Much like the hair on the top of your head, beards require some TLC (trimmer loving care). There’s only one Gandalf, after all, and his approach to facial hair doesn’t slip easily into many 21st century looks.
You can style a beard for different seasons, different growth patterns and different face shapes, but whether you mix up your face fur or stick to one style, you’re going to need a beard trimmer.
Most modern trimmers are built to tackle all hair types, so you needn’t spend a fortune to achieve a fresh-out-the-chair look. Additionally, ownership gives you full creative control, allowing you to achieve bolder looks without leaving your own bathroom.
The options are barbershop-worthy, too: trimmers now come in all shapes and forms, from low-tech numbers that just get the job done to machines that look like they were designed by Q Branch, with built-in lasers and vacuums.
How To Choose A Beard Trimmer
“Picking a trimmer isn’t as easy as you may think,” says Phil Reader, master barber at Drakes of London. “There are a couple of important things to consider, such as how thick or dense your beard is. What length of beard do you want and where will you be using it most?
“Cordless trimmers are convenient and easy to handle. However, they tend to sacrifice cutting power. Mains-powered clippers tend to have a more powerful motor, but are harder to use in a wet bathroom.”
To that point, Reader makes another important recommendation: “The biggest mistake most men make is keeping [trimmers] in a bathroom. This is a warm, damp place that promotes bacteria growth and causes steel blades to rust. Keep them dry.
“It’s important to clean and oil the clippers between each use, which will keep them clean and rust-free. It’s also worth investing in some clipper disinfectant spray to keep the blades free of any bacteria.”
Why Should You Grow A Beard?
Speaking of bacteria, it’s worth remembering that trimming your facial hair is better than shaving it off completely. Hipsters went into smug overdrive following a recent study that found that clean-shaven men are more likely to harbour infection-causing bacteria than men who had grown a beard. (Another recent study found that women find bearded men more attractive, too. Just saying.)
Buying a beard trimmer also cuts down on the time you’re glued to the bathroom mirror. Beards do not require much maintenance, unlike the clean-shaven look, which a daily shaving routine, along with painful cuts and rashes.
With all that in mind, we got the buzz on the best beard trimmers on the market to ensure your facial hair looks neat every day. (Related: How To Pick The Right Beard For Your Face Shape)
Philips Beard Trimmer 7000
Best For: Clean Freaks
Philips has long been a leader in beard trimming kit, with its infamous laser-guided 13 Series placing the Dutch brand firmly on the map as a serious contender to German behemoth, Braun.
With the Trimmer 7000, Philips saw an opportunity to liberate men from life’s biggest bugbear; having to clean the bathroom sink after a trim. It’s equipped with a built-in vacuum that captures recently liberated hairs for easy disposal (like a bagless Dyson machine).
It’s powerful, too, with self-sharpening blades capable of cutting through the most wizard-like wires while preventing painful tugs. If you’re a man who changes his style often, the Trimmer 7000 also features up to 18 different length settings, from 18mm all the way down to 1mm stubble.
Available at Amazon, priced £44.99.
Braun Beard Trimmer 3040
Best For: Style Switchers
Braun has long been a vanguard in trimming technology, with its Cool-Tech model seen as a shining beacon of hope for those prone to painful shaving rash.
The same innovation efforts have been put into its trimming range, notably with the 3040, which comprises an integrated precision dial to offer you up to 39 cutting lengths without requiring you to toggle between multiple heads. It’s particularly handy for those who constantly switch between styles.
Power-wise, eight hours of charge will give you 60 minutes of use, so depending on how often you trim, consider taking the full kit away in your wash bag when heading abroad.
Available at Argos, priced £24.74.
Babyliss iStubble Beard Trimmer
Best For: A Close Shave
Like all the greats, Conair Corp, owners of Babyliss, came from humble beginnings. The business started life in a stuffy old garage in Queens, New York, but has gone on to rule the world with its personal care line.
The iStubble Beard Trimmer has a flexible contour head that adjusts to the curves on your face, such as that leading man jawline, for a level trim and to prevent patches.
Whether being used plugged in or cordless, you can also set the length between 0.4-5mm (with 0.2mm incremental changes) via the digital display on the front, ensuring you get the exact length you want.
After some clean lines to finish your trim off? Just flip the head back to reveal a precision edging tool for the closest possible cut.
Available at Amazon, priced £30.00.
Panasonic 3-in-1 i-Shaper Trimmer
Best For: Precision Shape-Ups
Japanese brand Panasonic, long a champion of multi-tasking kit, has followed in the footsteps of its tech competitors by launching a dedicated styling trimmer – but with significantly more muscle than many counterparts.
The 3-in-1 i-Shaper Trimmer has three core functions: shaving, trimming (up to 20 different cutting lengths, from 0.5mm-10mm) and styling, with an adjustable head offering between 35mm-5mm of surface space to help you achieve laser-precision shape-ups that even Paul Pogba would be proud of.
Add to that a blade that lasts for up to three years, and you’ve practically got the barbershop in your bathroom.
Available at Amazon, priced £99.99.
Wahl 9854-802 Lithium Ion Grooming Station
Best For: Bargain Beards
Wahl has been a leader in professional trimming technology for over 90 years, with its signature Sterling 2 the choice of pros across the country.
The Illinois firm’s latest venture is this Lithium Ion Grooming Station, which, at 30 quid, offers greater value than most other trimmers on the market. And it’s solid and reliable, too, with a powerful battery that offers up to 150 minutes of uninterrupted use on a single hours’ charge.
Trim between 2-12mm using the traditional T-blade head or switch to the detail heard for more fiddly bits, especially around your mouth and moustache.
Available at Amazon, priced £29.99.
Best For: Run Time
From its roots as a subsidiary of an American firearms manufacturer to a global personal care juggernaut, Remington has always been regarded as a key player in the trimmers space. And with the MB4040, it’s easy to see why.
The model has the brand’s longest-running battery ever, offering close to three hours of run time on a single charge – and it maintains the same level of power throughout, unlike other trimmers, which gradually slow down as power wanes.
In the box, you’ll find three types of titanium blades, capable of nine different hair lengths, all adjusted easily with a unique scroll wheel on the trimmer’s handle.
Available at Amazon, priced $29.99 (approx £23).
Remington MB4045 Beard Kit
Best For: Long Beards
Remington’s MB4045 is a master at taming long beards. With length options ranging from 20mm-35mm on its longest comb, it’s unashamedly an advocate of the Abe Lincoln (minus the mole).
The complete set also comes equipped with a handy mixed boar bristle brush and premium stainless steel scissors to help keep that unruly facial growth on lock.
And if you decide to tame the grizzly look, the kit also comes with shorter combs so you can use the titanium-coated blades to turn your Hagrid beard into Tom Ford stubble.
Available at Amazon, priced £35.00.
Philips Series 9000 Laser-Guided Beard Trimmer
Best For: Precision Trimming & Styling
When Philips first launched its laser-guided trimmer back in 2013, many were quick to label it a gimmick. But it seems sales continue to go strong as, four years on, it’s still one of the Dutch firm’s flagship models.
If you haven’t come across it before, the fully waterproof Series 9000 omits a crisp red light onto your face, which you simply need to follow with the trimmer to cut a straight shape-up.
Perfect for guys who obsess about clean lines and symmetry, the double-sharpened stainless steel blades will give you enough precision to make an early 2000s Craig David jealous.
Available at Amazon, priced £119.99.
Best For: Design Purists
Hailing from the same US state as Apple, it’s little surprise the tech bods at Pure Enrichment have always been suckers for good design.
Naturally, when the business decided to launch its first ever beard trimmer, the team pulled out all the stops to ensure it looked the part.
The Trym II is more than just something to look at, though; it’s equipped with professional-grade blades and comes with multiple comb attachments as standard, so it won’t just sit around and look handsome.
Available at Amazon, priced $29.99 (approx £23).
Best For: Durability
While most trimmers require replacing after a year or two of use, the T-Liner+ from barber-favourite brand Andis keeps on trucking (and trimming), with some users claiming to have kept their’s for up to five years without experiencing a single issue.
So while it may not be the sexiest trimmer on this list – or the lightest – it will put up one hell of a fight when the Grim Reaper comes knocking. I
n the box, you’ll find three different-width blades and four combs to go with them. So you can play with length and design details during the device’s impressive lifespan.
Available at Amazon, priced £47.95.