The Panasonic ES-LA63-S foil shaver draws reviewer praise for its close, comfortable shave, even for sensitive skin. Some users say it doesn't aggravate -- and may even ease -- existing skin problems like a tendency toward ingrown hair. For about $60 more you can purchase the exact same shaver with a self-cleaning stand, packaged as the Panasonic ES-LA93-K (Est. $210).
May ease skin problems. Most users agree that the Panasonic ES-LA63-S offers a close, comfortable shave, especially if you have sensitive skin; we found a couple of comments from men who suffered from ingrown hair but say that with this shaver, it's no longer an issue.
Still, most reviewers are happy with the ES-LA63-S' performance, like Tyler Stokes at Electric-Shaver-Guide.com who writes, "If you spend an extra minute going over certain areas a few times, you can get super smooth results. Even running your fingers against the grain is smooth."
This shaver's wet/dry performance -- you can shave dry, use shaving cream or gel, or take the ES-LA63-S into the shower with you -- is a big hit with users, although a number of them still say this model is too pricey.
Comfortable in your hand. The Panasonic ES-LA63-S is, most users say, comfortable to hold. A rubberized coating on the back of the shaver helps you keep your grip on it, even with wet hands. A few users at Amazon.com also say that the top of the shaver is a little too bulky. On the other hand, they say the trimmer feature works well.
A couple of key features make this model easy to use: Owners say it charges quickly (in about an hour) and that it continues to shave at full power until the battery runs out completely, instead of slowly fading with the battery charge. Downsides are that you can't use it while it's plugged in to charge, the charger doesn't fit into the travel carry pouch, and battery life might not always live up to the claimed 45-minute span.
No news is (mostly) good news. Expert and user opinions about the noise level of the Panasonic ES-LA63-S (and ES-LA93-K) are split right down the middle. The ES-LA63-S is one of many shavers to receive a very good rating on this point from a major consumer research organization.
Some users, on the other hand, say that it's loud -- although, as one writes, it's "not as jarring or intrusive as other Panasonics." Another disagrees: "The Panasonic is very loud and you cannot watch TV without turning up the volume."
Questionable customer service mars an otherwise excellent record. Complaints about battery life, general durability and customer service are common to all of the Panasonic shavers we reviewed. The ES-LA63-S and ES-LA93-K don't draw quite as many negative comments about these issues, but they're still a problem.
Customers also report that sometimes the shaver stops working entirely. Many of these users say they have problems getting it replaced, even during the warranty period.
The cost of ownership is about $60 for a replacement foil (once a year) and $20 for a replacement blade (once every two years). You can sometimes find both parts at lower prices. The entire shaver, except the foil and cutters, is subject to a two-year warranty; it also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The editors of ConsumerReports.org ask a panel of men who regularly shave with electric razors to evaluate 13 models, including the Panasonic ES-LA63-S. Each shaver is evaluated on several factors, including noise, shaving and efficiency of cleaning.
Review: Electric Razor Reviews, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
Although this site's presentation reeks of direct sales tactics, the author posts lengthy, comprehensive and ultimately very helpful reviews to YouTube that have us convinced of his authenticity. He selects the Panasonic ES-LA93-K shaver as the best wet/dry electric shaver and offers a mostly positive, but still balanced, analysis of its performance.
Review: Panasonic ES LA93 K Shaver Review, Tyler Stokes, Not Dated
More than 500 customers give the ES-LA93-K -- which is the same as the ES-LA63-S except for a color change and the addition of a cleaning base -- a 4.3-star overall rating. Most like this shaver's performance, but they report the same problems that plague many Panasonic models, and a few say the cleaning station is too flimsy.
Review: Panasonic ES-LA93-K Arc4 Men's Electric Shaver Wet/Dry with Multi-Flex Pivoting Head and Automatic Cleaning System, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2014
More than three dozen Newegg.com reviewers rate the Panasonic ES-LA93-K, giving it an average score of 4 eggs out of a possible 5. "Perfect! Way better than Braun Series 7," writes one reviewer with sensitive skin.
Review: Panasonic Wet/Dry Shaver, Contributors to Newegg.com, As of May 2013