Pros: good build quality, compact and lightweight, comfortable, nimble shaving head, quiet, excellent protective cap, wet & dry use, doesn’t get warm during use
Cons: slow motor, shaving takes a lot of time, doesn’t shave as close as other Arc 3 shavers, can only be charged via the bulky stand, no information display, no low battery indicator, charging takes a lengthy 15 hours, small battery capacity (21 minutes), no quick charge mode, pricey
The ES-SL41-S is part of the entry-level Arc 3 line from Panasonic, arguably one of the best series of budget-oriented electric shavers.
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This particular model is however more affordable than other Arc 3 variations, which makes it quite appealing to the potential buyer.
But is it really offering better value for money or are there some serious compromises that you should know about?
Well, in this review we’ll put the Panasonic ES-SL41-S through its paces and find out if it lives up to the expectations.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Important: The Panasonic ES-SL41-A is identical to the ES-SL41-S, the only difference being that it comes in a blue color scheme instead of silver. So this review will be relevant in the case of the blue ES-SL41-A as well.
Here are the most noteworthy features of the Panasonic ES-SL41-S:
3 blade cutting system
The shaver uses the familiar 3 blade setup of the Arc 3 family, with a slightly arched profile of the shaving head that ensures optimal contact with the skin, thus increasing the closeness of the shave.
See the price on Amazon
Finally, we have the Series 3 from Panasonic’s main competitor, Braun. This is another excellent budget foil shaver.
It is similarly priced to the ES-SL41-S, at least in the USA, but the performance is clearly superior.
Moreover, it has all the common sense features you’d expect from a decent shaver. And the replacement shaving head is very reasonably priced and lasts longer than the industry standard of 12 months. You can read the full review here.
11 comments on “Panasonic ES-SL41-S Review: Should You Buy It?”
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Rob Golding July 5, 2017 at 17:31
I recently purchased this razor in China for the equivalent of US$25 and disagree with almost every one of your comments except the charging time but if you replace it on the charger stand after each use this would not be a problem. I bought it to replace my 18 month old Philishave AT790 which in South Africa costs abut $67. If you really want to slag-off a shaver that does not give a close shave then any Philishave will do. It is also incredibly difficult to clean. I have had various Panasonic shavers over the years, the last one about 7 years ago and which, at the time, cost almost $200. The performance of the SL41 is as good as any of the more expensive Panasonics that I have owned. Whether it will last as long as the others remains to be seen but I can afford to replace it 7 times over for the price of the last Panasonic I bought
KF September 11, 2017 at 16:09
I made the mistake of getting this as an affordable replacement. I can confirm every single point of this negative review. This thing is useless! I usually have to shave the excess (more than one day’s growth) with another shaver first, and then use this one for the nooks and crannies. Using it on longer growth either does nothing, or gets yanked (ouch!). It is useless for shaving my head as well. Testing with a new blade, I counted the number of passes over a patch before it did anything, and it was a few hundred. Perhaps the product engineers should be ashamed of this one, or perhaps Panasonic for possibly cutting so many corners as to release such a subpar machine.
Bjørn-Ivar Dahl January 11, 2019 at 18:56
How can I Get new cutingbladers to my Panasonic ES-SL41 in Norway
Joshua May 9, 2019 at 05:22
I made the unfortunate mistake of buying this “Wet/Dry” shaver four years ago. My first ever electric shaver was some twenty years ago when my parents bought me a Philips rotary shaver (it was a really cheap one that was connected to a cord) and the thing gave me an unpleasant skin burn/ rash.
That ultimately put me off every electric shaver there was and I was happy using the Wilkinson’s Sword/ Mach 3 turbo razors for the next fifteen years until I grew tired of spending >ten minutes shaving. Being put off by the Philips (and rotary shavers as a whole), I went into the local electronics store and saw this bad boy on the shelf for all $448 HKD (that’s roughly forty five British pounds) and as I was apprehensive about the risk of having another rash after use, I plumped for this one as I saw that the box stated that it could be used in the shower (thus eliminating my fear of said rash).
I did notice that the shaver needed to charge for well over twelve hours, but such was my fear for “the rash” that I overlooked this and also the bookend that served as a charging base (I had nothing to compare all those years).
The shaving quality was good (as I had nothing to compare) but as the years grew and so did my shaving time, I got more and more disappointed with its worsening speed no matter how long I charged it (I was now charging it a full 18- 24 hours) and the poor shaving quality that left so many unsightly hairs on my face and under my chin, even though I bought new blades from the Panasonic shop.
I’ve since upgraded to the Panasonic ES-CV50 and not looked back, thanks to the great review made by Ovidiu. Everything he wrote about this shaver was spot on and in general, the same thing I experienced. There was a gentleman who disagreed with the review here and that’s OK. As long as he feels satisfied like I did two years ago, then that’s his prerogative. However, there will come a time when one regrets making this purchase, and I would like to endorse this product as one shaver to avoid and because I bought this at such a premium, I’m unhappy to report that I feel fleeced by the high price for such a questionable product.
Thanks for another honest and spot-on review, Ovidiu. I just wish this review came out four years ago and stopped me from buying this.
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Bernie P September 17, 2020 at 23:18
Stumbled upon your website as I am researching to replace this very Panasonic. I wanted to chime in and say that I’ve had a good ~5+ years of use from this shaver and has only recently started to die out due to poor battery life. I’ve had no issues with it, albeit I have been blessed (or cursed) with light facial hair and shave at most 3-4 times a week. I have not changed the head, or done any real maintenance on it and it’s really been solid.
I was looking at high-end Arc 7 / Series 7 for about $200 CAD, but thought that with my light use that it wouldn’t be a good use of my dollars. Will go for the Braun 3040 as my upgrade at $60 CAD