Braun Beard Trimmer 7 review in a sentence: powerful, light and packing plenty of adjustability for a range of beard lengths but the plastic construction is poor given the price
Let’s face it, what with a global pandemic, lockdown and our favourite barbers and salons temporarily closing, many hirsute humans have opted to buy a decent pair of clippers or the best beard trimmer and go to town on facial fizz, nose hair, ear tufts and even attempt to form some kind of hairstyle.
In that respect, the Braun Beard Trimmer 7 is an excellent example and worthy of your attention if you are looking for something that can tackle a variety of jobs. Its powerful metal blades glide through hair, while the variety of guards can manage lengths from 1mm to 20mm, which is great for the short back and sides look or having a go at a homemade fade.
The box also contains a precision trimming head for creating ultra-sharp lines, a more traditional close-shave foil head and a gratis Gillette Fusion 5 ProGlide razor, should you get bored of the trimmer and decide to wet shave yourself to porpoise-like levels of smoothness.
Unfortunately, the build quality feels a little cheap, especially when compared to the steel-handled loveliness of the Philips BT9000 prestige, but it does mean the unit is light and easy to use over longer shaving sessions.
Braun Beard Trimmer 7 review: build quality
Despite its moody grey and black two-tone paint job, the Braun Beard Trimmer 7 isn’t fooling anyone with its construction credentials. It’s plastic, plastic and more plastic (until you get to the metal blades, that is), while the rear of the unit features a mottled effect in an attempt to improve grip. It doesn’t and it’s still quite easy to drop with wet hands.
The blades are sharp and feel like they will survive a good deal of trimming before blunting, while a lack of oil in the box suggests you don’t have to oil them after cleaning. In fact, the box says “lifetime sharp metal blade” and the box never lies, does it?
The trimmer itself is “fully washable”, which means you can run it under a tap but Braun isn’t confident to say that it is completely waterproof, so probably best not take it in the shower or bath with you, eh.
One particular design fault is the two-pin plug that’s provided to charge the Lithium-ion battery - it’s great for use with bathroom shaving sockets but very annoying if you have to hunt around for an adaptor every time you want to top up on juice from a regular outlet.
What’s more, these two-pin suckers have a tendency to easily pull out of bathroom shaving sockets mid-charge. something that happened several times during this test.
Braun Beard Trimmer 7 review: battery life & running time
The Lithium-ion battery is good for 100 minutes of trimming, which is better than many rivals at this price point but isn’t the longest run time I’ve seen in a trimmer. A full recharge takes as little as one hour and it is possible to charge for just five minutes to achieve enough battery life for a regular shave.
During use, battery life seemed pretty good and although I didn’t stand around for an hour or so with a stopwatch, I did notice that I only plugged it in a couple of times during an average shaving month.
Braun Beard Trimmer 7 review: performance
Long beards, contour edging, precision trimming, creating neat stubble and achieving a full-on clean shave… you name it, the Braun Beard Trimmer 7 can do it. The 20mm comb is particularly good for really long beards and the motor is powerful enough to trim through the thicker stuff without too much in the way of snags
I found the precision shaving head annoyingly small for a full face shave and the foil attachment is only really good for achieving clean lines in longer beards. The precision trimming element is equally tiny, so again, is best left to precise sideburns or neatening up an impressive moustache.
That said, it is possible to remove the guard entirely and use the full width of the blades, which I found gave a nice close shave without leaving the cheeks looking like a baby’s bum. Although, shaving when guard-less can irritate the skin and I found it did scratch a few times.
The guard is stable and doesn’t have the irritating habit of popping off like some cheaper rivals, while the adjuster wheel is easy to use. It would be slightly improved if said wheel was a little longer, as I found it a little difficult to turn with just one hand, but it’s only a minor niggle.
Braun Beard Trimmer 7 review: verdict
There are slightly cheaper beard trimmers out there but the Braun Beard Trimmer 7 feels like good value for money, earning its place on our best beard trimmer list. It is small, light and easy to use, while the tough blades shave cleanly and feel like they are built to last.
Granted, the quality of the main body isn’t massively impressive and some of the included shaving attachments feel like gimmicks, but stick with the main blades and the two plastic guards and you can achieve some great results, both on the face and, if you know what you are doing, on top the head too.
Battery life is solid and the unit is waterproof enough for easy rinsing to clean, just beware that you’ll need a two-pin adaptor if you don’t have shaving sockets in your bathroom and actually want to charge the thing.