Panasonic Arc 5 is a series of high-end foil shavers and followed Arc 4 which in itself was a force to be reckoned with. Arc 5 made its first show in 2009 and since then has gone through various revisions and iterations.
FYI, “K” in the name denotes the color of the shaver and it is expected that these models will have some further color options in them and the suffix will change accordingly.
What else do these new models have to offer; we will go through various aspects in further detail, stay with us.
Table of Contents
- Panasonic Arc 5 ES-LV97/ES-LV67 Highlights
- Performance of Panasonic Arc 5 ES-LV67 and ES-LV97
- Construction and Design
- Battery and Charging
- What’s in the Box:
- Auto Cleaning Charging System:
- Pros and Cons of ES-LV67-K AND ES-LV97-K
- Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV97-K Vs Arc5 ES-LV95-S - Is The Newer Better?
- Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV97-K Vs Braun Series 9 9290cc - The Rivalry Continues
- Panasonic LV-97 Vs Philips Norelco 9000 Prestige - Foil Vs Rotary
Panasonic Arc 5 ES-LV97/ES-LV67 Highlights
In this section, we will highlight some of the major features these new models have to offer.
Five Arched Shaving Blades: The name “Arc” stems from the fact that these shavers have a shaving head with a slightly curved profile. In addition, “5” indicates the number of shaving blades these models have.
Among these five blades, the middle one is Quick Slit Blade which cuts long hair to a length that can be taken care of by other blades.
Quick Slit Blade is sandwiched by two Quick Lift Foils which act to lift and cut short flat-lying hair.
The two outermost blades in the shaving head are Finishing Foils. Their function is to provide a uniform finish to the whole shaving length.
Ultra-Fast Linear Motor: As is the case with other Arc 5 models, ES-LV97/ES-LV67 feature arguably the fastest motor amongst electric shavers.
This motor works at 14000 cycles per minute and as the shaver has five shaving blades it produces a total of 70,000 cross-sectional cutting actions, impressive isn’t it?
Flexing Shaving Head: These two models feature a flexing head that moves up and down and right and left and vertically. This property enables it to remain in constant contact with the skin especially on different contours of the face.
In addition to the shaving head, shaving blades themselves can move up and down independently of each other.
Beard Sensor Technology: Like previous Arc 5 models, ES-LV97/ES-LV67 features the intelligent shaving sensor. Panasonic says this sensor reads the density of the beard and adjusts the power accordingly.
This feature performs 220 sensings per second and adjusts the power accordingly.
However, as I said, it is not something new to Arc 5 and not Panasonic specific either. Different Braun series also features this technology. Nevertheless, the actual effectiveness of this technology has been debatable.
Wet and Dry Use: Both of these models are 100% waterproof and this enables the user to utilize them for both wet and dry use. Thus, you can use these in the shower, with foam or gel or dry.
However, because of this, you can only use these models cordless meaning you can’t use them plugged in.
3-Minute Quick Charge: Both ES-LV97 and ES-LV67 incorporate the Quick Charge feature.
Performance of Panasonic Arc 5 ES-LV67 and ES-LV97
When we talk about the performance of a shaver, it boils down more or less to convenience, the closeness of shave, and comfort. I have used ES-LV97 for six weeks now and below entails how it fares against each aspect of performance.
Convenience: Like previous models of Arc 5, ES-LV67 And ES-LV97 also give you the ability to shave either wet or dry.
This is a good convenience to have as this will give you the ability to shave with a shaving gel, foam cream, or even dry. What else takes convenience to a whole new level is its 100% water resistance, so you can use these shavers in the shower as well.
As we have said in other pieces, if you have sensitive skin and relatively thicker hair growth, it is better to use a shaving gel. However, if it is not the case, you can use these shavers dry as well.
Having a number of features is one thing but it is the quality of these features that matters. For example, most of the foil shavers nowadays feature a pop-up trimmer but when it comes to overall usefulness, they are of little to no use. In addition, they are delicately built and oddly placed that makes them prone to breakage. However, Arc 5 features a pop-up trimmer which is not only useful but is also durable.
This pop-up trimmer is placed near the top of the head and when popped up moves well beyond the shaving head. In addition, it is not just a barely-there kind of pop-up trimmer. It is wide enough, straight, and sharp and is a good tool to have for your stache and sideburns.
The Closeness of Shave: If there is one thing that Panasonic Arc 5 is in a league of its own is the closeness of shave.
Its curved head profile enhances close contact with the skin and this fact is further compounded by its reverse-tapered foils which come at a 30-degree angle.
However, what stands at the root of exceptional closeness is its powerful motor, sharp blades, and quality shaving head.
ES-LV67 and ES-LV97 feature the same foil and inner blades as earlier models of Arc 5. Thus, if you have used any of the earlier models, these two models promise the same efficiency.
The five shaving blades work synchronously to deal with all the different kinds of hair that they come in contact with. These include long hair, flat-lying short hair, and hard stubble. Quick slit blade and quick lift blade to cut long and short flat-lying hair to a length that is further dealt with by the Finishing Foils.
The quick and efficient action of these shaving blades gives you a close shave and you won’t have to go over a spot over and over again.
During my short use of ES-LV97 so far, I have found this to be at par with some of the best electric shavers I have used in terms of providing a close effortless shave. I have quite a hard stubble below my lower lip and chin and it dealt with that pretty easily. Thus, it sailed through the closeness part of the performance test.
The Comfort of Shave: Moving on to our next test of character, the comfort.
When it comes to the performance of electric shavers, it is mostly a compromise between closeness and comfort. And finding a perfect balance between both can be a risky adventure for companies as it can leave them in the “Jack of all, master of none” kind of territory.
Thus, although Arc 5, in general, excels in closeness and finds little competition, it does not provide the most comfortable shave.
Because of its powerful motor and sharp blades, you might feel yanking at some parts and if you have sensitive skin, this can lead to burns and irritation. However, it is something you can deal with by applying an aftershave.
However, if you have sensitive skin but still want the closeness of Arc 5, just go slow and gently over sensitive parts and there should not be much of an issue.
Construction and Design
If you have an eye for aesthetics, ES-LV67/ES-LV97 is going to be a feast for your taste.
Although it is not much different from ES-LV9N in terms of design but the new color combination and its masterful sleek finish is going to leave you awestruck.
It basically has a matte black finish with a dark blue hue, it is pleasing to the eye. What makes the look even more appealing is the golden Lamdash logo which with its black background is hard to ignore.
Because of its wide head, it gives the impression of being bulky. However, it is not heavy and stays under 200 grams, and feels well balanced.
Some of the second-generation Arc5 shavers like ES-LV9N have an aluminum body, but ES-LV67 and ES-LV97 feature a plastic body. However, from nowhere it feels plasticky and has a premium look.
When we talk about ergonomics, ES-LV67/ES-LV97 has streamlined rubber inserts that provide an easy grip. In addition, these rubber inserts have a grooved surface that provides a non-slip grip. This is especially of use if you are fond of wet shaving or shave in the shower.
In addition, it has a wide thumb rest just below the shaving head which increases the ergonomic profile of the shaver.
Both new models have a simple interface and consist of just one power button. In addition, it has a simple long display that shows various levels of the battery ranging from 20 to 100%. It displays a lock icon when the travel lock is employed.
On the backside of the head, there is a switch button that serves to lock the head in a certain position or unlock it for pivoting. It also functions to release the pop-up trimmer for use.
Battery and Charging
Like most of the top shavers, ES-LV67 and ES-LV97 feature a lithium-ion battery. These batteries have a high energy density and low self-discharge.
The battery takes about an hour to completely charge from 0% to 100% and will last you about 45 minutes. They also feature the 3-minute Quick Charge feature which gives you enough battery for a single shave.
These shavers come with a cord charger and it stated on the back of the shaver that it is Panasonic standard RE7-87. However, it has a universal voltage converter, so you can charge anywhere in the world (100 V – 240 V).
ES-LV97 can also be charged using the cleaning and charge station as it comes with one.
What’s in the Box:
- Panasonic Arc 5 shaver (either ES-LV67 or ES-LV97)
- An automatic cleaning station (if ES-LV97)
- A charging cord
- A cleaning brush
- A travel pouch
- Protective cap
- A lubricant or cleaning solution
- A user manual
Auto Cleaning Charging System:
The cleaning and charging station of ES-LV97 is the same as some of the previous Arc5 models. It basically utilizes concentrated detergent and you need to dilute it with water. This solution lasts a good time and is more economical than Braun’s cleaning cartridges.
Although I find Braun’s cleaning station more compact, fast, and efficient, Braun has phased out the drying option in their stations. Arc 5 gives you the option of drying and the station is equipped with both a fan and a heater and these dry out the shaver effectively.
Manual Cleaning: if you go with ES-LV67, you do not get the cleaning and charging station. In this case, you have to do manual cleaning. However, cleaning a Panasonic Arc 5 is an easy task.
For this, you will remove the shaving head and remove whatever hair strands you can with the cleaning brush or by gently tapping it on a surface.
After this, put the shaving head back on the shaver and put some liquid soap and turn the shaver on by pressing the power button for 3 seconds. Add some drops of water and this activates the cleaning mode. You can judge this by the change of motor noise and flashing of the LED display.
This process will continue for around 20 seconds and will automatically turn off. After this, turn the shaver on and put it under running water.
Remove the foil frame followed by inner blades and rinse it with water also. Dry it with a soft cloth and leave the parts to air dry for a day before putting them back on.
These models are new but use the same shaving system as the earlier Arc 5 models. Therefore, we can expect that we will need to change the foils and inner blades every 18 to 24 months.
You can buy the foils and inner blades as a unit with part number WES9032P or separately with part numbers WES9173P or WES9170P respectively.
Pros and Cons of ES-LV67-K AND ES-LV97-K
Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV97-K Vs Arc5 ES-LV95-S - Is The Newer Better?
When you are browsing through Panasonic’s Arc 5 series, the first thing you should be mindful of is the price parity between different models. There is a significant price difference between the models launched back to back and these two models are a perfect instance of that.
LV95 was released before the launch of ES-LV97 and costs almost 100 bucks less than the later one. The performance of both shavers is pretty much the same with only slight differences. Stick with us and you would know what really this sibling rivalry has in store.
For starters, as both models are from the same series, shaving elements are identical. You would get five blades mounted on a motor that is capable of delivering 70,000 cuts per minute. Therefore, in terms of aggression both lie in the same area and provide a close and clean shave.
The active shaver sensor is featured in both models as well. It reads the beard density and adjusts the motor power accordingly. Panasonic claims it is capable of changing the power around 14 times in just a minute.
Since there is no way to validate the authenticity of these claims, we simply judge them by their performances. And when it comes to that, both shavers are gentle on the face which reduces the chances of cuts and nicks.
An area, where you would see a major difference, is the design and the shape of both shavers. These attributes are well designed and executed in the latest model LV97, which makes it an attractive shaver. The sleek and ergonomic design with black finishing ranks it among show-stealer. In addition, LV-97 provides a firmer grip than LV-95 because of its ergonomic design. Therefore, the chances of it slipping from your hand are pretty much negligible.
LEDs of both shavers are also pretty different from one another. Unlike LV-95, you would be able to distinguish LED from the rest of the body in LV-97. Not that it affects the performance of the LEDs but it definitely improves the aesthetics of the shaver.
When it comes to features like pop-up trimmer, battery timings, charging and cleaning station, resistance to water, and provision of wet and dry shave, everything is identical without even a shred of difference.
In the end, the only real difference between ES-LV97-K and ES-LV95-S is their looks and the price. ES-LV97 seems sleeker and has a matte finish that conceals minor scratches. However, we know aesthetics are relative and different people may have different views about the same thing.
Auto Cleaning Charging System
70,000 cuts per minute
70,000 cuts per minute
Note: As we know by now, ES-LV67 is identical to ES-LV97 apart from the fact that it lacks a cleaning and charging station. However, it is noteworthy that even the price of ES-LV67 is higher than ES-LV95-S. Therefore, ES-LV95-S provides a more economical option although ES-LV67 AND ES-LV97 are more aesthetically pleasing if it's your thing.
Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV97-K Vs Braun Series 9 9290cc - The Rivalry Continues
Panasonic vs Braun is a long-standing debate and comparing their flagships is probably the best way to settle it down.
The technology used in both these shavers is more or less the same with just slight differences. However, when it comes to overall design and performances, you would notice some major differences. So, without further ado let's dive right into it.
Braun’s claim that the new 9290cc has five shaving elements which are a misleading statement. When we say the word “shaving elements” the first thing that pops in our head is the blades of the shaver.
When Braun says it has five elements, it not only counts blades but a skin guard as well. This “additional shaving element” does not affect the aggressiveness of the shaver as its only purpose is to protect the skin from blades. It is an effective part of the shaver but it does not qualify as a “shaving element”.
However, in the case of LV-97, you get five blades which increase the number of cuts it provides in unit time. Therefore, you would get a faster and closer shave with the Panasonic’s LV-97 than the Braun’s 9290. However, the question is at what cost?
LV-97 lacks the active skin guard which is present in the Braun’s 9290cc. Believe it or not, it actually is one of the best innovations Braun had come up with. It protects the skin from the blades while they are slaughtering your hair which reduces the chance of cuts and nicks. It makes the shaver gentler and smoother than the LV-97.
It might not be as important for the people who have tough skins, but people with sensitive skin, especially African-Americans can benefit largely from it.
The second major difference is the flexibility of the heads with ES-LV-97 taking lead over 9290cc. The head of the LV-97 flexes more than that of 9290. Therefore, it can adjust to the contours of your faces better than Braun’s flagship model.
In addition, the ergonomic design of the LV-97 provides a better grip and resistance against accidental slip. This can reduce the chances of accidental falls and thereby increase the durability of the product eventually.
Apart from the above, some of the features like charging stations, pop-up trimmer, and active shaving sensor are present in both shavers. However, the comparison of these features is debatable with little to choose from.
Panasonic’s ES-LV67 and ES-LV-97 are more aggressive than Braun’s 9290cc.
However, the flexible head compensates for the additional aggressiveness.
Braun 9290, on the other hand, is gentle, soft, and smoother on the skin which makes it a good option for people with sensitive skin.
Traditionally, Braun shavers cost more than Panasonic’s but in this case, both of these shavers cost in excess of $200 and there is nothing to choose from on that front as well.
Cleaning and Charge Station
Active Skin Guard
70,000 cuts per minute
40,000 cuts per minute
Panasonic LV-97 Vs Philips Norelco 9000 Prestige - Foil Vs Rotary
Above, we compared ES-LV67 and ES-LV97 with some of the best foil shavers in the market right now. Here, we will compare it with a rotary shaver and that too to one of the best in the business; Norelco 9000 Prestige.
Foil shavers are known for their closeness while rotary shavers, on the other hand, are known for their kindness.
It would not be fair for a rotary shaver to compare its blade’s number with foil shaver because of basic differences in design. However, we can always compare the performances when it comes down to that.
LV-97 being a foil shaver is more aggressive than 9000 Prestige. Therefore, it provides a closer and cleaner shave as compared to 9000. However, when it comes to comfort, Norelco 9000 Prestige has no match. Thus, in simple words, people with sensitive skin should opt for Norelco 9000 Prestige and a foil shaver in ES-LV67/ES-LV97 is better for those with tough skin.
The sensing technology of the 9000 Prestige is capable to adjust the power 15 times in a minute. However, the same technology in the LV-97 can deliver 14 changes in unit time.
Trimmer in the 9000 Prestige can be attached with the head which provides more accuracy. In the case of LV-97, it is a pop-up one that is located at the back of the shaver. The location makes it hard to use and renders it useless in some cases. Therefore, if you like to style your edges and sideburns by yourself, 9000 Prestige is a good option.
When it comes to head flexibility LV-97 takes the lead because it can flex in 8 more directions than Prestige 9000. The flexible head adjusts itself better to the contours which compensate for the additional aggressiveness. Therefore, it gives an opportunity to the people who have not too tough and not too sensitive skin to take advantage of it.
Convenience is another factor where Prestige 9000 lags behind because it lacks a clean and charge station. Not that it is hard to wash, but the addition of devices like cleaning stations makes the process a lot more convenient.
The resemblance between both models is their ability to provide wet and dry shaves. You can use soap, water, and even shaving foam in order to make the process more comfortable. Clogging is not an issue with both of these shavers.
From a price point of view. Prestige 9000 is $50 more than ES-LV97 and around $100 more than ES-LV67. Considering ES-LV97 comes with a cleaning and charge station, Arc5 seems more reasonably priced than Norelco.
Prestige 9000 is gentler and smoother on the skin because of being a rotary shaver. Therefore, it presents itself as a good option for people with sensitive skin looking for closer shaves.
LV-97, on the other hand, is a more aggressive option that provides a much closer and clean shave than 9000 Prestige. However, because it lacks an active skin guard, it might not be a good option for people with highly sensitive skin.
Philips Norelco 9000 Prestige
ES-LV67-K and ES-LV97-K are the newest models in the famous Panasonic Arc 5 series. While ES-LV97 comes with a cleaning and charging station, ES-LV67 comes without one. Apart from that, these are essentially identical twins.
Both of these models come in a black matte finish with a dark blue hue. They are aesthetically more pleasing and have a sleeker design than previous models. However, this, in essence, is the only real change from some of the latest Arc 5 models as they feature the same shaving head with a similar number of shaving elements.
They promise the same level of efficiency and provide the same level of closeness of shave as has been the tradition of Arc 5.
However, for just being sleeker and have an eye-catching design, these models come at a relatively higher price than other Arc 5 models. Are the looks worth the price hike, it is up to you to decide? For us, it offers the same level of performance and shaving efficiency as its predecessors for better looks.
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