Panasonic STAR WARS™ Stormtrooper Special Edition ARC3 shaver review

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Panasonic Arc3 STSE 21
REVIEW – If you love Star Wars™ and keeping your beard trim like Obi Wan, you’ll want to have a look at this special edition shaver by Panasonic.  The Star Wars™ Stormtrooper Special Edition ARC3 is a really fun take on a typically vanilla product, and built off of one of the best foil shaver platforms out there in the ARC series.

What is it?

The Star Wars™ Stormtrooper Special Edition ARC3 by Panasonic is a collectible variant of the popular ARC3 shaver.  The ARC3 is the entry point of the ARC series which also consists of the ARC5 and ARC6 (the ARC# denotes blade count).  This triple blade electric foil shaver’s cosmetic design is inspired by the armor of the iconic Stormtrooper, and may just be the shaver you’ve been looking for.  Details from the Star Wars™ universe are found throughout the product and packaging.

Panasonic has been in the personal grooming space for a while, and their ARC series of shavers are consistently recommended.

What’s included?

  • Panasonic ARC3 Stormtrooper Edition
  • Collectors box
  • Power adapter
  • Oil
  • Brush

Panasonic Arc3 STSE 12

Tech specs

Click to expand
Head Type Foil
Dimensions ‏ 1.93 x 2.52 x 6.14 inches
Weight 0.32 pounds
Power Source Battery
Charge time 1 hour
Battery life 45 min runtime / ~14 days (1x daily 3 min dry shave)
Number Of Blades 3
Blade Material Stainless Steel
Trimmer Pop-up
Application Wet or dry shave, shower safe
Item model number ES-SWLT2W

 

Design and features

At its core, the Panasonic Star Wars™ Stormtrooper Special Edition ARC3 is an ARC3 shaver.  At the time of this review it’s the only ES-LT2 model shaver available from Panasonic here in the States (based on shop.panasonic.com).  In Japan, the ARC series has been rebranded Lamdash – and the Lamdash 3 is where other 2023 LT2s are found.  This isn’t unusual as Panasonic generally offers more models of their shavers in Japan.  Mechanically, there doesn’t appear to be anything different about the Stormtrooper Special Edition ARC3 compared to the other LT2s in the Lamdash line – just a neat coat of paint.

The design is typical of a foil shaver, two blades are found in the head with a third blade stowed away in the handle as a pop up trimmer.  The shaver head is fixed, with the removable foils able to move to contour to the face.  On the back of the handle is the pop up trimmer, which sits at the top of the plastic handle.  On the front we have some awesome detail that really makes this Stormtrooper special edition shaver stand out, and at the bottom is the proprietary charging port.

From an interface perspective, a single button is found at the front with two LED indicators below it – a lock indicator, and battery indicator.  There isn’t a lot to do here, single pressing the power button turns it on and off.  Pressing and holding power from off will put it into shaving foam mode.  Turning the shaver on and then holding the power button to turn it off puts it into travel lock mode, which then requires holding the power button again to turn it back on.

Ergonomics wise the ARC3 is easy to hold as needed.

Other features of the Panasonic Star Wars™ Stormtrooper Special Edition ARC3 include:

  • One hour charge
  • Water pass through latch for cleaning without removing foil

Performance

I have been using a Panasonic ARC5 as my main shaver for the past six years, so am quite familiar with this platform.  I mention this as typically there is a bit of a learning curve and adaption needed if you’re new to electric shavers, so YMMV out of the box if these are new to you.

The Panasonic Star Wars™ Stormtrooper Special Edition ARC3 feels light out of the box, and the ergonomics are familiar to its bigger brother in the ARC5.  Immediately I notice the full plastic body shell which doesn’t have much grip to it, despite the textured plastic in the back.  The Stormtrooper decals and Empire logo are super crisp, and very well done.

Using the shaver is pretty simple, and I didn’t find any reason to change up my routine for either head or beard shaving.  I normally just dry shave out of laziness/convenience, and the ARC3 did a great job.  I expected to miss the articulating shaver head of the ARC5, but really didn’t.  Shaving effectiveness is really good, minimal repeat passes are needed and the ARC3 delivers a comfortable shave.

Shaving foam mode is a new-to-me feature in the ARC series, and on other shavers the press-and-hold would put it into a blade cleaning mode.  The idea for the shave foam mode is that you could put your shave cream in your hand, and use the head of the shaver while in this mode to create a lather.  I don’t know who asked for this exactly, but it’s a forgettable feature.  For the times that I would use it I found it faster to just lather the product on the skin where needed.

I found the performance of the ARC3 to be really close to the ARC5.  Technique became more important around the jaw line with the ARC3 with the fixed shaving head, but to my surprise I actually found it easy to head shave with despite the smaller size relative the ARC5.  Panasonic makes really good shavers, and this one does not disappoint.

What I like about Panasonic STAR WARS™ Stormtrooper Special Edition ARC3 shaver

  • Lightweight
  • Very effective shave
  • Star Wars™ tie in is really well done, lots of great details throughout the shaver and packaging

What needs to be improved?

  • Panasonic really needs to simplify their shaver offerings, there’s so many different models/variants and this is compounded by Japan exclusives
  • Shell needs more grip
  • Shave foam mode isn’t super effective

Final thoughts

I haven’t geeked out too much on the Star Wars™ side of the product, but I am keen on electric shavers – and that’s ultimately what this is.  A Star Wars™ collector will buy it regardless of what I think, but I don’t think they would be disappointed with the level of detail that Panasonic has managed to pour into this product.  This isn’t just a reskin, but a full product experience down to the alternate-language on the manual cover.  For those looking to use this day-to-day, you’ll find a current-gen ARC3 foil shaver by Panasonic which will perform very well for you, and look really cool to boot.

Price: $115
Where to buy: Panasonic and Amazon
Source: The sample of this product was provided for free by Panasonic. Panasonic did not have a final say on the review and did not preview the review before it was published.

1 thought on “Panasonic STAR WARS™ Stormtrooper Special Edition ARC3 shaver review”




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  2. My wife got this for me for Christmas. It has performed well in the months since then. I also came from a different Panasonic shaver that was finally showing its age after about 8 years. The shave is good, and I hope for similar durability with my Stormtrooper 🙂

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