Best Nose Hair Trimmer of 2020
It was easy to grant our highest award to the Conairmain Lithium nose and ear hair trimmer. Its cutting head is uniquely shaped and therefore reaches more places and is more comfortable while doing so. The included lithium AA battery has mind-blowing lasting power. The cutting head doesn't get clogged up with trimmings.
We wish that the ConairMan cutting head were more readily disassembled 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, you are unlikely to get the same results.
The Amagarm groomer is simple and affordable. Its cutting head is basic and familiar. In fact, it appears to be the exact same main parts as more expensive options. The battery, in our run-time test, lasted a long, long time. 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.
Because the Amagarm trimmer uses apparently generic parts, we are a bit skeptical of its continued availability and quality control. Inexpensive consumer electronics are vulnerable to rapid and significant changes in these ways. On the topic of quality control, we disassembled the Amagarm to inspection and clean after initial use and found that the cutting head reattached in a rattly and insecure fashion. It still works but goes to show that you get what you pay for.
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 is better than nothing. Fewer hairs go on the loose with this Panasonic than with any of the non-vacuum-equipped products.
The addition of the fan motor greatly decreases the battery life of the Panasonic ER430K. When you turn on this Top Pick winner, you engage all the functions. As a result, its battery life is a fraction of other top-scoring products.
The Wahl Ear, Nose, and Brow trimmer is a comprehensive manscaping tool for most 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, sitting about in the middle of the pack.
Keeping track of and using all the various add-on features requires some organization. Further, 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 weird as you might think from this description, but it suggests a dearth of research and development.
The Groom Mate Platinum XL is entirely manual. You use two hands to turn the cutter yourself. 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. It works as well as any powered version, but takes quite a bit longer to do any given trimming job. The construction is robust and simple. We expect this product to last a long, long time, which is something we can't necessarily say about the electronic versions. With no electric motor or circuits, the Platinum is fully submersible and dribble.
The speed of operation is its primary drawback. Getting an effective and complete trim with this product is more of a meditation than it is an efficient process. What takes under a minute with a powered version might take 10 minutes with the Groom Mate.
The Panasonic ER-GN30-K is a basic and simple electric nose and ear hair trimmer. There is literally nothing about it that isn't average. This is largely a very good thing. You can't really go wrong with this product. Others sneak ahead in some way or another, but none are as thoroughly average. The price is about average, which is still pretty low.
Like other budget consumer electronics in the modern age, this Panasonic clearly uses generic, widely available major parts. The cutting head, for instance, is exactly the same as that on the Best Buy Amagarm 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. Other options allow the user to separate various parts to remove every bit of hair detritus. The Remington hasn't clogged up on us, but we do fear that we won't be able to service it if and when it does. Finally, it is a minor complaint, but the twisted on-off switch isn't as ergonomic as a push-button version would be.
The FlePow nose/ear hair trimmer is simple and inexpensive. The brand clearly sources commonly available and proven components. If they can keep sourcing acceptable components, this model will be a good recommendation for occasional use. For more frequent or robust use, upgrading with just a few bucks to one of our award winners will be worth the dollars. The FlePow never let us down, and we will keep testing.
Nonetheless, our experience with other consumer electronics with the construction quality of the FlePow suggests that it won't work as well as more polished options. In the case of nose hair trimmers, the difference between the cheapest and the best is really just a few dollars.
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 definitely 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. Like 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. We wouldn't include it if it didn't actually work, but we have to qualify its speed. It takes a long, long time to get through a 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 graduated high school. Embarrassing? Yes. But we'll go to great lengths to test and to demonstrate our authority. On top of decades 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. Powered ones are faster than non powered. Rotary trimmers are faster than slide style (picture weed whackers versus hedge trimmers — sort of), and bulbous, "mushroom" rotary-style cuts more thoroughly than cylindrical.
The Editors' Choice ConairMan Lithium has the test's only bulbous "mushroom" shaped cutting head. It really 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 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 Best Buy Amagarm, Panasonic ER430, Panasonic ERGN30, and FlePow all have cylindrical cutting heads.
We reviewed two unpowered options. Both are considerably slower than powered versions. The Top Pick Groom Mate Platinum XL is faster than the Tweezerman. The difference between these two is as great as the difference between the Groom Mate and a powered version.
First, we divide all trimmers into powered or unpowered. The unpowered ones have virtually infinite function. That's cool.
Next, we looked at battery life. All the battery-powered trimmers used AA batteries. Some included them; some 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. That performance was achieved by the Editors' Choice ConairMan Lithium. 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 Editors' Choice battery performance is impressive but 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 trimmer has a twist-activated switch, which is a little annoying, but its shape and texture is nice to work with. The Editors' Choice ConairMan Lithium is narrower than we think is ideal, but didn't really hamper function.
Ease of Cleaning
Your nose and ear hair trimmer is going to collect trimmings in one way or another. You need to be able to get those out. The best are those that are unpowered and, therefore, fully washable. The Groom Mate Platinum XL fits this description. Next are those built to totally disassemble at home.
Both Panasonic products, the Best Buy Amagarm, 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 slide cutter of the Micro Touch Max cannot be taken apart at all.
You want to look good, and not think much about your grooming tools. You especially don't want to think much about your nose and ear hair trimmer (though we were oddly entertained when a tester's brother-in-law responded to the announcement that we're testing nose and ear hair trimmers with an enthusiastic "those things are AWESOME!"). We've done the thinking and researching, so you don't have to. Any of the options we test are serviceable, but some do certain things better than others.
— Jediah Porter