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The best beard trimmer

Wahl wins.

The Sweethome
02.09.16 in Home
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By Seamus Bellamy

This post was done in partnership with The Sweethome, a buyer's guide to the best things for your home. Read the full article here.

After 46 hours of research and a week of testing tools with a pair of professional barbers, plus an additional two months spent testing five new devices this year, we concluded that the Wahl Lithium Ion all-in-one trimmer is the best beard trimmer for most people. It has the sharpest blades, the most reliable beard guides, the longest run time, and the strongest overall stubble-cutting power of any cordless tool we tested.

How we tested

The Wahl Lithium Ion's blade is near professional quality, according to our expert barbers.

In three years of reporting on this category and updating this guide, we've considered about 70 beard trimmers and tested 37 of them. While none of them are perfect, they are the best we've found. The two Wahl products in particular are standouts; both rose to the top after a week of scrutiny and testing against 10 devices by the employees at Victory Barber & Brand in Victoria, British Columbia. This year, thanks to what we learned from the experts, we felt comfortable testing five new devices on our own, adhering to the barbers' exacting test standards.

We spent nearly two months using our test group of trimmers to see how well they dealt with balding or patchier beards, how they trimmed with beard guides on and off, and how they did quick touch-ups in easy-to-screw-up areas like along the lip and jawline. We also looked at construction, blade quality, ergonomics, how long the device could go between charges, and how easy it was to clean and maintain.

Our pick

The cordless Wahl Lithium Ion all-in-one trimmer cut more hair in a single pass, and cut it shorter, than all the other rechargeable trimmers we tested.

We think the Wahl Lithium Ion all-in-one trimmer is the best beard trimmer for most people. While not as powerful as the Wahl Peanut (which we'll get to in a minute), it proved more than capable of cutting through coarse beard hair, no matter whether we trimmed around an upper lip or took a full beard off. Among the battery-powered trimmers we tested, the Wahl Lithium Ion had the most power overall. No other rechargeable trimmer we tested cut more hair in one stroke than the Wahl. Working without a cord is convenient, and this tool's battery offers the best balance of charge times and run times in our test group: With a roughly two-hour run time from a one-hour charge or the option to use it for five minutes after plugging it in for one minute, it's almost always ready to go.

A more powerful, corded pick

The Wahl Peanut's powerful motor and sharp blades make it a great choice for men with thick, coarse beards.

Cordless trimmers aren't for everyone. If you want a reliable corded tool that can cut a thick beard and moustache down to nothing but stubble, we recommend the Wahl Peanut. It beat everything we tested it against in overall cutting power and closeness of the trim. You see it in hair salons everywhere; professionals dig its powerful motor, easy-to-maintain blades, solid ergonomics, and rugged durability. But unlike some pro tools, the Peanut is easy to clean and maintain without breaking out the screwdriver. It's also lighter, smaller, and more maneuverable than other tank-like pro trimmers, yet because it's so well built, the Wahl Peanut is bound to last home users for years.

A pick for fine length control

If you want incremental control over your facial-hair length, the Panasonic's guides give you 39 different settings.

If you prefer a trimmer with incremental length controls, we suggest the Panasonic ER-GB60-K, which comes with two trimmer guards that add up to 39 length settings, far more than the competition provides (even our main pick offers only 12 settings). The Panasonic's cutting power is mediocre compared against that of the high-quality blades and motors in the two Wahl trimmers we feature in this guide, but it has better cutting power than the competition. The ER-GB60-K is best suited for people with thinner beards who want to have as much control as they can over the length.

Wrapping it up

After 46 hours spent researching and testing tools with a pair of professional barbers, plus a new round of testing this year, we found that the Wahl Lithium Ion all-in-one trimmer is the best beard trimmer for most people. It has the sharpest blades, the longest run time, and the strongest overall stubble-cutting power of any cordless tool we tested.

This guide may have been updated by The Sweethome. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

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