Durable case of contoured steel. A reliable, long-lasting product.
Includes no combs.
Modern design and self-sharpening blade. Comb has "skin-friendly" rounded edges and locks in place.
Not as suitable for wiry hair. Some owners complain that it is "under-powered."
More blades for maximum precision. An impressive collection of guide combs, trimmers, and shaving attachments included. Powerful motor makes this great for thicker hair.
Slightly heavy due to stainless steel body; perhaps not as travel friendly as some picks.
Soft, comfortable handles. Includes a nice selection of extras and a three-year warranty.
Quality of travel pouch is questionable. Trimming guides are "flimsy" and not always effective.
A beard trimmer is an essential tool in keeping your beard styled the way you like it. Though beard trimmers may seem similar, they offer different lengths and attachments and may function differently. You should carefully consider your needs before making a purchase.
Some trimmers allow for wet trimming in the shower, while others can only trim dry hair. If you are looking for more options in how you shape your beard, an adjustable guard with a range of lengths or a variety of attachments may be necessary. Not all trimmers are easy to clean, so if you trim your beard regularly, you should consider a model that lets you remove components easily and includes a cleaning brush.
A well-built beard trimmer can last you for years if cared for properly, so you should put some thought into which model you opt for. Continue reading to learn more about the key considerations when shopping for a beard trimmer.
A quality beard trimmer should have the power to cut through thick beard growth, the precision to create clean edges, and the flexibility to handle many different styles. Here are some specific elements to consider when shopping for a new beard trimmer.
A quality beard trimmer set should contain the lubricant and cleaning tools required for proper maintenance between uses. The blades, blade guards, and other components should be easy to remove and clean.
Some beard trimmers use a high-grade carbon steel blade; others use stainless steel. Both choices are good, but each has its pros and cons.
Carbon steel often maintains a sharper edge, but rust is a common concern.
Stainless steel provides a smoother cut, but the stainless coating can wear down over time.
Many beard trimmers are designed to fit well in the hand, but this isn’t always ideal for advanced beard styling.
A better choice allows for 360 degrees of angling without sacrificing control.
Blade combs should be easy to switch out, and fingertip control of the beard guide and power button is a good thing.
Generally speaking, a more powerful motor (often measured in amps) creates a better trimming experience. Thicker hair growth can get bogged down in the blades if the motor is anemic.
Some beard trimmers actually offer a variable motor speed option. A slower or faster speed can make all the difference when dealing with different sections of a beard or other body hair.
When shopping for a new beard trimmer, there are a few schools of thought you could adhere to.
One is to go “minimalist” with a powerful trimmer and only a few essential accessories. The other is to go all out with a highly accessorized set!
For those with basic facial hair maintenance needs, simplicity is a good path to follow.
For those with more complicated beard styles or other body hair grooming needs, however, a kit with lots of accessories is probably the way to go.
Some beard trimmers use adjustable beard guide settings instead of blade guards or combs. A dial determines the cutting length, from a 0 (stubble) to 20 or higher.
The gradations can be subtle, but they are essential for beard styles requiring precise fades and blends.
One advantage of a beard guide system is that users do not have to keep track of individual blade guard combs and other accessories, since the adjustable blade itself controls the length.
Some beard trimmer kits include only three basic blade guard options: long, medium, and short.
Users attach their preferred blade comb size and run the trimmer through the beard.
Some fading and blending is possible as long as the user switches out the blade guards and carefully chooses the areas to trim closer.
For those seeking a whole-body hair-trimming experience, a beard trimmer kit with a complete set of accessories is recommended.
Besides a variety of blade guard combs for beard-trimming purposes, some beard trimmer kits include specialized attachments such as ear and nose hair trimmers.
Another important consideration when shopping for a beard trimmer is whether to go dry or wet.
Dry beard trimming appears to be the more popular option, since both corded and cordless trimmer models have this capability. One reason dry trimming is a more popular choice has to do with styling. A number of beard styles require a delicate touch that involves careful fading or blending. This level of styling is not easily achieved while showering. Stray hairs also appear more easily when dry, and trimming the lip and jawline almost always requires a mirror for best results. For those with more intricate beard designs, a dry trimmer makes the most sense.
A wet beard trimmer offers a few advantages of its own. Some men prefer to take advantage of a shower’s moist environment to shave and trim their facial hair more comfortably. There’s less of a need for shaving cream or other lubricants, and the excess hairs are easily washed away.
Wet trimming is ideal for those with straightforward beards of a uniform length. Simply running a trimmer with the proper blade guard comb or beard guide setting will remove any unwanted thickness or stray hairs.
At first glance, using a cordless beard trimmer would appear to be the obvious choice. After all, there is no power cord to deal with, and a rechargeable model can travel practically anywhere. However, there are also some benefits to owning a corded beard trimmer, especially when it comes to power.
Corded beard trimmers use standard household current to maintain their power. Many users prefer the “instant on” convenience of corded models. But finding a power source while traveling can be challenging. And the power cord itself can limit the trimmer’s ability to achieve certain angles. Generally speaking, corded beard trimmers provide more cutting power than most cordless models, but they are often limited to “dry” uses.
A cordless beard trimmer may rely on disposable batteries for its power, or it may have a rechargeable lithium-ion battery installed. Either way, the power meter will be running in one direction from the start of a beard-trimming session.
Better cordless beard trimmers feature a significant amount of run time on a single charge, but others can fade without warning.
The total amount of recharging time required is also a consideration. Some cordless beard trimmers require hours of downtime between uses, while others have a quick-charge feature that will revive the trimmer motor for several minutes.
Facial hair should be washed, dried, and combed before it is trimmed. This will make the process more hygienic, and it will help draw your attention to any areas (thick patches, stray hairs, etc.) that require additional attention.
Longer beards should be trimmed downward with the grain. Shorter beard styles and stubble can usually be trimmed in either direction.
The shape of the face can help determine a flattering beard style. There are style charts available which suggest the beard types for different facial shapes.
Start with a longer blade guard or beard guide, then go shorter. Many beard styles call for a blend or fade, starting with thicker growth on top and tapering to a thinner length on the chin and neck area.
Try growing out facial hair before deciding on a style. Facial hair growth varies from man to man, so allowing facial hair to grow out naturally is a good way to determine the best beard style.
Q. Can I get a clean-shaven look by using a beard trimmer?
A. No, a beard trimmer is not a razor or electric shaver. Even without a blade guard, a beard trimmer is designed to leave some stubble. A number of owners do use their beard trimmer to reduce the overall thickness of an unwanted beard, but they finish the job with a razor blade or foil shaver.
Q. Can I share a beard trimmer with my roommate?
A. For a number of hygienic reasons, it is best to consider your beard trimmer a personal grooming item, not a communal one. Sharing is not recommended.
Q. Will a beard trimmer work on other parts of the body?
A. For the most part, yes. Some models are actually promoted as body hair trimmers, which means they are safe for use on chests, stomachs, armpits, and other areas. However, individual results may vary depending on the trimmer’s overall power and cutting blade design. Maneuverability is also a consideration, and a beard trimmer simply cannot replace a razor if complete hairlessness is the ultimate goal.
Q. Can I use a beard trimmer on my short-haired pets?
A. It’s not exactly a conventional use for a beard trimmer, but certain models can indeed be used for pet grooming. Some pet owners may want to maintain a small dog’s coat length between professional grooming sessions, remove matted fur, or give a pet a a cooling “summer cut.” Not all human beard trimmers are suited for this task, however, and if you buy a beard trimmer for pet use, the trimmer should never be used for any other purpose.
Q. Can I use a beard trimmer while showering?
A. It depends on the model. There are waterproof beard trimmers which are safe to use in the shower, but not all models have this capacity. If you simply want to trim down a beard’s length uniformly with a beard guard, using a waterproof beard trimmer in the shower makes sense. If you want to perform more precise cuts, fades, and edging, then you may get better results with a “dry” beard trimmer and a mirror.
Q. How often should I use a beard trimmer?
A. Some beard styles require more frequent maintenance than others. One person may find that daily touch-ups, especially around the lip line and edges, are necessary. Another person may find that using a blade guard once a week to maintain a consistent beard length and remove any stray hairs is all that is required.
Proper cleaning and maintenance of your beard trimmer between uses is essential, since hairs and oils can become trapped in the blades and dull them.
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