Panasonic ES8103S Arc 3 Wet/Dry Review: Cheap Alternative to Braun

In the previous reviews I’ve published, I featured two foil shavers from Braun that charged a premium but we’re going to change that up a bit with the Panasonic ES8103S Arc 3.

Unlike the Braun Series 7 and 9 that only is capable of dry shaving, the ES8103S can also wet shave.

That’s not all…

At just under $70 (if you buy it from Panasonic) and under $65 in Amazon, this electric shaver is one of the best bargains you can get.

Related: If you’re looking for a razor, you can check this article I wrote about the best razor deals right now for products like the safety razor, cartridge razor and much more. Get the best deals for yourself or buy it as a gift.

No, it does not have any cleaning station that cleans the razor for you but the great news is you don’t have to spend any money on refills just to clean the razor, you use only running water.

A quick look at the features

  • Three blade cutting system help give men a smooth shave
  • Wet or dry shaving functionality
  • Fully waterproof and washable under running water (thanks to the sonic vibration cleaning mode)
  • Multi-flex pivoting head will adapt to the contours of your face
  • 30 degree inner blades will help give you a close shave
  • Also comes with a pop-up trimmer
  • 10-stage LCD display
  • 42 minute run time
  • 2 year warranty


  • Gives you a lot of flexibility – you can shave under the shower, with a shaving cream or if you’re in a hurry dry shave
  • Cheap – costs less than $60
  • Decent warranty
  • Fully waterproof


  • Noisy
  • There are reports of this razor not holding up under wet conditions
  • Short battery life
  • Upkeep can be expensive (you will need to replace the head every year and blades every two years)

What to expect from the Panasonic ES8103?

This shaver features a sleek and easy to hold handle. I like that the sides have a rubber finish that prevents slippage. The middle part has the chrome plated and satin combination that I am not a fan off but that’s just my preference, yours could be different.

Power button is just on top of the LCD screen at the middle. The screen is pretty clean and displays battery status and an indicator that tells you if the razor needs cleaning.

LCD screen

At the heart of this product is a three blade system that features nanotech blades aligned at 30 degrees to give you a close a shave as possible.

Linear motor maintains peak power

Under the hood, this shaver is powered by a linear motor that allows it to maintain peak power throughout the charging cycle and this motor will provide 13,000 cuts per minute – which means a pretty close shave when you combine that with the 30 degree nanotech blades.

Three blade cutting system

Speaking of blades, this razor has a three blade cutting system that is a fancy term for the three rows of blades that work together to cut whiskers off your face.

Wet and dry shaver

This is probably my favorite feature – the flexibility it gives you to do a wet or dry shave. Every man has their own preference. Some men would be okay with dry shaving since they don’t have the time to apply shaving cream.

Others prefer to wet shave, perhaps because they have sensitive skin and they need that extra lubrication on their face.

For others, it’s shaving under the shower to further save them time but I must warn you when you shave under running water, you have to be careful or you might drop the razor. I’ve read in several of the reviews of men dropping this while taking a shower.

Pop-up trimmer

If you like to keep your sideburns or goatee looking sharp, you don’t need to buy a separate trimmer as the ES8103S comes with a pop-up trimmer to shape your beard, mustache or sideburns the way you want it to be.

Pop Up Trimmer

It pops out from the side so it’s easier to control but I must warn you that it’s a little bit on the short side.

Fully waterproof

Panasonic says that this razor is 100% waterproof but there are consumers who say that the weak link is the LCD screen where water seeps in. Some reviews say that the LCD screen darkens after a few uses. This could be an issue  after the warranty expires.

Even if the LCD screen darkens, the razor will still work but the downside is you won’t see the battery status.

A full charge will last for…

…14 shaves provided that you will shave for exactly 3 minutes per. I did the math and that amounts to around 42 minutes of run time. If it takes you longer to shave obviously it will last for less than 14 shaves.

Great for traveling

The compact size of this makes it a great travel buddy to take with you on business trips or vacations. It also comes with a traveling pouch so you don’t misplace it.

Since you can wash it under running water, there is no need for any cleaning system. All you need to do is turn on the sonic vibration cleaning mode so that facial hair and dead skin residue comes off as you rinse.

The AC power cord will work on power outlets between 100 and 240 volts so you don’t have to worry travelling cross-continent with this.

What comes in the box?

What comes in the box?

Product Specifications

ModelES8103S Arc3
BatteryNot specified
Run time42 minutes
TypeFoil Razor
Mustache / Sideburn TrimmerYes
Wet ShavingYes
Dry ShavingYes
Water proofYes
Charging/cleaning standNo
Travel pouchYes
Warranty2 years

Consumer Reviews

A majority of the men who tried this product liked how this budget electric razor shaved off their beards. It could be the 30 degree angle blades or the wet/dry functionality but whatever the reason is the electric razor works well.

Men have used it wet shaving, dry shaving, under the shower, you name it they’ve tried it. The risk of course if you shave under the shaver is dropping it which has happened to a few of the reviews.

Consumers liked this because you didn’t have to buy any cleaning refills and some mentioned that Panasonic designed it well enough that you can clean it under running water.

But you will need to replace the foil annually and the blades every two years.

It has a 30 day money back guarantee which is frankly enough time to test it out if it works for you.

Women also have used this to shave their legs.

One potential issue would be the LCD screen that several have reported to conk out due to water seeping in and moisture from a wet environment. The shaver still works great but you won’t be able to see the battery status.

Another potential issue would be the foils heating up after extended use.

Where can I buy this?

You can buy this from Amazon for less than $65. And it’ll be eligible for their free 2-day shipping if you join Prime.

Amazon also sells extended warranties of up to 3 years just in case you want that extra peace of mind.

Another option would be buying direct from Panasonic but it’ll be more expensive.

To Wrap Up

This compact little shaver is a great budget alternative to the Brauns of the world and still give you a close enough shave.

The wet/dry functionality of this allows you to shave wet or dry – depending on your preference.

And according to reviews Panasonic really did a good job in designing the system that allows you to clean this under running water – no need for a bulky cleaning station or buying cleaning solutions.

Overall it is a bang-for-the-buck product for men who cannot afford top-of-the-line brands like Braun.

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