As seen in:
Panasonic
Milano All-in-One
Philips
Norelco 3100
Wahl
Beard Cord/Cordless Rechargeable
TRYM II
Rechargeable Modern
Andis
Professional Outliner II
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Good

Thoughtful engineering: rubberized, non-slip body and built-in water drain. Superb design and materials.

Modern design and self-sharpening blade. Comb has "skin-friendly" rounded edges and locks in place.

Soft, comfortable handles. Includes a nice selection of extras and a three-year warranty.

Sleek and modern looking. Includes helpful attachments and sufficiently sharp blades.

Durable case of contoured steel. A reliable, long-lasting product.

Bad

Requires extensive maintenance and a longer charge time.

Not as suitable for wiry hair. Some owners complain that it is "under-powered."

Quality of travel pouch is questionable. Trimming guides are "flimsy" and not always effective.

Includes no space for accessory storage.

Includes no combs.

Bottom Line

A magnificent "all-around" package with many benefits. The best beard/mustache trimmer available.

An entry-level model with sparse features and a low price.

An inexpensive beard/mustache trimmer with a handful of quality control concerns.

With a simplistic design and great functionality, this beard trimmer offers the best value for the lowest price.

A professional-grade, "old school" trimmer found in barber shops.

How we decide
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Products received from manufacturers
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Models Considered
46
Hours Spent
3
Experts Interviewed
171
Consumers Consulted

Best Beard Trimmers

Beards have seldom been more popular, and shaving equipment manufacturers offer a huge range of solutions for keeping facial hair in proper shape. In fact, many trimmers go beyond standard beard/mustache care, offering tools to trim and sculpt the entire "manscape." But complexity can bring confusion, so our ratings cover a variety of options that answer just about every male hair-trimming demand. The only question now is which of our five top models meets your personal needs the best. Our finalists are:

Products we Considered

Panasonic
Milano All-in-One
Philips
Norelco 3100
Wahl
Beard Cord/Cordless Rechargeable
TRYM II
Rechargeable Modern
Andis
Professional Outliner II

Considerations

Design & Features

Although many beard trimmers are similar in appearance, subtle differences can be important. Manufacturers often include extra features to make their product stand out from the rest. In this section, we look at what each model offers.

Blade Quality & Cutting Options

One area that manufacturers sometimes sacrifice in the interest of money is blade quality. This is never a good idea! In this part of our ratings, we also look at attachments that add versatility and the amount of built-in adjustment offered by each product.

Power & Comfort

Male consumers want a comfortable beard trimmer that charges easily and stands up to the rigors of daily use. In this section of our review, we incorporate owner feedback to create an accurate snapshot of each trimmer's true performance.

Price

For an increasing number of men, a beard trimmer is an essential part of their daily grooming routine. Is it necessary to pay top dollar for a top model? In this section, we look at each product's price and value.

Considerations

Design & Features

Philips Norelco BeardTrimmer 3100 with adjustable length settings

The Philips Norelco product range encompasses several different models; we concentrate on the entry-level 3100 beard trimmer in this review. It's slender, modern, and relatively plain in design. The power button and cutting length indicator are back-lit in blue. The package is quite basic in terms of accessories: there's a locking function for the comb so you don't have to reset it each time you use it (with "skin-friendly" rounded edges), a cleaning brush, and a power cord for charging.

Wahl Beard Cord/Cordless Rechareable Trimmer

The Wahl Rechargeable Trimmer has a much more contoured look than the entry-level Philips Norelco, and with its soft handle pads, it's more comfortable to hold. It comes with a nice selection of extras: charging stand, comb, cleaning brush, lubricating oil, and travel pouch. (Several owners have indicated that the quality of the travel pouch is poor.) Cutting guides are also included; we'll cover those in the next section.

TRYM II - The Rechargeable Modern Hair Clipper Kit

They don't come much sleeker or more modern-looking than the black and chrome TRYM II Rechargeable Hair Clipper Kit. The only things that interrupt the rectangular, slab-sided look are the cutting head and the subtle on/off button. Like the Wahl, the TRYM II comes with a stand that doubles as a charging station, but unlike the Wahl, there is no room for accessories on the TRYM II's stand. This is a bit inconvenient as you have to find somewhere else to store the attachments, cleaning brush, and lubricating oil that come with the package.

Andis Professional Outliner II Personal Trimmer

Andis has been around for nearly 80 years, and we suspect that if you put their original model next to the current Professional Outliner II Personal Trimmer, you'd struggle to tell the difference. Whether that's a good or bad thing depends on your point of view, but there's no doubt that the contoured steel case is made to last, and you're not going to have any trouble locating or operating the on/off switch. If you're looking for other features or accessories, though, you'll be disappointed. There aren't any.

Panasonic ER-GB40-S Cordless Moustache & Beard Trimmer Wet/Dry

Whereas the Andis Personal Trimmer takes the traditional approach, Panasonic's ER-GB40-S Cordless Moustache & Beard Trimmer is a prime example of design that tries to address every need. There are contours everywhere, and each has a purpose, from the rubberized body that won't slip in your hand to the built-in water drain that allows for easy rinsing and cleaning of the blade. When resting in its stylish stand, the bottom of the trimmer glows red to show it's charging. A cleaning brush and lubricating oil are also supplied.

The TRYM II is an all-body trimmer. Owners tell us it's comfortable to hold and gives confidence wherever they trim.
Considerations

Blade Quality & Cutting Options

Philips employs a self-sharpening blade in the Norelco 3100; when the blade vibrates back and forth, it rubs against a hidden sharpening block. The blade looks shiny and is made of rust-resistant chromium steel. Most owners say it produces an adequate cut, but a few haven't been happy with the end results. The Philips' single, built-in comb provides 10 length settings from 1/32 inch to 13/64 inch (or 1 to 10 mm).

The Wahl Beard Trimmer's blades are made of high-carbon steel, a material with a sharp, long-lasting edge that's used in all kinds of quality cutting tools. Length is determined not by the cutting head, but by using one of the four different guides. There's a guide for stubble, a "medium" guide at 1/8 inch, a "full" guide at 3/16 inch, and a six-position beard guide (no lengths given). Although this should be enough to perform a lot of different trimming and sculpting tasks, these guides have been criticized for not being of the same quality as the rest of the trimmer. Quite a few owners have had trouble getting the guides on and off, and a few have called them "flimsy."

TRYM II - The Rechargeable Modern Hair Clipper Kit

The manufacturer claims to have used "sharper" and "higher-quality" blades on the TRYM II hair clipper kit, but it fails to mention what the blades are made of. If the blades were made of stainless or high-carbon steel, we think this fact would have been mentioned, so we're guessing the blades could be made of chromium steel. This is just a guess, however, and it's not possible to tell just by looking. Judging by owner feedback, the blades are sharp enough to do the job. Four length guides are included: 1.8 mm, 3 mm, 6 mm, and 9 mm. Unlike with the Wahl, the guides are easy to fit and attach securely.

With the Andis trimmer branded as a "professional" tool, it should come as no surprise that the blades are hardened carbon steel. This should be the sharpest, longest-lasting option, though one or two owners did say that theirs arrived blunt. It's sold as a model for trimming, fading, outlining, and dry shaving, but to take it further than that, you would need to buy additional combs. There are plenty available – most sold in sets of four – but they would come at an extra cost, as no combs are included with this product.

Stainless steel is the material chosen for the blades of the Panasonic ER-GB40-S trimmer. High-carbon steel might ultimately give the sharpest edge, but stainless is still a quality material. It will never rust, and according to Panasonic, these blades have been precisely honed at the perfect cutting angle. Rather than having different combs which you must change to alter the length, this unit has a simple dial for setting length. The unit progresses up 19 steps in 0.5-mm increments (from 1 mm to 10 mm). Most owners rate its cutting efficiency as good, though a few said they needed a couple of passes to get their trim as close as they wanted. Every beard is different, of course, and the same comment could very well be made about every trimmer on the market!

Satisfied owners find the versatile Panasonic ER-GB40-S Cordless Moustache & Beard Trimmer to be worth the money.
Master Barber Susan
Expert Consultant
Master Barber Susan
Men's Hair & Beauty Expert

Master Barber Susan D’Arcangelo has over 20 years of experience in both cosmetology, barbering and creative haircutting. Susan blends state of art production techniques with an ever-expanding repertoire of precision cuts and styles. Susan is passionate about making you feel and look your best

Considerations

Power & Comfort

Philips Norelco BeardTrimmer 3100 with adjustable length settings

After 10 hours of charging, the entry-level Philips Norelco 3100 provides 45 minutes of cutting time. That might sound like a poor figure, but since most people charge their trimmers overnight, it shouldn't typically be a problem. Most owners rate the 3100's performance as adequate, if not particularly impressive, but a few (particularly those who describe their hair as "wiry") say it's under-powered. Nevertheless, positive owner comments like "It gets the job done!" are extremely common.

Wahl Beard Cord/Cordless Rechareable Trimmer

The manufacturer doesn't supply precise charging times for the Wahl Beard Trimmer, but it does claim that it will run for up to two months between charges. That's pretty impressive, and while owners don't quote specific periods, they all agree that it keeps on going for quite some time. Another benefit: the Wahl could be used while plugged in should you run low on charge. (This is something you can't do with the Philips or TRYM II.) Most owners agree that the Wahl renders a comfortable, quality cut, but a few say the stubble guide leaves hair longer than they would like.

TRYM II - The Rechargeable Modern Hair Clipper Kit

TRYM is reluctant to provide actual charge and run times. However, an overnight charge seems to be long enough for owners to achieve a full charge. After that, the TRYM II will run for several hours. Feedback varies, not surprisingly, but nobody complains that it needs charging often. A small number of owners have said that their TRYM II stopped charging altogether after a few months of use, but these folks seem to be in the minority. The majority think it's a great product in spite of its unusual shape. If you're looking for an affordable trimmer that can handle just about any hair-trimming task, this could be your product.

Andis Professional Outliner II Personal Trimmer

The Andis Professional Outliner II Personal Trimmer is something of an oddity because it is not cordless. Some find this to be a disadvantage, but the big plus is that as long as you've got an electricity supply, it never loses power. The Andis always cuts at peak efficiency (which is why you'll see these trimmers in many barber shops). Providing the blades are sharp, it cuts rapidly and close enough – according to some – to use as a razor. However, owners do admit that this can take a bit of getting used to.

Panasonic ER-GB40-S Cordless Moustache & Beard Trimmer Wet/Dry

Panasonic claims that the ER-GB40-S beard trimmer can be charged in an hour and will then run for 50 minutes. The initial charge from new is a good deal longer, and actual operating time varies depending on how tough the hair is, but most owners seem happy with this unit's performance. In cordless mode, it's waterproof enough that it can be used in the shower. A versatile trimmer, the Panasonic can be used dry or with shaving gel. Most people are satisfied with the cut/trim this product renders, but a few say that it pulls their hair occasionally. Several passes may be needed to achieve desired results, depending on the quality of the hair.

If you're looking for an affordable trimmer that can handle just about any hair-trimming task, the TRYM II could be your ideal product.
Considerations

Price

Philips Norelco BeardTrimmer 3100 with adjustable length settings

If you're looking for a good, cheap beard trimmer, the $39 Philips Norelco 3100 has a lot going for it. It looks smart, it's got decent blades, and it offers a reasonable range of cutting lengths. In essence, it does all the things you need it to do, and while it's not the most powerful, a lot of owners are more than happy with theirs. Yes, it's basic, but that's just fine for a lot of guys. If you don't want lots of options and extras, why pay for them? The Philips Norelco 3100 warranty lasts for 12 months.

Wahl Beard Cord/Cordless Rechareable Trimmer

A price of just $14 makes the Wahl another cheap beard trimmer worthy of consideration. The manufacturer has been around for years and has a terrific reputation. It's comfortable to hold, offers superb blades, and seems to run almost forever once charged. Plenty of cutting options may be derived from the attachments available, but unfortunately, quite a few people have complained that these attachments are of inferior quality – certainly not up to the standard of the rest of the machine! Still, Wahl seems confident in this trimmer's durability and offers a three-year warranty. (It's not clear whether the combs are covered.)

TRYM II - The Rechargeable Modern Hair Clipper Kit

You'll pay $29 for the stylish and very popular TRYM II Hair Clipper Kit. What you get for your money isn't just great design; the majority of owners think it also gives an excellent performance. The unit's cutting range could perhaps be better, but unlike the Wahl, its attachments are both secure and easy to change. Although an unusual shape, people think it handles well, which makes it an ideal tool for beards and all other areas of "manscaping," too. A few owners did have units that malfunctioned – mostly charging problems – but hopefully they would have been replaced under the 12-month warranty.

Andis Professional Outliner II Personal Trimmer

The Andis Professional Trimmer costs $48. Compared to the other models in our ratings, it's quite expensive (especially for a trimmer that comes with no attachments and has no adjustability). So why does it have so many fans? It uses top-quality blades and never suffers the kind of power drops you can get with cordless devices. It might be basic, but it does exactly what it claims to do, and it will continue doing so for years. The only real surprise is that the warranty on such a robust machine is a standard 12 months.

Panasonic ER-GB40-S Cordless Moustache & Beard Trimmer Wet/Dry

Currently priced at $34, the Panasonic ER-GB40-S Trimmer isn't exactly cheap, but you do get a lot for your money. Several features make it easy to use, including its high-quality blades and large adjustment range. While it doesn't have the out-and-out power of the Andis, its performance draws plenty of compliments. A small percentage of owners have experienced reliability issues (warranty is two years), and a few have complained about its extended maintenance. However, we see no problem with spending a little extra maintenance time on such a versatile and flexible product.

Honed with precision, the Panasonic ER-GB40-S Cordless Moustache & Beard Trimmer's blades are made of high-quality stainless steel.

Best of the Best

While all of our finalists offer many benefits, there's no doubt about the winner. The best beard trimmer is the Panasonic ER-GB40-S. It tops the ratings in almost every area.

In our opinion (and that of many consumers), the Panasonic features a superb design. It's not just modern for the sake of style; it has a body that's easy to hold and a water drain that makes it easy to clean. Its charging stand is an integrated part of the whole unit – not just a necessary afterthought. A cleaning brush and lubricating oil are part of the package, too.

Honed with precision, the Panasonic's blades are high-quality stainless steel. You could argue that high-carbon steel is better, but not by much. The unit's cutting adjustability is unrivaled among our finalists, with 19 steps from 0.5 mm up to 10 mm. It doesn't offer the combs that some do, but do you really need them with that range of lengths on offer from a single dial?

A few have complained that the unit can take up to 30 hours to charge when new, which is longer than we'd like. Some also criticize the 50-minute run time, but we're not sure why; most people don't spend that long trimming body hair! Another thing that has annoyed some owners is the fact that the manufacturer suggests oiling the Panasonic before and after every use. Yes, that's more frequent than some, but what other beard trimmer can be used cordless or corded, dry or with gel/foam, and in the shower?

At the end of the day, it's all about performance. The Panasonic ER-GB40-S Moustache and Beard Trimmer handles most tasks with ease. A minority of owners have reported occasional tugging rather than cutting, and there are those who say that more than one pass is sometimes necessary to get all hairs. But each person is different, and some beards are tougher than others. The vast majority think it's easy to use, comfortable, and powerful enough for what they need. Other models may have their perks, but none compete as an all-rounder the way this one does. It's the Best of the Best.
Best of the Best
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Panasonic's ER-GB40-S Cordless Moustache and Beard Trimmer features superior flexbility and design. It's a great all-rounder.

Best Bang for your Buck

Each beard/mustache trimmer, in its own way, offers plenty of "bang," but our pick for the Best Bang for your Buck is the TRYM II.

For starters, it looks a million dollars. The minimalist black and chrome design is simple and timeless. It's not all about looks, however; the TRYM II's blades keep a good edge, and each member of the four-comb set (1.8 mm, 3 mm, 6 mm, and 9 mm cutting lengths) fits securely. The manufacturer doesn't supply charge and run times, but owner feedback suggests that leaving the unit to charge overnight – which is what most users would do, anyway – gives several hours of use. A cleaning brush and oil also come part and parcel with this package.

The TRYM II is intended as an all-body trimmer, and although the rectangular shape might seem unusual, users tell us it's comfortable to hold and gives confidence wherever they trim. It has the power to handle just about any task, and few people (if any) complain of tugs. There have been occasional issues with reliability: some have experienced mechanical failures, and some have had problems with charging. It's always unfortunate when product flaws occur, but these incidents are happily few and far between. Most owners are delighted with how it looks, how it performs, and the fact that it costs so little. Indeed, at a price of just $29, the TRYM II beard trimmer provides excellent value for the money.
Best Bang for your Buck
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The TRYM II's minimalist black and chrome design is attractive and timeless, but owners are also delighted with its performance and low cost.
The team that worked on this review
  • Bob
    Bob
    Writer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Editor
  • Ann
    Ann
    Operations
  • Jimi
    Jimi
    Product Analyst
  • Ben
    Ben
    Operations

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