Updated January 14, 2020 by Daniel Imperiale

The 10 Best Outline Trimmers

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This wiki has been updated 30 times since it was first published in August of 2015. Gentlemen, there is no longer any excuse for you to leave your face or body poorly groomed, as all of the outline trimmers on our list are easy to use. Designed with ergonomic grips and long-lasting motors, they will give you a precise cut around your necklines, hairlines, sideburns, beards, mustaches, and elsewhere, and come in packages that are both versatile and travel-friendly. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.

1. Philips Norelco Multigroom 5000

2. Wahl T-Styler Pro Bump Free

3. Andis Barber SlimLine Pro

Editor's Notes

January 12, 2020:

Durability issues plagued the PowMax WW-61, particularly in its housing, which couldn't seem to live up to the kinds of drops and bumps you'd expect from normal travel and use. We also found that the Wahl Bump-Prevent failed to live up to its name, as it caused some irritation for a number of users. The company's Wahl T-Styler Pro Bump Free, by contrast, does a much better job cutting down on trimming irritation with an improved T-blade. We also added the ConairMan Beard & Mustache to our ranking, which may not get the job done for men with particularly thick beards, but that's a great way for men with finer hair to save money on a model for occasional use, or for quick shape-ups before reaching for the razor.

In organizing our ranking, we wanted to give well-made battery-powered options the leg up, and some have long enough run times and powerful enough motors to get the job done, while others taper off in these categories and fall behind better-made corded options throughout the list. Frequent travelers will likely want to reach for something rechargeable, as it'll be easier to pack and likely easier to use in a small hotel bathroom.

4. Hatteker Pro

5. Andis A4710

6. Wahl Lithium Ion Stainless Steel

7. Andis T-Liner

8. Wahl Professional 5-Star

9. Pro-Mate T-Precisioner

10. ConairMan Beard & Mustache

A Brief History Of Facial Hair

The ability to grow a beard is one thing; the cultural response to a beard is quite another indeed.

It all starts with a surplus of dihydrotestosterone, the hormone chiefly responsible for beard growth. The more DHT a man produces, the thicker a beard he is likely to grow. And in an ironic twist of fate, increased DHT can also lead to more advanced cases of male pattern baldness.

The ability to grow a beard is one thing; the cultural response to a beard is quite another indeed. It is unlikely that going fully clean shaven was common in many of the older prehistoric civilizations, for the ability to hone blades was limited and time was more likely spent on accommodating basic needs (shelter, water, food, and reproduction) than on trimming facial hair. We do know that in many of the earliest known cultures, beards — or the lack thereof — played a variety of roles. Ancient Indian men grew beards to display wisdom. Affluent Egyptians and Mesopotamians decorated and manicured their beards. Ancient Greeks treated the beard as a sign of martial prowess, and cowards often had beards shaved as a punishment.

In the post Roman era and well into the Middle Ages, beards were treated as a symbol of virtue and boldness, and were popular among knight and nobles. By the later Renaissance and well into the 18th Century, however, society had shifted in a marked way: the beard was thought of as lower class and unseemly among most courts and high society houses of Europe. Men went clean shaven, perfumed, and often bewigged, no less.

It was not until the mid 19th Century when beards began to make a comeback, which they did in a spectacular manner. Witness the beautiful beards adorning the faces of thinkers ranging from Karl Marx to Charles Darwin as evidence of Europe's return to the hirsute. And as for the American beard, the Civil War era was as glorious for facial hair as it was catastrophic for the nation. The antebellum era was one in which "manliness" was embraced and celebrated; young men of the young country wanted to show themselves as virile and bold, embracing the pioneer spirit of self-reliance and capability.

The growing of not just a large but a unique beard was one easy way to embody this essence. Note the stunning cheeks of Union Army general Ambrose Burnside (the very namesake for the facial hair we now casually call sideburns) for a look at extremes, but keep in mind that most of the major players of the war years had at least some facial hair. This grand list includes notables such as President Abraham Lincoln, the leaders of both the Union and Confederate armies, Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, respectively, and other characters included George Armstrong Custer and William Tecumseh Sherman.

Facial Hair For The Modern Man

On the off chance you hadn't noticed, beards are rather popular right now. And while some men continue to channel their inner Grizzly Adams look with wild, untamed beards flowing freely off their cheeks and chins, most bearded men of the day prefer to keep their beards clean and shaped, even when they let them grow long.

In an even more bitter irony, research seems to suggest the opposite would also be true: if beards were less common, bearded men would look be attractive.

The current facial hair craze sees approximately one third of American men keeping some sort of hair on their faces. Compare that to a facial hair rate above 50 percent worldwide, though. It can be thought of as a flash in the pan phase brought on largely by millennial hipsters, but already the beard has remained in vogue for longer than most fads tend to, suggesting that their popularity may be intrinsic rather than extrinsic. Or in other words not merely a result of peer pressure writ large at the cultural zeitgeist level.

Ironically, studies have shown that the more prevalent beards become and the larger those beards are grown, the less attractive women tend to find bearded men. In an even more bitter irony, research seems to suggest the opposite would also be true: if beards were less common, bearded men would look be attractive.

The best bet is for a man to follow his own heart, growing a fine beard if he so chooses to. However it is a good idea to keep that beard trimmed and clean looking nonetheless.

Choosing And Using An Outline Trimmer

Choosing an outline trimmer to help keep your beard crisp and lovely is an easy enough process. First simply consider your average week: do you travel often for work or for leisure? If so, then you should by all means consider a battery powered beard trimmer that will be ready any time even when you are on the road.

If almost all of your manscaping — to use a bit of the vernacular — then an AC powered outline trimmer is a fine choice.

Remember, keeping a trimmed beard doesn't take much effort, but it does require frequent effort: you should plan to trim up that beard at least every other day for a truly refined look.

If almost all of your manscaping — to use a bit of the vernacular — then an AC powered outline trimmer is a fine choice. Consider a trimmer with a narrow head if you also intend to use it for "detail" work around your eyebrows and with your mustache, or select a wider outline trimmer if you just need it to keep your cheeks and neckline in shape.

While there are fine hair clippers that can serve as outline trimmers, these units tend to lack the precision (and the gentle touch) a great beard needs. Even the prices outline trimmers cost only a bit more than fifty dollars, and a great looking beard is priceless, isn't it?

Daniel Imperiale
Last updated on January 14, 2020 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel Imperiale holds a bachelor’s degree in writing, and proudly fled his graduate program in poetry to pursue a quiet life at a remote Alaskan fishery. After returning to the contiguous states, he took up a position as an editor and photographer of the prestigious geek culture magazine “Unwinnable” before turning his attention to the field of health and wellness. In recent years, he has worked extensively in film and music production, making him something of a know-it-all when it comes to camera equipment, musical instruments, recording devices, and other audio-visual hardware. Daniel’s recent obsessions include horology (making him a pro when it comes to all things timekeeping) and Uranium mining and enrichment (which hasn’t proven useful just yet).

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