A Trusty Beard Trimmer Is A Grooming Essential. These Are The Best

·8 min read
Photo credit: Getty/Amazon
Photo credit: Getty/Amazon

From Esquire

Growing a beard is one of the most flattering grooming moves a man can make, but only if you keep it in check. Unruly facial hair will do you no favours whatsoever.

Good maintenance means following a consistent routine, and buying the right tools for the job. The right beard trimmer can transform your scruffy jaw into an awe-inspiring, hairy sculpture (see Oscar Isaac’s dazzling beard above for inspiration), but you should take some time to shop around.

Some of you may need a precision device to tidy up the stray hairs around your neckline and nose, while others might need a strong pair of clippers to keep that Spartan bush from spiralling out of control. Thankfully, most devices can cater to both needs, and luckily for you, we've done the research to winkle out the best beard trimmers you can buy in 2020.

Best Beard Trimmers

How To Choose The Best Beard Trimmer For You

There are a couple of things you need to keep in mind when picking up your beard trimmer to make sure you’ve got the perfect tool for the job.

  • Trimmer length range

  • Battery life

  • Charge time

  • Accessories

Trimmer length range

All beard trimmers can cut to a range of lengths that you set before you start (generally using a dial or lever). Just like your on your hair clippers, these can mostly be adjusted in tiny increments.

Trimmers on this list vary from a super-precise o.2mm –for that neat five o’clock shadow look– all the way up to round 2.5cm depending on your needs. Obviously, a bigger, bushier beard will need a trimmer with longer settings, while those perfecting stubble or shorter beards might only need a few millimetres for precision cuts and tapering.

Attachments, combs, and precision heads

As well as the integrated length settings on the blades, most trimmers will come with some attachments.

There will typically be two types of comb: those that extend the cutting length, and guide combs that will help direct and lift your hair to make it easier to cut.

Some trimmers may also come with precision heads to help taper off the edges of your beard, or cut the tricky bits around your nose and lips.

Battery Life and Charge Times

Battery life and recharge times between razors can vary quite wildly. Some on this list will last several hours on one charge, for example Whal’s razor will keep on trimming for three hours in a single charge, whereas others will only give you 40 minutes of juice.

Charge times range from an hour all the way up to ten hours, depending on the model. To compensate for the obscenely long recharge times on some of these razors, many of them will offer up quick-charge capabilities, where you can plug it in for half an hour or so to get 10 minutes’ worth of shaving, which is great if you need a trim in a pinch.

We like to keep our beard below 2cm usually, which requires taming at least once a week. It usually takes us around 25 minutes each time we shave to get the look we want, so a decent battery life is more of a concern than it might be for some, though we must admit we are tinkerers.

Photo credit: Simon Emmett - Esquire
Photo credit: Simon Emmett - Esquire

Accessories

Many on this list come with extra tools in the box to help you with your shaving routine. These range from styling combs and brushes to travel pouches and storage bags. You might find they’ve thrown in a bonus wet-shave razor, or a couple on this list come with larger hair clippers so you can extend your shaving to the top of your head if you’re feeling confident enough.

Other things to consider

Most of these models will work cordless or plugged into the wall, but check before you buy if not being mobile is going to be a dealbreaker for you.

All of these are washable to some extent, but read the small print, as some will advise not using them in the shower or aren’t fully waterproof.

For extra utility, some of the devices will have LCD or digital displays to show the length setting, while others will have manual dials to change the length of the trimmer while you shave.

Other features you might see include a battery level indicator to warn you when to plug it back in for more charge.

Philips Series 9000 Prestige Beard Trimmer

Photo credit: Philips
Photo credit: Philips

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Trimmer length range: 0.4-10mm in 0.2mm increments

Accessories: One comb (for the longer-length trims), travel pouch

Battery life: 120 minutes

Charge time: One hour

This is one for those of you in need of a super-precise trim. Philips’ top-of-the-line model claims to be able to monitor the density of hair, adjusting the power needed for a consistent cut accordingly.

It goes up in smaller increments than most (you set the length on its integrated wheel), and instead of having to chop and change combs, there’s just one to click on for any trim over 5.4mm. The impressive battery-to-charge-time ratio is another plus with this simple-to-use trimmer.

Braun BeardTrimmer BT3040


Trimmer length range: 0.5 - 20 mm in 0.5 mm increments

Accessories: Two length combs, a Fusion Pro Glide razor for wet shaving, a cleaning brush

Battery life: 60 minutes

Charge time: 8 hours

If you like to experiment with lengths and fades, then this Braun model's for you. It has 39 different length settings, more than any other device on this list, plus two combs to shave the hair on the top of your head.

It also comes with a bonus Gillette wet-razor for getting that close shave on the cheeks and around the neck.

A gripe: the charge time is on the long side, so you have to plan ahead if you need to cut down the curls.

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Remington MB6850 Vacuum Beard and Stubble Groomer

Trimmer length range: 2mm to 18mm increments in 0.5mm increments

Accessories: One adjustable comb, detail trimmer, storage case

Battery life: 60 minutes

Charge time: Two hours

One of the worst things about shaving is cleaning up all the cut hair afterwards. Fortunately, there are a crop of trimmers with inbuilt “vacuums” to sort the problem, including this Remington model.

Hair collects in the removable chamber so you can get rid of it easily. As well as helping reduce mess, this one’s good for precise trimming, and comes with a detail blade for tackling the styling and edging.

Babyliss Pro Beard Trimmer

Trimmer length range: 0.5-12mm in 0.5mm increments

Accessories: Travel case

Battery life: 60 minutes

Charge time: Eight minutes

If keeping track of all your attachments is a bit too much for you, this Babyliss model is an all-in-one trimmer that doesn’t come with any additional combs. Instead it has an adjustable wheel that changes the built-in comb length.

The head itself will also rotate and flexibly adapt to the shape of your jawline to avoid irritation when shaving.

Wahl Beard Trimmer

Trimmer length range: 0.2-25mm increments in 1mm increments

Accessories: Eight additional combs, four precision trimmers, beard comb, storage pouch, blade oil, cleaning brush

Battery life: 180 minutes

Charge time: 60 minutes

With this model, you don’t use a dial or a lever to change the length, you instead clip on one of the 16 combs, ranging from 0.2-25mm.

This model has the longest trimmer length settings on this list and one of the best charge times for the amount of battery life you get for it, making it a good option for longer beards.

It has a useful quick-charge feature that gives you three minutes worth of use out of a one minute charge.

Philips OneBlade Hybrid Stubble Trimmer

Trimmer length range: 1, 3, 5mm increments

Accessories: One additional blade, three combs

Battery life: 45 minutes

Charge time: Eight hours

With only three length settings on the attachable combs, this trimmer isn’t the one for the likes of Joaquin Phoenix’s lustrous beard, but more for tidying up edges and getting that perfect 5 o’clock shadow look.

Different from the usual blade design, the head is a flat surface with rotating blades on either edge. Philips claims this will give you a nick-free close shave, and after a few weeks of use, it did keep the edges of our beard sharp and tidy.

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