Best Beard and Mustache Trimmers for Men – Top 10 Review for Dec. 2018 with Buying Guide
Please find our detailed analysis, buying guide and test results of all the models after the best beard trimmer comparison table.
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Introduction and Buying Guide
When you first decide to grow a beard and/or mustache, it’s understandable if you just use your regular razor or scissors 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. 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 difference in performance, though.
We’ll take a look at Groom+Style’s choices for the top 10 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 – Is there Much Difference?
It’s important to clear up one issue first: a beard trimmer is not necessary the same as a stubble trimmer. Most beard trimmers can create great stubble, but not all stubble trimmers can trim longer beards effectively: and then some models are great all rounders.
So understanding your requirements will help. Do you want to look like Ryan Gosling (great stubble), tame a much longer beard, or do you want the option for both?
Stubble – It is all in the Length!
What makes a stubble trimmer different to a beard trimmer? 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.
If you want really short stubble then you want to be sure that the trimmer can cut safely without a guard comb. This doesn’t deliver the same close shave you’d get with a razor, but it can leave a layer of fine stubble without having to deal with stubble attachments. This is a great option for men who have very sensitive skin or suffer from acne – the Philips OneBlade (listed below) works very well for sensitive skin.
Beards – Short and Long
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 or more.
Interchangeable Guide Combs or Adjustable Zoom Wheel
Trimmers fall into 2 main categories: those with interchangeable guard combs, and those with fixed combs that you move with the help of an adjustable Zoom Wheel.
Interchangeable guard combs work well when there are lots of length options, and the guard combs are well made and stiff. Guard combs are designed to pull each beard hair tight as you trim, ensuring that the hairs are cut evenly. Combs with too much bend to them will leave you with an uneven and ragged trim – the look you’re trying to avoid by using a beard trimmer. You will need very stiff larger combs to handle long, thick beards.
Fixed guard combs with an adjustable zoom wheel are great for convenience, and if well made are also great for longer beards.
Intermediate Trimming Lengths
The number of intermediate settings on a trimmer might also be something you want to consider if you will not be growing your beard to exactly 5, 10 or 20 mm. This is where trimmer models with a fixed guard comb and an adjustable zoom wheel can shine – some will give you more than 20 plus settings to choose from.
Interchangeable Blades – Detail Trimmer, T Blade, and Shaving Heads
Some trimmers come with additional blades and detailing attachments, 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 if you want to give your beard that extra bit of attention.
Beast Beard Trimmer – Performance and Convenience
Durability, and Self-Sharpening Blades
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 with 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.
Corded, Cordless or Both
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.
A great compromise is to get a trimmer that is cordless but also works while plugged in – we have provided a few options like this below.
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 runtime to finish up.
If you want more information about the different types of rechargeable batteries available and how to care for them, then please read our detailed article linked below.
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.
Beard Trimmer vs. Hair Clipper
“I already have a hair clipper in the house – can’t I just use that?”
You can, sort of… hair clippers and beard trimmers are similar, but the specialist models are designed for two different purposes.
Beard trimmers have thinner blades and are designed to work with shorter hair and do the fine detail work necessary to shape the perfect beard. By comparison, clippers have thicker blades that are used to cut longer and thicker hair, usually in conjunction with attachments that are much larger than the ones that sometimes come with trimmers. Hair clippers simply can’t do the close-in trimming required for most beards. You need a beard trimmer for that.
Don’t throw out the hair clipper you already own, though. If you’ve let your beard grow out for a while and it’s time to prune the shrubbery, clippers are great for the preliminary work before you pull out your beard trimmer to get the details just right.
Let’s cut this discussion short, and get to the Groom+Style rankings of the top 10 best beard trimmers.
Tip: If you are just wanting to try something different you could always investigate straight razors.
1. Wahl 9818 Lithium Ion Plus Stainless Steel Beard Trimmer
This Wahl model is the best of the best, a high-quality, stainless steel cordless trimmer with patented self-sharpening blades.
It’s powerful as well, thanks to lithium-ion technology that delivers twice the torque of most competitive models. The 9818 feels great in the hand (although it can be a little slippery if your hands are wet, moist or greasy), is well-balanced and rugged, and trims evenly without pulling hairs. In short, it’s an outstanding performer whether you need to beat a thick, unruly beard into submission or do some precise detailing work.
The icing on the 9818’s cake is an included detail trimmer blade for shaping beards and goatees. The Wahl is one of the only models the Groom+Style team has reviewed with that great feature, which gives you more control over the look of your beard than any other trimmer.
Three more stainless steel detachable blades (stainless lasts longer than carbon steel and is ideal for thick beards) come with this beard trimmer: the standard, precision T-Blade used for most tasks, the detail shaver used for outlining, and an ear/nose/ eyebrow trimmer.
This Wahl kit also includes 12 guide combs, letting you select from 13 cutting lengths ranging from 0 (1/16”) to 8 (1”). The one main disappointment of this outstanding trimmer is that the guide combs are not as stiff as we would have liked. This fact seems to be more apparent as you move to the larger guide combs (3/8″, No 3, 10mm onwards). Interestingly, however, due to the high quality of the motor and the sharpness of the blades, the Wahl 9819 still powers through longer hair and beards. (If you do have a long beard and want to see what your other options are, then please look at our #3 choice the Remington Beard Boss.)
The battery runs for at least four hours on a one-hour charge, and there’s a nice one-minute charge feature that gives you an extra three minutes of trimming time if needed.
Oh, and there is a 5-year warranty!
The Wahl 9818 is everything you’d want in a beard trimmer (beard trimming, stubble or detailing, to head hair or body grooming): solid, powerful, versatile and reasonably priced for a product with a 5-year warranty.
Facts and figures for the Wahl 9818 Lithium Ion Plus Stainless Steel Beard Trimmer:
2. Philips Norelco Beard & Hair Trimmer Series 5100 – BT5210
The Philips Norelco BT5210 is another brilliant beard/hair trimmer, especially for those people who like the convenience of the limited attachments and zoom wheel.
Like the Wahl, it’s a cordless model, with a powerful motor, self-sharpening stamped steel blades and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
And it can handle more lengths and shorter lengths than the Wahl (1/64 inch to ½ inch), thanks to a built-in zoom wheel which is used to adjust trimming lengths instead of a collection of guide combs.
Two hair combs and a body comb are included for those who want their trimmer to double as a hair clipper or to trim their body hair.
One other nice feature of this Philips Norelco is that it’s waterproof, making it very easy to clean (to avoid confusion this is waterproof for cleaning, but the trimmer cannot be used in the shower or bath).
This beard trimmer runs for 70 minutes on a one-hour charge, can cut without a guard, and unlike the Wahl, it can run while plugged in. Most importantly, it delivers great performance without tugging at beard hairs.
The BT5210 isn’t quite as impressive compared to the Wahls motor power and rechargeable battery life, but it’s convenient and slightly less expensive and does a great job trimming beards and body hair.
More details on the Philips Norelco Beard & Hair Trimmer Series 5100 – BT5210:
Another product from Philips Norelco worth mentioning is the Philips Norelco QT4070 Vacuum Beard. The specifications are explained in detail just below.
2a. Philips Norelco BT7215/49 Vacuum Beard (replaces older model QT4070)
Here’s another maintenance-free choice from Philips Norelco that’s quite similar to the BT5210 in most respects, with a zoom wheel that has 20 built-in length settings from as low as 0.5 to 10 mm.
But what makes this a particularly interesting beard trimmer, is its 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 that is 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.
Good performance, well-built – and a cool vacuum feature – all make the 7100 an interesting choice. More than a novelty feature and certainly a trimmer worth considering.
3. Remington MB4040/MB4045B Mustache Beard and Stubble Trimmer
When you want a versatile trimmer for a very reasonable price, we’d suggest taking a look at the Remington MB4045B. And if you want a trimmer for a long, flowing beard but don’t want to pay the higher price the Wahl commands, it’s definitely your #1 choice.
It’s a cool-looking unit which is comfortable in the hand and can take care of any man’s beard without a hiccup.
The MB4045B comes with a single blade that has 18 length settings, plus three combs – a 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), ideal for working on long beards. Like the Wahl, this beard trimmer has a detail trimmer which easily allows you to do close-in shaping work.
The older model MB4040 has fewer length settings.
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. The titanium blades are self-sharpening.
It also features a long-lasting battery that gives you two hours of cutting time to achieve the perfect look. Another bonus on the functionality front is the zoom wheel that gives you impressive control over mustache and beard hair length. With the cutting attachment fitted flush with the design, this beard trimmer also offers an impressive measure of durability.
Note – if you are a man who loves beards then check out our list of the best beard grooming kits.
Remington 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, especially for those men with long beards.
Checking the specs of the Remington MB4045B Mustache Beard and Stubble Trimmer:
4. Philips Norelco QP2520/70 OneBlade Hybrid Electric Trimmer And Shaver
As you might guess from its name, this is an unusual beard trimmer. The “OneBlade” dual-edge construction means that you can use the same unit for trimming, edging and shaving – although that claim is a little misleading since this Philips Norelco model isn’t designed to replace the close shave you can get with a normal razor.
It leaves a bit of length when it cuts giving the user a “five o’clock shadow” look (it isn’t effective trimming the scalp) so it delivers a very comfortable shave since it doesn’t scrape the skin.
The shape and feel of this trimmer is more like a wet/dry shaver than a trimmer, with a narrow body and a single blade that’s built somewhat like a foil shaver.
The blades of the OneBlade do have to be replaced every four months – if you trim or shave twice a week – see link below.
Let’s get to the trimming aspect of the QP2520. There are three trimming combs: 1mm, 3mm, and 5mm; that choice makes this more for stubble than taming long beards.
If you like the product but have a long beard, the OnePladePro has a trimmer wheel that handles hair from 0.4 to 10mm. Edging and detailing is easy because the slim design makes the trimmer easy to maneuver.
This Philips Norelco’s battery is nickel-metal hydride instead of lithium-ion so it’s not as powerful as other trimmers on our list, and the construction is rather flimsy. You might find the low price to be enough compensation for those drawbacks, though.
The QP2520 OneBlade is a good unit for very specific purposes. If you have sensitive skin and can’t tolerate a close shave, or if you’re primarily focused on stubble and edging, it’s a great option.
Specs for the Philips Norelco QP2520/70 OneBlade Hybrid Electric Trimmer And Shaver:
5. Philips Style Shaver QS6141/33 Dual Ended Shaver and Beard Trimmer
You won’t get optimal results trying to trim your beard with a razor, just as you can’t give yourself a full shave with a beard trimmer. Unless that is, you have one of these Philips babies with a foil shaver and an adjustable beard trimmer, both in one attractive housing. All you have to do is flip the unit around and you can handle all your facial grooming tasks without having to juggle appliances.
First, there’s a dual-foil head with nano-sharp blades that delivers an extremely close shave, along with a mid-trimmer that’s designed to remove hairs longer than the ones the floating heads would normally be able to grab. It performs exactly the way you’d expect from a Philips razor, and does its work 20% faster than previous models.
Typically with combination electric shaver and trimmers, the shaver is not that effective, however, the foil shaver on the Philips Style Shaver is extremely high quality.
Just flip this model and – presto! On the other end, you’ll find a high-quality beard and stubble trimmer. The full metal trimmer has a detachable comb with twelve adjustable length settings from 10mm down to 0.5mm.
When you take the comb off, the dual-sided trimmer gives you the choice of a 32mm blade for high-performance trims or a 15mm blade for close detail work or trims in areas that call for a finer touch.
The combination allows you to choose any length, any style or any type of trim for your beard.
The QS6141 is waterproof for complete wet or dry shaving, it gives you 50 minutes of shave time per charge (a foldable charging stand is included), and it does a terrific job shaving your face, trimming your beard – or both.
Specs for the Philips Style Shaver QS6141/33 Dual Ended Shaver and Beard Trimmer:
6. 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 – 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. And it’s built like a brick.
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 (not really an issue for home use), and do require regular oiling. But 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.
The Andis is a professional quality trimmer, with only 4 comb lengths provided. If you need easy trimming (without training as a barber) of multiple hair lengths of hair, this one is not for you. However, if you want an ultra-reliable trimmer and only need a few set lengths, this is a quality choice.
More on the Andis 4775 GTX T-Outliner Trimmer:
7. Philips Norelco MG3750 Multigroom Series 3000
There was no way the review team could leave out this Philips Norelco beard trimmer, which is a terrific budget choice.
Its motor isn’t quite as powerful as those on our top-rated trimmers, and it isn’t durable enough to last as long as those other options.
But it’s versatile with three beard trimming guards (3 to 7mm), three hair trimming guards (9 to 16mm), a detailer, a stubble guard and a nose/ear trimmer, and its self-sharpening tempered steel blades do a better-than-respectable job keeping your beard or hair neat and trim.
This is a lightweight, easy to clean unit which is easy to handle for home trimming jobs and would also be perfect to take on the road.
The Multigroom Series 3000 is an inexpensive trimmer that is versatile and well worth its price, as long as you don’t have a long, thick beard.
Specifications for the Philips Norelco MG3750 Multigroom Series 3000:
That is it for our updated list of the best beard trimmers for Dec. 2018 – if you are curious about our choices from previous years then continue reading.
8. Wahl All-In-One Grooming Kit 9854-600
Still a very high-quality trimmer, just not as durable as our new number 1 choice, the Wahl 9818.
Some guys have facial hair that seems to grow by inches overnight. If you’re one of the men who need 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:
9. Panasonic ER-GB370K Men’s Electric Moustache and Beard Trimmer
Once again still a great trimmer, but the battery recharge time and runtime lets it down. The Philips BT5210 just seems to have a slight edge.
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 10 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.
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:
Philips Norelco Beard Trimmer 9100 (Model BT9285/41)
Note, our previous top choice – this cool trimmer does not seem to be easy to find any more.
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 lithium-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.
These are the best beard trimmers that the Groom+Style team has identified for the year. By the way, if you are committed to keeping your beard you should consider buying some beard and mustache wax to tame it.