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8 best beard trimmers to keep your facial hair under control

Maintaining your look is important, so we tried and tested the top tools from the likes of Philips and Braun

Paddy Maddison
Monday 12 April 2021 15:22
<p>Make a virtue of being too lazy to shave with a trimmer to manicure that stubble&nbsp;</p>

Make a virtue of being too lazy to shave with a trimmer to manicure that stubble 

There’s never been a more tempting time to leave the fate of your follicles in the hands of the facial-hair gods. After all, there’s no point in routine pruning if the only other sentient being that’ll see you is your cat, right?

Wrong. Lockdown is no excuse for poor personal hygiene. Keep yourself nicely preened and you’ll feel much better for it. Plus, even your cat has the common decency to groom itself – the least you could do is pick up a beard trimmer from time to time.

Not only is lockdown a great opportunity to refine your grooming routine, but it also gives you carte blanche to experiment with new looks.

That said, you’ll need a good machine if you want to get the job done properly. In fact, choose well and your beard trimmer can facilitate the sculpting of all manner of facial hair styles.

With that in mind, we went in search of the best beard trimmers on the market and put them to the test. They had to be versatile, easy to operate and offer good value for money. Below, you’ll find a list of our favourites.

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You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

The best beard trimmers in 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Philips oneblade trimmer: £19.99, Boots.com
  • Best for a clean, precise shave – Braun series 7 electric shaver: £229.99, Argos.co.uk
  • Best for portability – Remington barba beard trimmer: £27.99, Currys.co.uk
  • Best for less mess – Philips series 7000 vacuum beard and stubble trimmer: £49.99, Johnlewis.com
  • Best for long beards – Wahl 9818-803 stainless steel beard trimmer: £49.99, Argos.co.uk
  • Best for ease of use – BaByliss pro beard trimmer: £26.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best for thick beards – Panasonic er-gb62 beard trimmer: £44.99, Currys.co.uk
  • Best budget-friendly option –Gillette all-purpose styler: £14.99, Boots.com

Philips oneblade trimmer

Best: Overall

  • Attachments: 5
  • Run time: 45 minutes
  • Warranty: 2 years

The oneblade from Philips may look simple, but don’t be fooled, there’s more to this trimmer than meets the eye. This bitesize beard and body groomer is an all-in-one, head-to-toe grooming solution in a very affordable package. The replaceable blade is smooth against the skin but cuts almost as close as a clean shave with a razor. 

If you want to leave some hair behind, the various attachments will enable you to cut to your desired length, and the body grooming guide comb allows you to, ahem, venture south, without the risk of bloodshed from any delicate parts.

Braun series 7 electric shaver

Best: For a clean, precise shave

  • Attachments: 1
  • Run time: 50 minutes
  • Warranty: 2 years

This all-singing, all-dancing trimmer and groomer from Braun does everything you want it to and more. The cleverly designed pivoting head has 360 degrees of movement, which allows it to move with the contours of your face. It also comes with a cleaning station, complete with cleaning fluid that leaves it feeling like new for every shave. 

You’ll also get a foil shaver and a precision trimmer included, but guide combs for achieving different lengths have to be purchased separately. Our favourite part was the easy-to-read display that tells you when the battery is low, that the blade needs changing or that it’s in need of a clean.

Remington barba beard trimmer

Best: For portability

  • Attachments: 2
  • Run time: 40 minutes
  • Warranty: 1 year

If you’re left feeling confused by all the different attachments that come with your average beard trimmer, this self-contained unit from Remington might be the answer. It has one cutting guard that can be adjusted via a control on the handle to cut from 0.4 to 14mm. Either that or you can remove it completely for a grade zero. What’s really cool, though, is the concealed miniature precision trimmer which can be deployed at the push of a button to target those areas that require a touch of technical finesse.

Philips series 7000 vacuum beard and stubble trimmer

Best: For less mess

  • Attachments: 2
  • Run time: 75 minutes
  • Warranty: 2 years

Nothing winds cohabitants up quite like a sink dusted with thousands of tiny post-trim beard cuttings. Preempt an early divorce by investing in a trimmer with a built-in vacuum, like this one from Philips. The vacuum delivers constant airflow while you work, sucking up 94 per cent of the trimmings and thus leaving the bathroom sink 94 per cent cleaner than it would otherwise be. Aside from that, it does everything you’d expect: different cutting lengths, precision trimming and, if you buy it from John Lewis & Partners, you’ll get a two-year guarantee.

Wahl 9818-803 stainless steel beard trimmer

Best: For long beards

  • Attachments: 17
  • Run time: 240 minutes
  • Warranty: 5 years

In a sea of plastic beard trimmers, this weighty stainless steel option from Wahl really stood out to us. We loved the clean, simple design and thought it felt good in hand. The power is also great – most trimmers will only deliver around an hour or so of run time and can take a while to get back up to full power, but this one will cut for a solid 240 minutes on just an hour of charge. 

It has all the usual attachments for achieving all sorts of beard styles and it even has a one-minute quick charge feature which will give you three minutes of power, should you happen to run out mid-trim.

BaByliss pro beard trimmer

Best: For ease of use

  • Attachments: 1
  • Run time: 60 minutes
  • Warranty: 2 years

If you’re looking for a beard trimmer that puts ease of use and simplicity to the fore, this one from BaByliss is a great option. It has 12 different cutting lengths which can be dialled in by using a large control just next to the cutting head. A full charge will take three hours and it comes with a fabric carry case included to keep your other belongings stubble-free on a weekend away.

Panasonic er-gb62 beard trimmer

Best: For thick beards

  • Attachments: 3
  • Run time: 50 minutes
  • Warranty: 1 year

With a whopping 39 potential cutting lengths, this all-in-one trimmer from Panasonic has your grooming requirements covered. It comes with three attachments to deal with everything from unruly facial fuzz to delicate body grooming and is water washable, so it’s a breeze to clean up once you’re done. It’ll run for 50 minutes off a one-hour charge, giving you plenty of time to trim, and there’s a handy pouch included for mess-free transport.

Gillette all-purpose styler

Best: Budget-friendly option

  • Attachments: 4
  • Run time: N/A
  • Warranty: 0 years

Beard trimmers can be expensive, but they don’t have to be. This one from Gillette trims, shaves and edges surprisingly well and is only a smidge more than £20. It’s battery-powered and comes with a choice of three cutting guards for different lengths of hair. There’s also a proglide blade for close shaves, or you can simply use the trimmer unguarded to clean up your neckline, sideburns or even hairline. 

FAQs beard trimmers

Are there any benefits to corded trimmers vs cordless?

In short, yes. Corded clippers need to be plugged in to work, but as they are always connected to an electrical source, they can be comfortably used for as long as it takes to trim your hair without running out of power. They’re often cheaper too, so if you’re shopping on a budget, look for a corded design.

Cordless beard trimmers can be used anywhere without being plugged into an electrical source so you won’t encounter any cord issues. They’re more convenient, especially for travel, but you are more restricted on time, as you’re relying on a charged battery.

Can I use a beard trimmer for short stubble?

It depends on the beard trimmer. Many come with specific attachments you can use for shorter hair, so make sure your check before you buy to avoid buying one that doesn’t have a blade short enough to trim stubble or long enough to tackle a longer beard.

What should I do to take care of the blades?

With any hair removal device, it’s important to keep the blades clean and hygienic, to not only prolong its life but also to get the best performance from it. Dirty blades clogged with hair can be unable to trim properly and can cause irritation.

Often beard trimmers come with a cleaning brush, which has very fine bristles to sweep away accumulating dust and dirt in the blades and the body, but they can also be bought separately. Additionally, hot water can kill germs so you can also rinse the blade. Beforehand, make sure to check if your device is safe to get wet.

Things to consider when buying a beard trimmer:

When shopping for a new beard trimmer, firstly, take into consideration the charge time. Some trimmers can take up to eight hours to charge and the first time you use it, you will need to charge it before you can use it.

Secondly, decide whether you want a corded or cordless design, and which one will best suit your convenience and needs, as well as checking how many adjustable length settings there are, depending on whether you want to trim a long beard or maintain a shorter stubble.

Next up, is it waterproof? Most beard trimmers are, making them to safe to use in the shower, but not all, so make sure you check before you commit to a new one.

Lastly, consider ease of cleaning, does it come with a cleaning brush? Is it safe to be rinsed under hot water? How often will you need to clean it? These are all important points to tick off your checklist when shopping for a new beard trimmer, whatever your budget.

The verdict: Beard trimmers

Philips’s oneblade delivers plenty of bang for a relatively small amount of buck. Granted, it offers fewer cutting lengths than some of the top-tier options, but it still has everything the average guy needs to keep his facial hair in check.

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