Check out these hair trimming tools that will totally have you covered. (Jakob Owens via Unsplash/)
A beard, or lack thereof, can say a lot about a person’s style and sensibilities. A perfectly twirled mustache has an element of whimsy, a full beard suggests a sense of rugged adventure, neat, trim edges showcase thoughtfulness and precision, while a little stubble can appear cool and casual. Your facial hair is totally customizable, but you need to feel confident and in control when it comes to shaping, shaving, and trimming to get the best out of your beard. A great trimmer is vital when it comes to avoiding uneven sides, painful razor burn, and general unhappiness when looking in the mirror. The best beard trimmers keep quality in mind when it comes to form and function.
There are many options out there when it comes to beard trimming gizmos and gadgets, which is why we’ve created this comprehensive guide to finding the best beard trimmer for your needs. Long gone are the days of dead batteries, dull blades, and desperate trips to the barber. We’ll walk you through the various features and elements we look for to help you find a long-lasting, precise trimmer that will make facial hair care a breeze.
- <b>Best beard trimmer with a ceramic blade: </b><a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Andis-UltraEdge-Clipper-Detachable-63700/dp/B00BB1TKKS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?dchild=1&keywords=Andis+63700&qid=1606193599&sr=8-1&linkCode=ll1&tag=popularscience-best-beard-trimmer-pcr-20&linkId=97873c76c2b39935b29fae68fa3284c0&language=en_US” target=_blank>Andis 63700 BGRC Hair Clippers</a>
- <b>Best beard trimmer for shaping:</b><a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Braun-BT7240-Cordless-Rechargeable-Gillette/dp/B07XQK6PNH/ref=as_li_ss_tl?th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=popularscience-best-beard-trimmer-pcr-20&linkId=134194fc737e180814cea212afabef55&language=en_US” target=_blank> Braun BT7240</a>
- <b>Best cordless beard trimmer:</b> <a href=”https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q2FSYJM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?&linkCode=ll1&tag=popularscience-best-beard-trimmer-pcr-20&linkId=c5a1a47bf314eea15edf078df7d699c2&language=en_US” target=_blank>Wahl Professional Magic Clip </a>
- <b>Best wet or dry beard trimmer:</b> <a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Philips-Norelco-Cordless-Multigroom-Turbo-Powered/dp/B0723GP4QV/ref=as_li_ss_tl?crid=14T0KWO6CDKO8&dchild=1&keywords=wet+beard+trimmer+for+men&qid=1606196334&sprefix=wet+beard+tr%2Caps%2C175&sr=8-17&linkCode=ll1&tag=popularscience-best-beard-trimmer-pcr-20&linkId=1ebc6c7f03a4059dbb28556cdc25c6d8&language=en_US” target=_blank>Philips Norelco Multigroom 5000</a>
- <b>The most luxurious beard trimmer:</b> <a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Philips-Norelco-MG7791-40-Grooming/dp/B07S6V3P94/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ref_=ast_sto_dp&linkCode=ll1&tag=popularscience-best-beard-trimmer-pcr-20&linkId=819584e498a1e6d906b1b532d66fa30b&language=en_US” target=_blank>Philips Norelco MG7791</a>
- <b>Best beard trimmer under $50:</b><a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Philips-Norelco-Multigroom-attachment-MG3750/dp/B01K1HPA60/ref=as_li_ss_tl?dchild=1&keywords=Philips+Norelco+Multigroom&qid=1610569309&s=beauty&sr=1-7&linkCode=ll1&tag=popularscience-best-beard-trimmer-pcr-20&linkId=b013762d12b6019d8975d6c43865bbb3&language=en_US” target=_blank> Philips Norelco Multigroom</a>
Things to consider when buying a beard trimmer
There are a few key features to keep in mind while you peruse the shelves (virtually or otherwise) for a new beard trimmer. The trimmer’s overall build quality, blades, battery, and attachments will make a difference when you need to reshape and restore your facial hair. You’ll also want to think about convenience when it comes to travel and general use; do you need something cordless, or would you prefer to worry less about charging? Below we will go into more detail about all the things you’ll want to consider before clicking add to cart, so you can feel confident knowing you’ve made the right choice for your whiskers.
Consider the blade and motor type of a beard trimmer
One of the most important things to prioritize is blade type. You’ll primarily find trimmers for men with a stainless steel, chromium, or titanium blade for a long-lasting, rust-free trim. You’ll also find some other versions or blade hybrids like carbon steel, ceramic, or titanium-ceramic. Carbon steel is the sharpest but is more susceptible to rust. Titanium-coated carbon steel is going to make the blade more weather-resistant while retaining a stiffness that’s greater for thicker hair. Ceramic blades tend to stay cooler throughout the trimming process. They can also maintain sharpness longer than their steel counterparts, making them ideal for those with sensitive skin. Strength and sharpness are particularly important when it comes to preventing uncomfortable bumps and razor burn; cheaper materials have a tendency to pull at the skin rather than smoothly cut through the hairs, which can result in irritation. Stainless steel is the most common choice, followed by straight-up titanium. Both materials are strong and sharp but can lack the extra strength and support found in the hybrids.
An essential counterpart to the blade is the trimmer’s motor. The motor powers the overall movement of the blade. A strong motor means less pulling and fewer passes to get the cut you want. You also want something that is reliable and won’t degrade over time. Take a look at the listed SPM or strokes-per-minute to compare a motor’s overall power. We’ll dive a little deeper into motor functions when we discuss a trimmer’s cord, but keep in mind that a powerful motor paired with a strong, durable blade will result in a clean, uniform trim.
Best beard trimmer with a ceramic blade: Andis 63700 BGRC Hair Clippers
A fine, sharp ceramic blade for those with sensitive skin. (Amazon/)
The Andis 63700 hair clippers are made with beautiful ceramic blades that sculpt a great beard on the most sensitive skin. But these blades aren’t for everyone. They need some extra attention, which means oiling them in between uses. While this may add some steps to your grooming routine, we see it as a sign of excellence. At 2,900 strokes-per-minute, the motor is strong and steady. The trimmer is compatible with any Andis ceramic or Ultraedge blade, which means over 20 options. While this trimmer comes corded, you can easily purchase a charging station and dock to convert it into a cordless mode.
Think about the length and precision of your beard
Whether you like your facial hair to be full, bushy, and down to your chest or trimmed neatly and close to the face, you’re going to want to make sure the trimmer you get will match your length desires to a tee. Okay, fine, you might want shears for chest-length beards, but if your hair’s shorter than roughly 18 millimeters, a trimmer might just do the trick.
Most of the best trimmers for men come with attachments and settings to help you get closer to that perfect length. Some models will have a built-in dial to adjust the blade’s location in relation to the guard. Some function digitally, meaning that they can store and replicate your desired length settings, display a readout of the length, and make adjustments at 0.1 millimeters. For reference, getting rid of your five o’clock shadow would be roughly 0.2 millimeters of hair growth. Precision trimmers will have additional blades that can be added to the razor head.
You can also look for a trimmer that includes a significant number of fixed-length guide attachments. These can be a bit sturdier than an individual, adjustable guide comb, and often work better for longer beards. Some attachments can even help you achieve specific styles, like a goatee of heavy stubble. So whether you want to maintain the same length every day or you have a deep desire to start shaping a circle beard, multiple fixed-length guide combs and other attachments will get the results you require.
Best beard trimmer for shaping: Braun BT7240
You’re guaranteed to find a length you like. (Amazon/)
The Braun BT7240 has a dedicated precision dial that can support 39 different length settings in 0.5-millimeter steps for beards up to 20 millimeters long. It has a long-lasting battery that can stay fully powered for up to 100 minutes at a time and is equipped with auto-sensing technology that adjusts the power of the motor to fit the thickness of your beard, making for an effortless trim. The head is rinseable, so you won’t have to deal with a big mess, and this model comes with an additional Gillette ProGlide razor for those days when you need to get a bit closer or clean up your neck.
You can go corded or cordless
There are only two options when it comes to trimmer connectivity: corded or cordless. Both are solid, but you should know the pros and cons of each. A corded beard trimmer typically has a more robust and reliable motor. They last longer than their cordless counterparts, but they can also be less convenient. If you go corded, we suggest getting a trimmer with a long enough cable that you won’t find yourself lacking mobility; usually, something around five feet will do. This becomes especially important if you need to travel or trim on the go. A corded trimmer will also never run out of battery. Anyone with a beard (or anyone who knows anyone with a beard) knows how tragic the results can be when the trimmer runs out of battery midway through a session. Yes, you can charge it, but just wait until your reservation starts at 7:00 pm and your trimmer runs out early in your shave at 6:30 pm.
This brings us to our cableless selection. We’ve already touched on the principal con, which is that they can run out of battery. Luckily, if you’re diligent about charging, this shouldn’t be a huge problem. Just make sure you get something with long battery life or a low battery alert. Cordless trimmers are great for portability; they’re typically lightweight, and the chargers themselves are getting smaller and smaller. Many cordless trimmers will carry at least one hour of power on a single charge, so unless you’re doing something particularly intricate, you should make it out without extra whiskers holding on. Returning the trimmer to its charging dock is always a good idea. Make sure you’re never hung out to dry when it comes to shaping your beard.
Best cordless beard trimmer: Wahl Professional Magic Clip
You won’t need a professional magician to perform beard perfecting tricks. (Amazon/)
The Magic Clip from Wahl is one of our favorite cordless beard trimmers. It has a lithium-ion battery that can run for up to 90 minutes on a single charge. It includes a taper level for fading and blending as well as zero-overlap. The build quality is beautiful and easy to maneuver without sacrificing precision—you’ll feel like you’ve brought the barbershop into your home.
Do you prefer a wet or a dry shave?
When we talk about a “waterproof” beard trimmer, we don’t necessarily mean doing a blind shave while you take a shower. Although fully submersible trimmers exist, they’re pretty tricky to find and ultimately don’t have much practical use. What we’re really thinking of is the razor head. A washable razor head is great for rinsing all your trimmed hairs down the drain once and for all. Any clippings clogging the blades or spilling out onto the bathroom counter will be a thing of the past. This also means you can shave or trim a wet beard and use gels or lotions on top. It would be a shame to pop out of the shower only to realize your beard needs to be fully dry before a shave, and you need to be on your way to work.
That being said, if you are relatively good at time management and don’t mind a bit of extra work, then a dry-shave-only option might be right for you. There are even some dry shave trimmers that have a built-in vacuum to pick up all the little hairs that you’ve recently snipped off. Keep in mind that if you’re going for something corded with a particularly powerful motor, then you’ll probably end up with a dry-shave-only model. The most popular trimmers, however, are ones that can handle both a wet and dry shave. But remember, you’ll probably need to keep the trimmer out of the shower unless you value waterproof design above all else.
Best wet or dry beard trimmer: Philips Norelco Multigroom 5000
Trim your beard wet or dry, day or night. (Amazon/)
The Philips Norelco Multigroom 5000 is perfect for those looking for a little versatility in their trimming options. This beard trimmer can be used on wet or dry hair with up to 70 minutes of cordless use, self-sharpening blades, and 17 precision length settings ranging from 0.5 to 20 millimeters. You’ll soon see the Philips is one of our favorite beard trimmer brands, so we also suggest you check out more of their products to find what’s right for you.
What bonus features are important to you?
While the most important things to consider are blade, length and guide comb options, connectivity, and wet shave abilities, we shouldn’t discount the variety of bonus features many modern beard trimmers provide. Should you base your entire purchase on whether or not the brand includes a nose trimmer? Probably not. If the beard trimmers you narrowed it down to fulfill your requirements, might you base your decision on the inclusion of a clippings vacuum? Well, why not? Don’t undervalue a low battery alert light. This little light could be the difference between looking suave and sharp on your next big date or unfortunately under-groomed.
If you’re hoping to tackle some other hairy areas, look for a model that comes with a nose, ear, or eyebrow trimmer to help you achieve your final look. You might also find a grooming kit that comes with detailed blades or a significant range of guide combs. Select higher-end models include self-sharpening blades or a travel lock to prevent the razor from accidentally turning on in your luggage and draining the battery. There are even some trimmers that are equipped with laser guides to help you keep a steady hand. Think about what would make your at-home grooming experience feel like a trip to the salon, or dig deep and go for the bonus features that will significantly decrease any trimmer inconveniences you’re always up against.
The most luxurious beard trimmer: Philips Norelco MG7791
Your toiletry kit has never looked so good. (Amazon/)
While this trimmer does not include the elusive low battery indicator, it does have pretty much anything you could ever want when it comes to facial hair care. Plus, the lithium-ion battery can last for up to six hours, so you might not need that light anyway. This Norelco MG7791 comes with 29 pieces inside its grooming kit, including a detail trimmer, rotary nose and ear trimmer, body shaver, comb, and trimming scissors. The head is fully washable, and the blades are dual-cut for increased sharpness and precision.
The best beard trimmer brands to know
Out of all the various beard trimmer brands out there, we have a few favorites. These companies have stepped up to the plate, delivering powerfully designed builds, resilient blades, and well-designed attachments. Wahl, Philips, and Braun are leading the industry, and we think it would be good for you to get to know them a little better.
The Wahl Clipper Corporation was founded in 1919 by Leo J. Wahl, who patented the first practical electric hair clipper. Since then, Wahl has been a trimmer technology pioneer, creating the first cordless rechargeable hair clipper in 1967, the first cordless beard and mustache trimmer in 1975, and the first vacuuming consumer beard trimmer in 2001. Since 1919, Wahl’s products have expanded to include personal massagers, pet groomers, and other hair care salves, shampoos, and lotions.
Philips is a Dutch multinational conglomerate corporation dedicated to personal care and advancements in health technology. Founded in 1891 by Gerard Philips, the company started delivering reliable electric incandescent light bulbs and soon became responsible for reviving the Stirling Engine during World War II. In 1930, the company released its first shaver, the Norelco, which remains a part of the company’s product lineup to this very day.
Braun is a Germany-based company that began as a small electronics shop established by Max Braun in 1921. While Braun has gone through several radical shifts and evolutions over time, the company as we now know it focuses on excellence and innovative design, particularly in the grooming department. Braun is perhaps best known for their hair grooming and removal tools, though they also specialize in thermometers, toothbrushes, watches, and kitchen appliances.
Best beard trimmer under $50: Grooming on a budget Philips Norelco Multigroom
There are plenty of options for the best beard trimmer under $50 that we love (we’ve even listed one here), though we always recommend saving up just a little more to make sure you are investing in a product that will last. If you aren’t keen to wait, never fear; there are some high-performing budget models out there. Just pay special attention to the features you want and ensure the trimmer you’re eyeing can support your facial hair dreams. Models under $50 are typically not as long-lasting, have fewer length options, and little to no bonus features. When looking for a budget-friendly trimmer, check out the Philips Norelco Multigroom. It can take a while to collect a full charge, but it is equipped with tempered steel blades and thirteen attachments to keep you looking fresh and clean.
A final word on the best beard trimmers
Hopefully, by now, you are raring and ready to go pick out the best beard trimmer for you. Continue to keep in mind your beard goals, including length and shape, while considering your lifestyle. Do you travel frequently, do you prefer to shave post-shower, are you hoping to tackle some pesky nose hairs while you’re at it? Above all, you should feel comfortable and confident whenever you pick up your beard trimmer, and we hope our guide will help you achieve just that.
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