By Patrick Avenell

Panasonic Australia has greatly expanded its small appliance and personal care ranges, with new irons, breadmakers, rice cookers, shavers and toothbrushes all being announced this week.

Panasonic’s new 360° ironing range was first reported on earlier this year. The stand-out feature of this range is its elliptical soleplate, which makes it easier to iron in reverse. Although Panasonic has a range of compact steam stations available in other markets, local representatives said these would not be released in Australia.

Panasonic's new elliptical soleplate irons can operate in reverse.

In its successful breakmakers range, Panasonic has the new SD-2501 (RRP $249). In addition to 13 baking programs (including basic, white, wheat, rye, French and gluten free), this unit doubles as a jam maker, with eight jam and six compote modes available.

The inside of the baking dish has a diamond-fluoro coating, as does the kneading blade, to increase durability, while there is also an automatic raisin/nut dispenser, power-interruption protection and a 13-hour digital timer.

Panasonic breadmakers double as jam makers.

In the $14 million rice cooker category, Panasonic has four new models: two 10-cup models and two 5-cup models. The premium 10- and 5-cup cookers also have the diamond-fluoro coating, while the entry level units are coated with Japanese charcoal.

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Panasonic is promoting the Fuzzy Logic feature of these cookers. Group marketing manager Mathew Harrison said this feature can determine the best cooking time and temperature when cooking. He also pointed out that this machine can also be used to make cakes.

The premium breadmakers are the SR-MS183WST (10-cup) for RRP $209 and the SR-MS103WST (5-cup) for RRP $189. The entry level models are the SR-DE183WST (10-cup) for RRP $169 and the SR-DE103WST (5-cup) for RRP $149.

Panasonic rice cookers come in 10- and 5-cup varieties.

In personal care, Panasonic has released what it calls the world’s first 5-blade shaver. There are two 5-blade shaver models available, plus three 4-blade shavers and one 3-blade model.

“Nano-polished inner blades sharpened to a 30 degree knife edge are combined with a curved multi-arc shaving head to provide the world’s sharpest shave, even in those difficult to reach places,” is how Panasonic describes the 5-blade shaver.

Panasonic’s range starts with the ES-LT71 at RRP $299 and goes up to the 5-blade models at RRP $549 (ES-LV61) and RRP $599 (ES-LV81). The main difference between the 81 and the 61 is that the former has an automatic self-cleaning and recharging system.

For a more complete look at Panasonic’s new shaver range, check out the Personal Care feature in the October issue of Appliance Retailer.

Finally, Panasonic has released a fun, compact electric toothbrush, which is clearly targeted at travellers. The EW-DS11 (RRP $32) is available in red, pink, silver, black and orange.

Panasonic's new compact toothbrush range.