Beards are great. They can turn a baby face into a man face, add some gruffness to your look, and are just overall badass—as long as they’re well groomed. To keep it sharp, you’re going to need a good beard trimmer.
The thing is, that’s not as easy as it sounds. While it’s tempting to walk into whatever big box store you prefer and pick up a set that has a good looking guy with a tight beard on the box, it’s a little more complicated than that. You have to think about your beard and your “beard goals” when picking up a trimmer.
For example, if you like a tight, short crop, then most beard trimmers are pretty good. But if you rock a thick or long (or both!) beard, small battery-powered trimmers probably won’t cut it (ha!). For that, you’ll need to go with something more robust—like a set of hair clippers. These are generally more robust and powerful, giving them the edge you need to keep easily power through the thickest of beards.
Regardless of whether you like a close trim or a well-groomed beard with some length, we have you covered. Here are the best beard trimmers you can buy.
The Best Premium Choice for Short Beards: Wahl Lithium Ion+ Trimmer ($60)
For those who like to rock a close crop, the Wahl Lithium Ion+ is the way to go. At $60, this isn’t the cheapest option on the list, but it’s a set that will do everything you need, and do it well.
It features a rechargeable battery with four hours of runtime, as well as four different trimmer heads—detailed shaver heard, t-blade, rotary head, and a precision detailer—making this a great choice for more than just your beard. It also comes with 12 different guards ranging from 1/16 of an inch up to one inch, so it covers a wide range of lengths.
The Lithium Ion+ comes complete with a carrying case, as well as a cleaning brush and oil. It’s everything you need in one tidy, reliable package.
The Best Budget Choice for Short Beards: Philips Norelco Multi Groomer ($20)
If you want a tight trim on a small budget, the Philips Norelco Multi Groomer is where it’s at. This $20 beard trimmer offers a lot of bang for your buck.
The battery on this trimmer will get you about an hour of use, which is more than enough for a couple of trims for most people. It ships with seven different guards—ranging from 1mm to 16mm—as well as rotary trimmer head and precision head. The heads are also waterproof (while not attached to the trimmer) for easy cleaning in the sink.
Philips also claims the Multi Groomer has what it calls “DualCut” technology for self-sharpening that will stay sharp even after two years of use. That’s cool, but the real value here is the low price. Keep in mind that it doesn’t come with trimmer oil, so you’ll need to keep some on hand to keep the blades sharp and running smoothly.
Best All-in-One Option for Short Beards: Philips Norelco OneBlade ($35)
If you’re all about living that #onerazorlife, the OneBlade is definitely something you should look at. This a hybrid system that can work as a beard trimmer and face razor all in one tight little package. It’s cool, but keep in mind that it’s only for the shortest of crops—if you like the stubble look, this one’s for you, Mr. Miama Vice.
The OneBlade comes with the razor itself and three guards. Philips calls the guards “stubble combs,” which should you give an idea of the length they provide. The trimmer will run for 45 minutes on a single charge and is completely waterproof for easy cleaning.
The other thing to note about the OneBlade is that the head is replaceable, much like a modern razor. Each head is claimed to last for four months with regular trimming every two weeks. The heads run about $25 for two, which is something to keep in mind if you decide to go this route. But, given the dual-use nature of the OneBlade, it should save money on heads for a “regular” razor, so it may be a wash.
The Best Trimmer for Long or Thick Beards: Wahl Clipper Elite Pro ($45)
Long and thick beards require a different approach. Lightweight trimmers that work well on shorter beards generally aren’t powerful enough to get through a Big Ol’ Beard™, so you’ll need a set of head hair trimmers to do the job.
And when it comes down to it, the Wahl Clipper Elite Pro is where it’s at. This set comes with everything you’d need to not only trim your beard, but hair too: eight guards from 1.5mm to 25mm, brush and oil, guard bag, haircutting cape, scissors, and comb. Lots of stuff in this package.
It’s worth mentioning that this isn’t a wireless kit—you’ll need to plug this one into the wall every time you want to use it. The increased power you get here is worth the tradeoff though, plus you never have to worry about remembering to charge it.
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