If your face naturally grows hair, then you have a decision to make. One way or another, you’re going to have a facial hair style. Maybe you’ll keep things smooth and clean. Maybe you’ll go for the most rugged, untamed beard in history.
Maybe your tastes lie somewhere in between.
Regardless, you need the right tools for the job when you groom your face, and that’s going to lead you to one of the most perilous decisions facing the modern man: trimmer or razor?
It might seem simple, but lurking in the shadows are hidden plot twists and variables. The fact that you’re even reading this means that you’re already aware of the magnitude of this decision, and prudently, you’re giving it the deadly seriousness that it deserves.
Or you’re just bored and browsing the internet.
Either way, let’s talk about beard trimmers and razors!
The life and maintenance of a beard trimmer.
There are a lot of beard trimmers in the world, and it would take way too long to talk about them all individually. So we’re going to base this discussion on our own trimmer, The Beard Hedger™. It’s an electric trimmer, so it has some similarities with other options out there. It has some unique features too.
Regardless, there are a few things you want to think about when it comes to a beard trimmer. How does it cut your facial hair? How hard is it to use? How much care does it need? Things like that.
An electric trimmer is going to use an oscillating blade head to cut hair, and as long as it’s a quality trimmer, it can cut even thick and coarse facial hair pretty quickly and easily. If you’ve only used an electric razor and never a trimmer, you might be underestimating trimmers. They’re very good at what they do.
In the case of The Beard Hedger™, it’s ergonomically designed, waterproof, cordless, and built for ease of use in general. It also has an adjustable cutting length (no attachments needed), so you can do precision grooming very easily.
In other words, it allows you to style a bunch of different beards with no trouble at all, and that’s why we’re mentioning it first. For the majority of guys, it’s the best place to start for beard maintenance.
What about taking care of the trimmer?
Of course, we’ve skipped all of the maintenance stuff so far. With The Beard Hedger™, there’s not much to worry about. The blade head pops off pretty easily, and because the whole thing is waterproof, you can just run it under a faucet any time it needs cleaning. The blades are stainless steel, so you don’t have to worry about rust, and the battery lasts for 90 minutes, so you don’t have to recharge it very often.
On top of that, you can look into things like the Platinum Warranty if you want extra certainty that your trimmer will last a long time and make your life easy.
All that same stuff, but about razors.
As for razors, we’re talking about non-electric shaving tools here. Again, there are a lot of options, so we’ll base this on The Plow® 2.0. It’s a two-edge safety razor.
When it comes to razors, there are a few advantages. For starters, they don’t need electricity, and simplicity is nice. Care is also super simple. Just replace the blade whenever it gets dull.
All of that said, managing your beard with a razor does take more effort. With a trimmer, you don’t need shaving cream or anything of the sort. You can just dive right in and groom your beard.
When you use a razor, you need to lube up. You also need to do some aftercare to avoid razor burn and other problems that come with shaving. In fact, shaving is harder on your face overall.
That’s why trimmers are usually a better starting point, but razors still have their place. They’re necessary for some facial hair styles (more on that in a bit), and they’re a classic. Everyone knows how to shave. It’s part of life, and if it’s already in your routine, it might be easier to stick with what you know.
How do you choose?
Sometimes you need a razor. Sometimes you need a trimmer. They have different pros and cons. Which one is right for you?
To thoroughly answer that question, you’ll want to consider a few things. First, how are you trying to style your beard? Beyond that, do you enjoy spending time on your face, or are you trying to get through your grooming routine as fast as possible?
Let’s look at these questions in a little depth.
Consider your beard style.
Let’s keep things simple. Trimmers are essential for some types of beards. Razors are essential for others. Some styles might require both. Considering all of that, the easiest thing is to pick a beard style and then see what tools you need.
Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the most popular styles and how they might help you choose:
- Beardstache. This is where you grow the mustache longer and more pronounced than the beard, but you still have a beard. In order to control facial hair lengths, you’ll want an adjustable trimmer. This is a 100-percent trimmer style.
- Goatee. You know what a goatee is. Think Iron Man. Or any high school history teacher (not coach) from the 90s. The goatee actually relies more on a razor than a trimmer, although it’s nice to have both. You can reasonably keep a goatee trimmed with scissors.
- Five o’clock shadow. It’s a classic, scruffy look, and there are two ways to go about it. Shave and let it grow (the inferior method) or trim it to the right length daily. The trimmer wins easily for this one.
- Full mountain man. The whole point of a mountain man beard is that you aren’t shaving, so this isn’t a razor beard. But you still need a trimmer to keep things under control. It’s okay to have strong beard lines even when the beard is long.
- Clean shaven. If you want a little bit of scruff, a trimmer can do this, but if you want a smooth face, you need a razor. You can consider an electric razor, but for the closest, smoothest shave, nothing beats a traditional razor blade.
Sure, there are countless other beard styles and variations on the list above, but hopefully, that’s enough to get you thinking about your style and what tools you’ll need to maintain it.
How lazy are you?
Then again, style isn’t everything. There’s an old saying that the best tool is the one you use, and that applies to beard maintenance too. Most guys will take a little hit to the magnificence of their beards if it means doing less work to maintain everything.
This is a genuine consideration. What’s the easiest way to take care of the beard you want? Do you need to meticulously groom it every day? Do you enjoy that kind of thing? How much time do you want to spend maintaining your tools?
If you like being meticulous, then beard scissors and a razor are actually your friends. You can take extra good care of your blades and take your time managing your beard.
If you’re all about quick and easy, a trimmer is superior in most cases. Especially when you have a modern, waterproof trimmer, since cleaning it is simple. You can trim in the shower if you want. You can take all of the shortcuts, make life that much simpler, and still have a nice beard. You might not win beard beauty contests, but you’ll still look good.
So pick the tool(s) that suits you, not just your beard.
Why not have both?
We might have buried the lede on this one. Maybe you know this ancient bit of wisdom. When torn between two choices, choose both. Imagine if you had to choose between peanut butter or jelly. This isn’t a twisted game of would you rather.
In fact, you can have a razor, a trimmer, and a whole bunch more. If you want to expand beard care beyond just a trimmer and a razor, pick up The Beard Hedger™ Pro Kit. It has a great trimmer, scissors, shampoo, conditioner, and the list goes on. It also comes with a nice travel bag that can hold all of your beard-care goodies.
After all, maintaining a razor and a trimmer really isn’t that much work, and you’ll have all of the tools that you need for any beard style. That’s particularly nice if you ever change your beard, which is something guys are known to do from time to time.
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