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Beard Trimming Guide: Choosing Scissors vs Clippers

beard trimming scissors

Using a pair of beard trimming scissors (or mustache scissors) for the first time can be frightening, especially when you've undergone the patience and dedication towards growing it to its current length. The fear is slicing off a bit too much and having to shave it all off afterwards. Trust me, this does happen and we're here to give you a solution on how to trim your beard, the techniques and remedies pre and post trim, and the differences between beard scissors vs beard trimming clippers. 

Is Beard Trimming Even Necessary for Me?

First off, you may be questioning the need to even trim in the first place. You may be striving for a huge 5+ inch beard or a certain style and may think trimming would be destructive towards your beard styling goals. It is important fellas, and absolutely necessary for the betterment of your facial hair.

Having a better beard is not just simply abstaining from the razor. It's cultivated and requires grooming and maintenance. But it doesn't have to be difficult or for that matter, anxiety-provoking. Follow these simple grooming guidelines for your next beard trim and you'll be wearing a beard with much more pride.

The Reasons & Benefits to Regularly Trim.

  • Prevents clogged pores, dirt and bacteria, and makes beard and face cleansing much easier.
  • Gets rid of split ends that deter healthy beard growth and make your beard wiry, unkept, and messy even with the application of beard care products like oils, balms, etc.
  • Removes stray, coarse, tangled hairs. These spiky, stubborn hairs are wild and often times can't stay down even with use of balms, waxes, and blowdrying. That's why you need to just cut them off.
  • Maintains a uniform, even appearance. Needless to say, facial hair grows at all different rates. Some grow more on their right, some grow more on their left or on their chin. You can have control over this genetic disposition by trimming it into uniformity. 
  • Makes you more attractive. In countless studies conducted all over the world, one of the major attributes for physical attractiveness is symmetry. Things like wearing glasses, getting a haircut with the sides trimmed, and trimming the beard make for a uniform, symmetrical appearance. 
  • Makes the beard look fuller. You might think the opposite is true, but think of your beard like a garden bush. Cutting out the loose branches and stray leaves gives the plant a more full, collective embodiment. It's not how much space the garden bush takes, it's the density of the space taken up. The same is true for beards. 
  • Accentuates and strengthens the jaw line. Let's face it, not every man is born with the chiseled jaw of Brad Pitt. But having facial hair on the jaw and chin can be manipulated to give your jaw a more crisp edge.
  • Less application of Beard Oils, Balms, etc. This is common sense, but the less hair there is, the less amount of application.
  • Makes eating with a large mustache and beard easier. All beardsmen know the difficulty in eating a creamy soup or a bowl of cereal. Tapering off the long hairs around the mouth greatly reduces the amount of food and drink that gets stuck. 

Now that you've decided that trimming the ole' beard can no doubt improve it, let's talk about the tools.


Beard Trimming Clippers

Available in all different shapes, sizes, and strengths, clippers can be quite overwhelming. Not to mention the countless add-on clips and guards you have to scramble through. But the right pair of high quality clippers has its advantages in speed, ease, and convenience. Here are some of the benefits and advantages:


  • Speed & Efficiency 
  • Adjustable measurements for consistent length throughout.
  • Good for removing inches all at once.


    • Less tailored, softer look.
    • Leaves hair with a pokey edge and affects the hair to grow out with a more "porcupine-like" look.
    • Less control over detail, shape, and texture.
    • Very difficult and impractical for mustache trimming and large beards.


    Beard Trimming Scissors Mustache Scissors

    Scissors are a much simpler instrument and ready-to-go for a quick cleanup for those stray and splitend hairs. However, quality is essential when choosing your first pair. Cheap low quality scissors can ruin your beard with the worst case scenario of having to shave it all off. That's why you want to avoid dull, unsharp blades as they can snag and pluck the hairs. A high quality pair of scissors, like our Barber's Beard Trimming Scissors, can give you the easiest, most precise, confident trim.


    • Precision & Accuracy
    • More control over detail, shape, and finisse.
    • Versatile for mustaches, goatees, and all styles of facial hair. 
    • Soft, tapered feel of the hair after trim.
    • Compliments our Beard Shaping Tool for consistent length and uniformity.


    • More time-consuming & Takes practice.
    • Harder for removing inches of hair all at once. 
    • More difficult to trim the neck/under-chin line.

    The ability of an amazing pair of scissors gives you full control of cutting how much or how little you want to cut. Any of those wirey hairs poking out of your face can simply be pushed up through a high quality comb and snipped off in a matter of seconds. Meanwhile, an electric trimmer/clipper can take unintentionally run through areas of your beard, leaving a naked patch of skin behind. 


    Which Grooming Tool Is Right For Me?

    Each tool has it's pros and cons but it's vital that you choose your preference with regards to high quality. A high quality trimmer will outperform a low quality pair of scissors any day - and vice versa. Do not overlook quality when choosing your first pair, no matter the price tag. The investment is worth while and can transform your bearded appearance. 

    Take a look at this horrifying comparison between a high quality blade and a low quality blade. 

    Beard Trimming Scissors vs Clippers

    Scary right? Needless to say, the sharper the better. This is what we meant that a high quality, sharp pair of scissors can give you that softer, tapered finish. But ultimately a low quality pair of scissors can still yield your follicle looking like the one on the right.

    The above microscopic photo shows what the detrimental effects of low quality manufacturing can leave your beard looking like. You wouldn't even know that your beard is suffering this damage post-trim but the effects are significant. This is why quality matters. 

    How To Trim Your Beard With Scissors

    Trimming a beard with scissors can be intimidating at first, but becomes super easy and the go-to choice after a little practice. To make sure your first trim goes right, here are some step by step pointers for the perfect trim.

    Bearded man

    1. Pick up a high quality pair of scissors, like our Barber's Beard Trimming Scissors to start. (Again, quality is essential).
    2. Thoroughly wash and towel dry your beard with a little dampness remaining.
    3. Comb through your beard with a high quality, non-snagging comb to get the hairs as detangled, smooth, and straight as possible. An alternative is using a Boar Bristles Beard Brush.
    4. After the hairs are neat and tidy, take your comb and run it against the grain starting with one side of the cheek first. 
    5. Adjust the comb to the desired length you want to trim, and while still in place, take your scissors in the other hand and gently snip off the hairs that are sticking out from the comb's teeth. Our Beard Trimming Comb will help immensely with this process.
    6. Keep account of the length you've trimmed off and do this exact process for the other side of the cheek.
    7. Now that the cheeks are even, you may comb upwards against your goatee and chin hairs and snip off the same amount of length, or a slightly larger amount of length depending on how tight and sharp you want your beard to be. 
    8. Comb against the grain for the hairs under your chin and around your neck following the same process. 
    9. Comb or brush through your entire facial hair once more, and gently snip off any stray hairs remaining. Remember, this step is to just slightly cut individual strands of hairs rather than a large chunk. 
    10. Repeat steps 3-9 if you want to trim off more.
    11. Afterwards, comb, brush, or blow-dry out any loose cut hairs hiding from sight.
    12. (Optional) Rewash your beard
    13. Apply some high quality Beard Oil to nourish the follicles now that the knots and split-hairs are gone.
    14. (Optional but highly recommended) Admire your beards transformation in glory and awe. 


    A high quality pair of scissors or trimmers will get the job done right. It's a matter of preference. With a sharp pair of quality Beard Trimming Scissors, you have full control over the styling and texture of your beard. It's reliable, long-lasting, and simple once you get the hang of it. 

    Although scissors take a bit more practice, the effects tremendously outperform the traditional clippers. Ever walk into a cheap barber shop and get a $10 haircut? The barber typically finishes in 10 minutes and primarily uses the clippers and just traces it against the shape of your head. Meanwhile, a more qualified barber at a high-end salon takes his time primarily with his professional scissors to give you a starkly, aesthetic style that always leaves you satisfied. The differences are night and day.



    We hope this article helped clear up any confusions on how to trim your beard and the reasons why you should. The difference it will make is remarkable. With that all said, beard on and have a better beard.