Braun BT5050 Beard Trimmer for Men:
BT Around the Bush
BT Around the Bush
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, but is that attractiveness only skin deep?
If Looks Could Kill
“Any color, as long as it’s black” is phrase that may come to mind when you first see the BT5050. By the way, I’m pretty sure the “BT” is short for “beard trimmer”. Very imaginative guys.
Anyway, I really like the design approach for this trimmer. It’s made with a lovely matte black material and I’m nothing if not a sucker for anything in matte black. The shape is also functional, yet pleasing. The BT5050 comes across as modern without even trying. Even the dial and metallic blue highlights are classy. Overall, Braun has done a great job in the looks department.
Th BT5050 has a lot of choices when it comes to how long you can set your trim. There are two detachable combs. One is a precision comb that ranges from 1mm to 10mm. You can adjust within this range in 0.5mm steps. Man, that is some fine length control. The long beard comb covers beard lengths from 10mm to 20mm. The dial on the front of the trimmer provides intuitive control over the length setting.
Braun says that these blades are good for the lifetime of the trimmer. In other words, they’ll be the last component to fail. That’s a good claim on the surface, but sort of irrelevant. So we know Braun thinks that this is the strongest link in the chain, but the total lifespan is will be determined by the weakest link. Usually this will be the battery. This is, however, both a corded and cordless device, so even if the battery dies it may still keep going. I guess it will be a few years before anyone can say how credible the “lifetime-lasting” claim was on Braun’s part.
The claimed sharpness of the blades means no tugging or pulling of even a thick beard, which everyone will agree is something we do want.
Playtime is Not Over
I’ve already mentioned that the BT5050 is a battery-operated product, but it turns out those batteries are not the more advanced lithium ion type. Instead, this trimmer works with Nickel-metal hydride batteries. This means a tedious eight hours of charging to fill the battery up. Still, you get a very respectable fifty minutes of runtime before the juice is depleted. As I mentioned above, it will also work corded. The long charge time should therefore be less of an issue unless you are planning on spending lots of time away from any sort of civilization. In which case the wild beard may be appropriate anyway.
Overall, 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.
It’s not all roses though. I see quite a lot of people complaining that the power and blade oscillation speed under battery power are not up to expectations. The long charging time is also not a very popular aspect of owning the BT5050. It is, however, very good that the unit is waterproof and can be rinsed for easy cleaning. That’s a nice feature on a close shaver, but with the long hairs involved in beard trimming it’s an even bigger relief.
In fact, those NiMH batteries seem to be the main bone of contention for the few people who are not happy with them. It may have been a good idea to put some good lithium cells into the BT5050 and charge a bit more for it. Looking at what we have however, 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.