Panasonic Shaver Comparison - Should You Go For Power or Price?
Are you looking for acceleration off the line, or financial savings through better gas mileage?
Weird question to ask within a Panasonic shaver comparison I know, but let me explain...
This comparison looks at the new Panasonic ES LA93 K and the older Panasonic ES 8249 S.
Ideally this is intended for someone who's looking for a foil shaver, particularly one you can use wet with shaving cream, but you might be a bit
torn between going with the newer more powerful model, or sticking with the older model and saving some money.
The newer model is more powerful and more expensive, while the older model comes with a great price tag.
So the general question is: are you looking for advanced features, or are you willing to give up some power for
a lower price?
My guess is that most people's needs in regards to their car is quite similar to their electric shavers, but it's really just a silly assumption. Therefore,
it's worth your while to review this entire article to see what you really need and want.
In Europe, the similar versions are the ES LF71 and the ES RF models (RF41 and RF31).
The general design and layout of both models is very similar. The visible difference is that the ES LA93 K is a bit larger because it has a more powerful
motor. Also, it's black in color.
The pop up trimmers are the same, and so are the display screens. When you turn them on they will tell you how long you've used them for and how much
battery life is left.
What's also the same is the shaving surface of both shavers. When you look at the razors side by side you would think that one has a larger surface
area because of the larger shaving head, but the actual size of the foils are the same.
The first main improvement is the motor size. The newer model has 14,000 revolutions per minute as opposed to 13,000. Not a huge
difference there but it is more powerful.
The other notable difference is the 360 degree pivoting head on the newer model.
One other thing that I did notice when conducting this review is that it's easier to remove the foil cap with the new model. It comes off and goes back on very easily as opposed to the older 8249 S where you need to be much more careful when you put the foil head back on.
The cleaning stations between these two models are essentially the same, so there's not a big improvement here.
They both require you to fill up a water jug and mix it with the cleaning cartridges. The cartridges are the same for both models.
A word from an engineer:
I recently received an email from a visitor who had some additional information regarding these stations and I knew I had to share it in this review.
You will notice that from an engineer's viewpoint, the older ES 8249 S's cleaning station may actually be better.
The cleaner for the Panasonic ES8249 (as well as my ES8228) allows the user to select among "Clean/Dry/Charge," "Clean/Dry," "Dry/Charge," "Dry" and "Charge." I use the options "Clean/Dry" or "Dry" for about three consecutive days, and follow with a "Clean/Dry/Charge" or a "Dry/Charge." This allows me to run the battery's capacity down to about 50% before recharging. Recharging a lithium-ion battery in this manner yields a longer lifetime than by either recharging after every shave or by recharging when the battery is nearly depleted.
Unfortunately, the cleaner for the ESLA93 has been redesigned from the above, and gives only the options "Charge," "Clean/Dry/Charge" and "Dry/Charge." I imagine Panasonic marketing told Panasonic engineering to make the system simpler, but doing so was a step backward from an engineering standpoint.
To compare the performance of both shavers I've decided to shave the right side of my face with the 8249 S, and then shave the left side with the LA93 K.
In terms of shaving performance I'm going to have to give it to the newer unit.
After using both shavers side by side, the end result is the same, however the LA93 K did perform better. It took me about 2 minutes to shave as opposed to 3 minutes with the older model.
It's faster, more powerful, and ultimately that leads to better results with less irritation. With less power you're just going to have to go over certain areas a few more times and for some people that may lead to a bit more irritation.
If you have very thick facial hair you're going to want to go with the newer model. If your beard isn't very thick then the older model should be fine.
Overall, it's clear that the more advanced product did perform better. The final results were very similar, however the process of getting there was better with the new model.
I'm actually quite happy it worked out this way because at the end of the day shaving performance is what matters most.
Sometimes other "special" features can persuade people to buy products which they don't really need. A really fancy traveling case didn't alter our decision here and that's always a good thing.
In terms of design there isn't much of a difference. Panasonic is sticking to what works.
What's different is the way the newer model shaves, and this is attributed to the larger motor. In this case more power is better. The final product is the same, but the process of getting there is better with the more powerful unit.
This seems to be the case quite often. Eventually you will get a smooth shave, the difference is whether you needed 15 strokes or 5 strokes to get that smoothness.
At the end of the day, more power and fewer strokes is better. But like the title asks: should YOU go with power or price?
The only way to answer this question is to take into account your budget, and the thickness of your facial hair.
If you have thick facial hair you're better off with the newer model. I think most people know if they have thick facial hair or not, but I would say that if you need to shave everyday, you will want the more powerful unit.
But, if your budget won't allow you to get the more expensive one, the older 8249 S is still recommended.
So people on a tighter budget have a few more options. Perhaps you can get the LA63 S which is just the razor itself.
If you don't want to spend over $100, then go with the 8249 S, but remember if your facial hair is very thick you should probably upgrade to the more powerful models.
Most people know if they have thick facial hair. If you need to shave everyday, go with the more powerful models.