(Pocket-lint) - One of the problems when growing a beard is that at times it can be a bit straggly, a bit Tom Hanks from "Cast Away". So can Philips help you keep it under control with the Philips QT4045 vacuum trimmer? We get mo growing and trimming to find out.

The QT4045 offers cutting lengths of 1.5mm to 18mm across nine different settings. The silver tube-shaped shaver fits comfortably in any manly hand. Buttons, dials, and knobs are kept to a minimum with a single on/off button.

Changing the setting is by twisting a ring (called the Precision Zoom Lock) to raise the cutting length. Unfortunately, rather than inform you of the length of cut you are changing it to, Philips has opted for a number from 1 to 9. It's an annoying move as it means you've got to revert to the manual to find out what you are about to cut. There is no logical formula to it. Number 7 on the gauge for example is 12mm. Luckily the locking mechanism is strong enough that it won't be suddenly changed when you start cutting.

The cutting blades themselves are, according to the blurb, wave-shaped self-sharpening blades that promise a "precise and even" trim. In practice they live up to the promise cutting beard hair well to the desired length. That cutting process is helped by a contour following comb that, you guessed it, follows your face.

But where the Philips QT4045 vacuum trimmer comes in really handy is the vacuum cleaner that it's hiding in its bowels.

Turn it on, the vacuum pump starts to whurr and what that means is that any hair you cut off your face automatically gets sucked into a small see-thru compartment in the shaver and not on to your shirt. In our tests that vacuum pump is powerful enough to do the job and we were pleasantly impressed with the performance and the lack of hair on our clothes. The compartment is big enough for an average single shave, but does vary depending on how much hair you are cutting off.


While growing a beard during Movember isn't actually allowed in the rules, when November is out of the way this will allow you to control your facial hair without it getting too out of control.

Complaints? Well it would have been nice if the gauge settings actually correlated to the length of the cut and if we are being picky a shorter than 1.5mm cut length.

However if you've got a good enough memory to remember your favourite setting and looking to keep your beard under control then this should do nicely.

Happy to grow a beard? Why not grow a mo for Movember? Help raise money and awareness for The Prostate Cancer Charity here in the UK.

Currently around 30,000 men a year are diagnosed with Prostate Cancer and around 10,000 men a year die from the disease. That's over 1 every hour.

Writing by Stuart Miles.