Beards are an all-season trend embraced by men of all ages and backgrounds. Growing one to fit in with the pseudo-millennial (a.k.a. urban lumberjack) or mature crowd is easy. Controlling it is a whole different beast. Ideally, you want to keep it neat and trimmed. The only true way of accomplishing this is by practicing proper beard maintenance, which requires commitment and the right grooming tool: a beard trimmer.
Body hair is closely linked with your image and, to some extent, reflects your personality. But maintaining the shape and look of your beard is more than just pretension. And before even considering a beard trimmer, you need to determine what its main purpose(s) will be. Is it for perfecting the 5 o’clock shadow or transforming yourself into a real-life Rick Grimes? Preserving skin? Manscaping? Every man should know the importance of trimming facial hair, for while most of the benefits are complementary to one’s appearance, the hindrances can ruin one’s image. Examples:
- Facial hair is prone to creating flaky skin and can make it more visible, sticking to your beard over time
- More hair = more skin irritation
- Microbiologists determined in tests that beards “contained a lot of normal bacteria, but some were comparable to toilets” Skin underneath the beard can build oil and lead to acne, along with other skin conditions
Stumbling on the right model best equipped for your facial profile takes a bit of research, and it’s generally a matter of mixing and matching the features you want most at the price you’re willing to pay. And, like every great grooming product that comes along, there are several deciding factors — pros and cons — when choosing a trimmer to care for your beard.
- Build quality: The goal is to own a trimmer designed for longevity. Any model made from stainless steel from the body to the blades will get you there, plus one with solid grip control.
- Cord or cordless: Some traditionalists prefer the extra horsepower and infinite juice that comes from being plugged into a power outlet, while others enjoy the portability and convenience of a wireless model.
- Dry vs. wet trimming: Each offers it own benefits. Nonetheless, it doesn’t hurt having the luxury of tinkering between methods.
- Length settings: Short, medium, or long? Duck dynasty or stubble? A trimmer with different length options can help you achieve the look you want.
- Versatility: Pop-up ear trimmer. Turbo-trimming modes. Vacuum system. Extra features only add more value to your trimming experience.
So if you’re ready to fade that crumb dumpster, line up your best beard oils as we break down the best beard trimmers available right now.
Philips Norelco Beard Trimmer 7200
Best For: Clean and neat trimming
What you should know: The blades come “maintenance-ready” and no oiling is required…at least for a few months
The verdict: Super stylish, super powerful, the Norelco 7200 remains a grooming staple. A specially designed vacuum system captures recently liberated hair in the handle of the unit for quick and easy disposal, keeping your floor and wardrobe looking fresh. The contour head attachment works flawlessly in personalizing beard styles, gliding gently across the face to reach every area and preventing the trimmer from tugging hair to avoid inflammation. Plus it protects the self-sharpening blades, to keep the base working efficiently without any oil tune-ups. Adding to its finesse is the turbo button feature, speeding up the blades and fan to cut through thicker hair with faster precision. Up to 18 full-length settings are afforded to you, starting at 1mm and going up to 18mm for modern day Vikings. Great battery power is another feature of this trimmer, with a single charge generating up to an hour of wireless use.
$59.99 at Amazon.com
Braun BT5090 Beard Trimmer
Best For: Beard styling
What you should know: The dual-battery system keeps power constant for instant trimming
The verdict: One of the newer models on the scene, Braun’s newcomer boasts a gorgeous, slim frame and premium look that can easily be mistaken for one of the company’s award-winning electric shavers. The brand forged two Clock & Lock trimming combs that support 25 precise settings for 4x more precise trimming results. There’s enough room provided between the comb and blades to give you the length you desire, with the lowest setting getting you that three-day hipster scruff look. Trimming at the highest setting delivers great shape to a bushy beard. Maintenance is simple: rinsing the blades under running water removes debris and hair effortlessly. Battery life remains its greatest attribute, as the device boasts a special dual-battery system that musters enough juice for one trim from a mere 5-minute quick charge. One hour equates to 50 minutes of cordless action. The Slide and Style feature comes in handy for styling edges too.
$49.32 at Amazon.com
Wahl Lithium Ion All-In-One
Best For: Long-term trimming
What you should know: Its battery holds a charge up to 10x longer than most other trimmers
The verdict: For the groomist who constantly forgets to charge his electronics, Wahl’s strong, durable stainless steel offering has enough battery life — four hours of run time at that — to get you through several shaves without being attached to a power cord. Yet despite carrying a lower MSRP than the competition, its precision factor is proof the trimmer can compete with some of the higher-priced models on the market. The lightweight profile has enough girth to maintain good grip for passing through coarse hair, whereas the smaller cutter gives leeway to attack tight corners. Reviewers claim the blades work remarkably well on both beards and mustaches. Much of the accessories that come bundled with the Lithium Ion aid in providing the trim you need; these includes four options: a detail shaver, ear and nose detailer, and T-blade heads. Clip-on trimmer guides supply even more options, for up to 17 different trimmer lengths.
$34.57 at Amazon.com
Best for: Coarse and curly hair
What you should know: The Bevel Dial gives you the flexibility to quickly adjust the blades to a zero-gap alignment for sharp precision
The verdict: Want to up your grooming game? This might be the trimmer you’ve been looking for. The award-winning Bevel trimmer features a simple snap-on blade meant to deter impurities, such as oil and dirt that can cause irritation. With or without the cord, the trimmer delivers the same power and precision, holds up for over 4 hours on a single charge and can last up to 60 days on stand-by mode. The Bevel Dial is what makes this product stand out, allowing for quick zero-gap adjustment. They recommend removing the blade to adjust the space between the cutting blade and the guide blade a couple of times until you find your desired length. The sleek and elegant design features a soft-touch grip and cooling proprieties to prevent overheating and allow for more comfortable movement across your beard. Finally, its custom-faceted body provides 360-degree non-slip handling to keep you looking and feeling fresh.
$199.95 at GetBevel.com
Best For: Travel grooming
What you should know: It’s limited to dry trimming
The verdict: For the frequent flyer needing to tidy up his moneymaker in between connecting flights or Skype conference calls, this wireless trimmer packs enough power in a compact design to command hair trimming anywhere. The TRYM II comes operational straight out of the box, though users can get it fully charged in 8 hours, with one charge lasting several weeks. A dynamic motor combined with professional-grade blades ensures smooth pass-throughs across rough patches, creating a more comfortable and safe trim. One can’t help but admire the modern design that borrows inspiration from past iPhones with a streamlined appearance highlighted by a black and silver colorway. Many of the attachments are well built and easily lock into place. No wiggle present. It’s also worth noting good customer service on the product is, with several buyers raving over the immediate assistance they’ve received, be it part replacements or technical support.
$29.99 at Amazon.com
Philips Norelco OneBlade
Best For: Multi-purpose grooming
What you should know: The blades last up to four months on two shaves per week
The verdict: A multi-directional blade system with both shaving and trimming properties, the OneBlade was built to meet every facial styling need. It doesn’t match the look of a premium clipper. Guess the same can be said about the motor. Yet performance proves otherwise. It’s through the use of comb attachments (1mm, 3mm or 5mm) that the machine effectively tackles stubble length. Philips shaving technology excels at a superior level, with a moving cutter that moves at two hundred times per second. Translation: It cuts quickly through long beard hair and not so closely to the face. A dual-protection system guarantees sleek execution, preventing any hairs from being caught in the blade. Shorten your extended goatee for the imperial look or use the razor itself to enjoy a comforting shave. Bring it into the shower for a nice wet trim or pack it in your dopp kit for a grooming quickie at the office.
$34.95 at Amazon.com
Remington The Crafter Kit
Best For: Detailed trimming
What you should know: The extended neck increases maneuverability around the face
The verdict: Beard, mustache or goatee — Remington’s latest mechanical buzzer gives forth powerful trimming with a host of unique features to appease the style-conscious gent. An adjustable comb with ten lock-in settings to work on hair lengths, whereas the extended neck easily glides across the face and neck. The special Turbo Mode is engineered for precision and speed, mowing through the thickest strands without any tugging. Touch-ups around the check area work well courtesy of the foil shaver. The Crafter also comes bundled with a wide range of accessories that empower versatility, including five combs, adjustable comb, nose/ear/eye trimmer, storage pouch and more. Every component of the trimmer is easily cleanable for quick use, for its complete waterproof design makes it incredibly easier to rinse off and the perfect shower companion. Get up to 180 minutes of run time on a full charge, with a 5-minute quick charge mechanism to speed things up.
$84.95 at Amazon.com
Andis T-Outliner Trimmer
Best For: Stubble control
What you should know: Blades should be oiled before every use
The verdict: A mainstay at barbershops and saloons, Andis applies its iconic shaving pedigree to the T-Outliner, which — like the company’s heritage in grooming — is hard to match. Anyone who’s ever owned this beauty knows it’s manufactured to last, with an indestructible shell built like a tank to take the abuse you’ll put it through over the years. Premium carbon-steel blades are specially hardened to provide longer shelf life for cutting. Adjusting the blades will create more room to personalize shaves, with a handful of consumer reviews indicating that an up-close trim leaves a "5-o'clock shadow." The high-speed magnetic motor operates quietly and smoothly, resulting in a comfortable trim along your jawline or behind the ear. Oiling the blades before putting it to use might sound like an inconvenience; still, it’s a trivial compromise most avid groomers are willing to live with once they witness the gains in performance.
$52.20 at Amazon.com
Panasonic ER-GB40-S Milano
Best For: Sensitive skin types
What you should know: The masculine design complements its powerful motor
The verdict: Showering and shaving can become an ordinary aggravation unless you’re clutching onto the ER-GB40-S. A specialized water drainage system makes facial maintenance simpler, letting the trimmer be fully submersible in water. The blade system comes precision-honed to an acute 45-degree angle that simplifies the trimming routine with easier navigation and beard care. Grip control remains an underrated feature for all grooming tools. And the rubberized grip on Panasonic’s trimmer is ergonomically fit for the hand, with a balanced weight and maximum control to move across your facial hair. Motor strength is ranked lower than the competition, yet it generates enough power to evenly shape-up or stubble down the beard. You’ll discover 19 different length settings programmed to handle short and long fluff. The classic nickel-metal hybrid battery lives for about 50 minutes on a 15-hour charge, but given the available settings, it shouldn’t make for any problems.
$39.99 at Amazon.com
Rocky Mountain Hatchet Style Beard Comb
Untangling your face blanket is all part of the beard care process. In fact, the best time to do so is after applying some beard oil, and once that’s done, use this dual-sided facial comb for good measure. Contour-shaped teeth guarantee the beard receives balanced contact, and they support different hair widths, perfect for grooming difficult brush spots such as the upper and lower lip. Look at the head of the comb and discover a set of smaller teeth designed for styling your ‘stache and sideburns to precision.
$19.97 at Amazon.com
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Billy Jealousy Beard Control
This hybrid conditioner and styling cream tames beard hair by providing it enough hold to keep your whiskers from feeling brittle. Billy Jealousy’s formula contains a special synthetic agent called PVP that holds follicles in place, plus Aloe leaf juice for hydration and jojoba oil for shine. Squeeze a dollop into your palm and stroke the beard from top to bottom to create a softening effect that lets the trimmer blade pick up every inch.
$20.00 at Amazon.com
Jack Black MP10 Nourishing Oil
Winner of AskMen’s 2016 Grooming Award for Best Beard Oil, Jack Black’s facial serum combines 10 natural oils with other nourishing ingredients to moisturize and protect the beard from breakage. Its creamy texture conditions whiskers better than most other beard oils in its class, absorbing quickly to speed up the grooming process. Some even suggest the formula can double as a shaving agent. The aromatic citrusy cent is a pleasurable bonus.
$32.00 at Amazon.com
Wahl Hair Clipper Blade Oil
Oiling up your grooming tools is a boring task most men bypass, but it’s essential to sustaining the quality of the blades. So quit being a “guy” and grease those tiny steel cutters for the sake of your machine’s lifespan. Wahl’s special blade ointment might be specifically designed for Wahl products, but it’s rich enough to reduce dullness and friction on all other trimmers. Spread three drops on the head every few trim sessions for tip-top results.
$4.88 at Amazon.com
Dove Men+Care Deep Clean Face Scrub
Healthy pores allow for hair to grow faster and more naturally. This is accomplished through exfoliation. Dove makes a great, super-affordable face scrub that activates on contact to purge the skin of grime and oil. At the same time it’s designed to replenish the moisture levels of your skin during each cleanse. The light scent adds a sense of relief, something much needed after digging through the debris and knots in your beard.
$4.27 at Amazon.com
Mr. Natty Natty’s Face Forest Soap Beard Shampoo
Free of SLS, petrochemicals, parabens, fragrances, and preservatives — here is a beard shampoo that endorses elite whisker care with healthy ingredients to give coarse hair all-natural results. Rinse your beard of yesterday’s leftovers, while enjoying the herbaceous blend of English mint and rosemary. Shea butter is also thrown into the mix to improve shine and softness. A majority of reviews mention how the product treats irritation through consistent use — a major plus for those prone to itchiness.
$21.95 at Amazon.com
Beardbrand Tree Ranger Beard Softener
When the basic moisturizer fails you, rely on something more potent to get the job done. Beardbrand’s lineup of beard softeners acts as facial conditioners to give that forest on your mug healthy luster. The solution relaxes hair better than most beard care products and pairs nicely with the brand’s Reader’s Choice-awarded Tea Tree Beard Oil. Apply it one to two times a week and watch your trimmer smoothly chop down that bush.
$27.00 at Amazon.com
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