation Arc5, has a real sleek design to it, and I think it looks better then 3rd generation models. Black and silver are this shavers contours, with a glossy surface, this shaver was made to impress. It also has a premium feel to it, with a durable plastic material, and a sort of rubberized grip for the bottom and sides. It comes with a travel lock, a feature not found on the Arc4, a must have for those who travel a lot, tossing this in their bag. You don't want your electric shaver to start buzzing in your carry on in the plane, it sets off the wrong message.
The Arc4 weighed in at 0.64 ounces, with a size of 6.2 inches, by 2.4 inches, by 1.8 inches. The Arc5 however, is a larger unit, and weighs in at 6.88 ounces, and is 6.8 inches, by 2.8 inches, by 2.1 inches. This is also a better shaver if you have large hands, easier to get a better grip hold on it, which I like. Panasonic has been using, linear drive motors, in their shavers for many years now. While the Arc4 used a 13,000 CPM motor, the Arc5 uses a 14,000 CPM motor, so it operates faster.
The head of the Arc5, has been redesigned, from what was seen in previous models. As technology improved in linear drive motors, it allowed them to reduce the size of the motor, allowing them to put it in the head itself. This is primarily what has allowed them to re-design the head, to allow for multi-directional flex movement. For those who prefer to not have a flexing head, you can lock it by using the switch in the back. The side burn trimmer control, is also integrated into the same switch as well.
The Arc5 uses a 5 section foil, with a cutter in the center. Unlike the Arc4, which has a complete foil cartridge assembly, the Arc5 uses a 2-piece foil design. Since foil replacements do not include the foil frame, make sure you save that piece! Additionally, the foil itself is upgradable, should you wish to use a 3rd generation Arc5 foil, all Arc5 foil designs are interchangeable. The blades have also changed. The Arc4 had wider blades, but were less long. Where as the Arc5 blades are more narrow, but longer. The Arc5 also has a larger mounting plate behind the blades, this should add to the durability of the shaver.
The Arc5 uses a 3.6V 1 watt hour lithium battery, recharge time 1-hour using the included RE7-59 charger. Wet/dry certification as listed, made in Japan. My shaver came with a 0% battery, I put the charger on it, and it was most certainly charged within 1-hour, can confirm. This is the ES-LV65 model, in other words, mine is the one without the cleaning station. If you really want the cleaning station, you'd be looking for the ES-LV95 kit, which will cost you more.
If you look closely at the shaver, you will see a plus and minus, which indicates positive and negative polarity. Please take note at the plus and minus on the charger cable, and orient it correctly, before you plug it into your shaver.
My first Arc5 Shaving Experience!
Its really awesome that modern day electrics shavers, can be used wet or dry, even my Arc4 had that ability! But my Arc4 really struggles to cut my whiskers, I just don't think the motor has enough horse power or speed to get the job done, plus its smaller head probably doesn't help much either. Today I put my new Arc5 through its paces, by having it go up against 3-day whisker growth! I also decided to try shaving the most convenient method available, doing a dry shave. Oddly enough, when I turned my Arc5 on, despite being a higher CPM motor, it was quieter then my Arc4.
And as expected, tasking this shaver against 3-day whiskers, took a little longer then usual. Typically, you'd do a 1-day to 2-day shave with foil based shavers. But I will tell you what, this thing took the challenge like a champ, and mowed it all down. It actually felt like the shaver was sucking itself to my skin, and razing my whiskers up to be hacked off. Having said that however, where as my Arc4 felt like I was scraping my skin the entire time using it, I felt the Arc5 produced a much more comfortable shave, and didn't leave me all red afterwords.
We all talk about the importance of mapping out ones beard, when doing a DE shave. It is especially common for ones neck whiskers to grow in multiple directions, just to make your shaving life interesting. I discovered through experience, that the Arc5 is no different then a DE blade, when it comes to beard mapping. When I finished going over my neck, I discovered that there was whiskers still left, leaving me shy of a BBS. When I went XTG on my neck with the Arc5, it was then able to pick up the remaining whiskers, to bring me to a BBS.
I also discovered that, unlike a DE shave, where no pressure is required, the Arc5 works best, if you apply a little bit of pressure. I used both up/down patterns, as well as circular patterns when shaving. I found that the flex head was useful in the jaw line, where it helps to navigate around the jaw bone, as well as my chin. When doing the moostash, an area famous for difficulties with some DE razors to get under nose hairs, I thought the large Arc5 head was going to give me problems. In reality, it was no different in difficulty then an DE razor, that forces you to have to work it a little bit, to get them pesky under nose hairs to completion.
I will say, learning proper technique using an DE razor, has helped prepare me for the large Arc5 head. As I simply stretched the skin, and I was able to get the remaining few whiskers, all the way to a BBS. I also achieved in getting my cheeks, side burns, chin, and neck line to a BBS, as the shave was completed to my satisfaction, to a 100% BBS shave. This shave would have gone even faster still, if I were not shaving 3-day whiskers. This shave also, would have probably been even more comfortable still, if I did a gel based wet shave. But for the first shave out, I am pretty impressed!
Additionally, I was running the shaver on the first setting, which is intelligent sensor mode. When the shaver wasn't being pushed hard, it was running its rated speed at lower torque. When the shaver was getting pushed harder going through a dense section of whiskers, like those on my chin for example, I could hear the motor getting momentarily louder, as it began delivering more torque. This reminds me of how a governed small engine works, on a lawn mower. As a mechanic, I find this feature pretty awesome, and I really love it. I was able to complete a full 100% BBS shave, with having 80% battery life left after the shave!
Cleaning the shaver is simple, pop the foil off, clean out under the faucet tap, and do the same for the blades. For bonus cleaning points, tap the power button on the Arc5 3 times to enter hyperactive cleaning mode, sting like a bee, bobs your uncle, blades clean and your foil. Leave shaver and foil apart on a bathroom towel to dry. Once dry, re-attach foil, and apply a couple of Wahl clipper oil drops onto the 5 section foil, while the shaver is running, which also oils the blades. This way your shaver is ready for the next shave.
So far, I am going to have to give this shaver a out of stars, as its the best electric shaver I have ever bought. And is the only electric shaver that can handle my beard. My Arc4 takes the place of backup electric shaver now, cause my Arc5 is the new king baby. !!!WOOHOO!!!