Table of Contents
- The 3 Best Beard Trimmers
- Criteria to help you choose the best beard trimmer
- My top-3 beard trimmers reviewed.
- Philips Norelco QT4070/41 Beard Trimmer 7300
- Panasonic ER-GB40-S Cordless Moustache & Beard Trimmer Wet/Dry
- Wahl 9854-600 Lithium Ion All In One Trimmer
- Other notable beard trimmers that I will test in the near future
I understand that choosing one isn’t really a piece of cake until you actually try one for yourself.
In a previous post, I also dealt with a buying guide for beard oils where I analysed the top beard oils you can get and what you need to pay attention before getting one. For this reason, I’d like to do the same for beard trimmers so I can help you in the best way possible to make the right choice.
But let’s get to the point.
I got my hands dirty with three beard trimmers under $60. These are considered by many people the best beard trimmers for both their price and the features they have.
More specifically, the beard trimmers that I’ll focus on, are the following:
- Philips Norelco 7300.
- Panasonic ER-GB40-S.
- Wahl 9854-600.
I had the luck to own the first two. I purchased the two beard trimmers with a few years difference, after conducting many hours of research both online and in shops. The Wahl trimmer, I had the chance to use it at my barber’s shop.
I must say that before the review, I was very convinced that the Philips Norelco would be my top beard trimmer choice. And why wouldn’t I think so. I’ve used it for a couple of years already and I was very happy with it.
That was the case until I found out about the Philips Norelco. And it hurts me to say that this Wahl’s model is the best beard trimmer I’ve even seen in action.
The 3 Best Beard Trimmers
|Panasonic ER-GB40-S Beard Trimmer||Wahl 9854-600 Beard Trimmer||Philips Norelco QT4070/41 Beard Trimmer 7300|
|Trimming guides||19 beard guides||12 guides for shaving, beard trimming and hair clipping||18 beard guides|
|Charging time||20 hours||1 hour||1 hour|
|Operating time||50-60 minutes||150-180 minutes||50-75 minutes|
|I particularly liked||Waterproof, 19 beard guides, Great Grip, Adequate Power, Good Battery, Easy cleaning||Very powerful, Many trimming guides, Fantastic Battery, Quick charging, Easy cleaning, Shaving function, Price||18 beard guides, Turbo function, Useful display, Quick charging, Adequate trimming time, Vacuum function|
|Could have been better||Very long charging time, Frequent maintenance||Many trimming guides not necessary, Not such great design||Vacuum function isn't as good as expected, Hair storage door susceptible to breakage|
But why is that? How come the Wahl is better than their peers?
The Philips has everything that a beardsman needs. Power, many beard guides, lots of operating options, great design and very good quality. If I had to nominate this one, I would say that among the three, it’s the best beard trimmer for short beards and stubble.
The Panasonic on the other hand, it’s waterproof, which makes it one of a kind in this review while the power and performance is at high levels. And let’s not forget the decent price.
The Wahl however gives you something else. I would like to dare and call it the ultimate semi professional beard trimmer.
It’s not the different guides or trimming options that it gives you. At least, that’s not all about it.
It’s the astonishing power that it gives you, considering that it’s only a cordless model. On top of that, the battery is no match. You get more than two operating hours which is double than the competition.
And how much time do you need to charge it so you can get this operating time? Even 8 times less compared to other beard trimmers!
Want some more?
It’s also cheaper than the other two I reviewed.
But enough about what I believe.
Certainly, you need to take into consideration a number of things before you go and get one.
You don’t know? No problem!
I got you covered for this one as well!
What criteria would you consider important when you have to decide which beard trimmer is the best?
- Brand name.
- Battery powered versus corded beard trimmer.
- Charge level indicator.
- Number of speeds in a beard trimmer.
- Beard guide and length settings.
- Is beard the only thing you’re going to trim?
- Interchangeable beard guards/guides or a single, adjustable guard/guide.
- Required blade maintenance.
- How long does the battery of a battery powered trimmer takes for a full charge.
- How much runtime does a battery powered trimmer get from a full charge.
- How long should a beard trimmer last before you need a new one.
Let’s get to the details then and find out how to get a top beard trimmer for your awesome beard (or at least to get an awesome one).
Criteria to help you choose the best beard trimmer
We all agree that price is the most important factor before we buy something. This is no different with a purchase of a beard trimmer.
The price tag is indeed important. But, the actual value that you get for the respective amount is what really matters.
Therefore, number one is the actual price of the beard trimmer and next comes the best value that you get for the price.
2. Brand Name
Let’s face it. There are way more chances to purchase a product that is manufactured by a well known brand than a company that’s just starting out. Especially when we’re talking about electronic devices.
Besides that, most of us are programmed risk averse and we have no intention in trying out a product and a company that hasn’t a strong presence in the market.
Certainly, there are cases of great small companies, offering a good and sometimes even better product than a well known brand. However, this tends to be the exception and not the rule.
A big established brand name can ensure a couple of things so you get a piece of mind when buying the product.
Let’s say for example, availability. Doesn’t it bother you when you buy something online and yet, you have to wait 10 working days until it becomes available?
I thought so. It bothers me too.
Besides the stock availability, replacement parts are very important. How many times did you have to replace a part that broke by accident or because you were only trying to be your creative self.
If something breaks down, you want to replace it as soon as possible and a big brand can ensure the availability of the spare parts.
Think about it. A big brand will probably still exist after 2 or 3 years after you purchase your beard trimmer. Does this apply to a small company? No one knows?
Do you want to find out? Hmmmm….. I thought so…
And one last thing.
How about when you want to sell something that you got already bored of? A good brand name can also give you this chance. The brand name value is what would help your product sell faster and at good price compared to what you paid for.
Now, I’m not sure who wants to buy your second hand beard trimmer. Especially the one that you used for something I don’t want to know about.
Nevertheless, you got more chances selling a beard trimmer that has a widely recognisable name.
3. Battery powered versus corded beard trimmer
No doubt that battery powered beard trimmers are much more flexible and convenient than corded.
Most beard trimmers with battery are obviously mobile and no cords are getting in your way.
Cordless beard trimmers can also be waterproof which makes cleaning (and trimming) a piece of cake. All you have to do is put it under running water. Easy peasy.
Even though it seems that a battery powered model would be the best choice, there are couple of drawbacks.
First of all, cordless beard trimmers are not as powerful as the corded ones. And more power usually means that the beard trimmer cuts your beard with higher speed without pulling your facial hair.
Another thing that corded trimmers have as an advantage is that there’s no chance that the battery dies. Well, obviously because they don’t have batteries – Captain Obvious has done it again!
It seems kinda stupid but imagine that if the battery for a cordless trimmer dies, you can’t use it without it even if you keep it plugged in.
4. Charge level indicator
Most beard trimmers have one, maximum two, led lights. This gives you an indication whether it’s charging or not and if it’s fully charged. And of course, there’s no light indicator when battery is dead.
A battery charge level indicator might make a difference when you’re searching for a beard trimmer. I understand that for many men this is the least of their concern. Many others however, would welcome such feature.
Think about it.
You’re late for your flight and you have to decide immediately if you need to get your charger or not. If you have a battery level indicator, you’ll understand immediately how long it’s going to last until you return home.
Now, you tell me if this isn’t helpful.
5. Number of speeds in a beard trimmer
Beard trimmers don’t necessarily have one speed. Depending on the way you’d like to use the beard trimmer, there’s a chance that you set it to a faster or slower setting.
So, think about whether you want a trimmer with more than the standard speed before you decide.
Speaking of different settings.
6. Guide and length settings you want in a trimmer.
Why would you get a beard trimmer that only has one setting, right?
One day you prefer a longer beard style and you take the beard trimming guide for longer beard. Next day you decide that a beard stubble would look so much better on you. Do you have the tools for this?
Make sure that your beard trimmer can offer you this possibility and that is, to change the setting and allow you to trim your beard at different lengths.
7. Is beard the only thing you’re going to trim?
It’s called beard trimmer for a reason. But let’s be realistic here…
The first thing you’ll do when you get the chance is to trim your……… facial hair. What were you thinking?
A beard trimmer can be easily used for trimming your hair, body or legs. So, before you go buy one, check out the parts and accessories the beard trimmer comes with.
Let’s get more specific here:
8. Interchangeable beard guards/guides or a single, adjustable guard/guide
There’s one thing you’re sure about and that is to get the best beard trimmer out there. No compromises!
For most, convenience is a crucial factor when choosing a product. And it’s no difference with beard trimmers.
And here’s the question you need to ask to yourself. Which is the best trimmer for you? One with interchangeable or adjustable beard guides?
Are you puzzled yet?
A beard trimmer that has an adjustable guard, allows you to have one flexible trimmer without having the need to change guards everytime you want to trim at a different length.
This however comes with a disadvantage. And I will explain.
The disadvantage is actually the interchangable’s beard trimmer advantage.
Are you still with me?
The fact that you can change the beard guard, practically means that you don’t necessarily have to use the beard trimmer just for your beard.
Think about all these trimmers that give you the possibility to completely change the beard guide and transform it from beard trimmer to ears or nose trimmer. However, this is something that beard trimmers that have an adjustable guard simply won’t/can’t do.
That gives you the whole idea.
If you’re planning on using the beard trimmer for anything else apart from grooming your beard, take this factor into consideration.
And this brings us to another important criteria to choose the best beard trimmer for your needs.
As said, a beard trimmer may come equipped with an interchangeable guard. And it’s particularly useful when you use the beard trimmer for different functions.
Imagine that you often have the possibility of using your trimmer as a body and hair trimming machine. And that’s not all. You can even use it as an electric shaver or a nose and ears trimmer.
Besides the accessories that you use as interchangeable parts of the beard trimmer, there are a couple more that can determine which beard trimmer is best for your needs.
Such things can be storage pouch, travel bag or beard trimmer’s stand. Remember that it’s the value for money you care about, right?
So, you better get the best out of this purchase!
10. Blade maintenance
While some beard trimmers require minimal maintenance to none, this really depends on the model.
Maintenance for a beard trimmer can be as simple as taking the beard guard off and just emptying the hair and debris right after you’re done trimming. And this is the case with most beard trimmers.
There are others, that keep things simple for you. Want to know how simple?
There are waterproof beard trimmers and you can easily wash the hair off. Cool right?
Many beard trimmers may need some care and attention though. There’s a high chance that you need to apply oil on the blade after a couple of uses. This helps in maintaining the blade’s health and sharpness. Therefore, blade maintenance may be another thing that you should consider.
11. How long does the battery of a battery powered trimmer takes for a full charge
Your first reaction is that this can’t be so important when selecting a beard trimmer. However, you’ll change your mind when you find out that a few beard trimmers may take up to 15 hours until they’re fully charged.
You still don’t care about it?
I can imagine that if you don’t use your beard trimmer that often, this won’t pose any problem. But what about if you use it every 2-3 days or even more frequently? Better not forget charging it because it’s going to be a long time until it’s fully charged.
12. How much runtime does a battery powered trimmer get from a full charge
This again really varies depending on the beard trimmer.
If you travel often, you might want to look at beard trimmers that have batteries that last as long as possible. The best beard trimmers that are battery operated, can give you one hour, and sometimes even more, beard trimming time.
Not bad at all, right?
13. How long should a beard trimmer last before you need a new one
That’s a tough call. It’s something that you can’t control and it also depends on how you maintain the beard trimmer.
Besides the mechanics that can go wrong with a beard trimmer, you need to pay attention to plastics part that could potentially break. The beard trimmers I’ve had experience with usually have body that consists of metal and plastic parts with the beard guides made out of hard plastic.
There quite a few plastic beard trimmers that feel very robust and they don’t give you the impression that they could brake only by staring at them.
My top-3 beard trimmers reviewed.
After determining the criteria, all that’s left to do is to dig into the details and find out why these three beard trimmers are among the best.
Philips Norelco QT4070/41 Beard Trimmer 7300
This is the only beard trimmer that I have left at the moment and it’s still alive. I bought it 4 years ago, and if I’m not mistaken, that was when Philips actually launched it.
It’s exceptionally good and it’s definitely one of the best beard trimmers for short beard and stubble I had the chance to experience.
- 18 beard guides
- Turbo function
- Useful display
- Quick charging
- Adequate trimming time
- Vacuum function
- Vacuum function isn’t as good as expected
- Hair storage door susceptible to breakage
Beautiful and Compact Design
Let’s start by saying that this beard trimmer has quite compact design which makes it perfect to take it with you when you travel. It’s definitely not small, yet it’s not going to take too much space in your luggage.
Since we’re talking about travelling, this trimmer has a security lock function that doesn’t allow it to start working by accident. Pretty neat.
Holding this lightweight beard trimmer feels nice in your hands. It has a good grip and it also gives you the feeling of a premium product, manufactured from durable materials. More particularly, it’s made out of metal and plastic parts.
I’m not sure if this is something that you would care about, but this beard trimmer looks very beautiful. I love gadgets and this one looks like a great one to have.
Unique features such as vacuum function
One of the nice features this model has, is the vacuum function. You can even call this a vacuum beard trimmer.
No, it’s not going to vacuum your house but it will certainly keep your sink clean from hair.
The vacuum function comes in handy indeed. You trim your beard and you don’t mess up the entire room with hair. However, when I used it, it seemed as if it wasn’t able to vacuum all the hair that it was trimming. Something like 10% of trimmed hair escaped the hair storage area. But again, this is no real reason to complain about this excellent feature.
Talking about the hair storage area, when the trimmer vacuums the hair, it stores it in a small area with a small door. This little door seems susceptible to breakage and you would want to be gentle when you open and close it. If this breaks, the hair storage area will be open and hair is going to fly while you trim your beard.
How happy are you with the features so far? Want some more?
Another useful thing this beard trimmer boasts, is the display. It shows you the beard length setting as well as the battery level. Even though you wouldn’t miss this feature with other models, you’ll be glad that is there.
One last thing that is great about this beard trimmer, is the turbo button. As you would normally assume, this button increases the speed of cutting as well as the speed of the vacuum.
While being a powerful model, you don’t feel that the blades pull your hair. This happens mainly because of the sharp blades this beard trimmer has and gives you a comfortable trim.
As far as concerned the number of passes on your beard, this depends on the beard guard you have at that moment of trimming and how thick your beard is. I found the turbo button useful when you want to trim thicker hair on your moustache and chin. When you press it however, it does reduce the operating time. Be moderate with the button when the battery is running low.
If you have a long and thick beard, it will take you more than three passes until you get it at the desired length.
18 Beard settings
One other thing that I like about this beard trimmer is the number of settings that it has. It’s got 18 beard settings which satisfies even the most demanding beardsman.
When you have the beard guard equipped, it can trim your beard as close as 1 mm until 18 mm (that’s between 1/32 – 23/32 inches). But it can get even closer. If you decide to remove the guard, it will trim your beard at .5 mm. That’s almost a shave but not quite.
Battery that won’t disappoint you
The other thing that I like about this trimmer is the fact that it’s very powerful for a battery operated model. Still, can’t compare with other corded models but if you wanted a corded model, you’d get one.
One thing that I found out is the runtime to be a bit different than what the manual suggests. However, this can depend on the way you use and charge the beard trimmer.
I tested the running time of the trimmer a week ago, and it gave me approximately 50 minutes of operating time while the advertised is 75 minutes. If I can make a good guess is that my beard trimmer’s battery got a bit worse. Nevertheless, it’s still not bad at all. The opposite I would say.
If you use the turbo button frequently, the operating time can go even lower than 50 minutes. Either 50 or 75 minutes, this is more than enough to give you a good trim for a few weeks and that, only if you use it regularly. No need to worry that the battery will die during your first or second trimming session following a full charge.
Talking about full charge, this takes approximately an hour. I would keep it plugged in for a bit longer as I found out that it needs a little bit more time. Not bad at all.
If you make your own search you will understand that the charging time is particularly fast compared to other beard trimmers.
Taking into consideration the vacuum function, the short charging time, powerful trimming and the long lasting battery, this Philips should be among the best stubble trimmers as well as for short beards.
Panasonic ER-GB40-S Cordless Moustache & Beard Trimmer Wet/Dry
This is another unit that I had until my little nephew completely destroyed it by using it as a spaceship. And you know what happens to spaceships flown by villains right?
As the name suggests, this is a beard trimmer that is perfect for both dry and wet beard trimming. Feeling excited already?
Let’s get to the details then, shall we?
- 19 beard guides
- Great Grip
- Adequate Power
- Good Battery
- Easy cleaning
- Very long charging time
- Frequent maintenance
The design is excellent. I would also dare to say that is super functional. When holding this Panasonic beard trimmer you feel that everything is under control. Thanks to the perfect grip, beard trimming gets very comfortable.
The other thing that I liked is the fact that is fairly simple to use. There are 19 settings that you can choose from and every setting increases the trimming interval by .5 mm. That being said, it can trim your beard and leave it as short as .5mm and up till 10mm.
Battery meets expectations. Charging time doesn’t
What about it then?
Operating time is around 50 minutes. It’s very good comparable to any other battery powered beard trimmers.
Battery life can be somewhere around 3 years if you use it frequently and charge it every two weeks. That’s not bad at all for a beard trimmer. I would say that even though it’s not an Li-ion battery, it’s very decent.
The downside? The actual battery.
What do I mean by that?
I didn’t particularly like the charging time. The first charge once you get the beard trimmer should be around 30 hours. Yup, that’s more than a full day.
This is again not a big deal since it’s something that many devices require as a first charge.
But what frustrated me was the fact that every subsequent charge takes around 20 hours. Again, this doesn’t have to be big deal if you only charge the beard trimmer during the night. Besides, you won’t be using it on a daily basis. But still, this could be a deal breaker for some.
One other thing that is directly related to charging is the charging station.
The charger is not directly connected to the actual beard trimmer but only to the charging station. Therefore, if you like to charge the trimmer, all you do it place it on the charging station.
In my opinion, this beard trimmer isn’t very travel friendly. You’ve got to take with you the beard trimmer and the charging station if you go away for many days which limits your luggage space.
Ever wanted to trim your beard while taking a shower?
I mentioned before that this beard trimmer is perfect for both dry and wet shaving. This is really magic!
Imagine that you can use it under running water or even enjoy a beard trimming session with shaving cream. Isn’t this awesome!
I also like the fact that you can clean it under running water.
Though, here’s something that you need to pay attention to. Every time that rinse this beard trimmer with water, you need to take into account the maintenance that’s following. And, I explain.
Maintenance is tricky but not that demanding
The fact that you can clean it with water that runs inside out the machine makes it super easy to maintain it.
However, right after you’re done trimming your beard and rinsing with water, you need to oil the blades. This ensures that the blades are kept sharp, rust free and clean. If you prefer not to oil the blades every time you use the trimmer, simply avoid rinsing with water. With dry beard trimming, you’ll have to oil the trimmer every four or five sessions. This isn’t such big of a deal.
Cleaning the trimmer is also very simple. You push up on the blade, the assembly comes right off and you clean and oil it. That’s it really.
Great value for money
To be honest, for the functionality that you get from this beard trimmer and the fact that is waterproof, it makes it one of the best beard trimmers you’ll find for this money.
You can’t really compare it with more expensive models. Overall, it’s a great trimmer and you won’t regret buying it, unless maintenance and charging times scared you off.
If you’re looking for a trimmer that you can wash it or use it with shaving cream, this is the best beard trimmer you can get for less than $60.
Wahl 9854-600 Lithium Ion All In One Trimmer
I wasn’t familiar with this model until I came across my barber’s. And you get what my barber’s using.
- Very powerful
- Many trimming guides
- Fantastic Battery
- Quick charging
- Easy cleaning
- Shaving function
- Many trimming guides not necessary
- Not such great design
Design that works
It’s relatively small with dimensions 3.1 x 5.5 x 10.5 inches and it weighs 15.2 ounces which is quite decent.
Design is definitely not the best feature of this trimmer. It’s a very simple looking device with metallic body while the guides are made out of hard plastic.
The Wahl 9854-600 certainly doesn’t look as fancy as the other two beard trimmers that I just talked about. Not nearly as beautiful as other beard trimmers such as the Old Spice Beard & Head Trimmer, powered by Braun.
But it’s not the appearance you care about when you’re thinking of buying the Wahl model. It’s pure performance you’re interested in.
If this is the case, look no further.
Let’s get to the specifics.
Available accessories are a big plus
The thing that struck me the most is the available parts that this beard trimmer comes with. It can literally trim and shave in every possible way.
Since we’re talking about beard trimming, it’s got three different guides for beard trimming with six different position guides.
One of the guide can get as close to your skin as shaving. Yes, you heard that right! You can actually use this beard trimmer as an electric shaver. My barber used it on my face and neck and it’s literally as good as an average electric shaver.
I understand that it doesn’t give you a close shave like a razor but it’s still good enough. Better than nothing.
Talking about different parts, it’s called all-in-one for a reason.
We mention already the beard guides. But it also comes with different guides for nose and ear trimming, dual shaver guide and even clipper guide to trim your hair.
It’s a complete solution for all types of trimming your want to do. It’s no coincidence that professionals use it.
Since a barber uses it, there must be a good reason behind it.
It’s not only the variety in terms of guides but it’s also the power that the Wahl beard trimmer comes with. Either beard or hair, this beard trimmer doesn’t take more than two passes on any type of hair. If you consider that we’re talking about a battery operated model, the power is astonishing.
Both the power and the available guides are very good reasons why the Wahl is the best beard trimmer for long beards.
But is it really that good?
Hard to find a more powerful cordless beard trimmer
The fact that is a very powerful model, comes with a price.
Just like many professional trimmers as well as it’s more powerful brother Wahl Professional 8655-200, the power makes this beard trimmer a bit unstable. Due to its power, the trimmer vibrates more than what you would want while trimming. However, I believe that this is not too much of a problem unless you want to be super precise with your beard or hair.
From my experience, if you want to be very precise with your beard lines, you don’t use a beard trimmer after all.
Good grip and easy to use
Talking about usability, this beard trimmer offer a very good grip and it feels comfortable, even in small hands.
The one thing that concerns me is the number of different parts that this trimmer has. Even when you use one guide and you want to trim your beard shorter, you need to change the guide. Therefore, if you lose one beard guide, you’ll need to replace it.
I believe that it would have been better to have a couple of adjustable beard guides, instead of having different ones for each length you want to trim your hair and beard. But again, this isn’t a deal breaker.
Battery and operating time is no match
So, we’re talking about a powerful cordless beard trimmer. What does this mean in terms of battery charging and operating time.
To begin with, it comes with a Lithium Ion battery and it can work with or without cable. Even if you run out of battery, you can still use it by having it plugged in the socket. No surprise here.
Now, here comes the good news.
For a full charge, it takes something like an hour. For this hour of charge you get something close to two hours of trimming time!
This is something that I haven’t seen in any battery powered beard trimmer. On top of that, this is the case with my barber’s trimmer and you need to think that he has been using it daily for the past two years. Imagine that if you buy the trimmer as new, it might even reach three hours of operating time as per manufacturer’s manual.
One last great feature of the battery is the 3-minute quick charge.
But what’s that?
Let’s say that the battery runs out of power and you need to use the beard trimmer. So, all you have to do is charge the beard trimmer for three minutes and you’ll get five minutes of beard trimming time. Unfortunately, my barber didn’t have the chance to try this so far since it’s been always plugged in.
Simple and straightforward maintenance
Maintaining this trimmer is not something complicated.
Once you’re done trimming, all you have to do is take out the guide that you used, clean the blade and the guide with the brush that comes with the trimmer and that’s it.
The guides are made out of plastic and you can rinse them with water if you wish. I wouldn’t do the same with the trimmer as it’s not waterproof.
The good thing is that the blades, even after 2 years of continuous use, they are still sharp which is a proof of good quality and durability. Certainly not as sharp as in the beginning but you wouldn’t be trimming your beard multiple times per day every single day, would you?
One last thing to keep in mind in terms of maintenance, is that you need to apply a bit of oil on and within the blades every once in a while. But this again is fairly easy and quick with the kit that the trimmer is packed with.
Other notable beard trimmers that I will test in the near future
While comparing the three beard trimmers, I feel that it’s a good idea to mention a few additional ones that are available out there and worth looking at.
That being said, few of them that I would like to test in the near future and I believe that they’re also among the best beard trimmers you can choose from, are the following:
- Old Spice Beard & Head Trimmer, powered by Braun
- Braun Cruzer 6 Beard and Head Trimmer
- Philips Norelco BeardTrimmer 3500
- Gillette Fusion Proglide Styler 3-In-1 Men’s Body Groomer With Beard Trimmer
What beard trimmer do you consider the greatest?