Canstar Blue’s 2021 review of beard trimmers has seen Philips, Kmart and Braun 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 more than 200 Australian consumers who have recently bought or received a new beard trimmer and asked them to rate it based on comfort, performance & reliability, ease of use, weight and size, value for money and overall satisfaction. Brands that met the minimum required survey sample size of 30 responses are included in the final results.
Philips ‘shaved’ Aussies from a hairy day with its range of beard trimmers, placing best in five out of six categories ─ including overall satisfaction.
Here are the best brands for beard trimmers in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s 2021 review:
Philips brushed up best in our bread trimmer ratings with the only five-star review for overall satisfaction, while Kmart cut it close on four stars and Braun on three stars. Although despite not taking the top spot, Braun still managed to lead on the value for money front after earning full marks in that category.
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. Prices start at about $100 and work their way up to $299.
The standout trimmer in the line-up is perhaps the 9000 series. Its main feature is its laser guidance system, which provides a red line to help you create a sharp and symmetrical beard line. It’s also said to be 100% waterproof and comes with 17 lock-in length settings. There’s currently one beard trimmer available from the Philips website:
Philips cleaned up with five-star reviews in the majority of categories, including overall satisfaction. It got four stars for value for money.
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 is also designed to take care of ears and other hairy areas. It costs just $25 and comes with adjustable combs from 1-10mm and a precision dial. This Kmart beard trimmer is 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, a foil shaver and a nose and ear trimmer. Beard trimmers available from Kmart include:
Kmart achieved a mostly smooth four-star rating across the board, including for overall satisfaction. The only exception was value for money, where it got three stars.
Braun has come to the table – or sink – as a serious contender in the beard trimmer battle. One product to choose from is the Braun Beard Trimmer (BT7240), which comes with a precision dial, four attachments, and a Gillette Fusion5 ProGlide razor. Between the two combs, you can cut from 1mm up to 20mm for a precise cut. The precision dial additionally has 39 length settings varying between 0.5mm and 10mm to suit different beards or hairstyles. Plus, this Braun beard trimmer goes cordless with a fully charged battery claimed to last 100 minutes, before requiring a one-hour charge.
There are many other options within Braun’s line-up, starting from $79. Some models from the range include:
Braun rated best for value for money with the only five-star review for that category, before landing on three stars for overall satisfaction and everywhere else.
The brands in our ratings might be a good starting point when you’re searching for a new beard trimmer but other brands may also be worth considering. While they may not have received the minimum sample size to be included in our latest beard trimmer review, they’ve featured in previous ratings and are still worthy of consideration.
Wahl offers a comprehensive range of beard trimmers sure to suit a range of budgets. Overall, you can expect to pay anywhere between $20 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 ($179.95 RRP*). Capable of being used on head hair, your beard, and body, this trimmer comes with four interchangeable attachment heads ─ including a T-blade, trimmer blade, detail shaver and ear & nose trimmer. These are designed to perform everything from touch-ups and edging to full beard and body grooming. It also has a one-minute quick charge function, which is claimed to provide a four-hour maximum runtime.
Some beard trimmers you can buy from Wahl include:
Remington has become synonymous with personal grooming and hair care, 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 $130.
One of Remington’s top-of-the-range products is the T-Series Precision Trimmer, which is specially designed to cut close to the skin for precise edging, fine detailing and trimming. It includes six fixed combs, plus a reversible head design which features a reversible T-blade to help with precision and control. Similar to many other beard trimmers on the market, this Remington model offers a maximum 60-minute runtime.
Some models from the range include:
When Panasonic comes to mind, you’ll probably associate the brand more with big TVs than beard trimmers. But it actually manufactures a wide range of gadgets, including beard trimmers. Prices usually just start under the $40 mark and this affords basic functionality with wet and dry capabilities. Prices quickly exceed the $100 mark, although these models typically 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.
Some Panasonic beard trimmers available include:
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 about the VS Sassoon For Men line is that it has a wide range of prices to suit all budgets, from around $20 to nearly $300, though a lot can be found cheaper.
One of the standout models is the ‘Beard Designer’. The model is a rotary beard trimmer with uniquely three trimming blades which, according to VS Sassoon, cut ‘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 a 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.
Whether you think of a beard trimmer as a necessity or a trendy grooming tool to keep your beard looking sharp, one thing is for sure, it’s better to have one than not. Our research found a handful of our survey respondents (16%) said they purchased one because they are trendy and 12% said they bought a beard trimmer to supposedly stimulate hair growth ─ either way 14% 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 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. 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. Aside from 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, but 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, oiling up rarely-used blades can ensure their long-term performance. Clipper-specific lubricant is a bit more ‘heavy duty’ than other types of regular oil ─ and for blades that have hardly been used, it’s said to be 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 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 of 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, hair and even skin will inevitably 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 won’t be 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 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 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 Philips edging out the others on most counts. Otherwise, Braun may be worth considering if you’re concerned about shaving too much off your wallet. 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, correct as of June 2021.
Our 2021 survey revealed Philips rated best in most research categories:
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, 222 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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*Prices correct as of publication date.