Grooming has become a trend in recent years. Behind this anglicism are hidden the beauty gestures that a man has for his beard, his hair or his mustache. How to choose your beard trimmer for a result close to that of an appointment with your barber?

How to choose a beard trimmer

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Beard trimmer, hair trimmer or electric shaver?

This is an important distinction, as there are so many differences between these three machines. You will have to choose according to the use you will make of it. For exclusive use on an already groomed beard, a beard trimmer is the most recommended model. The length of the blades will be adapted to the constraints and dimensions of the face, for greater precision. Electric shavers shave “blank” and therefore do not allow for beard trimming.

However, they can be useful for shaping light and smooth areas of skin, and for highlighting certain beard styles that require strong contrasts between beardless skin and full beard (bacchantes for example). Finally, avoid hair clippers. Even if they can be used for beards, their precision will be much less because of the length of the blades.

Corded or cordless? The choice of mobility

With the improvement of batteries, beard trimmers are more and more designed to be cordless without lacking power, making the use of electric cable almost useless. Nevertheless, corded models are generally less expensive to buy. This is probably the only criterion that will justify such a choice.

As far as battery life is concerned, most of the time it is more than enough to allow a full shave without having to take a break to recharge it. Just remember to plug your trimmer back in when you’re done or put it on its charging cradle so it’s ready for the next use.

Waterproof beard trimmer or not? Cleaning and use in the shower

The question of water resistance arises in two types of situations. If you intend to use your trimmer in the shower, for example for a more intimate shave, or if you want to save time when cleaning, by passing the trimmer directly under water. Waterproof models are generally more expensive, but it’s a useful option to consider when buying so you don’t have to regret it later.

The cutting shoes and heights

This is the main criteria to consider when choosing a beard trimmer. The cutting heights and blades available must perfectly match the type of beard you want to trim. There are many different trimming attachments to choose from to cut at different lengths, but also to trim down to the desired length, which is useful for the more refined beard styles.

As for the cutting height, you should consider it without a shoe. Not all clippers are equal once the blades are bare, and some will not allow a “clean” shave, even at the lowest setting. For a professional result, choose a beard trimmer with blades that can shave right up to the skin, make patterns… This will save you from having to buy a backup shaver.

Versatile models for full body shaving

The most advanced models allow for a full body shave thanks to their long autonomy (between 1h30 and 2h) and interchangeable heads. These models will be delivered with a head with short blades for the beard, a head with long blades for the hair, but also shoes for the body (for shaving the chest). These sets generally complete the offer by also proposing a precision trimmer head, to precisely define the contours of a beard or a moustache, as well as a precision razor head, for a “clean” shave.

Also read Philips OneBlade: My review about the best beard trimmer and body shaver

The quality of the materials: a criterion of durability

Everything will depend on the budget you have planned for your beard trimmer. The quality of the materials is essential for optimal use over many years. The vast majority of trimmers offer good quality stainless steel blades. But if you are willing to invest a little more, it is possible and recommended to choose titanium coated steel blades, to reduce even more the risks of friction and heating of these. They will allow you to enjoy the same quality of shave year after year.

Pay special attention to the trimmer housing itself. Even though they are a little heavier, metal models have the advantage of being much more resistant to shocks and falls than plastic models. This is something to consider if you travel a lot, for example.

Shoes are the first parts of a beard trimmer to wear out. Indeed, in most cases, they deteriorate before the blades, the motor and the battery. This is often due to the use of a simple plastic for their manufacture. If you want to keep your lawnmower for a long time, choose a model that comes with solid or even metal shoes. Once broken, it is very difficult to find a single shoe for a particular model of lawnmower on sale, and you will unfortunately have to buy a new lawnmower. So you might as well invest in quality equipment from the start.

The accessories that come with your beard trimmer

The last important detail when buying a beard trimmer is the accessories that come with it. They will often allow you to shave other parts of the body with precision, such as the nostrils or ears, once again saving you from investing in a separate machine. It is therefore best to check from the outset whether such accessories are included with the beard trimmer you are considering.

Some beard trimmers come with maintenance equipment. A small can of oil to maintain the blades (very important for their life) as well as brushes with more or less hard bristles to allow the removal of hairs stuck in the mechanism.

Finally, for travelers, there are travel models with a carrying case included, to avoid damaging it during transport. And if you prefer a sedentary use, exclusively reserved for your bathroom, wall mounts are also available, to put and recharge your trimmer or shaver without harming the aesthetics or decoration. In addition, some stands are designed to hold and store all the accessories for your trimmer.

Ergonomics: the importance of design

If all beard trimmers have more or less the same design, respecting the same visual codes, it is not the same with the grip. Prefer a model with a thin body for greater comfort of use and especially greater precision.

On this point, the wired models are generally easier to handle, because the external power supply allows to reduce the diameter of the body of the machine to a maximum. However, many advances in terms of miniaturization allow more and more thin models to be designed without too much degradation of the autonomy.

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