- Different Types of Trimmers Explained
- Best Stubble Trimmers of 2019
There’s nothing women love more than a great looking stubble, and there’s nothing that can give you a better-looking stubble of your choice than a good stubble trimmer.
(Seriously, girls do love a nice stubble. There’s a study which proved that the 10-day “heavy stubble” was rated most attractive on average).
We previously released our ultimate guide to beard trimmers, and now its time to turn out attention to a review of the best stubble trimmers.
We have ranked the top five “heavy-hitters” in this category, and in our opinion, all of them are worthy purchases, even though the oldest one from this list was released a whopping 7 years ago (mind you, that’s a long time for a trimmer to still be in the market).
Short on time? Here’s our quick stubble trimmer comparison table. ↓
Different Types of Trimmers Explained
To a newcomer, the different types of trimmers and grooming tools for men can seem overly complicated.
There are dozens of brands and hundreds of different models, and sometimes the terms are overlapping a bit.
In nutshell, these are the different types of electric trimmers:
- Electric shaver: Usually either foil shavers or rotary shavers that try to achieve as clean-shaven of a face as possible, like an electric version of the common razor blade.
- Beard trimmer: The most common grooming tool is the beard trimmer. It’s really similar to hair clippers, with length variables around 1-3cm (0.4-1.2 inches).
- Stubble trimmer: Almost identical to a beard trimmer, a stubble trimmer features a tighter set of adjustments for shorter cuts at 0.4-1.0mm + contouring heads.
Whether you should choose an electric razor, a stubble trimmer or a beard trimmer comes down to the length of beard you tend to maintain.
If your goal facial hair type is a 5’o clock shadow, designer stubble, or heavy stubble get a stubble trimmer. If you’re after short to medium beard styles, get a beard trimmer. If your goal is as close of a shave as possible, then electric razor should be the tool.
Best Stubble Trimmers of 2019
The Conair Man Super Stubble Trimmer (known outside the US as “Babyliss Men Super Stubble Trimmer”) is universally regarded as the best trimmer for stubble beard.
It’s not hard to see why, as it blows most of its competition out of the water through its versatility and unique design.
While most other brands try to force their way into creating the 20-in-1 product that tries to do everything under the sun and in the end doesn’t do anything well, Conair (Babyliss) has done the opposite.
They focused solely on one goal; creating a product that helps men get the best stubble beard possible, and they did it well.
With the industry leading length adjustability from 0.4mm all the way to 5.0mm in twenty increments, this trimmer gives you the closest stubble available, and basically any other type of short beard; be it designer stubble or the coveted “heavy stubble”.
You can easily use the buttons and the LED-display to set up your desired stubble length and the trimmer adjusts itself automatically. There’s even a memory function that allows you to power off the trimmer while it still remains at your favorite stubble length.
What truly differentiates the Conair i-Stubble and Super Stubble from the competition is the flexible contouring blade housing, which uses the patented “FlexBlade technology”.
Example of the contouring effect here:
The contouring mechanism allows you to gently move the timmer along your face without pressure and it will always be perfectly aligned to your skin, giving you the best cutting experience.
The ConairMAN Super Stubble Trimmer is claimed to be 100% waterproof and even usable in the shower, and it comes with a powerful Li-ion battery that gives out an impressive 70-minute runtime for each full charge.
Bottom line: Conair changed the game seven years ago when they released the i-Stubble trimmer, and this updated version of it just reinforces their place as the best stubble trimmer on the market.
- Extremely sharp electro-chemically formed blades.
- Flexible contouring head provides a large contact surface for perfect stubble.
- A powerful electric motor makes sure that the blades never pull or get stuck.
- 20-length variables from 0.4mm to 5.0mm in ridiculously precise 0.2mm increments.
- Motorized length adjustment is convenient, and your settings are saved for next use.
- There are no replacement parts sold for the trimmer if you break something.
- Some users say that the original i-Stubble is still superior to this updated version.
- The trimmer is claimed to be 100% waterproof, it’s still best not to use in the shower.
Our Score: 9.5 / 10
Key Features: Li-ion battery, waterproof, LED-display, multiple stubble lengths, powerful electric motor, ergonomic design, flexible shaving head.
Philips is one of the big players in the beard trimmer and electric stubble razor industry.
One of their biggest releases last year was the coveted Norelco OneBlade, which was succeeded by an even better version; The OneBlade Pro.
It’s kind of hard to pinpoint the exact label for this grooming tool, as it’s part trimmer for short beards, part stubble trimmer, and part electric shaver. Calling it a “hybrid” might be the best, and this is how Philips themselves label the OneBlade Pro.
In my opinion, the OneBlade Pro works best as a stubble trimmer, and that’s because of its adjustable guard comb that goes all the way from 0.4mm stubble into 10mm long stubble in fourteen increments.
This allows you to trim and shape pretty much any length of stubble and short beard necessary from 5’o clock shadow to designer style to short stubble, medium stubble, or long stubble.
Philips also markets this trimmer as “close but not too close” shave. So even when you use it without the guard, you can expect some scruff left on your face.
Here’s a video from Dave Cryer of Geekanoids showcasing this:
The pro version of the OneBlade has made a big jump in battery quality compared to its predecessor. The original OneBlade had a weak Ni-MH battery with a 45-minute trim time and 8-hour charge time, whereas this pro version comes with Li-ion battery that has 90-minute trim time for just 1-hour charge time.
The best part of this electric stubble shaver is the blade; at 200x per second, the oscillating (back and forth) moving blades can cut through to thickest and coarsest facial hair effortlessly.
- Extremely light at 3.42 oz, which makes it easy to maneuver on the face.
- Works well as stubble trimmer or equally as well as a wet/dry electric razor.
- The adjustable length that goes from 0.4mm to 1.0mm covers all stubble styles.
- Sharp blades oscillating at 200x per second means no snagging and clean cut.
- The blade cuts both ways; but only when its used without the adjustable guard.
- There’s a small contouring effect on the head, but with pressure, it breaks easily.
Our Score: 9.2 / 10
Key Features: Li-ion battery, LED-display, adjustable guard, oscillating blades, good for sensitive skin, lightweight, travel-friendly, a trusted brand.
The ConairMAN i-Stubble Flexhead Trimmer (again, known as BabylissMAN outside the US) revolutionized the trimming of a stubble beard seven years ago when it was released.
Even though there’s an upgraded version called the Super Stubble Flexhead, which I already showcased above, some men still prefer the original i-Stubble over the updated one.
Although it has a weaker Ni-MH battery and it isn’t waterproof, the flexible head unit is – for some reason – superior to the Super Stubble version and definitely more durable.
Another small difference is that you can use the i-Stubble trimmer with cord or without it, while the Super Stubble works as cordless trimmer only.
Of course, as an older trimmer model, the price of the i-Stubble has dropped dramatically. This means that it’s not only a really good product, it’s also the best budget stubble trimmer you can find in 2019.
The i-Stubble also has one of the best length-adjustability options on the market, working in the same range of 0.4mm to 5.0mm stubble lengths but instead of the twenty increments, the i-Stubble “only” has fifteen.
Just like in its successor model, the guard comb flips open and underneath is a bare trimmer head which you can use for an even closer shave or to detail the small edges and lines.
- Seven years after its launch, the i-Stubble is still one of the best stubble trimmers.
- The patented “FlexHead” technology is something the competitors can’t match.
- length-adjustability from 0.4mm to 5.0mm with fifteen increments is amazing.
- The electrochemically formed precision blades are still top tier quality in 2019.
- Since it’s not a “new model” the price has dropped, making it fit most budgets.
- The Ni-MH battery is starting to be at the end of its era.
- If something breaks, you can’t get replacement parts to this stubble trimmer either.
Our Score: 9.3 / 10
Key Features: Ni-MH battery, LCD display, adjustable guard, pivoting head, versatile, lightweight, ergonomic, best for a tight budget.
Philips has made a ton of different beard and stubble trimmers through the years; some are loved, others hated.
One of the most liked trimmers in the Norelco series – possibly ever – was the adjustable Norelco 3500 beard and stubble clippers.
It’s by no means a new release, as the newest Norelco trimmers are already up to 7000 series, but many still prefer the 3500, since the newer models ditched the adjustable-length guard and started using multiple fixed plastic ones with a bunch of head adjustments for ear and nose hairs, etc.
The Philips Norelco 3500 series stubble trimmer on the other hand, doesn’t try to do everything under the sun. It’s meant to efficiently cut different lengths of stubble and short beard, and that’s exactly what it does.
The trimmers Lithium-ion battery provides a decent 90-minute runtime for each 1-hour full charge.
The length adjustments are really good, ranging from 0.5mm to 10mm, which covers all stubble styles. For the American measurements, that range is 1/64 to 13/64 inches.
As with most Philips Norelco trimmers, the electric motor is powerful enough to cut the thickest beards around, and the razor-sharp titanium blades provide superior cutting performance that can outshine many of the flagship beard trimmers that are released years after the 3500 series was the “flagship series”.
Even as #4 in our rankings, the Philips Norelco 3500 beard and stubble trimmer is still an incredibly powerful grooming tool, and close match to the top of our stubble trimmer review.
- Can be used cordless or with the power cord attached.
- Round-tipped titanium blades are still some of the best available.
- The blade part can be easily removed and washed under running water.
- The 20 length variables from 0.5mm to 10mm cover all styles of stubble.
- Easy to adjust quick-lock guard mechanism without multiple guard attachments.
- The adjustable guard is flexible plastic, so applying too much pressure is a bad idea.
- Some users report a short lifespan for this trimmer.
Our Score: 8.9 / 10
Key Features: Li-ion battery, adjustable guard, titanium blades, powerful electric motor, battery charge indicator, cordless/corded use.
One of the more innovative trimmers out there has to be the Philips Norelco BT7215 Vacuum Stubble Trimmer for Men.
As the name indicates, this trimmer has a built-in mini vacuum inside it which catches up to 90% of the hairs before they have the change to fall all over your bathroom sink, making your special someone and family furious once again.
It’s part of the Norelco 7000 series lineup, which means that it’s newer than the 3500 stubble trimmer mentioned above.
The BT7215 vacuum trimmer comes with the upgraded Li-ion battery instead of the old Ni-HM and gives out a respectable 80 minutes of trim time for each 1-hour full charge.
The blades are bit different from the model showcased above, this time made from stainless-steel with a self-sharpening functionality.
When it comes to length adjustments, the guard goes all the way from 0.5mm to 10mm, just like it does in the Norelco 3500, which again, means that the range should cover all types of stubble imaginable.
All-in-all, it’s a really good innovative stubble trimmer that should remain on the market for quite some time.
However, as with many vacuum trimmers out there, the BT7215 suffers from the age-old issue of not always being powerful enough for both the vacuum suction and the blade motor at the same time.
- Innovative vacuum function catches ~90% of the trimmings.
- Has the well known 0.5 to 10mm length variability with 20 increments.
- The locking easy-to-adjust guard comb is pleasant compared to multiple fixed ones.
- Unlike many other brands, Philips offers multiple replacement parts to beard trimmers.
- The blade housing is anchored to the trimmer body with flimsy plastic clips.
- With coarse beards, the vacuum takes so much power that the blades sometimes snag.
Our Score: 8.6 / 10
Key Features: Li-ion battery, adjustable guard, self-sharpening blades, vacuum function, corded/cordless use, a trusted brand.
Conclusion on Best Trimmers for Stubble Beard
Great stubble clippers have really tight increments of length adjustments, usually within the 0.4mm to 1.0mm range, which makes them a bit different from normal beard trimmers that have larger length variables with fewer increments.
Some of the stubble groomers, like the Conair i-Stubble and its successor; the Super Stubble, have flexible contouring heads, which make them the optimal tool for that 5’o clock shadow or designer stubble.
Philips Norelco series has also come up with few innovative grooming tools for short stubble beards, such as the vacuum trimmer, the classic and well-received 3500 series, and the recently hyped up OneBlade Pro, which is more of an electric razor that can handle different lengths of stubble as well.
Whatever your choice might be, we firmly believe that our guide can help you choose the best products currently on the market.