The perils of shaving were the topic of conversation at a recent lunch with a friend. Her husband had managed to get an infection from a shaving nick if you can believe that. Anyway, she said it prompted her to get an electric razor for him, and after looking at options, she picked up the Panasonic ES8103S.
My husband battles those same shaving nicks, and I have a name for those pieces of tissue he sticks to those nicks -- tissue kisses. And they always make me laugh when he forgets to remove them.
He insists those nicks are the price he has to pay for a close shave. Amusing that it's called a "safety" razor when blood is involved.
After hearing of the nick infection and being tired of seeing those tissue kisses, I convinced my husband to ditch the safety razor. I'm not sure what made him finally agree, my laughter or our friend's infection.
Whichever, the morning shaving battle is no more, and my husband even has enough time to enjoy a second cup of coffee each morning.
Maybe you struggle with your morning shaving routine too. But compared to your very distant ancestors, your shaving routine is practically an instantaneous and painless walk in the park.
Clamshells to Batteries
Ancient cave paintings, circa 30,000 BC, often depict men without beards. The belief is many people removed unwanted hair with clamshells, used like tweezers. There were also many who used flint.
Advancing to circa 300 B.C., Alexander the Great was clean-shaven and encouraged the same in his soldiers, as enemies in hand-to-hand combat could grab beards.
Let's zoom ahead to 1762 when French barber Jean-Jacques Perret invented a plane for the beard, which was the first safety razor.
Inspired by a carpenter's plane, it consisted of a wooden sleeve that enclosed the blade of a straight razor. Of course, that blade needed stropping before each use.
In 1904, King Gillette patented his double-edged disposable razor blade, and in 1928, Colonel Jacob Schick patented the first dry electric shaver.
This past century has seen countless improvements and advancements to that chore of shaving.
So the next time you think it's such a chore to shave, put some perspective to that thought. Just how much time and effort would it take to remove the hair from that handsome face using a clamshell as tweezers?
Fortunately, you don't have to grab the nearest shellfish or break off a piece of flint, but there are still choices to make.
Choose Your Shave
Does your morning start with a leisurely stretch, a cup of coffee, the paper, and then a shower and shave? If it does, then I'd bet there's a safety razor patiently waiting in your bathroom.
Most agree that a blade will give a closer shave than an electric razor. But shaving with a blade takes more time, increases the chance of nicks and cuts, and can leave you with razor rash, ingrown hairs, and razor bumps.
But if you're the kind of guy that barely opens your eyes before your feet hit the ground running. I'm pretty sure there's an electric razor charging in your bathroom at the ready for your morning shave'n' shower hustle.
Your day is too packed for you to tackle one task at a time.
The main reasons for switching to electric razors are convenience and speed. You can shave on the go without all the prep work needed for blade shaving.
In addition, the electric shaver will provide more comfort, less irritation, and no nicks, cuts, or rashes.
When switching from a blade to electric razors, it will take time for you and your skin to adjust. Depending on the source, it could take two to three weeks for your skin to adapt, and for you to perfect your technique.
But no matter how your mornings start, with a blade or electric razor, if you travel by air, you will need an electric razor. Thanks to bad guys who travel, you still can't pack a safety razor in your carry-on.
So it pretty much means that everyone needs an electric razor -- whether you use it daily, have it in your car for on the go whisker removal, or for packing in your carry-on luggage. The question now is, foil or rotary?
A foil razor is a straight head razor that has oscillating blades, or cutters, under a thin layer of metal. That thin layer of metal, most often stainless steel, is called a foil. It's designed in a mesh pattern and covers the blades.
Foil razor cutters work in an oscillating manner, like a desk fan that goes back and forth. So, shaving with a foil razor requires you to shave in an up and down or side to side motion.
As you move the razor across your face, the foil pulls the skin taut, allowing all lengths of hair to enter the holes of the mesh.
Because of the set of the foils, on average, foil shavers give a closer and faster shave than rotary shavers. And they are especially good for removing those fine hairs which are hard to remove with a rotary.
A foil razor is the best choice if you shave every day, do not have very coarse facial hair, and are looking for a close shave.
And they give a faster shave because you don't have to repeatedly move the razor over the same area in order to remove all the hair.
The downside of foil shavers is that they are noisier than rotary shavers. And many shavers find they don't like the monotonous up and down and side to side movements.
A rotary razor typically has three or four circular floating heads that have spinning cutters covered by a stationary guard. Each of the floating heads moves independently from the other. This floating head design allows the razor to follow the contours of your face.
As you shave in a circular motion, the spinning cutters capture the cut stubble in the grooves of the outer stationary guard. The circular motion makes it easier to maneuver around difficult areas like the neck and chin.
While a rotary razor may take longer than a foil razor to remove all your stubble, it will be a quieter shave.
A rotary razor is the best choice if you don't shave every day, have coarser hair, or older skin. Also, shaving in a circular motion with a rotary shaver makes it easier to remove hair that grows in different directions and hair that is in dense patches.
The downside of the rotary shavers is they don't have the precision of a foil razor. Areas like sideburns and edges of a beard won't see the same lines as you'd get with a foil.
And many men will see some serious skin irritation, especially when first using a rotary.
It's good to note that a wet shave offers a cleaner shave because hair follicles thicken up when wet. So whichever shaver your choose, foil, or rotary, ideally you want a shaver that offers both a wet and dry shave.
Panasonic ES8103S Electric Shaver and Trimmer for Men
The Panasonic ES8103S Arc3 3-blade cutting system, with ultra-thin stainless steel foils, follows facial contours for a close and comfortable shave.
The pivoting head glides over the face, chin, jaw, and neck. And the pop-up trimmer is great for trimming your mustache or sideburns.
The Panasonic ES8103S is 100 percent waterproof. Enjoy the convenience of dry operation or use with foam or gel in or out of the shower. The heads rinse easily under running water.
The 10-stage illuminated liquid crystal display (LCD) shows battery status, charge indicator, and a cleaning reminder to keep your blades clean and fresh.
It has an AC100-240V corded power source to ensure usage worldwide. And it only takes an hour to fully charge the lithium battery, which will give you 42 minutes, approximately 14 shaves, of cord-free use.
There is a five-minute quick charge feature, and you can shave while charging the battery.
How We Reviewed
This Panasonic ES8103S review is an independent analysis of four comparably priced foil shavers available for today's consumer. In our review process, we compared the features of each shaver as well as professional and consumer comments and reviews.
We have no business or financial ties to any of the companies mentioned in this review.
The goal of this Panasonic ES8103S review is to provide you with sufficient factual, unbiased information so that you can make an informed and effortless decision on your next purchase.
A Panasonic ES8103S Review Has to Check the Competition
Let's take a look at three comparable foil shavers from three different parts of the world.
Like Panasonic, INSMART is a Japanese company, but unlike the history and experience Panasonic brings to their razors, INSMART is a newcomer to the electric razor industry.
Braun's German history and Remington's American history each speak to their endurance, quality, and commitment to excellence.
- 3 pressure-sensitive shaving elements for efficiency and skin comfort
- Specialized micro comb captures more hair in each stroke* versus Braun Series 3. Tested on 3 day beard
- 2 rechargeable long-life NiMH batteries
- Wet&dry shaver for use with water, foam or gel
- Contents: Braun Series 3 ProSkin razor, protective cap, cleaning brush, smart plug for Automatic 100-240 voltage adjustment
INSMART Electric Shaver
The INSMART Electric Shaver has a 3D smart floating shaving system along with a slide out precision trimmer for thick growth and sideburns.
The IPX7 100 percent waterproof design means you can not only have a wet or dry shave but an in-shower shave as well.
This shaver comes with a 5V charger and a USB charging system that will fully charge the shaver in 90 minutes. When fully charged, you can get up to 60 minutes of battery use.
You can also use this razor while it is charging.
If you travel internationally, you'll need a power converter for this razor.
The LED indicator reminds you of the battery's remaining power and will show you the charging status when charging. The travel lock ensures the shaver will not accidentally be turned on..
Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3010s
The Series 3 ProSkin 3010s from Braun has a triple action cutting system. Braun says their twin foils and an integrated middle trimmer shave progressively closer.
Together they cut both long and short hairs even on difficult three-day beards.
This shaver also has an extra large pop-up trimmer on the back for shaping sideburns or trimming beards. You can use the Series 3 ProSkin with water, foam or gel, and you can even shave in the shower.
The powerful NiMH battery fully charges in an hour for 45 minutes of cordless shaving. A quick five-minute charge is sufficient for one shave, and you can use this razor while it's charging.
This razor comes with Braun's Smart Plug automatic 100-240 voltage adjustment so that you can use this shaver worldwide.
The LED display notifies you when it's time to charge the shaver.
Braun's commitment began in 1930s Germany, where Max Braun completed his novel design for an electric razor.
Unfortunately, a war was brewing, and all German industry was pressed into military service. Fortunately, Max survived the war, and by 1950, he embarked on his mission to see the world filled with clean-shaven men.
Remington F5 Comfort Series Foil Shaver
Remington's F5 Comfort Series Foil Shaver, with its three-stage cutting system, uses intercept shaving technology for pre-trimming longer hairs along with the two flexible foils for close shaving.
The pop-up detail trimmer will put finishing touches on facial hair and sideburns. While this is a dry only shaver, you can clean the heads with a quick rinse with water.
Two hours will completely charge the lithium NiMH battery and give 60 minutes of cordless use. You can enjoy the convenience of cordless or corded shaving.
Plus a five-minute quick charge function provides power for one shave. The LED battery gauge will let you know battery status.
With a demonstrated commitment to helping men get ready since 1937, Remington has over 80 years as an enduring, widely trusted, personal care brand in shave and grooming products for men.
Splash on the After Shave
We've covered centuries of shaving history in this Panasonic ES8103S review and learned the difference between blade, foil, and rotary.
If you're switching from a safety razor to an electric razor, don't give up if you're not happy with the first results. Remember, it may take a few weeks for your skin to adjust and for you to perfect your shaving technique.
With all that you've learned, now you can decide if the Panasonic ES8103S is the right razor for you. So far, my husband is enjoying his.
Let us know in the comments below if you have used the Panasonic ES8103S, and if you were happy with its shave!
Featured Image via Pixabay