June 3, 2018

3 Best Stubble Trimmers - for a Perfect 5 O'clock Shadow

Best Stubble Trimmers

I'm sure you'll agree with me that stubble is everywhere these days.

What looks best on everyone varies, but personally, I prefer a short, trimmed stubble to compliment my style.  Growing stubble is easy, but keeping it trimmed at the perfect length so that it doesn’t become a full beard can be a bit of a challenge if you don't have the right tool.

Luckily some awesome stubble trimmers will get the job done.

In this article I’ll discuss the difference between a stubble trimmer and other facial hair grooming devices like beard trimmers, electric shavers, or hair clippers.

I’ll give you pro tips on what to look for in your stubble trimmer, and review three of the best to help you make your final decision.

If you want the bottom line, my 1st place pick is: Philips Norelco 5100

Everything About Stubble Trimmers

To understand why it’s essential to use a stubble trimmer rather than just a generic grooming device for facial hair, first, we need to define stubble. 

Stubble is short facial hair, kept trimmed between 0.4 and 5 mm (1/64'' and 13/64'').  It’s a popular style right now for lots of reasons, especially since women find men with light to heavy stubble most attractive.  A high-quality stubble trimmer lets you keep that five to ten days of growth look going without having to shave and start fresh every two weeks.

Beard trimmers and stubble trimmers have a lot in common.  They work in similar ways and deliver comparable results, but there is one main difference between them.  Stubble trimmers have settings that let them get an even cut at shorter lengths of up to 5 mm, while beard trimmers work better in the 5-15 mm range. (At least most of them).

stubble trimmer reviews

Clippers might seem like another option to maintain your stubble, but because of their large and bulky designs they lack precision and can make it difficult to get clean, even lines.

On top of that most clippers have a limited number of guards, which means that usually it'll be too long or too short. I hated it when I needed to trim too short and just wait for my beard to grow to the length I like.

What to Look for When Buying a Stubble Trimmer

There are dozens of features you could look for when shopping, but the best stubble trimmers will have these characteristics as part of their design.

beard stubble buying guide

Length Settings

Look for options that have lots of different length settings in the 0.4 to 5 mm range.  This way, you can trim all the way down to a 5 o’clock shadow like Jason Statham, or leave your stubble a bit longer so that it looks like a week of well-maintained growth.

Corded / Cordless

Some stubble trimmers are corded while others are battery powered and can be used cordless.  If you travel frequently, a cordless model might be a better fit. 

Cordless stubble trimmers are convenient and portable, but you’ll want to choose one that will be ready when you are.  Check how long the model takes to charge and how much runtime you can expect from the battery.  There’s nothing more annoying than being halfway through shaping your beard only to run out of juice in your trimmer.

If you only ever plan to use your stubble trimmer at home, a corded model could be a more powerful and reliable option.

Accessories

Let’s face it; it’s not just our beards we need to keep on point.  If your nose or ear hair gets unruly, having accessories that can painlessly trim them up is a nice perk.  Some options make it easy to shape up your complete look, from sideburns to stubble with a quick switch of the settings. 

A big note here, don't be tempted to buy a product just because it has more accessories. Remember that you need a trimmer, if a trimmer ticks all the boxes for you look at the accessories list.

Easy to Grip & Use

Getting your look just right is all about the technique.  You’ll want to choose a design that fits well in your hand, is easy to grip, and doesn’t require a degree in advanced mathematics to use.  Look for options that are simple to configure to your desired length, have ergonomic designs, and a simple on and off switch.

Waterproof

Will you use your stubble trimmer as a dry trimmer, or do you need it to be waterproof too?

If you are someone who trims his beard in the shower, prefer the feel of a wet trim or want the convenience of a waterproof device to make cleaning simple, be sure to choose one that will stand up to your needs.

Power

Whether you have fine, sparse facial hair, or thick and coarse hair, you’ll want to be sure to find a trimmer that has the power to get the job done.

Trust me, it can be very annoying to turn on your trimmer and see that it lacks power - it will require multiple passes and overall take more time to get the job done. 

Make sure your trimmer has a powerful motor. Look for options with steel blades and durable motors to get the biggest bang for your buck.

Best Stubble Trimmers - Reviews

I've got 3 mini reviews for you that will hopefully help you decide on the right stubble trimmer for you.

SPECS

  • Battery: 70 Minutes
  • Charging Time: 1 Hour
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Length Settings: 17

THE GOOD

  • 17 length settings.
  • Self-sharpening steel blades
  • Waterproof & Fully washable
  • 5-year warranty

THE BAD

  • A bit bulky & heavy
  • Difficult to replace battery

GENERAL OVERVIEW

While the Philips Norelco Series 5100 trimmer isn’t a stubble-specific model, it has the tools to get the job done.  This wet and dry shaver is powered by a Lithium-Ion battery that takes an hour to charge and lasts up to 70 minutes.

It uses self-sharpening steel blades to shape your style at 17 preset lengths ranging from 0.4 mm to 13 mm (1/64'' - 1/2''). You can set the trimming length using a dial.

It comes with a 5-year warranty and is fully washable.  Included with the trimmer are a beard comb, body comb, two hair clipping combs, a travel pouch and cleaning brush.

 

USAGE

This powerful handheld shaver is extremely user-friendly.  The shape is comfortable in your hand, and though it is plastic construction, it feels bulky. It's easy to maneuver into position to get perfect lines.  It works quickly and does a good job cutting through thick facial hair.

When using the beard comb, the available lengths are: 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, 1.0, 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 1.8, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 5, 6, 7. This gives great versatility for styling purposes.

The battery can last up to 70 minutes which is nice when you travel.  Since it’s waterproof, the cleaning process is speedy and easy.  You can either run it under hot water or use the included cleaning brush to remove excess hair.


WHO IS IT BEST FOR?

It has 17 length settings that's A LOT. The 0.2mm increments are very small so if your meticulous about your trimming, this trimmer will give you the precision you need.

You can also use it to trim hair, and body hair too. So it function as a family trimmer if need be. And of course it's waterproof so you can trim while in the shower.

It has the juice to go for over an hour when fully charged which makes it great for travelling. But you can also use it when plugged in, in case you forgot to charge it.

Bottom line - it's a great stubble trimmer for a very affordable price.


SPECS

  • Battery: 70 Minutes
  • Charging Time: 90 Minutes
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Length Settings: 15

THE GOOD

  • LCD display
  • Rapid quick charge
  • Fully washable
  • 15 length settings

THE BAD

  • A bit pricey
  • No cord option if battery died

GENERAL OVERVIEW

The Conair Super Stubble is a cordless trimmer powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.  It comes with 15 stubble-specific settings ranging from 0.4mm to 5 mm with 0.2mm adjustments that you easily select from the LCD display.

The blades are electro-chemically formed which makes them sharp, durable, and accurate.  This model can be used wet or dry and is completely waterproof.


USAGE

This model is full of bells and whistles, which I'm sure you'll appreciate when shaping your stubble.

The blades are razor sharp and cut through the hair quickly with just one pass.  The ergonomic handle sits perfectly in your hand and very easy to grip, maneuver, and get at the right angles to get the look just right.

The trimmer automatically remembers the last length setting you've used, so you can have a consistent stubble every time.

While the power stays consistent regardless of the battery life, the battery is probably the biggest drawback on this model.  The initial charge takes a full three hours, and after that, it requires 80 minutes of charge time for 70 minutes of battery life.

While it’s powerful, there isn’t an option to plug in a cord to use it while it’s charging. The good news is that there's a rapid charge option: which gives you 5 minutes charge for a single trim.


WHO IS IT BEST FOR?

The Conair is doing exactly what it was made to do - trim stubble. If you're looking for a stubble only trimmer this is the trimmer for you.

The length settings are designed explicitly for stubble, you can change the length settings by single-digit millimeters which gives you great precision when styling your stubble, you won't see this in a lot of other generic trimmers. 

The user experience is great, the beautiful LCD display shows not only the settings but also the battery life, which is helpful for keeping this trimmer fully charged. The trimmer is waterproof and you can use it in the shower.

The battery can work for 70 minutes when fully charged, but because of the fact that you can use this trimmer when plugged in I wouldn't recommend this trimmer for those who travel a lot.


SPECS

  • Battery: 120 Minutes
  • Charging Time: 1 Hour
  • Waterproof: No
  • Length Settings: 20

THE GOOD

  • Very affordable
  • Corded & cordless use
  • 20 length settings

THE BAD

  • Dry use only
  • No travel case included

GENERAL OVERVIEW

This Philips Norelco Beard Trimmer is for dry use only and comes with a lithium-ion battery that runs for up to 120 minutes after a 1-hour charge.

It uses skin-friendly self-sharpening titanium blades to deliver a stubble trim to one of 20 built-in settings without needing to change out the comb.  You can choose anywhere from 0.5 mm to 10 mm in length with 0.5mm increments.

While the device itself isn’t waterproof, the individual heads are washable.  It comes with the trimmer, comb, and cleaning brush.  You get a 45-day risk-free trial and a two-year warranty with this purchase.


USAGE

The one-click setting feature is exceptionally user-friendly as you don’t need to change out combs if you want a longer or shorter length.  The ergonomic handle fits great in your hand, but you’ll want to slow down and take your time with this shaver.

If you go too quickly it may result in missed hairs and a somewhat uneven stubble appearance. Slowing down and trimming in smooth even strokes, will give you a consistent stubble look.

The 20 length settings are giving great versatility. But the 0.5mm increments can be a problem for those who look for precision.

The battery is good and after only an hour on the charger it's powerful enough to last for as much as two hours of trimming time. 


WHO IS IT BEST FOR?

The Philips 3500 has a great affordable price so if you're on a budget you should definitely consider it. Don't let the cheap price fool you, this is a quality stubble trimmer that does the job of a stubble trimmer at twice its price.

The self-sharpening titanium blades on this stubble trimmer get the job done. They stay sharp without any oiling, and don't tug or pull on your beard.

As I mentioned before there a lot 20 length settings with 0.5mm increments, so if you're looking for a very precise trimmer with very small increments this won't be a good option for you. 

This is a good choice if you are someone who only ever plans to shave dry.



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