When you're browsing for a beard trimmer, there are a few questions to bear in mind. You want the best price for your budget, of course. But there are design features and functionality that can make a huge difference to how well a trimmer will work for you.
The first question is: can you get a good grip on it? A reliable trimmer should be of a good weight, comfortable to hold and easy to manoeuvre, even with wet hands.
You also want to check that it has a decent range of guard lengths. Some trimmers also have a second, precision trimmer for edges.
Then there's battery life and charging options. If you're going to take your trimmer away with you, it's good to know that you can give it a charge and it'll last you for the duration of your trip.
Many beard trimmers will charge with a three-pin plug. Some will charge via a shaving socket. A few rare beasts may charge via USB, which is handy for regular travellers as it means you don't need to pack another travel adapter.
Is it waterproof? If you're involved in advanced beard shaping, chances are you'd prefer to be in front of a mirror with a clear view of your face, rather than chancing it in a steamy shower. Most dedicated beard trimmers will be for dry use only but if they're waterproof, you'll be able to find out in our reviews.
All of the following products were taken home and tried out by one of our writers and are the best of the beard trimmers we've tested. We think they represent decent quality and good value for money.
1. Philips OneBlade - Best Trimmer
The Philips OneBlade is as close to perfect as it gets. Slap a Micro-USB port on and cut the charge time down and I’d call it flawless, but as it is, I can’t see any good reason not to recommend this razor to basically everyone.
With three stubble combs by default and the option for a dedicated body blade, this one razor can cover clean shaving, stylish stubble, or body grooming, all in an unbelievably portable form factor. It's lightweight, powerful, and gives a great shave even on tricky areas like the jawline.
All that and it's also one of the most affordable electric razors on the market. Although you'll have to buy additional blades once every few months, it's still cheaper than most shaving solutions.
Read our full Philips OneBlade review
2. Remington G4 Graphite - Most Versatile
If you're looking for a trimmer that can do just about anything but you don't have a large budget, then the Remington G4 Graphite fits the bill perfectly.
Design and build are solid and the interchangeable head system works excellently, allowing you to swap between different attachments in seconds. The G4 comes with a wide range of different options including a mini foil shaver and a detail trimmer. Combine them all and you can achieve just about any style.
Performance is excellent and battery life is good too, although we would like a power lead that plugs into a shaver point rather than a three-pin plug.
Read our full Remington G4 Graphite review
3. Philips Series 7000 Beard and Stubble Vacuum Trimmer - Has Vacuum Chamber
The Philips Series 7000 is an attractive, high-quality trimmer with twenty length settings, from 0.5 to 10mm. Its battery life is strong, with up to 60 minutes from a single charge.
What gives it a bit of an edge is the vacuum chamber, which catches the worst of the hair before it colonises your bathroom sink. It won't quite get everything but it makes clean-up much easier.
It's not the cheapest trimmer out there, but it's a great mid-price option.
4. Braun Beard Trimmer BT3022 - Best Budget Model
Braun's BT3022 is an effective and affordable shaver. It's lightweight and feels good in the hand, with a lightly textured matt grip. It has a pleasing, simple look.
A control dial moves the detachable comb/guard back and forth for the stubble length you want to achieve. There are 20 depth settings, enabling you to easily taper between multiple beard lengths. The blades showed little inclination to clog up.
We worry a little about the battery performance - the maker claims 40 minutes of use between charges, but our sample died after just 20. However, as long as you're able to leave it plugged in overnight every few sessions, you should be okay.
Read our full Braun Beard Trimmer BT3022 review
5. Remington Barba MB320C beard trimmer - Most Ergonomic
The Remington Barba MB320C is a good budget option. It trims and sculpts well. It's nicely designed, with a great grip and controls you can access during use.
It also delivers in terms of providing different guard lengths, with a handy 'zoom' dial you can roll to change the setting.
Its battery will give you - at the very least - the promised 40 minutes of trimming time per charge. But there's little in the way of extra features and the additional, pop-up precision trimmer is disappointing.
Read our full Remington Barba MB320C beard trimmer review