Every man needs to be well groomed, whether he’s clean shaven, has stubble, or rocks the bearded life. In fact, when studies have been done on this, whether a man is well-groomed matters more than his actual style. It’s actually making an effort that matters, rather than how you keep yourself looking.
Some guys worry about this, about getting their look right, about the amount of time it takes to keep themselves looking sharp, and whether it costs a lot. But being well groomed doesn’t need to be difficult, expensive or time-consuming.
Trimmers and shavers come in a range of prices, and the cheaper, more budget friendly options are only getting better and better. That’s why when you’re grabbing a shaving or trimming product it’s important to know exactly what you’re buying and what your shaving needs are.
Things to consider
When you’re buying a trimmer, there are a few things you want to focus on. Even on budget products, the right choices make a huge difference when it comes to things like the quality of your shave and the lifetime of the trimmer you’ve picked up.
So when you’re looking at trimmers, look for things like this.
Obviously, blade quality matters. This is the part of the trimmer that’s going to be in contact with your hair and skin, so the higher quality, the better.
Higher quality blades also last longer and tend to need less looking after, so your trimmer is going to have a longer lifespan before you need to think about replacing it.
Battery options, quality, and lifespan
Considering it’s the battery that drives the blades, it’s important to get a system that has the best power option possible.
Some cheaper trimmers are powered by actual removable batteries. If possible, avoid these. Look for rechargeable units, having that mobility and flexibility to charge it up and take it anywhere is huge.
Accessories and other options
With cheaper kits, you might not get as much, so it’s important to know that you’re getting what you need, especially if you have a particular style you need to stick to.
Make sure the trimmer you buy comes with everything you need it to, regarding blade guards and cutting lengths, as well as maintenance of the trimmer itself. Some kits even come with nice storage bags or stands to keep your trimmer in when it isn’t in use.
- Wahl Clipper is the #1 brand of beard trimmers and hair clippers. The brand used by professionals since 1919
- Long Lasting Self-Sharpening Blades – Wahl’s unique Self Sharpening Blades Technology gives you the long lasting sharp blades. Wahl high-carbon precision ground blades for unbeatable trimming results
- Cordless operation – use this rechargeable power anywhere.
Wahl have been in business for almost one hundred years, and their heritage when it comes to rechargeable electric razors and trimmers is impeccable, especially considering they invented the very first one back in the 1980s.
Coming from that lineage, the Wahl 9916-817 demonstrates its chops, it delivers a whole lot more than you might expect from something so budget. In fact, we’ve already reviewed this trimmer. It actually came top of the list in our review of the 4 best Wahl trimmers, and we like it so much we figure it deserves its own post.
Firstly, the trimmer itself is well made, with a light, ergonomically shaped body that makes it so easy to hold and use.
Second, Wahl haven’t skimped on quality when it comes to the blades. Professionally ground carbon steel, they’ll stay sharp forever, and barely need any maintenance, just a touch of oil every now and again.
The kit comes with a whole bunch of parts, as well, which is impressive considering just how cheap it all is.
There’s a charger, obviously, as well as a base to stand the trimmer on while it’s charging.There’s also a beard comb, as well as 3 guide combs of useful lengths. The beard regulator also has 7 separate settings for lengths, meaning you’re good for lengths and styles no matter what you’re looking for or your particular need.
You get blade oil too, a couple of drops of which is all the blades need to stay functionally sharp and tip top quality.
Considering the price, the amount of stuff you get included with this set is great, especially considering the general quality of the trimmer as well.
- Solid, well-designed trimmer
- Good performance, and a great set of blades
- Rechargeable battery, so doesn’t eat those AAs
- Battery is pretty solid too, lasts a good long time
- Comes with a lot of accessories
- Child safe, with a lock on the power button
- It isn’t washable. You have to brush it off
- Can’t run it from the mains, have to charge it first
- The motor is pretty loud. It doesn’t bother me, but it could irritate some people, or wake up sleeping, partners
- Base is cheaply made, but you don’t need it
Features and benefits
Considering that this is an entry level trimmer, there’s an awful lot about it to love.
When it arrived, and I started unpacking it from the box, I felt like a thief. You get so much with it. It’s actually crazy. Not only that, but the quality is good throughout.
Excellent quality of blade
Unlike a lot of cheaper trimmers, this comes with Wahl professional quality carbon steel blades. They give a great cut, every time, and need almost no maintenance. Self-sharpening, all you need to do is put a drop or two of blade oil on it every couple of weeks and leave it to work in. Done.
Easy to use
It’s ergonomically designed, so it fits the hand well, and I have quite small hands, so big bulky trimmers can sometimes feel unwieldy, especially in hard to shave areas like around the ears and nose. Thankfully, this trimmer is easy to hold in hand and simple to maneuver, plus it’s got specially raised and knurled areas that give you extra grip and control.
It’s exceptionally light, as well. Despite being over six inches long, I never felt any strain maneuvering it around my face, even after ten minutes in the bathroom getting my look just so.
It comes with an excellent set of accessories. Not just the charger and base, but a beard comb and set of guide combs. You won’t need anything else to set yourself up and get trimming, no matter what your style.I have to say, though, the base felt a little shoddy.
I don’t plan on using it anyway, so that’s not a problem for me. Apparently, other people have had trouble getting the beard guide combs on and off of the unit too, but it seemed relatively simple, in my opinion.
While it’s obviously not on the same level as the battery you’d get in a more expensive trimmer, the fact that this trimmer comes with a rechargeable battery is a huge plus for me. I had a battery powered trimmer once, and never again. You’re always slamming new batteries into it, and those things are expensive, which defeats the point of buying a cheaper trimmer in the first place
Worse, as the batteries die, the trimmer starts to lose power, and that leads to inaccurate cuts and more pulling and napping of hairs. Which sucks.
Be aware, though that you can’t use this trimmer from the mains. You have to charge it first, so make sure you always pop it on charge before you need it.
It amazed me that this trimmer comes with a full 3 years manufacturers warranty. That’s huge, no matter which way you spin it.
It’s a Wahl warranty as well, so you know whatever goes wrong, they’re gonna honor it and considering Wahl manufacture all of their trimmers in-house in Illinois, you won’t have to worry about sending your poor trimmer off to China and never seeing it again.
For an entry level trimmer, this is an amazing little machine. You get solid performance and a great set of accessories. I had a look around, and some users have had theirs for literally years, and they’re still buzzing away cutting hair with no issues.
However, you might want something with a few more options, and obviously, if you pay a little more you get more with it, so if you’re looking for something different, here are a few you might want to consider
Only a touch more expensive than the Wahl kit, this Philips beard trimmer is a dedicated system. Unlike the Wahl, it doesn’t have any accessories. But then, you don’t need them. It’s got a built-in guard and length setting, with 20 different settings for any realistic length and style, 0.5mm to 10mm.
It’s also washable so you can clean it just by sticking it under the faucet. If you’re looking for something simple you can just throw around your face, this is a solid trimmer.
- The integrated vacuum system catches up to 90% of cut hair for less mess. The high-velocity motor and fan system creates powerful suction to lift and capture hairs
- With innovative lift & trim technology, the trimmer effectively lifts and guides hairs for a more efficient cut
- The self-sharpening steel blades are designed to effectively cut each hair perfectly, preventing skin irritation, and are double sharpened to cut more hairs in every pass for faster trimming
There’s also this Philips trimmer, which is a little more upmarket. You get the same great trim you get with every Philips trimmer, plus this one has a built-in vacuum system, which makes aftershave cleaning so much easier.
Yeah, it’s a little more expensive, but that generally means you’re getting a little more with your money, and that’s certainly true here.
- Wahl Clipper is the #1 brand of beard trimmers and hair clippers*. The brand used by professionals since 1919. Made in the USA
- Dual Voltage/International Use – It can be used for both 110v and 220v. Best Wahl trimmers for when you travel
- 4 Different Attachments Heads let you achieve your best grooming style and authentic look: – wide T-blade for beard and mustache trimming, hair cuts, touchups, body grooming and detailing: – Rotary ear and nose trimmer for hygienic trimming: – Precision detailer for clean up and designs: – Dual Foil shaver for close shaves
If you’d like to stick with Wahl, but want something a bit more expensive, then there’s their signature Lithium Ion range. As you might have figured out, the big draw with this trimmer over the one we’ve just reviewed is the battery.
Using the most advanced lithium ion battery systems means you get more power delivered to the motor, which gives you a much cleaner shave, a much quicker charge, and seriously improved performance.
This kit also comes with a truly ridiculous amount of stuff, more than you could possibly ever need. Hell, it’s that comprehensive that if you’ve got aspirations to start your own barber shop, this’d be a good starting point. You really get that much.
As budget trimmers go, I really love this one. It’s light and easy to use while still being well made, with a great set of blades on it. It holds a charge well, and most importantly, it shaves great.
As long as you look after it, if you’re looking for a cheap trimmer with no frills that does the job you need it to do, this is the one. If you pick it up, I can’t imagine you’d ever be disappointed.