Something I didn't realise when I decided to grow a beard was the horrendous effect this would have on my bathroom. When you clip your beard with a trimmer, stubble ends up everywhere. It's as if someone took a cheese grater to a Yeti.
It quickly reaches the point where you're spending more time mopping up leftover scraps than you are actually attending to your facial glory. This is not a good thing. My face needs all the help I can get.
And so I gratefully fell upon the Philips BeardTrimmer 7000 when a review unit showed up in the Lifehacker offices. I've been using it for several months now, and I absolutely don't want to go back to another trimmer. And that goes double for my bathroom sink.
The clever feature of the BeardTrimmer 7000 is that it has a built-in internal vacuum compartment. As you shave, the stubble is sucked in there. When it fills up, you pop open the cover and empty the remainder into the nearest handy bin. There's a clear cover on the catchment area, so it's easy to spot when it needs emptying.
I'm not going to claim that the vacuum catches absolutely everything. A few stray bits of stubble can still make their way out from the clip -- but the volume is far less than with anything else I've used. It also has a digital control for setting hair length (anywhere between 1mm and 18mm), which is an improvement on models with manual controls that can easily slip onto the wrong setting. There is a turbo mode if you have particularly thick facial hair, but I haven't been rocking with my inner Ned Kelly recently, so that remains untested.
The other really handy feature for an inveterate traveller like myself is the built-in travel lock. Hold down the power button for three seconds and the device goes into locked mode; it won't switch on again until you repeat the process.
I know from experience that it's all too easy for an electric trimmer to switch itself on while it's in your carry-on baggage, especially if it's tightly packed. It's quite embarrassing to be rifling through your bag looking for a device making a vibrating noise. People make judgements. So this also gets the thumbs up.
The battery itself seems good -- I trim every day and I haven't been charging it more than once a fortnight. All up, it's a model I can recommend. The BeardTrimmer 7000 has an RRP of $109.95 and is available through Shaver Shop (as I write this, it's $30 off).