Facial hair can have a significant impact on the way you look. Beards, mustaches, and other ways of showing off a man’s whiskers have risen and fallen in popularity throughout the years, depending on what’s hot and what’s not.
This year, the world is all about stubble beards. This subtle yet striking style hits that sweet spot between slick, stylish, and intentionally rugged. Celebrities like Jon Hamm and George Clooney sport the look, making it a signature style for many guys.
This style provides the benefit of creating shadows and emphasizing angles on a man’s face. Aside from this, allowing your stubble to grow means shaving less—giving your skin a chance to rest from the irritation that daily shaving can cause.
The stubble beard is a look that requires careful attention. Keeping it clean and at the ideal length can be easy with the right trimmer. In this article, we’ll share our top seven picks for the best stubble trimmer with in-depth reviews for each product. Plus, we’ll give you a step by step guide for how to use a trimmer to achieve your beard stubble goals, and we’ll cover the four main styles of stubble beards that are popular today. But first, let’s start with a comparison chart of the seven trimmers we’ll be looking at.
Table of Contents
- Comparison Table of Best Stubble Trimmer
- Top 7 Stubble Trimmers Reviewed
- Philips Norelco Beard and Hair Trimmer BT5215/41
- ConairMAN Super Stubble Ultimate Flexhead Trimmer
- Philips Norelco BeardTrimmer 3500
- Philips Norelco Beard Trimmer BT7215/49
- Remington MB4040 Mustache, Beard, and Stubble Trimmer
- Philips Norelco Multigroom 3100
- Panasonic ER-GB80-S Body and Beard Trimmer
- 4 Different Stubble Facial Hair Style Options
- How To Choose The Best Beard Trimmer for Stubble
- A Step By Step Guideline for Using a Stubble Trimmer
- Final Words
Comparison Table of Best Stubble Trimmer
|Norelco BT5215/41||0.4 to 13 mm||70 min|
|ConairMAN Trimmer||0.4 to 5 mm||70 min|
|Philips Norelco 3500||0.5 to 10 mm||90 min|
|Philips Norelco BT7215/49||0.5 to 10 mm||80 min|
|Remington MB4040||1.5 to 18 mm||120 min|
|Philips Norelco 3100||1 to 18 mm||60 min|
|Panasonic ER-GB80-S||1 to 20 mm||50 min|
What is a Stubble Beard?
The stubble beard is that scruffy look bearded men get after two or three days without shaving. The look itself has been around since the 1980s but has been drastically reinvented within the past decade. This can be attributed to the significant developments made in the grooming industry in recent years. If you’re going for the older version of a stubble beard, take a look at what singer George Michael and actor Don Johnson wear. Their carefully-managed stubble helps add to the rugged masculine appearance and charm. In more recent times, look to Craig David and Jason Derulo for inspiration.
Note that there is a difference between the stubble beard, which is around 1 to 3 mm, and a five o’clock shadow, which are the very short whiskers you start growing a few hours after shaving. The stubble beard already has enough volume to be visible, but not enough for it to fluff out around your face.
Stubble beards are versatile, low maintenance, and masculine, and they are the hot facial hair style right now. Almost anyone can wear a stubble beard well. It will provide definition to your face and, according to studies, women love the look!
Should I Use a Trimmer or a Shaver to Manage My Beard Stubble?
A trimmer is the best option for maintaining a stubble beard. Trimmers allow you to choose the length that you would like your stubble, whereas a shaver will simply shave off all the hair. With a trimmer, you can easily trim your stubble to the same uniform length using various preset settings or attachment combs.
You can also use the trimmer to give yourself a haircut, or to trim body hair. Many trimmers are waterproof and can be used in the shower for super easy cleanup, or you just rinse the device under the faucet if you prefer to trim your beard dry. A shaver might be useful for creating clean lines, but you can eliminate the need for two devices by getting a trimmer that can also shave. Keep reading for our top picks for the best beard trimmer for stubble.
Top 7 Stubble Trimmers Reviewed
This trimmer utilizes cutting edge technology to lift and guide hairs into the blade for a efficient, smooth, and easy trim. The steel blades are self-sharpening which means they won’t snag your hairs or cause any skin irritation. Two included comb attachments mean you can easily trim your beard to a variety of lengths, from 0.4 to 7 millimeters, or your hair to lengths up to 13 millimeters. The combs are rounded and contoured to ensure you get an even and comfortable trim on your whole beard.
Conveniently, this unit can be used either cordless or with the cord. After charging the lithium ion battery for one hour, you can expect seventy minutes of cordless use. For longer trim jobs, just plug it in and use it indefinitely! When you’re done, simply rinse the waterproof trimmer in the sink for easy cleanup. The trimmer also comes with a cleaning brush to get stubborn hairs out of the blades. A carrying pouch is also included so you can easily keep all the components together in one place for storage or while you’re traveling.
My initial thoughts about this product is that it’s definitely a good contender for the best beard trimmer for stubble, if you plan to have short stubble. Some reviewers noted that while the length range technically goes to 13 millimeters, the beard trimmer attachment only goes to 7 millimeters. The hair trimming attachment goes up to 13 millimeters, but doesn’t work well for beards.
I am also pleased to see that this unit can be used either with or without the cord attached. Nothing is worse than getting halfway into a beard trim and having your trimmer battery die — especially if you are running late to work or a date. The fact that it’s waterproof is also a plus!
What could be better?
Some reviewers have mentioned problems with the trimmer grabbing their skin or not cutting hair smoothly, and potential problems with the battery not recharging after a few uses. Concerns were also raised about the warranty claim.
The Conair Man i-Stubble Ultimate Flexhead Trimmer offers a number of features that ensure the best trim for your facial hair. Its razor head is equipped with blades that are chemically etched and designed to shave in 60-degree trimming arcs. They’ll come covered with a guide comb, but in case you need the advanced blades for sharper cuts then you can detach the comb with ease. The razor head itself is designed to hug the curves of your face, allowing you to trim your stubble comfortably.
This unique floating head design is perfect for reaching those tricky areas with as much accuracy and precision as possible. This, coupled with the soft-grip rubber handle, provides the control you need to easily trim your stubble.
This stubble trimmer is equipped with 15 digital settings, ranging from 0.4mm to 5mm. The LCD display lets you know what setting you’re using, making it easier to adjust how close the cut is without any guesswork on the settings. Regarding the battery, this model is cordless and rechargeable, with 45 minutes of use on a full charge. There’s also a quick charge option for a single stubble trim. This provides you with a seamless experience and allows your hand to move more naturally across your face, compared with wired units.
This unit is cordless only, so you can’t use it while it’s charging. Fortunately, it fully charges in only 90 minutes, or you can quick charge it for 5 minutes for a single trim job if you’re in a pinch. The ConairMAN is also fully waterproof so it can be used in the shower or rinsed easily in the sink. The guide comb can be flipped back so you can easily do detail trimming around your nose, mouth, and ears.
I appreciated how the razor head bends well to continue shaving seamlessly around the curvature of your face. No matter your face shape, the head’s design ensures a close trim for your facial hair.
I had no concerns with the build of this model, as it is lightweight and fits well into my hand. Also, it is cordless which makes trimming stubble more natural.
This trimmer seems like the best trimmer for stubble in terms of simplicity and effectiveness. It does exactly what it promises, and doesn’t have any gimmicks or unnecessary features.
The fact that it has a digital display to show you what setting you’re on and how much time you have left on the battery charge is super handy. It also flashes when you are at 5 minutes of battery power left, so you aren’t left with uneven stubble. I especially like that you don’t have to be constantly changing out attachments since the length setting is controlled electronically. And, of course, I like the fact that it’s waterproof for easy cleanup!
Lastly, I enjoyed how this one model is capable of delivering so many looks. Whether you’re trimming your stubble or just cleaning up the edges, all you need to do is adjust the guard length and double-check the LCD display to make sure it’s the right setting.
What could be better?
I realized that if I pressed too hard while shaving, it would lead to a markedly uneven shave. Upon closer inspection, this is because the guard isn’t made out of very durable plastic. Make sure to keep a steady hand while trimming to keep the cut consistent all throughout.
Lastly, it can’t save your last shaving setting so you’ll have to recalibrate it all over again for every use. However, with its outstanding performance, this is a small trade-off I decided I was willing to take.
This trimmer also doesn’t need any attachments, other than the removable guard. It has an exclusive locking feature to set the length so it’s super customizable. The blades are titanium and self-sharpening, so no oil is needed. The trimmer has rounded corners and edges so it won’t catch your skin or pull on hairs. The ergonomic design means you can trim harder to reach areas with ease.
The BeardTrimmer can be used cordlessly for up to 90 minutes on a one-hour charge, or you can use it indefinitely while it’s plugged in. It also has a battery light indicator so you won’t be taken by surprise. It has a wide range of length settings, from 0.5 to 10 millimeters. This unit has a vacuum feature, so the trimmings won’t get all over the place. This specific trimmer is not waterproof, but you can still remove and rinse the blades and guide under water — just don’t submerge the whole unit or it will get damaged.
The BeardTrimmer 3500 seems to be very well-liked, with many users reporting that it’s the smoothest and most efficient beard trimmer they have ever used. While it’s not waterproof, reviewers have reported easy cleanup. Other than that, it seems to be one of the most highly reviewed products on this list. It is highly ergonomic and very comfortable to maneuver. The guard is super easy to remove, clean out, and reattach.
One other item that could be potentially detrimental is the fact that the battery isn’t lithium ion. The instructions state you are only supposed to charge it when it’s completely out of power, which can be inconvenient if you are running low on battery but still need a trim, and you don’t have time to wait for it to charge.
What could be better?
Some reviewers mentioned that the battery life isn’t great, and several had the unit stop taking a charge after about 18 months. The unit comes with a 2-year warranty but users report difficulty with actually getting a new unit when needed.
This trimmer has an advanced vacuum system that catches 90% of the hair clippings. The high velocity motor and fan work together to not only lift the hairs up for easy trimming, but also to suck the clippings into the vacuum compartment. The suction makes it easier to trim hairs that grow in all directions, since they will stand up towards the blades. The steel blades are self-sharpening for maximum efficacy. It offers 20 length settings, from 0.5 to 10 millimeters. The length setting is easily selected with a sliding switch.
With a lithium ion battery, this trimmer can be used cordlessly for 80 minutes on a one-hour charge, or you can use it while it’s plugged in as well. The trimmer itself isn’t waterproof, but you can remove the attachments and rinse those. Once you are done trimming your stubble, you can remove the top part and simply dump the clippings into the trash.
Many of the reviewers start their review with something like “Good trimmer, but…” and then go on to cite flimsy plastic in the attachments that breaks when taking them on and off. The blades are also attached with only two thin plastic tabs, which can wear out with use.
While I want to be excited about the vacuum feature, it seems like the design could use some work. The clippings collect in a chamber at the top of the trimmer, where there are moving parts. Some reviewers have mentioned that the cleaning brush provided is not adequate to remove hair from those delicate moving parts.
What could be better?
This trimmer seems like a good concept that was executed poorly. If the blade and attachments were made with heavier duty plastic, and the vacuum collection chamber didn’t share space with moving parts, this trimmer would be great.
The Remington trimmer features three titanium coated blades with nine length settings, ranging from 1.5 to 18 millimeters. It has a lithium ion battery and boasts the longest cordless run time of any trimmer on this list at 120 minutes. This unit is not waterproof, and getting it wet could cause it to have problems charging. The metal blades can rust if exposed to steam and water as well. This unit comes with a two year warranty. It can be used cordlessly and while plugged in as well.
The three self-sharpening blade attachments are precision ground to provide the smoothest trimming experience possible without snagging or pulling hairs. There is an individual blade for beard, stubble, and goatee trimming. All of the blades have a quick release feature for fast and easy cleaning. The zoom wheel makes it super easy to change the length setting, and the adjustable comb attachment guides your hair in the proper direction for optimal trimming.
Multiple reviewers have reported problems where the battery stops holding a charge. However, many of them have also reported a positive customer service interaction with Remington, saying that they received a new unit in accordance with the warranty. Some users have reported that if they don’t wait until the battery is totally dead and don’t leave it on the charger continuously, the battery lasts very well.
Other than the avoidable battery issue, this seems to me like a great trimmer. The different blade attachments for hair versus beards are a great way to address the texture and length difference. Reviewers also report that the unit is easy to clean despite not being waterproof, and the unit feels like it’s made with high quality materials.
What could be better?
Remington could provide some additional information about how lithium ion batteries work, and warn users to avoid draining them completely to extend the battery life. This would eliminate most of the negative reviews.
This grooming tool is multifunctional so you can use it on your hair, beard, stubble, nose, and more. The chromium steel blades are self-sharpening and skin-friendly. This unit is fully waterproof so you can wash it under the faucet. You can expect 60 minutes of cordless run time, although since this isn’t a lithium ion battery, it does take ten hours to fully charge. If you remember to pop the trimmer on the charger overnight, that won’t be a problem. It comes with a two year warranty.
The Multigroom comes with five different attachments so you can groom your whole body effectively. It comes with a full size trimmer to get sharp lines around your beard, a precision trimmer for detail work, a nose and ear hair trimmer, a beard and mustache comb to trim your stubble to the perfect length, and a hair comb for touching up your haircut. The beard and mustache attachment has 18 different length settings, from 1 to 18 millimeters, while the hair comb also offers 18 settings, from 3 to 20 millimeters.
Despite the extremely long charge time for this battery, it seems like a great trimmer. It’s really the only tool you need for grooming all your hair. The trimmer seems to be made of quality materials that don’t rust or break, and I like the fact that it’s waterproof and easily cleanable.
While a few reviewers reported problems with the battery life, it otherwise has overwhelmingly positive reviews. The attachments and heads are easy to change out and the unit is super quiet with minimal vibration and rattling. It seems to be a very fairly priced for such a high quality unit.
What could be better?
The 10 hour charge time is a little long, and it’s inconvenient that it can’t be used while it’s charging. The manufacturer could upgrade the battery to lithium ion to avoid this issue.
This trimmer has stainless steel blades that are situated at a 45 degree angle for super efficient trimming of beards, body hair, and head hair. It features a non-slip rubberized grip for ergonomic comfort, and it’s fully waterproof so the trimmer can easily be cleaned under the faucet. It charges fully in one hour and can be used cordlessly for 50 minutes or indefinitely while plugged in. It also features an LED indicator of how much battery power is left when it’s being used cordlessly. This unit includes a universal plug so it can be used all over the world when traveling.
The Panasonic has three comb attachments and 39 settings for length that range from 1 to 20 millimeters. There is a separate comb for trimming beards, cutting hair, and trimming body hair. The blades do need to be lubricated with oil to avoid pulling your hair, as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
This is definitely a top contender for the best stubble trimmer. Although it does require oiling the blades which is an extra step, the quality and functionality of the trimmer are amazing. I like that you can use it while it’s plugged in, and the unit is waterproof for easy washing. Many reviewers say it’s the best trimmer they have ever owned. It cuts hair effectively and efficiently, and is super easy to use. The combs are made of quality material and aren’t likely to break with use. Overall, this is definitely one of my favorites on this list.
What could be better?
The only complaint is that the carrying case for this unit is only designed for the trimmer body plus one head attachment. There isn’t a space for the cord or the other two heads.
4 Different Stubble Facial Hair Style Options
This style of stubble is definitely the most basic. There is no shaping or edges to maintain, and your stubble will cover your whole face and neck. The only maintenance required is trimming your whole beard area when the stubble gets longer than desired. While this is the easiest style to maintain, it can look unkempt, especially if your hairs grows at different rates, in different directions, or comes in patchy. Some men find that neck beards can be itchy, so beware of that.
This style of stubble takes a little more work, but has a more refined look and, when done properly, looks professional and groomed. To rock elegant stubble, simply shave your neck up to your jawline, and clean up the edges along your cheeks and below your ears. This look will need regular maintenance, but the sharp edges add definition to your face and will keep you looking neat and professional, which can be critical if your job has strict facial hair rules.
This look is a combination of classic and elegant: you just shave your neck up to your jawline and leave the rest of your stubble natural. Rugged stubble is typically worn a bit longer than classic or elegant as well. If your beard hairs grow wildly as they get longer, use a trimmer to keep the strays under control and give your stubble beard a defined shape. This is a low maintenance look that eliminates the itchy neck factor!
Third Day Stubble
Similar to the rugged style, you will just let your beard grow out, but then instead of shaving your neck entirely, you will give it a fade. So, you will need to use different combs or length settings to trim the bottom of your beard on your neck to nearly nothing, then incrementally longer until it blends seamlessly at your jawline with your overall stubble length. This keeps your neck looking neat but it does require more patience and aptitude with your trimmer.
How To Choose The Best Beard Trimmer for Stubble
Depending on your needs and preferences, there many different factors to look at while choosing a stubble trimmer. Let’s take a look at a few considerations.
Check the Length Settings
Stubble is typically 0.5 to 5 millimeters long, and anything longer than that is classified as a beard. Depending on the style of stubble you prefer, select a trimmer that includes the appropriate length settings. Also be sure to check the beard-specific length settings, as some trimmers have different ranges for beard and hair trimming. If you plan to try the third day stubble style, you will need a trimmer that cut extremely close to the skin for the bottom of your fade.
Corded or Cordless?
Some trimmers can only be used cordless, which is inconvenient when the battery runs out and you need to use it. Your only option then is to wait around for it to charge. Some trimmers are permanently corded, which means you will never run out of battery, but you generally can’t get those units wet. We didn’t include any of those in our list because they are almost obsolete, and the cord can be annoying while you are trimming. By choosing a trimmer that can be used either corded or cordless, you get the best of both worlds and you’ll never be stuck with uneven stubble!
Wet or Dry
If you prefer to trim your stubble in the shower for easy cleanup, then obviously you will need a unit that is fully waterproof. It’s also super easy to clean waterproof trimmers, since you can just rinse the whole unit under the faucet. Dry trimmers can only be cleaned with a brush, so they may get residue build up over time. Be sure to never rinse a trimmer while it’s plugged in to avoid risk of electrocution.
If you don’t want to risk losing small pieces and attachments, opt for a no-nonsense trimmer like the Philips Norelco BeardTrimmer 3500. If you’d rather have one device for all your grooming needs, look for a trimmer like the Philips Norelco Multigroom that comes with several different heads and attachments. You can trim your stubble, your hair, and your body hair with just one device. Also keep in mind that the fewer moving parts you have, the less chances there are for something to break.
Vacuum or No Vacuum?
A vacuum feature means you won’t have to sweep your entire bathroom and wash out your sink after every trim. However, trimmers with vacuums generally aren’t waterproof, so you’ll have to brush out the collection chamber into the garbage when it gets full. The vacuum is convenient if you want to walk around your house while you trim your stubble, but doesn’t make sense if you prefer to shave in the shower or don’t mind rinsing out your sink.
Finally, be sure that the design works for you. If you travel frequently, a smaller trimmer with a travel case would be your best bet. Or, if you plan to use it to cut your hair as well as trim your stubble, a larger trimmer will be easier to handle. Check for intuitive button placement and ease of length adjustment. Also look at the readout — some units have easy to read digital screens while others have small zoom wheel controls.
A Step By Step Guideline for Using a Stubble Trimmer
While it might seem obvious how to use a stubble trimmer, here are a few tips for success and steps you definitely shouldn’t skip. If you have never used a trimmer before, it can take some getting used to. With patience and a little practice, you will be a pro!
Step 1: Let your stubble grow in
It’s easier to create a well-groomed look if you let the stubble grow a little longer than your desired length and then trim it down. This will give you a uniform length even if your hair grows in at different rates, and it makes it easier to clean up the edges when the hairs are a little longer.
Step 2: Choose your style before you start trimming
Once your stubble has grown in, you can tell which style will make the most sense for your face. For instance, if your neck beard grows in thin or patchy, choose a style that involves shaving your neck.
Step 3: Comb or brush your stubble as it’s growing in
This will help the hairs grow in a uniform direction and train the hair to lay relatively flat against your face instead of sticking out at random. It can also help relieve itchiness as your stubble is growing in.
Step 4: Pick a length for your stubble
If you have light hair, you can generally wear longer stubble than those with dark facial hair, although of course it is a personal preference. If your facial hair grows particularly fast, you may want to trim it extra short so you have more time between trims.
Step 5: Set your stubble trimmer’s length setting
As a general rule, choose a length setting that is slightly longer than what you want to start. You can always trim off more later but you obviously can’t add hair back on if you go too short. Plus, you might be surprised and like a longer stubble look.
Step 6: Start trimming!
If your trimmer requires oil, be sure to apply it before you start. Otherwise, use long, steady strokes and always trim towards your chin. So, for your face you will trim downward and for your neck you will trim upward. Make sure your strokes overlap slightly so you don’t miss any hairs. If you have extremely thick or coarse hair, you might have to go over your stubble a few times with the trimmer to get a uniform length.
Step 7: Clean up the stray hairs
Once you’ve trimmed your stubble to the length you want, remove the guide comb if you’re using one or set the length to shortest setting available, and clean up the edges and any stray hairs. Trim your mustache along your upper lip so long hairs don’t get into your mouth or look scruffy. If you have chosen the elegant stubble style, you will need to create sharp edges on your jawline and cheeks. This will require a steady hand.
Step 8: Clean your trimmer and grooming area
If you have a waterproof trimmer, just rinse the whole thing under the faucet and then rinse out the sink. If it’s not waterproof, use a cleaning brush to get all the hairs out of the blades. If your trimmer has a vacuum, empty it into the trash after each use.
Facial hair stubble is a very masculine look that is easy to maintain with the right tools. With these seven tried and true options for the best beard trimmer for stubble, you are sure to find one that works for you and makes grooming your stubble easy and painless. I know how important this decision can be since these tools are usually pretty pricey and money isn’t easy to come by, so this guide helps make sure that you’re going to get what you pay for!
It will definitely take some time to find the perfect length, but once you get the hang of it, you’re going to achieve a great consistent look. That means less trip to the barbers, less pressure on your wallet, and more time looking good!