Tough on the outside and tough on long beards, the Remington B5 boats an excellent spread of cutting lengths thanks to its simple jog-wheel dial that moves a removable comb and up and down over the blades. It allows for cutting lengths from 0.4 to 18mm, with precise 0.5mm increments up to 5mm.
One of the frustrations vented by owners of really massive, Grizzly Adams-esque beards is that many trimmers on the market top out at the 8mm to 10mm length, which means hacking an impressive facial wig down considerably every time it comes to tame the beast.
Although able to get extremely close results on its 0.4mm setting, the lengthiest 18mm is enough to keep a good amount of even chin bush without having to reveal too much skin. And for £30, this Remington B5 feels like a solid purchase.
After a few weeks of mixed use, trimming facial fuzz right down for the clean-shaven look and taking care of some stray head hair, I found the Remington B5 to be a big of a mixed bag: proving largely excellent at most things but falling at a couple of important hurdles, but still managing to earn a place in T3's best beard trimmer guide.
Remington B5 Review: build quality
Although largely fashioned from plastic, there is an oversized rubber grip that makes it easy to wrangle the Remington B5 with wet hands. That said, there’s no mention of it being fully waterproof, so probably best to avoid playing rubber ducky with it in the bath or take it in the shower with you.
The blades are titanium-coated and feel sturdy and sharp, with the manufacturer suggesting they are oiled every time they are rinsed clean for optimum results. There’s also mention of ‘self-sharpening’ technology, but who knows how that one works. Just know that they feel sharp.
Power comes from a built-in rechargeable battery, which can be topped up with a micro-USB cable for ease of use and quick charging when travelling. There have been anecdotal reviews of models ceasing to accept charge after a few months, though, so watch out for that.
The plastic adjustable comb slides over the blades really easily, but it does feel a bit light and flimsy. It’s also not the most accurate (more on that latter) and has the potential to bend and break if not looked after properly. But Remington throws in a free travel pouch to keep it safe on the move.
Remington B5 Review: battery life & running time
The built-in battery has the most impressive running time of any Remington model in its B series, with 60 minutes of hairy self-care before the juice runs dry. Charging takes one hour but I found that the motor starts to lose performance at the end of the battery life, so it’s best to plug it in regularly.
The micro-USB charging input is a nice touch because everyone has hundreds of those lying around the house, right? It also meant that I could plug it in to USB outlets on my bedroom wall (modern, I know) and not worry too much about keeping the official charing plug close to hand.
You can also use the item while it is charging, so if you get caught short, there’s always the option of plugging it in and mowing your head pelt in the kitchen, living room or bedroom. Gives your vacuum cleaner something to do.
Remington B5 Review: performance
When placed on its shortest setting, the Remington B5 does a good job of slicing whiskers down to a fairly even and trendy perma-stubble, but the large comb does make it difficult to reach tricky spots, like those on neck or just underneath the jaw.
Instead, I found myself removing the comb entirely to get a nice, even clean shave but totally understand this won't be to everyone’s tastes. Weirdly, the comb works at its most efficient in the mid-range, at around 8-10mm, otherwise it’s a case of going over the same area quite a few times to get a nice even result. The plastic/rubber coated jog wheel is very easy to use, though, even with wet hands.
The blades are sharp and there is no uncomfortable nicking or snagging, although I’d be hesitant to use it on any particularly delicate areas, because it’s large and not massively accurate. It’s also a noisy blighter and it vibrates a lot during use, so you wouldn't want to risk a slip-up around the family jewels. But then it costs £30, so what do you expect?
When stood next to the Philips BT9000 Prestige model, the Remington looks and feels very cheap, but then it is a much cheaper model. The downside of this cost-cutting is that it’s also quite bulky and, as previously mentioned, gets a bit annoying to use in tricky or awkward areas.
Rinsing the blades is also a bit of a chore, as the plastic unit that clips into the motor is fiddly and requires a precise hand to get back on without tumbling to the bathroom floor or being flung out of the window in a fit of rage.
Remington B5 Review: verdict
The Remington B5 is relatively tough and feels well-built for a beard trimmer at this price point, while its ability to adjust to an 18mm comb length makes it good for tackling those three or four-day beards without resorting to a clean-shaven look.
That said, the shaving experience isn’t the most uniform and it can take multiple passes to get a nice even finish. This isn’t helped by the fact that it is also quite bulky, making it hard to reach those difficult, contoured areas of the face.
A running time of 60 minutes is decent and the blades feel like they will remain sharp if looked after properly. It's just not the most accurate beard trimmer I've tested, leading me to believe it might be worth parting with a bit more to get something that will last.