Best Beard and Mustache Trimmers for Men – Top 5 Review for May. 2017
When you first decide to grow a beard and/or mustache, it’s understandable if you just use your regular razor to trim it.
After all, if you’re not even sure whether you’re going to like the facial hair (or whether the ladies will like it), it doesn’t make sense to spend money on a separate grooming tool for a beard which may be history after a few weeks.
Skip the introduction for now as I am busy – click the following link to see which beard trimmers made it onto the best beard trimmer top 5 list.
Tip: If you are just wanting to try something different you could always investigate straight razors.
Once the beard has become a permanent fixture, though, you’re going to want to keep it neat and tidy – and trying to tame it with your regular electric razor or its low-quality pop-up trimmer isn’t going to do the job. That’s when it’s time to get a real beard trimmer. It may not be enough to make your facial hair look like as perfect as Bradley Cooper’s or Hugh Jackman’s, but it can definitely help you avoid looking like Tom Hanks in Castaway.
When scanning the racks of beard trimmers in your local department or drug store, they may all look alike, something like a row of electric shavers on a starvation diet. There’s a huge different in performance, though. We’ll take a look at Groom+Style’s choices for the top 5 best beard trimmers on the market, after going a little more in depth into these essential appliances for modern, well-groomed men.
Stubble Trimmer vs. Beard Trimmer
It’s important to clear up one issue first: a beard trimmer is very different than a stubble trimmer. It’s overstating the case to say that no beard trimmer can give you perfect stubble, but many can’t. If you are going to stick with the Ryan Gosling look, your best bet is a stubble trimmer rather than a beard trimmer.
What makes a stubble trimmer different? Length settings. A stubble model should be able to trim your facial hair extremely short, as short as 0.3-0.5 mm (about 1/64 of an inch) for the 5 o’clock shadow look. The longest setting you’ll need will depend on your preferences, but a maximum of 5 mm (about 1/5 of an inch) will give you plenty of flexibility for trimming and shaping terrific five- or ten-day stubble. A contour comb attachment helps, too.
Some beard trimmers do meet those requirements, either with their dedicated settings or by including separate stubble combs. The review team has identified dual-threat choices in our reviews.
Beard Trimmer Cutting Lengths
Since we’ve already been discussing hair length, let’s continue. Shorter beards will require a trimmer that can adjust from 2-5 mm, you’ll want to be able to trim up to 10 mm for medium beards, and lumberjacks will need to be able to hit 20 mm. (If you’re confused, that’s the length of the trim, not the length of the beard.)
Most models that can accommodate longer lengths use interchangeable combs to do it, so a larger selection of guide combs gives you more choice as long as you don’t mind the inconvenience of swapping out the combs. The number of intermediate settings on a trimmer is also important, since it’s unlikely you’ll be growing a beard to exactly 5, 10 or 20 mm. There are models which will give you more than 20 settings to choose from and the more, the better.
Some trimmers come with additional blades that you can swap out for outlining or detailing your beard or goatee. They add to the overall price, of course, but can make the difference between messy and perfect.
Beast Beard Trimmer – Performance and Convenience
Naturally, performance plays a major role in evaluating a beard trimmer, and blades are the key to performance. Carbon steel blades are sharper and will give you a cleaner shave but are prone to corrosion in moist environments, while stainless steel blades hold up better and are better choices for thick beards because they’re a bit stiffer. Carbon steel coated in titanium is the high-end choice for the best of both worlds.
The closeness and comfort of the shave is the most important factor, but some of the best models go further with patented or proprietary technologies to gently lift hair before trimming it, self-sharpening blades which ensure peak performance over time, and even vacuum systems to catch almost all of the stray hairs.
Convenience is almost as important as performance when you’re shaving, and the biggest decision you’ll have is between cordless and corded models. It’s certainly easier to trim a beard when you’re not tethered to the wall, but most battery-powered models aren’t as powerful as the best corded trimmers. They’re more powerful than cheap plug-in trimmers, however.
The majority of cordless beard trimmers get their power from rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which hold a charge for a longer period of time than the other popular choice, nickel-metal hydride (NiMH). You’ll get an average of about 50-60 minutes of run-time from a lithium-ion trimmer compared to about 30 minutes with a NiMH model. A welcome feature on some cordless trimmers is a “quick charge” function that gives you a few minutes of extra run time to finish up.
You may also want to award brownie points for models that are easy to clean, and also if a trimmer is a wet/dry model, if it has a low battery indicator (for cordless models), or if the trimmer/charger can operate on dual voltages for overseas travel.
Let’s cut this discussion short, and get to the Groom+Style rankings of the top 5 best beard trimmers.
1. Philips Norelco Beard Trimmer 9100 (Model BT9285/41)
We’re well into the 21st century, and there are still no signs of flying cars or even hoverboards that really hover. However, we do have a laser beard trimmer – sort of. The Philips Norelco 9100 doesn’t actually use lasers to burn off hair and give you a neat beard or mustache, but it does use a pop-up laser guide to mark the exact lines where you should trim. The end result is a perfectly symmetrical beard that your wife or girlfriend can’t possibly criticize. There’s no safety concern either, since the trimmer uses a “Class 1” laser which won’t hurt your eyes if it happens to shine into them.
More to the 9100 Than the Laser
There’s a lot more to the 9100 than just a laser. There are 17 settings to choose from for the length of hair to trim, ranging from 0.4 mm to 7 mm (that is 1/64th of an inch to 9/32nd of an inch with an LED display showing the setting you’ve chosen), and you can lock in your preferred setting so there won’t be any variation while trimming. It also boasts 0.2mm precision settings – if you try to move your thumb and forefinger to measure the difference, you can’t. That’s how precise this Norelco trimmer gets.
The performance of the Beard Trimmer 9100 is outstanding, largely due to the finely-trimmed chromium steel self-sharpening blades which never need maintenance, the tips are nicely-rounded so they don’t irritate your skin despite the closeness of the trimming. There are two sides to the trimmer, a narrow one to use around your mouth and nose and a wide one for easy and fast trimming around the sideburns and the neck. This is also one of the easiest units to clean that is on the market, only requiring a quick rinse under the faucet to get rid of all the loose hair inside.
With 17 different length settings, it’s easy to achieve a wide range of looks and the sheer precision of these settings even allows for getting the exact stubble you want. The double-sided blade only adds to the precision side of the equation, making it exceptionally easy to create clean, straight lines for sideburns and the narrow design lends itself to styling versatility.
This beard trimmer will run cordless for an hour on each charge of its lithion-ion battery, and comes with two combs (a detail comb and a beard comb). For decades, Norelco has been manufacturing many of the finest personal grooming products anywhere, and the 9100 is one of the best they’ve ever produced.
It’s an expensive beard trimmer, as far as beard trimmers go, but if you’re going to have a beard or mustache for the long term you’ll want a look to be proud of. The BeardTrimmer 9100 will provide excellent results with the added benefit of you not having to continually switch between combs and blades.
Specifications of the Philips Norelco BeardTrimmer 9100 (Model BT9285/41):
Read more about the Philips Norelco Beard Trimmer.
Another product from Philips Norelco worth mentioning is the Philips Norelco QT4070 Vacuum Beard. The specifications are explained in detail here:
Philips Norelco BT7215/49 Vacuum Beard (replaces older model QT4070)
Here’s yet another candidate for the best beard and mustache trimmer for May. 2017 – the Philips Norelco BT7215/49. Thanks to its 80-minute battery life, 60-minute charge time and flexing guide comb, this trimmer offers a surprising combination of flexible performance and exceptional precision. The maintenance-free trimmer features 20 secured length settings from as low as 0.5 mm to 10 mm. It also features a travel lock to prevent unintended activation, making it quite the traveling companion.
If there’s only one feature that puts the Philips Norelco BT7215/49 on the radar during our search for the best beard and mustache trimmer, it’s the built-in vacuum. It’s the only beard and mustache trimmer here that has one and it’s a life-saver for those who are worried about leaving behind a hairy mess. The vacuum does an admirable job in collecting cut hairs – as much as 90 percent of all hair cut ends up in the integrated storage bin for later emptying and cleaning. With this trimmer, you won’t have to dread the time-consuming task of cleaning cut hairs out of the sink or off the floor. From Groom+Style’s experience, to ensure that most hairs are captured, ensure you hold the trimmer parallel to your face as much as possible i.e. try to avoid angling it to the left and right.
Groom+Style certainly enjoyed the test drive of the Philips BT7215/49 and believe you will too.
2. Wahl All-In-One Grooming Kit 9854-600
Some guys have facial hair that seems to grow by inches overnight. If you’re one of the men who needs the ultimate power to trim what you’d like to be the ultimate beard, Wahl has the product for the job. The 9854-600 is the most powerful of all the trimmers on our list, with a motor that provides twice the average torque for a beard trimmer. And if you don’t need the power for heavy, thick growth, it will also let you zip through a trim in a breeze because you won’t have to go over and over each area. This unit will also run longer than almost any other trimmer on a single charge, a full three hours for a 60 minute charge, thanks to Wahl’s new lithium-ion 2.0 battery technology, plus a one-minute quick charge feature.
Why isn’t it at the top of our rankings, then? Two reasons: it’s nowhere near as convenient to use as the Norelco, and the detail trimming it provides frankly isn’t as good. There are only six length settings on the Wahl, and there are a huge number of blades and combs to juggle depending on what you want to do with the trimmer: three combs (stubble, medium and full), a trimmer blade, a detail blade (which you may not be satisfied with when trimming ear or nose hair), a precision T-blade and a dual shaver blade. That may be a terrific assortment if you’re either an absolute perfectionist or a hair styling professional who’s adept at juggling attachments; to us, it was way too much to worry about when all we wanted to was to get a great trim.
The Wahl All-In-One is noisier than most competitors, and can’t be washed under a faucet. However, it’s a solid, well-built trimmer and crafted to be comfortable as well as effective. It’s a very good choice for men with forests on their face – and it’s half the price of the Norelco, too.
Taking a closer look at the Wahl All-In-One Grooming Kit 9854-600:
3. Panasonic ER-GB370K Men’s Electric Moustache and Beard Trimmer
We mentioned perfectionists a moment ago, and that’s the target market for the Panasonic ER-GB370K. It has the most individual hair length settings of any of our top 5 best beard trimmers, with 19 choices from 1 mm to 10 mm; there’s no need to juggle a multitude of attachments in order to get the trim you’re looking for.
The blades are very close together to provide as much of a quality trim as possible, and Panasonic angles the stainless steel, hypoallergenic blades at 45 degrees, which they claim is the optimal angle to cut stubborn, longer hair from your face. You may find, though, that this trimmer is at its very best when trimming hair down to stubble, and not quite as effective at quickly whisking the longer whiskers completely away.
This is a quality unit, but it definitely has a couple of major drawbacks. It uses an old-fashioned nickel metal-hydride battery instead of a lithium-ion one which means it can take more than half-a-day to fully charge, and then it will only last for 40 minutes before needing to be returned to the charging unit which comes with the ER-GB370K. It also requires fairly frequent oiling. There’s also a major plus though; it has a terrific water drainage system which not only lets you wash it under the faucet, but prevents water buildup if you want to use the unit with shaving foam in the shower. The rubber grip is also handy for shower use, too.
This Panasonic model is far from perfect but it does a great job for every day, meticulous beard trimming, especially if you’re one of those guys who would love to get through the morning routine of showering and trimming as fast as possible.
Details of the Panasonic ER-GB370K Moustache and Beard Trimmer:
4. Remington MB4040/MB4045B Mustache Beard and Stubble Trimmer
When you want a versatile trimmer for less than the price of our top three choices, we’d suggest taking a look at the Remington MB4045B. It doesn’t have as many length settings as more expensive competitors, and does require some juggling of blades. However, it’s a cool-looking unit which is comfortable in the hand and can take care of most men’s beards pretty easily.
Remington has released a newer version of the MB4040 which is the MB4045B. The MB4045B comes with one single blade that has a vastly improved 19 length settings, and three combs – stubble comb (which can trim from 1mm to 5mm in 0.5mm increments), a medium comb (1.5mm to 18mm) and an XL comb (20mm to 35mm). The MB4045B comes in a different colour and includes a pair of scissors and a brush.
It’s become almost unfathomable not to have a Remington product in the men’s grooming range – not just trimmers for men. Diving into the product, the Remington MB4045B Mustache and Beard Trimmer deserves plenty of praise for its simplistic design – it’s sleek, easy to hold and makes little, if any compromises in regards to either form or function. It also features a long-lasting battery that gives you plenty of time to achieve the perfect look. Another bonus on the functionality front is the rotary cut length dial that gives you impressive control over mustache and beard hair length. With the cutting attachment fitted flush with the design, it also offers an impressive measure of durability.
There are nine length settings on the Remington MB4040 model and 19 on the MB4045B, giving you two good options depending on whether you’re overly-fastidious about your trim. We spoke about juggling blades, and there are three of them for the MB4040: one for beards, one for goatees (it has a precision detail blade, also best used for mustaches) and one for stubble (which is meant to leave that “day-old growth” look on your face after you’ve finished). It’s a bit of a pain to swap them out, but they each do their job pretty effectively thanks to the titanium self-sharpening, self-oiling blades. If you are not interested in swapping blades, the MB4045B would be the better choice.
One thing to watch out for with the MB4045B: the unit is top-heavy so it’s a little more difficult to maneuver than some of the lighter models we’ve listed higher on our rankings. When you combine that with very sharp blades, the Remington is more liable to nick your face as you trim. It’s essential to use the included blade guard to avoid that issue.
The company is known for producing quality personal grooming products at friendly prices, and this beard trimmer fits squarely into that mold. It’s a good choice in the lower-cost category.
Checking the specs of the Remington MB4045B (and MB4040) Mustache Beard and Stubble Trimmer:
5. Andis 4775 GTX T-Outliner Trimmer
Have you ever wished you could pretend you were a barber when giving yourself a trim at home? You can with the Andis 4775, the professional trimmer that many barbers actually use. It’s not as expensive as you might think, only around $60 – and just like your hair stylist’s model, it can’t operate in cordless mode or as a wet shaver. However, its T-blade with curved edges and its hard carbon-steel blades provide the ultimate in precise trimming without leaving bumps, irritation or ingrown hairs.
There are no adjustment settings on this trimmer. Just as with your barber’s trimmer, you need to switch out the combs to deal with different lengths of hair; four are included (Sizes 0, 1, 2 and 3), which doesn’t give you an enormous choice but if it’s good enough for your barber, it’s probably good enough for you. The Andis operates on a magnetic motor instead of the rotary motor commonly found in beard trimmers, making it a little less powerful but much more durable.
As you’d imagine from having one of these babies used on your neck, sideburns and eyebrows for years, it takes a little while to get the hang of maneuvering the Andis GTX carefully, because it’s not a tapered unit like many of the other options in our rankings. It can also be a slight nuisance when your trimmer is attached to a wall plug by a cord, although the cord is eight-feet long so it’s not a major issue. Once you’re used to the trimmer, though, you’ll find that you can work very precisely and perform fading and outlining as well as straight trimming with the GTX. The motor runs fairly quietly although the blades will get quite hot with prolonged use. All you’ll need is a white coat and a push broom in order to feel just like a pro when trimming your beard or mustache.
A professional quality trimmer, with only 4 comb lengths provided. Therefore, if you need easy trimming (without training as a barber) of multiple set lengths on the head (and body) this not for you. However, if you want an ultra reliable trimmer and only need a few set lengths this is a quality option.
More on the Andis 4775 GTX T-Outliner Trimmer:
If you are committed to keeping your beard you will need to buy some beard and moustache wax to tame it.
These are the best beard trimmers that the Groom+Style team have identified for the year. One of the commonalities of these products is that more often than not they can be used as stubble trimmers too. Our uber cool best electric trimmer reviews are, we believe trend setting, and come with a gold standard assurance. The team test drives, compares, researches and incorporates standards into our reviews so that they are as comprehensive as possible.