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Best Beard Trimmer for Long Beards

The Best Beard Trimmer for Long Beards: Models We Love, Models We Don’t

Before we jump into our discussion about the best beard trimmer for long beards, we need to commiserate with you for a moment:

Long beards can be tough, man!

Seriously. If you don’t have a long beard, that may sound silly—but if you do have a long beard, you’ll probably get it: caring for this type of beard is just a different game. They’re tougher to maintain, they require a bunch of very specific products, and are just harder in general. It sounds silly, but it’s true—they can be a challenge.

So, with that in mind, here we’ll go over our picks for the most effective beard trimmer for guys with long beards. Long beards can look AMAZING with just a little bit of effort, but you need the right tools. Here we’ll review the trimmers we think do a good job of grooming long beards, tell you about the features you should look for in a beard trimmer (and what features sound important but are just gimmicks), and wrap it up with some tips on how to use a beard trimmer (including a very special tip about those trim guards, and how using them incorrectly can ruin your beard!).

Want a quick recommendation? My choice for the best beard trimmer for long beards is the BaByliss Pro SilverFX. It has a motor built by Ferrari (yes, that Ferrari), it’s beautifully designed, feels great in the hand, and will definitely take your beard game to a whole new level. It’s excellent if you want a good freehand trimmer for your long beard.

On a budget? The Wahl Total Beard Trimmer is a great entry point for men looking to save money or who are new to caring for a long beard. While it’s not a high-end trimmer, it will perform well while you learn the ropes and save up for something better.

Beard Trimmer for Long Beards

Alrighty—let’s jump in:

The Best Beard Trimmer for Long Beards (list)

After reviewing a lot of models, here are the ones we like the most, along with a very quick description:

Best Deluxe / High-End Beard Trimmers:

The Philips Norelco Beard Trimmer Series 7200: The best overall—great for trimming an edge into the bottom and sides of a long beard, with pre-set length adjusters to do detail work on the mustache/sideburns/etc., and a self-contained vacuum that makes clean-up of whiskers surprisingly easy. Best overall.

The BaBylissPro Barberology SILVERFX Trimmer: A “deluxe” model in the truest sense of the word—it looks streamlined and sleek, much like a fine automobile… which probably isn’t a coincidence, because it’s (very powerful) motor was designed by Ferrari (seriously!).

Best All-Around / Mid-Range Beard Trimmers:

The Panasonic Cordless Men’s Beard Trimmer: A well-made, capable model that you can bring into the shower with you (and works pretty well out of the shower, too). Not too many bells and whistles, but great for long beards.

The Brio Beardscape: A handsome, well-designed model great for detail work, with very long run-time. It’s surprisingly quiet, which is great. Great for travel.

Best Bang-for-Your-Buck Beard Trimmers:

Wahl Total Beard Trimmer: Best for guys who are new to having long beards (or who want to have long beards). Wahl is a great company, and the trimmer comes with a wide range of trim guards—great for learning how to use a trimmer. A little “clunky,” but very capable.

Philips Norelco Multigroomer All-in-One Series: Our pick for best trimmer for all body parts—long beards, chest, belly, pits, face, even your head. A great all-around pick in the “budget” category.

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Our Deluxe Beard Trimmer Picks

Of all the beard trimmers we’ve used and reviewed, we consider these two to be the best of the best:

The Philips Norelco Beard Trimmer Series 7200

Summary: A powerful model that does it all—great for beards of all lengths from stubble to very long, and with a vacuum feature that can save you time and effort and frustration. Our pick for best trimmer

Best Overall
Philips Norelco Beard trimmer Series 7200 with Vacuum, BT7225/49

"Longer beards require free-hand trimming, and the Philips Norelco 7200 is a great tool for that. Its blades are quick and capable of great accuracy, and here's something amazing: the more you use the trimmer, the sharper it gets. The blades are self-sharpening, meaning you don't have to take them out and sharpen them after extended use."

- RTG Editorial

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We’ll start with our absolute favorite beard trimmer for long beards, and that’s the Philips Norelco Vacuum Beard Trimmer Series 7200. This is a workhorse of a trimmer, and not only is it a high-end model, but it combines two characteristics that are difficult to combine: it’s got lots of features, and they’re all easy to use. Here’s what we like about it (and what is less-than-perfect):

It’s a vacuum trimmer

Philips Norelco Beard Trimmer Series 7200 with Vacuum (BT7225/49)

We don’t like being dramatic about these sorts of things, but making the jump from a trimmer without a vacuum to a trimmer with a vacuum is a wonderful, wonderful thing. If you’ve concluded every beard trimming session with that long, disgusting search for all the whiskers you just chopped off your face, you know what a pain that can be. And, no matter how well you clean up all those hairs, your romantic partner will come along and complain about the three you left on the sink. Every. single. time.

So using a vacuum trimmer for the first time can be a surprisingly joyous event. The trimmer sucks up those hairs the millisecond it chops them off, and they get housed in the little containment unit that you open and tap into the garbage to clean. In a word, it’s fantastic. It doesn’t get 100% of the hairs—roughly 90%—but still, it makes shaving sooo much more enjoyable.

It’s great for long beards of all lengths

That phrase may be a little confusing, so here’s what we mean by it: if you’ve got a long beard of six inches, your beard was, at one point, one-inch long, two-inches long, three-inches long, etc. The Philips Norelco is great for beards of all of those lengths, from “cowboy stubble” all the way to “Gandalf.” The trimmer features 20 different length settings, from .5 millimeters to 10 millimeters, in .5 millimeter increments, so if you’re looking to start your beard journey with stubble—and you can read about our favorite stubble trimmers here—and go from there, you’re all set. 10 millimeters is roughly .4 inches, which is not a long beard, but a “corporate beard.” After your beard is longer than 10 millimeters, the trimmer is even more useful, because…

It’s great for free-hand trimming work

We’ll talk more about this below, but once your beard is very long, the trim guards/length settings are no longer useful, and you’ll need to cut your facial hair free-hand. This is when you trim your beard simply by holding it steady at the end of your whiskers and guiding the trimmer over the ends, and the Philips Norelco 7200 is a great tool for that—its blades are quick and capable of great accuracy, and here’s something amazing: the more you use the trimmer, the sharper it gets. The blades are self-sharpening, meaning you don’t have to take them out and sharpen them after extended use. Finally…

We think it’s the ‘final form’ beard trimmer

Philips Norelco followed up on the 7200 with the Philips Norelco 7300, and we think the 7200 is actually better than it’s next-gen version. The 7300 has more bells-and-whistles, but it doesn’t seem to run as well or as smoothly as this one.

So there you have it: our favorite high-end beard trimmer for long beards. It’s a capable workhouse that gets the job done quickly, cleanly, and quietly. It’s sleek and good-looking.

But… even with all that—and keep in mind, it’s our favorite—it’s not extravagant. If that’s what you’re looking for, you may want to check out…

The BaBylissPro Barberology SILVERFX Trimmer

Summary: Perhaps the fanciest trimmer we’ve come across, it’s a handsome, high-end model with a zero-gap function and a REALLY powerful motor

A Ferrari for Your Beard
BaBylissPRO Barberology Hair Trimmer for Men FX788 SILVERFX

"Do you need a beard trimmer with a motor designed by Ferrari? Probably not. But if you're like us, you want one. That's who makes the motor on this trimmer, and this beauty allows for incredibly precise trimming, fading, and overall beard management. If precision is your thing, this is your trimmer. Second-to-none when it comes to detail work."

- RTG Editorial

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When you take a look at the BaBylissPro Barberology SILVERFX Trimmer, you may notice the Ferrari emblem. That might seem out of place, because Ferrari makes cars, and not beard trimmers—but it’s actually not: the BaBylissPro Barberology SILVERFX Trimmer actually features an internal motor designed by the world-famous car-maker Ferrari.

Yes – Ferrari actually designed the motor!

BaBylissPro Barberology SILVERFX Trimmer

Ferrari—yes, that Ferrari—designed the engine that powers this beard trimmer. That’s kind of a surprise, and it’s pretty impressive.

Now—do you need a beard trimmer with a motor designed by Ferrari? No, probably not. There are plenty of beard trimmers out there not made by Ferrari—or Lamborghini, or Maserati, or Alfa Romeo, or any other Italian automaker—and many of them are fantastic.

Is it really, really rad to have a beard trimmer with a motor designed by Ferrari? Yes, yes it is.

So there’s that, and that is very cool. It’s the defining feature of the trimmer, because it allows for incredibly precise trimming and fading and overall beard management. If precision is your thing, this can be a really good bet, and it may be second-to-none when it comes to detail work.

Of course, if you’re going to create a beard trimmer with the help of Ferrari, you’re probably going to include some other nice features, as well. On the BaByliss Pro, that includes:

It has a “Zero-Gap T-Blade”

If you’re new to the world of trimmers, here’s what that means: it can provide a cut closer to the skin than most other beard trimmers can provide. On every trimmer, there’s a moving blade, and a stationary blade, and on a zero-gap trimmer, those blades are flush with each other.

That can provide a REALLY close shave (but you have to be careful, because that zero-gap feature can pierce your skin if you get to close to it).

This isn’t a “beginner” feature, and we’d advise going easy with it if you’re new to trimmers—but it can be a very powerful tool.

It’s got a knurled grip (that we love)

“Knurling” is a design pattern engraved onto metal, and it’s one of the fantastic aspects of traditional safety razors. Many of the handles on beard trimmers have knurling on their grip. It’s a design you’ll usually only see on deluxe models, and it makes it easier to hold and less likely to slip out of your hands. It also looks really dashing, which is our final bit of praise for this model…

This thing is just really handsome

We try not to get suckered into enjoying things just for the way they look, but… well, this is a really good-looking model.

Trimmers—and electric razors of all types—tend to be created with a “form over function” mentality—they get the job done, but they look bulky (even when they’re designed to look sleek).

This model is smooth and streamlined and sleek—much like a Ferrari, in fact!

If you’re the kind of guy who appreciates the finer things in life, this may be a good option for you.

Our Best All-Around / Mid-Range Beard Trimmers

These are, in our opinion, the best beard trimmer for long beards in the “mid-range” category. They’re the trimmers we think most guys will use—they’re efficient, effective, and powerful, but without the price of a super-deluxe model.

There are two we like a lot:

The Panasonic Cordless Men’s Beard Trimmer

Summary: A great beard trimmer that operates as a high-end model, but without the vacuum for easy clean-up. That said, you can take it in the shower, and that’s fantastic

Best Mid-Range Trimmer
Panasonic Cordless Men's Beard Trimmer With Precision Dial, ER-GB40-S (Blue)

"A great 'all-around' model from Panasonic (a brand that makes a lot of really great tools for male grooming). This isn’t a 'deluxe' trimmer, and it doesn’t’ have all the bells-and-whistles of some of the high-end models we’ve reviewed. But if you think those bells-and-whistles are needless extravagances (and for many guys they are!), this is the trimmer we’d recommend."

- RTG Editorial

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We have a lot of love for models like The Panasonic Cordless Men’s Beard Trimmer: it’s not the fanciest of all the models we’ve seen, but it’s got going for it, namely:

It’s got (almost) all the features of a high-end beard trimmer

The Panasonic Beard Trimmer has got a lot going for it: it’s got

  • 19 different length settings (starting at 1 millimeter, unlike higher-end trimmers, which usually start at .5 millimeter, but most guys don’t really care about that difference),
  • stainless steel blades that can last a very long time, and they’re at a 45-degree cutting angle, which makes them very efficient and less likely to tug at your skin.

Really, that’s most everything you’d want in a beard trimmer. One feature we love (that this model doesn’t have) is a vacuum feature, which is a bummer, but…

It’s totally waterproof, and you can take it in the shower

Panasonic Cordless Men's Beard Trimmer with Precision Dial - ER-GB40-S

That’s *fantastic.* The machine is totally encased and safe to take in a shower with total safety.

Hate cleaning up whiskers from the sink? Use it in the shower!

That feature can be a game-changer, and make shaving a lot more fun—and a lot easier. No clean-up is… for many guys, that’s a dream come true.

With that said, it can be difficult to do extensive detail work in the shower. You can trim your upper lip and maybe your sideburns, but if you want to free-hand the end of your long beard under your chin, it’s usually best to do that outside of the shower, when your beard is dry.

That’s fine, though—you can do a detailed trim in front of the sink once every week or so, and then do your general trims in the shower. And finally…

It’s cordless with a charging stand

Fully juiced, the trimmer has a runtime of 50 minutes. That’s decent—nothing special, and there are plenty of other modes that charge for longer, but it’s enough for a number of uses before a re-charge.

If you’re going away for an extended trip, you’ll probably need to bring the charging stand with you, but that’s pretty decent.

This is a great “all-around” model, and Panasonic makes a lot of really great tools for male grooming.

This isn’t a “deluxe” version, per se—it doesn’t’ have all the bells-and-whistles of some of the high-end models we’ve reviewed—but if you think those bells-and-whistles are needless extravagances (and very often, they are!), this is the trimmer we’d recommend.

The Brio Beardscape

Summary: A one-of-a-kind model that’s super-effective, surprisingly quiet, and very masculine-looking—our favorite pick if you’re looking for something other than the super-popular big-name shavers like Panasonic, Wahl, etc.

Quietest Beard Trimmer
Brio Beardscape Beard and Hair Trimmer

"We loved the ceramic blades (which stay sharp longer, and run cooler), 4-hour run-time and how quiet this slick retro trimmer from Brio is. If you trim or shave near sleeping kids or a light-sleeping partner, this is your stealth-mode beard trimmer."

- RTG Editorial

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The Brio Beardscape! What does that term mean, exactly? We don’t know. We do know, however, all the things we like about it (and the one we don’t). Here’s what we like:

It’s got ceramic blades

We go into more detail about why this is a big deal in another section, but basically it’s this: trimmer blades can be made out of different materials, with stainless steel being something of an industry standard. There are other options, though, and ceramic blades are a great alternative—they’re a little less expensive than stainless steel, they stay sharp longer, and they don’t get as hot as stainless steel. If you’ve ever used a trimmer or shaver for too long, you might have noticed it can get HOT—So ceramic blades are a great feature that can elongate the life of the trimmer and its efficiency.

It’s got a run-time of four hours

That’s pretty fantastic for a mid-range trimmer! Usually it’s only higher-end models that can run for that long, so it’s really nice to see here. It’s able to operate for so long because of its lithium ion battery—which isn’t yet common among beard trimmers, but we think will be in the coming years—it’s nice to see the Brio leading the charge (ha).

It’s got a good range of length adjustments

This is the case with most of the beard trimmers we recommend, and the feature makes it a good choice for the stubbly look all the way to the long-beard look. It’s also got some handy trim guards, as most trimmers do.

It’s quiet (for a trimmer)

This may not seem like a big deal if you live by yourself, but if you have roommates, a romantic partner/spouse, or just get up before the rest of the family, it’s a REALLY great feature—you can trim and shape your beard without irritating everybody within a 25-yard radius. Old-school beard trimmers—and even some of the ones still made today!—were loud, loud, loud, and it was sometimes so bad you couldn’t really talk to someone if they were in the bathroom with you. This is a HUGE step in the right direction.

We appreciated the clean, retro look

Ever notice how most beard trimmers and electric shavers all try to look sleek and futuristic? It’s weird, and we don’t know why that is. It’s like all the marketing gurus at Panasonic and Philips Norelco all got together and agreed, “OK. What do men want? Sleek space-age stuff! Why? Who cares!”

We’re not really complaining—a lot of the trimmers and shavers are in fact really handsome—but they all try and look sleek, for some reason. Stream-lined.

And that’s why we think the look of the Brio Beardscape is a refreshing change—it’s not really ornate in any way; in fact, it kind of looks like a monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey: simple, unadorned, but powerful looking. It’s long and slender and doesn’t look gussied up—very much the kind of thing a guy with a long beard might be into!

Anyway. Many of the manufacturers we discuss in this review—Philips Norelco, Panasonic, Wahl—have been around for a LONG time and have a lot of name recognition. Brio is the new kid on the block, so to speak, but from what we’ve seen, they absolutely belong among the “big names” of beard trimming.

Best Bang-for-Your-Buck Beard Trimmers

Here are our picks for “best beard trimmer for long beards” in the “relatively easy on your wallet” category:

The Wahl Total Beard Trimmer

Summary: A no-frills option that’s great for guys new to beards and long facial hair—nothing fancy, but it’s got a great battery life and a lot of trim guards

Budget-Friendly Pick
Wahl USA Lithium Ion Total Beard Trimmer for Men

"We love packages like this, because they’re inexpensive, easy to use, and they’ve got a little bit of everything. It’s not a high-end model (if you’re used to sculpting your long beard to perfection, this will probably frustrate you), but if you’re new and learning the ropes, we think it's a great place to start."

- RTG Editorial

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Wahl isn’t as well-known as some of the other beard-trimmer brands, and that’s odd, because Wahl literally invented the concept of the electric clipper, and then revolutionized it, and then revolutionized it again. They’re really the originators of all this.

There are other Wahl models we could have gone with, but we like the Wahl Total Beard Trimmer, for its simplicity:

It’s a great model if you’re new to grooming your facial hair

Wahl USA Total Beard Trimmer Kit - Model 9888

We love packages like this, because they’re easy to use, they’re not a big price commitment, and they’ve got a little bit of everything. When you buy this model you’ll get a bunch of different trim guards.

You’ll also enjoy different motor speeds, and find that it’s easy to grasp and maneuver around your face.

It’s not a high-end model—so if you’re used to sculpting your long beard to perfection, this will probably frustrate you—but if you’re new and learning the ropes, it can be a great option.

It holds a three-hour charge

Pretty good for a basic model! Especially when you consider that some of the higher-end models have so many features that the only last for an hour or so. VERY impressive for a model in this range.

You can use a battery or quick-charge it in a minute

This used to be a feature that brands really bragged about, but that seems to happen less often (and that may be because trimmer batteries are so strong nowadays).

Anyway—the quick-charge option is a nice feature, because if your battery runs out and you need to shave before work or class or a social event, you don’t have to dig through the closet trying to find new batteries.

You can plug it in, wait a single minute, and it’s easy to use.

The Philips Norelco Multigroomer All-in-One Series

Summary: A “does-it-all” model that’s well-built and can handle long beards, but also body hair and head-hair—and it comes with specialty trim guards for a wide range of uses

Our Favorite Multi-Grooming Kit
Philips Norelco Multigroomer All-in-One Trimmer Series 7000, MG7750/49

"Of all the models we’ve reviewed, this one may be the best-known, and there’s a reason for that. It can literally do everything. You can trim your beard (at all lengths, including longer lengths), your head, and your body. If you’re looking for a 'does-it-all' model that’s reasonably priced, this is our suggestion."

- RTG Editorial

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Of all the models we’ve reviewed, the Philips Norelco Multigroomer All-in-One Series may be the best-known, and there’s a reason for that: it’s a multigrooming option that’s good for just about everything: trimming your beard (at all lengths, including longer lengths), your head, and your body. If you’re looking for a “does-it-all” model that’s (relatively?) easy on the bank, this is our suggestion.

It’s got different types of trim guards

Philips Norelco Multigroomer All-in-One Series

Most beard trimmers give you a bunch of trim guards, and let you figure it out (and that’s exactly what happens—you have to use each, see how long it cuts your hair, and hope for the best).

The Philips Norelco Multigroomer actually breaks their trim guards down into types, so you’ve got two body guards (“bodyguards,” ha), two fading hair combs, four hair guards, and six beard-and-stubble guards.

That’s fantastic! It’s such a simple, yet powerful, way to presenting the trimmer and its pieces—it’s weird other models don’t break it down this way.

Up to five hours of runtime!

Of all the beard trimmers in our pantheon of the best beard trimmers for long beards, five hours is the time to beat. That’s pretty great. Again, it’s the lithium battery that allows it that kind of charge—and again, we imagine all beard trimmers will have lithium ion batteries in the years to come.

It’s easy to clean

It would be nice if it were a vacuum model, but “fully washable” is also very good. Simply run it under the water for a minute or so and you’re good to go.

The Multigroomer obviously has a lot of fans, but it’s not for everyone—we know a lot of guys who only trim their beards, and nothing else—they leave their body hair alone, and they leave detailing the head-hear to the barbers. If that describes your approach, you probably don’t need a multigroomer. If, however, you’re looking for a trimmer to do detail work on your beard and also handle most of the rest of the hair you have, this can be a great fit.

Alright! There you have it. Those reviews encompass a lot of weird and a lot of discussion. We hope there’s something there you like.

For those of you who are new to trimmers, and want to learn a little bit more about how to buy one, we now present you with…

Beard Trimmer for Long Beards

How to Find the Right Trimmer for Your Long Beard

Here’s what you need to know—these are the features you’ll come across when choosing a beard trimmer for long beards (or for short beards, for that matter!).

We took all these into consideration when researching and testing trimmers, but you should keep them in mind when making your final determination:

Trimmer Blade Types and Material

A trimmer with higher-quality blades is going to provide a higher-quality shaver—and it won’t tug and your whiskers, which can be really painful.

Here’s how it goes:

Most beards trimmers have stainless steel blades. That sounds impressive, but it’s pretty much the industry standard. Most—if not all—of our favorite beard trimmers have stainless steel blades (with one exception, which we’ll discuss in a moment). Many of these stainless steel blades are self-sharpening, and that’s a great feature—the blades sharpen themselves as you use them. If you’ve ever had to take apart an old-school beard trimmer and sharpen each one of the individual blades… oh, man, was that a pain. It’s rare you’d need to do that these days, thank goodness.

Some beard trimmers have titanium blades. This is a bit more rare, but also good. They’re very sharp and they last a long time. They’re not always self-sharpening, but that’s not a big deal, because they stay sharp for a long time.

It’s a bit more rare, but some beard trimmers have ceramic blades. These are a nice feature because they don’t get as hot as steel / titanium blades, so if you take a long time to trim your beard, they can be a good option.

None of these is a bad choice, really—we use and like trimmers with all three. Over time and many years using various types, you might develop a taste for one or another, but for the most part, any one should be fine.

Power Source / Corded vs. Cordless

If blade material isn’t really a factor, this one is—it’s a matter of personal opinion, and guys tend to have strong opinions about it: a corded trimmer vs. a non-corded trimmer.

Long Beard Trimmer

Here’s generally how it plays out:

If you have a power source / plug right by your bathroom mirror, a corded model isn’t really that big of a deal, and you never have to worry about charging it, installing batteries, etc. That cord can get in your way sometimes, so if that’s something that’s going to bug you (and it drives some people up a wall), it’s something to keep in mind. If you’re going to use a trimmer as a barber, you almost always want a corded model, because they tend to be designed for industry use—not better, per se, but better for the dozen+ beards you’d trimmer in a day as a barber.

If you don’t have a power source / plug right by your mirror, or if space is an issue, or if you like to walk around the house/apartment when you shave (or if you just hate that wire getting in your way), a cordless can be the way to go. It seems like most guy prefer cordless, but there are plenty of guys who like corded models, and their reliability.

Charge Time / Quick-Charge Feature

Trimmers usually get their juice from a cord plugged into a wall socket, a battery, or a charge after being plugged in.

If you’re plugged into a wall, you can use the trimmer as long as you like (or until it overheats!).

With a battery, a trimmer will usually last 3 or 4 hours (and the ones that last longer tend to have lithium ion batteries—they were rare a few years ago, but more and more models feature them now).

When using a trimmer that’s been charged, some models flake out after about 45 minutes—meaning you’d need to charge them fully every few days or so—whereas high-end models can last 3 or 4 hours, and only need to be charged once a week (or less frequently).

Certain models have a “quick charge” feature, where you only need to charge it for a minute or so, and it’ll have enough juice for about ten minutes of use, so you can use it even if it’s fully crapped out.

This is one of those features that depends on your lifestyle and your situation. Do you trim your beard in front of the same mirror every day, using a plug? There you go. Do you have space enough on your bathroom countertop to charge it 24 hours a day when you’re not using it? A mid-range model should be fine. Do you think you’ll forget to charge your trimmer, and worry that you’ll be stuck in front of the mirror, late for class/work, with a dead trimmer? Maybe a higher-end model with a long-lasting battery will work.

It’s not the most important feature in the world, but it can help to know your habits and routine.

Trimmer Length Settings

Keep in mind, these are different than trim guards—we’ll talk about those in a moment.

The length settings on a trimmer allow you to change the distance of the blades, and can give you a shave at those set lengths. Not all trimmers feature length settings—it’s usually the mid-range and high-end ones that do—and the length settings are usually divided by .5 millimeters, so your first setting will cut your whiskers to 1 millimeter, the second setting will cut your whiskers to 1.5 millimeters, the third setting will cut your whiskers to 2 millimeters, and so on. If you’re very particular about your beard length—not only at the bottom of your beard, but at your sideburns, mustache, and beneath your neck—this can be a great thing to have.

Trimmer Trim Guards and Attachments

Trim guards are a pretty common inclusion for beard trimmers, and even the “best-bang-for-your-buck” models usually have them. They’re little attachments that you put over the trimmer itself, and they force you to shave your facial hair at a specific length. They look like this:

Beard Trimmer Guards of Different Sizes

Whereas length settings are very small—usually .5 millimeters—trim guards usually allow you to cut your whiskers so that they’re a little longer. That can be a quarter-inch, half-inch, etc. They’re great for a “stubble” look or a short- to medium-length beard.

They take a little practice to use—and they can’t do detail work, because they don’t allow you to cut your whiskers so that they’re short—but trim guards are a very popular option and can be a great tool.

Water Resistant / Waterproof / Wet vs. Dry

So, this is an important distinction, because these three terms can mean very different things.

“Water resistant” can mean you can use it in front of a sink, but you shouldn’t get it too wet or submerge it in water (or you may get electrocuted and die). “Waterproof” or “Wet/Dry” may mean you can bring it into the shower with you (but you should check with the instructions that came with your model to be sure). You need to be very aware of what your beard trimmer is capable of doing, and what “safe use” means.

We’re going to give the following text the old “bold” action, because we want to be very clear here:

You need to know the extent to which you can get your trimmer wet. If the package says you can bring it into the shower, great! If not… don’t! Because… you could die!

As for whether or not an in-shower trimmer is a good fit for guys with long beards… most of the time, it’s not. There are some guys with long beards who looooove to trim in the shower, but for most long-bearded gentleman, it’s more trouble than it’s worth. It’s tough to make exact cuts, it’s tough to see where you’ve trimmed and where you haven’t, etc. It *is* easier for clean-up—all those whiskers go down the drain—but that doesn’t always make it worth it.

Then again, other guys love it! So who are we to tell you your business? The decision is up to you, and keep in mind, if you get a wet/dry model, there’s nothing saying you have to use it in the shower—you can use it wherever you want. But keep in mind that long-beard grooming in the shower can be a difficult task to master.

Cleaning and/or Vacuuming the Trimmer

The beard trimmers of today are light-years easier to clean than their earlier versions, and generally “cleaning” means two things when it comes to trimmers: clean the trimmer itself, and cleaning the mess of whiskers you’ve cut off your face.

Most trimmers today are pretty easy to clean—you take off the trimmer head and run it under water, and that’s that. It’s pretty great, and even the most basic of beard trimmers are easy to clean these days, so be wary about “easy to clean” models—most are easy to clean. There are some exceptions—the Philips Norelco Multigroomer All-in-One Series is really easy to clean—but that’s a stand-out. There all pretty easy to clean.

Cleaning The Sink After You Trim

When it comes to cleaning up whiskers off the sink after you shave—that’s where the “vacuum / non-vacuum” feature becomes important, because that can be a pain to clean. Trimmers that have a vacuum on them almost magically whisk the newly-cut whiskers off your face, and capture them in an internal chamber in the trimmer itself.

After a number of uses, you open the chamber and tap out your whiskers into the trash. It is an AWESOME feature that is ABSOLUTELY AWESOME. We’re a bit rah-rah about it, but truly—not cleaning up all those whiskers after you’re done shaving is just fantastic.

We must mention, it doesn’t capture 100% of the whiskers cut off your face—models usually boast 80% or 90% of whiskers, or something like that—but it’s a dramatic improvement, and it’ll keep you from doing that gross thing of scooping up all those whiskers into a damp, gross, whisker-wad and scurrying to the nearest trash. “Whisker-wad,” ha. Gross.

If you’re interested in vacuum beard trimmers—and if you haven’t yet gotten the drift, we love, love, love vacuum beard trimmers—you can read our review of vacuum beard trimmers here.

The Grip / “Feel” of the Model

This isn’t the most important thing, but—hey, we review dozens of different models of these things, and over time we’ve gotten hyper-focused on certain aspects of things. If this is “too far into the weeds,” please feel free to skip this section! But here it goes:

Most models have some sort of rubber grip. That’s great, because it’s easy to grasp, and it may be less likely to slip when your hands get wet. You’d be surprised, but trimmer / shaver companies put a *lot* of money into details like the grip.

Some models have a thing called “knurling,” which is basically a bumpy or raised-edge feeling on the handle. Knurling is usually only seen on high-end models made of chrome or a polished metal, and it can feel great underneath your fingertips. It sounds like a silly detail, but guys who are into wet-shaving—that is, usually old-school safety razors to shave their facial hair—looooooove knurling, and it’s a big part of selecting safety razors. It’s not as important in trimmers, but it can be a good thing if you get a trimmer with knurling.

Some models are actually difficult to grasp, and many of the “sleeker” models—that is, the boxy, shiny types—can be difficult to grasp. So if you’re a clumsy sort of fellow—or just very groggy and bleary when you wake up and trim—you may want to avoid these.

Motor Strength / Battery Life / Runtime

For those guys who have plenty of counter-space in their bathrooms and charge their trimmers overnight, motor strength usually isn’t a big deal—the trimmer is always plugged in, and, hence, always ready to go!

Well Trimmed Long Beard

If that’s not the case for you—if you don’t have a lot of space, or if you travel a lot and don’t get the opportunity charge the trimmer all the time, or if you think it’s just a pain (and it is!), a beard trimmer with a powerful battery can be a great choice. The more affordable models can usually run for about a half-hour to 45 minutes after an hour of charging, whereas the higher-end models can go for three or four hours or more. And, if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of charging at all, you can look for a battery-operated model.

Keep in mind, there are also “quick-charge” models, where you can take a fully-dead trimmer, plug it in, and within a minute or two it’ll have enough juice to run for 10+ minutes, allowing for a full shave. Some guys love that feature, so if that’s you, keep it in mind.

Noise Levels

This isn’t a big deal for most guys, but for those who have roommates/spouses/brothers/sisters/etc. who complain about noise, it can be a VERY important factor. Most models are okaaaaaaaaaaay and they don’t make too much noise (and almost all models are better than the old ones, which were VERY loud).

If a manufacturer has made an effort to make the motor as quiet as possible, they usually say so in the advertising copy—so if that’s a feature you’d like, keep an eye out for it (and remember, if they don’t say anything about sound, it’s probably not terrible, but probably not super-quiet, either).

Taking the Long View / Trimming the Long Beard

There you have it! We hoped this helped. Reading through long buying guides like this one can be tedious, but we’ve shared just about everything we have to say about long beards and the tools to trim them. We hope the level of detail and our hands-on experience with each of these trimmers helps you make the perfect choice for you!

If you have any questions, jump over to our “Contact” page and drop us a line. Have fun, be good, and happy beard!

Michael Morris is the head writer here at Rough and Tumble Gentleman. He's got a ducktail beard and loves Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He's married to the woman of his dreams and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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