My dad wore a beard for the entirety of my childhood. It was the ’70s/’80s, and it was fashionable, and I’m not sure I have a single memory of him without one. I, on the other hand, can’t grow respectable facial hair. I’ve been trying for 25 years, and the best I’ve pulled off is long sideburns and a patchy fu manchu. So when tasked with a story about the best electric razors and beard trimmers, naturally, I reached out to friends more qualified than myself — friends with actual beards. (My dad, by the way, has long shaved his off and has yet to embrace the lumbersexual aesthetic in retirement.)
When it comes to beard trimmers, there are a couple of key features to look for: namely, battery life, blade quality, and the number of cut settings. Batteries can range from a single AA that works until it dies to a high-end, rechargeable lithium ion battery that can quick-charge in one minute or run for up to five hours. Blades, meanwhile, can run from either self-sharpening to disposable, the latter of which are designed to last a few months. And finally, depending on how long or short you intend to keep your whiskers, most trimmers come with anywhere from three to 18 guided combs.
In addition, many razors are wet/dry so you can shave in front of the mirror or in the shower. And some more expensive models even have special functions like internal vacuums that suck up clippings before they have a chance to rain down on the bathroom sink and start an argument with your partner. A small price to pay one might argue. Keeping all that in mind, which ones are the best? Again, that’s why we asked our bearded experts. Here are the five they recommended and why.
Philips Norelco BeardTrimmer 7300
This teched-out trimmer has 18 secured length settings (from 1mm up to 18mm), including a just-the-right- amount-of-sexy .5mm stubble setting. An LED screen displays your selected setting and battery life brightly. But the best part of this beard mower is the internal vacuum that sucks up all the clippings as you shave ⏤ so nobody can get pissed about all those tiny hairs carpeting the sink. It’s on you to get the stored clippings in the waste basket, though.
What a Beard-Haver Said: “I’ve used this for years and it has never failed me. And the vacuum keeps the tiny hairs from hitting our sink, which keeps my wife happy. Also, the adjustable guard works really well for a consistent trim when I want to keep my beard longish.” ⏤Patrick, 42
Remington Beard Boss Stubble and Detail Kit
In addition to helping facilitate miraculous holiday makeovers (keep reading), this classic clipper set rocks self-sharpening blades, five fixed combs for different length beards, and a 100 percent waterproof body for shower shaving. Its internal lithium battery runs five hours on a single charge and can be re-juiced for one full trim in just five minutes.
What a Beard-Haver Said: “This has power and precision, baby! And it’s idiot-proof. At least enough that I was recently able to trim my beard to a neat stubble after a year of growth on a somewhat sleep-deprived, middle-of-the-night whim. It took my wife a minute to figure out what the hell was going on when she woke up the next morning. Best Christmas ever!” ⏤Steve, 33
Philips Norelco OneBlade Wet/Dry Electric Trimmer
Designed exclusively “for men who wear stubble, beards, or facial hair styles,” the OneBlade doesn’t come with all the extra hair-cutting accouterment. Instead, you get lightweight waterproof shaver with a replaceable, contour-following blade designed to last up to four months, or two full shaves weekly. There are three click-on combs and the nickel–metal hydride battery gets 45 minutes of trimming on a single charge.
What a Beard-Haver Said: “My beard grows quickly, but I keep it short. The OneBlade Wet/Dry gives me what I need in terms of daily upkeep. Plus, it’s great for keeping the edges and neckline clean. And the best part: it’s cheap as far as trimmers go.” ⏤Brandon, 33
Wahl 4-in-1 Multi-Groom Rechargeable Trimmer
The lithium ion battery is the big sell with this face-fuzz groomer, as it can quick-charge in a minute and charge fully in an hour (some take up to eight hours to recharge) It boasts four self-sharpening blades ⏤ a T-Blade, Dual Shaver, Precision Detailer, and Trimmer ⏤ and 12 cutting lengths thanks to seven guided combs. Also, it comes with a five-year warranty and a handsome zippered carrying case.
What a Beard-Haver Said: “The Wahl is durable as hell. And because it plugs into the wall and doesn’t rely entirely on batteries, it never pulls the damn beard hairs out when it’s low on power.” ⏤Taylor, 27
Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler: Trimmer, Shaver, & Edger
Like the OneBlade, the Gillette Fusion ProGlide is another in the class of hybrid razor-trimmers that use disposable blades ⏤ in this case, any Gillette Fusion cartridge. It’s shower safe, comes with three exchangeable combs (2mm, 4mm, 6mm), and uses a single AA battery. It’s also compact enough to fit in a shave kit.
What a Beard-Haver Said: “The Gillette Fusion has three heads for general trimming — nothing crazy there — but is really useful for shaping my beard, which in my current period of awkward beard growth really helps. It’s also easy to slide around the contours of my oddly shaped face. Plus, it’s cordless and wet/dry so I can use it in the shower and anger my wife by leaving trimmings in the drain.” ⏤ Matt, 33