For a long time now, I’ve been shaving with a standard 900-blade razor from Gillette, with shaving cream and all that. I switched years ago from electric razors, and will typically only use an electric on the weekends, or take them to travel on work trips. Otherwise, manual shaving.
But, my trip earlier this year to Italy was a touch longer than most trips I take, and packing all the shaving stuff I needed seemed like a bear. The electric razor I had was very old, and thus the charge didn’t last long. So I was in the market for a new razor, something optimized for travel, but without compromise. I stumbled on a review for the Panasonic ES-CV70 which was billed as a travel razor, without compromise. It seemed perfect, so I bought it, took it, and then never stopped using it.
So yeah, it’s pretty good.
Specs and Such
I’m out of my depth here, but in other reviews, these seem to be the things people care/think about:
- 5-blade shaving system
- 2 golden comfort rollers
- 14,000 cycles per minute motor
- Travel lock
- Long hair trimmer
- Universal voltage adapter (100-240V).
- Dry only, not wet rated
What I care about is the power source, as that’s the typical pain point I have with electric razors, and the ability to actually get a good shave (my travel razor pain point). This razor is rated at about 45 minutes for shaving time, with a 3 minute quick charge feature. This model (unlike the very similar wet/dry rated model) will run while charging, which is an important aspect for me. (The wet/dry model is rated to get wet, but you lose the ability to shave while plugged in.)
This razor also supposedly reads density of hair to adjust speed of the motor, but I have no way of testing this and other reviewers seem dubious of the value.
All in all, that’s what it is, sounds like an electric razor.
There’s two parts to traveling with items like this: the size the item takes up, and the weight it adds. This is not that small of a razor. It is smaller than my manual razor, shaving cream, and after shave balm I would normally pack — so overall it does pack smaller. That said, it is considerably heavier than those items, and thus it weighs a good amount. The caveat being the duration of your trip: the longer the trip, the faster the electric razor starts to win out.
This razor is a very dense item. If you pack it in the included travel case, it becomes quite bulky. I found that it wasn’t necessary to pack in the case if you locked out the controls and stored it in another pouch/organizer/dopp anyways. All in all, it wasn’t too bad to pack up and carry for the trip — I don’t feel as though I saved space or weight though, but I did remove any worry about needing to buy shaving supplies while traveling.
I was delighted with this razor overall. I packed the charging cord as I wasn’t sure, but I found I didn’t need it at all (which is good, because it’s bulky to carry). I was very happy with the shave, and got better results than my previous manual traveling setup.
One thing I value when traveling is the ability to get ready and going fast. An electric shaver is much quicker than a manual method, and that this never needed charging over 13 days of use, was stellar. It got me a close shave, and allowed me to trim my sideburns as needed. It did take some getting used, due to the lack of articulation on the shaving head, but once you get used to that, things are simple.
The travel lock out was easy to use, but required me googling to lock it before heading home. With time I’ve gotten things down on that. The quirk is that it needs to be on to be locked. Odd.
When I got home, jet lag was real, and I had to go to work the next day. I used the electric, and I did the same the next day, and well I never stopped. Turns out, this is a pretty nice razor, even when you are at home.
And the battery life really is incredible. Granted, I don’t have the most robust facial hair, but I regularly go a couple weeks without charging the razor. And I’ve found that it’s a very easy and simple shave — which does a pretty damned good job.
It’s not as close of a shave, but it takes a fraction of the time, and I can touch up easily later in the day if I am going back out for a date night. It’s all I really need.
I’ve also found that it runs pretty quietly, such that it doesn’t wake my wife if I use it in our on-suite bathroom in the wee hours of the morning. Another nice win there.
The only downside I have found using this over all this time is that if you have longer hairs laying flat against your skin, this razor has trouble picking them up to shave them. It’ll glide right over the top of them without disturbing them. Running the sideburn trimmer over those hairs, and then the razor head resolves this, but it seems I am not the only one with this issue. I maybe notice I’ve missed a hair about once every few weeks, so it’s not a huge deal, but it does happen. That said, if you are someone not shaving daily, or with exceptionally fast growing hair, I could see this being annoying.
I bought it as a travel razor. Now it’s my only razor. So yeah, I like it quite a lot.