Canstar Blue’s 2020 review of beard trimmers has seen Wahl, Braun, Remington, Philips and Kmart compared on their performance & reliability, ease of use, comfort, weight & size, value for money, and overall satisfaction.
Let’s face it – getting that perfectly manicured beard isn’t easy, but one step you can take to beard perfection is investing in a good beard trimmer. Beard trimmers have exploded in popularity over recent years – no clues as to guessing why. Many companies have had to stand up and take notice, and now the market is saturated with something out there for just about everyone. So, which brand is best for beard-trimming perfection?
To find out, we’ve surveyed over 300 Aussies who have recently bought or received a new beard trimmer and asked them to rate it based on a number of important variables, including comfort, performance & reliability, ease of use, value for money, weight and size and overall satisfaction. The brands which met the minimum required survey sample size of 30 responses are included in the final results.
Our ratings featured five major brands but only one was rated best – Wahl! It received five-star reviews in all research categories.
Here are the best brands for beard trimmers in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s 2020 review:
Wahl has topped our 2020 beard trimmer ratings as the only brand to receive full marks for overall satisfaction and all other categories. Runner-up Braun, Remington and Philips all recorded four stars for overall satisfaction, while Kmart rounded out the results on three stars overall.
Wahl offers a comprehensive range of beard trimmers sure to suit a lot of budgets. Overall, you can expect to pay anywhere between $40 and $200 for a Wahl beard trimmer, and it’s essentially a case of you get what you pay for. Take for example Wahl’s Stainless-Steel Lithium Ion Beard Trimmer. It contains, as Wahl claims, 20 times the torque compared to its standard trimmer and a four-hour run time. Plus, it has a handy one-minute quick charge and features a stainless-steel finish to top it off. This is just one of the high-end models from Wahl.Wahl rated five stars for overall satisfaction and all other categories in our 2020 review. The Wahl range includes the following models (and more):
Braun has come to the table – or sink – as a serious contender in the beard trimmer battle. Perhaps its standout model is the Beard trimmer BT7040 with a precision dial, four attachments and Gillette Fusion5 ProGlide razor. It also has a suite of usability features to make trimming easier. Between the two combs, you can cut from 0.5mm up to 20mm for a precise cut, and its easily removable combs are a boon for quick trimming. It goes cordless with a fully charged battery lasting 100 minutes. It’s also fully washable and comes with the Gillette Fusion5 ProGlide razor for a clean shave neck.There are a number of other options within Braun’s line-up, starting from just $69. Braun rated four stars for overall satisfaction and in all categories. Some models from the range include:
Remington has become synonymous with personal grooming and haircare, and its smart line of beard trimmers is nothing to be sneezed at, either. Remington’s range is an interesting one that varies in price. Overall, you can expect models to cost from around $30 to $150. Models include one made specifically for a designer stubble (think David Beckham or Jason Statham) and one that has a vacuum for a no mess experience.
The standout in the range though is perhaps the ‘Beard Boss’ model. It has an adjustable zoom wheel that extends up to 5mm to create that perfect stubble, and is rated for a five-hour cordless run time. It also has titanium coated blades with five adjustable combs for both beards and stubble, so you can nail both the lumberjack and professional UK soccer player look.Remington achieved four stars for overall satisfaction, comfort, ease of use and weight & size, but landed on three stars for performance & reliability and value for money. Some models from the range include:
Dutch electronics giant Philips goes to show that Holland isn’t all just tulips and windmills – it can also produce quality beard trimmers. Like its shaver series, Philips beard trimmers are varied in price, generally trending towards the mid-range segment. They start at about $40 and work their way up to around $200.
The standout trimmer in the line-up is perhaps the 9000 series. Its most standout features are its laser guide for the most sculpted beard this side of the dyke, and a ‘zoom wheel’ to precisely cut to your desired beard length. These features make for a beard trimmer that’s excellent value for money.Most of the Philips beard trimmers come in a kit with two combs and a cleaning brush. Philips scored four stars in the majority of categories, except value for money where it received three stars. Some models from the range include:
Kmart may be better known for its kitschy homewares, but it also produces a small range of grooming products, beard trimmers included. It offers a couple of trimmer sets including a personal grooming tool that can trim facial hair, taking care of your beard. This tool also takes care of ears and other hairy areas. It costs $25 and comes with adjustable combs from 1-10mm and precision dial. It’s stated to run for approximately 45 minutes with an eight-hour charging time. There is not much word on how close of a trim you can get, but for $25, it’s a harmless investment.
Another option is Kmart’s 10-piece trimmer set, which can also shape your eyebrows. It features five interchangeable combs, three trimmers, foil shaver and a nose and ear trimmer. Kmart was rated three stars overall and for all other research categories but didn’t receive the minimum required responses to be given a rating for value for money. Kmart’s range consists of:
The brands in our ratings might be a good starting point when you’re searching for a new beard trimmer but there are other brands that may also be worth considering. While they may not have received the minimum sample size to be included in our 2020 beard trimmer review, they’ve featured in previous ratings and are still worthy of consideration.
When Panasonic comes to mind, you’ll probably associate the brand more with big TVs than beard trimmers but the fact is it manufactures both and in fact has a large range of beard trimmers. Prices start at around the $40 mark and this affords basic functionality with wet and dry capabilities. Prices quickly exceed the $100 mark, but these models provide over 15 individual trim settings, cordless functionality, LED displays and more. Many models come with snap on attachments for apparently easy grooming for the lumberjacks or hipsters out there.
Most famed for women’s hair products, VS Sassoon also has a large array of male grooming products, and comes to the beard trimming game with a strong list of contenders. The great thing is it has a large range of prices to suit all budgets, from around $30 to nearly $300, though a lot can be found cheaper. The most standout model is the ‘Beard Designer’, which is interesting in that it’s one of the only rotary beard trimmers out there, with three trimming blades, which VS Sassoon claims cuts ‘two times faster, with five million cutting actions a minute’. So, it’s sure to make light work of your beard. It’s able to be used in the shower, and has a 40-minute cordless runtime before it needs charging. It also has an impressive cutting range from 0.4mm to 12mm, so you can get that designer stubble look with ease. VS Sassoon’s models may sit generally in the higher price ranges, but what they do offer is impressive.
Whether you think of a beard trimmer as a necessity or trendy grooming tool to keep your beard looking sharp, one thing is for sure, it’s better to have one than not. In fact, a handful (9%) of our survey respondents said they purchased one because they are trendy and 5% said they bought one to stimulate hair growth, while just 12% use theirs every day. There are a few key features you’ll need to pay attention to when buying a beard trimmer including:
If you’ve lined up a beard trimmer that ticks all these boxes along with your budget, then you my friend, are about to have a new companion.
You will no doubt want a beard trimmer that’s comfortable on your face. That’s why choosing a beard trimmer with a quality motor and blades is really important. Look for blades made out of stainless steel at least, with an adequate motor that won’t leave you hacking at your face. Blade quality – and the closeness of shave you will receive – also refers to adjustability, because a quality beard trimmer will have fine-tuned adjustments so you can go from stubble manicuring to ‘loose ends beard trimming’ with ease. Generally, the mantra of ‘buy the best you can afford’ works here.
It’s no use buying a beard trimmer if you can’t stand to use the thing. While lumberjacks of yesteryear likely did away with trimming their beards, the modern man still desires to have a manicured beard. It has become a bit like cultivating a garden really. As such, look for features such as lithium ion batteries that provide great charge times. Also look out for docks that provide quick charge times, and ‘ultra-fast’ one shave charging times.Besides the battery tech, beard trimmers should deliver a variety of safety guards and adjustability to fine-tune your bearded needs. Guards not only allow you to select length-of-cut, they also help protect your skin from the shaving blades themselves. These practical aspects will likely be the most important elements in ensuring your beard trimming experience remains at least somewhat pleasant.
There isn’t much rocket science involved with beard trimmers, so you should expect one that’s at least easy to use. If it isn’t, you probably won’t enjoy using it, or get the results you’d like. Plus, after you’ve finished reigning in your luscious beard, it’s handy to be able to clean it easily so you can continue about your day being generally awesome. Quality beard trimmers have easily removable cutting heads and guards, so you can simply wash them after a single use. Beard trimmers often go one further and are waterproof, or at least able to be rinsed under the tap. Easy-clean features will also make your overall beard trimming experience more pleasant, and proper cleaning can extend the life of your trimmer.
Beard trimmers vastly benefit from proper maintenance. And like anything that cuts, taking care of the blades is most important, though overall maintenance can have your beard trimmer performing better for longer. There are three main aspects to maintaining your beard trimmer blades including:
Applying oil to your blades before use will ensure that they keep on trucking, and performing at an optimal level. Without oil, the blades are more likely to seize up. Luckily though, any decent beard trimmer should have a small bottle included, but in any case, blade oil can be found for around $10 or less. Simply put a drop in either corner of the blade body, and a drop in the centre. Similar to oiling your blades, lubricating inactive blades also goes a long way in ensuring their longevity. If you’re not a regular beard-trimming artisan, lubing up rarely used blades can ensure their long-term performance. Lubricant is a bit more ‘heavy duty’ than oil and for rarely used blades, it’s a godsend. Lubricate your blades before putting the trimmer to your face; this is a proactive way to ensure you get the best from your blades.
It may seem pedantic, but cleaning off the hair from your beard trimmer after every use can really ensure its long-term survival. Many grooming kits contain a brush for easy cleaning but otherwise, a toothbrush can work well. Hint: don’t use toothpaste. Not only is leftover hair – even if it’s yours – a bit off putting, it can also clog up your blades and make them less effective in the long run. So, taking a couple minutes post trim to clean your beard trimmer can go a long way in getting the most from your blades.
Every so often, it’s worth taking the time to remove build-up in your blades. Over time, it’s inevitable that hair and even skin will get caught up in your blades. About three times a year, it can be worth giving your trimmer the once over, taking the time to remove as much build-up as possible. This will ensure – like with most other maintenance – that your blades’ performance is not compromised. After this more thorough cleaning, it pays to oil the blades; this will again do a world of good. Aside from this, it’s good to disinfect your trimmer’s blades using commonly found blade spray. You may have seen the barber do this and it’s not just for show. Even disinfecting your own personal trimmer is good practice for hygiene. Spray every few trims to ensure you’re not subjecting your beard to a germy nightmare.
Beard trimmers have soared in popularity in recent years as many men have realised that having a beard doesn’t rid you of your grooming woes. If you want to neaten up your beard or get that five o’clock shadow look, then a beard trimmer could be a great investment. The five brands listed in our customer ratings could be a great starting point, as all offer a great range with generally good value for money, with Wahl edging out the others on all counts. No matter what your prowess is with facial hair, a beard trimmer could be a great weapon in your arsenal.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services, while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.
Picture credits: Stas Malyarevsky/shutterstock.com, Beykov Maksim/shutterstock.com, VGstockstudio/shutterstock.com.
*Prices taken from respective retailers and current as of May 2020.
Canstar Blue surveyed more than 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased or been given a new beard trimmer in the last three years (this does not include facial electric shavers and hair clippers) – in this case, 353 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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