Beards come in all shapes and sizes, from massive full beards to neat little goatees, from mutton chops to chinstraps. However, so too do beard trimmers: you can find a myriad of different shapes, styles, sizes and extras with them. In fact, it can be a little hard to choose the right one for your own needs. It’s not just a case of growing out your beard and finding the style that suits you – as with everything, you need the right tool for the job and choosing the best beard trimmer for your own needs can be a daunting task.
Whether you want to grow a full-on Gandalf or go for an Aragorn-style stubble, there will be the right trimmer out there to help you get it right.
Luckily for you, we’ve been through lots of them. We’ve tried and tested plenty of the top beard trimmers available in the UK, littering our bathroom sinks with whole mountains of shaven whiskers in our search for the best of the best.
The best didn’t disappoint. We’ve managed to compile a solid list with the six top beard trimmers money can buy. No matter your needs, there will be something below that can serve you well.
Choosing Beard Trimmers
Some people suit the ragged look. They can get away with simply not shaving and expecting everything to go well. But those people are few and far between.
For most of us, we can’t afford to confuse rugged with slovenly. They are very different, and we very much want to go for the former. Beards need to be well groomed. This is where the beard trimmer comes in.
Beard trimmers are electric grooming tools, similar in design and function to electric clippers and razors. However, there are a few key differences that allow them to cater better for face fuzz. Though each model will be different, all of them will have finer teeth, designed to cut through course bristles, and most will be shaped for better dexterity and fine motor control. They make it incredibly easy to shape stubble, control mid-length beards and trim long ones.
It’s absolutely possible to maintain a good-looking beard with hair clippers. I’ve done it myself in a pinch, with good results (most of the time), however dedicated beard tools are best at what they are designed to do and hair clippers are of course better suited to scalps. Clippers are designed to cut head hair and they are remarkably good at it. Their wide spaced teeth and thick blades make short order of your barnet when sculpting a good old short back and sides. They are ineffective and uncomfortable at working on beards and stubble, however, more often than not ripping and pulling hair rather than trimming it neatly. Their size also makes them a poor choice for the fine detailing needed for such things as sideburns and tashes; they are fully able to cut chunks out of your beard rather than simply shaping it.
Using hair clippers is neither as easy nor as enjoyable as using a good beard trimmer and the end result is often cruder and always coarser.
Electric razors also have their place. If you want to get rid of your beard or even simply sport a good designer stubble, they will do you well. However, they are designed to shave your beard, not to trim and shape. They can only destroy – using one to try to trim your beard is like using a lawnmower to prune a flower.
Beard trimmers are actually quite a far cry from clippers and razors, when you get down to the details.
The following list is full of exactly the kind of trimmer you will want – easy to use and manipulate, fine and detailed, perfect for crafting the face fur you’ve always dreamed of.
Our Top Pick: Philips Series 7000 Multi Grooming Kit
Here, Philips have given us a trimmer that can do almost anything you want. Well, perhaps not everything… but it is a multi-function grooming trimmer that comes with 12 separate tools and attachments, capable of tackling the head and body as well as your beard. It’s perfect for trimming both short and long beards, as well as shaving your head, chest, legs… whatever you want.
Philips have recently undertaken a redesign on their blades. They are self-sharpening, guaranteed to be as sharp after five years as they are the day you buy them. They possess ‘DualCut Technology’, marrying together these super sharp blades with a powerful motor, and have been specifically designed to be skin-friendly. Their blades don’t require any oiling at all.
You get a detailed trimmer as well as everything you need to do the big stuff, so that you can really work the fine detailing around your ears, throat and nose. You can also trim your nose hair itself with it (handy for those of us finding that we’re ageing more rapidly every year).
The box is a joy to open. You get a beautiful looking brushed metal trimmer handle with rubber anti-slip grips in black. Alongside this, you will find a primary metal trimmer, smaller detail trimmer, snap on/off attachments that include 2 designer stubble combs, 1 fully adjustable beard comb, 3 head hair combs, 2 body combs for manscaping, foil shaver, nose and ear trimmer and it even comes with a travel pouch.
As mentioned above, the motor itself is powerful. It’s also quiet and comfortable to use and will last 2 hours from a 1-hour full charge.
It’s ideal for precision work, for detailed styling, stubble shadowing, moustache and goatee shaping, for dealing with and sculpting long and short beards and for giving you a level of detail, durability and speed that really is very impressive.back to menu ↑
Philips Series 5000 Beard and Stubble Trimmer
The Philips Series 5000 BT5205/83 trimmer is a very nifty piece of machinery. It’s included in this list for its unique design, which helps to overcome one of the oldest problems with shaving and beard trimming – those awkward hairs that even multiple passes and a ton of extra pressure seem unable to move.
This comes from a couple of places. Firstly, Philips have included double sharpened, stainless steel blades, so that very little will stand in their wake. They also give you a ‘hair lift’ comb attachment that lifts stubborn, flattened hairs, so that very little will be missed.
These combine with a fantastic Zoom Wheel which allows you to set your cutting length really easily. Simply turn the Zoom Wheel and you can set it to cut between 0.4-7mm, giving you a uniform trim and a great deal of control.
You will get a lovely experience from this, worthy of a brand as trusted as Philips. The machine is incredibly well built, high quality and easy to upkeep – it never needs oiling and the blades themselves are very durable.
The Series 5000 BT5205/83 has a long run time of up to 70 minutes and can be used with or without a cord. It also comes with 3 precision combs and detail trimmer for edging and shaping, and a small detail foil shaver so that you can still maintain clean shave lines in more awkward spots.back to menu ↑
Braun BT7040 Beard Trimmer
The Braun BT7040 Beard Trimmer represents something of a pinnacle of the journey that Braun have been steadily working through over the last few years. It is better than its predecessors in Braun’s range in lots of subtle – and some less than subtle – ways. Lots of small scale improvements have added up to make a beard trimmer that feels far more fully evolved than many other models on the market.
For example, its improved Lithium-ion+ battery gives you 100 minutes of fadeless trimming from an hour’s charge, compared with 40 minutes of trimming at a 10-hour charge that previous models have given. That’s quite a staggering difference.
Older models, like the MGK3020 Multi Groomer, tended to lose power when they hit denser patches of hair. The motor would stutter and the cutting teeth would slow, which made it feel more like you were pulling the hairs out that trimming them smoothly.
This is most definitely not the case with the BT7040 Beard Trimmer. It maintains speed and power throughout, no matter the density of hair that you may be cutting into. This is in large part because of its ‘auto-sensing’ motor, which maximises consistent levels of speed and power as it hits the harder spots.
Alongside this improved battery and auto-sensing motor, the BT7040 Beard Trimmer comes with a precision dial that can be set to 0.5 – 20mm in 0.5mm increments, alongside two attachment combs for trimming shorter or longer beard lengths. You get a mini foil shaver for hard-to-reach places, a charging stand, a cleaning brush, a very smart travel bag and a smartplug charger for trips away. It also comes with a Gillete Fusion5 ProGlide manual safety razor.
The BT7040 Beard Trimmer can be used cordless or corded and is one of our top picks.back to menu ↑
Wahl Beard Grooming Kit
If you buy Wahl, you buy pedigree: you’re buying into their long history, their track record of proven success, and, most importantly, you’re buying into the distilled wisdom and quality of 100 years.
In fact, it was Wahl who brought the first patented electric hair clippers to consumers way back in 1921. They have been the go-to choice for many experts and pros ever since.
So, if you buy the Wahl Beard Grooming Kit, you should know that you’re buying quality and manufacturing precision.
The Wahl Beard Grooming Kit comes with a very high-quality cordless Wahl Beard trimmer, with fine teeth for precision work. It’s perfect at 0.5mm for designer stubble and goes all the way up to 13mm for longer beards, making it perfect for any length.
In addition, you get a very nice looking and convenient carry case, their lovely beard oil (a 10ml bottle of Wahl’s own Refresh beard oil that moistens and nourishes both beard and skin and leaves behind a subtle, lovely mintiness), comb attachments and a quality wooded beard brush – basically everything you need to make yourself look amazing, smell magnificent and feel pampered and confident.back to menu ↑
Philips Vacuum Beard Trimmer
Whether you buy the top named item on a list like ours or spend a fiver on a bargain bucket beard trimmer, you will likely run into the same issue – your trimmer’s teeth will be constantly jamming up with bristles and your bathroom sink and floor will be covered in them. It’s just the nature of shaving, after all.
Except that it doesn’t need to be.
Enter the Philips Vacuum Beard Trimmer. This trimmer will vacuum your hairs away as you go. It sucks them into an anti-static storage chamber built into the trimmer’s handle. Afterwards, you simply empty it all into the bin. Though it doesn’t entirely eradicate bristle mess (after all, there are hundreds of the little buggers), it goes a long way to doing so. In fact, studies have shown that it can capture 90% of hairs cut, which is amazing.
If you’re looking for a trimmer that will help to keep the place tidy – and perhaps keep the peace with your partner or flatmates – the Philips Vacuum Beard Trimmer is a very good choice. It’s better suited to shorter beards and stubble, as long hairs may get sucked into the chamber, but unless you’re going for a full Dumbledore look you should be fine.
It’s not just the novel suction system that makes the Philips Vacuum Beard Trimmer worth paying attention to. The Zoom Wheel for which Philips are known is here, too, with 20 adjustable length settings. You can get a full hour’s trimming from each charge, and the trimmer can be used both with or without cord, the build quality and usability are everything you would expect from a company as prestigious as Philips, you get a 2-year guarantee, and the blades are high-quality, require no oiling and can be rinsed under running water easily enough.
All in all, it’s a clean, tidy, good-quality trimmer that will make your beard better and your life easier. What more could you ask for?back to menu ↑
Remington B5 Style Series Beard Trimmer
Let’s try to look for something outside the usual Philips, Braun and Wahl trichotomy. You could get lost all day in their catalogues – which is no bad thing, as they are genuinely brilliant, but there is more out there.
This brings us to an offering from Remington: the B5 Style Series Beard Trimmer. It’s a solid offering with a very slick, premium finish that fits very nicely into your hand, feeling very comfortable and quite intuitively, ergonomically crafted. It has an easy-to-use zoom wheel with 17 cutting lengths adjustable between 0.4 – 18mm, making it perfect for maintaining stubble or for crafting longer, mid-range beards.
There is a sense of efficiency with the B5 Style Series Beard Trimmer. It feels in many ways more like an item from your toolkit than from a luxury barber – juxtaposing nicely with offerings like the Wahl Beard Grooming Kit. This is reinforced by the titanium coated blades (low maintenance, easy to use, and long lasting – they won’t go blunt on you easily).
Though it lacks in style, grace and versatility, especially compared to some of the other items on this list, there is a lot to be said for this no-nonsense utilitarianism. It’s a fuss free, simple machine that gets the job done incredibly well, with a uniformly positive user experience. Dependable and solid, it won’t let you down easily.
These six beard trimmers each offer something a little different. From the high end, multi-functioning engineering quality of a Philips model, to the utilitarian, dependable Remington, via Wahl’s bespoke luxury and Braun’s ever-improving machinery, there will be something for you. Each one is more than worth its cost; each one represents the best of the best, no matter what you’re after.
Get any one of them, and you’ll be happy: get the one that sounds like it most suits what you need, and you’ll have a friend for life in your humble trimmer. Still not sure what to go for – read on for our best beard trimmer buying guide…
What To Look For In Your Beard Trimmer
Obviously, quality of cut is the biggest deal here, as we will see below. If a beard trimmer can give you a smooth cut, is easy to manipulate and shape with, and generally fulfils all the above criteria for what makes them so special, it’s a winner. All of the items on this list are winners, of course.
Alongside this, however, there are a few bits and pieces to look out for when choosing a beard trimmer.
Add-ons and accessories are always worth considering. All beard trimmers will do the job, many will do it well, but some pack a little extra.
If you get a trimmer that is just a basic trimmer, with no frills, that’s OK – it’s designed to do a job and it does it. However, it’s OK to ask a little more of your purchase. Many trimmers will contain features and accessories which will give you more options in your grooming and will make your life a lot easier.
These will include things like switch-adjustable blade heights, detachable blades with varied widths, removable guards, and so on. They will allow you to trim to a variable length and change between fine detail work and broad brush strokes.
Now, this isn’t to say that you need a trimmer worthy of Q’s lab. Fifty detachments will never get used. Twenty probably won’t. Most of them will be redundant and you’ll find them one day, in five- or ten-years’ time, and wonder what on earth they are having not seen them since you took them out of the packet.
Five to ten well-designed, useful extra parts will be completely sufficient for most people’s needs.
If you can, choose a model with either self-sharpening blades (preferable) or long-lasting replaceable ones (perfectly adequate).
Not all trimmers will offer self-sharpening blades – and it’s not the be all and end all, paling in significance next to things like usability, motor quality and extras to suit your own preferences – but they do make your life easier and such blades will generally last a lot longer than others.
If you choose a trimmer with replaceable blades, always make sure it’s a good quality machine, that you replace the blades like for like, without going for a cheaper alternative, and that you always have a couple spare.
After this, we’re looking for models with rechargeable batteries. They are just way more convenient and easier to use than old fashioned style trimmers that plug into the mains. Cords can get in the way and, given you’re likely to be shaving in the bathroom, where likely won’t have a socket, can become a real issue.
A rechargeable trimmer will be ready whenever and wherever you are and will be far more dextrous to handle.
The quality of battery can also make a real difference. Many trimmers will feature lithium-ion batteries. These deliver significantly more power and longer life than traditional NiMH (nickel- metal hydride) batteries. Though it may be handy to use AA batteries, as they are conveniently ubiquitous, they will drain very quickly when used in a trimmer, especially if you use it regularly.
Then we have quality. It is all important. There are a number of brand names which call to mind high quality beard trimmers – Philips, Norelco, Braun, Panasonic, Wahl, Remington, Oster – and many of their products have prices which reflect that quality.
Brand reputation matters a great deal. An electric beard trimmer isn’t a fly by night gadget – it’s a tool and an investment. Get something that is built to last and to be used over and over again, for years; that is reparable by the manufacturer; and, importantly, that is made by people known for making good machines.
If you’re going to be using your beard trimmer on a regular basis, your enjoyment and the results you get will be greatly augmented by finding a model which sits comfortably in your hand. Ergonomic design has a lot going for it, as do lighter weight machines. Those that are too large and heavy will feel cumbersome, making the process feel like a chore and possibly diminishing your ability to craft and trim with any precision or finer detail. On the other hand, one that is too light or too small will often lead to gripping overly heavily. This can affect your ability to retain fine motor control as you work and can lead you to putting too much pressure into the trimmer, cutting your hair more closely than wanted.
You will also want to consider noise and vibration. Trimmers all have electric motors. However, not all motors are made equal.
Cheap, rubbish ones will whine and buzz. They will be cumbersome and will vibrate in your hand, throwing off your fine motor control and feeling entirely unpleasant.
Better models will be quieter and smoother. They will be both easier and far more pleasant to use.