Philips Norelco 7310XL VS Panasonic ES8103S

This particular Norelco 7310XL has the ‘new and improved triple rotary head’ that Philips tells me magically floats for the perfect shave. Whatever. I’m not that into all the usual technicalities of electric shavers and not that taken with the spiraling out of control claims and sensationalism that the manufacturers seem to pack into their sales sheets these days. For me the test of the shaver is whether it gives me a great shave or not.

I’m used to using rotary shavers, I like them and I’ve been through several from super budget to extravagantly priced and they all provided completely different shaving experiences and performance differences. However, surprisingly, it was not the most expensive that I thought were the best in each area.

I generally use the dry shaving function of this shaver during the week and the wet shave ability at the weekends or before I need to go to a more ‘respectable’ function. From a dry shaving perspective, the es8103s gives as close a shave as I have experienced with any electric shaver before and is certainly as good as the most demanding man would need before rushing off to work. Where this shaver gets a full five out of five rating, is in its wet shave closeness. Lather up a little and let this shaver go and you will honestly be taken aback by what a close shave you get. I certainly never actually believed that an electric shaver could shave this close. It certainly rivals most manual sticks.

The true test for me whether an electric shaver is good or not comes down to two main factors. First, whether it gives me a close shave and secondly, whether it actually manages to pick up all of the hairs on my face as I go.

I have used best electric shavers that provide a closer shave, but with these at about 15 times the price of the Philips 7310XL, the closeness benefit to value ratio lies in favor of the 7310XL. The shave that you get is well above acceptably close and directly after shaving it really is as close as you would need. I mainly want an acceptable high performing close shave for the Monday to Friday dry shave routine before heading off to work and for this purpose, it really can’t be faulted.

The es8103s comes with a much more powerful motor which drives at 13,000 RPM and accelerates up to 17,000 RPM for turbo cleaning all of that shaving residue from the head when you’re washing it out under the tap. This motor really lies at the heart of this model’s high levels of performance and with Panasonic having added better shaver foils and cutting blades, this new faster motor can really deliver motor to shave benefits unlike anything before. The two main benefits for me of this faster motor are it can cut my thick beard comfortably and also the entire shaving ritual is just plain quicker as it allows you to move at a quicker pace over your skin.

This is probably one of the leading reasons for so many men buying the 7310XL at the moment. It started out, when first launched, at about twice the price that you can find it for now. With huge volumes of this model now shipped, means that if you look hard enough you can find places that offer it at sub $35 prices. See the link at the end of this review for a selection of the better places to buy it at a lower price.

The Panasonic es8103s has recently fallen considerably in price and can now be picked up at around the $50 price point if you look in the right places. The launch price was about three times this amount, so at the current price, this shaver is nothing less than a great buy. It is certainly worth shopping around to compare prices, as you will generally find a great difference from one place to another, especially as many stores are now offering this particular model at discount prices.