Category Archives: Beard Trimmer

man using a norelco beard trimmer

Reviews: Norelco Beard Trimmer

You have finally achieved a milestone of manliness; you can grow a full beard. Your grandfather and father showed you how they shaved with a razor, but their lumberjack/hippie days were long gone by the time your first two facial hairs appeared. So how does one get from a full bush to a well-groomed, trimmed beard? Good thing it is your birthday today because your girlfriend just handed you a box labeled Norelco Beard Trimmer: the best beard trimmers in the USA.

What Is a Norelco Beard Trimmer?

 A Norelco beard trimmer is a handheld device that replaces the scissors and razors that are time-consuming and not designed for close up, small-space, precise trimming cleanups. Beard trimmers cut, but don’t draw the blood. Beard trimmers trim but don’t require the time and patience needed to use scissors. Requiring far less cleanup than the shaving foam and razor duet, beard trimmers are also self sharpening.

How Do Beard Trimmers Work?

shaving

Image via Unsplash

Norelco beard trimmers— like all beard trimmers— work their magic through six basic components that can be modified according to design and function.

  • Body
  • Shave head
  • Cutter
  • DC motor
  • Trimming adjustment
  • Internal circuitry

Body

The magic of a Norelco beard trimmer is encased in a durable plastic casing that conforms to the hand and is easily gripped. Beard trimmer bodies can have a banana shaped feel with a Star Trek appearance. They can also come encased in sleek and sexy stainless steel. They usually come with a thumb slideON and OFF switch.

Shave Head

philips beard trimmer

Image via Unsplash

The shave head is a removable component that glides through the beard during the process of trimming. The shave head comprises two parts; the plastic comb and the base. The comb feature is the part that that deftly slides through facial hair as the Norelco beard trimmer is gently stroked along the cheek. The comb ensures that the underlying blade cuts, but does not pull the facial hair.

The plastic combs come in different sizes and are easily swapped out, depending on the length of facial hair desired. Removing the plastic comb reveals the shave head beneath. The shave head also has a base and a movable comb. The comb is affixed to pivots on either side of the base and helps to straighten facial hair so that there is no hair pulling as the beard trimmer glides along the cheeks.

The base has a comb-like aspect on the upper side to accommodate the blades of the cutter. The shaving action relies on steel rods maintaining the flexible movement of the shave head and is dependent on the comb being pressed down to align all the parts in such a way as to achieve the trimming outcome. The shave head is a mechanical spring action structure that resembles the chewing motion in humans.

Cutter

The cutter is that part of the Norelco beard trimmer that actually trims facial hair. There are two stainless steel blades in the cutter component; one is stationary, and the other oscillates back and forth and in an elliptical motion.

DC Motor

The motor drives the cutter assembly by making the movable blade oscillate rapidly.

electronics shaver

Image via Pixabay

Trimming Adjustment

The depth or length of hair to be trimmedis modified by varying the distance between the shave head and the cutter. Trimming depth adjustment can be achieved by a simple slider to position the shave head, a rotary mechanism or by changing out the size of the plastic combs.

Internal Circuitry

The innards of a Norelco beard trimmer include a charging port and a power supply. The power supply happens to be the only electrical part of the trimmer, and it provides energy to the motor. It also manages the battery during cordless operation.

Pricing

Norelco beard trimmers can be purchased between $35 and approximately $200, depending on the model. Norelco beard trimmers can be purchased from Best Buy, Kohl’s and Dillards, but we like the selection, ease of shopping and rapid delivery of Amazon. If Amazon doesn’t have it, then we shop at Dillards. Norelco beard trimmers can also be purchased at Walgreens, but the lack of selection makes it wiser to buy elsewhere.

Four Norelco Beard Trimmer Options

We picked a few Norelco favorites to see how they compare.


Philips Norelco BeardTrimmer 7300, vacuum trimmer with adjustable...
  • Integrated vacuum system - vacuum system captures cut hairs for mess-free trimming
  • 18 secured length settings from 1/32 inch up to 23/32 inch (1mm up to 18mm)
  • 1/64 inch (.5mm) stubble setting
  • Ease of Use
  • Performance
  • Design Quality
  • Warranty

The 7300 model fits comfortably in the hand and has a convenient on /off button that can be manipulated with the thumb.

PROS

  • Vacuum system
  • Lift and trim technology
  • 18 length settings: 1 mm to 18 mm
  • 75 minutes battery time.
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Stubble system
  • Adjustable comb
  • Stay sharp blades

CONS

  • Lengthy rinse time after each use
  • Stubble feature inaccurate
  • Contour following comb allows abrasions around the jaw line

Philips Norelco Beard Trimmer Series 3500, QT4018/49, Cordless...
  • Self sharpening titanium blades to cut each hair perfectly
  • 20 built in precision lengths settings from 1/32 inch (0.5millimeter) to 13/32 inch (10 millimeter),...
  • Advanced lithium ion battery delivers up to 120 minutes run time after a 1 hour charge
  • Ease of Use
  • Performance
  • Design Quality
  • Warranty

The 3500 model fits comfortably in the hand, has a convenient on/off button and features a zoom wheel technology; a dial manipulated by the thumb to provide precision settings.

PROS

  • Easy to clean
  • Depth adjustments thumb operated
  • Oil free maintenance
  • Easy to adjust length settings
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Up to two hour battery time
  • Trimmer in 0.5 mm increments
  • 20 length settings with locking feature
  • Titanium blades

CONS

  • Stubble feature inaccurate
  • Contour performance is poor, especially around the jaw line
  • Too much vibration

Philips Norelco Oneblade QP6520/70 Pro Hybrid Electric Trimmer and...
  • Rechargeable OneBlade can do it all - trim, edge, and shave any length of hair
  • Shave is not too close so your skin stays comfortable.Automatic voltage 100-240 Volts Max power...
  • More advanced than the original OneBlade, Pro features a powerful Li-Ion battery and 14 length...
  • Ease of Use
  • Performance
  • Design Quality
  • Warranty

The Norelco beard trimmer OneBlade Pro is ergonomically sound in the hand and features a one blade technology.

PROS

  • Easy to clean
  • Wet or dry
  • Oil free maintenance
  • 90 minutes battery time
  • One hour to recharge
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Charging stand
  • 14 length settings with locking feature

CONS

  • Replacement head has to be changed out every four months
  • Contour performance is poor, especially around the jaw line
  • The plastic is not durable

Philips Norelco Beard and Hair Trimmer, Series 5100 with 3 Attachments...
  • The Philips Beard Trimmer Series 5100 is good for more than just your beard. It doubles as a hair...
  • Dynamic beard guide system lifts and guides hair efficiently, designed to deliver a skin-friendly...
  • Using the Zoomwheel, there are 17 built-in precision lengths settings from 1/64 inch (0.4mm) to 1/2...
  • Ease of Use
  • Performance
  • Design Quality
  • Warranty

The Beard & Head Trimmer Series 5100 fits in the hand well enough so that zoom wheel technology is effortless.

PROS

  • Integrated comb
  • Fully washable
  • Length settings are easy to adjust
  • 70 minutes battery time
  • One hour to recharge
  • Lithium ion battery
  • 17 length settings
  • Stainless steel, self sharpening blade

CONS

  • Doesn’t work well with longer beards
  • 0.2 mm increments is overkill
  • The plastic is not durable
  • Blades can pull hair

Conclusion

shaver

Image via Pexels

In a perfect world, there would be the perfect Norelco beard trimmer that was precise, quick, maintenance free and never pulled hair or irritated skin. Since this is not a perfect world, Norelco beard trimmer’s need to be taken for what they are; a way to groom and trim body hair so that the user feels good about himself. All trimmers are ergonomically designed so that they fit well and feel good in the hand. Some trimmers have a thumb operated rotating wheel to adjust the settings; others do not.

There are titanium blades and stainless steel blades; both blades get the job done. Some beard trimmers clean up quickly with water; others need water plus a brush. All Norelco beard trimmer blades are oil free and need not be replaced except for the OneBlade Pro, which requires a swap out every four months. Having to swap out blades every four months is a deal killer.

The Philips Norelco beard and head trimmer series 5100 is a letdown. It’s relatively cheap but obviously for a reason; if it doesn’t work well with all beard lengths then it doesn’t work. Rather than designing for 0.2 mm increments, it should have been designed with durable plastic and the ability to prevent pulling hair.

The Philips Norelco OneBlade Pro is a NO because if we wanted to continue replacing blades every four months we would continue to use a standard razor. The last straw is its tendency to lose its gentleness when the device glides across the jawbone.

We like the Norelco beard trimmer 3500. 20 length settings with a single comb and 0.5 mm precision settings delivers a lot in a sleek and sexy easy-to-grip handle with the thumb operated zoom wheel. Given its size and cost, we’re not surprised about the vibration, nor the lack of contour conformity.

Of all the Norelco beard trimmers reviewed, we liked the 7300 the best, but it is now a discontinued item. While discontinuation does not deter most people from purchasing such a shaver, if we are going to spend the money, we would like the availability of replacement parts.

Featured image source: Amazon