Best Nose Hair Trimmer of 2020
The ConairMan Lithium nose and ear hair trimmer earns the top spot in this review. Its cutting head is uniquely shaped and therefore reaches more places and is more comfortable while doing so. No other tool in our list has the same mushroom-shaped head that this product does. The included lithium AA battery has a mind-blowing run time. The cutting head also doesn't get too clogged up with trimmings.
We wish that the ConairMan was easier to disassemble for cleaning. Other options offer greater serviceability in this regard. Further, we have to point out that the impressive seven-hour run time was with the included lithium AA battery. If you replace this battery with a more standard option, it's unlikely you'll get the same results.
Panasonic's ER430K groomer is very similar to other tested products, with the addition of a fan-powered vacuum function that captures and contains at least some of the stubble as it is created. In our testing, the vacuum isn't perfect, but it serves its purpose. Fewer hairs go on the loose with this Panasonic than with any of the non-vacuum-equipped products.
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 is a fraction of other top-scoring products. In normal use, you might replace the batteries of this Panasonic award winner once every month or so instead of once every 3-4 months with an average product.
The FlePow Professional Painless is a basic budget option that our testing showed to be highly effective. It comes with a quiet rotary motor that turns on and off with the basic slider switch, and the device is easy to use on nose hair. It has a rating of IPX7, which means that it is fully waterproof and can be used in the shower. The battery case is easy to access, and the trimmer head is easy to remove for cleaning. This model comes with a brush as well.
The primary drawback of this nose hair trimmer is that its parts are generic, and we don't think it will stand up to heavy use. The battery life is decent, especially if you only plan to use it occasionally; however, it doesn't last nearly as long as some other models. The reason it is 'painless' is that it is not incredibly powerful. However, if you are looking for a high-value option and don't need anything fancy, this one will do the trick.
The Wahl Ear, Nose, and Brow Trimmer is a comprehensive manscaping tool for many male facial needs. 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 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 Groom Mate Platinum XL is entirely manual. You use two hands to turn the cutter yourself. It works and 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 we know of. The construction is robust and simple; with no electric motor or circuits, the Platinum is fully submersible. We expect this product to last, which we can't necessarily say 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 Powlaken groomer is simple and affordable. Its cutting head is basic and familiar, and it appears to have the same main parts as more expensive options. The battery, in our run-time test, lasted quite a while. In normal use, the battery in the Amagarm will last long enough that you'll likely forget what kind of battery was installed (it is a AA). That's a good sign.
On the topic of quality control, we disassembled the Powlaken to inspect and clean after initial use and found that the cutting head reattached in an insecure fashion; it still works but goes to show that you get what you pay for.
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 that on the Powlaken trimmer and is very similar to 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 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 nose and ears.
You can press a slide cutter into service for 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 and Ear Hair cutter is unique. As the name suggests, 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, scored, and review for 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. It does 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 FlePow, Panasonic ER430, Panasonic ERGN30, and Powlaken all have cylindrical cutting heads.
We reviewed two unpowered options. Both are considerably slower than powered versions. Luddites and those "off the grid" might appreciate the unpowered versions. All others won't 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 absolutely 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, 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. It cuts better than most. The battery performance, and its very model name, is 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 results that is more consistent. In practice, you likely won't notice a huge 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 a little 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 both be washed in soap and water with no concern of disrupting electronics. These unpowered options are easiest to clean.
Next are those built to totally disassemble at home. Hair plugs up the works. 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 your cleaning disassembly gentle and careful.
Both Panasonic products, the Powlaken, and the FlePow all have cutting heads that are very easily and completely disassembled. These cutting heads may very well all be from the same factory. Shape and markings suggest some shared lineage. 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 upon which we tested each contender. We tested in real life and in our lab, performing objective tests and creating assessments. We've highlighted our award winners and the metrics they will excel in. You want to look good and not think much about the performance of a fleet of grooming tools. You especially don't want to think much about your nose and ear hair trimmer. 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