The Philips Series 9000 Laser Guided Beard Trimmer, of the BT9297/13, to use its scientific name, is one of the most premium and best beard trimmers around, boasting an array of cutting lengths that can be easily set thanks to its simple wheel design. It allows for cutting lengths from just 0.4mm to 7mm, with precise 0.2mm increments along the way. The headline feature of this beard trimmer is an actual laser, which projects onto your face so you can cut extra straight lines in your beard.
Is this beard trimmer, with its fancy laser-guided system worth the extra money over a more basic beard trimmer though?
I've used one for a few years of mixed-use, trimming facial fur right down for the clean-shaven look and taking care of some stray head hair. Obviously, there's a reason I've used it for so long – it's one of the best beard trimmers you can buy. Yes, admittedly the battery did eventually die (it now only works when the power cable is plugged in, although that in itself is a feature that some trimmers lack), but I can't really fault it for the price.
Philips Laser-Guided Beard Trimmer Series 9000 review: Build Quality and Design
Although largely fashioned from plastic, the Philips Series 9000 beard trimmer uses more high-quality plastic than, for instance, Braun's beard trimmer range. As a result, it feels premium and well-made. It's not as easy to grip as the rubber-covered Remington B5 but it's certainly not slippery.
The beard trimmer 100% waterproof you can use it in the shower. In fact, it is much better at in-shower cutting than a lot of beard trimmers, which tend to struggle with wet hair above stubble length. Being waterproof, it's also very easy to clean.
The full metal stainless steel blades are extra strong and double-sharpened. That means they’re made to last a very long time (ours never noticeably blunted during our 5-year use of them) and cut through even thicker hairs. Apparently, as you trim, they sharpen themselves by lightly brushing against each other. Whether that's true or not, you seem to get a precise, even cut, time after time.
Power comes from a rechargeable battery, which can be topped up with a cable for ease of use and quick charging when travelling. The battery on mine did eventually die, but it still works when plugged in – a feature which not all beard trimmers have.
Although it was marketed as being 'that beard trimmer with a laser in it', the best part about the design for me is the ‘thumb wheel’ which adjusts the height of the cutting blades. Most trimmers use a dial placed right where your thumb goes while you're holding it, but this one is out of your way, so you don’t accidentally change the length setting, mid-trim. The slightly weird faux-LED screen that shows the selected length is also unusually easy to read.
Philips Laser-Guided Beard Trimmer Series 9000 review: Battery Life and Run Time
The built-in Li-Ion battery has a pretty impressive running time of 70 minutes. That's a decent amount of trimming before the juice runs dry.
Charging time to full is one hour, and, as I previously mentioned, if you need more energy while trimming, you can simply plug the trimmer into the wall.
The charging cable is pretty traditional – more modern chargers might feature USB setup, so you can charge anywhere (which is especially useful when travelling as it means you don't need to take multiple cables with you).
Philips Laser-Guided Beard Trimmer Series 9000 review: Performance
When placed on its shortest setting, the Philips Laser-Guided Beard Trimmer Series 9000 does a good job of slicing facial fuzz down to an even perma-stubble. It features a 'lift and trim' system, which raises hairs into the optimal position so the double-sharpened blades can effortlessly slice through them for an easy, even finish.
You can use the zoom wheel to select and lock in the length you want, from 0.4mm all the way to 7mm, with precision 0.2mm steps in between. Now it's worth noting that 7mm isn't the longest trim out there, so people that like their beards more hobo should look elsewhere.
The blades are sharp and there is no uncomfortable nicking or snagging. They stay sharp too and Philips says they will never need oiling for the lifetime of the product – in our case, about 5 years.
The main marketing feature of this trimmer is the precision laser, but that is utterly useless, so let's move on…
Philips Laser-Guided Beard Trimmer Series 9000 review: Verdict
Philips wanted these trimmers to have a premium feel, so they put a laser in it. Now, that laser is largely useless, but the good news for beardies is that they also made it as good as a beard trimmer could be. We find it hard to fault the old Series 9000, and that's why, even though Philips has officially discontinued it (you can still buy it at Amazon and elsewhere), the 9000 earns a place in our best beard trimmer guide.