Have we reached peak beard? Or is the beard dead? We’ll level with you – nobody seems to know quite where we are in the grand trend spectrum of facial foliage. But one thing we can safely say is that leaving the house with a chin wig completely untamed and absolutely feral is never a good idea.
So consider this your one-stop guide to the tools you need to bring your beard under control. We’ve tested a selection of the very best trimmers money can buy, so you whether you’re rocking a big bushy number or tight and trim stubble, you can find the grooming weapon perfectly suited to your needs. Take a look below, and tame the beast accordingly.
Panasonic i-SHAPER ER-GD60 3-in-1
First impressions? Oh here he is – the troublemaker, the one that throws the rulebook out the window, swims against the current, doesn’t do things the way they’re supposed to be done. Thought you knew how to hold a beard trimmer, huh? This one says otherwise. This one, you’re holding like a giant soup spoon. Or at least we were, as we pulled it from the box and tried to get to grips with its horizontal, rather than run-of-the-mill straight-up, head position.
Hands-on test: Points off for a pretty bland-looking tool. Nothing much to report on the aesthetics front, besides a flashy light and button. Not to mention the achingly normcore silver and black colourway. But the big claim that the smaller head size increases precision? True. We hacked a dead straight line into our jawline like some sort of grooming samurai. And it was a dream to use for tearing off our frankly upsetting neckbeard set-up. Definitely a substance over style affair, and one more adept at details than full-blown grooming.
Extras: Two “innovative” attachments (one for details, the other for trimming), as well as a charger, a little bottle of oil, a tiny cleaning brush to lose in five minutes, and a very luxe-feeling almost-velvet pouch to pop the lot in.
£99, buy it on boots.com
BaByliss Super Stubble XTP
First impressions: Strap in, partner, because we’re charging head-first into the future with this one. Gone are the days of manually adjusting your trim-guard length – this has two buttons under the flashy LED display that make it accurately and mechanically move up and down as your wont and will dictates. Unless you live on the Starship Enterprise, this will absolutely be the most high-tech thing in your bathroom.
Hands-on test: Oh boy. Your faithful old beard buzzer? Its days are numbered. Truly, this feels like the new dawn of follicular trimmage. Its springy “floating” contouring head totally did the trick, embracing our chops like a leaping face-hugger straight out of Alien, while the electro guard movement never lost any of its fun throughout the three-minute buzz over our chin ’n’ cheeks. This thing is the iPhone 7 of beard trimmers. The rest suddenly seem like Nokia 3210s.
Extras? A smart little assemble-it-yourself charging dock, a little bottle of lubricating oil and a double-ended – double-ended! – tiny cleaning brush to lose in five minutes. What is this newfangled wizardry?!
£100, buy on amazon.co.uk
Wahl Total Beard
First impressions: No outlandish claims, no fads to lure you in, just a real simplistic, shiny, ergonomic piece of kit that quietly boasts an epic 180 minute run time and one minute quick charge. We like this guy. The quiet guy.
Hands-on test: You’ll feel like Edward Scissorhands with this buzzing away in your mitts. Not only does the easy grip design make it genuinely feel like this was born to sit in your palm, bestowing all the skills of an all-out hair cutting grand master unto you, but the blades are very, very sharp. This thing wizzed through our five-day face fuzz like a knife through custard. The quiet guy’s a little machine!
Extras? You’re swimming in the things. Twenty-one of them in all, including beard oil, clipper oil, 13 guide combs, a storage stand, a tiny little cleaning brush to lose in five minutes, and a pouch to keep the lot in.
£64.99, buy on argos.co.uk
Braun MultiGroomer MG5090
First impressions: Bits slide up and down, things twizzle around and clippy bits clip on and clip off. It took us a good three minutes to decipher how each part of this triple-threat trimmer (it also shaves and styles) worked, but once we did, we were grooming in German-engineered heaven.
Hands-on test: “Solid” is the word that comes to mind. Solid and efficient, like brick-wall defender Robert Huth or an Apache helicopter. The trimmer tool only has four settings, which feels slightly limiting, but we managed to get the job done using its five-minute quick charge feature. It’s a very useful addition if, like us, you spend your mornings moaning about not having plugged your trimmer in the night before.
Extras? Yep, there’s a tidy little cradle to charge your tool in, a “three-day beard comb and protection cap” for a consistent half-week trim length, a precision attachment for styling, and a tiny little cleaning brush to lose in five minutes.
£69.99, buy on amazon.co.uk
Wahl Lithium Beard Trim
First impressions: If you like zero messing around, this is the device for you. No fuss. No bumf. No gimmicks. One end has “superior quality” blades. The other is where you charge it. There’s a power button in between. Job done, mate.
Hands-on test: Oh boy, those blades do feel superior. They’re the General Zod of blades. Beard hairs bow down to this trimmer before it tears through them. There are seven trim lengths to choose from (a solid offering), but annoyingly the guard doesn’t come off. If you’re looking for a trimmer that allows for precision cutting of your neckline, this might not be for you.
Extras? Heck yes, there are extras. You get clipper oil to maintain your blades, a somewhat flimsy stand to place your tool in, a pair of scissors(?), some beard oil (!), and a tiny little cleaning brush to lose in five minutes.
£44.99, buy on boots.co.uk
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Trevor Sorbie Professional 5in1 Beard and Grooming Kit
First impressions: We should have taken Trevor Sorbie more seriously. When he says professional he means it. It’s almost too professional for follically undereducated morning trimmers like us. It comes with five trimming guards that are easily attachable, like the rest of these trimmers, but then there’s a bunch of extra blade attachments that we’re still trying to figure out how to attach. We may need a crash course in barbering to do this thing justice.
Hands-on test: Once we got over the crushing blow to our grooming self-esteem, we realized it’s brilliant. It feels really high-powered, it’s sleek and perfectly weighted, and it’s under forty quid. Bravo, Trevor.
Extras? You want extras? You’ve got extras: a charging stand, some blade oil, all those aforementioned trim guards and blades, an actual comb, a foil shaver and a nose and ear trimmer. And, of course, a tiny little cleaning brush to lose in five minutes.
£39.99, buy on amazon.co.uk
Philips Series 7000 Vacuum Beard Trimmer
First impressions: Sure, it looks like your ordinary, run-of-the-mill beard trimmer, with a whopping 20 lock-in cut lengths to scroll through and a nice big on button. But wait – there it is! A life-changing USP! Not only does this little beauty cut your hairs down to size, it neatly hoovers them up into its internal vacuum system. This changes everything.
Hands-on test: Look at it go! Scoffing those hairs into its belly, practically signing that mid-morning peace treaty between us and our forever-angered-by-the-tiny-hairs-in-the-sink better half. One small flaw, maybe, would be the horizontal, slightly unorthodox way you’ve got to hold this thing to shave with it, but if that’s the price we have to pay for a stressless AM, we’ll take it.
Extras? Pretty standard extras, to be honest. There’s one precision trim guard, something that looks like an earbud, and everyone’s favourite – the tiny little cleaning brush to lose in five minutes.
£75, buy on philips-shop.co.uk, buy on amazon.co.uk
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Babyliss Dual Blade Lithium
First impressions: As you might just guess from the name, this one’s got two-thirds as many blades in it as a Wesley Snipes showreel. The twin-blade system for twice the cutting power is interesting, but not as interesting as the seven trimming guards it comes with, each with its own little slot to call home on a neat display tray/show-off platform.
Hands-on test: Put it down to beard trimmer snobbery, but this one feels just a little bit cheaper than the rest. It’s a party of plastic – there’s no cold hard metal to make you feel alive as you run a blade that close to your throat. And although it does a solid job, the dual-blade set-up doesn’t make enough of a difference.
Extras? What, on top of the seven trim guards? You betcha. There’s a nose and ear trimmer, some blade oil and, of course, the ever-present tiny little cleaning brush to lose in five minutes.
£45, buy on amazon.co.uk
Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler
First impressions: Er, sorry, what? Look at it. It’s tiny. It runs on a single AA battery. It doesn’t even come with a tiny little cleaning brush to lose in five minutes. Surely it’s not up to the task of… OH WOW IT REALLY WORKS!
Hands-on test: It whizzed around our face like a tiny dog in a huge park. All right, it’s not quite up there with the big boys and it took us a good five years to trim our whole beard, but for an underdog, we’re impressed. It’s one to keep in your travel wash bag.
Extras? Once you’re over the tragedy of having no tiny little cleaning brush to lose in five minutes, console yourself with the large stand which has space for its three changeable trim combs and the manual Fusion ProGlide shaver head to do away with your beard entirely.
£20.99, buy on amazon.co.uk
First impressions: Oh, we’re about to get serious. We’re about to enter the big time. This one’s got a big mean head to put to work, not just on your beard but pretty much anywhere else it fancies cutting down to size, too. We were half-expecting/hoping it would scream “Let’s fucking do this!” as we turned it on, but alas, no such luck.
Hands-on test: Well, that took about 30 seconds. Over in a flash, and left with a perfectly neat and tidy beard. We did accidently go far too short with the settings (leaving us with no beard, actually), but that was pure user error (sigh). This is awesome.
Extras? Yes sir. You’ve got three different trim combs to put to work – one for the beard, another for hair, and another for the somewhat euphemistic “body hair”. Then there’s some blade oil. And what’s this? Is it? No, it can’t be. It is! It’s the tiny little cleaning brush to lose in five minutes! Hooray!
£48.95, buy on amazon.co.uk