Different Sizes of Hair Trimmers

by Tarah Damask

A hair trimmer is an electronic device that uses very small vibrating blades. These blades are either applied directly, or with a guard, to hair in order to trim it to a specified length. Trimmers come in many different sizes; different sizes of hair trimmers deliver different results. Hair trimmers can be used to keep a beard groomed, to keep unwanted body hair short, or to trim hair to skin level on smaller areas. Both men and women use hair trimmers for many different grooming needs.


Hair trimmers come in a wide range of sizes depending on their function. They can be divided into small, medium and large. Some people need hair trimmers to simply clean up around their eyebrows; such a small job needs the smallest trimmer. Others need a hair trimmer to keep a beard groomed; such dense, coarse hair covering a larger area of skin needs a larger trimmer. Because there are many sizes and many needs, it is helpful to know what size matches up with a particular function.

Small Hair Trimmers

While most trimmers are electronic, there is one exception. In the smaller range of hair trimmers, disposable shapers are approximately the length of a pencil. They are made of plastic and have a single attached blade. According to Folica.com, these are "great for grooming excess hair from face, neck, arms and bikini area." The other small hair trimmer is referred to as a "nose hair trimmer." It is handheld and comes with a narrow blade tip. A nose hair trimmer can be used to safely trim nose hair, ear hair or other areas in need of precision such as eyebrows. Small trimmers are also often battery-operated.

Medium Hair Trimmers

The medium hair trimmer category consists of beard trimmers. A beard needs a heavier blade; most blades used for the beard have a defined tooth on them that creates a more powerful cut for coarse hair. Different brands and trimmers come with unique specifications, but most beard trimmers have different settings depending on the desired length. Some come with a "stubble setting" to create the closest trim to a smooth shave. Beard trimmers found at Norelco.com have four to nine settings, depending on the variety.

Large Hair Trimmers

Large hair trimmers are used for body grooming. Areas of the body with unwanted body hair generally include the chest, back, underarms, abdomen, groin and legs. A body groomer typically comes with combs (or guards); a guard is a plastic attachment that keeps the blade a specified length away from the surface of the skin in order to provide a trim instead of cutting the hair to the skin. A body groomer is handheld, but has a larger-bladed head in order to cover more surface area.


Many trimmers are available with an integrated vacuum feature. The vacuum sucks the trimmed hair pieces into the trimmer, providing a cleanup-free trim. Depending on the trimmer and the brand, some may be used with a lubricating agent such as shaving cream; certain trimmers are made to function without lubrication on the skin. Some are very powerful, some can be charged and used in the shower and some must be plugged in. Research brands and varieties to find which size hair trimmer is appropriate for your particular need.

Photo Credits

  • Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of D. Sharon Pruitt

About the Author

Tarah Damask's writing career began in 2003 and includes experience as a fashion writer/editor for Neiman Marcus, short fiction publications in "North Texas Review," a self-published novel, band biographies, charter school curriculum and articles for various websites. Damask holds a Master of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of North Texas.