Panasonic ES-LA93-K Arc 4 Review: Great Alternative to the Braun Series 7

Last updated on August 15th, 2018 by Garrick Dee

Getting a close shave and electric razor is an oxymoron – it just doesn’t happen. To achieve such you’ll need to fork out close to $200 for a Braun Series 7 or close to $250 for a Series 9.

That’s a lot of money to spend for an electric shaver.

The Panasonic ES-LA93-K Arc4 is a great alternative if you don’t want to spend over $200 for such.

It has the same four blade system as the Series 9 and a cleaning base. If you ditch the cleaning station, this will cost for less than $100! This is just absurd and Panasonic isn’t a household brand in this field.

Give this a close look if brand recognition isn’t your thing.

The four blade system will cut close and pair that with the dual motor system that delivers 14,000 cuts per minute then you’ll have a razor that cuts close.

It also comes with a built-in trimmer to trim longer strands of facial hair and sculpt your beard.

Before I continue, let me share with you the features of the Panasonic ES-LA93-K Arc 3…

  • Comes with a 4 blade shaving head with blades angled at 30 degrees for maximum closeness
  • Hyper performance dual motor delivers 14,000 cuts per minute which equates to 56,000 cross-cutting actions per minute if you add up the 4 blades
  • The Arc4 Multi-Flex pivoting head enables this razor to handle different contours on the face (particularly the chin and mustache area)
  • 10-stage LCD clearly shows you the battery status, charge indicator, replacement reminders for blades
  • Pop-up trimmer helps trims long strands of facial hair, trim side burns and sculpt the beard
  • There are two options – a variant with the charging station and without it
  • 30-day money back guarantee and 2 years

Pros

  • Cheaper option than the Braun Series 9
  • The four blade system and individual pivoting heads helps cut close
  • Decent warranty
  • Bright LCD light is clear and easy to read
  • Easy to read LED lighting
  • The 30 day money back guarantee eliminates risk in trying this product

Cons

  • Will not shave as close as a safety razor or straight razor
  • It has a bulky head that may struggle shaving tight spots like the mustache and chin area

What to expect from the Panasonic ES-LA93-K Arc 4?

Please watch this video from Electric Shaver Guide to get an overview of the features. Make sure to watch the whole video to see how it performs…

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=4g9S6UlNyrw

The one thing you’ll notice with the LA93-K Arc 4 razor is the size of the shaving head. It’s bigger than the Braun Series 9 and will struggle with shaving areas like the lip area.

Panasonic had no choice but to make it this big because they had to shove four cutting elements in there. Under the foils are nanotech blades that sit at a 30 degree angle that Panasonic says will maximize closeness.

Let’s look at the features one by one so that you’ll know what to expect.

Dual motor system

Not only does this electric shaver have four linear nanotech blades, it also has two motors that deliver 14,000 cuts per minute per blade.

Add up the four blades and you’ll get 56,000 cross cutting actions per minute.

This product will have the ability to shave decently close if you use the proper technique.

Multi-Flex pivoting heads

To handle the different contours on the face, Panasonic put in shaving elements that pivot individually.

This allows the razor to handle areas with a lot of peaks and valleys like the chin and lip area.

One big downside would be the sheer size of the head. Men with smaller facial features may find it a little too big for their liking.

If that is the case then you can opt for something with a smaller head like a Braun Series 5.

But it’s not all bad since the larger head will cover a larger area. This means less strokes and less irritation.

The Multi-Flex pivoting head also makes this a good option for shaving your head bald if that is your preference.

Pop up trimmer

It also comes with a pop-up trimmer at the back of the shaving head to help cut longer stands of facial hair, trim sideburns or sculpt the beard.

Wet/Dry shaving

Another feature I like would be the ability of this electric shaver to shave with or without shaving cream. Men with sensitive skin will appreciate this because using a shaving cream will help protect the skin from friction that may cause irritation.

Please read our in-depth guide to the best shaving creams if you have not and see which one is the best. For electric razors like the Panasonic Arc 4, I’d recommend using the Cremo Cream because it’s latherless and very slick. Being a latherless cream helps in terms of visibility and it’s easier to clean.

Interface

Panasonic kept things simple when designing the Arc 4 interface. On the upper part of the handle there are two buttons – the On/Off and travel lock button.

The latter will allow you to bring this shaver with you for travel purposes. Having a travel lock feature prevents the electric shaver from buzzing inside your suite case and the TSA from delaying your flight.

Below the two buttons is an LCD screen.

10-stage LCD status

If you look at the middle portion of the handle, you’ll see a small LCD screen that shows you vital information such as battery status, charging status and a cleaning indicator that tells you it’s time to clean the shaving head.

If you compare it to the Braun Series 9, the screen looks dated but the information is easy to read.

When this electric shaver is fully charged, the screen will blink to notify you.

Run time

This razor will run for about 42 minutes when it’s fully charged. Charging will take about 60 minutes. You can actually leave the shaver on there even if it’s full because of the overcharge protection feature.

Premium Automatic Clean and Charge Station

This particular variant, the ES-LA93-K comes with a clean and charge station that automatically charges and cleans the razor. You will need to purchase extra cleaning cartridges if you’ll opt for this variant.

A pack of three will cost less than $12 in Amazon. And it’ll last for up to 30 clean cycles per cartridge.

One important note is that you don’t have to use the cleaning station every day. Simply put liquid soap on the shaving head then press the power button for two seconds.

This will activate the turbo mode and run it for 20 seconds. After that’s done, rinse it in running water with the turbo mode on for another twenty seconds.

Doing this will help extend the cleaning cartridge and you won’t have to spend as much.

To be honest, you really won’t need the clean and charge station because of how easy it is to clean the head. Unlike the Braun that isn’t as easy to clean manually, the Panasonic’s entire shaving head assembly is removable and gives you pretty much easy access to the vital parts that needs cleaning.

Shaving Performance

To see how this electric shaver performs, I’ll compare it with the Braun Series 7. To see the shaving performance section of this video, skip to the 7:33 mark…

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZgfosIyRXM

Both electric shavers did quite well even on a three day beard growth. There really isn’t much of a difference on the eye test. But take note that you’ll have to shave more often like once every other day to increase the effectiveness this tools.

What consumers say?

With over 3,000 reviews and counting, this is one of the more popular electric razors outside of Braun.

The four blade system of the Arc 4 does an excellent job either shaving wet or dry. Most men who left a review in Amazon said that this razor shaves close and a much better option than Braun.

This will work best stubble that’s a few days old. If you’re planning of using this to shave anything longer then you may set yourself up for disappointment. There were complaints about this not doing quite as well on longer beard growth which is what you’d expect from an electric shaver.

And this will not cut as close as a safety or even a cartridge razor. Set your expectations accordingly.

Another potential weak point would be the charging station. Some reviews say that Panasonic does not have the best clean and charge stations in the market. And this variant’s cleaning station doesn’t offer much improvement than the previous generation Arc 3.

Where can I buy this?

You can buy this from Amazon for less than $135 if you opt for the ES-LA93-K which has the clean and charge station.

But the clean and charge station of this razor isn’t as good as that of a Braun or Philips. So you can save some $$$ by going with the ES-LA63-S minus the charging station.

Both these shavers are eligible for Amazon’s free 2-day shipping if you join Prime. You can also avail of Amazon’s extended warranties of up to 3 years if you want that extra peace of mind.

To wrap up

The Panasonic ES Arc4 is a great alternative to the Braun Series 7 or Series 9 if you don’t want to spend more than $150 for an electric shaver. One drawback to the Panasonic design would be the size of the head which makes it difficult to use the trimmer on the neck and chin area.

In terms of performance both this and Braun Series 7 are almost equal. Both will go through a multi-day beard growth and cut it close. One big advantage that the Braun has would be the better clean and charge station.

But that really isn’t a bad thing because that reduces the overall cost of the Panasonic. And you don’t have to spend extra on the cleaning cartridge.

Garrick spends his days researching and writing about grooming. When he’s not in front of his computer, you can find him hanging around with his wife and son.

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