How to choose the right trimmer, or why a laser razor
In general, the literature usually concretizes: "a beard trimmer." Because the word is extremely ambiguous. A trimmer is an electric scythe, an element of an aircraft steering wheel, a power regulator in fixtures, a milling cutter for working with a laminate, and so on. In general, a dozen values are typed.
A beard trimmer is an ideal shaving device. Its advantages are unequivocal: with the help of a trimmer, you can get bristles of any shape and length, as well as a combination of bristles of various configurations, that is, in other words, to do a beard hairstyle. Unlike a razor, he does not cut the hair to the very base, and his blades do not touch the skin - accordingly, there is no irritation problem. Finally, a neat bristle does not require shaving and cutting every morning, because in a day it simply does not have time to increase by any noticeable length (if you shave cleanly, then unshavenness is noticeable already in the evening, not to mention tomorrow). I trim the beard and stubble on average 1-2 times a week.
In general, this article is written by a fan of trimmers. Go!
Historically, the trimmer appeared as a hybrid of two different appliances. On the one hand, there were special nozzles for electric shavers that allowed only a given length of hair to pass under the blades. On the other hand, there were hair clippers, manual instances of which have been known almost since the Middle Ages. In 1921, inventor Leo Val patented the first electric hair clipper. His company Wahl Clipper eventually became a giant monopolist, and by the 1950s, there were more than a hundred patents in the field of hair cutting.
The machine differs from the razor in the first place by the principle of haircuts. The blades of the machine are two “combs” that move toward each other, cutting off the hairs that fall between the teeth. This technology does not allow hair to be removed under the root, but it does not injure the skin (the skin simply cannot get into the narrow slots of the blades), plus you can adjust the length of the resulting “hedgehog”.
In English, a manual machine is called a cliper, and an electric one is called a trimmer. In the 1990s, beard trimmers stood out in a separate direction, which were called beard trimmer, that is, "electric beard trimmer." Since the word “typewriter” was already actively used in Russian, the word “trimmer” migrated to us from English with the only hairdresser's meaning - “beard clipper”.
It's funny, but the principle of operation of the blades and nozzles to adjust the length of the bristles was invented by Leo Val. Nothing, absolutely nothing has changed in almost 100 years. Val’s typewriters also had interchangeable heads with blades of various thicknesses and widths, and power buttons, in general, the trimmer that my father gave me 9 years ago differed from the classics only in the quality of execution. And I must say that 95% of trimmers produced today are exactly the same.
Therefore, when we saw the magic words “laser guidance”, we immediately decided to figure out what it was and what it was for.
Influence of add-ons
Yes, we are talking about the Philips Series 9000 trimmer line, and the specific model we are testing is labeled BT9297. But before proceeding directly to testing, I will say two words about the additional functions of trimmers.
The trick is that the main functions really have not changed for 100 years. And not because progress has not stepped forward, but because Mr. Val invented the ideal design, which in fact does not require refinement. Yes, you can change the blades to titanium, you can come up with a variety of nozzle configurations, but nothing better than two toothed “combs” cutting off the hairs falling between them, you can’t come up with a beard.
Therefore, manufacturing companies are trying to work with "add-ons", that is, with additional functions that do not affect the shaving process itself, but simplify and make the side processes more pleasant. For example, a popular add-on is a built-in mini-vacuum cleaner that sucks in hairs and bristles, preventing it from falling onto a T-shirt or sink. There are waterproof trimmers to shave right in the shower. There are battery models and battery devices for camping conditions.
Philips against this background stood out with a bright red line - a laser. Another thing is that the phrase "laser guidance" sounds strange in the context of the trimmer. In principle, everything can be seen quite well in the mirror - why a laser?
So, we take the trimmer out of the box. Narrow, compact, fits comfortably in the hand. By the way, easy - here, over 9 years, progress has clearly stepped forward.
On the body - three controls. A large on / off button, an extension button for the laser system and a ring, the rotation of which moves the plastic nozzle-length regulator. Settings allow you to get bristles with a length of: 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, 1.0, 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 1.8, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0, 6.0 and 7.0 millimeters. If you are confused in this huge number of numbers, then we can say: 18 different lengths from 0.2 to 7 mm. When the ring rotates, the LED backlight turns on, and the numbers that determine the length become visible (it is funny that this is proudly called the LED-display, although this is just an LED that shines through the film with the application - and more, in fact, is not needed). After a couple of seconds, the backlight goes out so as not to waste charge.
The kit also includes a removable blade for trimming “thin” places, a plastic nozzle for adjusting the length, a brush for cleaning, a storage case and some huge amount of paper - certificates, guarantees, safety and care rules, instructions.
In general, the trimmer - the device in operation is so simple that there’s nothing to write about using it. Take and shave. You need to make some more subtle alignment - change the blade to a narrow one. The blade unit is removed with one click, without any effort, the main thing is to push in the right direction. You need to make a bristle of a certain length - put on the nozzle-regulator, set the desired distance - and forward.
You can wash the device under water, but gently - after all, it is not completely waterproof, and you should not rub it with a dishcloth under a stream of boiling water. Simply gently rinse the nozzle block.
Two words need to be said about charging. A full charge, which takes about an hour, is enough for 80 minutes of a clean shave. Objectively speaking, these are very good indicators, because with regular work with a trimmer, it is used for 20-30 minutes per week maximum. That is, charging is enough for a long time. If the trimmer is discharged "to zero", and you need to shave urgently, then 1-2 minutes of charging is enough for one shave.
In general, we examined standard functions. Let's talk about non-standard.
You press the button under the blade and the laser extends from there. This is not a point, as in a laser pointer, but a thin red line, or rather, a segment. It is parallel to the blade and when it touches the face with the blade merges with it.
Objectively speaking, if you just support some kind of typical beard shape, then the laser is not needed - you just shave, determining the symmetry using a mirror. But if you want to give the beard a complex shape, for example, to shave the steps in the whiskers or to get perfectly even lines from the temples to the corners of the mouth, and at the same angle - here the laser will help. Visually, it allows you to understand how one line in the beard pattern is parallel to another. In the same way, when we draw something and want to check the parallelism of short segments, we apply a long ruler to them, with which it is easier to estimate the deviation.
The technology itself is extremely simple - household laser devices of this kind have been used for many years in almost all industries. The idea of using it in shaving is fun. Not required, but can help lovers of perfect shapes. As the rhyme says: "In hell for perfectionists / There is no sulfur, no fire, / And only slightly asymmetric / Standing cauldrons stand." In this case, the Philips Series 9000 is a salvation for a perfectionist.
One moment seemed to me a drawback. The laser does not extend if a nozzle is installed to obtain different lengths of bristles. In fact, it can only be used for trimming between level 0 (the nozzle is removed in length) and any one length. If I want to achieve perfectly straight lines between, say, a length of 0.5 and a length of 3.0 (that is, a nozzle is needed in both cases), then I will not be able to use a laser, since it does not work simultaneously with the nozzle. Either you use a laser to trim the already “shortened” bristles, or you work on a length, there is no third.
Another thing is that the laser, most likely, will be needed only in combination with a block of high-precision blades, with the help of which patterns and hairstyles are made. It is clear that in this case the nozzle is simply not needed.
The laser in the trimmer is another extension of the functions of the classic and perfected instrument. Since I shave relatively simply and do not belong to perfectionists in any way, it was practically not useful to me, except for trimming the line of the beard under the chin, on the neck. If I had a choice between a laser trimmer and a waterproof trimmer, I would choose the second one.
But, of course, this is a new idea, which, firstly, can be developed (different configurations of the laser beam can, for example, help to do hairstyles of various shapes, including with curves), and secondly, it will undoubtedly be useful to people who truly scrupulous about their appearance.
In general, enjoy your trimming and grooming!
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