It won’t surprise the ladies reading this but electric shavers for the female set have never caught up to those for men. I don’t think it’s prejudice or for lack of trying, but good choices for women are few and far between. Fine men’s shavers, by contrast, may be expensive but are available in abundance. The Panasonic ES2216PC is an example of that difference.
Four Blade/Twin Head Shaving System
Panasonic makes a number of stellar models for men but the ES2216PC ladies shaver, while good, doesn’t reach that level. The four blade cutting assembly is one major reason. The company gets high marks here for producing nickel-free, hypoallergenic blades that are super sharp. That potentially would help get a smooth shave without tugging, razor burn, or irritation.
Also, the floating twin head design, in theory, should add to that quality. It could allow for following all the varying contours – legs, underarms, bikini area – that make shaving for women a unique challenge. The ES2216PC houses pivots that work similar to a rotary head shaver. These are the wide foil design and should cover all those body areas nicely.
The problem is that real-world use does not quite live up to the promise of the design here.
Mind you, the ES2216PC isn’t bad. Those blades actually are nice and sharp and that foil-covered head section does follow contours reasonably well. And, being fair, it’s asking too much for an electric to provide the same close shave that a manual razor provides. So, in actual use, those with coarse hair should be moderately pleased.
But the tradeoff from using an electric should, at the bare minimum, involve more comfort than a manual. This electric gets mid-range marks on that score. It’s not rough and those with sensitive skin can use this without expecting to endure pain or even shaving rash. It’s just that this model doesn’t wow. It’s just ok
Balancing the scales a bit, the ES2216PC is a wet/dry model. You can take it in the shower and have no fear of damaging the razor. That opens the option of using gel to minimize any possibility of tugging or irritation. For those gals who prefer a dry shave there is still the option of electric shave solution or just a little extra care.
Wet or dry, which is better? Well, hairs collect in the head more readily in a wet shave than when shaving dry, so you might find yourself rinsing it out mid-shave. With dry shaving it might be best to use the razor more often or just for those evening touchups before going out. Dry shaving is certainly an option with this model.
Shaving wet does carry a tradeoff of its own, too; the case design makes holding onto it a challenge. That can be a personal thing, of course. Everyone’s hands are a little different. It might fit your hand perfectly. But for a ladies shaver there does not seem to have been quite the attention to how a woman holds one that there should be.
Thankfully, it’s far from heavy – just 5 3/4 ounces. It’s not exactly large, either, at 2.0″ wide x 2.0″ deep x 6.3″ long. It’s just that the squarish handle design is somewhat awkward.
I do give Panasonic kudos for the pop-up trimmer. Unlike the one on some electric shavers, this one is easy to activate – there’s no slip, even in the shower (unless your hands are particularly soapy). It also pokes out well from the main head so getting it into any personal nook or cranny doesn’t require any uncomfortable contortions.
There is also a bikini trimmer attachment. That’s a nice additional feature that will make life easier for many buyers.
The charging system and battery are also a mixed blessing on the ES2216PC. Taking the positive aspect first, the battery lasts a reasonably long time. It’s rated for about 20 minutes of shaving and a new model will achieve that or better. Gradually, like all rechargeable batteries, you’ll get a bit less but long-term use shows it holds up well.
On the less-than-ideal side of the ledger, the charging system is a bit of a disappointment. It takes a full 12 hours to fully recharge from zero. The batteries available in both consumer electronics in general, and men’s shaver’s specifically, show that much quicker charge times are possible.
Worse still, at least to this reviewer, you have to plug the shaver directly into an outlet. There’s no cord. That might, at first blush, seem like an advantage. One less thing to store, connect, and – possibly – to have trouble locating when you need it.
However, plugging it directly into the outlet means having this thing stick directly out of the wall. That is both hard on outlets and an accident waiting to happen. True, this problem is easily solved with an extension cord but those are usually much thicker and less flexible than required for this kind of device. Anyway, who wants to dedicate an ugly extension cord to just this purpose?
The search for the perfect ladies electric shaver continues… because the Panasonic ES2216PC, sadly, just isn’t it. This ladies electric shaver gets mixed scores from this reviewer.
A wet/dry design and sharp, hypoallergenic blades inside a very flexible head design mean safe, comfortable shaving. But they simply don’t cut very close or comfortably in dry shaving. Also, the case design and charging system are less than stellar, especially compared to what’s possible (and common) in men’s shavers.
Balancing all those criticisms, to be fair, this model is supremely low cost compared to those men’s electric shavers. The guys typically have to pay 5-10 times as much for a quality model. So, all in all, the ES2216PC is not a bad shaver or a bad deal. I just wish it were closer to my ideal.
Image of Panasonic ES2216PC Women’s Electric Shaver