Reviewers say that the Panasonic ES8243A foil shaver is great for sensitive skin. In fact, several users who struggle with acne or ingrown hairs report that the ES8243A doesn't aggravate these issues as other shavers can. Still, it can mow through even a thick, tough beard pretty quickly.
Mows through coarse beards without irritating sensitive skin. A shaver that's strong enough to cut through the toughest of beards may leave sensitive skin irritated but, according to numerous reviewers, the Panasonic ES8243A can tackle several days of coarse beard growth with little or no irritation. We did find a few stray comments saying that it doesn't perform as well on coarse neck hair.
You can shave dry with the Panasonic ES8243A, shave wet with shaving cream or gel, or take it into the shower with you, a feature that many users say helps them get a good shave. One Drugstore.com user says this shaver gives him an "extremely close shave without irritation -- matching or even exceeding a multi-blade straight razor."
We found a few scattered complaints that the shaver misses a stray hair now and then, but most users say this isn't a problem. They also say this shaver is very fast. It appears to have a staunch following among users with acne or ingrown hairs, who say this shaver doesn't exacerbate their skin problems. "It's great and I won't need to buy another shaver -- ever," says one.
Well made, with only a few flaws. The Panasonic ES8243A's relatively simple design both attracts and repels reviewers. Some deliberately chose this shaver because it's easy to clean under the faucet; no need to mess with a cleaning station. "This razor is one of the easiest to clean," says one Amazon.com user -- just apply a couple drops of liquid soap, run it in turbo mode, then rinse.
Users on several review sites praise the ES8243A for its quick charging time. That's a good thing because, as another user points out, you can't use this shaver while it's plugged in to charge. Users at NewEgg.com report going from seven to nine days between charges, although we found a few complaints about poor battery life at other sites (one BestBuy.com user reports getting just four shaves per charge).
Even users who can't get a good shave with this model compliment its construction and design. As one otherwise critical owner writes at Amazon.com, "I would say that Panasonic hit another home run. It's well made, easy to hold, and I like the floating head design."
Not for those with sensitive ears. Reports about this shaver's noise levels vary, but tend toward the high end of the scale. One Amazon.com reviewer describes it as "screechy loud." Others qualify their observations of the noise level, saying "it's not loud, but it's noisier than some other electrics I tried," or, "It is kind of loud when it is running but that is expected when it runs at 13,000 RPMs."
Standard warranty, standard complaints. The Panasonic ES8243A is covered by a two-year warranty, foils and blades excluded; it also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. A significant number of users comment that this shaver is a bit pricey and that the replacement blades (which retail for about $80, but are often available for less) run "a little on the steep side."
Others complain that the shaver suddenly stops working after a few months or a year. We also found complaints about customer service: In one Amazon.com review dating from 2009, a user documents a dispute he had about the length of his warranty. Another claims that Panasonic returned the same broken razor to him -- simply repackaged -- after he'd sent it in for repair.
The Panasonic ES8243A receives more than 1,100 user reviews at Amazon.com, yet still manages to maintain an impressive 4.4-star rating, with well over 700 perfect 5-star reviews. Although most praise this shaver, saying it gives a clean, no-irritation shave even if you have acne or are prone to ingrown hairs, we also found a substantial number of complaints that this model can quit working suddenly, plus complaints about Panasonic customer service.
Review: Panasonic ES8243A Men's 4-Blade (Arc 4) Wet/Dry Rechargeable Electric Shaver, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2013
More than 50 users review the Panasonic Arc IV ES8243A on Drugstore.com, assigning it an overall score of 4.5 stars. Despite a few complaints about missed hairs or too much noise, they almost all agree that it's easy to get a close shave, and they like this shaver's wet/dry/in-the-shower versatility.
Review: Panasonic Men's Arc IV Wet/Dry Shaver Nanotech, ES8243A, Contributors to Drugstore.com, As of May 2013
About two dozen BestBuy.com users rank the Panasonic ES8243A on BestBuy.com, giving it an overall score of 4.5 stars -- a slight drop from its previous 4.7-star rating. We found no major complaints, and users who struggle with sensitive-skin issues, including acne and ingrown hairs, report that this shaver gives them a clean, comfortable shave and helps their skin.
Review: Panasonic - Arc 4 Nanotech TM Electric Shaver - Blue/Silver, Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of May 2013
Almost three dozen NewEgg.com reviewers rate the Panasonic ES8243A, giving it an overall score of 4 out of 5 eggs. Their commentary falls in line with that from other sites; the reviews are balanced but overwhelmingly positive, with praise for a close, comfortable shave in most circumstances.
Review: Panasonic Arc IV Shaver with Quadruple Arc Foil, Contributors to NewEgg.com, As of May 2013