If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best beard shaping tool is, then we recommend the Beardclass Beard Shaping tool.
You’ve grown out your beard, learned how to wash and condition it and maybe even straighten it from time to time. But don’t put away your razor just yet. You’ll need to trim your beard to keep it man-scaped, and a beard shaping tool can help.
Our top 5 picks for the best beard shaping tools:
- Aberlite Beard Shaper Kit With Barber Pencil
- Beardoholic Advanced 9-In-1 Beard Shaping Tool
- The Cut Buddy
- Beardclass Beard Shaping Tool
- The Beard Black Shaping And Styling Tool
What Is a Beard Shaping Tool?
Although unruly hairs can detract from a sleek beard, so can a misshapen cheek line, neckline, sideburns and mustache line. Plus, when you have a beard, you need to pay extra attention to your sideburns and the hair around your ears.
Beard shaping tools can help you fine-tune these areas. Some people confuse beard trimmers with beard shapers. However, shapers don’t cut your hair. They act as a template or guideline that you follow with a shaver, razor, or scissors to keep the edges of your facial hair groomed, symmetrical, and adequately curved.
The hairs in your beard grow in different directions. You might notice that one side is wilder or easier to groom than the other. A beard shaping tool helps you make your facial as even as possible on both sides.
Beard shaping tools are rigid sheets of thin plastic with various curves and angles on the edges. Think of them as rulers for beard trimming.
You hold them up to your face as you trim around the designated edge. Beard shapers can be used to cut around any part of your beard, mustache or hairline.
The 5 Best Beard Shaping Tools
The best beard shaping tools have plenty in common. They’re durable, versatile and help you trim your facial hair like a pro. The products that I reviewed below are my favorites for creating a perfectly groomed appearance.
1. Aberlite Beard Shaper Kit With Barber Pencil
The shape of this beard line up tool might be intimidating until you figure out how to use it. However, the product comes with detailed instructions that show you how to use its multiple options for trimming your facial hair.
This is a full-sized beard shaper with long edges that work for beards and faces of just about any size. You can contour the full edge without repositioning the beard template. Plus, the larger size makes this more comfortable to hold than some of the other options that we reviewed. The edges are perfect for making gentle curve cuts, deep curve cuts, straight step cuts, and curved step cuts.
Use the included barber pencil to draw the line before cutting your hair. Doing this can help you make sure that you’re shaving your beard evenly. Taking this step can also help if you’re new to using a beard shaper.
This product is also shock resistant, which means that it won’t shatter or crack if you drop it. Even though it has protrusions, they shouldn’t break off in your shaving kit.
2. Beardoholic Advanced 9-in-1 Beard Shaping Tool
Like the Aberlite beard template, this one is also completely transparent, allowing you to see what you’re doing. You can make curved, step, or straight cuts with this tool. Line it up easily and make precision cuts on both sides of the face using the nose guide and precision ruler.
Use the included lineup pencil and trimming scissors for even more accuracy. The manufacturer claims that the material is unbreakable. That makes this product ideal for taking on trips or using every day. Heavy use won’t affect the quality.
It even has a hanging hole that lets you store it wherever you want. Moreover, this tool is small enough to travel with. It should fit well in any travel case. Because it’s so small, though, you may have to reposition it while cutting the edges of your beard.
3. The Cut Buddy Beard Shaping Tooll + Bonus Pencil
While compact, The Cut Buddy includes all of the main edges that you need to trim a beard, sideburns, a mustache or a goatee. It was originally introduced on Shark Tank, and the company has been listening to its customers to make helpful changes ever since.
This version of The Cut Buddy is made from a better mold than the original. It’s flexible enough to bend without breaking or cracking. The new model also contains more measuring notches for accurate cuts.
If it’s too small for your face, you can purchase The Cut Buddy Plus, which is designed for larger heads. You may have to move this one around to make a full cut because of its compact size.
Still, because it’s so small, it packs away easily. There are no moving parts or long, narrow extensions that can break off in your luggage.
4. Beardclass Beard Shaping Tool
This beard shaping tool contains edges for a goatee, neckline, curved cut, and step cut. It also has straight edges for shaping around the ears and other areas. What makes it stand out is that the comb is fully functional. Many beard shapers have useless combs.
The one on this product can smooth your facial hair and help you trim the edges more precisely. You won’t need another brush or comb to style your beard before you shave. You can even minimize the tools that you bring with you when you travel by using this beard template.
The 1-millimeter tapered edge technology allows you to cut close to the edge and line up the template accurately. Because it’s transparent, this product lets you see what you’re doing every step of the way.
It comes in three colors, all of which are transparent. The kit also includes beard scissors, a keychain and a mustache comb. Everything you need is in one small package.
5. The Beard Black Shaping and Styling Tool
This tool maximizes design, packing a punch in a small footprint. It’s compact, with extensions to create longer curves or lines. Still, it’s easy to hold and durable. Instead of a ruler, this template contains precision cutouts along the edges, which help you line it up evenly for symmetry.
Unfortunately, it’s not transparent, which prevents you from accurately adjusting it. You might want to use this with a barber pencil to make sure that you’re lining it up properly before making cuts.
One of the main problems that comes with using an opaque template like this one is that it’s more difficult to make it even on both sides. At first, you feel as though you need several hands to shave with the beard template.
But using it gets easier with practice. Because this tool is so small, it should fit well in your shaving kit. Once you get used to using it, it might reduce the time that you spend shaving.
How to Shape Your Beard
Before I explain how to use a beard shaping tool, I want to give you an idea of the general rules for shaping your beard. Style your beard before any shaping takes place. Shampoo and condition it, brush it into place, blow dry or straighten it as you typically do, and apply any beard oil, conditioning cream or balm.
Doing this ensures that your hairs lay the way that they normally do and you won’t remove too much or too little. You can line up your beard following the general guidelines from this video.
Pretend there is an invisible line from the top of the ear to your mustache or the edge of your mouth. Any hair above that line is usually considered stray. Remove these for a sleek appearance. Removing that fuzz provides definition.
But don’t over trim it. Keep it as full as possible, keeping the line as high as you can. The line that runs along the edge of the sideburn at the ear should point straight down. After combing it, remove rogue hair near the ear with clippers.
If your beard is long, you might have to remove a significant amount of length as you move down the neck. Always comb your beard before trimming this side.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when shaping their beards is cutting the neckline too high. Allowing your hair to grow to just a finger width above your Adam’s apple creates fullness as the beard continues to grow in.
Tips for Using a Beard Shaping Tool
Using a beard shaping tool is simple. Just line up the side of it to the edge of your beard that you want to shape. Trim any hair that extends beyond the guideline using clippers or a razor.
Don’t press too hard. If you do, you’ll change the contours of your skin, and the resulting line might be awkward. Take a little bit off at a time. You can always remove more, but you can’t add hair if you go overboard while trimming.
However, you can wait for it to grow out. Don’t worry too much about symmetry. As you try to even out both sides of your beard, you might realize that some hairs don’t react to the shape as well on one side as on the other.
Go with the flow, and don’t force your hair to do something it doesn’t want to do. You’ll just have trouble styling it every day if you do that.
What to Look for in a Beard Shaping Tool
The best beard shaping tools are made from wood, plastic, or metal. Wood looks classy, but it’s the least durable. A wooden edge gets easily dinged and scratched from the razor or clippers. Although metal is extremely durable, it isn’t always comfortable.
Metal can be cold against the skin. Plastic is durable and stays around room temperature so that it feels pleasant when you hold it up to your face.
A plastic beard shaper may be rigid or flexible. People with rounder faces often prefer a flexible option, which follows the contours of the face. Plus, plastic is the only material that may be transparent, which I talk about in the next section.
Some beard shaping tools are made of transparent plastic. Most people agree that those are easier to use because you can see the line of your beard as well as what you’re cutting.
If your tool has a built-in comb, you don’t have to spend time searching for all of your grooming tools before performing a trim. A comb is a handy extra that can save time, but you’ll still need a proper brush or comb for styling.
What shapes do you need to follow to trim your beard? Most beard shaping tools have a curved edge for your cheek, a straight line for your sideburns and another curve for your neckline. Check that the curved edge has variations so that you can create straight or steep lines.
If you do a lot of traveling, you probably don’t want a beard shaping tool that’s the size of a sheet of paper. A compact one will fit better in your suitcase. Some of the best beard shaping tools are compact but have extended edges so that you don’t have to move them around to make a full cut.
These are ideal because you can keep them in place as you work. However, long, thin protrusions can snap off in a bag or briefcase if the tool isn’t made from durable materials and you’re not careful.
Some beard shapers come as part of a kit with clippers, a barber pencil or other products. Sometimes, you can save money when you buy a package instead of purchasing all of these items separately.
However, they’re not always necessary. You might want to make sure that you need all of the accessories before shelling out additional money to purchase them with a kit.
So, What’s the Best Beard Shaping Tool?
Even though many of these products look similar, they’re not. For example, The Cut Buddy is patented. Its curves can’t be replicated by another beard line up tool. No single curve works across the board. You may have to experiment to find the one that looks best on your facial hair.
The Beardclass shaping tool has a money-back guarantee, making it an ideal option to start with if you’re not sure what will work for you.
Plus, it has all the features that will help you create the sleekest lines, such as transparent material and a wide range of curves and angles. I chose this as the winner. However, it’s very similar to the other products, and all of them are of high quality.
If you prefer a flexible design, I would recommend The Cut Buddy. It’s less rigid than the other models and may work better for larger faces. Whatever you choose, enjoy the professional look that you get and the money that you save by avoiding the barbershop.