Panasonic ES8103S Review

panasonic es8103s features a Men’s Electric Shaver Wet/Dry with Nanotech Blades, 3-Blade Cordless with Flexible Pivoting Head

panasonic es8103s features a Men’s Electric Shaver Wet/Dry with Nanotech Blades, 3-Blade Cordless with Flexible Pivoting Head

Electric razors have come a long way over the years. There was a time that if you wanted a close shave, you had no choice but to use a traditional razor – electric razors were just for trimming. But finally, the technology is catching up with our five ‘o’clock shadow. Today’s electric razors come almost as close to a perfectly smooth shave as a traditional blade. We say “almost” because nothing quite gets down to the skin like a blade. But then again, nothing presents the possibility of nicks and irritation or is time-consuming like shaving with a traditional razor. We’re going to take a close look at one such razor, the Panasonic ES8103S.

If you’re looking for an electric razor, whether for daily use or just to pack in a travel bag, the options are endless. Prices differ, as does quality, and the two don’t always go hand in hand. Whether you’re looking for a replacement for your old electric razor or are just making the switch from traditional blades for the first time, shopping for a new electric razor can be overwhelming. We’re going to take a look at one outstanding electric model, the Panasonic ES8103S, as well as some outstanding competitors, to see why this model should be on your radar.

Panasonic ES8103S Pros & Cons

PROS

  • Pivoting head
  • Wet/dry
  • Pop-up trimmer
  • Blades stay sharp for a long time

CONS

  • Does not handle contours (jawline, mustache) as well as some others
  • Plastic construction feels fragile/cheap
  • Cannot be used while plugged in

PanasonicES8103S

panasonic es8103s features a Men’s Electric Shaver Wet/Dry with Nanotech Blades, 3-Blade Cordless with Flexible Pivoting Head

  • Price:  
  • Foil or Rotary Head: 
  • Closeness of Shave:
  • Ease of Cleaning:
  • Warranty: 
  • Overall Rating: 
  • $
  • Foil
  •  4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 out of  5 stars
  • 2 years
  • 5 out of 5 stars

Panasonic ES8103S Review

Despite the fact that there are literally hundreds of electric razors on the market, the Panasonic ES8103S really stands out, not only because of its affordable price (the ES8103S can typically be found for under $70) but because it out-performs plenty of higher-priced competitors. In this review, we’ll take a look at why.

What is the Panasonic ES8103S?

The ES8103S is one of the latest offerings in Panasonic’s catalog of electric razors. It is a foil-headed razor that works just like any other electric razor: Spinning blades work behind a metal mesh screen, which allows your facial hairs to poke through and be cut while leaving your skin untouched. Technological advances that allow for the mesh screen covering the blades to become thinner than in years past contribute quite a bit to allowing these razors to offer a close shave.

Product Specs

The ES8103S is a wet/dry razor, which means it performs in or out of the shower, can be used with or without shaving cream, and cleaning is simply a matter of hosing it down under the faucet or shower head. It features a pivoting head, which means that it follows the contours of your face (or your entire head if you shave up top as well) better than most other foil razors. The foil that separates the blades from your skin is incredibly thin – one of the technological advances that have allowed electric razors to begin to compete with traditional blades.

A built-in pop-up trimmer allows you to cut down longer hairs (for instance if you’ve been growing a beard and are ready for a shave again) before using the foil head for a close shave.

The razor also features an LCD that shows you the battery status at a glance, a feature that is missing on many competing razors, and the battery will fully charge in about an hour.

What we really love about this particular electric razor is the powerful motor. The motor that drives the blade provides 13,000 cuts per minute, and the blades themselves maintain a sharp edge over the course of hundreds of shaves, meaning they won’t need replacing for a long time. You’ll be hard pressed to find another electric razor in this price range with that much power behind its blades.

The blades are made from hypoallergenic materials, which means that those with sensitivity to metal don’t have to worry about extra irritation.

Pricing

The electric razors on this list run the gamut from the $40 Remington F5-5800 Foil Shaver to the $260 Braun 3 Series 340S-4 Wet & Dry Men’s Shaver (prices do fluctuate, so these are estimates). While broadly speaking, you get what you pay for, some of the electric razors on this list offer a much better dollar-for-dollar value than others.

Features to Look For

Before we dive in, there are a few features to consider when shopping for an electric razor.

Wet/Dry Feature

Electric razors listed as “wet/dry” can be used in the shower or in front of the mirror, and can be used with shaving cream. The versatility of this feature can’t be overstated. If you find yourself in a hurry in the morning or have sensitive skin, the option to use your electric razor while you shower will save you time and irritation. This also makes these models extraordinarily easy to clean.

Foil vs. Rotary Heads

Electric shavers fall into one of two categories depending on how the cutting is actually done: foil and rotary. Both operate under the same basic principle: A cutting-edge operates behind a metal grate that cuts hair without damaging skin. There are differences in how they perform though.

Foil

A foil head is typically a rounded edge at the end of your electric razor. The foil helps to lift the hair away from your face as it cuts, allowing for a close shave. Foil heads tend to cut faster and more closely than rotary heads while protecting the skin, but they don’t adjust well to the contours of the face.

Rotary

Rotary heads usually consist of three flexible round shaving heads that move as they travel across the face. The flexibility of the heads makes cutting the hair in harder-to-reach areas much easier. The tradeoff is that rotary heads tend to cause more irritation and aren’t suitable for precision shaving and shaping, such as trimming around a mustache or goatee.

Cordless or Wired

Whether you want a razor that plugs into an outlet or runs on a battery is a matter of preference. Cordless razors are great for when you don’t have a conveniently-placed outlet, but forgetting to charge them can render your electric razor into a useless brick when you need it most. Many models will hold a charge but can also be used while plugged in, so if you’re not sure which option you’re looking for you can have the best of both worlds.

How The Panasonic ES8103S Compares

We picked a couple of similar products available on the market to see how they compare.

Braun 3 Series 340S-4 Wet & Dry Men’s Shaver

Remington F5-5800 Foil Shaver

Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 5570

Braun 3 Series 340S-4 Wet & Dry Men’s Shaver

The Braun 3 Series 340S is designed for the guy who doesn’t want to stick to a routine. Shave dry or use shaving cream, shave in front of the mirror or in the shower, shave daily or let things grow over the weekend. However you decide (or don’t decide) to shave, this razor does everything fairly well. Despite the fact that this is a foil head razor, it’s actually pretty good at getting around the corners of your face, including along and behind the jawline.

While it’s not the closest shave you’re going to get with an electric razor, the fact that this gadget is so versatile – and waterproof – earns it a place among the better electric razors available.

The big drawback on this model is the price. While it’s a great razor, you’re going to fork over four to five times as much as you would on the competition, and that knocks its score down considerably.

Price: ($$$) Foil or Rotary Head: FoilThe closeness of Shave: 4 out of 5 starsEase of Cleaning: 5 out of 5 starsWarranty: 2 yearsOverall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (one star was taken off because of high price point)

Pros

  • Good performance on coarse hair
  • Very quiet operation
  • Good contour handling for a foil head
  • Three shaving modes
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • High price
  • Some users report the cleaning station is confusing and not too effective
  • Replacement parts are hard to find

Remington F5-5800 Foil Shaver

The Remington F5-5800 is the lowest-priced razor on this list, but don’t let the low price point fool you. This razor gives you a lot of bang for your buck. Our favorite feature is the “intercept shaving technology.” This is the extra set of small clippers in between the foil heads that trims longer hairs before they come in contact with the foils, making sure you can use this razor after a week-long rugged hiking trip and still look presentable at the office on Monday.

Overall, however, the low price is the best selling point for this razor. It doesn’t shave as close as even slightly more expensive models and several users have reported that it can be rough of sensitive skin.

Price: ($) Foil or Rotary Head: FoilThe closeness of Shave: 3 out 5 of  starsEase of Cleaning:  4 out of 5 starsWarranty: 2 yearsOverall Rating:  3 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Can be used cordless or plugged in (about an hour of battery life)
  • Good on longer hairs

Cons

  • Can be rough on sensitive skin
  • Not great with coarse hair

Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 5570

Here is another wet & dry electric shaver, this one offered by Philips. Being able to use your electric razor in or out of the shower, with or without shaving cream is a big plus. The rotary heads make shaving the jawline and mustache area much easier and faster than foil-headed models. Where this razor really shines is in its “Turbo+” mode, which boosts the power and speed of the razors for a faster and closer shave.

The downside is that many users end up using the “Turbo+” mode regularly, as the normal mode just doesn’t provide as good a shave. Perhaps due to the increased blade rotation, the blades on the 5570 tend to go dull fairly quickly – some users report that they can last less than a year.

Price: ($$) Foil or Rotary Head: RotaryThe closeness of Shave:  3 out of  5 starsEase of Cleaning: 5 out of 5 starsWarranty: 2-year manufacturer’s warrantyOverall Rating:  3 out of  5 stars

Pros

  • Turbo+ mode for faster, close shave
  • Good on flat-lying hairs
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Some users find power insufficient when not in “Turbo+” mode
  • Flimsy trimmer attachment
  • Blades dull relatively quickly

Conclusion

When it comes down to it, none of the competing electric razors quite stack up to the Panasonic ES8103S. While the Braun Series 340S-4 is its equal in quality, the fact that Panasonic’s offering comes in at about a quarter of the cost makes the ES8103S the clear winner in this review, with a solid 5 out of 5 stars. This razor gives you about the closest shave available outside of using a traditional blade and offers all the versatility you could ask for when it comes to how and where you shave.

The downsides to the Panasonic ES8103S are minimal. While the construction of the plastic housing could be more solid, this is more of an aesthetic problem and doesn’t affect performance. The inability to use the razor while plugged in is a drawback, but its short charge time coupled with its battery indicator means that the possibility of being stranded without the ability to shave is pretty low.

If you’re looking for a high-quality, versatile electric razor that won’t break the bank, you simply can’t go wrong with the Panasonic ES8103S.

QUALITY
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