The Ultimate Guide to Beard Trimmer Guard Sizes: Choose the Perfect Length for Your Beard

Understanding beard trimmer guard sizes is essential for achieving the perfect trim.

In this guide, we’ll clarify what they are, their different cutting lengths and their relation to hair clipper sizes (with visual insight).

So with that said, let’s get started.

Beard Trimmer Guard Sizes – What Are They?

Beard trimmer guards are attachments that provide precision during grooming, allowing for varied trimming lengths and ensuring consistent beard designs.

Beard Guard Lengths

Beard trimmers vary in shapes and sizes, each coming with its unique guard type.

You can have a beard trimmer with a fixed guard.

Fixed guard beard trimmer:

A fixed guard beard trimmer is a type of beard trimmer that comes with a guard that is permanently fixed to the device and is designed to deliver a specific hair length, meaning it can’t be adjusted . This type of beard trimmer is ideal for those who want to maintain a uniform beard length.

Here are some examples such as the Remington Barba.

  1. Wahl Aqua Blade: This trimmer comes with a fixed 1mm blade that is perfect for creating a stubble look .
  2. Remington Barba: This trimmer comes with a fixed 11mm blade that is ideal for maintaining a longer beard length .

Adjustable Beard Trim/ Snap on Beard Trimmers

An adjustable guard beard trimmer is a type of beard trimmer that comes with a guard that can be adjusted to deliver different hair lengths . This type of beard trimmer is ideal for those who want to cut to a desired length . 

  1. Philips Norelco MG7750/49: This trimmer comes with 23 different length settings ranging from 1mm to 23mm, making it ideal for creating various beard styles .
  2. Wahl Lithium Ion+: This trimmer comes with 12 different length settings ranging from 0.5mm to 12mm, making it ideal for maintaining a uniform beard length or creating a stubble look .
  3. Panasonic ER-GB80-S: This trimmer comes with 39 different length settings ranging from 0.5mm to 20mm, making it ideal for creating various beard styles .

Dial Bead Trimmers

Dial Bead Trimmers are like adjustable ones. The difference is the dial on the trimmer that adjusts the length, like the vacutrim.

Why Is There a Difference in Beard Trimmers

It all depends on the brand.

But, the beauty about beard trimmers is all you have to do is know the length of the guard and trimmers will often cut to that exact length as beard trimmers often come zero-gapped out of the box.

Clippers on the other hand have a lever and that affects the length it cuts but as long as your lever is closed, clippers too can cut to the same length as a beard trimmer, though they aren’t as accurate or easy to use.

Zero-gapped trimmers in their natural state will leave 0mm of hair. 

If your trimmer has a dial, set it to zero and let the guard you put on dictate the length you cut to. So it’s the guard you put on that will make the difference, not the dial or lever.

Now, if you use hair-clipper guards, the transition to beard trimmer guards can be a little different.

If you used clippers and are moving to trimmers or vice versa, the table below sets out the closest guard in relation to the tool, so you can better transition from one tool to the other.

You have the clipper guard number on the left, the clipper guard length in the middle, and the beard trimmer guard (length) on the right – because guards vary but length is consistent.

Depending on the set you buy, you can have beard trimmers with a wide range of guards lengths

They can go from 16mm, 12 mm, 9mm, 7mm, 5mm, 3mm, and 1 mm.

Take the Phillip Norelco.. it has guards ranging from  1mm-7 mm. While the wahl lithium ion goes from 3mm up to 12.

It varies… especially with beard trimmers.

Clipper guards from brands such as Wahl or Andis rarely will ever be this specific. but below, I’ll show you the closest guards to these lengths if you’re transitioning from one tool to the other.

So let’s say you had a 16mm beard timmer guard, that’s the same length as a #5 guard on a hair clipper which also cuts to 16mm (perfectly balanced)

  • 12 mm trimmer guard length is closest to a #4 clipper guard which is actually 13mm 
  • 9mm trimmer guard length is closest to a #3 clipper guard on clippers which is 10mm 
  • A 7mm trimmer guard length would be closest to a #2 clipper  guard which is actually 6mm 
  • 5mm trimmer guard length would be close to the #2 clipper guard again.. 
  • A 3mm trimmer guard length is exactly the same length as a #1 clipper guard on hair clippers which too is 3mm. 
  • Then when you go down to a 1mm trimmer guard it’s the Same as a ½ guard or 0 guard for hair clippers which is also the same as the (lever open).

To put it simply:

  • 16mm beard trimmer guard = #5 guard on a hair clipper (16mm).
  • 12mm trimmer guard = #4 clipper guard (13mm).
  • 9mm trimmer guard = #3 clipper guard (10mm).
  • 7mm trimmer guard = #2 clipper guard (6mm).
  • 5mm trimmer guard = #2 clipper guard.
  • 3mm trimmer guard = #1 clipper guard (3mm).
  • 1mm trimmer guard = ½ guard or 0 guard for hair clippers.

Now you know which trimmer guard best matches your clippers.

How exactly do these look altogether? 

This video explains the sizes and shows how much hair each guard leaves. 

If you want a short, subtle shadow, keep the length to less than 2 mm. 

But If you’re looking for a fashionable mid-length beard, try 2-3 mm (1 guard) and if you want a bit heavier stubble, give 4-5 mm a shot (2 guard).

Using Guide Combs Effectively

Alright, let’s dive deep into mastering the art of using a trimmer guard for that majestic facial mane of yours.To achieve the best results, always trim your beard in the direction of its growth.

  1. Ready Your Beard: Before diving in, set the stage. Comb through your beard in its natural growth direction. This ensures a uniform trim throughout.
  2. Pick Your Tool: Decide on the trimmer guard that suits your needs. If you’re new to this, it’s wise to start with a longer guard. Remember, it’s always simpler to trim more later than to wait for an over-trimmed patch to grow back.
  3. Secure the Guard: If your guard is the snap-on type, ensure it’s firmly attached. You’ll know it’s on right when you hear a distinct ‘click’. It should feel sturdy during use.
  4. Begin Beneath: Initiate the trim from under your chin, moving upwards. Use your face’s natural lines as a guide. Aim for symmetry – take your time to ensure both sides mirror each other.
  5. Experiment with Lengths: While a consistent length is fine, varying guard lengths can add flair to shorter beards. For example, trimming your cheeks and sideburns shorter can accentuate your jawline.
  6. Define the Boundaries: Once satisfied with the overall length, remove the guard. Use the bare trimmer to define your neckline. If you’re unsure where to trim, a good rule of thumb is to place two fingers above your Adam’s apple and use that line.

Pro Tip: Elevate your grooming game by investing in some quality tools. A top-notch beard brush & comb set preps your beard for trimming. And don’t forget a premium beard oil to keep those hairs soft and manageable as well as use a beard breash to lay hair down better.

Alternatively, if you want to use your hair clipper to don your beard, you certainly can, here is how the different guard lengths look: 

The Benefits of Using Beard Trimmer Guards

  • Ensure precision and uniformity: Achieve the desired hair length consistently.
  • Safeguard against unintended nicks: Distance the blade from your skin for a flawless grooming session.
  • Assist in crafting diverse looks: Achieve trendy beard styles with the right guard.

Trimmer guards are essential for quality beard grooming. They ensure precise, uniform cuts, prevent unintended nicks by distancing the blade from the skin, and help achieve various beard styles.

Now you understand the relationship between clippers and trimmers, you have the flexibility to not just cut to one length.

You can create a fade as you please. Let’s see how this is done using hair clippers.

Fade beard Using clipper guards

How to Trim Sideburns with a Beard

You can take the use of your hair clippers to another level. 

You can trim your sideburns into your beard (with a fade). 

When done you’re left with aclean and professional look.

This is how you can do it: 

Step 1: 

First, find the length of hair your beard is currently at.

This will be your starting point.  

Let’s say your beard is at a #4 guard level = 6mm what you want to do is find the part you want to start from #2 guard 

From this point, close your lever 

And apply a #1. ½ guard, if you don’t have this guard, just use the #1guard with the lever open (it’s the same length) 

From here cut the area you want faded to the #1 ½  guard level (4.5mm).

Step 2: 

Then, with your lever closed, put on a #1 guard, go up a bit further and cut the area of hair you want to be faded down to a #1 guard. 

At this point, you should start to see someday of a fade. 

Let’s keep going. 

Step 3: 

At this point, take off your guards and just have the lever open (1.5mm of hair) cut the rest of the area you want a faded (which will be small) to this hair length. 

The close you lever with no guard and cut to a zero hair length, now all your beard will be faded. 

It can be quite hard to picture this but Matthew Conrad goes through the prices in detail: 


In this article, we went over beard trimmer guard sizes and how they match up to hair clipper guard sizes.

Both work well and you can certainly use them to get the look you want. 

If you found this article helpful, check out other articles on this topic below.


How do I know which guard size to use for my beard length?

Generally, the longer the beard, the higher the guard size. Experiment with different sizes to find what works best for you.

Can I use the same guard size for my mustache and beard?

It depends on your desired look. A shorter guard size may be better for precise mustache trimming, while a longer guard is suitable for beard trimming.

Are beard trimmer guard sizes universal across different brands?

No, they can vary by brand and model. Always check the packaging or manual to ensure you are using the correct guard size for your trimmer.

Patrick Boulang

Patrick Boulang

Patrick is the Primary editor for Clipphub. He has sales background however has always had a passion in barbering and personal self grooming. He now he spends most of his time giving information to hair clipper users to get them comfortable with personal grooming and improve their work on clients as he believes anyone can become skills with their blades.