Because so many of you have grown beards in the last year, we decided you could use some assistance in keeping them in tip-top shape. We polled over 20 professionals, including stylists, barbers, and people with great beards, to find out which trimmers they prefer. But first, a few words of advice from our experts on how to make the most of them. Trim your beard hair while it’s dry as a general guideline. “You can’t really tell how long it’ll be when it’s dry if you’re cutting it wet,” says Mark Miguez, co-owner and barber of Friend of a Barber in New York City. If you’re new to the equipment, experts recommend starting with a longer guard or dial setting while trimming your facial hair to avoid cutting it too short. According to Floyd’s 99 Barbershop’s technical director Patrick Butler, it’s one of the most typical blunders first-timers make. “Less is more!” says the narrator. “You can always go shorter, but you can’t put it back once it’s been taken off,” explains Raquel Fajardo, a regional Fellow Barber manager in Los Angeles. Finally, in addition to cleaning the blade of your trimmer after each usage (more on that below), you should wash your face afterward. “Beard trimming is still shaving,” according to Rob Mac of Mildred New York, so you’ll probably have some stray hairs and strained skin afterward, which would benefit from a good rinse.
Magic Clip Wahl Professional
Cordless | 100-minute battery life | Self-sharpening blades | 16-ounce weight | 8 guard attachments | Corded version also available
Wahl’s Cordless Magic Clip, according to seven grooming specialists we spoke with, is the most powerful, sharp, and capable beard trimmer on the market. “Whether your beard is long or short, it gets the job done,” adds Fellow Barber founder Sam Buffa, emphasizing the fact that it comes with several (but not excessive) guard options to get the length exactly right. According to Buffa, the quality of a Wahl blade makes this trimmer “the best bang for your money” when compared to other models at comparable pricing, because Wahl’s blades stay sharper for longer. Murdock Wood Smith of London is a fan of the Magic Clip, praising it for its combination of lightness and power (these qualities make the cordless Magic Clip one of the best hair clippers, too, according to barbers). He enjoys using it on himself at home as well as his clients at work. “If you want to re-create a barbershop experience in the comfort of your own home, it’s the best product to possess,” he says, echoing fashion stylist Neil Cohen, Miguez, and Alejandro “AJ” Albano, a barber at Tuft NYC. Ronnie Parisella, the presenter of the podcast, told us that he also uses the Magic Clip on his beard. (A corded version of the Wahl Magic Clip is also available.)
Wahl Classic Clipper/Trimmer for Peanuts (Corded)
When we asked Miguez how he maintains his client, style writer David Coggins’ famed beard looking so well, he said his go-to tool is Wahl’s corded Peanut Clipper. It’s less expensive than the Magic Clip, but that’s not why Miguez likes it; he thinks cordless trimmers are overrated. “I find that trimmers that can be plugged into the wall have more power than wireless trimmers, which progressively deplete the battery.” Apart from the cord, he likes the Peanut because it has the same quality as any Wahl device and comes with four attachments that he describes as “ideal lengths” for trimming a beard from a bush in the winter to Astroturf in the summer. Chris Black’s favorite beard trimmer is the Peanut, which he praises for being “affordable, dependable, and fits in your fancy Dopp kit wonderfully.” The Peanut is also available in a cordless form if you prefer cordless tools (and Wahl also makes a corded version of the above Magic Clip for anyone who might prefer that, too).
Beard Trimmer Series 7200 Vacuum Trimmer by Philips Norelco
While the grooming experts we interviewed with overwhelmingly picked Wahl as the manufacturer of their preferred trimmers, the regular bearded males we met with praised Philips Norelco the most. According to barber David Kim, “generally trust Philips Norelco’s more-affordable products to work well and maintain a neat beard, as long as they’re not trying to do something too complex or fancy,” amateur cutters can “generally trust Philips Norelco’s more-affordable products to work well and maintain a neat beard.” This Philips Norelco trimmer, in particular, was highly recommended by no less than five men. Fashion stylist Cohen is a fan, as is stunt performer Adam Rinn and DJ/digital strategist Mac Joseph, who told us he likes how this trimmer has a vacuum feature that sucks up most of your hair as you go, meaning there’s less to clean up and less chance of squabbling with roommates or partners about the state of your sink. “Because I’m black, my hair is really curly and gets everywhere,” Joseph explains. “Because I share a bathroom, the vacuum is quite vital to me.”
“The vacuum means less mess when I’m cutting,” says Conrad Quilty-Harper, an editor at New Scientist, who also uses it at home. Joseph, who added that he bought one for his father, likes how the trimmer’s radial dial has clear, easy-to-read options for regulating the blade length. “Because I’m blind as a bat, I can mess up the shaving settings if I don’t use my glasses,” he explains. “This has a really nice and bold display.” When Strategist contributor Kurt Soller evaluated beard trimmers, this was his favorite of the group for much of the same reasons as the others, including its radial dial with 0.5 mm increments and the “godsend” vacuum sucking mechanism, which catches “up to 90% of the hairs, according to the company.”
Wahl Stainless Steel Lithium Ion Groomer
According to public-relations executive Nick Roberts, two bearded individuals (who aren’t barbers) told us about this more economical Wahl beard trimmer, which comes with several guards and a “nose-hair and detail trimmer, too, which are wonderful for reaching tough-to-shave places.” He’s been using it for a year and a half to take care of his “extremely thick” beard, telling us that “other trimmers don’t cut the hair properly when a beard is thick,” but that “this does a terrific job of always giving me a smooth and even cut.” While the battery “holds for a fairly long time” (six hours when fully charged), Roberts also points out that it just takes one minute to charge to full capacity for five minutes, which is usually all he needs to shave in a situation. He also claims that this trimmer feels fantastic in his hands. “It’s stainless steel, so you don’t have to worry about dropping it, and it has a little weight to it, which makes me feel more secure when I use it.” “However, it isn’t particularly heavy.” “You can lock the power button,” he continues, “so it won’t go off in your suitcase without you knowing when you’re traveling.” Chef Jeremy Blutstein told us that he uses this trimmer to trim both his beard and his body (he says he has two of them to keep things sanitary).
Trimmer Philips Norelco Multigroom 7000
This trimmer from the brand promises to trim not only beard hair but also head and body hair for less than half the price of the Philips Norelco Series 7200 trimmer. It comes with 23 parts, including 14 trimming guards, a nose-hair-trimming head, and a foil-shaver head, all of which can be used to make the cleanest possible hairlines. It’s the beard trimmer that this author (Louis Cheslaw) has been using for over a year. Whether I’m shaving daily, weekly, or monthly (for two dark months in the early fall), I’ve found it to be more than adequate of giving me a good cut. Aside from its trimming capabilities, the device features a watertight steel shell that is entirely washable and durable, as well as comfy rubber cushioning in all the places where you need a bit more grip. A somewhat newer version of the product — the Multigroom 9000 — is available for $40 more, but all Philips Norelco did was increase the battery life (from five to ten hours), which some may not think worth the extra money. But, as Butler’s favorite, that model comes with professional approval. He loves it for stubble because you can get the look with one of the shorter lengths, and there are a number of them to select from.
Panasonic Beard Trimmer For Men With Precision Dial
Because of its adaptability, Waldman believes this trimmer is the best for beginners. He says, “You may use it in the shower with shave gel or for a quick dry trim.” It also has an easy-to-use adjustment mechanism for different hair lengths. “There aren’t any extra accessories to lose or clog up your bathroom cabinets.” For a novice, this means spending less time fidgeting in the morning and getting right to work – all with the turn of a dial.
If your skin is particularly sensitive, Waldman suggests choosing a trimmer that has both wet and dry settings, like this one. According to Waldman, the key to not aggravating delicate skin is to soften your beard and moisturize your skin before using a trimmer. “Keep your beard area covered with a damp warm washcloth for about two minutes after washing and moisturizing to further soften the hair,” he recommends. Then, whether you’re shaving in the bathroom sink or in the shower, you may use this trimmer.
T-blade Trimmer Andis Slimline Pro Li
T-blade | 4 guard attachments | Cordless | Battery life up to 2 hours | Weighs 4.9 ounces
“The best thing you can do at home to maintain your beard between barbershop treatments is keep your cheek lines and neckline tidy,” Wood Smith advised us. “And the Andis Slimline Pro is lightweight and agile enough to reach even the most difficult-to-reach hairs on the neck.” In fact, every barber who praised the Magic Clip said they’ll use it to keep their beards as tidy as possible. “It’s going to get really close,” adds Karac Ruleau of Mott NYC, “so experts use it to create precise lines and then put the attachments on to trim the beard itself.” Miguez agrees, stating that while he wouldn’t use it as his primary beard trimmer, it’s the first tool he grabs to clean around his clients’ ears and the backs of their necks. Another expert, Albano, believes the Slimline Pro is “super-light, super-sharp, and made to last,” adding that it is “super-light, super-sharp, and built to last.” And Mac, another Andis lover, informed us that this product works on all sorts and textures of facial hair, and that it retains its charge for a long time.
While it’s wonderful for styling, our stylists say it may also be used for a full trim. Fajardo agrees with other barbers that this trimmer is simple to use. That’s why she suggests it to folks who are just getting started with their beards. The T-blade “makes it easy to line up and establish symmetry,” adding strength and clarity to the form.
5-Star Detailer Blade Trimmer by Wahl
Barber Perry Petit-Beau recommends this less priced trimmer for styling. It’s corded, so you won’t have to worry about charging a battery, and Petit-Beau says he “likes the finish and power of the blade,” adding that while it comes with guards for properly trimming a beard, it also comes with a “exposed blade for outline detailing and a close shave” when used without one. According to Petit-Beau, exposed blades don’t sit flush with the trimmer’s body, but rather protrude from it, and some barbers like them for making outlines because the form makes it easier to reach more sensitive places. “Most clippers have a hump beneath the blade that makes it difficult to get close,” he explains, “but an exposed blade helps you to reach those hard-to-reach regions.”
Butler prefers this trimmer because it has a T-blade, which gets its name from the edges of the blade protruding from the trimmer like the top of the letter T. According to him, the curved edges help you to get into the nooks and crannies under the nose as well as around the corners of a mustache. “You’ll have better control and may be able to avoid cutting too much hair off of a region you’re working on,” Butler adds. Like Petit-Beau, he loves the corded trimmer’s ability to produce steady power. After all, you don’t want to end up with only half a handlebar mustache.
T-Outliner Beard/Hair Trimmer by Andis Professional
Kwame Morris, an entrepreneur and artist, also uses a corded trimmer for style, although he favors Andis’ version, which has a lower retail price (by a few bucks, but sometimes, every penny counts). Morris claims to have been using this trimmer for eight years and claims to get a “good close shave” when generating neat lines. You can “put a guard on this” and use it for a proper trim, much like the other trimmers he recommends for styling.
Universal Clipper Oster Classic 76
When it comes to beard cutting, Ruleau recommends that men consider the fact that plastic guards are less effective than metal guards. “I enjoy how light the Magic Clip is,” he says, “but the difficulty with that item for me is the plastic attachments it comes with.” Because plastic shields might “tear hairs that will show when it grows out,” Ruleau also uses the Oster 76, which he claims will give your beard a “cleaner look.” Metal guards have the drawback of making the machine “heavier and clunkier,” but Ruleau says that’s a minor drawback he’s willing to live with. Albano also informed us about this trimmer, which he advises to (and uses on) clients whose beards “grow out a little more patchy” because of the metal guards that ensure an even cut.
OneBlade by Philips Norelco
While Black claims that the cordless Wahl Peanut will fit in a Dopp kit, consider the OneBlade if you’re searching for a more economical beard trimmer for travel. It’s used by Quilty-Harper, and it made Soller’s list as well. “It’s perfect for my Dopp kit because of its small size, great battery life, and bright color,” Soller commented. Quilty-Harper adds that it can “come as close as a wet shave” (the OneBlade, for example, made our list of expert-recommended electric razors), while Soller writes that it’s “something between a traditional beard trimmer and a regular razor.” “Once you charge the handle and switch on the power, the blade’s quick movements cut nearly as close as a disposable blade, but without the risk of bleeding or ingrown hairs,” he says.
Hatteker Men’s Trimmer Kit, 5 in 1
Shaquille Cheris, a medium strategist, informed us he liked the Hatteker trimming kit, which is a newer grooming brand. “It came with what felt like 15 components,” he adds, “and it had a far better motor than the Panasonic I was using previously.” Cheris says he usually uses the trimmer to keep the edges of his beard in good shape between barbershop visits, despite the fact that it is designed to be used all over. Hatteker claims the beard trimmer is completely waterproof, and recommends that, in addition to cleaning the blades, users immerse the beard trimmer itself in a faucet between usage (Cheris says he hasn’t done this yet).
Trimmer Kits from the Beard Club
This trimmer is a favorite of Yia Vang, the beautifully bearded and highly famous chef of Minnesota’s Union Hmong Kitchen (who also shared his favorite face mask for bearded guys with us). He adds Beard Club’s subscription strategy, which delivers fresh “dude-friendly” beard oils, lotions, and minerals to clients’ doors as often as once a month, is a significant reason he uses it. The beard trimmer, oil, balm, and shampoo are all included in the $88 starter kit. You may then control your supply by slowing down your renewal to a frequency that works for you. If you find that you take longer to get through the products, you can save money by slowing down your renewal to a frequency that works for you. “Everything smells good,” Vang says of the service, which he describes as “very inexpensive.” “It charges pretty well, the blade is sharp, and it comes with a number of attachments for different lengths,” he says of the trimmer.
Beard Trimmer Philips Norelco Multigroom 3000
Peter Martin, a senior editor at Strategist and a former Esquire grooming editor, sports a scruffier beard than most. He acquired this Philips trimmer after wearing out his Gillette trimmer in confinement, based on a “strong recommendation” from his brother-in-law. Martin says he wishes he had converted to this a decade ago since it’s “so much easier to operate,” with sharp cutting blades that “never get stuck and clip all the hair in virtually one pass.” He also likes that this trimmer “came with nose and ear trimmers, which I pretend I don’t need,” unlike his old Gillette.
Professional Cordless T-Outliner Beard Trimmer by Andis 74000
When shadows are long enough to “see a shadow without noting texture,” as Waldman says, they’re an aesthetic choice (rather than an accident of negligence). According to Fajardo, the Andis 74000 works well with this style since its motor can maintain an equal texture throughout a barely-there beard because to its power, which won’t drag and maintains the hair level. For blond or lighter hair, she recommends using the three-millimeter guard, which keeps the shadow visible, and no guard for darker or thicker hair, which gives the appearance of about half a day of growth.
Cool Care Plus by Andis
The most eye-opening revelation we made while researching this subject was how critical it is to keep your blades clean. “Your skin is oily when you’re shaving, and that oil will go onto the blades and clog them over time,” Miguez explained. “And flakes that come off and sit on the blades if you have dry skin.” When clients come to him with breakouts, he “tells them to clean their blades, and a couple weeks later they come back and say, ‘You were correct,'” he says. Ruleau agrees, comparing beard trimmer upkeep to getting your automobile tuned up. He explains, “The blade is like an engine.”
Almost every barber we spoke to said that Andis’ Cool Care Plus is the product they use to keep their beard trimmers fresh before and after use. Almost all of them, however, pointed out that many beard trimmers come with cleaning oil, which will work just as well if people don’t throw it out. “The majority of guys toss the oil,” Ruleau explained. “Instead, after you’re done, put a single drop on the blade, turn it on for a couple seconds, and you’re ready to go.” The Andis Slimline Pro, Andis 74000, Wahl Magic Clip, Wahl Peanut, and Oster 76 all come with oil; Philips Norelco states that oil isn’t required on their trimmers, but (with the exception of the OneBlade) all of the models on this list come with a brush that can be scrubbed with tap water.
Leif Andersson, a writer who is driven by a desire to inspire and educate through my work. I believe that writing is not just about putting words on a page, it's about using those words to make a positive impact on the world. I strive to create stories that are both entertaining and enlightening, that inspire readers to think differently and to take action. I believe that writing has the power to change the world, and I am honored to be a part of that tradition.