In recent years, advances in rechargeable batteries have allowed for cordless trimmers to run up to an hour or more. Many beard trimmers on the market also utilize blades that require very little upkeep — as a general rule: look for self-sharpening steel blades that don’t require oil before each use.
Simply put: Get a device that trims wet or dry, holds a long portable charge and has enough attachment heads so that you can trim to whichever length(s) you desire. The more customizable your options, the more you’ll get out of the device over the years. Many trimmers come with interchangeable heads that allow you to clip stray hairs, cut clean lines, and define the borders of your cheeks and neck.
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Why You Should Get a Beard Trimmer Over a Regular Razor
"To keep the beard the desired length, trimming with an electric clipper and a guard is definitely the way to go," Mike Gilman, the founder of Grooming Lounge, says. But be warned, he adds, it's "best to have the trimmer follow the grain of hair growth — which is usually downward to a degree. Going against the grain and pushing too hard can leave bald patches.”
Questions to Consider First
Trust Mike, and get an electric clipper. But first, answers these questions to find which will work best for your face. When and where will you be using it? Are you maintaining the same beard you've had for years and just need a one-trick pony? Do you alternate between short and long styles and need a trimmer that offers a lot of variety? Will you take your trimmer on business trips or are you leaving it in a bathroom cabinet? Finally, what’s your budget?
No matter how you answered any of these questions, our picks have you covered. Find your go-to groomer below.
The Best Beard Trimmers
For shorter beards, Gilman suggests that you "start with a longer guard and move toward a shorter guard — you can’t put hair back on if too much is removed," he warns. "We’d recommend starting with a #1 guard and moving down to a .5 guard if the hair isn’t trimmed enough the first go around."
Whether you're looking to go even tighter or tidy loose edges, after you've "completed with the trimming of the length, the bearded one can remove the guards and use the point of the bare clipper to outline and carve out spots around the neck, cheeks and mustache," he adds.
Folks with longer beards should only use a trimmer to shape or sharpen. Scissors are the smarter option for serious cutting.
"For more intense facial foliage formations, it usually works best to separate the way the beard is handled on the cheeks versus the goatee, chin and upper neck area," Gilman says. "Down below, on the chin and goatee area, it’s more of a comb and scissor situation. Comb the beard down and cut across in small sections, sometimes point cutting into the beard diagonally. If [you] cut straight across at the bottom, it’ll look like the equivalent of a bowl cut for the beard."
Make no haste when it comes to shaving. This is your face after all, and the entire world is watching — thus, you’ve got to prevent things like irritation, ingrown hairs and infection. It’s easy to do if you put the right amount of time and care into your shave regimen.