Sick of long hairs tickling your nose? After researching over 35 of the market's best options, we purchased 9 of the best nose hair trimmers available today. We went to work, letting all our hairs grow out before cutting them back again. Armed with all products in hand, we had the opportunity to actively compare performance across several metrics. Not only did we trim our nose, face, and ear hairs whenever we could, but we compared performance, trimming heads, battery, and other features that matter. After grooming for a few months, we offer you our recommendations, grounded in hands-on and unbiased research.Check out our other personal care reviews to see which beard trimmers, hair dryers, and electric toothbrushes came out on top.
Our Top Picks
The ConairMan Lithium nose and ear hair trimmer earns the top spot in this review for its uniqueness and impressive performance. Its cutting head features a mushroom shape that can reach more places with comfort than any other trimmer tested, and it doesn't get too clogged up with trimmings. The included lithium AA battery has an impressive run time of seven hours.
While we love its performance, we wish it was a hair easier (pun intended) to disassemble for cleaning. Other products offer better serviceability in this regard. Further, we have to point out that the impressive seven-hour run time is only with the included lithium AA battery. Sadly, it is not rechargeable, and another type of battery may not offer the same performance. Aside from what we think are small setbacks, this is our favorite overall trimmer for its wide range of coverage and long run time.
The Wahl Ear, Nose, and Brow Trimmer is a comprehensive manscaping tool for many male facial needs, and comes at a great price. It works like a standard nose hair trimmer and then some. The included slide cutter clicks into place and includes various guards for length adjustment. Three hours and 45 minutes is an acceptable battery life.
Keeping track of and using all the various add-on features requires some practice. Also, the rotary trimmer seems almost like an afterthought. It doesn't fit flush with the main body of the trimmer, for instance. It works just fine and doesn't look as odd as you might think, but it feels like it could have used a little more consideration.
The Panasonic ER430K groomer is very similar to other tested products, but sets itself apart with the addition of a fan-powered vacuum function that captures and contains stubble as it is created. In our testing, the vacuum isn't perfect and didn't catch every stray hair, but it serves its purpose. Far fewer hairs go on the loose with this Panasonic than with any of the non-vacuum-equipped products.
However, the addition of the fan motor significantly decreases the battery life of the Panasonic ER430K. When you turn on this model, you engage all of the features. As a result, its battery life only lasts for a fraction of the time of other top-scoring products. With regular use, you can expect to replace the batteries of this model more frequently than you would on many others.
The Groom Mate Platinum XL Hair Trimmer is entirely manual. You use two hands to turn the cutter yourself. It works like any powered version but takes quite a bit longer to do any given trimming job. For those that travel a lot, live simply, or can't be bothered to maintain a battery-powered device, this is the best choice. The construction is robust and simple; with no electric motor or circuits, the Platinum is fully submersible. We expect this product to last, a speculation we aren't necessarily comfortable making about the electronic versions.
The speed of operation is its primary drawback. Getting an effective and complete trim with this product is more of a meditation than an efficient process. What takes under a minute with a powered version might take 10-15 minutes with the Groom Mate.
The ToiletTree LED Trimmer is a simple rotary trimmer with a few additional helpful features. Our initial impressions were that the LED light was a little gimmicky, but it proved to be somewhat helpful in seeing spots that still needed trimming. We appreciate the quiet rotary motor, and the safety lock makes it less likely that the device will turn on inadvertently if it is packed away in a suitcase. The head is easy to remove for cleaning, and the hexagonal shape of the whole thing makes for a firmer grip.
One of the notable downsides to this product is that the battery life is just around average. We also think that its primary performance as a nose hair trimmer doesn't quite match the rest of the product's heft. It gets the job done, but it is not super powerful. However, if you want a basic trimmer with a couple of extra features, this one could be worth considering.
The Panasonic ER-GN30-K is a basic and simple electric nose and ear hair trimmer. It is average all the way around; this is largely a good thing. You can't really go wrong with this product. Others sneak ahead in some way or another, but none are as consistent. The price is average, which is still pretty low.
Like other budget consumer electronics in the modern age, this Panasonic uses generic, widely available major parts. For instance, the cutting head is the same as the heads on a few others. These similarities do not present a direct issue but suggest that ongoing quality control and consistency could be vulnerable with this model. This model, though, is not alone in that regard.
The Remington NE3845A is a sturdy, waterproof trimmer with multiple cutting attachments. It has a standard rotary trimmer in addition to a slide cutter. The slide cutter works with an included guard for shortening but not eliminating some hair. Overall, the construction of the Remington seems more robust than the other options in its price range.
You can rinse water through the head of the running Remington, but you can't disassemble the head for maximum cleaning. The Remington hasn't clogged up, but we fear that we won't be able to service it if and when it does. Other options allow the user to separate various parts to remove every bit of hair detritus. Finally, it is a minor complaint, but the twisted on-off switch isn't as ergonomic as a push-button version would be.
The Micro Touch Max Trimmer is the most unique trimmer in our test. It is configured to only work as a slide-style trimmer. All the others are rotary style (or have both rotary and slide trimmers). A slide trimmer is better for precise edging of facial hair than a rotary trimmer is, while a rotary trimmer is better inside of the nose and ears.
You can press a slide cutter into service for the inner nose and ear hair trimming, but a rotary tool is better. Choose the Micro Touch Max if your grooming needs lean towards the non-orifice related.
The Tweezerman Nose Hair Trimmer is unique. It is a squeeze-operated nose hair trimmer; your squeezing motion spins a rotary trimmer. It is nice to not have to worry about batteries. In this way, it is in the same category as the Groom Mate Platinum XL.
There, though, the comparison to the Groom Mate ends. The Groom Mate is slow but gets the job done with some patience. The Tweezerman works but is so slow as to seem like it isn't working at all. It takes a long, long time to get through full grooming of one's ears and hairs. You can value your time pretty low and still justify the few dollars of extra cost with the Groom Mate.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our nose and ear hair expert Jed Porter's mom bought him a nose hair trimmer when he entered high school. Embarrassing? Yes, but we'll go to great lengths to test and to demonstrate our authority. Jed isn't afraid of revealing intimate details if it demonstrates his decades of experience with a product category. On top of a lifetime of orifice hair grooming, our test team conducted more than a month of testing.
We started by using quarantine time to get wild and wooly. We tested most products in an early round of trimming, let it all grow back, and went at it again with the other portion. In the second round, we also took the opportunity to compare the first round's top performers to those only tested later. We tested and scored based on trimming effectiveness, power system, ergonomics, and ease of cleaning.
Analysis and Test Results
Nose or ear hair can make a person feel self-conscious, and you may want a tool to manage said hair. We've done the work for you, identifying which tool does the job the best. We've tested each top contender and summarize our findings for clear examination.
Here we assess how thoroughly and quickly the device removes hair. A tool like this is supposed to cut hair, but does it do that in an efficient and effective fashion? There is a remarkably wide spectrum of performance in this category. Because we tested both powered and un-powered options, this scoring metric is the most wide-ranging of all. Powered ones are faster than non powered. Rotary trimmers are faster than slide style and bulbous, "mushroom" rotary-style cuts more thoroughly than cylindrical.
The ConairMan Lithium has the test's only bulbous "mushroom" shaped cutting head, and we found it to cut more effectively than the others. Among the powered options, at the other end of the spectrum, is the slide-style cutter of the Micro Touch Max. It does a good job of trimming/sculpting beard and other facial/surface hair but is clumsy in your ears and nose. The Remington NE3845 and Wahl each come with a cylindrical cutting head and a slide-style cutter head. The inexpensive Panasonic ER430 and Panasonic ERGN30 both have cylindrical cutting heads.
We reviewed two unpowered options, which are both considerably slower than powered versions. Luddites and those "off the grid" might appreciate the unpowered versions, but we expect most folks won't be able to justify the time and energy required of an unpowered orifice groomer. The awarded Groom Mate Platinum XL is faster than the Tweezerman. The difference between these two is as significant as the difference between the Groom Mate and a powered version. The Tweezerman option is only for the most patient groomers.
First, we divide all trimmers into powered or unpowered. The unpowered ones have a virtually infinite function. That's cool. The Groom Mate Platinum XL is built such that it will likely never need any sort of service or maintenance. It is super simple and sure to be reliable in the long term.
Next, we looked at battery life. All the battery-powered trimmers used AA batteries. Most included them; only a couple did not. To test, we started with fresh batteries and let them run out. The vacuum-equipped Panasonic ER430K only lasted 45 minutes. This isn't surprising, as it has significantly more going on than the others.
Among the others, the battery life ranged from 1.75 hours to seven hours. This is a broad range of numbers. First, we have to look at the seven-hour number. The top-scoring ConairMan Lithium achieved that performance. This ConairMan product is great and cuts better than most. The battery performance, and its very model name, are defined by the inclusion of a disposable lithium AA battery. You can run the ConairMan on a nonlithium battery and get different results, just like you can run any of the other battery-powered options on a lithium battery and have them function longer.
The ConairMan's battery performance is impressive, but it put it in perspective. Throwing out the outliers (the vacuum product at 0:45 and the ConairMan at seven hours), we get a scattering of more consistent results. In practice, you likely won't notice a massive difference between battery-powered trimmers. The batteries last long enough that replacement isn't a frequent and onerous task.
How is it to use and hold the device? The biggest differentiator is whether you need one hand or two. Only the Groom Mate Platinum XL requires two hands. The rest can be operated with one. The one-handed products are differentiated by subtle and subjective differences like rubberized texture, ribbed surfaces, and shape. Oval is easier to work with than round. Rubbery is nicer than smooth. Switches that click on and off are easier to work with than switches that turn to engage.
The manual squeeze action of the Tweezerman is trickier to use than others. The slide cutters of the Micro Touch Max are harder to navigate in ears and noses. The Remington and ConairMan trimmers both have twist-activated switches, which is somewhat annoying. On the other hand, their shape and texture are nice to work with. The ConairMan Lithium is narrower than we think is ideal but didn't hamper function.
Ease of Cleaning
Your nose and ear hair trimmer will collect trimmings in one way or another, and you need to be able to get those out. The best for cleaning are those that are unpowered and, therefore, fully washable. The Groom Mate Platinum XL fits this description. The Groom Mate and the Tweezerman can be washed in soap and water with no concern about disrupting electronics. These unpowered options are the easiest to clean.
Next are those that can be disassembled at home. Your hair plugs up the system; you know this from your shower drain. The compact moving parts of a trimmer are even more prone to clogging. If all the parts can be disassembled, you can best remove the clogging hair. Beware that these products that can be taken apart involve small, delicate parts; make sure that the cleaning you're doing is gentle and careful.
The ConairMan and Remington trimmers offer minimal disassembly but can be rinsed in one way or another. Finally, the Micro Touch Max slide cutter cannot be taken apart at all.
You will likely benefit from a new trimming tool. We've devised a series of metrics, which we used for each contender. We tested in real life and in our lab, performing objective tests and creating assessments. We've also highlighted our award winners and the metrics they will excel in. You want to look good and forego thinking about the performance of grooming tools — we've done the thinking and researching so that you don't have to. Any of the options we test are serviceable, but some do certain things better than others.
— Jediah Porter
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