Whether you're looking for designer stubble or taming a big beard, we can recommend the best beard trimmer for the job
The best beard trimmer we’ve ever encountered was a barber from Brighton – but if you can’t easily fit in a visit at your barbershop, your next best option is to acquire yourself an electric beard trimmer and do it yourself.
Choosing the best beard trimmer for you isn’t as easy as you might think, though. There are loads of different brands vying for your hard-earned cash, and each offers a whole range of models. Some masquerade as shavers-cum-trimmers; others are advertised as body stylers, for tidying up everything from facial hair to delicate body areas.
Here, we’ve put a selection of the very best beard trimmers to the test and picked our favourites to make it easier for you to choose the right one for you. Whether you’re hoping to maintain a neat five o’clock shadow or pruning a full-blown Francis Drake, read on to get our full verdict on each model. After these reviews, you will find a handy buying guide offering the main things to consider when choosing a new trimmer.
Best beard trimmer: At a glance
|Best all-round beard trimmer||Wahl Aqua Blade | £87||Check price at Amazon|
|Best budget beard trimmer||Remington Barba | £28||Check price at Amazon|
|Best value beard trimmer||Braun BT5260 | £35||Check price at Amazon|
|Best trimmer for build quality||Philips Beard Trimmer 9000 Prestige | £130||Check price at Boots|
|Best for plenty of attachments||Remington G4 Graphite | £35||Check price at Amazon|
How to choose the best beard trimmer for you
What features should I look for?
All trimmers let you cut a range of different beard lengths via adjustable or fixed, clip-on combs. Some models can cut longer beards – and even head hair, while others are designed specifically for maintaining short stubble from 10mm down to 0.2mm, so be sure to check the cutting range and length increments in the key specs.
Having said that, all of the models featured here let you remove the comb to gain access to the blade itself for a close trim (usually closer than the listed minimum trimming length). However, not all models are waterproof so with these, you will likely need to remove the comb and then use the supplied brush to clean the trimmer. Most, but not all trimmers require you to oil their blades from time to time. If this is the case, the trimmer will come with the appropriate oil in the box.
How about battery life?
Battery life varies considerably between different beard trimmers. Lithium-Ion batteries offer the best performance, both in terms of how long they last and how quickly they charge, while other types don’t tend to perform so well. As such, it’s really important to check the listed charge and run times in the key specs tables when you’re comparing models. Most, but not all trimmers run while plugged into the mains, so that’s another thing to check if you’re likely to forget to charge it.
Do all beard trimmers come with different attachments?
Trimmers also vary considerably in this regard. Indeed, though some models have just a main trimmer and pop-up detail trimmer, others come with a range of swap-out attachments including foil shavers and nose-hair trimmers. Some also promise to be able to cut the hair on your head, although they will rarely compare with a dedicated hair clipper. Whether or not these features are important comes entirely down to personal preference. Bear in mind that if you do opt for a model with more attachments, there’s more to clean and lose.
Are all trimmers suitable for travelling?
A two-pin shaver plug won’t fit a European mains socket: the pins are the same size but spaced further apart. Bear this in mind next time you’re travelling. However, if you pick a model with excellent battery life, you may not need to charge it at all if you’re only away for a week or two. Most, but not all, trimmers come with a travel case, so if you’re likely to use it on the road, that’s also worth checking.
Does facial hair grow more quickly after shaving?
This is an impressively persistent myth. Facial hair grows about half an inch a month, regardless of whether you’ve shaved or not. If it appears to grow more quickly after shaving, that may simply be because the first shoots of hair on bare skin are more noticeable.
How we test beard trimmers
When we were road-testing beard trimmers we took into account everything, from the number of cutting lengths offered – the more cutting lengths a trimmer offers, the more versatility a trimmer has – to precision, charge time and battery performance. The ergonomics of a trimmer was crucial, as was its appearance – we can certainly be a sucker for a good-looking gadget.
Ultimately, what mattered most was how well and how quickly each trimmer powered through facial hair, how well it navigated facial contours, and whether it could tackle tricky areas, like just under the nose. To get an idea of how well each trimmer performed on different lengths of hair, we tested them first on thick, bushy facial hair around 2cm in length, and again, several days later, on the new growth. As ever, we had to consider value for money too.
READ NEXT: The best facial epilators to buy
The best beard trimmers you can buy in 2023
1. Wahl Aqua Blade: Best all-round beard trimmer
Price when reviewed: £87 | Check price at AmazonWahl claims the Aqua Blade is the only beard trimmer you will ever need and, when you look at its specifications, you can see why. As well as cutting twice as close as any other trimmer in this list – to 0.2mm, to be precise – it comes with twelve different guide combs so you can trim longer facial hair up to a length of 25mm.
As its name suggests, the trimmer is waterproof so you can use it in the shower and rinse it under the tap to clean it. The Aqua Blade comes with a carry case, too, and lasts an impressive three hours between charges, so if you’ve remembered to charge before you go away, you shouldn’t need to take a charger with you on holiday.
Having used the trimmer for several months, what we were most impressed by is the closeness of its cut – it’s the closest you will get to shaving without using a foil or wet shaver. The only caveat is that not using a guard comes with the risk of cutting yourself, which our reviewer managed to do on a couple of occasions when he didn’t pull his neck skin taut.
Key specs –Cutting range: 0.2-25mm; Length increments: 8; Usage time: 3hrs; Charge time (from empty): 60 mins Charging method: 3-pin UK plug; Waterproof: Water-resistant/showerproof
2. Remington Barba: Best budget beard trimmer
Price when reviewed: £28 | Check price at AmazonYou will be very hard-pushed to find a better beard trimmer than Remington’s Barba beard trimmer for less than £30. With its handy mechanical adjustment wheel, choosing from nine trimming lengths – from 1.5mm to 18mm – is an absolute cinch and, because there’s only one clip-on comb, there are no fiddly extra bits you will likely lose. Most importantly, the trimmer performs very well, cutting evenly every time without snagging. And thanks to its ceramic design, there’s no need to oil the Barba’s blades as you do with some models.
So well built is this workhorse of a trimmer that our reviewer still has a working example that he bought more than a decade ago. After all that time with it, his main criticism is that its battery could last longer between charges. The upside is that you can use it plugged into the mains should it run out of juice before you’re done sculpting your facial hair. If that’s still not good enough, there’s a lithium-ion battery variant of the Barba that lasts up to an hour between charges and costs just £38.
Read our full Remington Barba review
Key specs – Cutting range: 1.5-18mm; Length increments: 9; Usage time: 40mins; Charge time (from empty): 14-16 hours; Charging method: 3-pin UK plug; Waterproof: No
3. Braun BT5260: Best-value beard trimmer
Price when reviewed: £35 | Check price at Amazon This Braun is proof that you don’t need to spend a lot to get a brilliant all-round trimmer. It comes with two robust combs of different lengths, with 20 cutting lengths from 1mm to 20mm and the precision wheel lets you quickly adjust the comb up or down in 0.5mm increments. In use, it produced excellent, effortless results, perhaps thanks to Braun’s AutoSensing technology, which adjusts the trimmer’s power according to your beard’s thickness.
Indeed, we found you can approach from any direction, without precise positioning, and it cuts smoothly and evenly every time with zero snagging. The BT5260 even did a good job when trimming head hair, although the denser, thinner hairs did occasionally clog the comb and need shaking out. When you want to tidy up your neck and cheek lines, you can simply remove the BT5260’s comb and trim off excess stubble using the blade alone. And if you want to get an even closer cut or create more intricate lines, for an altogether more professional look, there’s an additional detail-trimmer attachment.
If this is more than you want to spend, the BT3240 is an even more affordable option, but it forgoes the detail trimmer attachment, and also lacks this model’s lithium-ion battery, which lets you fully recharge the trimmer in just an hour. Both models, are washable, though, meaning you should have no problems using them in the shower. Braun has even seen fit to include a free Gillette Fusion ProGlide manual razor for ultra-close finish, making this package the best-value on this roundup.
Key specs – Cutting range: 1-20mm; Length increments: 39; Usage time: 100mins; Charge time (from empty): 1 hour 5 mins; Charging method: 2-pin shaver (no UK adaptor); Waterproof: “Fully washable”
4. Philips Beard Trimmer 9000 Prestige: Best beard trimmer for build quality
Price when reviewed: £130 | Check price at BootsIf you find most beard trimmers too plasticky, then the Philips Beard Trimmer Prestige could be just the one for you. Its steel comb, which can be adjusted using the simple “zoom” wheel, doesn’t flex under pressure like some of its all-plastic rivals, and the trimmer’s chunky metallic design gives it a reassuringly weighty feel in the hand.
The trimmer is advertised as “fully waterproof”, so you should have no problems using it in the shower and you can rinse it under running water to clean it. Battery performance is solid too, with Philips promising a full two hours of usage from an hour-long charge.
With a maximum trimming length of 10mm (trimming lengths from 5-10mm require you to use the pictured clip-on comb), the 9000 Prestige isn’t the best choice for longer beards, but if you’re looking to maintain a well-groomed look with a trimmer that looks and feels great, this ticks all the boxes.
Key specs – Cutting range: 0.2-10mm; Length increments: 30; Usage time: 2hrs; Charge time (from empty): 1hr; Charging method: 3-pin UK plug; Waterproof: “100% waterproof”
5. Remington G4 Graphite Trimmer: Best for plenty of attachments
Price when reviewed: £35 | Check price at AmazonInstead of purchasing a bunch of different trimmers for your beard, chest, nose, head and delicate areas, why not plump for a model that does it all? Like this fine follicle fixer from Remington. The G4 Graphite comes with two fixed combs (1.5mm and 3mm) for your face, head or body, a beard and hair comb that adjusts between 2 and 20mm and a nose, ear and eyebrow trimmer. There’s also a mini foil attachment and a TST (trim shave technology) trimmer that delivers an extra close trim, plus a handy soft pouch to store them all in.
As a beard trimmer, it’s as versatile as any of the others on this page, trimming beards from 1.5mm (or shorter still if you remove the comb) all the way up to 20mm in length, and we found it did a decent enough job when it came to shaving heads too. As for the mini foil and nose-hair trimmer, they do exactly what they say on the tin and allow you to achieve that barber-fresh look. The only caveat is that the G4 has a slow charge time compared to some pricier models on this roundup, and it’s not waterproof either (though the manual does say you can clean the various attachments by removing them and rinsing them under warm water). In terms of bang for your buck, though, you will be hard-pushed to find anything better.
Read our full Remington G4 Graphite review
Key specs – Cutting range: 1.5-20mm; Length increments: 12 (including 1.5mm and 3mm fixed combs) Usage time: 1hr; Charge time (from empty): 10 hours; Charging method: 3-pin UK plug; Waterproof: No
6. Panasonic ER-CKN1 MULTISHAPE Modular Personal Care System: Best customisable trimmer
Price when reviewed: £70 | Check price at AmazonIt may not be the cheapest beard trimmer we tested, but Panasonic’s industry-changing Modular Personal Care System is certainly one of the most innovative and best looking. The idea is that you buy the main trimmer unit, which is designed to trim beards, as well as body and head hair, and then customise it as per your needs. Hence, you can buy attachments for every personal grooming task, from a nose trimmer to an electric shaver and even an electric toothbrush.
The main unit comes with two hair cutting guards – 1-10mm for short hair and 11-20mm for longer hair – and the cutting length can then be adjusted in tiny increments by using the built-in dial. This is a fantastically useful multi-functional tool that powered through beard hair without any problem and was an absolute dream to hold. We loved the sleek design and the matt finish, and it really feels like it’s been built to last. So if how a gadget looks and feels is as important to you as how well it performs, this is the grooming tool for you.
Key specs – Cutting range: 1-20mm; Length increments: 39; Usage time: 50mins; Charge time (from empty): 1hr; Charging method: 3-pin plug; Waterproof: Yes
7. Philips OneBlade 360 For Face: Best for travel
Price when reviewed: £35 | Check price at AmazonHaving tried this nifty little trimmer, we can safely say it’s the kind of grooming gadget every man should have in his bathroom cabinet. Not much bigger than a fat cigar, this clever hybrid trimmer/shaver is the perfect tool for neatly cropping beards or styling goatees, where precision edging is important. We found it a cinch to use and it was probably the best tool we have tried when it comes to defining beard lines around the neck, chin, and cheeks. On top of that, its size makes it brilliant for travel.
As well featuring an adjustable beard comb that offers 12 different length settings, between 0.5mm and 9mm, it also employs Philips’ innovative 360 Blade that flexes in all directions to maintains constant contact with the skin, even around the trickiest of bends. What’s really great about this dual sided blade is that it’s designed so that it’s almost impossible for you to nick yourself while shaving. However, as you’ll need to replace this roughly every four months, there’s a not-insignificant ongoing cost – a pack of three blades costs around £25 – but, other than that, we absolutely loved its size, ease of use, and overall performance.
Key specs – Cutting range: 0.5-9mm; Length increments: 12; Usage time: 90mins; Charge time (from empty): 1hr; Charging method: USB Waterproof: Fully waterproof
8. BaByliss SuperStubble XTP Beard Trimmer: Best digital beard trimmer
Price when reviewed: £82 | Check price at Amazon
If you like your gadgets hi-tech and flashy, this digital beard trimmer is the one. It offers a great range of lengths – from 0.4mm to 5mm – which can be adjusted in 0.2mm increments, making it a great trimmer if you place a premium on precision. The digital display shows exactly what length you’re using, which is handy for preventing cutting mishaps (anyone who’s used a beard trimmer will be familiar with those). As a bonus, it can even remember what cutting length you last used. In truth, that’s more of a fun feature than an essential one, but the battery life display is genuinely useful, showing you how many minutes of cutting time you have left.
What makes this trimmer stand out for us, though, is the floating, flexible head, which allows the trimmer to follow the contours of your face, a bit like how electric shaver heads generally do. This didn’t necessarily speed up the trim by much, but it did make it feel a little more comfortable. And you can call us shallow if you want, but the rose gold detailing really looks the biz too.
Key specs – Cutting range: 0.4mm to 5.0mm; Length increments: 0.2mm increments; Usage time: 70mins; Charge time (from empty): 80mins; Charging method: Three pin plug; Waterproof: Fully waterproof