(Pocket-lint) - Beard trimmers and electric razors may seem like they have a lot in common, and in many cases they do, but you may well be looking for something a little less drastic than a full, close shave, which is where their differences are key.
A trimmer, compared to a shaver, is great at keeping your beard uniform without getting rid of it entirely, and can also be a great help in styling it depending on how you want to look. We've brought together some of the very best options out there for you to check out, right here.
Testing these trimmers involves the obvious process of actually using them, to figure out how efficiently and comfortably they trim. It's all about assessing their features, including how many length options they offer, and checking on their battery life and ease of use. Value is also key, of course, as you don't want to overpay for your trimming.
The best beard trimmer to buy today
- Excellent trimming
- Easy adjustments
- Great value
- Won't last forever
Panasonic's trimmer is dead simple, with its guard built-in and a really satisfying ring-style controller to let you adjust the length that you want. That makes it super easy not only to use, but to adjust on the fly for different sections of your facial hair.
It's also nice to hold and easy to angle, and on top of that is really well-priced in the mid-range of the market. Cordless, its charging dock can sit on any surface in your bathroom, and we think that this is a package that will suit almost all users down to the ground.
Other beard trimmers to consider
Here are four other top beard trimmers that are worth checking out:
Philips OneBlade Pro
- Super adaptable
- Great for travel
- Not the most consistent
Philips has created an interesting proposition with the OneBlade, a device that theoretically could be good for anyone's facial hair regardless of length. If you're buying it to tackle regular beard maintenance, though, we recommend forking out for the upgraded Pro version.
This comes with a charging dock, a bit more premium build quality and that all-important adjustable guard, which is far more usable than the clip-on versions that come with the more affordable OneBlades. It makes for a great package that can also shave you closer if you like.
Philips Series 9000 BT9297/13
- Impressive laser-guidance
- Excellent trimming
The laser atop the Philips Series 9000 is perhaps the most technical-looking single component anywhere on this list, but we're not sure that it's the difference-maker for this great trimmer. It shines a red line on your face so that you can make sure you're trimming symmetrically on both sides, which can be useful.
More importantly, though, is the great performance that the trimmer cranks out, with powerful operation that doesn't get jammed easily, and a precision attachment that's great for putting the finishing touches to your beard.
Braun Beard Trimmer BT7040
- Loads of attachments
- Great performance
- Also fairly pricey
Braun is a stalwart of the hair trimming scene, and has a great trimmer in the form of the BT7040, which like others on this list features a ring-dial adjustment system for its guard. It gives you a huge amount of control over the length of your trim, which means you'll be sure to find a favourite as you use it.
Its cordless motor gives great performance, adjusting to make sure that it always cuts at a consistent speed, while a set of different heads gives you loads of control over how exactly you style your beard out.
BaByliss For Men Pro Beard Trimmer
- Excellent value
- Ergonomic design
- Won't blow you away with quality of trim
Our final pick goes to BaByliss's really nicely priced trimmer that has the added bonus of a look that's a little less generic than some others on the market. Its bowed handle is easy to hold, and actually makes it really ergonomic to use, as well as looking a bit like Count Dooku's lightsaber for bonus points.
It can work cordlessly for an hour on each charge and comes with a nice carrying case that's great for travel or storage, and its guard has the now-standard dial to let you change its length easily on the fly. It's a really solid deal at this price.
Other products we considered
The Pocket-lint editorial team spends hours testing and researching hundreds of products before recommending our best picks for you. We consider a range of factors when it comes to putting together our best guides including physically testing the products ourselves, consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. Many of the devices we consider don’t make our final best guides.
These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5:
How to choose a beard trimmer
Picking your beard trimmer raises some key questions that you'll want to consider before you take the plunge, to make sure that you get the right fit. Here are some areas to think about:
How thick is your beard?
First up, an obvious variable when it comes to beards is just how thick and long yours actually is. Trimming a beard that riches down to your collarbone is very different from maintaining some designer stubble, and if you're dealing with a longer beard you'll probably need to do some extra research. What attachments a trimmer comes with will be key here, letting you see how long you can trim with it.
Will you be travelling with your trimmer?
Some of the trimmers we've featured above come with handy travel pouches or cases - others don't, so it's well worth reading the fine print to see what'll actually be in the box when you pick a certain trimmer.
Do you ever do a clean shave?
Another big question is whether you want your trimmer to be able to also help you get a cleaner shave. If so, you might be better off finding a hybrid shaver that has a trimming attachment, or vice versa. Either way, if you switch your style up plenty, make sure to plan your purchase.
How do you trim?
Are you a traditional in-the-mirror kind of person? Or do you tend to do your trimming in the shower? These are important things to work out because some trimmers have different degrees of waterproofing - make sure that your choice supports the way you intend to use your trimmer.
More about this story
Every product in this list has been tested in real-life situations, just as you would use it in your day-to-day life.
Where beard trimmers are concerned, we've stuck our beardier team members on the case, letting them check out a range of trimmers to assess which ones give the most satisfying experience. This means trimming with them for a decent chunk of time, not just as a one-off, and seeing how they perform.
It also means working out which offer the most comfortable trims, and which have enough options to let you really control your look. Value is a key area, since an overpriced gadget isn't great for anyone, and features like waterproofing and battery life also count for a lot.
We aren’t interested in pointless number crunching or extraneous details - we just want to provide an easy to understand review that gives you an idea of what it's going to be like to use. And don’t for a second think that the products aren't tested fully because the reviews are concise.
We’ve been covering tech since 2003, and, in many cases, have not only reviewed the product in question, but the previous generations, too - right back to the first model on the market. There is also plenty of models we've considered that didn't make the cut in each of our buyer's guides.