The Panasonic ESLA63S 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 $35 more you can purchase the exact same shaver with a self-cleaning stand, packaged as the Panasonic ESLA93K (Est. $210) .
May ease skin problems. Most users agree that the Panasonic ESLA63S 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 ESLA63S's performance, like the reviewer 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 ESLA63S 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 ESLA63S 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, which in turn makes it hard to shave closely around detail areas like upper lips and noses. 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.
Most users say the cleaning stand that comes with the ESLA93K cleans well, but is fairly loud and flimsy -- we found a number of complaints that the cleaning unit stopped working after about a year. The reviewer at Electric-Shaver-Guide.com also points out that because the ESLA93K and ESLA63K are waterproof, they're "super easy to clean manually."
No news is (mostly) good news. Expert and user opinions about the noise level of the Panasonic ESLA63S (and ESLA93K) are split right down the middle. The ESLA63S 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 ESLA63S and ESLA93K 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. "Customer service was a joke," writes one; another returned his shaver for a replacement, but ended up receiving a lower-priced model instead.
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 14 models, including the Panasonic ESLA63S. Each shaver is evaluated on several factors, including noise, ease of use and efficiency of cleaning.
Review: Electric Razor Reviews, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, As of June 2012
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 ESLA93K 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, Editor of Electric-Shaver-Guide.com, Not dated
More than 450 Amazon.com users give the ESLA63S an average score of 4.4 stars. Most reviewers say they love this shaver, although we found mention of the same battery and customer service problems that plague other Panasonic shavers.
Review: Panasonic ES-LA63-S Nanotech 4-Blade (Arc 4) Multi-Flex Dual-Motor Electric Shaver, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2013
More than 400 customers give the ESLA93K -- which is the same as the ESLA63S 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 Men's 4-Blade (Arc 4) Multi-Flex Dual-Motor Wet/Dry Nanotech Rechargeable Electric Shaver, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2013
About three dozen NewEgg.com reviewers rate the Panasonic ESLA93K, 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