Review beard trimmers from Wahl, Braun, Philips, Panasonic, VS Sassoon, Remington and Kmart on their reliability, performance, comfort, ease of use, ease of cleaning, extra features, value for money and overall customer 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 in 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 everyone. So which brand is best for beard-trimming perfection?
To find out, we’ve surveyed hundreds of Australians who have recently bought and used a new beard trimmer and asked them to rate it based on a number of important variables, including comfort, ease of use, ease of cleaning, value for money and the like. Seven brands featured in the ratings, but only Wahl got top marks for overall customer satisfaction. In fact, it scored five-star reviews in most other research categories. Other five-star ratings were few and far between:
Often, buying a beard trimmer is more than a necessity for lumberjacks; it’s a social statement and a trendy item. 32% said they purchased one because they are trendy, and 29% said they bought one to stimulate hair growth, even though just 30% use theirs every day.
We know that Wahl has been rated highest in our inaugural customer review of beard trimmers, but many other brands also have beard trimmers worth some thought. Let’s take a closer look at the seven brands in our ratings and see what they have to offer. Through comparing products from each of these brands, there’s likely something out there for everyone!
If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about with Wahl, have you seen its beard trimmers? Wahl offers a very comprehensive range of beard trimmers sure to suit a lot 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 the Lithium ion, Stainless Steel trimmer. It contains, as Wahl claims, 20 per cent more torque and power, and a four-hour run time. Plus, it has a handy ‘one minute quick charge’ and is finished in an attractive coloured stainless steel to top it off. This is one of the high-end models from Wahl, but it’s a very strong contender.
Wahl rated five stars for overall customer satisfaction in our 2017 review, with five stars in most other research categories, too. The only exceptions were extra features and value for money where it still earned a respectable four stars.
Braun has come to the table – or sink – with one strong contender in the beard trimmer battle. It comes in the form of the BT5070. It offers great value-for-money at under $100, and has a suite of useability features to make trimming easier. Between the two combs, you can cut between 1mm and 20mm for a precise cut, and its easily removable combs are a boon for quick trimming. It also goes cordless with a fully charged battery lasting 40 minutes. It’s also fully washable. Show how brawny your jaw can be with the Braun beard trimmer.
Braun rated four stars for overall customer satisfaction in our latest review, but notable recorded five stars on value for money.
Remington has become synonymous with personal grooming and haircare. Its line of beard trimmers is nothing to be sneezed at, either. Remington’s range of four models is an interesting one that varies in price. Overall, you can expect models to cost from around $40 to around $100. Models include one made specifically for 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 the ‘Barber’s Best Beard’ model. It has an adjustable zoom comb, is waterproof, and is rated for a 120-minute run time. It also has two blades for both beards and stubble, so you can nail both the lumberjack and ‘Professional UK soccer player’ look. Remington has entered the race with some interesting beard trimmers.
Remington achieved four stars for overall customer satisfaction this year, but was one of the standout performers in other areas, scoring five-star reviews for extra features and value for money.
Kmart may be better known for its kitschy homewares but it also produces a range of grooming products, beard trimmers included. While there are no specific ‘beard trimmers’, there is a personal grooming tool that can trim facial hair, taking care of your beard. This tool also takes care of eyebrows and other hairy areas. It costs $9 and comes with a 12 month warranty. There is not much word on how close of a trim you can get, but for $9 it’s not a big investment.
Kmart was rated three stars overall and for most other research categories, except value for money where it rated five stars and extra features where it scored four stars.
When Panasonic comes to mind you probably associate the brand more with big TVs than beard trimmers but the fact is it manufactures both, and has a large range of beard trimmers. Prices start at around the $20 mark and this affords basic functionality with wet and dry capabilities. Prices quickly exceed $100, but these models provide over 15 individual trim settings, cordless functionality, LED displays and more. Many models come with snap-on attachments for easy grooming for the lumberjacks or hipsters out there.
Panasonic got a mixed bag of results this year, rated three stars for overall customer satisfaction but achieving four stars for reliability and value for money.
Dutch electronics giant Philips goes to show that Holland isn’t all just tulips, clogs and windmills – it can also produce a quality beard trimmer. Like its shaver series, Philips beard trimmers are varied in price generally trending towards the midrange. They start at about $70 and work their way up to around $160. The standout trimmer in the line-up is 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.
Philips scored three stars for overall customer satisfaction, with a mixture of three and four stars across other research categories.
Most famed for its women’s hair products, VS Sassoon also have a large array of male grooming products, and come to the beard trimming game with a strong list of contenders. The great thing is it has a large range of prices to suit a lot of budgets, from around $60 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 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.
This was a disappointing year for VS Sassoon, rated three stars for overall customer satisfaction and the same score across most other research categories.
There are a few features you’ll need to pay attention to when buying a beard trimmer. They include:
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 battery tech, beard trimmers should have 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 oft-hot 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 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 much more pleasant, and proper cleaning can extend the life of your trimmer.
Beard trimmers vastly benefit from proper maintenance. 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 – they are:
Applying oil to your blades before every 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 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, hair left on your trimmer can 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 gets 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 are 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, but 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 it’s time to neaten up that beard, or if it’s time to get that five o’clock shadow look, then a beard trimmer can be a great investment. If it’s fine-tuned trimming you want as opposed to all-out shaving, then a beard trimmer can be the pick. The five brands listed in our customer ratings can be a great starting point, as all offer a great range with generally good value for money, with Wahl edging out the others. No matter what your prowess is with facial hair, a beard trimmer could be a great weapon in your arsenal.
Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased or been given a beard trimmer, and have used it, in the last three years – in this case, 399 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 alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
Beard Trimmers - November 8th
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