Any man with a beard will have to spend time to groom it. Beards can get messy and scraggly in no time if you fail to take care of it. What happens when you don’t have time to go to the barber to trim your beard? That’s where your own beard trimmer comes in handy.
What You Should Know Before Buying a Beard Trimmer
Beard trimmers come in with a dizzying array of different features and design choices. Here are some big things you should consider to sort out the various models.
A good quality beard trimmer should cost between $50 and $120. Any more than that will usually be overkill. A $200 device won’t often have features or durability that you can’t get at $120.
Obviously, with models under $50, you’re making some compromises. The designer will scrimp with either the blades, construction materials, features, or battery quality. The sweet spot for even professional cutting needs will be between $50-$120.
In general, more is better. At the low end, most models get down to 1mm (under .03″) to 5mm (.15″) length. At the high end you’re looking at 16mm (.7″) to 20mm (.79″).
Most beard trimmers come with a mechanical dial or digital selector to very the length. The digital selectors provide more settings and are more precise. Of course, they’re more expensive. The mechanical selectors have the advantage of lower cost and durability. You have fewer things to break. That’s important if you expect the device to last for a long time.
Most beard trimmers will come with attachments you snap onto the cutting head for longer lengths. Again, the more you have the better off you are unless you have a specific beard length that you want to maintain.
What Beard Trimmers Do Barbers Use?
Hair professionals use beard trimmers more often than any home user. They want more powerful motors to cut through even the toughest hair types and durability because they use these devices a lot. A breakdown means they lose time or money.
Ergonomics, which is design features made to work well with the human body, is more important to barbers than home users. Weight and comfort mean more when you’re handling a lot of different tools. Using awkward devices can lead to painful chronic orthopedic conditions like carpel tunnel syndrome.
Many hair professionals, however, prize mobility over durability and power. Not having to worry about tangling yourself in a cord allows them to focus completely on the customer.
Barbers also have clients with many different tastes, so a lot of attachments, ample available replacement parts such as shearing heads, and blades that sharpen themselves and resist rust and corrosion are important to these users as well.
We picked the Wahl Professional Beret Lithium Ion Cord/Cordless Trimmer as the best beard trimmer for barbers, which we review in more detail below. This unit stands out due to its dual power system design which gives the best of both worlds.
Another beard trimmer many barbers like is the Philips Norelco Multigroomer 7750 (also detailed below) for its 23 different attachments. The Brio Beardscape has an unusual ceramic blade that creates less friction for clients with sensitive skin. The Panasonic ER-GB370K has both super-sharp blades and is easy to maintain because all the parts are washable in water.
Beard Trimmer vs. Stubble Trimmer What is The Difference?
Stubble trimmers are specifically designed to give users the “five o’clock shadow” look. They come will a wide variety of extremely short-length settings to please customers who are looking for very specific looks. People who go to the trouble to cultivate a five o’clock shadow are likely to be picky.
Stubble trimmers often get down to .3mm inches. Almost no beard trimmer goes lower than 1mm.
These devices also need to have cutting heads designed more like shavers to prevent skin irritation. Stubble trimmers need blades that cut with great precision. If you’re looking for a specific length, you don’t want much variation. Typically these units come with smaller cutting heads for fine detail work.
Typically, stubble trimmers are going to be wet/dry. Most men want to groom stubble in front of their bathroom mirror in place of shaving. Stubble trimmers generally can’t handle anything more than very short beards They’re useless for medium length and longer beards.
Many beard trimmers can give you the “five o’clock shadow” look, but won’t have the wide variety of super-short lengths. Usually, stubble trimmers trade the ability to groom medium and longer beards for precision groom capabilities. In the end, it’s best to use a device designed for the look you wish to maintain.
Beard Trimmer vs. Hair Clipper
Okay, I know what a lot of you are thinking. If I have a hair clipper already, why can’t I use it to trim my beard?
Well, much like the beard trimmers vs. stubble trimmers, these devices are designed for different performance needs. People who cut hair on top of the head usually want wider heads to clip more volume per pass. On the other hand, beard trimmers come with smaller heads to better fit the sharper contours of the face.
Hair clippers have thicker blades and typically boast more powerful motors to cut through longer and more-dense hair. Beard trimmers have thinner blades to produce less skin irritation. Hair clippers often weigh more as a result, which can be tiresome handle for fine detail work.
Hair clippers usually have more powerful motors and greater durability simply because they’re going to cut larger volumes of hair than specific beard trimmer design. Hair clippers are often less versatile, and lack attachments for nose, ear, and eyebrow hair.
Another major difference is that most hair clippers must be used dry. Many people wish to wet their beard before grooming them, or they want to use the device in front of their bathroom sink. These environments can shock you if you have an accident with a dry-use trimmer. They also aren’t good for manscaping because they’re designed for longer hair.
Hair clippers can help you rapidly cut down long beards before bringing out the beard trimmer. But, to get a precise cut for shorter hair, hair clippers can’t really stand in for a beard trimmer.
Cord Or Cordless Beard Trimmers: Why Should I Care?
Both corded and cordless trimmers cut hair. What does it matter? Well, it can be important depending on how you expect to use your beard trimmer.
Corded models tend to boast more powerful motors powered by plugging into a wall socket. High- power motors need more juice, but those power demands can wear out a battery. To give long battery-life, many cordless trimmers come with less cutting power.
This can be a problem if you have a tough beard or you want precise cuts. Faster stroke per minute (SPM) motors give more uniform hair lengths. The cordless models trade power for convenience. Not only do they offer more mobility, they’re good for men who frequently travel overseas and don’t want to deal with different voltage standards. A long lasting battery charge can avoid this hassle.
The more powerful motors in corded models also usually mean they require more maintenance. Many home users don’t want the hassle, while a professional simply considers upkeep a part of a good work routine.
The cordless models usually are lighter and more comfortable to use. Users with arthritis or carpel tunnel syndrome don’t need any extra burden on their hands. Plus you can use the cordless models in the bathroom, since they’re usually also wet/dry devices. On the downside, some batteries take a long time to recharge. If running out of power will cost you money, you simply don’t want to take the chance you can’t use your trimmer when you need it.
Best Beard Trimmer for 6 Particular Categories
1. Best Professional Barbershop Beard Trimmer
The Wahl Professional Beret model stood out to us due to it’s dual-use motor. Being able to plug it in or use it without the cord, gives the best of both worlds. Mobility, power, and the security of knowing that you’ll be able to use your trimmer is critical for the professional.
The Beret has an ergonomic handle and is quite light, weighing in at 4 oz. Both comfortable and easy-to-use, this beard trimmer won’t wear you out if you have to use it for a long time. You can also buy replacement blades from Wahl.
The battery life is up to two hours, which is enough for most mobile needs. The Beret also has self-sharpening carbon steel blades, which cuts down on maintenance. But you do have to protect against corrosion, which means you need to oil the unit on a regular basis.
This well-made trimmer comes with a nice charging stand that also holds machine oil and a cleaning brush. The Wahl comes with a nice variety of cutting guides, which vary between 1/8″ to 1/2″.
This beard trimmer doesn’t come with a pre-set dial for fine adjustment, but this lack gives the professional more ability to adjust the head to the exact length a customer favors.
- Can be used both cordless and corded
- Self-sharpening blades
- Replacement blades available
- Designed for professional use
- Light 4 oz. weight
- Ergonomic design
- Dry use only
- Must regularly oil blades
2. Best Beard Trimmer For Long Beards
The Remington Beardsman impressed us due to the wide variety of beard length that it can handle. Most trimmers come with guides that don’t go beyond 20mm. The Beardsman provides attachments that go up to 35mm (1.38″). At the low end, this device goes down to 1.5mm (.06″). While 1.5mm isn’t good for stubble, it’s adequate for most users.
The Beardsman trimmer comes with extras to particularly help with long beards. The package comes with shears to help cut down Paul Bunyon bushes. Shears can help taper the beard if you like that look. Remington also includes a brush intended for grooming, not cleaning the unit.
These aren’t cheap tools. They’re salon-quality. The brush can help you put balm, beard butter or beard oil on your face. These extras give you the ability to style a long beard any way you want (depending on your hair-cutting skills).
Along with the tools designed for long beards, the Beardsman comes with a handy pop-up cutting tool. This blade handles ear, nose, and eyebrow grooming. While not a dedicated “manscaping” device, the Beardsman can do a decent job for these needs.
This beard trimmer runs on a Li-ion battery with a two-hour charge. Unfortunately, the battery takes a lengthy four hours for a full charge.
- Length attachments that go up to 1.38″
- Pop-up manscaping tool
- Includes shears and a brush
- Reasonable price
- Not good for very short beards
- Long charge time. Four hours is onerous
3. Best Cordless Beard Trimmer
The Philips Norelco Multigroom stands outs due to its 23 attachments. Plus, it comes with manscaping tools for ears, nose, and eyebrow grooming. The Multigroom also includes different cutting heads for beard, stubble, and body. The best part is you don’t get one head for each use. Instead, you get two cutting heads for all three of these cutting needs.
The extra-wide heads allow you to cut more hair with each pass. And, the Li-ion battery holds a long, five-hour charge. This is great for the long sessions professional users might need as well as lasting a whole weekend. You can throw it in a bag for quick trip on Friday, and still expect to have power on Monday morning.
All of these attachments are washable in water, which makes the Multigroom easy to clean. The blades are dual-action and super-sharp. They’re also stainless steel so you don’t have to worry about rust and corrosion. You don’t have to oil them a lot.
The Multigroom comes with a foil shaver, which can clear your beard. It’s not as good as a dedicated shaver, but can get the job done. Obviously, the Multigroom is a wet/dry unit. Philips Norelco chose stainless steel for the case, and it boasts an all-metal motor.
We like the Multigroom due to its versatility and durability. You will be able to use it for almost any imaginable need for many years to come.
- Five-hour charge time
- 23 attachments
- Multiple beard, body, and stubble cutting heads
- Dual blade system
- Included foil shaver
- Durable stainless steel construction
- 2x sharp blades good up to 3 years
- All metal motor
- No stand included in package
4. Best Corded Beard Trimmer
Power is the calling card of the Andis 4775. If you’re looking for a powerful motor, the Andis GTX is for you. This motor provides 7,200 strokes per minute (SPM) for faster, more precise cutting. The cutting blades have long teeth to prevent clogging and to give clean cuts.
The cutting blades can be “zero-gapped,” which means you can set the cutting blade flush with the top blade. This ability helps reduce irritation for men with sensitive skin. The wide, T-shaped blade cuts a large area of hair, so you can get the job done fast. However, the blade is made from carbon steel, which means you will have to oil it regularly.
The Andis is particularly good for fades. The case is a durable polymer coat, which helps hold the price down while lasting a long time.
On the downside, the Andis is quite heavy and .7 lbs. The high-speed motor can also heat up quickly. The GTX T-outliner also only comes with four length attachments. You can’t handle a wide variety of lengths or use the Andis trimmer for multiple needs.
Users looking for a corded trimmer, however, usually are willing to trade the inconvenience of weight for cutting power. The terrific cutting blade and motor are why we picked the Andis as the best corded beard trimmer.
- 7,200 SPM motor
- Deep tooth blade
- Can zero-gap blade
- Good for fades
- Can overheat quickly
- Not versatile
5. Affordable Beard Trimmer On A Budget
Above, we told you that low cost units will scrimp on features. The Remington PG6025 does the best job of giving good performance at a lost cost. These beard trimmers typically cost less than $25 in 2020.
The Remington All-in-1 handles an impressive amount of grooming needs for such a low price. It comes with a nose, ear, and detail trimmer. You also get a shaver, eight length attachments, and three stubble combs. All of these attachments can be washed with water.
That’s a lot of uses for an inexpensive device. The blades are self-sharpening surgical steel. That’s a surprising feature to find on a bargain device. Surgical steel is a kind of stainless steel that yields the highest level of resistance against rust and corrosion.
The Li-ion battery lasts for 70 minutes on a full charge, which is shorter than many cordless models. But, that time is adequate for most needs.
The case is made from plastic and the travel bag could be nicer, but it’s a great bargain for its price. The All-in-1 is a good choice for someone just starting out with beard grooming who wants to learn about these devices before buying a higher-end model.
- Self-sharpening surgical steel blades
- Wide variety of attachments
- Shaving and manscaping ability
- Three different stubble heads
- Washable attachments make easy-to-clean
- Short battery life
- Less durable than better quality models
6. Best Beard Trimmer For Stubble
What impressed us about the Braun Series 7 7865cc is that it automatically reads the length of your beard hair and adjusts the blades. That takes a lot of thinking out of the equation. This trimmer is easy-to-clean and can be set to a large variety of super-short lengths.
The Braun constructed the Series 7 from high quality materials and is crammed with high-tech convenience. The trimmer comes with four different heads to easily cut different types and lengths o hair. This stubble trimmer can also works as a high-quality shaver, so you’re getting a device that provides two top-quality uses.
It comes with it’s own enclosed charge station which also holds cleaning solution and a brush. The Series 7 is fully washable in water and is a wet/dry device. The battery fully charges in one hour and offers a five-minute quick charge option. However, the battery life is only 50 minutes.
While this trimmer usually exceeds the top of our recommended price range, the Braun Series 7 is an exception to our rule. Since you’re getting a device that handles two uses at a premium level, it’s worth the extra money. Not only is the unit high-tech, it comes with a seven-year warranty from a venerable German company.
- High tech
- Five-minute fast charge option
- Seven-year warranty
- Four cutting heads
- Can be used as shaver
- Short battery life
- More expensive than most models
Seven Key Features To Select The Best Beard Trimmer for You
Cutting power can be important depending on how you use your trimmer. A powerful, fast motor gives more uniform cut lengths, allows you to cut more hair with every swipe of the trimmer, and stands up to heavy use.
If you have longer hair, or want your beard trimmer to substitute for a hair clipper in a pinch, you want more power. Hair-cutting professionals will also want more powerful trimmers because fast cutting performance and durability matter if you’re using the device on a large number of clients.
A powerful motor will typically come at the cost of heavier weight and will require a cord. But, if you want to cut a lot of hair without any fear that your trimmer will run out of power, then a corded device with a powerful motor is what you want.
2. Blade Quality
Different blade materials provide various strengths and weaknesses. Stainless steel resists rust and corrosion, and doesn’t need a lot of maintenance. These blades are good for wet/dry units that can be used either in front of the sink or in the bathtub.
Meanwhile, carbon steel is typically cheaper to replace and hold sharper edges, but users must oil them at regular intervals to prevent rust and corrosion. They’re good for more precise work, but they must be stored in completely dry environments to prevent wear.
Blade material isn’t the only factor to consider. Self-sharpening blades are convenient for users who don’t want to bother with, or often forget about, maintenance. If you want the highest level of rust and corrosion resistance, look for units with surgical steel blades.
3. Wet/Dry Use
Do you want a beard trimmer that you can use in front of your bathroom mirror? Then you need a wet/dry device. Trying to use a corded model in wet or humid condition can shock you.
The dry use models generally come with more powerful motors and can cut large volumes of hair more quickly than battery-powered units. The juice needed to power a fast motor will quickly suck batteries dry. Dry-use only units typically last longer than wet/dry devices. If you want something that you can rely on for years into the future, you want a dry use only device. If you want a beard trimmer with shaving capabilities, you want a device that can handle wet environments.
4. Battery Type
If you do decide you want the mobility of a cordless trimmer, you need to look at the battery type. Most small electronic devices come with either Lithium-ion (Li-ion) or Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-HM) batteries.
Li-Ion batteries will usually both last longer and take less time to charge than Ni-MH. The only real downside to the Li-ion battery is cost. As newer technology, they’re more expensive than Ni-MH. One big advantage of longer battery life is that you can forget to charge it for days at a time and still have power.
Lower-cost beard trimmers will often use Ni-MH batteries. These units will often have long charge times, which can be annoying if you run out of power half-way through the job. They will also lack the “quick-charge” option that you see on some high-tech trimmers. Many “bargain” units will conveniently forget to list the battery type on the packaging. You’ll have to look at the specs to spot the battery type.
How many different grooming jobs do you want your trimmer to handle? Do you like to change-up your look every few days? Do you want to trim body hair as well as your beard? What about detail work like your ears, nose, and eyebrows? Do you want the trimmer to act as a shaver or hair clipper in a pinch?
Professional users often want specialized devices for each different need. They have customers who are paying them for the particular look they want. A specialized trimmer is the best way to meet professional standards.
Many home users like versatility. Not only is it cheaper to buy one device rather than two or three, one versatile trimmer takes up less space. But, if you have one look that you wish to maintain without changing it up very often, find a beard trimmer that does the particular job you need.
If you expect to use the beard trimmer for long cutting sessions, then something that fits your hand is more important. Weight is also a key consideration. If you’re older or have orthopedic problems, a light trimmer well help limit stress to your hands.
If you want to be sure your trimmer will last a long time, go with a well-known name. Small companies can go out of business and leave you without replacement parts. That’s a bad thing if you’re a professional or want your beard trimmer to last decades. Heck, my Dad still uses a hair clipper that he bought to cut my hair more than 30 years ago.
Well-known companies have a reputation to uphold and have a lot to lose in a lawsuit from unhappy consumers. But, if you’re looking for a bargain, the off-brands are inevitably cheaper.
There is no one trimmer that is best for everyone. Use this list to help sort through the different ways people can use beard trimmers and look at the available features. Consider the capabilities you want the most and pick something that does those things particularly well.
Beards need frequent grooming to keep you looking your best. A home beard trimmer is a handy tool that can save a lot of trips to the barbershop. Happy trimming!