It’s beard trimmers at the ready as charity initiative Decembeard returns for its seventh year.
To make sure you’re well prepared, we’ve taken a first look at the newest beard trimmers from Babyliss, Braun, Panasonic, Philips, Remington and Wahl.
If you’re taking part, read our top five tips on how to get the most out of your beard trimmer and keep your bristles in good shape this Decembeard. And why not take our Decembeard quiz while you’re at it?
Or go straight to our beard trimmer first look reviews to see which is best to keep your chin fur stylishly groomed.
Kick off Decembeard by taking our quiz and challenging yourself to identify as many celebs as you can, by their beards alone. Can’t see the quiz? Click here.
1. Match your beard trimmer to your style
If you’re one of the thousands sporting a full beard for the first time to raise money and awareness for bowel cancer research, you’re going to need to choose a beard style.
Whether you want to keep it neat with a classic short and boxed beard, or sport a real showstopper in honour of Decembeard (exhibitionists should Google ‘old Dutch’ or ‘French fork’), it pays to know what you’ll need your beard trimmer to do. Otherwise you could end up paying more than you need to for unnecessary functions and attachments.
Some beard trimmers have an impressive-sounding number of length settings, but the longest of these is often just 10mm. That’s great for short beards and stubble but not so much for longer growth. Other trimmers with fewer settings can reach lengths of up to 25mm, which would be better suited for those sporting longer beards.
Figure out how long and how tailored you want your beard to be before you begin assessing the different specs on each model.
2. Weigh up key features
A beard trimmer with a lot of power can potentially trim more whiskers in one pass, meaning less work and less time spent grooming. The Wahl SPL Stainless Steel 4-in-1 Multigroomer has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that Wahl claims will provide double the power of a standard trimmer. But power alone isn’t a sure-fire indicator of top-notch cutting performance.
Battery performance is another key consideration. Remington claims its MB4200 Endurance Groomer can hold 70% of its battery charge over 12 months. It also has a low-battery indicator and a five-minute quick-charge function, which should also help you avoid getting caught without power. But is it any good at the really important task of trimming hairs evenly and comfortably? Read our first look review of the Remington MB4200 Endurance Groomer to find out.
A firm advocate of ‘convenience is king’? Then you might want to check out the Philips Series 7000 BT7202, which has a mini-vacuum that sucks up the trimmings as you shave. It draws them into a chamber at the front of the beard trimmer, which you can then detach and empty into a bin.
3. Go laser for sharp lines
If sharp lines along the neck or jaw are key to your look, you might be interested in the Philips BT9280 Beard Trimmer with Laser. It projects a laser line onto your face, which shows you exactly where you’re shaving, and is intended to help you achieve a more precise shave.
It’s also waterproof, so it can be rinsed under the tap for easy cleaning. But these extra features come at a cost, and this beard trimmer is one of the most expensive models we’ve looked at. Find out what we made of it by reading our first look review of the Philips BT9280 Beard Trimmer with Laser.
4. Clean your beard trimmer
Get in the habit of cleaning your trimmer after every use, because a build-up of hair can damage the blades and also seriously impair the life of your beard trimmer.
Some models, such as the Panasonic ER-GB42, are fully washable, allowing them to be run under the tap for a bit of an easier clean. Even if you have one of these waterproof beard trimmers, it’s still useful to open it up occasionally and give it a brush out, to make sure it’s clear of any build-up.
Another useful habit to get into is oiling the blades of your trimmer. This will help protect the delicate parts and keep the blades working smoothly. Just a couple of small drops are needed, but always make sure you clean the trimmer first.
Philips claims the blades on the Series 5000 BT5200/13 are self-sharpening and don’t need to be oiled. Useful additions like this can take the hassle out of maintenance tasks.
5. Master your Decembeard technique
The difficulty in achieving that perfect Decembeard style will vary depending on how complex a look you want. But there are some basic tips that will help you get the most out of your beard trimmer:
- Wash and dry your beard. It will make it easier to trim and will leave it looking fresh.
- Comb the beard so that all hairs are lying flat and in the same direction.
- Tidy up the neck line and then move to the cheek line. Work slowly, checking as you go. It’s easy to take off too much.
- Decide on your length, and set the trimmer or attach the appropriate guard.
- Follow the contours of your face, working from below the chin upwards toward the cheek bones.
Read more about Decembeard for how to take part, and see what the money you raise from your beard will be helping.
Beard trimmer first look reviews
Below are all the beard trimmers we’ve just looked at. Follow the links to read our reviews:
- Babyliss 7896U i-Stubble 3: £37.50
- Braun BT3040: £22
- Panasonic ER-GB42: £30
- Philips Series 5000 BT5200/13: £32.50
- Philips Series 7000 BT7202/13: £40
- Remington Endurance Groomer MB4200: £37
- Wahl SPL Stainless Steel 4-in-1 Multigroomer: £67
- Wahl 4-in-1 Multigroomer with Rinsable Blade: £40
- Wahl Lithium Pro Stubble Trimmer: £25
Prices correct as of 29 November 2017.