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Philips combines a vacuum with a hair trimmer, we go beard-on for a mini review

By Leigh D. Stark | 11:01 am 11/07/2014

A vacuum and a beard trimmer all in one? We’ll bite, because it appears that’s exactly what Philips has been working on, developing a facial hair groomer that sucks hair as opposed to the ones that just suck, period.

One of the biggest complaints a guy with a beard is likely to endure in a long-term relationship is over fur clippings: they just spread everywhere.

Cut that beard and the bits go everywhere, sharp black or brown or white or red follicles falling to the floor of where ever you were cutting.

Clip that moustache and you’ll find fluff from just under the nose near the sink or on the floor of the bathroom. And hey, even the goatee gets grains of grass in all the places you don’t want it to be.

This can understandably put some partners in a complaining mood, and while guys won’t want to admit it, who can blame them: that’s our hair down there, in the sink, the shower, and the floor. They don’t want to see that. Hell, we don’t want to see that, and is half the reason why we’re trimming it in the first place!

Philips thinks it has a solution for this, however, and has decided to throw two gadgets together for its BeardTrimmer 7000, converging home appliance technology with home cleaning technology.

That is to say, the 7000 model of the Philips BeardTrimmer has a tiny vacuum built into its beard trimming body. As you do.

To make this work effectively, there’s no vacuum bag to catch the clippings, but rather a small compartment on the front of the body which you can empty by easily opening and tipping into a bin, with a small amount of suction applied to a slot just under the blades, catching the hair as you trim.

That’s the theory, anyway, and the rest of the trimmer is pretty much what a trimmer needs to be, with stainless steel maintenance free blades, 18 length settings, a travel pouch, two clipping accessory heads, a comb (gotta have the comb), a “turbo” button to trim faster, and a battery that last for a little over an hour of charge and takes roughly an hour to charge.

But the idea of a trimmer that cuts down on the mess is one that intrigues us, because it could also cut down on the almost automatic amount of complaints the excess hair clippings are bound to give us, so the obvious question we have is does it work?

Fortunately, the Philips BeardTrimmer 7000 came at just the right time, since this journalist has been toying with trimming his beard for the past week, so since there’s so much beard to trim on his face at the moment (or there was before he wrote this), here’s our mini-review of the latest BeardTrimmer.

Mini-review

We’ve already gone through the features for this trimmer, but in case you’re curious what’s in the box, you’ll find the trimmer itself, two different length combs, a charger, a few instruction manuals, and a small brush.

That’s all pretty standard fare for any facial hair trimmer, and really you have to look at the actual trimmer’s body to see what Philips has done that’s different.

Unlike most beard trimmers, the BeardTrimmer 7000 has a little transparent compartment that you can open from the front that collects the hair as you’re trimming, or that’s the idea in theory, with a small vacuum mechanism lightly sucking air from a slot just under where the blades are working.

Using the trimmer is easy, since, well, it’s for your face, so you wouldn’t expect a consumer gadget of this nature to be complicated.

First there’s the setup: stick the trimmer head on that you want to use dependent on the type of trim you’re itching to give, and then set the length. There are settings from 1mm all the way to 18mm, with the red dial at the bottom dialling in that setting, which will raise the entirety of the razor’s head, keeping the length even if you decide to change heads.

Also of note is the lighting on the body, which will shine in blue what length you’ve set the trimmer to as you’re dialling the trimmer in, even when it’s off. If you’re at all curious what length you’ve left the trimmer in, just dial it one way or the other, and when the power is down, provided there’s a smidgeon of battery life, it will tell you.

Consequently, if you take the trimmer head off, the razor knows and reports that there’s really no millimetre setting with “-mm” appearing on the screen.

Once you’re setup, switch it on and start trimming.

To test this properly, we started with a clean sink, because if the hair trimmer has a vacuum in it, we wanted to know just how much less of a mess it would make.

How much hair would the trimmer get rid of for us, and would this stop us from wiping up excess cut up hair forever more? Let’s find out.

As you trim — and we’re not going to tell you how to do this, as everyone has their own technique and style — you’ll be surprised to find out that the Philips BeardTrimmer 7000 doesn’t really feel like there’s a vacuum in it. Really, it just feels like a regular trimmer.

However the trimmer is sucking in some of the hair, and basically, it’s some of the hair that falls off as you cut, as it drops past the razor and into the slot on the back.

It’s not a lot, that said, and at half way through the trimming of our beard, there was still a reasonable amount of fur collating in the sink below, though it was less noticeable than normal for us.

What we did find is that the compartment for the collected hair on the BeardTrimmer 7000 is very quick to fill, so if you are doing a big trim, you’ll need to stop every thirty seconds or so and empty it out, which is easy since it opens from the front, the transparent casing opening at the side, ready for you to tip the body of the trimmer out over the bin.

With that done, close the trimmer up and keep working, stopping every minute or so to check the compartment.

In our test, we had to do this three or four times, because there was so much hair that was being collected, but everyone will of course be different dependent on how much fur being cut off.

And when we were done, the result was something we were quite happy with, but the mess, how did that go?

Well, there’s still a reasonable amount of hair collected at the bottom, though it was much less than normal.

As per usual, we still had to wipe it up, but even the significant other commented and said that it was less than the regular amount of hair, which is an important note, especially since I was furrier than normal.

All up, you won’t find the Philips BeardTrimmer 7000 to be the total master of your domain, cleaning as you trim, but it does help, and if that mess from your shedded hair clippings bothers you or your other half significantly, it’s probably worth giving this a go and seeing if it helps clear things up in the process.

The Philips BeardTrimmer 7000 is available in retailers now, priced from $109.95.

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