Panasonic ES-LF51 Electric Shaver Review
October 3, 2015 – by Per Christensson
After seven years of shaving with the Panasonic ES8228, it was time for a new shaver. I decided on the Panasonic ES-LF51-A Arc4.
Before getting into the review, it's important to state my previous ES8228 shaver came with an automatic cleaning system. This is a euphemism for an "automatic way for companies to generate extra revenue" since the cleaning system requires you to buy overpriced cleaning cartridges on a regular basis. It also takes an hour of noisy operation to complete the cleaning process. Addtionally, the cleaning system makes the charging base unnecessarily large (see below).
Placing a shaver in a cleaning system is like running your dishwasher for one plate. It's ridiculous. All you need to do to clean a Panasonic shaver (which is waterproof) is pop off the razer cover and run it under water for ten seconds. If you want to get it extra clean, you can add some soap. Only the laziest first-world residents should even consider an automatic cleaning system and even then it's basically a novelty joke.
Needless to say, I decided my next Panasonic would not come with an automatic cleaning system.
I browsed through several models on Amazon and decided the ES-LF51 was the best option. It doesn't look quite as sophisticated as my old ES8228, but the dark blue is more my style. Since it's a bit lighter than the ES8228, it felt cheap at first. However, the more I've shaved with it, the more I like the lightweight design.
The 14,000 CPM linear motor actually feels faster than 13,000 CPM motor in my old shaver. More importantly, it is slightly quieter. The motor's buzz, while a bit higher-pitched (because of the higher frequency), is one of the quietest I've heard from Panasonic. The pop-out trimmer is easily the quietest of all the shavers I've had, which is great since I use the trimmer every time I shave.
The ES-LF51 seems to shave just a bit closer than the ES8228 and it requires less passes to clean each area of my face. It definitely doesn't get everything in a single pass, but now I need only three or four strokes instead of five or six. I've found that starting with the shaver head in "Lock" mode, then switching to "Soft" helps cut hairs of different lengths more effectively.
The shaver comes with a basic charger that plugs into the button of the shaver. A small base to set the shaver in would be nice, but I just keep the shaver and charger in a drawer, so it doesn't really matter. I'd say I get around eight shaves per charge, which is pretty impressive considering it only takes an hour to fully charge it.
The Panasonic ES-LF51 is everything I hoped it would be. It may require a few passes to do the job, but it still provides an efficient and hassle-free shaving experience.