Sooner or later, all men realise that they have unwanted hair in their nose and ears. Whiskers, neck hair and eyebrows can also get out of control. Once upon a time the most common tool for dealing with this was a small pair of scissors or tweezers to trim the errant strands – a method which could be rather painful. Today there are a wide range of different small shaving appliances that enable painless grooming.
Nose hair trimmers are available both as manual and electric versions, even though the battery-operated ones probably spring to mind first – and indeed are the ones we look at in this test. Two types of model of electric nose hair trimmer are available on the market today, vertical trimmers and rotating blades. Both cutting systems work for both ears and nose. However, to trim the eyebrows and whiskers a vertical trimmer is best. This model often includes one or more combs of different sizes, which makes more accurate trimming easier. Even if the vertical trimmer can also be used for the ears and nose, for these areas it's often more comfortable to use a shaver head with rotating blades. Some models include more than one shaver head. It’s a simple process to change the heads on the appliance so that you have both a vertical trimmer and a rotating blade head on the same machine.
Many of the models are also waterproof. This means that you can easily clean them by rinsing them under running water. The waterproof models can also be used in the shower. However, none of the models seem to be so waterproof that we’d recommend you store them in the shower between uses.
Models are available that run on both normal household batteries and rechargeable batteries. Because these trimmers aren’t used as often as electric shavers, normal batteries can be useful as then you don’t risk losing the charger between uses. But the rechargeable variants have the advantage that you’ll never find yourself without batteries when getting ready for a party. Trimming your nose hair, ears, eyebrows and whiskers is quite quick and all appliances – both rechargeable and those with normal batteries – can cope with several hours’ trimming.
We carry out our tests ourselves and test all products as they are intended to be used in reality. The models in this test have been used on several occasions and tested on both nose and ear hair and on eyebrows and whiskers. The appliances have been cleaned according to the instructions for the model, and the waterproof models have been tested under the shower. When assessing the appliances, we have based our verdict primarily on the parameters below.
Cutting effect: How effectively does the trimmer/blade cut? How comfortable is the cutting process – in other words, does the skin become irritated or do sharp parts graze the skin? What's the cutting result like?
Ease of use: Is the nose hair trimmer easy to understand and use? Does it include any useful accessories? How easy is it to claim the appliance?
The evaluation is based on the total overall experience of the product. This is then compared to the product price to determine value for money and allocate a score.
Philips call this model a “hygiene trimmer”, which could perhaps be confused with a pubic hair trimmer. But it shouldn’t be. Both trimmer heads are designed to be used on the face. The vertical trimmer – the smaller head – is perfect for grooming the ear hair and trimming the eyebrows. The blade speed is good on both blades and the head has a slightly different design from the 3000 series, which makes it more comfortable to use in the nose. However, if you’re primarily after a nose hair trimmer, we recommend a trimmer with a rotating blade. The grip is good, with rubber parts that give good control. The 5000 series is quite simply a step up the ladder compared to its little brother, the 3000 series. Given the small price difference, the Philips 5000 is an extremely good value for money trimmer.
Babyliss have produced the simplest product in the test, but also the cheapest. The appliance only has rotating blades, which means that it isn’t suitable for trimming the eyebrows or whiskers. However, to trim the nose or ears, the E650E is fantastic. It’s compact, gentle and easy to clean. But what it does best is cutting. Babyliss have succeeded in producing a rotating trimmer that’s so sharp and well designed that you can’t even tell you're using a shaver. It can cut nose hair without the least discomfort. It’s also so quiet that trimming your ear hair won’t be a problem. It does have a limited area of use, but within that area this affordable machine from Babyliss is unbeatable.
This stable construction makes the Remington NE3450 nose hair trimmer easy to use. The NE3450 has two heads, which means that it is possible to change between a vertical trimmer and rotating blades. This is particularly useful as the rotating blades can be used for grooming the nose. The vertical trimmer is too sharp to be used here. The volume is quite loud, and is the loudest of the models we tested, which isn’t particularly comfortable when you’re trimming your ear hair. It also grazes the skin when used in the ears. But for the eyebrows and nose, the Remington NE3450 works extremely well, and in combination with its stable construction this makes it a good choice.
The Braun EN10 is the perfect travel companion. The design is small and compact so it doesn’t take up much space in your suitcase. It also includes a cover that protects the shaver head while simultaneously locking the on/off button, which is extremely useful. In general, the appliance gets plus points for the good grip and robust design. The fact that the trimmer is waterproof is also positive. Unfortunately the actual shaving effect leaves something to be desired. The shaver head is large with sparse openings, which makes it difficult to cut thoroughly and many passes are required. The Braun EN10’s positive characteristics together with its reasonable price still make this trimmer good value for money.
The Philips 3000 is a stable trimmer with good blade speed. The rubber covered handle gives a good grip and makes the appliance easy to control. However, when you use it in the nose it tends to graze the skin a little, which isn’t comfortable. But it does a good job on the ears and eyebrows and using it here is more pleasant. Obviously the score drops substantially because it doesn’t work very well for nasal hair. If you're primarily looking for an ear and eyebrow trimmer, the Philips 3000 is still a good, straightforward appliance.
The Moser Easy Groom is without doubt the test’s most attractive gadget, and the machine also feels good in your hand. It’s a different type of combination trimmer with both rotating blades and an edge trimmer. The cutting effect on the rotating blades is good, but as the shaver head is large it can be difficult to get in everywhere. Nor is the trimmer entirely satisfactory as it lacks trimmer combs. This makes it a little bit difficult to use on the eyebrows to do more than tidy up the edges. However it works very well on beard edges and whiskers. Unfortunately the appliance can’t tolerate water either. Instead the shaver head has to be removed for cleaning. The Moser Easy Groom is a relatively good appliance, but we’d have expected more from a premium product.