While buzz cuts do have the benefit of being incredibly easy to DIY, the method you use to trim it can make all the difference. So, can you trim a buzz cut with a beard trimmer?
A beard trimmer should not be used to trim a buzz cut. This is because the narrow blade and narrowly-spaced teeth of a beard trimmer are not designed for cutting through large chunks of hair. It will lead to tugging and a poorly-trimmed buzz cut.
Although that’s the gist, let’s dig deeper.
Buzz Cuts: Beard Trimmers Vs Hair Clippers
There are good reasons why a barber would always use a pair of hair clippers to trim your buzz cut and not a beard trimmer.
Hair clippers are designed to remove large and thick chunks of hair quickly and efficiently.
A clipper blade is wider than the blade of a beard trimmer. In addition, the teeth of a clipper are deep and spaced wide apart, unlike the shallow and narrow-spaced teeth of a beard trimmer.
Scalp hair, unlike beard hair, is thick. It’s also a much larger area to cover than a beard.
When trimming a buzz cut, you want the trim to be:
The wide blade and wide-spaced teeth of a clipper will allow you to achieve this when trimming a buzz cut.
It’ll mow through that hair very effectively and will be much less likely to tug, pull, or clog than a beard trimmer.
Buzz cuts also take longer than you might think at first given how large the area you’ve got to trim is.
The wide blade of a hair clipper will allow you to achieve your ideal buzz cut a lot faster than the narrow blade of a beard trimmer.
In addition, the length guards that attach onto the ends of the clipper also have teeth that are spaced wider apart to move swiftly through large chunks of hair without clogging or tugging.
Beard trimmers are much better suited to “fine work”, where you’ve got to navigate around smaller areas.
They may even come with additional attachments for “edging” and “detailing” such as a T-blade.
They’re also great when you want more intricate control over the length, as they generally allow you to increase and decrease the length in smaller increments than a hair clipper does.
While this is great for beard trimming, it isn’t as useful when trimming a buzz cut or head hair in general.
Let’s run through some reasons why a beard trimmer should not be used for buzz cuts in a little more detail.
4 Reasons Beard Trimmers Shouldn’t Be Used For Buzz Cuts
If any part of you was still tempted, read on.
1. It Will Tug
The narrow spacing between the teeth of a beard trimmer will tug as it attempts to cut through your head hair.
Head hair is thicker than beard hair and the blade teeth of a beard trimmer will struggle to maneuver their way through it.
With induction-style buzz cuts, you’d be using the trimmer to trim all around your scalp – sides, back, and top.
It isn’t as though you’ll just be trimming the sides and back down and finishing up the top with a pair of scissors.
You’ll be trimming everything down.
That’s a lot of head hair to get through – it isn’t easy. Tugging and pulling will be an issue and it won’t be comfortable.
Even if you were to attempt to scissor cut the hair first to make it shorter, the thickness of the scalp hair will still make it tough for the beard trimmer to get through.
Hair clippers would be a lot more effective.
2. The Beard Trimmer Won’t Last
This one is about using the same tool for multiple different purposes.
While it’s convenient and (seemingly) cost-efficient, “multi-purpose” grooming tools are overrated.
Yes, there are certain devices out there that serve as truly “multi-purpose” with many different attachments.
The Philips Norelco Multigroom (Amazon Link) is a good example.
But it has many different attachments to make this just about possible.
Trying to use a grooming tool for an entirely different purpose to the one it was designed for isn’t a good idea.
Trying to use a beard trimmer to trim a buzz cut isn’t just ineffective – it’s also wasteful.
Misusing the beard trimmer will lead to wearing out the blade and the motor prematurely.
It won’t last as long if you make this an ongoing habit.
It isn’t just the buzz cut that’ll look bad. After a while, it’ll stop trimming the beard properly too.
At the end of the day, you’ll be left with a poorly trimmed buzz cut, a poorly trimmed beard, and a beard trimmer that simply doesn’t last long.
You’ll find yourself buying a new beard trimmer prematurely when you could’ve actually saved yourself from doing so by buying a hair clipper separately instead.
Now you’ve got two devices worth owning that are used for their intended purposes and likely to last the long haul.
3. It Will Take Long
Buzz cuts are pretty simple to DIY – at least the induction-style buzz cuts are. These are buzz cuts where the hair is trimmed to the same length in all directions and dimensions.
No fancy fading.
While this sounds simple enough, you’re still covering a pretty large area.
Even though you won’t be switching up the length guards or doing anything too technical, you’ve still got a pretty large amount of hair to get through.
It’ll take time, even with a pair of hair clippers.
But trying to do it with a beard trimmer will take a lot longer. You’ve got a narrow blade and (often) a less powerful motor.
Even if you were able to get through the hair using a beard trimmer without an intolerable amount of tugging, it’ll take way too long to be sustainable.
It isn’t a habit you’ll want to continue.
Being time-efficient is pretty important when it comes to grooming. Habits that take too long are usually the ones you don’t stick with.
4. The Buzz Cut Won’t Be Even
While buzz cuts are simple to achieve, you don’t want to be sloppy with it. A poorly-trimmed buzz cut is still noticeable.
You don’t want rough patches of hair that haven’t been trimmed down fully or areas that simply look uneven.
It’s important to pick up on these areas during the trim. Ensure you’re buzzing down in a well-lit area.
Look at the end result from different angles to see if you can spot any areas you’ve missed.
Sometimes, feeling the hair with the palm of your hand will allow you to pick up on missed patches that aren’t too visible.
Using a pair of clippers will often give you a better and more even result than a beard trimmer.
Once again, it’s simply due to the clipper being able to cover a large area quickly and effectively with minimal tugging. It allows for a cleaner and more even cut.
There you have it. Hopefully, a pretty comprehensive and straightforward answer.
It may be tempting, but for the sake of both your beard and your hair, avoid it if at all possible.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.