Electric Beard Trimmer Reviews

With great beards come great responsibility. For one thing, you’ll want to seriously consider products such as beard oils, balms, and waxes. Before you get to the fancy stuff though, the fundamental tool you’ll need to keep that hairy bad boy in check is a specialized beard trimmer.

Foil and rotary electric shavers are only good for maintaining a clean-shaven face or the bit around your beard, but to tackle the beard itself a trimmer is what you want. Of course, there are beard trimmers and then there are beard trimmers. The trick is to know which is which.

There are, however, many trimmers in the sea, and the following are amongst the best you can get. The first few are in order, but the rest is sort of random so you can decide for yourself if any of these are a better fit for you.

BEST OVERALL BEARD TRIMMER:
Philips Norelco 5100 Series

You can’t turn anywhere to get away from the giant presence that is Philips Norelco in the hair trimming business. They basically saturate the breadth of the mid-range with their products and it’s fair to say that by now the company knows how to make a trimmer that sells.

This Series 5100 beard and head trimmer sits in the middle of a lot of things, mainly the price range. For a mere fifty bucks you could be the owner of this beard trimming system. The question is, do you want to own it? Let’s see what old PN is offering today.

The word on the street (or at least on the product feedback pages) is that in practice the 5100 is every bit as good as it promises to be. As long as you don’t intend to shave your head as well, I find it very hard to fault the 5100 in any way. If fifty bucks is exactly what you have in your pocket and you need a good trimmer for your beard, this is a fantastic way to spend it.

BEST TRIMMER FOR THICK & LONGER BEARDS:
Panasonic ER-GB80-S

I really don’t hear enough from Panasonic anymore these days. At one point half of the appliances I owned were probably made by Panasonic, but these days other brands seem more prominent.

Looking at this ER-GB8-S multi-function trimmer, it seems that at least this division of the company is still on their game. According to Panasonic this trimmer has won awards, so that’s a good start. Of course, by the almost hundred dollar price you can already tell this is not an average chopper, tending more toward the mid-high end of the market.

Customer reactions to the Panasonic trimmer are very, very positive. There are many testimonials that relate to the build quality, and it is especially people with very thick beards who sing the praises of Panasonic’s multi-function trimmer.. Words like “sturdy” and “well-built” are all over the place when you read the feedback.

Overall, despite the relatively high price, the Panasonic is easily in contention for the best beard trimmer you can buy. I have no doubt that if you put money down on this product it will keep you happy and trimmed for years to come.

BEST FOR STUBBLE & SHORT BEARD:
Panasonic Milano All-in-One Trimmer

This Panasonic Milano has a lot to live up to. It’s the little brother to the ER-GB80-S. That trimmer costs twice as much as this one, doesn’t have a nice friendly name like “Milano”, and kicks all sorts of behind. I consider the GB80 to be one of the best beard trimmers money can buy. Still it isn’t exactly cheap; the Milano’s price is much more palatable. So the question is, how much of what makes the GB80 would you have to sacrifice if you bought the GB40 instead?

Well, the Milano is a very compelling product. Overall, I don’t think you’d be giving up much by saving half your cash and buying this instead of the GB80. However, if you want to maintain a longer beard you’ll have little choice.

The people who have bought it are pretty happy with its trimming ability. Like me, they lament the long charging times and it turns out that if you trim wet all the time or rinse often with water you also have to oil the blades a bit frequently. At least the official guidelines say that you have to oil the blades basically after every trim. In practice, no one actually does this.

I really think that the GB40 Milano is an excellent trimmer, especially for stubble, and if you are of the short-bearded persuasion you’ll have no luck finding something this good at this price.

BEST FOR THE MONEY:
Conair Corded Beard and Mustache Trimmer

Conair has developed a reputation for walking the thin line between price and quality. Most of the time they get it right, although there have been a few products I’ve had to question.

It’s hard to imagine that this corded trimmer from Conair could be any cheaper. At just over ten bucks this is literally an impulse buy. We’re talking about a burger and soda for one person here. The price of a cheap lunch is all it takes to own your own beard trimmer. Hoping that it may actually be a good one is a bonus at this point.

The first thing I think I can say is that clearly this trimmer from Conair is not junk. It works well enough to do the job it promises to do on the box.

So my first recommendation is that if you only have ten dollars to spend on a beard trimmer you have a hard time finding anything better than this. If it were any cheaper Conair would be paying you to take it off their hands. That fact plus the actual non-junk status of the product are strong endorsements.

If, however, you can spend fifty dollars or more, almost any product is going to beat the ten dollar Conair. I honestly commend Conair for making such an affordable trimmer and for that I can confidently make them my budget choice. As long as you know what you’re getting for your money, there should be no problem at all.

Braun BT5050 Beard Trimmer for Men

Braun is a real powerhouse brand in the world of personal care appliances and when it comes to electric foil shavers they are probably one of the very best companies. That reputation is not so clear cut when it comes to the (admittedly smaller) beard trimmer market.

This BT5050 is a mid-range model that comes in at just under sixty bucks or thereabouts. At a glance it’s immediately a pretty attractive combination of brand and price, and people who’ve had a shave with the BT5050 are very happy with it indeed. There are no frills to this trimmer. It does exactly what it advertises and nothing more. In capable hands you can style just about any beard you can imagine.

I don’t think there is any reason to avoid the BT5050. It looks great, works great, and what flaws it does have are not important in the greater scheme of things. At this price it’s a no-brainer – you can buy one with confidence.

Philips Norelco Beard Trimmer Series 7200

Right from the start of this review I’m going to spoil it all and let the cat out of the bag: this trimmer sucks. I mean that literally. The Series 7200 trimmer from Philips Norelco comes with a built-in vacuum cleaner which supposedly sucks up your beard hair as you use it, taking care of the sometimes messy result of a thorough trim.

This is an idea that immediately reminds me of the ill-fated Flowbee vacuum hair cutting thing which, shockingly, is still being made and sold today. This is however Philips Norelco we’re talking about here. Not some guy taping vacuums and clippers together in a garage somewhere. You’d think that they’d refrain from releasing anything intentionally useless. So I must assume this unholy fusion of the vacuum and trimmer has some purpose.

One thing that’s worth noting is that this is probably the most popular beard trimmer online at the moment. Why that is, is not difficult to explain. It all seems like a pretty good idea, although it remains to be seen if cleaning this trimmer is any less gross or tedious than usual. The blades are nice self-sharpening stainless steel numbers.

The 7200 has has a respectable 20 length settings that can be adjusted in 0.5mm increments from 0.5 to 10mm. The lithium battery is also very efficient, proving an amazing 80 minutes of operation from only an hour’s charging.

Overall people really like the 7200. The vacuuming actually seems to work as advertised, although I am concerned about adding yet another moving, mechanical system to the trimmer – it’s just another thing that can go wrong. The vacuuming is noisier than just trimming as well, which might be a turn-off for some. On the plus side you also get a clip-on precision trimmer and both cordless and corded use.

Overall the 7200 is an excellent kit and it’s even priced reasonably, but the limited length settings reduce its versatility. In terms of how easy it is to clean, well, you can run it under water; there is apparently a hair chamber that beard shavings get vacuumed into.

This is a great shaver, but the vacuuming aspect of it doesn’t seem like a critical or essential feature, to be honest. It’s not as if the normal cleaning requirements of beard trimmers are such that a built-in vacuum is going to be a game changing addition. If this feature appeals to you then, by all means, you will be happy with the 7200. It’s good just as a trimmer; just not essential.

Remington MB-200 Review

Few things are as manly as a Remington electric trimmer. After all, they are an offshoot of the same Remington company that make firearms. Remington has been making electric razors and trimmers for decades and you can’t get much better in terms of sheer brand recognition. This MB-200 is an affordable model that sports the iconic brand name, but does its performance live up to the company reputation?

The design of the MB-200 is strong and bold. I really like the single black swathe that runs from the comb along the body of the trimmer, with the rest being silver. The whole shape and color choices make the MB-200 look both classic and contemporary. Remingtos done a great job here by not over-complicating things.

Remington is known for high-quality blades and the MB-200 seems no different. In fact, the company makes some strong claims about them. The blades are coated in titanium and according to Remington never need oiling at all. On the flipside, the MB-200 is not washable at all, which might explain why it never needs to be lubricated again. It’s soft brush cleaning only, in this case. The blades are self-sharpening and wider than usual.

There are no detachable combs; the entire unit is self-contained. You can select one of nine length presets, which is very limited indeed. It’s important therefore to ensure that the beard lengths you need are supported by the MB-200. It starts at 1.5mm and stops at 18mm, but the increments are not the same throughout, it seems.

The MB-200 is not a trimmer that can serve as your only trimmer. Rather, I think it is a great second trimmer – the one you throw in your bag for a weekend out or keep as a backup in your car. It’s well-made and very cheap, but it sacrifices too much in the process and is just not versatile enough to be a daily driver.

Philips Norelco BeardTrimmer 9100
with Laser Guide

When your goal is to make something cooler than it already is, the lowest hanging fruit has got to be attaching a laser to it. Name one thing that isn’t automatically cooler if it has a laser.

The idea is actually simple, since most of us can’t really shave a perfectly straight edge in our facial hair, the 9100 offers a precise method of making sure your beard is symmetrical perfection. That sounds awesome, but does it work well enough to make it worth it?

The 9100 is pretty boring to look at. Philips Norelco isn’t exactly known for amazing designs in the first place and the 9100 is pretty ho-hum even by their standards. It’s OK, I guess, just nothing special.

The whole theme of the 9100 is precision, as it’s geared for stubble and mustache. The blades are self-sharpening chromium steel, the trimmer has two different edges for different types of precision trimming, and of course the laser projects straight beard lines directly on your face in order to help you shave the perfect Ken doll beard. Strangely however, this shaver only has 17 length presets; that’s one of the lowest figures I’ve seen. If you were looking for maintenance of a longer beard, look elsewhere. Those 17 increments are between 0.4 and 7mm. In its defense, the increments are a precise 0.2mm, but that still severely limits who will find this product useful.

Powering up that laser luckily does not seem to hurt battery life too much. An hour of charging will get you an hour of trimming from the built-in lithium-ion battery. Not too bad at all. There doesn’t seem to be a quick-charge feature for emergencies, but presumably a five minute charge will give you five minutes of trim, which would be functionally equivalent. Either way, this trimmer supports corded and cordless use, which means that you’ll probably be fine.

On average, the customer impressions of this product are not bad, but some people complain that the 9100 is a bit weak and struggles to trim even moderately thick beards. In practice, the laser gimmick also doesn’t seem to work all that well, since of course the laser moves around with the trimmer. The best you can do is check after the fact how bad your line is, but it doesn’t really help make them any straighter.

Philips Norelco makes plenty of very nice and very good trimmers, and this one isn’t bad either, but it’s definitely not the best one you can find.

Braun Precision Trimmer PT5010

Arguably this PT5010 precision detailer doesn’t really belong here among the full-on beard trimmers, but I felt that I should highlight the product simply because so many beard trimmers, even the best ones, often do not have built-in precision trimming or good attachments.

That makes a specialist detail trimmer like this one a perfect companion to an otherwise competent big trimmer. Of course it depends on your standards for facial hair. If you are happy to simply run through your beard with a big trimmer a few times, this is not for you. If you want razor-sharp lines and edges, you’ll need something like this, since big trimmers simply can’t get everywhere you’d need to go in order to achieve that sharply-defined look.

The PT5010 is a small device, although perhaps not as small as its product shot might suggest. Design-wise there isn’t much to say. It’s like a fat whiteboard marker with a comb thingy at the end. Functional, but not beautiful. That being said, it looks like a quality product that would be at home in a high-end salon.

The cutting element on the PT5010 is truly tiny. There are two interchangeable combs that let you defines the sharp edges of your mustache or beard. The head is washable under a tap, making maintenance a breeze.

There is no rechargeable battery here. The trimmer runs off a AAA battery and the first one is luckily included. That makes it perfect as a travel companion since you can buy batteries anywhere and don’t have to worry about voltages. One fresh battery gives you a very respectable two hours of operation.

Customer feedback indicates that the performance of the Braun is adequate, but given how cheap it is, I’m willing to give it a pass for being just good enough. However, if “good enough” is not good enough for you, spending a little more money should do the trick nicely.

Philips Norelco Multigroom Series 7100

I like convergent things. I like that I no longer have to carry around a camera, a Walkman, and a bunch of books. Now it all just goes into one smartphone. Convergence is cool, even if the convergent machine doesn’t do everything quite as well as the separate, specialized gadgets.

So here we have the convergent trimmer. The Philips Norelco Multigroom. It slices, it dices, it basically cuts all the hair on your body regardless of where it is, even inside your nose. There are now fewer than eight attachments that will help keep hair off you like an overzealous trichotillomaniac (Google it).

The blades are chromium steel and self-sharpening. It has 18 length settings, which is at the low end of the spectrum. The battery is lithium and the claim is for a respectable sixty minutes of operation. It also has an interesting “turbo mode” for thicker hair, which presumably shortens the battery life in exchange for more vigorous hair removal.

All of this is wrapped up in a mostly boring package that is showerproof and allows for wet and dry operation. The price is also pretty good, given what you get.

All in all the Multigroom looks great on paper. In practice it’s only average in most of what it does, though. The nose trimmer attachment in particular seems to draw the ire of many, which doesn’t go down well since if one component is sub-par you have to buy a second device anyway.

If you are in need of trimming everywhere (I’m sorry) and can only afford the one thing, this is a good (and perhaps only) choice. If you can afford to buy separate devices I’d recommend that instead, because then you can do better.

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