Despite the current trend for hipster-friendly bushy beards, there is less appreciation for backs, sacks and cracks covered in a thick layer of wiry hair. It's a chore that many can't live without, and that's where this fine range of the best men's body groomers, shavers and manscapers comes in. They all have the ability to turn sasquatch into a squeaky clean sex-machine.
A good body groomer doesn't cost a fortune, but like anything in life, if you spend a little extra you get a little bit more.
Pricier models tend to have larger batteries, cutting the amount of time spent charging, as well as electronically adjustable heads and blades that have been specifically designed with maximum comfort in mind, so less annoying nicks and cuts in delicate areas. You might also consider one of the best IPL machines if you'd rather zap the hair at the root than cut it off as it breaks cover.
If you're wanting to remove the hair from the top of your head, you'll want to check out T3's guide to the best hair clippers. These will allow you to achieve simple hairstyles at home.
What is the best body shaver for men?
It's probably fair to say that the Philips Body Groomers kickstarted (or facilitated) the current manscaping trend, and the brand's devices are still particularly good. On its best Body Grooms, the motors Philips used to drive the shaving blades are nice and powerful, which means the risk of any painful snags is reduced, while the foils are carefully honed and treated to reduce irritation further.
After experimenting with less expensive models in the name of value for money, we've come to the conclusion that you're always best off going for the range-topping product if you want the best results and the longest life (for the device, not you). For that reason, our top pick is the Philips Series 7000 Body Groom. While the 'double-end' design is perhaps not ideal for getting at the hardest-to-reach areas of your back, it reliably trims and shaves smooth with minimal irritation, and seems to have good longevity.
Further down the scale the Philips Series 3000 Body Groom is a simpler design, with combs of various lengths if you just want to be trimmed rather than eel-like.
If you want full smoothness, arguably your best option is the Braun BG5030 Body Trimmer. This is an 'interesting' hybrid device that combines a powered trimmer with a Gillette razor blade. This does slightly prompt the question, 'Why not just use a normal razer blade?' admittedly. Hot tip: the older Braun CruZer6 Body Trimmer is essentially the same product but now usually quite a bit cheaper.
All these devices are fully waterproof and have batteries good for 50 minutes to 2 hours of unadulterated shaping, trimming and pubic topiary.
How to buy the best body groomer for men
This really depends on how seriously you take your grooming regime, as a cheap electric shaver will likely be up to the task in the first few weeks but could suffer from dull blades and irritatingly short battery life after some serious use.
Also, you have to ask yourself just how crazy you want to go with the hair removal. Beard trimmers will do just that, trimming the hair but leaving the desired length of stubble.
Alternatively, certain models boast a traditional wet shaving blade alongside the electric trimmer element, leaving chests, underarms and even legs feeling as smooth as an R&B-loving dolphin.
Finally, it's worth checking if the trimmer in question can withstand a good dowsing, seeing as the shower seems the most sanitary place to rid a body of unsightly fuzz.
The best body groomers for men you can buy today:
Philips single-bladedly popularised manscaping-specific tools, and its Series 7000 remains the best body hair removal tool around. Despite premium features such as having an integrated trimmer at one end, and the close-shaving foil at the other, a full 80 minutes of battery life, and ultra-comfortable hair removing, it still comes in at around £60 most of the time.
Having a beard-like trimmer on one end does make it a bit more fiddly than most when you're holding the very end in order to get to really hard to reach bits such as your back – or your thighs, if you're exceedingly rotund – but that is not a deal breaker, we feel.
The Series 7000 is even quite stylish, as these things go. Please note: various older incarnations of the 7000 are often still to be found on sale. They've all been good products, but we feel this newest one is the best of the lot.
Another neat little device from manscaping pioneer Philips, this has a lot going for it, chiefly the excellent blade system that manages to deliver a smooth shave where others can snag and cause dreaded razor rash. It feels very similar to the range-topping 7000 Series.
This is predominantly down to the clever rotating head design, which features a central foil and additional trimmers located at each end. As a result, the bi-directional trimmers cut longer hairs, which are shaved by the foil for a closer result.
The rounded tips and hypoallergenic foil are designed to be safe and comfortable for the underarms, chest and abs, back and shoulders, groin area and legs.
For most, the handle is quite long enough to reach tricky back patches (but see the Series 5000 below, should you need more) and the waterproof design means it is possible to go about your shaving routine in the shower.
You get what you pay for, and admittedly, the comb attachments for keeping hair trimmed to various lengths are way more fiddly and annoying than the 7000 Series' built-in trimmer. Still, Philips is rightly proud of the 3000's build quality and this puppy is guaranteed for two years, with the brand claiming that the blades will never need oiling.
You might also want to consider stepping up to the Series 5000 Bodygroomer. This costs a little more and while it doesn't really offer improved trimming, it does boast longer battery life (60 minutes) and an extension handle that can be fitted for easier defoliating of your back hair.
The auto-sensing beard technology in this all-in-one trimmer is pretty cool, as it senses the length and thickness of your facial bush 13 times per second in order to adjust the power of the motor to hair thickness for a smooth shave.
It negates the need to constantly adapt settings and makes it a real breeze to use on thick beards. On top of this, the Lithium-Ion battery holds it charge really well and the 100 hours running time should be plenty enough for a few weeks worth of shaving without the need to recharge.
Alas, the body grooming tools are much like many others on this list, namely manifesting in a variety of little plastic heads that need to be switched for each body part. It gets annoying and it's really easy to lose one of these down the back of the bathroom cabinet.
We're also not sold on the foil-based body grooming head, which is still guilty of snagging some of the more sensitive areas.
We're not even quite clear what all the 12 functions are here – we think Philips has cheated by making out that a comb attachment that lets you trim your hair to 3mm is a totally different thing to a near-identical comb that does it to 2mm. But no matter.
We generally recommend specialist tools for all jobs, whether that's installing a new kitchen or shaving your batty. However, the beard/pube-trimming blades and attachments included in this set are excellent. The nose hair and foil close trimmer attachments are, to put it mildly, less good, but it's overall a solid set.
The blades/motor combo here are noticeably superior to some of the rubbish you get in multi-attachment sets, but it isn't vastly more expensive, especially if you shop around, or lie in wait for deals, like a puma stalking antelope.
When you've finished beard shaping and manscaping, this hardy Philips number simply requires a quick blast under the cold tap to clean. No oiling is ever required. Overall, this is a fine product, even if it does feel more like a quality beard trimmer to which someone has added the phrase '…and body' at the last minute.
Again, as the name suggests, this is a Philips Body Groom that can put on a multitude of other heads for beard trimming, nose/ear hair removal and whatever else you can think of involving hair. I suppose you could also think of it as a beard trimmer that also does your treasure trail.
From the black and chrome colour scheme to the finely ground Chromium steel blades, everything about the Philips Series 5000 11-in-1 feels built to last. However, what we said above about the Series 7000 12-in-1 holds even truer here: especially if you have thicker hair, you're better off getting specialist tools for each area of hair removing, rather than one of these multi-purpose kits.
On the other hand, if you're on a budget or buying as a gift, it's hard to argue with the VFM on offer here.
Yes, the promotional wording for this trimmer makes it sound like a Katana blade from a mythical Japanese sword-maker, but don't get too carried away. It's smooth enough and the metal looks like it won't blunt as easily as some cheaper models, but that's where any Kill Bill comparisons end.
Battery run time is good and it can withstand the splash of a shower, it's just a shame that the individual heads are not particularly great around the sensitive parts. The body groomer attachment catches and drags, while the nose trimmer takes a it of getting used to.
However, the precision trimmer and detail heads are nice for achieving that Craig David super sharp look to the facial fuzz.
Panasonic's offering is one of the sturdiest here and feels nice and weighty in the hand, which inspires confidence when tackling tricky head hair or trimming that beard to perfection.
Unfortunately, the small, guard-less body attachment, which neatly flips up above the main trimming head via a slider, is too aggressive to tackle sensitive areas. Armpits, back and chest aren't too bad but anywhere further south is risky.
That said, the 45 degree angled blade does a great job on facial hair and this was one of the only trimmers to truly clip hair to the desired length with one pass, cutting down shaving time dramatically.
There is also a good amount of adjustability here, with a twist barrel selector switch, combined with the provided plastic guards, making it easy to cut to the desired length.
In summary, it's a top trimmer for stubborn facial hair and even DIY hairdressing but definitely not the best at tackling the more sensitive regions. More of a beard trimmer that can also do your torso, in fact.
You can't fault Braun for versatility with this one. It's covered all bases, with a device or attachment for trimming and/or shaving pretty much every part of the human body. However, the quality overall seems lower than on Philips' similar packages (the Series 5000 11-in-1 and Series 7000 12-in-1)
There are a number of guards for different facial hair lengths, a neat body groomer (similar in appearance to the one found on Philips BG2024 Series 3000) and even nasal and ear hair trimmers.
It's a decent spread but the shaving experience can be varied, with some of the attachments proving a little painful. I found the guards didn't cut short enough, or took things too far if removed, while the nasal trimmer caused a fair amount of eye watering, thanks to some nasty snagging.
Some of these attachments also feel a bit cheap and flimsy, while I can see the shaving experience getting worse as time goes on and things start to seize up.
The name says it all really; this is a groomer that has been designed with below-the-belt shaving sessions in mind.
As a result, Remington has thrown in some 'comfort tip' stainless steel blades, which have been rounded to avoid any nasty mistakes. The three fixed combs offer a choice of length options from 2 mm, 4 mm and 6mm, making it even easier to trim body hair to your preferred length.
It is waterproof and the powerful Lithium Ion battery pack is good for around 60-minutes of shave time. Personally, I would not entrust my downstairs to a bladed device that costs about 20 quid, but it's a free country…