Until now, I was a blade guy. So when Panasonic sent me their Arc 5 wet/dry electronic shaver, it had to pass a couple of pre-requisites before I would even take it out of the box. Namely:
- The Arc 5 had to work in both wet and dry mode
- It had to give me at least a week of shaving without recharging
- The resulting shave had to make me look good – and that was a major challenge
Out of the Box and Into the Shower
So the first thing I did was charge up the Arc 5 and give it a test drive in the shower – could it replace the blade I use every morning?
Right away I noticed that the Arc 5 just plain feels good in your hand. It’s the right shape and weight – it fits your hand perfectly and is solid. Panasonic paid attention to the ergonomics and its look and feel is really appealing. Next step was the shave itself – could I get a blade-like shave with an electric shaver?
The Arc 5 overcame one of the biggest shaving challenges; going “against the grain”. With a blade, shaving against the grain is gambling with your face. If you want the cleanest shave possible, you need to go against the grain but if your blade isn’t perfect you end with a an irritated face and a miserable day ahead of you. So I said a prayer to the shaving gods and rolled the dice. The Arc 5 came through with a beautiful, close shave and left my skin smooth and happy.
With shaving performance verified it was time to go through the Arc 5’s technical specs to see if it could replace my daily razor.
- 45 minutes of shaving on a single charge. We all deal with numerous rechargeable devices so getting two weeks of shaves on a single charge is a big plus for the Arc 5. This is key!
- Pop-up trimmer. I used it on my sideburns successfully and it should work well for those of you sporting more aggressive facial hair.
- Cleaning reminder. The razor’s LED display lets you know when it’s time to clean the blades. I really like this feature – I’m not a morning person so without this reminder the blades would never get cleaned.
- Automatic shaving sensor. The Arc 5 senses your beard density and adjusts its motor speed accordingly. This is just plain cool technology applied to a problem that’s been around since the stone age.
- All kinds of built-in blade technology. Ranging from 30-degree Nanotech blades to a Finishing Foil. Whatever all of this means, all I care about is the quality of the shave and the Arc 5 passes by personal test with a top grade.
Advice to blade guys
After a few weeks of test driving the Arc 5, I’m now a convert to this wet/dry shaver. I like the end result and I sure don’t miss the nicks and cuts of my old blade on those days when I was too groggy to be careful. If you’re thinking of making a switch, this is the electric shaver for a previous blade-only guy.