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The nine best beard trimmers

Like many beard-wearers with office jobs, I have the kind of stubble that’s not quite a beard, but is always verging on it. This was true when I first reviewed beard trimmers last year and it remains so today, my scruff often hovering around one millimeter in length. In our post-Mumford & Sons era, mine…

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The nine best beard trimmers

Like many beard-wearers with office jobs, I have the kind of stubble that’s not quite a beard, but is always verging on it. This was true when I first reviewed beard trimmers last year and it remains so today, my scruff often hovering around one millimeter in length. In our post-Mumford & Sons era, mine is a common facial hair choice, probably because it takes almost no effort. All it requires is an electric beard trimmer, decent eyesight, and a willingness to never actually shave your face (unless you want to clean up your neck with a proper razor occasionally, which is considered respectable before meetings and big events).

That said, finding the right trimmer to execute this not-really-shaving look is a challenge. You want one that will last for years while still holding its charge, preferably with a lithium-ion battery. The blades should be sharp — for morning efficiency, mostly — and the tool should feel good in your hands without seeming cheap or getting too easily clogged with hairs. There are tons of options on the market — new ones each month, it seems — so I recently refreshed my original search (which started with researching more than 30 trimmers, before testing a bunch from major electronics brands and digital upstarts alike). Below, the standouts, including some old favorites and a few promising newcomers.


The best overall electric beard trimmer


Philips Norelco Beard Trimmer Series 7200, Vacuum-Trimmer

Philips Norelco Beardtrimmer Series 7200 Vacuum Trimmer

After two years of near-constant use, this remains my favorite trimmer, thanks to two obvious advantages: (1) a convenient radial dial that lets you easily choose lengths as short as 0.5 millimeters (and in 0.5 millimeter increments up from there), which makes it plenty versatile; and (2) a vacuum-suction feature that collects the majority of your shaven hairs — up to 90 percent of them, according to the company, but who really knows? All I can say is that this is a godsend. No one likes wiping their own (or their partner’s) stubble from the sink, and I’m willing to deal with this shaver’s slightly clunky body to reap that reward. Plus, I can now report, its battery and blade hold up to months and months of wear and tear.


The lightest electric beard trimmer


Brio Axis Trimmer with Travel Case

Brio Axis Trimmer with travel case

The latest release from digital upstart Brio has all the features I liked from their original Beardscape — a nicely contoured shape, a charging stand that I wish every trimmer had, and a ceramic blade, which is supposedly four times harder than stainless steel (though more breakable, too) — but in a smaller, more portable package, which is why it is taking the place of the older model on this list. Using the included guides — those plastic combs that come with most trimmers — it’s great for people who want shorter beards (from 3mm to 6mm) and, on its own, the narrow blade cuts down to 0.5 millimeters, my ideal starting point. It navigates corners and crevices well, though it did snag a few times on my stubble when I tested it — a small price to pay in exchange for its simplicity, 90-minute battery life (the light around the button changes color when it’s time to charge), and quiet charm.


The best professional-grade electric beard trimmer


Wahl Lithium Ion+ Stainless Steel Trimmer

You might think that the purpose of any beard trimmer is for it to work perfectly, expertly crafting each piece of micro-hair into the same length, but that’s hardly the point when it comes to five o’clock shadow. Messy is in! Still, I appreciated the incredibly sharp, pro-level blade; heavy stainless-steel body; and long-lasting battery (a four-hour charge) that this one offered. If you ignore any of its bonus features and beard guides, this tool is right for people who want an incredibly close, 0.5 millimeter shave without pulling out an electric foil razor or regular razor blade. I’ll keep this one in my medicine cabinet for achieving what’s essentially a clean shave — no shaving cream necessary — especially since it’s shaped in a way that nicely weaves around lip corners and nose crevices. (Wahl also makes a vacuum-suction version that feels similarly strong, if a bit more awkward to wield than my number one pick.)


The best electric beard trimmer that also cuts (head) hair


Andis Professional T-Outliner Beard / Hair Trimmer with T-Blade

As the kind of tool used by professional barbers for beard trims and edge cleanups, this device has a heavy-duty detachable cord, a nice substantial feel to it, an incredibly sharp carbon blade, and a switch that toggles on and off with a pleasing motion (small things matter, especially in the morning). Used alone, or with its set of guides, it’s great for those who want to tweak and trim all different kinds of beard lengths — from 0.5 millimeters up to 10 millimeters and I could see it also being useful if you’re the kind of person who wants someone (a partner, a haircutting friend) to give you an actual at-home haircut.


The best travel electric beard trimmer


Philips Norelco OneBlade

This one is sort of a wild card. It’s somewhere between a traditional beard trimmer and a regular razor (fittingly, it was named the best electric-cartridge hybrid razor on Strategist’s roundup of the best razors), and requires a special OneBlade that isn’t sharp to the touch and is supposed to be replaced every four months or so. Once you charge the handle and turn on the power, the blade’s rapid movements cut nearly as close as a regular disposable blade, but without any fear of bleeding or ingrown hairs. You can basically drag it all over your face haphazardly to eliminate all your facial hair, or use it to “edge” and “shape” for styles like goatees. Using it does feel slightly strange, like you’re sweeping over your floor with a broom that doesn’t work as well as a vacuum. And the results weren’t the most pristine, so it’s something I’m saving for vacations, when it matters less. The small size, decent battery life, and punchy color make it just right for my Dopp kit.


More Strategist-approved beard-trimming tools


Andis Slimline Pro Li T-Blade Trimmer

In our article on the best expert-recommended razors, many of the pros said that electric beard trimmers can be the best electric style of shaver if you’ve got very sensitive skin, because a slightly less-close shave may result in less irritation. Paul Langevin of barbershop Mildred New York told us about this electric trimmer, which is more or less a cordless version of the Andis style that appears above.



Wahl Aqua Blade Deluxe Wet / Dry Beard Trimmer Kit

If you’re looking for an electric trimmer you can use in the shower (for easier cleanup), barber Miles Wood-Smith recommended this Wahl wet / dry model when we asked him about all the different products you need to trim and maintain a beard.



Philips Norelco Beard & Head Trimmer Series 5100

When he grew a beard, Strategist writer David Notis maintained it using a different model from Philips Norelco, the brand behind our best overall electric trimmer. The style shown here is the newer version of Notis’ electric beard trimmer, which he liked for its affordability. But the lower price comes with a trade-off: this does not have the vacuum-suction feature found in the top-rated model on this list.



Groom Mate Stainless Steel Nose & Ear Hair Trimmer

For most beards, any of the above electric trimmers will be all you need when it comes to maintenance. But if your beard incorporates a mustache or looks like it could be a prop from the Game of Thrones costume department (and we mean that in the best way), you might need a precision trimmer like this, from our list of the best grooming tools, to ensure no wayward hair is left behind.


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Reviews

Fantastic Four Reboot Director Josh Trank Reviews His Own Movie

Despite releasing in 2015, the Fantastic Four reboot has gotten one final review — and it’s from its director Josh Trank. In a humorous review on Letterbox, Trank takes some shots at… well… himself, saying “I was expecting it to be much worse than it was.”In the self-depreciating review, Trank gives his Fantastic Four reboot…

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Fantastic Four Reboot Director Josh Trank Reviews His Own Movie
Despite releasing in 2015, the Fantastic Four reboot has gotten one final review — and it’s from its director Josh Trank. In a humorous review on Letterbox, Trank takes some shots at… well… himself, saying “I was expecting it to be much worse than it was.”In the self-depreciating review, Trank gives his Fantastic Four reboot a whopping two stars, which is actually lower than IGN’s review. In his scatterbrain review, Trank is rather critical of his film, stating he was in a “heavily f**king traumatized state of mind” just two weeks before the movie was set to release.

Fox Movie and TV Show Properties Headed to Disney

While not directly saying it, Trank alludes to the idea that the reboot’s less than positive reviews weren’t totally his fault — stating that he will “save that for another time.”

After the movie’s initial release, actor Toby Kebbell alleged that Trank “cut a great film that you’ll never see. That is a shame. A much darker version, and you’ll never see it.” Following in suit with Kebbell’s claims from a few years ago, Trank makes a humorous, yet seemingly serious attempt at starting a “#ReleaseTheTrankCut” hashtag.

If you’re out of the loop, Trank is referring to the director’s cut of 2018’s Justice League film that was never released following Snyder’s decision to step away from the film after the tragic death of his daughter. After word spread of the former director’s cut of the film, the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut hashtag began spreading like wildfire, and was even supported by actors from the film like Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck.Trank finishes his review, which at this point seems more like a review of the production of the Fantastic Four reboot, saying, “I was 29 years old, making my 2nd film, in a situation more complicated than anything a 2nd time filmmaker should’ve walked into…I just hope Peyton Reed makes the next Fantastic Four and crushes it. And that I get a cameo.”

After Disney acquired Fox earlier this year, there was some talk from Marvel’s Kevin Feige about another Fantastic Four film, so maybe Trank will get his cameo after all.

Andrew Smith is a freelance contributor at IGN. Follow him on Twitter @_andrewtsmith.

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Reviews

Call of Duty: Every IGN Review Score

Pop quiz: how many Call of Duty games have there been? With the all-over-the-place naming convention it’s hard to figure out – four WW2 games, three four Modern Warfares, four Black Ops, a World at War, and a few futuristic one-offs in a pear tree. The good news is that IGN has been reviewing them…

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Pop quiz: how many Call of Duty

games have there been? With the all-over-the-place naming convention it’s hard to figure out – four WW2 games, three four Modern Warfares, four Black Ops, a World at War, and a few futuristic one-offs in a pear tree. The good news is that IGN has been reviewing them since way back in 2003 when the first duty called, so below you can scroll through a gallery of the contemporaneous score and Verdict on every game in the series.But before you do, a challenge:

1) How many Call of Duty games have received a 10 from IGN?

2) What’s the highest-scoring Call of Duty game?

3) What’s the lowest-scoring Call of Duty game?

Alright, now check and tell us how you did in the comments. Honor system!

Every IGN Call of Duty Review

Dan Stapleton is IGN’s Reviews Editor. You can follow him on Twitter to hear gaming rants and lots of random Simpsons references.

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Reviews

Every IGN Hideo Kojima Review

Do you remember what score IGN gave Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker? How about Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater? With Death Strandingsee dealDeath Stranding – PlayStation 4$59.88on Amazon nearly out, we decided it was time to revisit all of IGN’s Hideo Kojima reviews since Metal Gear Solid in 1998. Check out the entire list…

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Every IGN Hideo Kojima Review
Do you remember what score IGN gave Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker? How about Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater? With Death Stranding

see deal

Death Stranding – PlayStation 4

$59.88on Amazon

nearly out, we decided it was time to revisit all of IGN’s Hideo Kojima reviews since Metal Gear Solid in 1998. Check out the entire list in the gallery below (and please note we never reviewed Hideo Kojima’s P.T. as it was technically a demo, but we recently called it the scariest game of this generation. )

Every IGN Kojima Game Review

For more on Death Stranding and Hideo Kojima, check out our review, our review discussion on Podcast Beyond, and the recent news that Kojima Productions may make movies in the future.

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Lucy O’Brien is Executive Editor of Features at IGN. Follow her on Twitter.

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