Whether you're sporting a full lumberjack beard, or moody designer stubble, facial hair is the perfect opportunity to make a statement that can range from being playful and creative to subtly sophisticated. But no matter what you choose, you'll have to trim it at some point.
One of the most important things to look for in a trimmer is to make sure it's easy to use.
Matt Southerland, barber/stylist at Persons of Interest in Brooklyn, New York
Options to Consider
Keeping your look requires the proper tool; namely, a beard trimmer. While trimmers may be as personal as your beard, there are a few general things to look for.
"One of the most important things to look for in a trimmer is to make sure it's easy to use," said Matt Southerland, barber/stylist at Persons of Interest in Brooklyn, New York. The upscale barber shop has a loyal following not only for haircuts, but facial grooming.
Southerland cautions to look for quality in a trimmer; that usually means spending a little more. A good trimmer will set you back $50 to $70, although some go for as little as $10.
Lastly, Southerland notes to make sure the trimmer you pick has adjustable settings so you can trim your beard at whatever length you want -- and that can change from season to season or even month to month.
Taking It With You
For Craig Whitely, CEO of the Grooming Concierge in Hollywood, portability is a top consideration.
"I like the idea of having a trimmer be able to be cordless as well as have a cord you can plug in for a full charge," Whitely says. "You can use it not only at home but take it to the gym or even work." His Grooming Concierge offers on-location grooming services for men who are too busy to visit the salon or barbershop.
Whitely agrees that a trimmer needs to be adjustable to different lengths, and both he and Southerland said trimmers should have a blade edge that allows you to shape and outline your beard cleanly and precisely.
Allan Peterkin, author of "The Bearded Gentleman: The Style Guide to Shaving Face," recommends that a trimmer have a permanent adjustable length guard, as opposed to multiple attachments to keep track of.
"Compare costs online, and remember to clean and maintain the trimmer so it lasts longer," Peterkin said.
Some of the Best
When it comes to beard trimmers, there seems to be one that's on everyone's list: One of the most powerful and versatile trimmers, the Braun Cruzer 6 offers cord and cordless power, adjustable lengths, a click and lock mechanism and stainless steel element for shaping and outlines, Whitely says.
If you're looking for easy cleanup, Whitely recommends the Philips Norelco QT 4070. It has an integrated vacuum system that picks up the cut hair as you trim, It has 18 settings.
If size matters, you might go for the Wahl Peanut Professional Clipper/Trimmer. As the name implies, it's small and light -- 4 inches long and 4 ounces. It's also powerful, says Whitely, especially for its size.
Wet or Dry
One category of beard trimmers that has gained in popularity is wet/dry. These trimmers can be used at the sink or in the shower and provide just as good a trim.
"This can certainly make cleaning up after your trim a lot easier," says Matt Southerland with Persons of Interest in Brooklyn, New York.
Trimmers in this category include the Panasonic Milano series and the Gillette Fusion Pro Glide Styler.